Thursday, December 21, 2006

She had a good day!

I'm happy to say that Camilla had a good...well, maybe I should more accurately say "a better day." The chemo is working and she doesn't seem to be in as much her energy level is up...she's staying awake for long periods of time...she's eating a little...she's doing better.

Today she had some friends come over and visit. I picked up three of her girlfriends from school - Dana, Tara, and Kaitlyn - and took them over. James was already there so her room was full of friends. They were back in Camilla's room visiting and we even heard Camilla laugh! The girls stayed about 2 hours. Later, I took her dear friend - Cody - over to visit.

So many people have said they were praying for this family...thank you...and please continue!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

She's coming home

Camilla and family in February, 2005

The news was beyond devastating, the worst news we could have had. Camilla's cancer is back...back with a vengeance. The kind of leukemia she has now is one that withstood the best chemo, radiation, and two bone marrow transplants. It is raging.

The doctors at St. Jude are giving her try and slow the progress of the cancer. This is to give Camilla, her family, and those of us who love her, the gift of time...of getting through the holidays. Camilla was SO looking forward to Christmas.

St. Jude is flying Rema and Camilla home tomorrow.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Back at St. Jude

Camilla...she's been in ICU she's in ICU at St. Jude. Antibiotics through her IV didn't bring her temperature's stayed at about 102.

Yesterday, St. Jude sent a medical transport team from Memphis to here. The plane landed, the ambulance met them, brought the medical crew to the hospital, they gathered up Camilla, and flew her and Rema back to Memphis.

How does a mother watch her child suffer so much? I know they're not the first family this has happened to, and it won't be the last, it's just that I've been a part of this family. Not only do I ask you to pray for Camilla...but for Rema...for all of them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This is not a cheery post :(

I haven't posted about Camilla lately. I almost didn't today, but I know people are wondering.

I have always been told to not say, "What else can go wrong?" because things can always get worse...and I DO know that. But right now, my poor Camilla is suffering with a capital S.

She was so happy when she got to come home from St. Jude...on Day 99 after her transplant. A bone marrow biopsy had been taken before she left...two weeks later, the results came back as "slightly positive." Not good. They took another one. Two weeks later it again came back "slightly positive." Really not good. So...they took T-cells from Rema and gave them to Camilla to give her immune system a "boost." Two days later she was in extreme pain...she's still in extreme pain...and today, she is now in Intensive Care at the hospital...high fever...intense pain.

The doctors are GUESSING that the T-cells are attacking the parts of her bone that are dead...and attacking her nerve endings...and that's what is causing the pain. To cope, she is on unbelievably high amounts of pain much so that she hallucinates at times. Now the fever...and we don't know why. Her lungs are clear, so that rules out pneumonia.

Christmas is coming and she is looking SO forward to going to Virginia to see her grandfather and other relatives. Now she's also scared that she won't be able to go...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Lists

The Christmas season is here! I've been asking my family for a Christmas list for's taken some a bit longer than others to get them to me. I enjoy giving and it's wonderful when I know some things they really want.

Well, Lindsey sent me hers today...finally. On Donnie's list, one of the items, neatly tucked within others says, "Someone to iron Donnie's shirts each night." Um? I don't think I can fulfill that one!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, John David!

Today my baby brother is...let's see...he's definitely getting old...47 years old! Wow...he's close to 50!

I always said he was a brat...and I suppose sometimes he was. But he has always been a special 'baby brother.'

As we got older, I would have to 'babysit' him...Mom was probably playing BRIDGE and Dad was probably at work. THAT is when I probably decided John David was a BRAT. He states I would chase him into the bathroom, where he would promptly lock the door. He, of course, has no recollection of what would prompt his sweet sister to chase him into the bathroom. But I DO remember what he use to say to me. He would scream, "You just wait...when I get to be a big girl and you're a little boy..." and the rest of the sentence would change, but the beginning was consistent. THANK GOODNESS he never changed into a big girl! WHEW!

Well, as all little brothers do, they grow up to be big brothers. The 'brat' part of him for the most part has left...well, maybe it's all left. I think I did pretty good training him (I'll have to ask Becky). I'm not sure if I should ask Sami or Addison. Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Startling Fact...but is it really true?

My friend Lainer called me tonight to let me know a startling fact told to her by her dear retired husband... She said that He said that women speak an average of 20,000 words a day...while men speak an average of 7,000 words a day. Um? I guess it must be an unfortunate situation for men. See, we women - or the lucky ones - have wonderful groups of girlfriends to talk to. At least, that's my situation...and Lainers...but I still think 20,000 words a day is a stretch! (But if you're Lainer...and you're feeling "edgy", it might be an accurate number!)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Eskie is Thirsty

Eskie has a habit of drinking out of the toilet!

One can obviously see that Eskie, in his advanced age, also doesn't listen to any commands! I'm not sure what the charm of the toilet's not like we don't have a water bowl for him. We even wash it and give him fresh water every day. But is that the one he wants? Why no...Eskie has decided he likes to get his drinks here!

Pink is the new Softball Color

Thanksgiving continues with this post...

Joshua and Erica let Thalia open one of her Christmas presents when we were there...only Josh selected the one to open. Pink bats, pink balls, pink mits...this was a first for me. Thalia loved it. We all went over to the park and let her hit and throw. She's good...she's really good...I'm sure anyone would say that...not just cause I'm a Mimi!

She had some instruction from Josh and her Papa...I was simply there to cheer and take pictures.

Thanksgiving, 2006

Besides playing softball, Thalia did a little skating. OF COURSE, her skates are PINK...She also has an absolutely extravagant headband that she "made all by myself!" - and can you guess what color that is? Yep, PINK!

Now you may notice her 'hair' looks a little different in this second photo. She wanted to wear her wig...and have me take a photo...and she REALLY likes this picture!

Thanksgiving Day was wonderful! We spent the day at Erica's parent's new home. How special to be with a new part of our family. Pedro and Lizbeth are Erica's parents...her nephew, Jake, who is 6 was also there.

Erica and Lizbeth............................................Pedro, Joshua, Ron

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Genetics...or God Threw the Mold Away When He Made Your Mom

I do believe in Genetics...I have kids...I see the resemblances. Of course, there are some I wonder about - "Well, that MUST have come from your Dad's side of the family!"

Which leads me to the topic of Bridge. I'm not sure how it leads to that topic, but it does.

My mom...understanding genetics, I know I have some of her qualities. (Like seeing that Emmitt is a smooooth dancer.) However, one we ABSOLUTELY DO NOT share is competitiveness...especially when it comes to games. Like Bridge.

Well, Bridge is the main one. But then there is competitiveness in baseball, football, hockey, dominoes, hand and foot (or is it foot and mouth???), canasta, bowling, geez, you name it, my mom is competitive with a capital C.

My mom LOVES to play Bridge. She told me it keeps your mind SHARP! Well, that's the truth. My mom has a SHARP mind.

She use to tell me I needed to learn how to play bridge. Nope...not for me. I don't care a thing for it. Not that I know how to play...but it's kind of like raw oysters - never tried it, never will...I KNOW I wouldn't like it.

Did I say that my mom LOVES to play Bridge? I don't think she plays 7 days a week anymore...but she use to. (may be a slight exaggeration) But she does play all day sometimes.

My mom now has "MASTER POINTS!" (remember, she's competitive) Now Master points are a BIG DEAL...seriously. Because she has master points, that means she's good...really good. But I already knew that.

So, since my mom loves bridge...and she has Master would make sense that she takes lessons in Bridge!

I've never met Darcy...but Darcy Day is the day and the person Mom takes lessons from. Mom has her 'partners' too. You have to really understand your partner. Mom mostly plays with June. There are others...but you have to understand - my mom LOVES she may not have a lot of patience if you're not good...
This photo is of June and my mom...I'm sure they had been playing bridge, or were just taking a break from playing bridge...or maybe they were waiting for another game of bridge.

I'm sure that's why I never had the desire to play bridge. the title. I don't know anyone...not a soul in our family anyway, who is as competitive as my mom. my favorite Aunt Jane always has said (although not necessarily related to bridge) "God threw away the mold when he made your mom!"
Mom and Ron riding in a golf cart at the farm. I don't think there was any competition going on...but who knows?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Family + Cooking = Happy times for Judy

I just love Thanksgiving! It's a family holiday without all the, I love to family + cooking = Judy's happy!

Not that I'm usually not happy, I'm almost always happy, but I'm happier when I have my family around me.

When my kids got married, I asked each of them one major request...that they would work it out so that every other Christmas, I had them all together. It's worked out...and so with that, having them the other every other Thanksgiving has also worked out. For Christmas, we're all heading to Texas...then we'll have ALL our family together...that's even better!

This year, Ron and I have a double bonus...we get to be with Joshua, Erica, and Thalia for both holidays! They had planned all along to go to Erica's family's for Thanksgiving. We decided to come down and visit prior to them hang out with them...and then head back Thursday. Erica's family invited us to their that's what we're going to do. I'm VERY excited!

I've always been so thankful that my parents and Ron's parents got along so well. It's what I wish for my own kids - that they'll love their new families. For Ron and I to be friends with their in-laws...well, I guess I call it another bonus!

I'm taking photos...and video of Thalia hitting a softball...I'll post those when I get home.

I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ron's sort of like Emmitt Smith

Well, sort of...I think Emmitt and then I think FOOTBALL - not just any ole football, but DALLAS COWBOYS football. Well, when I think football, I think RON! Yep, Ron played for years...junior high, high school, and then even went to college on a full football scholarship. His nickname was 'LIGHTENING'.

I'm thinking of Emmitt because I watched the last two episodes of Dancing with the Stars. My mom had been telling me that "EVERYBODY...Well, EVERYBODY I KNOW" watches Dancing with Stars and EVERYBODY is talking about Emmitt. She said he was SOOO good and 'Oh honey, his, it is just so sweet!'

Well, I didn't know ANYONE watching Dancing with Stars. I certainly hadn't seen it and hadn't heard ONE SINGLE SOUL say a word about it.

I decided I wanted to connect with my mom on a TV I watched Dancing with Stars on the 2nd to the last week - when there were 3 couples...only I just watched the episode when they got rid of the 3rd couple.

Well, my mom was right...Emmitt DOES have a sweet smile. Mom said he "was so smooth" when he danced. Um? Well, I guess so. This is NOT how Ron is like Emmitt. Ron is NOT a smooth dancer AT ALL. Nope. We took lessons a few years ago - Ron almost broke my fingers from squeezing my hand so tight as he concentrated on how he was suppose to move. Plus...I said OUCH a bunch of times when he stepped on my FEET!

That was the end of our dancing career together.

Now, Emmitt, if I remember right, use to take ballet...guess that's why he is so SMOOTH when he dances. Ron, well, forget it.

Ron has a new injury...I don't think this would happen to Emmitt. Ron's own quad ran into his leg. Yep, you read that one right. He wanted me to take a picture of it so he could show Josh. Josh graciously sent us a picture of his INJURY....but it's not for the faint of heart, so I can't post it here. But here's Ron's..

Monday, November 13, 2006


Mimi was my grandmother. Her name was Jewel but most people called her Judy - if they didn't call her Mimi. I was her first grandchild...the one who gave her the name Mimi. I loved her more than life itself. I told my own kids that when they had their children, I wanted to be called Mimi. Thalia, bless her heart, calls me Mimi and says it in THE sweetest way.

Today, November 13th, is Mimi's birthday...she would have been 103 years old.
Mimi was born in 1903. I look at this photo of her with her family (Mimi is the one with the headband on) and wonder...she definitely looks like she is going to do her own thing. No one else is wearing a headband! Was her mom happy with the way she was dressed? Was Mimi happy having to take the picture? I know her as the sweetest, kindest, most lovable woman on the planet...the person who loved me so much.

In the summer, she would come up to see my last day of school. Then I would go home with her - about 3 1/2 hours south of where we lived - and I'd spend the summer with her. She worked at Sears in the little girls department...therefore, Mom tells me, I was the best dressed little girl there was...Mimi made sure of it.

Mimi's younger sister was named Bonnie...which is who my mom is named after. I have always loved this little photo of the two of them...Jewel and Bonnie.

My own children loved Mimi. I'm so thankful they all remember her.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Marvin turns 93!

Marvin won't actually turn 93 years old until tomorrow - November 13th. Last night we had his birthday dinner so Camilla and Rema could be here. (Rema and Camilla left this morning to head back to Memphis for Camilla's 2-week checkup.)

We started off with Marvin's birthday dinner - Chicken Marbella, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and hot rolls. It was definitely enjoyed by all. We enjoyed being together and visiting. After awhile...out came Apples to Apples. This was played by the fireplace...Camilla's favorite place to be.

Red Velvet Cake was Marvin's birthday cake. Ron wanted me to put 93 candles on it...instead I think I used about 20 and just formed a 93. There was enough smoke from those twenty...the fire alarm probably would have gone off it I had used, it might have been tough for Marvin to blow them all out!
Marvin blowing out his candles...notice the smoke!
Marvin and Camilla

Happy Birthday, Marvin!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


My baby boy had minor surgery today...

I thought all day about being a mom...Joshua is 30 years old, but he's still my 'baby boy.' I hurt when he hurts...I cry when he's hurting...I'm happy when he's happy...I'm excited for him when he's excited...Today he was hurting and I couldn't stand it! My stomach was in a knot...the 'worst case scenario' was building up in my mind. I wanted to be right there with him...but instead I was in my classroom with 30 sweetheart students, 600 miles away.

Joshua called me this morning about 9:30 to tell me he had been back to the doctor, and was now on his way to the surgeon. Some of my students apparently saw me on the phone...came up to me, giving me hugs, asking if everything was ok. They were so sweet, so concerned.

He called back about 10 to say he was going into surgery...I asked him to PLEASE call...he assured me Erica would. It wasn't until 2 p.m. that I heard anything. The doctors think it is an infection that created a huge knot...that was so incredibly painful. Now he's home, and thankfully has a sweetheart wife to take care of him. I'm SO thankful for Erica...I love her, and I hope she knows what it means to me to have her be so wonderful to baby boy!

The top photo was taken in May, 1982. Joshua was 6 and Gabe was 3 1/2 years old. My boys!

Joshua, Erica, and Thalia. At their wedding (left) .... on a visit to Fern Canyon (right)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Camilla comes home!

November 1st was a great day...Camilla came home! Her plane landed at 6 and there were quite a few friends out to greet her. She has been looking so forward to this day...and she said it was 'perfect'.

From the airport, everyone came to Camilla's. We had a toast of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider to welcome her home...and we had cake and cookies. How wonderful it was to hear her laughing, smiling, and just being so extremely happy.

As the night went on...the crowd started thinning out. Dick was worn out...but Camilla was going strong. She was happy. Two of her friends I was taking home, so we stayed a bit longer. Cody and Dana, two of Camilla's friends!

Camilla, we're all so glad you're home!