2014 Top 10 List, Birdeye

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's Biscuit, Gumball and Chloe at the courthouse delivering
candy.....Buddy's somewhere

There were cattle and llamas in the Alpes De Suisi...
Chloe just sat down on the bench and I got this shot

Chloe about the time when she said she didn't want to die
 up there....The Dolomites were phenomenal.

A photo at the Nashville airport on our way to Milan

Our last day of the trip, we are in Stressa on one of the Barromean Islands

Chloe in St Peter's.  We went to Friday mass
and took communion. It was really neat.
Behind her are Peter's remains.
Box of Lies game at Jackie's birthday party....Kara's looking like she
wants to win this round!  Stella and August loved it too
Chloe playing games with Biscuit
Chloe's a darn good photographer, here's Essie Mae
Chloe got Dr. Calico and Essie Mae wrestling
This was the day Chloe broke her arm in Feb. while
sledding on the ice
Chloe with Biscuit and Gumball

It's blurry but here's Chloe, Memaw and Stella at the
Cathedral Siena.  That marble was outstanding
Chloe and Audrey at Ferncliff Summer Camp, it was the first year Chloe
didn't write those sad letters and she said she had a great week

Chloe's selfie with Buddy
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!  We are planning to have Hopping John and Kale and Cabbage tomorrow and watch bowl games.  I may have to throw in some Mac and Cheese for the kids :).

I've kept a list in the kitchen of quotes that have come up since the trip to Italy.  For some reason that trip generated multiple hilarious quotes.  And they kept coming for the rest of summer and fall.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I have, all 18 of them...

1. "Dad can be the deck sweeper," Chloe said about her dad if we were all on a pirate ship together.
2. "Rub it down," me to Chloe on the train, Jackie replied, "Grub it down?" hahaha
3. "Step back kids, I don't think she's going to make it," Memaw said as I chased her down on the Bay Road to check a bike rack and hadn't ever driven her car.  It took off like a rocket when its turbo boost went off.  As I got out of the car to check the rack she said, "You looked like a snow leopard!" hahahaha :)
4. "I have had a Jerk-a-con sighting," me in the Nashville airport when Jackie lost it thinking we'd miss our connection to Milan and miss the opera in Verona.  (Jerk-a-con is a word Chloe invented last March to describe her grumpy dad)
5.  "Look away, you don't want to see this...." Memaw said to Jackie in Grieve when she pulled some ravioli out of the top of the trash can to feed my nephew August, he was starving with jet lag....hahahahahahahha
6.  "Calm down Jackie," me to Jackie when he was frustrated that we couldn't find a Rick Steve's restaurant in Verona.  We learned to attempt Italian right off the bat.  A nice woman police officer helped us find it.
7.  "That ain't eggplant," me in Rome when I ordered the special for lunch and thought he said it was eggplant.  It turned out to be tripe.  Jackie traded dishes with me, thank God.  If you don't know what tripe is...it's cow intestines.
8.  "Do I look like I need leg room?" me to Jackie on the bus to Ortesi
9.  "In my box are two wool socks with bananas in them," Jackie at his birthday party in October.  Chloe and I wanted to play a Jimmy Fallon game called Box of Lies.  We did 12 shoe boxes worth of mystery items and the key to the game is to guess if your opponent is telling the truth about their items or lying.  He was telling the truth.  90% of all our items were somehow Jackie items.  He loves his wool apparel.
10.  "She should have given us smarties not dumdums," Chloe said after a teacher handed out candy.
11.  Walking in from a November meeting, Jackie's phone rings and it's Chloe calling from her bedroom to have him bring her a freezer cookie...good lord....
12. "What are you looking at Buddy?" me to him.  Chloe responded, "Making sure you don't get out of the gate," hahahahahaha.  Buddy had separation anxiety at first but now he knows we will be coming back when we go to work.
13.  "Can you get games on that?" Chloe asked me in Italy when I was giving myself a bolus of insulin, it cracked us up.
14. "Why are you stalling?" Chloe asked in the Nashville airport.
15.  "Just go in the back and scratch your flank," Chloe said in a Grieve toy store when I needed to scratch
16.  "Buddy wants Keeli to give him a bath," Chloe said the first week we had him
17.  "I don't want to die up here, " Chloe said when we took our bikes up the ski lift to view the Alpes De Suisi, the largest alpine meadow in Europe.  We somehow got on a hiking trail with our huge, heavy bikes and had to dismount and walk them down some pretty steep terrain.  A storm was brewing and we didn't have a cell phone and were literally ALONE up there.  I admit that I said some pretty bad words a couple times under my breath.  It was scary because we could've just gone back down the ski lift and not hiked it all the way down in the brush.
18.  In OKC over Thanksgiving we went through the Starbucks drive through and here's what I ordered, "I'll have a trenta unsweet black iced tea with just a splash of water," the lady responded with, "you'd like a splash of love with that?" We all died laughing.  I was told at a Memphis Starbucks that if I wanted the tea stronger to order it with a "splash of water".  hahahahahahaha :)

As you can see it's been a very funny year at our house.  I hope the laughs keep coming and for a year of health and happiness with Chloe :)

Christmas 2014, Birdeye

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!  I think since Christmas was in the middle of the week, this year was smoother than usual.  Or maybe I just got it all rolling earlier this year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It was the smoothest Christmas ever, thankfully.  We have so many wonderful things to be thankful for...a loving community minded church, family to celebrate with on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (an uncle in there to KILL...check out the photo), health, pets we love, a roof over our heads and many more blessings.  I've added photos from the last two weeks on here.  And My Top 10 List is coming with some of the FUNNIEST quotes of the year :)
Chloe read scripture during our Christmas Eve service and did a GREAT job

Oh la la, the Go Pro camera

Meme and Matt got Chloe a
HUGE box of toys, leashes, treats
and this huge bag of mealworms
 for her chickens...the bag reads,
"feed to your chickens and watch
them dance"  Look at Dr. Calico
and the dogs gathered round...

Buddy got me the soundtrack CD from Frozen
with this note in it.  She's so funny.....:)

Wynne Presbyterian Church Christmas Eve service

Everyone lined up for treats...

Chloe asked for a Go Pro camera with
dog accessories....she got it and here's the
harness....Buddy took the camera all over
Birdeye and got some great footage

Buddy's first Birdeye Christmas....he was
excited but not as much as Biscuit and Gummy

Lunch at Kara's

Christmas Day lunch at Kara's

Santa and Chloe got her dogs plenty of toys
 and treats...here's Gumball

Chloe's new Northface jacket from
Meme and Matt.  She loves that thing!

Dr. Calico got into the treats Chloe
got him...

This nutty blog is uploading photos from Jackie's Iphone on
their side.  Here's Chloe, Biscuit, Gumball and Buddy all
dressed up at the Cross County Courthouse delivering
candy last week before they closed.  It's been a tradition
since Chloe was born.

This was waiting for me Thursday morning....Martin's LOUD MOUTH
announced Tuesday night at Emmy's fried chicken birthday party that
this was the last year his kids would believe in Santa, Chloe was sitting
right next to him.  I, of course, glared at him and he tried to change the
subject...we told Chloe that for Santa to come, you have to believe in
Christmas magic.  She was blue all day long.  Thanks Martin.  I'm
looking forward to getting you back at some point.  I need a pair of boxing
gloves for my birthday...

Birdeye Update

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dr. Calico's new thing when he sees the milk out he jumps on
Chloe's shoulders to try and get a little milk....
 Thursday, December 18, 2014

Well we haven't fallen off the planet, it's just been busy.  After going to Dallas for AJ's funeral, we were getting ready for the annual Birdeye Christmas Party and getting gifts.  Oh and our only credit card was hacked last Thursday while J.Harmon was literally checking out of Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans and I was headed to Dallas.  The only thing they charged was two pairs of men's nylon socks mailed from King Size (I know, right? lol).  I got the socks on Monday and the packing slip said they were from me to me.  Anyway, how I figured it out Thursday night when I got an email saying I had changed my email address and password which I didn't.  They stole $1,000 worth of Capital One gift cards.  It took a week to get the new card in and they're still working on getting me back the reward points.

Last Saturday, Chloe and I made our annual peanut butter balls, it is a long day but worth it.  Making candy is messy and time consuming but we love eating it.  This past Saturday was our annual party and it was a ton of fun, we had 53 roll out and the food was wiped (or swiped) out.  Kara and I enjoy visiting and catching up with everyone.  Jackie's annual shoe contest got rave reviews this year when first time attender, and fellow Presbyterian, Elise Barry won the contest.  We have a Monolo Blahnik trophy that is given to the recipient that must be returned the following year.  It was a good time had by all.  Benton, Tom B, Clarah Creighton, Counts Louise, Stephen, Stephen Junior, Allie and Counts Elizabeth plus Anna Claire Burrow and Sophia Weeks all spent the night at our house.  I was summoned from the adult party because Chloe, Anna Claire and twin brother Connor, 7th graders were in charge of watching the cousins plus Kara's three.  It got out of hand when a huge pillow fight ensued with Counts Elizabeth crying over taking one in the face, Whit dancing on my dining room table and Conner being found under the bed eating poptarts.  When I got there it was all calm...lol...Chloe, Anna Claire and Sophia told us all about the party the next morning over bacon, crescent and cinnamon rolls.  It sounded like a better party than Kara and I's.  Oh and I did find skittles and other candy stowed away in my refrigerator....Chloe said they about wiped out her stash.  LOL.

So now that school is out, we are getting ready for Christmas at Memaw's and Emmy's birthday soiree Tuesday.  It should be a week of fun if we don't get the flu that's going around like wildfire.  Happy Holidays Ya'll.
He's a little much

There were probably 300 people at AJ's precious funeral.  It was
a time of celebration, reflection, laughs and tears.  The service
was at 5:30 pm because that was when she would have dance
parties in the hospital.  She'd been in and out of Dallas Children's
since June and when she was down or the nurses needed her up and
moving they had a 5:30 dance party.  The chaplain from the hospital
did the service and was fantastic.  There really was a dance party
to start the service, we all got up, then her family sang a hymn (the
Bates' can REALLY sing), then they had remarks limited to 2 minutes
each.  I'd say there were 50 people who spoke or read poetry about AJ.
The service let out at 8 pm.  Yes, 2-1/2 hours but it was worth
every minute to reflect on AJ's precious life. She always said,
"It'll be aiight" and never complained not once.  Never asked, "why me?"
Such a testament to what a wonderful person AJ was.
This photo is her aunt in the hat, and AJ's grandmother Marilyn Bates
on her left facing the crowd.

J.Harmon giving the shoe winner her trophy

Not a great shot but here are Elise's shoes

The next morning was our church's
Christmas program.  Chloe, Jackie
and I were helping with potluck so
we watched from the balcony

Linton and Katie Bradshaw had speaking parts
Jackie, me, Dara and David Bigger
at the annual Christmas Party
Kara and I usually get a photo
together but we didn't somehow
(my shoes were KILLING me so those
jokers were off most of the party)

August was up there with us :)

Adriaunna Jones

Friday, November 28, 2014

AJ 2014, before her
2nd heart and kidney transplant this past
June at Dallas Children's Hospital

OKC Feb 2011, AJ, Chloe and cousin Audrey.
She was 13 here, Chloe 10, Audrey 9.  One of my favorite
times with AJ was when Jackie, Chloe and I picked her and
Stephanie up in Little Rock during a sleet storm
to make it to our classmate Barbie's surprise 40th birthday
party in OKC.  We literally laughed all the way there
and even more on the way back...Poor Jackie,
 he needed headphones and probably his own car LOL :)

 2004 in Little Rock...Jackie, Chloe and I tailgated at a Razorback game
and we left Jackie at the game to visit with Stephanie
and AJ.  Again, another fun visit, full of fun and laughter.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm so sad that my sweet, dear friend of 30 years, Stephanie Bates Jones lost her only child, Adriaunna, from complications from her 2nd heart and kidney transplant.  AJ was born in Little Rock on July 24, 1997 with a rare heart condition, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  In September that year, she got a new heart and begun her journey.  AJ had such a wonderful, fun personality.  Always smiling as you can see in these photos, she was full of life, strength and humor.  A few years back, we picked Stephanie and AJ up in Little Rock for a weekend in our hometown of Oklahoma City for classmate Barbie Barton Greer's surprise birthday party.  We had such a good time going out there on the 4 hour trip, talking Facebook friends, old friends and high school memories.  That weekend was fun and the ride back was one of the most fun times I've had, in a car of 5 people, all girls but Jackie, in my life.  AJ told us all about a fight at school the week before, she said.  "it was a GOOD FIGHT though!" Hahahaha....

At the age of 6, AJ went into End Stage Renal Disease.  After 6 years of dialysis, she got a kidney transplant at 12 years old.  It soon failed and after 2 cardiac arrests and Transplant Coronary Artery Disease, she received a double transplant, heart and kidney this past June in Dallas.

AJ was sweet, smart and hilarious.  She had a great sense of humor on everything.  I've never met someone that smiled as much as she did and was a strong as she was.  I'm very glad we got to spend several visits with her and that weekend in Oklahoma City.  I miss her and I am deeply sad for Stephanie's loss.  I will continue to pray for her and her family as they grieve this great loss.  There's no question AJ is here with us, at peace without pain in all her beauty watching over her mom and family.  We will continue to pray for them.  Rest in peace AJ.  You were and are very much loved.  

Her service is Friday, December 5, 2014 at Lincoln Funeral Home, 8100 Fireside Drive, Dallas, www.lincolnfh.net.  Reverse Wake is Saturday, December 6, TBA.

To see her COTA page http://cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforAdriaunnaJ/

Be an organ donor.  We are.

Paint Your Art Out, Edmond

Chloe's finished product
Friday, November 28, 2014

Mom took Chloe and cousin Audrey to downtown Edmond's Paint Your Art Out.  It was a perfect activity after Thanksgiving, thanks mom!  The studio is set up for individuals or parties to come in, get instruction, supplies and within a couple hours you will have a new canvas to hang or a gift to share.  Chloe, of course, chose to paint her beloved Biscuit, she emailed the owner a photo from her iPhone and they took it from there.  Chloe got good information about texture, light and strokes.  Chloe's been painting since she was preK and I'm glad now, in the 8th grade, she got some good instruction and enjoyed it.  She plans to hang Biscuit in our living room once it's glazed and dried.  Fun times and a good time with Audrey too.

I love Audrey's purple chevron

The place was spacious and Chloe got some
really good instruction about texture and lighting

I'm telling you, here are two future artists...:)

Thanksgiving in Edmond

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a good time in Oklahoma City.  We got to Edmond on Tuesday without my clothes.  Yes, that's right...Jackie didn't pack my hanging bag with my shoes and clothes.  Luckily it worked out somehow because my dear, dear friend Stephanie's daughter passed away Monday and I had funeral clothes packed assuming her funeral would be today but it turns out it's next week.  So a trip to Old Navy Wednesday got me a dress to wear and some jeans I just rolled up (of course nothing is the right length when you're my height).  Jackie and I went to the Oklahoma City Thunder game that night and had fun catching up with old friends.  I figured out Thanksgiving morning that AJ's funeral was actually the next Friday which was good because we were planning to pack up Thursday to head to Dallas Friday but, of course, that wasn't the plan.

We had a great lunch at Lottinville's in Edmond, watched movies, went shopping and ate a good meal last night.  We did the Edmond Turkey Trot 5K Thursday morning of course, it was a cold start but a good run.  It's always so nice to do a run before all that food for sure!  The turkey trot is a fun family tradition for us, we think it's been 4 years now.  This year there were over 2,000 participants and a ton of dogs and strollers.  We saw a ton of people in costumes, I saw one man in a full turkey outfit, top to bottom and ran with a pumpkin pie and a can of whipped cream.  Hahaha!

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Brr....Chloe and Audrey were so
thankful they had gloves
and hats, it was about 32 degrees,
as it is every year.  My oldest niece
Erin made all three of us tutu's to wear.
They were exceptionally easy to wear
and didn't bother me at all.
I added this photo to have evidence that I too wore a tutu

Chloe at the finish
Oh the way to lunch...this is the girls listening to Jackie, mom
and Gary discussing OU football..they were extremely bored :)