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!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Strike! Wipe Out! What?

What a weekend I had! It was action packed, fun, and certain to be memorable!

Friday I met Moo for lunch just because! It was so enjoyable as always! La couldn't meet us because she had family in and was spending QT with her new niece... in fact, La was MIA all weekend and although we had a great time all weekend, she was sorely missed! Anyway, after lunch with Moo I found GrEaT and I mean ReAlLy GrEaT deals at Ann Taylor and New York & Co. (Two of my all-time favorite stores! Seriously, I could have an entire wardrobe from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft! They had tons of stuff 60% off so I racked up on some work clothes and a couple things just for fun because they were such great deals!

Friday night it was "On like Donkey Kong" as Moo and I simultaneously said when I ran by her office to show off the oh-so-straight hair! Me, Moo, Web, and Chris all headed to Macaroni Grille to use Web and Moo's gift certificate from their realtor! It was so sweet of them - kind of a "thank you" for helping them move... and it's a good thing they are buttering us up, because in a few short months they move again into their fabulous new home... in the "country" and we get to help move all over again! (Moo - you know we would move y'all 100 times over and never complain once!) ;-)

After dinner it was off the bowl! Let's just say I don't bowl very often and when I do I am not very good. We still had a GREAT time! I managed to get a strike or two in. It was, as usual, ...

'da boyz against... (these two are truly brothers of the heart)

... 'da girlz! (Sisters of the heart for sure! And missing our "cream" that is La!)

We had so much fun! Me and Moo pooped out after 4 games, but the boys continued through a 5th game - whew! I am quite sure all four of us were a tiny be sore the next morning, but it was worth it!!!!

Here's another photo (Moo, don't hate me) of me and Moo being silly!!!!

One too many Cherry Cokes? Nah, just girls who wanna have fun!

Saturday night was BUNKO night! Woo-woo! Moo was the hostess with the mostest! I met her early at her apartment and we went together to Rachel's house to set up. It was Pajama Party themed with Pizza Hut Pizza, Candy, Cherry Coke... the works! It was SO MUCH FUN and Moo had SUCH GREAT PRIZES to give away. I got.... no prizes, even though I wiped out twice and was going for most losses! :-) It's A-OK though... Moo even brought lip balm in fruity flavors so that everyone got to take something home. It was so much fun! Here we are in all our glory - PJ's and all:

The highlight of the night, however, was not the prizes or the PJ's, but the phone call we received from LAH! That's right, our sweet Leigh Ann got her package for Ella Grace! You can click here (Horton's Happenings) to see the video and pictures of Ella Grace and her "gift." SO sweet! This little princess will melt your heart! Leigh Ann we can't wait to see you and hug you in person!!!!
After the wild and wacky weekend I decided on a low key Sunday. I actually skipped church and stayed in my PJs most of the day! I finished my book:

It was VERY thought provoking with lost of twists! I certainly recommend it!
I think I have prattled on until you must be ready for this post to end. So until next time, drink lots of Cherry Coke, laugh a lot, and enjoy life!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some like it straight!

Well, this is my second post for the day and another short one! I just wanted to show the world what I look like with straight hair. Mind you, this is a rare sighting as it only happens about once every five years! I was feeling frisky this afternoon so I shot over to my amazing hair lady and she worked a little chi-iron magic! It takes HER no less than 30 minutes to get it straight - it's almost hopeless for me to get it that way on my own. I'm a girl that goes from the bed to out the door in 45 minutes or less... and I don't rush! lol. So here I am with my very straight hair! Moo was amazed at how thin my hair really is... the curls make it look a lot thicker than it actually is!

Amazing, huh? I wore it straight one day after I got it cut to school... when students saw me from the back they actually thought they had a sub! LOL!

Just a picture or three...

It will be a short post today... at least for now. I was going to do the other half of my favorites, but I have decided to just share a couple of pictures with you instead.

The first picture I will share is actually of a favorite things... a combination of two favorite things as a matter of fact! I absolutely love...

...my big back yard and a brewing summer storm! I love when summer storms pop up with thunder and lightening and the wind blows! Mmmm. I also love my big back yard - freshly weed-eated and ready to go! Yay!

The other two pictures I wanted to share are totally non-related to the favorite things list! :-) Here is my Father's day gift to my dad. I am posting it for several reasons...

1. It's the first time in a long time I actually had a creative idea for a Father's day gift - Dad's are so hard to shop for.

2. I did it myself! I was going to have it done, but at my mother's suggestion and with a little of her help, we didn't need a framer after all!

3. My sister went in with me on this one, but being that she drives a truck all over this great nation, she wasn't there to actually see what she was giving Dad for Father's day!

Aren't they neat! It's my dad's Jacket and Jersey from high school. I think they will look great hanging in his new garage!

Thanks mom for getting those pictures to me! You're the best - seriously, you are!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"...these are a few of my favorite things..."

Since it thundered about an hour ago I have heard Julie Andrews singing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound Of Music (one of My favorite things, or movies at least). I figured that was enough inspiration for a post. Well, I have to give my sister a little credit here too... she did a "Favorite Things" post as well, but it was modeled more after the Oprah Show's favorite things theme they do once a season where they give a bunch of stuff away. Anyway, that is geared more toward favorite products (I might post on that later - good for a slow blog day), but today I decided to post on some of my favorite things. Maybe some of the less obvious things around my home that are, well, favorites! So here it goes...

This is actually a new favorite. It is something that mom and I have taken up doing in our spare time when I visit her in Ooltewah and I am now addicted! I figure, it must be good for my brain and it's fun too! Can't beat that!


Okay, so maybe Scrabble should have been included in this category. I absolutely love playing games! My most recent favorites include Scene It? Squabble (its males v. females and SO MUCH FUN!), Catch Phrase, and Balderdash!


I love cookbooks and recipes in general. Sometimes I will just sit and flip through a recipe book for ideas! I think church cookbooks are the best!!!!


Okay, maybe this isn't a less obvious favorite thing, but it is certainly in the favorite thing category! Let's face it... there is NOTHING that a good wine doesn't go with! On a spring of summer day a nice wine spritzer, a summer night - a cool Chardonnay, in the fall a nice Merlot or Cabernet! Mmmmm... (please excuse me while I go grab a bottle... I mean glass! Ha!)

Organizational Stuff!

I love all things organizational! Calendars, notebooks, crates, bins, file folders, sharpies! Anything that can help me be organized is a winner and makes the favorite things list... I know, I am a nerd!

Hm... just talking about my favorite things makes me light hearted! Unfortunately blogger must be tired because it won't let me load any more pictures, so that will have to wrap up my favorite things for today! I will just make a "To be continued..." and share 5 of my other favorite things in my next post!

I would love to hear about some of your favorite things if you are having a slow blog week! I was going to tag people, but I think I'll leave it at that!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nice to meet you...

(Junior League of Murfreesboro Annual Dinner 2007)

Leigh Ann, my fabulous blog friend whom I will soon meet in person at the Walk for Autism Awareness, asked Me, Lauren, and Moo to each share how me met each other from our own perspectives. So, here is the story of three sisters of the heart and how they came to be.

(VBS 2006)

Meeting Lauren had little to do with her or me, honestly. We were both 3 years old according to my mom and we were in the nursery at Ooltewah Baptist Church. Like Lauren said, I'm sure our first words were something like, "Please pass the pink crayon." I know that reflecting on my entire childhood, the growth of my Independence, my big move to college, and on into my career and life as a "real" adult, Lauren has always been there. We had camp outs, luncheon club, tea parties, dress up... all the fun girlie girl stuff. We had crushes and bible studies and youth group together. We dreamt together, planning dates, dream guys, weddings, and babies! We went to prom, graduation, and on to college. We have wept with one another... the non-attractive raw kind, where you snot on yourself and can't make sense or speak because you have to focus on breathing and we have laughed so hard that we cried and had to cross our legs and, well, focus on breathing. We are quirky, we used to have words of the day and quotes of the week, we quote movies like crazy people, and we used to leave little notes and cards and messages around the apartment for each other, on the dryer, in the pantry, all over the place. We have honest friendship in it's truest form. The kind you know will never betray, never fade, never abandon. It's real to the core.

(Superbowl Sunday 2007)

Megan is another story. I first heard of Megan as "My best friend's fiance" from Chris. Chris and Web are like brothers and when I met Chris... well, really got to know Chris as a friend and not just a colleague, Megan and Web were engaged. I met Web at poker night which I attended monthly - Web sometimes came. As I got to know Chris and by effect Web better I heard more and more about "sweet" Megan! I actually knew a lot about her before we ever met. The story of how Chris got to know her when she worked at the Gold Rush and how he introduced her and Web. I heard all about their wedding - although at that time I didn't know Megan or Web very well other than through Chris and his stories. I have the feeling that we had both heard a lot about each other before we ever met. One night I was out at Liquid Smoke, a local beer and cigar bar - cool, very low key, hole-in-the-wall hang out on the historic square where you can sit and talk, throw darts, etc. Web was there and when Megan called, I talked to her on the phone. To this day Megan thanks me for "taking care" of Web for her until she got there! lol! When Megan arrived she stuck around for a few and we began a friendship that will, I am certain, last a lifetime. As we began to know each other more through game nights and other outings and gatherings I began to truly know her and her sweet personality, but I also began to see that she has an edge that I appreciated! I will never forget feeling so special and honored when she invited me to her baby shower! It wasn't too long before I recognized her and a kindred spirit and just knew that I had to introduce her and Lauren to one another! Megan has the kindest, most gentle soul of anyone I have ever met. She too, is the kind of friend that I know I will have for a lifetime, that is loving and accepting and real.

(Dawson's birthday - literally! We were in the room the whole time. It was a miraculous experience that I will always feel greatly honored to have been a part of!)

(Tacky Christmas Party 2008)

The combination of the three of us is inexplicable. I felt so blessed to have on friend as near, dear, and profoundly loyal as Lauren. But to have two... there simply are no words. I will always feel that nothing short of divine intervention brought us together and I will forever thank God for blessing my life with two women that I will always Cherish. They absolutely inspire me and I am forever grateful for the bond that we share!

(Spring 2008)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A celebration...

...of friendship!

After going about a week without a galz reunion Me, La, and Moo were all feeling deprived and in desperate need of major gal-time! After comparing schedules it was decided that Thursday was the best time and Mimi's was the best place! What's even better? We had gifts! Noticing the presents on the table the waitress at Mimi's asked, "Is it your birthday?" to which I replied, "Nope, it's just Thursday" and Moo then said, "we haven't see each other in over a week!" Lol! I think the waitress thought we were a little nuts (as do most people when the observe the three of us together, I'm sure) but we had a good laugh and a great time! I must say, if I was on weight watchers I would have to count hanging out with La and Moo as some type of activity points because all the laughing we do must burn calories!

Here is a fun picture of Me and Moo outside Mimi's... we both showed up in pink capri pants! So fun!

At dinner we all ordered "the usual!" For La that means pot roast, for Moo it means a gorgonzola and walnut salad, and for me the quiche. While we were waiting for our food to arrive we exchanged our "just because" gifts!

La got this cute little number for Dawson made by a blogging friend of Moo's! Vance has one too - so cute!

Me and La both go Chicken Soup for the Beach Lover's Soul! I had never seen it, but it was the perfect gift from Moo! Inside the front cover Moo wrote, "To the many laughs we will share with our toes in the sand!" I thought - how true!

Lauren got Moo and I picture frames with the picture of the three of us laying down (top right corner of my blog) and our favorite candy! I got a card that said, "Thanks for being the Carrie to my Samantha." So perfect - you Sex and the City fans know what she means... Moo's said the same thing only Moo is Charlotte! I gave Moo a golf ball bank for Vance and gave La and Moo a "funny notes" book with lottery tickets inside - cross your fingers! When moo was opening it, she said, "Is it a trip to Paris" and I said "maybe!" So if we win - a big trip is in order for sure!

D-word was of course with us! Me and Moo had to make him a little ghetto fabulous by turning his hat sideways while La was trying on some clothes (we went to Belk after dinner).

It was just a wonderful celebration of friendship and a wonderful way to spend a summer evening! Girls, I love you both dearly and I don't know what I would do without you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Insomnia

It happens every year. My body, off it's routine school schedule, decides to torture me with strange sleeping patterns! Despite my greatest efforts to stay on some sort of schedule (I have been getting up in the 6:00 hour, hoping to get my sleep patter under control) I am still having issues (hence the 3 AM post)! So here are the very random thoughts of my brain, wide awake, in the middle of the night!

Meet, Mr. Gas Pump...

At ten this morning I headed across town to get gas. This may sound strange to drive across town past no less than 10 other gas stations to get gas, but there is a good reason! My friend Rob called me and said that one of the radio stations was doing a promotion... the radio station is 103.5 and they were giving you $1.03 cash back for every gallon of gas you purchased at this particular gas station!! The cut off was at 10:35 (inventive, huh?) and I made the cut! In fact, I was the last car allowed to fill up - yay me! I put in 13 gallons of gas and as I pulled away I was handed $14 cash! This is significant because I am usually the person that is behind the person that gets the last prize! So I felt like it was kind of my day!

Meet... Mr. Tomato.

Despite a childhood of not diggin' on the tomatoes, as an adult I have come to love them! Tragic that many beautiful red beauties are now in question. I have noticed some places (Sonic, Taco Bell) have stopped serving tomatoes all together while others (O'Charley's) is still dishing them up proudly on top of their salads! So I checked out the FDA's website because I heard there were certain places tomatoes were okay from and some from which they should be avoided. Did you know that Florida tomatoes are only good if they come from these counties? Jackson, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Suwannee, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, Sarasota, Highlands, Pasco, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Charlotte. Many states are on the list for okay tomatoes, including Tennessee. I also found it interesting that the FDA says cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, from any source, are fine! Hm. I guess Mr. Salmonella is a picky bacteria... who knew?

Which brings me to meeting...
Mr. Salmonella himself!

Allow me to say... ew! This lovely bacteria is a "family member" of e coli. (Learned that tonight - thank you Google). I wondered how this little guy could end up in so many tomatoes (can you tell, I really care about my tomatoes at 3 AM?). Turns out, most likely, animal waste from birds and other wild animals was deposited on or near the plants containing salmonella. Then the contaminated soil or few contaminated tomatoes can get into the wash water or irrigation system. This, then, infects a whole lot of tomatoes!

So there is your science lesson for today. It is entirely possible that all of my new found knowledge has totally been reported every night on the news and thoroughly explained, but I haven't watched much news lately - it's depressing! I prefer, instead, to read the headlines online.

These have not been the musings of mad woman... just one who can't sleep! Sorry for the randomness - it's just how my brain works in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The cool comfort of home...

What a wonderful few days I have had! I spent Father's Day weekend in Chattanooga with my family! It was a WONDERFUL time and I enjoyed every second. I was there from Thursday until Sunday evening and it was like a mini-vacation! Father's day was spent with my family! I thought I would share a few photos!

This is Bentlee playing the Harmonica! She is such a performer!!! She LOVES to sing and dance. She decided to strip down in the living room and put her swim suit on herself - this was her subtle hint that she intended to make her way to the backyard to swim ASAP!

Here is Bentlee and her Daddy (my brother Ken). I think they look so much alike it is amazing! Too cute!

... And Bentlee snuggling with her Mommy (my sister-in-law, Sarah). Check out the dimple! And, yes, B pretty much had her swimsuit on all day long!

Here is my Daddy in "the garage." This photo was taking a few weeks ago, but I am using it because I somehow managed not to get a picture of him this weekend AND forgot to take a picture of the gift I gave him too! I had his old high school jacket and his high school football jersey shadowboxed for him to hang in his garage!

And... Bentlee who, finally, made it to the pool! We spent most of the day laying/sitting in and around the pool... it was wonderful!
Monday I helped Megan and Web out by watching Vance in the afternoon for a little bit! Aunt Meag was really excited to get the chance to spend some QT with little man!

Seriously? How cute is he! And all boy, I tell you!!! We played legos and cars and all kinds of fun stuff! Then he blew me a big 'ole kiss when I left complete with the "Mwah!" sound!!!

Today has been nice! The weather is not oppressively hot - thank goodness! I piddled around the house this morning. Then I went by my school to pick up some things, including my friend Anne for lunch! We went to the Front Porch and enjoyed a girlie lunch and then I headed back home to tackle a growing to do list. Unfortunately when I got home, the house seemed awfully stuffy and the air conditioning unit seemed unresponsive! Thank Goodness for Roscoe Brown!!! Today's run down looked something like this...

Lunch: $9.99
Service Call to Roscoe Brown: $65.00
Wire Repair: $40.00
Circuit Board: $211.00
Air Conditioning in the hottest June I can ever remember: PRICELESS!!!!

Although I didn't plan on spending over $10 today, much less over $300, I am just thankful that it was a wiring and circuit board issues and NOT a, "Ma'am, you need a new unit" issue!!!!

So for now, I am signing off... in the cool comfort of home!

Monday, June 16, 2008

For the Love of Evan!

The Galz (Me, Lauren, and Megan) are throwing our support at a great cause and I hope you will join us! I know that everyone has their own causes and that we are constantly bombarded with calls of help, but (to borrow words from a friend of mine) I consider this to be an underexposed and overly needed cause that is worthy of our attention. What I am referring to is Autism. Autism strikes regardless of race, gender, or economic status, and early detection and intervention are critical and can have a dramatic impact in overcoming the diagnosis. This is why Megan, Lauren, and I have formed a walk team for the walk for Autism Awareness scheduled for September 13 in Nashville. Our team name is "For the Love of Evan." Evan, diagnosed with Autism, is our friend Leigh Ann's son (Check out her blog "Horton Happenings" to the right of this post). Although we know that many of you will be unable to attend the walk in person, you can help us meet or even surpass our goal of raising $1,000 for this great cause by donating online! If you are able to help by making an online donation, please follow these instructions to do so...

CLICK HERE to make an online donation!
Thank you for your love and your support of this great cause! Please pass this along to friends and family who might be interested in helping with this cause!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...

It is late Thursday night and I don't have a lot of energy left for a detailed post, so I thought I would let the pictures (and captions) tell the story of my day!

I began the day driving to Ooltewah to meet mom at Couch's for lunch. We then ran a couple of errands and then picked Bentlee up from "school." The rest of the day was all about B! We went to The School Box to let her pick out some cool teacher stuff to play school with and then headed home to let the playing begin!

We woke up all the babies from their naps to play school with all the new cool teacher stuff! (I guess this teacher thing runs in the family!) Bentlee showed us the days, counted with us, did the weather, and the seasons! She is a pro, I tell you! We were told to "zip our lips" "raise your hand" and special kids got to "lead the class" or be the "calendar helper!" I am telling you this was serious school with circle time, centers (Play dough, kitchen, and Barbie) and snack time!!!

Me and Grandmommy did a "good job!" so we were rewarded with stickers!! Maddie (My bitty baby), George (Papaw's bitty baby), Callie Lou (Grandmommy's bitty baby) and Bitty Baby herself (Bentlee's) all got stickers too! It was a very good class!!

Teaching is a tough job you know, and with all that instruction sometimes you just need a hot cup of tea! How many 4 year olds do you know that drink Earl Grey! Ha - I'm serious! Today she wanted to "try something new" so she picked out "Cimanon" tea instead... this cutie pie takes her tea with sugar and cream!

After we relaxed with hot tea, it was time to cool off in the pool! We had a BIG time! She kept her swimmies on at first (this was her first swimming outing of the season) but she shed the swimmies in no time! She can now touch bottom in the shallow end - big stuff! And she can actually swim pretty well for a 4 year old! She would jump from the steps to me and then swim from me back to the steps. She kept telling me to back up! I was so proud!

She even jumped off the diving board! Once onto a float and once into the water! I guess she's just a water bug like her Aung Meag!

My day was simply wonderful! I loved every second!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On the road again...

Well, tomorrow I am headed to Chattanooga for my annual summer trip! I always go to Chattanooga for 4 days or so in early June! This is the week that they have the Riverbend Festival! My family always goes to Riverbend, but this year my parents actually haven't purchased pins to get in yet, so we'll see! I may or may not go to the festival, but I know I will have a great time spending some QT with my family!

On the Agenda, playing with my niece Bentlee! I am taking my Bitty Baby down (that's right - I have my very own Bitty Baby) so we can play school and all kinds of fun things! I will also be shopping with my mom, getting a pedicure, doing a lot of porch sitting, and who knows what else - basically whatever comes up that sounds fun and relaxing! Like sitting beside this...

...sipping a cold drink! I spent most of my childhood in or around this swimming pool in my parents back yard - how fabulous!

Speaking of swimming! I had to borrow a couple of pictures from Tuffy's blog (My Mom and Dad's dog)! I thought this photo was so funny! It seems that Tuffy, who loves to snoop and always is walking right on the edge of things, be it the back of the couch, the edge of the porch, or the edge of your lap, was walking around the edge of the pool and lost his balance!

This is Tuffy after his "refreshing" dip, although the expression on his little face says it was anything but refreshing! I just thought the picture was priceless. Especially for a dog that is used to a life of royalty! This is Tuffy more in his element:

Again - priceless!

Anyway, I will be MIA for a few days, but I will try to blog if I get the chance! I hope everyone has a great weekend if I don't hear from you sooner!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Water Bug

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days! There are three reasons for this - all of which I think are excellent reasons not to blog (although I have daily checked all of your blogs for updates! lol). First, I had a few slow blog days of ho-hum summer about which I didn't have much to say. Second, I had a couple buys days in which I was away from my computer. Third, my camera died and I didn't have batteries and I don't like to post without pictures - pictures make everything better! So, now I am back up and running... lets hit the highlights - You're in for a long post!

Friday I met Donnie, Julie, and Lynn at one of my most favorite places ever - Chili's! Who doesn't love their chips and salsa... with a bowl of Avocado Ranch on the side of course (if you haven't tried it, you should - I have converted all of my friends to order their chips 'n Salsa at Chili's with AR on the side!!). I don't have a picture from that night, but I do have this picture that shows (L to R) Lynn, Me, Yalitza (affectionately called Yatzi), and Julie! I can't find a picture of Donnie that's up close, just big group pictures - gotta work on that! lol.

Saturday me, La, and Moo had Girls Night! We headed to the Chop House for dinner and to see the movie "Sex and the City." Some of you may already know, I am a big fan of the show and was not disappointed by the movie! It was a perfect continuation of the show and I loved it! Here we are at the theater (La blinked in the pictures, but the girl that was taking it for us was less than enthusiastic, so we didn't ask for a retake!

And the big highlight of the last few days.... drum roll please...

THE LAKE!!! Yesterday was absolutely fabulous! I went to the lake! I absolutely love water - I am a natural born "water bug" be it swimming pool, lake, or ocean, I'll be there and love it! Always have, always will! I don't get to go very often - in fact last summer I didn't go even one time! However, my friends Jerri and Doug bought a boat at the end of summer last year!! Until yesterday, our schedules had conflicted in a way that I had not been able to join them on the lake yet! Fortunately for me, my dry spell ended and I hit the lake with splash!!!

Doug volunteered to be our chauffeur even though his back is out - how sweet!

Also along for the ride were Melissa and Lisa! (Lisa teaches at my school as well and Melissa used to teach at my school - I'm telling you, we teachers go wild and crazy in the summer!!!!)

Here is a picture of me and Jerri (Doug's wife - it's their boat!)

Please excuse the wind-blown, lake look! :-)

The real fun started when I decided I would knee board! I haven't done anything behind a boat in about two years, so I was a little shaky at first, but I got the feel back in no time!

Here we are getting ready - ropes crossed - never a good thing!!!

And here I am knee boarding while Melissa tubes!

And another picture of me and Jerri knee boarding - I'm just proud that I could get up, much less stay up! Trust my I am paying for it today! My arms and lower back muscles ache - they are used to a work out! Ha!

I LOVE Center hill lake! It is so nice, VERY deep, and the water is SO clear!!! The lake in East Tennessee I grew up going to is a lot more shallow that this one, not as clear and VERY developed! Center hill is 64 miles long and covers 18,200 acres! Almost all of the 415 miles of shoreline is undeveloped and natural. If you look back at the pictures you see there are no houses, the lake is surrounded by steep rock edges and forest! There are three different waterfalls you can hike to as well! It's just a great place - if you haven't spent a day up there you should certainly go!!!

These last two pictures are for my mom! When I told her I was going to Center Hill she asked if I would take these pictures for her! I had told her before that Alan Jackson (Country Music Singer) and Daryl Waltrip (former race car driver, now announcer) both live on Center Hill. I didn't take a picture of DWs house, but I did snag these of Alan Jackson's house (it's in the trees and hard to see) and his houseboat that is made to match his house!

So there is my update - in a very large nut shell! :-) What a great weekend!