Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 26th & 27th

I had to work the day after Christmas so Jay and Cade went to Aurora early that afternoon. Jay hooked at the Wii so Cade and MeMo could play. Since MeMo had never played a Wii before she wasn’t operating her controller up to Cade’s standards. I think he got pretty frustrated, which made Jay and MeMo laugh, which made Cade madder and you can see where that cycle went. Jay called to tell me about it and I was a little jealous. I was stuck at work while the rest of the family was together having fun. That evening, after I got off work, we had Christmas with the Shepherd’s. Here’s where Cade opened up the ATTE. He also got a Marshmallow gun from Terry and Megan. If your wondering yes, we can’t wait until they have kids. We’ve already got some good present ideas for them.
Trying to wait patiently while we went in a circle and opened 1 gift apiece all while mulling over the fact that this was his last chance to get the ATTE

The marshmallow shooter. One advantage to having a child considerably older than our niece and future nieces/nephews is that we won't have to fear retaliation. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Finally the moment arrived. The ATTE that Cade told Santa (yes, he really did tell him) no one could afford (what kid worries about the price of a toy?) was finally his. I don't think the gift made Jay quite as happy. In fact I think he might have gotten a little teary when he opened it and saw all the tiny pieces that had to be put together. Yes, it's not Christmas until Cade receives a toy that makes Jay cry. Those of you who don't understand that you soon will. There's nothing more frustrating to a parent than your child losing their mind over a toy gun that's the size of a grain of rice that's been lost and he wants you to locate it right then.

On December 27th we headed to Fayetteville for one last Christmas with the Simmons’ side. I didn’t take my camera so there are no pictures from that day. We all had a good day. Jay’s cousin Craig, who he hadn’t seen in several years, was there with his family. We enjoyed being able to meet them for the first time. We left there about 5:30 that night and I will admit that I was ready to head home. We had a great three days, but we were tired. Judging by the way Cade passed out and then proceeded to snore the whole way home, I’d say his Christmas was a memorable one.

Christmas Day

Christmas morning was good in our house. We weren’t sure how things would go over with the Wii. We had explained to Cade that Santa was bringing him surprise this year, it would be something he didn’t even know that he wanted yet. What Cade really wanted was an ATTE from Star Wars. I’m still not sure what it is, except it’s a very large toy. He was sure that Santa was going to get it for him. We kept explaining that Santa also talks to grandparents. Cade said his grandparents couldn’t afford the ATTE (he’s started reading the prices out of the Toys R Us catalog) Needless to say we were a little concerned about his reaction on Christmas morning. But it worked out. Here’s the Wii moment….

I'm not sure which one the gun was for....

We spent Christmas Day with the Fowlers this year. I don’t make it home very often and when we do I don’t get to stay for church on Sunday mornings. Because of that, I rarely get to see my Aunt’s, Uncle’s and cousins. It’s worked out to where we could spend Christmas day with my side the last three years and I’ve really enjoyed it. I know Cade does because he gets to play with cousins that he only sees once a year. I think Cade and Glynn hit out in the basement playing Glynn’s Wii most of the day. Jay hooked up our Wii upstairs so the adults could play.
No Jay didn't injure himself. He needed a place to sit and this was the only chair available.

Avery opening up our present to her. It was a Little People Nativity set. Jay and I are going to have to visit Avery so we can play with it. If it hadn't had so many ties on it we probably would've opened it and played with it before we gave it too her. I'll definitely be getting one it we have any more "littles" in our house.

Cade helping Pampa George open his presents.

Justin explaining the art of applying powder to Avery. Aren't those pigtails sweet?

Christmas Eve

This year for Christmas Eve we got to do something we’ve only done one other time….stay at our house. The other time we did it was in 2002 and that was because we were snowed in. I’m not sure that counts??? It worked out better for Megan and Terry to be at Jim and Sharon’s the day after Christmas so we had Christmas with the Shepherd’s on the 26th. We invited Jim and Sharon over on Christmas Eve and we had a nice relaxing evening. It was nice to be able to sit around and just enjoy Christmas Eve without all of the frantic running around. We did plenty of it the next three days so I really enjoyed our evening at home. We ate, let Cade open up a few presents (one small toy and his traditional Christmas Jammies), talked and watched Christmas Vacation for the 1,000th time. After Cade opened up his presents Jay let me open up one of mine. He had printed off all of our blog entries and put them in two notebooks. I have Volume I and Volume II. Then I let Jay open up one of his. It was his traditional Crazy Christmas pants from Cade.
A picture of us that night. We moved our tree to a new spot this year. I think this will be it's new yearly "home".

Here Jay and Cade are putting out Reindeer Feed to attract the Reindeer. If you don't know what Reindeer Feed is, it's a wonderful mixture of oatmeal and glitter that elementary kids mix together at school on the last day during their Christmas parties. As you can tell by the fact Jay is dumping out Cade's backpack, it is a tricky thing to transport home. Thankfully Jay had vaccuumed out my car or the reindeer might have landed in it. Eight reindeer in a Pontiac would not have been a fun thing to have cleaned up after. We had stored the backpack in a safe location until this night where we could dump it out but not upset Cade. I've seen him get upset over me throwing away papers. I could imagine how upsetting seeing his Reindeer feed in the trash would've been for him

Cade's traditional jammies.

Playing Joseph

Cade was Joseph on our church Christmas float this year. The night we were working on the float and decided Cade would be Joseph, he became very serious about his appointed role. I was multi-tasking in the basement that evening. I had started out helping with the float but at 7:00 pm I switched over the helping decorate the basement for Christmas. I wasn’t part of the Joseph discussion so Cade came over to let me know. Then he very seriously asked me what baby we were going to use. When I explained to him it would have to be a doll he seemed to be a little disappointed. Then again, very seriously, he asked me how he needed to stand. He demonstrated several stances and facial expressions. Playing Joseph was a serious role around our house the next few days. We discussed it frequently.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Jay and Cade are on their 3rd day of Christmas Break. So far their days have been pretty busy.....Cade's shot off 24,000 rounds of imaginary ammunition and Jay's finished his Christmas shopping. On Monday Jay's truck had to go into the shop (Merry Christmas to us!!!) so Jay borrowed Jim and Sharon's truck and went to Springfield to finish his shopping. I can envision Jay trying to get through the very busy mall, looking for the perfect gifts, with Cade in tow. I should also mention Cade has a pair of Skeecher velcro shoes ( anyone who wants to comment on that is more than welcome to come and teach him how to tie his shoes) that are a little too big for him. I tried to get him to get a smaller size but he said they hurt his feet and wanted the size 3. I gave in to him because his foot had made a sizeable leap this summer and figured it wouldn't take long for the shoes to fit. Instead of his foot growing, I think the shoes are growing. He can't keep them on his feet. Jay had to stop three times in the mall so Cade could adjust his shoes...which is done at a snails pace. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm picturing the adjustment taking place in the middle of the aisle at the mall. Can't you see it?

Besides shopping for his gift list and making sure he made it home with his child, Jay also had another task to accomplish that day. He had to return a gift that I had bought for him, but decided not to give him. Yes, he is a good husband. Let me explain....On Thanksgiving day I had Jay look through the Sears flier for Christmas ideas. There was a large set of tools that he wanted and then there were some smaller things that he also liked. When mom and I got to Sears that morning I found the large set and contemplated getting it. Now, that was the day that my stone/cyst thing was kicking into high gear. It was 5:30 in the morning, I had an awful pain in my right side and I was looking at a box that was as long as I was tall and seemed to weigh 500 pounds. There was no way I was in any condition to manhandle that box on Friday. I felt that if I lifted it, whatever was hurting in my right side would probably explode. Even if I had been in perfect health I don't think I would've wanted to deal with it though the holidays - getting it in the house, wrapping it, putting it under the tree. Also, the fact that I was in my car (Pontiac G6) kept me from buying it. I don't think it would've fit anywhere except on top. Who wants to drive around the day after Thanksgiving with a box on the hood of their car? I made a decision - I love my husband, but the gift was not worth a hernia so I moved on to the smaller things on the list.

So now that you have the background story here's why Jay had to return his gift . I bought a smaller jack that he wanted, it still seemed to weigh 100 pounds, but I lugged it out to the car. On Saturday Sharon called because she was going shopping and wanted to know what I bought. She decided to get something similar so I needed to return the jack and get him something else. That was fine, I didn't mind at all, except I kept forgetting to return the stupid thing. It had been riding around in the trunk of my car since the day after Thanksgiving...I either would forget it or not have the receipt, etc. One day last week I realized Jay saw what was in the trunk. He's supposed to stay out of my car trunk during this time of the year, but he needed to load something for me. Once I realized it I said "well I guess you know what you're getting this year". He informed me he'd already seen it a dozen times. So Monday when he said he was going to the mall I half jokingly asked him if he wanted to return the jack. He said he might as well....I dug out the receipt and realized there were some other gifts on it. I gave it to him with explicit instructions not to look at it. Just hand it to the cashier and DO NOT LOOK AT THE RECEIPT. I don't know if he looked or not, but Jay had to return a gift that wasn't really a gift before Christmas while Cade was shooting every imaginary war plane in sight. Can you visualize it?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here is a link to pictures on the Kansas City Star website. It proves that any person playing Santa must have nerves of steel. Enjoy!

In the lap of the jolly old elf

Laugh for the Day...or at least it makes me laugh....

This morning I came to work and did my normal routine. I got on MSNBC and browsed the main headlines for the day. In the entertainment section there were a lot of pictures and stories about Tom Cruise's new movie. I'm not a big fan of Tom, his acting has never impressed me and I'm sure that I'll never see this movie. Honestly I'm not even sure what the movie is about. I know he's a German during WWII, but that's about it. Even if I was a fan and planned on seeing Valkyrie I don't think I could watch it without laughing because of the movie Valiant. Have you ever seen Valiant? Cade has it and he went through a stage a couple of years ago where he watched it over and over and over. It was a Disney movie about Pigeon's during WWII. It was a decent movie. I don't think it was one of Disney's big money makers like The Little Mermaid or Cars, but it was an all right movie. The only problem is that it might make people who have seen Valiant have a hard time taking Tom's new movie seriously. Really who could look at this.....

and not compare it to this from Valiant

It's the first thing that comes to mind everytime I hear or see anything related to Valkyrie. That is the Fowler sense of humor coming out in me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today Jay and I have been married for 9 years. It is so hard to believe. I don't feel like it's been that long, but when I think back over specific things I realize we have been together a long time.

We started dating December 1998. Since I was getting ready to start my last semester in college and would be joining the adult world in May I wanted Fiesta dishes for Christmas that year. I didn't think I would be getting married anytime soon so I wanted nice dishes then instead of having to wait an indefinite amount of time. Thankfully Jay didn't have an issue with my Fiesta dishes. Over the next year I was able to get most of the dishes I wanted before we even started registering for our wedding. I originally picked out 6 colors (pink, yellow, turquoise, seafoam green, blue, persimmon) and we added a 7th color in 2008. Jay bought me a set of peacock for my birthday. As I was unloading the dishes last night I was thinking about how after 10 years I've never gotten tired of my dishes. I still get a little bit of a thrill when I open up my cabinets and see all of those colors in there. I think I'll be happy with the dishes for many many years to come.
Then that made me start thinking about our anniversary and how the Fiesta dishes are like our marriage. After 9 years there's still a thrill when I get home and open up the laundry room door (ok, there's a little more of a thrill when I open up the door and see Jay standing at the stove cooking dinner), but even if he's not and I have to track him down in the house I'm still glad to be there. Every day I wake up thankful that I woke up next to my husband and I pray that God will let us repeat it the next morning and for many, many more years. I'm pretty sure I'm not ever going to grow tired of it. Not only did I make a good decision when I picked out my Fiesta dishes 10 years ago, I also did a good job picking out my date to the Block and Bridle Formal. They're both still hanging around and still looking good. Happy Anniversary - I love you!

Here are some pictures of us through the years. Like I said, I don't feel like we've been married that long, but when I look back at pictures I realize it has been a few years.
College Graduation May 1999
Our Wedding December 18, 1999
Seeing the Rockettes in Branson November 2003Halloween 2005

Billy Graham Library in Charlotte December 2008

Doctor Update

Charlie and I both had big days yesterday. Here's the update.....

My kidney's and bladder are fine. I don't have to go back unless I have another issue. The kidney stone is small enough that we are going to ignore it for now. Since the pain in my right side has gone away maybe the stone has also gone away? Anyway, I'll definitely be able to recognize the pain if it ever comes back again. The Urologist had a different opinion on the gallstones than the urgent care doctor did because he used to be a gallbladder surgeon. He told me I needed to have my gallbladder removed. He said 300-400 people die each year from gallstones. He's seen people die with the number that I have because they get caught down in the tubes (whatever that means). So I've got an appointment with my regular doctor this morning to have him refer me to a surgeon. I really wasn't expecting that yesterday.

Charlie seemed to pull through his ordeal without showing any signs of stress or discomfort. When we picked him up yesterday afternoon he was his normal hyper self. He was jumping on us like he hadn't seen us in a month. I had his leash when we walked out the door. Jay took him from me so I wouldn't fall because the parking lot was ice covered. I'm glad Jay had him, because Charlie pulled Jay out to the truck like he was on a dog sled. Jay managed to keep upright, but I don't know that I would have been so lucky. Charlie was sent home with two pain pills and instructions about watching his stitches. We're supposed to keep him from rough housing, running and jumping. Have you ever met our dog?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Charlie's Tentacles

Charlie is at the vet right now to get (according to Cade) his tentacles removed. I know, I posted about this way back in June and were just now getting it taken care of. We didn't take him in the end of June because of our vacation. He was going to have to spend a couple of weeks with Jim and Sharon so we didn't want to traumatize him too much. Then once we got back from vacation we had to replace my windshield, then Jay had his week long teachers meetings, then we had VBS, then it was time for school to start, then it was football season, etc. You get the picture - tentacle removal was put on the back burner. Now that we have Sadie, who is a female, it was time to get Charlie to the vet. Especially since it's been cold and we've had them in the garage together. Occasionally I'll hear Sadie barking her head off. It's like she'd giving him a piece of her mind for doing something she didn't appreciate. I'm not sure what's going on between the two of them so we didn't want to take any chances. Also, since Charlie's been running loose more often, I've lived in fear of finding a batch of short legged puppies on my front step one morning. If any of our neighbors had puppies that had legs 1/4 of an inch long, they'd know exactly what house to bring them to.

So yesterday Jay and Cade delivered Charlie to the vet. The procedure will actually be done today, but we had to drop him off yesterday. Since we still didn't have school today Jay and Cade brought me to work and will go with me to my doctor's appointment this afternoon. Of course loading Charlie up in the middle of the day and dropping him off at the vet created quite the opportunity for questions yesterday. Luckily Jay was the one who got to take care of them. I'm afraid since they spend so much time in a vehicle together he may have to field a lot of these questions. Thankfully by the time I got home last night Cade had already moved on to other things.

The first question of course was what were they doing to Charlie?
Then came why are we doing that to Charlie?
Jay's response was so that he couldn't have puppies.
That's what got the wheels turning. If it had been Sadie, Cade would have gotten it. Obviously he knows that women are involved with how babies are born, but he didn't know there was a male connection to it.
That brought up the next question "So how does that work?"
I know of some parents, who at this point would have brought out that special book they purchased and had hidden for this moment. Other parents would draw graphs and diagrams to explain how it worked.

Of course that's not how we handled it. Yes, we are the parents who prefer to avoid those types of conversations with our 6 year old. Anytime anything like that gets brought up I have an overwhelming desire to flee the room. Poor Jay was stuck in the truck with Cade so there was nowhere to run. So Jay answered it like any scared parent'll understand it later.

It seemed to work, Cade accepted his answer. Jay managed to keep the truck on the road. All was right in the Shepherd household again. I guess Charlie may think differently though......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Feel Fabulous

Kristy, my cousin-in-law nominated me for this award while we were in Charlotte. It's taken me awhile to put it on our blog because 1. I was trying to get all the Charlotte posts done, but that hasn't worked out and 2. I didn't know who to pass the award on to.

Here are the rules to receiving this award:1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous bloggers in a post.
2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions in the post.
4. On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

Five current fabulous addictions:
1. Christmas movies on Hallmark and ABC Family: I can kill a whole Saturday because they draw me in, even if I've seen them a million times.
2. Christmas Music: I'm sure I'm driving George and Tom nuts in the office.
3. Being with Jay and Cade: I enjoy just being at home with them and wish we could do that more often
4. Blogging: Not only do I enjoy writing on ours I enjoy reading other blogs.
5. Reading: I'm on quite a reading kick these days. It's much more fun than doing that annoying housework like laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc

Five other fabulous bloggers:
This is the one I've had problems with. Kristy's blog is the only one I read that I actually know the person. There are a few others I read, but I don't personally know them. Almost three years ago I found a Christian forum for infertility called Hannah's Prayer. I think I've posted 15 times in the last three years, but I check it often. There are a lot of blogs that I've read on there that have given me encouragement over the years. Since I don't post that often no one knows who I am, but I know a lot of them and their stories. I'm pretty sure that could be a definition of a stalker??? I don't want anyone to think I'm some creepy person sitting in a dark basement using the computer to track down these people so I won't list them. Instead I'll list some blogs and sites that I keep up with. I guess this isn't actually an award, but just a list of things that I check out frequently. Think of it as a way to get to know me and some other people a little better.

1. The Shepherd Times - This is Corey and Kristy's blog. Corey and Jay are first cousins, their dad's are brothers. It's been nice to be able to stay up on each other's families since we don't get to see each other often. Corey and Kristy just had their 3rd son last week. I'm looking forward to getting to know another little Shepherd through their blog. He was born at 28 weeks 6 days (I'mnot sure I've got the days right but I know he was under 29 weeks). Benjamin seems to be doing very well considering his early arrival. You'll need to look at their blog - I'm amazed by the size of his diapers and the fact they still look huge on him.

2. Stuff Christian's Like - With the rest of my list I had to at least put one down that's more on the silly side. I don't keep up with this as often as I used to, but I check it out every once in awhile. There was a good one recently about how Christmassy is your Christmas sweater. I thought it was funny, but I also have a weird sense of humor.

3. Bring the Rain - This is a blog written by the wife of a member of Selah. Their 4th daughter received a "not compatible with life" diagnosis about half way through the pregnancy. I found the blog a few weeks before Audrey Caroline's birth.

4. Skylers Website - This isn't technically a blog, but I do check it every day looking for updates. Skyler, the son of one of my former co-workers, has an inoperable brain tumor. Since finding out about his diagnosis last May, Skyler and his family have never been far from my thoughts. We pray every night with Cade that God will heal Skyler's tumor.

5. Colby's Caring Bridge Site - Again, this isn't a blog but it's an important site. Colby is the little boy in Cade's class who was diagnosed with lymphoma last June. I check it often looking for updates on Colby. He is also in our thoughts on a daily basis and we are also praying for his complete recovery.

Ok, after writing out that list I feel a little teary. This has been quite a year.


I haven't been good at updating the blog recently. I still have pictures from Charlotte that I want to post. We went to Billy Graham's library and have some neat ones from there. That was probably one of my favorite things about the whole trip. I also need to post some pictures of Cade from this past weekend. He was Joseph on our chuch float for the Christmas parade. He took his job very seriously.

The reason why I haven't been able to do anything with the pictures is because they're at home and I'm stuck at work. I've spent the last few nights with mom because of the nasty weather we've had. I have about a 35 + mile drive to work each day. When the weather gets bad it stresses me out because I'm afraid of having a wreck or getting hit by another car or going off in a ditch and not having cell service. It wouldn't bother me to drive it as long as I could be the only car on the road. Since that's not an option I've stayed here. Also this time of year is busy with people deciding they want loans at the last minute and co-workers trying to use up vacation time. I sacrificed time with my family so that I wouldn't stress anyone out at work. The sacrifice ends today, I'm going home. FCS will have to deal with it if I can't make it to work, but I really don't think I'll have a problem. I'm thinking that the worst maybe over???

Tomorrow I have the follow up with the urologist so I'll have some more information about the kidney stone. I'm not looking forword to tomorrow's appointment....To start with the waiting room is always packed, when I go I wait for at least an hour before I even get to go back to a room. Then I feel a little odd while I'm waiting - the waiting room is 95% men over the age of 70. I'm a 31 year old female so I know people are looking at me wondering why I'm there. The only plus about the weather is that maybe some of the other patients won't want to get out in it tomorrow? Ok that's a little mean - hoping that the older patients won't make their appointments because of the snow and ice. I guess the waiting thing could go either way. I'll just have to wait and see. My appointment is at 1:00 so hopefully I'll be done by 3:00???? It's always a toss up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The NASCAR Experience

Blogging Note - On the post describing my current medical issues I said I'd have some interesting pictures to show. After re-reading that it sounds like I had pictures of all the cysts and stones. I meant interesting pictures of our trip not the CAT scan. Sorry if I grossed someone out. Here is the post with the really good pictures.

One of the highlights of our trip to Charlotte was visiting the Lowe's Motor Speedway. I'm not a NASCAR fan, but it was still interesting. There were about 5 or 6 cars practicing that day and it was so loud, I can't imagine how loud it would be on race day. I think your hearing would be permanently damaged or at the least you'd be partially deaf for the next few days. Besides winning a wonderful plaque and the honor of being the outstanding ag program in region 4, Jay and Lyle also won a cash prize. Since the money was burning a hole in their pockets while we were at the Speedway they found a way to spend it. We all are guilty of spending money and not really remembering what we spent it on. I think Jay and Lyle can safely say they won't ever forget what they spent their prize money on this time.

Welcome to the Richard Petty Driving School:
No, it's not Ricky Bobby & Cal Naughton Jr from Talladega Nights, it's Jay and Lyle. They rode in a NASCAR 3 times around the track going 165 mph. I don't think Jania and I have laughed as hard as we did watching them get in and out of the car (see the last picture for an example). All Jay could think about while he was in the car was that he wouldn't be able to get his head out of the car. I'm already seeing the above picture on the slide show at the FFA Banquet in May.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Memory Lapse

I know in a lot of my posts it seems like I'm hard on Jay. For any of you wondering about that he does give as good as he gets. Most of our families know that and Lyle and Jania were witnesses to it last week in Charlotte. This next story though is too good to not write about. For those who think I'm too much like Kate from John and Kate + 8, even you'll appreciate this story.

Jay had a FFA officers meeting at 7:30 am this morning. They have these at least once a month and they're not a big deal. Cade gets to play on the computers from 7:00 to 7:50 and then Jay take him to the elementary for school. This morning I got a phone call from Jay at 10:00 and he says "uh, you're gonna kill me". For a brief moment I was concerned because he sounded like something was wrong. He then went on to say "I'm just now getting Cade to school". After the meeting Terry called, then Jay went to eat breakfast and then it was time for school to start. Finally at 10:00 a student walked by the computer lab and said "shouldn't that kid be in school." That's when it hit Jay, he had forgotten to take Cade to school this morning. Cade had been playing computer games for almost 3 hours. He never moved from his spot. When Jay walked into the lab to get him Cade said "man dad, that meeting took a long time". I laughed so hard that I was crying when he told me, but I've always had a fear of forgetting Cade so I wasn't upset. But it's going to take Jay a long, very long time to live this down at school. I'm sure it spread from one end of the hall to the other in record time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Absence

Some of you may be wondering where I've been since I haven't posted in almost two weeks. Jay and I, along with Lyle and Jania have been in Charlotte, NC. Jay and Lyle received their award that I wrote about here and Jania and I went along for the ride. Actually, there probably aren't many who are really wondering why there was a break in the posts because most of you who read this knew where we were. But in case there are some out there who didn't know that's why.

I had taken off work all last week, Monday through Friday. We didn't leave until Tuesday morning so I had big, big plans for Monday. I was going to pack, have my oil changed, update the blog for Christmas and write a fabulous post about our Thanksgiving, balance our checkbook, go to the library etc. That all came to a screeching halt Sunday evening.

I've been having some issues for the last few months with recurrent UTI's (urinary tract infections). I had to go see a urologist the middle of November and he set me up to have a wonderful test called an IVP. Let me be honest here - if a medical test comes with instructions telling you how to prep for the test you best block out the night before the test. You're not going to want to be anywhere but home. Anyway, this test was supposed to show if I had any masses growing on my kidneys or any kidney stones. The doctor would only call if there was something that needed to be addressed before my next appointment. By the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I assumed no news was good news and decided to quit worrying about it.

Fast forward to the Sunday after Thanksgiving and two days before we are supposed to leave for Charlotte and I have a pain in my right side. It was a different kind of pain that I'd had off and on for awhile. That combined with my high blood pressure was somewhat concerning me, but the doctor hadn't called so I figured everything was fine. That afternoon it kept getting worse and I had a feeling I was getting another UTI. Jay and I talked about it and we decided I should go to urgent care rather than trying to fit in a doctors appt on Monday. I headed to Springfield and Jay stayed home with Cade. I got into the doctor pretty quickly, which was great, but I didn't have a UTI. The doctor was concerned because of my symptoms and some other things that had shown up. He wanted to do a CAT scan to check for stones or a kidney mass. I asked about the IVP I had just two weeks earlier and he said that really wouldn't show the bad stuff if it was in the kidneys, only if it was in the tubes. Great, I'm at the doctor's by myself, scared because the doctor seemed pretty concerned and I was mad I had suffered through the IVP prep for apparently no good reason. Then to add insult to injury they had to run a pregnancy test before they'd do the CAT scan. No, I'm not going to "surprise" every one in this post and say it was positive. I waited at least 30 minutes for the stupid thing to come back negative (like that wasn't obvious) before I could have the real test.

After a few agonizing minutes the doctor finally came in with the results and thankfully I did not have a mass on my kidneys. I did have a 2mm kidney stone which was stuck in the kidney and not in the tract. I was surprised by this because I was in pain, but I wasn't in that much pain. I've heard of people rolling around on the floor because of the pain and mine clearly wasn't that bad. But they also found more than I had bargained for....gallstones and two ovarian cysts. I had been pretty concerned about this pain and the blood pressure thing for awhile so it was nice to have some relief from the worry. While driving home my relief turned to humor, which it normally does....I am a like surgeon's gold mine. For those of you who are more literal, no I don't need surgery, I'd only need it if 1. if the kidney stone got bigger then they'd blow it up 2. if the gallstones start bothering me 3. if the cysts didn't eventually go away... so for those of you thinking "she doesn't need surgery" just work with me here....I've got three things going on that could require surgery but yet are fairly simple procedures. If I visited a doctor who wanted a little extra cash he could make it off of me. Cha Ching!!! Hopefully I don't end up in the wrong hands in the ER someday! I've laughed over that for some reason. But yet it also explains a lot.

So that brings me back to Monday and why I didn't post anything. I was too worried about passing a kidney stone on a plane somewhere between KC and Charlotte. It's definitely a thought that halted my productivity last Monday. Fortunately Lyle, Jania, Jay and I along with the cysts and the stones (If I were smarter I could make some funny rock band comment there like The Stones are so old they started touring with The Cysts and they're coming to a hospital near you, but right now it's not coming to me) made it home safe and sound Sunday morning.

I've got some really good pictures to post so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name - Psalm 100:4

Things I'm Thankful For:
Our God who is always there and always forgiving - growing up in a Christian home - Jay who is a wonderful husband and father - Cade who is all boy with a sweet side - our families who are always there for us - Christian grandparents and great-grandparents to set an example for Cade - our health which has never been more evident to me than this past year - our home - our jobs, even if we don't like them 100% of the time - what I've learned through 3.5 years of infertility - those who have helped us through the adoption process - and many many other things that would fill up this entire page.....

Things I'm Working on Being Thankful For:
Our adoption process.....someday it will all make sense and I'll be Thankful for what we learned and what we expereienced. Some day's though it's easier to remember to be thankful for it than others. It's definately a work in process!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pajamma Party

Cade's class won a blackout so they are having a pajamma party today. I'm still not sure what a blackout means. Cade's description of it still doesn't quite satisfy my curiosity, but I've learned to accept it. Too many questions = cranky kid. So today Cade is wearing pajamma's to school, he gets out at 1:00, he gets to be a car rider (his all time favorite thing) and he's spending the night with MeMo and Papa Jim. Does it get any better in a 6 year olds world?...actually wearing my jammies and leaving work at 1:00 sounds pretty good in my 31 year old world.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Congratulations Megan and Terry!!!!

So Terry and Megan’s wedding was the past weekend. We left for the Lake on Thursday, with a stop at Cade’s eye doctor. We got checked into our hotel somewhere around 6:30 pm. We checked out Sunday a little before 11:00 am. We had a great time, but we were so ready to get home. Saying Cade was pretty wound up, would be putting it mildly. He was nuts, not only was he staying in a hometel (his word for hotel) but he was also surrounded by family that he doesn’t see very often - John and Mary from Texas, Meagan and CJ from Virginia, Nana, Granddad and Mary from Arkansas, Steve, LeeAnn, Lauren and Kim from Illinois plus the locals - Memo, Papa Jim, Grandma Robyn, Aunt Charity and Avery. He was in a 6 years olds version of heaven. On Friday night after rehearsal, while we started decorating, he went back to the hometel with Lauren and Kim. They are Jay’s 19 and 17 year old first cousins. They had a ball talking about movies and things. They even gave him the nickname Goldfish. I’m not sure what the story behind the nickname was, but Cade was proud of it.

The wedding turned out beautiful. Everyone seemed to get along and things went pretty smoothly. Megan’s parents and family are very nice. I think the two families will get along well over the years. I didn’t get too many pictures taken during all the festivities because I ended up being pretty busy until the reception. Being the sister-in-law who has a tendency to be uptight and nervous when it comes to time, schedules, organizing, etc I thought it would be best to be seen and not heard. I had planned on staying in the shadows and keeping my mouth shut! So that didn’t happen. But I enjoyed everything that I got to do to help with the wedding and I was glad to do it. Thanks to Megan and Terry for letting us help with your special day!

No matter what worked or what didn’t work at the wedding – Terry and Megan are now husband and wife. We are praying that God will bless their marriage for many, many years to come. Congratulations!!!!!

So now for the pictures…I was so mad at myself yesterday when I realized I didn’t have one of the three of us dressed up. We did have a professional one taken but I wanted a non-professional one for Christmas cards. I’ll post a professional one once we get them back.

The Bride and Groom. One of the things that didn't work that day were the original candles that were supposed to be in front of Megan and Terry. The original ones got broke during the deocrating process that morning. Sharon and I went and picked out new candles since a certain someone was responsible for the breakage. Jay admitted to being the one who broke them during his toast. He also confessed that our wedding gift fell out of the truck, which I didn't know about. I guess Megan and Terry will see how sturdy Fiesta dishes are when they open our gift.

The Cake Table

Cade and some woman who grabbed him and started dancing. She must be from Megan’s side…..

Cade dancing some more. I think he was doing the swim with LeeAnn and her girls. There's a hint of LeeAnn's outfit on the right side of this picture

Cade and two of the bridesmaids. He seemed to be a hit with the women on the dance floor.

The car that Jay was so proud of. I’m going to have to ask Megan about that lady….she and Cade seemed to be very good friends. She’s in so many of my pictures I need to write her name down.

Jay’s other proud moment – the saran wrapped steering wheel and luggage. There were a couple of former grooms (including Jay) that had some serious payback for Terry.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A School Function

I think I’ve mentioned before that Cade is in the after school program. The school has gotten funding from the state to provide a place for kids to stay after school. They work on homework, have Karate class once a week, play computer games and are even served dinner at 4:30. I’m on the fence with this whole thing – it’s a really great alternative for parents who don’t have anywhere for their kids to go. It’s safe, it’s supervised, they get fed, they get help with their homework, etc. But on the other hand isn’t all of that the parent’s responsibility? Yes, but things aren’t as cut and dry as they used to be. There are so many parents who don’t take care of their kids which make these programs necessary. It’s a sad cycle. What really breaks my heart is thinking about the kids who are eating all 3 of their meals at school every day. It's good for them in case they weren't getting fed at home, but can you imagine not having dinner around the table with your family at all? We do have Cade in it, but if they didn’t have the program we would be fine. The only reason why we did it was because of those days Jay isn’t at school. I can’t leave work at 2:30 everyday that Jay has something going on. If I did they might as well move me to part time status. We use it because it’s convenient and thankfully not because it’s necessary.

Cade has a love/hate relationship with the after school program. He would rather ride the bus over to the high school every day, but he’s required to at least show up three times a week. This is where it gets tricky for Jay and I….if Jay wants to pick Cade up before they serve dinner (which is what we strive for) he has to be there early enough that Cade doesn’t realize he’s missing dinner. If Jay shows up at 4:20, Cade’s mad because he didn’t get to eat. Then when I pick him up I have to time it so I’m there about 5:15 which means I have to kill some time after work. If I get there right at 5:00 he has just gotten to the computer lab and gets upset because he didn’t get to play very long. Sometimes I wonder how “convenient” this really is for us.

One night last week the after school program had a fun night of activities at the high school. Jay had a speaking contest so Cade and I braved this one alone. The gym was a combination of jumping toys, a Wii game, face painting, noise and smelly feet. Kids were running everywhere. There was a huge blow up obstacle course that ended with an enormous slide. Cade headed there first. So naturally I followed him. The line was a little long, but he waited there for awhile. Kids were sneaking in line, shoving each other, etc. When Cade got almost to the front he got out of line and came over to me. He wanted to do something else. I drug him back over to the line and told him he was almost there. Really, what would Cade do without me making sure he stayed in his line? It would be complete chaos, or at least that’s my opinion.

After the obstacle course he wanted to try the Wii. So I walked over to that line with him. That’s where the blow occurred. The one that you know as a mother is going to happen, but you hope it will be where they’re 18, not 6. He gave looked up into my eyes, gave me a little push and very sincerely said “Mom, could you please just go away? I promise I’ll stay in line this time”. He didn’t say it hatefully; he was actually quite nice about it. He was with his friends and I was hovering too much. Ok, I was standing right beside him in line. Since there didn’t seem to be any other parents in a 24 foot radius of me I had to assume I was the only one waiting with my child in line. So I backed off about 12 feet.

While backing up from Cade I thought about something that had happened when he first got there…..when he walked to the line for the obstacle course he saw one of his friends in line towards the front so he stopped to say Hi to him. A little girl, who looked to be about 4 shoved Cade and told him to get to the back of the line. Cade didn’t say anything, just went to the back of the line. For a split second I almost got onto the girl for shoving, I don’t like to see Cade (or any child for that matter) treated that way. It’s a good thing I didn’t say anything. Not only would Cade be known as the one with the hovering mother, but also the one who got onto a 4 year old girl for pushing her 6 year old boy. But if that girl’s parents had been standing with her in line she wouldn’t have shoved. Yes, I think there is something to be said for parental involvement not only in school but also while kids are waiting in lines. Lines are like war zones for kids. Very, very scary.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Highlights from Halloween

I'm just now getting around to posting pictures from our really fun Halloween weekend. Jay and Cade were out of school that Friday and Monday so I decided to take off the same days. On Friday we went to Fayetteville and Cade Trick-or-Treated around Nana and Granddad's neighborhood

and Aunt Mary's neighborhood.

But the highlight for Cade was handing out candy for Nana and Granddad. Since we've always lived in the country we've never had trick-or-treators so this was something new for Cade. Jay and I left him there handing out candy and made a Wal-Mart run for the next day. While we were there Nana called and asked if we could pick up more candy. They had ran out and Cade wasn't too happy about it. There were two little kids on the front porch when Cade realized they were out of candy. He told them he was out but his mom and dad were bringing more and then shut off the porch light. Once we got there with the candy he went out in the yard and told everyone he was back in business.

On Saturday we went to a Razorback game with Jay, Terry and Mary. Terry and Mary sat in the normal seats and the three of us sat in the seats we got for the game. Cade did pretty well through the first three quarters thanks to the binoculars, snow cone and ice cream. At the beginning of the 4th quarter Cade and I headed back to the tailgaiting spot. The famous Tailgriller.

Can you see all of the red in crowd around me?

Then on Sunday we went to Silver Dollar City. There is nothing like looking at Christmas lights and sweating at the same time. It was over 80 degrees that day. Can you pick out Cade in this group of kids?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wii tried out the Wii

This weekend Cade stayed with my mom. He got to go see Madagascar Friday night and then spend some time with Pampa George, Papa Kerry and Avery on Saturday and Sunday. He had a big time.

While he was gone Jay and I took advantage of that and did some Christmas shopping. We got our shopping for him finished up this weekend. Before any of you get really jealous of me because we're done remember he's getting a Wii, we didn't have to do too much for him. We already had the Wii but we still needed all the accessories. We decided to get 3 remotes and 3 wheels so we can all play at the same time. You know we wouldn't be responsible parents if we didn't try it out before Christmas. How sad would it be for Cade if something didn't work on Christmas morning? It was our duty to make sure everything was in working order on the Wii.

We are happy to say that after several games of Mario Kart and Lego Batman the Wii is in working order. Jay may tell you there were some problems on Mario Kart, but that was more operator error. We loved it. Or at least I loved it all the time, Jay seemed to only love it when he was winning. Yesterday morning I played it until I had to get ready for church. Then I got ready quickly so I could play it before we left. As soon as I got home I started playing again. I did stop for a quick nap, but then went right back. We played until mom called to let us know she was on her way with Cade. Sadly we had to box it up. We probably won't see it again until Christmas....unless....Does anyone want Cade for another weekend? I looked up online how to get past this one part on the Lego Batman game. I'm really wanting to try it out. We've got to practice some more, we can't let Cade beat us right from the start.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out and vote

Have you voted today?

Jay, Cade and I were at the polls by 7:00 this morning. If you didn't vote before going to work make sure you do it on your way home. Go put a sticky note on your steering wheel right now so you'll remember.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Charity is the winner. Yes, we were trying to figure out the schedule for Parent/Teacher Conferences. The confusion started with the official school calendar that we received the first day of school. It had the conferences down for October 28. The week Jay was gone to convention we got a note sent home saying the elementary conferences were the 28th and 30th, with ours being 6:45 on the 28th. I had assumed Jay would have the same schedule so I wrote him off as being gone from home Tuesday and Thursday. Monday morning Jay called to ask if I knew that he had conferences that evening. I got concerned that maybe I had down the wrong day for Cade’s conference, but I had the right date for that. So then I thought Jay also had them Tuesday night, until I looked at the schools website Tue afternoon. The school calendar had them for Mon and Wed nights. Great, the only night we were going to be home for the week (Wed) appeared to be taken by the conferences. That’s what prompted our confusing text conversation. We got it straightened out, we are home tonight and we made it to Cade’s conference last night, Tuesday the 28th at 6:45 pm.

So how did the conference go? I’m sure you all are wondering…
It went fine. No, we didn’t get any glowing reports of how great of a kid Cade is, how great he does in school, how unique his personality is, etc. It wasn’t like last year. His teacher showed us his report card, told us his grades and really didn’t elaborate much on anything. I’m not taking that personally because I think that’s just the way she is. I think Mrs S has been doing this for so long that she knows he’s a normal 1st grader. I’ve already e-mailed her once about him and school and when she didn’t respond in 12 hours Jay went in and talked to her. Mrs S first words to him were “Jay, he’s doing fine”. We got the impression she thought we were worrying over him a little too much. Sorry, but we’ve never done this parenting thing before. Anyway, he got E’s (which is excellent) on his spelling, reading and classroom behavior. He got S’s (which is satisfactory) in writing, math and listening/responding. This is where you can tell Jay and I are on different wave lengths when it comes to education…..

Since she didn’t really elaborate on why she gave him an S in those areas we tried to drag it out of her. Jay is really concerned about his math. Since I was never good at math and I'm surviving working with loans, it’s not one of my top list of things to worry about with Cade. So while Jay jumped in to ask her about his math and what we need to do to help him and how much he needs to know by the end of the year I sat there and wondered about the listening/responding thing. I can’t remember exactly how it was listed on the report card but the term they used had me thinking Cade wasn’t getting along well with others. It seemed like Jay and Mrs S went on forever about the math thing and all I wanted to know was do the other kids like my baby. I mean we have a 6 ½ year old who is an only child who plays by himself in his own little world ¾ of the time, he as an unusual infatuation with the Civil War, is extremely anxious and today for Red Ribbon hat day he couldn’t decide between his Civil War hat and a boat captain’s hat. Yes, I was concerned that Cade was not relating well to the other kids in his class. What if the other kids were making fun of him? All of this was floating through my head while Jay talked Math. Then there would be a break and I would try to ask my question but Jay would beat me to it with another math thing. Ahh, finally they quit talking math and I was able to ask my question. I’m still not sure what she was looking for from Cade on the grade card criteria, but he is getting along well with the other kids. He does have someone to play with at recess. What a relief.

Jay and I both have our obsessions – he isn’t too concerned about him fitting in, but he wants him to know how to add and subtract. I don’t care nearly as much about if he can count to 100 by 5’s, but I don’t want the other kids making fun of him. I’m not saying I want him to be popular or to do whatever it takes to be with the “in” crowd. I just want him to be accepted and to be friends with a wide variety of kids….and I guess knowing a little math wouldn’t be too bad either.

These are the times I jump back and forth between these two prayers:
1. God, if you’d give us another child at least we wouldn’t be as obsessed with every move Cade makes.
2. God, I know why we only have one child. We couldn’t handle obsessing over two, Cade keeps us both busy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I haven’t been on the texting bandwagon for long. The whole process takes entirely too much time in my opinion. I hate having to punch a key 3 times to be able to get the letter I want. I also have no idea what the abbreviation is for some of the words so I end up typing them all out…which takes FOREVER. Jay though has been texting for quite some time. After a very irritating phone bill last November concerning a wedding and a Razorback game we added a texting package to his phone. It really was necessary though, because of the number of kids who text him about practice times and what not. Believe me I’d much rather have the kids texting him than calling our house, especially when its midnight before they realize they don’t know what times the bus leaves the next morning.

This past week I finally broke down and added a texting package to my phone. I’ve learned that if I need to tell Jay something during the day I’m much more likely to get a response from a text instead of leaving him a message on his phone or sending an e-mail. So the smallest package is $5 for 200 texts a month. Since I was paying about that much a month for individual texting, it seemed like a good deal. The only problem is I think Jay and I have reached the point where our age and technology are not coinciding very well. You know how husbands and wives have that special way of communicating, they will have many of the same thoughts, they can finish each others sentences, they know what the other one is going to say before they say it. That has all gone out the window with us when it comes to texting. Our conversations are actually quite painful. This is our texting from today….

Me: Do u have pt conf 2night or tomorrow? I looked @ hs cal and im confused

Jay: Tonight @ 6:45

Me: I know that. Im asking about u. Cal shows Wed night.

Jay: Yes I do

Me: (If I could’ve figured out how to do all caps it would’ve been ALL CAPS) 2night or tomorrow. U r hard 2 communicate with by text!

Jay: Yes tonight and that is it. Can we all say Amen brother

Does anyone know what we were trying to ask each other? Can you tell we were both confused? Geez, I prefer a phone conversation when were trying to figure out our schedules.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas is around the corner.....

In honor of the fact I received the official FCS 2008 Christmas cards last week and have started working on them today, here is a countdown ticker.

Yes, I've started on the cards early. 1)I hand address almost 300 cards each year for work and 2)things are very slow in the finacial world right now, but who knows what it will be like closer to Christmas. As of right now I've writen George, Tom & Crystal...George, Tom & Crystal about 75 times. Only 225 more to go!!!!

Have you started on your holiday plans yet?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Today....Jay left for National Convention with his state winning ag mechanics team. Tomorrow Lyle leaves on a bus with the rest of the kids. Tomorrow Jay's team starts their first half of the contest.

Today....Mom came over to take Cade and I out to dinner. We got to the restaurant and I looked down at my shoes. I had slipped my shoes off when I got home from work and had put on two different shoes to go back out. I had on a dark brown sweater, khaki pants, one brown shoe and one black shoe. Cade asked me if I was crazy.

Today....Cade learned what flirting is (thank you mom). A little girl at the restaurant kept turning around smiling at him. He kept ducking down and acting goofy. He asked why she kept turning around and mom told him it was because she was flirting. So of course the next question was what is flirting. Mom explained that she liked him and Cade's face turned a really dark shade of red, but he had a huge grin on his face. When the little girl left she walked by our booth and gave Cade a huge smile. I also learned today that I'm not ready for that!

Monday, October 20, 2008

End of Football

Cade's football season ended on Saturday with two games. I don't know if there is a football term used to describe two games in one day like there is with baseball? I know I had a few names for it, but they probably aren't the best to actually record in our blog. I'm sure most of you can use your imagination to figure it out....I told Jay that I'm usually somewhat indifferent when Cade ends a particular stage of his life. When baseball ended, I wasn't exactly sad, but I also didn't mind going to the games/practices. If we had frozen time during baseball season I would've been ok. I don't think I've ever been as happy to see a phase end in his life since his cranky stage before he could walk as I was when they called time on the last football game.

Apprently I wasn't the only one feeling that way....After the last game was over Cade's fan club was hurridly grabbing the chairs so we could make a very quick exit because we were tired of football and we were also freezing. Cade ran off the field to us, put his hands up in the air and yelled "Yeah, Football is over!!!" It was the most excitement he had shown the whole season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cute vs Not So Cute

Cute would be the two dogs playing together......

Cute is also Sadie giving it all she's got to be able to look over the side of the truck like Charlie....

Not so cute is the hole Sadie's put in our screen door that seperates our laundry room from the garage...
And again not so cute - the fact that the hole is now Sadie Sized and she's turned it into her own personal doggie door......