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, January 31, 2009

Viva Las Vegas...

...er... Viva Las (trashy) Vegas themed Bunko night!

Those of us who dressed the part...

The odds were against me - I didn't win anything... but I sure had lots of laughs (lots and lots!) and a great time with the girls!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I haven't had too many words for my blog lately. I was filled with concern for Kelly's little (well actually very big, lol) Harper. I was filled with obligations. I was NOT filled with great lesson ideas. and I was NOT filled with post ideas or great words for you all.... just uninspired, if you will. And that's okay, that happens. Mind you, I have had a very enjoyable past few days... just a lot going on and no words to express it.

Today, however, I find myself filled and very much inspired...

I am filled with joy because Harper Brown Stamps was held by her mommy and daddy today!

I am filled with love and admiration for these two ladies! I honestly don't know what I would do without them. They are good for my soul!

I am filled with thankfulness for the sort-of snow day we got yesterday! I spent the entire day with Julie and Chris just having fun... picking flooring out for Chris' house, picking flooring out for Julie's rental, eating out, and then seeing Inkheart (okay, but not great by the way). Just a GOOD day and a nice break.

I am filled with lesson ideas (which is fun for any teacher whose heart is still in it)! I had a great lesson today and I have some fun ideas for my class and for the girl I teach privately!

I am filled. My life is full of blessings and my heart is full of gratitude. I don't deserve the love and blessings that my Lord showers on my life, but I am so overcome with thankfulness for them! I am filled... and it feels wonderful!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Go past pilot's knob and turn at the bottom of the little hill. Go to the brick house in the corn field and turn just before the little post office. Go a little ways down and you'll see the hay barn, that's your next turn. Just up the road, cross the slab (aka Creek) and we're just up on the left.

These are the directions I got from Megan to her new home... precious. It is the most beautiful drive out into the country and truly is a little piece of heaven!

I went there today to help clean up so that they can move in next weekend! I had been out before, obviously, but always followed Megan or Web or rode with them so I had to call and get a refresher just in case I forgot a turn. It is such a beautiful place! I can't wait for Moo to post pictures when she's all moved in. It's wonderful and SO her!!!!

Before that... my weekend in reverse, I guess... I slept in.

Last night we had our Fantasy Football - End of Season Bash! It's always fun because it is "free." Each time you drop a player and pick up another or make a trade during the season it costs 5 dollars. At the end of the season we use the league fee ($50 per team) to pay the winners ($300, $200, $100 respectively) and then we use the drop/add/trade money to buy the food and drinks for the end of season bash! We had $240 worth of chicken wings, fries, celery and drinks and we had $1,000,000 worth of fun! :-) After our celebration was over we all headed over to Coach's for some karaoke fun with some of our other friends from work... I didn't sing, but I enjoyed watching and laughing (with, not at) others singing!

And before that...

Varsity boys had a make up game at Rockvale and our boys won... by 39 points - yikes! Happy for them, but sad for the other team. I love when we win and it makes me proud of our boys, but it's bitter-sweet when the score is that spread out!

And before that...

I had dinner with La at Chili's Friday night and then came home and had a glorious evening on my couch, in my quiet home. Mmmm... life is good!

That's my weekend in reverse! Hope yours was just as wonderful!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I do love a good salad. In fact there are so many salads that are among my favorites, it's hard to pick just one. Lately I have been really keen of Caesar salads. Chicken Salad is always a favorite, and pasta salad, Mmmm!

My mom always says that for some reason salad is always better when someone else prepares it! Do you agree? I always have agreed with that. It seems when you get a salad out or if someone fixes a salad at their home for you, it always just seems a little better than a salad you make yourself.

I have landed on a favorite, however, that prepared at home is a favorite. It think I love it so much because I have fallen for Ken's Caesar Dressing... it really does make the salad. I have been making a romaine salad with a little Parmesan, kalamata olives, and a few croutons. It's just hitting the spot these days!

While I am prattling about salad, I thought I would share my most favorite summer pasta salad recipe:

Simple tomato basil pasta salad:
cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese

So summery and fresh and light! Try it some time!

Monday, January 19, 2009


"...it is in the smallest details that the flavor of life is savored." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

I believe this statement with all of my heart. I was given a gratitude journal to start as a gift from a friend quite some time ago. I am sorry to say that in that hectic time, the book was stashed away in a cleaning frenzy and forgotten. Today I found it and read the note my friend Marla had included again. I wish I had started it at the beginning of this month, but I figured there was no time like the present. I will record five things for which I am thankful each day. My life is so blessed... even on the simplest of days I have so much to be thankful for and I would like to be more conscious of that.

Do any of you have something like this.... a journal or a gratitude journal? I am excited about starting one!

*edit 1/20* Please say a quick prayer... I'm coming down with a terrible cold and I, obviously, don't need it or want it! I have LOTS going on this week and I'd like to feel well while I am going about it! Thanks friends!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Remember the Tigers...

This weekend our JV basketball teams participated in the county-wide JV basketball tournament. JV season ended back in December before school go out, but due to a snow cancellation, the tournament had to be rescheduled for this weekend. This presents several challenges, the most of which is that the teams were not "in the groove." They had to practice one week and then hit to court and make it count. The first night of the tournament we played a team that shall remain nameless and after looking at the roster discovered that they were playing 2 varsity starters in the JV tournament. This particular team, we had played earlier in the season and the game had been a blow out! (Not because we pressed or anything, we played clean, played everyone on the bench, and only played a couple of the starters in the last period) we just out-played them. At the tournament, with their additional players, it was a VERY close game and after looking at the books, without their varsity players we would have blown them out again instead of winning by a small margine. Talking to parents who had seen previous games of the day, we were informed that several area teams had brought varsity players as well! What a disappointment that adults, coaches, would set this type of example for their players! Up against these odds were were not sure that we even had a chance to make it all the way. The girls lost on Saturday and were out of the tournament, but the boys hung in there and won their second game which put them in the final game! A couple 7th grade boys from our Varsity begged to dress out to make up for the injustice of the other teams - they wanted to level the playing field but our very own Coach Hooper said, no, we were going to play a fair game! According to the parents who know players on the other team, not only did our last match up have 3 varsity starters - they weren't even 7th graders. The game began, I was SO nervous! We were down 10 in no time and the refs were calling us on EVERYTHING and the other team on almost nothing! It became apparent very quickly that we were not only going to have to beat a team that was cheating but we were up against bad refs as well! About half way through the game Coach Hooper asked the ref a question about a call he didn't make (in a very respectful way) and he was, without warning, given a technical and told he had to sit down for the rest of the game! Now our boys REALLY had a challenge ahead of them. The most magical thing happened... Chris getting the technical lit those boys on FIRE! One immediately turned around and said, "Don't worry coach, we got your back!" another.... "We got this Coach!" It still gives me chills! From that point on Chris didn't even have to coach! After being down by about 10 points the boys kicked it into high gear and rose to the challenge, outscoring the other team by 9 points for the final score! Not only did they play hard, they played fair, and they played CLEAN the WHOLE game! I know our boys learned an important lesson that night and I hope that the players and especially coaches of the other teams did as well! I don't think I have ever been so proud of a group of students! They truly are champions!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How low can you go?

I am not sure how low I can go, but apparently our temperature here in the south can go pretty darn low! It's cold y'all! The high today was 22 and the low tonight is a whopping 4! Um, yeah, that pretty much never happens down here. So (get ready to laugh all you Yankees) we have an "inclement weather" day tomorrow!! That's right, not a snow day (a rare thing down here - not because it takes much more than a flake, but because we just don't get snow that often), not a rain/storm day (most years I have taught we have had more of these than anything), but a day because.... it's too darn cold!!!! :-) No complaints here! They claim it is for the sake of those who walk to school, those who must wait at bus stops, and the "portable" classrooms that are heated by units that won't be so efficient when faced with these bitterly cold temperatures! I'm all for it! So, as I loaded the bus tonight to travel to basketball games with the teams and my cheerleaders, it was with a lighter step because I will now have a FOUR day weekend (thank you cold weather and MLK)!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snow, er, Sick day... and a recipe

Well, I had been praying for a snow day - we didn't even get a flake - and ended up with a different kind of day!

Yesterday was quite pleasant and ended with dinner with Meagn at Marina's (YUMO - a favorite of mine!) and a Junior League meeting. Last night however, things to a turn for the worst... I developed some kind of tummy funk! Didn't really feel like a virus, so maybe it was something I ate, but I would hate to believe that because I LOVE Marina's. Maybe my tummy just wanted a day off, and that's exactly what it got because it carried on long enough that I had to take a sick day! The day has been very... plain. I stayed home in bed most of the morning because I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. Then I watched some food network, then did some lesson planning (didn't eat until just a bit ago - a little skittish considering). I just finished up some PowerPoints to go with some new lessons on Southern Europe, so I am feeling somewhat productive for a sick day!

I have always been a believer in the saying, "all things happen for a reason!" That rings very true today! Because I had to take a sick day, I scrambled this morning to find someone to cover my bus duty! I called a friend of mine who is ex-military who is always at work VERY early and he eagerly agreed to help me out and wished me well. He just called a few minutes ago on his way to court... that's right, I said court. You see, today in bus duty an "altercation" broke out between some students and as he attempted to prevent the situation from escalating to a fight by intervening and holding one girl back, she turned on him! I won't go into any more detail - confidentiality and all that stuff - but rest knowing he is okay and that the student is being taken care of ... and I have to say, as bad as I feel that that happened to him (and he agrees) I am glad it was him, someone much more equipped to handle that situation, and not me!

Now... onto Tasty Tuesday...

I tried a new, old recipe this week! I used to have a dear friend and next door neighbor named Kristin. Maybe I should clarify, still good friend, just no longer next door! It was really a neat situation that we hit it off so well... to be able to walk next door and be with a great friend is a really nice perk! I bet we visited at one of our houses at least 6 days a week and ate dinner together probably 2 nights a week minimum! She cooked more often than me, being that she has 4 kids and a hubby to feed and graciously included me, but I often contributed as well. Anyway, she is a wonderful cook with a wealth of quick and yummy recipes (seriously, 4 kids and a hubby, you KNOW she's got the quick fix meals goin' on!). SO... as I organized my recipes over Christmas, I ran across this recipe. I have never made it, actually, but it is a dish she used to serve and for all you mom's out there it is super fast and easy to prepare!

Curried Chicken
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or colby)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg broccoli (cooked for just 4-5 min)
chicken tenders

Put broccoli and chicken in a baking dish. Combine the other ingredients and pour over top. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour.

It's really yummy and the curry is just right, not overwhelming. Serve it over rice and you have a complete meal!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big Weekend... Small Change

I have had a wonderful weekend that started Friday with a little....

Poker! After work I relaxed at home for a while, took a power nap, and recharged for Poker Night! Rob hosted, as usual, and luck, I mean my amazing poker skills, were at work! We play tournament style Texas hold 'em. I won the first game - yay, Mama really DOES need a new pair of shoes, lol - and I came in 3rd in the second game! There were 6 players, all men other than me - just have to plug that in their (girls rule)!
Saturday was a big day for those of us in Tennessee! The Titan's took on the Ravens,
and unfortunately lost. There were a couple poor calls and one REALLY bad non-call when the play clock ran out before the snap. I'd like to blame it on those troubles, but quite honestly the Titan's didn't bring their A-game... they had a lot of penalties, a few injuries, and they gave it away at the end. So, I'll still be watching the rest of the playoffs and the Superbowl, but I will be considerably less invested now that the Titan's are out of the mix!! Wo are you pulling for?
Sunday I visited another Church with my friend Jerri! Last week we went to Northside Baptist and this week we went to her old church Bethel! It was a neat service - very contemporary - and I ran into a couple of people I knew, which is always neat.
Unfortunately I left my headlights on and when church was over my car was pretty much dead. It wanted to start and the windows and radio would work, but the battery just didn't have enough juice to get the engine going! I had to get a friend of Jerri's to jump me off and then all was well!
After church I went to Wal-Mart... one word... crowded! NEVER grocery shop on a Sunday at Wal-mart.... I know this rule and I have no idea why I ignored it, but it was a mess!
After getting home and having lunch I settled down with my book group book....

Small Change. I had only read through Chapter One so far and I figured I would get in a few Chapters day.... and I did... I finished the book! It's one of THOSE books! Megan H finished it in only 2 sittings as well, I think! I highly, highly recommend it! There are only 150 pages in the book and it is quick read that pulls you through. Most of all, however, I recommend it because it is a heart-warming and inspiring story!!

I always have to purchase my own books as opposed to borrowing or getting them from the library because I like to write in them, highlight, etc. In this book I had two favorite quotes:

"Money's not really that important, in and of itself, is it? ... It's what you do with it that counts."

"(She was) a quite, gentle woman with a bottomless heart, who lived like a real Christian instead of just acting like one."

I highly recommend this read to anyone in the mood for a page-turner and a great story!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The beginnings of a book group...

{I got over my frustration (previous post) so here ya go...}

This is my second attempt at this post and thus it will likely be shorter and less eloquent, but nonetheless...

Tuesday night was the first meeting for my much anticipated and newly created book group. Most of us were able to meet at Maple Street Grill to get the ball rolling and lay out the plan.

Let me back up and give you a little history first. My amazing mom started a book group with some friends and colleagues a couple of years ago. It has been so successful! They have read a WIDE range of books, been exposed to new texts and old texts alike. They have, through their books, traveled to far away places and rural places, and city-fied places and everything in between. They have also literally traveled together to a get-away in a fcabin and also to a beautiful beach!

So inspired by my mother, as I so often am, I decided to start a book group of my own! It can't get much better than to participate in something that is fun and social and enriching all at the same time. I am really looking forward to reading more and being exposed to different texts because many times when I read I get into a "rut" and tend to read the same types of books for periods of time!

That said, I am happy to announce the beginning of our book group. I am the first hostess and thus have chosen the book. I figured we could start small, and so our first book is Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Buford. Next month I will host our lovely group in my home for a meal and discussion. At that time the next hostess will be announced as will her choice for our next book.

I can't say how every excited I am! I looking forward to the adventures and travels and emotions that the stories we read will bring to our lives and I am looking forward the women that will enrich my life with their character and humor and charm.

I am interested... are any of you in a book group or have you ever been?

Stay tuned to my "What I Am Reading" area of my sidebar to find out the lasted book group book!

It has just been one of THOSE days...

I had a beautiful post typed about my new book group and blogger gave me some crazy error message and deleted my post!

In fact right now, there is a BIG and very UGLY red "ERROR" on my screen!

So that's it for tonight... I'm too frustrated and tired to try again tonight.

Oh! I only have on follower on my new sidebar "follower" button thingy and it's my sister... so if you don't mind... will you "follow" me? :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tasty Tuesday... patriotic style

In the cold of January I was warmed by thoughts of sunny summer weather and one of my favorite recipes came to mind. Nothing says summer to me like back yard barbecues with burgers and baked beans and slaw! So, I give you my slaw recipe... it's a winner every time!

Red, White, and Bleu Slaw Salad
1 pkg bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bag slaw mix or shredded cabbage
1 container of crumbled bleu cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
Slaw dressing (use as much as you need to make it the consistency you like... I like mine nice and creamy!)

Mix together and serve! I wait to add the bacon until the last sec so it's still crunchy - this slaw is wonderful if you're a bleu cheese fan like me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Just a picture or three...

I got the pleasure of spending some QT with Vance tonight while his Mommy and Daddy went to a function! I'm telling you, this is one precious angel...

And this is one proud Aunt...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

It's hard to find anything better than time at home with no schedule and no agenda! Sometimes it seems as though it's these times when I get the most done. After a busy holiday traveling for both Christmas and for New Years Eve, I was so happy to be home and to have some time to myself. I have enjoyed every second and have accomplished quite a bit. All the Chirstmas decorations are down and my big "storage" closet is all cleaned out and the decorations neatly stored in totes and put away! It's funny how "work" around the house can be so pleasant and accompanied with such a feeling of accomplishment when you are home to enjoyu it


Hello New Year...

Hello 2009,

It's nice to meet you. I have big plans for you and I... change is in the wind! I am hoping to save more and eat less... or at least a little better. This will entail cooking more (which I love anyway) and eating out less (a convenience I am quite fond of). I'd like to actually use the gym membership I pay for monthly... 2008 taught me that you don't get in shape just by writing the check each month, you actually have to go. I'd like to spend more time reading and that should be accomplished with the start of my long anticipated book group. I feel a home make-over (on a tight budget - so small changes) is in need. I intend to find a new church home this year and spend more time in the Word. 2008 spread me pretty thin with so many obligations and functions and with you, 2009, I want to bring everything back into focus. I intend to choose carefully my commitments, weed out the clutter, and choose to do things well and with quality - and that means doing fewer things. I want to make excellent use of each of your seconds, 2009, and so time management will be key. I hope that even with the re-focus this year that you will bring me many surprises, spontaneous moments, and exciting adventures. Teach me some lessons - don't make them too hard, please - and enrich my life in ways that only you were designed to do! I look forward to our time together, 2009, and that time is limited, so let's make the best of it!

Sincerely yours for the next 365 days,