Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today Must Be My Day

I woke up to an email from BasicGrey saying they had chosen my layout "The Best of Both Worlds" for their gallery. Wow, what an honor. I was beginning to think they just didn't like me (flashback to the I Never Imagined album). And as if that wasn't enough, Rebecca at Create My Keepsake also chose the same layout as Layout of the Day! So a layout that I was scared of finishing (because of all the yellow) turned out to be pretty darn good I guess. I'll try new stuff more often. :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Things to do Today

Not a lot, but enough for me. After Clayton's therapy, we HAVE to get to the Post Office--my Circle Journal group is going to send out a search party if I don't get Shelly's journal in the mail! It's coming, it's coming, I promise! I also need to go get some thread at Hobby Lobby (and, umm, maybe check out the SBing section). I ran out of brown thread and I'm really thinking I need brown for the layout I'm working on. I have to meet Monica tonight to work on our song for Sunday. Clayton will be going to Granny and Pop's--he'll be much happier there than listening to me sing.
I finished this layout last night--Taylor was so cute playing catch in her dress. I had a hard time with this one because I usually don't do yellows and oranges very well. I'm hoping the green helped it out.

Have a great day--it's beautiful weather here--it will be good for us to get out and about.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

After yesterday's post and a good night's rest, I'm reminded that I'm not alone. God is right alongside me throughout this journey. I only hope that he can kick my butt into gear! I'm giving thought to seeking help in more ways than one, but like anything I do, I'll have to analyze it to death first. For now, I will be singing this song in the back of my mind. Click on the title if you'd like to listen.

by Matt Redman
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Monday, June 26, 2006

Random Thoughts on the Weekend

Not much of anything happened this weekend. We had band practice Friday night. It was almost another bust of a practice because we all actually got there, only to find someone else using the church sound system. We just waited them out, we knew they would eventually get tired of singing. :) I don't know how much longer this band thing is going to work. We have the potential to be pretty good, but a lot of road blocks are coming up. Logistics and attitudes are the main problems. I only hope that we can work past these issues--I've gotten spoiled to singing with live music as opposed to those horrible CDs you have to buy.
I was supposed to take Clayton to a pool party Saturday night. I didn't. I have no REAL excuse as to why I didn't. I had even RSVP'd. I just didn't want to go--#1: I dreaded putting a bathing suit on for the world to see; #2: I dreaded dealing with Clayton by myself in the pool and everywhere else (Brian was out of town); #3: It's such a downer to see Clayton stare at all the other kids playing--he wants to play so bad! I just wish he could join them instead of always being a spectator. They all come and say hi to him, but that's about the extent of his "play." Ugh. I wish I wasn't like this! I deal with all these issues by simply avoiding certain situations. I just wish I could be with a group of friends and their kids without spending the next two days crying about poor pitiful me for having the disabled kid. But I cry for Clayton as much as myself. And what kind of example is that setting for him? We tell him and treat him as if he is capable of conquering the world, but then I cry everytime we are out in it? Wow. I've got some major issues to deal with, don't I? Maybe someday I'll have it under control, but for now it's seems like the wound just keeps festering. And my friendships suffer for it. It's so selfish of me to just avoid my friends and their social engagements--I hope they don't give up on me. I love them and their families, I just wish I could be around to show it more.
On the scrapbooking front, I was really hoping to make the Create My Keepsake Design Team, but I didn't. They did pick some very talented girls--they had 100 applications for three spots. I can't imagine picking from that many talented people! And although I didn't make the team, I did discover a great community at CMK--there are several girls from Arkansas and Missouri and the owner, Rebecca, is super sweet and very involved in the forums. Makes you feel right at home!
I finished six pages for my LSS today. Those pages are so hard to do because I don't have pictures to work off of! My usual process is to start with the pic, think of a title, get papers, etc. So I'm really challenged to get these pages done considering I have to change my process all around! She closes at three tomorrow, but I'm still hoping to get up there after Clayton's therapy. I am in dire need of adhesive--I can't believe I've gotten this close to running out! I also need to pick out some stuff for my July class. I'm focusing on chipboard this time and I can't wait to get started.
Happy Monday all--hope you have a great day!

Friday, June 23, 2006


There's absolutely nothing going on today. I'm doing laundry and trying to sort through a mound of clothes that Clayton has outgrown. My grandparents are supposed to visit this afternoon, but they haven't called yet. We also have band practice tonight. We are having major problems getting us all together for practice, so Friday night was the best we could come up with. Doesn't really matter to me, it's not like I'm out partying on Friday nights! Brian is at home right now and it's nice to have him here to help entertain Clayton. Of course, he can't be home without cooking something, so he came up with some concoction of vegetables in a soup. That man never ceases to amaze me with the recipes he comes up with. I better go for now. Clothes are finished washing. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Layout of the Day!

I'm so excited! This layout was chosen as the Layout of the Day over at ScrapJazz! And considering that site has over 20,000 members, and A LOT of layouts to choose from, it's quite an honor. I'm especially touched because this layout is about such a milestone in Clayton's life. I'm sure in the coming years, his wheelchair will become an integral part of his life.
Today is Thursday, which means only one therapy for Clayton. That means we are getting outta here for a little while this afternoon. It's hot, but we gotta go somewhere while we have the chance. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and I really don't like taking him out in the rain.
Have a great day everyone! If you're in Arkansas, stay cool. It's HOT and HUMID--such a nice mix. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Feelin' the Mojo

Translation: My creative juices are flowing. I just wish I had enough time in the day to actually work on my ideas! I did this page last night. I've had the idea forever, but actually didn't get it done until now. I wanted to wait until I had just the right pictures of my little man. Isn't he a cutie?
I won't be able to scrap tonight, I'm singing with our church choir at our District Assembly. Should be an interesting night because people from all over the world will be there. It'll be good for me to get out, but I think I'd rather sit here and scrap!
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 19, 2006

What A Weekend!

Whew. Glad that's over! Clayton decided to give us a run for our money this weekend. He had major oxygen problems early Saturday morning so we had to start breathing treatments at around 7:00 am. Then I gave him a bath just to get his blood circulating and trying to wake him up so he would BREATHE deeper. We weren't able to turn the oxygen down until later in the afternoon and he's still getting a liter and a half (he's normally on a 1/4 liter). Then Saturday night he was basically up ALL NIGHT. By 5:00 am, I had only had about an hour and a half sleep. I have no idea what was wrong with him. He would fall asleep and then jerk awake crying. Whatever it was, he seemed to be fine all day yesterday and last night was much better. He did act very whiny during therapy today, so I think he's still wiped out from not getting enough sleep. I'm just glad he's acting like he feels better--I was really dreading another doctor visit.
We spent Father's Day at my parents. My mom cooked a roast and for dessert we had the most rich and DELISH chocolate and peanut butter brownie concoction! Yum, yum, good!

And I actually got to scrap this weekend! While Clayton and Brian watched the fight Saturday night, I did some scrapping. I made several cards and I got two layouts done. This layout is of me and Maegan Hall. She was the design team coordinator for A Scrapbook Shoppe. Notice I said "was." If you didn't already know, A Scrapbook Shoppe is closing--I'm really bummed about the whole thing. I loved the team I worked with and I enjoyed the work we did. I hate that it's ending. :(

I did this next layout for the Manufacturer challenge over at the PubCalls Blog. I really feel like these challenges are going to open up a lot of doors for unknown scrappers. The manufacturer that was spotlighted this week was Scenic Route, so I used their paper and chipboard letters for this layout about my graduation from UCA. This layout will go in my BOM (Book of Me).

Well, I must go for now. I've got plenty of laundry to do and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. I've put it off as long as I could!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Weighing In

Clayton had a checkup with the GI doctor today. He weighed a little over thirty pounds and was 32 inches long. He went from being in the 5oth percentile for weight at his last visit to being in the 95th percentile now! BIG jump! And get this--he's still not on the chart for length! He is still below the 0th percentile in that area. I can thank the Smiths for that. So anyway, Dr. Vonlanthen started calculating to put him on a diet and then she realized that for his age, he is already on a diet. Since his caloric intake has not been increased in over a year, he is getting 20% less than what a normal child his age would be getting and his weight still shot up significantly. She decided to have lab drawn to check his thyroid, because with that few amount of calories, he shouldn't have gained so much weight so fast. She said that with his brain bleeds, his pituitary gland could have well been damaged. And although I wasn't looking forward to the bloodwork being drawn, I think checking his thyroid is a great idea because of his excessive sweating. He just pours sweat when he sleeps. Maybe there is a connection. In the meantime, she did decrease his intake a small amount--she said she wouldn't decrease it anymore because his protein levels and electrolyte levels would start suffering.

We left the doctor's office and went straight to the hospital to get the blood drawn. You should have seen that room when we left! It looked like a wild man had been in there--Clayton is definitely a fighter!!!! One of the lab assistants left because he was "making her nervous" and she "felt faint." I told her she wouldn't last long at our house, because when he's mad, he throws a fit!!!! Honestly, I think she might need to look for a new profession if she was so nervous she had to leave.

We go back in a month for a checkup--hopefully we'll get some answers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Let's Play Catch Up!

Whew, the last three days have been busy! My class at the LSS was Tuesday night. The women loved it, but it was definitely an eye opener for me. I had a whole lesson planned with handouts and all, but only two women were there on time. I ran through the lesson with them, but it just wasn't the same as it would have been with everyone there. Everyone eventually got there, but I was disappointed I had prepared so much and then wasn't able to share my lesson. Oh well, better luck next time. Like I said, they all LOVED it and couldn't wait to sign up for the July class, so I guess that means it was a success!
Yesterday I sang at a luncheon at Second Baptist Church. I had been worried about my voice (I totally lost it after band practice Monday night), but it was fine and dandy. My throat didn't even hurt. Neat how God works out those details for us. Besides singing, I actually talked a little bit about my story. This is definitely the hardest part for me. I can sing all day in front of a crowd, but actually ask me to "testify" and I get NERVOUS!! You'd think with me being a teacher it would be easy, but it's not. I suppose I worry about saying "the wrong thing" about God and/or the Bible. But I guess if you think about it, I'm talking more about the life changes that God has brought about in my heart and mind. I'm the expert on that, right? And I really feel like God has given me this testimony and the voice to sing for a reason--they are a package that I can take with me to lots of places. We'll see where He takes me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Although they would probably not want to be outed, I can't help but publicly thank my wonderful grandparents for the gift they gave me today. They sent Tidy Tina and her team to my house for a MAJOR cleaning! I would never treat myself to such a gift, and believe me when I say it is a treat! There's nothing like a house that is COMPLETELY clean--I can't remember the last time my house was clean from top to bottom. With my emotional highs and lows and Clayton's hatred of the vacuum cleaner, I've gotten really good at just doing what needs to be done to get by. It was nice to hand over the reigns to people who do this professionally--the house looks great. Thank you so much Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw for the wonderful gift.

Monday, June 12, 2006


The trip to the wedding went well this time--the poop stayed IN the diaper! The only major issue we had was the HEAT. It was so hot and poor Clayton had to change clothes in the car with the sun beating down on him. He didn't really like the end of the wedding when everyone clapped. Totally through him off guard and he immediately started screaming! He's just not much on big crowds. On the bright side, he did get to play with his cousins. He loves to show out for them and they love to giggle at him! This is my youngest niece, all dressed up with her little bow--she's such a cutie!
Clayton, on the other hand, decided he didn't want his picture taken--he wouldn't look at me at all! I was going to post one of him anyway, but blogger is being goofy and won't let me upload the pic. I'll save it for later.
I spent yesterday in a complete funk--I felt horrible. I had a major sinus pressure headache and just all around yuck feeling. I laid on the couch while my parents entertained Clayton. They even took care of his feeding. Felt good to not have to worry about a thing.
I woke up this morning with my head feeling better but now my throat is sore. I have no idea how I'm supposed to practice for Wednesday and then actually sing Wednesday with a sore throat. Let's just pray my voice holds out. Clayton is still pretty congested too. I keep having to turn up his oxygen. He doesn't act like he feels bad, but the mornings are rough. I finally gave in this morning and did a deep suction (which he hates). I think it helped, but he still has lots of snot.
On the whole, I do feel better today. Which is a good thing considering I need to get my class materials together. Can't wait to see how it goes! I'm already working on ideas for my next class. There's no shortage of ideas, just a limit on the time I have to put them into practice!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lots of Stuff Coming Up

Tomorrow we drive three hours north for a family wedding. The last wedding we went to up there Clayton pooped all over the car seat and my mom's nice dress. Hopefully we won't have a repeat!
Sunday: church and choir practice.
Monday: therapy, tutoring, and band practice.
Tuesday: Tidy Tina and her team are coming to clean my house!!! I also have to spend the day getting ready for my class which is Tuesday night. Very excited and nervous about this.
Wednesday: Singing at a luncheon. It should be interesting because Clayton usually doesn't do well when I sing! My mom is coming to help take care of him while I am on stage--hopefully he'll find all the comfort he needs from Granny. (He usually does).
Let's hope I can get prepared for the class and singing without a hitch. Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Back to Teaching

A friend of Brian's called me a few weeks ago about tutoring his daughter. She didn't make very good grades this year and needs to do a lot of work before they will pass her to the sixth grade. I told him sure--I could use the extra money. We started this week, and I'm actually having fun doing fifth grade math and science! It's so nice to have a willing student--it helps me remember why I love to teach. When I taught high school, I only had about 10 willing students out of 150. Not a very good ratio.

We meet three times a week for two hour sessions here at the house--it's going to be interesting. I wanted to meet when Clayton was having therapy, but their schedule doesn't allow for that. So Clayton spends the whole time she is here flirting and trying to get her attention by yelling and banging toys. She says it doesn't bother her because she has a three year old brother, but I hate that he can't be entertained by a cartoon show or a movie while she's here. Maybe he'll get used to her after a few sessions. I'm hoping this will be a lesson in self-entertainment for him!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just Call Me Kermit

I just took this fun little test to see which Muppet I'm most like. It didn't surprise me to learn it's Kermit!

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.

You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.

Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.

Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Getting My Bearings

I'm here to tell you the old saying "you can't get any rest in a hospital" still holds true. I've felt like a complete zombie since we got home Thursday night! Friday and yesterday were spent staring off into space--I told Clayton I didn't want to expend any unnecessary energy! Of course, by last night, he was feeling more than a little bored. He is acting like his old self again except for a bad cough and congestion--he's still needing more oxygen, but that doesn't bother me because he's acting normal.
I went to church this morning and left Brian and Clayton in the bed--Brian is still running fever off and on. I'll be glad when he feels better because Clayton doesn't understand why Daddy doesn't get close to him or hold him. We had a good service but I snuck out during the Benediction so I wouldn't have to talk to too many people--I know that people love and care about Clayton and they want to know all about him--but I can only handle going through the story a few times. I get so worn out emotionally that I go to the car crying if I talk to too many people about it. So I just choose to back out quietly. Hope no one gets too upset, but I guess that's just my way of coping.
Anyway, I'm off to eat a good meal at my Mom's--chicken and rice, fried okra, pinto beans, bread, and I'm sure some more goodies. My kind of meal! She's already made us a banana pudding this weekend and it was DELICIOUS! In fact, it's almost all gone!!
Here's to a better week than the last . . . .

Friday, June 02, 2006

{My} Life Happened

Last weekend after reading my birthday post, my mom said that she was going to stop reading my blog because it was such a downer! I didn't think I had been that depressing, but I told her I would try to be more cheerful. But then my life happened.
We had a wonderful holiday weekend. Clayton went "swimming" with one of his little friends Saturday, I had a great birthday party with my family Sunday, and we spent Monday afternoon with our Sunday School class. I did get a little depressed Monday seeing everyone's kids running and playing while my son sat in his wheelchair, but I did my best to hold back the tears.
Tuesday morning, Clayton woke up around 5:00 crying and very whiny. This went on for a couple of hours, so I called his therapist to cancel therapy. I just knew he didn't feel well. We watched TV and fell back asleep. Around 9:30, I woke up to his monitor beeping (not unusual), but then as I sat up to look at him, I knew something wasn't right. His eyes were darting to the right and his little arm was twitching. I started shaking him because I realized that he wasn't breathing. His oxygen saturation was falling. The monitor kept blaring and blinking and I was immediately taken back to the morning Shawn died. It was a complete flashback. I could not get Clayton to breathe and I was in panic mode. I called Brian and said "I'M CALLING 911 COME HOME!" then hung up with him and called 911. This entire time, Clayton was not breathing. His saturation got as low as 26%. I was just holding him and begging him to breathe. When the firemen got to the house all they could do was put an oxygen mask in front of him and wait for him to stop seizing. By now it had been SEVERAL minutes--all I could think about is if he survives he will have severe brain damage from lack of oxygen. Brian got home in record time (I don't even want to know how fast he drove)--he immediately took charge and started suctioning Clayton. By this time he was taking small breaths and he sounded really congested. The suctioning REALLY got Clayton's attention--he hates that machine--he started crying and I knew we were okay for the moment. His eyes were still doing some crazy things, but at least he was breathing.
We rode to Arkansas Children's Hospital in the ambulance and spent the ENTIRE day in the ER. Clayton had several tests done and lots of bloodwork done. We got to our room around 9:00 that night. We were all worn out. I was just so glad to still have my baby. It was when it got quiet that night that I was able to really focus on my emotions--I realized that I was so thankful to have Clayton but I was full of ANGER about the whole situation. It seems like every time we try to be "normal" Clayton gets sick. I know no one knows the answer but I just have to scream
Ugh!!!!!!!!!! Could someone please tell me why God thought we were so strong???? Why did he think we could handle this?? I'm just a basketcase right now. I panic everytime Clayton jerks in his sleep and I'm constantly watching him--I'm back to the point that I don't even want to leave him in a room by himself long enough to just go to the bathroom. Basically, I'm back to square one--where I was when he first came home. I'm at a loss. I guess I will just sit here in my little haven of home and forget about a real life. My HEAD tells me we have been blessed, but in my HEART, I hurt.