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, July 31, 2010

Chicken Casserole

Recently Megan asked me to share some of my meal plans and favorite recipes with her.  I was tickled pink!  I love sharing recipes, making meal plans, grocery shopping, cooking, and eating.... so her request was right up my ally!  I had so much fun sharing some of my favorites with her that I realized I should be sharing more often!  Therefore, I plan to share at least a recipe a week here on my blog!  You might remember my recent post including the recipe for "drunk chicken."  I thought I would share with you what I do with the leftovers!  Actually, just about any time I have leftover chicken, it turns into Chicken Casserole.

This is the recipe for Chris' mom's Chicken Casserole.  If I would make it twice a week, he would eat it every time and never complain!  It has become my favorite Chicken Casserole recipe!

Chicken Casserole

2-4 cups cooked chicken – cubed or shredded

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup diced celery

2 tbs grated onion

1 can sliced water chestnuts (undrained)

1 small pkg sliced almonds
1 can cream of mushroom
½ cup mayo

2 tbs lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:  1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, 1 Cup Crushed Potato Chips

Mix all in a large bowl. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and top with chips.

Bake at 350 until bubbly and brown! (10-20 min)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shopping With Mom...

Yesterday I spent the day with mom shopping!  We absolutely love spending time together and I was so busy having fun and enjoying myself I didn't take any pictures.  Mom and I have a wonderful mother/daughter/friend relationship.  I am so blessed to have her as a mother and friend.  Since I didn't have pictures of us on our day together, I thought I would post about some of the things we did!  These are some of our favorite things to do together in Murfreesboro!

Mom drove up Monday night and went to cheer practice with me.  Then we ran by Fuji - our favorite place to get fresh and wonderful sushi - and got dinner to go!  Chris met us at my house for a light dinner of sushi and wine with a heaping side of conversation and laughs!

Tuesday we had a leisurely morning and then headed to the Avenue - Our favorite shopping spot in the 'boro!  We started at Barnes and Noble.  We could spend hours upon hours in there!  The smell of crisp clean book pages and coffee is intoxicating!  Of course we had to have some...
Starbucks!  A Grande, 2 splenda latte for Mom and a Grande, no-foam, Caramel Machiatto for me!
Then we spent a good 45 minutes browsing and perusing magazines and books.  We finished off the trip in the Children's books.  We can't go in a book store and not go to the Children's books.  :-)

After the bookstore we headed to Yankee candle for mom to stock up on a discontinued scent that is a favorite of hers.  I stocked up on plug-in refills for my classroom!  Macintosh and Beach Walk are two of my favorites right now!   Then to Hallmark (Christmas Ornaments already, but you must get them while the getting is good) and then to meet Chris for Lunch at Goodness Gracious!

After lunch we visited a couple new stores in town and wound our way back to the Avenue!  Mom found her favorite Coldwater Creek and I found mine...
Ann Taylor Loft.
My entire wardrobe could come from this place and I would be perfectly happy!  We both found great deals at our favorite stores and the merged to take on...
Belk!  And they were having a HUGE 70% off Sale! 
I got shoes, some cute tops, and a dress.
Mom got a cute top as well.
And, of course, we got some back to school outfits for Lily.

We ended our shopping extravaganza at Hobby Lobby, another of our all time favorites!
By this late in the afternoon we both pooped out!  We returned to my house for a little relaxation before Mom hit the road back to Chattanooga and I began dinner preparations.

Overall it was a "typical" day for Mom and I to spend in Murfreesboro.  We hit all our favorites, did what we do, and enjoyed every minute laughing and talking all the way!  The best part?  We had our "shopping mojo" as we call in!  When we have the mojo, you better watch out!  :-)  We got lots of cute stuff and good deals.  I am already counting down 'til we get to do it again!!!

Here's a question... What are your favorite stores/places to shop?

Monday, July 26, 2010


...Chicken that is!  (Gotcha!)

I made "Drunk Chicken" for the first time this past weekend!  It was SO good, So easy, and SO economical!  I highly encourage you to use this recipe!  I was a little intimidated by the thought of roasting a whole chicken.  I don't know why now, because it was the easiest dinner EVER!  It was also "impressive" and a crowd pleaser with the guys who were over to play cards!

Take a whole chicken, rinse, and pat dry.
Open a can of beer and drink or dispose of half of the can.
Drop in a couple cloves of garlic (smashed)
Rub chicken with olive oil.
Sprinkle/Rub with your favorite seasoning or just salt and pepper.
Place the rear end of the chicken down over the can.
Place in a dish.
Bake for 15 min. at 450 degrees.
Bake an additional 20 min per pound at 350.

It took all of 5 minutes to prep the chicken, I threw it in the oven, set the time, and forgot about it.  Then, *DING*  and dinner is ready - juicy, tender, chicken with a crispy roasted outside!  Mmm!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Stills...

There is a website my sister has followed/participated in for quite a while now.  She took a break from it, but I wanted to get involved, so now we are both going to do it each week.  It's called Sunday Stills.  Each Sunday the blog author offers up a little photography challenge!  Anyone who wants to can participate by posting a photo with their interpretation of the topic!  So, this is my first Sunday Stills post!  Enjoy!

This week's challenge was "Rule of Thirds"

Because every free moment of my week was consumed with moving into my new classroom I had to use some photos I took a few weeks back!  These are some of my favorite's of the Hutchings boys, Vance and Jack.  Megan and Web, I have to thank you both for having such adorable children!  I love these boys with all my heart!

Clearly I favor the right side! LOL!  :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

After Shots...

As most of you know, I have been hard at work setting up my new classroom!  It's been a unique challenge because the building is still being completed.  I have been working around construction workers and contractors and electricians and, well, you get the point!  We only had 3 designated days to set up as much as we could and can't get back into the building until the day before the ribbon cutting!  Keep in mind that this isn't the finished product!  I got as much done as I could - all my things put away, furniture set up, etc.. - but I haven't finished "decorating" (my least favorite part).  I don't like cluttered walls and bulletin boards, so I always have a hard time decorating my room with posters and things!  lol.  Okay, here it is so far:

This is the view from the back of my classroom looking toward the front.  The lectern is on wheels so I can roll it wherever I want to teach from.
This is the view from my desk.  There is a book shelf in the corner in the back left side of the room and that is where my exterior door is.  Check out the new computers!  That's it!  The "computer" and "monitor" are all-in-one and will be wireless!  Yay!

This is a view of my desk area.  I am standing by my exterior door in front of the book shelf.

A view of my classroom from the same corner.

This is the view when you enter my room from the hallway.  You see my desk on the far left and the book shelf on the far right.

Another view from that side of the room.

I have this wonderful area in my room!  A large storage closet that I share with my friend LaToya who teaches math, and cabinets, counter space, and a sink!

Needless to say, this is much nicer than anything I have ever had to teach in!  :-)  It is big and beautiful and new!  Every classroom comes equipped with a ceiling mounted projector and interwrite board.  We will have so much technology!  I just can't wait to get started!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Lily's imagination never ceases to amaze me!
It is inspiring!

Lately she is all about singing both songs she knows and made up songs, dancing any time there is even a moment of music on, modeling/posing, and putting on shows and performances!

So here she is, ladies and gentlemen:
Miss Lily Hooper

Singer, Dancer, Model and Performer!

Take a closer look....

That's toothbrush microphone works great!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Before Shots...

Yesterday began move in day 1 at my brand spakin' new school!
I was giddy as I drove up with my car loaded down with school supplies and everything neatly boxed from my classroom!  I was so excited about getting in my room and setting up shop!  I couldn't wait to put my pencils and pens in my desk and to arrange all my things in the cabinets and set up my room arrangement with my student desks! 
And then I walked in to this lovely Scene.
{and boxes}

So it wasn't exactly what I expected!  I spend most of the day (with the help of some of the staff and a couple fellow teachers) moving boxes of books to their correct location.  Turns out that since I am the first  classroom in the 7th grade hall, that is where they stacked up all the 7th grade books for each subject!  (Makes sense.)  So... now everything is out of the way and today I can begin setting up!  I'll post some pictures tomorrow of my progress!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Mint Iced Tea

3 Cups Boiling Water
12 Large Springs of Fresh Mint
4 Tea Bags

Combine above ingredients and allow them to cool.
Remove tea bags and mint.

1 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 1/4 Cup Sugar (I use Splenda)
6 Cups Water

Combine above ingredients and stir to dissolve sugar.
Combine both mixtures.
Serve ice cold.


Monday, July 19, 2010

One For the Mole and One For Me!

Lily was with me a month or two ago when I was talking to a friend about my problem with moles in my yard!  She was also there when they told me that a remedy was to put sticks of gum in their tunnels.  She recalled this conversation when we were outside at my house and asked me when we were going to put gum in the mole holes!  I was spraying weeds at the time and thought there was no time like the present.  I told her to run inside and get some gum out of my pantry!  Take a moment to envision my 1 acre lot (very large yard) absolutely FULL of mole tunnels!  Keep this in mind - we would need LOTS of gum and it just so happens I have several packs in my pantry...

Lily goes in, rumages around, and comes back out and proudly says, "I brought two pices!  One for the mole and one for me!"  :-)  She makes my heart smile.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

House Warming...

*Update:  I have added the "follower" button under my pictures in the sidebar.  I have also changed my settings to you can link to me again!  (Except Lauren, Megan, and my sister! lol)  :-) 

Well here I am! If you are reading this, then you obviously found me at my new address and know I have moved! :-)  In lieu of a"housewarming" at my new address I am asking you to leave a comment or drop me an email (meagan.stiner@comcast.net) so I know I didn't lose you in transition.  :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A peek at our pottery...

I promised my sister I would post pictures...

Mom's picture frame and coffee travel mug

Lily's moon fairy...
I'll post a picture of her mom's birthday gift another day,
I don't want to spoil the surprise!

My large serving bowl
It's just plain speckled on the inside and this
squiggle on the outside.

Sarah's chip and dip serving set!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Check it out...

My sister did a great post on my Mom and Dad's place!
It's a beautiful home and safe haven and she has posted about some of my very favorite spots! So, check it out! :-)

A week of happenings...

Well, we've had another great week of summer! They seem to be flying by at record pace here lately. I am suddenly aware that school is just around the corner again! As much as I love, and I mean LOVE, my summers, I always get excited about the start of a new school year! I have been having dreams about my classroom and teaching, etc. It happens every year! It's about time for the lesson planning to begin! lol.
Anyway, back to summer! The hot weather is back... really, oppressively hot! So we've been having a lot of indoor fun and when we can't take inside any longer, outdoor fun with cool water involved! Inside we have water involved too... with Lily and her 6 new fish! She has asked her daddy for a pet a hundred times, so this was his compromise! She loves them!

We had some of our favorite friends over this week for a "party" to meet the fish! Chris set his back yard up like a water park with the sprinkler and water balloons and bubbles, I made kabobs (chicken-pineapple, sausage-pepper-onion, squash-zucchini, and hot dog kabobs for the kids), and before we knew it we had the makings of a big bash with a total of 22 attendees!

The kids all had fun munching, playing wii, working puzzles, playing in Lily's room, and then going outside for water balloons! It was a bit stormy, so they didn't get enough outside time for the sprinkler!

The grill master! We had tons of food - everyone brought something! It was our favorite kind of relaxed party where everyone just has fun talking and catching up while the kids run wild!

Here are all the girls outside for popsicles and water balloons! :-)

Here are Lily and I in the kitchen! We sure do love to cook together! We cooked a couple times this week together - for the party and with her easy bake oven!

I absolutely love this picture (even though it's fuzzy because I took it with my phone)! Lily went to church and spent the night with her grandparents Wednesday night... she played the lion in the story of Daniel! :-) She makes an awfully cute lion! lol I snapped this when we met them for dinner at Cracker Barrel

And... her new PJ's finally came in! Now she and little Lily match in their house shoes and Pajamas! ADORABLE! They even had a camp out in the living room floor one night this week with all the American Girl Dolls in their sleeping bags and Lily in hers!

Then, Saturday I headed to Chattanooga for the day! My sister's trip was extended so I got to go play scrabble and boggle on the porch, spend some time at the pool, and generally relax with mom and Sarah and my Aunt Lisa. That evening we met the rest of the family at Abuelo's for dinner! I just included the picture of Kenslee in her bee outfit for fun and because I am one proud Aunt!
It's been a great week and I am looking forward to another one! I hope you are enjoying your July as much as I am!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"The Paint Pottery Place"

Lily loves painting pottery! She calls it "the paint pottery place." She also loves my mom and sister! I sill am amazed at how she just attached right to them and delights in spending time with them. She also loves "girl days." So Tuesday, she got all of these things and more!

Since this year's broken wrist/cast and other plans didn't set up well for Chis and Lily to join me in Chattanooga for the 4th, Lily and my family missed out on the quality time they have been so looking forward to! So yesterday my mom and sister came up for an all-day girls day!

We started our day with a little shopping - The Sassy Scrapper, Charming Charlies, and Ulta - to name a few! And then we headed to Newk's for lunch! The highlight of our day and what we were most excited about, though, was heading to the pottery place after lunch!

We had the best time! Lily painted a fairy girl sitting on a crescent moon for her room! She finished so quickly we had to come up with another project, so I had her pick out something to paint for her mom as well because her birthday is next month... she is such the little artist! I painted a serving bowl - it took quite a bit of time - it's the largest piece I have ever done. Sarah painted a chip/dip serving piece so diligently - it's going to be beautiful! And Mom, who I have always thought was so artistic - I didn't get that gene - painted a beautiful coffee travel mug and then a picture frame that we all put our finger prints on to put the above picture in! I can't wait to see all our finished products! It was SO. MUCH. FUN!

After painting we needed a little "hold-me-over" until dinner, so we visited The Great American Cookie Company! Here we are eating our cookies! :-)

We ended the day playing American Girl at Chris' house and my house and then meeting Chris for dinner at Ahart's before Sarah and Mom had to hit the road. After dinner, Chris, Lily, and I met our friend Ann at a new restaurant for an ice cream treat and wonderful conversation! It was a FULL and FUN PACKED day! I can't wait until we can do it again!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, Sunday

This morning I returned from my big 4th weekend! I returned to hugs and kisses and enthusiasm - Nothing better. Well, nothing better, except when Lily cuddled up next to me on the couch, wrapped her arms around me, looked up and said, "I just love my Meagan so much! I can't stop hugging you!" Could she BE any more adorable? I think not! Plus while I was gone she and her daddy called to tell me they missed me, loved me, and to talk to everyone in C-town! Too. Sweet. So today, I came back missing them both and tying for some fun play time, and that is just what I got! Chris went to play golf for a little while and Mac and I are having a blast!

We beaded! Thank you Sarah for the beads - they were so much fun and we are already making plans to do some gifts...
For today, we made a lovely bracelet! We have also watched a Scooby Doo, had lunch of fried balogna (un-fried for Lily) sandwiches and apples, played YMCA, picked up our toys, played Littlest Pet Shop on the Wii, and now we are chillaxin on the couch 'til we dream up the next big thing to do! :-) Lily keeps me so young at heart!

Most of the weekend I was so busy having fun and playing here (above) that I didn't take many pictures! It was WONDERFUl to get some quality time with my family! I especially enjoyed hanging out and swimming with Bentlee and holding Kenslee and, of course, the highlight was hanging out with my sister!!!

Bentlee is a little water bug just like I was at her age (and still am)! She is swimming like a champ this year - all on her own, from one end to the other! She does an adult free-style like stroke this year instead of the good 'ole dog paddle! She has also mastered jumping off the diving board complete with twists, turns, and cannon balls!

Overall it was a WONDERFUL weekend! (Check out my new beach towel - loving it!!)