Life with Granny Blog

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making plans." — Allen Saunders

The Hendricks County 4-H Art Show and Dog Show

My Granddaughter entered the Hendricks County 4-H Art Show again this year. She is quite the little artist and her pictures are always awesome. This year she entered a beautiful still life painting and also a black & white sketch. Both her entries received a blue ribbon, and they both went on to win the Honor’s Award.

Taylor also entered her dog Cooper in the Hendricks County 4-H Dog Show. Cooper is a beautiful 5 year-old Golden Doodle. It was the first year for Taylor and Cooper and the training for them actually began back in April. Every Monday Taylor (and her mommy Julie) would go to the fairgrounds in Danville and learn how to work with Cooper. Cooper often has a mind of his own and he needed to learn a few commands!

Taylor entered him into 2 categories: Obedience and Showmanship. It was a long hot day because the first category (Obedience) was early and the other category (Showmanship) was later in the day.


Here we are waiting in-between for Taylor to show Cooper in his second category. Thankfully Julie brought a fan to help keep Cooper (and us) cool while we waited.


Finally it was time for the Showmanship category. Cooper and Taylor did a wonderful job until the end when Cooper noticed Julie in the crowd watching and then Cooper lost his focus. He just wanted to be with Julie.


All in all, this was such a great experience for Taylor. She learned how to make Cooper obey her simple commands, and she learned how to show him. And Cooper learned how to obey Taylor. They now have a wonderful bond and they earned some ribbons!


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Every year Max and Emma get to spend a “Gram-cation” with us while their parents go to Las Vegas for a “mommy & daddy” vacation. We always look forward to this special time and this year was no exception. And while Dave and Kelly look forward to their time in Las Vegas, it is always so hard for them to say goodbye to their kids.

But, as soon as Dave and Kelly arrived in Vegas they were ready for a fun vacation! They stayed at the beautiful Bellagio Hotel where they entered a slot tournament. Kelly actually placed 3rd in the tournament! Most of their time, though, was spent at the Bellagio’s beautiful pool.

And while they were having fun in Vegas, we were having a blast with Max and Emma -they are such fun loving kids. We loved spoiling them and we told them “What happens at Grandma’s, stays at Grandma’s!”

They especially loved going up to visit their great-grandma with us. When we walked in, my mom’s face lit up to see them. She recognized them right away. We had a wonderful visit with my mom — she was especially taken with Emma and kept laughing at her.

But now the kids are back home with their mom and dad and it is quiet around our house. We always miss them when they go back home but I’m sure we can talk their parents into taking another trip soon!

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An Afternoon With Eric

We had a wonderful visit with my very special son Eric this past week and it was one of my happiest days ever. People often ask me if he recognizes me when he sees me. I have no doubt whatsoever that he certainly does!

When we arrived he was in his bed as they put the residents down for naps after lunch. He was awake and was just looking at his wall — I’m not sure what he was seeing but he was very intent on something. When I sat down on his bed next to him and spoke to him he looked right at me (remember, he is autistic and does not usually make eye contact) and he got the biggest smile on his face. I can tell you it certainly did my heart good!

We got him up and wheeled him into the parent lounge to visit with him. After awhile we decided to take him outside. The parent room was extremely cold and we all needed to go outside just to warm up a bit! Eric loved being outside, especially as there was a light breeze and he loved the breeze hitting him.

Many years ago Vernon Manor had a fundraiser and sold engraved paving stones for their garden area. At the time my mother and my daughters and Mike and I each purchased a stone. When we visit we don’t get outside in that area much so I wanted to take pictures of the stones to share with the girls. It was fun to see our 4 family stones.

Eric will be celebrating his birthday on August 11th. He loves getting cards so if you would like to send him a birthday card, here is his address:

Eric Jaffke, c/o Vernon Health & Rehab, 1955 Vernon Street, Wabash, IN 45992

I will be making him a large padded bulletin board to display all his cards.

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Visiting With My Mom

First, let me say nothing has changed — my mom still is being well taken care of and the pain caused by her fractured pelvic bone is being managed with medication. It is only when they try to move her that she lets on that she is uncomfortable. That said, she has always had a high pain tolerance.

When we visited her yesterday she was in her bed taking an afternoon nap so we just quietly sat with her until she awoke. She seemed very happy to see us and we had the aide transfer her to her wheelchair. I asked her if she wanted me to fix her hair so I carefully curled her hair a little while I talked to her. She was very alert and somewhat talkative. When she does say something it is hard to understand what she is trying to say so I can only hope I am responding appropriately to her comments.

When we got ready to leave, we wheeled her down to the nurses’ station with the other residents so they could keep an eye on her. Activities was setting up for Bingo so I’m sure they were going to take her down to join in.

But, leaving her at the nurses’ station suddenly hit me very hard. This is NOT what I wanted for her. Even though she may or may not realize what is going on, it made me so sad that this was her quality of life. I know in my heart I cannot take care of her, but it saddens me that this is what her last days are about. She is just like my handicapped son Eric. They are both totally dependent on others to care for them. They cannot tell you when they are thirsty, hungry, need to use the bathroom, are hurting, or just need a gentle touch. While this has always been Eric’s life, it is so hard to see a once vibrant woman reduced to this. It’s the first time in a long time it was hard to keep the tears in check while kissing my mother goodbye.

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A Busy Start to June

With the end of the school year we jumped right into the busy month of June. It’s nice to be able to sleep in a little and enjoy the longer days. It’s also nice to be able to take the grandkids with me to visit Mom.

The Barton family kicked off June by enjoying a fun week in Grand Cayman with their close friends. While they were away we took care of their cat Ruby who is not the friendliest kitty. She is a beautiful Bengal cat and the wild side of her makes her very skittish around anyone but her own family. In all the time I took care of her I only saw her one time and that was because I went searching for her. When Kelly’s family returned Ruby had lots to say! I think she was very loud in her protests of them leaving her alone for so long!


As soon as the kids came back from their vacation Mike and I left for a mini vacation in Las Vegas. We try to go there once a year — it is the adult version of Disney World for me! We stayed at the Park MGM (formerly the Monte Carlo location). It is a beautiful hotel and while the casino is on the smaller side, we found it had all the machines we like playing.

This was a great trip for us because Lady Luck was on our side. As soon as we arrived I hit a nice little jackpot so I had casino money to kick-start my vacation. We went next door to the Aria and I decided to play a little video poker. My favorite game is Deuce’s Wild and I was excited when I got a Royal Flush in diamonds! And all this was just our first day!

The nice thing about Las Vegas is you can certainly get your walking in. The weather was beautiful — a nice 101 degrees — so we did a lot of walking. Our first full day there we logged in almost 23000 miles! It was a great way to keep the calories off from the buffets we ate at!

We had a couple of celebrations this past week. Daughter Julie and her hubby Craig celebrated their wedding anniversary while son-in-law Dave celebrated his birthday.

Craig and Julie

As many of you know I have been a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for over 15 years, designing and teaching card-making classes. Today I held my June Stamp Camp and taught a fun class using the new Good Morning Magnolia Bundle (stamp set and dies) from Stampin’ Up! I could spend the whole year teaching fun projects just with this particular stamp set. There are so many possibilities and fun projects and but I only have time to teach a few.

If you are interested in making hand-crafted cards, I would love to show you how. My next stamping classes will be held on the following dates:

July Stamp Camp: Saturday Morning, July 20th at 10:00 a.m.

Techniques Class: Tuesday Evening, July 30th at 6:00 p.m.

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A Wonderful Last Week of May

Emma, Karen, Kelly and Max celebrating Mom’s 91st birthday!

This was such a great week for our family. We celebrated Great Grandma’s 91st birthday. This was so special because a few weeks ago when she first fractured her pelvic bone things were pretty uncertain. But being the strong Konechnik woman that she is, she rallied back thanks to wonderful nursing care. Since Kelly and the kids were out of school, they were able to go with us to visit Mom.

Julie’s Teacher of the Year Celebration

This week was also special because Julie was selected as the “Teacher of the Year” at her school. She was totally surprised when they called her name at the awards program. Then she was in tears when we all marched in to surprise her as she received her award. We are so proud of both her and her sister Kelly who also received the “Teacher of the Year” award at her school last year. They are such dedicated young women and it is so nice to see them chosen for this award by their fellow educators.

May was also filled with baseball games and we were excited when Matt’s team won his recent tournament. His sister Taylor loves following his games on the GameChanger app even though she is there in person!

Now we will see what June has in store for our family!

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Another School Year Completed!

It’s hard to believe that this was the last week for Center Grove schools. The kids were very busy getting ready for their last day. Max performed at his last middle school band concert on Monday evening. The spring concert consisted of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands and they all sounded wonderful. Center Grove is very lucky to have Mr. Samuel Fritz as their band instructor. Max will certainly miss him as he moves on to high school but we are lucky that Mr. Fritz will be Emma’s instructor next school year as she has chosen to play the saxophone.

Yesterday, to get ready for the Memorial Weekend, Mike and I drove down to Kentucky to decorate his parents, grandparents and his great aunts’ graves. This is something we do every year. His great aunt is buried in Jamestown, Kentucky and the others are buried in a little country cemetery outside Burkesville, Kentucky. There weren’t many flowers on the graves yet as I think we were the first of the family to arrive. The bid decorating day will be on Saturday.

Today was the last day of school for Center Grove. Emma said goodbye to her elementary school while Max said goodbye to middle school. I am so proud of both of them. At Emma’s 5th grade program she was chosen to read her “Memoirs of Elementary School” to the 5th graders and their parents. She is a great writer and her speech was very amusing. Both of them received numerous awards and I know they will continue to do well in their new schools. Next week we will celebrate Julie’s kids and their accomplishments as they have one more week of school.

Pictured above on the left is Max and neighbor Peyton on the first and last day of school, while on the right is Emma and neighbor Carson on the first and last day of school.

Now that both Max and Emma will be on the same school schedule next year, I am so sad because my duties as the “Nanny Granny” are coming to an end. Emma won’t need me to come over and stay with her until it is time to get on the school bus. She won’t need me to make her bed (shhhh, don’t tell her mother), or cook her eggs in the mornings anymore. I will miss seeing her smiling face in the mornings. Now she will ride the same bus as Max and both Dave and Kelly will still be home to see them off.

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Busy Days Continue….

Today looks to be a very stormy Sunday so we decided to stay close to home. Mike and I did manage to get our walk in even though the skies looked threatening. But now we are in for the rest of the day and I’m going to take advantage and catch up on my blogging and get a couple of display boards ready for my Stampin’ Up! New Catalog Debut in June.

My mother finally got moved into her private room in the Health Center and Mike and I took my brother Roger over on Friday to visit her. We spent the morning organizing her things and hanging her pictures on the wall. I wanted it to look as homey as I could, both for her and for those who visited her. It’s a very nice, large room and I think she will be comfortable there. She is doing better — the pain management seems to be working and she has settled in well. We are hoping she bounces back from this latest setback. She will be celebrating her 91st birthday soon.

Me, Matt and Mike at the spring orchestra concert

We attended our grandson Matt’s spring orchestra concert which was bittersweet. He has decided not to continue with orchestra in high school so he can pursue other interests. Hopefully he will continue to play for pleasure. The same night granddaughter Taylor had her entrepreneur night where the kids raised money for Riley Hospital. She is loves art so it wasn’t surprising she chose to have a face painting business.

Taylor painting faces for her Entrepreneur Night

After the concert Julie took us over to see her classroom at the school where she teaches. It’s amazing how life comes full circle. Had we stayed in the house where she was baby, she would have gone to the elementary school where she now teaches!

Julie in front of her school

Emma has been busy with a school project in which they were to put their math skills to work. She came up with the idea to build a little desk that she could use when sitting on the floor. She got her Grandpa Mike to help her saw the wood after she figured out the dimensions she wanted. She then labeled each individual piece before hauling her bag of wood to school. The kids had a week to work on assembling and painting their projects. I was so impressed with how Emma’s project turned out. However, I don’t think she is going to be able to bring it home on the school bus We may be making a trip over to her school to help her bring it back home now that it is assembled.

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A Special Weekend

This was such a special weekend. On Friday both my daughter Kelly and grandson Max celebrated their birthdays. They both love ice cream cakes so every year we get to celebrate with a delicious cake from Dairy Queen. It was kind of fun to just change the two candles around for them! This happens every 11 years!

Then on Saturday evening we celebrated Max’s Confirmation at the 5:30 Mass with Archbishop Thompson. It was such a beautiful Mass and I was privileged to be Max’s sponsor. Before the Mass the Archbishop spoke to the candidates and their sponsors about the history and the importance of this sacrament. He was very engaging and interesting, as he was when giving his homily.

After Mass we all went to Stone Creek Dining to celebrate both the birthdays and Max’s Confirmation.

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Happy Mother’s Day

This is a very difficult Mother’s Day for me. We have just moved my beautiful mother from her assisted living memory care apartment into the Health Center which is the nursing home building on the grounds. Due to a recent series of falls, she was diagnosed with a fractured pelvic bone and it is inoperable. She is now a two-person assist and her care involves pain management.

It’s pretty sad to see all the residents in her hall lined up around the nurses’ station just staring at each other. It probably bothers me more than my mother. Since she is afraid of being alone, she probably likes being near so many people. For me it is just sad looking at everyone, knowing that in their younger days, they had careers and families and were probably vibrant members of the community. But now it seems they are just elderly disabled people and this is the best it is going to get for them.

But I am going to celebrate each day I have left with my beautiful mother, remember all the wonderful times and the love she gave me, the sacrifices she made for me and my siblings, and continue to visit her often and show my love for her, until God calls her home.

I wish all the mothers a very happy day, and if you are lucky enough to still have your mother with you, please let her know you love her and thank her for everything she has done for you.

Happy Mother’s Day……

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Life with Granny Blog

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making plans." -- Allen Saunders

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