Sunday, November 29, 2009


Just a little health update...

My nose did bleed and neck and head still hurt. I went back to the doctor Saturday morning. She gave my some good pain meds for my head and neck. She did discover that my thyroid was enlarged to a rather abnormal size. More blood work. I will go back again on Thursday.

I am still on bed rest until at least Monday morning. Amy stockpiled me with movies so yesterday we had a movie marathon. Today might be a repeat.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's that time of year again and I bet you could tell just from the past few blogs...

The Holiday season!

A time where Beth becomes ridiculously cheesy, emotional, and sentimental. Sometimes I even make my gag! Bless.

This morning a wave of emotion has pulled ashore and sadly, it is not going back out to sea.

I woke up this morning to find myself lying underneath my comfy blanket on the couch. I am in the only room that actually feels warm. (To see the heat guy would be better than seeing Santa right now!) The first glimpse of the white lights from the tree make me smile. This is the setting for prime Beth paradise.

But then I remember yesterday...

Yesterday afternoon, I made my way to the hospital to have my blood count checked. I have not managed to have my next treatment yet. Once again it is too low. I am put on bed rest. BED REST!!!! I mention that I wonder if I could be allegoric to something in my wig because of some red spots that seem to appear when I wear it. The nurse asks me if anything else is wrong. I told her that I seem to have a crick in my neck and I have had a 2 day headache. Not a noise headache, but one that sends shooting pain every once awhile based on light or movement. She went and got a doctor. The doctor thinks it might be an infection. If it is not gone tomorrow call back. If your nose starts to bleed come in immediately.

I come home to find the Iron Bowl has already started. Auburn is ahead the entire game... well, until the last minute and a half of the game. Fudge. Fudge. Fudge.

Caitlin came over to start the Christmas decorating madness. We made Christmas countdowns, and then the turkey decided to leave! My Christmas soul sister was too tired because she had to work Black Friday morning. I start dragging out the tree and stuff until Amy gets home from work. I do one layer of the tree and then I have hit exhaustion. Thank goodness my roommates understand what a big day this is for me and finish the tree, lights and garland while I watch. You know I am not feeling good when I let someone else decorate!

Christmas cheer isn't so cheery so far. It is just so frustrating to not be myself. To not feel like myself. To add to everyone else's lists of things to do.

The living room does seem cozier now. I am thankful that my friends are so understanding.

Just waves of emotion...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday Night Boys

This morning I got an email with this picture from my Monday night boys. They are SENIORS now.
Gosh, I miss them.
It just amazes me how God ties people together.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Start

Nothing can start your day better than walking through the hallways of an elementary school and hearing kids calling your name and telling you that you are beautiful. :)

Tug at the heartstrings... sigh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Early Thanksgiving

So for 3 years now, I have been looking forward to cooking a turkey. 3 years! While in Gatlinburg, all of us American Zhongguoren decided to have our own Thanksgiving. I was quite excited and willing to make the turkey.

Last night, I got the bird all ready to go. It was after midnight when I put Sally (the turkey) in the oven to cook. I decided I would just go to bed, set my alarm, and get up to take turkey out. I set it for 2:30am.

About 4:30am, Daniel came over to go hunting with Justin. I just happened to hear them moving and then it hit me. Turkey...oven...Crap. (Semi-strong language, but that is what I was thinking.) I rushed in and turn the oven off. It looked decent, but I could tell the texture was not going to be awesome. I went back to bed with tears.

This morning after some banana pancakes, we headed to CrossPoint for church. I was excited to learn that there were going to be several baptisms. As I watched people being dunked and with pure joy o their faces, I could not help but cry again. This time with tears of happiness. Every time I see a baptism, I just think back to the day when I made the decision to do so. That was a defining moment in my life of what it meant to be happy. These people were experiencing that today. I really just wanting to dance and shout with joy, but my little Church of Christ heart only smiled and clapped (which still felt rebellious). What a terrific turnaround of my dreary morning!

The turkey results are still unknown, but I am looking forward to sitting down tonight with my friends. A couple of these people have been friends since college/early PTS days. Some I met and bonded with in China. Some I have known only for a short time, but have grown to love quickly We all are followers of Christ and know the happiness of being the son/daughter of a king. We will sit in a warm house (yet another good thing that happened this weekend!), with enough food to overfill our stomachs, and talk, laugh, and make yet more good memories. Not everybody gets to do this, and for this experience I am truly grateful.

Happy Early Thanksgiving from the Stockell house! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Caught the movie "Coco Before Chanel" at the Belcourt with Amy.

Why is it that French movies tend to be so pretty? I found myself countless time humming the sing-song tunes and desperately wishing I was as elegant as Coco.

Best line of the movie...

‘When a woman cuts her hair, her life is about to change.’

So true, so true.

What A Morning...

This has been one of those mornings, I just wish we could start over.

I was grumpy as soon as I woke up. I was cold. My back hurt. Plus, I knew I was going to have to teach a regular education class today (instead of my lovely ELL kiddos). Grrr...

In the car, I checked my voicemail because I was not about to answer the phone when it rang so early this morning. I learned that my friend Becky passed away early this morning. Becky had stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 27. She was in my support group. I couldn't cry even though I really wanted to. 27 with something that is supposed to hit older women. It just seems so unfair.

Last night while checking the headlines, we read an article about a governmental task force that has changed the recommendations for mammogram. In the past, the cancer society said every woman over 40 should get a mammogram every year. They promoted self-checks in women of all ages. Now this task force wants to say that women should get mammograms every 2 years after the age of 50. They believe that self-checks are worthless. (Check out Google News or any big newspaper to read articles!) I cannot tell you how this made my blood boil. While it is true that mammograms are not always accurate and sometimes cause worry when there is no cause for concern, they do also save lives. As far as self-checks go, I just want to ask them when the heck do they mean they are worthless?!?!?! Every girl in my group found their lumps by self-checking (or boyfriend finding). Thank God we did. Thank God.

Please keep Becky's family in your prayers this week.

Oh to crawl back to bed...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful List #2

Things I am thankful for this week...

Small group. Last Sunday night I went to a small group with two of my fellow teachers. It was my first time to attend. They are reading through the book The Power of the Blood Covenant. Our conversation focused on forgiveness. My thoughts on forgiveness have changed quite a bit over the past couple years and this conversation was really encouraging. I plan to go back.

My action research topic was approved!!! This is a big deal to me. My project is the main focus of one of my masters degrees I am pursuing. Now, I can actually start on the work. (Or at least think about starting. Ha! ;) )

The Smartt Household and Maggie. On Tuesday night, these wonderful people came over for dinner and to play games. Mayne made a fabulous Banana Foster. So much fun.

Written notes. What power written words hold. I feel like sometimes putting things in writing is far more meaningful than just saying something. I have been blessed to receive many kind notes.

Blankets. I crave them.

Anybody got anything that sticks out to them this week?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Panties With A Purpose

My friend Kelli had a marvelous idea for a service project. This one is especially for the ladies! (Guys, you can help too if you want.)

Here is what Kelli has to say...


I have an exciting opportunity to share with you to truly bless women in need.

I'm calling it "Panties with a Purpose" and it starts Today.

Do you get the "Free Panty" coupons from Victoria's Secret? Do you really need another pair to fill up your drawers?

Imagine what would happen if each of us used our coupons to redeem a pair of panties not for ourselves, but for women fleeing domestic violence situations with nearly nothing to their names.

The goal of Panties with a Purpose is to collect 100 pairs of panties to donate to the residents of Nashville's YWCA Weaver Domestic Violence Shelter.

The drive starts today and will go through November 30th. Once all the panties are collected, they will be donated to the YWCA.

So, how can you get involved? Let me tell you!

1. Use your VS free panty card to redeem a pair of panties in any size OR

2. If you don't have a card, buy a pair or package to donate

3. SPREAD THE WORD! Post this drive on your myspace, facebook and twitter accounts. Tell at least 10 other women about the drive and encourage them to participate.

4. Don't live in Nashville and want to take part? Find a shelter in your area and start a drive to support women in your community.

Panties with a Purpose...because it's no Secret that giving is beautiful

If you can help us out, it would be greatly appreciated! Email me if you have questions...


Friday, November 6, 2009

First Thankful List

In the past, I have blogged about things I am thankful for during the month of November. It is that time of year again! This month, I will write a thankful list each Friday.

Things I am thankful for this foggy, fall morning...

Chai Lattes from Starbucks. I am a sucker for these things!
The Kindergarten team at my school. They made it a point to do something for me each week to let me know that I was being thought about.
My kiddos. Too precious!
Naps. I have been able to take a lot more lately. :)
My blue scarf. I love the color and it is so soft.
Catching my favorite dinner at Cracker Barrel. Broccoli Cheddar Chicken which they only serve on Wednesdays and I never think about it except on Thursday or some other day of the week. Got me some this week! :)
The Office. I am addicted. It truly tickles my heart.
Eyes. This might be sound rather odd, but I am thankful for them. To be able to see all the wonderful things around me, to see color, to see the fall leaves, to look in the eyes of friends... Something taken for granted too often.
Trip to Gatlinburg. This weekend, Amy and I are heading to the mountains to have a little reunion with many China friends. We all have been readjusting since being back in the States, so this will be a time of encouragement and relaxation. There are no real plans except to enjoy each others company, sit in a hot tub, and soak in the mountain air. I have packed a couple of books, my journal and I am hopeful for a stop at the huge Christmas store. So excited!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October has come and gone. This year I was fully aware that it was breast cancer awareness month and it was celebrated/honored/whatever you want to call it.

The first Saturday in October was Nashville's Race for the Cure. We had more than 30 people sign up for Beth's Buddies team. We raised $2,462.70 We walked 3.2 miles. (Maybe we should count another mile for parking so far away...)

The second Saturday, Justin and I went to Little Rock, Arkansas for Race for the Cure with his family. For the past 4 years, they have been participating in the walk in honor of Justin's grandmother. This time we only walked 2.5 miles. When you have a chemo patient and a 2 year old I think 2.5 is just fine.

The third Saturday was Nashville's Strides Againest Breast Cancer. This time I walked with Beth's Bosom Buddies team. (see picture above) This team was made up of friends I made when I attended Granny White. While I no longer attend that church, these people are very dear to me. We raised $2,325.00 and walked 5 miles.

The last Saturday was spent in bed. Recovery. ;)

We also raised over $400 for the Susan G.Komen organization through "Deeply Rooted" t-shirt sales.


1 month.
3 walks.
10.7 miles.
Over 5,100 dollars.
Lots of friends.
Tremendous support.
One truly blessed girl.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An Inspirational Family and Woman

At this season in my life, I have met many people who are worthy of admiration. There is one family though that has had a huge impact on me rather recently (and may not have even known it). Meet the Cruze family...

Meggie (the beauty in pink shorts) was a member of my small group last year. Meggie is one of those people who you just love being around. She is so much fun! In June, Meggie shared that her mom had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was devastated. Rightfully so.

Over the past couple of months when talking and emailing with Meggie, she has shared her mom's positive outlook. The whole Cruze family has relied fully on God to get them through Mrs. Cruze's chemo. The Cruze girls wore matching necklaces on days their mom had treatments. Mrs. Cruze went around the house singing "gypsies, tramps and thieves..." when she lost her hair and wore scarves. They all loved on each other and built an army of prayer warriors around them.

All of these things, I have thought a lot about when I have had a crappy moment. "What would Mrs. Cruze do?" ;) We have never actually met, but she is an inspiration to me.

On Wednesday Mrs. Cruze will be undergoing her last chemo treatment! This is so exciting!!!!!

So thankful for the inspirational and amazing people in my life...