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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fun Photos...

Just a few fun cell phone photos from the past few weeks!
 Lily sprawled out on the Kitchen floor while I cook dinner!  :-)  She likes to be wherever we are while she plays or works.  Here, she is working in a Summer Fit book that she has almost completed... her school this year isn't as challenging as in previous years, so we are working at home to keep her sharp!  She's such a bright girl!!  And the best thing??  She loves working in her book!  She actually gets it and "plays" with it and wants us to check it!  You can just see that little brain soaking up all the goodness!  Love it!

Habitat for Humanity's Cookin' to Build is this Friday!  Of course we had to paint some bowls.  I met Lauren and Megan to paint this bowl.
We had a wonderful time painting!

 About a week ago, Lily proclaimed that she, "needed a girls day."  We had a busy weekend planned with visiting family, picking family up on from the airport, a championship game, and the list goes on.  We did, however, manage to squeeze in a girl's morning!  We met Mimi and Lauren at Mimi's Cafe for breakfast... check out the muffin (above).
 Then we slipped on over to the pottery place to paint bowls!!  I loved Lily's bowl with all it's polk-a-dots!
 Here is my second bowl.  The entire outside is green and completely covered in squiggles.

 Bell Buckle was a few weeks ago!  Mom and I couldn't resist a bag for Ava Grace!  Mom thinks that we should have an entire wardrobe of bags for our wild girl... I think I agree!  Count this as bag number one!  ;-)

This is Old Fashioned Fudge Pie.  I am quite sure it is the easiest dessert to make... ever.  And I have all the ingredients on hand 100% of the time because they are all pantry staples.  Love this pie.  I sent it to Pickwick with Chris a few weeks ago!  :-) 

Joy Chambers took this photo at my friend Lena's little girl's birthday party several weeks ago!  I thought it was really cute!!  :-)

And last, but not least, Pampered Chef!  The host special for November is GREAT!  You can pick ANY product from the catalog (including sets) for 60% off just for hosting a show.  That is in addition to the usual free products and discounts you can earn as host.  SO... if there is something you have been eyeballing that you just couldn't bring yourself to buy, this is a GREAT month to put together a few orders for a "catalog show" or get a few girlfriends together for a kitchen show!  Plus if you have your show before the 15th, you get a free Butterball turkey too! lol.  Can't beat that!  :-)  Let me know if you are interested in getting some friends together or just getting some orders together from work or friends and family!

Menu Monday

Out to Eat
(Hubby's sick, so this might change)

Stuffed Chicken
(We never got to this last week, lol)

Monterey Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

Cheese Ravioli and Garlic Bread

No Peek Chicken and Rice with Peas

We'll be in Chattanooga for a baby shower - yay!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Fun!

This past weekend we headed out as a family to have some Fall Fun at the Cedar Rock Fall Festival in Shelbyville, TN

If you live in or around Middle Tennessee, it's a Fall Family Must!

Our friend Jennifer Burtram's family owns this delightful farm-turned-fall-fest and invited us to come with her!

Her sweet and very funny husband plays the part of a 10 foot scare crow!  He and Lily had a big time!  Here they are hula hooping!  LOL!
We played all afternoon!  They had big troughs of corn to play in, goats, piglets, and calves to feed and pet, a corn maze, hay ride, pumpkin patch and more!

The weather was perfect, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful afternoon!

Lily's favorite part was the zip line.  I think she did it 3 times!  Chris and I were both surprised she was so brave!!

Jennifer was sweet enough to take some family photos of us in the pumpkin shop!
I just love how these turned out!
Fall just makes my heart smile!

And here is a photo of me with our hostess, Jennifer herself...

...and her sweet hubby and their precious boy...

He was a great little host too, showing us all around his grandparent's farm!

Thank you Burtram family for sharing such a fun and beautiful day with us!  We were honored and enjoyed every single moment!!!!  :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recipe/Menu update

I told you in Mondays Tuesday's menu post that I was trying lots of new recipes this week that I have found on Pinterest, so I wanted to update you on how it's going.

I have to say first, that I love my husband!  He would be COMPLETELY happy if I fixed the same 7 meals every week, I think.  He has his favorites and is not crazy about me trying new recipes.  That said, he is always complimentary and will eat anything I cook and put in front of him with a smile of appreciation.  I get bored with the same old thing and find myself always wanting to try new things.  When I meal plan, a lot of it is budget and coupon/sale driven, but I still try to get a good even mix of good-old-stand-by recipes and new-to-try recipes!

This week we tried Pizza Casserole (above).
Hubby loved and said "this is a keeper!"

Tuesday I made these Honey Chicken Kabobs with loaded baked potatoes and corn.  Unfortunately, in my clumsy prego state, I dropped half of them getting them off the grill.  I still don't really know how that happened.  And in my current baby-brain state, I forgot that we had to attend a spaghetti supper fundraiser that night, lol.  SO.... Chris has a grilled chicken ranch pita for lunch the next day made with some of the chicken from the kabobs.  I had the kabobs for lunch here at home.  I say, this is a keeper too!  The marinade was really good and I love grilled chicken, onions, and peppers together!

The link to the original posts, photos, and recipes can be found on my menu post - click here.

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Done with Disney... for a while...

Day Four: Park Hopping

I am finally wrapping up our Disney trip! lol 
I'll be quick with this one!  :-)

Day 4 was like a marathon!  FULL of Characters and a whirlwind of parks!  We revisited 3 of the 4 parks to see our favorite things, seek characters, fill up our autograph book, and squeeze in as much fun as possible!
Our first stop was Hollywood Studios for a fast pass for the Toy Story ride that is so hard to get!  We scored, not only a fast pass, but 2 autographs for our book!

Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom...
Where we finally found PRINCESSES!

and Cinderella
were all beautiful and delightful!
I loved the Magic Kingdom all decorated for fall!  It was a very overcast day and showered a couple of times, but always when we were inside on  a ride or a line.  We'd come back out and everything would be wet, but we would be dry, happy, and ready for the next adventure!  The temperature was wonderful - it was really a nice day!
This day was largely devoted to character seeking because Lily REALLY wanted to fill up her entire autograph book!  It was a challenge and we gladly accepted and I think we all had fun scouting out the best character spots and taking turns standing in line!
We found Tinker Bell and Terrance and Peter Pan!
And we waited quite some time to see Ariel and Prince Eric!
Ariel was super sweet and fixed Lily's hair for the picture and gave lots of hugs!

Lily REALLY wanted to do Dumbo again, and this time Daddy rode!  :-)

He also braved the Tea Cups - a big step!  We all got in a tea cup together!  Lily wanted a purple cup, lol.  We had already done pink and yellow and she wanted to make sure we rode in a purple one before we left!
By day 4 we were all more adventurous...
...and Lily was more inclined to spin faster and faster!

We road the monorail, had a great lunch, park hopped and had a great time!
Lily found Alice to fill the last page of her autograph book on the way out of the park!
(Photo by Chris Hooper)

And as the sun began to set on a beautiful day in the Magic Kingdom, we were contemplating getting wrist bands to come back for Mickey's Not So Scar Halloween Party...
...and then....
the bottom dropped out!

We were SO glad we didn't get wrist bands because it POURED down rain as we were on our way out!  We laughed and splashed our way out and to our shuttle.  We were all quite wet, but it certainly made a memory.
We went back to the resort, changed into dry clothes, then headed to dinner, shopping, and dessert of course!

It was the PERFECT Disney vacation!
We already have a list of "to do's" and "remember to's" for our NEXT trip!  :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pineapple and Olives and A Menu Plan

This past week I made the Pioneer Woman's pineapple upside down cake.  OH MY WORD.  I made it my Granny's cast iron skillet and it is, by far, the best pineapple upside down cake recipe I have ever tried.  It turned out great!  (click the picture for a link to the recipe)

I also made her olive bread last week.  Another GREAT recipe and one of my favorites!  This is actually a picture of the topping before it goes on the bread and into the oven - I failed to get a picture of the finished product because I was running low on time, but I have blogged about this before, so you can click here for the recipe.

And HERE is the link to the cookbook that these recipes came out of!  LOVE this cookbook!  My sister gave it to me a year or two ago and I have used several of the recipes!!

Now, to my Menu Monday (on Tuesday, of course, lol)
I am trying some new recipes this week I found on Pinterest, so I'll let you know how they turn out!  :-)

Popcorn Chicken (for him) and Shrimp (for me)
with Tots (for him) and Fries (for me)
LOL... we took it easy Monday! ;-)

Honey Chicken Kabobs with Roasted Potatoes

(This is Pinterest Recipe - click the picture to link to the recipe)

Pizza Casserole
(Another recipe I found on Pinterest - click the picture to link to the recipe)

Fajita Quesadillas

Taco Soup

Stuffed Chicken with bacon and cream cheese with Broccoli and Roasted Potatoes
(another new one I found on Pinterst - click the picture to link to the recipe)

Tailgate food for lunch (you know, healthy stuff, like cheese sticks and pigs in blankets!) and then for dinner, a nice warm pot of Baked Potato Chowder!  YUM!
 This recipe is made entirely in the microwave in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker... it is done in 22 minutes and comes out perfect every time.  By far, it's THE BEST loaded potato soup recipe I have EVER put in my mouth!  LOVE!!! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Disney Day Three: Hollywood Studios

Day three dawned bright and beautiful in sunny Florida!  We got up and headed to Hollywood... Studios that is!  :-)  This was the park that Chris was most looking forward to, so I was very excited to get there!

Lily was on the look our right away for Characters...
...and Hollywood Studios didn't disappoint!
After a couple pictures and some exploring...

We found our friends from Winnie the Pooh!
Piglet was super sweet and gave out kisses!

We also met a little friend from the UK (who my sweet hubby video taped because of her sweet four-year-old voice and British accent was too much to resist, lol).
Eeyore and Tigger were right around the corner too!
And Lily was SUPER excited to find Daisy not too far away!!
We did some shopping and took some time to document Ava Grace's presence on our trip!
We found that Hollywood Studios had a lot to offer for all of us, but especially Chris and I.  We really enjoyed the Studio Back lot Tour where we saw all kinds of props and costumes from favorite movies and saw how they do special effects!
Chris was SO excited about the Star Wars stuff...
And was awarded the Oscar for Outstanding Father...
...and Lily for Outstanding Daughter and Sister...
Chris and Lily rode Star Tours.  We loved The Great Movie Ride, Muppet Vision 3D made us laugh, and Chris and I really enjoyed the Indiana Jones show.  We also went to Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which Lily really liked. 

We wanted to ride Toy Story Mania, but learned that this is their most popular ride!!  The wait was over 90 minutes and the fast passes had all run out.  We talked to an attendant and got the scoop on the best way to ride without having to wait too long, so we put this one off until our last day.  :-)