Friday, October 19, 2007

Joey Through the Years

I thought ya'll might want to see some pictures of the fella you've been praying for and sending your wonderful, kind and precious good thoughts to. He always was a cute kid, you know it? (Not that I'm swayed by the fact we're related. No, sir. That's not how I roll. lol). Can you dig those plaid pants? Even with those bad boys on, Joey still managed to look adorable! That's just got to be "natural beauty", folks.
And here's a picture of Joey looking somewhat less than thrilled. That little chin looks so stubborn (that's because it is stubborn, but I don't want to be telling tales out of school so won't say anymore about that!).
And here's another picture of Joey looking thrill-less. Typical boy, eh?
Now here's Joey (on the left) with 2 of his childhood friends. These boys were always together, all the time. You gotta love their tuxedos, huh? They. Were. Stylin'!
Now this picture is just pure "Joey". Big smile, sparkle in his eyes, and probably a smart comment coming out of that mouth!
I can't thank you guys enough for all the prayers and good thoughts you've sent to Joey and Karen and their boys. I'm so very humbled to know you all. The way you have responded to them has left me in awe of your kind hearts and generous spirits. Many of you have opted to receive the daily updates from Joey's website so you already know of the great progress he has made from where this ordeal began. Joey has an amazing will to live and Karen is, quite simply, a tower of strength for him. I hope and pray that she takes care of herself because her presence is so obviously needed to bring Joey back to health. Her faith in God and her belief in Joey's spirit are an unbeatable combination!
Thanks again you wonderful, wonderful people for sending your prayers and for thinking of Joey, Karen and the boys during this time. I know they have a long, long road ahead of them but when so many people are pulling together and expressing their love, I firmly believe it must surely help to ease the burden and the pain, at least a little bit.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Halloween 1989

Halloween 1989 was great for us. My sister and her husband (who many of you know is also my husband's brother. Yeah, think that over for a second and you'll work it out. lol) lived in Niceville, Florida and we lived in Valparaiso, Florida (these 2 towns are right next to each other - I mean right next to each other. Our homes were probably only 2 miles apart). Living so close to one another, naturally our families got together to take the kids trick-or-treating. My nephew, Joseph, was dressed as a Mad Scientist. Nicholas, my oldest son, was dressed as the Hunchback. They were both 9 years old for that Halloween and, if I remember correctly, they had a fabulous time that year. So much laughter, so many smiles. Gotta love it. My niece, Megen, age 4 1/2, was dressed as a Jack-in-the-Box. She was the cutest little thing you ever saw. (Check out how long her braided hair is in the picture. That kid was born with more hair than most humans grow over a lifetime. lol). And Desiree', who at the time was 2 1/2 years old, was dressed as, what else?, a Christmas present. She was hysterically funny because she kept tripping over her own feet, but once she'd fall, she couldn't get herself back up because of the box she was wearing. I know, I know. We were all wrong to laugh at her like we did, but good was just so funny. All you could see was this box with a head, 2 arms and these short little legs sticking out of the bottom, kicking for all they were worth. Funny stuff. Oh hush. You'd have laughed, too, if you'd seen her!
And just so you don't think I laughed at my daughter with no idea of how that would make her feel, let me tell you this little story. Joseph and Nick were Cub Scouts that year and their troop decided to have a Halloween themed meeting that month. Complete with costumes. Yeah, everyone was supposed to dress up, including the parents. Well, being relatively young and extremely foolish, we all took them seriously and dressed up. Sherri was smart. She dressed as a Bunny. That meant she wore pastel pants and a giant sweatshirt with a big cotton ball pinned to her butt and a headband with cute little bunny ears. Oh, and she drew whiskers on her face, too. Randey and Ken (Sherri's husband, Randey's brother. Come on now, keep up!) were really smart. Randey dressed like a hunchback. Which basically meant he stuffed a pillow under his shirt up by his shoulders. Ken dressed as a mummy. He just had a bunch of torn pieces of sheet wrapped around him. Me? Oh I went all out. I mean, all out. I had a bridesmaid dress that I never actually cared for (just look at it...all us bridesmaids looked like giant fluffs of cotton candy wearing those things!) and a pair of Randey's BDU pants and an old shirt from the thrift store. I combined all these things and went as Half Man/Half Woman. Complete with mascara painted full beard and moustache and one honkin' thick eyebrow (I was trying to look manly on that side, remember?). And guess what? We arrived at the meeting and no other parents were dressed up. None. Nada. No.Body.Else. And to top it all off, they looked at us like we were insane. What the heck? Randey and Ken quickly "removed" their costumes (i.e., the pillow and the torn strips of sheets) and Sherri thought about removing her tail and ears until I threatened her with her life. Still...she only had on tiny little ears, a fluffy little tail and thinly drawn whiskers. I, on the other hand, looked like a complete freak. That was the last year I ever dressed up for Halloween. There's nothing like little children pointing and snickering at you while their parents gaze at you with smirks and even a little pity to make you realize that the time for dressing up has come and gone. One good thing that came of it, though. I finally got rid of that horrific bridesmaid dress! lol
**Correction*** Randey informs me that he was the mummy and Ken was the hunchback. You can understand why I was confused, though, right? I mean they were out of their costumes so fast (those sniveling little cowards!), it's hard to remember exactly who wore what. Apparently, I've blocked out more of that evening that I thought I had but, honestly, who could blame me? lol

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christmas Spirit Award

The lovely Tammy over at My Gentle Retreat passed on the Spirit of Christmas Award to me the other day. Naturally, given my love of all things Christmas, I was thrilled to get this! (I've just been a little slow to pass it on. Sorry about that.) This award is for those who talk about and show the spirit of Christmas in their blogs. What is the Spirit of Christmas you ask? Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those, indeed, are the ones who display the "Spirit of Christmas". (Given that particular definition, I am doubly flattered to receive this.) I'm supposed to pass it on to five others who also display these qualities. Talk about a tough choice...I think everyone on my blogroll qualifies so narrowing it down to five is somewhat of a challenge! But here goes...
My Aunt Sandi over at Holding Patterns. I chose her because I know that she has a generous and giving nature. And she also loves Christmas like I do. Who would be better qualified, right? And then I chose Jayne at Country Cottage Chic. She's a Christmas nut, too! And while she may be a little "competitive", shall we say, when it comes to Christmas Queen titles, I know that she's really a sweetheart and an all around wonderful person. Next is Sophie at Sophie Honeysuckle's English Decor What a great person! She embodies what all of us want to be - sweet, kind hearted, generous, lovely and kind. Most of you know her so I probably don't even need to say another word, do I? Then I have Jodie, my daughter-in-law. She's a Christmas lover as well and also has a sweet and generous nature that makes me grateful that Nicholas found her. My fifth choice is Brenda at Country Romance. Brenda is so kind-hearted and blogs for pretty much the same reasons I do. I enjoy my visits to her blog so much and think you will, too. And you know what? I'm not real good at following rules so I'm going to have to pass this on to at least four more people. I mean, really! If I go by the reasons for the award, then how can I leave these four out? I simply cannot. So I'd also like to pass it on to Annie at My Life as Annie, to Kat at Just a Beach Kat, Joan at Joan's Journeys and Karolee at My Montana Moments . These are four of the nicest, most helpful, tender-hearted people I've met here in Blogland and they absolutely deserve this wonderful award. Okay...I'd better stop before I end up passing this on to another 30 people or so. lol
By the way, Aunt Sandi, Jayne, Sophie, Jodie, Brenda, Annie, Kat, Joan and Karolee, click here for the code to the graphic so that you can post it on your blog and pass it on to 5 (or you know, however many you feel the need to) others yourself!

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The You Make Me Smile Award

Pat over at Back Porch Musings and Vee from A Haven for Vee have both passed this award on to me. How flattering, although I sometimes wonder if maybe my rants come out sounding funnier than I intend simply because I lose focus just a little bit and end up rambling like a lunatic. lol Ah well, doesn't really matter, does it? As long as I can make someone smile, I feel good. So thank you, ladies, for making me feel good by telling me I bring some small measure of joy to your lives!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy 39th Anniversary Aunt Sandi and Uncle Wally!

Who out there doesn't know my Aunt Sandi? I know a lot of you also read her blog, where she's currently recounting the tale of her family's adventures in England (or The Motherland, as she calls it!). Well did you know that today, October 15th, she and my beloved Uncle Wally are celebrating their 39th Wedding Anniversary? That's right...39 years! Woo-hoo! Now I don't normally remember anniversary dates. (Heck, just ask Randey. I still get our anniversary date wrong and our 19th is coming March, I think. lol). But hey, 39 years! Now that's worth remembering and mentioning. So Happy Anniversary you two! Here's to another 39 years together. I love you both!

Menopause Madness Mondays and Halloween Pictures...Practically a Match Made in Heaven!

It's Monday! I've been really bad the past two Mondays about the Menopause Madness post, but I think I'm back on track. I was trying to think of what to say in this post and started to wonder if maybe I wasn't running out of steam about the joys of menopause. I don't want to sound like a broken record. In fact, I'd like to come up with some positive things to write about menopause, but thus far, I'm drawing a blank on that one. Ain't nothin' makin' me happy about menopause, I gotta tell 'ya. So what's my current biggest gripe about this particular little wonder of nature? Well, I'll tell you. It's the weight gain. I've packed on a few pounds this year. Oh, who am I kidding? I've packed on a lot of pounds this year. I can't tell you exactly how many because I refuse to come within 30 feet of a scale. This is absolutely ridiculous, demoralizing and just plain humiliating. I've gone up 2, count 'em 2, pant sizes since this time last year! I can't even begin to explain the joys of being grossly overweight and having hot flashes at the same time. Talk about good times. Just last night, I slept with the ceiling fan on, the stand fan on (2 feet away from me and pointed directly at my torso) as well as the air turned down. And I still felt like I was baking alive. I'm about 3 degrees away from emptying my freezer and standing in it myself. (I'm kidding, of course. My fridge/freezer is a side by side. No way I'd fit in just the freezer section!). But I've got my eye on this jumbo size cooler at Wal-Mart that I think will do nicely....
How about you guys? Anybody else suffering from weight gain and horrific heat? Or am I all alone is this misery? Come on, peeps...tell me I'm not alone!

Moving on (before I get so worked up that I spontaneously combust!).... Since Halloween is creeping up on us, I thought I'd post a few pictures every now and then of my kids Halloween costumes over the years.

These three pictures were taken in 1991. Nicholas was Dracula, obviously. Yeah, we had a hard time convincing him that the Count actually wore jeans, but I think he turned out looking pretty flippin' cool!
This is Desiree' as a clown (duh, right?). She was adorable. I have to say, we made a lot of our kids' costumes. We had to. We couldn't afford to buy them all a store bought outfit every year. Back in 1991, Nick was the "lucky" one. We bought his cape. That was pretty much the extent of our Halloween Costume Budget for that year. lol This clown costume is one that we made. You guys already know I don't sew. Can anybody guess how this costume was held together? Good old hot glue, of course. lol We had a heck of a time getting her into it without tearing the "seams". By the end of the night, she had so many safety pins holding this thing together that she never could have made it through a metal detector. But man, she was cute, wasn't she?
And here's little Kaleb (I was pregnant with pictures of him this year!). It seems so clear to me, but maybe I should explain, just in case anyone out there can't tell...Kaleb was dressed as a bag of M&M's. (We thought we were so clever! ha) The sides of his costume were hot glued, too, but I did use fabric glue to hold on the lettering. I'm not a total moron, you know. lol

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

He's Asking for Water!!!

For those of you following along with my cousin's progress, I'm so very happy to report that he had a GOOD day yesterday. The doctors have been pleased enough with his vital signs to start bringing him out of the medically induced coma and he has been responding! According to Karen's update, Joey has been asking for water!! I'm kind of choked up just thinking about that. He's come such a long way! Obviously, he has a long, long way still to go, but wow! I'm telling you guys, this entire situation has been such an eye opener for me. I'm 44 years old and never before have I ever witnessed such an awe-inspiring display of the power of positive thinking. While I don't want to take one single thing away from Joey's medical team, I am convinced that Karen and her unwavering belief in God and Joey's recovery are what have carried him to this point. The next time someone asks me what defines a hero in my eyes, I'm going to tell them about Karen. Seriously. Her strength and determination have impressed me like no one ever has before. I want to thank all of you guys for your love and prayers. Please feel free to visit the website and leave more words of encouragement, if you are able (the website address and link are near the top of my page. I know that some of you have had a hard time getting the link to work so I've written out the web address, as well). Terri and Tammy have left more than one message each and I love them for that! I know that all these messages help Karen now and will help Joey as he reads them during his recovery. The response all of you have shown has really left its mark on me. I thank you, I appreciate you and I will always treasure your kindnesses.

Here are a few pictures that I've been meaning to post for a few days now. They are of some of the swag I got during my sister's visit.
How do you like this teapot? My stepmother and dad bought it for me because Wendy (my SM) thought it would look great in my girly room. And she was right. I love it, it looks just perfect. That room has quickly become my favorite room in the house. It just reeks of femininity. I fully expect my brother-in-law, who will be visiting in a couple of weeks and staying in that room, to have garnered a whole new appreciation for "pink" by the time he leaves here. lol
Check out this horse's head. Kind of puts me in the mind of The Godfather, when I say "horse's head", but really, it's a nice little ole' statue. What do you think, Jayne? Like it? It cost all of $4. They were having a big Sidewalk Sale in downtown Weatherford. Glad we checked it out!
I really like this wreath. It's actually metal "loops" that have been welded together and then this garland of leaves has been woven through it. I like it so much that it's still sitting on the floor in my bedroom. lol I've really got to figure out where I'm going to hang it soon. Preferably before Randey looses a toe from walking into it!
I finally own a soup tureen! Yeah, I know. Big deal, right? Well it is to me! I've never, ever owned one and a couple of weeks ago, I got a wild hair and decided that a soup tureen was a must have item. We looked high and low during our shopping trips when my sister was here. I found quite a few...a lot without their ladles, some with price tags that would have required I obtain insurance on them before I even attempted to load them in the car (who would have thought a silly little soup bowl could cost more than my first car?), and I found some that were just too flippin' ugly to own. Then I saw this. It was as if a shaft of golden light was streaming down from the heavens, bathing this tureen in a warm, golden light while a little angel whispered in my ear "Here's the one you've searched for. Pick it up, cradle it close to your heart, give it a home and treasure it always". Okay. So that's bull. It didn't really happen quite like that. I saw it, I checked it out, the price was good, the fact that it was on sale was even better so I bought it, I took it home and it's still sitting on my counter because I don't actually have a suitable place to store it yet. Guess I need to buy a china cabinet next. lol (Just kidding, Randey, if you're reading this).
And finally, here was my favorite purchase of all. A double-dip, hot fudge sundae from Braum's. Yum-meeeee! I wouldn't mind eating one of these a day for ever and ever and ever. It was so good. And low calorie, too! What? What'd you say? I'm telling you, it's low calorie. Listen, I can call it that if I want to. And I want to so shut it, monkey!
That's about it for now. I guess I'd better stop blogging and start getting ready. Randey leaves on another TDY tomorrow and I think he wanted to go run around and have some fun today as a family. This will obviously require that the boys get their butts up out of bed and pretend like they know us. I'd better head on upstairs and begin the "waking process" (which basically consists of me standing in their doorways yelling!). Please continue to pray and think good, positive thoughts for Joey and Karen and their boys. And again, if you get the chance, please hop over to the website and leave a message. I know I keep harping on it, but I have just become so absolutely convinced that all of this positive energy actually works! I've been a bit of a cynic in the past but now I've "seen the light", so to speak, and I have been amazed by it all. Thanks for joining in and helping. You guys amaze me, too!

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