Jill's Crumbs

WELCOME to this on-line journal of my thoughts and of the events of our lives written for my children, near and far. And now featuring the work-in-progress curriculum guide for the Titus 2 Institute.

Location: Catonsville, Maryland

Monday, April 19, 2010


I bet you expect me to say how much I hate technology and wish we were back in the horse and buggy days. Jesse asked me just today if gasoline is "rare". I think he was contemplating its high price. When I described the process of refining oil drilled from rock to get gasoline he thought it was complicated and suggested going back to horses if we ran out of gas. I imagined the mess it would be if everyone on the little stretch of road I was traveling were on horseback instead of in cars, not to mention the amount of hay and oats it would take to fuel all those horses!

No, I'm writing to tell you how much I am appreciating technology tonight. Why? I remembered looking at airline ticket prices online so that Pop and Stephen can fly to Missouri for Nate and Katie's wedding. (Pop teaches on Tuesday nights in Philadelphia and I need to leave Tuesday morning for the two-day road trip.) I remember making reservations at the hotel. I remember booking a flight for Stephen for spring break. But I could not remember booking the flight for Pop and Stephen to Missouri. I knew I meant to, but I couldn't find a receipt, a confirmation email, or paper ticket. Hurray for online banking. I was able to scroll through a BOAT-load of debit purchases and find a paypal purchase of approximately the correct amount. Then I went to paypal to identify my purchases over the past three months (only 4 this time). How do you spell "wha-la"? Hurrah! Now I just need to find a confirmation number to check the itinerary, yikes! I hope I emailed a confirmation to Pop.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where are you Mom?

Since I haven't posted anything since icicles at Christmas,(and since the flowers and trees are now blooming in the warm spring sunshine), you should assume that I am either too busy to write or that nothing exciting has happened in my life since then.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Crum Christmas Chronicle

Dear Ones,
I did not write a Christmas newsletter this year to send out with our Christmas cards. I was just glad I got some cards sent! But after reading Ginny Youmans' family update online I decided to return a brief message to her of the lastest happenings in the Crum family. I got it all typed out, but didn't want to push the "reply to all" button shown. In my search for another option, the message was lost--at least I couldn't find it (which I realize is not the same thing). So I decided to compose a new chronicle, post it on my blog, share the address on facebook, and let all interested parties come here to read it. If you've completed this long, and unnecessary, introduction, the newsletter follows.

"Although there were no marriages or births in the family this year, it was by no means uneventful. Others in the family may want to add their own highlights, but the following are my top four.
1--David and I enjoyed a fantastic vacation in Great Britain this summer.
We had fun planning and anticipating a life-long-dream trip. Finally we were off to spend several days each in London, Edinburgh, and Wales, but our home base was a delightful farm in the Yorkshire Dales. Will and Rebekah Shermer with their children, friends from church here in Catonsville, live in a converted cow barn on a working farm near Pateley Bridge. They graciously allowed us to use their home while they were here in the States on vacation. I'm still trying to sort through all the pictures we took. (Do other people's digital cameras mix the photos up?--I was counting on their chronology to help me recall what all the photos are.) But, even this sorting process is a pleasure as I get to relive the memories of the bustling cities and the pastoral countryside.
2--In August, shortly after returning home, I had surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.
My dear sister Beth, Jonathan, and many from church kindly helped me and the family through my hospital stay and recovery. I expected to be back on my feet with a full recovery within two weeks, but my brain (and the Lord) had other plans. My right arm and leg were not at all cooperative at first. Beth had me writing the alphabet in the air, and soon the strength, mobility and coordination returned to my arm and hand. My right leg, especially my ankle and foot, took much longer and required 20 sessions of physical therapy, but I am glad to report that I am almost back to "normal". I notice a slight limp and find climbing stairs challenging when I am tired, but I am able to drive, cook, teach, read, write, and do all the things I really want to do. I was able to begin homeschooling Elisabeth, William, and Jesse in September, as planned, and also to tutor Biology twice a week at their homeschool tutorial program, Heritage Instructional Services. Having the Heritage assistance in their education this year has made life a lot easier for me.

3--David and I were thrilled to have the entire Crum family home for Thanksgiving.
Peter and Jess with Jude, Ashley and Aravis flew in from Colorado. Peter works in construction while Jess has been promoted to managing an office which places home health care workers. The children are in 4th, 3rd and 1st grades, and Peter and Jess became homeowners for the first time this year. Matthew and Emily live in Bloomington, IN, with their new puppy Chipper. They, too, bought a home this year. Matt is a copywriter for a medical supplies company and Emily is a speech and hearing therapist in the local public schools. Benjamin and Michal also live in Bloomington with their sons Daniel and Zion. Ben works for a self-publishing company while Michal is a hard-working stay-at-home mom. Jonathan and Nathaniel are both students (also in Bloomington), Jon in education and Nate in art, and both live and work as care-givers for Bob, a deacon in their church, who has cerebral palsy. Thomas was a furniture delivery man in Bloomington until two weeks ago. He and younger David have enlisted in the Marine Corps and report to boot camp on January 4. Thomas will be in the reserves and will return to college in Bloomington after completing his training this winter, spring and summer. David will be serving in the infantry on active duty for the next four years. Stephen is a junior at Catonsville high school and is also talking about joining the Marines after graduation. In January, David, the elder, will celebrate four years as pastor of Bishop Cummins Reformed Episcopal Church in Catonsville, MD.
(Please note this disclaimer--I may not accurately have described anyone's job. The only one mentioned that I have ever held is Michal's, so I know she's hard-working. Please post corrections in the comments section.)
4--Although there are currently 21 members of the Crum family, we learned yesterday that Katie Killingsworth of Missouri has agreed to become member #22 when she and Nate are married this summer. All of the Indiana Crums had already met Katie, (in fact, Ben and Katie's brother Jody introduced Nate and Katie) and the rest of us were delighted to meet her at Thanksgiving. She will be a welcome addition!"

We wish all our family and friends a very merry Christmas and a joyous new year
filled with the wonder of our Savior's first coming as a humble baby
and the anticipation of His triumphant return.

With love from,
the Crums

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am thankful that my whole family will be together for Thanksgiving. They're a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I drove for the first time about a week and a half ago. It was Saturday morning. Pop had gone to his office and was planning to pick William and Jesse up from their soccer game at about 12:30. They would come home, eat lunch quickly, change clothes, and go to the Navy vs. Air Force game in Annapolis. Ordinarily, Stephen would have walked them to the soccer field for their match, about 3/4 of a mile away, but he woke up with a terrible cold (headache, sore throat, aches and chills) and could barely crawl out of bed. I can't walk 3/4 of a mile yet, but I didn't want the boys to walk by themselves--there are a couple of busy intersections to cross. So, without the doctor's approval, I practiced driving in the neighborhood and then drove them to their game. It was tiring, but not as difficult as I had expected. I particularly thought that swivelling my foot from the gas to the brake pedal would be hard. I didn't know if I could control the pressure of my foot on either pedal. But, I was successful!
The following Monday I asked the physical therapist, and she approved short distances. Since then I have driven to school (same location as the soccer fields), church, and Ellicott City (twice). This afternoon I'll drive to Aldi to do the grocery shopping.

And the last bit of news--the physical therapy doctor says he expects me to get back close to 100% of my mobility! Hurrah!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Thankful for the Things I Can Do

I can't wiggle my toes.
I can't walk in my Earth shoe sandals because my toes can't grip them and hang on.
I can't roll my right foot from heel to toe when I walk.
I can't drive.

I can type. I can think. I can talk. I can sing. I can cook. I can teach. I can understand jokes. I can watch movies. I can read. I can go to church. I can talk on the phone. I can go grocery shopping (if someone else drives). I can follow directions. I can taste food. I can hear. I can take a shower. I can dress myself. I can make a pot of tea. I can draw. I can cut with scissors. I can walk, slowly. I can pray. I can write. I can remember. I can sleep. I can play games. I can see....

I am much more thankful for all the things I can do than I am bothered by the things I can't.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Surgery Scheduled for August 19

My surgery is scheduled for late Wednesday morning. However, I need to be at Johns Hopkins at 5:30 am for a final MRI. The doctor will review the results of this scan before operating. If all is as it was earlier, the precedure should involve creating a dime-sized opening on the top of my skull and removing the grape-sized tumor that is sitting there on top of my brain. Pop will take me to the hospital and stay during the surgery. We know of at least one friend who will be with him during that time.

I do not know how long the surgery will last nor the particulars of my recovery, except that I will need to sleep with my head elevated at least 30 degrees and may not lift any weight over ten pounds. I don't know how long I will be in the hospital. I don't know how soon I'll be able to drive.

According to an acquaintance who had the same surgery about six months ago, she had a bad headache the day after surgery but no pain after that. She felt extemely tired for about two weeks, but felt back to normal in about a month. I am hoping for a similar result!

Jonathan is here, and will be here until Saturday. Aunt Beth is driving up today and will be here through Thursday. Then she and Heather are making a quick trip to New Hampshire to run a triathalon on Saturday (or maybe that's a trip to NH to run a quick triathalon)! She'll come here again after that, but I don't know how long she plans to stay next week. Thomas will be flying in this Saturday to attend a friend's wedding on Sunday. He'll be returning to Indiana on Monday. Ladies from church are providing dinners (every other night, in case of left-overs) for two weeks beginning this Wednesday. They have also volunteered to do laundry, shopping, cleaning, etc. All this is to say that I have plenty of help for the remainder of this week and into next week. I'll know better after the surgery what other help I may need.

Jonathan will be staying with the younger children on Wednesday. Pop will call him with periodic updates. So, please log on to my Facebook--I'll have Jon update there, or call Jon's cell phone or the home phone to check on my status.

I really appreciate your concern for me. I am glad to tell you that I am not apprehensive about the surgeryalthough I can feel the tightness of tension in my shoulders. I hope if you begin to feel worried that you will immediately pray--for me, for Pop, for harmony and peace among the children at home, for the doctor, the nurses--(you'll think of something), and trust that the Lord is absolutely in control.

I love you all.