Lance and Danette

Lance and Danette

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome 2009!!

Hoping your Holy Days were filled with the Spirit of God!
2009 will be a GREAT year.
Our love to all!

Pretty Girls at the First Baptist DC Christmas Party

LOVE my girls!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Norris Family

They are all so DEAR to us.... we love you - Lucas, Tiffany, Landon and Caden!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fayla Nicolette

Anyone who knows us KNOWS how we feel about Fayla... We just love her with all our hearts... what a special girl she is! I LOVE the friend she is to Bae Bae.... "I'm in the middle because I'm black..." of every picture... Heeee! Black is not just beautiful, it's undeniably GOR-GEE-OUS... we love you, gal!

How Amazing My Daughter Is....

I am just so BLOW AWAY at my daughter's talent, her maturity, her sense of responsibility and accountability, her faith, her intellect and her unconditional kindness to others. She is one of kind. There is NO ONE like her on the planet and I am blessed!! How was I so lucky to be her Mom? It's really awesome and GOD is great. This picture is perfection to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Enjoy the colors that remain"

"Enjoy the colors that remain."

- Beth Easter

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beauty of Fall

As I watch the trees changing into vibrant colors of red, russets, orange and gold, I am amazed at the beauty God puts around us. I am so busy sometimes that I don't take time to appreciate the canvas on which He draws each new season. Beth Easter sent me this picture she took of a sugar maple and I wanted to share it with everyone. As this holiday season starts to pick up the pace, I hope everyone can PAUSE and BREATHE in the sights, sounds and smells of this fall.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Susan G. Komen 60 Mile Walk for Breast Cancer!

My amazing friend, Dee Masters, [pictured here with her daughter Tessa (left) and son, Drew (right)] just completing a 3 day, 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer in Philadelphia, PA this past weekend. All the participants slept in tents for two nights as volunteers moved their "pink city" from place to place each night. All participants enjoyed hot showers and hot meals, a mini post office, a 3 Day Cafe' and more.... it is so moving that Dee did this in honor of our good friend, Teresa Ford - a two time breast cancer survivor! You are both inspirations. WAY TO GO, DEE!!!!!!

Homecoming 2008

Bailey's homecoming at Boone High School was a GREAT success! The Braves stomped the Cypress Creek Bears 50 to 6 in a blowout football game on Friday night!!!!

Saturday afternoon I got Bailey ready for the dance. She really looked beautiful. Everything came to together... the hair....the makeup....the dress... the shoes... the accessories!

I was able to also spend time with my family...Dad, Pat, Justice, Maryn, Joe, Isa and Jana! Joe and Dad made this amazing pork roast marinated with ruby red grapefruit juice, garlic, rosemary, cilantro... it was OUTSTANDING.... Maryn made black beans and jasmine rice, fried plantains, salad and bread... It was all so delicious.

After church on Sunday, Dad, Pat, Justice and I went to Woody's BBQ for lunch! YUM! I bought two bottles of BBQ sauce to bring home with me!

Here is another candid shot of Miss Bailey with Meagan Knight and Jessi Zipper....

Monday, September 29, 2008

CUDOS to Darby!

Darby scored a 100 on his Central Nervous System presentation! 100%! For any of you who have watched him present or speak - it is A-mazing. His voice...his presence is ridiculously STRONG at 11! ... it doesn't even make sense. He is pleasure to watch... WAY TO GO, Darbus Maximus!

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Afternoon at the ER!

We spent about 2 hours in the ER with Darby this weekend. I went outside to water my flowers and was so happy because not one mosquito bit me…. They usually eat me up…. I went around back to coil the hose back up and mosquito got me on my eyebrow…. Ughhhh! So I came back in and told Darby and he was like, “Mom, it is really swelling up. But I have something to show you, but don’t say, ‘Oh, poor thing’ cause it doesn’t hurt…just itches a little”….. he lifted up his shirt and his whole right side was swollen from under his rib cage down to his groin and around his hip to the back of his butt. He had another place on his left knee about the size of a golf ball. Of course, I was asking when this came up and he said a week ago when he was at his Dad’s!!!! But he didn’t tell anyone, including his Dad. I lectured him a bit about not telling someone that it was there and said if he was embarrassed because of the placement of it to, “CALL ME!”

Both places had temperature to them – just really HOT… he did not complain of hurting at all really. I asked Lance to look at it… he looked for a bite mark and found none…we looked for a latent tick or something like that that could have been missed and was still wreaking havoc - found nothing. Lance pressed on certain parts of his abdomen ruling out a possible hernia. He shook his head and said, “Take him to the ER”… so off we went. Turns out it was a gi-normous hive…. Most likely caused by a food allergy though Darby can remember eating nothing out of the ordinary. It was the biggest one the doctor had seen in her career…Darby was proud of that! HA… All in all the one on his side looked like a giant mosquito bite the size of a football and raise about an 1/4 inch off his skin! Although it was harmless at this point it was kind of taking over, and his body could not fight the spread of the hive for some reason…. So I OK’d a systemic steroid shot (Darby was NOT happy) just to try and kind of get ahead of this thing and then she gave him another 10 day steroid pack…. By Sunday morning the swelling had come down a lot… still very hot to the touch…. By this morning it was even smaller and the temperature was coming out of it…. So I think his body got the boost it needs and is now getting rid of it.

To think, if I had never showed him my itsy-bitsy bite he might not have said a thing about it! BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Alice Project

As many of you know I became very interested in the story of Randy Pausch and his journey as a terminal cancer patient. That would be the "simplistic" view. In the course of following his treatment, I began to really look at his life and the work he had done at Carnegie Mellon University. During several lectures, Randy mentioned the The Alice Project - a software application which uses 3D programming to create animation in a much more friendly environment for teens. It involves lots of drag and drop techniques v. throwing a student into trying to develop and author lines of code. While Dann, Cooper and Pausch's project sounded like a phenomenal learning tool, I must admit it flew right past me as I have no interest at all in programming. I took Pascal at UF for about 5 minutes and it probably ruined me forever. I kept leaving off that damn ";" or "." or "//" and my one tiny little line of program would NEVER run ... And yet, the Alice Project kept coming up over the course of the last year - kind of tugging at me.

Last night Darby was frustrated because he wanted to make his own "Stickman" animation... he had the story line down, what his bad and good guys looked liked, the music he wanted in the background - but he couldn't find the software to make his vision real. Then the Alice Project popped into my head.... we looked at the application together. Tonight we will download the 2.0 version for Windows which is FREE compliments of Carnegie Mellon! Darby is interested in Computer Science as he wants to eventually design and build video games as well as other 3D animated projects - unfortunately there is no curriculum offering in programming right now for 6th graders - middle school. Alice might be a perfect solution for him and his curiosity, and willingness to learn. If it turns out that one of the reasons for being drawn to Randy and his story was to discover a way for Darby to accomplish his goals of one day becoming a Computer Science major, how serendipitous - what a "God" thing - how truly magical would that be?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Captain Todd Ross

Our neighbor, Todd Ross, just returned from a 10 day training trip and he is now officially a CAPTAIN. He will now occupy the left seat on every flight he makes!! What an accomplishment!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Birthday....

I am 41 years old today....incredible to think about that! I feel great and I am happier than I have ever been in my life. Bailey was home this past weekend and we had so much fun. We relaxed a lot which was just what we needed I do believe. Darby is with me this whole week too. He had to complete a project on The Central Nervous System. He did a great job. We did a cook out over at Lance's Mom and Dad's on Saturday. All of Lance's family from his mother's side were there and it was a good time.

Lance finished the framing on the front porch and called for his inspection. He got GREEN flagged first time out - again! I am beginning to think that codes in Hendersonville loves him! It was an AWESOME birthday present. He only had to work to get one critical job out today so he left the office at about 11am. I went home for lunch and when I left he was starting to put new sofit up.... the white stuff is going away! The sofit is Clay and the shingles and metal are Savannah Wicker. It is so pretty and warm. We have already painted the front door a deep Olive Green, though the color is called Deep Lichen. Once Lance has restored the beautiful old church door we have downstairs he will paint it with the green and replace the door we have up now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

These Girls Crack Me Up.....

Meagan Knight, Miss DDG and Jessi Zipper

All cute and sweet....and .... then...


My Brother is Engaged!!!!

My brother recently proposed to his long time love, Christina Elias, and she said YES!!! They will be married next summer beach side in the San Diego area and we will all be there to celebrate with them. What an exciting time for both of them and for our family as we welcome a really great girl as our newest SISTER!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School is Back is Session....

Bailey started Boone High School this past Monday, August 18. I think she is going to do really well there, but her course load will be awesome. Between school work and cheering she will be busy. Her first home game is this Friday and she is pumped and ready to go!!! Go Braves!!

Darby started 6th grade officially on August 11th and LOVES Knox Doss Middle School. He lucked out and has two classes with this best friend Conley Wilkes, so they are both really happy about that! He had 7 periods and 7 different teachers so this will be challenging since Darby isn't the most organized kid right now. But he seems to be keeping up so far!

Jacob and Meagan began school at Marshall Elementary this fall in Lewisburg. This is a GREAT elementary school.... I really like the principal Last year Jacob earned the most A/R points of any student in the school. He loves to read! Yea!! They are both looking forward to a fun year too and they like being at the same school. Meagan is a social butterfly and Jacob is a thinker... much more studious than Ms. M.

The children are such joys and we are proud of them!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Parent Night at The Wave

The kids did a great job with their Parent Night presentation last night. First was a pizza dinner for all the families in the Fellowship Hall. Then the show started. The counselor's did a very tongue in cheek performance of "A Day in the Life of a Wave Camper" through interpretative dance. So, so, so funny! Hysterical! Bailey is SUCH a ham! Lance and I were laughing our heads off. The parents truly cannot ask for a better staff to care for their kids. How special each of them are!

Darby was called on stage to do "Jiggy, Jiggy".... it's this dance song that the kids love! "Hey there, Darby, you're a real cool cat. You've got lots of this and lots of that. We all think you're really, really neat so get on your feet and do the jiggy-jiggy beat!" He was dancing all over the stage...Again, HAM!

It was a fun night and the kids have had a fantastic summer. One more week of summer camp and then it's back to thinking about school. The first full day for Darby is August 11 and Bailey begins August 18. Bailey will have cheer camp beginning next week and she is excited about that. Her first Boone Football game to cheer at will be Friday, August 29!!!!

Randy Pausch Dies of Cancer at 47

Author of The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch, passed away today at the age of 47. I have followed his struggle with pancreatic cancer since hearing his "Last Lecture" given at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007. At that time he had just been given a time frame of, "... 3 to 6 months of good health left". He defied those odds by faith, love of family, optimism, passion for life and his life's work and by prioritizing. In addition to the insightful lecture he gave in September, he also did one on Time Management at UV in November 2007. I believe this one to be extremely practical and helpful, especially for someone who can let work get the best of her.
We will all die some day. We all face the same fate, his was just faster. But I found the journey and the way he traveled to that end to be very inspiring and loving. The Last Lecture - Carnegie Mellon September 2007 Time Management - University of Virginia November 2007 Buy the Last Lecture

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bailey's Grades

Bailey's official grades this past nine weeks were straight A's, which gives her a STRONG 4.27 GPA! Way to go, Bae!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Time....1st Wedding Anniversary

I love the pace of summer - I truly do. Everyone pitched in this weekend for our garage sale on Saturday, except Darby (it was his Dad's birthday this weekend). Jacob was the mascot... wore a clown nose, big glasses and a rainbow wig. Meagan even got into the act. Cracked us all up! He welcomed everyone who walked up the drive. We had a good turn out and have decided to do it one more time on July 12th. After the garage sale we headed over to Lance's parent's house for a fun cookout.... Terry is fierce on the grill. I made marinated cucumber salad with cucumbers from our garden. YUM! All the kids went swimming and had a great time! Jacob got stung by a wasp and never made a peep. It was a red wasp too... hurt twice as bad. What a trooper. Sunday was church in the NEW Fellowship Hall which was great. Meagan was "starving" to death at about 11:30am. She and Bailey are my rabbits. They like all vegetables! So, I made an early supper of baked chicken with this buttery cracker crust on the top, turnip greens, buttered corn, mashed potatoes and chicken gravy. Jacob said, "It's so homey here." I can think of no greater compliment. The house brimming with kids is the just the best. Tonight is 'Swim Mondays' at Danny and Anita Dickey's house, one of neighbors. They have a nice pool and the kids have a lot of fun. Today is Lance's and my 1st wedding anniversary! I am so grateful for him in my life and the joy he brings to me and the rest of the family. He is my everything! We are officially celebrating our anniversary next week in Annapolis with Teresa and Justin.

Monday, June 16, 2008

WARNING: Sun Worshippers

I went two weeks ago for my yearly Dermatologist appointment based on my mother and father's history. I had four biopsies. All FOUR were dyplastic moles. They have over a 90% chance of becoming melanomas within 5 years! Not Basal cell carcinomas but the full blown BAD BOYS!!! So, there were two that were totally taken care of via the the biopsies... meaning all the cells were captured in the biopsy... GONE! There are two more... one on my right forearm and one on my abdomen that need more work. That is OK. A bit uncomfortable... just a little shot and then a slight "punch" and a stitch or two. That's the small price I pay for worshipping the sun and being a native Floridan! Bottom line is EVERYONE needs to go to the Dermo to get checked out.... it's worth 45 minutes of your time! We can still love the sun, we just need this in our yearly regimen of "check up" items.... we catch 'em early and they are no big deal!! It is sooooo worth it. I love you all!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lance's Garden

We were able to pick our first squash of the season! Lance literally cut them off the monterous vines and handed them to me. I washed them and cut them up, cooked them with some onion and butter for dinner last night. We are talking vine to plate in 20 minutes. Bailey says they were the BEST she ever tasted! Now remember Lance grew everything - the squash, tomatoes and cucumbers - from seeds! Completely organic and what a difference in the taste!! Lance has grown food for our family - pretty cool!

Out of the blue our neighbor, Todd Ross, brought over two huge BBQ'd chicken halves made with homemade BBQ sauce. They were absolutely delicious .... a really nice surprise because I only had to make sides for last night's dinner! Bailey and I are making pound cakes for all our neighbors this weekend. We have some really great ones.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bailey is learning to drive... BEEP, BEEP!

Bailey has passed her Learner's Permit exam in Florida! She still needs to go to the DVM to get her official license; but, she is ready to go. My only stipulation to her getting her license when she turns 16 is that she knows how to drive a standard. My parents were both adamant about my knowing how to drive a stick because what if there was an emergency and that was the only vehicle available to drive? So I drive a standard and I am taking her to Hendersonville High School parking lot tonight and over the next few months this summer to get her comfortable being behind the wheel. I am excited to be teaching her actually. She is such a great kid and I am thinking of it as a fun new adventure!

Friday, May 30, 2008

We Have A/C

Lance got the new 2 1/2 ton package unit installed last night on the south end of the house. We did not run it through the night because he still needs to run duct, but it was blowing ice cold! I was in charge of buying the little wire nut cover thingies and a breaker at Lowe's last night. Needless to say, I had to return to the store because I got the wrong little wire nut cover thingies (big difference between orange, red and yellow!) and I needed a double breaker with the little "C" shaped whatsamawhosit on it. It's all quite technical.

We still need to get a coil set for the unit on the north end of the house and have it charged with freon. We will have around 7 1/2 tons total... lots of air, but we will need it once the sun room is done. It will be mostly glass, west facing and that will take us to 3,700 square feet of living space. We have been very fortunate with a long and comfortable spring. Also we installed GREAT insulation which really helps. It will get hot this weekend and we will have A/C just in time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Schooooool's... OUT...for...SUMMER!

Unlike some parents, I actually ADORE summer time. It's when we can get into a more normal routine with the kids. I am looking forward to a great one. Bailey has one more day of school and will come in tomorrow evening. She will officially be a Sophomore! Darby's last day was last Wednesday and he is now officially a 6th grader - middle "schooler". Both kids made Honor Roll all year and I am proud.

This week Darby started The Wave summer day camp at our church and was excited to see all his friends. It is a unique and enriching opportunity for the kids and I have been blessed to have them in a program like this. Bailey began as a Junior Counselor for the Wave in the 8th grade. This year she actually gets a pay check. I am really proud of her.

I don't have much planned for summer so far. Lance and I are getting away to Annapolis for the 4th as we have been consumed by this house renovation and need to get away. Darby is going next week to visit his grandparents (the Tew's) in Florida, but that is about all on the books so far.

We are open to anyone visiting up here in beautiful Tennessee. I hope to get home sometime during the summer too!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bailey is a Boone Brave!

Bailey had cheerleading tryouts at Boone High School on Friday afternoon... and.... she made it! Not only did she make the squad but she made VARSITY... the only sophomore to do so!!! Way to go, Bae! She is transferring to Boone in the fall as she was accepted into their magnet program. She was one of only a few students to get in from PCCA. It will be a tough course load and now add cheerleading and she has a FULL year ahead. It is a good move academically for her though. This school aggressively works to get their seniors placed into top notch universities all over the country. Go Braves...

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Refrigerator... Making Progress!

We have a new fridge in the kitchen... I was so excited. We have waited and been patient and the perfect deal fell into our laps on Saturday evening. This thing is huge and looks great... and it's a Whirpool Gold! My faith is fairly strong with this brand... especially if it involves water of any kind! We are happy about being one step closer to finishing in the kitchen. Little by little... piece by piece we are getting there. We have "new fridge" happiness!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flowers for the Cure!

Buy pink Gerber daisies, dahlias and geraniums at Lowe's through May 31 and Lowe's will donate 10% of the retail sales price to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I chose these gorgeous dahlias in honor of my best friend, Teresa Ford, and in memory of Mary Jean Brannon. Get Involved... Together we can find a cure!

Our Home

Lance and I purchased what will hopefully be our last home in June 2007! We opted to buy an older brick house in Hendersonville, but it is in a very desirable location coming toward the peninsula. The yards are big! Ours is a 1/2 acre, so we are not right on top of our neighbors - who, by the way, are WONDERFUL!

We (well, really Lance) have completely gutted the entire house. He replaced all the systems...plum-BING, HVAC, electrical... he replaced every piece of sub-floor with new... all new drywall, new appliances, new bathrooms, new hardwood... I am in awe every day of all he knows and can do. He takes such pride in his work. This has been a process of not just re-working a home, but for me a life lesson of completely trusting another person. Miss In Control is not in control of this renovation. There were so many decisions to make that I think, at some point, I stopped making them and just let Lance take over. He is amazing at visualizing a space and making it beautiful. All his designs are very tasteful and of fantastic craftsmanship! It's also been a quiet lesson in patience and waiting. My husband is a genius!