Friday, December 12, 2003

Good Deeds for a good cause: Comes back full circle

Congratulations to SloMo for losing that first pound!~The following story is just an example of how your good deeds can come back around to you. (and fast!) Yesterday, in SloMo's honor, I gave someone a $10 discount for a h/c. That was my original good deed pledge. Then (not really feeling like it) I did an unexpected haircut, last minute, and told the girl's mom to consider it a Christmas gift from me. (they are having it hard, as are we, bc my dh is laid off) This morning, the girl shows up at my door with $15.35 (I have not yet been able to understand, why that exact amount) and said that her mom received some unexpected money and insisted that I take it for payment, or a gift for Stephen, from them. I'm going to send extra cookies to them for doing that! See folks? The gift goes on :o) Somebody up there sees and remembers. Look in my other journal (linked in the entry below) for my list of favorite charities, causes and so forth! And don't forget to pay SloMo a visit and congratulate her, and do something nice today! Even if it's just letting someone step inline ahead of you at the grocery store! You never know, maybe if you do, you'll have green lights all the way home. :wink:

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Please Visit us at::

Hello Friends! Please visit us at our ::New Journal:: linked below::

Mia Renee'

Monday, December 8, 2003

Goodbye to our dear friend

Frank. We all knew him and loved him in our own way. He was one of the most private, yet one of the most open with us. He did not share his age with all of us, but he shared the youth within his heart. He and I had a big laugh based on the fact that for a while, I thought he was a young stud, and he thought I was an old dud. He was 20 years older than me. He didn’t talk about his family in his journal. Frank’s journal was Frank’s journal. Something of his own. A place where he could be himself, heart and soul. He didn’t have to hide behind a suit and tie, and be the English major that we all knew he was . He could be Frank, wearing his favorite attire (t-shirt and jeans). He made us laugh on more than one occasion. He could whine, well. He could share his broken heart with all of us, and soon found out how much he was cared for. The ladies loved him, the men respected him and probably took notes from him on various subjects. He made many friends. I believe that each of us helped mend his broken heart. The last time he spoke about Mary to me, he said he was finally getting over it, with a little help from his friends (us). He had a way about him that drew in more and more of us. And always left us wanting more. Frank was a very gifted writer who could have bragged about all of his success, he had much to brag about, but chose to let us all feel that we were his equal, and always made it a point to tell us that he felt honored to know us! I feel honored to have known him from the time he left his 1st comment in my journal on September 27th.

The following text in blue is the 1st comment Frank left in my journal. From that day until last week, I knew an amazing person, whom I will miss terribly.

aims: please accept my sincere hopes and prayers for Stephen. Best wishes to you, of course and I'm glad you're having fun with these things. Me too. This is such a nice note, I had to comment. I'm going to post a link to your site, or, at least write about it in one of next few whatever you call-em.

keep reading.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Time for a quick entry

To answer all of your emails and comments-(thanks, all of you! for caring)

My lab results were all normal. Funny, I don't feel normal. But, for now, I'll take their word for it and just be thankful. She (my Dr.) told me to limit my stress. Can anyone tell me exactly how to do that? I'm curious. We can't make our problems go away... So how do YOU limit your stress, or I suppose I should ask, how do you cope? How do YOU stay sane?


PS: SloMo asked what we cooked at school yesterday. We made sugar cookies. One of the teachers and I were able to get him to help pour the mix in the bowl and we hand over hand, helped him stir once. After that, he was finished! After his tantrum and the aide took over, I helped with the others, then, when I was washing and putting the bowl and cookie sheets away, I turned and saw him and his aide, sitting in a big ol' rocking chair as she gave him his cookies. I think he ate two, as he smiled up at her and allowed a little bit of cookie to drool down his chin. At first I felt relieved. Then... It pissed me off bc he was a little booger for me! LOL! Yeah, I choose to believe that he was confused about mama being in the class. Ya think?

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Friday Five Answers (a little late)

::Andrea's Friday Five::

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?
Yes, bc I was born to shop. I love bargain shopping. I never buy anything unless it's marked down. I'm very thrifty. My weakness is antiques! Love'em!

2. What was the last thing you purchased?
A movie for Stephen

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?
I don't mind buying books, CDs or movies online, but clothing, etc, I want to try it on, feel it. 

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?
No, but I was allowed one treat a week. When I was really young, my choice was candy. When I got older, I got one magazine a week. Usually one of those, teen beat mags or something like that.   

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?
My white couch. As a parent, what on earth was I thinking? Somebody should've stopped me!


Thursday, November 27, 2003

The Night Of Thanksgiving

Dinner at my house was wonderful, even better than I hoped. Mom and Dad stayed long enough to watch a movie. My brother sent this to me, and I love it!. The picture is the creation of somebody's awesome talent. Here's the story that he send with it..cute, and very fitting for this evening.

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
but I just couldn't sleep.
tried counting backwards;
I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned, the dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,

Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!
I crashed through the ceiling,
floating into the sky,

With a mouthful of pudding
and a handful of pie;
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees,
"Happy eating to all... pass the cranberries, please!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

We have a new journaler!

Hey guys! I plan to get back to my "I'm thankful for" series. But first and foremost, I want to introduce you all to a very dear friend of mine. Her name is Brenda, and like me, she is the mother of a very special son.  His name is Jonathan. You will enjoy getting to know Brenda, and her family. She has been such an inspiration to me. Her son is (correct me Brenda, if I'm wrong) 22 years old. She has walked the uphill road that I am traveling, and has helped pull me up, and encouraged me in times I didn't feel like I could take one more step up this road. Please take a moment now to visit Brenda at "admire the magnolias" introduce yourself and welcome her to our community.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

::Sunday:: I'm thankful for..

Today, the first thing that I am thankful for: I am thankful the day has come to an end. So busy! When I was a child, Sundays meant, rest.  What has happened?  When I was a little girl, Sundays meant :: Church, fried chicken at Mamaw's, playing with my cousins - and, sometimes, snooping to hear what my mama and aunts were discussing. Sometimes, they talked about whatever crisis the family was in. (In big families, there's always a crisis) But, usually what they did the most, when they were not having to discipline one of us for running in the house, and making us go out to play, was swap recipes. Oh, my goodness-we're a cooking bunch of people! Maybe it's a southern thing. My daddy has always been a gardener. You should see the abundance in my freezer and refrigerator, all from my daddy's hard work and the piece of earth that is his sanctuary. His garden. Today, he hand picked and brought me some of the most beautiful broccoli I've ever seen, or tasted. He's trying (with very little success) to teach me everything he knows. I'm telling you, you don't truly appreciate vegetables to their fullest as much as you do when you've sown the seeds and reaped the harvest. It's more than just a head of lettuce, or a tomato, or a bean ... it's your creation, your masterpiece. That's what my daddy has taught me. So today, I am thankful not only for the food on my table, but for the hands who grew it, and the women who taught me how to cook it! I'm thankful for my family and my southern roots. They grow deep. Like the seeds planted in my daddy's garden. What ye sew, ye shall reap. My folks deserve a fine harvest. If there is anything good within me, it's because of them sewing the seed, tending to that seed with love, and pruning when neccesarry :) 

Note to self::Get lots of pictures of daddy, working in his garden. You never know when these things you take for visual granted, may become only memories. (something I learned in Church this morning that had an impact on me. A sad reality)

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Thank you Chief!

Since this is the week of Thanksgiving ~ I want to share something each day this week with all of you, for which I am thankful. (I will try my very best to keep up every day as planned, but you know how sometimes, life just throws a curve-ball `atcha.) But, my plan is to list at least one thing, each day this week, that I am thankful for.

First thing that comes to my mind is our city's fire and rescue dept. My brother was employed by our city as a firefighter and paramedic for about 20 years, and is still involved with them. You see, there is something I've learned, being the sister of a firefighter and good friends with many of them: This career they chose goes far beyond putting in a day's work, and looking forward to that paycheck. It's in their blood. It isn't a career move, it's a calling.  They are not just, *friends* they are *brothers* In the above picture, is a photo of our recently retired fire chief, John Cochran, who has been a part of our family for as many years as I can remember. I remember the old police car that he used as his first EMS vehicle, sitting in his drive, a few houses up from ours. I remember seeing the red lights flashing at a moments notice, and knowing that he was off to rescue someone. Being a little girl, I sometimes imagined, "maybe he's going to rescue someone's cat from a tree, or maybe even from a burning house!" If I remember correctly, I believe there have been a few cases, they really did rescue a few pets. I remember my brother used to walk over to Chief's house in the evenings when he was a young man, and they would have a chat. I don't know wht they talked about, but I think that probably Chief played a big role in inspiring Randy to be a firefighter. All the kids in the neighborhood looked up to him. I know I did, and I still do. Let me take this time to encourage each of you to take a moment this week to let your local firefighters know how much you appreciate them. Maybe, take them a pumpkin pie or something, just to say, "thank you!" :)

::photos used on this page are from our hometown newsletter::

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Just for fun... What's your most embarrassing moment?

Hello there everyone. I am taking a five minute break. I will probably not post tomorrow. They tell me I will sleep most of the evening. (that'll be a first)

I was just in my bedroom, doing some last minute dusting, changing bedding, etc. and my most embarrassing moment popped in my mind, causing me to stop for a minute, sit on the edge of my bed and lol for just a few seconds. Years ago, I actually went out to a few clubs. Not on a regular basis, but maybe 3 x a year. One year, a bunch of us, mostly all family went to a local club for New Years Eve.  I am a funny drunk when/if I drink, and it only takes a half to one drink to make me act goofy. You know, girls almost always go to the bathroom in groups. (why do we do that?) Anyway, my cousins and I just came out of the ladies room, when the band started playing a good dance tune. So, off to the dance floor I went with the only person who wasn't ashamed to be seen dancing with me. (I can't dance well, but I think I can, once I've been drinking) I glanced over at our table and everyone was lol'ing to the point of tears. Some were actually ROFL at us! I was like, "why are they lol'ing? My dance partner said, "don't worry about them, just have a good time." Finally, after people on the dance floor started lol'ing too, by best friend took mercy on me and ran to the dance floor and jerked about 5 yards of toilet paper off of my shoe. (thanks, Beth) Everytime I kicked up my leg, the charmin would flow. That's just one embarrassing moment. I have so many, as I am always doing something silly. I'm not going to be feeling well after coming home from the hospital tomorrow afternoon. So, I'm going to need some funny stories. I know y'all have some. Please, share your most embarrassing moment with us!

ps: wish me luck and say a prayer tomorrow!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Just a quick note:going to be a busy day/week

Yes, this is going to be a busy day. I have to have those darned procedures done on Wednesday at the hospital. (yuk) But, I will be asleep, thank goodness. It'll probably be the best sleep I've had since the last time I was sedated.

I wish I had time to write all that I feel today. So much happend last week, and I'm about to explode to tell y'all about it. I need feedback about a few things going on with Stephen. And, I will ask all of you for your opinions when I have time, bc I know that you all have grown to love him, and want the best for him too. I have a story that will make most of you as irritated as it did us. That too, will have to wait till I have time.

My agenda this week:: TODAY: Hubby and I are doing our Fall cleaning. That means, every corner of the house. Busy, none stop day for us. Then, Stephen's caseworker comes at 3. We love her like family. Can't wait!

Tomorrow: I'm doing a h/c and perm for a very sweet little old lady, who'll bite your head off if you call her an "old lady." That is my "good deed" for the week. - free of charge, but she'll pay me back with words of wisdom :)

Wed: (yuk) But, at least, I will sleep :)

XO to all of you! Say prayer; wish me luck for those biopsies to be normal!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Happy Birthday to my brother, Randy. Nov. 16th

There is something about having a big brother, that makes a little girl feel safe.
From the first memory I have, until present, you have been my hero.
I should have known you would choose to be a firefighter.

I owe a lot to you, my big brother. You instilled in me qualities that I don't believe I would have ever developed on my own. For this, I thank you.

In fact, there are a lot of things that come to mind that I would like to thank you for:

I remember when I was about four, I wanted to walk with you and your friends to the store, and they didn't want your little sister tagging along. You took me anyway... thank you.

Many times, you would chase the ice cream truck on your bike to buy a tootie-fruity snow cone for me. Many times, I dropped it, and cried -- you would get on your bike and chase him down again... thank you.

In fourth grade, I was doing poorly in history. You helped me build a houseboat for a history project. Okay, you built it for me, I watched. I [you] won first  place, which brought my grade up... thank you.

When I was a teenager, I thought it would be cool to try drugs. Whatever it was, it had been tampered with, and I thought I was going to die. You took care of me, then disciplined me, and convinced me to leave the stuff alone. You didn't tell Mom and Dad... thank you.

Once, a guy came calling on me whom didn't meet your standards for me, and you slammed the door in his face. I was really upset about that. I now see where most of that crowd is...
thank you.

You taught me to drive when everyone else was scared to get in the car with me... thank you.

.... oh and by the way, thank you for not killing me when I ripped grandma's porch off the house with your Monte Carlo. J

Shortly after I had Stephen, the doctors said he might not make it. You called me from work and cried with me, and prayed with me... thank you.

On your last day with the fire department, Stephen began having seizures. You were on the scene in record-breaking arrival time... thank you.

For being forgiving of my foolish behaviors... thank you.

There is not enough room, even in cyber space to mention all of the things you have done for me, Randy.

Thanks for being all you have been to me. I love you!

I'm back! (for now)

Well, well... I started to feel better yesterday :) I'm not 100%, yet. But I'm on my way. I'm a very stubborn creature. My health problems are half emotional, half physical. Yeah, I'm aware the emotions bring out the physical symptoms. I won't go into detail, but I will say that I inherited genetic illness from my grandmother, and I'm going to have it, regardless. But, stress triggers it. Along with menopause. I will announce my age: I'm 37. A little young for menopause, but my mom had completed menopause by the age of 36! I've learned many things lately about how evil this thing can be! I've learned that whatever underlying health conditions one may have, can be a hundred times worse during menopause, and PMS. I want to thank all of you guys for the e-mails and e-cards. What a nice bunch of friends I've made here! Keep me in your thoughts, I'm not out of the woods yet. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

UPDATE: Dr called an hour ago. I am scheduled to go to hospital next Wed. for yet, more testing. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Last entry for a while::

Hello friends! I'm sorry to say that this will be my last update for a while. At least until I am feeling better. I've been feeling this episode coming on for the last couple of weeks, but I've been fighting it, hoping it would just go away. I was so happy, because I thought that whatever my health problem is, was going away. I've been feeling better since August.  But, what most of you don't know is, I've been under an immense amount of stress for the last couple of months, and I guess it's catching up with me again. I have these "episodes" when under a great deal of stress and worry. I finally reached the point of shutting down last night while cooking dinner. I haven't eaten very well for the last week, been too nauseous.  Last night, I became very sick while cooking dinner and ... that was that. I'm now having fever again and if this is like the other episodes I've experienced for the last couple of years, I will be having to rest as much as possible. I'm very anemic at this point and very weak. I think it may be as simple as, me having ulcers, but all the tests I've had done, come back normal. So~if the Doctors can't figure it out, what else can I do? I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just going crazy bc they can't find anything wrong. But, I know how I feel, and it scares me. I have to be very healthy, as I am Stephen's primary caregiver, and I have no support system. His dad helps when he isn't busy with other things. If anyone ever needed a nanny, or to be cloned, it's me.  Anyway, just so you all know, don't worry, I'm still here, I'm just very sick right now. Who knows, I could bounce back in a day or so. Whatever this illness is, it's very wicked and I doubt that'll be the case. These episodes usually last a couple of weeks, and I mostly live in my bath robe and do as little as I can get by with. Oh-and Stephen is still sick, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I'll be visiting all of your J's as often as possible and of course the e-mail. If at all possible, I'll add brief updates. Y'all take care!

PS: A thought to ponder....Why is it, when you feel your worst, your children misbebehave the most?

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Photos: stephen. fall colors on our little street. halloween

In the first 2 photos above, Stephen was resting on the sofa, so he could be ready for Halloween! He had no fever, so we gave him a breathing treatment and let him go around the block. After that, to my brother and sis in law's, and then to the church festival. He ended up having a big night and was wheezing pretty bad by the time we got home. But, we did another treatment, let him have some candy, then a vapor bath and he slept like a baby. In a couple of the photos that were taken on that night, he looks scared to death, bc, he was. Poor thing, I almost didn't let him go to the haunted house that our neighbor had. But, he had a great time after all.

The other photos were taken last week on our street. We were on our way home from the pumpkin patch, the sun was beginning to go down and I wanted to get a few shots of the trees that are just beginning to turn, and the creek is always pretty this time of year. The creek and pasture are behind our house, and the drive home is always so pleasant on that little stretch. Paul was able to pick Stephen up, and walk on rocks to get to the big rock in the middle of the creek. I took the picture from the bridge. Yes, we are so far out, you can actually park your car in the middle of the road & get out to take pictures w/out worrying about backing up traffic. I posted a pic of our speed limit sign, bc I thought some of you (especially, jslack) would get a kick out of our actual speed limit on this street. And sometimes the cattle cross over to the other field and that does back up the traffic, sometimes up to 5 cars! :) You wouldn't know, but behind the patch of trees, beyond the cow pasture, there is a very busy highway! Our town is the largest in the county, and the fastest growing in the state. Sorry, I hate change. I grew up here, and remember when we were a small, little town, right in the middle of Alabama.

 Hope you enjoy the photos. I'm too tired to come up with a real subject tonight, so I thought I'd let our latest photos speak for me. It's after 1 am and I'm going to bed now. Stephen will be up early!  I'll try to update soon. When Stephen is well.

Special Olympics Soccer Blast

These pictures were taken last week at Soccer Blast. Please, guys.. don't get upset with me for posting so many photos. When I got them back, I couldn't decide on just, "one" out of all of them to upload, so I am using the, "you've got pictures" album for these. The first one that you see up there, was made the morning before the bus got here. He was so excited when we mentioned the word, "Soccer." He loves to play.

In a few of the pictures, he is on the (indoor) field alone, with the oversized soccer balls. Those were the ones for the wheelchair participants, but they let him go in there and play anyway. Or, actually, he insisted on going in there to play, and they finally gave in. He loved these oversized ones, b/c they were much easier to kick b/c of his problems with balance and he hasn't quite mastered how to run, yet and falls a lot. In some of the pics, you will see his daddy; he helped out on the field. It's hard to say who had the most fun. As you will see, they both enjoyed it, and Stephen was most unhappy to leave.

Monday, November 3, 2003

about ::THE SPARROW::

Before you read the entry below, I wanted to give you a little background.  Most all of you know Stephen now, and have grown to love him. I want to thank each and every one of you for every single kind comment you make regarding my son. I read each of them to him, and he smiles. This is my Journal, but I am Stephen's voice. With the awards going on this week, I've noticed, I'm seeing a lot of new readers.. So, I'm going to use this opportunity to be the voice in representing all families like ourselves in your communities. There is a Stephen in every town in America. You may be unaware, because they do not get out much. Seek and ye shall find. I posted the following Plea on my website and sent it to churches in my own community, and much to my surprise, there are people who care! People like each of you. I got tons of mail, and E-mail from coast to coast, and Canada! We can all do something!

Ps: as a side note, if you are a non-churchgoer, you can still help by contacting your local programs such as: ARC (association for retarded citizens) United Way, UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) just to name a few.

The Sparrow

Laying in the stillness of the night, a mother says a prayer, “Father, please help him, if you choose not to heal him, give me strength.” After getting all of two hours sleep, she is awoken by the sound of the alarm clock. Again, she says a prayer, “Dear God, help me make it through another day. Please send a friend.”

Raising children in these times is a challenge for most parents. When you are the parent of a child who suffers from multiple disabilities, the challenge is magnified, ten fold.

Having her morning coffee as she sits on the porch, she watches a humming bird, feeding from the bright, red feeder, made by the hands of a little boy, who doesn‘t realize the life he is living is challenged. “Amazing,” she says to herself, as she is reminded of something she heard in church, as a little girl, “He sees every sparrow when it falls.” Wondering to herself, “does He?”

Maybe, sometimes We are his eyes. Are we watching the sparrows around us?Do we see them when they fall? Do we look in the other direction, because we have too much on our plates, as it is? Or, are we simply too busy to even notice? Some of us may see the sparrows and say, “a broken wing, that’s a shame.” Others simply choose to step over them, while the sparrows who once soared high, are struggling to get back up and fly.

Ask yourself

How many sparrows has God allowed to fall, in front of me?

What did I do?

What will I do tomorrow?

Statistics show, 90% of families with disabled children, do not attend church.

Statistics show, 80% of marriages who are parents of disabled children, end in divorce.


I am writing this because I do not want my family to become a statistic

The need for church programs to include special needs children and their families is something most people attending church are unaware of. Although 18% of the population is suffering from some form of disability

Your church can help keep these families together. Please, open your doors and your hearts to these families




Sunday, November 2, 2003

My Cousin Vinny :: Part 1

You may be asking yourself, “Why has she posted the DVD cover of the movie, “MY COUSIN VINNY?”

You must be thinking that I am going to write a movie review. Well, I’m not.

I would be very surprised to hear that you haven’t seen, “My Cousin Vinny“. After all, it was released in 1992. I do love this movie though, and it’s special to me. One reason this movie is special to me is, (as you already know) the story revolves around a murder that takes place in a small town in Alabama, and these two guys from New York are wrongfully accused, as they are only passing through on their vacation. They get put under the jail, and this is when cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), an Italian, NY attorney comes to the rescue. Most all of you know by now, that I live in Alabama. And while we’re on the subject, let me say that my town is nothing like the town depicted in this film. But, I can take you across the county line to one or two that are similar. J I’ve visited many towns across this land, big and small, and our town isn’t much different from yours, I promise. I personally do not know anyone named, “Bubba.” Oh, but they’re out there. I’ve seen a few good ole boys at the Wal-Mart that, if I had to guess their name, that name would be my first guess. I’m sure they are harmless. Just different, that’s all.

Back to the movie. Reason two that this movie is special to me. My Cousin Vinny is the very last movie that my husband and I saw at the theater together. Yeah, almost 12 years since the two of us have had dinner and a movie, out. We’ve gone out to dinner a number of times, but not to the movies. Since we’ve had Stephen, we’ve rarely had the time or the money to do both, so we choose dinner, so we can relax, sit back and be served while we have conversation, just the two of us. Something we can’t do at home in the rush of things. Our conversations are always about Stephen, of course.

I just thought I’d share this with you all, because, when people ask us, “What was the last movie you guys saw at the theater?” we have to nearly pick them up, off the floor after they’ve heard our answer.

My Cousin Vinny ::Part 2

Stephen has changed our lives in big ways and small ways. Going to the movies, is one of the small things that we miss. After he was born, I went from working full time, to part time. When he was two, I just quit all together till Kindergarten. I went back to work for a short time after he started school, but I soon realized that him going to school wasn’t going to allow me the time to go back to work and earn money, b/c those first few years, he was so sick. So-again, I quit, and Stephen is my full time job now. You’d think when he is well enough to be in school, I could work. And sometimes I do a perm, h/c, or color on the side for extra cash. But, I have become Stephen’s manager, caregiver and-well, his voice. I have had to take classes to learn how the special education system and the Medicaid system work, so that I can advocate for him. I’ve reached out for help. Legal help, so I can know his rights, and prevent what happened to him in 2nd grade from happening to him again, and if possible, prevent it from happening to other children like him. When he is sick, and he is sick a lot this time of year, I am also his nurse. My family Dr. put it in a way that I’d never thought of, when I worked in his office for a short period of time. He said, “Mia, you are a nurse, whose shift NEVER ends.” He’s tried to talk me into going school, and becoming a paid nurse. Yeah, like I have time for that! I don’t even have time to go to the movies…

The last time we were asked, “when was the last time y’all went to the movies?” was in September when Stephen saw his cardiologist. They must have seen, from watching us with him, that we need a break as a couple. The shock on the Dr’s and his assistant’s face was priceless. On our way out of the office, the Dr’s assistant chased us down with her card and home phone #, and said, “I insist that you call me, next time there is a movie out that y’all would like to see! My children are great with special needs children, I’m an RN, he’d be in good hands. Please, just think about it, y’all need to be a couple as well as parents.” Honestly, we see ourselves as “Stephen’s parents” or even worse, coworkers, instead of Mr. and Mrs. There’s an old drive in theater close to her home, I’m thinking about giving her a call, and take her up on her offer J


Thursday, October 30, 2003

When This Picture Was Taken...

The picture above was taken at the Special Olympics in April 2001. First grade. I like this picture for several reasons. I love the way, you can only see Stephen’s adorable face and smile, because he was wearing a hooded jacket. I remember that it was really cool and windy that day; that is why I have his ears covered with the hood. This was a happy day. A happy school year. The moment this picture was taken, we had no way of knowing the struggles we were about to face the next school year, with the school system. Second grade left scars. Physical scars on Stephen, and emotional scars on my heart. That year, he didn’t participate in Special Olympics. Why? I do not know. Maybe our county didn’t have it that year. If they did, his teacher didn’t let me know. The teacher he had that year was more interested in trying to talk me into committing Stephen into a mental institution, or transferring him to another school that was better equipped to “handle” him. I’m terribly ashamed to admit this, but she almost had me convinced. She nearly had me convinced that there was no hope, that he was only going to be a burden that I couldn’t carry. Well, Stephen and I have proven her wrong. She considered him a burden because she was (and unfortunately, still is) in the wrong profession. I do not consider him a burden, because - I love him.

When this picture was taken, I didn’t know that we would be burying my grandmother one week later. When this picture was taken, my health was already deteriorating and I just thought I was coming down with a little bug. Another reason I like this picture is because, I was truly happy that day. My smile was real, not forced. Stephen hasn’t learned how to conceal his emotions. If he’s happy, he smiles. If he’s sad or in pain, he cries. If he’s mad, he screams. Mostly, he just smiles J

Today, he is home, sick-again. He’s watching TV, and he is smiling, embracing his lamb chop puppet. I have managed to force a smile or two. It’s just that I know how susceptible he is to pneumonia, and I am worried. The congestion is thick, and he’s coughing a lot. He might miss Halloween and he’s been so excited about it. But, he won’t complain. He'll smile and give out candy. What a guy!

Monday, October 27, 2003

Communication::Part One

The above pictures are examples of how Stephen communicates. We have many more, with different pics on them, including his favorite restaurants and foods. This is called “picsyms” They are 2x2-laminated cards and I keep them on a huge key ring. Also, at home I have the same pics with Velcro on the back of them, with the other part of the Velcro on a long board that I keep on the fridge. This is Stephen’s routine, or what you and I would refer to as our, “to-do-list.” Our evening routine looks similar to the above pics and I never use over 4 or 5 at a time. I always type the words below the picture so he will learn to recognize the word in print in association with the item in the pic (I am forever hopeful that he will be able to read someday). For example: if we are going to have bathroom time, read a story and then play a computer game, the list would have the pictures on the board that you see in the above picture. After he has completed each task, he pulls it off of the board and puts it in an envelope labeled, “finished.”

Continued Below:

communication:part two

 Last week while in special needs parenting support, a couple whose child has verbal communication skills asked, “How do you know what he wants?” Most of the time it is a guessing game. Stephen has learned to gag very loud if possible, in courtesy of letting me know he is about to throw up. Up until about a year ago, he would just look at me and whine. It wouldn’t be until after he’d thrown up all over me, I’d say, “oh, you’re sick on your stomach, I get it” I am currently trying to find a picsym for, “I have to throw up” without it looking so gross. J

Until I found a way to make the cards, I would cut pictures out of magazines, and newspapers, then put them in a small photo album. I also used to cut up boxes of cereal, crackers, and other favorite snack foods of his for him to choose from. We still use a baby monitor so we can hear him in the middle of the night if he needs us. Also, we've had to install locks on the doors to prevent him from getting out, and hurting himself, such as going outside and playing in the street! Which has happened, btw! I can't describe the panic I felt, and then, the guilt afterwards. I have several friends who have neuro-typical children the same age as Stephen, and it amazes me to watch them do things independently and have conversations with them. I sometimes wonder what he would be like if he were not trapped in his own little world. In 2nd grade, his teacher started complaining about his behavior, and we tried to tell her that in children who cannot speak, behavior is communication. We have to do assessments when these behaviors occur.Step back, observe and try to figure out what his behavior is trying to say, or it cannot be corrected. (Remember, Helen Keller?) But enough of that.I am thankful that he is learning to communicate with PICSYMS. We have found that his receptive skills are far more advanced than his expressive skills, but we are working on that, through gestures, and the pics that you see above. I imagine it is a comfort to know, “if I point to this pic, mom will take me to McDonald’s!” I’ll have to cont’ this later, darn this 2500 limit!

About Nagging

I just wanted to comment that I was so amused by all of the comments and e-mails concerning the below entry on nagging.  I got so many hilarious e-mails on this subject, it kept me entertained all weekend. Thanks you guys.. (or, gals - rather) Man, did I strike a nerve with that one! Whew!

I am somewhat back to my normal self, if there is any such thing as normal for me... except, I now have been having to lay around b/c I hurt my back yesterday while trying to pick Stephen up. Before you ask, he is very ambulatory, but his balance is still way off and he receives physical therapy. But, he still needs our physical assistance with getting on and off the toilet, getting in and out of the bathtub, etc. So, here I sit with a heating pad on my darn back as I type this. So... it's off to bed for a little while with Advil and my heating pad.  Again, thanks a million for all of the e-mails and all, you guys had me laughing with some of your stories. And yes, I promise to stay ssshhhhh hush, hush about them, LOL! 

Oh, PS~ Wish Stephen luck! Tomorrow is Special Olympics Soccer Blast!  We'll take lots of pictures! Take care..

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Nag, Nag ...Brag

That's me. The one on the left. Yep, the truth finally comes out. And you all thought you knew me so well, as that sweet, little ol' southern girl. I feel I can be honest here; I am going through MENopause, I am PMSing, I have the crud, and I had a sudden attack of my "mystery illness" today, and had to stay in bed till time for the bus to bring Stephen home. We all know how dear Stephen is to my heart, so I pour all of my frustrations out on the other guy. The one on the right up there. (my husband) Most of the time, I really am that sweet southern girl. But there's a few days out of the month that I am, let's say,  a little hard to live with. (ie) Tues. night: I hate evenings after Stephen is in bed. That's when I get really busy. I have to pick up through the house, finish laundry, pick out his school clothes, pack lunch- you get the picture. I have these cravings when I am pmsing, like you wouldn't believe! I wanted popcorn with (real) butter. So, I microwaved some while I packed Stephen's lunch. After doing a few other chores, I finally was able to get my popcorn, go to bed and watch "Everybody loves Raymond" the only tv time that I have! Well, when I turned around, my hubby was sitting on the edge of the bed, eating my popcorn, watching the speed channel! That is about the time that photo up there was shot. Mm, hm. Over a stinkin' bowl of popcorn and the tv. I was so sick last night, I didnt do a thing, I went to bed after journaling ;P This morning when I got up, hubby had made my coffee, with my fave mug ready, had Stephen's clothes picked out, backpack ready to go, lunch packed, and Stephen's meds and b'fast ready. When I turned the tv on, he had already put it on Stephen's fave channel! Could he have been more thoughtful? But my question is this, why do I have to turn into that chic in the picture up there to get all those favors? Can anyone answer that?

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The crud

Hello all.  This will be a quickie, because we have the crud right now.  Paul and I.  As most of you know, Stephen had it last week.  Now, it's our turn. :( Blahhhh! 
I will get out of bed as much as possible tomorrow and sneak in here to check on you all, on my way to the bathroom, kitchen, etc...  don't you know I would have to be on my death-bed or worse to not do so?  I know, I need professional help, don't I? Maybe it's the flu meds I'm on, but I just feel the need to say, "I love you guys!" lol- Slo---RUSH up here and bring me a  big pot of your potato soup! If you leave right now, you can be back by morning! Hee hee hee! Yep, the cough meds make me silly!  Sorry, I couldn't resist bringing it up one more time.  Don't worry. Soon we'll be picking on someone else. ;-P

But, for real... We really feel like crap... how on earth did my baby feel like this last week and manage to be so sweet and smile all the while? Love that little guy!

Take care!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Today would have been Mawmaw's 90th Birthday

Your 2nd birthday in Heaven. Our 2nd year to bring flowers to your grave in remembrance. The 2nd year we have missed you, terribly. I was remembering today, the last time we celebrated your birthday with you. Although weak, you ate a large barbecue sandwich with fries, and a big piece of lemon meringue pie at Bob Sykes Barbecue. Remember? You said, “Oh, Lord, I don’t think I can eat all of that. I’ll have a piece of that pie too, please.” I giggled, but made sure you didn’t see. You finished every bite, and I just knew that was a good sign. I mean, your appetite was good. I didn’t dream it would be your last birthday with us. I saw the picture at mom’s house this morning, that we took that day. You looked fragile, but still had that feisty sparkle in your eye. What a strong spirit God instilled in you. Papaw used to say, “God won’t allow more on you than you can handle.” God sure must have thought you were strong. By age 49 you had buried 4 children. How on earth did you do it? I freak out when Stephen has an asthma attack. You were there when he was born. I wish I had listened to you when you told me that I was going to have him early. Maybe things would be different. How did you know? You had delivered more babies than the county Dr. in your day. Mothers begged for the Dr. to go get you. That story always made me laugh. You were a servant to everyone. Took care of the sick. Fed the hungry. You were always there for me. When Papaw died, you comforted me when I ran to my room and cried. Somehow you comforted a child who’d just lost her Papaw, and you were strong enough to do it without crying, yourself. But I saw you cry when you kissed him for the last time, and begged them not to close the casket yet. I’ll never forget that moment. I was 10. I always knew you loved Papaw, because you were married to him. That was all my mind and heart could comprehend at that age. That was the first moment in my life that I felt someone else’s pain. The final time I kissed you, before they closed the casket, I felt that pain again. I gave you an angel from Stephen, leaned over, kissed you and said, “give Papaw a hug for me, and I’ll see ya’ll when I get there.”

Friday, October 17, 2003

It's the weekend, let's get silly!!!

                                     Title of Picture ::Drunk Pumpkin::

One of my best-buds sent this to me last year, and I can't help but laugh every time I see it! If only I were talented enough at pumpkin carving! Well, I'm not (darn it!) I got sick and tired of cabin fever last night, so we got Stephen ready and carried him out to the car so we could ride around and look at Halloween decorations. Poor lil guy fell asleep and missed most of the really good ones in the "rich" neighborhoods. -lol- (we live in the country with very few neghbors who decorate for Halloween) I'm just amazed at how people go all out for Halloween now days. They were awesome! When I was little, we only did a single, carved pumpkin and candle on Halloween night. That was it... Now, wow!  Anyway, Stephen and I both enjoyed the riding and the looking.  It did us both a lot of good to just get out of the house for the first time in days. Hope you all have a good weekend, I'm going to try to stay offline as much as possible. (yeah, right)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


I remember as a little girl, my mother was (and still is) a Nat King Cole fan. This has always been one of our favorite tunes. Hearing this song, I can close my eyes, and almost feel my head leaning on her shoulder again, as she played the piano and sang this song to me when I was sad, or had to stay home from school, sick. Today is day 5 that Stephen has been sick. Although I can’t play the piano or sing like mama, I play it in the CD player for him. As you can see, he is one who *smiles* no matter what. He is in bed sick, and yet he smiles. I am smiling too as I type this, though my heart is aching..


Smile, though your heart is aching.
Smile, even though it's breaking.
Though there are clouds in the sky,
You'll get by...

If you smile through your fears and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through--for you

If you just light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever, ever so near.

That's the time you must keep on trying.
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find life is worthwhile
If you'll just smile

Monday, October 13, 2003

artist in the making

Stephen is becoming quite the artist!  I have a chosen few that I have framed and replaced my other wall decor with.  We also frame them and give to his Nonnie and Papaw for gifts.  We look forward to see what his little hands are going to come up with next.  This is from last week, and we wanted to share it with all of you.  Nice, huh? ;-)  Wow! I've got to run...  Stephen's dad just told me to get Stephen ready, and he'd get him out of my "hair" for a while. (when he's sick, he sticks to *umma* like glue. (He says umma for mama) Daddy is going to take the little fella to the bank with him, and then for a ride.  Now, I can get some housework done.  (thanks, daddy!)

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Last year: Clifford the Big Red Dog

We haven't decided yet, what Stephen is going to be this year. Last year, he made the choice.  Every tiime we went to Wal-mart, and looked at the Halloween stuff, he would go wild when he saw the Clifford costume!  So, last year the choice was easy. He will not wear a mask, so that is out. I'm really surprised he wore the clifford head-piece. He hates caps, hats and sunglasses. Will NOT wear any of them.. Any ideas? ....

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

by the way... thanks

Thanks everyone for your kind comments regarding ..."Tears for Stephen"  I will try to stay more upbeat. But sometimes, you've just gotta let it out. Thanks for all the kind words!

It's beginning to look a lot like....Halloween

I thought I'd introduce you to another member of our family. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I've never been a cat person. Always a dog lover (still love dogs) We live sort of in the country and have a lot of trees around us and the neighbor's cow/horse pasture is just on the other side of the fence. We are way off of the main road. This month is the anniversary of two years ago, a sad little cat found her way to our doorstep on a chilly, October evening, starved to the bone. We gave her a can of tuna, and she has been here since that evening. Her name is Puzzle, and so far, will not let us get a picture of her. Patches is her baby, the runt that we sort of got stuck with. She wasn't the prettiest kitten out of the bunch, and was the only one we couldn't give away. She doesn't have a lot going for her, in the looks department, but she makes up for it with her personality. Stephen loves both of the cats, especially their tails. I can't say the feeling is mutual, however. But, we feed them well and I suppose that is reason enough to stay here.

Monday, October 6, 2003

Friday night marshmallow roast

To level things out a bit. I have to say we had a really nice weekend. For the most part, we did enjoy Saturday at the park.  I'm getting a little better at trying to understand people.  Stephen had a blast! ...and that is really all that matters.  Sunday, we went to a Fall Festival with my brother and sister inlaw. We all had a nice time, the weather was most pleasant, not too chilly, not too hot. Had a nice visit with my parents, and the Friday night, backyard marshmallow roast! It's really hard to say who enjoyed that the most. Stephen, or his parents, lol! 

Tears for Stephen

Saturday was Family Day for our church. It was held at a local park. We’ve only been back in church for 4 weeks, and we thought this would be a good time to mingle with the other families and let Stephen get to know some of the children better, and vise versa. Stephen and I were standing with the Pastor, making general conversation, when another little boy walked up. This excited Stephen to death. So much, that he started vocalizing and walking in his awkward, unbalanced way to the little boy, and tried to pat him on the back. That is Stephen’s way of saying, “Hi! My name is Stephen, want to play?” Understandably, the little boy began to back away from Stephen, a little frightened by his enthusiasm. This, I can understand. He had probably never met a mentally challenged child before. But, what bothered me is this; the little boy’s mother, rushed over and pulled her son under her wing to guard him from Stephen, and then, walked away from us, giving us a disgusted stare. The Pastor said, “oh, it’s okay, he was only saying hello!” They kept walking. I had to bite my lip and take a deep breath to hold back the tears. By this time, Stephen’s dad had walked up with Stephen’s soccer ball and off they went. I stood there, and watched them play (alone) and my heart was breaking for Stephen, b/c everywhere we go - he is ignored. If only I could be as accepting as he is.. For he never noticed, and his feelings were not the least bit hurt. He kept smiling - as I cried. Not only for my son’s sake, but also for one little boy, who because of his mother’s ignorance, missed an opportunity to meet someone as special as Stephen.

Friday, October 3, 2003

Speaking of bedtime routines

I am really baring it all here... Well, not "that" way. But for me to allow people, other than family to see me at my worst... I almost didn't add this picture. But, even though I was sick with a temp of 103 and feeling my worst physically, it is one of my sweetest memories of early this summer. We'd spent the day at my brother's house, swimming. I didn't really want to go b/c I was having another one of my "episodes" with my health. (I won't go into all the boring details of my 2 1/2 yr. mystery illness. I don't want to ruin the moment, here.) Swimming means everything to Stephen in the summer. So, I took 4 advil, said a prayer and went. I was really paying for it by 8 PM. I was too sick to get out of bed, and read Stephen's bedtime story, so his daddy brought him to me. You can see on Stephen's face how he was soaking up every word, like a sponge! He may be delayed, special ed., or whatever his label is. But, anyone who loves reading, or  being read to, has something going on in their mind.. not just a blank space.  His daddy thought this was a kodak moment, and in spite of my pitiful image, Stephen's image is worth it all. He is non-verbal, but this picture, to me says a million words.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Bedtime Routine....

It's after 7:00, that means, the supper dishes have been put in the washer, and Stephen and I are having computer time before bathtime, which is then followed with his bedtime. THEN..... finally it's mommy's *Me* time :)  If I'm able to move after all of this, I'll try to make another post, and get around to visit all of my favorite journals! 'Til then, y'all take care!

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Stephen's 1st car date!

This pic was taken back in the Spring; you can see what a happy time indeed it was for Stephen! His friends name is Stephanie and she lives 2 doors down. She's an older woman. She's 12!!  Amy, I'm trying to add the pics the way you told me to, so far it's working! Thanks a million for the tips. I haven't been patient enough to try adding them to the sidebar yet. Anyhoo.. I'll repost that personality test site thing again. I wanted to go back to that site and take another test. Or... maybe use some different answers, so it won't tell me I'm a loser this time. ;-P  Been really upset by that...

Lost entries? Where did it go?

This is weird... I've lost my entry that I made earlier today... Hmm, Go figure.  Maybe I did it while I was  trying to add photos earlier. Oh, well.. I'll try to make another in a while. Time to feed the family.

Monday, September 29, 2003

school portrait and blurred vision

I had an eye exam today, and still, my vision is blurred! Errr. So please overlook the typos. Found out I am farsighted, with astigmatism, at least I think that's what the Dr. said. I found out too, that I can't hear as well when I can't see. Go figure.. . But, more importantly, isn't this a cute little picture of our Taz? I scanned the proof :) Everyone who has seen it thus far says it's cute. When I squint, and tilt my head to the right, I can see it pretty good, although it's still hard to see his features. ;-P

I haven't been blogging very much over the weekend, but have been visiting some very interesting blogs.  Various folks have stopped by and wished Stephen well; thanks everyone. I will try my best to sit here long enough (after I get my glasses) and list all of my favorite journals.  They are really adding up! Lots of interesting bloggers out there.. and I can't wait to introduce y'all to them. I have to run now, as I honestly cant see much more than a big, blurry smear on the monitor. (darn it) Take care!

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Don't forget to say a little prayer for Stephen, y'all!

Hey all, here it is, after 10.. why do I NEVER go to sleep at a decent hour?  I'll be up till midnight, and then complain at 6 am that I haven't gotten my much needed beauty sleep.  LOL... Just wanted to remind you friends, tomorrow at 1:30, Stephen will follow up with the cardiologist.  So, say a little prayer, please!  I'm pretty sure all is okay. He's had no wheezing, etc. Oh, one more thing, we meet with the staff at school on Thursday @ 2.  Wish us luck! Till next time. ...

Saturday, September 6, 2003


This picture was taken of Stephen on Thursday night.  He had a temp of 100.7

You can tell he isn't quite himself, because he is resting on the sofa.  But, notice the smile on his face :)  If only I could smile, no matter what.... He's our angel.  We are beginning to think it was either viral, and he is getting better, or the ear infection returned and the fever killed the bacteria. (that is what fever is supposed to do, so I've been told) Just to be on the safe side, we are going to the Pediatrcian tomorrow. (Stephen's Pediatrician's office is open 7 days a week... it just costs about double on the weekends, and you have to go to the one in Hoover)  I want to make sure he has a clean bill of health before sending him back to school on Monday.  He's only been to school one day since Labor Day! 

 Well, it's late, and I have laundry waiting to be folded. I mopped the kitchen floor before blogging and it should be dry enough to walk to the laundry room and finish my work. Is a woman's work ever done? I swear, I even dream about things I have to do! Why can't I have nice, relaxing dreams.... like, walking on the beach or something? Hm, anyone out there analyze dreams? Have a good weekend! Please, remember to pray for Stephen's health.

Friday, September 5, 2003


Hey, all. Stephen is still home, sick with something... I don't know what it is. He's just been a little feverish, and although I know he doesn't mean it, he's been getting on my nerves this week.  Could be me, probably, most probable it isn't him.  I am wearing the estrogen patch that the Dr. ordered me to wear. She said would would help me handle the stress etc...

Anyway I don't want to talk about problems right now:::I found this really, neat site today which tells you the  meaning of your name, according to some, funky - philosophy.  Here's mine:

 Your first name of Mia has given you energy, drive, and ambition, but also an almost excessively strong-willed and independent nature. While you are creative, inventive, and ingenious in practical matters, and always ready to initiate and promote new undertakings, you often experience difficulty in bringing your undertakings to a successful conclusion because of your own changing interests or changing circumstances. You become intensely involved with everything you plan to do, but the stress arising from frustrating obstacles or misunderstandings with others could prompt you to be intolerant and sarcastic in your expression, with breakdowns in congenial relations with family and friends a possible end result.

Health Weaknesses for the name of: Mia

Any emotional outbursts or moods would register as tension in your solar plexus, resulting in nervous indigestion and related problems. Tension could also centre in the head affecting the eyes, ears, sinuses, or teeth. True relaxation and peace of mind are elusive under this name.

Here's the link:

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Just another day...

Hello, friends!  Today was just a day... like any other day.  For those of you who don't know me well, I'm not usually one who is outspoken. I try to look on the bright side and see the good in everything. Those of you who do know me are laughing at that statement. But... Really!  I am serious! I promise that I will try to stay off of the subject of politics, etc.. I want this to be a place of peace. I hope you all enjoy your visit... Please, lets keep this "family friendly" :) 


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Removal of the Ten Commandments

My first day to *BLOG*

Living in the very heart of Alabama, I must say that I was sad today to witness the removal of the ten commandments.  I respect and admire the believers who were in Montgomery today to support the display of them. However, I really have mixed emotions about this subject. Yes, I respect and try to obey the ten commandments.  Also, I respect and try to obey our government. Although, I do not always agree with our government.  In fact, I'm beginning to disagree more and more these days. ... So, I suppose, the best place for the Ten Commandments? In our hearts; and may our lives display them, unable to be removed ...  That's MY opinion...