Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


These pictures of Gracy were taken on July 19th.

Today, Mike and I had to make the hardest decision of our lives, so far. We had to put our dog Gracy down today. As most of you know, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in March. In the last week or so, Gracy was having lots of trouble using her back legs. She seemed to have very little control over them and had great difficulty walking, especially across the kitchen floor and the outside patio. This weekend, Mike and I had to put a towel underneath the back portion of torso to help her get up. Mike had to carry her outside so she could go to the bathroom. Gracy went from a dog who loved to go outside anytime anyone was out there to only going out twice a day. She seemed and acted fine, like nothing was wrong, as long as she was lying down. We both knew that it wasn't fair to her to let her suffer like she was so we made the very difficult decision. Mike and I were both with her until the end, telling her how much she meant to us, that we loved her and that we would see her again.

So far, Baron has been acting okay. I'm sure it will hit him in a few days that Gracy is gone for good. They have been together since they were conceived. They were litter mates and have only been away from each other just a handful of times. We are just going to love on him and try to help him get through it the best we can.

The kids are all taking it differently. Andrew, of course, really doesn't know what is going on. We've told him what happened but I don't think he really understands. Will is just matter-of-fact. He says that Gracy died and is in heaven, but really doesn't show much emotion. It may hit him full on later, too. Hannah is just like her mom. She will be fine one minute and then balling her eyes out the next. I have been balling off and on since we arrived at the vet's. Mike cried while we were at the vet (it's the first time I think I've seen him cry in all the years we've been together). He had to go to work today and hopes to get off a little early.

Gracy is now in God's hands and He and Jesus are taking very good care of her until we get there. She has plenty of playmates: Brandy, Yogi, Pappy, Browser, Shadow, Stormy, Velvet, Barron (Mike's childhood dog), Lucy (Gracy and Baron's mom), and more I can't even list. I told the kids that she is telling everyone about her owners and what fun they were and how much she loved them. She can now chase the ducks, squirrels, birds, and whatever else catches her fancy to her heart's content. She is no longer in any pain and can walk and run perfectly.
Time is suppose to heal all wounds. But, from my experience, they don't heal but just get easier to deal with. We love you Gracy. You will ALWAYS be in our thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Last night, Mike started putting the grout on our bathroom tiles. We both thought it wouldn't take too long, but boy, were we mistaken. He started after dinner, around 7 p.m. He finally finished around 2:45 a.m. He never stopped. I was helping by changing out the buckets and bringing clean water. When he finally finished, Mike's hands were really sore and it hurt to move his fingers. Here are some pictures of the finished product.

We still have to seal the tile and caulk. The inside of the closet needs to be painted and I need to finish painting the trim. We both can't wait for this to be finished.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Memphis in July and the Water Park

Normally in the month of July, the temperatures are hovering in the high 90's - low 100's with the heat index around 110-115. It is hot, sticky, and miserable to be anywhere outdoors, even in the water. Well, today the high is 82 degrees. Yes, you read that right. 82 degrees. A cold front is moving through and making it absolutely perfect outside. The kids and I picked up lunch at Chick-fil-a and took it to the park. With the wind blowing, it actually got a little chilly. I didn't mind a bit!! The temperatures last week and this week have been great. A couple of cold fronts have moved through the area, bring rain and the cooler temperatures. It did get up in the mid-90s last week but, for the most part, the temps have stayed in the mid-80s to low 90s. Wonderful!!!

Yesterday, my friend Tracy and I took all of the kids to the Henderson Aquatics Center in Tunica. She has three kids (one girl and two boys) and I had my three and Nathan. We arrived when they opened at 11 and left around 2:30. The kids had a blast. Hannah played with Kara; Will played with Will; and Andrew played with Seth. Nathan played with all of them until his friend Billy showed up. The Aquatics Center has three areas: a kiddie area with water fountains, sprinklers, and buckets that fill up and turn over. The water here is warm and is between two and three foot deep in the deepest part. The second area is a lap pool that you can also play in. The temperature is cold and is about 5'6" deep. The third is the diving pool with two springboards and three platform diving boards. We started out in the kiddie pool and played for about an hour. After eating lunch, we went to the diving pool where the older kids jumped off the diving boards, having a blast. When we moved to the lap pool, Andrew and Seth found a basketball game and played to their little hearts content. While the little boys were playing with the basketball, they would open one of the nearby lockers, put the ball inside and close the door. After a few seconds, Andrew and Seth would open the door, get the ball out, shut the door, and stand there so proud of themselves. Andrew got in the water with me for a little bit, even though it was very cold. Tracy and I moved the gang back to the warmer pool to play a while before leaving.

Seth does not like water and it takes him a long time to get acclimated to change. So, while we were all playing in the pool, he sat in a chair and could not be coaxed in or played ball with Andrew. When we moved back to the warmer pool, Seth just stood by the edge but wouldn't come in. Andrew saw him standing there and somehow coaxed him in, little by little. They started out playing in the round sprinklers then worked their way slowly to the island in the middle. They were standing in the middle of some fountains, laughing and giggling. Andrew was encouraging him all the way to venture out a little more each time. It was neat watching them together.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Latest Pics of the Bathroom

Here are pictures of the tile Mike laid in the Master Bathroom. It took him a good four hours or more to lay the thinset and tile (there are a LOT of little pieces). Once it is set, Mike can go through and grout the whole bathroom, including the walls. I can't wait to see it without the spacers. We are hoping to have everything put back together by this coming weekend. I can't wait. Sharing the hall bathroom with three kids is not fun at times. Having only one working bathroom for a family of five: interesting! HEHE

This is the area in front of Mike's vanity to give you a closer look at the terra cotta colored tiles.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Slowly But Surely

Here are pictures of Mike's progress on our bathroom.


Another picture of the floor

Tile around the bathroom closet

Tile around the doorway
The light tile at the top right became lighter when it was put up. When it was on the floor, it was the same color as the other ones.

Tile on the far wall
(The white dots are tile spacers. They are not part of the tile decorations.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Congratulations Are In Order

Yesterday, our local paper had a story about a lady I know from MOPS. About six years ago, Courtney went to her OB/GYN to see about a pea-sized lump in her breast. The doctor basically said not to worry about it and didn't run any tests. Later that year, Courtney got pregnant. During her pregnancy, the lump got much larger and became very painful. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She was 25 years old and had no family history of Breast Cancer. Her baby was born and Courtney was treated. Thankfully, after many, many treatments, she was cancer-free. Sometime in the last few months, her doctors found spots on her liver and spine. She started treatment again. The spots on her liver has not grown any and, if I remember correctly, the spots on her spine are gone. She is also dealing with enlarged lymph nodes but the doctor says they are not cancerous.

Because of the lack of testing, Courtney and her husband sued the doctor. The judgement came back Thursday in favor of Courtney. She is to receive a very large settlement, the largest of it's kind in the state of Tennessee, where the doctor was licensed. Courtney did this in hopes that no other woman will have to go through what she went and is going through. Congratulations Courtney!! Our prayers are with you and your family for a complete and thorough healing!!!

If you are interested in following Courtney's journey, she has a site on Caring Bridge. It is

Happy Birthday Cindy!!

Today is my cousin Cindy's birthday!! Happy Birthday, sweetie!! Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Miscellaneous News and Stuff

This afternoon I dropped Hannah off at Dad's work. She is spending the week and weekend by herself with Dad and Joan. I told her she's going to come back spoiled rotten. Joan is excited to have a "girl's weekend" with Hannah. They are going to go swimming, shopping, spending time with my niece Jessie and her son Riley, and whatever else they want to do. I'm jealous. I want to be there, too. Joan said she wants Hannah until Monday or Tuesday. That means a WHOLE WEEK without her. I don't know what we are going to do without her.

It's time to post about another blond moment I had today. For Valentine's Day, Mike bought me a beautiful watch which has been a little big, but not too bad. Today, I was putting it on when I noticed something for the first time. I knew it had what looked like an extra link to be removed by a jeweler. What I didn't know was that it had a hinge on it that could be opened and the piece taken off. So, instead of taking it to a jeweler, I could remove it myself. The funny thing is I've been wearing the watch for five months now and have just noticed this hinge. I removed the link and now it fits perfectly!!! As Will would say, "SILLY MOMMY!!!"

Oh, here is a follow up on a previous post. The other night I mentioned that the boys wanted to sleep together in Will's bed. Well, I am happy to say that they went right to sleep and didn't wake up until about 8 the next morning!! They did great!! Mike and I are talking about getting Andrew a toddler bed sometime soon. When he is a little older (and I can handle it a little better), Mike wants to get the boys bunk beds. Their room is crowded now with Will's twin bed and Andrew's crib, and another twin bed would make it even more so. I don't want the bunk beds now because I know my boys. Andrew and Will would climb to the top and jump off. I think I can handle broken arms and legs but not broken necks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The End of an Era and Experiments

The last of the wallpaper came off tonight!!! YEAH!!! We aren't sure, but Mike and I think the wallpaper was installed when the house was built 16 years ago. Goodbye wallpaper!! Hello paint!! Here are some pictures of Mike as he removed the last pieces.

On a different note, the boys decided they wanted to sleep together in Will's bed tonight. So, I thought we would try it and see how it goes. Here are pictures of the boys just before we tucked them in for the night. This is an experiment because Andrew has never slept in a big boy bed before. If this works out okay, we may have to get him a big boy bed of his own before long.

Pictures of Our Ongoing Project

Here are some pictures of our master bathroom. The first few are from two years ago when we first started thinking about renovating. The last few are of the work in progress.

Shower stall

Counter and door

Far wall

Bathroom closet

Work in Progress

Wall above the tub

Will and Hannah painting the far wall

The far wall with a sample of the paint

Door to bedroom

Bathroom closet

As you can see, we have come a long way but still have a long way to go. Mike and the kids finished the first coat of paint yesterday. Tonight, Mike is hoping to put on a second coat so we can start on the trim tomorrow. He would like to start laying the tile by the end of the week. He is going to tile half the wall behind the toilet and the far wall, along with the floor. The floor tile will be the same color and size as in the hall bathroom. The wall tile will be 6x6 in a lighter tan. The trim will be in white. We are hoping that the tile and trim, along with the beige counter top, toilet and tub will tone down the paint color.

Will the Photographer

Yesterday, while I was asleep on the couch, Will got ahold of my camera and started taking pictures. I think we've found his true calling. Hannah is going to be an actress; Andrew, a sports star; and Will, a photographer. Take a look at the pictures below and tell me what you think. The only doctoring I did was to lighten a couple of them and crop one. I think he did an excellent job.


Andrew playing with the channel lock pliers

Looking from our bedroom door into Hannah's room

Living room

Master bedroom ceiling fan
(He took about five pictures of the fan: some with the light off and some with the light on)

Another picture of Andrew playing with the channel lock pliers

A close up shot of Andrew

Looking into the boys' room from my bedroom door

Mike taking a nap

Mike painting the bathroom wall

T.V. cabinet

A self-portrait of the artist

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day!! Thank you to all the service men and women who are (and have) protected our great country while serving in our armed forces. The sacrifices you and your families made have not gone unnoticed.

Our celebration this year is going to be small with just Mom and the five of us. Melanie and Nathan are on their way home from a baseball tournament; Patti, Alyssa and Matthew are working at a tournament in Horn Lake; Susan, Todd and their boys are in Roswell, NM visiting family; and Dad and Joan are camping with friends. I have some ribs cooking on the stovetop right now and will finish them up on the grill along with some hot dogs for the kids and some fresh corn on the cob. We are also having cole slaw, baked beans and strawberry pizza. If it doesn't rain, we are planning to go to see some fireworks at either Latimer Lakes in Horn Lake or Snowden Grove in Southaven.

Mike is working on our master bathroom. It took him about 12 hours to remove the wallpaper. He is patching the walls where the wallboard came off when we were taking the wallpaper off. We are going with a medium green paint and brown tiles, like in the hall bathroom. He is going to tile half the wall behind the toilet and the back wall. I can't wait. It already looks bigger with the pink paisley wallpaper off. We are taking pictures of it so show the progress. When I get them downloaded off my camera, I'll post them here for all to see. Can't wait for the finished project!!!