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!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

50 years is a long time...

Recently Chris' parents celebrated 50 years together!
I wanted to share some pictures from the event, but just haven't had a moment to spare!
I decided I wasn't ever going to have time to do this post justice, but I do have time to share some images from their surprise celebration!

This is my favorite of all the pictures I took!
Chris with his Dad "pap" and his brother Rob.

My next favorite is this quickie I snapped of Chris and Lily Mac!  These two people mean the world to me.  (Check out the cute hair... Daddy does some seriously fun hair styles and can do a pony tail that won't let a single wisp fall!)

This was the cake.
It was especially significant because when Penny and Harris wed, they didn't have a reception.  So technically, this is their first wedding cake!

Here they are cutting the cake...

...and toasting.

Me and my guy!
Who I am so proud of...
...and proud to be with!

Here are the siblings...
Chris, Jodi, Gina, and Rob

Mimi and Pap with Lily.
They were so very surprised!

They whole family!

...and Lily and her best friend Kate...
doing what they do!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lily and I have many amusing conversations.
She is so creative.
She is growing up so fast.
She even *sounds* older these days!
Here is the conversation she and I had the other day while waiting for her daddy to get finished with football practice so we could go to dinner...
Lily: I need you to download this to your brain.
Me: Okay.
Lily:  "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo - quit that yawning, you!"  It's a no-yawning spell.
Me: Okay
Lily: {long pause} Are you finished downloading?

She. Cracks. Me. Up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Magic Muffins...

Next time you make dinner and you find yourself without any rolls or cornbread or bread sticks, whip up a batch of these!  They are SO YUMMY, SO EASY, and SO QUICK!  It's like "magic!" ;-)

Magic Muffins

1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1Tbs Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tbs. Sugar (optional)

Mix all ingredients well.  Pour into 6 greased muffin cups (sometimes I do these in a mini muffin tin too).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown).

It's that easy.  You'll want to fill up on this bread instead of dinner - they are that yummy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Stills...

This week's challenge was fire and/or smoke...


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Frozen Fruit Cups

A favorite treat!
Mama used to make large batches of these and put them in large zip lock bags in the freezer!  Man, I loved these things!  It was dessert a lot of times after dinner or sometimes just a snack.  Heck, we all liked them!  The recipe sounds odd, but it's one of those things that you just have to trust!  Don't be turned off by the ingredients... just mix up a batch and give 'em a try!  They are especially delicious now while it's so hot and steamy outside!!

Frozen Fruit Cups

1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Sugar
Small Can Crushed Pineapple
1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries quartered
3 Bananas, Chopped
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
Sprinkling of Salt
1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

Combine all the ingredients.  Fill line muffin cups/pan.  Freeze.  Pop out of pan and store in a zip lock bag!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where does the time go?

I can't believe it's already Thursday!  Whew!

School is wearing me out.  I have had a WONDERFUL first week with kids, but I have also been working long hours and coming home worn out!!  I'm really going to have to work hard to fulfill my blog goal of posting at least every other day!  I obviously failed this week!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Cook Kitchen...

Not to toot my own horn, but I really liked my top ten school/office supply post, so I thought I would do one for my favorite kitchen gadgets!  So... here are some kitchen tools and utensils that I use ALL. THE. TIME!  I wouldn't want to be without them!  (In no certain order...)

Good quality silicon coated tongs.
For years I cooked without them...
What was I thinking?
These make flipping just about anything SO easy!!

My Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker!
This is one of the best Christmas gifts EVER.
It comes with 3 different size bowls so I have one perfect for dips and keeping party food warm, one perfect for cooking a side or a small meal just for two and a large one for doing a whole roast and other large meats and meals!  This is THE crock pot to have!!

Good wooden spoons!
I use Pampered Chef.
Love. These.
Can't cook without them!

Also from Pampered Chef -
My Can Opener!
I really DO NOT like electric can openers.  I like this simple, manual can opener that leaves no rough or sharp edges AND has a little grabby thing that picks up the lid so you can open the can and throw the lid away without ever even touching the lid!  yay!

A good quality, sharp, chef's knife!
It's just about the only knife I'll use in the kitchen.
I have this Pampered Chef one, but my favorite is my KitcheAid one.

A cast iron skillet.
I have my Granny's and that makes it even more special.  Somethings (like cornbread) just aren't he same unless they're made in a cast iron skillet!

My jadite mixing bowl with handle and spout!
It's just my favorite mixing bowl.
I don't even keep it in the cabinet, it sits on my stove so I can enjoy looking at it and using it!

A Mandolin.
I use this a lot more than I actually thought I would.  It's not something you necessarily use ever night, but when you do find a need, it's so handy!  My favorite things to slice - tomato and onion for burgers and also potatoes for home fries.

High quality and very sharp kitchen shears.
This is another tool I didn't have in my kitchen for years.  When I finally got some in a knife set my sister gave me, I wondered what I ever did without them in my kitchen!

And... a scooper/scraper.
Pampered Chef.

I love kitchen gadgets.  I don't think I'll ever have enough!  I could go on and on, but I really do think these are my favorites!!  What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?  I would love to see your posts on this topic - I might find another gadget I just have to have!  :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday Stills...

The Sunday Stills challenge this week was:  Clouds

My blog is G rated, so I won't put any caption under this picture.  I honestly hope this doesn't offend anyone.  I was shopping one day at the avenue and just looked up and there it was - this funny looking cloud!  I didn't have my camera with me, so I snapped it on my cell phone.  You can interpret the shape of the cloud as you wish - it just makes me laugh.  Lily calls it an "elephant trunk" but I see something a little different...

LOL!  :-)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

These are THE BEST smashed potatoes on the planet!

2 Medium Garlic Bulbs
1 Tbs Olive Oil
6 Bacon Slices
1/4 c Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
16 oz Sour Cream
1 1/2 c Shredded Cheddar
1/3 c Butter
4 lb. Red Potatoes

Cut top off garlic, drizzle with oil, roast in foil at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Coll, Squeeze out garlic (will be paste like), and set aside.

Cook bacon and crumble.

Peel half the potatoes, cut all potatoes into cubes, and boil until fork tender.

Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl.  Smash garlic, bacon, sour cream, 1 c cheese, butter, milk, salt, and pepper into the potatoes.

When all is well combined, transfer to a 9x13 greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until cheese melts.

These potatoes fly of the table they're so good!  Well worth the extra time!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Top Ten: School/Office Supplies

Tis the season to return to work/school.
You all know I teach (and love it), so I thought I would share ten items that I couldn't live without!  I love school supplies!  I could spend my life's savings at Office Max in the blink of an eye.  Here are my ten favorites that I just couldn't do without:

I like them big, I like them small
I like them bold, I like them all!

Post-It Tabs
I use these in my books, notebooks, everywhere!
So handy!
Pop-Up Post Its
Pop-Up Post It Dispenser

I will never not have one of these loaded and ready on my desk!
I don't even want to know how many post-it's I use in a day.
(not very green, but I just can't live without them!)

I prefer staples, but when you have a stack of papers just too thick... you gotta have a good paperclip.  I am funny about my paperclips.  I despise colored, plastic, or plastic coated paperclips!  I like plain silver or gold, standard sized paper clips.  (weird, I know.)

Heavy Duty 3-Hole Hole Punch
Not electric, Not Small.

I am a notebook addict.
I organize EVERYTHING in notebooks!
Unit plans, lesson plans, meeting notes, etc.
My preference:  Pretty Black & White

File Folders!
(Have you picked up on the fact that I am organized yet?)
I like plain, standard file folders for my filing cabinet.
I like black and white {pretty} file folders for the file holder on my desk!
(Matchy-Matchy - yay!)

Expo Markers!
I like standard sized - not super thick or thin.
I use all the colors except brown, yellow, maroon, and hunter green.  Why?  Well, Yellow doesn't show up, brown isn't pretty, and maroon and hunter green seem to be hard to erase (maybe it's my imagination, lol).

White Out Tape
NEVER again will I use a bottle of "liquid paper."
I LOVE my white out tape.
No more waiting for something to dry!

Pilot G2 Pens
Blue or Black only.
Must have a clicky top!  :-)

There you have it!  10 office supply items that I can't teach live without!
What items do you have in your classroom, home, or office that you can't live without?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Stills...

The Sunday Stills challenge this week was: "Graffiti/Street Art"

I have been SICK this week (fever, soar throat, aches... the whole bit!).  Going out to take photos was out of the question since I haven't "been out" for anything except for a trip to the doctor and pharmacy.  Because of this, I had to use my archives and a very loose interpretation of graffiti/street art.  Enjoy!

Meet the artists...

Bentlee and Lily
(The cutest little "street artists" I've ever seen!)

(The girls and Grandmommy)