Thursday, December 17, 2015


What a year this has been.  A year ago, Les was still walking and eating.  Hard to imagine he has been gone over 3 months already.  We have made it through a Thanksgiving without him, and celebrated his birthday without him.

We had our friend Daniel take some pictures at Les' service.  I knew that I wouldn't remember much.  And that turned out to be true- I don't remember hardly any of the graveside service.  I'm so glad I have these pictures.  Thanks Daniel, you are the best.

We asked those who had sang with Les in the past to come up front and sing a final "10,000 Reasons"
I recently had the "transfer" guys and their wives for dinner.  I wanted to do SOMETHING to let them know how much they are appreciated.  My friend Lori helped set a pretty table and my dad made the yummy prime rib (and NO leftovers!!).  Oh we had so much fun!!  Les had some great friends!  We laughed and laughed.   Towards the end of the evening we shared stories of Les and it was emotional but so good, and so healing.

Christmas season is upon us.  I did decorate a tree - I wanted to have that - and then over the next few days gradually got a few things up.  Now that some decorations are up, I'm glad!  I have also noticed how so much emphasis is on FAMILY this time of year.  Which is all great until your own family has a great big hole in it.  SO, I am trying to focus on Jesus this Christmas.  He is the reason for the season, and I am ever so much more aware of that.  Daughter Leslie is very pregnant right now, due in January, and it certainly helps imagine what Mary was going through before the birth of her Son!!

Merry Christmas to you.  This is my Christmas card, I guess.  I have some adorable grandchildren to share with you.
A recent verse from The Jesus Calling:  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"  Romans 15:13

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sunshine Therapy

I recently flew to California.  My sister Becky lives east of Oakland.  Every fall her and her husband take a business trip.  For many years I have gone down there and stayed with their kids while they were gone.  Some years Les would go with me, but mostly I went by myself.  Last year I didn't go at all.  Now just niece Jenae lives at home (the two boys live in San Luis Obispo) and Jenae said I could come and stay with her.  The timing was perfect!!
Becky and Darrell were home the first several days I was there.  Their two boys were also home for that weekend. I was surprised to find out that on Sunday we were going to the 49'rs football game!  At first I wasn't very excited because sometimes crowds can overwhelm me a bit, but I decided I would go and I'm SO GLAD I did - we had so much fun!  (even tho it was the 49'rs.......)   I had a relaxing time on my trip; I got to sit in the sun most days.  Watched Jenae play volleyball AND soccer.  It was good to be away.

Go Hawks!!!

Not a bad view from their patio!

My mom had ankle replacement surgery the week I got home from California.  My Iowa sister Sharon came for another week to stay at mom and dad's and care for mom.  It was so nice to have her here for another week!!!  My brother Don came for a couple days after Sharon left, and now mom is doing very well - her and dad are managing quite nicely.  My mom is a trooper! 
I was alot of help!!!
Last week I was invited to a UPS thing - some of Les' friends had a small get together.  I was not sure if I wanted to go......but again, I did, and we had such a great evening.  Thanks Rick & Paula for hosting!!!

 Many of you ask how I am doing.  I am doing okay - I've got to get out of bed in the morning, ya know?  I actually have days that I go to bed and say, This was a good day!  I have also realized that for me this has been a choice.  Often I feel like just curling up in bed, but I don't.  I try to stay busy - which hasn't been too hard!  I've got work to catch up on; tons of paperwork to deal with (ugh) and two grandbabies to have fun with.  I have lots of house projects to do - that kind of stuff didn't get any attention the past few years.  But those projects are also the kinds of things that overwhelm me; I guess I will pick away at it as I feel up to it

It's still just one day at a time for me.  I never know when the grief will sneak up on me and hit me a good one.  Like when I was at my sister's and I went to my room at night, picked up my phone to call Les to talk about our days..............  I am still choosing JOY - joy that I have good days, joy that I have good friends to hang out with, joy for family that is close by.  Joy for the good memories.  This was in my Jesus Calling: "the Joy of the Lord is my strength.  I, the God of hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Me, so that you may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  AMEN

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Road Trip Therapy

I recently went on a road trip.  I took a drive over the mountains.  The fall colors of the trees were amazing! (I hadn't been out of the county since last April when Les had his last appointment at UW.)  I had not listened to Les' music CD all the way through, so I did as I went over the mountain pass.  Tears were falling, I was singing loudly, and I was in awe of the majesty of God's creation.  It was healing.  Listening to this CD, I realized there is a progression in Les' choice of songs.  I was so sad to remember the horrible progression of the disease and how it affected him.  The last several songs were added just a month or so before he died - he had been listening mostly to music about heaven.  As I listened to those songs, I realized how he had been longing for heaven and for healing.  That made me happy (because he is now healed!) and grateful to Jesus.

I spent a couple days with my younger brother and his family.  I was hoping to watch my niece Gretta play in her soccer game, but she had pulled a hamstring and couldn't play.  We still went to the game - they play under the lights, and on artificial turf.  Fancy purple Panthers!  I had dinner with another niece Dani and her family.  It was good to spend time with these people.
My river walk early one morning

While on the east side, I drove over to my high school town to meet up with my friend Terri for lunch.  I only lived in this town from mid-8th grade through a year out of high school, so I can't really call it my "home" town.  I never put down many roots here, but I do have a life-long friendship with Terri.  She was one of the girls who came to Les' service, and we are going to make an effort to keep in better touch.  We had such a great time together!   Terri and I actually lived together for awhile after high school until the next year when I went to college.  We RENTED our furniture!  Ha!  We were so busy talking during lunch, I forgot to get a picture!!  I hadn't been back to this town for a long time - my parents have retired over here on the west side by us.  It was good to spend some time down memory lane.

The girls, little man and I went to the local pumpkin patch.  Gotta have that apple pie with the works!!
I spent this past Sunday afternoon biking with my dear friends.  It's weird to do stuff without Les, but I am so grateful that I get invited along.  They do not let me feel like a 5th wheel.  It was a long bike ride--that mushroom swiss burger after our ride made it all worthwhile! 
 I'm trying to get used to my new normal.  My days are busy but the evenings get long.  The mornings are also so, so quiet.  BUT, I have some projects that need to get done, and I still have quite a bit of paperwork to deal with.  So I will keep plugging along........still one day at a time.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Recent Stuff

The house is quiet.  My sister Sharon left last Saturday after being here for almost two weeks.  I was SO GLAD she was here in the house with me for that long - I didn't realize how much I needed her here.  But now everyone is gone and for the first time in several months, no one is coming and going on a daily basis.  The solitude is okay right now - I needed some quiet.  I have been on auto pilot for so long - it feels weird to have TIME where I don't have to be anywhere or doing something.  I can go for a walk and I don't have get home quick.....I can drive away if I want to.  I don't have to have my phone with me at all times - I left it at home when I went to church.  It felt strange going to the grocery store after not being there for so long.  So odd.
Love her
 I've done a little biking and hiking with my sister and some friends the past couple of weeks.  It feels SO GOOD to get out and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

Happy hour after a 7 mile hike!!
The week after Les passed away we also had beautiful weather.  That first week we spent alot of time on our back patio.  Leslie was here every day; Hannah was here often.  People came and went, and we were able to just rest, process, grieve.

My dear friends brought an ice-chest full of beverages.  They brought wine, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, ham and cheese buns.  Our daughter Leslie's co-workers brought "morning bags" for all of our guests who were staying elsewhere - these "morning bags" had coffee, bagels, muffins, toast, jam, crackers, cheese, fruit, etc....  What a great idea!  Niece Emily's co-workers did a similar thing, but more snacky stuff - crackers, cheese, granola bars, fruit, drinks.  So, so thoughtful.

It  meant so much to me that many relatives traveled a long ways to be here for the memorial service.  All of our brothers and sisters were here, except for Les' brother Mike who is having some health issues.  Two Iowa nephews flew out here.  Oh how Uncle Les loved these boys!  Two nephews from Montana drove out here - with small children!!!  My nieces from eastern Washington and Seattle drove here.  Cousins from eastern Washington drove here.

The biggest surprise of all was three of my high school friends who traveled here for the service.  I was SHOCKED to see them.  What an unexpected, special surprise!!!  I promise you girls, we will get together soon!!!
Tami & I having some fun - she came to the service!
Terri and Julie from this pic came to the service!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Celebration of a Life Well Lived

We had Les' celebration of life service last Saturday.  Les planned this service over the past several months with his friend Pastor Ben.  When our kids and I met with the funeral home, we were so thankful that Les had prepared so many things ahead of time for us.  His doing so certainly made our first several days much easier than they could have been.

Saturday was a rainy, dark day.  After a couple of weeks of beautiful sunshine, the rain was welcome, but it did make for a dreary service.  The Friday night before we had a short viewing, mainly for our brothers and sisters.  A few close friends had expressed a desire to say goodbye, so they were also present.  We had the burial before the service on Saturday morning, and we kept that private also.  The graveside service was tough for me.  I guess it's the finality of it all.  A friend had suggested we drop our red "Team Kooistra ALS" bracelets (that we all have been wearing) on the casket, so we did that.  Some had faded to white.  A very memorable moment.  My grandson dropped mine for me.

Our church was full when we arrived.  What an overwhelming sight!  Several UPS supporters were there in their brown uniforms (on a Saturday!!!) and a UPS truck was at the entrance of the church.  What a great support.  As I mentioned, Les planned the service, so we can blame him for the length :)

Our kids and I would like to thank everyone who made this day so special.  Pastors Clay and Mike who prayed and read scripture.  Jami Jo who did such a great job singing; Mitch & Rochelle whose song was beautiful.  The men's praise team who were so energetic and the songs were so uplifting.  Ranae, whose prayer/song was perfect.   Dallas who was on the piano - amazing!!  Brothers Howard & Gawin who did a great job with the Psalm 103 reading.  And Pastor Ben whose message was exactly what Les wanted - a message about salvation and hope in Jesus Christ.  (We do have copies of the service if anyone would like one - just let one of us know.)

Niece Emily worked so hard on the programs and the music CD of Les' favorite songs that Les wanted to hand out at the service.  (FYI we are making more CD's - let one of us know if you would like one).  Cousins Tim and Tammy put together the picture video after Leslie and Hannah spent hours sorting through pictures. 

Les' sister Linda and others put up the picture display in the foyer of the church.  Les' dear friend Rose from the cafe where he and Ben had coffee every Friday morning made the sandwiches and fruit.  The women of our church provided the cookies.  Our friends and family helped with cleanup.

 Our daughter Leslie's mother-in-law Lori provided a ham dinner at our house after the viewing on Friday night.  About 40 people ate that yummy dinner!  My friend Barb brought dinner on Saturday night for our family - about 50 people were here for that.   All the cards and flowers/plants/trees we have received - again we are overwhelmed!  All the messages on my phone and the messages on Facebook - I cannot return them all!  But I have read them all and so appreciate your reaching out to me and my family.

God is still good.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I am a Widow

Shortly after Les was diagnosed with ALS, a friend took me out for dinner.  She cried with me and said "You are too young to be a widow!"  I kinda forgot about that comment, but recently  remembered this conversation.  Maybe because I AM a widow now.  And she is so right, I AM too young to be a widow!!

Les passed away peacefully early morning September 9.  He had a difficult weekend before and Labor Day night was really tough.  He couldn't sleep and had a "panic" attack at 2 in the morning - was breathing really heavy.  I contacted Hospice and they approved a morphine boost, and a double dose of his "calming" medicine.  Les still couldn't sleep so I got him transferred to his wheelchair and brought him to our bedroom so I could at least lay in bed and try to rest.  He just couldn't get comfortable.  The next morning nurse Carren called and said she would be coming to insert a morphine pump.  Les wanted friend pastor Ben to stop in.  Ben stopped in, but Les was not able to type any words.  So frustrating!  He was really struggling with the motion of his arm/fingers.  Carren came while Ben was still here.  She got the pump inserted and Les immediately calmed down.  We got him tucked in and wheeled him into the living room, where he liked to sit and look out the front windows.  He fell asleep quite soon - no doubt since he was exhausted!  He slept all afternoon, even with people coming and going.

Friend Rick came to put Les to bed Tuesday evening and we could not get Les to wake up - he was snoozing away.  We finally decided to get him back into our bedroom so I could go to bed;  I would be right there if Les woke up in the night.  The strange thing about this is that he has not slept in our bedroom for months.  And all of a sudden it was two nights in a row!  I slept fitfully and would check him often.  He was still sleeping soundly and not moving at all.  I woke up at 6:30, checked his arm which was cold, so I got another blanket to cover him.  I then caressed his face and realized it too was cold, and then I realized he was not breathing anymore.

Even though I have known for two years that Les was going to die, that actual moment is still a shock.  I thought he would be around for a couple of weeks.  I still wanted talk with him and kiss his face.  Yes, we had said our goodbyes, and I had told him several times over the past few weeks that I was okay - he could go meet Jesus.  But when he was actually gone, I was so sad.  The sound of "keening"?  I now know what that is.  I am glad I had a few minutes alone with him before our kids got here.

Our kids came and got to be with their dad a few final minutes.  We did not know Les was going so soon, or they would have been here with me.  But it all worked out, and looking back, it was all good.  Pastor Ben came shortly after and blessed us with some scripture and some memories of Les.

A couple things helped Les get through these past few months.  The first was music and scripture.  He spent his time listening to praise music.  The second was a reminder that we are all going to die - not just Les!  He would feel sad sometimes and we would talk about the fact that he's not the only one that's going to die!  This helped him with that struggle.  The third was a quote from Dr. Suess "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"  We tried to focus on that.  Les lived a good life and we had 33 amazing years together.  We are thankful for that.

If you are able, please join us next Saturday morning at 11:00.  We will be celebrating a life well lived.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I need to send out some shout outs.  I've said this before and I'll say it again, we could not travel this journey alone!!!  We are so thankful for the people who are helping us.  They have been the hands and feet of Jesus.

Back when he was getting very weak with walking, Les asked several of his friends to help him transfer  (in the morning from the recliner to the wheelchair, to the toilet, and back to the recliner.  At night from the wheelchair to the toilet, back to the wheelchair, and then to the recliner for bed).  Several others offered to help, but Les wanted to keep this private matter to a minimum.  It should be noted that when these transfers first started, Les was standing on his own and able to push off on his own.  This wasn't too bad of a job when these guys signed up!  Before we began using the lift, Les had no strength left in his legs so they would just dangle and get in the way when transferring.  These guys were at that point lifting ALL of Les' weight.  Les was then no longer able to stand by the bathroom window for a few minutes, stretch, and check out neighbor Dan's yard.  This began to be a very tough job.

Friend Pastor Ben.  Who knew a pastor could be so strong? He is our "emergency" guy and our Tuesday morning guy.  He also still has "coffee" with Les every Friday morning, as they have been doing for close to 20 years.  He is also a spiritual mentor for Les at this point, which is a huge blessing.  Our friend Rick continues to amaze us.  He is our regular Sunday morning and Monday bedtime guy.  He's also a go-to guy because he lives in town.  Rick often stops in on his coffee break or lunch hour just to check in.  He spent lots of time in the lift sling making sure what position was the most comfortable before he put Les in the sling.

Friend Steve travels all week yet gives up his Friday night and Sunday night to put his long time friend to bed.  These two go WAY back, and I know this is a very difficult thing for Steve to do.  Les and Steve would rather be duck hunting on the weekends and solving the world's problems.    We also have Dr. Steve - he has been Les' doctor for over 20 years.  When he volunteered, Les figured why not, since Dr. Steve has seen it all already anyway!  Dr. Steve also lets us go over medical issues with him while he is here.  Such a gift.

Our friend Brian also travels all week long yet comes every Saturday night.  Often him and his wife Lonnie would come early and we would watch TV or a movie together.  Brian has been blessing us with his prayers every week before he leaves.  Friend Dale is a dairy farmer and doesn't get much sleep, but he gave us his only morning off.  With aide Kelli coming mornings, we now have Dale on a night duty.  He is willing to do whatever we need. 

Friend Pastor Mike is our surprise.  When Mike offered to help,  I asked Les, assuming he would say no.  We didn't know Pastor Mike THAT well.  Les surprised me and said yes. What a great decision.  Mike has become a very dear friend through our "bathroom dances".  He is very strong, encouraging and fun, and he blesses us with his prayers when he leaves.  LOVE this man and his family.  (His wife Bethany is my boot camp instructor - my "therapy")

Our friend Dan could have been a nurse.  He loves to be very hands on and wants to help with every detail.  His downfall is he makes Les laugh and then Les can't concentrate!!  He has been a dear friend for a very long time.

Our son Kris is our young strong guy.  He has been giving us his Saturday mornings (we are giving him a break since baby Dallas was born!).  We also call on him during the day sometimes since he has been working so near (kind of a God-thing, I think), and he fills in whenever we are stuck.  Not something any son should be doing with his father, but Kris does it without hesitation.  Les always gets a smile when he realizes it's Kris "turn".  Son-in-law Brett fills in every now and then.

These girls help me get through each day (missing a few!!!!).  They keep me fed.  They clean our house.  They get me out of the house (or just to the patio) for "fun" outings.  They make me laugh and they make me cry.  They pray for me and they love me.

 Neighbor nurse Kay.  She has recently left town for a few months and we are really going to miss her.  She sat with Les for me if I needed to go out and about.  She is a dear.
Les has been struggling a bit to get his breathing regulated.  He has been on morphine for awhile now - it opens up his lungs - but we are getting an automatic pump inserted so it will be more automatic and a steadier dose.  We pray that it helps with his comfort.  Please continue to pray for comfort and peace for Les.  And sleep for both of us!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bundle of JOY

Our first grandaughter has arrived.  Dallas Joy.  Grandpa Les wasn't able to get to the hospital to meet her, so Kris & Hannah graciously stopped by our house on their way home.  We are so grateful they took the time and effort to do that.

Proud daddy; proud grandpa

We love her name, we especially love the JOY.  Kris & Hannah Joy's wedding message was about Joy.  I keep running into reminders about Joy; it has become my motto - "Today I Will Choose Joy".  Not easy, believe me!  (Les will tell you I am not very joyful at 3 am)  And now our little baby girl is Dallas Joy.  What a precious gift.
Auntie Leslie making sure she is safe

Speaking of precious girls, sweet Lindsey has been cutting Les' hair at our home.  She keeps Les looking pretty handsome!  She is a good friend of Leslie's.  They are both having babies in January.

Les continues to weaken.  He has had a heavy chest this past week and shortness of breath.  We had to call Hospice in on Monday.  They think that maybe all the smoke in the air (from fires) has compromised his breathing.  We will see if the breathing improves, or if it's the progression of the disease, or maybe a combination.  Les is having a hard time holding his head up.  It is getting very difficult for him to type.  Communication is a huge issue right now.

If you visit, please keep your visits very short.   Just a quick hi and letting him you know you are here is sufficient.    Also, please keep texting him, but don't expect lengthy answers!!  Les doesn't have the energy to do a lot of typing, and he gets pretty groggy off and on.  Please pray for peace for all of us and for strength for each day - one day at a time.  With JOY.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


As I have mentioned before, neither of us have any siblings who live near us.  This has been kind of a bummer since Les has been diagnosed.  BUT the good thing about this is that we have had LOTS of visits from these siblings!

My Iowa sister and her husband were here at Christmas and they came back recently.  She did lots of canning with my mom while they were here.  Brother in law Denny sat with Les a few times so we could get out and about.  Sharon will be back in the near future when our mom has foot surgery.
Biking at Birch Bay
We ran into Hannah, Hank, and her baby bump
My California sister has been here several times the past year.  She's just a two hour plane ride away, so it's easier for her to pop in for a few days.  She's always a big help around here - loves to cook, clean and organize, etc.   AND she brings my sweet niece Jenae with her!

Les' brother Howard from Iowa has also been here several times (see prior posts!!).  He was so good about doing whatever asked - clean the garage, wash the car, fix this and that.  He was also great company for Les.  They were content to sit on the back patio and just be.

Les' only sister and his baby brother were just here again this past week.  They both come from the Minneapolis area so travel well together.  They have been here 3 times the past 1.5 years.  This past week they were such blessings to me.  It was like having a full time nurses' aide and a full time handy man living with us!  Brother Gawin put Les to bed every night this past week, so all the other guys had the week off from bedtime duty.

Gawin and Linda were also an extra set of brains to think about how to make things "work" better for Les.  One thing I have discovered about this disease, there is no hand book and there is not alot of customized help items for being handicapped!  Gawin, friend Pastor Ben and friend Rick put their heads together and customized a couple of trays for Les to hold on his lap.  These trays hold his phone on with velcro; we can add the controls for the bed and a doorbell which rings in my bedroom.

Les has gone back to sleeping in the hospital bed.  We've had quite the frustrating times trying to get this bed situation all figured out!  Linda and Gawin finally went to the medical supply store and checked all the beds out and realized we already had the longest bed available.  Linda bought a gel memory foam cushion that we cut to fit the bed we had and Les was game to try sleeping in it again.  He has now slept in the bed for the past two nights - ALL NIGHT LONG!! Praise the Lord.  BUT then we had the issue of needing a different lift than the lift we were using to put him in the more trial and errors with the new lift - at Les' expense.  The first week of using the original lift was hell (sorry, but it was);  we had finally gotten the hang of it.  Now we all have to learn the new lift!  The new lift does seem easier to manuever and is easier on Les; please pray that this next week with learning the new lift goes smoothly.

Anyway, we are grateful for our family who have given time and expense to help us out.  We have some very special moments and memories from these visits.  When they go back home, they don't say good bye, they say "See ya later brother"  because they WILL see each other again in glory.   Praise God!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Babies Are Us

Kris & Hannah's baby is due in little less than a month.  Baby girl Kooistra, we call her.  I like to call her Karen, but pretty sure that isn't her name!  We had a family baby shower for her awhile back.  Neither Kris nor Hannah have much immediate family around here, but those of us that were at the shower had lots of fun! (We won't post the videos of us walking with ping pong balls between our legs)  Thanks Emily, Leslie and Becky for the shower.

Kris & Hannah took some "preggie" pictures.  (Kris was thrilled, as you can imagine.)  I think that secretly he loved it.  He looks pretty happy to me!  So great that Hank got to be in the pictures.

Kaden recently told us (with the help of his mommy) that he is going to be a big brother in January!!  woot woot!  Les was very emotional over this news.  He is very excited for them, but he knows he most likely will not meet this baby here on earth.  Brett and Leslie are great parents and little man is such a fun little guy to have around.  Les gets super sad when he thinks about these grandbabies growing up without grandpa Les around.

 Les is getting very weak.  He cannot stand up at all anymore; transfers are getting very difficult.  Thank goodness for the lift.  We tried a couple different bed options, but beds just don't work for him.  We ended up buying a new "tall man" recliner.   He tried that a couple of nights but he couldn't keep his head from falling forward. We went back with the older brown recliner he has been using.  Nurse Carren has switched up some of Les' meds which has helped him sleep better (which means I sleep better which means I am much more prepared to face the day........)  Les has been sleeping quite a bit during the day, which isn't all bad!  Our biggest challenges are keeping him comfortable.   He doesn't have much meat on his bones anymore so he feels every bump and wrinkle.   He has very limited use of his left hand so even texting-to-talk is getting very difficult.  We all do lots of guessing, which can make Les frustrated, which makes us frustrated.........

Pleas pray that Les keeps his ability to text - limited as it is.  Pray that he can be comfortable.  Pray for peace as he continues to weaken.  Pray for our children as they are in some of the happiest times of their lives, yet they deal with a terminally ill dad.  Pray for daily strength for me. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

UPS Strong

Les had an outing to UPS this past week.  His old supervisor, Rick, retired.  On Rick's last day there was a morning party - similar to what Les had on his last day.  I needed to get Les up EARLY that day - not an easy feat!  He is pretty groggy in the mornings.  But, we made it by 8:45!  It was so fun to see all the drivers come rolling in.  They are always excited for cake and coffee!  Les was greeted very warmly by his old buddies.  Les got very emotional - what he wouldn't give to be going to work in his brown uniform and complaining about the load on his truck.......

Rick and Paula have been so great to us.  They come to church with us quite often.  They stop in with fresh picked raspberries and blueberries and homemade breads.  Les enjoyed Rick as a supervisor;  Rick has gone above and beyond since Les retired. 

This is Janna.  She starts EARLY in the morning and is pretty much the glue that holds that center together!  She also makes awesome chocolate chip cookies.
This is Ed.  He is the driver that delivers to our house.  I should have a picture of him sitting on our couch visiting with Les - because he does that OFTEN. 

 Les gets visits quite often from current drivers and retired drivers.  I don't have pictures of all of them, but here are a few:

Flash back to a year ago and the UPS golf tournament.  We continue to use money from that tournament to pay our medical bills.  SUCH A BLESSING!
Les continues to lose strength in his left arm.  This causes lots of frustration for both of us.  He is still "training" on his eye gaze computer, but that tires him out quickly.  We are having some "boards" made up with the alphabet and various phrases, etc. that we can point to and he can say yes or no to.  Not fun stuff.  Have I mentioned what an awful, nasty disease this is?  We try to continue to focus on just today.

 Our Iowa friend Rachel recently sent a letter and this is what she had to say:  "I wonder sometimes why we aren't told more about heaven in the Bible.  Is it because we are so incapable of understanding that we wouldn't really be able to appreicate it?  Or is it because God has it wrapped up like a gift, and if we were able to open it up too soon we'd lose the excitement of anticipation?  I guess for now, we really need a strong faith to believe that it will be SO far above anything our 'earth-bound' minds could ever dream up."  Les is counting on that last part!!