I Got a Bee in My Bonnet

My mind is forever thinking of new projects that I want to do. Sometimes the ideas get to "buzzin" around so fast that I feel like I have bees swarming around in my head. This saying actually came from my grandmother. She used to say, when she had an idea about how to do something, "I got a bee in my bonnet and I couldn't rest until I got it out." So, when I think of something new I want to do, I can't rest until I get that bee out of my bonnet. Ü

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let the competitions begin....

This past weekend Camryn began another year of dance competition with Ms. Karen's Dance Studio. She is competing in a solo, duet, and two large groups in tap and hip hop. Her solo this year is called, "I'm Going Bananas." She was a little nervous but still did very well. She received 1st place points for her dance (276 out of 300 possible) and placed 2nd in the top 10 of her age division. Her duet with Callen is called, "Holly Rock." They did an awesome job on a fast moving song, even after their brains seem to have left them while warming up. Ms. Marisa was about to hang them on a nail, but they pulled it together and did very well. They also scored 1st place points (275 out of 300) and placed 2nd out of the top ten in their age division. We were very proud of their accomplishments for the weekend. The tap number, "We Rock" got 1st place points (2nd overall) and so did their hip hop number, "Boom, Shake the Room!"(it placed 4th overall) All in all, it was a good beginning for them.

This is Camryn and her proud Momma after her dance was finished.
Camryn and her super teacher, Ms. Marisa!

Comment from Marisa the next day: "She is such a hard worker! I absolutely love working with her! She was amazing this weekend!!!!!!! There are not many things she can't do!!! Maybe we can look at her solo stuff on Thursday!? I can't wait to hear what they (the judges) say!"

Here she is waiting on the awards ceremony to begin.

This is our girl with her solo awards.

And here she is in her "Holly Rock" costume.

Camryn and Callen practicing before they dance.

A little goofiness prior to their performance to settle the nerves.

And here they are with
all the top ten winners.

We look forward to the year of competitons as we prepare for Nationals in Dallas this summer. It is always exciting as they begin the season to watch them. And then at the end to see how they have grown in their skills and abilities. Camryn never ceases to amaze me with her flexibility and coordination. She obviously didn't get this talent from the Gillaspie side of the family. Even though I took dance as a first and second grader, I was never as good as Camryn is. She is an awesome little dancer!

After one month of rehab....

Well, it has been one month today since Mother went into the nursing home rehab facility. This has definitely been a month of ups and downs. She has experienced fluid in her lungs due to inflammation, having a drainage port put in, physical therapy, panic attacks due to not being able to breathe, depression, no appetite, anger and her 83rd Birthday. Thank the Lord, as of today it seems that she may have turned the corner. They have finally put her on an appetite stimulating medicine and I am pleased to report...she ate eggs, bacon, and a biscuit this morning for breakfast without experiencing nausea. She even said it tasted good. She also had pinto beans, salad and yogart for lunch. Her attitude has even improved thanks to Zoloft. She is doing pretty well with her physical therapy too. She finally decided if she was ever going to get out of the nursing home she was going to have to do more on her own to strengthen herself. We are so grateful to the dedicated staff of the Timberlane Nursing Home for their care and kindness toward Mother and to Dr. Smart for his persistant, conscientious medical care. We are hoping that she will soon be back home and that she will continue to move forward on this road to recovery. Thanks to all of you who have prayed for her throughout this ordeal. Without your support we would have never gotten through the down days. Thanks to those of you who made an effort to go by and visit with her. It helped to brighten those long boring days for her as well as encourage her to keep pressing forward with a positive attitude. Most of all we are thankful to the Lord for allowing us more time with her on this earth.

Monday, January 5, 2009

35 years have passed so quickly...

Thirty-five years ago today these two young pups married amid the throws of an ice storm. What memories that day holds for us. You see, on January 1st of 1974 an ice storm hit El Dorado knocking out the electricity to a large portion of the town. It just happened that the neighborhood in which my family lived was among those without electricity. Not only did our house not have electricity, but also the church where our wedding was to be held. Among the immediate issues caused by this outage were: the guys tuxes were stuck somewhere between El Dorado and Little Rock. (We decided they could wear whatever they had with them.) The lady who was catering my reception had to decorate my cake in the dark. (The cake as you can see looked great.) The music for the wedding which was supposed to be by organ, had to be changed to piano. Also, Mr. G had to keep tuning his violin because of the cold, damp conditions in the church. (The music sounded angelic.) We prayed that all those coming in for the wedding would be able to make it. We had family members and attendants coming from Missouri, Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Lousiana as well as other places in Arkansas. With the conditions as they were, we were very grateful that they all made it and had a place to stay at the motel in which I had made reservations. I had made the arrangements for everyone way ahead of time however, when the storm hit all the people in our neighborhood who were without electricity rushed down to the motel that fortunately had power. This was all fine except for the fact that the rooms I had reserved for all my families were now given away! After I had pre-wedding-stressed-out-bride fit, they somehow found rooms for everyone. The day of the wedding electricity had been restored to all homes within one block of the church. I met with Bro. Sam and the sound and video men from the church and we discussed moving the wedding to the motel because they had heat and electricity. But, I was determined to get married in our church so that was not an option. Fortunately, the wedding was scheduled for 2 PM because there was at least light from the stained glass windows inside the church. Also, the photographer had to take my pictures by "guesswork" as he called it because there was very little light to check his meters. The reception was held downstairs in the fellowship hall which was warm because they had turned on the burners and ovens on the stoves earlier in the day. Coleman lanterns and candles provided the lighting for the reception area. Although the wedding was very cold (29 degrees in the church) for the attendants in their summery, scooped-necked dresses, and for those attending the wedding, and the fact that there was no video of the occasion to look back on at a later time, it was still beautiful and a very special time. As my soon to be sister-in-law said, "Well, it won't be just another ho-hum wedding," and it wasn't. Bro. Sam always teased that he spits on the marital knot he ties during the ceremony so it will stay tied. This time he said that our marriage would definitely last, because the spit froze!
After all these years and all the ups and downs that have transpired we are still in love and consider the other our best friend.
And here we are 35 years later....

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Spending the New Year in B'ham

We spent our New Year with Norman's parents, his sister and her family and his brother and his family. We had not been out to Birmingham since Spring Break in March. It is amazing how much the kids have all grown during that time. We enjoyed a good time of catching up and lots of tasty desserts. They had decided to just do desserts so Mother wouldn't feel she needed to do a lot of cooking. That is something she is no longer able to do. Here are a few pictures of our time together:

Paul is sharing some old pictures of himself with is kids

Mom and Dad enjoy the chocolate cake Tricia made from Grandmama Langston's recipe.
It was delicious!

Camryn and Jake enjoyed playing outside
Jake shows his jumping skills in an attempt to impress Camryn.
In this picture he was jumping off the fence.
They had a great time playing together!

Paul, Josh and Ashley with Tricia's kids in the background

Here you see the group watching the Penn State game
(or at least I think that is what they were watching...it was some bowl game)

While the guys watch the game, the girls are in the kitchen talking
about the fine art of making good fudge.

Paul and Angela's four kids from left to right:
Jake, Nick, Ashley and Josh
Angela and Mom enjoy visiting with each other.

Christiana and her boyfriend, Daniel

Mom, Dad and the kids, Paul, Tricia and Norman

We had a good visit with Norman's parents. It is so hard to see them becoming older and more frail. Mother's health has had some ups and downs over the last year or so and it has really taken it's tole on her. She is a mere shadow of the woman she used to be but still the same sweet lady I have loved since I came into this family.