Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Li'l update

Let's see. So far it's been a pretty good Christmas. A is doing ok but didn't expect to feel this bad for this long. She is still not able to talk or eat much but she did manage to eat a whole bowl of oatmeal this afternoon.

I saw the doc who did my wrist surgery today and he confirmed that I have varicose veins in my wrist. Oh joy. I'm to see a surgeon to see if they can sclerose them like I had done in my leg several years ago. I had a good outcome from that so that's encouraging.

T's wrist is sore. I think it's sympathy pain for me. He doesn't think so.

We are getting ready for our New Year's Eve tree blow-up party. We picked up some fireworks today. The tree is drying out nicely.

That's it for now.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas! From our house to yours! Remember the reason for the season.



We are thankful for God's gift that we are reminded of during Christmas. We are thankful for friends and family and little furry blessings, not the rodent type but the four-legged pet type. We are thankful for God's blessing and provision.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


A's surgery went well but they had to do some cauterization because they were "very infected and needed to come out". He had hoped to just do the coblation. She is resting in her bed. We are hoping and praying the pain doesn't get too bad.

J is cracking me up. He said, "De plan is, to have a plan." He was "making gadgenators 'cause if secret agents don't have gadgenators den dey are just secret." Whatever you say, son.

I did go upstairs while A was getting her tonsils removed and  asked about my wrist. At first they were just trying to figure out what it was. Then they thought I should have it looked at like, next week or tomorrow. Then they decided that I should continue the advil and warm compresses and only come in if it got worse. Sigh...when you stump the professionals, it's not a good thing. My crazy body has been stumping them for a while now.

It's raining. Again. I'm tired of the rain. At least it's not snow. I still have presents to wrap. I better get busy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Life is happening very fast around here. It's so nice to have all the kids in the house again. I played Phase 10 with my three kids last night. J won. You know how mom's say things like, "I brought you into this world, I'll take you out!" when they are exasperated or just teasing with their kids? Last night I told J in a teasing way, "I brought you into this country, I'll take you out!" He was only half listening and knew I was teasing, I just thought it was funny to say.

A gets her tonsils out tomorrow (please keep her in your prayers) so we went out to eat to celebrate her "last supper". Bahahaha!! A couple of the "CO ladies" joined us too. We had fun. And then we went to Walmart. Because we were in town. What else would rednecks do when they go to town?

I got a part in Camelot. I'm in the ensemble, which is what I wanted. I've been wanting to do a play again for a while and the timing was good.

I need to go make white choc dipped pretzels. Maybe I can get some gifts wrapped in the next couple days. Otherwise we might just have to lay them under the tree naked with tags on them. I need to stir up sourdough tonight too. I better get busy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is this?

We are busy with all of us coming and going all the time. T, JT and I got chiro adjustments this morning. Made my neck feel like it was going to swivel right off. Ahhh.

I forgot how noisy a house full of young people can be. And how much they eat! Wowzer! I love it though.

The cats are not fans of Skylar. They've spent a lot of time outside or up high since she arrived. She keeps trying to engage them in play but they just don't get it.

I showed this to the chiro this morning and I called the doc the other day. Look at my left wrist. What is this? The doc said it's probably superficial phlebitis and to take advil and use warm compresses. The chiro says there is some swelling down inside the wrist joint. I think I will head up to the hand therapy people while A gets her tonsils out on Thursday and ask them. If they say it needs to be seen, I will make an appointment. If not, I'm not going to worry about it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Picture post

R, JT and Skylar are here. They got in around 2 this morning.

A is scheduled to have her tonsils out on Thur. She's ready to get them out.

And now the pics from the last couple of weeks. One frosty morning the horses had frost on their backs. Proof that their fur was working for them!

And I snapped this pic of a bush at my parents' house that same morning. It was all so beautiful but soooo cooooold.

The tree is still standing up straight. I don't know what T did to it the second time around but it's working!

And thank you, blogger, for putting this one in sideways. Misty is so fat that she squishes the top of the chair down.

When we were at the beach we saw some nativity scenes out of palm tree thingys and seashells. We collected several and mom, friend K, J, A and I each made a seashell nativity. We had fun doing it and love the results. This one is mine.

This is K's.


And A's. I failed to get a pic of my moms.

And here is Misty with her "joker smile" as she sleeps on the folded laundry.

And here is Peaches, the feed store cat. Now if we could get her to make change we'd be doing well.

J was in a Christmas program at church this morning. Sorry for the cruddy pic. Cheap phone. And T was taking vid on his. J is in the white shirt.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Much ado about nothing

I know, it's been nearly a week. Life is crazy.

A has a cold, or something. And she has some weird red splotches in the back of the roof of her mouth. Sigh...she's suppose to get her tonsils out in 10 days. We are going to have her gargle with warm salt water and see how it is in the morning. Any ideas?

My parents are back from FL. Woot! They had a good time and are now trying to settle back into life here.

J did not earn his gum on the first day of his testing. The reading part threw him for a loop. He did ok the rest of the week though. He's trying to decide what to do with his hair. If you pull it out straight it's about 2 1/2-3 inches long. We could lock it. We could have it braided. Or if he would just brush/pick it out he could have big hair. That's what I'd prefer but he doesn't like to pick it.

I had a better week last week with fibromyalgia. Thankful for that. The doxycycline doesn't seem like it helped much this time as I really struggled last week. Sigh...

I recently used Loreal Healthy Look semi-permanent hair color. It's suppose to last through 28 washings and doesn't contain ammonia. Loved it! Recommend it! It's lasted at least 28 washings and covered the gray well. The time before that I used a "mousse-like" color that was fairly easy to apply but just didn't color like Excellence cream or Healthy Look and it didn't last well either. Go figure. That's my product review for the day.

Oh wait, I have another one. I've been using my homemade laundry soap for over a month now. I have a hard time with the lack of sudsing (it's "between the ears") but the clothes come out clean and it's so economical that I will keep using it. The recipe is; 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda, but it is made by Arm and Hammer) and 1/2-1 cup of borax. My cousin started out with 1/2 cup but had upped it to 1 cup by the time I made mine. I've only made the 1 cup version. You cut the Fels naptha soap up into small pieces and then process in a blender or food processor. I used a blender because I don't have a food processor. Add the borax and washing soda and process a bit more. Or that's how I did it. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, adjusting to load size and how dirty the clothes are. I'm also using vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener. Actually, I got some Dollar General brand liquid softener and use it with the vinegar so it's about 1/4 softener and the rest vinegar. Clothes are clean and soft and don't smell like vinegar. So economical! Love it! Recommend it! Oh, and the washing soda, borax and fels naptha can be found in a very small section of the laundry section in your local walmart or whatever. If I had blinked I never would have found it.

Thank God all the vehicles are running right now. They all have weird tire issues, but they are all running.

R, JT and Skylar will be here sometime on Sat. Woot!! We are all looking forward to that.

Ok, must go change out the laundry, paint some Christmas gifts and get on with the day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Busy, busy, busy. That's our lives right now. A is getting ready for finals and working and doing whatever she can before she gets her tonsils removed.

J seems back on track at school. At least for now. He's doing some state mandated tests right now and has a chance to "earn" a pack of gum a day with a good attitude. Hope he makes it. He cut his finger the other day with a pocket knife. I have hidden it from him as this is the 3rd time he's cut himself with it.

I failed to bring milk home yesterday. And whoever emptied the jug failed to throw it away. Oddest thing, none of the people I live with can throw empty jugs away. Why is that? My parents are in FL right now so I'm helping out with their household, business and ministry. And fibromyalgia is still whooping me right now. Yesterday was good though, and so far today. Yay for that! I'm excited about playing keys for a friend tonight for special music at a meeting. Should be fun.

T has been working on computers for people, besides what he does for his job. Thank God, all the cars are running right now. They all have wonky things going on with their tires, but they are all running at the moment.

Check out this link; This was one of the Livesays' Christmas productions. I loved this one.

 I'm happy to report that our tree is standing up straight now and has been for the last 3 days. Woot!

In the crazy "busyness" that is the Christmas season, remember to stop and think about the reason for the season and to spend time with loved ones.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Wow. What a difference a couple days make. T was in Nashville this week and J wanted to get the Christmas stuff out while he was gone. I agreed. He and I did some decorating and when we all got home yesterday afternoon we went out and cut a tree. You know how they look smaller when they're out in the middle of a pasture in the wide open space? Yeah, we had that come in to play with this tree. We got a new stand this year but it just isn't holding well. And now we have a big fat tree that has become the Leaning Tower of Treeza. And I need a bigger tree skirt.

While J and I were decorating, A was taking the seats out of her car.

Why? So she could clean under them, of course. And taking the seats out is easier than vacuuming underneath them?!? She is her father's child.

And J had a lightbulb moment. Or a double lightbulb moment in this case.

My Christmas cactus even got in on the decorating. It's blooming about a month before Christmas but it hasn't bloomed in a couple of years so we'll take what we can get.

And now I have to figure out what to do with the tree.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More November stuff

Busy, busy, busy. That's been our lives lately. I've come down with something, I'm not sure what but it's forcing me to slow down for a day or two. I hate feeling wimpy. Fibromyalgia has been whooping me lately too. Sigh...

We had a bad day with J yesterday. Interesting that it happened as we are finishing up Adoption Awareness Month. We are thankful that J hasn't dealt with attachment issues like Reactive Attachment Disorder. He does deal with abandonment issues. He's kind of in a "perfect storm" situation right now. He's 14 and in 7th grade, he's an older adopted child who spent 5 years in an orphanage, and he is in puberty. Zoiks! He had a meltdown at school and several more at home which all came to a head as a big fit. But after he calmed down from that he was able to engage, think, talk and smile. It was like a big zit that popped all over everything and then he was ok. Weird. Anyway, my adoption links for today are . They are parenting two bio kids and 3 adopted. They have two with RAD. And another adoption blog I have enjoyed reading is Their recent post on "Family Tree" Projects was awesome! They have twin boys adopted from Haiti and one bio daughter.

A told someone she works with that she was going to have her tonsils out and they asked if this was the first time. She said, "They can grow back?!" and he said yes. She believed him and came home and asked me about it. Goofy girl! She may have dyed her hair darker but she has blond roots.

Here is a cute pic of the cute kitty who lives where I work. This is Peaches peeking out over the counter. Too cute.

And I'm loving this pic right now. This is R's horse, Bridget, who is full of herself. She's so funny and has a great personality. I took this pic on my cheap phone and texted it to a bunch of people to see if they knew what it was. A few did. I knew R would know.

And now, a thankful list. I'm thankful for a great support group for J at school. There are a bunch of people who care about him and they help us out everyday with J. I'm thankful for animals. Cats and horses are two of my favs. And today I'm thankful for tylenol and advil.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Empty Arms Hotel, how can I help you!

This is actually a pic of a friend's dog at the counter where I spend most of my working hours. He belongs to the store owners, who are also our friends, and we were having a meeting and he kept popping up now and then and was just too cute! Sometimes just his paws and the tips of his ears and nose were showing. Precious!

A made cheesecake last night. I have sourdough bread rising and will bake it right before we leave so it's still warm when we eat. I'm also making broccoli casserole and sweet potato casserole. A wanted sweet potatoes with crunchy topping and since she won't be able to eat much at Christmas (tonsilectomy) I'm happily complying.

A is working this morning and then we are all heading over to my brother's house.

My adoption awareness blog for today is the Livesays. I "met" Tara via email and stayed with them one night on my way back home after spending a month in Haiti with J back in Jan of 09. They are all awesome people and I'm so glad I met them.

Thankful list for today. Let's see, have I mentioned that I'm thankful for dark chocolate? I am. And though I'm thankful every day (or should be) I'm thankful that we live in a country that sets aside a day of the year to think about and be thankful to God for our blessings. We are blessed. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More of the same (without pics)

I'm sorry it's been a whole week since I posted and that I have no pics to post. We promised not to show the people sticking their tongues out (from the last post) and that's about the only interesting pics in a while.

A had her appointment today and is scheduled to have her tonsils out on Dec. 22nd. Why then? Because her last finals are on the 15th and the doc does surgery on Mondays and Thursdays and the 19th was booked up. She might be groggy for Christmas but she will be ready for school in Jan. And like I told someone, she will get gifts for Christmas but she actually has to "earn" the scholarships and one of the requirements is attendance. He's using a procedure that she won't have stitches. I remember coughing up stitches for a while after having mine out back in the day.

J has been doing pretty well in school lately. I even got a call one day and answered with, "Uh-oh. What'd he do?" and she was calling to say how well he was doing. Woot! We have been letting him earn gum by having 5 days of good attitude at school. There's actually been a bit of emotional growth lately too. And by saying that stuff we are probably setting up for an epic blow up.

He continues to crack us up and do sweet things for people too. He prayed aloud the sweetest prayer for a friend the other day and ended with, "...and help her have a ever happy after." Too cute! Yesterday morning it was raining really heavy and we were amazed at the water on the driveway and in the pasture on the way to school. J said, "It's a good ting we have dat hole!" He was referring to the sink hole on our property where all the rain water runs down but it sure sounded funny.

My adoption awareness link today is Debra is an adoptive parent who was also adopted herself. They brought their son home from Haiti after the earthquake. I remember seeing Ronel on Lori and Licia's blog and praying for parents for him. I've never met Debra but there is that bond of surviving Haitian adoption. And I love that she recently had her kids learn to serve each other by making each other's beds and making breakfast for each other. Brilliant idea.

My thankful list for today is, I'm thankful for access to good medical care. I'm thankful for a dry house, good food to eat, vehicles that run and money for gas. I'm thankful for my church family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November thankfulness and awareness, cont.

When we started the adoption process we had no idea how we were going to pay for it but we weren't the least bit worried about it either. We applied for adoption grants, did fundraisers and I baked and sold a lot of cookies. I'd like to highlight a couple organizations who are helping families raise the money needed for adoption expenses. One is It was started by some more adoption group friends who have a son from Ethiopia and are waiting on a daughter. And also founded by the Chapmans. These are two great resources if you're considering adoption or would like to help those who are.

J informed us the other day that we kiss weird because he can't see the spark when we kiss. Too much tv?

A discussion last night during a game of phase 10 about the benefits of drinking baking soda water if your stomach is upset vs. the horrid taste turned into a discussion of what would happen if you swallowed peroxide. That discussion turned into comparing tongue sizes (don't ask-we don't know why). And some of the people in the discussion weren't even there with us. It was by text, which required pics of people sticking their tongues out. It was decided that A's tongue is the most versatile as she can touch her nose with it, curl and uncurl it and turn it over both ways without pulling it in. It was also decided that R, A and I have small/skinny tongues, J's is on the smaller side, and friend K, T and A's bf, P, have big/fat tongues. And we have no idea what JT's tongue is like. Got that all? And why is that important? We have no idea why. And A was questioning whether or not we are normal. Normal is just a setting on the dryer. And one of the people with a big tongue said they are better for tasting food. Whatever. There was a short discussion of dominant characteristics too, which stemmed from being able to curl your tongue or not. I know you just stuck your tongue out to see if you could curl it.

And now a thankful list. Let's see. I'm thankful again for family and friends and time spent together. It's a gift. I'm thankful for our jobs. I'm thankful for our home. I'm thankful for the little things in life that mean so much.

And, some random pics. K sent a pic to me of her holding this huge cat. It looks like she can barely hang on to him and snap the pic. The cat reminds me of Misty, only bigger. So I took one of Misty and I together and sent it to her. This is Misty and I. Misty is thinking, why are you doing this to me? and I'm thinking, look at us Misty, we are so cute (and snap the pic already you stupid phone). Or something like that.

And this is K and Hillis. Look at his face! Look at her face! Hillis is thinking, why are you doing this to me? and K is thinking, omg, I'm going to drop your furry lead butt (and snap the pic already you stupid phone). Or something like that.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More November thanksgiving, awareness and reminiscing

Ok, today I'm going to start with a thankful list. I'm thankful for the bright sun that's out today. I'm thankful for memories, family and friends. I'm thankful for the colors of fall. I'm thankful for music and the way it moves my heart and soul.

My adoption awareness link for today is some friends that we met at an adoption support group. They have two precious "special needs" (which didn't turn out to be anything at all) boys from South Korea. They blog at .

And now, the reminiscing. My parents have been in the process of changing all their old slides into CDs. My dad emailed this pic the other day with no explanation. When I opened it I thought it was A. But the bib wasn't right, the high chair wasn't right and the background wasn't right either. Turns out it was me with Lord knows what all over my face.

And it so reminded me of pics of A when she was that age. Sorry for the blurriness of these pics. Most of them are pics of pics.

We could have been twins.

I started going through old pics yesterday. I have them in an old washtub by the base of the steps and I was going to move them upstairs. I had such a great time going through them that I might just clean them up and leave them downstairs. I haven't decided yet.

I found T's baby book and a bunch of old pics of him. Love this one. He still has the same grin.

When I found this one I said, omg! What a couple of dweebs!!

This is from one of those photo booths. Same time frame as the above pic.

One of my fav baby pics of R. The cat's tail is over her head and it looks like an orange mohawk.

The girls when they were about 5 and 2.

 I have no idea why this is in here sideways (thank you, blogger) but this was Christmas of 96. T's parents with all the grandkids except J.

R jumping into T's hands at some kind of ball pit place. I love her complete trust that he's going to catch her. That's A down in the balls.

Our biggest snowmen ever in TN. T could barely reach the top.

About that same time the girls were an elf and an orc in "The Hobbit".

We've been having "theme parties" for several years now and this was the year of the luau. I had a "coconut top" on over my swimsuit but under that shirt and I would "flash" people right when my dad took a pic. There were lots of smiles in those pics!

T's was one of the biggest smiles.

This is JT on the day he was sworn into the army.

I came across this wonderful pic of Haitian ingenuity. Notice the cement wall broken down for easier access to the balcony from the spiral stairs.

I compared it to our spiral staircase and shuddered at the thought of climbing the Haitian one.

Where Diesel loves to play.

This is Bridget when she was a baby. I like the way this pic looks like a painting. It was foggy.

Omg! This is T and his twin when they took the furnace and water heater apart when they were 2. One of the things the repairman couldn't even put back together and they had to get a new one, but I don't know which one it was. T is on the left in the white Jetsons shirt. Look at their feet. They were barefoot. It was a coal furnace so they were black. Their hands, their faces, their clothes! Love this pic.

And this is T and his older brother acting like they are racing golf carts. T is on the left.

Oh, I found these pretty pics of R. She was 17 and this was one of her senior pics.

 These pics were on my phone. Diesel is still trying to catch the water that falls from the faucet. He doesn't seem to tire of this game.

And he often gets a drink too.

Our house with it's fall colors all around us.

J got into A's theatrical make-up (with permission) and painted himself up. A's making a funny face behind him.

Speaking of funny faces, this is J blowing on a harmonica.

And this is one of my fav pics ever. A fell asleep leaned against the couch. Her knees buckled but she didn't fall because the couch was in her way. She was 2-3 at the time. Too cute!!

And that's all the reminiscing for now because I have to go decide what to do with all these old pics.