Tyson Hugh Hooper

Tyson Hugh Hooper
Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.

Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fun not in the sun!

Whew! What a hot and steamy Saturday we had in Middle Tennessee! Summer has arrived, I tell you!

I had plans to get up early Saturday morning and do some yard work before it got hot... but then the crash happened (see previous post) and my whole game plan for the day changed.

After the cell phone crisis was somewhat averted (which took a while), I moved on to a bigger and better Saturday - out of the hot sun and muggy air! I decided to buck the housework that needed to be done in favor of some food network and preparation for Bunko which I co-hosted last night with La at her house! I did dinner, she did dessert, and we both pitched in on the gifts!

My most fabulous Mama came to join the Bunko crew! She has been wanting to come and it was a great time for her to come up because A. We are both out of school, B. Lauren and I were hosting, and C. We were short on people (big wedding month) and needed a sub!

We might not have had a big crew, but we had a big time. Here is the bunko gang! We only had 7, so to make two tables we had to play with a ghost player we affectionately called "Boo." From left to right Valerie (Mama), Me, Megan, Ali, and on the top row L to R Lauren, Susan, and Amanda! As always, it was a night of good food and good fun AND... I got my first ever Bunko! YAY!

As always, the weekend isn't complete without a picture of the three Amigos! We thought we would mix it up a bit with our poses as we always have the same pose, just different outfits and in a different order!

Here is a picture of Me and Dawson! He is the cutest little chunk EVER and he is SUCH a happy baby! He went to the doctor this week and found out he weighs 18 pound (at 5 months old!)!! I think he might have to graduate from being called "mini word" to "mega word" if he keeps growing like he is! What a precious precious baby he is! I can't wait to see him and Vance play together!!!

I hope each and every one of you is enjoying your weekend!!!


Tragedy struck this morning... my cell phone "crashed!" I didn't even know that cell phones could crash, but apparently mine did and in the process ALL of the data (contacts, pictures, ring tones) stored on my phone was lost! It is AMAZING how dependent I am on my phone and technology in general... it is really a sad fact! Lesson learned: Keep an old fashion, ink and paper, address book with all of your contacts in them!!

I was at Verizon this morning when the doors opened. They could not save any part of my phone! I had one of these...

It has not been my favorite phone. I have had some issues with it "locking up" before and such. I liked the phone I had before this one much better. Turns out Motorola phones in general (not just the model I had) seem to crash sometimes... the guy said he had seen that happen "a handful of times" (however much that is) on Motorola phones. My warranty only covered the same make and model, but lucky for me they were out of stock!! YAY! So I got upgraded to an LG that looks like this:

Very happy! Just sad that I lost my contacts. I got an email out to just about everyone I know whose number I had in my phone already... but if I didn't get an email to you, please please send me your phone number so that I can update all my contacts! ON PAPER *and* in my phone!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hello morning!

I woke up this morning refreshed and ready for the beautiful day that met me! I don't know if you would say I got up early (6:45) because it's summer or if you would say I got up late because I would normally be getting up around 5:30! At any rate, I started my day early enough to get lots done! On the list today: Yard work, grocery shopping, cleaning... FUN! (Ha!) These are three things I would normally be less than thrilled to do, but for some reason I am in clean mode so it seems alright! Do you ever have the cleaning mood strike when you just want to clean and if feels good to get it all done? Or maybe you don't mind cleaning in the first place! I am an excellent organizer and straightener and I consider myself a good house *keeper* but I am not necessarily a good house *cleaner.* My house is almost always neat and orderly (for the most part) but often in need of a tub scrub or a mop! I don't dig on scrubbing tubs and mopping floors - not my bag - those are, in fact, my least favorite things to do around the house! So my questions to you are - do you wait for a cleaning mood to strike or are you on more of a cleaning schedule? And what is your least favorite cleaning chore around the house?

I can't leave my post today without mentioning that I had lunch with my two best girls yesterday! As always, we talked about everything under the sun - which of course includes the latest blogs we read! We had a detailed conversation about Leigh Ann's blog because we all three think she's precious and fun and we want to meet her and all the Arkansas girls! If you haven't checked out her blog it's worth the trip!

Also, Lauren and Megan got "blog botox" and La would call it! A face lift, if you will, for their blog! You should look at those too! Too cute! I am thinking of getting one myself... I wish I knew how to do it myself without having to have someone make them! Very cool!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend...

I had a magnificent Memorial day weekend and I hope you did too!

Saturday morning I slept in, got up, got ready, and got myself out of town! I headed to my hometown, Ooltewah, for a family tradition - the Memorial Day Weekend family barbecue! I arrived too late for the pedicure that my sister, aunts, and mom enjoyed... here are their too-cute toes, complete with flowers!

I may have missed the toes, but I wasn't too late to join them at Couch's for lunch! I had a very enjoyable lunch and then we all headed back to my parents house. Me and Jenni ran by the grocery and liquor store to get the makings for my Mexican Sangria (YUM), picked up my grandmother, and headed to moms for some back porch sitting and sangria! We had a wonderful afternoon of catching up and then Me, Jenni, Mom, Sarah, and Lisa headed out for dinner (We got so busy talking we forgot to eat until it was almost too late!)

Sunday was the annual event. We loaded up and headed down to my Aunt Rene and Keith's house for the family barbecue! We get North Carolina barbecue (literally - it comes from a place called Parker's in North Carolina where my grandparents are from and where my mother was born!) We have barbecue, boiled potatoes, fried corn bread, slaw, baked beans... and that's just the meal! For dessert we had cookies, brownies, bannana pudding, strawberry short-cake, and ice cream - ALL homemade of course! Whew! That was a lot of eating! We even broke out some favorite games (Catch Phrase and Taboo!). It was a wonderful afternoon of family and fun. Here are just a few of the pictures from the day!

Most of everyone sitting around after the meal visiting!

Me and Jenni after lunch!
We always have a big time, no matter where we are!

My sweet Grandparents

My GREAT parents!
I am so blessed to have this woman and this man as my very own Mom and Dad! I am grateful every single day for both of them!

Me and my sister, Sarah (check out her blog too!)
Sarah now lives in Montana so it was a treat to get to see her and spend some QT together! We had so much fun!

From L to R: Sarah, Me, Jenni, Lisa, and Mom - being silly!

These aren't all of the pictures we took, but just a sampling to show what good weekend I had on Sunday. Monday I stuck around home for a little while after sleeping in. Then Mom, Sarah, and I headed to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and I headed back home!

It truly was one of the most enjoyable weekends I have had in quite some time! I loved every minute I got to spend with my family! I can't wait until we all get to do it again!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How to...

...leave a comment.

I am visiting my family this weekend and a few family members and friends have mentioned that they read my blog (along with those of my mom and sister) but haven't quite figured out how to leave a comment! To me, comments are one of the best parts of blogging, so it is a shame to have readers that can't comment. So here are instructions on how to comment if you are not already a "blogger" user. When you click on "comment" at the end of a post you are taken to a new screen. Type what you would like to say in the box. After this you must type in the "word verification" which is the funky lookin' letters that you enter in the box below them. UNDER the spaces for a user name and password in blue it says, "Sign up here." Click on that. Enter your email address twice, password twice (I would use your normal email address password because it is easy to remember), then you enter your "Display name" this is the name that you want displayed when you make a comment, and finally you do another word verification and check the "terms and agreements" box. Finally you click "Continue" and you are finished! After you complete this form once, you are set. From this point on you only enter your email address and password to leave a comment. What's better is that at this point you are set to create a blog if you would like as well, but you certainly don't have to. The whole process probably sounds WAY more complicated than it actually is! It only takes seconds!!! So... leave comments - we bloggers like them!

ALSO, you will need a user name and password to sign in to the blogs that are "private" as my mom's is and Megan's is, and mine is about to be! So I encourage every reader to go create a user name and password.

Hope this is clear as mud! If you need any more help, let me know!

Going private...

...for a lot of reasons!

Nothing major, but I think I have been convinced to go private! Apparently Lena and Moo started something! Please, Please, Please send me your email address if you are a regular (or not-so-regular) reader so that I can send you an invite to view my blog! You can leave your address in a comment to me or if you would like a little more discretion you may just email me your address at meagan.stiner@comcast.net.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A drop in the bucket...

Well folks, it's finally Friday! The day I have been waiting for... the day I go to the window at the end of work to peer out at all the little precious children running to their buses that pull away from school horns honking in celebration! Ah... the last full day of school with students! Seriously, sometimes I think the teachers look forward to it more than the kids!

So with my "countdown" over - all I have left is a teacher work day and the two hour day Wednesday for the kids to pick up report cards - I am relaxing, truly, for the first time in a long time. I finally feel myself winding down. With thoughts of two months off dancing in my head, I am just short of feeling absolute bliss!

After work, I headed to a local Mexican establishment for the last "liquid in-service" of the year. I met some of my favorite friends there to just sit on the patio and relax for a while with some light conversation and cold drinks. A spring pop-up thunder shower came along and it was so nice (it's a covered patio) to sit with the rain and rumble of thunder and enjoy good company!!

After my "in-service" I headed to my friend Gina's house to water "our" garden. Bless her heart... Gina had it tilled and her and Virgil have planted the whole thing on their own and I have yet to lift a finger! The end of school has been busy and our schedules have been conflicting, so tonight I finally feel like I at least put a drop in the bucket towards contributing to our garden. I was over there for the better part of two hours while I watered....

...and planted some pots of herbs in some cute little painted buckets Gina had...

This is the medium one... I planted a small one and large one as well! All in all it was a relaxing evening. I had time with friends and time to myself... the perfect balance!
And now... for some time with the television!
I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday weekend! I will be visiting with my family and I am SO excited because my sister AND my Jenni are going to be in town! And I have already had a request for my red sangria!
Cheers to a good weekend for all! I can't wait to read all about it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not much to write about...

... and sometimes that's a blessing!

You know, sometimes it is the most uneventful times that are the most enjoyable! No drama, no chaos, no major events or goings on... just life! That is what I have been up to the past few days, just plain-Jane, every-day, ordinary life... and it's good!

Monday I had dinner with Julie, Lynn, and her son Austin and we had a great time laughing and talking and eating a Logan's. Then I went to bed early. Tuesday I met Jerri for drinks shortly after work and we spent the better part of three hours catching up - I enjoyed every second. Tonight I had a fun/"work" dinner with some JLM gals... Me, Megan, Molly, Marla (that's a lot of M's) and Carrie! We did a little planning for a fundraiser in the fall and enjoyed a dinner at Puleo's. Tomorrow I am looking forward to a night and dinner in! Reflecting on my "every-day" outings this week, I am struck by how many good friends I have in my life. It is such a blessing to be busy - good busy - and to have so many interesting friends from so many different areas, ages, and stages of life... it is very enriching and a blessing I hope I never take for granted!

Something else I did this week was let myself wonder around Sam's. I am NOT a fan of Wal-Mart! It's too big, too bulk, too much! I rarely go. This is ironic, because I LOVE Sam's!! Hmm... lets analyze... same company, where you buy in bulk, and it's huge! I guess I like it better because there is better parking and it's not as crowded! Plus, it's not somewhere you go for an every day shopping trip! Anyway, I went to get pictures developed and decided to let myself browse! I let my eyes feast over everything from furniture to appliances, from computers to patio accessories. I did exercise self control, however. I only purchased three things (in addition to my pictures).

I got a new book called, The Color Of Water, which I thought looked (yes, I sometimes judge a book by its cover) and sounded interesting.

I am trying to stretch my mind a little and branch out... I was stuck on a James Patterson kick for a while and I am ready for a change of pace!

I also picked up the sixth season on Sex and the City. A guilty pleasure of mine! I love the show and have all of the seasons except for this one which I bought yesterday!

Season six is actually my favorite season!!! And, what's better is the DVD set came with a free ticket to the movie! I can't wait!
The third thing I purchased was a gift, so I have to keep it under wraps for a while! Sorry folks, I know you are on the edge of your seats! Yeah, right!
Anyway, so far I have had a blissfully simple and social week! Hope you are enjoying your week as much as I am enjoying mine!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Counting down...

That's right kids, I am counting down! I officially have only 5 full school days remaining with students! Woo-woo! Of course we have a teacher work day on the 27th and the kids come to pick up their report cards on the 28th, but as far as actually having classes with students all day... this is the last week!!!! Boy am I ready for summer! I have thoroughly enjoyed this school year, but I think we are all (teachers and students) ready for a break!!!!!

This weekend just felt like summer. The weather was warm. I got some yard work done and some cleaning around the house (with the windows all up)! Cleaning's just better when you can have some good music on and the breeze blowing through the house, don't you think? Anyway, it just got me in the mood for summer time!!!

I did get to see some of my bests this weekend. I mean really? Would my post or my weekend really be complete without a picture of the three amigos???

Here are Me, La, and Moo all decked out in our cute summer tops, having a big time as always!

And here is a photo I took of Moo and Vance walking through the yard... I love the lighting in this picture - I thought it looked even more striking in black and white (gotta love digital!)

Overall it was a wonderful weekend and I am gearing up for what is sure to be a wild and wacky week! I wish each you a happy Monday, and rest of the week for that matter! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Praise God...

...from Whom all blessings flow!

For those of you who have been praying for the Hooper family - join me in rejoicing in the family's good news! Mr. Hooper went for a post-surgery pet scan today and met with an oncologist. The doctor said he couldn't find any cancer anywhere. He said he couldn't explain it and had never seen anything like this before - ever. Normally when you find cancer in the brain it is all over the body. Nope... nowhere. Ah, the power of prayer and the blessings God rains on his children! Just wanted to share this moment of praise and thanksgiving because I know many of you have wrapped this family in prayer!

God. Is. Good!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The filling is missing!

Yesterday was a fun day, but there was just something missing! Me, Moo, Betsy, and Lena all loaded up and headed to the Country Club for the JLM Annual Dinner. Did you notice a missing name? That's right, our poor La is not well and was unable to attend. As Moo said, we were like an Oreo with no filling! Despite missing La we had a wonderful evening of drinks, dining, socializing, guest speakers, awards, grants, scholarships, and door prizes (the best part!). I didn't get a door prize, but we all got a goodie bag of course. I most enjoyed the company and conversation!

This picture shows Lena, Megan (Moo), Me, and Betsey! We really did have a good time!

Total change of subject... one of my favorite subjects... FOOD! A couple of nights ago I tried a new recipe I wanted to share! I made stuffed pork chops. They were stuffed with a mixture of spinach, creme cheese, gorgonzola (I substituted this for goat cheese that the recipe called for) and sun dried tomatoes! They were absolutely wonderful! It is a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network. Here is a link to the recipe... I encourage you all to give it a try!

Food Network Link:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Simple Pleasures...

It really is all about the little things in life... for those are what make life special!

It's about Paradise Punch...

...toes that is!
After a stressful week and a not-so-great day of school Friday I treated myself to a trip to Tippy Toes for a pedicure!! It was just what I needed to help wash away a nitty-gritty week and help me "let go" of the stress and enjoy my weekend!
It's about accessories...

...specially designed.
I went to Betsey's beautiful home for a Jewelry party Friday night with my bestst, Moo! Betsey's home was beautiful and the food she had prepared was WoNdErFuL!!!! Not to mention all the fun accessories that were there to browse and purchase! I chose a pair of earrings for myself and a specially designed a pair for my Mama for Mother's day!
It's about enrichment...

...through the arts and good company.
Mama drove up Saturday to spend the day with me. We went to the Frist Center (I am a member - GREAT investment!!!). We saw the Monet to Dalí exhibit and the Tiffany by Design exhibit! Both were exquisite in their own way. The Monet to Dali exhibit included works by Cézanne, Dalí, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Seurat, and Van Gogh! It was excellent. The Tiffany by Design exhibit included 40 lamps created by the Tiffany Studios in New York between 1900 and 1918. Okay, so I am a nerd, but I LOVE museums!! It was a WONDERFUL day! After the Frist we did some shopping and then had dinner and then Mom hit the road!
Mom and I always have such a wonderful time together, even when our visits are short! My mom is not just my mother, but a dear, dear friend and I am thankful every day for our open, honest, and loving relationship!
What a blessed two days I have had! Just what I needed to help put the week behind me!
Check out the Frist Center at: http://www.fristcenter.org/site/default.aspx and if you live anywhere near Nashville you should go!!! As I said, I am a member... everyone should join - it is very affordable and worth every penny!

Friday, May 9, 2008


I was on Megan's blog a while back and I enjoyed reading her "I..." post so much that I decided to do one of my own!

I am... a girly girl

I think... it is so important to know yourself and be confident in who you are.

I know... life is to short to live it worrying about what other people think.

I wish... I could take every child without parents and find them a loving family!

I hate... insincerity, arrogance, dishonesty, and manipulation

I miss... My Granny. She was such a kind woman.

I fear... illness in or loss of those I care about most

I feel... light-hearted and full of joy because spring is here and summer is just around the corner!

I hear... sweet silence and there is something so peaceful about it!

I crave... watermelon!

I wonder... what my future holds a year, ten years, thirty years down the road... what will my children look like, what will my world be then? And will gas be $10.00 a gallon? (lol, joking on that last one... sort of!)

I love... to hear and watch friends laugh together and genuinely love and care fore one another.

I ache... when I am with Lauren and Megan and we have laughed so hard that our sides hurt!

I care... genuinely about my sweet friends and what each of them is encountering be it joy or fear or hurt or happiness!

I always... find a friend in my mother. How blessed am I to have a mother that I also consider a best friend. I am thankful for that every day!

I am not... a rule breaker... and I would usually rather ask permission first rather than forgiveness later.

I sing... in the car - loud and wonderfully!

I cry... a lot... happy, sad, mad, in a movie... I am a cryer! lol

I don't always... make my bed in the mornings or scrub my tub in a timely manner!

I write... when I am in turmoil. I have never kept a "regular" journal, but when I am stressed or upset or concerned, I write.

I win... respect from those around me with my honesty and sincerity.

I lose... respect for people who do not say what they mean and mean what they say.

I never... will drink a lemon drop again thanks to a fun visit to Yatzi's house a year or two ago!

I listen... to Christian radio on the way to work each morning - it starts my day on the right foot.

I am scared of... being outside in the dark by myself.

I need... to read God's Word more than I do.

I hope... that I am a blessing in the lives of others and that I have a positive impact on each person that takes time to know me.

I tag.... Lauren and Leigh Ann

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This and that...

What a week it has been! Very eventful with a friend's family in need, my own allergy issues, and then all the normal things that go on each and every day! Whew!

I wanted to take a moment out of the busy blur to mention a very special lady. Meet Debbie...

This phenomenal woman and great friend on many days is my saving grace! Debbie is the Educational Assistant that is assigned to my "mini-school" (team) at school. In addition to raising her own children and going to school herself, she works each day to make school a little better for the 140 or so students assigned to us! Debbie ALWAYS makes me laugh, is ALWAYS on the go-go-go, and never fails to offer a helping hand. She goes WAY beyond the call of duty, works diligently with all of our students, and truly is just a phenomenal woman! So thanks Debbie, for all that you do! I am grateful each and every day that I have been given a chance to work with you!

Last night - after the busyness of the week so far - and in spite of my allergies and sinus funk, I headed to a favorite watering hole in town... the Bunganut Pig! I used to go there about once a week to meet my friend Gina and others, but I haven't been in quite a while. Anyway, last night I headed over when Gina got off work and met her for a drink, which - of course - turned into dinner with her and Virgil (her sweet Hubby), and some of her kids/step kids! What a fun time we had. Gina is such a joy and I am thankful to call her my friend! We are starting a Garden together this year and I am so excited about it. Here are Gina and Virgil last night at the Pig... what a great couple!

Well, I better scoot. I need to run some errands and grab a bite to eat before I head back to school for Open House! Woo-woo! Ha! Hope y'all all have a wonderful Thursday Night (Yay for Gray's and ER) and gear up for a GREAT weekend!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Mr. Hooper's surgery went very well today. They believe all of the tumor was removed. They said it was small and Rob quoted the doctor as saying, "It was like pulling a grape out of Jello, it slid right out." Obviously Mr. Hooper and his family need continued prayer as he takes on recovery and as they find out more about the tumor, if his brain was the origination site, if there is cancer elsewhere in his body, and if further medical care and treatment are needed. For today, however, we can thank God for his blessings on a very good day... Mr. Hooper's birthday, as a matter of fact! Thank you for praying and for continued prayer for the Hooper family! I know that your prayers are felt and appreciated!

Today was a great day on many levels! I spent the day off campus with my principal and two other teachers visiting another school and looking at some technology they use that my school is about to invest in. It was a nice day to be off campus and enjoy good company and get to see some new things and gain new ideas for next school year.

Tonight I met La, Moo, Marla, and Katy at Maple Street Grill before a meeting we all had to go to. It was so much fun. We had a great dinner and enjoyed good conversation. Our meeting took place in Judge Scott-Davenport's courtroom and was informative and enjoyable as always. Here is a cute picture of Lauren and Megan at the meeting...

...aren't they precious! I don't know what I would do without these girls! These two women bring so much joy to my life!! If we are anywhere near each other there is nothing but smiles, laughs, and good times to be had!

Thank you Lord for your many blessings that you rain upon us even when we are so undeserving. Thank you for your healing hand today in guiding medical staff and doctors as they performed surgery on Mr. Hooper. Thank you for your peace and strength as you wrapped a patient and a family in your presence. Thank you for recovery as you helped Mrs. Hitchcock return to work after recovering from her surgery. And thank you Lord for genuine and honest friendships that you have blessed my life with - I am forever grateful and in awe of your blessings. Amen.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Prayer Warriors...

It is time to call on my prayer warriors! If you recall, I posted recently about two dear friends of mine whose dad recently discovered a brain tumor. Tomorrow is the surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Please pray for the doctors as they operate beginning around 7:30 tomorrow morning. Please pray that the Hooper family will find strength and peace in the waiting. And most of all, please pray for strength and healing for Mr. Hooper. I thank you all for your fervent prayers; I know they will be felt and appreciated.

On a note of praise, my friend Donnie's mom has been recovering from open heart surgery and she is returning to work this week! She wasn't expected to return to her school (she is a principal) until after the summer, but she returned this morning to start working 1/2 days until the end of the year! Praise God for his healing touch and for his strength!

Thank you for joining me in lifting my friends and their father up in your prayers! Have a blessed day.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Meet Reagan...

This is my friend Jenn's beautiful little girl! She is one week old in this photo. I visited her for the first time a few days ago. Isn't she beautiful. There is nothing like a sweet baby. And Reagan is so tiny! It was nothing but pure pleasure holding her and smelling her baby soft head... she is nothing short of perfect!

Here is a picture of Me, Jenn (Reagan's Mama), and Reagan. Jenn looks great and it was SO nice to get to visit for a little while! Jenn teaches at my school, but she is moving next year to a new Middle School! I am going to miss seeing her at work, but lucky for me she lives just a few streets away!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! For the most part, mine was low key and I enjoyed every minute! We are finally down the last month of school and although I don't like to "wish my life away" I will admit that I am REALLY looking forward to the end of the month and SUMMER!!!!!!

Hope everyone has a happy Monday! Blessings!