Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas? No New Year's Ever!

Well it depends on who you ask. For several years now we have celebrated Christmas with Uncle Papa, Aunt Kim, Erika & Grace on New Year's Eve. It such a relaxing and fun time. No one is rushed or worried about what's next. It's kind of a down time and such a special time for all of us. I think everyone has a different reason that they love it so very much! This year we were blessed to have Kevin, Erika's boyfriend join us.

Food is always huge for us. At least for Uncle Papa and I. We love New Year's Eve because we can all choose something from wherever we want. No one place and that's it. Aunt Kim chose pizza, Erika & Kevin Longhorn's, Grace & Marlee Anne Zacby's, Mike Mandarin, Uncle Papa Krystal & Michala & I some of all of it. Mary Elizabeth enjoyed her own concoctions. I cannot believe I did not get a picture of the table with all the food. Amazing!

After eating we opened presents. This is always such a fun time. It always seems to be so many fun and perfect gifts. Mine included lots of fun pampering stuff. I almost forgot. Every year Grace and Marlee Anne get Mike & Unlce Papa with silly string. They surprised them right before we started opening gifts this year.

After presents it's usually game time for Grace, Marlee Anne, Aunt Kim & I while Uncle Papa & Mike take naps. This year they even stayed awake to play pictionary with us. We all had a blast with that one.

Midnight and time for toasts. Marlee Anne's toast went something like this, In the spirit of community thank you for the park for sister and Michala. Most everyday this little girl amazes me. What a way to start the New Year!

Mary Elizabeth usually picks each New Year's Eve to show off and gain a little extra attention. This year her temp dropped real low all of a sudden. Thankfully she had gotten some new blankets to help get her temp up. Just had to share the picture too!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas picture challenge

I have a dear cyber friend, Angie, that's an amazing photographer. She challenged our group to take pictures of our Christmas trees. My pictures are no where near as good as hers but I said I would share them. Thanks for the challenge Angie!
Living room tree

Kitchen tree
Therapy room tree
Marlee Anne's tree

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pizza with Kylie's family

It is so funny how "c" families are recognized. It's usually not by their last names. Usually it's by the name of the child with "c". Well our dear friend's the Harris' are always known to us as Kylie's family. It's one of those friendships that you know why it was started, you know the connection but you can't or I can't put my finger of the time or day. Probably thanks to wonderful Camp Sunshine.

Well 6:00 couldn't get there fast enough. Marlee Anne watched the clock all day. She was so excited for Kylie to get there. Then Noah came to and oh boy it's a boy. She had such a wonderful time with Noah doing "boy" stuff.

Kylie walked in with an plate full of her delicious cookies. I am not even sure they made it a day. We ate delicious pizza and then played Disney DVD Bingo. Really fun!

Well we knew it was time for the decorations to come down after they left. Marlee Anne just couldn't wait to get started. She and Kylie took down all the Christmas cards from the stairs and some decorations off Marlee Anne's tree before Kylie and the rest of her crew had to leave.

After they left Marlee Anne and I finished taking down the decorations from the stairs. Before I knew it we had undecorated three trees. I stayed up and undecorated the last one. I was so tired but it felt great to get all that done.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pot luck with the Malcom's

We decided that this should be a tradition. A couple of days after Christmas we will all get together and bring leftovers to share. It actually worked out great and we had a wonderful time together. This night was titled "stress free". Love it!

Bailey and Brantleigh even got busy on their scrapbook pages. It was hard for me to stay downstairs and visit and not be upstairs working with them.

Cindi got a new camera for Christmas. When I get pictures from her I will add some to the post.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Day after Christmas what else would we be doing. We stopped by to see Aunt Carol's house all decorated then headed to Conyers. Aunt Debbie, Marlee Anne and I made a full day of it. We were beat by the end of the day. Lots of great deals though, laughs and fun spending time together.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus!

What a glorious morning! It started around 2:00 AM with Michala beating on her new inflatable Elmo bed that Santa brought. I think it's going to take a while to teach her to sleep in it. Well actually it didn't take as long as we thought. She loves it as a bouncy toy more though.

Mike had told Marlee Anne to listen for Mary Elizabeth laughing because that would mean Santa was here. Santa must have stayed all night because Mary Elizabeth laughed all night long. Marlee Anne slept and slept.

Finally she was up and so excited to see the Leapster that Santa brought her. She was very impressed with Michala's new bed, Mary Elizabeth's umbrella for her wheelchair and her soft new blanket.

Usually we just hang out around the house but Kim's best friend was down from Michigan. Some of ya'll know Melissa who we sent cards and scrapbook pages to whose husband is in Iraq. Well we went over to Aunt Kim's and Uncle Papa's for Christmas lunch. It was such a very special time for us to get to spend time with them on Christmas day. It was a nice relaxing few moments.

Back home for my family to come over. You can never have enough time to prepare for that. Actually it all turned out wonderful and everyone acted good. Even granmama after Uncle Bryant straightened her out.

After everyone leaves Christmas night we usually start taking down the Christmas decorations. This week we have two nights with special families coming over so we decided to leave the decorations up.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cookies for Santa & Reindeer food!

It's so much fun to see the girls get so excited about Santa. Marlee Anne was so excited to put out milk and cookies for Santa. That of course had to wait until Michala was asleep so that she wouldn't get it. Then of course we had to put out food for the reindeer too.

Christmas Eve

What a day filled with excitement! Christmas is always so hard for me. I miss my daddy around this time more than ever. He was a big kid and made each and everyday of my life happy, exciting and fun. Christmas was no exception. Then it's also hard because that's a time I would love for the girls to be able to get out and go be around people. We are blessed with our "c" family because activities they are involved in we can go to and usually not have to worry about the girls getting sick because everyone is always concerned about the other families. We do miss out through the holidays with our immediate families sometimes.

Well back to the day it was great. It was hard to get the girls to bed, even Mike and I were excited.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Here it is 3 days away from Christmas and I am feeling so VERY PREGNANT! Don't get me wrong now that's a good thing. My mom says I am waddling. The lady at Kmart today said oh girl you are carrying that baby so low. If she only knew. Every move I make takes a little more effort everday. I am so excited to get to see this little fellow real soon. I would like it even more if he had a name. Everyone says that will come to us. We shall see. Well I just thought I would share this pregnancy thoughts with you. Here is a picture of "us" at Mike's Christmas party.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


As I was looking through the past few weeks of pictures that I just now had a chance to download this one popped out at me. This one little picture brings floods of memories to me. The first memory was of me holding my daddy's hand. I can still remember how that feels. For me it was a feeling of trust.

I honestly believe that must be how Michala feels when she reaches out for her daddy's hand. She must have a huge amount of trust that he will always be there for her when she reaches for him. I don't see this often enough but I - we are truly blessed to have such a man in our lives that we can put our trust in him. We know when we reach out to him he will be there.

If you have ever reached your hand out and just let her touch your hand you know how much she feels with her hand. There are of course times when she gets too rough and aggressive and can hurt. Those other times when she touches your hand you can feel so much love and tenderness come from her.

I wanted to do something a little special with this picture instead of just posting the picture by itself. This is the quick layout I came up with. I don't often post my layouts. I am trying to do better with that though.

Well I am off to get caught up on the past few weeks of Christmas fun.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Perfect Pictures

Every now and then you get the "perfect" picture. Well at Mike's office Christmas party I got a picture of Mary Elizabeth and one of Michala that I couldn't resist sharing. I think that the pictures capture the girls personalities so much. They were so very happy that night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Every year for about 14 years or so we have been getting together with some dear friends of ours and their families. We celebrate Christmas by getting together some time in December. Our traditional menu, which the kids wouldn't even let us change this year, consist of taco salad, hot wings, and some type of dessert. This year we cut out exchanging gifts and just enjoyed the time together. We always watch the Christmas Vacation movie. Each year we laugh and laugh even though we have seen it so many times. We have even thought to change the movie but no go there either. Why mess with a good thing right. Well this year was no exception. It was a good thing. No a great thing. Now that the kids have gotten older and one is even married it's harder to get everyone there. We were missing one and had one leave early. Michala slept through picture time.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Camp Sunshine Christmas party!

We always love seeing our Camp Sunshine friends. I love shopping at the camp store. The girls all get gifts, get to see Santa, eat lots of sweets and get to see their special friends.
One of our Camp Sunshine make it all happen friends whom we love dearly! Doesn't Mary Elizabeth's smile tell it all Sally!
My dear friend Julie, who I could not make this "C" journey without!
Marlee Anne with her friends Evie and Elise (Julie's two girls).
Another we can't do without person - Bubbles!
All of us with Santa & Santa's top notch elf aka #1 nurse!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mike's work Christmas party!

This is such a special event for me. I love having my friend come as Santa. It’s the only time we get to see each other any more. Kim came and took pictures. We had a great meal. All the kids get presents from Santa. It’s truly a great night of fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Lighthouse Christmas party!

What a party it was. Such a blessing to see all our Lighthouse friends and family. What a wonderful group this is. It’s such a nice peaceful haven to be engulfed by. We love it! Lots of food, fun, laughs, music and the most beautiful Christmas Story play. Thanks Lighthouse!

KJ & Marlee Anne

Kimberly & Marlee Anne

Christmas Story play

Our angel Kylie

Our Lighthouse Family with Santa

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our newest challenge!

Do I call it a challenge, a bump in the road or a hurdle? I am not sure yet. Two months ago we found out that there was a possibility that our baby boy has clubfeet. We decided at the time not to share this information just because we didn't know for sure and wanted to gather more information. Today it was confirmed at the specialist office that he does indeed have clubfeet. I have known this was a possibility for two months. I have prayed that it would not be true. How do I feel now? I am actually not sure. I am still sorting through these thoughts and feelings. Prayers Please! A lot of this email includes medical stuff that I just need to get down so if skip all that if you are not interested in the details.

I am thankful for the past two months because it has given me time to read and find out about this whole new world we are about to encounter. A new club that we didn't choose to join but after meeting some of the other mom's of children with clubfeet we are once again blessed.

We go back to the specialist in 6 weeks for another ultrasound. She wants to check the fluid in his brain and his growth. If everything else if fine we are praying for a natural delivery and to get to come home after he is born.

We will be doing the Ponseti method for his clubfeet. We have been blessed to have already made contact with Dr. Ponseti. An amazing doctor and very caring man. He practices at the University of Iowa Hospital. Leave it to us to have another road trip in our future. He has given us the name of a doctor in Atlanta and one at Shriners, both who are trained in the Ponseti Method. Dr. Ponseti will also follow-up.

Dr. Ponseti has recommended us bringing the baby home for a couple of weeks so that we can bond and be sure that he is nursing well. Around when the baby is 10 days old he will have his first casting. Cast will be put on both of his feet up to his hips. The cast will be changed every 4-7 days for about 6 months. This will of course depend on how his feet our doing and the degree of his clubfeet. Then he will have surgery. After that braces will be worn until he is about 4 years old. Again the length depends on how he is developing.

Right now my focus needs to be on getting through the rest of the pregnancy with as little stress as possible. Then delivery of a wonderful baby boy. Right now I desperately need prayers to get past the whys and what did I do to cause this.

Once again in this life of mine I am so thankful that God knew who my partner in this life needed to be. I am so thankful to be taking this new journey beside the most wonderful husband I could have ever dreamed of.

If you have made it this far in the email thank you for sticking with us. Thanks in advance for your love, support and especially your prayers.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I scared my baby!

OK well most of ya’ll know about my vacuuming story. Well I just don’t do it. When we got married I played the allergy card and got out of that one. One time I had to do it for some reason and I tried to hide it from my sister that I did not even know how to turn the vacuum cleaner on.

My computer was having trouble and I needed Mike to work on it. My computer desk is my work station and is a total mess. I had to get it cleaned up before Mike could even work on it. I had made some invitations for my niece recently and there was fiber everywhere that I could not get up. I had to get the little vacuum cleaner out. As soon as I turned it on the baby went wild. I started laughing but then I realized he didn’t know what that sound was because he had never heard a vacuum cleaner before. I scared the poor little fella.

My laugh for the day. Gotta find one in each day.

OK that was earlier in the day. Now I have to add this. Marlee Anne had gone to her best friend Mackenzie's house to play. When they came back home I went outside to see them. We thought we heard Michala at the door. We all went in when Mike got home. Kendra said where's Michala? Mike busted out laughing and said ya'll come here and look. Michala had gotten a pack of cupcakes down from the kitchen counter. Somehow she opened them and had eaten all three of them except for a few crumbs and the icing that was stuck to her hands. Kendra said get your camera. Thankfully she thought fast so now ya'll have pictures to look and laugh at too.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lighthouse See Ya Laters!

At The Lighthouse we don't say Good-bye. Good thing cause See Ya Laters are hard enough. Ya'll know our family doesn't meet someone once and then lose contact. We have hopes of staying in touch and seeing them again. We get very attached to our family partners. That was obvious cause we were still calling Sharon, Kelley and Diane our family partners and that was last year.

We had a wonderful breakfast provided by Watercolor. The slide show that Tim did was amazing. He did a wonderful job capturing so many special moments from the week.

Well it was time to load up and head home. Making sure to tell everyone how much we enjoyed it. Once again we can make it through another year or at least until we get to see some of them again. Thank you to each one of the families that took the time to come and share their lives with us. Thank you to each one of the volunteers that helped make life a little easier and remind us of how blessed we are. Thanks especially to Melinda for EVERYTHING!!! Without her amazing vision none of this would have taken place. Thanks to Watercolor too and all the wonderful families that shared their houses with us.

Our ride home was filled with Marlee Anne wanted dad to keep up with Kimberly. HA! Thankfully Marlee Anne fell asleep. When she woke up though she wanted to find Kimberly. When she realized she was long gone she had to call and check on her.

Mary Elizabeth & Michala were glad to be home. Mike and I were trying to figure out life without our wonderful family partners. Today was hard on Michala because she didn't have that one on one attention that she so loves at The Lighthouse. Thanks again to everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lighthouse Day 4

The sun was shining so Marlee Anne got to ride her bike to breakfast. KJ and Mike pushed Mary Elizabeth and Michala while I tried to keep up with Marlee Anne. By the time we got to breakfast the baby was in a knot crying out what was I thinking.

We had a nice breakfast and then went outside for Morning Watch. Then back to the house for Common Grounds while the kids practice for the talent show. Marlee Anne had gone back and forth about what she was doing or if she was even performing.

Our time was cut short for Common Grounds that day. Mike and I hadn't shared but we were very anxious to hear the other family share. Thankfully they shared first. We shared a very condensed version but I am so thankful each time we get to share. I am amazed at how much healing still needs to be done.

We went back to baithouse to meet for the boat ride. We were blessed to have get a ride on a glass bottom boat in Destin. It was a really great ride. I tried to walk around and take pictures but the baby didn't like that too much so I ended up sitting down and enjoying the ride. Nachelle came to sit beside me but that didn't last long cause she was about to throw up. Me being the good friend that I am got up and moved. I wasn't very supportive. We had a delicious lunch from Chick-fil-a. There were about 20 dolphins swimming next to our boat. That was so beautiful!

Once we got back to Watercolor we had beach olympics on the beach. I wanted to go down and get pictures of Marlee Anne on the beach but about 5 minutes was my limit. The smell of the dead fish got to me. I walked back to the house to spend time with Peggy and the girls. Another God thing cause that was such a healing time to be able to share with Peggy.

We had the talent show with pizza from Pizza Hut. The talent show was filled with so much talent. Mike "performed" in his coconuts and grass skirt. Marlee Anne went back and forth as to whether she would perform or not. Each time she decided she just couldn't. Mary Elizabeth & Michala were blessed to get to up at the stage while Hailey signed When I Call on Jesus. Mary Elizabeth kept a huge smile on her face while Michala bounced and clapped. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lighthouse Day 3

We woke up and it was raining again. Same plan as yesterday. Mike stayed with the girls until a volunteer could come relieve him so he wouldn't miss Common Grounds.

After a wonderful breakfast prepared by our wonderful Sharon and others we had Morning Watch. I was concerned about us not being able to have it on the beach but once again God was there and it was blessed.

While the kids did Flip Flop at the baithouse restaurant the parents went to a house to do Common Grounds. It was the house we stayed in last year with the Metz family. It brought back so many wonderful memories. It gave a more relaxed and comforting feel to Common Grounds. We had more wonderful families share. Each time I am amazed (AMAZED was my word for the week) at what families have and are going through and they still have time to stop and be concerned for others. You can still catch a smile on their faces and hear laughter from their family. Even though there are times I forget it - God is Good. As a matter of fact that is The Lighthouse theme. God is Good, God Cares, God is in Control and God wants you to know Him. All reminders that I really needed this week.

Since it was raining we were blessed to ride down to Common Grounds with Nachelle and her mom Norma. It was nice to have a few minutes to visit with them. What a blessing these two are! I love spending time getting to know the other families.

After Common Grounds it was back to the baithouse for lunch. The kids were all wired up and excited from their fun. We saw KJ but couldn't find Marlee Anne. Some how during the week those strong ties between them were loosened. She got very attached to Kimberly and Tom. She even got to spend time with Diane, partly because she had Joanna (the little baby with her). Good for her to have that baby time.

After lunch we headed back to the house to relieve Hayden and our wonderful family partner Peggy. Last year Peggy was our family partner too. We seemed to have more time to spend together this year and it was wonderful. What a sweet sweet spirit she is.

OOPS! I forgot to say it stopped raining. KJ, Mike and Marlee Anne decided to go for a bike ride so Peggy stayed to let me nap. Mary Elizabeth & I had a wonderful nap while Michala tried to help Peggy knit. When the gang got back from riding bikes they had gotten me creme' brulee cheese cake and a coffee from Starbucks. Back out to ride the trails they went. Marlee Anne rode her bike for 4 miles all by herself. I was so very proud and so was she.

Mike had just gone upstairs to take a nap and there was a knock at the door. Dave had come to pick me up for my spa treatment. I felt bad that Mike was going to miss his nap, which he never got all week, but I was so thankful for that time for me. We picked up Amy and he gave us our instructions to wait on the steps. I knew what was in store for us. You cannot get this type of service in the most expensive of spas. I thought I can't start crying now but as soon as I reached the steps and Melinda was there waiting I let the tears flow. Once every mom was there Muriel shared some scripture and prayed. Melinda told us to not think of it as the volunteers doing this for us but God. As we topped the stairs there was a room filled with all the female volunteers dressed in white. There were windows every where with God's light shining in. We all got wonderful manicures, pedicures and shoulder massages. It was amazing. Once again I have to remind you that these volunteers chose to be here, the paid to serve us. Amazing!

We all were chauffeured back to our houses to get ready for supper. Supper at the baithouse was wonderful with pasta and salad. Marlee Anne and I got a treat with Tom telling us wonderful stories that Marlee Anne gave him the theme to. Rusty continued to rag Mike about the talent show. He and Mike have connected and I am so very thankful for that friendship for Mike. Michala was enjoying Danny playing the guitar every chance he had. She thought it was just for her. Mike said Mary Elizabeth was going to have a have a face massage because of all the smiling she was doing.

Back to the house for hopefully an early night in.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lighthouse Day 1 & 2

No post about these two days. I am so very sorry! I will try to get my thoughts together. I typed these each night on Mike's laptop. He reformatted his laptop before I had a chance to get those two days journaling off. I can promise you they were days filled with as much peace, love and amazement as the next three.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Day!

First of all THANK YOU for your prayers! Even if it didn't help Michala, well it probably did cause I am sure it could have been worse, it helped Mike and I have some laughs and look at it like there was nothing we could do to change it. I have to laugh each time I think of Michala and her EEG. NO she didn't sleep at all. He was very patient and waited and waited. He had to put her in the papoose because she kept grabbing the wires. He felt bad because he had never had to do that. Even with that she is so strong and kept sitting up. Her foot and leg was sticking out and she kept kicking Mike in the head with it. She got one hand out a little bit and kept clawing us with it. The whole time now we are supposed to be getting her to go to sleep. It's one of those times when you have to laugh to keep from crying.

When he put the flashing light on her she kept turning her head and closing her eyes. A lot of good that light did. Mike reminded me on the way out that's the reason we do not do those very often. Hopefully he got enough info to help us decide what direction to go in with her seizures and meds.

While we were waiting to be called back, this volunteer - a big guy came walking by with this precious tiny little baby. I told the baby hello and he stopped to let us speak to her. He told us that he is a policeman and volunteers there. What an amazing heart this guy must have. It made me once again thankful that Mike and I are blessed to be able to be with the girls when they have to be in the hospital. I love how God uses some many people around us to remind us of our blessings we sometimes miss and take for granted.

Last night we had the opportunity to go to Camp Sunshine House for Spa Sydell night. WONDERFUL!!! We couldn't find anyone to keep the girls so we decided that we would just take them. They all did wonderful. Our Camp Sunshine family is such a true blessing to us.

We found out last night that two of our special Lighthouse friends' cancer has relapsed. Please remember Chayton and Abby and their families in your prayers.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers for us. It's truly what gets us through each day!


Monday, October 01, 2007



Up and out fairly early to get to MGM. We met The Malcoms and a Howard at MGM. The rest of the Howards met us a little later. Mike and the girls stayed with the Malcoms and the Howards to watch Beauty and the Beast while I went and met Brooksey our CM friend. She is pregnant too and I couldn’t wait to see her. The two of us had a wonderful time comparing pregnancy stories. Then we headed over to Beauty and The Beast to meet the rest of them before Brooksey had to go back to work.

We split up and some of us went to Animation Studio to draw while the others went to see Lights, Motor, Action. As we were going into Animation Studio we ran into my friend Angie, her mom and her daughter Aly. It was the strangest feeling running into someone that I email with every week but had never met. We were in the que for the art class when our CM friend Teresa surprised us. We were expecting to see her over with Toy Story characters. She had moved over with the Ratatouille bunch so we were very excited to see her. We drew Stitch in our class. It was Courtney’s first time in the class and she did an amazing job.

After art class we went to see Remy & Emile from Ratatouille. They were the cutest things! Great characters! Emile even grabbed the girls candy bag from the back of Mary Elizabeth’s wheelchair to snack on it. We got to see Frozone before we left too. More time to visit with
Teresa and then we were off to meet the rest of the crew.

After a quick lunch we decided to go to Muppet 3D. Everyone enjoyed that one a lot. Then we headed over to Star Tours. I don’t know how many times they ended up riding that one without getting off. Everyone wanted to ride Great Movie Ride next. Since Lawson was sleeping I decided to sit out with him and wait for Maegan. It wasn’t long before Maegan got off for the day. She met me in front of Great Movie Ride and we caught up before the others got off the ride. Maegan was in my small group at church way back when and I was so excited that she is interning at Disney.

We made a quick stop by to see JoJo and Goliath. Time for dinner at The Brown Derby. It was such a nice treat to have Maegan, Cindi & Scheree eat with us. We had a wonderful meal – birthday meal for me.

After dinner it was a down pouring of rain. Aunt Nay and De met up with us. It was so special to have time to spend and visit with them. We decided to skip Fantasmic since it was raining and headed back to the room.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Magic Kingdom with 15

We had this day planned for several months. Marlee Anne was so excited about being tour guide for the day. It was the 5 of us, Howards and Malcoms. We all met there at 9:00 ready to start the day. I have to tell you I was a little nervous cause with that many people you never know how it's gonna go. I have to say it could not have gone any better.

It was so neat because I ran into my friends Tina & Courtney as soon as we got there. We ran into other friends from Covington throughout the day too.

We stopped for pictures in front of the castle which you know Mike would not have done without the other families. He was very patient and didn't mind having yet another picture made in front of the castle.

Buzz Lightyear was our first stop and I thought we had explained to everyone to stay with us. Buzz Lightyear is one of the rides we stay on and ride two or three times. Well we got split up and I will not call out any names but Scheree did not follow instructions. It ended up being the 5 of us and the 4 older girls. We all had a blast. Tim was at the exit taking pictures and hopped on with us. All this time the rest of them have no idea where we are or what's going on. We decide after riding twice we will get off and catch up with everyone else.

Space Mountain was next. We kept Lawson with us while everyone else rode. Some of them rode a second time while everyone else rode Indy Speedway. Mary Elizabeth and I took pictures of everyone.

We took the back walkway to Toontown to ride Goofy's Barnstormer. Cindi & I sat with Mary Elizabeth and watched Marlee Anne play on the playground. We talked about Mary Beth's Place and the things they were hoping for there. I have to tell you these quiet moments of talking and hearing about her memories of Mary Beth and things they had done with her at Disney were very special to me. I was terribly concerned about how she would handle the week and how I would be able to handle her emotions. She had a really tough time but in Cindi's spirit she handled it well. I honestly do not know that I could have done it. This was their first Disney trip since Mary Beth's angel day.

The kids decided they wanted to see some characters so we headed into the tent. We had lots of fun with Goofy, Minnie, Pluto & Donald. It was so much fun to see Lawson with his favorite - Donald. The big girls wanted to see the princesses so Marlee Anne said well ok. The princesses are so not her favorite but Mary Elizabeth and Michala love them. Carson did not want a picture made with them but the 3 big guys were happy to get a picture made with them.

We hopped on the train to head to Frontierland. We hung out at the playground while everyone that wanted to rode Splash Mountain. Everyone was getting hungry so we went to Pecos Bill's to eat. For some unknown reason Mike sent Marlee Anne and I to get our food then he was going to go. By now of course we have Disney down to a science for us. Mike gets in line for food while I get Mary Elizabeth & Michala fed, then we eat. Well Marlee Anne and I were in line and shoot I forgot his name. I have it written down. CM working there said oh it's your birthday. YES! It was my birthday all week long. He announced it was my 21st birthday and had everyone standing in line sing to me. I even got a delicious peanut butter/chocolate dessert.

Everyone went to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while we ate. Well after Cindi fed Michala and Scheree fed Mary Elizabeth. Having those extra hands and hearts was a huge blessing to us. We caught up to them and they wanted to ride BTMR again so Mike and Michala went with them that time.

Tim decided he would take Carson, Lawson & Marlee Anne to Tom Sawyer Island. Marlee Anne loves exploring the caves. While they did that we all went and rode Haunted Mansion. This time the HA line was working right like before. We ended up riding this twice. Ken took Michala with him and my back and the baby thanked him. She is getting heavy and it didn't take me long to realize it this trip.

We went in Mickey's Philharmagic while we waited on Tim and the kids to catch up with us. Wonderful show as always. Once they caught up with us we rode Peter Pan & It's a Small World.

Time for snacks. Well we had never had ice cream from Mrs. Potts. The day before we saw the awesome Sundae's. Everyone got those while I went to get my raspberry lemonade that the CM gave me for my birthday. It was so very good cause I have been craving it for months.

Teacups were next. Carson thought he was gonna be cute and ride by himself and then a family he didn't know got on there with him. We rode Winnie the Pooh, Carousel, & Dumbo. Marlee Anne rode Cinderella's horse without anyone telling her that was it. Probably just chance.

We still had a little bit of time before the park closed so we headed over to ride Pirates and Jungle Cruise. Our guide on Jungle Cruise was one of the best we had ever had. I just realized I didn't get his name either. He did a great job.

We had to go get our armbands for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and they all decided to go ride Space Mountain one last time.

On our way to get our armband we saw some Disney friends, MJ and her parents. It has been quite some time since we got to see them. It was wonderful to see how well they were doing.

People were already in the park with their costumes on. It was so much fun to see some of the hilarious costumes. We got our armbands, trick or treat bags and headed to Cosmic Rays. We enjoyed a quick meal while also enjoying the dance party with Stitch dressed as Elvis, Donald dressed as a pumpkin and Pluto a flying ace.

Earlier in the day we got a phone call from Aunt Nay saying Amy had a surprise for us. Amy said after the first parade go to the car barn beside the barber shop because Captain Jack Sparrow wanted to see his angels. The girls NOT me! I was terribly excited because this is a Masquerade friend. This is the Capt. Jack who last year after the Halloween party Mike saw in City Hall. Mike said when Capt. Jack walked in everyone screamed and hollered. I know why! WOW!!!

We decided to sit near the barber shop to watch the parade so we would be there when it was over. As Capt. Jack's float came by he waved his Capt. Jack wave. After the parade was over a CM came out and told us Capt. Jack wanted to see us. When we walked into the car barn the huge black horse that the headless horseman rides was there. That was a treat in itself. We all loved seeing that. Marlee Anne was extremely impressed that we got to go in there because we had never been there before.

Well here comes Capt. Jack. I wish Mike was telling this part because he describes me much better. He says when Capt. Jack came out I started with my Mike Moore giggle. Most of ya'll know the story. For those that don't Mike Moore was the love of my life, my old boyfriend that everyone knew I would spend the rest of my life with. Well God had other plans but still there is a place in my heart that when his name is mentioned I have this special giddy laugh. That giggle is saved for my old Mike, "our" Prince Charming and now Capt. Jack Sparrow. Marlee Anne never knew this story about Mike and she has been quite interested in discussing it lately. LOL!!!

So we had family pictures made with Capt. Jack. Marlee Anne said mommie get your picture made. Well of course. The grin on my face is priceless. After my picture with him Capt. Jack says to Mike that he and the Admiral should have their picture made together so their is no ill will. Mike says well you can have her and Capt. Jack says uh no thanks. Mike made this up cause I did not hear anything like that. Saturday Capt. Jack called Mike the Commodore and Sunday he had moved up to Admiral.

The most special parts were when he knelt down to talk to the girls. Mary Elizabeth like every other female loved listening to his voice, and Michala loved his hair. He held Marlee Anne's hands in his and talked to her about a long time ago when he had met her and her monkey. He stayed in character the entire time even when he was talking about Amy calling to tell him the angels were in town. His angels he said. It will forever be one of those special Disney memories.

Finally I was about to meet my long time internet friend Angie. For those of you that have internet friends and especially for our TRAK (true random acts of kindness) list ya'll know how very special this was for me. She, her mom and her daughter Aly was there. After the wonderful Halloween fireworks we got to meet. It's amazing to me how comfortable it is to meet someone face to face after all this time. It was so very special. I cannot thank Angie enough for taking the time to meet up with us and for the wonderful gifts. We even got to go to Toontown with them and trick or treat with them. Aly & Marlee Anne were really cute together.

They went to see the Halloween parade while we went to see Mickey. He was dressed as a scarecrow just like he said. As soon as he we walked up he remembered us from the day before.

We went down Alice's trick or treat trail again. This time the line was light for the characters so the girls got their picture made with Mr. Walrus for the first time. We also stopped to see Twiddle Dee & Dum. We met them way back when our friend Paul was still at Disney but Marlee Anne didn't remember it. She had lots of fun questions for them.

Time for the party to be over so we headed for the boat to head back home to get ready for the next day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Trip down to Disney & MK

This trip was to include the 5 of us - well 6 of us as Marlee Anne says, Aunt Kim, Uncle Papa & Grace. Aunt Kim's surgery threw some changes in our plans. What were we going to do without the Godparents? We made it through it with some phone calls.

We ended up leaving Covington at 12:00 and arrived in Orlando at 6:45. Great timing even though we made one extra stop. The girls did great. We checked in and started getting settled. We had the "perfect" room once again. Thanks to our amazing friends for working out another wonderful trip!

Mike ran to Walmart for milk, fruit and stuff we couldn't bring with us. On the way back he stopped by Girodano's for a stuffed cheese pizza and greek salad. OH MY WORD! Thanks Tracy for recommending it. It was delicious!

We made it to bed fairly early so that we would be ready to go the next morning.

Saturday morning we were at the Magic Kingdom by 9:00. Marlee Anne & I went in to get my birthday pin. The CM was nice enough to put 25 on it. HA! That got some laughs. When we came out the dream squad was there. NO! No night stay in the castle. It was a special meet & greet with Cinderella. I just knew Marlee Anne was going to say NOT AGAIN! She smiled and told Cheryl thank you. We had to be there at 2:00.

We made a quick stop by the candy shop and that's when my camera wasn't working right. I had taken a couple of pictures before then and it worked great. We got the girls an autograph book and pen and headed for their surprise. When Marlee Anne found out we were meeting Captain Jack Sparrow she was excited. Soon Mike found out the whole excited of the meet and greet wasn't just Marlee Anne. It was mommie too. It was so very neat!

We left there and had to do Country Bears in honor of our special friend Pam. We all laughed and enjoyed it. Of course when I looked at Mike he was asleep. Too funny! After that we decided to do Tom Sawyer's Island for the first time ever. Well much to my surprise Mary Elizabeth & Michala couldn't go because you cannot take wheelchairs. The CM actually asked could they walk. Well duh! She doesn't have a leg. No I don't think so. To have the most amazing CMs in the world and then to very rarely have someone that you think WOW! OK! Mike and Marlee Anne went while the girls and I sat and had a nice little break.

Marlee Anne got a swirl ice cream that she and I shared while we sat and waitied for Michala and Mike to walk around. They even looked inside the Hall of Presidents so that Mike could get his fix of that.

We decided to do the Haunted Mansion next. We were excited and very impressed with the refurb there. The handicapped entrance was messed up and the CMs were very confused about it that day. We all enjoyed it though. For the first time ever Marlee Anne road with dad and Mary Elizabeth instead of Michala and I . When the CM asked how many I said 5. She said no mommie 6. LOL!!! It was so sweet!

We had just enough time to ride It's A Small World before meeting Cinderella. We didn't do much in Fantasyland because we knew the next day when we met our friends there we would enjoy that with them.

Our meet & greet with Cinderella was very special. The CM Cheryl that gave us the dream and the CM Kim were one of the best parts of the dream. They were both their ahead of time and really interacted great with the girls. Cheryl even gave them a $25 shopping spree for each one of the girls to get a pin.

Mike got us settled and he went to get a haircut at the Barber Shop. Michala was working that day so it was great to see him. I got the girls fed and then we headed over to watch the parade. A great spot over by the Barber Shop. I forgot to mention that there was no one in the park. I could not believe we were at MK and the crowds were that light.

After the parade we went to the Columbia Harbor House for lunch. I had a delicious salad there that I really enjoyed. Craving salads lately. Marlee Anne decided she really wanted to go to Toontown to see the characters. We went in to see Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and Donald. The photographers found out my camera wasn't working right and they all took a ton of time trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally they figured out it was the auto mechanism in the lens that's broken. It will work if the lens is on manual. I was very happy they took the time to check it out for me.

We went over to see Mickey next. By far one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had with Mickey. They cleared the room and it was just us, Mickey and two wonderful CMs Scott & ???? I have her name written down. Mickey was amazing with the girls. His interaction with them was great. After they had pictures made and we had family pictures made, Marlee Anne wanted me to have a birthday picture with him by myself. She got Mary Elizabeth and pushed her out of the way. Mickey was so thrilled with her being such a big helper. He gave her some very special pins. He asked the girls ages and Mike said another one on the way. He asked if it was a boy and we all proudly said yes. He asked the girls names. Then Marlee Anne said we can name the boy Mickey. Of course Mickey was thrilled. It would truly be a fitting name for our family. Marlee Anne asked Mickey what he was going to be for Halloween. He told her a scarecrow. She told him we would be at his party the next night. Mickey was thrilled and said to be sure to come see him.

We went to meet Mike's sister, brother-in-law & children. We all rode Buzz Lightyear together then headed towards the front to leave before the Spectro crowd. We stopped by to let Marlee Anne pick out the three pins for them. A very special Chip & Dale wearing Mickey ears, Fab five & Incredibles. I love the Tink pin that said Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust. Maybe I will get that one for myself before we leave.

On to the monorail to head back to our home away from home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Birthday!

Thank you so very much to everyone for the phone calls, singing, cards, and gifts. I had the most wonderful day!

Marlee Anne has been planning my birthday for months now I think. That girl can really keep secrets. She is too funny! Aunt Kim threw a kink in the plans when she planned a trip during my birthday. She promised to work it out when she gets back and of course Marlee Anne doesn't forget a promise.

Marlee Anne didn't stay upset about that too long because Aunt Debbie called and asked her to go shopping. It was really the sweetest thing. My brother-in-law's birthday was Tuesday. To stay busy my sister decided it would be a great time to take Marlee Anne shopping for my birthday. The hardest part was that I couldn't know what was going on or where they went until last night.

This is just a quick run down of their stops. Chick-fil-A, Zachby's, Chuckie Cheese & McDonald's. Yes all in one day. They shopped Target, Kohl's, Kmart, Bath & Body Works and of course Michael's.

My scrapbooking friends will love this. My 5 year old daughter knows what a Cricut is and what a Cricut cartridge is. She knows the cartridges we have and which ones we want to have. She told Aunt Debbie that a Cricut cartridge was something she wanted to buy. Aunt Debbie ask where to go to get it. Michael's of course. Marlee Anne walks in and knows exactly where to go but she couldn't find the cartridge. They asked someone and they showed them the book to choose. Marlee Anne said we are having a baby and need the baby one. She of course picks out the right one. The New Additions one. They proceed to the check out counter and she ask for Aunt Debbie's debit card so she can swipe it. Too funny! I have another story like that to tell you but won't take up your time. I will tell it later.

My day started off with Marlee Anne fixin me breakfast. She gives me a Target bag that has the biggest box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in it. She says mommie it's your favorite. I never knew that. In fact I had never eaten it before. Marlee Anne fix my bowl and I helped her pour the milk.

Mom brought lunch over and we had a nice "party" then as Marlee Anne said. We really had a wonderful day.

Last night Marlee Anne threw me a surprise birthday party. Originally it would have only been one guest but thanks to Aunt Debbie I ended up having 2 others that she kidnapped from work. Tracey and Ann came too and brought a delicious Baskin Robbins cake. There is even a comical story about the cake. What's so funny about this "crew" of ours is there is never a dull moment. Marlee Anne thought Aunt Debbie was coming right after 5 cause she gets off work at 5 (usually). Marlee Anne looks at the clock and it's 6:00. She plops down in the chair and says well I guess my Aunt Debbie's not coming, my day has just been ruined. LOL!!! Once they all three get there and "surprise" me they tell us that Mike kept them late in a meeting. Thankfully Granny and Papa (Mike's parents) timed it just perfect and came just in time for cake. When Michala saw the cake she knew it was truly party time.

I had to open my presents before we could have cake. The girls gave me wonderful pjs to match some pjs that they already have. They even gave me a precious little outfit for our baby boy. Then they gave me my Cricut cartridge. Mary Elizabeth was in the best mood and filled with laughs and beautiful smiles.

My wonderful sister gave me some beautiful maternity clothes. She is the stylish one in the family so when I get clothes from her you can bet I will be styling.

Since Marlee Anne was our party planner we were entertained by her and then played a game. She kept trying to think of ways to keep them here all night.

It was a wonderful day filled with lots of fun, laughs and surprises. One of my most precious keepsakes was that Marlee Anne wrote mommie on the outside of the envelope. Mike told her the letters and she did a great job writing them. YEAH!!!

Thanks again to everyone for making this day so special!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Neuro Appt

Ya'll this email is going out to a couple of groups. It may be more detailed than what some of you want to read but it's going to the Aicardi list so I want as many details in there in case someone has ideas.

The girls appt went good yesterday. Thank you so very much for your prayers.

We all sat there amazed at Mary Elizabeth as we discussed how she is doing since almost this same time last year. It was actually Oct 1st when she had her stroke and grandmal seizure. She laughed and smiled and did really great! Mike said it's amazing the difference a year can make. God is good.

Michala showed herself in the doctor's office which we were glad of. She was very ill, fussy, aggressive and irritable. The doctor got to see what we have been discussing with him. Could be med changes or whatever. Who knows!

He added Tranxene to her meds. She will take half of a 3.75 pill which is the smallest dose available right now. She will take it each night. Has anyone used this? Good, bad, ugly? Any side effects that you have seen? He is hoping this may help her irritability and also the really bad seizures she is having each night. His concern was possible heavy sedation with it but with these seizures she is having lately they are pretty much knocking her out any way. So what do you do?

He also wants us to give Diastat if her seizure last for 5 minutes. That would mean Diastat way more often than we want to give it to her. We will just take that a little at a time and see how things go.

He also suggested an EEG since it has been so long since she has had one. Maybe that will help us figure some things out. He just was not pleased with her having the really hard screaming seizures so often.

We discussed the possibility of puberty. He went into a long spill about endocrine and all that. I was reminded that it would help if I would start keeping a more detailed journal on her seizures. URG!!! He did suggest the possibility of putting her on Diamox. Has anyone used that?

Oh and we did discuss the clonepan wafer but he said that one of it's side effects is drooling. He could quickly tell that was not something we could use any more of. The only thing she is taking for drooling is Robinul. If anyone has any other meds or suggestions for something to help with that we would greatly appreciate that too. Thanks!

Thanks again to everyone for your prayers. Having a direction to go in always helps!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Heart Time

It's 1:00 AM. This is my time to think, reflect and just really deal with my heart. This week has been WOW! What a rollercoaster.

Yesterday my friend died. She had been battling the ugly "C" word for years. She was our honorary chair for our Relay For Life this year. Tonight was visitation. The line poured out the funeral home doors and down the side walk of our little town. Along with all those hometown folk came so much love and admiration. Cindy's mom said Kelli she didn't have any friends. We kind of snickered and said no she didn't. The wait to visit with the family was over an hour. As we stood in line you could hear people telling stories and reminiscing about Cindy. What a truly amazing woman she is. I am sure by now she is no longer a member of Heaven's choir but leading it. As tears flowed down my face the other day as Cindy's sister in law Pam was telling me that she had just died, Pam said Cindy has been working towards this day all her life. She truly was. Each day, each step she was headed in the right direction. God was perfecting her more and more each day.

As I visited with Mr. Sammy, Cindy's daddy my heart filled more and more. He told stories of my daddy. I could have sat there all day and listened. As he talked I could see my daddy's smile, smell him, feel his loving embrace like a teddy bear and hear that voice. Mr. Sammy would be talking away and then stop and say you remember that. Oh what a feeling.

As I was sitting here I began thinking of Tristan. Many of ya'll remember Tristan. Saturday will be the second anniversary of his death. His mom told me that they call it his Feast Day. I had never heard of that before so I began looking it up. I made them a Feast Day card in honor of Tristan's Feast Day. I assume that's the right thing to do because I found Feast Day cards online. I am sure by now Kathleen is used to my ignorance and know that I meant it in love. Recently Mary Elizabeth has started crossing her legs the way Tristan used to. It's so wonderful to see quiet gently reminders of him. I wanted to take the time to give them a reminder that he is not forgotten.

Back to dealing with my heart. Twice recently I have been reminded that I have the type of heart I have for a reason. I just wish it wasn't so tender and didn't hurt so much. They say I have the gift of empathy. I cannot remember the quote exactly but it's something tis better to have loved and lost than never love at all. Is that right? Well ya'll know what I mean.

Well it's really late now. I am not sure any of this post made sense but it helped to be able to share my heart. Honestly I will try to do better about updating my blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


OK I was prepared to write a long wonderful post about this. I will have to say that Cyndi and I truly do have an amazing friendship. It's truly blessed by God. They just fit here. It's a true friendship when you don't have to work so hard at it. No Cyndi I still haven't taken your pictures yet. I will get them done though. I promise. Her scrapbooking techniques can be quite annoying because she actually puts pictures on the pages AND within a resonable amount of time. How sick is that.

Cyndi has done such a wonderful job detailing our visit that I will just send you to her blog. She added some really nice comments about me too. Those that know me well please do not tell her any different. She will find out soon enough. LOL!!! Cyndi's blog.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Michala is joining the circus!

I know as ya'll read the subject of this post ya'll were thinking Michala has the opportunity to be part of Camp Sunshine Day at Big Apple Circus or maybe even a special part in the Shrine Circus. Well no not really. Those of you that already know this story bare with me or just hit delete.

Monday night I was at my Relay For Life meeting. My cell phone rings. It said home. Well we never call each other in situations like that unless it's very important or an emergency. My heart skipped. When I answered it Mike said you need to come out of your meeting. Everything and anything flashed through my mind. I will start by telling you what I think Mike should have told me first - Everyone is ok. VERY important! Instead he skips that part.

Mike says, Marlee Anne comes running in the den laughing telling me to come see Michala. He walks into the dining room and Michala is on top of the dining room table swinging from the chandelier. Not hanging from it swinging from it. Mike was still laughing when he called me. He said he wish he had the camera near by to take a picture for Shriners Hospital. Of course I am thinking what a neat scrapbook page that would make.

We will soon be having a going away party for Michala as she goes to join the circus.