Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Expecting the Unexpected

What can I say? Just 5 weeks along with a long way to go. Keep us in your prayers!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Tonight's funny:

"Look Mommy! I can feed her! Kalleigh likes cheese dip!"


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Special effects

The soft focus effect seen here is carefully created by a 3 1/2 yr old prying open the camera lens cover and rubbing his greasy fingers directly onto the lens. Just because he can.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The one sock left over ...

It used to bother me. I'd fold all of the laundry and then -- what? Where's your match? There is no good reason in the world why your match shouldn't be in here.

But not any more! I've been doing something that I might even call brilliant. It's the perfect use for that sad little left over sock. Knowing its match will probably come through in a week or so, I turn it inside out, stick my hand in, spray it with Pledge and do a quick dusting job around the house!

It's almost exciting to find one left over!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Tag!

Welcome to the Holiday edition of getting to know your friends.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love the idea of wrapping paper, but the practicality of gift bags.

2. Real tree or artificial? Pre-lit, 9-ft, artificial--when buying our home (March '06), one of my main priorities was finding a perfect spot for the tree!

3. When do you put up the tree? Preferably, the day after Thanksgiving, but if we can't for some reason, then I'll get it up as soon as I can after that.

4. When do you take the tree down? Hmmm ... last year, I think it saw the beginning of February

5. Do you like eggnog? never had it

6. What about Fruitcake? never had it either

7. Favorite gift received as a child? My Little Pony Castle

8. Do you have a nativity scene? no

9. Hardest person to buy for? John's siblings

10. Easiest person to buy for? my kids

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? "The Figgies" ;)

12. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail -- I may use Snapfish this year

13. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss up between Elf and Claymation Christmas

14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually mid-December, but I'm proud to say that I already have a couple for this year!

15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? who hasn't?

16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? chocolate roll, apricot fried pies, custard, custard pie, cheese rolls, ChexMix ... no wonder I gain weight over the holidays!

17. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear, hands down.

18. Favorite Christmas song? Maybe Chestnuts, but I heard this song on the Special XMas station last year that was to the tune of Feliz Navidad, but the words were, "Police stopped my car." I'm still cracking up over that one.

19. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? usually travel, though we've had a few at home as well

20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? of course

21. Angel on the tree top or a star? Cross

22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Depends on which tribe: Curtis, Christmas Eve; Kell and Hodges, morning

23. What is the one present you want most this year? brown boots (and I think Mom's getting them for me!!)

24. Most annoying thing about this time of year? This is bad, but the bell ringers who stand right in front of the Wal-Mart doors so that you actually have to walk around them to enter

25. What I love most about Christmas? watching my kids receive as well as learning to give

This was so fun! I just stole it right off of Aunt Britney's blog. I won't tag anyone, but anyone can copy and paste like I did!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We had an amazingly uneventful Thanksgiving Day.

When Mom went back home after our dinner theater (more on that in another post) the weekend before TG, she took Johnathan with her! Then we were going to come up to Searcy on Wednesday to pick him up and to do TG with John's family. Mom was going to drive back home with us TG afternoon to sing with us at the mall the next morning at 7am (more on that in yet another post)!

Well, Kalleigh developed this really yucky cough, so we got her in to see the doctor Wednesday am, the morning we were supposed to leave. The cough was bad enough to warrant a prescription and instructions for lots of rest, and to watch the cough should it turn into anything worse. Since we were afraid that driving round trip to Searcy and back in 36 hours would not exactly be restful, and to try and prevent the symptoms from getting worse and possibly being contagious, we made the decision to stay home and let Mom bring Johnathan home when she came down.

We missed being with family, and most of all Johnathan, but I still think it was the best decision. And we missed out on the big TG meal, since I was not about to run out and buy a turkey to cook for the three of us! We did not miss all of the calories, though. :)

However, we did successfully rest for the first time in a long time! ALL of us rested. On the actual Turkey Day, we stayed in our pajamas all day until it was time to rehearse that evening. John and I made a pumpkin pie together (which is gone by now, of course) and for our "big meal" I pulled out some turkey lunch meat, some slices of provolone cheese and cranked open the can of cranberry sauce that I was supposed to take to Searcy. We drank Dr. Pepper and Fresca and finished off with our really yummy pumpkin pie. Needless to say, we did not get a lot of fabulous TG pictures because I'm sure that's just what you wanted to see--us in our PJs doing nothing. The only thing that I should have taken a picture of was that pie, because since I was making it for no one but us, it turned out beautifully, of course.

I am more thankful for rest this year than any other year. It has slowly but surely climbed its way up the priority ladder a few more rungs.

Oh, and I have a new first cousin-once removed! Congrats Chad, Elizabeth (esp. Liz for doing all the work), Carter and Ashlyn on the birth of Curtis Michael!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Encouraging words

I'm getting tired. Anxiety begins to creep up. Discouragement knocks on my door. And then a breath of fresh air. Renewed strength.

Where did that come from? I ask as I look around ... and then up.

Of course. My help comes from the Lord! The one who made everything!

He's not going to let me trip. His love protects me through the night--he doesn't need sleep. He protects me as well as all of his blessed children.

When judging eyes seem to burn a hole right through my heart, God holds up his hand and deflects those rays (the ultra-violent ones) and keeps me from getting sunburned.

He's going to protect my soul and keep it safe my whole life. He'll be with me everywhere I go.

Now and forever!

Adapted from Psalm 121

Monday, November 05, 2007

Extra belated pumpkin patch pics

A while back, Johnathan's class went to the pumpkin patch, as most preschools do. I had just forgotten to put these on the blog. I put them up on Facebook b/c it's SO much easier, faster, etc. Anyway, here they are!
"Cheese" grin on the hayride.
"Found one! See?"
Kalleigh even got in on the action.
"Hi, Momma!"

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Belated Halloween Pics

It's been a nice week. Not too much on the schedule. There were actually 3 nights this week when we have been home before 9pm! It's been great.

I've been doing a lot of cooking and cleaning ... finally! Yesterday, I made the most amazing pumpkin pie (or at least it smelled that way), but I made it as the dessert to go along with the rest of the meal I fixed for a friend who just had a baby. I confess to you that I did NOT want to give that pie away. Of course, I bought extra ingredients to make another one soon!

Here are just a couple of pics from Halloween/Trunk-or-Treat. I had several more pictures of Kalleigh than Johnathan because I took Kalleigh around while John took Johnathan around, and I had the camera. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another story for those just learning to read ...

(Warning. Rated PG for some suspense.)

I rode my horse today.
His name is Gallant.
I brushed his soft coat of fur.
I brushed his mane and tail.
He is a very handsome horse.
I put his bridle on.
I put his saddle on.
We did a few practice drills.
Gallant moved each of feet right when I told him to!
He behaved so well when I was not riding him!
I tied a rope onto his saddle horn.
Then I asked him to trot around in a circle.
He did one circle.
But then ...
... he ran away and pulled the rope out of my hands.
He ran over to the other horses.
I was angry.
I took a deep breath.
I went over to him and brought him back.
I took the rope off of his saddle horn.
I got on Gallant.
He did a good job walking.
He wanted to run.
I wanted him to walk.
When he tried to run, I made him turn around in circles.
He did not like that.
He jumped around a little bit.
But I stayed on.
He did better at walking after that.
I asked him to trot.
He did trot, but he still wanted to run.
When he tried to run, I made him turn circles again.
Again, he did not like that.
He jumped around a little bit more.
But I stayed on.
He did better at trotting after that.
I asked him to run slowly.
He wanted to run very quickly.
I tried to make him turn around in circles again.
But he did not.
He ran, and Ran, and RAN!
I was pulling on the reins very hard.
He ran under a very low branch.
I ducked, but it hit my head.
He ran under another very low branch.
I ducked again, but it hit my head, too.
He ran straight for the fence!
He is a very fast horse!
I was afraid!
I didn't know what to do!
He was running and jumping.
And then Gallant stopped very quickly.
I fell off right before we got to the fence.
I rolled on the ground two times.
And then my back hit the fence post.
I was angry again.
But I was not hurt badly.
I took Gallant back to the round pen.
I tied him up and let him calm down.
He calmed down for two hours.
While he was calming down, I rode another horse.
His name is Blaze.
Blaze is Gallant's boss.
Blaze and I rode down the road a long way.
Blaze walked when I asked him to walk.
He trotted when I asked him to trot.
He ran when I asked him to run.
But best of all, Blaze slowed down when I asked him to slow down.
I liked riding Blaze a lot.
When we got back, I brushed Blaze.
I told him that he did a very good job.
Then I took his tack off and turned him loose in the pasture.
I untied Gallant and took his tack off, too.
Then I turned him loose in the pasture.
Does anyone want to buy a horse?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quiet waters vs. Living waters

I'm doing the Beth Moore study, "Beloved Disciple," about John. Granted, she can be a bit over the top at times and sometimes she makes a whole lot out of nothing. But she forces me to think and helps me thirst for answers and feel the need to drink in the scriptures for relief.

I got excited today thinking about her comparison of Psalm 23:2 ( ... he leads me beside quiet waters ...) with Revelation 7:17 ( ... he will lead them to springs of living water.). The imagery of the Shepherd is the same; leading his sheep, feeding them, protecting them, supplying their every need.

But I'm fascinated with the kind of water to which we are led: quiet waters vs. living waters. Now, Jesus is the Good Shepherd yesterday, today and forever. Why the different kinds of water? Aren't the sheep afraid of lively waters? The difference, I think, is this: Our Shepherd will only lead us to places we can handle. On this earth, we're going to need some quiet waters from which to drink. But hang on, because Heaven is a whole different story! It is alive! We'll get the good stuff there that we can't handle here!

One of Beth's points was that we tend to think that everyone will look alike and everything will be white, and everything will be completely and utterly monotonous. Why leave a life of excitement to go there? No, I think we're in for the ride of our lives. The way she puts it is that on earth, it's like riding the Teacups. But when we reach Heaven, it will be like going from the Teacups to the Rockin' Roller Coaster!

I'm so thankful that our Good Shepherd gives us exactly what we need, and that his timing is perfect! I can't wait to see with my own eyes what he has in store for us!

P. S. I love that Beth is from Arkansas. Her hilarious accent is impossible to camouflage no matter how hard she tries. It catapults me back to my growing up years in Searcy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Update on ZOE Conference

We have always loved the ZOE Conerence in Nashville, TN. This year was no exception! We heard from Randy Harris, Brian McLaren, Mike Cope and Dean Barham as well as other class presenters. They each did an outstanding job. It was Mom's first time to go, so it was fun to share all of that with her! We (Mom, John and I) stayed with my cousin, Elizabeth. It was so good to see her and her family! Thanks, Elizabeth, for letting us crash! We also met up with Pat and Deborah and their boys as well as Matt, a good friend from high school, for lunch one day.

We drove back to Searcy on Saturday night full to "overflowing," as that was the theme for this year. I think we can make it until next year now!

Here are the pictures I promised from our day at the farm and from Kalleigh's b-day lunch:

Okay, not from the farm or the party, but I had to snap this one of Johnathan and Uncle Kreg in their matching shirts!

Digging into her yummy cake!

Mamaw, the mastermind behind the Tinker Toys creation!

Kalleigh's cake that Mamaw made.

And my personal favorite of all the pictures I took that day!

There are several more pictures on Facebook, but these are the highlights.

While we were at the conference, John's mom kept the kids. I wasn't ready for how much I would miss them! I wasn't worried about how they would do with Momo, or how they would do without us. I just really missed them! Martha said they did just fine, as I expected they would. I am so thankful to her for keeping them! What a blessing!

So, we got home to Tyler Sunday evening. On the way, we had a tire blowout, so that was far from fun. But it couldn't have happened at a better place. We were just on the south side of Little Rock and in the right-hand lane when it happened. It was the back left tire that popped, so since we have front-wheel steering, it didn't throw the van out of control. We were able to exit immediately where there was an empty lot where we put the spare tire on. I called Mom and she looked up the closest Wal-Mart. It just happened to be the next exit. It just happened that the automotive service center was open - on Sunday after 4pm. It just happened that ours was the last job they were taking for the day. It just happened that the tire was actually repairable and we did not have to buy a new tire. Amazing! The whole ordeal set us back about three hours. Thankfully, we weren't rushing back for anything except bedtime! The kids made the most of the pit stop:

The Flat.

The Feast (okay, it was popcorn).

The Fun - Look Out, Little Rock!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So much to say ... so little motivation ... I'll play the tag game instead!

I hadn't seen this one before. It's a Husband Tag! We all like to brag on our husbands, so here goes!

1. Who is your man? John
2. How long have you been together? 9 1/2 yrs
3. How long did you date? 2 1/2 yrs, although 2 yrs of that was long-distance!
4. How old is your man? just turned 33
5. Who eats more? Depends on what we're having. Chicken? John. Donuts? Me.
6. Who said "I love you" first? I did
7. Who is taller? John, by 4 inches
8. Who sings better? Like Harry Connick Jr? John. 40's style lounge singer? Me. Country? We can bring the house down together!
9. Who is smarter? Book smart? John. Common sense? Me.
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine
11. Who does the laundry? I do
12. Who takes out the garbage? John
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? John
14. Who pays the bills? John
15. Who is better with the computer? John
16. Who mows the lawn? Both; we take turns edging and mowing
17. Who cooks dinner? I do
18. Who drives when you are together? I do
19. Who pays when you go out? John
20. Who is most stubborn? Hmmm ... probably I am, but John might say otherwise!
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? John
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine
23. Who kissed who first? I kissed him
24. Who asked who out? He asked me out
25. Who proposed? John
26. Who is more sensitive? John, unless I'm pregnant ... then it's me. And, no I'm not.
27. Who has more friends? I do
28. Who has more siblings? John -- he's the youngest of 6
29. Who wears the pants in the family? We try to share them mostly. It's pretty tricky, but gets a lot of laughs!

I'll tag my cousins and my sister. Brag away!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lectureship & Beyond

First off, thanks to those of you who have been praying for John in his part of Harding Lectureship. He taught three classes on Monday (his birthday!) on worship, and they were full and there was some good meaningful discussion! This evening he co-presents the keynote with Bruce McLarty as they lead everyone in a meaningful praise experience. Keep the prayers coming!

Jan Jones's celebration ceremony was just amazing. It was in the Admin building on Harding's campus, and it was PACKED, upstairs and down. Quite a tribute to her. Thanks to John for handling Kalleigh on his own at church Sunday morning, and to Dad for picking up Johnathan and me early that morning so that we could go.

I so missed being with my Ladies' Bible Class group on Tuesday! Thanks to an excellent back-up leader who filled my role, I knew you were in good hands!

As I eluded to earlier, John's birthday was Monday, and then Kalleigh's was yesterday! The kids and I spent most of the day yesterday out at the farm with Mamaw and Papaw. Papaw is doing just about as well as can be expected. Several of you have asked about him recently. I think the last time I gave an update, he had just had his first round of chemo and felt okay after it. He has now had at least 4 treatments, and from what the doctors can tell, the chemo is doing its job. Papaw can eat whatever he wants now--we didn't know if he would ever be able to be off the tube feeding again! He can get around pretty well now. In fact, yesterday, he saw a dead limb on the tree in front of the porch and was able to go get his saw and saw it right off! That's hard work for anyone! All of the surgery wounds on his abdomen are healed. We are all SO GRATEFUL.

Also while we were there, Mamaw made Kalleigh's first birthday cake! It was beautiful, of course, and I did take a picture of it, but you'll have to wait until I get home to post pictures from our trip, for I have forgotten my camera cord.

We've eated with Kreg and Keleigh a couple of times. Today for lunch, we met John's mother, Martha, and brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Laura, their son, Jake, and Kreg and Keleigh to celebrate Kalleigh's and John's birthdays. Later we'll meet up with Mom and maybe Mamaw and Papaw at Mazzio's.

Mom's been in Chicago on a recruiting trip this whole time we've been here, so I'm looking forward to seeing her in about an hour and a half!

Then tomorrow we head to the ZOE Conference in Nashville! I can't wait! The kids are staying with Martha--thank you so much!--and Mom's going with us. This will be Mom's first time to go to the ZC, and I just know she's going to love it! Plus we're staying with my cousin, Elizabeth, so that will be fun, too.

I'm sure I'll have a full report from tonight and after the ZC. So, until then, I miss you, friends, at home and look forward to being with you again!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Hard Day

When you lose someone, you start reflecting on your own life and your relationships. I've been doing a lot of reflecting today.

John's aunt, Martha's sister, died this morning. She was older and it was not unexpected. But it has caused me to think of my own sister and how much I love and appreciate her, even in all of our many differences! I can't imagine losing Kristi, and so I feel for my mother-in-law. To make it more difficult for her, she is the Harding Lectureship Coordinator ... and Lectureship begins Sunday. Please pray for her and the decisions she will be making over the next couple of days.

Jan Jones also went on to be with our Maker early this morning. My heart breaks for Craig, Rees and Elaine. Jan fought a six month battle with pancreatic cancer before it was finished. One of my great joys is playing the piano at home to relax and relieve stress. I wouldn't be able to play at all if it weren't for the three years I spent as Jan's student! Then, she accompanied me for a couple of different auditions, and was always so complimentary and encouraging! And we had fun "cutting up" during Spring Sing rehearsals as she worked with the hosts and hostesses. It's so hard to believe that she's gone. I can only imagine the applause of heaven as Jan finished her grand concert before God!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Kalleigh and Abigail were born two weeks apart. Abigail's mommy and I shared the joys and pains of carrying our little girls and grew to be close friends through it! I am thankful to have such good Christian friends as these!

Plus it's just really fun to watch the girls play together ...

Abigail is so much taller than Kalleigh (big surprise)!

Soft hands ...

Sharing a book.

Best buddies!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We have a walker

She's definitely walking. Kalleigh has been standing up from the ground on her own (not just pulling up) since 9 months. She has been taking a few steps at a time for maybe a month now. But it's finally starting to click that this could be a more efficient mode of transportation. She is realizing that she can carry things around in her hands (rather than her mouth!) when she walks. And she's doing it more and more without encouragement.

This is early for us. Johnathan didn't walk until 14 months, and it was even after that that he learned to stand up from the ground on his own.

I think she's definitely trying to keep up with Johnathan!

I don't have video proof of the walking yet, but here's a picture of Kalleigh on the day she learned to stand (about 2 months ago):

Did you see that, Mommy?

She is up to 6 teeth; all four in the front and the ones just to her left on the top and bottom. She's a little lop-sided right now!

Tomorrow I'm watching our friend's little girl who is two weeks younger than Kalleigh. I should have some good pictures from that play day!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Story for those just beginning to read ...

That's about where I am mentally today!

I rode my horse today.
His name is Gallant.
I put his saddle on.
I put his bridle on.
I took him into the round pen.
Gallant worked on obeying me.
He kicked high in the air when I was not on him.
He was like a bucking bronco!
Then he calmed down.
I was a little afraid to ride him after that.
But I did.
We walked by the side of the road.
Gallant was afraid to go across the bridge.
I got off and led him across the bridge.
I got back on him.
He was afraid of the cars.
He was afraid of the cows.
He was afraid of many things.
I was afraid, a little.
But he never kicked high in the air when I was on him.
Gallant wanted to trot.
I wanted him to walk.
We walked ... most of the time.
We rode back to the barn.
We were both safe.
I love my horse.
I think he loves me, too.

The end.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Tagging Game

I've been's the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Facts About Me

1. I once got sun poinsoning so badly that it made my forehead swell up like a Klingon.

2. I am a huge procrastinator.

3. I have had two surgeries on my left upper eyelid to raise it to the same level as my right upper eyelid. It helped, but they're still not the same.

4. I have always had a problem with popping pimples. I could spend a long time searching every millimeter of my face for anything remotely possible to extract and then work incredibly hard to extract said thing.

5. I am ambitious and independent, but no good at follow-through ... until the last minute, of course.

6. I don't like my knees to be touched.

7. In high school I pierced the second hole in my left ear by myself. The ear lobe on the right has never had a second hole.

8. I love the smell of horses. Even their poop smells good to me.

Okay, that's it! I'll tag Amanda, Kisti, Kristi and Britney. I know that's only four. I'll think about the other four later. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sometimes there are just more photo opportunities

Suddenly, it seems, my children are doing more interesting things of which to take pictures. Here are a few and the stories that go with them.

Kalleigh loves to look at her baby book. Aren't children good for our egos?! We usually look at them together, and we'll point at her pictures and say, "Kalleigh," as well as whomever else is in them. One morning, I was in the kitchen and heard my little girl say what sounded like, "Kie," in that same down and then up voice inflection as when we say, "Kalleigh." She said it over and over, and knowing her baby book was not where she could reach it, I went to see what she was talking (literally) about. She had found a box containing baby gear that had a picture of a baby on the outside. She was pointing at the baby and saying, "Kie!" Makes sense. Every other picture of a baby is of her, right?!

This morning, before school, we got out Johnathan's baby book. Kalleigh pointed at a baby Johnathan picture and said, of course, "Kie." Johnathan was quick to correct her. :)

My boy can sleep anywhere. This picture was taken at 6:45 last night. We had just gotten home after being out all day, and he had missed his nap. After I took the picture, I proceeded to remove all of his clothes and put a Pull-Up on him. He did not wake up until 7:15 this morning. Bless his heart!

And you thought he fell asleep saying his prayers ...

As I alluded to this morning, this was Johnathan's first day of school. He's in Ms. Melissa's class every MW&F morning. But somehow in the last year, he went from being a baby to being a little boy! (Seems like I posted a first and last day in May, so you're seeing this 2-yr-old picture for the third time.) Check out that tan!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pictures please

Here are the only pictures I have taken in the month of August. We seem to have been so busy doing so little! Plus I never seem to have my camera when we need it. Like Kalleigh's first trip to the zoo. Or second. Or third. Oops. Johnathan jumping off the diving board for the first time(s). Rats.

So, like I said, these are the pictures I have taken. Hooray!

Johnathan's most commonly used phrase at this stage is "all by myself," and I've been trying to encourage him in that when it's appropriate. So here's what he picked out to wear to dinner a couple of nights ago. And he put it on "all by himself!"

The "back" view.

This is Johnathan's swim suit. He LOVES it.

Showing off "his" muscles.

Kalleigh's little swim outfit.

The front view. The tongue is always out these days feeling the new teeth coming in on top. She has her bottom front two and the top left and the one to its left all mostly in. The other top front one is just about to break through.

She's taking up to four steps now! But I had to snap this one for the tan lines she's developed this summer. I use 50 spf!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fruity flop

Not entirely a flop; just not what I had planned.

I buy fruit to have something healthy to eat. My kids love all kinds of fruit, so it's not like I have to struggle with picky eaters.

So, I bought all this fruit about a week ago: grapes, peaches, clementine oranges, strawberries. We did well and ate all the grapes and clementines before they went bad. But then there were the strawberries and peaches. I just kept fogetting to get them out.

So what do you do when you have a lot of fruit that needs to be used all at once? You make desserts! A strawberry pie and a peach cobbler later, I look back at my good, healthy intentions and chuckle a little.

I'll do better next time. :)

Boy, they were good!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One of those mornings ...

This morning was just one of those mornings. Crazy things that usually happen very rarely all happened at once.

First, I had gained 2 pounds. Nice.

Then, as I was getting a glass out of the counter, I bumped it on another glass and chipped that one. The glass shot out and landed in my hair and went down the front of my shirt. Thankfully, John was there to keep the children out, so there were no cut feet.

Yesterday I had made some really yummy mango bread -- recipe from Kristi--so I wanted to toast a few slices for breakfast. While the yummy bread was in the oven, Kalleigh started throwing a fit, so I tried several different things to calm her down. And then I smelled that horrible burning smell. Totally black. Ruined. I resorted to putting the next piece in the microwave.

I needed to feel better, so I put on some fun clothes with my favorite black beaded necklace and went to get Kalleigh dressed. As I sat Kalleigh down to put her outfit on, she grabbed my favorite black beaded necklace and ripped it right off. Of course it broke in the back, allowing all of the beads to roll down the back of my shirt, down inside my jeans and some even made it all the way into the underwear. Nice. The beads that didn't get caught in the underwear were all over the carpet, and Kalleigh started going after those. "JOHN!!!" Thankfully, he was still home and came running to get Kalleigh as I tracked beads across the house to take off the string that was once my necklace and to get the vacuum.

Ugh! And what time of the month is it? I bet you can guess. :)

"We'll all look back on this and laugh," right? Let's hope so! It was close to comical even this morning.

Monday, August 06, 2007

7 Years

To the man of my dreams,

I thank God for you ... for your patience with me ... for your leadership in our church family and in our own family ... for the way you dream big ... for your tenderness with our children ... for your example to them and to me ... for your faithfulness. Thank you for loving me! I love you, John!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One year

Blogging for one full year. Crazy. Honestly, I didn't think I'd make it this long! It's been such a fun way to keep in touch with so many of you. Thank you, readers, for your sweet comments along the way.


John's and my newest obsession is with this group:

We want to be just like them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Talkin' to God

We were about to say our prayers as I was putting to Johnathan to bed last night. Now, we've been having an interesting issue recently with Johnathan not wanting to "talk to God." He'd say, "I don't want to talk," or "Not tonight, Mommy." What am I supposed to do with that? This is not another chore like putting toys away. It's an honor to be able to talk to God! Johnathan doesn't seem to understand that right now.

Anyway, he says, "You say the prayer, Mommy." I said, "Okay, how 'bout I say one and then you say one." Okay, he agreed to that. So I said a little prayer and something about "thank you for the blessings you give us like our family, our friends," etc. And I finish up, "... Amen. Okay, your turn." So he starts, and the rest of the dialogue goes something like this:

J: "Dear God ........ and Mommy and Daddy an-"

K: "Don't forget the 'thank you' part."

J: "Fanku for Mommy and Daddy ... and the blessings"


J: "I don't want to say 'the blessings.'"

K: "That's okay; you can say your own words."

J: "Fanku for Gallant?"

K: "Yeah! You can thank God for Gallant!" (our horse)

J: "And what else?"

K: "Oh, I know! You can ask God to help Papaw Curtis feel better!"

J, looking up for the first time: "Hey, God? Can you make Papaw Curtis feel better?"

Long pause as Johnathan looks around the room with his eyes, while I force my shoulders to stop their laugh-induced shaking!

Then he looks at me and shrugs his shoulders, confused. And then we had the talk about how God answers prayers.

Whew! Another mommy/son conversation where I feel like I should know all the answers and leave feeling like I know absolutely nothing!

I love my little boy!

PS Papaw did not end up being able to go home last Friday, due to complications with his surgery incision. However, the doctor intends to do another chemo treatment today and shoot for going home tomorrow or the next day. We're very hopeful! Day 32 ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

You're gonna love this

First, I talked to Mamaw this morning who said that the doctors want to send Papaw home tomorrow! She said this is day 28 in the hospital for them! I couldn't believe it had been that long. And 2 BM's this morning! (I think we're all pretty open about it now!) I've never been so excited about poop in my life! It looks like the chemo did in fact shrink the cancer enough to relieve some of the pressure on his intestines. Praise God!!

Second. I just had to post some of the pictures that Keleigh (Kreg's girlfriend) took of the kids and me while we were in AR. She not only took them, but then edited them all and put them on a cd for me for my birthday! Thanks, again, Keleigh! You're amazing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A good day

According to Mom, Papaw had a pretty good day yesterday. He doesn't seem to be having too many side effects from the chemo, other than a headache the next day. We are so thankful for that! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouraging words I continue to hear every day!

We're having an incredibly laid back week, which is SO nice! This week consists of play dates, singing rehearsal, swimming with friends, a scrapbooking crop, a birthday facial and sipping coffee slowly. Now, I have to admit that I have yet to unpack from our trip, but really, who does that surprise? Not me.

Now, I have to go get my pictures ready for my crop!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chemo begins

Papaw received his first chemo treatment last night. Several of us went to the hospital to be with him. I was amazed at how "chipper" he was! He had told me that he was really dreading the chemo, but I think there is a part of him that is eager to see if this is going to work. So while we were there he was cracking jokes right and left and just really seemed to be in good spirits! He had been so down the past few days, so it was so good to see him so "up."

I stayed with him a couple of nights ago, and thankfully he had a very uneventful, very restful evening and felt rested the next morning. Yea! We keep looking for anything to celebrate!

Kreg and Keleigh are taking the kids and I home this afternoon. They'll get to spend the night in Tyler, go to church with us in the morning, and then they'll head back to Searcy.

It's been such a good week, and I'm so glad to have been able to be here! Thanks to everyone who helped make that possible for me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Papaw Update

I'm still in AR, and so glad to be here. The kids and I are really missing John, though!

The latest is that Papaw isn't able to keep anything down anymore. They took him off the tubal feeding (TPN) completely yesterday, but after having thrown up twice since then, the dietitian has recommended that he go back on the TPN as soon as possible. He's just not getting the nutrients that he needs when he can't metabolize his food. Of course, he feels better after he throws up, so again, we look for the positive. The doctors were really hoping to send him home without the TPN, since it's such a hassle, but it looks like he'll need to hang on to it awhile longer.

Speaking of sending home, they're still saying possibly Friday, but we're not holding our breath. Another good thing is that they are talking now about "upping" his first chemo date. No dates have been thrown around yet, but I really thing moving it up is a very good idea. The tumors are what are causing the pressure in the intestines which causes his food to back up. If the chemo can reduce the size of the tumors in that area, perhaps he will be able to finally get off the TPN and eat normally.

I am planning on spending the night at the hospital maybe tomorrow night. Like Elizabeth said on her blog, I think just being there with Papaw will be good for me! There are probably more benefits for me than there are for Papaw!

Johnathan and Kalleigh have had up and down days on this trip, but have been mostly good. Yesterday afternoon while we were with Papaw, Johnathan said to Papaw, "I'm sad that you're not feeling good. I'm sorry, Papaw, that you're not feeling good. I wish you could get better, and then we can play!" We were there this morning, too, and we were discussing lunch plans. Johnathan said, "You want to go eat lunch, too, Papaw?" Papaw said, "I'm probably going to need to stay here for awhile. You'll have to eat my catfish for me!"

And I love to watch Papaw and Kalleigh interact. Her face lights up when she sees him and she waves with enthusiasm!

Johnathan hangs on Mamaw's words as she describes a bird from a National Geographic magazine!

We're looking forward to seeing Pat and Deborah tomorrow! I'll keep you posted ...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Amazing people

Some people are just amazing.

I said in my last post that I was looking forward to going to Bible class that night. In class I mentioned Papaw and the struggles we're all going through and just said that I wished I could be there in AR to be with him and the rest of the family. So Thursday, one of my friends from class called and said that I had just really been on her heart. She knew I wanted to be in AR, and she wondered if she could do anything to help make that happen. Then she just asks, "Can I take you there?"

I was floored. I said, "You would drive me to AR?" "Well, yeah!" So I made a few phone calls and we agreed to leave the next morning and meet Kreg in Texarkana.

Not only did Lori drive to Texarkana and back with nothing but a lunch stop, but she also had her three boys, 6 and under, in the car with her! I should also give due credit to Kreg for agreeing to make the drive as well. Thanks to Lori and Kreg for making it possible for the kids and me to come back up for this next week!

We arrived in Searcy and went straight to the hospital where Papaw was eating supper. He's on a strict liquid diet, but what he's eating does seem to be passing through--a definite improvement over the last couple of weeks. Aunt Donna was there when we got there and a little while later, Deborah and her boys came in as well as Chad and Elizabeth and their kids. It was a full room and probably a little overwhelming with six kids, 6 and under, but it was so good to see everyone!

Caleb, Kalleigh, Johnathan, Carter, Ashlyn, Joshua

The latest update is that we have a plan now for the chemo. Tomorrow, Papaw is going to have a CT scan to check his lungs for any cancer spots. Then two weeks from tomorrow will be his first chemo treatment. It seems that the oncologist and the surgeon are not quite in full agreement on how soon they should start, so the two week mark seemed to be a compromise. At least we have a plan.

This morning we had church in Papaw's room, led by Uncle Randy. We focused on the different characteristics of God and had a chain prayer with each of us thanking God for specific characteristics that meant a lot to us right now. It was very moving, and I did okay until it got to Papaw. There's just something about hearing Papaw pray ... he is such a soldier and is and always has been faithful to God. What an example! What a hero! I let the tears of love and appreciation run down my cheeks.

Here are a few pictures from this morning. I'm sure I'll have more through the rest of the week!

I had flashbacks of Papaw teaching me shaped notes!

I think Mamaw got in some good snuggle time!

We miss John SO MUCH, but it's also so good to be here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So how do I handle personal stress?

My mind has been consumed with Papaw. This morning he had a setback. He tried to sit up, and when he did, the bottom of his surgery incision broke and fecal matter came out. We don't know what caused it--whether the surgeon nicked it while he was in there, or if the cancer is eating through already. Needless to say, Papaw is miserable and now has this new infection. He'll be having a CT scan this afternoon, and I'm anxious to hear the results.

So I have cooked and cleaned like a maniac this week. We had a pork roast with rolls and all the "fixin's," including brownies with Reece's baking pieces in them Monday night. Tuesday night we had company to eat the shish-ka-bobs I suddenly needed to make. Then we stayed up with them until 11pm playing Settlers! Today I have rearranged our living room including dusting and redoing the entire bookshelf. It's like I can't sit still.

To add to it, Kalleigh has a fever today. A little over 101. No rash, and really no other symptoms other than a very slight runny nose--all clear. Mom thinks it's her ears. She said it sounded exactly like what I would get when I had ear issues. I'm wondering if the pacifier at night adds extra pressure on her ears making her more susceptible to ear infections. Anyone know?

I'm really looking forward to church tonight. I'm in a class specifically for mothers of toddlers, and it's WONDERFUL. It's a classic example of the older women mentoring the younger women. But my emotions are on edge, so I'm going to have to be careful tonight, or I'll lose it! I had missed the past two classes since I was in AR and then on the 4th we had our church party. Everyone will probably be eager to get back in class.

The cookbook is open to a lemon meringue pie that I'd like to try, so that should keep me busy the rest of the afternoon while my children sleep. :)

Thanks to those of you who drop by. It's nice to feel connected to so many of you even when we can't spend as much time together as we'd like!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A visit with Papaw C.

I talked to Papaw this morning. It was hard for me because I had no idea what to say. Here's the latest.

Papaw had a CT scan on Thursday, June 28, while I was still there because his food had been backing up again and he was in pain. The doctors found that there was some blockage in his intestines, but didn't know what it was. I asked Papaw then if he had been chewing on any Fisher Price toys lately, since that was Bison's issue a while back. :) They even ran a Barium series on Papaw just like they did on Bison to find out exactly where the blockage was! Papaw grinned and said, "Well, I guess we all work about the same way!"

They did surgery on July 5th to see what was going on. We were hoping it was scar tissue from the last surgery, which had given him problems at that time. But no. Papaw's cancer has come back. The doctors removed what they could, but they could not get it all. Apparently, it's a thin film that is in and around his intestines that would be impossible to remove. I talked to Mom a little this morning, too, who was telling me about when Papaw woke up from the surgery. The doctor said that they didn't have to tell Papaw if they didn't want to, and that they could just "play dumb" until the surgeon got there. Yeah, right. Like Mom and Mamaw were just going to lie when Papaw asked what they found. Which, of course, was his first question when he woke up. So Mamaw told him, and in typical Papaw fashion, he said, "Well, John Brown."

When I talked to him this morning, he said he was in a lot of pain from the surgery. They made the incision at the same place as the last one was. Plus, Mom said that whenever they do surgery on the intestines, there is a lot of gas that has to make its way through afterwards, so that's painful, too. Then a quick, "I love you," and we hung up.

The next step is to get Papaw strong enough so that he can have some kind of chemo. We don't yet know what kind he will have. The worst thing is that the doctors are using words like "incurable" and "inoperable," so this is what will take him; we just don't know when. The doctors haven't given us any idea of how long. The chemo is supposed to reduce the tumors so that his bowels won't be obstructed and he can live "normally."

Thanks to Tara who took my call this morning! Mamaw had stepped outside to stretch her legs and get some coffee. Tara said that Uncle Randy had stayed the night at the hospital last night. Papaw is getting so many visitors from church friends and other family, which is so nice and also so good for Mamaw! I get to go back in a couple of weeks for one of my best friend's (Adrienne's) wedding, so I hope to spend a lot of time with Mamaw and Papaw, too.

Thanks so much for your prayers. We're all trying to be strong and dwell on the good things.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

50 I Have's

I have an incredible husband who is my best friend.
I have two wonderful, sweet children.
I have been to 41 of the 50 United States.
I have traveled to 10 countries other than the United States.
I have made concrete and dug latrine holes in Honduras.
I have always loved animals.
I have raised a litter of rabbits for the humane society.
I have taught a bunny cuddling class.
I have a passion for working with teenage girls.
I have a back porch swing that I sit on nearly every day.
I have been really scrapbooking for three years.
I have worked as a museum tour guide.
I have coached high school basketball and cheerleading ... at the same time.
I have been told I look up to 5 years older or 10 years younger than I am.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for a little over a year.
I have been a mother for three years.
I have given birth twice.
I have had one epidural.
I have delivered a child with out any medication or doctor.
I have a love for baking.
I have a deep appreciation for setting a pretty table.
I have rafted the Arkansas river in Colorado.
I have been horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains.
I have been bucked off a horse twice.
I have eaten squirrel and I love it.
I have lived in Tyler, TX for 16 months.
I have been stopped three times by a policeman.
I have never gotten a ticket.
I have had only one written warning.
I have performed in front of 15,000 people in one weekend.
I have begged for feminine products in a public bathroom at Universal Studios.
I have been a Christian for 18 years.
I have a sister who lives in Pennsylvania and a brother still in college.
I have cousin on Broadway.
I have a quick temper.
I have never cursed, but wanted to from time to time.
I have never tried or wanted to try a cigarette.
I have tasted wine in the communion cup of a Ukrainian church, and I hated it.
I have a great-nephew.
I have never liked snakes.
I have never liked Prince.
I have always tested right in the middle of extroverted and introverted.
I have had meningitis.
I have a phone phobia.
I have a mole on the top of my right ear that makes me look like an elf.
I have sung at an Italian restaurant by the bar with a band.
I have two high school track records that have stood for 10 years.
I have always been about "15 degrees off cool."
I have smelled cigarette smoke one lane over and two cars away.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bath pics

Here are some bath pics of the kids I've been meaning to get up for awhile.

"This is the way we wash our necks!"

Anything Johnathan does is so funny!

Suckin' on a frog ...

All clean!

The living room project

For the past week and a half, the kids and I have been at Mom's helping her redo her living room. It was a big project that included stripping wall paper, ripping up carpet and trying our hand at covering panelling with Venetian plaster, but I think it turned out great! I didn't get very good before pics, but most of you know what her living room looked like if you had been in her house any time in the last 17 years. :) Here are a few before and afters:

This starts on the left wall as you walk in the living room, and I'll work around clockwise.

Johnathan LOVED painting.

We had a lot to do ... and we were a little overwhelmed!

We filled that collage with recent black and white family photos!

We painted all the trim and doors white, and it really brighted things up!

We cleaned and rearranged all the shelves.

Look! New curtains! New carpet! Recovered chairs!

One more view.

We had a really fun time putting it all together!