Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Break

We've had an eventful Spring Break last week. Everyday was something new and fun for the family. We didn't do anything big like some of our friends, but stay close to home and kept the stress level to a minimum. Picnic at one of our favorite parks, playing at the parks, shopping, ice cream parties and kids spending the night with their grandparents. A few weeks ago, I had Katie make a list of things she would like to do with Colton and I. This is what she wanted to do. Amazingly enough, the items on her list filled each day and wasn't all that expensive. At first, I was a little concerned if we were going to be able to do them because Blackberry Winter came and visited us with temps in the 50s and 60s. Can you say, BRRRR!? Luckily, the cool weather didn't stay around for very long because by Wednesday temps began going back up. By the weekend, was very nice outside.

We did have the chance to get outside quite a bit. I've had bags of mulch to clean out my flowerbeds and make them pretty for Summer time. I couldn't get over how thick my beds have gotten. Maryann came over a couple of weeks ago and helped me thin out some of my plants, but it still needed so much more thinning. Leslie told me that she wanted to go plant shopping in my yard for her new house, but she's so involved with her wedding that she hasn't had time to pick out what she wants. For right now, I just moved some plants around in our flowerbeds. This way if Leslie wants the plants, she can get them at a later moment. Meanwhile, my beds look nice and neatly groomed. With us being outside and doing so much yard work, we've had our encounter with a couple of snakes. Nothing bad just a King snake and Pine snake. We discovered that the LONG King snake had a wonderful den under our carport. LOVELY! You may feel differently, but I feel that snakes are the devil's hand puppets. A good snake is a DEAD snake. I'm one of these that kill first and find out what kind it is later. The Pine snake had it's head blown off with Doug's gun. I must say, my hubby has a perfect aim. LOL! I'd never seen a Pine snake before last week. I just knew it was a Rattlesnake because of the diamond markings, but I was puzzled because it didn't have rattles. After research and Doug's guesses, we have concluded that it was a Pine snake. We just can't afford to allow snakes on our property with small children running around the yard. No matter how good they are for the environment.

One thing, I've discovered this past week is that I don't like Fat-Free Frozen Vanilla Yogurt. YUCK! Some people may love it and I know it is much better for you than low-fat or fatty ice cream. I can handle Weight Watchers yogurt just fine when I have to eat it, but plain yogurt is too sour for my taste buds. That specific sour taste is carried over to the frozen yogurt. I tried really hard to like it, but there is no way I could handle it. Thankfully Doug liked it okay.

This morning, we hated to get back on schedule with work and school. I've allowed the kids to stay up way late at night this past week, so I just knew I would have trouble with Katie getting ready for school. Actually, she did rather well and I didn't have the first problem with her. Colton however, was another story. He was such a cranky franky getting out of bed. He did not want to go to the bathroom, but I made him. He did not want to put on his shoes, so I carried him to the car. He did not want Katie to look at him on the way to school. He is really bad about calling names. When you have ticked him off, he likes to call you "poopy-brat." All the way to school, all I heard was "mom, Katie's looking at me." and "Katie, you a poopy-brat." Feel the love! Katie loves it, to aggravate Colton. It's her favorite pass time. LOL! It drives me crazy at times because I don't like hearing them argue with one another.

This week is Teacher Appreciation at school. Katie drew a pretty picture of her and Ms. G. We made her a beautiful handmade "Thank You" card and have a couple of small gifts for Katie to present to her later this week. Friday, Katie has another field trip to the high school auditorium for the play "Cinderella." I can't get over that Summer is practically here. Temps are in the 80s and school is almost out for Summer Vacation. Now that school is winding down, comes the fun time of school. I just read the month newsletter for this coming month and she is going to have a blast. May 11th begins Luau week. She gets to dress up and they will study about Hawaii all week long, including games and activities. FUN! After the play this Friday, she will have one more field trip to her new school that she will transfer to next year. They have their annual Field Day, which is loads of fun for the kids all day. I will take pictures for you. The last day of school, Katie's class will have bunch and be dismissed. She loves school, but she is so ready for Summer Break. She is so looking forward to swimming and playing in the water. Swimming lessons is like her most favorite Summer activity.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mayor Townson Welcome Speech


1st Annual "Rock of the South" - SUCCESS!

Do you know when is the best time to go to the movies on a Friday night? When Kellie Pickler and Dierks Bentley is in concert a couple of blocks away. LOL! 

At last minute, we decided not to go to the concert because we kept hearing all sorts of rumors. Such as, people were coming from all over the South and thousands of tickets were pre-ordered. The park is not that big or at least I didn't think so. I might be wrong. Call us old, but I didn't want to fight the crowd and drag a lawn chair around just to sit in. We would had to get there at 3PM, wait in line for the gates to open and just to get a good sit.  Then, we would have to wait until 7PM for the concert just to begin.  

Of course, I feel like I've missed something good, but we did have our own fun. I've been wanting to watch the new movie "The 5 Year Engagement." It was a quirky, stupid, funny movie. Even though Doug laughed quite a few times during the movie, he made it known to me that he didn't like it. The movie started about the same time Kellie Pickler went on stage. This sounds terrible, but we checked our tweets regularly right before the movie began. LOL! There was probably a whole 8 people in the theater. It was a ghost town and it usually is hopping especially on Friday nights. I really don't understand because it's so expensive to go to the movie theater. It cost me nearly $30 for tickets, a large Coke Zero and a small popcorn. I know, I've been bad today with the junk food. But hey, I have lost a lot of weight. Before today, I was 2 pounds away from my goal. YAY! I've probably gained about 5 pounds. LOL! When we got out of the movies, we drove close to the park, rolled down our windows and could hear the music and fans very clearly. You know there's a lot of people when you can hear them go crazy. We missed Kellie perform, but could hear Dierks just fine singing. He spoke to the crowd quite a bit. On the tweets, everyone was raving about how fun and awesome the concert was tonight. 

 It didn't take long before getting an update from the newspaper. It was reported that there were at least 11,000 on hand to see Pickler and Bentley perform. The hard copy tickets were sold completely out at the gate tonight. Mayor Townson said, our first ever BIG concert was a great success. I don't think they anticipated being as big as it was and from the attendance, was exactly what the community wants - BIG NAME MUSIC FESTIVALS. Residents have been looking forward to this concert for some time now and the rumor is since this was such a huge success, it may become an annual event. YAY! I wished you could have seen the sea of vehicles and people throughout the city. It was awesome! People walking down the sidewalks with their lawn chairs, boots and daisy dukes. School buses literally busing people in from area parking locations. 

 Below are a few pictures from the big event: 


Mayor Townson and wife with Kellie Pickler


Dierks Bentley on stage


 Sea of fans before the concert was well on it's way. 

 Gates opened at 3PM. Concert didn't start until 7PM and lasted until 10PM. Everyone seemed to have had a wonderful time. 

Just a reminder . . . 

Smith Farms Music Festival

May 24th-26th

Artists include:  
Marshall Tucker Band ~ American Idol Taylor Hicks
Velcro Pygmies ~ Rollin' in the Hay ~ Wayne Mills Band
The Ugli Stick ~ Year and a Day ~ Wheelhouse 
Tonya Watts ~ Bad Brad and the Sipsey Slims
Scott Boyer and Kelvin Holley ~ Round 2
Sounds like Trouble ~ 90 Proof ~ Flannel
Caddle ~ Blake Scott Band ~ Wesk  

For Tickets & other information,  CLICK HERE!

Grant it, I only know of two of the groups, but I'm sure it will be an awesome music fest and it will last for 3 days.  Tickets are 3 day passes.  I am hopeful that the attraction will bring loads of revenue into our town. For the past few years, we've had local bands/groups play at several different venues, but to attract several huge groups like this is wonderful for our future.  

 All photos supplied by The Cullman Times 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Remembering April 27, 2011

This week I wanted to take a moment and remember the tornadoes that ravaged the South, especially my hometown in Alabama, last year. I remember that fateful day like it was yesterday.  Who would have thought on April 27, 2011, so many lives would change?  I developed more of an appreciation for life and my fellow man.   I am so blessed by God to live where your neighbor will lend a helping hand or give you a hug when you need it.

On the morning of the 27th of April at 5:30AM, our weather alert went off. A tornado warning went out for south of our county. Being unaware that a tornado had hit the county. I was taking the advance warnings from our meteorologist days before seriously. The earlier prediction was that the really bad storms would not hit our state until later that afternoon. It was a school day and I figured that Katie would go on to class and I could pick her up by 11AM or noon for the day. The weather had a different idea. Not sure what to do, I had to take my children's safety to account.  I decided to pack up the car and head to my in-laws.  I brought extra clothes and Katie's backpack in case her school would still have class.  It wasn't long after getting settled at my in-laws before I received a call from school, stating that they would close that day due to weather.

My father-in-law and I stayed glued to the television, watching the tracks of tornadoes ripping across the state.  It was so weird how the mid-afternoon tornadoes would take the same path as the morning tornadoes.  Thankfully, my children were safe and playing in the next room.  We actually saw the storm's rage that disfigured our home town on the news.  When it finally went on it's way, it left all of us in the dark and left so many people homeless.  The storms lasted all day and into the night.  We stayed with my in-laws that night.

The next day, Doug, his dad and I loaded up and headed to Birmingham to pick up a couple of generators.  I took my camera, being the photographer I am.  I tried not to cross a line out of respect for others.  There were people on the morning news, upset because people were coming down their streets, taking pictures of the disaster.  These poor people just lost everything in a blink of an eye.  I didn't want to photograph someone else's crisis, but photograph this moment to remember and celebrate God's grace on our life.

We were without power for three days, but were thankful for the generators.  When the city was ready for volunteers, my sister and I helped out one day.  The volunteers were pouring out of the woodwork.  It's great when you have to turn away volunteers because there are so many.  Trust me, they came back the next day.  The volunteers were divided up into groups.  Susan and I were able to stay together, thankfully.  We worked on the streets that were one of the worst hit areas, cleaning up debris.  We had to make it to where the homeowners could get a vehicle in the driveways or close enough to the house, so they can get their belongings.  The tree cutters would cut the trees off their houses, to make sure it might be safe enough to get in the house.  The rest of us moved the wood to the edge of the streets for FEMA to easily pick up the debris to dispose of it. At one house, Susan found dental X-rays among all the trash.  We asked the homeowner if it was her or her husband's and she had no idea who's it was.  The first house, we began working at had a boat trailer leaning up against the house.  The homeowner said that it was not her trailer and didn't know where it came from.  Just amazing.  We were instructed before going out that if the homeowners came out of their house and just wanted to talk that it was alright to talk with them.  They just had their world turned upside down and needed some normalcy.  So many homes were wiped completely off the map.

A view of a neighborhood in the Pleasant Grove area, looks like a pile of garbage.

This was the typical view for all residents when the city officials gave the clear for everyone to travel downtown.  Signs bent like they were made out of aluminum foil.  Power lines on the ground because either trees were laying on them or the power poles were snapped like toothpicks.

Roofs ripped off and windows blown out.  Churches either missing completely or disfigured.

When in-state and out-of-state rescue units began showing up to help restore power, passing out water and ice, etc.  It was very emotional.  In fact the day after the storms and we were headed to Birmingham for the generators, we met power company trucks from other states.  I immediately got choked up and began to cry.

This was the scene at most gas pumps.

Charity groups passing out ice, water and other necessities.

Praise Report
I really hope I'm not speaking too soon, but God deserves the praises.  My friend, Richard, got a report from his doctors regarding his cancer.  From what I understand, he was cut open.  I guess kind of like exploratory surgery to see they see any cancer.  None were found.  He was sent to get ready for a bone marrow transplant because cancer was found growing in his body again.  This time, when they went looking for the cancer and getting prepared for the bone marrow transplant, they found NOTHING.   The doctors will keep a watch on him, but as of right now a bone marrow transplant will not be needed.  WHOO HOO!  GOD IS SO GREAT!  We are all so thankful to him for answering Richard's and our prayers.  Meanwhile, Richard is still losing weight.  Weight, he can not afford to lose.  His appetite just hasn't made a come back yet.  Please remember continue to remember him.  Thank you!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Day, They Went on a Train Ride . . .

DSC_0535 DSC_0542
Today, we kicked off the first day of Spring Break by visiting the North Alabama Railroad Museum.  We felt it would be a perfect day to go on a train excursion, about 10 miles roundtrip.  It has turned cold here with highs in the upper 60s and very windy.

The kids and I were goofing around inside the passenger car.  I had a good time, watching my kids experiencing this moment.  Katie got a little bored after 30 minutes of the ride, but Colton seemed to enjoy looking out the window.  I mean just the thought of riding "Thomas the Tank Engine" or that's what Colton thought we were riding.  LOL!  That's all he has talked about for the past several days, "I wanna ride Thomas."  He may have been bashful when it came to the conductors coming around to each passenger, but overall I think he liked it.

We rode a very old historic train at a very historic railroad depot.  The Mercury & Chase Railroad Depot, we were told, was the smallest of depots in Historic Huntsville Branch of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis railway.  One of the passenger cars was made in 1939 for the Pennsylvania Railway. On our little excursion, we had 2 passenger cars, baggage car that was an ex-Southern Railway unit and is now used as an observation and souvenir car, the dining car that was once an Army hospital car during WWII.  The conductor and engineers running this operation appeared to be a group of retired railroad staff.


Conductors were coming and going, entertaining the passengers and making sure everyone was enjoying themselves.  Below is Conductor Jack and the kids.  He tried his best to get Colton to warm up to him.  He was so sweet and a big jokester.  You can really tell these older gentlemen really enjoyed their job and  telling their stories.  Very interesting and educational.  I hope the children will remember the day, they went on a train ride.

Waiting for the train to depart from the depot.

Waiting to board the train

Not that I've been around several locomotives, but are they suppose to smoke this bad?  LOL!  Our trip was delayed a little because the engineers had to switch engines, in order to pull the cars.  When they started up this engine, the smoke was just pouring out.  We all looked at each other and began laughing.  Peggy was worried if we were going to make the trip or not.  Of course, Doug and I began the snide comments like "oh, it's just 10 miles, we can walk it." "We may not make it 10 miles."  LOL!  Too funny.    Doug feels that the neighboring communities like having the train go past their house because with all the smoke, it might get rid of the mosquitos.  LOL!

Waiting patiently to get this excursion on it's way.



For more information about the North Alabama Railroad Museum, CLICK HERE!

Doug and I were talking about maybe visiting the Chattanooga railway.  They offer 4 hour roundtrip train rides.  What interested Doug was that around Christmastime, they have a special Polar Express ride with Santa.  He thought the kids would love that and I have to agree.  Besides, the mountains should look beautiful at that time.

Don't forget:

  • Bloomin' Festival is going on this weekend Sat. & Sun.  at St. Bernard Prep School.  This is there main fundraising for the school.  I really wanted to go this year, but with the cold temps and Colton's allergies.  I'm afraid, we'll have to pass this year.  
  • Wednesday, Bo Jackson will be peddling through Cullman. Yes, on bike.  He will be signing autographs at Hibbett's Sporting Goods.  
  • April 27th - 1 year anniversary when the tornadoes ripped up the South.  There will be a special concert "Rock the South" at Heritage Park.  Special guests will be Dierks Bentley and Kellie Pickler.  You will also have an opportunity to meet a few former Alabama "Bama" football players like David Palmer and Antonio Langham.  For ticket information, CLICK HERE!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Photo Trees with Details


I wanted to repost Leslie Bridal Shower table displays because I was in a hurray the first time.  I had also noticed that Blogger and Photobucket had made some changes that I had to get reacquainted with their tools.  

I made the two photo tree vases decorations for the my niece's bridal shower.  They were very easy to make and were the talk of the shower.  It was a unique way to display all the photos I took of her and her fiancĂ©.  I feel it is a little more organized rather than tables and stacks of framed engagement pictures.  


The theme color was pool, so I had to put on my creative thinking cap.  The vases were loaned to me by my sister, but she purchased them from Hobby Lobby.  The retail price is $27, but she was able to get them half off.  These vases are pretty tall, as you can see.  I needed a heavy filler so they would not fall over, but nothing to easily break the glass.  Whitney and I both were thinking aquarium pebbles.  Perfect! I used a big bag and one half to fill it half way.  

The branches that allow the photos to hang, I purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I used one bunch per vase.  Retail price for the bunch is $7.99, but I paid half price. I had some silver spray paint and painted the branches, after I snipped them apart.  Working with the branches, you really have to just play and make it as evenly fanned out as possible (snipping a little off and repositioning).  I cut strips of wide iridescent tulle and stuck down as I worked with the branches.  

The tulle is used to cover up the ends of the branches.  Once the sticks/branches are in place and where you want them, I purchased a spool of silk matching ribbon (3"). 

Feed the ribbon threw the rhinestone buckles and wrap around the mid-section of the vase, between the pebbles and tulle.  Cut the length of ribbon that you need.  In order to tack the ribbon to the vases, I sprayed a little spray adhesive glue on the inside of the ribbon (will face the vase).  Position the ribbon where you need it.  Make sure the buckle is in the front center and smooth the ribbon down as much as you can.  The ribbon must meet evenly in the back.  You may have to play with it a few times, to get it just right.  Don't worry, the adhesive makes the ribbon tacky.  So can take it apart as much as you need to get it perfect for your vase.  Now your beautiful  photo tree is nearly complete.  Just add photos. 

I cut my black and white photos into 3" circles.  Make sure there will be even numbered of photos because I took two photos after they are cut and glued the backs together.  I made a total number of 18 sets of circle photos (9 photo circle per vase).  It was just right and not too cluttered.  I punched flower shaped holes on the top of each circle and thread some matching ribbon (1/2-1" wide).  Tie a pretty bow at the end because it will be in view.  Hang the small photo circles all over in an even setting.  I found some cascading pearl garland to decorate and I think it added the perfect touch.

My niece loved them and will be using them for her reception at the wedding, which made my day.  I love it when some one really likes my madness.  LOL!    

Simple, Easy and Elegant.   


I was also in charge of the fruit platter.  I had planned to do the simple everyday big platter filled with assorted fruits.  That is until I saw a picture of my cousin-in-law's post of her mother's fruit display for a baby shower that Laura was hosting.  Brilliant!  It just so happened that I have an extra large cake plate and a regular size.  I always use them as tiers for my desserts at family gatherings.  I was thinking, this can be done at the last minute.  

What you see above was easily done.  I used a long silver serving tray, small silver bowl and two cake plates (1 regular & 1 extra large sizes).  The silver tray is straight out front with the bowl inside to the left side.  I couldn't put the cake plate inside the tray without it taking up too much room.  I needed all the room I could get because we were expecting 50+ people to show.  So, I stood the extra large cake plate just behind the tray.  The regular cake plate is on top and to the right side of the extra large plate.  I filled up the extra large cake plate first because it would keep things stable.  

I used a fresh pineapple.  Cut it in half, set the top part to the side, put the inside pineapple meat to the side.  Hole out the bottom part of the pineapple.  Make gig-gags along the top.  The fruit I used: oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, seedless grapes (cut into small clusters), cantaloupe, and pineapple.  I placed lettuce leaves down on the plates and tray before setting the fruit out.  My friend, Robin, brought a bunch of material to decorate the table and we thought it would look great threaded around the plates and tray for display.  I'm sorry, but it really added a decorator touch.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Something to Ponder . . .


Normally, Katie loves her Fridays.  At school, they have their fun day and NO homework.  Yesterday was a great day for Katie because we drove around trying to find her classmate's house, so she can attend his birthday party.  When we got home, her and Colton played outside, while I cleaned out flowerbeds.  When Doug came home from work, he laid down on the trampoline and let the kids waller all over him.  It wasn't long when our neighbor kids come to pay us a visit.  I had to go do a few errands and when I got back, Katie's friends went home.  She and Colton wanted to go out for some ice cream, so we loaded up again and headed to DQ.  It's great being a kid.  

I picked up a Brain Quest workbook for this Summer, so Katie can keep up with what he has learned this past year and get a head start for next Fall.  I schemed through the books and decided that I needed to get Second Grade workbook because it had everything Katie's learned this past year and just a little more like multiplication, hundreds value placement, double digit addition and subtraction.  Overall, I think we are set for this Summer.  

Katie's been telling me jokes for the past few months.  Between you and me, there not very good.  She tries and I love her for it.  I came across a joke book just for girls.  All last night, she followed us around the house reading us jokes from this book.  HAHA!  I did the same thing when I was her age or older.  I bugged the stew out of my mom and sisters with the jokes.  Now, I can only remember a hand full of them.  Now, Katie can do the same thing.  I just love it that she's reading and having fun with it.  

I heard on the radio that Lowe's was having a sale on their Preen mulch, $3.50 a bag.  As soon as I get my flowerbeds fixed, we plan to get some.  I love the Preen because it helps to keep down the weeds.  I've also been thinning out my beds.  My sister is suppose to come by Sunday and we are going to take some lilies, monkey grass and Pompus grass over to her house to plant.  I've never been an iris lover and I had some in my flowerbed.  I dug them out last night.  When we bought this house, the bed was full of the old fashion orange day lilies.  I love lilies, but not too fond of the orange day lilies.  I love lilies, they are probably my favorite type of flower.  I have Starburst and Calla lilies.  I have plans to replace the old day lilies with other types of lilies and maybe a Gladiolus, which was one of my grandmother's favorite flowers. 

I've got to hurry and get my photography business going because I have plans for my back yard.  Doug and I have been talking and what I have in mind is going to cost a little bit of money.  LOL!  We still need to figure the back patio problem.  Our back patio is old concrete and brick that's all cracked up.  I spend most of my time, spraying weeds that poke up between the cracks.  Ugh!  Doug doesn't want to knock it down and build a new one and we can't put a new deck on top because of the water drainage.  He still has 5 years before I begin my wall bashing party.  I've spoken to a contractor about knocking out some walls and adding a master bedroom, entertainment room, storm cellar, laundry room and bathroom.  Doug has 5 years to find us another house or Robin and I will begin our addition to the house.   We won't have to worry about the back patio again.  HAHA!  


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Katie's Artwork - 2012

Above Artwork by Katie - Spring 2012 

 What a surprise when I found an order form in Katie's backpack for this beautiful picture!?! At first, I thought it was just a sample of someone else's artwork. Little did I know that it was actually Katie's artwork herself. Yes, she created this piece of art with the help of her art teacher at school. I LOVE IT! I quickly grabbed my laptop and placed my order online. I just ordered a bunch of magnets to keep and give away because I know a few family members that would love this on their fridge.

I know Katie has slowly grown an interest in drawing and creating pictures, but never THIS!  I think she got her talent from her mama because I loved to doodle and draw when I was her age.  When I became a teen and involved in other activities, I stopped practicing my drawing and eventually lost interest.  I'll have to sit down with her and see if she would like to do more with this God given talent.  Stay tuned . . .


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Day 2012


Easter bunny did good again this year.  The only drama was when Katie's ducky punchball got a hole in it and deflated.  :(  She was so sad, then her baby brother gave his punchball to her to play with.  Now, she's all smiles again.  Colton is such a good little brother.




Easter egg hunt after church




Sunday, April 8, 2012



I hope you had a fantastic Easter weekend. We pretty much had a quiet weekend and didn't do whole lot.  

Thursday, being the last day of school for Katie, we wanted to go riding around. I had been wanting to stop by the convent because they have such pretty grounds and I know photographers love to use the campus for their background. I completely understand and would love to go back. If you haven't noticed, I'm starting my venue file for when I begin my photography business. Getting ideas, backgrounds and contemplating necessary props. I just need experience, experience before I start school. Keep in mind, I won't begin classes until Colton starts preschool. I really want this to work and I want to be the best I can be. 

 Here a few photos I took of the kids for their Spring picture: 









Hopefully, my next stop will be the Ave Maria Grotto and St. Bernard campus. They have beautiful landscaping and old stone buildings, which would make great backdrops. Bonus:  Bloomin' Festival is next weekend. If you are in town at that time, you'll have to check it out.  They usually have several vendors of all kinds (crafts, arts, food, Spring/Summer plants, metal work, clothing for all ages, something for all ages, etc.).  

Meanwhile, stay tuned for Easter Sunday pictures. . . 

Prayer Request
My mom has a spot on her arm that is in fact skin cancer.  A couple of weeks ago, she had a biopsy done.  That is when the doctor told her that it was cancer and he hoped to have gotten it all.  He cut quite a bit out of her arm.  Well, he didn't get it all.  She has to go back the 17th of April for him to cut out some more.  She is nervous because he told her that it was the same type cancer that was on her nose.  If you don't know, my mother survived skin cancer 25 years ago, but it took nearly half her nose before they were able to get it all.  It went as far back as her brain and she died on us a few times during the operations.  After that she had several reconstructive surgeries to give her back some of her nose.  For years, she was so self conscious of it and watching the faces looking at her weird.  Her family just felt blessed having her still with us.  Now that it's back, she's back to talking about this being her last Easter, her last birthday party with my children, etc.  It's really depressing and I balled her out about it because only God knows when it's time for us to leave this world.  Try to explain this to a woman that's in her late 70s, back in her childhood and has been on her death bed more times than I would like to remember.  :P  She can be such a anvil  challenge.  Please remember her in your prayers and her daughters would LOVE appreciate them as well.  

A friend and Sunday School classmate is going through a very difficult time right now.  He was diagnosed with a  type of cancer, I believe around last Autumn.  He went through all the Chemo treatments and they really thought that they got rid of all the cancer cells.  Richard is not a very big person to begin with and he couldn't handle the treatments well at all.  His strength and encouragement is not good because the doctors told him that the cancer came back.  The doctors warned him the last time that if this type of cancer comes back, it could very well be more aggressive.  They are hopeful that it won't be.  Richard's been so weak during all the treatments that he has been unable to work this whole time.  When they thought that they got all the cells, he had the look of relief all over his face in Sunday School one day because he would be able to go back to work.  Now, he needs our help.  Regions Bank has been gracious enough to have a bank for donations that would go towards Richard to help pay medical bills.  He nor his wife said that they were worried about paying the bills or not going back to work, but you know that they must be concerned.  They are a very faithful couple and know God's will be done.  

I have an update of my past prayer request ~ Clint and Andrew 
Andrew that had the automobile accident is still at a brain trauma clinic doing physical therapy.  He seems to be improving and doing pretty good during the PT and OT, but the parents are still saying that he isn't fully awake.  They are hopeful, he'll wake up and be able to focus on these commands the therapist ask of him.  

Clint that had the hernia/stomach issue is home and doing well.  Last I heard, the doctors do not think that he will have any issues with his stomach despite his hernia not healing as well as they would like.  I haven't heard anything beyond that report.  He did get on his Facebook and thanked everyone for the thoughts and prayers.  Prayers do answer!  

I really hope this week will be slow and productive because I've got a lot of catching up to do with housework, back to preschool teaching with Colton, preparing lessons for Katie during the Summer months.  I know that sounds crazy, but I didn't prepare until the last part of May last year and I had to hump it every night to get lessons planned.  I've found some awesome websites that will help me with her math.  I'll have to share the link at another time with you.  She's reading chapter books (Level L) at school, so I've got her reading and creative writing skills pretty much planned out.  I've got a couple Science experiments lined up for us, including making Flubber, Microwaving Ivory Soap, possibly Mentos and Soda.  The only camps or lessons I currently have her signed up is swimming lessons.  She really wants to go on a vacation, since we didn't take one last year.  Doug's been working a lot and we just have to see if he can try to get away for a few days.  I would love for the kids to see the mountains.  We'll take it one step at a time.