Hello friends! I trust you all had a nice Christmas, as we did as a family. The month of December had plenty going on. We came into December, with my birthday celebration as well as getting ready for Christmas. It was a very fun month and worth looking back on, so get ready for lots of pics!
I grabbed this pic of Mark, Daisy and me when we were dressed festively for Christmas.
My dear friend, Vicki, and I both celebrated our 65th birthdays in December. We are exactly 1 week apart and her anniversary falls on December 4th. I was in her wedding 40 years ago and her family planned an outing for lunch that Sunday, so Mark and I went to celebrate. Definitely worth a celebration for 40 years of marriage!
I’m sharing lots of random photos from the month, so hope you enjoy. Miss Daisy continues to delight us and we are so glad she is a part of our family.
She’s the best little dog and we love her dearly. She will turn one on January 11th.
Our little Daisy girl got plenty of attention over the Christmas holidays. Lauren and her family stayed with us for a week and the girls really love this little dog. She gets a lot of attention from them.
Mom and dad are continuing to settle in at Dogwood Forest assisted living. Dad is still doing amazingly well and no longer talks about going home at all. It seems that the house and car/truck are really fading from his memory, but he has asked about a house in Panama City where he was raised. He has asked a few times what happened to that house and when he describes it, it’s their Marietta house. Mom had been praying that he would forget the house and it seems like that is happening. It’s definitely fading which is amazing since they lived there for 50 years.
We got the house completely cleaned out, everything valuable was sold and the house got put on the market right before Christmas. With the brisk real estate market here in Atlanta, it went very fast over a weekend for above asking price. The best thing is, a family is buying it to live there so that makes us all very happy. We did not want it to go to an investor. The house will close in a couple of weeks and that chapter will be behind us. Mom is more than happy about selling the house. Of course, we aren’t talking to dad about it, we don’t want to agitate him.
Santa came to Dogwood and we got pics with mom and dad. That was cute!
Dad is still doing so well and we haven’t had any more issues with him wanting to leave or being angry. It’s just such a blessing how well he is settling in now. This is what we envisioned. This is a family, the Henrys who were in my dad’s church for many years and they are dear friends of the family. Dad really enjoys when they come to visit and they try to come every week or so. The weather has been so good this month that they’ve had lots of opportunities to sit outside.
Dot is mom’s best friend and this is their daughter, Kathy. Kathy dearly loves mom and dad. It’s a joy that they have these friends in their lives and I’m so glad they come by to visit. Dogwood has so many great outdoor spots to sit and that’s so good for mom and dad, especially dad who loves being outside.
Little Alex is growing up, she’s 16 months old now and walking like crazy, so we had to watch her with the breakables. She’s a fun little thing, so cute and sweet!
We had lots of opportunities with Lauren and the girls to visit mom and dad and I took some pics to remember it.
Dad loves sitting by the fireplace in the lobby.
I even take Daisy in there often and the residents enjoy seeing her too. Parker is a delight to those seniors, they really have taken to her and love it when the girls come in.
Mom and Alex in mom’s room.
Lauren and Parker.
At the urging of some of the managers there, we have started taking dad up to mom’s apartment. He has no memory of being here at all from their first weekend in Dogwood. He admired it and told her she is living in style. It’s definitely more spacious and more well appointed than the memory care side, but dad gets all the care he needs over there. He talks about his room and says it’s just fine. We had thought it might be possible for him to move back with her, but as time goes on, it’s evident that he needs to stay in memory care. As his memory continues to deteriorate and get worse, he needs the structure and care that he gets in the memory care wing. He would never be able to find his way around by himself in assisted living.
He doesn’t seem to mind it over there at all and there have been times he has chosen to stay there instead of coming with us or going back to mom’s room. So there is definitely something comforting about his routine there and we let him make those decisions. I’ve heard that they really thrive on routine and I’m glad he has settled into a good place in there. Mom can see him every day and I stop by often too and see them both. It’s such a good set up. Mom goes and gets him and takes him out to sit by the fireplace or they can go back to her apartment and visit. She usually goes awhile before lunch time, so she can visit a bit and then it’s time for his lunch. He’s always ready for the next meal! I’m glad he has that to look forward to.
Lauren and Iris in mom’s apartment. Mom is as cozy as she can be in her little apartment. It gets lots of light so it’s a cheerful space, plus her balcony is an extra bonus.
Back at our house, the girls had good weather to play outside. This jeep was at my parents’ house, but we brought it back over here for the girls to ride when they are in town. They love that thing!
Mom came over for lunch one day and we enjoyed the visit. She read a book to the girls.
Mom in her Christmas top Lauren got for her.
Christmas day on the sofa. Lots of popcorn was consumed while the girls were here. We watched quite a few Christmas movies that week and that little Iris can eat more popcorn than any other child I’ve ever seen. That’s what they are eating.
Cutie pie Alex has all the clothes, with lots of hand me downs from her sisters and cousin. She had a different Christmas outfit on every day. Being the caboose has its advantages!
We had a delicious Christmas breakfast at our house with an egg casserole, sweet rolls, fruit and coffee and that was plenty for all of us. Starting last year, we decided that we’re not going to cook a big meal on Christmas day anymore, because if was just too much after a big breakfast. So now we are all going out for Chinese on Christmas late afternoon. Mark has been doing this with his girls for years (I always go with him) and now my family is doing the same. We all went out and enjoyed Chinese at different restaurants.
I think daddy really enjoyed his Christmas outing with the family. He might not remember it in a week, but we know that it’s cherished time together.
Lauren and her family in front of the tree Christmas morning. Of course, the girls had a big time opening their presents. They still believe in Santa and left out cookies and milk on the coffee table.
Cute cute family! The girls loved staying in the new guest room space with the daybed and trundle. It’s the perfect place for them to be.
On Christmas Eve, we had Mark’s family over. Not all of them could make it this year, but this is who did make it. Mark’s 2 daughters/son-in-laws (from Left: Tony, Traci, Rose and Patrick and McKenzie, plus niece, Allie in front and his mom, Joan. We had a really nice time and Mark and I cooked a whole turkey for the occasion.
Christmas morning with my family and we all looked so festive in our mostly plaid shirts (except Mark who wore a solid.) I loved how we all coordinated.
We had a couple of extra warm days after Christmas and I visited with mom and dad on mom’s patio. She loves having it and dad loves it out there too.
As you can see, it was a blessed Christmas for us this year. We sure don’t take these holidays for granted and know that anything can change in a minute with all 3 of our parents. So we celebrate and cherish the moments with them as long as we have them. At their ages, every year is a bonus and we are grateful we have had them so long.
I’m especially grateful that God helped us through this past year, getting mom and dad settled in assisted living on October 1st and all of us getting the house ready to sell. It’s been a very busy year, with me also getting my old house ready to sell and getting that finalized in July. What a year it’s been! I thank the Lord for all his blessings and how he has been so gracious to all of us and I pray we go into 2022 with hope and expectations of good things to come. I refuse to live in fear as the media portrays so much fear, doom and gloom. But rather, I trust the Lord to see us all through. No matter what comes, He is our answer! He is ever faithful!
What blessed news and wonderful pictures! I am SO glad that you and the entire family made the extremely difficult decisions you faced in the fall and got your Mom and Dad settled at Dogwood. Your Mom looks so much more relaxed and at peace than she did while she was trying to “do it all”. I know it is an immense weight off you and your sister’s shoulders as well. What a blessing for all of you!
Ps…. Absolutely LOVE the doe and fawn shirts on Lauren and the girls!
Donna Vaughn says
Loved these pix! Thankful your dad has made the transition now! What a blessing! Your mom looks like she is thriving and always looks so pretty and rested. Happy New Year to one of my favorite bloggers!
Love all these pictures and it seems if things really worked out time wise for both sides to get together. Mom and Dad look really well and I know you are happy about that as well. And of course the girls are the star of the show!!!! lol
Rhoda, I’m so happy to hear your parents are settling in to their new home. My situation is very similar so I understand your emotions and concerns at this time. I read an article recently by a woman who was dealing with her mother’s dementia. I wanted to share a few sentences from it. She said, “I know the only thing changed is my mother’s memory. God has not changed. He can minister to her soul despite her lacking knowledge of Him. I ask God to touch her deep within her soul, to giver her His assurance and peace. He is behind her and before her. Dementia is not too dark for my God who is fully present with her on this dim and murky path. So I ask God to gently, in His time, lead her to her everlasting home and into His glorious light.” This was exactly what I needed on the day I read it. I was finding it hard to know how to pray for Mom. I realize it’s your dad instead of your mom, but I thought you might need this also. We’re on this journey together.
Jill, thank you so much for sharing. You’re so right, that’s a good thing to read, dementia is different, but the same for all of us who deal with it in our families. I know my dad still has his deep abiding faith, because when he prays and talks about God, it comes out just the same as it always has. It’s so great to see that when it happens!
Jeanie Nichols says
Thank you for sharing your family Christmas. SO happy that things are going well for your parents.