Sunday, December 28, 2008
Brandon is 17 and a senior this year! He says that if he makes it through Pre-calculus (finals are next week) it will be smooth sailing. He is still playing the guitar and has even played with a band several times over the summer. Recently he played with a praise and worship band at church and did a great job. Senior projects were finalized before Christmas, and he did well enough to be invited to present at the senior showcase. His project was on diabetes education. He worked with a mentor at the Healthpark and then presented a community education class on diabetes prevention. He still works at Bill's IGA about three days a week. He is planning to attend the Owensboro Community College next year until he decides on a career to pursue. He has been a great blessing while his Dad has been injured, willing to run errands and help with his siblings anytime I have needed.
Jillian turned seven in October. Much to my amazement, she asked for a Hannah Montana party. This is the first girlie party she has ever had since she has always been a little tomboy and loved superheroes. She is in first grade at South Hancock Elementary. She is doing very well in school and is reading above a third grade level according to her Accelerated Reader test. She is in a class with mostly second graders and hangs with them like a pro. She has always been older than her years and really tries to keep the rest of us on track (especially her little brother). She has amazed us since the first time she was placed in our arms at 11 months old. She is such a great testimony to the miracle of adoption.
Korbin is a three year old ball of fire, the spitting image of Brandon, but with a much more independent personality. He loves Batman and Lightning McQueen. If we finish potty training by the time he is in Kindergarten, we will be very proud! He has been the source of a lot of laughter during the difficult time that we have had lately. Climbing is a major talent and tonight we found him climbing to get scissors so he could give Barbie a haircut. At least it wasn't Jillian's hair!!
Kim - I am in my 15th year of teaching. Time really flies when you are having fun... Even though I consider 4th grade to be one of the most stressful positions in the world(with testing and writing portfolios), I feel that it is where I am called to be. God has placed me in a very loving school family that places children first and really cares about the needs of each other. I work with some great Christian people that challenge me to be a light in this world.
Rob has worked at the paper mill since 1995. He is still on swing shift, and although he thought he would never say this, he is so ready for his injuries to heal so that he can get back to work. He also hopes to be able to swing a golf club again by the summer. He helped coach the high school boys for several years during Brandon's golf days and now is having golf clinics for ages 6-12 at the country club throughout the summers. He still makes clubs for a hobby and has already made Jillian and Korbin a set. They love to get out on the course with their Dad.
Our favorite times of the year are when we are able to take family vacations. This year, we had to cancel our annual trip to the beach, due to my illness over the summer, but we were able to go to Kentucky Lake right before school started. We stayed at the Green Turtle Bay Marina and would highly recommend it. It is right across the street from Patti's. We had a great time jet skiing, playing on the beach, and doing all the fun activities at Patti's ( shopping, minigolf, rock climbing).
On fall break we were able to travel to Marion, Arkansas to visit my niece, Lisa, her husband John, and their girls. She and I were always best friends growing up, and always have a ball when we are together. We were able to attend Kelsey's senior choir concert and were very impressed. They had about 80-90 singers in the junior/senior group, and a singer from the Memphis opera sang with them. It was not your typical high school choir! Rob and John were able to play golf together while Lisa and I just hung out with the kids for the weekend. From there, we spent a day at the Opry Mills mall for some school clothes shopping, lunch at The Aquarium, and arcade games. It was a great week!!
Christmas 2008 - We were thankful to be able to spend Christmas as a family this year, with Daddy home from the hospital. The five of us opened gifts at home on Christmas Eve. Korbin's favorite gift was a Batcave! Jillian received a zero gravity car, and Santa brought Brandon a new speaker for his amplifier. Rob and I needed earplugs, but apparently we hadn't been good this year. On Thursday, we all went to Bowling Green to spend Christmas Day with extended family. The cousins had a great time playing together as usual. After a huge dinner, we had our usual kids gift exchange and dirty Santa game. The top picture is Uncle Kevin enjoying his "man bag" and sleeping mask. Next, the adults (along with Kassidy and Jillian) enjoyed a friendly game of Family Feud. On Saturday we had the Kruse get together. Much to the kid's delight, Granny came through with her junk boxes again this year. This is a tradition she started years ago and the first year she didn't put them together, you would have thought someone canceled Christmas! As always, the most special part of Christmas was remembering Christ's birth. The week before Christmas, we participated in a Christmas cantata with live images from the manger. Brandon and his cousin Jessica played the part of Mary and Joseph.
Rob's Car Accident - On November 15, Rob was on his way to work when he was rear-ended and pushed into another lane of traffic where he was hit a second time. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen and then several hours later, a second surgery to repair a bleeding artery. He also suffered several pelvis fractures and bruising, swelling, and bleeding on the brain. He spent five days in ICU before he started to regain some of his memory. He then spent another week in a regular room and then a week on the therapy floor. Over the weeks, he regained his long term memory fairly quickly, and then gradually his short term memory. He was finally able to return home on December 5th and is doing very well considering all he has been through. His walking is much better, although he still has a great deal of soreness at times. He is still having difficulty with blurry and double vision, but the doctor expects this to clear up within a few weeks. He is doing therapy at the Healthpark and feels it is helping him. This has been a scary and emotional time for all of us, but we trust we will be stronger for it at some point. A few people have commented that they don't know whether or not they could endure this, but we know that God gives us grace for each moment as we need it. The Lord has been our counselor and guide. We are very thankful for his provision. We are also thankful for the family He has given us. We always had someone to call, sit with us, take the kids, or help with errands. Our children have been troopers also. It's hard to imagine going through this without their smiles and laughter to brighten our days.