Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Update

We are all at Camp Pendleton.  David was discharged around 1:00 today.  He is doing well and eating/drinking some tonight after basically not eating for the last 3 days.  The doctor and us are most concerned about his fluid intake.  His counts are dropping as expected and we start GCSF shots on Sunday.

We will be here for the majority of the week.  David has to go to clinic on Thursday for bloodwork which is the day the doctor predicts his counts will bottom out.  Please continue to pray that his counts rebound quickly and he can fight off germs that might make him sick.  His hemoglobin has also dropped pretty quickly so he may also need a blood transfusion.  If he rebounds quickly, we can continue on the regimem of treatment that will bring us back to UVA for a 6 day hospital stay beginning April 18.  We will most likely stay in the area after the April 18 hospital stay since the last time he went back in the hospital for an additional week a day after returning home. 

Kyle, Hope, and I visited the Yorktown Battlefield today. Kyle has wanted to do this for awhile since he is learning about it in his Virginia Studies class.  Even though we are here for a reason we do not like, we are going to try to have some family fun and make memories while we are here.

We are so appreciative of your prayers for David and our family.  A special thanks tonight to the Pendletons for allowing us to use their condo again.  It has been a true blessing to be able to stay in Charlottesville when we are worried about David.  Three hours is a long way when you have a sick child.  The kids seem very excited to spend the majority of the week here for spring break.  We are looking forward to some golf tomorrow and maybe a UVA baseball game later in the week.

We wish each of you a blessed Palm Sunday and all of the blessings that this Easter holds.  This time next week we will be celebrating that our Lord has risen from the grave to give each of us the opportunity to share in his kingdom.  Bless each of you and enjoy every precious moment with your loved ones.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rock star news

Rock star has definitely perked up tonight. He has eaten a teeny bit and had a few sips of Gatorade. We are still hopeful for discharge tomorrow. We are still planning out our schedule, but we are leaning towards me and the kids staying here at camp Pendleton for most of the week and Mike traveling back and forth to attend some important meetings back home. We will take it day by day.

The chemo is expected to wipe out David's counts and he is expected to be neutrapenic mid-week which means his counts will be so wiped out that he is open to a serious infection. We would like to stay close to UVA in case he needs to be seen. Blessedly it is spring break and our schedule is free! Kyle is excited to maybe catch a UVA baseball game and I noticed that the golf clubs are in the car :) if we have to be here we will try to have some family germ-free fun!

This momma is excited for family time. Before cancer I would have been disappointed about all the plans that we are not going to get to complete this break. Previously I would have pouted about no Down Syndrome party, no church Easter egg hunt, etc... But the nightmare has made me just appreciate family time even if it takes place at a hospital or in this sweet condo :) Good night!


Rock star had a good night. He has gagged a few times which tells me that he so still nauseous and trying hard not to throw up. He did eat three bites of some oatmeal last night:) poor pumpkin this latest chemo dose really knocked him for a loop. We are excited that Mike is bringing Kyle and Hope down later today!!!

My brother and sister-in-law got me this devotional book called "What if your blessings come through Raindrops?" by Laura Story. It is based on that beautiful song. Until I started this hook I had no idea that Laura Story's husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I did not get through the introduction without crying. She writes:

There is a depth of intimacy with God that can only be known through suffering. There is a reliance on Him that can only be experienced when everything else around my soul seems to give way. And if that's what it takes to make this stubborn child cling to that old rugged cross, you can have your prosperity. I'd rather have Jesus.

Laura Story writes it way better than I can, but her words made me gasp. I do not want to be here nor do I want to watch our beloved Rock Star endure this roller coaster ride called chemo, but cancer and chemo have taken this spoiled brat Momma who loves control and order and have made me realize that Jesus is all we need. I am up early this morning to read some more of this wonderful devotional book :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Evening report

Good evening from UVA! The good news is that David's flu swab came back negative! He has had some diarrhea today which makes you wonder if he has had a little tummy bug or if it came from the chemo. Thankfully he has not spiked another fever, but he has definitely been calm and quiet today. The nurses are all used to David literally running the halls, so they know he feels tired and yucky because he has not left the bed except to attend school for about an hour this morning. We are still waiting for blood cultures to return to awake sure he does not have an infection. We cannot be discharged until those cultures come back and he drinks some more. He is on fluids, but he has had less than six ounces of Gatorade all day. Mike is home tonight and he will return tomorrow with Kyle and Hope in tow. We plan to spend a few days here in Charlottesville until we know that Dave is okay. We are getting too old for these miiddle of the night fever scares :) Thanks for all the love and prayers!

Rock Star Update

Mike and I are hanging out here with our Rock Star.  As of now, we do not know what caused David to spike a fever last night.  The intense chemo yesterday certainly made him sick and he has thrown up a few times, but chemo should not have caused his fever.  We are glad we are here and they are running several tests to rule out infection and the flu.  The good news is that he seems to feel good and he does not have a fever now.  He is not the least bit interested in food due to nausea and is on IV fluids.  We are on isolation until all the testing comes back which means no Hayley today for David :(

I have such mixed emotions about being here.  Last night when we were watching his fever rise we could not get here fast enough, but it is always hard to leave our other children behind.  Mike is thinking about heading home tonight and returning tomorrow with Kyle and Hope so we can all be together here in Charlottesville.  Kyle's spring break starts tomorrow!!

Thank you so much for all the calls, emails, and texts. Thanks to the dear souls who talked to me on my way here this morning to make a long drive go by faster!! My radio and CD player are out on my car for some reason, so it was a quiet drive today until I remembered I had music on my phone!  Yesterday when we got to Radford to drop off Pops, my SUV was dead in their driveway.  Pops had to jump it to get it to go and blessedly it started beautifully this morning and I was able to drive down here today to be with Mike and David. 

Mike is hanging tough considering how little sleep he and David got last night:) Good afternoon from 7 West:)


Yesterday was a crazy day, and Mike and David arrived at UVA in the wee hours of the night/morning. His fever was rising here at home which is a red flag for infection. We chose for Mike to take off with him instead of going to our local ER and getting transported via ambulance and/or helicopter because we had bad storms here last night. Poor Mike got very little sleep last night :( My mom is on her way to hold the fort down so I can take off to UVA. We also know that the chemo from yesterday had really made him sick because he has thrown up several times from it. I will update more when I get there, but in the meantime please pray that this is a short stay and that this is just a little bug and not the flu and/or a scary infection.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good and Bad news

The good news is that David had great counts today and his weight was good at 51 pounds. Before arriving today we had forgotten that this regimen today had been given at a reduced rate because he had received radiation. Now that the radiation is over he received a much stronger dose. So now this dose today is meant to wipe his counts out which not only opens him up for a serious infection, but means we will have to resume the GCSF shots to help his white blood cells recover quicker. So because his counts will be bottoming out, that means we will be going back in hibernation and David will go back on home bound for school.

I had kind of talked myself into the fact that we are on the home stretch because our treatments now have a two week break built into them. What the oncologist gently reminded me today is that he has breaks built into the schedule because his body will need time to recover from the whammy of these treatments. We have some intensive months ahead of us as we ride the roller coaster ride of intensive treatments that bottom out counts then building them back up to decrease risk of infection before the next treatment.

I will not lie in that the news of what we are facing overwhelmed me and scared me today. Infection is such a real and scary threat. On a positive note I got to enjoy a three hour lunch yesterday with another local mom that has walked this journey and speaks my language. I was so encouraged by her and enjoyed our lunch so much. I know that God will walk us through his intense regimen we are facing, but today I am just weary after a long clinic day and scared. Please pray for this next phase of treatment please. Life had started feeling somewhat normal again, but because the roller coaster ride his counts are about to take we will be crawling back into our hibernation cave for David's health. Thanks for your prayers, love and encouragement.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Off to Chemo

Happy Tuesday!  David, Pops, and I are heading up the interstate later today for treatment #16. I have very mixed emotions because we have certainly enjoyed the break, but I am ready for our oncologist to get her eyes on him and make sure all is well with our Rock Star.  Mike and Kyle will be here holding down the fort and Miss Hope and her sinus infection are heading to Radford.  I had to take her to the doctor this morning and poor baby girl has "gunk."

We are going to stay at Camp Pendleton tonight and I hope to get a little shopping done on this trip for spring clothes for my sweet, yet growing girl.  She weighed 31 pounds this morning at the doctor!  We are due for chemo tomorrow morning at 9:30, and Rock Star will receive three different chemo drugs tomorrow.

Thank you dear friends for praying for us tomorrow as we face another treatment.  These are never fun, but necessary to fight Goliath:)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Housekeeping

This Momma is dragging today after our busy but wonderful weekend. Wow-we partied hard this weekend to raise awareness and funds for our local hospital at both the middle school "Be a Dancer for Cancer" dance and at the hospital gala! We made some wonderful memories this weekend but we are all so tired! I had to pull David out of bed at 7:50 this morning! Housekeeping is calling my name, so I work a while and read a while!
Besides our dancing this weekend we spent the day Saturday in Johnson City at Fun Expedition celebrating a wonderful Hornet basketball season with our basketball family.  David chose to stay home and hang out with AShley instead of going, so he was well rested for the gala Saturday night. 
These pictures are from my phone, so they are not clear, but Hope Madeline loved the bowling! 
Her Daddy is helping her with her technique, but she had such fun!

Mike hung out with Sydney and Hope and had some girly fun!  These girls loved those video games!
The boys loved the hurricane simulator:)
We had such fun over the weekend that Sunday night was an early bedtime around here.  I was cooking dinner for a dear friend who recently had surgery and Hope was ready for bed.  Kyle offered to lay with her and he got her to sleep!  Look at those sweet little hands tucked under her:)
This has been our family bible verse for the week.  Kyle has been dealing with some minor social issues at school so we thought this verse was appropriate.  I could too use a reminder to allow God to fight our injustices! 
This is a sneak peek picture from Saturday night.  I snapped this picture of a picture with my iphone! We all got ready for the gala in under 30 minutes and then we asked our dear neighbor and friend, Kay Clawson to come take some pictures while we were all dressed up.  She was the one who took the indiviudal pictures of my children on the right side of the blog.  Those were taken a year ago so it is obviously time to update them.  She took some amazing pictures and I am excited later tonight to update the pictures on the blog!  Kay is wonderful at taking pictures of children and families and my children are way more cooperative for her than me!  Kyle told Kay that she does not yell at them during photo shoots like I do!  HA! The truth of a child! 

Lastly, I have had some questions about where to send donations in for the chemo mixer.  If you are interested in making a donation to the chemo mixer you can simply mail a donation to:

Smyth County Community Hospital
c/o Health Trust Foundation
565 Radio Hill Rd.
Marion, Virginia 24354

Sadly this is a chemo week so I am trying to get my housekeeping and laundry in order to head to UVA tomorrow night.  My Mom will be coming to run the fort and my Dad will be traveling with me because Mike has a crazy work week with lots of evening meetings this week.  Poor Rock Star will get three different chemo drugs this week:(  The last time he received these three together he did  not have any nausea, so we are praying for the same results this week.  I am excited to see his weight because he personally ate a half a pan of brownies this weekend plus all the brownies at the gala this weekend should  make the scales go up this week!!

We have certainly enjoyed this chemo break, but the quicker we get these treatments the quicker we will be done.  I allow myself to dream for just a moment or two about his big remission party this summer. I want it so bad that I can taste it, but we still have lots of chemo to do first plus two week-long hospital stays in April and May to contend with. 

Off to finish my housekeeping.  I am so hopeful that Hope will take a nap today so Momma can snuggle up with her!!  All our dancing and partying has worn this Momma out!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hospital Gala-A Night to Remember

Tonight was a such a wonderful night. Our new hospital is slated to open in three weeks, and tonight we were invited to participate in the gala to benefit the Health Foundation. It was wonderful to go to a hospital for a fun reason and socialize instead of chemo! 
  I was speechless when I entered our new community hospital.  It is gorgeous with earth colors, natural wood, and big open windows.  It is truly breath-taking and something this community can be so proud of.  You truly feel like you are in a luxury hotel instead of a hospital. 

We were invited to bring all three of our children and they were the only children at the gala.  Amazingly they were well-behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves. The food was wonderful and the company even better. 
A jazz band played some beautiful background music and these two cut a rug! 
My three cuties with Dawn Archer, a health foundation board member.
I could go on and on about so many features of this new facility, but the stained glass window in the chapel thanks to local artist Marilyn Peacock took my breath away. It is gorgeous and because of our recent nightmare I have an appreciation of chapels in a hospital. I have used the one at UVA often to read my bible, pray, or just take a few moments to gather myself.  This chapel is gorgeous! 
Our sweet Rock Star sitting in front of the beautiful window!  He and Hope loved the fancy party so much and Kyle had fun despite the fact that we made him wear a coat and tie! Ha!
This facility is so well-planned and the artwork and photography by regional artists is such a classy feature throughout the facility.  I love how the new nurses stations are located to make them closer to their patients. 

Here is Lindy White with some opening remarks.  She is such a wonderful leader for our local hospital even if she made me tear up with her sweet remarks about our family. 
This is the new cafeteria -- look at those big, beautiful windows!  The food was wonderful and my little ones loved the mashed potatoes, short ribs and brownies! 

This room is near and dear to our heart because this is the infusion room for chemotherapy.  David will not utilize this for his current treatment because we are under the care of pediatric oncologists, but this is where our friends and neighbors will receive their chemo right here in our area.  What a blessing not to have to travel for chemo!  Each patient has their own TV to make their treatment stay a little more comfortable.  The campaign to purchase the chemo mixer is still going strong.  Having this chemo mixer in Smyth County will decrease the length of time cancer patients have to wait and provide an even higher level of care for Smyth Countians.  If you are interested in donating to the worthy cause please consider doing so. 
I loved this artwork in the pediatric treatment room.  The pedatric area has a treatment room so the children will never have "owies" in their rooms and their rooms will be a safe haven.  What a wonderful feature!

The top picture is looking up in the dining area.  The colors coupled with the wood truly makes you feel like you are in a luxury hotel instead of a hospital.  Below is a picture of my boys at the end of the evening.  We had such a wonderful night at our NEW local hospital! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dancers for Cancer

Tonight was a wonderful night at our local middle school. We were invited to come participate in a dance to raise money and awareness for cancer. So tonight we were "dancers for cancer" and Rock Star (aka D-Rob) had an awesome time with some amazing young people.  Notice he chose to wear a shirt and tie!
David posing with Mariah and Olivia!  These young ladies are so sweet and David danced with them tonight:)
For some odd reason these pictures uploaded as well, but here are sweet Macy and Hope getting mani/pedis at my kitchen table.  They got to pick our their own polish and I did their nails and toes!
The finished results!!
Sweet girls:)  We had such a fun girly day making cupcakes, doing our nails, and we even had lunch with another Mommy and daughter.  After years of sports, trucks, and trains, a girly afternoon is so much fun!

Back to the dance now....:) The middle school did a fundraiser for the health foundation to raise money and awareness for a chemo mixer.
Here is an amazing young lady that I believe was the most popular girl at the dance!  She can sing and dance:)
David's personal friends for the evening-Logan and Sam.  These two guys are so amazing with David and I just had such fun watching them all evening.
David sat at the DJ table with Logan and Jay and he played his two favorite songs about four times each! 
I love this picture of Mrs. Morris and David getting down to "Sexy and I know it!"
I was so impressed with this school tonight.  Because I do not have a child old enough to be there yet, I have not spent much time there like Mike has.  The kids that were there tonight were awesome and super behaved.  I am now excited about Kyle going there in two short years!  Gasp! I was impressed with how inclusive the kids were with David and each other and the staff gave them their space to have fun, but they were closely supervising the groups.  Wow-thanks MMS for such a fun night!

David got tired and thirsty so Logan carried him to get a drink!  David knows Logan from church and he was so sweet to get David some juice.  Thanks Sam and Logan for a fun night-David had a ball! I believe that a nice chunk of money was raised for the local health foundation and we had such fun being dancers for cancer tonight!

Cancer from a Ten-Year Old

This blog is used not only to keep family and friends up to date on the happenings of our family but as a scrapbook for us.  Tonight we thought it would be neat to interview Kyle our oldest child.  We are so proud of how much he has matured this year and thought years down the road we will treasure this journey in his words.
Me: So Kyle, how are you tonight? 
Kyle: umm good I guess.

Me: What do you like to do Kyle?
Kyle: play golf and basketball. 

Me: Kyle what do you want to be when you grow up?
Kyle: archeologist or a basketball player.

Me: What is your favorite subject in school?
Kyle: History

Me: Kyle, how is David?
Kyle: Good right now. 

Me:  When did you realize that David was really sick?
Kyle: The night you took him to UVA because Mom you were freaking out when you were packing to go to the hospital.  You even forgot your suitcase you were so nervous!

Me: How has cancer affected you?
Kyle: You guys are gone a lot. 

Me: What would you like to say to David?
Kyle:  I hope you get well soon.  You have been so brave.

Me: Have you ever been scared?
Kyle: Yes when you were freaking out that first night because you wouldn't tell me what was really going on. 

Me: What have you learned from all this:
Kyle: I have learned lots about our bodies and cancer.  It takes a long time to recover from a surgery and I definitely do not want to be a doctor because you do not get much sleep. 

Me: What do you like about being at the hospital with us?
Kyle: I like the food court and the nourishment room because of the free sodas in there. 

Me: Does it bother you that David gets so much attention these days?
Kyle: Not really.  He has always been very popular with everybody.

Me: How have we as a family changed because of cancer?
Kyle: We pray more and talk about God more. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We have been blessed with some beautiful summer-like weather this week! Wow-I even got a little sunburn outside yesterday with Hope! I love spring and I have really appreciated it even more this year:)
Sunday morning was a big day in our house because it was the first time that David had been out to church since Christmas Eve! He was so excited and of course he wanted to wear a shirt and tie!:)
Check out these cutie shoes that my Mom got Hope at Cracker Barrell!  They are a little big, but princess did not seem to mind at all!
Sunday after church I had two little baker helpers to help me get some "springy" food ready for playgroup on Monday morning.  It was my turn to host and Hope Madeline has enjoyed going with friends while I was in Charlottesville so I was excited to participate together!
David and Hope love to drag their chairs to the counter and help cook fun stuff.  This little girl was so happy to have friends coming over, but of course it took her about 30 minutes to warm up to the crowd. 
Here is our "springy" food spread with peeps dipped in chocolate with sprinkles on them, mandarin oranges, cupcakes with icing inside instead of on the outside (way neater!), and birds "nests" with eggs inside, and cheez-its!

The weather was hot and sunny, so we hosted playgroup outside in our backyard and let the kids play on the playground and on the moon bounce.  I am sure these children (except my own) enjoyed awesome naps after all the fun!
Sweet Sydney Pugh and Hope enjoying their snacks on the blanket. 
Hope loves to cook and here she is dipping peeps in melted chocolate bark and then dipping them in sprinkles to finish them off:)

I hope you enjoyed guest bloggers perspective over the last few posts.  This truly is a family blog and I am glad that he shares his Daddy perspective on faith, children, family, and cancer every once in a while.  We are watching David very closely today because he has developed a cough and a mild fever.  We are hoping this "gunk" does not develop into anything more serious and that some rest, fluids, and Mommy loving today will make him feel better.  Nothing makes this house stop like the sound of a sneeze or cough in our new normal of living through active chemo treatment.  Please pray for our David that this is truly a little cold and nothing  more serious! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Hero

David My Hero

Please do not take this post the wrong way.  I love all three of my kids equally.  I also appreciate their differences, talents, and personalities.  But this past week when I took Dave to get his blood drawn for the first time in a couple of months his illness smacked me in the face. 

As we put his shoes on that afternoon, David insisted to know where he was going.  I do my best not to lie to my kids and so that day I told him we were going to the doctor.  He immediately freaked out.  On the way there, he did not say much.  As we got out of the car to go in the doctors office he reached out and grabbed my hand as we walked in.  He knew what he was facing and was not happy about it. While a finger prick was not much in the grand scheme of his treatment, it was a big deal to David.  It took four adults to lovingly hold him and draw the blood.  You can tell that the folks who have to do this love him so much.  They even have special popsicles there for him now as a reward.

David has begun associating doctor visits, UVA hospital, and the trip to Charlottesville with some unpleasant experiences.  However, he also loves all the people that work with him.  As soon as the experience he is dreading and fighting is done, he eagerly accepts the person helping him as his friend.  Wow-what a great attribute.  He is such a forgiving and loving person and I sometimes use David as my model on forgiveness because he simply holds no grudges.

I am so proud of David's courage in light of all that he has been through over the last four months.  It is often difficult to explain to David that something is not going to hurt or will only hurt for a fraction of a second.  Instead he puts up a fight.  It crosses my mind the fear that he has even if it is for just a brief time.  For example, the CT Scan is completely painless but because David does not understand what is going on it is a fight each time.  The look of fear on this face is tough to see as a parent but the moment we are done the wonderful acceptance of everyone is such a blessing to see.

While in many ways we are just beginning our fight with David's cancer and he has many treatments and check-ups ahead of him, I am so proud of my son.  He has gone through much, he has lovingly embraced everyone who has helped him, he has fought this cancer with everything he can muster, and at the end of each day he loves those around him. Laura and I are so proud to call him ours  and we are so thankful to God who entrusted him to us. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blessing of Children

I am reminded everyday in so many ways that children bless all of our lives.  I have three precious ones at home but there are so many more.  Laura and I are blessed through our jobs, through our friends, and through our kids activities to be surrounded by Gods children most of our day. 

I am constantly reminding myself to take every chance to spend time with my own kids even when my favorite show (Swamp People) is on or I am playing my new favorite game (Word with Friends).  It is so easy when we are tired to take "a moment" for ourselves.  The last four months have reminded me that I only get one chance with my own kids.

I could write a ton about the 5000 children who walk the halls of a Smyth County school or the hundreds of thousands that are in schools across our nation everyday.  I just ask that you join me in lifting a prayer for all the children in our community, state, and nation that they know that the adults in their life find them to be a blessing.

One of my constant struggles is with trying to find the right balance of being a "cool" (is that word even used anymore) Dad and holding my kids to a high standard with the way they conduct themselves.  If you ask Kyle what would your Dad say as his motto to him, I hope he would say  "Do the right thing".  I hope and pray as he gets older and gets into situations where he has to make a life decision that that motto might ring in the back of his head.  We take the verse in the bible about training up your children literally and each day we strive to prepare them for their future academically, spiritually, emotionally, and morally.  Children need to be trained and taught in love to prepare them for future service to God.

Not only are Laura and I blessed to be parents but we are also blessed by so many kids that we have gotten to know.  From the TBall field to the basketball court to playdates to the neighborhood kids there are so many kids who are blessings to all who encounter them including our family. 

All children are a blessing from our Most High God.  As we go through our busy lives, take an extra minute to enjoy the children who bless your life.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Four Months

Today is the four month anniversary of cancer entering our lives. Four months ago when I was watching this baby recover from a major surgery I never  ever thought in four short months we would be at the ballfield!!!
Here is David with Coach Trey.  Trey is really not David's coach, but David refuses to accept that fact.  Ha!  I cannot tell you how proud we were of our boy out there batting and fielding balls with all the other kids.  We know we still have so far to go in his treatment, but on days like today we can only whisper a "thank you Lord" and keeping cheering for our Rock Star.  I could weep with gratitude tonight when I think that this time four months ago I was surrounded by lots of friends at our local ER hearing some really scary words and getting ready for a three hour ambulance ride. 
In some ways it seems like it literally just happened yesterday, and then on the other hand it seems like his diagnosis and surgery were forever ago.  So much good and bad have happened that have changed us so.  
Today on this sunny day we are praising our Lord for his faithfulness and grace as we watch our boy take the field.  We pray that there are lots more ball seasons in Rock Star's life, and we will forever give God the glory. 
Tball wore this little guy out, so we enjoyed a shady picnic in the garage for our lunch.  We are going to have to be sooooo careful of sun exposure this summer on his sweet head.  We have always had to be viligant about his exposure, but this summer as bald and pale as he is we are going to have to step it up a notch.  He is also going to have to wear a ball cap anytime he is outside to protect his head and ears.  We have not battled stage four  Wilm's tumor to now deal with skin cancer:)
This Momma is so happy tonight.  I am so proud of how much stamina David exhibited at Tball today plus a little left over for some moon bouncing fun. 

Tonight we had to run out to get Kyle some men's sized cleats.  Sigh.  That is another topic for another day.  Wow-how time is flying!!  Anyway, we got a late start and on a whim my parents met us at Cracker Barrell for supper.  Because of Pop's bronchitis the kids have not seen him in a long time so it was such a sweet reunion for them all. 

I must end on a funny story about me.  Here are my little helpers washing the cars outside.  I enjoyed a walk with a friend today to the little league field.  I walked home and then came back in the car to get the little ones because Mike was going to stay and work with Kyle on the pitchers mound.  I parked really close to the field so sweet DAvid would not have to walk far.  Accidentally I got Mike's civic stuck in the mud.  I mean the car was sliding and not moving kind of stuck in the mud.  Sigh.  It took three guys to push me out of that mud puddle as my husband watched from the other field!  To be kind, the kids and I washed his car to get the caked-on mud off.  So now I can add four-wheeling to my resume because apparently I am pretty good!  Ha!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I hate cancer, I really do.  It attacks when you least expect it and alters your life forever.  It attempts to steal your joy and your peace, and attempts to suffocate you with dread and worry.  I wish we never would have heard the words stage four cancer, but unfortunately we did and we are in the midst of some really intensive chemo. 

This Saturday will be the four month "anniversary" of cancer entering our world.  I am amazed at how far the Rock Star has come in the last four months and I could weep with pride when I think about how much David has endured and not only is he active and mostly in school, but he continues to sing praises to God.  He loves Chris Tomlin and David Crowder Band and he always has a song on his lips.  He and Hope will break out into full-blown, hand-lifted praise at any moment of the day.  We have no idea what DAvid understands about this ordeal but we tell him everyday how proud we are of him and how much we love him.

I wish cancer never would have entered our lives, but because of it, this is how we are all different:

We get it very clearly now that we have no control and that we are truly in the hands of our Sovereign Father.  I am a control freak about my children and I now fully understand that our God loves them even more than I do and that His plan is perfect.  His plan is not always easy or painless, but nonetheless it is perfect. 

We have seen God walk us faithfully through the last four months.  I sometimes stop and think about what we endured as a family those first few days and I can only say that the Lord was carrying Mike and I both because it was that awful.  We will never doubt God's plan for us because we have witnessed first-hand that He is not going to take you somewhere where He is not going to meet you.  We have seen it and lived it and we will forever praise Him.

We have been on the receiving end of some amazing kindness and generosity.  Receiving all the tangible and intangible displays of affection have not only blown us away, but have taught us that we must give back.  This life is not about taking and taking and taking, but about giving and blessing others.  When you have been the blessee and been encouraged by others, you realize that we must love others and give back because it truly makes a difference.  David's fan club made up of friends, family, and blog readers have truly made this nightmare journey tolerable.  We continue to feel the love for our Rock Star and we know how many of you all are rooting for him and praying for us.

All five of us are more focused on our walk with the Lord.  We have always been Christians, but we get it now that He is everything. Mike and I understand our role to train up our children to love the Lord and our children get it that God is the sixth person in our family.  Before cancer our lives were so comfortable that we did not have to cling to him like we are now.  Now we are so desperate and scared that He is the only one that can give us peace and comfort.

We value family and friendships.  Our kids are not perfect and they can drive us crazy, but we are choosing to love every moment of our parenting.  When you see your child in the hospital in pain it changes your parenting perspective.  We are so appreciative of moments that in the past we would have taken for granted.  Children are truly a blessing from the Lord instead of something to endure. 

So yes, cancer sucks. There I said it.  But, I am so grateful that God took the nightmare of cancer and taught us all some pretty amazing life lessons.  I am so thankful that our God can make beauty from ashes:)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The good news is that David went to school today.  I believe this week has caught up to him because his amazing teachers called at 1:45 and said he had snuggled on a lap and was done. So Miss Hope and I left a playdate and scurried to get him.  He seems unusually worn out tonight so we are going to homeschool him tomorrow.  His teachers have sent us plenty of work to do and we are going to learn at home tomorrow.  I think daylight savings is brutal on kids' schedules, coupled with all this gorgeous sunshine and outdoor play has worn this precious Rock Star out. 

While David did go to school Hope and I ran a few errands and made it to storytime at the library.  Lots of our friends were there today and here is Hope with cute Addyson. 
We read books about pets and then they could make a dog or cat mask! Hope made hers for David:)

All these cute girls go to church together and they are so cute!! I am so thankful that Hope will have some great Jesus girls to grow up with at church.  After the library we headed to our friends' house for pizza on the porch.  It was such a beautiful day and it was so fun to catch up with a friend while our kids played outside.  I had to cut the visit short when David's teacher called, but that is okay! 
Here are Hope and David slow dancing to Beauty and the Beast.  Slow dancing to the theme song of Beauty and the Beast is very popular in our kitchen right now.  They turn the song on on the iPad, Hope runs and gets one of her tutus and then they slow dance.  It is so precious! 
This week has been so awesome, but for some reason, doubt and despair have crept in.  It almost seems that when treatment is going well is when I start worrying.  I know it is irrational, but cancer is so sneaky like that.  It tries to rob you of your peace.  I was feeling overwhelmed today and went for a 30 minute walk outside on the golf course.  This song came on my Iphone and it just ministered to my soul.  Cancer  has taught me that I am not merely a Jesus freak but He is everything.  If you go through this life and never realize that not only does He desperately want a relationship with each of us, and that we are only here for His glory then you have missed it.  He truly is everything.  Matthew West was traveling with Casting Crowns and we were fortunate enough to hear this song live just last week!! Enjoy this accoustic version of a great song and the story behind it. 
This blog post is really acting weird and somehow put this picture of cutie girl at the end? I love a little girl with pigtails studying her letters on the iPad!