Tuesday, July 28, 2009

an open MRI that is actually open...

I had a new MRI done on my back today at the request of my neurosurgeon. He sent me to his preferred spot and it was fabulous. I have been in several so-called open MRI's and you cannot breathe nor move an arm or anything. This was like taking a little nap, which I did LOL. The initial plan was to go straight to doc's office from there, but the computer system was not cooperating, which meant he couldn't see the MRI so I am going back Friday morning to see him.

While I was out today I took my car (why does it feel weird to say car or truck when you have a SUV, and saying SUV sounds pompous to me) to get an oil change and have the tires rotated and balanced. Just one of those mundane, routine chores. I was quite over-due though and after just driving to TN and a beach trip on the horizon I knew I needed to get it taken care of. It is amazing how fast I am putting the miles on this Tahoe. I've only had it since October, but I have over 14,000 miles on it. Evidently I travel way too much LOL. Anyway - sitting there waiting the hour on my car was so nice and peaceful. I read some of my book and talked on the phone and didn't have to answer any questions from a 4-year-old. God love him, but I will be truly glad when school starts. And I really think he will be too - he is at that stage where he wants intellectual stimulation for hours a day.

Anyhoo - that's it for tonight. A couple of girlfriends just called and are stopping by to visit so I am going to go pour a cup of coffee and visit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

an irritated list...

I am in a pissy mood tonight for some reason. Not really sure I can put my finger on one particular reason, or rather one that is big enough to actually have me this pissy. I am usually pretty laid back and don't do a lot of complaining nor do I have a lot of patience with complainers... but alas tonight I am one of those. So I just decided to get it all out and then I can be ready for tomorrow is another day kind of thing.
1) I have the worst headache, I'm tired and my chest hurts... and of course my back, but that is old news
2) Dan has been using my phone since Friday morning because his is messed up. And since Verizon bought Alltel we can't replace (insurance) at the store. It has to be shipped to us. So it got here this evening. I was so tired of having no phone and hearing mine ring 8 bazillion times the past few days.
3) David is so busy and in a "needy" phase. He wants games, books, activities, etc. 24/7. It's draining me. We always do stuff even on days when I have a lot of work to do, but the past week or so he wants something ALL the time. I cannot wait until school starts because he needs that stimulation.
4) We have not seen as much of Emily this summer as we had wanted or planned or gotten used to over the past several summers and it sucks LOL. And now school starts soon so our time with her will really lessen.
5) I just got back from a trip and am leaving for an even longer one this Saturday. The trip doesn't have me pissy - can't wait - good friends, our kids, the beach - yeah!! I'm just a little tired and overwhelmed with all the going, packing, planning, driving, etc.
6) Due to travels and summer business I have missed bible study quite a few times this summer and I always realize after the fact how much I need it and miss it.
7) I need some chocolate and we have nothing but brownies, I guess I'll have to get up and make some.
8) I am so over people deciding how you should feel or react, etc. when people close to you get cancer. And I am so over subliminal competition in regards to cancer patients and their caregivers.
9) Blended families are hard. I was so sheltered before mom died and before I married a divorced guy with a kid. I want to be sheltered again LOL.
10) Being around someone who doesn't care for you and tries to fake it, but you can tell by the awkward silences is stressful.
11) Obama is an idiot, specifically this week in regard to the Gates situation. Calling the police stupid when you don't have all the facts or worse yet calling them stupid for not putting up with the attitude and disrespect and subtle threats of a person... What should we all be allowed to treat police like shit?
12) This proposed healthcare plan is a nightmare. Read it - think about the impact on your family, your parents, you when you become a senior citizen... Then figure out who's going to pay for it. We are!!
13) Grocery prices are too high - let's work on that. That would stimulate the economy in my life and the lives of people I know.
14) I've missed chatting with my friends while I was traveling and while Dan had my phone.
15) I'm heartbroken that my dear friends niece has gone to heaven at 4-months-old.
16) I'm worried about my brother - surgery this week and I hate that he doesn't have family there with him.
17) I'm worried about my dear friends mom out in CA by herself and sick!!
18) If you need to insult someone to make yourself feel better... sorry for you. But if you do it - don't do it in front of people who would be hurt by it.
19) I had two significant guys in my life prior to falling in love and marrying my hubby Dan and I am friends with them both on FB. It cracks me up - it's like a reunion.
20) Lists are great and having a blog where I can vent if I need to is awesome.

a flying boy and a peek at the waterfall

This is the 4th post in 24-hours so be sure and scroll down and see them all. Lots of updates and pics of the kids. I do have some "opinion" stuff to write about, but I will have to get to that later. I have finished my first cup of coffee so it's time to get to work. Reports and reports today - I have a love/hate relationship with excel so this should be fun ;-).

Here is a picture that Chuck took with his cell phone. It turned out pretty well. David is jumping off the diving board (my self-taught swimming machine) and in the background you can see part of Dan's backyard project.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Model T Trip to Bristol Speedway & Dragstrip

David and I have started a tradition with my dad and Barbara of going on a Model T tour each year. Last year due to Dan and my dad both being sick we weren't able to go. This year we were eager to resume our fun. The tour was based in Johnson City, TN and we visited Jonesboro, Bristol and several other nearby areas. Each day we went out in the T and drove for about 100 miles, with of course a little sight-seeing and breaks thrown-in. Another great thing about our trip is spending time with my dad's family who all live in WV. My uncle is into Model T's as well so he was there with his car and my two aunts came down and rode with him.

The first day we drove to Bristol and David kept talking about Lightning McQueen and the funny thing I found out when we got back home is the opening race of the movie... the track is based on the Bristol track. Here are tons of pics of the track and the dragstrip. We raced my uncle (in our T's) on the dragstrip and as David said we "ate the dust". He kicked our butt LOL.

David walked on the track and he thought he was so cool. He also thinks we "won" twice on the main track and he's still waiting on his trophy. Preferably a Piston Cup trophy like the movie. His favorite pic is the one of the 4 of us in the car on the finish line.


The Rest of the Model T Trip

Well Bristol was such an event and so many pics that it took a whole post. Here are random pictures from the rest of our trip.

That alligator is a fossil, recovered in the area where we were. We went to the fossil museum and they still have archaeologists digging.

One of David's favorite parts of the trip was getting his own soda. At break there was nothing but soda, so we let him "live it up". But rather than tell the people what he wanted he always climbed up there and picked out his own. This happened 3 or 4 times a day so he became friends with the man and lady driving the snack truck.

The following pics are from a llama farm. The top one is David riding a wood-carved rocking horse on the deck at the farm. It was so beautiful.

A big thing in the area are quilts painted on barns. The quilts are known patterns and have a history to the area and usually that specific section of farmland. Then the local high schools and/or art clubs paint a replica of the original quilt on the side of the barn. We saw probably 10 of these.

There was a little casual kids game night one evening when we returned from touring. The T's had their own large section (roped off) in the hotel parking lot so everyone pulled out their chairs and watched the kids play a variety of games. David was the youngest taking part, but that didn't stop him. He had so much fun. When we left that night to go to our room he said, "mom that party was so fun!! but why didn't they have cake?". There were prizes galore that night and we came home with two armfuls, below is a shot of him with the hillbilly teeth he won. He thinks they're monster teeth.

Dad working on the T, our horn quit working and there are always people lining the road when we all drive by so we like to blow the horn at them.

Several people bring their dogs on the tour. This one car had a 3-dog-family.

David and Barbara hanging out in the car during one of our breaks.

Dad and David.

This is a row of grape vines at a small winery we stopped at.

My "doesn't nap anymore" little boy was worn out at the end of day 1. His stamina showed up the rest of the week though and he didn't pass out again. I love the resilience of kids though - I don't think I could sleep in an open car. And when he was younger he would even fall asleep on a go-kart ride with Dan.

Emily @ Dance Camp

Emily is part of the JV Dance Team at Millbrook Junior High this year and they had their summer UDA camp at Auburn University last week. There are 16 of them on the team, all 7th and 8th graders (she's headed into 8th this year). We are so proud of her for making the dance team and they have been practicing so hard this summer. The team only has 2 veterans so the girls were understandably nervous on the first night of team competition, using their home routine. The girls earned a spirit stick and a red ribbon that first night. The next couple of days they learned routines there taught by the UDA staff. Then their were individual competitions based on how well they learned those routines. The whole team did great with tons of blue ribbons. Emily earned a blue for herself on all of the routines. Her team also earned the spirit stick each day and the final spirit stick award. Another thing they did each night was drill downs. Fast response, sharp movements and following directions - Em earned a blue ribbon for that as well. And last, but certainly not least the team earned the Most Improved Trophy at the final awards ceremony.

Those of you who know us and/or have been following the blog know that Emily was recently diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroid issue) and that is was causing heart rate and blood pressure issues and we weren't totally sure she would even be able to compete at camp... Well the medicine is working great and she is feeling fine!! Praise God!

Here are a few pics from the week. Her and some friends and her coach and me and a couple of routine shots and when she won one of her blue ribbons.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On a Rainy Monday...

...i feel it inside of me
Like the days of summer...

On a rainy Monday..
I feel it inside me
In the hopes of one day...
by: Shiny Toy Guns

I realize this morning that my prayers & complaints of "we need rain" have been received loud & clear. God is vocalizing himself this morning with the thunder and heavy rain. It's such a wonderful sound (as long as I'm not driving my children in it).

I am working on a semi-deep post about black sheep in families and may have it finished later today, but in the meantime I wanted to give a quick update on us.

Dan is doing great, with the exception of being exhausted from waterfall rock laying :). It's looking great though and coming together well. We can't wait to show it off with pictures and a party.

Emily is beginning her marathon week. 4-hour practices M/T/W, dance team pool party 1-5 on W. Leave for Auburn (dance camp) at 8:00 Thursday morning. Practice, practice, practice, compete, sleep and do it again - through Sunday. I know she will have a ball and learn more dances and more importantly learn more about teamwork and the bond between them. Include her in your prayers this week please that she enjoys her week and has the stamina to keep up. Her Graves Disease seems to be settling down (for lack of a better term) - just as the doctor predicted it would once the medicine had a chance to be in her system for a month.

David - what is there to say LOL. Think of an explosion of energy, questions, imagination... that is NEVER-ENDING!! Many of you know of the sleep issues we have had with David and the many "old wives tales" and then prescription meds we have tried. We have had success with the last med and been on it for about 6 weeks now. He gets one pill crushed into his nighttime milk. Well Saturday night it was so late (10:30) when we got him settled for bed and he was so tired I figured he didn't need his medicine. WRONG!!!!!!! At 1:30 he was still going STRONG. Evidently the medicine is working very well and enables his body to settle down so he can fall asleep. Trust me - I won't miss it again :)

I am doing well, except for my back of course. Today we are finalizing bank numbers so we can purchase a new apartment complex. Exciting!! On Sunday of this week dad, Barbara, David and I are leaving for Johnson City, TN. We are meeting WV family there for a mini-reunion. The trip is centered around a Model T tour. We will take the "T" out each day for several hours touring the countryside. Can't wait to share pics with you guys when we get back!! Here is one from 2-years-ago. If you look close you can see 2-year-old David over there in his car seat with sippy cup.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Dancing Girl and the Little Parrot

Emily's football uniform

I wish you could see how long her legs are - the uniform is really flattering to her.

just being his usual self and trying to do and say everything sissy does

the pictures of the two of them laughing always make my heart smile

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MJ, Palin, Happy Birthday to me... and other random thoughts

Can you believe it - a mid-week post. Wow, what's the world coming to? My mid-year resolution is to be a better communicator with my friends and myself. I am truly truly truly a horrible phone person.

I am so blessed with a wonderful family and group of friends. Birthday's aren't events once you get on the road to 40, but mine turned out to be pretty darn special. And the best part, after all the special birthday wishes, is I have shopping to do. Gift cards and cash are always a favorite to me.

Good news on Emily!! Her levels are doing well - the meds are working. The doc from Children's released her to dance and today was her first 4-hour practice. They are gearing up for camp in Auburn next week. She said their coach "kicked their butts today". I just had to laugh because I think it's great.

My dad and step-mom are giving their testimony at their church tomorrow night, related to what a miracle he is to have survived his Stage 4, very metastasized lymphoma!! God is so great. Me, Dan and David can't wait to go watch tomorrow night.

Ok - I guess I can't be an American and not mention MJ. I was/am a huge fan. My BFF Kim gave me the Thriller album for a birthday gift when I was 11. It was the best present ever. His old music, style, look, etc. were amazing. I had the best time singing his music and being at the Yarnell's and watching Shannon do the dance with the glove. She could rock some MJ. Like many I have become very disenchanted with him over the past decade or more, but he was a great part of my childhood. My objection with this whole tragic event is that in our country it has become more important than the real news... that says alot (not in a good way) about our country. I did watch the memorial today, or rather I had it on Fox News (as I do everyday) and the memorial was on. I watched bits and pieces of it and actually watched the whole speech by Brooke Shields. That was wonderful and brought tears to my eyes. It was nice to hear happy memories about someone who made us all so happy through the years. He's always seemed like such a tortured soul and I truly hope he is in a better place and my prayers are with his children and family.

Oh - I guess I can't be a conservative and not mention Palin. I truly hope and want to believe that she resigned for exactly the reason she said and for only the reason she said. Because if that is the case then I respect her even more now than I did before. I admire that she is who she is and doesn't play the game like so many of the others do. I can't tell you at this point in time if she'd be my pick for '12, but I sure do like her and can't wait to see how things play out. In case you are wondering - if I had to pick right now I'd go with Huckabee!!!!!!

I've been thinking about Reagan today for some reason, probably trying to turn back time to get us out of this current mess, LOL. Anyway - here is one of his many quotes that I like.
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Did you know that happiness is a choice?

I know it may not always seem like it, but it is. Just think about it. How can someone who has everything in life be miserable and yet someone that hardly has anything can be amazingly happy? It comes down to what they choose. First and foremost for me it comes down to a choice about your faith: Are you walking with God? Do you know Jesus? Do you have a relationship with him? Do you share your troubles with him? Second it comes down to picking your battles and/or picking what really matters in the grand scheme of life.

I read an article by a lady named Beverly Smallwood who actually gives seminars on this subject and she sums it up pretty well. Here is an excerpt of what she said, "Things don't always happen the way you planned. People don't always treat you the way you think you should be treated. Someone else may have more than you, though you believe you tried harder. Don't go to pity parties or get bitter every time you don't get what you think you deserve. Get out of the victim role! "Chronic victims" are a pain to others and themselves. Chronic victims are chronic blamers and complainers. When you hear yourself bemoaning your life, habitually blaming others for your troubles, it's time to do a "response-ability" check. In what ways do YOU have the ability to improve the situation by responding differently?"

I need to interject a thank you to my parents here. They introduced me to Jesus and helped foster a relationship between the two of us. And evidently they did a fantastic job of teaching me to be happy and to look at the bright side of life. Yes, there is a bright side - Always. Numerous life stories finish with - if I only knew that this worst time in my life turned out to be the best thing that happened to me.... Now I typically won't go so far as to say they were all the "best" thing that ever happened, LOL, but I totally see why they happened. My parents also provided me with a foundation of strength, confidence and support.

Let me tell you a little about my mother who died in 1999. She was diagnosed in 1978 with Systemic Scleroderma, five-year-life-expectancy. Along with this came chronic pain, physical and mental issues, severe digestive issues and the list can go on. A couple of years later her parents divorced. A couple of years after that her father died of a heart attack. A couple of years after that her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and subsequently died from it. Along with this her in-laws (my dad's parents) were killed in a head-on car accident. Next her grandmother died - in front of her at the hospital with a DNR order. Also along the way there were the normal highs and lows of marriage, raising kids, affording kids :), etc. Then in early 1996 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The next three years were horrible. The breast cancer combined with her scleroderma made for a lethal combination. The cancer spread throughout her body and though she fought valiantly she lost. Now this brief paragraph cannot begin to tell you all about the amazing woman my mother was and that is not the purpose of this description. I tell you this to ask you what you think her attitude was during this? Now don't get me wrong, she was human - she had her moments and her crying spells and her pity parties, but in general she chose to face life strong in her faith and with happiness. She kicked the life-expectancy average in the butt and just lived. She didn't waste time on silly petty unhappiness - she had dealt with what really mattered in life and was currently fighting a battle for her own life. I mean with all that who really cared about the little things: getting cut-off on the road, the rude person at the drive-thru, the mistaken comment by a friend, your kids tantrum, etc. Her doctors all believe her choice to "live" was one of the major factors in her life going as long as it did. We all know that God had a lot to do with that as well, but so did she. Instead of throwing the gift of life back in his face with negativity she did the best she could with the cards he gave her.

After an example like that how can I go through life with a negative attitude? Plus why does the little stuff really matter? People give it to much power to control their lives. Things happen, people disappoint us, our kids act up, our husbands irritate us, we don't feel good, we're tired, money is tight... I get it, I live in that world too. But let me ask you this, how does it help to be sad/mad/etc. about it. Will the kids act better because you yell and get mad and have a pity party? Will the money problems go away because you whine about them? I believe in picking your battles and letting most stuff roll off. And my biggest pet peeve about the whole thing is let it go or do something about it. As in - have your moment, complain to your hubby, your girlfriend, your mom, your sister, whomever. Then let it go!!!!!!!!!! If you can't let it go per say, like money issues - then do something about it. Quit spending, make a budget and stick to it, etc. I am in this trap right now with my work for our business - I have been complaining about my overwhelming tower of paperwork and all the new work from hubby, but I haven't done anything about it. I'm pretty disgusted with myself for that LOL and plan to rectify that this week.

Now let me tell you, I do have a very good life. I try to walk with Jesus and although we have some issues about attending church in my family ;) we do all believe! My husband is a great man and loves me and the kids beyond measure. He works very very hard for our family and enables us to have a nice home and nice hobbies. Our son will be able to attend the private school of my choice. We have new vehicles. I can generally run out shopping (within reason) when I want. I also have a housekeeper/nanny that comes in to help me everyday. I have many friends. So yeah, I have it pretty good. But before you go thinking the grass is greener over here and want to change places let me tell you the rest. I lost all my grandparents before I was 20. I lost my mother at 26. My husband is currently in remission from Stage 4 cancer that commonly recurs. My father has just completed treatment for Stage 4 cancer and we are awaiting the "remission PET scan". My SIL's mom is currently fighting cancer and I am so cancer-freaked right now I am not being there for her. My daughter is actually my step-daughter and she has a mother :). I have major back issues and will have my 2nd surgery in August. I am in chronic pain every moment of every day. I could go on, but what is the point. It's just my life... Everybody has battles in their life, some bigger, some smaller. What matters is how you face it. I choose to face it the best I can with the best attitude I can come up with. And since I am on a first-named basis with cancer, the other things in life just don't seem like such a big deal. Know what I mean?

This has really become quite long and thanks if you've stayed with it. I will close by saying look at what truly matters in life, get over yourself, be happy and just enjoy living!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week In Review and Happy Independence Day

I constantly say to myself that I will update this more often, but it appears once a week is now my "thing". And yes, I do talk to myself - don't you?? I think one of the reasons I don't do update more often is my Kindle. That thing is seriously addictive, which of course being addicted to reading is definately not a bad thing... but when it keeps you from doing other stuff. I have misplaced my charger for it and I think that is God tell me it's time to take a break. One good thing about the Kindle though is it works just like a real book in regards to David wanting to read just like mommy. It's nice for him to pick up one of my "good" habits for a change.

So let's see what we've been up to since last Saturday when I updated...

Tuesday was Jace's 3rd birthday party at Leslie's and that was a blast. The kids swam and played and instead of regular birthday cake she had cupcakes and a variety of sprinkles. They decorated them before they ate them. Big hit with the kids. Another nice thing about the party was seeing several friends I haven't seen in a while, especially Jessica and kids since they live in FL now.

Wednesday I had an early appointment with the back doctor. My back appears to need surgery again. Not in same spot - in different spot. Going to have a new MRI and meet with the surgeon. I'll let you know what the plan is. After my appointment I went by Leslie's to spend a little more time with Jessica. She was babysitting the girls while Leslie was at the doctor. Once Leslie got home we all decided to go to Chappy's. I ran home and picked up David and Em and met them there (the kids had been with Hayley). After lunch Leslie and girls came over and swam. That night Dan had to work late, but the kids and I went to the 4th of July service at dad's church. It was wonderful.

Thursday I had another doc appointment and then home. That afternoon we (minus Em, she had to go back) went to Jackie and Dianne's for swimming, quesadillas and a surprise birthday celebration for me. She and Kim are so sneaky and I love it. It was a great night!!

Friday started out as a regular day and then kind of last minute I decided to go out and run errands and met up with Kim and Gran and Dianne and we shopped and had lunch and had pedicures. It was such a fun day. David stayed here with Hayley so I was able to truly enjoy myself.

Saturday we rested, mostly Dan, who really really needed it. He has been working some long back-breaking hours lately between regular business, the new 22-unit and our waterfall. That evening we went to the Biscuits game. They lost pretty bad, but it was a nice night, not too hot and David loved it. He is so social he made friends with EVERY family that was around us and he would move his chair and sit with them. Non-stop talking the entire time!! After the game they turned the lights out and the fireworks started. Nice show, but really short this year - maybe it's the economy. I wonder if the show at Lake Martin was shorter this year?

This is one of our favorite holidays and we always take time out to remember why we have this great freedom!! I hope you do too.

We slept too late for church today - David didn't get up until 11:15!!! I think last night wore him out. Hopefully we will get some rain and that will force Dan to stay on the couch and rest. David wants to play trains (big surprise) and I need to find the bottom of my desk, so that's the exciting plan for the Reeder's today LOL. Oh - Em is with her mom and some friends celebrating the holiday weekend in North Alabama. I hope she comes back tomorrow, but I am not totally sure. We are spontaneous and flexible over the summer with our schedule.