Sunday, September 30, 2007


Ok, so I thought I'd surprise all you "blog stalkers" with a new design! Whatcha think? So, I have to admit that I am not the one who created it but I did come up with the rhyme... that's about all I can take credit for. I was "browsing" all the comments on Copeland's blog and one girl said she was a "blog designer" and would be glad to volunteer her time for them... well, I decided I'd check it out! And when she told me it'd be $20 flat... how could I resist?! The plain basic blue never was all that exciting... so I sprung for some chocolate and nectarine paisley! :) I hope it's pleasing to all those eyes who read! We've had a great weekend and had a wonderful afternoon at a big family picnic at church! I'll be sure to upload some pics and share soon! And I have to give all credit to Jenissa in South Dakota for her hard work! Here's her designs... please feel free to copy! :)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sad & Joyful

I'm sad tonight to learn of the passing of Copeland, yet I rejoice in knowing that she is whole and complete in her Father's arms. I can't imagine what Boothe and Conor are going through. Please keep them in your prayers.
When we got home from church tonight Morgan insisted on taking some pictures. I thought I might share what she captured. She worked really hard at lining all her animals up. For a 2 year old I thought she did pretty good... except for the one she took of daddy! I snagged the camera and snapped a few myself. I got the girl "hootie hoot" jammies and we've been singing Shades as a bedtime lullabye... not really but the Owls are cute! :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

For all you moms & dads...

I know I just posted a new post but this video takes the cake. I found it on someone else's blog and it made me laugh so hard that I cried (I for sure thought I had turned into a Brown-- which by the way, please share this with Katie and Scott). You have to listen the whole way through. I also love that the daughter walks in behind him while he's singing. Morgan is notorious for ALL of this... and especially tip-toe'ing in our room without saying a word and about scaring the living daylights out of us! I hope this little ditty brings you a smile like it did me! The last couple lines are the best! Enjoy!!

Life this Weekend & Today

Some of you have made me laugh with your comments on the incinerated pacis. Stephanie H thought that I burnt them on purpose to get rid of them. When in reality it was more like Shelli said, "Oh no, now I need to run to the store and buy more pacis!" The thought of giving them up never crossed my mind! :) I sent Justin's mom to the store for more pacis while the smoke detector was still going off! Thankfully, the smoke has cleared and there are just a few lingering hints of burnt plastic mixed with the odor from the ozone machines. We're glad to be back home and into our routine. The girls have made me laugh really hard today and I can say I've truly "soaked" them up today. The Lord has used the Farley's situation to reveal many things to me; mostly my selfishness, lack of trust in my Lord, and the fact that I take many things for granted. My children were easily conceived and healthy and have had no complications since birth. I take all of this for granted. I think it's providential for so many of us who haven't faced hardships to learn about what others face to make us value what it is that we have. I take so much of my life for granted and God has used Boothe to reveal this to me.

As I said, the girls have made me smile today. I just want to open up and drink them all in. I want to savor our moments and laugh out loud as much as we can. Morgan thinks she's a ballerina. She's never had a lesson but her grandmother bought her a tu-tu (sp?) and she wears it all the time. Paige wants to be Morgan and thinks she is. She crawled up into Morgan's chair this morning so I decided at lunch they could sit there together. Well, the grass was greener on Morgan's plate and Paige lost it when I insisted that she eat her own Chik-fil-A and not sisters. I couldn't resist a few photos of a such a senseless fit. I had to separate them and put Paige in her highchair. I went in the other room and heard Morgan walk up to Paige and say, "Paige I'm sorry that I got upset with you for eating my food!" I thought my heart would melt!

We had a delightful weekend and enjoyed having a couple extra set of hands around. We threw a shower for some close friends who are getting married and, as always, loved being in fellowship with our close friends. It was a great turn out, Tami & Neal's house looked fabulous, and Abby didn't deliver the baby at the shower or on her way back to B'ham... at least not that I've heard! Chris and Kara got lots of nice things and we had a lot of fun celebrating with them. The party makes me even more excited about getting our house wrapped up so we can host parties! For those of y'all who have asked for more house pictures... I'll whet your taste buds just a little with another picture of a different bathroom! You've seen the orange... now I'll show the yellow, but please like I mentioned when I showed the orange one, I don't want to cause anyone to be jealous, so guard yourself before you look! Enjoy!

The Raiger and our long lost dog, Eufaby

My Ballerina

My Cowgirl

Sisters BEFORE Paige ate Morgan's apple

Paige after I told her not to eat Morgan's apple

And... last but not least, another bathroom!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Please continue to pray...

We're back at home now from the "smoke out" (I accidently typed "smock out" which I wish it was a smock out-- sounds like more fun!) and I just wanted to remind those of y'all who check this regularly to pray for Boothe and Conor and their family.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fire on the Mountain... Run Boy Run!

Paige's Pacifiers

Maybe you've gathered a few things in your mind by the picture posted above. As you can see, the 8 pacifiers I was sterilizing this morning didn't make it. Rather than sterilize them, I incinerated them. Don't worry, it was much worse than it looks. I'm not at home now typing on my computer. Instead, I'm at my in law's house where I will spend the next several days while our rental house is fumigated from the smoke. Here's how it all started...

It was an average Thursday morning at our house. I was bribing Morgan to go to school today so I could get some things done. Paiger was scooting about the house and a bit fussy. I was a little frantic because I had wasted half the morning searching on the internet about how to add a song to my blog (which I never did figure out-- Lenzie can you please help me?) and as a result I forgot that I put 8 pacis on the stove on high to "sterilize". I loaded up the girls and took Morgan to Mother's Morning Out and the Raiger and I headed over to the new house to see Daddy's progress. An hour and half after I put the pacifiers on the stove I remembered that they were still on. I flew like a bat out of hell from the new house to the rental house. The whole way I prayed that the house wouldn't be on fire. I knew had set them on HIGH but only half of the heating element on our stove works so I prayed for a miracle. I could smell the smoke and hear the smoke detector as I jumped out of the car. The smoke was so thick I could hardly see in the house. It was the most awful smell I've ever smelled... burnt rubber and burnt plastic... and the smoke had permeated every corner of the house. I threw the pot out the door and frantically ran through the house trying to get all those dadgum window treatments out the way so I could open the windows and doors. I probably shouldn't have even been in the house. I kept thinking "stop, drop, & roll" but that would have taken too long so I stupidly ducked low endured the smoke until I set up fans and opened everything that would open.

Of course, I couldn't get Justin on his cell phone and I didn't know what to do. I guess I could have called the fire department but there was no fire so I wasn't sure what they could have done for me. Thankfully we have renter's insurance and the "Fire Restoration" company came out this afternoon. They've placed two 'ozone' machines in the house that actually fill the house with ozone (as in O3) and hopefully deplete the house of all toxic, burnt plastic fumes. So, for now we wait and hope these machines get all the nasty smell out of our clothes and furniture. I guess the miracle was that the house didn't burn down and hopefully everything will be okay. From now on I will just wash the paci's with some antibacterial soap and pour some hot water on them.

Just thankful to be alive and still have some stuff... which thankfully is just "stuff" after all!

Please keep praying for Conor and Boothe as they hold onto Copeland. What a blessing her life has been so far! I kept reminding myself of what they face as I dealt with stupid stuff that doesn't matter like burnt pacifiers and smoke. All my problems seem so small in comparison.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Snake Charmer!

If you know Justin at all, then you know he was so proud of his girl for handling this snake with such poise. First, I will defend myself by saying that I would never let my child hold a snake that I thought would hurt her in any way (and of course Justin wouldn't either-- that's not to say that he wouldn't handle one that could hurt him... but that's another subject). This is a very small snake (it actually looks bigger in the pictures than it did in real life) and it's a rat snake, which is not poisonous and Justin held it first for a long time to make sure it was calm and kind. It never once seemed to be bothered by being held, even by a 2 year old who has a tight grip. With that said, as you will see, our little naturalist loved every minute of it. She's a lover of all creatures and a snake to her was even more exciting than a frog or toad. In fact, she was very sad to put it back in the fern where it came from. But we easily distracted her by showing her the mouse/rat (not sure which it was) that Squash had brought home half eaten. :)

My sister in law came by this morning to borrow a fern for the annual 4 year old preschool Tea Party. She was surprised to find this little snake when she got the fern to school. No need to fear, Justin was there in a minute to rescue the snake from the children, rather than rescue the children from the snake. He got there before the kids were even there and drove the snake home to show Morgan. I can just imagine him driving down the road while holding this snake... it would be a tough accident to explain if he wrecked along the way. Anyway, I couldn't resist a few pictures!

I'm happy to announce that I have successfully returned our new swimming pool to a lovely shade of blue! Morgan has been swimming in it the last 2 days and thinks it's so "cool" that it's in our new yard. She ran around the pool today and I told her there's no running at the pool, she replied, "Well, there's no lifeguard, Mama!" I explained that I was the lifeguard now. And she asked, "Then where's your whistle!?" The funny thing is that she wasn't being smart, she just really wanted to know if I had a whistle and then told me that we really needed to go to Target to get one! :)

For those of you who have checked in on the Farley's blog, please continue to keep them in your prayers. Little Copeland is doing okay and they have posted new pictures of her! What a precious gift she is from God. I keep reminding myself that we serve such an awesome King who is a Creator and a Physician. He, who created Copeland, will also be the one to sustain them in their time of need. What an omnipotent God we have! It is so evident that they hold tightly to the truth and it's amazing how it has carried them thus far. Although I have no idea the depth of their pain and suffering, I recognize that the empathy I have is a gift from God to help me pray for them. My heart aches for them. I think of my children and I am in agony with them. Please keep them in your prayers!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm Okay!

Well, I apparently have a stomach of steel or perhaps didn't eat enough of the tainted chicken salad to poison myself! :) Thankfully! Justin got home safe last night and was so renewed and refreshed from his weekend. He even came home with a new album the guys cut. I got to listen to it while I ran some errands this morning. It made me smile and laugh out loud on some songs. It was true "mountain music" with harmonicas, guitars, washboards, and homemade drums.

Morgan will be 3 in November and has never had her hair cut. And seeing as how I come from a long line of hair dressers, I thought it would only be appropriate if I cut her hair myself. Easier said than done on a 2 year old! But we pulled through, and she now looks like an even bigger girl with a haircut that is even all the way around... or at least close to even! :) I took a few pictures... here's the link

I also wanted to share a blog of a friend/acquaintance of mine from Auburn. She and her husband are expecting their second daughter which will be delivered by c-section tomorrow. Her name will be Copeland. She has been diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder called Trisomy-18 and statistics show that her chances of survival are very slim. Their oldest daughter, Sellers, is 3. Please keep this family in your prayers throughout the day tomorrow. They are praying for a miracle for their daughter, but most importantly that through God's will, He will bring glory to himself. Through their suffering, Boothe, has so eloquently posted her deepest longings, thoughts, and prayers... I hope that you will be inspired by her and bow before the Lord on their behalf. Here's the link to their blog...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

For You Late Night Blog Checkers...

Would you please say a prayer for me! I just got home from taking the girls out for dinner at McAllister's and I ordered chicken salad.... which I never order! But after bite #2 I decided that it did in fact taste AWFUL and very rancid. I proceeded to take it back to the counter and ask for something different. The lady returned with my turkey and told me, "the guys in the back didn't keep it where they were supposed to" So in other words, at 6pm this chicken salad has probably been sitting on the counter all day. Needless to say, I didn't eat the turkey sandwich for fear that it would all come up later and I figured the less I have in me the less will come up! And I just posted a few hours ago for mercy from all the illnesses... I'm still holding to that prayer! Hopefully I have a digestive system made of steel! Thanks for your prayers!!

Another Sick Baby!

I can hardly take it! We have been bombarded by every illness in the book! Daddy is away this weekend for a guys get-away in the mountains and I must admit that I'm not fond of life without him. In fact, it's pretty rotten without him around; and having another sick baby magnifies my longing for him to be home with us. It makes me appreciate his new "job" that doesn't require near as much travel as his last. There's nothing glorious about traveling or being apart besides the realization of how much I love him and miss him! With that said, I am so excited that he was able to get away to a beautiful place and spend some time with some awesome men of God! There's no place I'd rather him be (if not with me) than with his guys, in the mountains, doing the things that guys do that I just can't or won't do! It was 6 years ago, yesterday, that he asked me to be his wife. I remember it like it was yesterday and at the same time it seems like so long ago! Our lives have moved, changed, and grown so much since then! But I'm still as excited today to be his wife as I was the day he asked me!

Unfortunately, the little Raiger came down with some sort of virus in the middle of the night Friday. She was plagued with with a high fever, throwing up, and extremely lethargic (as you can see in the picture above). I spread the big quilt out in case she got sick; I'd hate to have to clean it from the rental carpet! Despite the enticing toys I placed around her, she didn't change her position all day. She must have been feeling rather rotten. I sat her up, fed her some soup, and then she'd lay right back down. In fact, she scared me a little bit... her behavior was so out of character. Thankfully, Justin's in the mountains with Dr. Jeremiah who somewhat reassured me that she'd be okay, only after saying I might want to monitor her through the night. There was no need to monitor her, she let me know when she needed me and I was there. At 3 am her fever was still 102.6 but thankfully by 8 am it was back to normal and my little Paiger Raiger is back! Praise the Lord! Now I'm just asking for some mercy in the illness category!

I just got off the phone with Chris Kirtley! What a joy and emotional high to hear his voice and talk with him! He was in great spirits and is sounding so much better than I had anticipated. He will start his 9 month chemo regimen in a couple weeks in Houston so please continue to pray for him. He is so optimistic and continues to give God the glory despite all the hardship he has been through thus far! Thank you, to those of you who have prayed for him, I am so grateful and he is even more so!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Popsicle Pals!

I love these 2 little girls more than I could ever imagine. I truly feel so very blessed and recognize what a gift they are from the Lord. Morgan has been surviving on Popsicles since she got sick on Sunday and of course the Raiger has to have whatever big sister has. As I gave Paige a jellybean yesterday I questioned my ability to mother, seeing as how she only has 2 teeth and one on the way! But she manged to suck it down without a problem! I used the red eye touch up on their eyes and I always think it makes them look not quite "right" but at least black pupils are better than glowing firery red ones!
G-Mama, Thanks for the girls Dora book! They both absolutely love it! Of course Paiger Rager loves to press all the buttons! We've been watching home videos the last couple days and this morning Morgan woke up and was sad, she told me she wanted to move back to Tallahassee! It about broke my heart!! We'll have to pay a visit soon! We miss y'all!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A new illness among us!

This is Paiger Rager, a child which I can hardly keep my lips off of. She doesn't have anything to say... ever! Seriously, she just observes everything, points and moans and gets whatever it is that she request... can you blame me?! I think it must be a second child thing! Mom, thanks for her sailor dress. As you can see, she looked pretty cute in it. She might could even wear it next summer too!

This is the same little girl at breakfast this morning. She insisted on feeding herself and you can see what happened then... she loved every minute of it! And she thought she was such a big girl too!

Morgan and I were cleaning up toys last week when I glanced down to see what she was doing and this what she had come up with. All laid out just as you see it in the picture. I laughed so hard and knew that Justin wouldn't believe me unless I photographed it. I decided that now is not the time to explain what it was that she spelled!

My little cat in a hat! So, this little girl is the only thing I will miss about "the rental house". She's always around and makes me smile when I walk outside. I found her sitting in not just 1 but 2 hats last week and couldn't resist going in for my camera. She's such a ham and loves to smile for the camera. I'm just glad she's still around. A couple weeks ago I left the back hatch of my car open and apparently she hopped in around 9 am. I looked out the window and saw that I left it open and ran out to shut it. Not realizing that Squash was inside. Around 2:30 pm I went out to get in my car to run some errands and guess who was inside?? It was probably 190' in the car. She was still alive (praise the Lord) but her little chest was beating so hard. I tried to give her water but she wasn't interested. I guess that's why they say cats have 9 lives. Little squash only has 8 left!

Well there is a new illness among us. Morgan has croup and I'm praying really hard that Paiger doesn't get it. I think it's one of my least favorite viruses that children can get. A nasty, scary cough and high fever makes for one pathetic little 2 year old. She told me today that "bear" had croup too. That he had a high fever and needed some Tylenol. When I asked her how bear got croup she informed me that he touched the potty and got the germs on him! And sometimes I think she's not listening to me!!

Justin managed to take down 16 trees this past Saturday. I've been on pool duty and it's stressing me out already. The old woman stopped her lawn service and pool service 2 weeks before we closed. And the guys at pool shop told me it only takes a couple days for a pool to turn green... well guess what I have!!?? A lovely green pool. I have to shock it everyday until it looks good again. They started talking about priming the pump and backwashing... I told them I'd have to come back another day for that lesson! I've been in 3 times and we've only owned the house 3 days! I'm sure they'll start rolling their eyes when they see me pull in the parking lot! Oh well! This is the pool before it turned green... this is what I'm hoping to get it back to real soon!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On the Mend and Getting Excited!

Please don't be envious of our new phallic curtains & metallic wallpaper... I may put them on ebay for the highest bidder!! As you can see by my fabric I'm trying to work with the very cool vintage orange sink (which you can't really see). However, the orange countertops will unfortunately have to go! Erika so found it necessary to photograph me in the new bathroom, so I had to share.
I mentioned several weeks ago that we were in the process of buying a house and then I left you hanging. All this stuff with Chris came up and I didn't want to steal any attention away from the need for prayer for him. Well, we are scheduled to close on Friday and we are very excited. Not necessarily about the hall bathroom but the house as a whole. It was built in 1968 and just about everything is the same as the day it was built. Morgan's bedroom has 3 inch plush shag orange carpet (to match this bathroom of course) and all the kitchen appliances are "Harvest Gold". But with good bones and lots of room for our family we are ready for a major renovation and hopefully a drastic transformation. Our struggle in searching for a house was finding one that we wouldn't want to move out of any time soon. We moved to Dothan to settle in and the thought of living in a house for a little while and then getting one with an extra bedroom in a few years made my head spin. With six moves in 5 1/2 years I'm surprised I still have a head. Anyway, it has 4 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms (the guy who built it was a plumbing contractor so hence the 5 bathrooms--- Morgan will have no excuse for wetting her pants in the house... everywhere you turn there's a bathroom!) and it has a pool! All of which we're really excited about. We start the renovation as soon as we close on Friday. Justin wants to start up the chainsaw that afternoon and take down about 1/2 the trees in the yard and I'm all for it... as long as we can then turn our attention inside. I hope to keep our progress updated on here! I'll post more pictures soon!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Prayers Answered for Chris!!

I'm so excited to hear that Chris will not have to have radiation on his neck/face. That was the biggest prayer request last time I updated, as radiation had a big bag of nasty side effects that would come along with it. However, he's not out of the woods yet! I'll attach Louis' latest email so you'll know specifically how to pray. We feel like we're running an infirmary of our own here. Paige had pink eye, gave it Morgan, and gave it to me. Justin had a cold, gave it to Paiger, who gave it to me. And on top of pink eye and colds, Paiger busted out last night with the throw-up crud... thankfully we weren't at the rental house on our lovely carpet when everything within her decided to come up. Poor baby. There's nothing worse than sick children... whether they're 29 or 2 or 13 months!

Dear Friends,
The good news is that we are out of the hospital and Chris continues to recover. There are several minor post-operative annoyances and challenges, but his incisions are healing and his ability to walk gets better daily. He has doctor appointments on Weds and Olivia and he should be back in Louisville sometime Thurs. I am returning midafternoon on Labor day to work the rest of that week.

We do not have all the final reports back regarding his biopsy. There are several issues regarding the mandible that may take upwards of a month to return. The good news is that there appears to be good surgical margins. The new news is they have changed his diagnosis from a carcinoma to a sarcoma. The final reports will answer 2 or 3 additional questions, but will not change the basic diagnosis of sarcoma. When Dr Weber gave us this report, he started by saying this was a surprise to him and in his long career had only seen 5 or 6 of these tumors. We asked you to pray in a previous letter that Chris could avoid radiation. This prayer has been answered, but unfortunately, replaced with a new challenge.

Thirty years ago, little was known about sarcomas and patients uniformly did poorly. Several places around the world now have sarcoma centers, including Anderson, and cure rates are becoming acceptable. One of the fathers of sarcoma treatment plans is here in Houston and we have met with him. The plan going forward is to heal from his surgery and then return to Houston for a 9 month regimen of fairly intense chemotherapy. There are a total of 12 treatments given for a week each, followed by 2 weeks of rest, and then a new treatment. The advantage to staying here is that it is Anderson that has devised most sarcoma protocols and they therefore have more experience with potential complications. We have questions still to ask, but in the meantime, are considering looking for rentable housing close to the medical center for the next 9 months.

We are trying to make wise decisions on a variety of things, both medical and logistical. Chris continues to have the most enviable attitude imaginable and we are steadfastly confident that within a year we will be through this and we can all get on with our lives. By the way, Chris got the news at the end of last week that he had passed the final part of his CFA exam (Chartered Financial Analyst). That's a fairly big deal in the world in which he works. There are 3 parts given a year apart that are day long tests. Somewhere he read that only 6 percent of applicants pass all parts of the test consecutively, but then again, we have always known that God gave him a sharp mind.

Sorry that you can't erase us off your prayer boards. We appreciate the cards, emails, and all the tangible ways that love and concern gets expressed. Many of you apologize that you are "bothering" us with your email. The total truth is that Olivia and I treasure what you say and read them over and over. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor day.

Gods blessings to you all, Louis and Olivia