April 8, 2012

Surgery #3 for our baby girl

This week is going to be stressful for our family as C undergoes a heart cath and another heart surgery. We all know this one is going to be more difficult because she is older with more personality and is never still. I imagine the hospital stay is going to present a challenge because she also now understands a little more of what is happening. We are all praying that our baby girl comes through once again with flying colors.

What a wonderful Easter weekend. Beautiful weather, family and a great dinner. God has surely blessed us and we are going to need His strength and care this week more than usual. I love my children and grandchildren with all my heart. They are each special to me in their own way and it hurts my heart when one of them is hurting. I pray God will be with C through this next step of her journey and keep her safe. It is hard to watch my little one who does not understand the why have to walk this path. She is a joy and blessing. I love you sweet C.

August 16, 2011

Family Vacation 2011

What a great week we had at QW. For the first few days all 10 of us were in residence. The very first time we have ALL been together in the Keys. Fortunately we all still fit but I might have to eventually invest in bunk beds as the grands get bigger.

Paige, Phil, Zane and Baird left on Monday but not before Phil made a wonderful picture of our family. Can't wait to get a copy of it to frame. I really wish they could have stayed the rest of the week but am thankful they got to be there for a few days.

We picked the right week to spend time in the Keys as the weather was really stinky back in Fort Myers and in Tampa. There was only one day that we had bad weather so we decided to travel down to KW which was a good move as they had all the sunshine down there. Kyle and Todd got to show mama and daddy THE TOY FACTORY! And we took in the sunset celebration at Mallory Square after dinner at Pepe's.

Lots of boating, fishing and time at the sandbar. And everyone loves the pool at Sunset Grill. Thanks to friend Alan and Kevin there were lobsters and grouper for dinner on Thursday night and some lobster for the Longs to bring home. So many wonderful memories.

No one wanted to leave to come back home when Saturday arrived. We talked about playing hookey so we could stay a few more days but reality finally won out because Kyle and Todd had to be in school on Monday. Kyle and Todd rode with me to take Sook back to the marina (I let them captain the boat in the canals and they are really doing well) Early Saturday morning, with the house all cleaned up/closed up Kevin & Ashley left on the Stringer N Up and the boys and Carolena and I started out in the car for our ride home.

Everyone arrived safely and we are already looking forward to our next trip.

July 24, 2011


Saturday morning dawned with beautiful skies and moderate temperature. (The storm on Friday night helped cool the air down.) When we arrived at Centennial Park we were overwhelmed by the number of people milling about. By the start of the race there were 317 registered participants......WOW is all I can say. Of course the faster runners were at the front of the pack while the walkers brought up the rear. That would be me.

Ashley & Carolena were wearing the #1 bib. Everyone really enjoyed seeing C running with her mom and let me tell you they kicked butt. 40 minute finish for Ashley's first 5K. That is amazing. They are sorta kinda TV stars after the shots they did last week on the local news channels. What a boost that was to the event and I think probably brought out a lot of people who would not have known about it otherwise. They really did a great job.

Kevin and the boys started off running with Ashley and C. Poor Kyle was diagnosed with strep throat on Friday and was on antibiotics. He didn't feel like running/walking the entire race and road in a wagon for a bit. But he did run across the finish line. Todd decided to ride in the wagon for a while as well but he had run most of the race. Kevin left him with a friend so that he could catch up with Ashley & C for the finish. Not sure if he made it with across the finish line as I was......still walking.

Paige pushed Baird in a stoller and I think walked instead of running but they were still ahead of me and finshed in good time. She was walking with a good friend and her daughter. Me....still walking when they finished. Phil was actually shooting pictures and didn't actually start running when the horn sounded. I didn't know he was shooting pictures and was baffled when I saw him pass me as I started off walking. Now all of you, who know Phil, know that he is an avid runner and has done several marathons/ironman events. I am not even halfway through the course when who do I see coming back to the finish line? You guessed it...Phil and Zane. Phil ended up 3rd in his age group and Zane won first place for "walkers" :)

I can tell you I did not finish last. Came in about 3 minutes under an hour which is pretty good for me. There was a bridge on the course and believe me when I tell you it seemed like a mountain. When I got almost to the top going out I was thinking to myself....well, I was thinking what was I thinking??...that I was not going to make it. But then, I thought, I want to do this for my precious little girl with hope in my heart that one day she will be able to at least walk,if not run, a 5K herself.

My heart is so full tonight with the knowledge that so many people are lifting prayers for Carolena and all of our family. I know the money raised by this event will help defray medical expenses and that is so important but the love and caring of so many has certainly given a boost to our family. Special thanks to DeAnne and Terri........you are really special ladies.

July 19, 2011

Race for Baby C

Saturday is the day!!! I have been trying to walk at least 30 to 45 minutes at least 4 times a week to get ready. Bought some new walking shoes and let me tell you Dr Scholls shoes are GREAT. There has been no breaking in period with these shoes and no blisters or pains. First time ever I can say that about a pair of walking/tennis shoes. The article in the Fort Myers paper today (about C and her family) was beautifully written and showcased her condition and the Race in a wonderful way. C's two older brothers are walking with me so that Kevin can jog along with Ashley and C. It is going to be a special day for one special little girl and I hope all who attend have a great time. Here is the website to view the article:

To view the contents on News-Press, go to:

July 17, 2011

The Week After Vacation

Usually the reason the week after vacation is hard in that I don't want to get back to work....not just yet please. But last week was a challenge that beats all the other weeks after vacation. Monday I developed laryngitis and could not speak for 3 days. By Thursday the laryngitis was better but I had a terrible cough that was just kicking my butt. Finally went to the doctor on Friday and got some antibiotic and a cough syrup (good stuff....puts me to sleep) Still not feeling 100% and the cough is still there but much better today. Thank goodness!

Not feeling well made me miss the Little Crackers Fishing Tournament at Useppa this weekend. I really wanted to go see my grandsons catch some fish. I know it must have been fun. Useppa is a great place to visit and for the most part looks like "old" Florida. The houses were built some years ago, there are no cars and the vegetation is just beautiful. I surely missed being able to make the trip this weekend.

Next weekend is the RACE for C 5K in Fort Myers. Have to be feeling better to be able to walk that 3.1 miles for my baby girl. Hopefully I can get out this week and walk....

July 12, 2011

Vacation Is Over But The Memories Remain

This week I have really missed my boys. Last week just flew by and it was time to leave QW in no time. We went back to Fort Myers on Friday so that we could attend my favorite 1 year old boy's birthday party on Saturday. What a great party and it was really nice to catch up with some old friends who attended. We shared many memories of other trips to the Keys and laughed and laughed. I surely do miss Eddie when I relive some of those memories. Seems like yesterday we were all there together having fun.

Getting back to work has been hard this week since I came back with a really bad allergy attack which has caused me to have laryngitis for the past two days. Thank goodness I communicate with my clients mostly by email.

The weather this week has been rainy which is good news for all of us. We need much more rain but what a great start to the rainy season. I love having it rain a little every day and hope the big storms stay well away from us. The last two days at QW there was almost 2 inches of rainfall every day but they say that was not nearly what is needed. At least the wildfires have been put out!

The one regret I had while at QW was the fact that I never was able to get my daddy down there for a visit. He wanted to go so badly but it just never worked out. I am sure he can look down on the Keys from his heavenly home and enjoy the beauty. I miss you daddy and I miss you Eddie. Loved you both with all my heart.

July 6, 2011

Our Wednesday

Well as I said in my previous post it was rainy when we woke this morning. We had breakfast and hung around QW until we decided to just chance a trip to KW. And did we ever make the right decision.

A first ever for me. As we were passing through Big Pine Key a key deer ran in front of my car, not once but twice. Thank goodness I saw it soon enough to stop. The closer we got to KW the more sunshine we saw and by the time we parked the car and started our KW day the sun was out in full and no rain anywhere. First stop was the Conch Train Station and we happened to get there just as the train was departing so no wait. And, persons under 12 ride free:) The boys loved the train and I think they learned a lot today about old KW. K had a map open the whole ride and was showing me where we were as we crossed each street. Z fell asleep after about 45 minutes and T nodded off a few minutes later but both woke up when we stopped for a 10 minute break. Made a potty visit, grabbed some lemonades/water and back on the train for another 30 minutes.

After the train ride we visited the Key West Toy Factory. A kid's dream come true. Really a great place to take kids when they are hot and tired as it is cool inside and reminds me of FAO Swartz with all the toys/games/books they have. Peps them right back up again. And if you make a purchase (and you know I did) each child receives a token for an ice cream cone at the downstairs ice cream shop.

No visit to KW is complete without visiting the Kino Sandal Factory and IT WAS PACKED this afternoon. We didn't stay there long as it was also really hot. And they didn't have any kids shoes....at least not for boys.

Then we headed over to Mallory Square to check out the Sunset shows. The first show out was a young guy named Reed who is a true Conch and very entertaining. He juggles fire batons and K got to help him with the finale trick. He was supposed to throw unlit batons up to Reed as Reed was standing on the folded arms of two big guys out of the crowd. Well, the first baton flew over Reed's head and landed in the water off the dock. That created a new show in and of itself as Reed then had to retrieve the baton. He did this by having the two big guys hold his feet and lower him to the water. K did throw the next 3 batons so that Reed could catch them. It was so much fun and all the boys had a blast.

Quick dinner at IHOP in KW and then back to Marathon. Saw two more key deer on Big Pine but at least these did not run out in front of my car. And back to the rain. I had hoped to take the boys to see the space shuttle launch this week but I don't think the weather is going to be good enough for a liftoff. And it would be a long trip to KSC only to have the launch scrubbed.

We have had a great day and so much fun. Got to QW around 9:15. By 9:25 all the boys had their teeth brushed, potty visits and were sound asleep. I think they might be kinda tired :)