Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Sweet Kaela, in less than four days you will be TEN YEARS OLD!  That means double digits!  But for today, you are 9.99 years old and I plan to savor these last hours of your first decade of life.

The night you were born was special in many ways.  As the world was celebrating the birth of Jesus, we were also celebrating the birth of YOU!   You were born exactly on your due date, on Christmas morning at 3:40am, and we were the only people in the entire birth center having a baby that night.  You are so special to share your birthday with Jesus!

When you turned 1 we had a big celebration with all our friends and family.  You got to have your very own cake, and you learned what it feels like to squish frosting all over!  (And then you took a bath!)

When you turned 2 you helped put ornaments on the tree, and you put them all on one branch.  We had your birthday party at our house, but you were so overwhelmed with all the people and you hid in the play room and played with your old toys.  So Mommy and Daddy opened all your presents with our friends, and you were happy in another room!  For your birthday picture, this is what you would do when we said "SMILE!"

When you turned 3 you started showing your girly side--you LOVED pink, and you played with dolls all the time.  Baby Graeson was born a month before your birthday and you were such a good big sister!  You helped Mommy when I was tired or feeding the baby, and you played with him when he was awake.  When you turned 3 1/2 we started the tradition of your half-birthday party on June 25.

When you turned 4 you liked to be silly and playful.  You would push Graeson around inside a little toy grocery cart.  You also had a doctor kit with a stethoscope, syringe, and silly red glasses!  This was also the year you asked Jesus into your heart after we had been reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book together.  What an important event!

When you turned 5 you got a new bedroom!  You chose pink butterflies and you helped paste them onto your walls.  You felt very special to have a new room!  You started kindergarten this year which meant you were at school every day instead of just a few mornings.  I remember thinking we would have to share you with the rest of the world.

When you turned 6 you were a big sister again, and you helped take care of Baby Maezie.  You were old enough to hold her by yourself, and even to feed her a bottle.  You were also losing teeth every month!  Since you were losing teeth at the same time Maezie was getting teeth, we would use her teething gel on your loose tooth in order to get it out.  You were so happy whenever another tooth would come out!

When you turned 7 it seemed almost overnight you weren't a baby anymore.  Maybe it was because your front teeth finally grew in and made you look older.  Maybe it was because you were getting so much more confident in yourself.  You started to be interested in nail polish, and glittery chapstick, and pretend makeup.  And of course you loved to wear dresses and hair ribbons.

When you turned 8 you started to grow from little girl to big girl.  You were the tallest in your class and you grew so much this year!  We started having "girl talk" on the couch and on the bed, and we would talk about our days together.  On the night of your school Christmas program, it snowed and snowed and snowed!  A lot of kids didn't make it to the program, and the next day school was cancelled due to snow.

When you turned 9 you just kept growing and growing!  You always did very well in school, and you really started developing a love of reading and learning.  You had lots of friends at school because you were very easy going and caring about other people.

When you turned 9.99 you are definitely not a little girl any more.  You got your ears pierced for your half-birthday, and you are responsible enough to take care of your very own kitty.  You did a really good job when we moved to Bend and you had to make new friends at a new school.  You were very patient when you had to share a room with Maezie for a few months, and you were waiting and waiting to get a cat.

I'm so proud of the BIG girl that you are!  You are such a joy to Mommy and Daddy and you are a good big sister to Graeson and Maezie.  We are SO HAPPY you are part of our family and we love you so much!  I can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.  But.....could you just stay 9.99 forever?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merry Christmas From Bend

Merry Christmas from Bend!
Last year at this time, we had no idea that major changes were just around the corner!  Our life was calm, comfortable, and conventional—we knew every street, store, and stoplight.  We were predictable, planned, and purposeful.  But….God had other plans in mind!
I had felt a gentle calling to expand my hospice career, and in early Spring I received an undeniable message that my work in Klamath Falls was needed elsewhere.  By May, I had been hired at Partners In Care hospice in Bend.  We notified our family and friends, had a giant garage sale, packed up 8 years of accumulated belongings, and moved three hours away….all in less than three weeks.

Initially we stayed in our RV trailer at my dad’s house for the first couple of weeks.  Though it was an hour commute to work, the slow-paced country life was a nice transition—and the kids thought “camping” was great!  Soon we found a rental house in town and were able to spend the summer evenings exploring the many walking paths, parks, and hikes.  Now, after a long and grueling process, we finally have our own house!  We also have found a new church, doctor, dentist, grocery store, post office….and our new favorite: Costco!

The kids have all adjusted quite well.  Kaela and Graeson are at the same school—they love their teachers who both happen to be Beaver fans!  Kaela is in gymnastics and Graeson started taekwondo this year.  Maezie is in a small church preschool three mornings a week and she really likes it as well.  Bryan is staying home full-time now and during those mornings when all three kids are in school, he hikes up Pilot Butte and spends time on the mountain.  He hopes to get involved with our new church’s high school group soon.  I am enjoying my job and it is a perfect fit for me—but I do get impatient about the learning process and would like to know everything NOW!

The actual transition of moving was not easy—lots of goodbyes, many changes, and occasionally getting lost.  But we love our new town and especially our new house!  Since we’re now in “central” Oregon, most anywhere we visit is only a couple of hours away.  Make sure you change our address so we can keep up with all of your happenings as well!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

As the Williams World Turns

Here’s the latest from “As the Williams World Turns” soap opera…..

Bend house—we finally have one!  Well, we will have in three weeks.  After FOUR house deals fell through (including this one) a total miracle revived it and we are in escrow!  We are scheduled for closing on Oct 31, then moving….again….oh joy.  But then we’ll be done moving!  The house is only about 5 years old and is in great shape.  It passed inspection with flying colors, and is in a great neighborhood with quiet streets for the kids to play.

Klamath house—we have renters finally!  We had it for sale all summer with NO OFFERS, so we put it up for rent last month.  We are using a property management company in Klamath which is much easier since we are out-of-town owners.  So we took it off the real estate market for now, and we’ll try again at some point in the future.

Jill’s job—going well!  As always with management jobs, the work is never done, the piles are always growing, and the crisis is always just around the corner.  But it’s a great company and it’s a perfect fit for me.  (And my boss thinks I’m fabulous!)  I’m building relationships with my direct staff and with the rest of the management team….and I’m no longer getting lost in Bend!

Bryan and kids—loving Bend!  Kaela and Graeson are at the same school and doing very well.  Maezie is at a church preschool a block from our house and she loves it.  Bryan enjoys staying home full time, and during the three mornings a week when all three kids are in school, he hikes up Pilot Butte in the mornings and enjoys some quiet times.

Stay tuned for our next episode!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sharp Family Easter

Don't forget to pause the blog music player to the right before you press play on the video....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bend Fun Stuff--first 10 things

With the exception of 4 years at college, Bryan and I lived in Klamath our entire lives.  Yet new friends would move to town and they had done WAY more Klamath fun stuff than we ever did!  Somehow when you live in one place, you just ignore all the touristy stuff and end up staying in your own little routine.  So with the move to Bend, we decided that we were going to be those new people in town and make a conscious effort to explore our new town.  So I looked up about a million websites (click on the beige links in this blog), bought a book called Bend, Overall (I highly recommend for anyone living in or visiting Bend!), and sought recommendations from my new co-workers.  Here's our first 10 list so far:

#1:  4th of July pet parade--TONS OF KIDS!!  And pets of all kinds....the only rule was no cats or rabbits.  We saw tiny dogs, huge dogs, tiny-dogs-who-thought-they-were-huge-dogs, sheep, cows, chickens, snakes, and hundreds of kids on bikes!  Maybe next  year, we'll decide to be in the parade ourselves!

#2:  Pine Nursery Park Trail--our first exploration into the hundreds of trails and paths that are in Bend.  We walked/ran/strollered on the paved path, saw a fishing pond (noted for future fun stuff!), learned about lava rocks, and played on a school playground.  We also discovered a gigantic softball park....and mom had a bit of high school nostalgia of her "good ole days".....

#3:  Regal movie theater--$1 movies!  Bryan and the kids have enjoyed numerous summer movies for the fabulous deal of one dollar!  This particular theater has two showings a week with specific G-rated movies, then has two new movies the following week.  Kaela was particularly excited to watch the American Girl movie since she has read many of the books.

#4:  Deschutes Public Library--Bend library has multiple branches, one of which is only a few streets away.  Each kid was excited to get their own library card, then the children's librarian made necklaces to hold the cards.  Maezie got to attend the preschool pajama party and had a great time!  Graeson loves finding Star Wars books (which gives Mom and Dad a whole new galactic vocabulary!)  And Kaela has had her nose in about 5 books a week!

#5:  Deschutes River trail--the Deschutes River flows right through the middle of Bend.  And there are hundreds of different trails ranging from easy strolling to more difficult hiking.  Bend parks and recreation keeps all the trails very well maintained.  We have been taking family walks in the evening....there is nothing better than a cool evening walk/hike and hearing the sounds of the river and breathing the moist river air!  Oh and of course collecting sticks, pine cones, and rocks.

#6:  Pilot Butte--this is one of the landmarks of Bend itself, a 480 foot butte right in the middle of town.  At the top is of course a spectacular view of Bend, as well as the ability to see dozens of the Cascade Mountains.  Some very wise person created a plaque at the top which is a 360-degree map of all the surrounding mountains, buttes, volcanoes, and rocks.  Obviously they were not aware of Mt Graeson!

#7:  Madras county fair--our first experience with a different fair other than the Tulelake Fair.  Let's just say, it wasn't the best investment in entertainment money from the parents' perspective--only a few rides, mediocre food, and run-of-the-mill exhibits.  But we got bracelets so the kids could go on unlimited rides and they had a blast!

#8:  PS Ogden scenic lookout--walking on a bridge over a 300 foot canyon.  It truly can't be explained in words, but my mommy-radar was on high alert and it was all I could do to let the kids take a look!  The sign in the parking lot said "Many dogs have died here!  Put your dog back in the vehicle!"  (Yes, it had a guard rail and fence.  But still!)

#9:  LaPine State Park camping--ok, I have to admit, this was already scheduled long before we moved to Bend.  But our annual camping with the Patterson family just happened to be in the Bend area!  Last year's camping at this park was in the snow, so we thought we'd try August this time and it was much better!  And our drive home was only 30 minutes!  (Oops, I didn't take any actual pictures!  But many videos to come later...)

#10: Old Mill trail--yet another branch of the Deschutes river trail, but this one goes past one of the busiest sections of town.  We happened to go on a night when a major country music star was performing in the outdoor amphitheatre, and people had their lawn chairs set up for miles!  The Old Mill District has tons of shopping and restaurants, and a lot of people!  There are many ways to float down the river--tubing, kayaks, stand up paddle boards--some people even anchored their water tube in the middle of the river and were eating a pizza listening to the concert!

All of our Klamath-ites say that Bend is a great area.....we wholeheartedly agree!  We'd love to show you around our new town! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jan.Feb.Mar 2011

Fun times in the Williams family!  The crazy jumping toddler is the CUTEST!

PS.  Be sure to pause the blog music player (to the right) in order to hear the video music.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moving update

Moving Part One
Three weeks ago we packed up all our belongings, loaded up the moving truck, and moved everything into a storage unit in Bend. We had previously had a giant garage sale and downsized quite a bit, but the truck as well as the storage unit were packed right up to the door! Our house went on the market, and we had several interested lookers before we even left! Then we spent a couple of days at my dad's house outside of Bend just relaxing. Much needed after a very hectic and sleep-deprived two weeks prior! We then headed back to Klamath so Bryan could work, we could fulfill some appointments, and we could clean the empty house.

Moving Part Two
Two weeks ago we loaded all the remaining odds and ends into our trailer, said goodbye to the house, and moved to our temporary location--staying in our RV trailer at my dad's. Brothers Oregon, 40 miles east of Bend, is the picture of "the middle of nowhere". We probably doubled the population when we rolled in. There's no internet (dial up doesn't count!), so our electronic communications are via our phones. But we quickly discovered some of the many benefits of Bend (#1--Costco!) and even met two neighbor kids in Brothers. The next day, I started my new job! So far, it's been going great--although I'd like orientation to move a little faster--and Bryan and the kids are handling the slow-paced country life pretty well.

Moving Part Three
Presently, we have made the decision to move into a rental house. The good news is we do in fact qualify to buy a new house, even though our old house hasn't sold yet. We have found a house that we really like, so we will start the process this week. The bad news is that nearly all the houses for sale are short sales. If you are like me, you may not understand all the complications of a short sale, but there's nothing "short" about it. The process could take two months, or it could take eight months. And it's not guaranteed that our offer would even be accepted. So, with that in mind, and the need to be settled by the time school starts, we felt it was wise to move into a rental house while we wait. Hopefully, that will happen this week!

Moving Part Four
The future phase of moving will happen in a few months when we have finished the buying process. As of this writing, we have no idea when that will actually occur. We are hoping it will at least be before Christmas, but that's no guarantee either. In the meantime, our rental house is less than a mile from my work, and we'll no longer be driving 80 miles a day! AND....we'll have internet!

Thanks to all of you for your help, even what may seem small or insignificant. We appreciate all of you for your support and prayer through this transition!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Williams family has an announcement

The Williams family has an announcement!  (No, not pregnant…..)

I (Jill) have accepted a job at the hospice in Bend, Oregon so…..WE’RE MOVING!  The hospice is called Partners In Care and they have several divisions:  hospice, home health, hospice house, and transitions.  I will be the Patient Care Coordinator of the hospice division.  It’s a great opportunity for me, and it seems to be a perfect match.  I have seen their hospice in the past and have admired them from afar, having no idea I would ever leave my current hospice.  We’ve also visited the Bend area several times and have felt it’s a really great place.  So it’s a good move on all levels! 

This has been a journey of obedience to God’s direction, and in so doing we have already experienced His abundant blessings on our family.…and we know there is more yet to come!  Bryan and I both have been learning a lot about God’s faithful plan for us, and we are “confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”  Philippians 1:6

Right now, we need some serious prayer!

·         Bryan to complete the multiple fix-it projects that are needed before we put the house on the market in two weeks.

·         Jill to pack, sort, clean, and prepare for an open house garage sale in less than 5 days….while still working full time.

·         Jill completing the final days/weeks of work at Klamath Hospice and the many details of finishing critical projects and training co-workers to fill the absence.

·         Kaela, Graeson, and Maezie to keep their child-like excitement about the new adventure.

·         A buyer for our house….quickly.  We KNOW God will sell our house, even in this bad economy, even this house which is in no way ready to sell.  But we can’t even pursue a new house until our house is completely sold.

·         The transition of moving our belongings to storage while we camp out in our RV for a few weeks to get settled in the new town, and possibly pursue a rental house.

·         Most of all….that we would be a witness of God’s faithfulness and His reign in our lives, to all we encounter throughout this whirlwind transition.

My new job starts on June 27, so we will be moving during the week prior…..which is less than three weeks!  We will keep our current cell phones, and will let you know when we have a permanent address.  And if you’d like to come help us out during the next two weeks, we’ll take it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Easter story cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place one cup pecans in a zip lock bag.  Let each child take turns beating the pecans with a spoon until all the pecans are broken into small pieces.  Then set them aside.  Jesus was arrested and beaten by the Roman soldiers.  John 19:1-3 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they slapped him in the face.

Let each child smell and taste vinegar.  Pour one teaspoon into the bowl.  Jesus became thirsty and they gave him vinegar to drink.  John 19:28-30 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Add three egg whites to the vinegar.  Eggs represent life and Jesus gave up His life in order to give us new life.  John 10:10-11 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

Sprinkle a dash of salt into each child's hand.  Have each child taste it, then brush the rest into the bowl.  Jesus' followers shed salty tears.  Their sin was bitter.  Luke 23:27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

Give each child a teaspoon of sugar to taste.  Pour in one cup of sugar.  The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know Him and follow Him all the days of our life.  Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  The color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  John 3:1-3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him." Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."

Fold in the broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper-covered cookie sheet.  Each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.  Matthew 27:65-66 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven.  Turn the oven off.  Have the children seal the oven door with tape.  Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Go to bed.  The children may be sad that they have to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers were saddened as well.  John 16:20-22 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

On Easter Sunday, break the seal and give each child a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On resurrection morning, Jesus' followers discovered that Jesus had risen!  Matthew 28:1-9 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend in Portland

This past weekend the kids and I made a quick trip to Portland to visit Baby Keira (oh yeah, and her mother too!)  The on-the-way travel was relatively uneventful except that it rained every second of the way.  Thankfully, God gave us a 15 minute break in the weather for the exact moments when we stopped to play at the Oakridge park.  Thank you for Your perfect timing!

I have to admit, traveling with three kids and no husband (Bryan stayed home to work, attend a youth group function, and paint the bathroom) can be a bit challenging.  There were several phrases that came out of my mouth that I swear were my mother's voice coming out of my mouth.....  No, I'm not reaching back there!  You kids share!  I can't talk to you when I'm driving in the rain!  JUST GIVE IT TO HER WHATEVER IT IS!  Shamefully, I was not very patient with them.  But the kids were happy with the DVD player, and I was happy with my boyfriend Jeremy Camp's we all made it in relatively good time.

Baby Keira is now 9 months old and crawling all over the place.  She thought Graeson was her own personal play toy and climbed all over him while he giggled hysterically.  They were quite a pair!  Kaela is everyone's big sister, and Maezie was a little helper too.  They loved holding her, feeding her, chasing her around the room, and reading to her.  I'm sad to realize I only got one picture of her!  What a bad Auntie!

Since Laurel has a small one-bedroom apartment, I (foolishly) thought it would work well for all three kids to sleep in her queen-size bed and Laurel and I would be on the futon....thinking (what was I thinking?!) they would all sleep like little angels next to each other.  Um yeah, not sure what I was dreaming!  The first night they were finally asleep at 11pm, Maezie being the last one to finally give in.  And like clockwork, they were up at 7 am!  The second night, we were (slightly) wiser and started the bedtime process two hours earlier.  I eventually discovered it was the little one--in the middle of the bed--who was the biggest nuisance and was pestering the others!  Apparently, Maezie decided it would be fun to poke Graeson's eyes and then when Graeson hollered, guess what Mommy did?  Marched in and yelled at Graeson to stop playing and go to sleep!  Meanwhile the baby was standing in her crib babbling and laughing at the three others.  Eventually Laurel and I wised up and she took the baby for a car ride (instant sedative!) and I planted myself in a chair in the bedroom until they were all unconscious.  Yikes.

We did have some fun times too!  While Keira napped, I took the kids to the mall....a REAL mall!  (Let's just say the mall in our town is, um, Walmart.)  We went to the Hello Kitty store, Toys R Us, and Barnes and Noble where they spent their own gift cards.  They loved being able to each choose a different food court option--Chinese food, orange julius, and pizza.  Then we went ice skating inside the mall.  That's right, "we" means Mommy too.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I feared I might actually die on that skating rink!  Kaela picked it up pretty quickly and only held onto the wall for a short time.  Graeson took one hard fall and he was done; but, he did eventually venture out again and had a great time.  Mommy took Maezie around the outer loop with her clutching to the wall (yes, I was clutching the wall too!) and she was crying almost the entire time.  It took us 45 minutes to go around one loop, with her crying for about 43 of it, and by then we were both done!  Then later I surprised Kaela and let her get her ears pierced!  She was SO excited!  She did great!

On the way home, since the rain had stopped, we took a slight detour and visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.  It was truly phenomenal!  The farm is quite the production complete with kiddie rides, vendor booths, and typical fair food.  Graeson was in heaven climbing on the beloved John Deere tractors, and we all enjoyed the hay ride around the MILES of tulips!  The kids even got their first taste of elephant ears--though they were a little hesitant at first because I think they thought they were going to eat an actual elephant!

The going-home travel was mostly good thanks to Auntie Lolo who lent us several Disney movies to watch in the car.  Maezie wasn't very happy for the final hour or so but....I just turned up my music!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thanksgiving video

This is my first uploaded video, hope it works!  We spent Thanksgiving in Portland with Bryan's side of the family and had a great time! 

PS.  You'll need to pause the blog music player just to the right of this video....or you'll hear two songs at once!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life of a Hospice Nurse

This story came across my email at work, and it just so perfectly captures what it's like to be a hospice nurse.  Though I am rarely on call during the night anymore (and I admit, I'm thankful for that!), I had several years and many nights of this exact story.  Now, as the supervisor, I find myself getting irritated when I do have to go see a patient during the day because my "real" job just piles up while I'm gone.  But every time, I tell myself--just as the nurse who wrote this tells herself--that this is where I'm needed...for this family, for this moment, for this crisis.  I hope when my kids read this someday, they will understand what Mommy does when she goes to that mystical place called "work".

A 'Page' in the Life of a Hospice Nurse

There are days when a sledgehammer seems to be the only rational response to my beeper. The beeper...that 'wonderful' little device with its incessant bleating, demands (and, usually gets) instant gratification. That technological advance that keeps me electronically tethered to the physical and emotional demands of my patients and their families. Sometimes, I really hate that beeper. Then I remember why I carry it. I'm a hospice nurse.

It's 2:00 am, and I'm on my way to see a patient. I wish I could say that I don't mind being wrenched from my warm bed on a cold night, but the truth is that I do. I comfort myself on the drive to the patient's home by reminding myself that at this very moment, dozens of hospice nurses just like me have brushed aside their wants and needs, so that instead they can hold a hand, give a hug, say a prayer. And when the embraces have been exhausted, and words or prayers fail us, we sit still with these people, drawing strength from the quiet togetherness of souls sharing pain.

At last, I reach my patient's home to find his wife waiting for me by the door. Her cordial greeting cannot hide the fear etched upon her face. "I think he's gone," she says simply. When I see her husband, I see what it does not take a nurse's education to understand - no longer is her husband bound to earth by the temporal bonds of pain and sickness. He is gone, but he is free.

As I help her bathe him before the funeral home arrives, she repeats to me the sweet history of their courtship, the early days of their marriage. She speaks of the divine comfort in growing old with someone you love, thinking that there are still a thousand tomorrow's to be shared. Then, she recalls that terrible day in the doctor's office two years age. "No's a prescription," seems to be all she remembers of the day she found out that dreams, sometimes like people, die. She sings for me the song her husband wrote for her when he was trying to win her heart. Just when I feel her grief overwhelm me, she offers words of thanks that are a balm to my troubled spirit..."I don't know what I would have done without you nurses from hospice."

Finally, I step back out into the brittle light of the winter morning; time to start a new day. Making my way back into the office to look at my schedule, I think of all the beautiful people I've met because of the 'darn' beeper.

"How was on-call last night?" asks a co-worker. I look down at my pager, the event of that early a.m. visit whispering across my mind.

"Not bad," I say, smiling.

"Not bad at all."

Teresa I. Brown RN, C
Hobbs, New Mexico

FANFARE/Winter 1997/1998
Volume XI, No.IV
This postcard is published by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

While Daddy's Away

While Daddy's away...the kids will play! 

This past weekend, Bryan was gone for four days on his annual San Francisco mission trip with the youth group kids.  We lost count, but we think this may have been Bryan's 10th San Francisco trip!  We are so proud of him and the work he's doing to show love to the many homeless people there and to build eternal relationships with some of the teenagers on the trip.  Click here to check out the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) website for more info on their amazing ministry.

The kids and I did lots of fun activities together during the four day weekend.  We went to the library and made crafts and played music.  Kaela and Maezie made princess dolls and Graeson made a football doll (he decorated "GO OSU" on the jersey).  And of course we got books!  Maezie's favorite books are about a mouse named Maisy and we found Maisy Goes to the Library.  Graeson's books were Scooby Doo (yes, this makes Mommy feel quite old!) and Kaela chose books about cats, since we have promised she could get one this summer.

After the library, we went to GG's house to visit.  GG had to read every single book the kids got!  But she loved it, of course!

After books, GG and the kids made cookies.  Meanwhile, Mommy enjoyed some nice quiet time while reading a magazine.

The next day we went to the local Winter Wings Festival which was all about birds.  I thought about my friend Becky and her kids, who live in Portland and are bird lovers, and how much they would enjoy this festival!  (Hint Becky:  Come visit us!)  There were tons of fun activities for the kids.  We watched a show on stage with a bird man who self-proclaimed he'd "been studying birds a little too long".  He was quite eccentric!  Graeson even got to stand on stage for part of a name-that-bird game.  We also made our own bird nests with "eggs" (colored rocks), dissected owl pellets--Kaela and Graeson could have stayed at that table for hours!--made bird masks, saw live birds, and even got to pet a live duck.  They also got face paint and a bird painted on their hands.

On another day, we went looking for some local entertainment and found a church who was having a fun day for kids.  It was only for 1st through 6th grade, so Kaela got to enjoy a VBS-style day of activities.  Since the younger two couldn't go, we went to McDonald's play place and had our own fun!

Oh, and I forgot to mention.....MOMMY COOKED!

We are glad Daddy is home, but now it's back to work and back to school.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Ah December.  "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"  I love Christmastime!  But....I freely admit I'm happy when it's over and we can REST!  (Refer back to last year's December for all the Williams family events!)

Kaela's was the first Christmas program this year.  She is always in the very back row (with all the tall people, of course!) so she gets her best picture either before or after the program.  Hopefully soon I will figure out how to upload videos because Kaela could not stop yawning during her program!  Any long "Hallelujaaaaaah" and it became a yawn.  It was so funny!

Next came Maezie's very first Christmas stinkin' cute!  She did such a good job and knew all the words and motions!  And she swayed her little hips in time to the music....adorable!

Then came Graeson's program and he also did a great job!  He is so energetic I'm never sure what to expect, but he is perfectly self-controlled at school and I'm always pleasantly surprised.  His teacher says he is very well-behaved and is a model for the other students!  (He gets that from his mother of course...)

Christmas means family time, so we got to see Baby Keira...oh, and her mother too :)  It's so funny for me to see a BALD baby because none of the Williams babies were bald, that's for sure!  But Keira is just like her mommy was in that area!  (Laurel, I'll refrain from posting any of your baby pictures here!)  In addition to all the in-towner's, we also got to visit with Uncle Brad (Jill's brother), and cousin Cassie and her family.  If I'm counting right, we had 26 people on Christmas Day.....and that's not even the entire extended family.  (Thanks Jack and Lisa for hosting!)

Christmas Eve is at GG's house....eating, singing, eating, presents, get the idea.  And getting our fill of holding Baby Keira too!

On Christmas Day Kaela turned NINE years old!  How did THAT happen?!!?

And then there's the Christmas "after".....ugh.  But we tackled it together and got the house back to normal (actually, better than normal!) pretty quickly this year.