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!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was so thankful for my Thanksgiving break! Now, at the close of my blissful break, I reflect and am still filled with thankfulness.

I am thankful that I have a family that is so loving, supportive, and fun to be with! I am thankful for the huge spread of Thanksgiving goodies that we stuffed ourselves with on Thanksgiving day! I am thankful for 5 days filled with nothing but family and friends and fun... all play and no work. I am thankful that I returned home rested and restored. I have so much to be thankful for and I have been so blessed! Thank you Lord for the blessings you have showered my life with and thank you for your continued blessings... I do not deserve.

I did it all over the break. Wal-mart runs, dinners in and dinners out, Wii playing, movie watching, golfing, napping, football viewing, fun! Every moment was filled, but every moment was relaxing and fulfilling! It was a wonderful break!

I didn't take too many pictures... I was enjoying life in the moment and not through my lens. I did manage to snag this family photo on Thanksgiving Day...

My sister and her husband were unable to attend, so this is only Mom, Dad, Me, Ken, Sarah M, and Bentlee.

And of course I snapped a few shots of my favorite (albeit, only) niece! Isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!?

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful and blessing-filled as mine! I can't wait to catch up on all my blog reading and hear/see about all the Thanksgiving goodness!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I feel like I have hit the jackpot! My own personal jackpot!

Allow me to explain. Many of you already know that I am an excellent house keeper... very organized, everything in it's place, you get the idea. I am not, however, a great house-cleaner! I despise mopping, scrubbing tubs, and cleaning toilets! Dusting and vacuuming aren't my favorite either. In short, I keep everything neat and tidy, but when it comes to keeping things clean I struggle... and I mean struggle!

So, here's the story. I was getting my hair cut the other day. I love my stylist... she is great at cutting, great at coloring, and great a waxing... what more could you want? She also cleans houses. I don't feel like it's a wise use of my funds at this point in life to have my home cleaned when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, but it was very tempting. When I go get my hair cut, Gerri and I always talk shop because she home schools her daughter. This time we were talking about teaching and school and home school and she mentioned that she was thinking of getting a tutor for her daughter! She said (get this) she was getting everything covered except for social studies! (That's right - my subject!) I asked if she would be interested in trading services and wham, bam, (a little talking and working out details), thank-you-ma'am, I now am having my house cleaned... and tutoring a 6th grader in social studies!

Today was the first cleaning. Honestly, not kidding, couldn't be more serious... my house is cleaner than it was the day I moved in! It's AMAZING! I have no idea how she did it... it's phenomenal.

Now, onto the rest of my weekend.....

Saturday was spent, for the most part, recovering from Bunko/Poker night... not that I needed to recover (don't read too much into that)... just that I was up late and so I slept in and had the do-nothing, relaxing day I had been craving!

Sunday I headed to Chris' for a grill and chill and to watch the Titan's game! It was great!

I would have LOVED to have gone to the game, but couldn't get tickets... which turned out because the Titan's lost. So, Chris' was the perfect way to spend Sunday afternoon!! We had this yummy grillin' food, football, and lots of laughs! It was such a great time!

Here I am with some of my favorite guys enjoying the football fun! Nothing beats a Sunday that includes football, friends, and a grill... I'm just sayin'!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The week in pictures...

Since my last post on Tuesday I have been up to lots of fun things like...

Playing with my boy Vance so his Mommy and Daddy could celebrate their anniversary out to dinner! We read, played with puzzles, watched back yardigans, and (as you can see) had fun running and crawling and climbing and hiding all of the place!

I also spent some QT with D-word!! He's now crawling, pulling up, walking around furniture, and saying a word or two now and then (SO CUTE)! Seriously, I could just eat him with a spoon!!!!

I spent some time with my girlz! As you can see by this picture, we sorted through TONS and TONS of maternity clothes for Moo!! We also had Chinese takeout which Moo has been craving (YUM) and watched grays anatomy! The best part of the night though, as always, was talking and laughing with La and Moo! I love you ladies... you're both so good for my soul!!!!!!

Friday night was Bunko night AND poker night, so I had to pull double duty! I had the absolute best time at Bunko (Kathy and Jenn hosted at Kathy's house and it was great)! I had such a good time that I even one with the most Bunkos! First time ever for me to get more than one Bunko... I got two!!!

After eating dinner at Kathy's and playing bunko and visiting there, I headed over to Rob's for Poker night! I only stayed for two Texas hold 'em tournaments, but it was still 1:30 AM before I got done with that... way past my bed time, but worth it! I had a great time catching up with everyone there! I didn't win anything this time, but I did hang around in both games pretty close to the end!
Now, it's Saturday and I have absolutely no plans! It's wonderful! Sometimes you just need a day to do whatever! So, I slept in and my only plans so far are a little bit of Christmas decoration and some grocery shopping!
I hope each you you have a fabulous weekend! Next weekend is Thanksgiving and I CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh so good....

I thought I would participate in Lindsay's Tasty Tuesday today! I don't link up because my blog is private, but you can link to hers by clicking the button above and check out all the other Tasty Tuesday recipes!

This is probably my all time favorite soup for cold weather. The recipe is easy, fast, and fool proof and you can keep the ingredients on hand easily! Mmmm!!

Potato Cheese Soup

5 Lbs. potatoes (cut into small bite-size cubes)
3 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of celery
1 pt half and half (I always just use milk since I don't have half and half on hand)
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese (cubed or shredded)
8 oz. Pepper Jack (or cheddar, which I use, because I don't like spicy stuff)

Simmer potatoes until fully cooked and fork tender. Drain. Add soups and broth. Simmer 5 min. Add half and half or milk and cheeses and simmer until cheese melts.

That's it folks! SOOOOO fast and easy and tastes SOOOOO good! It's a crowd pleaser! I always top it with cheese and some crumbled bacon! Mmm!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Spirit...

...strikes early!

Okay, so it's a little early for the Christmas look for the blog, but I couldn't resist! We had actual snow flurries this morning and I've been Christmas shopping... it's in the air people! I am pretty particular about the "rules" of Christmas decorations (up the day after Thanksgiving and down the day after New Years) but this year, I am breaking the rules (at least in blog world) and "decorating" early!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

35 Things...

I saw this on Amanda's blog and I thought I would do it too!! So here are 35 things about me...

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? yes

2. Do you own a gun? No

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks? Caramel Machiato

4.What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Caramel Machiato

5. Do you do pushups? Ha! I don't think so!!

6.What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My "M" necklace

7.Favorite hobby? Photography

8. Do you have A.D.D? nope

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? I'm a pleaser... sometimes its a good thing, sometimes not so much.

10. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I am ready to get up my Christmas decorations (the earliest I have ever even thought of it), I shouldn't put them up until the day after Thanksgiving, I might do it anyway! lol

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. Water and Wine.... sweet tea and Cherry coke

12. Current worry right now? What time will I get to sleep since I took a 2 hour nap after my shop-a-thon with mom! lol

13. Current hate right now? Money... I wish it didn't exist... or that I was independently wealthy! lol. I hate worrying and planning and money matters in general.

14. Favorite place to be? Home... or Tybee Island.

15. Do you like to travel? Yes!!

16. What color shirt are you wearing? Navy

17.Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Egyptian Cotton

18. Can you whistle? yes... but I wish I could do the REALLY loud, two finger, whistle!

19. Favorite color? Pink

20. If you could, would you be a pirate? I think not

21. What song do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower.

22. Favorite girl's name? Can't pick just one...

23. Favorite boy's name? Can't pick just one...

24. What's in your pocket right now? Don't have pockets right now... in my PJs

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? flannel with sheep on them!

26. Worst injury? badly broken arm when I was in the 2nd grade... ick!

27. Do you love where you live? I do... it's home!

28. How many TVs do you have in your house? two

29. Who is your loudest friend? Rob, lol.

30. How many pets do you have? None... and I like it that way

31. Does someone have a crush on you? Ya never know...

32. What is your Favorite Book? The Time Traveler's Wife

33. What's your favorite candy? Peanut Butter Cups

34. Favorite Sports Team? Titans

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I wondered if Mom was up because it was day two of our shop-a-thon!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yummy in my Tummy...

Well, it's no secret that I like to eat! I love food, I enjoy cooking, and delight in eating a wonderful meal! That being the case, I decided I better do something to compensate and I started back at the gym! I gotta be honest and say, it kicked my butt, but I felt SO good about myself and had SO much energy right from visit one! I just hope I can make it a part of my routine and stick with it!

Being that I am working out, I don't feel so bad cooking what I REALLY want to eat! Today was a cold, rainy day and my cabinets were bare, so I headed to the store to stock up. I was really wanting something warm and delicious for dinner and I got it in my head that broccoli and rice would be good.... and chicken... and something cheesy! From that, I landed on a combination of recipes and ended up with a darn good casserole that I can call my own!

1 pat of butter
1/2 onion chopped
1 can cream of celery
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 package frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
1/2 (ish) cup sour cream
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat to 325.
Melt butter and saute onions until tender. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 30 min. until brown and bubbly!

Mmmmm... so good!

And for a not new recipe that I didn't make tonight, but that was on my mind because I was organizing my recipes and because I have some potatoes I need to use...

Fried Potato Patties (Had these at Yatzi's and they were SO good!!!!)

2 cups cooked, mashed potatoes (really handy if you have leftovers!)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine first 7 ingredients; shape into 6, 3/4 inch thick patties. Dip each in egg and coat lightly with bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 12 min. or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

So... as Paula Dean would say, "Best Dishes!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Lake house...

...not the movie, the girls weekend!

This weekend me and 9 other fabulous women from my school (and one who used to be at my school) headed out of town for a weekend at "the lake house" in Alabama! It was SO MUCH FUN! There is nothing like getting out of town to help you unwind and relax!

This was the beautiful view we enjoyed each day! The 10 of us had so much time! A homemade chili dinner Friday night served up with lots of drinks, lots of laughter, and lots of fun!

We had a lot of laughing and a lot of lounging! Here you see Marsha, Beth, and Lisa all on the biggest bean bag I have ever seen in my life! Seriously... the thing was the size of a twin bed!!!!
Saturday morning we slept in, then got up and ate a HUGE breakfast spread... it was SO good! I'll be posting Beth's recipe for cheese grits when I get it from her - they were incredible!!!!
After hanging at the lake house all morning we headed out to a couple really cute stores in the little town of Guntersville, AL! Such a cute town. Then it was back to the house to do some more relaxing!!!

Here is a picture of Anne and I outside the house enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery!!!
Saturday night we had barbecue, baked beans, mac n cheese, cornbread, and cole slaw - MMMMmmmmm! And then Paige built a bonfire and we had s'mores and catch phrase and fun around the fire!!!!

Here we are around the fire! It's a little fuzzy because it was so dark, but you can still tell that we were having a big time!!!

This is Paige! The lake house belongs to her parents and she was so gracious to share it with us! I think we all agreed that we need to make this an annual event! Thanks Paige so much for having us for the weekend!!!!!

Sunday we had another BIG breakfast spread and then cleaned up, packed up, and sadly headed home! I think we all wished we could stay for the week! Maybe next time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Sunday was a WONDERFUL day!!!!!

Me, Moo, Web, and Chris loaded up bright and early and headed to see the Titans take on the Greenbay Packers!!!! We met Chris and Web's friend Stephen to tailgate with some friends of his! Let me just say, these people do it up right! Under two large tents they cooked a spread on the spot... bacon, eggs, ham, biscuits, gravy, sausage balls, pancakes... (you get the idea, and this doesn't even TOUCH the amount of food they had)! There was corn hole and a football to toss and drinks, of course! It was THE BEST TIME!!!!

Here's Chris, Web, and Stephen - they are so funny... all three of them crack me up!

Here are Chris and I at the tailgate! It was so bright and sunny - a beautiful day and perfect weather for the game!!

Here are Moo and Web.. notice Web's sporting his packers shirt! lol... now that's a real fan! I guess this qualifies as the little bit's first game ever! Poor Moo had to tote her sprite around and couldn't enjoy the full bounty of the spread of food, but something tells me, she doesn't mind one bit! ;-)

This is actually in the game! This is Chris, Yatzi, and I! Yalitza (whom we affectionately call Yatzi) moved to Alabama a couple of years ago and we miss her SOOOOOO much! She has meant so much to us and done so much for us, it was SO great to see her and Wayne at the game! Everyone say a little prayer that she gets into the doctoral program at MTSU so she'll be commuting back and forth to Murfreesboro and we'll see her more often!!!

Overall I can't say enough about how much fun I had! There is NOTHING like tailgating with good friends and then going to a great game!!! It was, the perfect day! Thanks Moo, Web, Chris, and even Stephen for making a wonderful memory! I can't wait to do it again!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cookbook Party....

This past Saturday Lauren and I hosted a Junior League Cookbook Party at La's house! It was a lot of fun! Lauren made a delicious baked ham with mustard glaze, broccoli salad, cornbread, and a blueberry cobbler and I made sweet potato casserole and the best squash casserole recipe I have ever had (which I will share at the end of this post)

This is what the table looked like! It was so much fun visiting with friends and eating good food! We even sold a lot of cookbooks (which was the goal) and had a great time doing it!! :-)

Here are La and I at the party! Thanks, La, for volunteering your home! It was beautiful as always and worked out just perfect!

Squash Casserole... seriously, people... this is GOOD stuff!!!!

2 pounds squash (roughly chopped/small cubes)

1 large onion (chopped)

2 eggs

6 Tbs butter

1/2 cup milk

2Tbs brown sugar

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 1/2 cups bread (cut into cubes - no crust)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the squash and onion in a large pot until tender (stir often)

In a large bowl beat eggs, add butter, milk, brown sugar and salt.

Stir in squash.

In a buttered 2-Quart casserole dish layer bread, squash, cheese, and repeat. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 350 for 45 min.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat...

I have decided to blog about my weekend in stages instead of covering it all at once and I am starting with Friday... Halloween! Not my favorite holiday, but still cuteness with the little ones dressing up and all!

I live on a very quiet, very short street and so I rarely have any trick-or-treaters... this year was different though! I had two VERY SPECIAL trick-or-treaters ring my doorbell and come in for a visit!

First, Vance came to see me...
He was SOOO cute! He got some candy and a little pack of Teddy Grams! Megan and Web were with him (of course!)...

They were all dressed as farmers! So cute and very clever since they will soon be moving to farm! Vance was on the go-go-go as always and cute as a button! I just love these guys to pieces!!!!
My next guest of honor was Dawon (aka D-Word)!

Is this not the cutest baby costume you have ever seen! He was a sweetest little puppy dog and he even had down in "woof, woof!!!!" TOOOO cute!

Dawson, obviously too young for candy, got Gerber's peach cobbler from Aunt Meag! LOL! He was the sweetest... all smiles and a little wiggle worm to boot! He showed off his new "pulling up" skills while he was visiting!
A BIG thanks to the parents of these two little guys - y'all are the best and you just made my Halloween!!!!!
Side note: I, myself, went trick or treating at Best Buy! I had to sign some things and use a little plastic card, but I walked away with a BIG treat.... a new lap top! YAY! I have been in pretty serious need of a new computer - I have had this one since college (ha!) so it's time for an update. I am keeping this desktop as a back up - it's not totally useless, just slow and the CD/DVD player-burner doesn't work anymore... oh, and I have to unplug and replug the mouse every time I get on it! lol. Anyway, Geek Squad is coming today to get my wireless set up and to network both my computers to my new printer! WooWoo!!!!