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!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coolidge Park - Chattanooga

On our action packed Tuesday of the Chattanooga House Sitting Adventure Mini Vacation, we went to Coolidge Park after our visit to the Creative Discovery Museum! Coolidge park is so fun!

The first thing we did was go sit to sip sweet tea and sprite to cool us off on the warm day! Then we headed to the Carousel. The Coolidge Park Carousel is all hand-carved and has a very interesting history! You can click here to read about it!

Here are the girls posing on the Carousel at their own request! Future Superstars?

Here is Bentlee on the Carousel...

...and in front of the giant fan! Model??

And Lily on the Carousel! She wanted to sit on the bunny rabbit!

After the Carousel we walked across the lawn to the Coolidge Park Fountains! They are SO.MUCH.FUN! They have giant concrete animals that squirt water and big fountains that come out of the ground on a giant pad! The girls had a TON of fun while we watched from the shade! If you go on a week day it's not too crowded!

Here is Bentlee atop the water spraying elephant!

I call this one Booty-licious! :-) They are "doing their hair!"

They plopped down at the base of the horse and sat for ten straight minutes, no joke! They laughed, talked, pointed... I have no idea what they were talking about, but it was like watching to 25 year old women, not two 5 year old little girls. They were crackin' me up! I love their faces in this picture... I have no idea who or what they were looking at, but it was apparently shocking!

I love this sweet picture, but this next one is my favorite...

Pure. Summer. Bliss.

Two best friends having fun summer day playing in the water.... now THAT is hard to beat!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Creative Discovery Museum - Chattanooga

On day two of our Chattanooga House-Sitting Adventure Mini Vacation (as I like to call it), we had a full agenda! Bentlee and Lily had a "slumber party" at Grandmommy's house on Monday night! They had BIG plans for "camping out" in the living room, staying up 'til midnight, and having a big pillow fight! Seriously, they had it all planned out! It didn't go exactly as planned, 'cause they were pooped LONG before midnight rolled around, but they still had SO MUCH FUN and not a cross word between them! I fully expected a little girl drama after so much time together and when they got tired, but it didn't happen! These two are BFFs! :-)

Tuesday, we had major plans! Lunch at Couch's again (of course), then a trip to the Creative Discovery Museum, then across the river to the Coolidge Park Fountains, and then to dinner and Lookouts game!!!! Obviously this is too much for one post, so this will cover the Discovery Museum.

Bentlee in a bubble!

Lily putting herself in a bubble!

If you have never been to the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga you must add it to your list of things to see and do. It is So.Much.Fun! You could literally spend an entire day there and not get bored! We had to make the girls leave in time to go play in the fountains! They would have stayed all day and spent the night if we had let them! :-)

By far, their favorite thing was the Doctor's corner. They have an entire miniature doctor's examination room set up! Scales, equipment, lab coats, growth charts, bandages, complete with a clip board "chart" and a sign in desk! We played in this room the longest and ALL took turns being the patient! Above you see the girls at the "Check In" desk... "sign here ma'am."

In this picture Chris is obviously the patient. Bentlee is giving him a cast and Lily a shot I think... would you trust these two as doctors? They seem to want there to be a lot wrong with their patients! Maybe it's just me. :-)

Daddy's heart is beating indeed!

(And I must mention here what a kind, big, generous, wonderful heart he has!)

Doctor Hooper is checking her patient's chart!

And upon looking she announced, "Your Uvula isn't working Meagan!"

Crackin' Me Up!!!!!

And off they go.... BFF's for sure!

They had a whole section devoted to music. The girls went to the 2:00 Music and Motion where they got on stage and did a dance and sang! Several people came in to watch as they put on their show with the nice lady that taught them the routine! They did a great job!!

At the Museum you can go up on the roof! They have a huge playground up there with all kinds of things to explore! Part of it is covered with tables, chairs, and giant tic-tac-toe and checker boards and the other part is uncovered with all kinds of fun things to discover and play with and learn! Here is Lily havin fun on the roof with Bubbles!

Here the girls are discovery the different sights!

And, of course, the whole reason we went! This month's "theme" is Get Curious with Curious George! Bentlee has seen the commercials and signs and has been asking to go and Lily LOVES Curious George so that is why we decided to take them! They had tons of fun Curious George stuff that we explored and played with!

The Discovery Museum was great! I will be going back for sure and I certainly encourage you to go if you are within driving distance. Chattanooga is a WONDERFUL city to visit with a family and this is just one of the many many many fun and family-friendly things to do there!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A day at the pool...

Mom was so kind to mail me my computer cord so I could catch up on my blogs. I have been quite busy, but finally found a moment, so I am going to go back to update you on the trip to Chattanooga and work my way forward until I catch up with all that's been going on!!! :-)

As you know, last Sunday I headed to Chattanooga to house sit and Chris and Lily came down to keep me company! Sunday night was pretty low key... we just watched tv, ordered a pizza, and took care of all the things on mom's list!

Monday was the big day planned because Lauren, Dawson, Meagan, Web, Vance, and Jack all came down and Bentlee came over to join us for a day at the pool! We met a Couch's for lunch (of course) and then headed back to Mom and Dad's! It was a whole day outside with friends having fun in the sun!

Lauren, who always remembers a sweet, creative, personal touch, made these bug catching jars for Bentlee, Lily, and Vance! They had M&Ms, Gum, and a bouncy ball in them along with their names on them all decorated super cute! Thanks La, you're the best! The Jars were a BIG hit!

These two were in their own world of girly-girl bliss! I can't count the number of times they did this off the side of the pool! ONE, TWO, THREE, JuMp!!!!!

Baby Jack even caught some ray's by the pool! :-) Here are Megan and Jack enjoying the sun (and the show)!

Here are La and D-word enjoying the pool! Dawson is so funny... in his mind he is a big boy and will have NOTHING to do with swimmies or a float! :-) He had a big time splashing, squirting, and running around barefoot playing and wearing his Mama out!

THIS is what happens when you mess with Daddy! This picture of "Super Lily" was the result of Daddy getting squirted with water! LOL

As the day drew to a close, we all relaxed on the porch with the slight breeze of the fan and the giggles of the girls! Here is D-work chillaxin on the porch... one of the few moments he actually sat still for a split-second, other than his afternoon nap! :-)
Thanks to all of my wonderful friends! I appreciate you driving down to spend the day with me at my childhood home! It's a special place to me and I am always happy to share it with those that I love!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

House Sittin' in C-Town...

(Chris and I on our house sitting adventure "vacation" in Chattanooga!)

I house-sat for my parents the early part of this week (Sun-today). It wasn't so much the house that needed to be "sat" but the two dogs, chickens, various plants, and the sod dad just laid! :-) So I headed to Chattanooga and brought some friends with me for a mini-vacation that was (for the most part) free! You can't beat that!
(My favorite little bootys! lol. Lily and Bentlee doing hair at Coolidge park... is this not how you do your hair in the morning?)

I was very excited to come home and blog all about it, but have just realized my computer battery is about out and my cord??? In Chattanooga! :-) I just called Mom to have her mail it to me, but I am sorely disappointed as I had planned to catch up on all the blogs and post all about my week. Instead you will have to settle for these three sneak peak preview pictures and anxiously await all the fun stories of the week!!!

(Double Trouble: Is this not how YOU use sidewalk chalk???)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Goings on...

Most of this week so far has centered around Basketball! "We" hosted a basketball tournament this weekend at our school's gym. "We" meaning Chris (formal introduction coming soon!) as sight director, and me as a tag-along helper, lol!

The tournament was called "Battle in the Boro" and is a national exposure tournament for high school select teams. Translation - LOTS of college coaches and scouts coming to the tournament games! The tournament included several area gyms and almost 200 teams. Needless to say, I saw some really good ball! In addition, I was able to see/meet coaches from UNC, Acron Xavier, Virgina Tech, Georgia, Georgia Southern, UAB, .... I could go on and on and on but they came from as close as UK to as far away as Montana state and the teams ranged about just as far coming from New Jersey all the way to Pensacola, FL! :-) As much as spending three days sun up to way past sun down cooped up in a gym "working" is NOT my idea of summer fun... it ended up being a pretty neat thing to do!

Anyhow! That explains my blogging absence. Well, that and some exciting and fun personal-life stuff that's been taking my attention for a while (again... more on that later). For now, just know that I am great... couldn't be better!

AND... now for a little randomness... I am going public again. I like the comfort and security of a private blog, but I don't like that my readership is limited. It's hard to read someone else's blog and then want to leave a comment, but you can't because then they can't get back to your blog and that makes you feel bad, lol. So... I am going public and I would love for you to give me a little shout out on your blogs to get the word out that I am readable again! :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The perfect pool snack...

I have spent the last several days relaxing and enjoying ever moment of summer! Unfortunately that means I have been slacking on the blog! lol. I have spent many afternoons by the pool and thought I would share my most favorite poolside snack. This recipe also makes the perfect keep-in-my-fridge-to-munch-on snack, and the perfect party dip! :-)

Vegetable Salsa
2 chopped tomatoes
1 bunch green onions chopped (green part)
1 bunch chopped cilantro (leafy part)
1 can drained shoepeg corn
2 cans drained chopped green chilies
2 cans chopped black olives
8 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese with hot peppers
1/4 large bottle of Italian Dressing

THIS IS SO GOOD! I have yet to meet a person that didn't love and ask for the recipe. Even the kids munch on it! :-) So next time you head to the pool... or a party... or just want a semi-healthy snack on hand... mix up a batch! It's yummy!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holiday Weekend...

I had THE best 4th of July weekend EVER! It was so much fun for so many reasons! This is always a fun weekend because it's the one BIG get-together that my parents throw every year! I love it because you always see family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the middle of winter, but my mom and dad use the 4th to celebrate with everyone in the middle of the summer!

Perhaps the BIGGEST thrill of the weekend was my sister's arrival from Montana on Wednesday! I haven't seen her in person in a VERY long time so I was super excited that she flew down for the 4th! Mama came up Tuesday to my house and we visited Megan and Web and hung out. Then, Wednesday we piddled around town until it was time to pick Sarah up at the airport and then we headed to dinner at Ahart's pizza! Afterwards it was SO very nice outside that we decided to do something spontaneous that would allow us to spend some time outside... golfing!

Okay, so Mom and Sarah didn't actually golf! This was there very first time ever on a golf course! :-) But Chris and I golfed and they drove around in the cart laughing and having a big time! It was a WONDERFUL night with a cool breeze!!

We had a lot of fun! Chris answered a lot of questions about golf. Mom and Sarah had a great time driving around! It was a activity for a warm summer evening!!!

Sarah couldn't resist! She had to get out of the cart and give it a try! We had fun just knocking it around! :-)
On Thursday evening after a day of shopping Franklin that morning, we headed to Chattanooga! We went straight to Couch's of course to get our BBQ fix! :-) Afterwards we just relaxed at mom and dad's.
On Friday we had afternoon tea with Sarah Marie and Bentlee! That was so fun. Then we ran errands and headed to Couch's for dinner again! Sarah Marie and Bentlee met Mom, Sarah, and I at Couch's! Ken and Dad were already there working and we were also joined by Chris and Lily who drove down from the 'boro to hang out for the holiday weekend! After dinner it was back to Mom and Dad's to hit the pool! We had the best time!! :-)
Saturday was THE BIG celebration! Mom and Dad set up badminton, the horseshoe pit, corn hole, and ladder golf, just to name a few things! ALL of the family on both sides and many friends are invited to come out at any point during the day to relax, swim, play games and then enjoy a big spread of dips, dishes, burgers, and dogs with home made ice cream for dessert! The night is capped off with a BIG-TIME fireworks show! It was such a fun day! It always is....

These two are DOUBLE TROUBLE! lol. They have such a big time playing together... I don't know how they were still awake for the fireworks! :-)

Lily and Bentlee riding bikes! The fun was endless, I'm telling you! They had a blast playing all day!!!

And lastly, a picture of Sarah Ellen with Bentlee and lily! Doesn't get much more 4th of July than light-up, sparkly, tiaras! :-) Thanks Aunt Sarah!
It was one heck of a celebration! I thank God that I am a citizen of the United States of America and I thank the many service men and women for making it such a safe and wonderful place to call home! :-)