Your comments are appreciated...


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tonya is home at last...

Praise God! Tonya came home on Monday from the hospital after being there for 6 weeks, and 5 of those were in ICU.
She is doing good. She had to bring home a little oxygen to help her when she walks, but all in all, she has made some gigantic improvements.
I went to keep Cayden and Shelby today for Emily to sleep. She worked last night, and will work tonight. Shelby has had a runny nose, and a terrible cough. She started running fever so Emily is taking her to the dr. tomorrow.
Cayden makes me laugh so hard. Shelby asked me to read her a book, and I left my glasses at home so I told her I couldn't read the book, but we could just look at it. Cayden said, "Mimi, I think I have something that will help you read." I had no clue as to what he was talking about. He came out with a toy magnifying glass. LOL Cracks me up that at his age he knows what helps these old eyes.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Ours was good. We just missed Tonya being here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas is coming!!

We have all been very busy as everyone is this time of year. I wish the month of December wasn't so hectic. I had really hoped to enjoy this month since it is the first December after my retirement. Well, I have enjoyed several things. It's just been hard with Tonya still in the hospital.
They moved her to Cornerstone Hospital in Bossier. She is doing a little better, but her lungs still haven't cleared. She is still in ICU, and about to go crazy. They said she didn't have H1N1 after all, but she has been very sick.
She is depressed since she can't be home for Christmas. We just hope she can get into a room soon.
I went with Emily and the kids last weekend to ride the Polar Express in Palestine. That was awesome! We had so much fun, and it just thrilled my heart to watch those babies' eyes when Santa walked in. Cayden is so excited about Christmas. He is almost 5, and this is just a wonderful time for him. He's so smart yet still so innocent. Shelby just cracks us up with her opinionated answers.
We will have Christmas here on Sunday. We're just sorry Tonya can't be here. Cody and the boys will do the best they can to celebrate with her. There is just no room in her ICU room for more than 3.
Please keep her in your prayers.
My shoulder is about the same. No better, no worse.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Check up with Dr. Kim/Ghali

I went on Monday, Nov. 17th for my 3 month check up. I only got to see Dr. Kim and one of the residents.
He thought everything looked fine, and then he told me the reason for coming every 3 months is because 90% of mouth cancers return within 2 years. That was a shocker! but I feel my odds are way less as mine was on my tongue, and they cut all of the cancer part off.
I discussed my shoulder problems with Dr. Kim, and he said my big surgery could have effected some big nerve they have to cut through in my neck. At least I know there could be a reason for my inability to raise my arm all the way other than the physical reasons.
Pray for my DIL - Tonya. She is critically ill in WK North with double pneumonia, a secondary bacterial infection in her lungs, and H1N1. The H1N1 didn't show up when they first checked her.

Hugs to all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little update...

I've still been going to therapy 3 times a week. They have measured my progress weekly now, and I think it is because they are concerned.
I did make a few gains last week, but not like it should be. I think Trent was going to measure me yesterday, but I was having more pain, so he didn't do it.
Please keep me in your prayers. I go back to Dr. Ghali/Kim on Tuesday for my tongue checkup.
I honestly think part of my shoulder problem is from my previous tongue/neck surgery. My therapist is beginning to think the same thing. They cut into so many nerves and muscles that it is effecting my shoulder.
I go back to Dr. Googe on Dec. 2nd, and I will discuss this further with him then. I have decided to quit therapy for December. I just need some time to enjoy myself, and I have always wanted to be off in the month of December.
Thank you all who check on me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sort of Discouraging...

I've been going to therapy faithfully, and doing my exercises at home, but when they measured my range of motion on Wed., there was no improvement.

I can raise my arm about halfway up, and to go any further I have to push it up. I think my main therapist was sort of puzzled as to why I can't raise it any farther even when straining.

My shoulder is very tight, and it feels like something pushing down when I'm trying to push up.

Honestly, I can't say that it is any better than before my surgery, and I've been going to therapy since the 3rd week in July.
So please keep me in your prayers. At least I can sew, but sometimes even that is hard. I used to sew for hours and not stop. The "Ole Girl" ain't what she used to be! LOL
Hugs to all.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Doctor Visit 10/2

I had a doctor's appointment with Dr. Googe yesterday. He was pretty pleased with my progress. I told him about my shoulder feeling soooo stiff some days, and he said it was most likely scar tissue. They explained to me that scar tissue will stretch out during therapy, and then tighten back up again. They said it takes about 6 months for it to relax and fall into place. So that made me feel better.
I will go to therapy for 2 more months, and then back to him. They will start me on strengthening exercises too.
He was tickled that I could reach behind my back at all. That is the most painful part, but it gets better every day.
My friend from Kenner, Bettye, has been here all week. We have had a great visit, and shopped a whole lot. I'm ready to get back to my sewing.

Hugs to all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just a little update...

My first week in therapy after I got out of my sling was soooo hard. I hurt so bad, and I even cancelled one day so I could let my arm relax and catch up.

I think they just pushed me a little too hard after only having passive exercises for 6 weeks. I keep up with my home routine, and I am able to use my arm a lot more, but I still have a long way to go. Therapy last week was a lot better. None of it is easy, but it has to be done.

I go back to Dr. Googe on Oct. 2. My shoulder still hurts a lot at times, and gets very stiff. I sometimes wonder if it will ever feel like my other one.
I am sewing when I feel like it, and that really helps me a lot.

Thanks to those of you who still check on me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another doctor update...

I went to see Dr. Googe today, and I don't have to wear the sling anymore. He told me to start using my arm, but not to lift anything heavy.
Therapy will be a lot tougher, but it has to be done if I want to gain full use of my arm. I hope to be able to reach up and do my hair with two arms!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fifteen month checkup...

Yesterday was my 15 month checkup with Dr. Ghali. I saw Dr. Ringman, Dr. Ghali, and Dr. Kim. They are all so sweet. Everything looked good, and I go back in November.

I finally got an appointment with my shoulder doctor Friday morning at 7:30. Ugh! So early, but I didn't have a choice.

I'm doing a little more embroidering these days. I still have a long way to go in therapy with my arm. It's just hard to be patient and wait. I want it to be normal - NOW!

Hugs to all.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still wearing the sling...

Dr. Googe's office called and cancelled my appointment for last Friday because he was going to be out all week. I think his wife had her baby.
The lady that called was so snippy and booked me for the 31st. Well, my therapy prescription runs out on the 21st. So I'm going to try and talk to someone tomorrow and see if they will get me in sooner. I'm just really aggravated with how incompassionate some of these people are.
It will be a busy week. I have an appointment with Dr. Ghali on Tuesday, and therapy 3 times. Plus Re-bath is coming to do Clay's shower tomorrow.
I'm ready for fall to get here. I hate this hot weather.
Hugs to all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just rolling along...

I went back to Dr. Googe on Fridaay, the 24th, and my shoulder is doing ok. I have to wear the padded sling for 3 more weeks, and then he said he will see about letting me go without it.
He gave me some more exercises to do, and I'm still in therapy 3 days a week. So I'm hoping it keeps doing better and better.
Clay and I celebrated our 38th anniversary on Friday also. We went to eat at Copeland's (it was wonderful), and to a movie. We had a good day, but I was very tired since we had gone somewhere everyday last week.
I didn't get to see Cayden and Shelby this past week, and I'm missing them.
Please keep me in your prayers. Clay goes back to school in a week, and I will miss him being here to drive me everywhere and make our meals. LOL

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dr. appointment

I went back today for my checkup with my shoulder. I still have to wear the padded sling until I go back in 2 weeks, and then he said he would decide if I can take that part off.
I will also start PT on Monday, but he does not want me to raise up my arm on my own. Will be interesting!

Thanks for all of your prayers and concern.

Sunday, July 5, 2009




Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Post Surgery Update/Bad Daughter Confession

OKAY, I am so sorry for all of you that have been wondering about mom. She is as dad says, "home, drugged and fed" lol. He is still not the nurse even after all they went through last summer. But he tries so he deserves a little credit, right?

Yes, it is 7:45 and I do apologize for that. I got home with the kids around 4ish and layed on my bed while they played with legos that I retrieved from storage. Then I messed around a bit in Shelby's new big girl room. Then I uploaded some pictures to facebook. Then Dinner. All of that equals BAD DAUGHTER! I just got an email in all caps from mom saying that I had not updated a special friend via email that mom had requested I do so. I am SOOOO very sorry!

So enough about me. :) The doctor seemed very pleased about the surgery and feels that mom will make a full recovery. She has a pretty high tolerance for pain and obviously after all she went through last summer this is a piece of cake, well almost.

Tonya, Dad and I were waiting for consult from the doctor for about 30 minutes when in walks some OTHER doctor. We didn't know it wasn't our doctor and starts talking about putting a screw in and the toes were all curled under, etc. etc. We obviously realized that he was not our doctor. I had a moment of panic though thinking he had operated on the wrong body part, lol.

Then another doctor walked in and didn't get very far before we realized he wasn't the right doctor either.

We finally got to see mom. Seems like her doctor was having some personal things going on in his life. Please say a little prayer for his unborn son. His pregnant wife was having to have a high risk ultra sound at 31 weeks. He didn't go into detail but just pray that everything is okay and their unborn son is born healthy and happy!

So that is the update. I am sure in no time mom will be typing away, one handed of course!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another surgery...

On Tuesday, June 30, I will be having surgery on my shoulder to repair my rotator cuff. It's an out patient surgery, and everything should go pretty smooth.

I hate the thought of not being able to sew and miss time playing with Cayden and Shelby. Please keep me in your prayers.

Hugs to all

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Destin vacation...

We went to Destin last Thursday and came back on Sunday. It pretty much rained the whole time. Everytime I got down to the beach, it would start raining and storming. The kids did get to play a little in the waves a couple of times. The boys all went digging for sand crabs at night which was fun for them.
I love playing with Cayden and Shelby. Shelby stuck to me like velcro, and was constantly saying "My Mimi".
We had a good time and some good food, but we just wish the sun had come out a while.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One year ago - home from the hospital...

Some things you just never forget. I was released from my 12 day hospital stay one year ago today.
I can remember so vividly coming out of the hospital, and the sun hitting me in the face. Even though it was quite warm, it felt so good. A breeze was blowing, and I just wanted to sit there and soak it up.
I started crying and cried nearly all of the way home. Such a relief to be going home.
I thought about people in prisons that will never have that feeling again, and how could anyone want to miss out on the wonderful things in life by committing the crimes that put them there in the first place.
Life puzzles me. People puzzle me, and there are so many things that people do that I just don't understand.
I do know one thing -. I am glad to be where I am and with my wonderful family celebrating life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One year post surgery checkup...

I went today for my one year checkup. My doctors thought everything looked fine. That's a big relief. I had bloodwork done, and they told me "no news was good news." I go back in 3 months. Dr. Kim likes his patients to come back 4 times a year, and I sure don't have a problem with that.

Please pray for Cody. He found out today that he has Bell's Palsy. He is pretty miserable.

Thanks for all of your prayers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One year ago today - May 7, 2008

In some ways I can't believe it's been a year since my surgery. In other ways, it seems like yesterday.

When I started thinking about my one year anniversary coming up a couple of weeks ago, I just got weak all over. How in the world did I endure such an ordeal? One thing is for sure. ONLY by the grace of GOD!

Clay even said he didn't know how he made it either having to wait 12 long hours in the waiting room for them to finish. Then 6 days in ICU and 6 more days in the hospital. I know it was hard for him and for my kids. Thank goodness I had them to depend on, and thank God for Robin who stayed with me in the hospital and did all of my medical care after I came home.

Please keep me in your prayers. I go back May 12 for my check up with lab work. I don't foresee any problems, but it always makes me nervous.

Thanks to those of you who have continued to read my updates from time to time. I have enjoyed my retirement immensely. I am still facing another surgery in June to repair my rotator cuff, but my shoulder doctor said that is nothing compared to what I had done last May.

Hugs to all,


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Great Day!

Today we were honored to have our governor, Bobby Jindal, give his testimony at First Baptist Church. He did an awesome job. It's amazing how much more relaxed he is when he's not in front of the media. He spoke so strongly of his relationship with Jesus Christ.
I think we are very blessed to have him as our governor. I've always been a fan of his, but now even more so.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I can't believe it has been 2 years since you came into this world. It took a while for you to get to know us, but now we can see in your eyes how much you love us.
I know there's been times when Cayden has wished that he had all of the attention, but he is crazy about you. I know you both are going to grow up to be very close and watch out for each other.
Mimi and PawPaw love you, and you are a very precious little princess.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A very blessed Easter....

I was going to post pictures from Easter week, but I think Emily did a better job on her blog, so I'll just post a link to that. Except let me add, we had a great time here on Friday with everyone who came by. Emily, Troy, Cayden, Shelby, Cody, Tonya, Clayton, Bubba, and us. Then Nancy, Eva, Dustin, Robin, and Brittany came by. Cayden kept everyone entertained with his stories. He has so much expression, and he never forgets a detail.
Clay bought boiled crawfish and shrimp for the kids. I made a shrimp salad, and Clay made 2 pies (wonderful pies). The weather was beautiful, and the kids had a great time playing in the back yard.

I want to share a devotion from the book Joy of the Journey. This really made an impression on me for the past week. This time last year was when I was facing my surgery, and at that time I was trying to savor every little detail of everything I did with the grandkids, my family, and my friends.

To experience happiness we must train ourselves to live in this moment, to savor it for what it is, not running ahead in anticipation of some future date nor lagging behind in the paralysis of the past. With wholeness and sensitivity we must live in the here and now. "But what if I don't like the here and now?" you ask. "What if my present moment is one of disappointment or impairment or heartache? How then do I savor that moment?" Good questions. And the answers reside in the first and most profound principle for the art of savoring life. Pleasure lies in the heart, not in the happenstance. Our circumstances may be dreadful and riddled with reasons for discouragement or sorrow, but that doesn't mean those moments are utterly devoid of happiness...Those special savored moments of fun, reflection, happiness, and pleasure give us a tiny taste of what eternity with Christ will one day be like.
Author: Luci Swindoll

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stress Test

I had a nuclear stress test on March 9. I had never had one before. I had only heard what different people had to say, but I did know that not everyone's is the same for the most part.

Mine was for my heart because of my heartbeat getting out of whack when I was in the hospital. If you remember, it had to be shocked (TWICE) right before I came home.

I was on 2 medications for a while, and then cut down to one. When I went back in Feb., they took me off the meds and put me on one baby aspirin everyday.

My stress test was good, and I am so glad. Of course, after waiting 2 weeks to find out the results I kind of figured it was good, or surely they would have called me before now.

I don't have to go back for one year. So praise God for another blessing. Now I just have to deal with the shoulder problem.

Hugs to all

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Year Ago Today My Life Changed Forever...

One year ago today was when I had my tongue biopsy, and they found out it was CANCER. The "C" word. The gosh awful "C" word. No one, no family ever wants to hear that word, but through the years our family and our friends have heard that word more times than we like to think about.

We always think in the back of our minds, "Well, they smoked, or they drank, or it runs in the family." NOT SO here. I've never smoked, never drank, and I only know of one cousin that's had cancer on my side of the family. The doctors said my chances were about in the 4th percentile.

Four percentile! and it hits my tongue, of all places! Thank goodness I had been watching those little white spots on my tongue for about 5 years. I'd had several biopsies, and was always kind of worried, but really it didn't worry me a whole lot. Then they started getting more sore and more sensitive, so I went in for a checkup.

That's when Dr. Ghali told me to come back and he wanted to "put me under" and go deeper. I think I kind of knew from the look on his face that he "knew".
I will never forget the look of my family's faces when I woke up and asked if everything was ok.

I had to absorb that and go back the next day for the consultation about the surgery. They first told me 8-10 days in the hospital, and 2 days in ICU, but it ended up being 6 days in ICU, and 12 days in the hospital. All of this is at the beginning of my blog.

I went back to school until May 2. At least it helped to keep my mind of off myself. I had several test run before and during surgery, and nothing else was found - Thank God!

Then when they took half my tongue and sent it to the lab along with the 50 lymph nodes, there was no cancer beyond that, and I didn't have to take chemo or rediation. Praise God! I don't think I could have gone back to teaching if I'd had to endure that also.

Well, most of you know the story, but some don't. I know I was very lucky and so many people don't have the hope that I had. Cancer can strike at any time, and all we can do is deal with it, and pray, pray hard that it will respond to the meds. I had wonderful doctors and a wonderful family that pulled me through when I thought I couldn't face another day. They gave me a reason, and they gave me hope. I am so thankful for everyone that helped me along the way. I had people praying for me all over the world, and that means so much. I still have people on the internet who check on me that I've never met or talked to in person.

So let me say Thanks Again to all of you that prayed for me, and that followed my story. I love you all, and I pray none of you ever have to face the "C" word, and if you have already, I pray you have many wonderful and caring friends and family to help you through each day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What makes my heart sing!!

I'm just mostly putting pictures here because this is what today's entry is about. I wish a camera could capture all of the cute faces and things they say.

Cayden is 4 and he wants to investigate everything by interrogating everyone until he gets the answers he needs. Now a lot of things he figures out on his own, and that's when we have the most fun watching his face while his brain is doing the work.

For instance, Emily told him to clean up his toys before they came down last Wednesday, and he quickly told her "Why do I have to pick up my toys? Mimi and Paw Paw aren't coming here?" After being here, and playing in the back yard for a while in his favorite tree, he slipped and skinned his belly. He told me that we needed to buy them some toys to play with outside. So PawPaw, that's your job.

To me, as a former teacher, his art is amazing. He notices so many little details whereas most kids his age just scribble. He has learned a lot in daycare, but Mimi still thinks he is a little beyond his years. He has been drawing since he could stand in front of an easel with chalk.

Now Miss Shelby - totally opposite. She is all girl, but she does love to play outside. She has really come into her own personality the last few weeks and surprised us all with some of the things she's doing. She's even smiling and speaking to people in restaurants and at the doctor's office. She got into a fight with a little boy at Toy Fair the other day over a riding toy. She normally only does that with Cayden. I guess she's testing her territory.

So if those that read this haven't had the grandparent experience yet, I hope God is good and you get to enjoy such special times.

If you're wondering about Clayton and Bubba, they will be coming up on their own special page. I need some pics of Clayton. He slips in and out and we forget to get pics, but it will happen. We are also proud of them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good News So Far!

I went to my heart doctor first, and everything was fine. She took me off of my medication and told me to take a baby aspirin everyday. She is going to schedule me a stress test soon.

I went to lunch with another retired school friend, Ann R., and we had a great time visiting.

I saw Dr. Kim, and several of the interns today. They checked my mouth and throat area very closely, and they were pleased. I didn't have any lab work done today. They are saving that until May when I go back for my one year check up.
So I am very pleased and relieved. I always get so nervous when I go back.

Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Tomorrow is my 9 month checkup with Dr. Ghali and with my heart doctor. So for those of you that read this, please say a prayer. I will be having labs done as far as I know. That's what they told me the last time I was there.

I've been having a major allergy attack, but it is finally getting better. I just hope to avoid the flu and all of those viruses going around.

I'm enjoying being at home, and I'm so thankful I could retire at this time. I can really feel the "stress" relief.

I sew a little when I feel like it. I keep telling myself that there is no rush and just to enjoy it more.

Love ya'll,

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Party Day!

Cayden has his party today, and he was having a ball jumping and playing with his friends. I got a couple of good shots of him and Shelby.

This Mimi still can't believe he is four years old. I love you sweet boy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Mimi and PawPaw are just amazed at how fast you have grown up. On the day you were born, there were a bunch of us waiting at the hospital on pins and needles waiting to meet you for the first time. This is you the day you came home from the hospital wearing the sweet little outfit I made you.

I know the angels in heaven must have been singing a very special song on that day because everytime we look at you, you make our hearts sing with your beautiful smiles.

Your smiles light up the darkest night. You have already touched so many people in your young life with your outstanding personality. We know you will continue to make us proud way beyond our dreams for you.

We love you so much, and we wish that today we could get some of those bear hugs and mushy kisses. We will see you on Saturday for your birthday party.

Hugs and kisses,
Mimi and PawPaw

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I don't know what in the world made me think of this, but when I sit in church my mind roams to a thousand places. However, I did listen to the sermon.

I've been cleaning out some things, and ran across some old photos, and I suppose this brought back some memories of my childhood. I can remember as far back as before I started to school when we lived in Monroe. My dad had his own business, and therefore, life in general was always a struggle. Even though my mom worked hard, she would try to sew for me some. I can remember that she made me those little eyelet panties that everyone pays $8 to $15 for these days depending on if they are monogrammed or what. She made them to save money, so that must mean material was really cheap. I know at that time all she had was a treadle machine, and the task must have been even harder.

I can also remember when winter changed to spring/summer, and Mama would try to put shorts on me that I would scream and holler because I didn't want anyone to see my legs.

Then when I was 6, and right before I started first grade, we moved to Bossier City. Times were still always a struggle for us. At that time, all I wore was dresses to school. I can remember my Mama taking me to town (which was downtown Shreveport on the bus) to try on dresses. She would pay down and put them on layaway for about 3 months. During that time she would take all of my dresses from the year before, wash them, and lay them out on the bed. There was a black lady that had girls younger than me, and she would always come and buy my old dresses mostly for $1.00 to $.50 a piece. Mama would take that money and help pay on my new dresses.

I can't remember much about shoes except that when I got a new pair of "Sunday shoes" I felt like a princess. I would wear them until they killed my toes because if I remember right I think I only got one pair a year, if that. After they started getting scuffed, I was allowed to wear them to school some days. Oh yes, I think I wore black and white saddle oxfords to school back then. I can now remember polishing the white part when they got scuffed.

Life has sure changed since then. I can remember when we didn't have a TV, and when we got that black and white TV we thought we had moved to Hollywood. Plus, we were lucky if we got all 3 channels, and most of the time they had static. Oh my, life is definitely different now. My kids can only imagine.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Yes, it is finally here! Yesterday was my last day of school. I think my kids were a little confused. Some of them thought I was coming back, or coming back to sub. Finally someone asked if I was getting paid, so I think they were worried that I wouldn't have any money.

On Monday afternoon, my school staff gave me a wonderful retirement party. I was so over whelmed. They bought me three beautiful pieces of Arthur court. The middle school staff that I used to work with brought me a card with a Hancock's gift card and money. That was so sweet of them.

Several of my kids brought me gifts, and many of them made me sweet cards. On Wednesday, the fifth grade teachers cooked lunch for me. It was wonderful potato soup, salad, and dessert. We have always enjoyed our lunches when someone had a birthday.

Clay took us all out to dinner last night to Jan's restaurant. I have always loved their fish, but the fish was terrible. Everything else was good, and at least we had a good time being together.

So I've had pretty much a week of celebrating. Now on this very cold windy morning, I got to stay in bed. It seems more like a sick day. I guess it will eventually sink in.

It was sad leaving my friends. Some I have taught with (side by side) for 10 years, and some I've known the whole 20 years. I hope we can all keep in touch.

So now to another chapter in my life, and a new year which I hope is filled with blessing for all of us, and for all of you.

Love you all,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eight months ago today...

Sometimes it seems like forever, and sometimes it seems like yesterday since my surgery. I would love to post some pics of what I looked like then, but I know some people would never believe it was me!

I have 6 more school days until official retirement. I'm so glad, and also so exhausted from trying to get everything done before I leave.

Thanks to all of you that have continued to pray for me. I could never have made it this far without all of your prayers. I go back in Feb. for my labs and tests, so please keep praying. I had a little scare this week with a little place on my tongue, but Dr. Ghali says it's on the "skin" side, and would be highly unlikely to be the "C" word. I think it was just a little dead tissue from the graft.

Hugs to all

Friday, January 2, 2009


I'm a day late, but we were gone all day yesterday to Delhi to visit with some old pageant friends. It was the first time in a long while, and we had such a great time, and some good food.

Emily did a year in review on her blog yesterday, and I want to share it with those of you that come and read. It was very emotional for me, but also makes me realize how blessed I am to have such a great family and so much support.

I could have never made it this far without them, and so many other special people in my life. I'm not as good as expressing myself like Emily is, but just wanted to say I love you all very much, and God put you in my life for various special reasons. I hope I can give back to you just a little of what you have given to me.

Two weeks from today I will be AT HOME. My FIRST day of RETIREMENT. WOO HOO! Let me see, what do I need to plan for that day? Maybe nothing!!

I'm praying each and every one of you has a blessed year, and that you stay healthy. The older you get, the more you appreciate your health.

Love to all,