Memories of My Gall Bladder

Ran across this in my journal from September 2010. Just wanted to get it online so I won’t lose it. 
It’s been interesting around here this week. I had my gallbladder out Tuesday morning and it led to some crazy ideas in my kids heads. Our 4 year old, Mollie, has been with Grammy since Monday so she hasn’t experienced  any of this. Our 3rd grader, Mattie, decided in lunch Tuesday to mix her leftover mashed potatoes, ketchup, honey mustard, milk and applesauce together and tell the teacher she had puked. Well it would’ve worked if a little boy hadn’t told the teacher she was lying. Why would she do this? Well it seems that another little girl told a story about her dog going to the vet to be put to sleep, it died and didn’t come back home. So in Mattie’s mind, I was being put to sleep which meant I might die and not come back.
Wednesday, I made it down the steps to eat lunch. Nana was here to take care of me since Mikie couldn’t be off work. As I finished lunch the phone rang. It was Maggie′s teacher. Seems Maggie, who’s six, had stomach issues, and the other two kids did too. Nana picked them all up at school after lunch and they came home. Would you believe they suddenly felt much better. Mommy was okay so they guessed they should let me sleep and they should play.
To add to the craziness of the week our 5 year old, Michael, missed the showing of my incisions on Tuesday evening. He has been pretty rough with me all week. On Thursday, Mikie, asked him what his problem was. “Mommy’s lazy.” He assumed since I had been in bed all week that I was just lazy. After he saw my belly he changed his mind, but not really his attitude.
Today, 5 days after my surgery I’m finally starting to feel much better. The kids are all with grandparents for the weekend. Mikie is working all weekend. When the military calls you work, no matter who has had surgery that week. 
My kids come up with the craziest ideas. 

Celebrations of Life and Death

Mattie celebrated her 11th birthday on March 9th. Mattie is my oldest, mini-me. Luckily for the rest of the family, she is my only mini-me. She was our first of four blessings. One that we never thought we would ever receive. Her last year has been full of echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram and CT scans. Her heart murmur is fine and should not cause her problems. We visit the neurologist in April about her headaches.

She is beautiful, mature, loving and giving. She isn’t afraid to show her love for Christ and will tell you all about Him.  She is excited about being Safety Patrol Captain and can’t wait to visit Washington, D.C. with Safety Patrol this spring.

She landed a lead part in the spring musical at church and just finished playing basketball on the school team. I think she is the most excited about having her own bedroom in the new house. 

Her birthday fell on Saturday this year just like when she was born. Mikie had drill and we all got up extra early and inflated every balloon that the small helium tank would inflate. Twenty-eight to be exact. We tied ribbons and let them all go over top of the her bed, the top bunk. Then Mikie woke her up to tell her happy birthday before he left for drill.

I haven’t seen her smile like that in so long. She stresses over everything lately, typical adolescent stress. She was so excited that she had all those balloons and that we really did love and care about her.

Later that morning she went to spend the weekend with Grammy and Papaw Shaver. She really likes to go with them for her birthday. Grammy takes her shopping and she gets whatever she wants until Grammy’s budgeted amount runs out. This year Cousins Dixie and Fisher spent the weekend too.

On Sunday morning, Mattie’s birthday weekend took a terrible turn. What had been a happy, joyous celebration that was supposed to end with a party at lunch with us, aunts, uncles and cousins, quickly became a party minus one.

As Grammy finished serving breakfast to Mattie, Dixie and Fisher, they heard a noise. Grammy ran to find Papaw had fallen. He was getting ready to go preach and sing. She yelled for Mattie to bring her the phone. After a long time with the EMT’s they took Papaw to the hospital. Mattie, Dixie and Fisher didn’t realize exactly what had happened, but Mattie and Dixie knew something was really wrong and kept praying over and over for Papaw.

That Sunday turned into a long day. One final goodbye to a Papaw who had entered our lives just over 11 years ago when he and Grammy married. A Papaw that made a difference not only in our lives but in the lives of hundreds of people at the various churches he preached, conferences he lead, places he sang. Over his 67 years he was Christ’s light to others. He told stories of his two tours in Vietnam. He had a loud, boisterous voice and sang all the time. He always had a smile on his face.

Papaw, Grammy and Aunt Wylene–Summer 2012

As Uncle John put it later that evening:
 “There’s not many people that can qualify as ‘salt of the earth.’ And today, there is one less.”

We didn’t realize until the two memorial services how many lives he had made a difference in. Grammy counted over 400 signatures in the book of visitors.

I’m so proud of how Mattie handled the situation and I know Papaw would be too. Although six of his seven grandchildren aren’t his blood he never treated them any different than the one that is.

I could make a list of regrets and wishes that we had spent more time with Papaw, that we had not let our own church responsibilities, extracurricular activities and other things get in the way of hearing him preach and visiting more. In a selfish way I wish Mattie didn’t have to experience that morning, but she keeps reminding me that Dixie and Fisher needed her that morning, Grammy needed her. I wish that we had taken her to Grammy and Papaw’s and visited the day before, instead of Grammy picking her up. I wish we could turn back time.

No regret or wishes can change the past, but they can change the future. Birthdays will be celebrated in a big way, Sundays will be reserved for worship and family, invites to special events will be honored even if it means we have to ask someone else to cover our responsibilities elsewhere.

I can’t make Mattie’s 11th birthday a completely happy to remember occasion, but we can happily remember it as a time that we learned a lot of things about Papaw and she can carry on his legacy of lighting this world with Christ’s love.


Eating:         Leftovers
Watching:     YouTube videos on Facebook
Drinking:       ICEE, ICEE, ICEE
Thinking:      I need to finish my grades.
Praying:        For my family, MIL and the rest of that side after the loss of Papaw Larry.
Planning:      Packing and Cleaning of current house for sale; remodel of 101 yr old farmhouse.
Dreaming:    of putting my toes in the sand. Ain’t gonna happen this Spring!
Reading:       absolutely nothing. Next week must read at least one book.

Where did ya go?

Where in the world have I been?

I have three post in the works, I promise. The last couple of weeks have been rather busy with a drama production at one of my schools, parent teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments and the passing of my sweet step father in law. Spring break is next week and I will be able to catch up then. But look for a giveaway and information about the Titanic spring break events this week.


Eating:         Snow Cream
Watching:      X-Men Series (it’s a snow day, Avenger series up next)
Drinking:       Water–I can’t get out of the house to get an ICEE
Thinking:       I need to be building sets for opening day, Friday
Praying:         for my sweet student Kaitlyn and our drama at school
Planning:      Thwacked it opens Friday at Meadowview
Dreaming:      of Spring Break
Reading:       just my Bible this week

Father-Daughter Dance

Tonight Mikie took the girls to a Father/Daughter dance sponsored by the Newport Business Women’s Club. Believe it or not Mollie said she would go and wear a dress with a few conditions, her hair had to be curled and she had to wear her flower girl dress from Aunt Miranda’s wedding.

Here are the pics I captured before they left.  They said they had a great time and even ran into Cousin Dixie and Uncle John.

The only almost normal faced picture I could get.


Eating:          bacon and eggs
Watching:      Harry Potter 1-3 (Maggie just finished the 1st book)
Drinking:       Cola ICEE’s (I’m addicted.)
Thinking:       about how I need to be packing
Praying:         for my sweet student Kaitlyn (1st round of chemo this week)
Planning:       a remodel of 101 yr old farmhouse (see pics in previous post)
Dreaming:      Ireland
Reading:       When Donkeys Talk (book review for Zondervan)

New House Sneak Peak

We closed Wednesday evening on what will become our new home in just a few months. As you will see in these pictures it needs some major TLC. It was built in 1912. The family we bought it from was so excited that kids were moving in. They finished signing first and while Mikie and I were finishing our paperwork they spent time with our kids. They found out were the peach, apple and pecan trees are and the best hiding places for hide and seek. They told us the garden should be good to go with well fertilized dirt from the farm they ran there. We are able to have animals there too. I’ll take some outside pictures of the house, barns, sheds and Michael’s favorite building the outhouse when the weather clears up. Now for getting our current home ready to show and the new one ready to move in. Ignore the crazy, overly excited, you would have thought we were moving into to Disney World kids. 🙂

Dining Room–love the built in hutch and antique chandelier

front door and hallway


living room

parlor doors–my favorite 

master bedroom

upstairs hallway

Michael’s room he hopes to keep the wallpaper. 

Maggie’s room

Mattie’s room needs the most work cosmetically

Mollie’s room

storage–possibly girls walk in closet, dressing area, maybe bath

coming back downstairs
picture I pinned from the real estate listing.

Have any ideals of how you would remodel? I’d love to hear them and stay tuned for the exciting adventure. 

Titanic Family Adventure

Yea, I know it’s not supposed to be an adventure, although I think that’s what it started out as for so many aboard, almost 101 years ago. While it is an intriguing story for so many of us it is a very sad story also.

It’s a story that our family has had the privilege to experience several times over the last year and half. We went for our first time in June 2011 and fell in love with the Titanic and her story. Read all about it  here! Mattie, my history buff would move in I believe, because she learns something new every time she goes. We visited again in April 2012 for the 100 year Tribute to the Titanic. What a celebration of life and a memorial to those aboard.

We visited on Thanksgiving. The Titanic was beautifully decorated for Christmas, but there was a special treat that night, fireworks and snow. The fireworks were beautiful and the snow was wonderful.  I have some really neat pictures but for some reason they won’t load, sorry.

From the 100 Year Tribute

We love the Titanic Crew. Every single person is always so warm and welcoming when they see you. This evening was no different, even though they were missing out on family time. Even Mrs. Joslyn one of the owners herself was there. I think it is really neat that the Joslyn’s are hands on with the Titanic. We have seen Mrs. Joslyn several times we have been there. The first time she told us about the timeline board. We didn’t have any idea who she was at the time, but later learned her identity.

This year is the Year of the Child. Those who visit will learn the stories of the 133 children aboard the Titanic. There is also a Princess Tea Party coming up in April, for all those little girls in your life. And you won’t want to miss the third annual Professional Ice Carving Competition on January 19th. Titanic will honor teachers again in February with a free ticket. January through May offers homeschoolers special rates.

Titanic is closed this week until January 11th for its cleaning and set up of the new exhibit honoring the children. But never fear,  I have a family pass to give away. I want you to have the opportunity to explore, remember and enjoy the excitement of the Titanic.

Leave me a comment below to enter to win the family pass which is good for two adults and four children. It expires February 28th so you will need to use it soon.

Tell me what intrigues you about the Titanic in the comments below to be entered to win.

You have until midnight January 11th to enter. I will use to select a winner.

Disclaimer: I received a free family admission to the Titanic on Thanksgiving and received another to giveaway.

PS: You can click through any of the purple links to find out more about the Titanic.

2012 in Pictures

So much has happened throughout 2012, so I’ve chosen a few of my favorite pictures from this year in no particular order to review our year. Let’s just say it was really hard to pick out of almost 3000 pictures.  Hope you enjoy!

We became bee keepers.

A cold January picnic with Kellie.

Mollie’s trap worked, the Leprechaun came home from school. 

He left a present. 🙂

Mattie celebrates turning 10 with two good friends.

Our home for the last 11 years. That will change in 2013.

Sometimes it’s hard being the only brother.

Mother’s Day goodies being made with best friends.

It never ends. Praise God!

Best Friends, Two Peas in a Pod,

Kindergarten graduation and summer begins!

Drying out!

Memorial Day Camping

Weekend Getaway

Little Shop of Horrors

Golf Camp

Boy time!

Titanic 100 years

Journey Camp

Davy Crockett Pioneer Kids Day

Mollie’s 6th birthday, Art Shop in the basement

Sunday Fun

134th ARW families meet Mrs. Haslam.

Yep, that’s what the ziploc vacuum sealer does. 

Some times friends leave. 

Sometimes they are silly too.

We ALL go back to school.


A new place to worship in.

Playing in the hay.

It’s for a 5 year old. He will never grow up.


Winter at Hilton Head
Really, Mom? Yea, that’s why I have no pics of her. 

Trying to stay dry.

Mollie’s second favorite way to be carried. 

Just me and my gang!

New Year’s Eve Bow and Arrow war casualty.

Yahtzee champ’s trophy stolen. 
The End!