Monday, March 2, 2015

Saying Good Bye to Special Needs Sister

The final thank you note is mailed, and here's a summary of why my blog was on the back-burner the last 7 months:
 July 2014, my sister, who lived in a group home was in  the hospital for 22 days, (11  of them in ICU), followed by another 3 weeks in an acute-care facility. After TONS of Dr. appointments (all fall)  we  (my other sister and I , being partners as  Marlene's advocate through all of this ) were back at hospital  Christmas day, then  surgery New Year's Eve day.... with another 23 days of hospital stays, followed by more acute-care.... before returning to her group home.  February 9, 2015 we got the phone call that her blood sugar  jumped to 500, and after EMS arrived, she went into cardiac arrest...  her body just couldn't fight any longer.

Hoping to give others a better understanding of life with a Special Needs Person:
Here's her  bio that was shared at her Celebration of Life Service: 
 Marlene Martiny
May 12, 1955  -  February 9, 2015

Me holding newborn baby sister
  In February, 1985, my Mom wrote:  “Marlene weighed about 5 lbs at birth, but came home at 4 lb 4 oz. She did not suck on the nipple by herself, so I had to work her little jaws as much as an hour at a time to see that she had any nourishment.  Needless to say, that in 1955 the hospitals did not leave the babies with their mothers that long, and the staff did not have time to do that.  SO, she was sent home – for whatever care I was able to give her. “

Marlene in our doll cradle

Marlene had low Apgar scores, and suspected lack of oxygen during birth.  The Dr. told Mom & Dad that she would be a “challenging child” because she was “borderline”…. In other words smart enough to know that she was different!

Marlene lived up to that description her entire 60 years!

With delayed motor milestones, sitting up > a year, walking > 2 yrs

At 3 ½  yrs of age she fell off of a stool while washing her hands, and sustained a “concussion”, while in the hospital, her vocabulary grew from 6 or 8  ---to 10 or 12 new words a day…. We couldn’t believe when she came home what had happened!

The cute little curly headed girl, wasn’t always so adorable…. It seemed like dinner hour was the worst time… Mom had one idea, and Dad had another…. And Marlene’s behavior was the root of most of the argument….   With Marlene in school all day, Mom went back to teaching…. Maybe that classroom of teenagers typing away was a relief to the crazy and uncertain times at home, when nobody knew for certain how to handle Marlene!

As a young adult, she was a “typical teenager”… and then some…. “I don’t want pizza for dinner …. I want steak….. next night:  I don’t want steak for dinner I want pizza”… and on and on….

Marlene was “mainstreamed” into a few classes at Royal Oak Dondero H.S. and was extremely proud of her sewing creation, and her graduation.   I found her wallet size diploma in her purse this week.

Marlene lived in 6 group homes, and a couple of apartments (by herself, but supervised) She worked for New Horizons, and Freedom, at various facilities.  Her favorite jobs were working at the Food Bank, and being in the Community.

 Special Olympics Bowling Team

She had a variety of hobbies over the years, including bowling with Special Olympics,  latch-hook rugs, scrapbooking, puzzles, visiting the dollar store, and spending her sister’s money.

 Favorites : The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Muppets, Beverly Hillbillies, Brady Bunch, Flipper, & Partridge Family.

Last trip to Disney World
Marlene loved to have fun, and in her young-at heart spirit, always talked about “THE KINGDOM”  We all hoped she’d be able to make that trip again… but …I remember when Dad died, a grief counselor had a great conversation with Marlene, and she said to the girl, “Personally, I don’t know about you, but I believe in God”  SO,    instead of Disney’s Magic Kingdom,  she went for the Big One in the Sky. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Cards

My Rheumatologist ordered me to "Take Care Of Myself"  and do less than I usually do, sooooo  in order to follow those orders, sadly, I am NOT holding Holiday Card WOrkshops this year :(      However, for some inspiration, I am sharing some Close TO My Heart Christmas Ideas. . . and as always, I have blank cards & papers you might want to stop over & pick up, as well as Holiday / Christmas stamps to borrow!

Click Helping U and  get some help with great ideas, including Holiday Card Kits!   

Whenever you shop on line, notice there is a place on the right side of the page that says:  Join this month's on-line shopping... click on that link, and  you will have your products delivered right to your door!

 If you would like more directions,  This link will take you to the "recipes" for making these projects  or  let  me know and I will email you additional information from the Idea Book sample! 

Here are some ideas to get you started:  

p. 69 in Idea Book Make It Merry  stamp, D 1617   $17.95

p. 158 & 160  in Idea Book  Cut Above Christmas Card Kit  Z2064  $11.95 

p. 158 & 159  in Idea Book  Cut Above Holiday Treat Bag Kit  Z2057  $14.95

p. 81 in Idea Book  "Bright Spirit"  stamp, A 1162 $6.95

p. 64 in Idea Book  "Christmas Post"  stamp, D 1610  $17.95

p. 68 in Idea Book Merry, Merry  stamp  C1591  $13.95

p. 65 in Idea Book  "Noel"  stamp, C 1598 $13.95

p. 72 in Idea Book O Holy Night   stamp   A 1168 $6.95 

p. 74   Snowhaven Wreath 

p. 73 in Idea Book  Reason For the Season    D 1614  $17.95

p. 76 in Idea Book Workshop on the go Snowhaven Cardmaking Kit G1085  $24.95

p. 60 in Idea Book  "Yuletide Carol"  Paper Packet, COmplements & Assortment

Have Fun with your  Holiday Preparation!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giving Thanks

I am feeling blessed this Thanksgiving. 
 It has been a VERY  long, challenging year for our family.  My sister who lives in a group home  (has Cerebral Palsy and is mentally challenged)  was in the hospital for 21 days, 11 which were in ICU.  She almost died several times this summer, and still has A-fib, and an illiostomy which is supposed to be reversed sometime this winter.  We had to find her another group home to live in, and have taken her to many dr. appointments (several which were 1 1/2 hrs. long (NOT waiting room time) 
My other sibling was in the hospital for a week this fall for surgery,  and has had a fairly slow recovery.  ....  
 and last weekend my niece and nephew's biological father suddenly died. 

 LIFE is FRAGILE, and I am once again reminded that LIFE can be shorter than we plan, and it's extremely important to appreciate every minute  of the joy life brings!  

I am blessed with a super husband of 42 years,  2 amazing adult children, and 4 wonderful grandkids that keep us laughing !

Wishing You and Your Family a wonderful THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cricut® Artfully Sent

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I am having a SPECIAL quick... take a look.  (before saturday night) .. on-line  Norwex Party for my DIL (Missy).... 
She is VERY close to winning a trip to Costa Rica! 

 If you'd like to purchase an item or two  towards my on-line "PARTY"...

 Go to this link:   Melissa's Norwex site 

Click on "Shop Now" green box ..... 

After you click "CHECK OUT"  you will see  "FIND MY HOST"  
 and put in  me (Nancy Walters)   and I get to THANK YOU!! 

   I HIGHLY recommend  the following:

One of the June Customer Specials:  Kitchen Magic  $33.99... my favorite cloth for wiping up kids, counters, floor spills... the towel that I like for  dishes that have some drops left from my good  old dishwasher ...  and their great dish soap!   
Kitchen Magic 
The Basic Package $31.99... can't go wrong with these 2... I keep a set in my bathroom (wipe down mirrow with enviro-cloth, then Polish it up) ... even works after Gracie gets tons of soap bubbles all over the place! 
Basic Package

Household Package $48.99 ... Dust, Clean, Polish.... furniture, counters, desktop, bedrooms, bathroom & kitchen.... these 3 will amaze you when you USE them!!

THANKS for joining me,  and I know you'll love your NORWEX products... I sure do! 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I've been slightly out-of-commission this past month, with a broken upper humerous (no it wasn't exactly funny on my part) !  

Exciting pic of me with my brace! 

 Needless to say, I'm just beginning to be able to fully type with both hands... and use my left arm, so haven't done a lot of cardmaking or scrapbooking!    Close to My Heart has some GREAT  specials coming up... so be sure to check out  my website @  http://Helping U for some super ideas !  AND   if you're interested in a major discount on all of your supplies, JOIN CTMH this month, and receive a FREE CTMH CRICUT Collection of your choice !
Looking forward to REAL SPRING WEATHER!!