Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Larry!

Today is Larry's 39th birthday! Hooray! This morning we celebrated with a candle in his biscuit - that melted really fast because the biscuit was still hot! Then he opened presents and went to work. Nope, work is not a fun thing to do on your birthday. Oh well, such is the life of a grown up.

Although the kids think 39 is OLD, I think 39 is fantastic! Especially since he was diagnosed with leukemia 4 years ago. Time flies when you are having fun!

Here is Larry's favorite birthday cake ever - Mama Myrtis' Carrot Cake. This is completely from scratch and tastes fabulous! I have to say that this is one of the prettiest ones I have made yet! Since it has carrots in it, can it be considered healthy?

Happy birthday my sweet! I look forward to many more happy years together.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Yesterday we had quite an adventure in the Tolleson family.

After a fun time outside with our friends, Lily fell backwards in a chair and hit her mouth on the brick window ledge. Ouch!!! Have you ever noticed how much head wounds bleed?!? Also, have you ever noticed how God blesses us even in the midst of tragedy?

1) We immediately went to visit our neighbor, Ms. Deb, who is a nurse. She told us to go right to the ER. Don't panic. So, I went screaming like a crazy woman into the house for Larry to get the van!
2) Larry was home - not traveling like last week.
3) The boys stayed with the Henry's - who completely took care of them. Gotta love our Henry's!
4) Then we took Lily to Cook's Urgent Care. Love that place, but it was jam packed! After we filled out the paperwork, a woman sitting next to us started asking questions about Lily. She was an orthodontist. Seriously. Thanks Dr. Tamera Miller! She looked in Lily's mouth and told us to call our dentist. They would not be able to do anything at Cook's. So, we took her advice and called Dr. Parker.
5) Get this, he was at his office planting rose bushes. No, really. He said "come on".
6) He called the tech from the dentist office next door, who was just leaving, to come over to assist. After we got to his office he quickly assessed that this injury was beyond what he could do, so he called on oral surgeon, Dr. Tye.
7) He was there in about 15 minutes. Just long enough to get Lily's mouth numb. Again - ouch!!!

Here's the gross part. She had scraped back the gum tissue above her front teeth almost to the bone, had at least 2 loose teeth and had a busted lip. She received about 10-12 stitches and has to eat only soft foods for 2 weeks until her mouth heals.

Amazingly, she has done really well with everything. Much better than I have done! She was so brave while they were working on her mouth. She did not even cry!
8) Her face is pretty swollen, but after that goes away, no scars.
9) My parents came over to help get the kids (and me) settled for bed.
Lily is doing well today and I thank everyone for your concerns and prayers. Please also thank God for all of the (9+) blessings that he heaped upon our family yesterday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Craft it Forward - take 2

A few weeks ago my friend Jill brought me a wonderful little package. (Jill, you probably thought I forgot to post about it!) It was my reward for leaving a comment on her "craft it forward" blog. She made these wonderful coasters. Aren't they beautiful?!? She is very talented and can make anything she sees!

Jill found someone with a fun idea - to have a "craft it forward" give away - you can click here to read about it @ The Parks Family.

I posted a craft it forward entry once, but no one commented. That could mean a few different things. 1. You don't want anything that I might try to make, or 2. you are not sure if you could craft it forward.'s an idea for those with concern #2. If you are not crafty, then bake. Or surprise someone with flowers. Or take a friend to lunch. Just reach out to a friend.

For those of you who would like to play along with me... be one of the first three to leave a comment! Those lucky 3 ladies will receive a handmade gift from me! I'm not sure what it will be yet... but I have several great ideas!

I would like to "Craft it Forward" and it would love for you to "Craft - or Pay - it Forward" too. Ready, set, comment!!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Feeling Used

Several week ago I started a ladies Bible class about having authentic relationships. This was WAY out of my comfort zone!!! But the class has far exceeded my expectations! It is such a wonderful time for us to develop our friendships and find solutions to some of the problems that we all face.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, I was asked if I knew someone (maybe even me) that could speak to the girls at the high school retreat about self esteem. I said no, but I would think about it. Well, I did a lot of thinking. A lot of praying. I remembered the promise that I made myself years ago. If I ever got a chance to pass along the lessons that I learned as a teen, that I would. So I agreed to talk to the girls. I was a bit nervous about speaking to teens, but God took care of that for me. He gave me courage through the loving support of my friends. The retreat was wonderful and I pray that the young ladies will benefit from what I had to say. Also, while I was there, I was able to comfort a young man whose close friend has just been diagnosed with leukemia. That was rough. It brought back so many memories.

And now I am feeling used.

And what a great feeling that is!!! I feel as though I have been used by God for His good purpose. I can not claim any of this as works of my own because "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 Thank you God for the opportunity to serve you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Day

Easter morning was cool and rainy, as usual, but the kids still looked bright and sunny in their new outfits. We enjoyed lunch at Dena's followed by an egg hunt to beat all egg hunts! There were so many eggs that their baskets were overflowing! They has a blast, and I have to say, I have enjoyed the fruits of their egg searching. Don't you think that chocolate just tastes better when it is bunny shaped?!?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tie Dyed Easter

We got creative this Easter by tie dyeing our eggs and cookies and it was so much fun! The kids did great and we did not make too big of a mess.

We used a kit from Walmart to dye the eggs. It was so easy and I loved the bright colors of the eggs.

From left to right the eggs are the creations of: Lily, mom, Zac and Logan.

The boys had fun and like the brighter colors.

We also decorated Easter cookies with Grandmother. She had neon food color and matching sprinkles. We had so much fun tie dyeing the eggs that we found a way to do the cookies too! Too bad we broke a few. Those had to be eaten immediately!

I will try to post more pictures from Easter later. Right now they are in Larry's camera - which I do not touch.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have a Blessed Easter

Spring is my absolute favorite season. Everything is coming back to life, budding, turning green and flowering. I love the smell of spring rain, fresh mowed grass and my sweaty little children that have been running around in the yard after a long cold winter. I also love Easter. When I was growing up, I always looked forward to Easter Sunday. Everyone would be at church. Everyone would be happy. And everyone would have new clothes to show off. I remember my friends and I comparing hats, purses, gloves, fluffy (scratchy) petticoats, and our beautiful, ruffled new dresses. We were dressed in every pastel color of the rainbow. Always pastels. We probably looked like a bunch of frilly Easter eggs, but I loved it.

My brother and I also had great Easter baskets. Even when I was too old to have visits from the Easter bunny, mom would just say "Don't look until morning." My Easter bunny brought chocolate, but she also brought good stuff like new Barbies, clothes and shoes.

I am looking forward to Easter tomorrow. I am ready to see the large crowd, the new dresses, pretty flowers and maybe even someone's new hat. But I now realize that it would still be Easter even without a new dress or a basket or an egg hunt. I am thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made and the significance of his resurrection. I know that without that, life would have no meaning, and I would be forever lost. I pray that I can see Easter as a time of renewal, rebirth and recommitment to the one who gave everything for me.

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Post April Fool's Trick

April Fool's Day is a lot of fun for the kids. They devise ways to try to trick each other and me, and then they wait excitedly for me to trick them. I know, it's weird that they want me to trick them but they don't like to be tricked by each other. Weird.

This year's tricks involved:
-Switching pillows
-Pink undies in an 8 yr old's drawer
-"Kool-aid" for snack time that tasted kinda like plain purple water
-Creepy plastic cockroach on mom's pillow
-Creepy plastic cockroach in 4th grade classroom
-Lily faking being sick and about to vomit

But the best "trick" was actually today.

This morning Lily had her 6 year old well check. The doctor said that she is perfect! Of course. He also wanted to do a blood test for a couple of things. Let me tell you - Lily was such a trooper! The nurses could not believe how still she was. She just laid there while they tried, unsuccessfully to find a vein in one arm. And then with success in the other arm. She did great and they gave her two coins for prizes! Just as soon as she got her prizes, she said "Mom, I don't feel so good." I got down on my knees and put my arm around her to talk to her. And then, she fainted.


Oh. My. I have never caught someone as they fainted. Let me tell you. It. Is. Scary.

She was not out long, but we carried her back to the room, propped up her feet, got her a cool towel and took her pulse. She scared me to death!!! I began to talk to her and asked if she was trying to April Fool's me again?!? It got her to laugh and distracted her for a moment. We were both pretty scared, but after several minutes of hugging and taking really deep breaths, we both felt able to leave the office. I then took her to school, where she had special animal crackers from her teacher, and had a great day. I, on the other hand, had to take a few more minutes to recover from her "trick". Let's hope she never plays that one on me again!