Friday, January 30, 2009


Elisabeth Oster
January 12, 1930- January 21, 2009

This is not an obituary...sorry, just wanting to share the last few days spent with my Grandma with you as we will always hold them very special in our hearts!!! I think I mentioned in a previous blog that Hospice was called in to admit her the Monday before she passed away. I sometimes can be very scheduled with my girls (sometimes I think it's more structure for me than them!!!)  and that Monday after their dance class I wanted nothing more than to go home, feed, bathe, and put them to bed! But when my sister called to say that Hospice was at her house I felt a sense of urgency to let my girls have one more evening with their "Oma" (german for grandma) in case this was her last evening alert, able to talk, and enjoy them. We ate dinner together as a family and the evening was no different than any other time at her house! The girls were running through the house, laughing, screaming, and having a blast......she didn't care one single bit!!! I often wonder what goes through these precious little heads, they knew she was sick and I think in their own ways very sad. Kayden decided that night she HAD to say a little special pray for Oma sitting as close to her as she could. All the girls were able to hug her, say goodbye, and she kissed each of them....telling them with the little energy she had that she loved them. We tucked her into bed and while mom was calling Hospice back because Grandma's breathing was getting worse Kayden got up by her ear and sang "You are my Sunshine"....(which I also previously blogged on) as this was a special song to all of us. With one big breath Gram was able to sing one sentence with her.......that memory will stay with me for ever!!!! Tuesday I went over and was able to spend the whole day with her. Mom, Marylin, and I gave her a good bed bath. We got her out to the couch, and just sat with her....telling her we loved her, holding her hand, laying our heads against her warm soft face, and just embracing the time we had....trying to soak up every single moment! Hospice came back that day and just reminded Mom that her time on this earth was short. We called Karlie (my youngest sister) to come to Chattanooga from Knoxville and she was able to find a bus ride that next day to be with Grandma. After Hospice leaving and giving her medications, Grandma was never conscious again, she was breathing but never really talked anymore. Tuesday evening we all ate dinner at her house. Chaotic as it seemed to be bringing the kids back again we knew our time was coming to an end. Wednesday morning Kristi and I went back to her house even though we both contemplated going home to get some house work done but reminded each other that we may not have another day with her. Once again, hate the laundry that I am dealing with today but thankful for that last day. We along with Mom and Marylin (gram's caretaker) just sat in her room ALL day. Reading poems that Grandma had written, going through pictures, and just talking in her ear even though she was not conscious. Kristi left early Wednesday afternoon to get Taylor from school and pick Karlie up from the bus stop. In that short time Grandma's breathing was getting slower and having longer periods of apnea (not breathing). Karlie and Kristi got back to Grandma's quickly and the 4 of us (being me, mom, Kristi, and Karlie) sat around her bed and  just let her know we where there and when/if she was ready to go we were ok. We sang hymns and read from the Bible. We sang again "You are my Sunshine" and as Mom was reading the "Lord's Prayer" she took her last breath. It was peaceful for it just to be the 5 of us in her room with the door closed, yet we sat there and wept at the loss of a GREAT woman who will be tremendously missed. (let me mention that the time from Karlie getting to Gram's side until she passed was a matter of 15 minutes. We know she was holding on to allow Karlie to say good-bye) I will blog later on our time in Michigan (this is where we had the services and she was buried by her husband, daughter, son-in-law, son, and grandson). 

I did want to share what I read at the funeral service:

I am not a writer so you'll have to forgive me if my words are not organized, I am speaking from my heart. I am privileged to say that I had the 2 most loving grandparents who were able to share in some of the greatest moments of my life. For many years I never put thought into my grandparents dying. I know that people get sick and grow old but I never dwelt on it. We are a very tight knit family and they were the foundation of that. When my grandfather died it shook our world up. I have come to see and trust God's hand in situations I "thought" I knew more about. One of the most recent being the death of my grandfather, because we have been able to have 2 1/2 wonderful years with my grandma whose life was overtaken by 4 active great grand-daughters whom she adored!!! Her house was filled with loud laughter, chaos, toys hanging from ceiling, juice spilt, sticky fingers rubbing clean glass, and more but she never got upset. She just relished in each moment she spent with them. God is good and I hope my girls can carry all the memories of "Oma" with them like I do!! My grandmother did nothing 1/2 way. She lived life to the fullest and loved with all her heart. She loved her family, friends, and church. She didn't just plant a couple flowers, she had flower beds that everyone enjoyed to see and smell. She had huge garden's that we ate from on into the cold winter months. She loved writing letters and poems. She loved to sew, knit, and crochet and  we have beautiful things made by her hands to use for years to come. She loved to play games, especially scrabble and has been known to have worn 3 grand daughters out with wanting to play too much!!! Anything to learn and use her mind. She loved cooking and baking and loved watching us enjoy her food! When my grandma had her stroke 3 1/2 months ago we were doubtful she would eat by herself, talk well, let alone walk. Once again she showed us she does nothing 1/2 way and by the time she left rehab she was eating alone, talking, and walking. Maybe not as well but she gave it her all. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with her, reminded again that life is fragile and we were grateful to be together as a family. We celebrated her birthday and 3 out of 4 of her great grand daughters. She willed herself to be at each celebration as weak and tired as her body was. Then last Wednesday afternoon in the quiet safety of her home while taking her last breaths she lay in bed surrounded by 4 women who loved, respected, and thought the world of her. Were we crying and sad? Absolutely, but just as my grandmother did nothing 1/2 way she loved and served her God whole heartidly and we know we will see her again soon in Heaven. For those of you who visited my grandparents you know they followed you outside and waved good bye until they could no longer see you. So as the funeral home came to take my grandma away we felt it only appropriate to follow her outside and wave.....saying we will see you again soon! That night as my oldest daughter said her bedtime prayers she prayed "Jesus please bring my Oma back" and what a wonderful day that will be!! To be reunited in Heaven where life will be pure bliss!! I know my grandma would beg each of you to PLEASE be ready and meet her there!!! I love you grandma!

Monday, January 19, 2009

...sunrise and breaking rules....

This is what we woke up to this morning.....who can say God does not exist? The simple beauty of nature overwhelmed me this morning....and really it's not that simple at all!!!
I was getting dinner ready for tonight and the girls wanted to be closer to me so we broke "the rules" and ate lunch up on the counter! They were quite excited and Kayden wondered if I was going to tell daddy?!!!

Chugga Chugga CHOO CHOO!!

We decided to have Emery's birthday party at the Chattanooga Choo Choo since she's found a great love for trains! She loved every minute of it....from just looking at all the parked trains outside, to eating lunch in a box car, and on to the model train museum it was a fun day for her! It was pretty cold over the weekend so our trolley ride was cancelled due to "inclement" weather, which of course being from the North was absurd to me! There were snow flurry's that got us excited just enough to pacify our wish for a huge snow storm!

The little conductor! 

Playing in the box car while awaiting her friends to arrive

Box car cuisine...grilled cheese and fries! Can't beat it!
Fun gifts to open!
Birthday cake that daddy "designed" for the bakery to make!

If that mouth opens just a little more I think her jaws are going to separate!! Hilarious!
It's hard to get a group of kids to face the camera and smile all at once!!!

Walking through the model train museum!
Lots of work/time put into this...very neat!
Dancing barn....come early, come often! 75 cents a seat!!
So cold the fountain froze!
We swept a few snow flurry's off the frozen fountain water and found these goldfish swimming underneath! 
Family day with friends/family and we even got a bit of snow to top the day off which made it extra special!

Get ready Kindergarten here I come.....

I've never been one to be sad about the girls growing up! I love every new stage that we've entered with them and look forward to all the years and different things that lie ahead! Would I love to have a baby that stays a baby for life (but sleeps through the night).....absolutely and do I slightly dread teenage years with not 1 but 2 girls in this house.....sure! So here we are again, entering a new phase....Kayden starts Kindergarten this fall and she couldn't be more excited! Friday we went to visit her new school, A.W. Spaulding which is a Seventh Day Adventist school in Collegedale! She was able to spend some time with both of the Kindergarten teachers while the parents met with the faculty! Jon and I are both excited at what the school has to offer her!

Hallway leading to the classroom! 

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I made Jon and I a sandwich yesterday and it was sooo yummy I had to share!!!

*Whatever bread you want to use and toast it, we used whole wheat
*Spread a couple tablespoons of spreadable goat cheese on bread
*Spread pesto on one side of bread, I used a basil pesto and it was delish
*3 or 4 sundried tomatoes
*Smoked turkey....or veggie turkey slices
*Layer on spinach

Put together and eat up!!!!

The only thing Jon and I thought would make this better was do it Panini style!

Friday, January 16, 2009

3 years little!

Emery's "real" Birthday was Tuesday! We stayed home ALL day and the girls played and played.....their imaginations can run for hours!! It was just another day to her, at 3 it must be very confusing to have "Happy Birthday" sung more than 1 time cause she wasn't much up for it! When she woke up Jon, Kayden, and I sang "Happy Birthday" and she was saying "NO" to all of us with her face in my armpit while trying to kick Jon to make him stop!!!! Maybe she's upset with getting older....who knows!! Emery Grae Hughes, we love you and pray that Jesus gives us many more years to celebrate YOU!!!!!

Breakfast for 2...what could be fancier than Cherrios, PJ's, and a tiara???
.....see??...not so much up for this!!!
Now we're getting some smiles! A chalk bag for rock climbing!
Great book from mom! Emery loves trains right now, not partial to Thomas just trains in general!
....the BOOTS are back!!!! If you read a previous post about Emery's Lady Bug boots, you know she LOVED them and it was a traumatic day when they visited the trash!!! We had to get her another pair because I think her heart left with the boots!!

I have to say in ending this that my Grandma did not have the best evening Monday night (which was her B-day), she thought she was taking her last breaths. Home Health came Tuesday AM and didn't think she was alive by looking at her sleeping, encouraged mom to get Hospice involved. Despite her feeling terrible she WILLED herself to come to our house and celebrate Emery's Birthday because she felt like this would be her last.....that is love!

The frog's last day as a 2 year old!

Emery Grae is very partial to a few things and given the opportunity to share what few things she would grab if her house caught on fire....hands down would be her beebee (blanket), some pair of boots, and this frog towel! Kayden received this frog towel as a gift for her 3rd birthday and it quickly became of FAV of her sibling! If "the frog" is being cleaned and she has to be dried off with another towel you would think she was being dried off with sand paper!!! She loves for Jon to wrap her up after bath time and carry her out to the kitchen for me to see! Monday night was no different except for the fact that I realized our "frog" would no longer be 2 again and we had to take a picture!!!

Tay's Cupcake Party!

Taylor's Birthday was last Sunday and she wanted a "game party" with a cupcake theme! Kristi had 23 kids and uncounted number of adults squeezed into her house and played various games!! The kids had great time and I think the adults heads were still making noises after the party ended!!! Can't believe my little niece is 9!!! I love you sweet girl!!!

Cousins....minus a baby who was taking a nap!
Taylor and Kristiana
The masterpiece cupcake cake....delish!!!
Gram used every ounce of energy to bring herself to the party, no one made her she WANTED to be there!
I think the day will soon come when she may pass me up in height!
On our way out the door....good time, smiling faces, and balloons!

Me and my girls!

Birthday for 3

So I probably have previously explained that Birthday's are a HUGE deal in my family! Life is precious and can change in an instant....not to sound like Debbie Downer but that is reality and so I TRULY feel blessed every year that I am able to celebrate another Birthday with a family member or friend!! This year seems far more special because as you all know my grandma suffered a stroke and we were able to celebrate another year with her on January 12! I never thought about my grandparents getting old, sick, or dying.....I know it happens but I just never thought about it, they have been by our sides through good and bad.....maybe not always agreeing but they always loved us! So when my grandfather passed away 2 years ago it shook up our world! God has once again proven to know what is best because my grandma has been able to have 2 full great years enjoying her great granddaughters!!! Could care less that there may be loud laughter, house turned upside down with toys, juice spilt on the floor, ect.....just relishes the moments she gets to spend with them! My grandpa loved them but not always tolerant of the noises and messes that can come along with kids! My grandma made mention Tuesday evening that this was her last week on earth, wether anyone believed her or not.....she said it was. I can't say if it is or isn't, neither can her Dr, God only knows. What I know for certain is I have NO regrets in my relationship with my grandma or my time spent with her. If she left this earth today I would be heart broken but I know that I will be with her in Heaven one day soon where life will certainly be PURE BLISS!!!! So I got a little side tracked from the B-days! In January we are blessed with my nieces b-day on 1/11, my grandma's on 1/12, and Emery Grae's on 1/13! We always have a Sabbath B-day (this is our church day) for all three together!!! 

Grandma was able to make it to church last week.....below hugging Emery in her Sabbath School class!

Aumie kisses
Singing Happy Birthday in her class at church
For those of you not around Emery on a daily basis she is HILARIOUS!!! Brings Jon, Kayden, and I to tears of laughter on a daily basis!!

Happy Birthday to a 3 year old, 79 year old, and 9 year old!!! I have to say, for my mom's sake, we had a cupcake cake pan and mom did a practice run with the cake below prior to Tay's party! She didn't realize that she turned the bottom part upside down!!! You'll see her masterpiece in the next blog!
I'm not sure how many candles she had to blow out but she didn't quit until there were all out!
Of course we have to sing to each one!

That night, after the girls took an extended nap, had a puzzle night! Jon and Em's masterpiece!
Me and Kayden's Fancy Nancy puzzle!! Kayden said in the middle of doing this....this is the greatest evening! Goes to prove the simple quality times spent together as a family bring warm fuzzies to everyone!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


We packed up the kids and went up to our friends' house, Kami and Carter, for a sleep over along with our Highfield friends and had a great night together!!! Lots of food, talking, and laughing!

Introducing all the kids!!!
Hudson (4 of 4 Highfields kids)
Emery Grae and Gracie Bleu (3 of 4 Highfield kids)

Lani Fowler (Kami and Carter's daughter)....hhhhmmm what will '09 bring?? A new sibling??
Luke (2 of 4 Highfield kids)
......and Weston (1 of 4 Highfield kids)!!
Jon and Carter found the "ball dropping" from '07 on You Tube and we played it around 9:00 for the kids....they were totally thinking it was midnight!!! Thanks Regis and Kelley!!!

Yeah!!!! Happy New Year!!!!
I told Kayden that at midnight you have to kiss someone. She came up beside me and wouldn't stop kissing my face off!!!!
Last '08 Hughes family portrait....that's a framer!!!! I need to blog about all Emery's many faces I've caught on camera!!
Me and my Jessica
Brian and Jon with their Happy New Years kids!!
....obviously more that one camera going...