Wednesday, February 27, 2008


A simple word for you and me to spell, but was the downfall of our third grader's first ever trip to the spelling bee.

Our saga began about two weeks ago when Caleb came home with a folder full of spelling words and a permission slip to attend the area spelling bee on Feb. 27th! What??? Why in the world were we just now finding out about this and we have 500 hundred words to learn over the next couple weeks! After a little questioning, Caleb informed us that one of his classmates could not attend and his teacher needed a volunteer.... Ohhh, my sweet son volunteered! For those of you who don't know Caleb very well, he does not like to draw any kind of attention to himself. This is the child who used to duck under the table at restaurants if anyone came up to speak to us while dining! I almost beat him at the princess dinner at Disney get the picture.

So, we began intense training with the yellow spelling folder. On several occasions we had to have the "you volunteered for this" conversation. After a lot of hard work, last night we gave him the final speech...which pretty much amounted to, "we are proud of you no matter what, just do your best". Inside I was praying, "please Lord don't let him panic". I think I was as nervous as Caleb.

For whatever reason, parents were not allowed to watch their children participate; so Jim kept me posted via text messages. Despite our prayers, Caleb went out in the first round with the word "bitter". He quickly spelled it "bidder". He said the judge then asked him if he used a "d" or a "t". Caleb explained, he wanted to tell him "t" but he knew he had to tell him "d" because that's what he said. So he did.

I'm a proud mom tonight.....

Jim took Caleb to City Cafe for a good breakfast:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bears, boo-boo's and bandaids.....

Madison went on a very exciting field trip today. She and all the first graders at ACA went to DCH Regional Medical Center for the annual Teddy Bear Clinic. Each child brought a "baby" that needed a little medical attention. After much thought and many changes of mind, Madison finally decided this morning to take "Vanilla" her baby polar bear.

Although I was working, I was able to take a break and accompany Madison, Vanilla and Jim through the clinic. Vanilla had a broken leg that needed to be fixed. Madison escorted her furry friend through the triage, x-ray and lab stations. Her broken leg was bandaged and I am happy to report that both Vanilla and Madison are resting well tonight after their big day!

Madison and her best friend Mary Beth, and Matthew

Me in my cute work hat:

(what can I say, a cute hat is a fashion must when you wear pajamas to work)

Madison making herself at home in the back of the ambulance:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ice Cream and Cake....and Basketball

Well, this is the 7th week in our 8 weeks of Upward basketball and cheerleading. The kids have really enjoyed it, but are looking forward to next week being the last games.

Caleb has learned the basics of basketball and has scored a few baskets. I think the whole gym can hear him scream "YES" afterwards. I might just get a basketball player in the family after all!! He certainly has height on his side.

As evidenced by last weeks post, Madison has had a good time cheering; however, she has her sights set on something different this fall......flag football!! Now, once again, I have NOT influenced the child in anyway in her wanting to play. She decided a few weeks ago that cheering is not what she thought it would be and wants to wear those "cute" flags in the fall. September is a long way off, so stay tuned for the flag football photos!

Hopefully, once we get our Saturdays filled with other things I will have more exciting things to post about.....until then, here are a few more pictures and one more dancing video from our Saturday sports day.

Ice Cream and Cake (notice Caleb in the background):

Monday, February 18, 2008

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

This video requires no introduction, it's just 1min 46sec of pure fun...hit it Madison!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Coronation of the D.W.

This past Sunday night was a pretty big night in the Isbell household. Jim was ordained as a deacon in our church, Calvary Baptist Church. He and six other men were nominated for this position by the members of our church. It is quite an honor.

While I knew the ordination service was going to be a big deal for Jim, I wasn't sure what role I would be playing. On Wednesday Jim forwarded me an e-mail from our pastor and informed me, "Sorry dear, but I think you gotta dress up for this one." As I proceed to read the order of service, first I noticed I would be sitting on the platform and secondly I read BOTH of our names under the heading "Introductions and Testimonies". I thought to myself, I have to wear a dress AND I have to say something in front of the whole church? Great, just great. I'm just the wife of the new deacon. You know the D.W.---the Deacon's Wife!

Well, I resolved the fact a dress was in order and was reassured that I would not have to say anything.....phew, this is getting better. Now fast forward to Sunday afternoon...I decided to wear a black skirt and the fancy top I wore to my brother's wedding in Japan. Of course, in my mind I wanted something less fancy, but stuck to my guns-- with encouragement from my mother! As I arrived in the church parking lot I spotted my friend Lorrie, who is also about to be coronated as a D.W. I immediately noticed something different about her....she was wearing PANTS! What?? Then she dropped the bomb that she and Tiffany made a pact to wear pants for the ceremony. Why wasn't I on that phone call list...I should have been at the top of the list! Oh well. As all 7 of the couples gathered for the ceremony, 3 of us wore dresses and 4 wore pants. I sure wanted to be in the pants group. *sigh*

We all sat on the stage while each husband gave their testimony, during which their lovely wife stood at their side. Next, the ordination part of the service began. Each of the men knelt in the front of the church while all of the ordained men lined up and prayed over each of the new deacons. During this part of the service, a slide show played that provided information on each new deacon and his family. You know the usual: family photo, names, kids ages, job, education.....blah blah blah.

Our slide was third, and I was eager to see what information Jim had sent in. As I begin reading my eyes came to a screeching's why:

I was thinking, who in the Sam Hill is Lillian??? I had to refrain myself from a sudden outburst of hilarious laughter. I had lost all focus of why I was there and could not look at another person. I knew my mom was sitting back there thinking "Lillian, who is Lillian". Because there were so many ordained men there, the slide show repeated many times, so if no one knew my name before this ceremony they still didn't know it!

About the fifth time the slide show played I realized that one of the other wives name was indeed Lillian. And, no, her slide did not say Tammy.

You can imagine my relief when all was said and done. However, I had to answer one question a million times the rest of the night.....that being, "Is your first name Lillian?". No, I can assure you my first name is not Lillian and I never wanted it to be. I am just plain ol' Tammy, the new deacon's wife!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Think Pink

This week started and ended with a bang.....while Madison and I were partying with Hannah Montana in Birmingham, Jim and Caleb spent 4 hours at a medical clinic to find out Caleb had the flu, which his medically astute parents had already diagnosed! ;-) So, Caleb spent Monday and Tuesday at home with dad fighting the flu and conquering his favorite Wii video game, Super Mario Galaxy.

Thinking we were home free from sickness, Madison came home from cheerleading practice Thursday night with a low grade fever....great! I stayed home from work and had Madison at the pediatrician's office at straight up 0800 only to find out that Madison had her 2nd case of strep throat in two weeks. I was just thankful it wasn't the flu. As I am signing Madison out at the doctor at 0840, my cell phone was Jim letting me know I need to go pick up Caleb from school because he had thrown up. I must interject here that Caleb threw up because he did not eat enough food before taking his last dose of his flu medicine, which it clearly states on the bottle. I spent the better part of the morning cleaning and killing germs.....then we all took a 2 hour nap!

You see, we made plans for this night weeks ago. For the last four years, the University of Alabama gymnastics team has a "Power of Pink" meet that helps raise money for breast cancer awareness. We've been to several of the gymnastics meets, but this is our favorite one! It's Madison's favorite, of course, because everyone dresses in pink including both teams. And it's my favorite because it raises money for a great cause.

This year was a hallmark year in our attendance of the "pink" meet. Caleb actually wore a pink polo shirt that I bought him. He gave me the usual "NO WAY", but after mulling it over and telling me that one of his buddies had the exact same shirt he put it on. I'm not sure he will ever wear the shirt again, but for $7.99 at Target I won't push it!

In 2006 this meet raised $90,000 for the DCH Foundation and this year it was $265,000!! WOW! The breast cancer fund promotes awareness and provides early detection screenings for those in need. Having lost one friend to breast cancer and having another who is a survivor, I feel compelled to play a small part in donating to this cause.

Despite the negative week we had, the Isbells donned their pink and shouted Roll Tide in the name of a breast cancer awareness!

Click HERE
for another way to help raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Best of Both Worlds....

In case you were not aware, I am running for Mother of the Year. And today should help cinch me in the top 5. Madison and I, along with two other moms and three other girls, went to Birmingham to see Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert in 3D.

Having watched just about every episode of Hannah Montana, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this movie. So, as I do with most movies, I went to Plugged In Online to check out the review. It sounded like it was going to be fun for everyone.

Madison and her best friend, Mary Beth, were decked out in their matching Hannah Montana shirts. The excitement level hit the roof when we arrived in the theater parking lot....and then elevated one more level when we got those cool glasses!! Once we spent a small fortune on popcorn, sour watermelon gummies, and a strawberry slurpee, we were ready to enter the Hannah/Miley Zone! We had primetime seating on the 4th row and the girls sat in the middle so they could see. I'm not a six year old girl, but from the almost 40 perspective, the concert and the 3D effects were really great! And who wouldn't enjoy those cute little Jonas Brothers??

I have to say my favorite part of the movie was a little "blip" that showed grown men sprinting in heels as part of a radio contest to win 4 tickets to the Hannah/Miley concert. I am certain that Jim Isbell would never participate in that type of competition, nor would we pay hundreds of dollars to see Miley live. However, I must say the $15/ticket investment for the 3D movie is certainly worth it (thank you again Amy). It gets two thumbs up here--- one from Madison and one from me!

Now my quest for mother of the year will continue in April as I surprise Madison, once again, with tickets to High School Musical on Ice......stay tuned!!!