Thursday, March 26, 2009

We Are Thrilled To Present Mr. & Mrs. Cuttrell

(Yes, running about a month behind, still playing catch up with the blog.. life has been a little hectic lately around our house..)

Saturday February 28 Heather and Christopher were joined in holy matrimony bringing to our family a new daughter and 2 beautiful grandchildren. It was a wonderful family event. The bride was walked down the aisle by bother her fathers, the brother of the groom was the best man and the sister of the bride her maid of honor, our new grandson and granddaughter performed the duties of ring bearer and flower girl. The closest family members and friends were there to witness this most joyous occasion.

Rewind several days prior….
Tonya and Whitney had planned to fly from Seattle to Houston on Tuesday before the wedding. But as you know from previous postings Tonya was already in Texas with her mom who was ill. So here you might think, good deal Tonya was already in Texas so this should be more convenient, right? NOPE!!!! Keep in mind that Texas is a pretty large state and about 700 miles between point A and point B. We LOVE Southwest Airlines….. yes I FLY SWA!!!!

Whitney proceeded to fly to Houston on Tuesday and Tonya followed on Wednesday; and hit the ground on the run pretty much. Meeting C & H along with the kids (this included Whitney) for dinner, stopped by the florist to see what flowers had been selected, then to the store to purchase all the supplies needed to make wedding cakes. Whitney spent another night with C&H while Tonya went to Numero Uno El NiƱo and Dae’s house to crawl into a bed that wasn’t in a hospital room or on rollers for the first time in several nights. Slept like a rock.

Thursday started bright and early, as soon as J & D left for work and Tonya really realized that she was in a strange kitchen, but only had to call J once to find out where something was kept. By 8am the Kitchen Aid was running, the oven pre-heated and the start of cake, after cake, after cake going into and out of the oven. C and Whit came over after they dropped H off at work and the kids to school. We had a great day,,, well they played Wii while Tonya baked cakes and they all visited. But by 5:00pm all of the cakes were baked, the frosting was all make and we were pooped. J&D invited C&H and the kids over to supper that night; feta chicken (read Dae’s blog about our
pollotarian). Supper was great, enjoyed the boys, their women folk (Texas slang) and the kiddos. Family is great and we are blessed. The one thing that was missing that evening was Bill; and he was on his way (SWA of course) to Houston scheduled to arrive at 11pm. After the “women folk” went to the airport to gather Bill, we got home and went to bed and Tonya began thinking thinking about decorating cakes the following day. If you want a bit more information

The night before the wedding we got together at Heather’s parent’s house with for dinner, drink and good company. All of our out of town guests were included. It gave the bride & groom an opportunity to visit with and in some cases actually meet family that had come a long way to celebrate this blessed occasion with them. We appreciated their hospitality so much, Christopher is really getting himself some great in-laws.

The wedding was gorgeous, the bride and groom were perfect (not that we are biased). We are so happy to have these new additions to our family. We are thrilled that Christopher has found a woman that loves him as much as he loves her, and the kids, well they couldn’t love Christopher anymore if he was the biological father.

Tonya’s heart-felt thank-you to the very host and hostess of the most prestigious JDC Bed and Breakfast! You guys were awesome!!!! Not only did they open their home and kitchen to us, they made sure we had nutritious and very tasty meals and snacks. They also wanted the opportunity to get to know Bill’s brother and sister better so the evening after the wedding, she invited them all over to dinner.
Still more information....

We have been blessed with some of the best daughter-in-laws on the face of the earth. Technically they may be daughter-in-laws, but we consider them our daughters.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

G'Ma Evelyn

Can everyone tell we are catching up on the blog? It's been a stressful few weeks and honestly keeping up with the blog just wasn't at the top of our priorities.

This post has been several weeks in the making.... Tonya's mom gave us a big scare.

G'Ma Evelyn, She's a tuff 'Ol Bird for sure! She is an ornery fighter and we are so proud of the progress she has made in the past few weeks. A little background here might be helpful for all of you that did not live these past few weeks with us. The middle of January, Mom flew to Dallas/Ft. Worth to spend time with her sisters and brothers and then the plan was to come up here for a few months around the 1st part of February. Then Christopher & Heather set their wedding date, the 28th of February, so Mom's plans changed a little. She would stay in Ft.Worth until the middle of February, go home for about 10 days, then the Whitfield clan would fly from Houston after the wedding with a change of planes in Albuquerque, Mom would fly out of Amarillo with a plane change in Albuquerque where we would all meet and get on the same flight to continue on into Seattle on March 1st!

A few days before mom was to fly back home from Ft. Worth she begin to feel a little under the weather. She said she was retaining fluid in her feet "because she'd been eating salty food'; she was having trouble sleeping, 'because her back bothered her". The night before she left to fly home was a bad night for her, she was having trouble breathing so she tried to sleep in a chair and she was talking out of her head. By the time she arrived in Amarillo and Tonya's brother Waudell picked her up at the airport she was a very sick lady. Waudell wanted her to spend the night with them but she "just wanted to go home and sleep in her own bed".

The next morning she did not answer the phone, Tonya called, Waudell called, Aunt Fern called and no answer; we were terrified! Tonya called her brother Waudell, he said he was on his to mom's house and would let her know what he found out. The next call we received from him was that she was so weak she couldn't get out of the bed so he had called the paramedics, her blood pressure was extremely low and they were taking her to the hospital in Borger. Once they arrived at the emergency room they diagnosed her with pneumonia and wanted to admit her but they did not have any available beds and were finally able to locate her one in Amarillo. By the time they admitted her into a room in the Cardiac Care Unit of the hospital in Amarillo it was nearly 9:30 pm, over 12 hours since Waudell had first arrived at her house.

The next several days were hard for all of us. Tonya wanted to travel to Texas in order be with her mother and brothers but they thought she should wait a day to see if the antibiotics kicked in, so we waited. By Saturday Ronney & Waudell decided if there was any way that Tonya could come home that she probably should. (SIDE NOTE- At this point we are 1 week from Christopher & Heather’s wedding; that post to follow). We started scrambling to find a flight to Texas as soon as possible, and change airline tickets for existing flights… at 3:15 am on Sunday morning she got a call from her brother, Ronney. He had just received a call from the hospital, Mom had gone into A-fib and a breathing tube had been inserted. Tonya arrived in Amarillo about 4pm on Sunday, February 22.

Tonya spent the next several days in the hospital. The hospital staff brought in a roll away bed so she could sleep in the room with her. Due to the breathing tube, Mom was not able to make a sound at all, not even a whisper. She would try so hard to make us understand what she wanted, but we couldn't understand…. It was heart breaking for her and us.
On Monday afternoon they began to wean her off of her breathing tube, so we all worked with her reminding her to breathe deep so that her oxygen levels would increase. By this time our mom is working hard to do everything she could so the tube could be removed. She hasn’t been out of the bed since Wednesday, and is really weak and just wants out of that hospital bed; she was still in the CCU of hospital. The hospital staff removed her breathing tube Monday night; they will wait until Tuesday to remove her stomach tube. Our mom is rock star!

Tuesday morning she woke up about 4am and felt restless so we had the nurse move her to the chair where she sat for a couple of hours which included eating breakfast. Mom was still really weak and not able to stand or walk without help, but she was working as hard as she could to regain her strength. Physical Therapy came Tuesday afternoon and got her out of the bed, and helped her walk to the chair. She sat in the chair for quiet sometime on 2 different occasions as well as on the side of the bed.

Tonya stayed in the hospital with Mom until Wednesday 2/25, as long as she could and still get to Houston in time to take care of the wedding cakes and other wedding prep.

Mom was released from the hospital on the afternoon Sunday, March 1 after 10 days. She and Tonya stayed at her house and things went well. Her appetite increased and she would walk around the house with her walker; she's was still weak but regaining strength each day.

We have encountered bumps in the road with her new medication routine and apparently an unknown change in her insurance that we were not aware of, but all seems to be working out. Tonya’s brothers and sister-in-laws were wonderful, making sure they had everything needed.

Mom continued to improve so that they were able to fly back home to Seattle on Sunday, March 8. Currently Mom plans to stay for an indefinite period of time with us.

Considering that Mom has congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, legally blind and 89 years old, Mom is doing great! Most of us can only hope to do half this well when we reach that age. Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and support.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2 Income Family (again!)

We have good news, no, make that GREAT news! Bill just signed the employment offer for his new position as Quality Control Manager for General Construction. He will be working on a $230 million project at the Bangor Submarine Base near Bremerton. It is an approximately 3 year project, but he was told that this is a permanent position so they will send him on another project when this one finishes. He is looking forward to going back to work!!

As thankful as we are and as wonderful as it is there is a few down sides to the offer. First off this job does not offer a company vehicle. We will need to find a vehicle for him to drive to and from work. Bill has been driving the "Green Machine" (Honda) since he was laid-off last November. While the Green Machine is an okay vehicle, it has a lot of miles under it's hood and won't last much longer, especially with the new commute to and from Bremerton (about a 100 miles each day). So a new/newer vehicle is in our future. Considering the mileage the new vehicle will be racking up and the cost of gasoline in Western Washington, a new pickup truck with a big V-8 Hemi engine in it probably will not be an option for us, so economical appears the route we will be going.

Second, Bremerton is on the Kitsap Peninsula and there is a large body of water between home (point A) and the new job (point B) called Puget Sound. Travel between point A and Point B requires crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which now has a toll of $4 each day unless you spring for the "Good To Go Pass" (then you get to cross cheaper) so we will need to get us a pass. Speaking of Tacoma Narrows have you ever heard the story of Galloping Gertie?
Third, this job appears to be behind schedule, which means Bill will be working long, long hours.

Fourth, Tonya is LOOSING HEAR HOUSE HUSBAND!!!! She's going to have to learn to cook and clean again.

Seriously, we feel blessed right now that we have this job opportunity to find the down-sides. Jobs are few and far between these days so we are thrilled that God has answered our prayers.

Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers.