Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The Kruse family had a really good time this Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we opened our gifts to each other. Brandon really liked his tv for his bedroom, so that he can play his xbox 360 without interruption from the little guys. J and K each received a Zhu Zhu hamster. Korbin got a Handy Manny workshop with tools as well as some clothes, pj's, and a Boz book and movie. Jilli got a Snuggie, Guitar Hero for her DS, a necklace, Devotion book, and several board games. I spent most of the day cooking for Christmas and the kids had a ball helping me make Aunt Nina's fudge. That always brings back some great memories from my childhood. We had our favorite beef curry for supper.
On Christmas day, we went to Whitehouse to have Christmas with my family. We had so much fun. We just don't see each other often enough. Gay and Steve just recently moved in their new house, so we were happy to finally get to see it. We also have had 2 new nieces born this year (Natalie in June and Lydia this month), so it was great to see them as well. The adults played the Newlywed Game and had a Secret Santa gift exchange. It was hilarious! The kids just ran and played nonstop and enjoyed seeing all of the cousins. They really love each other! We had some delicious food with everyone bringing their traditional dishes. Gay did the ham and turkey this year so that Dad wouldn't have to and did a great job. We missed Dad's yummy cooking but were just glad he could be there.
Saturday we went to Louisville since Todd just had back surgery and couldn't travel. Granny came through with her junk boxes again this year. I can't believe how the kids LOVE those. The one year that Rob talked her out of doing them, I thought they would all cry. Even Brandon and Candace love them. I would bet it is a tradition they continue with their children!!
I can hardly believe another Christmas has come and gone. We are enjoying some much needed rest this week before we go back to school next week. We started the book of Genesis to fulfill one of our New Year's resolutions of reading the Bible through this year. We have made some great progress so far. I hope we make it!
Reflecting on this year, there is so much to be thankful for. This time last year, we were enduring a very difficult time, so I am thankful for Christ's love and mercy. I am also so thankful for family. Those here and those that have gone on. Each one has a special place in my heart. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Break (October 19-23, 2009)

We have greatly enjoyed our fall break this week.
Earlier in the week, we caught up on some dr. appts. and cleaning (Dad's and ours). We love being able to spend time with Dad and help him out, but it is so hard to get to everything during the school week.
We also spent some time at Vastwood park as well as playing in the fall leaves at our house. The colors are incredible this year so I got some really good pics of the kids for our annual fall picture taking session. Our yard always looks like a fall wonderland at this time of year.
Since we were off of school, we were able to attend revival at New Life where Brother Steve Ross (our former pastor) was leading services. All of the services were powerful and uplifting.
To top off the week, the kids and I went on a shopping trip to search for costumes. We were successful and the kids are now ready for next Saturday.
This weekend, we are heading to Princeton, Ky to see Kelsey play volleyball. We are pumped up about this and cant wait to see everyone!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ky Lake Trip

This weekend the Kruse bunch headed to Green Turtle Bay in Grand Rivers, Ky. The weather was the most unusual July weather I have ever experienced. The high was mid 70's all three days. On Friday night we walked around the lake and took pics, let the kids play on the playground, and just relaxed and did some board games. On Saturday, the little kids were up at 6:30 am so Daddy took them fishing and let Bran and I sleep in. Later, we tried to swim and it was just too cold so we went to the indoor pool until the sun came out. As it warmed up, I took the little kids to play on the beach while Robby and Brandon took out Uncle Todd's jet ski. They gave up very shortly and joined us at the beach. The kids had a blast building sandcastles and hunting for unusual rocks and shells. They were able to swim as the lake water was comfortable, until they came out into the wind. Saturday night we ate dinner at Miss Scarlett's and then went to Lighthouse Landing for some pictures as well as a carriage ride.
On Sunday we rented a pontoon boat and went cruising and tubing for the day. The little kids had never done this, so they were excited. We were glad Brandon enjoyed it as well, since it is often hard to entertain with such a wide age gap. Sunday night we had dinner at Patti's and then walked through the gardens, played putt putt, and enjoyed the arcade. Overall it was a great trip and nice to get away and spend some family time. I was sad that we had to cancel our beach trip, but very thankful to the Lord that everyone was healthy enough for this trip.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Korbin's Surgery July 09

I am not sure where she got the funny gas, but somehow Jillian convinced Korbin to lay still while she filled a cavity. He was not nearly so good when he went to the "real" dentist. She definitely has bright future if she decides to do this as a career.


This is little Natalie Rae at 2 weeks old. She looks just like her Daddy. Korbin calls her Matalie since he gets her confused with his other cousin Mady.

Bible School June 09

As always, the kids had a great time at VBS. This year's theme was Australia and they brought in a baby kangaroo from Ky Down Under. This is a picture of the kiddos singing one of the VBS songs on the Sunday after.

Summer Fun 09

Jillian and Korbin recently enjoyed going to Chuck E Cheese and another day at Legion Park. They had been wanting to try the water sprinklers, but when we got there, Korbin decided he does not like water in his face.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Jillian and Korbin have a new hobby....fishing. Robby recently took them to Grandad's lake for some fishing and they loved it. Daddy and Jillibug got in a friendly little competition to see who could catch the most and of course she won. She causght 11 bluegill and Dad only caught 8. Korbin "helped" catch 2 of them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kelsey's Signing

Brandon wasnt our only grad this year. My niece, Kelsey Brooke, also graduated from West Memphis High. She and Brandon were born 5 months apart. Her mom, Lisa and I were only 6 months apart. We thought they would grow up together like Lisa and I , but we live about 6 hours away and don't get to see them as often as we would like. Still, they have stayed close buddies.

She also signed to play volleyball at Mid-Continent in Mayfield Ky. She has been a very talented setter for the Blue Devils and we know she will be great in college. After so many years of having her in Arkansas, it is exciting that she will only be a couple of hours away. We look forward to going to her games.

Natalie Rae is here!!!

On June 4th, my nephew Travis and his wife Ashley had their first child. Ashley called Travis around 5pm to tell him she thought she might be in labor. At 6pm they arrived at the hospital and the baby was born at 7:04. They live about a half hour from the hospital, so we are just glad Travis didn't hit heavy traffic and have to deliver her on the side of I65. Natalie Rae (named after Dad) was 5 lbs and 15 oz. and 18 inches long.
She is very beautiful. Mom, Dad and baby are all doing great! They were able to bring her home on Saturday.
The only sad note is little Natalie Ray was born on Uncle Kevin Ray's birthday. In addition to being named after Grandad, we think she may have a lot stacked against her.

Friday, June 5, 2009


After 7 years of growing her hair, Jillian decided to take the plunge and get it cut. Last Saturday, we took her to Kid's Snips and donated it for Locks of Love. She had almost 14 inches cut off (12 for Locks and then another couple to trim it up). She looks like a teenager now but she loves how easy her new do is. She says that she is going to start over and do it all again...


On May 30th, Brandon graduated from Hancock Co High. We started the evening with a pre graduation party at the church fellowship hall. We had food, cake, and a video of Brandon's life. Rob and I bought him a new laptop for his graduation gift. Right now his plan is to attend OCC this fall. He is not sure yet of what he wants to study. Guitar is his main love right now. We told him that he could be like Uncle Kev and get a degree in music performance and then go work for UPS.
The graduation ceremony was great and I was overwhelmed that our son could have grown up so quickly. We are definitely not ready for all of this. Oh well, by the time Korbin graduates, I will be too old to go, so I guess I might as well enjoy it.!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday BRAN!!!

On March 1st, 1991, life as we knew it changed forever with the birth of our first child. It was a snowy beginning of March at Elemendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. At 3:15 pm, after 40 hours of labor, Brandon Tyler Kruse came into the world. The Anchorage Daily News headline read "A Great Day for All Americans". They were talking about the end of the Gulf War, but I was sure it was because the world was graced with the prescence of such a beautiful baby. He was always an easy going child with a heart melting smile. As he has grown up, he still has that laid back attitude and tender heart. We can hardly believe he will turn 18 tomorrow! He is very eager to say he is an adult, but he will always have to do what I say!! We celebrated with a family dinner at The Patio. He was thrilled to finally get his long awaited Apple Ipod. We didn't see him for the rest of the evening as he played with it. Kind of reminded me of his first birthday. Brandon, if you read this, I LOVE YOU and I am very proud of you. You are a blessing to me! Now, go clean your room!!


I guess we will all be talking about the 2009 ice storm for years to come. Everyone knows I despise camping or anything that does not involve electricity, so we survived less than 24 hours before we headed to the Ramada Inn in Tell City with Grandad. We called that home for a week, spending our time at the Tell City Library, watching movies, visiting with Mark and Jess (who ended up in a room right upstairs) and running home to check our electricity. After a week, Gdad had his power back and we checked out and headed to his house for a couple of days until ours was restored. We were out of our home for a total of ten days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese New Year

Today South Hancock had an exciting Chinese New Year assembly. Our district is hosting some Chinese middle schoolers, and they performed a show to teach our students about Chinese culture. Jillian started the morning assembly by teaching our students how to say hello and thank you in Chinese. After the assembly, she was asked to present our guests with some gifts from South Hancock. We all noticed that she was completely in awe during the show. It was a great experience for her.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


This week (Monday), Rob went back to the neurosurgeon to get a CT scan of his head. Dr. Cannon informed us that all of the bruising to the brain was gone and everything looked normal, so he could release him. Rob told him he was glad because it would be bad to lose the only marble he had left. I think he popped that one out to beat me to the punch. Cannon commented that it was amazing that we were standing around having that conversation as bad as it was. He still has an appointment on February 16th to see a neuropsychologist for a mental evaluation. This is something that is required after a head injury in order to release him for return to work.
Last week Rob went back to the orthopedic surgeon. He said that his pelvis still has a break on one side, but that it is healing over. He was taken off the cane and walker. He is walking very well with just a slight limp. Dr. Carothers did say that he could opt to have surgery on his separated shoulder later.
On Friday, he went to see Dr. Decker(his surgeon in charge of his case). He walked in a half an hour early and the nurse stuck her head out to say that Decker was already waiting to see his prize patient. He feels that he is doing fantastic and reminded us that Rob is a miracle. He said he rarely sees someone survive a car wreck like that. He decided to put him on coumadin for the leg clots they found in the hospital. He has a temporary filter inserted, but this is an extra precaution. We are very thankful for Dr. Decker. He has been one of the most compassionate doctors that we have ever dealt with and even after the worst was over, he has been very good about just checking up on Rob. He did send him back to Carothers for clarification of the shoulder issue and they did another xray. Carothers feels that the shoulder will not get worse and if he is able to use it as well as he is, he wouldn't recommend surgery. He does want Rob to see Dr. Martin in the next couple of weeks for a second opinion on that. Otherwise, Carothers has also released him.
The last issue we have is Rob's eyes. He has 4th cranial nerve palsy from his head injury. It is supposed to get better over time, but causes some blurry vision. Rob has another appointment on January 28th to do another check. If they are not better, we will have to give it one more month before he does any type of correction.
Please pray for improvement in his eyes (hopefully by his 28th appointment) and that he will do well on his February 16th evaluation. He is doing great, but he gets frustrated and discouraged at times because he can't do everything he feels like doing. He is working out on the tread mill and Bowflex every day to gain his strength back. He is really hoping to be able to drive again by the end of February so that he can go back to work. His goal has been March 1st, so hopefully he will beat that.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


New Year's Eve - This day is always very exciting for us! We are such party animals that we are usually worn out by 8:00. This year we had some errands to run in Owensboro, so we had a family dinner at Cheddar's. We even (after a lot of arm twisting) convinced (actually tricked) Brandon to go with us. He never wants to hang out with us anymore. Halfway through the dinner, he commented, "This is fun! Why don't we don't we do this more often?" After dinner we did a little store hopping and then headed home. Around 10:00, we pretended it was midnight and headed to bed. I did tell Jillian the story of the big, silver ball in New York. She had never heard of it, and probably will never see it if she takes after me.
New Year's Day - Today we had a get together with my cousin Kathy Gooch's family. It was a late Christmas/New Year's celebration. We ordered pizza, exchanged gifts, and played Family Feud. The guys beat the girls, but we are pretty sure it was because of all of Rob's brain therapy. That clearly put them at an advantage. The Gooch's and Williams' gave Jillian a set of batwings and she loved them. She enjoyed trying to fly by jumping off of Jessica's stairs. Hopefully that will be as high as she goes... Korbin got a Lightning McQueen lunch box and house shoes. He has already packed his lunchbox full of toys. Now we are home playing and looking forward to a little rest before we tackle the job of taking down the Christmas decorations.