Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Phantom’s Mask


I think it’s safe to say that no one loves this movie more than me!!  It doesn’t hurt that under that mask, he looks like this either…

Gerard Butler

… oh, my he’s pretty.

When “The Phantom of the Opera” came out at the theater, a friend and I (not Jodi, because I wanted someone to watch the movie with, not sit next to while they nap) went without a lot of anticipation.  Because I don’t get out much, I didn’t know anything about “The Phantom of the Opera”.  So, I wasn’t too thrilled when I realized it was a musical (even though I love musicals), but after about 15 minutes I forgot they were even singing.  I went back the next day and took two of my sisters and my mom.  I went back the next day with another friend.  I ended up seeing it in the theater 7 times in, I think, 9 days. I also had a “viewing party” at my house when it came out on DVD. Yep.

I haven’t seen it in a while, but tonight when Courtney was here checking on Tyler, we all watched it.  Good times.

At one point when I made a comment about how much I love the Phantom, Tyler says, “Do you remember when Kale came out with that toilet paper mask on?”  I got so tickled remembering it!  Kale, my serious child, making fun of my obsession of all things Phantom, when he was still living at home, came out from his room one night with toilet paper carefully torn in the shape of the Phantom’s mask and double-sided taped to his face and a towel worn as a cape around his shoulders.  It was SO funny.  (I only wish I had a picture.)  It reminds me of the time he came out and surprised me with his "mock Mom for all the first day of school photos she made me take" outfit.

Kale making fun of FDofS shots (2) Kale making fun of FDofS shots (1)

Have I mentioned how much joy my boys bring me???

So glad you’re about to get a summer break, Kale.  And I’m ever so proud of your hard work and STILL bringing home those good “report cards” after all these years!  One semester left.  God’s got big plans for you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Poor Tyler.  He woke up this morning and his eyes were so swollen they were little slits.  It looked just like someone had beat the soup out of him.  His neck was covered in a rash and his arms and part of his torso were covered as well.  We both thought it was poison ivy, since Tyler can just be in the vicinity of poison ivy and get it. 

Mono rash

(It looks something like this.  I stole this from the internet.  I didn’t sneak a photo of your neck, Tyler.)

I wanted to get an actual picture of him today, instead of another internet photo, but he didn’t want everyone to see him all swelled up.  He’s taken a lot of ribbing over the years with all the times he’s had poison ivy in his eyes, on his neck and face, etc.  I tried to convince him that all my bloggy friends wanted to see, but I still got the thumbs down.  Sorry to let y’all down.

He was supposed to go back to the doctor for a follow-up visit for his mono tomorrow, so I called the nurses' desk and asked if we could move it up so he could get a cortisone shot today.  She was great – and fit him in this morning.

As soon as the doctor saw him, he told him it wasn’t poison ivy, but possibly some kind of mutation or complication from the mono – or even strep throat (maybe he did actually have both??).  Four vials of blood later, we’re waiting to hear what exactly is going on with him.  It may take a day or two before we get the results, but the doctor wants him off work again for a couple days.

This morning, he said he felt alright except for the itch, but since he got home, he’s slept most of the day away.  I just checked in on him and he feels feverish and he’s all sweaty.

He had just really started feeling better, so he may have pushed it too much and be having a relapse.  Poor Fester, this has been going on since the beginning of March.

On top of all that, on the way to work this morning a guy on a tractor with a mower arm was trimming the brush and small trees on the side of the road.  It left branches all over the roadway and I had to try and maneuver my little car through without scratching it up too much.

When I left to take Tyler to the doctor, my tire felt low and I noticed the tire pressure light was on… so I got out and checked it and, sure enough, my rear tire was low.  Of course, I called Dave and at lunch (while I was at the doctor) he checked it for me. 

His verdict?  “You’ve gotten in a ditch somewhere.  The side of your tire’s been punctured.”

Umm, wouldn’t I have had a clue that I’d gotten off in a ditch somewhere??

I told him about all the tree branches in the road and all I can assume is that it was one of those branches.

Or someone came to the church parking lot in broad daylight and slashed my tire.  

A hundred ten dollars and a new tire later… all is well.

On another note…

“24” viewers:  There might’ve been some discussion at work this morning that my beloved Aaron Pierce is possible one of the bad guys.  I REFUSE to believe Aaron could ever be anything but completely loyal… but then again, I haven’t slept a wink since the deal with Tony last week. 

  • Who thinks Aaron could be bad??
  • Do any of you have trouble realizing that Jack Bauer and Chloe and Aaron and Tony are, in fact, make believe?

I cried again at “The Biggest Loser” tonight.  I can’t get over the change in those people.  And the amount of work they put in each day is staggering. For me, Tara is the most inspiring.  She is one hard-working, tough girl! Gotta give her props for that.

And how ‘bout American Idol tonight?  Man, the competition is tough this year!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Look Who’s Turning 22!

I’ve only known her (almost) three years, but yet, she feels like my daughter.

We have a mad addiction to purses and TJ Maxx.

She loves my son enormously!!!

She has a huge, giving heart.

She giggles at some things that can only be explained by her love for Kale.

We love spending time together.

Can a momma ask for anything more for her son??

Happy Birthday to you, sweet Kayla!!

009 We love you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun at the Dentist


Yesterday I had a morning dental appointment for the final stage of my recent crown. Fun times. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, I got FOUR shots – one in each quadrant of my mouth. It was not a pleasant visit.

One of the fillings I got was a 2nd or 3rd attempt by the dentist. I didn’t have to pay for it in a monetary sense, but believe me, I paid for it in the dentist chair. The tooth has been bothering me ever since. When I eat something crunchy, it hits some sort of nerve and sends me to the moon.

So, it occurred to me that I should probably tell him about it at my visit. (After I weighed it on the scale of … tell him and risk hearing, “we need to do a root canal and crown” or don’t tell him and have this wonderful nerve sensation every time I try to eat a blessed Triscuit.) The good news is he thinks it’s “root sensitivity” and a little Sensodyne should do the trick. (fingers crossed)

YEARS ago, before we even had kids, Jodi and White Cloud had us over for spaghetti one night. It really was good, but while I was chewing, I felt something that was much too firm for pasta. It was my back molar… and the result was my first crown. I always teased Jodi that it was her cooking.

Well, a couple weeks ago she texted me that she had broke a molar eating Red Hots. Turns out, it was the exact same tooth that I broke on the spaghetti. Can you say, karma?.

We support the same dentist… and upon her visit he told her she, of course, needed a crown, because as we like to say, “the dentist needs an office addition.”

She got her final crown yesterday too. Her appointment was an hour before mine. (We’ve been praying that the dentist didn’t get our permanent crowns mixed up - being the same tooth and all.)

We’ve got a little thing we do now that we’ve both got unlimited texting… we do play-by-play for each other at our appointments. It’s hilarious!

The girl needs to be on Twitter. Seriously. She cracks me up. If she doesn’t soon, I’ll be forced to publish some of her work here on my blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Youngest

Tyler 042289 

Just three weeks ago, Kale had his 22nd birthday, today is Tyler’s 20th!  My boys are not only no longer children, they’re no longer teenagers, either. Over the years, so many people told me how fast time would go, and I always nodded my head in agreement, but it’s so true.  Just yesterday, I was birthing babies and today they’re leaving me with an “Empty Nest”.

When I “knew” I was pregnant with Kale, from that moment on, I also “knew” he was a boy.  When I found out we were expecting a second, I had convinced myself he was a little girl.  The whole time I was pregnant, I thought of him only as a little girl.  I didn’t even pick boy names.

Pregnant with Tyler 2 Woo wee!Pregnant with Tyler

So, you can imagine my surprise when the doctor announced in the delivery room I’d had another boy.  After telling him to “look again”, I actually suggested he “put him back”! I can’t even believe I did that.  I was pretty sore at Tyler for depriving me of my little girl and being a boy.  Sad, I know.

The nurse came to my room a couple hours later for his first feeding.  At first, I thought it was someone to take my vitals or draw blood or something, so I just laid real still hoping they wouldn’t bother me.  When she saw me “sleeping”, she turned to go and I saw faintly that it was "my baby”.  I asked quietly, “Is that my baby?”  She turned back and said it was and that he was wanting to eat.  I remember saying, “ok, I’ll take him.”  I was wrestling with my own feelings of disappointment, but when she handed him to me and his little eyes met mine, we made a connection at that moment that I’ll never forget. From about 2:00 until 6:00 that morning, I held him and talked to him and “we decided” on a name for him.  It’s my most precious memory of him.  I’ve been in love with that boy ever since.

Tyler's first checkup 1989

Tyler’s first doctor’s visit (looks like Kale was trying to get out the door.)

Tyler 2 1989


Tyler has been THE most fun child I could’ve ever dreamed of.  Since the moment he was born he’s brought us so much joy.

Tyler in my tennies

Tyler on 4-wheeler 2 Tyler on 4-wheeler

He’s a social child.  He loves people.  He loves action.  He loves fun!  Always has.

David and Tyler

Tyler and Dave at the Ranger picnic - 1991 (What were those fuzzy round things called that people used to stick on everything?  Well, that's what he stuck to his forehead.)

The boys in their big rigs

Notice Kale's serious pose and Tyler's goofy pose – 1991

Tyler as Garth 1992

Tyler’s new love (besides Courtney) is his guitar. Both boys showed an interest in their preferred musical instrument early on.

Sweet Tyler

Tyler being still 

Tyler would go and go and go until, once he got still, he'd just fall asleep.  But, the side most people never saw of him was this one... where he would lay and color or do puzzles for sometimes hours.  He'd be so quiet, I'd get nervous wondering what he was up to.

When the boys were about 4 (Kale) and 2 (Tyler), I got them flat-top hair cuts.

Flat tops

Shortly after getting their flat tops, we went to Jodi’s and Dave carried in Tyler who was wearing a black winter snowmobile suit.  When Gary (Jodi's husband, aka “White Cloud” – nicknames are big here) saw him, he said, "There's Uncle Fester!"  Tyler didn't know who Uncle Fester was at the time, and he really didn’t like the new name, even so… White Cloud kept calling him "Fester".

Finally, around middle school, he accepted the nickname. Tyler has had several nicknames in the past 20 years; "Monkey", "Mookie", "T-Willy", "Mr. T", to name a few.  But after all this time, he’s still lovingly called "Fester".

Today, Fester is still full of adventure.  He’s fun-loving, with a tender heart. He’s never met a stranger.  We’ve never had a dull moment. He’s given us a roller-coast ride through parenting, but we’re excited to see what God is going to do through him.  I’m SO grateful that God gave me TWO sons… and I’m so blessed to be their momma!

Happy 20th birthday, Fester!

As Kale used to say, we love you “bigger than the sky is blue”!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Recap

I haven’t had much time (or material, for that matter) to blog these days and this week, I’ll be training four out of five evenings, so it’ll be a busy one again.  I just decided to sit down and type what I would write if I kept an actual journal (you know, the kind on paper, with a pen).

David stayed home from church today because he’s sick (although, some people figured he was out turkey hunting).  He’s got fever tonight.  His throat doesn’t hurt, so I’m not really suspecting mono.

Tyler and I went to church and out to eat at our favorite Mexican place.

Time alone with my boy… makes me smile.  Actually, all things Tyler makes me smile these days.

We stopped off at the Dollar store… he wanted to get a little candy to take to Courtney at work (she works at one of our local movie theaters).  They are so cute.

I spent the afternoon paying bills and looking over our budget… and a few minutes checking in with Kale who only has a couple weeks left in this, his next-to-last semester of school.  He’s a busy boy these days between school and work.

Yesterday, I went through my closet for a second purging… I’m getting ready for a yard sale, so I dipped in again… and got another trash bag full for the sale.  I also cleaned out all my bathroom cabinets.  I can’t believe how much stuff collects over time.  I am a hair product junkie, so there were several full bottles of things I’ve bought and decided against for this mop of hair… more yard sale goodies.

The Fly Lady has been helping me stay much more organized, which results in an amazing calm (thanks, Nikki).  I don’t have the whole system down yet, but my mornings include my quiet time, emptying out the dishwasher and loading any breakfast dishes, one load of laundry, making beds and doing a quick once over in the bathroom.  I’ve also been trying to tackle an area of clutter each day.  Little by little, I’m feeling more in control of my schedule and the things around me.

I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s episode of “24”… and it looks like my DVR failed to get “The Amazing Race” for me again this week… what’s the deal?  BUT, there is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on that I am closing this post to tune in to.

Hope y’all had a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My World of Reality TV

Ok, I didn’t get to watch The Amazing Race (at least not all of it) this week, but between last night and Monday night… this might quite possibly be THE best week of reality TV.

“24” was AMAZING and shocking and please, NO, NOT TONY ALMEIDA!!

I cried my eyes out watching The Biggest Loser.  The makeover show is always touching, but Mike’s little brother just made me SOB.  Sob, I say.  And poor Laura.

American Idol was, I think, about the best as performances across the board goes in a LONG time.  Kris was AWESOME! He’s my front-runner.  And, I’m not a big Anoop fan, but I loved his version of “Everything I Do”.   The competition is getting tight.

And, with all that great reality TV in two nights … I read Jenna's post from yesterday and was absolutely amazed and brought to tears by this performance (click on the picture to see the YouTube video).  She’s making quite a wave in the media this week AND can I just say, THIS is why I love Simon!!susan-boyle

Oh, the sweet things reality TV does to my heart!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My BFF, JoJo

 Birthday candles 2

Today is Jodi’s 45th birthday.  She is MUCH older than me… even though we graduated from high school together.  In truth, for the past 32 years, we’ve pretty much done everything together.

I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like had I not found Jodi.  My mom always said we were more like sisters than best friends.  We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve fought, we’ve made up.  We’ve been there for each other through everything that life has brought us.

When we were in high school, the kids called us “Laverne & Shirley”… I think I was Laverne.  Our dream was to graduate and move to Nashville.  You know, the Country Music Capital of the World. Neither one of us can sing, but we loved Country music.  We never made it to Nashville, instead we found a little apartment in Yellville, Arkansas that cost $90 a month (utilities paid).  We figured we could afford $45 a month each.  So, we did that for a while.

I got married in 1983 (only a year after graduation). Jodi was my Maid of Honor.  Gary (Jodi’s husband) was Dave’s Best Man.

Jodi and WC at our wedding

(Yes, our wedding was pink and burgundy)

In 1984, Jodi and Gary got together. (Just as we planned)  In March of 1987, Jodi had her only child, Jessica (March 4), and I had my first-born, Kale (March 31). Our kids went through elementary, middle, high school and now college together (they’re even at the same University).

We still live within a few minutes of each other. We work out together. We go to the same church. We go to the same hairdresser (and we usually schedule our appointments together).  We eat out on weekends together. We have FUN together!!

What’s funny is that when we’re together, people call me Jodi or her Jacquie.  Even my own mother did that on occasion.  Jodi’s boss does it ALL the time.

Here’s a little stroll down memory lane…

(most of our yearbook pictures are in black and white… and not very good quality.)

Home Ec Senior Year 

Home Ec class.  I think I must’ve been “entertaining”.  Although, Jodi seems to be the only one paying attention.

Best Buddies 1982

Senior Year

Senior Trip 1982

Senior Class Trip 1982

Senior Trip 1982 Laying out

Getting burnt to a crisp on our class trip


Jodi and WC camping

Jo and Jacqreunion steven1

20 year class reunion (Jodi, Melody, Betty, and me)Friends at Neighbors Mill Breakfast with high school friends a few years ago (Heidi, Melody, Jodi, me, and Shirley)


After an alumni basketball game (Karen, Jodi, and me)


Jodi and Jacquie at Kays before

Happy Birthday, Jo! 

You’re the best BFF ever!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Diagnosis

Sick boy

I couldn’t wait to get Tyler to the doctor this morning.  So, I called the nurse’s desk – NOT the appointment desk, because I wanted to get things done! The last time he went to the doctor, they worked him in with another doctor in the clinic.  The one I prefer to not use.  So, today when I talked to the nurse, I asked politely if they could work Tyler in to our preferred doctor because his strep from two weeks ago has, I believe, become mono.  She graciously obliged.

So, after a visit with the M.D., three vials of blood and lots of waiting… the doctor brought us back into the exam room to tell us (drum roll) that it was mono.  Actually, his exact words to me were, “very good diagnosis, Doctor.”  The medical degree I am getting on Google is beginning to pay off, people.

He’s still not able to eat anything thicker than pudding, and when I checked on him about 8:30 this evening… he was sound asleep, in a pool of sweat, with his cell phone in his hand with the beginning of a reply text to Courtney.  He zonked out in the middle of it.  Poor baby.

And this…


… this is what your throat looks like with mono.  The doctor said Tyler’s was “impressive”.

Strep and mono look and act very much alike, so without blood work, it’s hard to tell.  They both have been going around here lately, so when the doctor first saw him he just treated him for strep.  But Z-pack doesn’t work for mono.  (And, what I thought was two weeks ago today that he went to the doctor, was actually FOUR weeks ago today! He’s had this for over four weeks now!!)

One interesting thing I found when reading up on mono is that if you’ve had it in the past, you still carry the virus and sometimes it’s active, even though you don’t display any symptoms.  When it’s active, you can expose someone else to the virus (and not even know it). No telling how many people I’ve given it to!!

Maybe the meds will kick in soon and we’ll have our fun-loving, social boy back!!

Oh, and my sweet Arkansas bloggy friend, Becky, is having a great giveaway.  If you’re a summer griller, you won’t want to miss out!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I’ve Still Got “Mommy Mode”


Tyler had a big day planned yesterday.  He wanted to go to Fayetteville (where Kale lives) and take Courtney ice skating and he invited ME!  As it turns out, the skating rink is closed until later this week, but he still wanted to make a day of it. 

Tyler has been sick for over 2 weeks.  He went to the doctor and was told he had strep throat two weeks ago tomorrow, and was prescribed Z-pack and took it completely.  But, he has been coming home in the evenings from work with fever and dog-tired and sleeping a LOT.  Yesterday morning when we were getting ready to leave, I could tell he wasn’t well.  His throat is so clogged up you can barely understand him.  His eyes look terrible.  But, he said he still wanted to go.  Big mistake. 

When we were at Kale’s… he fell asleep.  He could barely eat lunch or supper – he tried, but he can barely swallow.  When we were leaving we decided he didn’t need to drive on the two hour trip home, so he and Courtney got in the back seat of my car and I drove – taxi style.  Within a couple of minutes, he was out like a light.  Courtney sat back there, quiet as a church mouse, so I asked her if I could pull over and she could get up front to talk with me.  She was good for it!! Which made my drive so much more enjoyable.  Thanks, Courtney!

I’m no doctor, although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, but I’m making the diagnosis right now that my baby has mononucleosis.  I had it back in 1991 (when I was 27 years old) and I was so sick I missed a MONTH of work.  He is a sick boy… and has all the signs of mono.  I’m just worrying myself sick over him.  I guess after all these years, I’ve still got “mommy mode”!  Get well soon, Fester.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Reflecting on Q1 2009

Can you believe it’s April and we’ve already gone through a quarter of 2009? My year so far has been productive…

Read the Bible

This year I committed to reading through the Bible (with the help of "the Preacher's" devotional blog.)  As of today, we’ve finished the first eight books of the Bible and we’re currently enjoying 1 Samuel.  I am pretty proud of myself for staying on task and being more dedicated in spending time in His Word.  What a blessing it’s been!

I’ve also committed to being more intentional in my prayer life.  How often do we say… “we just need to pray about it” and then not spend time in focused prayer about “it”? How many times do we tell people “I’ll pray for you” with good intentions and then walk off and forget to pray?  I’m really working on being truly purposeful when I pray.


Someone who I am in constant prayer for is Baby Stellan and his family… please continue to remember them in your prayers. And if you haven’t seen this post about Stellan's Name Gallery, I encourage you to read it… it’s just so moving to me.


Another area of focus has been our family finances and budget during the first quarter of 2009.  I keep all my info on Quicken, and it’s easy to get behind on entering daily transactions.  So, I’ve been trying really hard to keep it caught up … which makes paying bills and balancing checkbooks much less time consuming.  I’ll continue to focus on this as well as trying to stay well within my budget parameters in the coming quarter.


Also, since January… I’ve been enjoying so many of my favorite reality TV shows.  ‘24’ (which I so wish was ‘48’); “American Idol”; “Amazing Race”; and a little bit of “Survivor” (I’m not a die-hard Survivor fan).  ‘24’ has me sleeping a little less at night – Just HOW is Jack going to get out of this situation??  On Idol, I’m still rootin’ for Kris and Danny, but I gotta say that our Arkansas boy, Kris, has totally become my front runner.  The boy can sing. (I’ve also gotta tell you that I picked Carrie Underwood and David Cook from Hollywood week of their respective years.  Just saying. Go Kris.)  I’m still liking the mom and son team on “Amazing Race” – momma got HOT this week – and gave us a scare!!  And I don’t have any favorites on “Survivor” because I just haven’t gotten that into it YET.


As for fitness… I’ve been working on that for years, but so far this year I’m down 7 1/2 pounds and will start with my second 12-week “challenge” next Monday. (See my fitness journal if you want to see my progress) I have no trouble staying committed to exercise, but it takes a large effort to stay on track in the area of eating for me.  Most people that know me, know that I am very strong in the area of willpower, but I’m at the point in my life that it takes a whole lot of effort to be able to lose any amount of weight. Oh, the joys of aging. Message to self – keep on keeping on. 

And speaking of fitness…


Jodi’s daughter, Jessica just started blogging.  Jess works at a running store where they specialize in doing gait analysis and helping customers find just the right shoe fit for their sport.  I’ve bought all my running shoes there for the past several years.  If you are serious about working out – especially cardio – you need to make sure you have proper shoes! I’m a big believer.  Jess is also a runner and is training to run a marathon.  Crazy, I know!  Her blog has some really interesting insight into running.  Stop by and check her out… and if you know some other serious runners who blog… give her some recommendations.

As for the second quarter of 2009 …

Organizing the house room by room

I am planning to better organize how/when I clean house. I cannot seem to find a plan that works for me.  Any recommendations? Do y’all clean a room a day? Do a task a day? Talk to me people… especially you “cleanies”.