Thursday, December 28, 2006


Clayton is in a major "repeat everything we say" stage, but we've never been able to get him to say I love you. Until last night! He repeated it twice for us while we were laying in bed. Brian and I showered him with kisses--it was music to our ears!!! He is the sweetest little boy we know. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Highlights II

Here are the rest from last weekend.

My dad:
The two youngest on my father's side:
My cousin's little girl:
My nephew:
My parents, working on their Christmas quiz:
The aftermath:
Bet you can't guess what my brother got for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Highlights

Here are some pics I took over the past two days--I had several from last weekend to share as well, but of course I can't get blogger to cooperate. Maybe I'll get those uploaded tomorrow.

My dad and Clayton:
Clayton with his new hat:
Clayton showing off his new shirt:
Mom and Clayton:
Brian with his big bucks gift certificate:
My cousin's little girl helping Clayton open his gifts:
My cousin reading the Christmas story:
My cousins inspecting their "Dirty Santa" spoils:
And finally, me and Clayton Christmas night (we were pooped, but managed a good smile for the camera):

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Musician for Hire

Well, I think Clayton is ready to go on the road! Brian figured out how to get his guitar to stay on his walker and Clayton was a happy camper! He sat there and strummed forever, but his little legs were worn out from walking earlier, so he was tired of standing. I've never seen a child his age so obsessed with a muscial instrument. And he's gotten to where he can hold the pick and strum with one hand and put his left hand on the neck where it's supposed to be. He watches every move Brian makes with his guitar so that he can try it himself. He keeps great time--and since his legs don't work well right now, I really think he's a musician in the making. It's just too bad he doesn't like to hear me sing along with him!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Busy Weekend

Friday night Brian and I went out to eat with some of our best friends and we had a great time just chillin' with each other. The highlight of the night was some good old Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. YUM, YUM. Clayton spent the night with my parents, so I had a much needed vacation from the wild nights that he usually has--I slept like a rock. It's almost like I go into a coma when he is not sleeping with me!
Yesterday we went to my GrandMother's for my dad's family's Christmas. It was hard to imagine it was Christmas considering we were all sweating and in short sleeves. Brian wanted to wear shorts, but I talked him out of it (SBR--wouldn't want the pics to look weird!). Clayton had so much fun--he even played a little bit of roller football in his wheelchair--I'm so glad he got to participate, and I think Brian lost a couple of pounds from running and pushing him around!
So we're back to our regularly scheduled lives for the next couple of days and then on to more Christmas celebrations next weekend. Looking forward to seeing the rest of my family.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lighten' the Mood

I was tagged by Kelli last week and I'm just now getting around to taking care of it--maybe you'll learn something new about me!

A - Available or single: available to Brian
B - Best Friend: Brian
C - Cake or Pie: chocolate cake, chocolate pie--doesn't matter!
D - Drink of choice: Diet Coke
E - Essential Item you use everyday: deodorant
F - Favorite color: purple
G - Gummy Bears or worms: neither--can't stand the texture!
H - Hometown: somewhere in the middle of Arkansas
I- Indulgence: CHO-CO-LATE!
J - January or February: January--love the new start
K - Kids & Names: Clayton
L - Life is Incomplete Without? Family
M - Marriage Date: July 25
N - Number of Siblings: one brother
O - Oranges or Apples: apples
P - Phobias or Fears: mice, snakes, small spaces
Q - Fave Quote: Right now? Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go~Sam Ewing
R - Reason to Smile: Clayton
S - Season: fall
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: I'll come back to this one
U - Unknown Fact about Me: I'm secretly a reality TV junkie. (not proud of it, I know)
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: most of them!
W - Worst Habit: popping my knuckles
X - Xrays: what does this mean? yes, I guess, because Clayton gets them all the time!
Y - Your Fave Food: Chicken Chimichanga from Los Amigos
Z - Zodiac Sign: Gemini--I'M BIPOLAR!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More on Teegan

I know some of you were wanting more information as I got it, so here is a message from Amy Stultz, Sarah's best friend:

I just got home a little while ago. This is has been the single mot difficult day of my life. I had no clue that your body could weep so much. There are not words in this world to describe the immense pain they are all in. I have known Sarah for 20 years and have never seen her like this. She is desperate. She is broken. It is truly horrific.

The preliminary autopsy results are in. Teegan passed from a very aggressive viral infection in her lungs. They told us that it most likely set in within 12 hours of her death. It was so massive that it eventually filled her poor little lungs with mucous and suffocated her. She passed due to a severe viral infection, the type of virus is still unknown at this time. Sarah and Grant were up with her at 3am and brought her into their bed. She snuggled into the middle and passed surrounded by the immense love and concern of her parents.

Please hug yur babies tonight. Like Sarah said, "I want my yesterdays back." Do not take a single moment for granted.

Yesterday I spent the day in shock. Last night, the sadness set in. Brian and I both just sat around the house with our mouths open from the shock and total confusion that we feel. And now today I simply want to sob. I have said this before and I'll say it again, I would not wish the pain of losing a child on my worst enemy. I still grieve for my loss and seeing others lose their child just opens my own wound wide open. I've learned to navigate around my pain and bitterness, and then something like this happens. I grieve for my friend. I grieve for myself. I grieve for all mothers and fathers who have to bury their child. And then I just want to scream "WHY???" It seems like so many people are losing their children! I read the obituaries and it seems like there are an abundance of child deaths. Please God, let it be clear when we get to Heaven. Please God, have an answer as to why my baby's body is buried under a bunch of dirt instead of sitting here in my lap, full of life. I am so thankful I have Clayton to focus on. He knows I am sad today and seems to sense I need his good sugars and lovin'. He's been blowing me kisses. Sweet baby. I'm scared to death of losing him. I just don't think I could bear it. I hope I don't give him a complex from hovering too much. He seems to be okay with it now, but as he gets older, I'm sure I'll here about how he needs his space! Maybe someday he will have his own children and he will know just how much I love him. There is no way I could ever have enough words to tell him just how great that love is.

Here is a picture of my friend Sarah with her children. Don't they just look beautiful?! Her boys doted on Teegan and I'm sure they will need your prayers just as much as Grant and Sarah.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In Memory of Teegan

When I checked my email this morning, I was not expecting the shocking message I received. This beautiful little girl is the daughter of Sarah O'Neal (writes the photography column for Classy Scrapper) and she did not wake up this morning--she died in her sleep. My heart is breaking for the O'Neals (pictured below). They have been through so much--you see, they have already buried one child. Their oldest son died three or four years ago in a car wreck. I simply cannot imagine the despair and heartache they are experiencing right now. If you can, please say a prayer for the O'Neals. Sarah has told me that their boys have really struggled with the death of their older brother and I am sure this is going to hit them even harder. I don't really know what else to say. Just pray for them.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sleeping Baby

Okay, so he's not really a baby anymore, but he is my baby! And he is sound asleep at the moment. Mouth wide open kind of sleep. Why can't he sleep this good at night? His sleeping has never been right, but we do have some good nights. Haven't had one lately though! The last week has been horrible--I'm almost getting to where I'm dreading the night. I know in my head that he seriously needs another sleep study, but my heart hates to see him go through it. It was a nightmare last time and that was when he was little. I can't imagine what it would be like now with him being so aware of his surroundings and so much stronger. Maybe I'll get up the courage to mention it at his doctor's appointment tomorrow. I guess we'll just have to suck it up and suffer through it. Couldn't be much worse than some of these nights we have here at home. The goofy thing is he wakes up acting like he's had a good night's rest! It never seems to bother him, but me and Brian are dragging!

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Actually Shopped!

Brian had Friday afternoon off so we went Christmas shopping--this must be a record for me, because I usually wait until too late to do my gift shopping. I still have lots to do, but I at least have a head start this year. Now I'll just have to get busy on the wrapping!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Birthday Wishes!

I love you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Deck the Halls!

I've spent the last two days decorating the house for Christmas, and I'm glad to say I'm finally done! So many of my decorations have special meaning, they are hand-me-downs or were gifts from friends. It's a walk down memory lane as I put them out.

So for those who aren't able to visit me during the holidays, here is a sneak peak of my home. (DISCLAIMER: I am not a photographer and these pics were taken during the day so you'll have to "imagine" the ambience of the season).

The top of the entertainment center:

The mantle (sure wish I had a Christmas painting to go with it):
The coffee table:
One of the end tables:
The tree (couldn't get a good pic to save my life!):


Enjoy the holiday season and Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chill in the Air

A LITTLE one, that is. By this weekend the lows will be in the twenties. Finally feeling like the holiday season. Lately I was thinking it was Easter time instead of Christmas time!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is This Weird?

I really like Mondays! Call me crazy, but the weekends are really hard for me unless we have something specific planned. I look forward to the weekdays because Clayton has a definite schedule, which means I have a schedule. On the weekends, we are just loosey goosey--in limbo, with no specific order to life. Especially now that we've given up on church for the time being. Not only is Saturday bad, but Sunday too! Don't get me wrong, I have PLENTY to keep me busy, but I'm not too motivated these days. I'm really hoping the holidays will give me something new to focus on--I'm sure I can stay busy these next few weekends.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Today I am Thankful For . . .

*my family
*my home
*my warm coat (froze today in the car while everyone else was hot)
*an abundance of food in the cabinet--I am never truly hungry
*the ability and resources that God has provided in order for me to stay home with Clayton

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Love/Hate Relationship with ACH

First let me say that I appreciate all of the hard work that the people at ACH do. There are many doctors there that I have come to trust and lean on when Clayton is sick. Overall, they do a wonderful job with him. And I admire them for working with so many sick children while still keeping such a great outlook on life. BUT . . . . . . . .


I know that they deal with many parents who are less than involved in their child's care. I know that many parents don't have a clue what's going on and don't even bother to find out. BUT THAT IS NOT US. The older Clayton gets, the more frustrated I become with some of the staff and underlings at the hospital. They refuse to give us any credit for knowing what's best for Clayton and KNOWING OUR CHILD. Heck, I think some of them can't even believe we get to take him home at night!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Shout Out

Just have to give a shout out to my friend Kelli Johnson for being my listening ear today--thanks girlie!!! (((SMOOCHES)))

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kids' Class

I taught a class for kids at the scrapbook store Tuesday night. They got to make this little frame--the idea was for them to give it to their teacher for Christmas. I think some of them might even be giving them to their grandparents or parents. They had so much fun--they really let loose when I gave them a bunch of Christmas paper and stickers to make a card to go along with it. I told them to just go crazy on the card and they did! It's amazing how much kids love stickers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bad Hair Week

As many of you know, Clayton had a bad hair week last week. The surgeon shaved WAY too much hair off and then ended up not even going in on his head. Here's what he looked like when he came home from the hospital (the scars are from previous surgeries):
It was horrible! He looked like a concentration camp victim. Luckily, Chasity agreed to come over and shave the rest off so he could at least look halfway normal. I'm still not happy with the way it looks--I miss his wavy, thick hair--but at least it's not half a mohawk anymore. I can't wait until it grows some more. Here's what he looks like today:

Saturday, November 11, 2006


We are home. Clayton acts like he feels great and he is back to normal on his oxygen levels. He can't get his incisions wet for two weeks, so baths have been interesting. I'm hoping we'll get a better system with the more we do it. I'm not thinking about anything important right now--my mind needs a rest. I'm basically scrapping, watching tv and eating chocolate. How's that for comfort?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Am I Doing Here, Lord?

Saturday night Brian and I sang some cowboy songs for my GrandMother's Sunday School party that had a western theme. One of the songs we sang had this line in it and I sit here at the hospital and it just keeps coming to my mind--WHAT AM I DOING HERE, LORD? For that matter, what am I supposed to be doing with what God has given me? I feel so lost.

I was blessed with a beautiful voice (others' words, not mine), and I vowed a long time ago that I would use it to glorify God. And just about the time that I really got into the whole singing thing, and was truly finding "my voice" (in more ways than the obvious), I had the boys and things changed. I have not been able to be an active part of my church since. I have a choir robe that has four inches of dust on it and I even had to cancel my last two special music spots. I thought maybe God was using our situation to give me yet another perspective to speak from--a deeper testimony, if you will. So when Brian and I became active in a band this past year and we were really getting into a groove, I thought I had found my outlet. Then some things happened and that whole thing literally fell apart.

And scrapbooking. I never knew how many doors it would open for me. And I certainly never knew that I would become so involved in the online scrapbooking community. I have made lifelong friends and I've been able to stay connected to the "outside" world as I stay at home with Clayton. And the Lord provided ways for me to speak through yet another voice and even testify in a quiet and subtle way. And so when I decided to go even bigger with the magazine, I really felt God opening the doors. But now I sit here and think about my son. In the whole scheme of things, what is important?????


And now as I pray, I hear silence from God. No direction. No strong feelings toward anything except that I must take care of Clayton because he has been put in my care. But I can't help but wonder why God would bless me with so called "talent" and an abundance of resources but not allow me outlets to use it? Will it all really go down the drain? Three years have passed and still God waits? Presently reminding myself that his timing is perfect. But my human heart is begging for answers.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Shunt Issues

Clayton's shunt is malfunctioning. Explains why he feels so sick. We finally came to the ER last night--he is in surgery right now. He was even worse today--barely responding to anything in his environment. I'll be glad when this is over. :(

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sick Baby

If you're wondering where I'm at, I'm taking care of Clayton. He's been running fever off and on since Friday. Trying to decide which one of his doctors gets a call tomorrow. He feels horrible and he's letting us all know it. :(

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Elmo's World

Clayton spent this Halloween night as Elmo--and as you can see from the second pic, he wasn't a big fan of having something on his head! He spent most of the night trying to pull it off and saying "uh oh!" I think next year I'll take the big plunge and do something major including his wheelchair: race car and race car driver, cowboy and his horse, conductor and a train, something along those lines. That way he'll be able to go trick or treating with his cousins (even though he has no interest in the candy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Always Keep the End in Mind

Dandric Moten, (a guy I went to high school with), started a program with his mom, Thelma, called Excel. They work through the schools and try to encourage kids to make good decisions. Dandric said his mom has always told him to "keep the end in mind." Hard concept when you're talking to young kids who live for today and don't think of tomorrow. So I'm reminded of Thelma's advice when it comes to things I'm dealing with right now. I need to step back and look at the big picture--things will come together.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Family Time

On Saturday, we took a long drive through the Natural State. We went with some friends of ours and just made a complete day of enjoying the fall scenery. We drove up to Mt. Nebo, and then on to Mt. Magazine, which is the highest point in Arkansas and also the highest point between the Appalachains and the Rockies. (Little known trivia facts).

I was really hoping to get a good family photo, but we didn't have a lot of luck. Brian set the camera and Allison took the photo--we just couldn't get the lighting right and the wind was brutal--IT WAS COLD on top of that mountain! This one was about as good as it got, and we look really windblown.

I swear that someday I'm going to learn to use our camera. I take almost all my shots on auto and Brian changes the settings constantly and always gets some neat photos with different lighting and angles. You'd think I would have soaked up some of his knowledge over the years, but I've yet to pay attention when he's explaining stuff. I just say "here, you do it." The first two photos are by me and the last two are by him--definitely a difference on the coloring!

This is the new lodge up at Mt. Magazine--it was extremely crowded up there and they even had a wedding going on--it was beautiful and breathtaking--I'm sure they have it booked up for many months to come. They have lots of cabins up there too--I'm thinking I'd want to stay in a cabin instead of the lodge--seems more secluded.

We had a great time except for the cold air, and we all slept on the way home--Brian had to drive, so he was left to his own company. Can't wait until we can do something like this again.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stay Tuned

I was going to post some pics from our trip to Mt. Magazine, but blogger IS NOT COOPERATING. No pics being uploaded tonight, at least not for me. Stay tuned--hopefully I'll get them posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm participating in a Halloween Secret Sister exchange over at Create My Keepsake. I got a whole lot of goodies in the mail today--somebody is SPOILING ME!! Thank you to my secret sister! (These photos aren't the best, but you'll get the idea!)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm Here

Just busy doing a whole lot of stuff and not feeling like I've accomplished anything!
My Maw-Maw is holding her own--she is just so weak. I appreciate everyone's concern and prayers.
We went to our Sunday School class's fall party Friday night. It felt good to hang out with friends from church (since we never get to anymore). We didn't go on the hayride because there were about a gazillion kids on the trailer. We just hung out at the fire instead. Clayton was just as happy to do that . . . we also went to my nephew's birthday party Saturday. There were so many kids, and many had snotty noses. I spent the whole time praying Clayton wouldn't get sick--my stomach was in knots. I know those other parents think I'm a freak. I finally said, c'mon Clayton, you can't be around sick kids (as someone's daughter was coughing up their lung). The mother just looked at me weird and gathered her daughter up. My dad said I didn't sound hateful and that I handled it well, but in my mind I was freaking out. I just hope she didn't take it personal.
We still haven't made it to the pumpkin patch. I was really hoping to take Clayton out there this year. We had a really good time last year--maybe we'll still make it. It feels like fall and I think I've offically decided this is my favorite time of year. Funny, I always thought I was a summer person. Things change I guess, even your favorite season.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Reading . . . AGAIN!

Anyone remember this layout? For those who don't, it's all about how ever since the boys were born I haven't been able to concentrate on a book, let alone finish one. Reading was one of my passions and the traumatic experience we went through just took that passion right out of me.
Well, I'm not sure what happened, but a few days ago I dug out one of my favorite books that's an easy read. And guess what? I'm still actually sticking with it! I wouldn't say I've become some die hard bookworm, but hey it's a start! I remember people commenting on this layout and saying "save your books," you will want to read again. I didn't believe them. But I'm so glad that I saved my favorites because it was nice to just pick one up and start reading again.