Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good Bye Grandma Lee Haug

If you know me very well, you know that I am very involved in supporting the Alzheimer's Association. In 2010, I got the Alzheimer's Association to allow me to organize a Memory Walk for Wabash County. I organized numerous fundraisers and the walk by myself. I have a small committee for the Walk to End Alzheimer's (new walk name) this year and we have already had our first fundraiser for the year, Bagger for a Day, which we raised almost $700 at. In 2010 we raised $6,000 for our 2011 our goal is $12,000!

What you may not know WHY I'm so involved and passionate about the Alzheimer's Association...

Almost 10 years ago, my great-grandma, Goldie Wilkinson, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  My family allowed her to stay in her home for almost a year before moving her to the Alzheimer's Unit in the United Methodist Village in Lawrenceville, IL because it was no longer safe for her to live alone.  At the time, I was around 13 years old and didn't fully understand what was going on but I was very upset about my grandma being put into the nursing home.

As time passed, I learned more about Alzheimer's Disease by doing reports and such in high school.  When I was in college I did presentations on Alzheimer's Disease, also.  I understand just about every aspect of the disease now...that doesn't make it any easier to watch the woman I once knew become no one.  If you have never known someone with the disease and have never had to be around the effects of it, you need to thank God every day!

These are the different stages of Alzheimer's Disease in my definition. It starts out as what seems to be simple forgetfulness, but progresses into odd forgetfulness like forgetting where they live or who you are. And in what seems like no time at all, your loved one can no longer recognize your face, your name, your voice, or even your love. There becomes a point when your loved one becomes fearful of everything and nothing can comfort them, communication is usually very little at this point. My great-grandma is to this stage. She very rarely speaks, is terrified of having her hair cut/nails painted/baths, eats very little, walks very little, and can no longer recognize the urge to use the bathroom.

The final stage of Alzheimer's Disease usually moves most sufferers from the Alzheimer's care unit into the end of life care unit of a nursing home or into the hospital depending on how fast the final stage progresses and facility policy.  Alzheimer's Disease causes the brain to deteriorate, scans of a person's brain with Alzheimer's is extremely smaller in size than a normal brain, and in turn causes the body's functions to stop.  Walking and using the bathroom are usually the first to go due to weakness and/or instability. The body eventually is unable to function and shuts down causing death. The process of Alzheimer's can take as little as a couple years up to 30 some years. There was a woman in the same unit as my grandma who battled the disease for over 20 years before her battle was over.

Now that you understand how Alzheimer's progresses, I'll catch you up on my life and how Alzheimer's has affected it.

My great-grandma's brother, Loren Gerrish, also has Alzheimer's Disease now.  Having multiple people with the disease in your family raises your risk of developing the disease in the future even higher. When Tim and I began dating in 2005 I learned that his grandma, Lee Haug, had just recently developed the disease.  So, now that we are married (4 years in September 2011) I worry about our future children because Alzheimer's is on both sides of our family.

So, these are the reasons I am passionate about supporting the Alzheimer's Association: my great-grandma has the disease, her brother has the disease, Tim's grandma has the disease, and I want to find a cure so I don't have to worry about my Dad/Tim & I/our future children getting the disease. My dream is a world without Alzheimer's!

Tim's grandma, Lee Haug, lost her battle with Alzheimer's Disease this afternoon. It may sound odd to you that I thank God her medical issues took her home to be with the Lord before her short battle with Alzheimer's did, especially if you've never been around the disease. But I ask that you go back and read through my description of the stages again, do your own research, or go volunteer at an Alzheimer's unit before you think I'm a horrible person.  God blessed Lee with taking her home today, I pray every day He'll bless my great-grandma with the same thing.  No one should ever have to go through this disease, no one should ever have to realize that no matter how much you love your spouse they can no longer accept or return that love, no child should ever have to care for a parent who no longer recognizes them, and no grandchild should have to become aware of this horrible disease by losing the person they always knew as their grandparent.

I will support the Alzheimer's Association until the Lord takes me home and I hope you will, too!

Rest in peace, Grandma Haug! I hope all your cherished memories have been returned to you. <3

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I got an AWARD!

Thank you, Kelly, for the award!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bring new blogs to light. It's a great way to share blogs that might not otherwise be seen or ones you want to share with others.

As a recipient of this award I must share the love and pay it forward by:

1-Creating a post where I blog about the Liebster award & reveal my 3-5 blog picks
2-Let the honorees know that I selected them
3-Copy & paste the blog award on my blog

Now I have the huge task of narrowing down my favorite blogs that I love to visit and gain inspiration from so I can share them with you.

New blogs that you must visit are...

Kelly Birrell

More Creations...

Here are more of my past (yet recent) creations...

I made this for my step-brother and his girlfriend's baby shower, making their invites was my gift to them. :)

This is the baby shower invite cover.

This is the baby shower invite in the cover. :)

This is the first diaper cake I made (in November 2009.)

This is my 2nd diaper cake...I made to smaller ones instead of 1 large one this time.

I finally got to make a diaper cake for a BOY! (November 2010)

 This was my other gift to my step-brother and his girlfriend for their baby shower.

This is a towel cake I made for a friend's wedding shower! I was trying to figure out what to make for their shower at church and it just popped into my head to modify the diaper cakes I always make! I think it turned out really well! :)

My Stampin' Up! order should be here by Friday so I can complete my challenge and card swap for April! YAY!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some of My Creations...

I have most of my creations in a photo album on my Facebook page, but for those of you who don't have me on Facebook here are some of my creations...
 I made this card for one of my best friends' wedding shower.

 I made this card for a wedding shower at my church.

 I made this card when Tim's niece had her tonsils removed. I used a curvy verse get well stamp inside, and the punched out piece on front is raised with dimensional adhesive.

 I made this card for my father in-law's birthday.

 I made this card for my step-brother and his girlfriend's baby shower. The front pink/white piece is raised with dimensional adhesive.

I made this card for my grandpa and step-grandma's anniversary. I also used this same card layout for the March card swap, just with a different curvy verse stamp.

*Excuse the poor picture quality, these were all taken on my cell phone! lol*

Well those are some of my creations with Stampin' Up! products so far. I have a few more that I will post tomorrow along with some of my other crafts. :)  Going to enjoy a nice quiet evening at home with my furbabies, and work on some fundraiser things for the Alzheimer's Association. <3

Exploring Blog World!

I'm still figuring all this blogging stuff out! lol. I think I understand most of it, though. Had a GREAT fundraiser on Saturday for the Alzheimer's Association! "Bagger for a Day" literally went off without a hitch...somehow! lol. I had 12 candidates for Mt. Carmel City Commissioner or Mayor come out and bag groceries for 2 hour shifts for tips. I even had 2 of the candidates come back and want to do a 2nd shift! My goal for the entire day (8 hours!) was $150...we raised almost $700!!!!! AWESOME! I'm still on cloud nine from that!

A couple people from my Walk to End Alzheimer's team will be at an intersection collecting change on Saturday, April 9...I'll post the time and intersection when the time gets closer :) Our next fundraiser will be Saturday, April 23 from 9am-1pm at Evangelical United Methodist Church 2010 North Cherry Street in Mt. Carmel. There will be about 20 different vendors, including *Kelly Birrell* with Stampin' Up!. We will also have the Easter Bunny there for pictures! *This is the day before Easter, btw!* There will be a coloring table for the kids, and if they give their colored picture to the Easter Bunny they'll get a treat! All colored pictures will be donated to a local Alzheimer's unit. We will have bake sale items and our cookout will begin at 11am! There will be numerous raffles, also!!

Come out and support the Alzheimer's Association!

Gotta go walk some doggie clients! I'll try to post some of my creations today, also! Waiting on my Stampin' Up! order to complete my challenges! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome to the Haug's!

It's my first blog post! I'll try to keep this updated and post my Stampin' Up! creations as I can. I'll also be talking a lot about the Walk to End Alzheimer's I coordinate, along with the many fundraisers I be prepared! lol :)