Friday, May 25, 2007


Over on SIStv someone started a discussion about jealousy! It really got me thinking. I rarely post all about Cole and the cancer world on my blog, I save that for his website but today I just felt like it. So thanks to Kayla Aimee for making me THINK today!!!

I know everyone in the world is jealous of someone at sometime. I haven't really thought about it until today. But, I don't get as jealous as I used to. Sure, I'm jealous when I see friends talking about all the great new scrapping goodies they just got when I have no money!! :) Or I'm jealous that someone has this awesome studio to work in and I have a folding table in my guest room. But, these aren't big things, it's no biggie in anyway. I'll have money to buy all the scrap stuff I want one day and I'll have a studio that I can scrap in again one day! Several years ago I probably would have been jealous about so much more than I am today. Several years ago I was picked up out of my normal little mom/wife/college student life and plunked down into the medical world. I was going to college to be an Elementary Teacher! My biggest fear was special ed students. What if I get a student who was real medical issues and a nurse has to come in and do things??? This was one of the worst case scenarios we got in our ONE special ed class. It made me worry about what I was getting myself into! Less than a year later - I was surrounded by little children who were bald, who were in wheel chairs, or being pulled in wagons because they were too weak to walk. Children who had central lines in their chest and had highly toxic chemo being pumped into their sweet little innocent body. It was nothing unusual in this world to see a kid sitting in a wagon or wheel chair with a sick bucket in their lap. I actually got used to seeing people throw up everywhere around me. I remember one night at dinner - at Outback Steakhouse - were three cancer kids were enjoying their meal, along with their parents. At one time or another, each of the kids were throwing up. We were passing out nice cloth napkins and handing out Zofran - anything to help. This was something we were used to!!

When Cole was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we were told 'if you're going to have a brain tumor, this is the best one to have' and I remember thinking, are you kidding me??? A good brain tumor? No Way! Not in my child! No brain tumor is what we want. And at first, the word cancer never came into play! It's just some strange tumor, they'll take it out, he'll be fine! Wow, was I naive! Cancer suddenly became a common word - something we didn't whisper like we were scared to say it - something we just had to talk about. We met families that had the worst brain tumors, the worst cancers. I remember sitting in our apartment in Memphis one afternoon with another cancer mom - our boys were playing in Cole's room, both bald, both with central lines in their chest. I said to her - it's so scary, we've met kids with the worst cancers. Kids that may not make it and its so scary. She agreed. Less than a year later - two of those kids I was thinking of at the time were gone! Sweet kids who fought so hard and deserved better. The should still be here today - running around healthy! I think of Zach's sweet smile and how he always said hey to me, even when you could tell he felt terrible. He told his mom something along these lines before he died; if she saw pink and blue clouds in the sky, it was him looking out for her. He was only four!! Every single time I see a sky that's all pink and blue, I think of Zach! I smile because I know he is up there - looking out for his mom. And Jake - sweet Jake - his family went through so much, he went through so much, and didn't make it. His family has since hit a jackpot at a casino and won enough money to have paid for any treatment that would have cured him. They are spending that money on helping other kids with cancer, finding a cure for pediatric cancers, helping others, paying it forward. What a wonderful example huh? You think they are jealous that their child is gone and there are so many still here? Probably so - especially on the bad days. But they go on and on and help others.

How can I wallow in my own problems when so many others have had so many things happen that are worse than I could ever imagine? I can't! Most of our little cancer friends have websites. I check them all the time. I know when they are having scans, check ups, etc. I pay attention to how they are doing. I always wish I could do more - send happies and things to cheer them up. I don't have money to do it so I don't get to often. But I want to and I want to read about them. I need the reminder of how lucky we are. I need to know that Cole won - that he survived. I need the reminder. It's so sad. Well, HELLO? Yeah it's horrible, but ya know what? Reading about their life isn't as bad as living their life and I know that almost first hand. I know what's it's like to post on your kids website that you need prayers for the big scan's next week and how you are inpatient again with fever and it sucks. We were lucky in that Cole's treatment is over and he's cured - healthy and happy. The little side effects we deal with now are just a reminder of how lucky we are. Sure, he has to wear glasses and will probably start getting growth hormone shots soon - but he's HERE and alive and I'm so lucky he's in my life.

I'm not trying to take away from jealousy or it's meaning or what it does to anyone. I'm just trying to say that today I realized why I am not as jealous of a person as I used to be. I GOT that today - figured it out! Sometimes the green monster tries to rear its ugly head and I have to keep it in check. Remember how lucky I've been in my life. It's hard - but it's doable. I feel like God does everything for a reason. I know everything happens for a reason and like another cancer mom told me - she doesn't always want to know the reason because it may not be good enough for her! That is so true! I know that at some point in time, each person on this earth will get what they need from God that allows them to let go of something in their life that they don't need anymore - for me it was jealousy and the worry over my future as a teacher. Those were issues for me and God said - ok - I'll fix that. I felt like he picked me up and put me in the very situation I feared (kids with needs other than a crayon) and said - DEAL with it. And I did. Now I don't think Cole had cancer strictly for this to benefit me, but it was just a bonus along the way. I doubt I'll ever know why he had cancer, and don't really want to - I trust in God that he does all things for a reason, so who am I to question it??

So, I hope and pray that everyone in the world will get what they need from God in some form. Something that allows them to take what they have and deal with the rest. If you are a person that becomes jealous of others, I'm betting that you use that to make you work harder to accomplish what you want, so maybe you've already received what you need to deal with the rest!!! Any time you use your emotions to better yourself in some way - that's a good thing!!

Ok, so I think I've rambled on enough. And since it's been a while since I've mentioned Kenny Chesney - I'll do it today. There is one song that I really love because one line really stuck out to me - 'here's to love lost and new found friends, and living out life in the boat we're in.' That says it all for me - we lose things, we gain things, we just have to live with what we've got and make the most of it!!!

Thanks again to Kayla Aimee for making me think differently today!! It's nice when something unfolds in your head and heart and you realize the meaning of it and it's importance!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Here Ya Go!

The girls over at SIStv are all awesome and have got me motivated to blog more often. So here it is - two days in a row! Not that I have that much to talk about really but I do have a layout to post. I've been following the One Little Word Blog Land finally had time last night to do the layout. I like it - it's not my usual stuff, but it's things I really wanted to say to Cole! So I like it and am glad for the challenge! So here ya GO......

I just used a piece of Bazzill cardstock and dug thru my letters so I could spell GO a few times. I think three sets are Heidi Swapp, one is Lil' Davis Letters, one is Scenic Route and then one I can't remember (it's the black and white third from the bottom). I then took my 7 Gypsies stamp that one of the girls at my table at the Scrap Etc. Event talked me into buying (so didn't need much convincing, she actually just showed me hers and I loved it) and stamped around the corner up there. I {heart} that stamp and don't use it nearly enough, but don't want to over use it either. Anyway - there ya go. Go check out the blog and do the challenges - so fun!

Well, school is over for Cole. Technically they have to go Thursday and Friday but he's not wanting to go so I'm not wanting to get up and take him :) He had his end of the year party today. The monkey's were a hit! The parents that were there were all "oh, he's moving!!" so I'm so glad I gave out the info for his website and my email! I really hope they keep in touch. I will email them all back and keep them updated on Cole. One of the other kindergarten teachers even said she was just going to miss him so much and that a parent of one of her kids said they couldn't believe Cole wouldn't be there next year. That made me so proud of my little man! I know why I love him so, but it's nice to see that others love him and want him around!!! He really has a way of touching people I guess and leaving an impression. I know his teacher has done that for me. She is so sweet. I'll forever be grateful that he had her first! I know I remember my first teacher and she's part of the reason why I wanted to teach myself. I hope he'll always remember Mrs. Foster. She really gave me support as a parent and a future teacher. She's leaving his school though and going somewhere closer to home. I'm so glad we got her before she left. I can't imagine having anyone else as his first teacher.

We also stopped in to visit my fourth graders. I did my student teaching semester with them and LOVED them all! I really have missed them. My one little favorite wasn't there though and I hate that I missed him. I'll probably never see him again. He was something - a real challenge for me some days, but such a sweetheart! And actually I can't even say he was my ONE favorite, because I really loved them all and was so surprised that the one that gave me the most trouble - attitude and eye rolling - I swear she hugged me five times!!! They all wanted me to sign their yearbook too! How sweet is that?? Oh, I miss them!

Ok, back to Cole, he doesn't want to go back - he said he was done and waiting for summer now - no more school! He is still a little sick. We did go to the drs office today and it's a roto virus (if i'm spelling that correctly). Anyway, nothing we can do but wait it out. So as long as we stay close to the potty - he's happy! Hopefully it'll work itself out in the next day and we won't have to worry about it while we travel!

OK - so I'm out of here - I've got todays episode of Days of Our Lives to watch and I think Cole is almost napping. Plus I have two more SOY layouts to do!!! I really love the one I just finished and so wish I could post it - but I can't - but it's sweet and it's Cole and his teacher!! Oh, I just love it! And she liked it - which means a lot! Ok, now I'm really out of here! I hear Cole playing, so he's not out yet, but so tired. This virus is wearing him out - me too, a little!!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

End of the school year? ALREADY?

Yes, It's almost done! Cole only has school for four more days, two are early dismissals and one he's missing (today). It seems stomach bugs aren't concerned about whether it's the end of the school year or not. Three kids in Cole's class are sick - including him. Hopefully he'll be able to eat today and tomorrow go back to school. Poor Guy! He hasn't felt too miserable, but has layed around a lot wanting to snuggle with me. He said yesterday that our couch was rather cozy!! :)

We've been dealing with house stuff - lots of house stuff. The weekend was filled with packing things and fixing things. My parents hauled a load back home for us and filled a mini storage building (10 x 30)!!! My dad worked on every little thing that had to be done - he's a man of many talents; fixed a leaking sink, replaced a faucet, replaced trim around the windows, replaced a toilet, and did some duct work in the attic. That was a huge help. We had our appraisal yesterday and hopefully we will hear something today about that. As soon as that report is in, and it matches our selling price (which is had better do), we'll be able to pick a closing date, which will hopefully be this weekend.

We are heading to Birmingham this weekend to apartment hunt and visit with family. Then on Memorial day, we'll be headed into Memphis. Cole has a check up at St. Jude. This is our last 3 month check up. Our next appointment will be 6 months away. That means we've passed the most critical time - the time when this tumor is most likely going to return - if it does. So this is wonderful, of course, it'll be even more wonderful a week from now when we hear those magical words "all clear". This check up is a little different though because Cole is going through Growth Hormone testing. The Endocrine clinic will actually have to put his body in a stress mode of sorts and see if the growth hormone kicks in. This is something that usually kicks in at night I believe or under stress. So this is how they test. It's a three hour test and requires two IV's. Say a prayer about these IV's. He hates being stuck and it's so hard to do too. I don't know what I would do if I were a single mom, or if Jason wasn't able to go with us for every check up. There's no way I'm strong enough to hold Cole still while they stick him. Just couldn't do it. Anyway, by Thursday we'll know the results of that testing and we'll have a better picture of our future path. The most likely path will include injections of growth hormones 6 out of 7 nights a week for the next 10 or so years. The good thing is if he starts these hormones at this young age, we'll have more time for him to reach his potential height than if we waited four or so years. He hasn't really grown at all in the last two years. The measurements aren't very accurate so if he's grown at all, it's been about a centimeter or two. But we're not positive at all about that. He's in the same shoe size also - over two years after diagnosis - his feet haven't grown. Speaking of feet, he also has slightly fallen arches. We have orthodics waiting for him at the drs office, but had to miss our appointment yesterday since he was sick. We're going Thursday though and will get the insoles put into new shoes and hopefully they won't bother him very much and he'll wear them with no problems. We can deal with anything there is a solution for!! We'd much rather not have any side effects, but as long as there is something we can do - we're ok!

I really can't wait for the day that St. Jude tells us that they're done with us - and I mean done in the way of he's doing so good, the cancer is never coming back - congratulations!! We've seen too many families that were told St. Jude was done with them because there was nothing else they could do to help their child. I'm so thankful that wasn't us. I'm thankful every day for that. And I really can't wait for the day to come that Cole realizes all he's been through and will go back to the Jude and have a different outlook - instead of being excited to go because he may see friends, or go to the zoo, or just get to play - an outlook that lets him see all he fought for and how hard it was and what a strong little boy he was. He's already forgotten so much of what happened - the bad stuff - he doesn't even recognize pictures of him during that time. We have to say, No, that's YOU! I did find his 'buddies' (his central line) while I was packing some things. He called them Bert and Ernie. He hugged the bag they were in and said something like "Oh Bert and Ernie I'm so glad to see you" and thanked me for finding them. Then promptly handed them back to me and continued to play. He amazes me.

So since I started out talking about the end of the school year - here's what I'm making for Cole's class party tomorrow. I have a slight obsession with playing cards. I have so many decks that are shaped - monkeys, stars, hearts, trucks. Then I have a lot of regular cards - giant sized, retro moms, pink, blue. So I thought about goodie bags for the kids, but they get several and it's just candy and little things they like, but more for mom and dad to pick up!! So I was trying to think of something different. I thought I'd just do a little playing card with Cole's info on the back - his website (most of the parents in his class don't know anything about Cole and his journey) so the parents could show the kids pictures and keep up with Cole's journey if they were interested, then an email address for me so they could keep in touch that way too. Well, I posted my idea on the Scrap Etc. message board and asked for suggestions. Mary H. said I could make something with cardstock that would hold a sucker. This was a great idea, but I really wanted to use those little monkey cards. So I combined the ideas and put the sucker in the monkey's mouth! And all the info is on the back. I added some ribbon and a button on the back of the card, along with Cole's info. I hope some of the parents will keep in touch this way. I know Cole doesn't understand the whole we're moving and you'll be at a different school next school year. I don't want to even mention that yet - he's excited about getting a new home sweet home, so why spoil it? Anyway, hopefully some parents will keep in touch. I'm pretty sure his teacher will. She is so great. I know I can always turn to her if I have crazy teacher questions too! Things that a first year teacher gets and is like ????? what do I do? Anyway - those are the treats. I spray painted the back of the cards white - which covers much better than using regular craft paint. It only took two coats, maybe three - and you can barely see the numbers on the backs. Then crop-a-diled to get the holes where I needed them. Stuck the label, added the ribbon and sucker and tada - all done!
Well, I have scrapping to do, a kid to cuddle and dishes to wash, oh and beds to make, floors to vacuum, laundry to wash.................geez I'm out of here!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm trying, I'm trying..........

Last night I did this wonderfully long post where you could click on a link to Jody Ferlaak's Blog and see the list of all the designers for the NEW Scrap In Style TV site. I finally figured out how to make Jody's name be the link to her blog, instead of typing out the blog address. I was in the middle of doing that and messed up everything - so maybe I didn't really know what I was doing after all.

ANYWAY - go here >>>Scrap In Style TV<<< and you can check it all out. It's a great site for getting to know others in the crafting hobby that is scrapbooking, getting inspiration, seeing cute little webesiodes about scrapbooking with famous designers - all kinds of cool stuff!!! So check it out! Yesterday, you could have hit all the designers blogs and commented and been eligible for a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) which was loads of fun and I spent WAY too much time in front of the computer doing just that and saving the blogs in my google bookmarks so I could continue to stalk them!

So onto other things - here's a little run down of the last week. Put the house on the market Wednesday (sign in the yard and all that), two different people came and looked at it on Thursday, got an offer Friday to which we counter offered, got an acceptance on our offer Saturday, and Monday had the dreaded inspection. It seems there are a few issues - but we aren't sure what they are yet. We know we have a leaky sink but we just discovered it while we were packing up some things so we'll be fixing that. And there is some rotten trim on the outside of the house. Which had me googling "termites" and "carpenter ants" so we could figure out the bad news. Just carpenter ants - so that's better then termites, I guess, but either way the trim had to come down - so Jason was busy on that yesterday evening and I ran to Lowe's with my trusty sidekick Cole and got new trim of all sorts, longer nails, a baby saw and trim paint. YUCK YUCK YUCK! Why oh why didn't WE have an inspection done before we bought this house so that this would have been found then and they would have fixed it. We just want it taken care of ASAP so that we can close and start finding a place of our own in the B'ham area. We are probably aiming for a rental home or apartment for now until we can really see where we want to live and once we both have jobs, we will really know where we want to live!! So lots of stuff happening. My parents are coming back this weekend to haul a load home for us. I have boxes of things already packed up, toys, winter clothes, linens, etc. Anything they can take and store will be a big help to us in the meantime. This is a lot of work - this selling your house, packing up all your stuff - stuff! We do have a lot of things!!!

On to other topics - I am working on entering a contest - a big contest which requires a lot of work from me. I'm up for the challenge but am not sure my 'work' is good enough. I hate feeling that way. I hope to get a few more things done on this project and have everything taken care of very soon. It's time consuming which is ok, but I hate dragging out all the stuff I need and then if someone calls to look at the house, I have to clean it all up quickly. We are still planning on showing the house just in case something happens with this first offer. Better safe than sorry!! So anyway, I'm itching to be creative but then seem dissapointed with what I've done. I'm just not in the right frame of mind for it I guess! I don't know!

So that's really all that's going on here. I'm hoping to work on the latest ScrapJacked challenge soon and on my contest entry too! Lots of scanning and stitching to do to get that all together. Hope everyone has a lovely day. Say a little prayer that the inspection didn't turn up anything terrible and that we'll still be good on this offer and will close soon!!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's Official...........

The house in on the market!!! We've already had two calls from one of the agents and they are showing the house TODAY! TWICE!! I'm excited that we've started the process because that means we're headed in the direction I want to head in - North of here. But we still have things to do - some interior trim and touch ups, exterior trim as well, and a spot on the ceiling from the hurricane - yes almost two years ago!!! Hopefully that will get taken care of today and anyone looking at the house will be patient and not hold that against us, or at least want to come look again after we fix these few things. We just haven't had the time! With Jason working now the daytime hours are non existent. Sadly, most of the stuff that needs to be done is stuff I can't do. I am going to do some touching up this evening I think or early in the morning - that's the time when someone probably won't want to see the house.

The bad news about the house going on the market is that all my scrapbook stuff is packed away in the closet. Hopefully I'll always have notice and can clean up anything I drag out - but geez - I want to scrapbook and play with my stuff and just can't do as much as I want. Jason came home Tuesday and said "are you going to be doing this everyday?" I had my table out and lots of stuff, but I got three layouts done for a contest, and one other layout that wasn't as good as I hoped it would be - but that's ok! I also went to the local scrapbook store and took a little class this morning - did a cute layout with two ribbon flowers - cute and I've never done that before - all about being a mom. So Jason will have to be patient with me this weekend and try to get some good pics of me and Cole together. Or - since he's got to work a while on Saturday and Sunday - maybe I'll set the timer on the camera and play around and get some shots of us together that way. We'll see!!

I go pick up Cole's glasses today! YIKES! I hope he'll play along and wear them. I know he wasn't too happy about them when we tried them on, but maybe when he realizes how much better he can see - he'll be ok with wearing them! He wanted RED glasses, but sadly the Dr's office didn't have any red. I've heard that our insurance will pay for more than one pair, but then was told they won't - so I need to research that I bit more and if they'll cover another pair - we may look around and see if we can find some that are RED or at least something else he likes. The ones we got are cute - but Walmart had some SpongeBob and Nick Jr stuff. Hopefully we'll be fine with what he gets today. I foresee a trip to Walmart for a treat, or at least Chick-fil-a for dinner. He still has to be bribed occasionally to do what we want him to do! And someones coming to look at the house at 5 - so why not head to Walmart right? :)

Well, I've got to run - the first prospective buyer (hopefully) is coming at 1:30 so I'm going to get the glasses, then Cole!! Have a lovely day!!


Monday, May 7, 2007

I did it - I'm a graduate!

I finally did it - I'm a college graduate now! Can you believe it? What a relief - I'm so glad I'm done. Now I can get a real job and receive a real paycheck and geez - do grown up stuff like not depending on my parents so much to bail me out when I need money! Took me long enough I guess!

Anyway - I'm working on a few projects - well on one and thinking about another. I REALLY want to make a cool apron - the old fashioned kind that just ties around the waist with some cute ric-rak and a fun pocket or pockets if I get brave. I never follow a pattern. I've made a small quilt for Cole and many various handbags, but never anything by a pattern. I just don't want to follow a pattern either, I was to just try something on my own. So today I'm heading to Hobby Lobby to look and see what I like. Fabric, ricrak - whatever and see if I'm brave enough to try!

I'm also thinking about the CK SOY contest. I never try anything - I never try to enter contests or get my layouts published - nothing really. I entered the Scrapjack challenge and one on another website so I'm feeling a little more brave! Maybe I'll do it. I just can't decide yet if I'm good enough, or brave enough to do it. And do I even have a personal style? I'm not sure. So I may not do it - but thinking about it and reading all the rules and such is better than not thinking about it I guess! So we'll see.

And last but not least - our house is going on the market this week. It should happen today but we haven't heard from our agent yet. I still have Cole's room to tackle, and the linen closet - it really must be done before anyone comes to see the house!!!! So I'm on the hunt for boxes today and hopefully will be able to knock out some packing and decluttering today and tomorrow and then I'm sure the first person who looks at it will want it and it'll be a done deal. RIGHT? Oh how I wish it would sell quickly!!

Well, time to take Colie Molie to school! What a joy - he hates it now that I'm not at the same school with him. He doesn't get the whole 'graduation' thing and what a good thing it is that I'm done! So I have to trick him every day and tell him I'll be around in the school somewhere - even though I'm hitting HL and the LSS!! Don't tell Cole!

see ya

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Here we go

Something Cool
Do I really look like any of those girls? I don't think so but it's fun to play with! I spyed this on Cyndi's blog and thought I would give it a try!
Thanks to Heather, one of the Design Team members at The Paper Place Scrapbooking Community, I've gotten some major scrapping done in the last few days. She came up with a great challenge and I've been digging stuff out from my supplies and trying to use things I've been holding on to! I've done 9 pages since yesterday afternoon, plus a little goodie for Cole's teacher! FUN!
So here's the 6 random things layout about Cole. I may replace the picture tomorrow when I can snap it outside and have better light, or inside once the sun is in the right place!

Thanks for looking!

Just wanted to share!



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