Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Movie and Dinner

The whole Wooten clan and my sister, Amanda made a rare trip to the movies today.

What did we see? FIREPROOF (check out the teaser trailer below):

The movie was a very emotionally moving story. Yes, it is a Christian movie - starring Kirk Cameron and several volunteer actors & actresses from a baptist church in Georgia. Here is an excerpt from the movie's official website http://www.fireproofthemovie.com/

FIREPROOF is the third feature film from Sherwood Picturesóthe creators of FACING THE GIANTS and FLYWHEEL. With hope-filled, heartfelt storytelling, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church continues to touch the world from Albany, Georgia.

I think we all enjoyed the movie very much. I know we all laughed. And, I know I shed a few tears from time to time. I highly recommend the movie to everyone - especially if you are married or planning to become married sometime in the near future.

My sister, Amanda just pointed out something else touching about this movie, told on the official website:

What’s the deal with the kiss between Caleb and Catherine in FIREPROOF? In a romantic scene in FIREPROOF, lead actor Kirk Cameron is actually kissing his wife Chelsea rather than Erin Bethea, who plays Catherine. Chelsea was flown in from Los Angeles just for that shot. The scene was filmed in silhouette and works incredibly well, with Chelsea wearing the same outfit and a wig to mirror Erin. Sherwood Pictures has upheld this standard in all their movies: actors and actresses should guard their own marriages while on screen the same way they would do in real life. That’s why you don’t see Coach Taylor (Facing the Giants) or Jay Austin (Flywheel) kissing the women playing the on-screen wives. Kirk also has long held to a principle that he would kiss no woman other than Chelsea. He was able to honor his marriage while making a movie that inspires others to do the same.

As we thought about going to see the movie, Amanda and I watched an interview Kirk Cameron did on Good Morning America and I decided Kirk really is one of my heroes - well, I admire his true life character very much. Watch the interview below to see why:

I also admire Kirk's wife, Chelsea. And I think they both did an incredible job in their roles on the movies from Left Behind. Of course the movies still paled in comparison with the book series. Of course, it would be incredibly difficult, in my opinion, to make movies nearly as good as we see in our minds when we read the books.

Oh, in the movie Fireproof, you see one particular product placement that inspired us. So, for dinner following the movie tonight, we stopped in and had Chick-Fil-A. It was yummy.

OK, Amanda is really reading up on Kirk and his wife and the movie. She just told me about a camp Kirk and Chelsea run in Georgia for terminally and seriously ill children and their families. It is called Camp Firefly. Kirk Cameron reportedly asked for the money for his acting in this movie to be donated to the camp. So, there you go - another great reason to get out and go see this movie!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Josh Doctor Visit Results

Josh got some bad news on Tuesday. He is officially obese.
We went to his endocrinologist - who manages his growth hormones, etc.
This doctor always checks his height, weight and body mass index.

Joshua's Height - 58.1 inches (that is 4 ft 10.1 inches)
Notice on the chart below, when this doctor first started
keeping track, Joshua just turned 9 years old and was only
48 inches tall (4 foot). He has grown 10.1 inches in 3 years!

But his weight isn't such great news.
Joshua weighs 150 pounds.
Notice on the chart below, when he
was 9, he weighed about 75 pounds.
That's an increase of 75 pounds in 3 years!

Which brings us to Body Mass Index.
Look at the scale below on this one.
At age 9, Joshua's BMI was above the
max on this scale - but just by a fairly
small amount. Now, he is headed
off the page! Way out of control!

The doctor increased Joshua's growth
hormone dosage and wants Joshua
to exercise, exercise, exercise. And
of course, eat much less. So, we are
going to get agressive with diet.
Small portions, low calorie and low fat.
Goodbye breads, potatoes and creams!

Would you like to calculate YOUR Body Mass Index?

You can do it at this website: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

We leave you today with a short clip of Joshua practicing his bells.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Braces off, Broken Finger? and Strep

My world is crowded with lots of doctor visits, nurses schedules, homework, birthday planning, work and church - that does sound a bit out of order, doesn't it?

Well, let me start by giving updates on each member of the household... beginning with my husband, James.

I believe at last posting, James was in Odessa for about 2 weeks, working out of the office there and visiting and helping his parents. Doctors told James' father, Tom that his cancer was growing despite chemo and radiation - especially some in his left lung. They predicted the cancer would likely be fatal within a few months time. So, James wanted to do all he could with his parents to help them around their house, spend time with them, etc.

James returned home Saturday, October 4th. He says his dad is getting around pretty well and it was hard to believe the doctors could be right about the cancer seeing his dad looking like he was feeling this well. It is hard to accept that someone you love is dying - but especially so when they don't appear to be terrible sick or hurting. And you don't wish them to be hurting or sick. We need to and want to go back for another visit soon, but finding the right time to do it is tricky. I am not sure if or when James will go back and work in Odessa like he did a couple of weeks ago, but that is certainly a possibility.

Meanwhile, James is working so much, we barely see much of him - which is pretty much the usual. We did go this past weekend to San Marcos and do so "window" shopping of big plasma tv's and fancy Bose stereo systems. Of course we do not have any hope of even coming up with the money to afford those things, but it was an escape to get to go experience them in the stores.

Steffany just got her braces off yesterday (Monday - Columbus Day). Well, she got the top set off. She goes back to the Orthodontist on Wednesday to have a retainer put into place. Steff says her teeth feel slimy where the braces had been for so long - even after she brushed her teeth 2 times before going to the ortho and they brushed them some more after removing the braces. She looks a bit like a new person with the braces off. I will add pictures to this post later to help show off her new look.

Steff is grounded and not taking it too well. After she forged her dad's name to papers she turned in to school so she could get off campus priveleges, her dad was quite upset. He ended up going to her school and informing them. They took the priveleges away. She has times where she seems like she is trying to accept her punishment, but when she is not immediately then ungrounded, she throws a tantrum. Then, she goes behind our backs and against our rules - sneaks onto the phone or computer to talk to her friends or boyfriend. It is exhausting trying to prevent her from further extending her grounding by doing these things. I tell her she would do better to prove we can trust her. It would make for a much shorter grounding and make us all proud at the same time. I would sure love to be able to trust her - maybe some day.

Meanwhile, her birthday is coming up (the same day as my mom's - October 21st). I am hoping by then, she can be ungrounded and we can let her do something fun - like go out to the movies or dinner or something. And her birthday gift - well, she already knows what it is - but I think it will actually arrive after her birthday has come and gone. She wants a class ring. I looked through several with her and we picked one that is quite nice. I ordered it and paid for it, but they take a while to be completed and shipped to you. At least she has pictures of it and knows it is coming.

Steff and Josh have both been sick lately and on antibiotics. We heard just yesterday (Monday) from her doctor's office about results of her culture from her throat (where she had puss postules - yuck!). The culture grew strep! We couldn't believe it. The doctor had done a rapid strep test first thing and said it came back negative. Then he checked for Mono and it was negative too. But they said that sometimes happens. At least Steffany was taking the right antibiotic that should kill the strep bacteria (amoxicillin). Steff took her last big antibiotic pill this morning, so I'm hoping that is the last we see or hear of it. Steff is feeling much better. I just hope she did not give that bacteria to her boyfriend who she has seen at church - and been kissing!

Josh had a culture taken from inside his trach when he seemed so sick. The results from that culture were negative - it didn't grow anything. So, I'm not sure what caused his illness. He seems to be doing better now, so we may never know.

We are scheduled to see his Endocrinologist this afternoon. That is the doctor that studies his growth and development and focuses on hormones and cortisol levels (and prescribes his DDAVP, Cortef and growth hormones). I am hoping Josh will be able to get his flu shot there today, too. He normally gets it at his Pulmonologist's office. But when we went to that clinic last week, they said they were not giving out the flu shot there this year. So, if he can't get it at today's visit, I will have to call his pediatrician and see if they can get him in there for one.

I probably need to get a flu shot too. I have been run down and had a nasty head cold about the time Josh was first sick. I am much better now. My main problem right this moment is my middle finger on my left hand. I was joking around with Steffany Saturday night - pretending I was going to sit on her on the couch, and she kicked her feet up and started fighting me. I think her foot must have caught my finger just so and either broke it or jammed it up pretty good. Either way, it is hurting like it has never hurt before. I've been wearing a splint on it most of the time. It makes doing my job at the Weavers a bit more complicated. I wear gloves when helping Mrs. Weaver use her bedpan. But the splint does not fit into the glove, so I have to cut that finger off the glove to get them on. And I can't use the strength in that hand the same without causing a flash of serious pain to shoot through my hand. I think my finger is getting a bit better, but I can surely sympathize with Cowboys' Quarterback Tony Romo this week as he just broke his finger.

Well, that didn't exactly update EVERYTHING going on in the Wooten house this week, but maybe it gives everyone a little taste of our goings on. I will try to update a bit more often and add some pictures, too. Until then, have a great day and may God bless you!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Last of Breathing Treatment, Steffany's escapades

This morning marked the end of Joshua's taking Gentamicin.
Despite the worries about the possible side-effects, Joshua seems to have come through this round unscathed. Thank God!! He also seems to be about over all signs of the upper respiratory bug. I too am feeling much better. Although, I am still a little tired. But little rest for this weary mom.

Steffany continues her shenanigans.

The latest - Steffany gave up on her dad signing a permission slip that would allow her to leave her school campus to go to lunch. James did not want to sign it and allow that yet, because Steffany has not proven to us that she is trust-worthy enough (especially over the summer).

She had begged and begged day after day... then just stopped and never mentioned it again. That should have been a sign to us, but busy with many other worries, I guess we were just glad she stopped bugging us about it. I guess we assumed she was maturing. But the real reason she stopped was that she had forged his signature on the form and turned it in. We had no idea she was leaving campus with her friends at lunch until Friday.

Around noon on Friday, I logged onto our cell phone company's website to check our minutes and bill from this past month. I wanted to make sure we had not gone over our alotted minutes.

Then, I looked at how many text messages Steffany had already this month - she had over 4,000 last month (although I have no idea how she does it - especially considering she goes to school so much during the day when the phone SHOULD be turned off altogether). That's when I noticed she was texting DURING school hours - that very day she had texted almost all day long. So, I planned to confront her on it when she got home, and take her phone from her for a while.

I did in fact take the phone from her. Later that evening, I thought I should scan through and see what was so important to her that she had to text during school that day. I found messages indicating she had invited a boy who is nearly 20-years-old to come pick her up from school and take her to lunch. She claimed to him she had off campus priveleges, so it would be okay. Then, there were messages where this boy described what he was driving, so she could spot him in the parking lot - a big "rape van" - certainly not the words I would have chosen if I were a man coming onto a high school campus to pick up a 16-year-old girl. Then, there were more messages about a "nasty looking hickey" on her neck that she tried to cover up. And she asked if they were "moving too quickly." My answer is a very loud and clear "YES!"

So, I had even bigger worries now than just Steffany texting at school. Of course, all this happened while James was still in Odessa, worrying about his father who was recently given news that his cancer was terminal and he likely only had months to live. James started back home Saturday, and Steffany brainstormed to find ways to smooth things over with us as he returned.

I woke Saturday, to Steffany coming in my room with a plate of pancakes and a cup of coffee she had prepared for me (to butter me up, of course).

She did a pretty good job on the pancakes - they were yummy. The coffee was okay, but a little weak (still a good try on Steff's part).
As I worked to clean house Saturday morning, I told Steffany we needed to vacuum and shampoo the carpet downstairs,

and she did help with that without complaint (though she left the nasty, dirty water in the shampooer - and I had to come along and find it and dump it out and clean the shampooer).

Then, she asked (since one of my arguments for her being too young to date this nearly 20 year old is that she didn't even have the will-power to get and keep a job) to go apply for a job. I finally gave in and allowed her permission to take the old van and drive around to a few places to pick up and fill out applications.

That was just before 1PM.

By about 3pm, I started to worry, because Steffany did not have a cell phone and she had not returned. She said she was only going to about 3 places - none of them more than 2 or 3 miles from the house. By my figures, she should have easily been home by 2:30 or 3pm. But 4 o'clock, James calls and is over halfway home and still no word from Steffany. He would NOT be happy that I let her go out and drive the van around by herself after she had forged his name and gone off with this guy just a day before. So, I prayed that God would bring Steffany quickly home and that she had only done what she claimed she was going to do. Please don't let Steffany screw this up, too. I so want to trust her.

5 o'clock, and still no Steffany. I had to ask my sister to help me find her and she was out driving around looking for the van. I really started praying at this time that Steffany hadn't had a wreck or something. I could just picture her on the side of the highway somewhere, an ambulance loading her up and taking her to the hospital. I wished I hadn't given in and let her go. I should have told her to wait until after her dad got home and let him decide if and when she could go. And James calls to tell me he is about an hour from home. Oh no. When I tell him what has happened, he is FURIOUS - not just at Steff but at me for letting her go like that.

My sister drives all over - to the places Steffany mentioned applying for a job, to Steffany's friends' houses, even to the apartment complex where this guy lives - but no sign of her or our van. My heart sinks and my mind races to where she could be. Oh, why did I let her go. How stupid could I be. Steffany really must be mentally troubled if she could take my trust and do this. Why didn't I get her in to a counselor or something. What could she be doing for all these hours. She isn't anywhere to be found!

James will be home soon and now I have lost his daughter. He will really hate me now. And her grandparents in Odessa will hate me too. I sit on our front porch and nearly bawl. At the same time, I hope more than anything that she will just pull up in the van and make all my fears go away.

But 6 o'clock arrives, my sister checks the last places she can think of to look, James gets home..... no Steffany. No call, no sign of her... nothing.

I start to think back to the day - many years ago - when my little sister was about 2 or 3 years old. She was playing in the back yard one minute. The next, she was nowhere to be found. We searched the property, the neighborhood - all over - and no sign of her. She was so little. And there had been a story on the news about someone who had tried to pick up a little girl like her a couple of days before - but had been spotted and so he drove off. What if he had gotten my sister and we would never see her alive again.

The feeling in the pit of my stomache back then was there again now. Back then, that disappearance worked out okay. Turns out my sister had walked down the alley all the way to another street and lost her way back home. So, she stopped at a house and knocked on the door, asking the person who answered "Where is my Mama?" That person didn't know who she was or where her Mama might be, so he called the Sheriff. When my dad, who had gone out driving the neighborhood in search of her, spotted the Sheriff, stopped to ask for his help - not realizing that is why he had been called to the scene. So, we were reunited with my sister. Phew!

But that had not happened this time. And I decided to start calling Steffany's friends and even this guy she had been texting the day before - hopefully somebody would know where she was. But call after call, either a voice message system or somebody who had not seen her, but would ask around.

A call from one of her friends about 6:40PM... she had heard from one of their ROTC friends that they had spotted Steffany earlier in the day at the Forum shopping center. They thought Steffany was applying for jobs there. That is NOT where Steffany mentioned she was going when she left, but it was another place we could try looking.

I decided I would get ready and go look for her. But before I got downstairs to go out the door, she drove up and came inside - acting completely unaware that there was anything wrong. She had no idea we were concerned at all about her whereabouts. She had lost track of time. She was busy going from store to store, visiting with those she knew and filling out applications. She even interviewed with a few places. She was just happy to have the freedom to be out driving around on her own.

But let me assure you, she QUICKLY learned her mistake. She scared me half to death and I told her not to ever leave the house like that again and be gone that long without at the very least, calling us.

Now, Steffany wants us to approve of her dating this guy -
She even invited him to church this morning, and out to eat lunch with us this afternoon (James' buddy Kenny and his girlfriend were in town this weekend and we planned to go eat with them after church). I think it is going to be hard for us to be very welcoming to him anytime soon, though, because of all this trouble we've just been through with Steffany. I still think she is too young and immature to date someone that much older than her. Hopefully, they will just decide to be friends for now - and especially no more hickies or anything - and maybe someday in the future, we will approve - maybe like when Steffany is 18 or 19. We will see.

Discovery Documentary - Life or Death : Battling to Breathe