Sunday, November 30, 2008

Odessa Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving (week) in our hometown of Odessa.

James' dad, Tom was released from the Hospice House Saturday as we left home and drove to Odessa. He was back home before we got there. He was in alot of pain, but at least he was stable and his fever was gone.

James' mom, Betty was still recovering from a surgery on both her feet, so she was not supposed to be up on them much - but she did it anyway.

We went to our parents' church (our old home church) West Odessa First Baptist Sunday. We had a good visit.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, James got up very early (despite not sleeping much) and went to work out f the Odessa FedEx Freight office. They were so kind to let him work there so he wouldn't use up all his vacation time while we were out of town.

While James worked, Josh and I ran around with my mom... taking my dad to dialysis, grocery shopping, and even making a trip to the Goodwill store to buy some clothes. We also picked up my sister from the airport on Tuesday, after having lunch with James at work. Then, we took Amanda around and let her visit some folks she used to work with.

We hit the local Walmart store so many times, you'd think we were moving in there. But I guess that is not much different than back here at home.

Thanksgiving Day a cold front was expected to move in and bring rain... luckily, there were just a few sprinkles early on and the front was delayed until Friday night. Thanksgiving was beautiful - which was lucky for us because we had so many people at James' parents house that we had to borrow tables and chairs from church and set up outside under a carport. James' mother counted all who came by that day and the count reached 52! WOW. That is alot of turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mac n cheese, pies, cakes and everything else you can imagine.

Steffany spent almost every minute of her time with her Nana, Papa, Aunt and Uncle. In fact, we barely saw her all week long. When we did see her, it sounded like she had caught a bug and wasn't feeling too well. Actually, we all spent some time during our holiday vacation with some sort of sickness - but I think most of us are either over it now or nearly there.

Our last night in Odessa, my mom, sister, Josh and I visited the local drive-in movie theater and watched Madagascar 2 and the newest 007 movie. I wasn't really planning on staying for the second feature.. but Josh and Amanda really wanted to stay, so even though the cold front was moving in then and it was getting chillier by the moment, we stayed.

James got to visit a dear old friend of the four wheeled variety. His buddy, Kenny let him borrow his old Firebird that Kenny bought from James about the time Joshua was hospitalized and we no longer could afford to keep up the payments. James needed something to drive back and forth to work, and Kenny was driving another vehicle so he was happy to let James drive it again. James was in heaven :)

James dropped the car off Friday night while we were at the movies. Then, Saturday morning, we got up and started getting everything together for our drive back home. We were sad to say goodbye - especially realizing it might be our last chance to see James' dad, since his doctors say the cancer is progressing so. But it was good to get to see him at home this week.

Our drive home was pretty packed in since we had Amanda and her stuff with us on the drive back, but we made it okay.

We even stopped off to get a closer view of the Pecos River - something we talk about doing almost every time we drive over it, but never have done before. The water was really rushing - even though it is not deep.

We made it home Saturday evening - so we could have one day to prepare everything for back to school and work. Now, though, we wish we had a few more days. But it won't be long until Christmas break.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prayer Request

I'd like to ask everyone to say a prayer for my father-in-law Tom Wooten.

Tom has been suffering from cancer for some time now. Back in early September, when we last visited, his doctors informed the family his cancer was spreading despite chemo and radiation therapies. So they recommended stopping both and putting Tom in Hospice care. Doctors told us he might have three months to live.

Steffany, Tom and James from September 2008 (when we last got to go to Odessa to visit and Tom was in the hospital)

A couple of weeks later, James arranged to work out of the Odessa Fed Ex Freight office a week, so he could be close to his parents and help around their home a bit. He said his dad looked very good and was feeling well.

I last spoke to Tom on James' 40th birthday, November 13th to report on Joshua's win at Special Olympics. When I asked him how he was doing, Tom said "fair" and reported that he'd been having some good and some bad days. My mother-in-law, Betty said he was taking some kind of capsules that had seemed to help a friend who had skin cancer to recover, and they were both hopeful.

James has again arranged to work for the three days before Thanksgiving in Odessa and we had planned to take the kids out of school those days and all of us visit next week. Then, this evening, we got a call that Tom had suddenly gotten much worse, vomiting and spiking a fever of 105.2 degrees. He was being taken to a hospice house. James is at work now and fretting over whether he should leave and go to Odessa now or wait until Saturday when we planned to go.

We also have some issues with our van and finances that could use a little prayer, too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Special Olympics and a Birthday

with Josh needing to be hooked to a ventilator
almost 24 hours a day, it is difficult
and sometimes impossible for him to play
all the sports he wants to...

but yesterday (NOV 13) he got an opportunity
to play one sport in the Special Olympics

he would connect to his ventilator in between his turns

he played three full games (see the video below ~ one of his turns)

Josh Wooten bowling for Special Olympics 2

so, how did Josh do????

with scores of 76, 70 and 79......

yes, he got FIRST PLACE

that means a Gold Medal, baby!

unfortunately, I think Josh may have overdone it....

because by bedtime last night he was running a fever 100.4.

I gave him extra water and some medication...

but this morning, his temperature was even higher 100.7.

and he was very sweatty and said his hands were shaky at breakfast.

More medicine and LOTS to drink this morning and off to school he went

(he wouldn't THINK of staying home. He had to go celebrate
his victory with his nurse, teachers and friends at school.
His nurse said she'd keep a close eye on him
and if he wasn't improving, she'd let us know
and we could come pick him up)


James celebrated his 40th Birthday (NOV 13) with 2 cakes...
this one at the Weavers (it was chocolate on the inside with whipped cream frosting - yummy!)

and another one, Strawberry (a pink one - no pictures allowed) at home
oh wait.. if you look at the picture of Josh in our kitchen (above) you might notice the pink cake on the counter behind Josh - by the coffee maker :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day and Upcoming Events

Right now in the Wooten house... Josh is sleeping soundly in the recliner. He fell asleep as he tried to watch Kung Fu Panda

Yes, if you've seen the preview (above) you've seen about as much as you need to. Well, I couldn't quite sit through it. I was hoping it would be much smarter and much funnier.

Today is Veterans Day. The kids were out of school. They went with me to take care of my little elderly couple this morning. James came over and had lunch before heading off for work. Then, the kids and I went grocery shopping this afternoon. Sadly, we did not really mark the day, although I am certainly respectful of the Veterans who are fought for our freedom in this country.

Last week, I suffered through a very nasty cold. I am feeling much better now. But I think my sister has picked up the bug and she is home sick from school tonight (sitting on the couch with her laptop doing homework).

We are expecting Joshua's night nurse to arrive soon and we will be getting ready for bed, so we can start another fun-filled day of school and work!


Thursday, November 13th

James celebrates his 40th Birthday ~ Happy Birthday, dear!

Josh participates in Special Olympics ~ his event is bowling

November 22nd-30th

planning to visit family and friends in Odessa
and of course eat plenty of turkey and fixings!

Monday, Dec 8th

Joshua plays the bells in his 1st Christmas band concert

Wednesday, Dec 17th

Steffany plays violin in her Christmas orchestra concert

Friday, Dec 19th & Saturday Dec 20th

Amanda honors and regular graduation ceremonies from UTSA

Sunday, Dec 21st

Joshua and I travel to Houston

Monday, Dec 22nd & Tuesday, Dec 23rd

Joshua to undergo extensive MRI & EEG, holter monitor, etc. at Hermann Hospital in Houston

Wednesday, Dec 24th & Thursday, Dec 25th

hope to be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Discovery Documentary - Life or Death : Battling to Breathe