Friday, January 27, 2012


First, let me take this time to say that I JUST NOW have figured out how to respond to people who comment! LOL. I get frustrated because sometimes I just really feel compelled to respond but could not figure out how. Thank you to everyone who has written words of encouragement or just nice sentiments, it really means a lot.

Second, I ran out of time after posting the thing for the girls' contest yesterday so I didn't get to post like I intended. Just wanted to kind of fill everyone in and let you all know that I'm doing well :) This time was much easier than last, and I've felt better much sooner than last time as well. I don't know if it's because I wasn't under near as long, if the surgery just went smoother, or a combination of both. Either way, I'm very grateful! Last time it was 10 days before I even felt like going anywhere or doing anything. This time I was up and itching to go somewhere much sooner. I still cannot sleep on my right side, and to be honest, that's getting old. BUT, I won't complain too much ;) I got the date for my 'activation' and it will be March the 8th. I'm excited. Soooooooo ready to have 'stereo sound' as people keep calling it. I wasn't aware that's what 'stereo' meant. Lol.

On another note, I really don't have anything too exciting to report......although, my youngest daughter Elise's birthday is next weekend. That's what I'm spending my time and thoughts on currently. Getting planned and ready for her party. I'm hoping we'll have decent weather and it won't be too cold. I rented a bounce house for the's always a big hit. Anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend spent surrounded by those you love.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Will you vote for my girls???

Hello all! This first blog will be a selfish one........would you take the time to find VanZandt Studios on Facebook and 'like' my girls photos in their contest?

The link for Elise's photo is:!/photo.php?fbid=10150538272234396&set=a.10150539526674396.390931.199184034395&type=3&theater

Sorry for the crazy arrangement........I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to arrange this in order. Lol. Anyway, if you have time, go vote. The winners get a 'photo shoot' and their picture used in advertising for a local shop called Ruffled Rebelles in Mansfield, Texas where I'm from. Olivia would LOVE the chance to 'play dress up' and have her picture taken.......she's quite my little 'photo diva'. Elise just thinks anything is fun. These girls are my world and the main push for me wanting to have the Esteem Implants done. Thank you all so much! Feel free to pass the info along and share it. If you have sent me a friend request on FB and I've not accepted it, please don't be offended...............I just decided that it was in my best interests not to accept the hundreds of requests. Please understand. No hard feelings, I just like to keep FB my main friends and family. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feelin' decent :)

Well, it's now Tuesday I'm told. 4 days post surgery. Overall, the experience this time has been much better than last time. Partially because I knew what to expect, and partially because what I expected didn't happen in a lot of ways. LOL. Surgery did not take near as long this time, thank God! I was only under for 5 hours versus over 9. Dr. Berryhill worked his magic and had me done in good time with no complications. He told Sloan everything went well and that it was a 'pleasure to be able to work on me'. I assured him the pleasure was all mine :) Dr. Berryhill is an awesome man, and a fine doctor. I have really enjoyed him every time I've dealt with him. He has a sweet spirit and is very easy going. Once I woke up from surgery, I immediately knew I felt much better than last time. I told the anesthesiologist that I could 'kiss him on the lips' for giving me such a good combo of whatever he gave me. Lol. I believe I also told Dr. Berryhill that I could kiss him as well. The very last thing I remember before going under is looking at the clock in the surgery room while on the said 6:48 and I silently prayed "God, please let me be done by noon". Guess what? Noon on the dot! I did not have any 'visitors' this time that I was aware of or rememeber, but I'm sure they were there. I was so sad that I didn't get to see Ross or Jesus, but I know they were watching over me nonetheless.

Anyway, the channel 11 news crew followed us down to Houston, complete with a dash camera that Sloan made them take out at our first gas stop. Ha. They also had a camera on their car filming our car going down the road. You really have to wonder what the point of that is? For an artsy 'in action shot'? I've learned that camera men can really be 'gadget whores'. They like all the little trinkets and technical toys :) Anyway, Jason and Sal were very nice and I enjoyed spending time with them as well. They joined us for my pre-op appointment and filmed that. They sat down and asked questions and go to know as much as they could about Envoy Medical and the Esteem Implant. I am very curious to see how they'll make the story and how they'll incorporate all the film they got. They ended their trip with filming me going into surgery (which I have no recollection of.......hope I was smiling or something. Lol)

For the first several hours after getting back to my hotel room I assured Sloan I was 'dying' and did my fair share of crying. At one point I think I even cried for my "Mommy", then it turned into crying for my "babies". Sloan's a tough guy you know it? If the shoe had been on the other foot, I'd have been searching the hotel for some baby girls to steal and bring them to the room to calm me down. LOL. Once I got my pain under control (aka, got hooted on pain meds) I was very pleasant and comfortable. Sloan is a great nurse when he needs to be. I mumble 'chocolate' and he raids the gas station for candy bars and brings back 10 different kinds. I say 'dorito' and he loads me up, takes me downstairs amid stares from strangers and lets me pick out chips in the lobby. In fact, since getting home, he's been quite lovely as well. Yesterday was really bad, I felt horrible. That whole '3rd day after surgery is the worst' was true in my case. After staying in bed all day, last night he loaded me up and took me to Barnes and Noble because my Nook wasn't working. We got help and I was ready to leave but he thought I should "walk around a bit" because it'd "be good for me". Once he looked up from his magazine and saw me passed out on the table, he asked if I'd like something sweet to eat. I told him "Yes. But from 7-11. I want a Slurpee." He loaded me back up and drove me to 7-11 before we got home. He's a good man I tell ya. Even brought me home a gun the other day as a 'get well present'. I'm pretty sure that's the start of a redneck joke somewhere. Today I have felt much better. I actually slept last night which I haven't been doing much of. Lari and the girls took me to lunch. When she brought me back I told her I now knows what it feels like to be really old.............You have one activity a day that you look forward to, and you're worn out after it. I napped te re-coup and am fixing to scrounge some dinner.

Basically, I'd just like to thank everyone for the well wishes, prayers, messages, food, etc. I had a short phone interview today, and I have a radio interview at a studio in Dallas Friday afternoon. Not sure when the channel 11 thing will air, but I'll keep everyone posted. Hope you all have a nice night.

Much love,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The time is NOW!

So the time has come! We leave out in the morning for Envoy's surgery center in The Woodlands. I have surgery early Friday morning. Not gonna lie, I'm nervous. I think anyone would be. I'm not nervous about the surgery itself, I'm just nervous about being under. I want everything to go well, and I want no complications. Praying for a steady hand for the doc as well. I've got a good support system made up of family and friends, and I'm blessed that they are all able to help with the girls while I'm 'out of commission'. The next time I blog, I will no longer have hearing aids!!!! Yay. It will be a long 8 weeks waiting for my 'activation date', but at least I have one good ear to work with during this time :)

On another note, this weekend will be the 2 year anniversary of my Father in Law Ross's death. He left us suddenly January 14th, 2010. One of the greatest men I've ever had the blessing to meet. He taught me so much about life and about God using so little words :) I miss him dearly still every day. We all do. (Our family) Last time I had surgery, I woke up telling everyone that Ross and Jesus were by my bedside the entire time I was under. I experienced a complete and utter peace. Even though it didn't seem like 9 hours, it seemed more like an hour. Jesus sat in a chair at my bedside, and Ross stood the whole time. Had his little fingers tucked into his pants pockets the way he did when he was just standing around talking or listening to someone. It was a complete sense of comfort............I have to be honest and say I hope I get to experience this again.

Thank you for all the prayers, words of encouragement, and thoughts. It means a lot.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Long winded thoughts......

Okay, so I came across the above link a few days ago and it really struck a chord with me. Just about every single one of those 50 'rules' are completely true! I made Sloan read the list and once he got through them all he looked at me and said "I'm proud to say I do just about every one of those!" It got me I sat down and actually thought about each one and here's what I came up with:

1. Very important one, glad it was at the top of the list! Growing up, I rarely saw my parents be cross with each other. I can honestly think of only 2 fights they got in (not physical). Like it or not, as a child, you are a product of your environment. Dads, make that a good environment! Sloan is good to give me affection, treats me well, respects me, and has manners (when needed) LOL. The girls need to see that.

2. Ahhh, quality time. I admire Sloan for this one among many others. He's good to just lay on the floor with the girls and 'hang out'. They'll sit forever just hanging out wallering all over each other and giggling at nothing. It melts my heart to watch it, and I can only imagine the good it does for our children. They'll only be small for so long...........I promise, they'll remember the times Dad got down on the floor and just 'chilled' with them and made them laugh.

3. How nice would it be if all Dads could be the 'hero' their children need in times of crisis? Not even crisis........just a time when they are needed. Make time, always be available if needed.

4. This one is especially hard because I dread the day we're not 'cool' or 'special'. While everyone assures me that that time is short and our children will come back around to thinking we're 'cool', I have to admit it makes me sad to think about. Sorry Mom and Dad if I ever made you feel this way :(

5. Wow. What can I say..........5 is UBER important and probably the most important thing you could ever do for any of your children. Sloan and I pray over the girls every night as we lay them to bed. Even if you aren't a believer, speak affirmation to your children daily.

6. Ahhhh, number 6. This one brings back memories of me throwing a football with my Dad. I had a freakishly good throw for a little girl. It's no longer impressive as a woman, but as a girl, I could actually throw a decent spiral ;) Thanks Dad! I also still remember the day Dad brought me home a ball and a bat. I sucked, but I had fun! I also remember being given Mom and Dad's old softball gloves and thinking I was 'the bomb'. I always had a fear (and still do really) of being hit in the head, so I was never good at things flying towards my head........but I loved to hit a ball! Thanks for not telling me I sucked, and for always throwing a ball for me because I was an only child and had no sibling to play with so I had to bug you for games that required 2 people. I won't go off on a tangent about that though.......we'll save that for another blog ;)

7. To be honest........I don't have much experience with #7.......I honestly do not remember ever 'fighting' with my mother.......I was never brave enough to do that. LOL. Although I do have to give Sloan kudos because when I tell Olivia 'no' and she goes to Daddy his response is "What did your Mother say?" Smart man I married!

8. Number 8 makes me think of the time Sloan and I went into Cavendars to buy me some boots. We are by no means buying expensive boots is a treat. I had saved up and had my eye on some. We got there, found my boots, tried them on and were proceeding to go to the checkout when Oli looked up at Sloan and with the best 'pucker' she could muster she said "Daddy, I want a pair of boots like Mommy except pink." Wanna guess what happened??? She got her some boots. Nice ones. Pink. Like Mommys. We walked out of there and Sloan said "I cannot believe I just bought her those boots. I was 15 before I had nice boots." But you know what? She LOVED those boots and wore them til her little toes begged for air. They now belong to her sister. Sloan will tell you it was the best $55 bucks he ever spent on kids shoes :) Splurge every now and then...........

9. Of course I'm too young to remember my Dad playing peek a boo......but I do remember him doing a kart wheel in the front yard one time because I asked him too. Did he look ridiculous....oh yeah. Did he pull a groin muscle? According to my Mother, "oh yeah". Meant alot to me that he did it though :) I've always admired Sloan for not caring what anyone else thinks to an extent. I remember him taking Oli to dinner one night so I could have 'me time' and he walked out the door pink frilly diaper bag and all and I thought to myself "Now THAT is a man". Men, take note, gals love a guy who is secure in his manhood enough to carry a pink bag for his kids!

10. Ahhh, bath time. It's a big event here at the Churman House. Bubbles, toys, shaving cream, etc. I know the girls will not remember their Daddy wasting his shaving cream just to hear fits of giggles as they make 'mustaches' or whatnot 50 million times every night.

11. Oooh, number 11. My Dad was a pro at this. I had every pet imaginable as a kid! I'd have to say a pet raccoon topped this list. I also remember my Dad bringing home baby Pigeons and letting me raise them. There were also a few cotton tail rabbits. This along with the normal stuff like dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, turtles, etc. I even remember a mole I found. As I got older and married a man who has horses, I've gotten to continue this love for animals.

12. Money. Hmmm. I honestly don't remember thinking or caring too much about this at a young age. I did have an allowance and I do remember that I'd spend it all on books from garage sales. When my Dad realized this he told my mother not to let me spend my allowance on that, he'd buy them for me. Most of you may be thinking 'What's the big deal?' But I would read TONS of books. Went through my allowance pretty darn fast every weekend stocking up my book collection. My Dad was a hard worker and was not 'showy' with cash, so I'm proud to say that I had a pretty good concept of working for the dollar. Sloan is good to teach Oli about this even though she is 4. Lol. We have a few years before this really becomes an issue. I hope.

13. Have to say, this is one I never had done for me and one Sloan has never done for the girls. I do remember my Dad making me french toast though. I thought it was so cool because Mom never made it, it was "Dad's specialty". Sloan's specialty is whipping up a huge breakfast (enough to feed an army even though there are only 4 people under this roof and 2 of them are under 4 feet) He likes to make breakfast 'special' for the girls by using my best china. While I'll admit that sometimes I'm grumpy about it because I dread washing it all................watching him pour the girls tea from my antique tea pot and them giggling hysterically at his 'British accent' is worth all the time and turns my frown upside down. Sometimes he even does all the clean up after all.

14. Not gonna lie, my Dad never owned any cool shoes like Chucks. LOL. Sloan owns them though, and I used to have a slight obsession with them, so naturally the girls both have a few pairs. We nailed this one on the head :)

15. I remember dancing on my father's feet as a kid. There's just something magical about it. This is another thing that makes my heart happy.........Just about every day at some point, Sloan turns on music and he and the girls 'rock out'. I just sit back and watch. The looks on their faces as they move to the music is priceless. Even more priceless is Daddy in there shaking his booty with them. We have tons of video of this and I'm sure I will cherish these videos some day when I'm old.

16. FISHING! I LOVE to fish. My Dad was great about this. We went fishing quite a bit when I was a kid. This is something Sloan admitted he needed to work on..............he thinks fishing is 'boring' and would 'rather have a tick in his navel'. LOL.

17. Whew. Saying 'no' to 2 cute little faces is HARD. My Dad had no problem saying no, but it just made the 'yes's' even better when I heard them. I remind myself of this as does Sloan. It's important to not be one of 'those' parents that says yes to everything. Lol.

18. This has always been important for me. I have known since before I had kids that if we had girls we would tell them all the time how beautiful, pretty, smart, etc. they are. We try to do this several times a day. There is nothing better than building your children up and helping their self esteems. Someday this will pay off. When they are teenagers and the 'world is against them', their self esteem will get them through. Fathers, continually build your children up. It can pave their paths in ways you can't even imagine!

19. To be honest, my Dad never showed me how to do this...........but I watched him do it enough times that if need be, I like to think I could have done it. Lol. I cracked up when reading this one though, because Sloan has said on many occasions that his girls will know how to change their oil, change a tire, and will know the basics of an engine and how it works. Lol.

20. CAMPING! I'm a big 'nature' person. I live in the country for a reason. I cannot stand 'city life' and all the busyness of it. I like wide open spaces. Some of my favorite memories as a very young kid are of camping! This is one that made Sloan go 'Uh oh' because he'll be the first to tell you that he's saving all his camping skills for post apocalyptic society. I will be highlighting this one on the list I will hang.............Camping rocks. 'Nuff said.

21. True, true, and SO true! I remember being so overjoyed because Dad would let me drive from the stop sign to the house. I LOVED doing this. Judging by the looks on my kids faces, they too love doing it. It's pretty much a rite of passage as a kid. It just has to be done!

22. My father was always good to tell me how smart I was. He was always good to commend me on my reading and spelling abilities. (we just kept hush hush about my math.......cause no one is good at math. Who needs math anyways?) Sloan is good to always commend the girls when they do something 'smart' as well. He is always very positive when they are trying new things. Any time they don't do something right, he's quick to say 'good try' and 'here, let me help you'. It's always good to let kids try even if you know they'll's how we learn.

23. Kisses. Eskimo kisses, butterfly kisses, slobbery kisses, painful kisses, sweet kisses. They are all good and I like to say they get my 'feel good endorphins' flowing.

24. Sunflower seeds. This and Pistachios and peanuts are a knowledge that just has to be learned.

25. Riding on shoulders. There is just something magical about this one. Something about feeling invincible and on top of the world. Oli continually says "I don't wanna get big because then you won't hold me or carry me anymore" to which Sloan says "I'll always hold you, you'll NEVER be too big for that".

26. Music. My poor Dad. He has an ear for music and can play beautifully. I on the other hand did NOT have an ear. Much less an ear for music. LOL. I tried to learn to play the guitar. It was pitiful. May have broke my Dad's heart.........but I'm hoping my girls will make up for it because they seem to be musically inclined even at this young of an age. They both love music. They love to dance and they love to play any instrument they can get their hands on.

27. Water. Oh how I loved water as a kid. Whole summers were spent in the pool, lake, water park, sprinklers, water hoses. It didn't matter. My Dad was NOT a water person though. Lol. Neither is Sloan. Lol. This past summer Sloan earned mad props because he took the girls and I to Sea World and to Uvalde State Park. Lots of water activities ensued! He was a trooper. He and the girls played til they were whipped. We all slept good that week :)

28. I don't remember waiting my Dad's arrival from work as a kid. Not sure if I did it or not.......doesn't mean I didn't love him though! I do have to say that my girls eagerly wait for their Daddy though. Doesn't matter if he's coming in from the barn after riding, or coming home from a job. They squeal with delight when he pulls up and eagerly run to the door screaming his name. He always says it's the best part of the day. Funny thing is, at this age, they'll do this whether he's been gone 10 minutes or 10 hours. Ha. We eat it up while we can. They do it for me as well and I have to say, it makes my heart over flow.

29. Swim lessons. I never went anywhere for these. My Grandpa taught me and every other child in the family. Grandpa and Grandma had the biggest pool I'd ever seen. Grandpa had it put in after winning a big race back in the 60's. My Mom grew up by that pool, and I grew up swimming in it as well. Sloan and I don't have a pool, but we do have a tank on our place. When Oli was small she had no fear of the water. We enrolled her into swim classes when she was 18mo. and believe it or not, Mr. Churman got in the water and sang 'kick your footies, kick your footies, whoa, kick kick kick' right along with the other kiddos and their Mommies. Made me proud alright and I got photographic evidence just in case Oli can never get him in a pool again.

30. This one was kind of odd for me. My Dad was always present for my birthdays. Can't imagine why a father would be absent for something like that. Birthdays are a big deal around here for the girls. We have a big family and we have them all over when it's time to celebrate. Mr. Churman is always involved :)

31. Roller skating. I can't honestly remember who taught me or who first took me. I did love to do it though. Sloan told me when we were dating that the Churmans 'do not get on 2 wheels unless it's a motorcycle'. He has stuck by that rule. Gotta give it to him that at least he was honest up front. That's ok, I'll teach the girls to skate!

32. Oh Lord. We do plenty of grass rolling around here in the pasture. Grass rolling, cow patty rolling, horse poo rolling, and even on poo rolling. All these activities elicit giggles from all involved. We're country folk, we ain't scared to get dirty ;)

33. Swimsuit shopping? Really? I would have rather gone swimsuit shopping with Batman instead of my father. I just overlooked this one altogether.

34. While I do not remember ever asking my Dad to marry me..........I have heard Oli ask Sloan to marry her. I have also had to break her heart and inform her that Daddy was already married to me and no I will not give him up. Surprisingly enough, much crying ensued. It's very hard to not giggle at your 3 year old crying because she cannot marry Daddy. I assured her that she'd find her own prince charming someday and that he would be every bit as good as her Daddy. He has to be, or I won't approve ;)

35. Nightmares, I never had them as a kid and so far my kids do not have them. Hope it stays that way.

36. Awww. This is true. That is all.

37. I cracked up when I read this one because 'higher and faster' is actually the same in Sloan and the girls books. We got us lil dare devils on our hands and both girls unfortunately for me enjoy speed and danger. The higher the swing goes the better. The faster you get it going, the more giggles you get. Oh my.

38. See above.

39. Oh man. These girls can say 'again Daddy' a million times and Sloan will do it over and over a million times til I step in and go 'Okay that's enough'. Maybe it's a pride issue? Lol.

40. Ha. We live on a farm..........we have 'ponies'.......that ends this one.

41. Experiences are far worth more than material gifts. It's up to you as a Father to teach the kids that. This is one thing that will help them throughout their lives.

42. I got married at 19 and left home. I never needed to go back, but I always knew I could. Sloan jokes and says when the girls turn 18, they better start looking for a place to live. They need to learn independence. BUT, our door too, is always open.

43. This breaks my heart. It has to be hard to 'let go' of your kids, but it's necessary! They'll always be your children, you'll always love them, but they too become adults. It's important to treat them as such when the time comes.

44. Can't honestly say I ever got a letter from my Dad. I'm sure most little girls haven't, but I'll admit it would have been nice. This one has inspired Sloan. Doesn't have to be every year........just a note here and there would suffice.

45. Trust. That's an important one. It's also a fine line and a hard line to tow. It's important to give children your trust as they get older........and helps them as they come into adulthood.

46. I can only hope that our girls will continually trust not only their Daddy's heart, but their Father's heart as well.

47. Ha. Once again I was never brave enough to get too fired up at my parents.................I'm praying Olivia and Elise will be the same way......although they do have Sloan's DNA....the odds are good that they'll test this at some point. LOL.

48. Ice cream. I remember the times my Dad would take me for ice cream! Oh the joy! My girls are already suckers for ice cream. Any flavor. Sloan is a push-over when it comes to this and the girls know it.

49. Ahhh. The day the girls fall in love........not only does Daddy have his rifle/shotgun/pistol/machete ready....................but so do I. Oh how I dread this. Sloan says we'll send the girls to a convent overseas when they are 12. They can return when they are 18. We'll just bypass 'young love' altogether. Surely it can be done?!? No???

50. Don't blink.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blah, blah, blah. Yep.

....It's safe to say we'll never know everything, still blessings we receive. And it’s safe to say I really don't know a thing, still I choose to believe.

And all the answers that I find, only take me so far down the line. The tracks always give out yeah it's a leap from the lions mouth.....
Taken from one of the songs I'm really stuck on right now. Dustin Kensrue rocks. This and his song 'Pistol' make me cry every time.

Anyways, I've been reading up on the YouTube video comments lately. Bad idea for the most part. I try to ignore it, but I can't help it. The whole 'God vs. Science' debate is running rampant. That and all the 'doubters' or 'haters' are getting old. I was driving around running errands for Sloan and he had left his I Pod in the truck, so I popped an ear bud in my ear and turned it on. Album titled "Americana Mix" really rocks my world right now. There's a song called 'Believe' and the above lyrics are taken from that song. They really spoke to me today...... 'it's safe to say we'll never know everything still blessings we receive. And it’s safe to say I really don't know a thing, still I choose to believe.'

On another note, people continually ask 'what are some of the weird sounds you've heard lately?', so I'm gonna try to start making a list. Lol. Here goes:

1. The sound of brushing my hair. Sounds like I'm ripping it out every morning when I get up.
2. The sound of scrubbing your head when you shampoo it, very weird.
3. Water in the shower trickling. I STILL check my ear every time making sure I've taken my hearing aids out.
4. Burps are still an odd sound.
5. My 4 year old has learned to whistle and bless her heart, it's an annoying sound! Just hate to burst her bubble, so I refrain from screaming when she does it. Lol.
6. Just gonna be honest, but my hubby's farts are quite impressive.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Sloan and I still play the 'what is that noise' game every day. And for some reason, I still have trouble discerning what direction some noises come from. Hopefully that will get better with time. Well, I'm off to get Oli ready for dance class. Have a great rest of your day folks!