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Matthew 25:40

I pretty much either run or walk for coffee every day of the week unless its raining or snowing. At least a couple of times a week I would pass this homeless guy who could pass for my neighbors Doppelganger. Anyway I would say hi and he would say the most crazy stuff that made zero sense to me. My doorway assessment skills diagnosed him with schizophrenia and not on medication. He seemed stuck in his own mind or maybe we are stuck in our minds and he is  the one who is free. Anyway, the last couple of weeks it had dawned on me I hadn’t seen him in quite a while.

Yesterday while getting coffee I asked the gas station girls about him. They said “Oh you mean homeless Jeff,” he has been banned from most of Arnold. However, a former gas station employee has set him up in a trailer in an undisclosed location and he is doing work such as cutting trees. He is in air conditioning and safe. They said he is doing well but still not on medication. I am not going to lie, I was blown away which made me think of the title of this blog.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Whoever this person may be, they are truly living a life of Jesus. How much easier is it just to say hi and smile and continue on your way than to actually invite someone into your home and care for them. I have a friend who would do something like this but I can sadly say I don’t think I would. One day I will have to answer to my selfish behavior while I try to justify it by all the other things I have done for people. For example the Heartprint blankets. Luckily it’s not a contest or there would be no winners.

 

Mole Moral ~ Never be afraid to admit you use biblegateway.com to find the verse you are looking for when you know what they say, just not where they are located!

 

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One of my favorite prayers!

On Monday one of my favorite bloggers posted her blog which just happened to be called A Tale of Two Churches  which you can read about it if you would like. She was out in Denver and decided to go to Saturday evening Mass (she’s a devout Catholic) and then try out Red Rocks Church. It is one of those hipster, big box, non-demonational church. Very much like my church. After all we are in the process of opening a second campus up near Ted Drews. She ended up really enjoying the service and since she’s single, she saw a lot more people there her age. It made me start thinking a lot about Abiding Savior since I had just written the Pastor Kevin blog.

Often Pastor Tom starts the announcements out with, we are not a traditional church by design. He has explained in the past that there are many many good traditional churches and if that is how you connect with God, that is where you need to be. My church just offers something different. So I was thinking about Catholic traditions and then I remembered there was a prayer PK said at the end of almost every service and for the life of me I could not remember it. However, after he left I asked him to email it to me and since I am a stalker and scrapbook like an OCD freak of nature I hunted down the scrapbook it was in (would you be shocked if I mentioned I have the month and years that each book represents? This makes it much easier to find what I am looking for) Anyway, I was putting away video games in the basement and brought the book upstairs. I read the prayer out loud to Brian and then almost burst into tears. I am telling you, getting old really messes with your head.

Go with God because God goes with you…

He goes before you to show you the way,

behind you to encourage you,

beside you to befriend you,

above you to watch over you,

under you to uplift you,

and within you to grant you His peace…

in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, AMEN!

 

I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed hearing that until I read it again. Sometimes traditions and rituals are good for the soul. Maybe one of these years I will show up at his church and see if he still says it. The last week of memories surrounding my school nurse job, church, Brian, and baptism have been wonderful. And it just seals the deal that I’m not really twenty-five like I think I am.

 

Mole Moral ~ Memories are fun and bring back both good times and bad. These were most certainly great times!

 

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Happy Fathers Day and Baptism Day

Seventeen years have passed since Brian and Allyson were baptized together on Fathers Day by Pastor Kevin. It was around 1997 when I took a job as a school nurse for Washington Lutheran School (it’s now called Abiding Savior Lutheran School). I worked there 12 hours a week and did 16 hours a week in the burn unit. After about a year or so the school secretary Iris invited me to church and I went. Pastor Kirk was a former psychiatric nurse and I loved him. He talked so fast and gave awesome messages. After some time a call was placed for a second pastor and Kevin Wendt answered the call. I was not happy about this as there was only one Pastor and that was Kirk. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t even going to like this Kevin guy, like ever. Then Pastor Kevin showed up and I’m pretty sure God was laughing his head off because it was love at first sight. First of all he was super easy on the eyes and secondly he spoke so well and totally kept me engaged. I talked about him all the time and I think Brian finally came to church to size up his competition.

Brian did not go to church as a family when he was growing up. He did go with his friend to Catholic mass either on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings. Both of Brian’s parents grew up in church but never really went after that well until Pastor Kevin. Anyway Brian soon learned that you could follow Jesus and still watch football, drink beer and cuss occasionally. Pastor Kevin is a cheese head and followed football, when not preaching he would be known to say a curse word and he drank beer occasionally. So before too long Brian started coming to church every week. His sister and her son Kyle were attending as well and then Brian’s parents started coming too. All of this from one invite from Iris.

After Allyson was born and it was time to have her baptized, Brian decided he wanted to be baptized as well. Neither he nor his brother or sister were baptized as infants so he felt the calling to do it as an adult and who better to do it than Pastor Kevin. And so seventeen years ago they were both baptized. Emily and Kayla were sick as dogs that morning so Beverly (the lady who watched the girls) skipped the baptism and watched them for us. Pastor Kevin even came by the house later that day for the party and risked catching their sickness.

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I was wondering today how different my life would have been if Iris hadn’t invited me to church that day. Would I have ever had found a church home? Would Brian have ever realized you can follow Jesus and not be a jug head? You can be a cool, extremely good-looking Pastor, who loves football. Would I have ever found Oak Bridge or my love of teenagers?

 

Mole Moral ~ One invite really can make a difference. My family is living proof!

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Time Really Does Fly!

On this day thirty years ago I graduated from Deaconess College of Nursing with my diploma in nursing. So much has changed since then that it is almost impossible to believe. For starters there is only one diploma school left in the area and that is Lutheran School of Nursing. Every other program is either associate or bachelors in nursing. The diploma schools had the most clinical hours back in the day and were usually associated with hospitals. In other words free labor.

I recently looked at my scrapbook to figure out which day I graduated on. I was very surprised to discover I graduated on Uncle Larry’s birthday. I would have thought I would have remembered this but I guess this is why I scrapbook. Things you think you will remember forever you quickly forget.

I must say nursing school has not changed at all during this time. It is still the most stressful time in a person’s life. I swear they do everything they think of to get people to quit and weed out the weak. I mean if you even think about applying they start quoting wait lists and GPA’s and drop out rates. It is just ridiculous. I can honestly say I would never go through it again. One and done.

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I thought I would list some of the changes over time. Please feel free to comment any others.

  1. All white with a nursing cap. Scrubs started around 1989 and the caps were gone by the time I started working at Deaconess
  2. No computers at all. All charts were paper and kept at the  nurses station.
  3. Medication carts with narcotics on them. Now my friend Gena who works at a small hospital still has them. I haven’t carted one up and down the hall since 1990 when I went to the burn unit.
  4. Gloves were only for sterile procedures. You carefully cleaned up people and emptied foley catheters.
  5. It cost money to watch TV and there were only seven channels.
  6. Smoking occurred anywhere in the hospital. Patients were placed in rooms based on smoking preference.
  7. No scanning medications or automatic times placed in charts. Also the medication records were hand copied by night shift every four days.
  8. All pain medications were given IM. There was no IV push pain medication.
  9. Darvocet was not a narcotic. It no longer exits as it was taken off the market years ago.
  10. Two nurses had to count narcotics at shift change. No one could leave until the count was right. If you forgot to sign out a narcotic it held up everything.
  11. LPN’s were phased out of mercy at least five or more years ago.
  12. There were no twelve-hour shifts.
  13. There was no straight day shift. You could work straight evenings or straight nights but days were rotated with either evenings or nights.
  14. People were admitted the night before for tests now done outpatient such as cardiac cath, upper and lower gi, stress test, etc.
  15. Nursing boards were a two-day event with a six-week wait for results. Small envelope you passed, big envelope you failed and they were only offered two times a year.

I know I am forgetting so many things but there are many others I will always remember.

  1. My first patient that passed away.
  2. My preceptor, Lisa from my first job.
  3. My ten years in the burn unit including my first really critical burn.
  4. How hard nursing school was.
  5. How I learned to never date a patient the scary hard way.
  6. Why I transferred to Women’s Health.
  7. Being pregnant and vomiting in the trash can during a feeding tube insertion.
  8. Taking care of my first Christmas Angel.
  9. Leaving a code to go the bathroom to avoid peeing in my pants.
  10. The class I had to take to learn how to use a computer mouse.

 

Mole Moral ~ As I look at my picture I think dang I had a nice figure and yet if you would have asked me back then I would have told you I was fat. My body image disturbance isn’t just a nursing diagnosis, it’s a reality!

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They Crawl

Yesterday was a big event in the Mole house as Allyson flew to California all by herself. All year she had been saying she wanted to spend the summer with Emily and for most of the year it was going to work out where Allyson could drive back with Emily when she was here getting her car inspected. However due to Fox calling school off a couple of times for bad weather that never happened the last day of school got pushed off and Emily was leaving the day Allyson had finals. Emily was starting her next job and could not delay her leave date. So I scoured the internet for flights and finally found the cheapest one. It meant she had a layover in Phoenix but I found one with only sixty-six minutes. This made me nervous and relieved at the same time. Nervous because if flight one was late and she missed flight two, it would be a bit of a nightmare getting her on another flight without me being there. A relief in that it was way less time for her to be sitting around the airport with creeps. I watch way too much Discovery ID. I was also glad her final destination was San Luis Obispo and not LAX. Emily was too as Los Angeles is a four-hour drive from her house and San Luis Obispo is only an hour.

I waited for her to get through airport security before I left for home. She didn’t even turn around and wave or anything. But she did text me the minute she made it to the gate. Prior to this we reviewed how to look at the monitors to find out what gate her next flight was at. She said don’t worry mom, if I can’t figure it out I’ll ask someone. And so the wait was on for her to arrive in Phoenix. I was getting a bit nervous but she made it and this was our texting after she landed.

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I was cracking up over the “they crawl” comment. She did say they were crawling up and down the aisle of the airplane. She was in the middle seat and the second flight the aisle. I said great because if the window gets blown out, you won’t get sucked out of the plane. The only way to deal with stress is ridiculous humor. She landed safely and is with Emily for the summer.

Mole Moral ~ I am so thankful my kids don’t have my anxiety about not knowing where they are going and needing to know the rules for everything. I don’t think I would have ever flown by myself in high school.

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Finster Graduates

It was August of 1999 and we were patiently awaiting the arrival of our niece. Brian’s birthday is the fourteenth and he just knew she would be born on his birthday. However, Sierra Chloe would make her arrival on the eighteenth instead. My sister had went into labor the night before and Andre’ came picked me up to go to the hospital. We stopped at the QT across from Hobby Lobby (it was Schnucks grocery store in 1999) to get coffee. When we came out Karen was pacing around the car during contractions. Sierra was born at 10:34 in the morning weighing in at five pounds and eleven ounces. Karen’s first comment was that she was so little and Dr. McCaffery offered to put her back for a week or two. I stayed until after they gave Sierra her bath in Karen’s room and then Andre’ took me home and went back to the hospital. It has been well said that Sierra looked like a monkey when she was born.

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To live in our family, you have to be tough. We can be quite brutal at times. However Sierra would soon grow out of the ugly newborn into a beautiful young lady.

By the time Sierra was born, we had cable in our house and had stopped watching channel nine and were watching Nickelodeon. One of our favorite shows was The Rugrats. Sierra was well under a year old when she earned her nickname from Brian. He started calling her Finster for Chuckie Finster. Chuckie was a worry wart and a scaredy cat two features which Sierra exhibits to this day. If Kayla wanted to aggravate her she would start talking about tornadoes and pretending to hear the sirens. Sierra would go into a panic and Kayla would just laugh.

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Sierra had reddish hair when she was younger and although she did not wear glasses she seemed to be afraid of everything including being outside. Beverly who lives down the street watched not only my girls but Sierra as well. I will never forget the day I drove by when she was sitting on a blanket crying her head off because she was outside. Beverly said she never stopped crying until they went inside and did this day after day. On Andre’s first fathers day I gave him a picture frame engraved with Daddy’s Girl and a picture of Chuckie Finster in it. After this she was stuck with the name forever.

Last week I went through old pictures looking for ones for this blog. I’m posting a few of my favorites.

It’s hard to believe that almost nineteen years have passed and Sierra has now graduated from high school. Even though Brian aggravates her constantly she still insists on hanging out our house. (After all he is the one touching her face with a fish, in the above picture.) She has been a joy to watch grow up. Her future plans are to attend South East Missouri State and study nursing.

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Mole Moral ~ If you have a nickname from the Moles (no matter how ridiculous it may seem) it means we love you very very much. We love you Sierra and know you will do great things!

 

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A Birth and Furry story

It was seventeen years ago today that I called Brian at the lake and told him I was in labor. He had decided even though I was going to be induced at midnight on my birthday (May 8) that it was totally safe to go to the Lake of the Ozarks with his best friend Johnny. I mean cause it’s only a three and a half hour trip anyway. So I got up and showered but refused to run to the hospital yet and just be at a big ONE centimeter dilated so when Target opened up my sister and I walked around in there for a good hour. By this time it is ten in the morning and Brian still has not returned from the lake. So she takes me to the hospital and my water had broken and I was FOUR centimeters dilated. Yay for me. It just so happened that one of my burn unit buddies was working that day and was my nurse. Now you are probably wondering how this is possible. Tina was a labor and delivery nurse and one or two deliveries away from being a midwife when she decided to go to CRNA school. To get into that program you must have ICU experience so she worked with us for a while. She also knew that I wanted to try to go natural. Around 11:30 Brian is still not at the hopsital (apparently he and Johnny decided false alarm and went back to sleep for a while. Johnny is not one that rushes for anything and this day was no different.) I was shaking all over and Karen called Tina and said what is wrong with her. The answer was simple I was hyperventilating and shaking all over. Lamaze breathing had been long forgotten but I started working on that. However I was like I need an epidural. So she called for one and then after it was placed checked me and said I knew you were at ten by the way you were acting, but I didn’t check first because your husband would have missed the delivery. He showed up just as the epidural was placed. I then received so much epidural I couldn’t push for two hours so we all sat around joking and laughing until pushing time came. And because my uterus did most of the work, three pushes and she was out. I had a different doctor this time and the experience was so much nicer. Brian got to cut the cord and Teresa captured pictures of this. Because my nurse did midwife first, she placed Allyson on my stomach for a while. It was really cool. When the doctor asked delivery time she looked at me like “well damn, I didn’t look at the clock” so she said 2:20 which in my head I said score that is super easy to remember. So the last mole girl was born without any issues and was discharged home on my birthday. May 6 also happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday and nurses day. I was often told she was a beautiful newborn.

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As she grew it became obvious she didn’t care what others thought or did. She certainly hasn’t been one to follow the crowd or even conform. I tried not to have a heart attack her freshman year when she decided to cut all of her hair off. I reminded myself it’s just hair and it will grow back.

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I even let her add color to it because Hollie (who does our hair) is awesome and I trusted Hollie to do this for us. Currently Allyson has grown out of all the color and is back to growing it long again. See it’s just hair and it does indeed grow back.

She is very artistic and creative. In middle school she became interested in Fursuits (not to be confused with Yiffers, as Yiffers have sex in their costumes and the Fursuits do not like them as they give Fursuits a bad reputation.) She created her first character whom she named Prototype. He was so big and bulky she has since dismantled him and is currently reworking him. Her second character was Wolzey and she performed in the middle school talent show and received a standing ovation. I was not allowed to attend but when I told the secretary she made it herself, she almost fell out of her chair. IMG_7789 (1)

As you are looking at the picture the unfinished one is Wilson , the guy in the middle is Wolzey and the end one with the glasses is the now defunct prototype. She finished Wilson and here he is. Please excuse my messy house as I always tell my husband on my deathbed I will not say I wish I kept the house cleaner. I will say I wish I helped more people and made even more things for them.

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After she finished him she put Fursuit to rest for a year or so and then she got a job. She has been working since October and has made quite a bit of money as a bus girl. She has another OC (original character) which she created. His real name is Robbie but he goes by Prince and happens to be Wolzey’s father. (Yes Wolzey is also an Allyson OC.) Here he is in 2D form.

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So since Allyson makes way more money than is needed to run her star wars server she decided to commission The GoldenMaw to make this character for her. This is this girls full-time job and a legitimate business. I would have never known such a thing existed. I believe she sent the girl some drawings and then she received pictures of progress on the head. I was amazed that she did it the exact same way Allyson made hers. I got the duh mom how else did you think it was done. Oh I don’t know with a real pattern and sewing machine. Not duct tape to get the shape and cut the fur out. Anyway the head arrived last week and it is freaking fantastic. It came with instructions on how to care for it, including how to pet it. He has a special brush for his fur. This thing is legit.

Of course cheap Mole thinks she spent way too much money. Yet when I have done t-shirt quilts he thinks I should charge more. It’s funny how that works. I say she got what she paid for which is true awesomeness. So it looks like we will be taking another trip to Midwest FurFest this year.

Now back to her birthday, she has requested to go to dinner at the place where she works. They “have the best food ever” and she thinks she can get a free brownie desert because it’s her birthday. So we will celebrate her in just a little and can only imagine what her future holds. I say she needs to work for Pixar and she flat-out refuses and tells me that’s not a job its a hobby and its my dream not hers. I love this kid!

 

Mole Moral ~  What one person thinks is money well spent another person thinks is a total waste. However, when it’s your hard-earned money you can spend it how you choose.