Monday, July 30, 2012

Keep on Singing

Blessedly I am blogging from home sweet home tonight!! We arrived home just after dinner time and we are so thankful to be under one roof together.  This being apart never gets easier. 

Today was brutal for several reasons.  I can now disclose this information because it is hopefully over, but we have all been very worried about dear Pops.  Last Wednesday he went for an MRI due to hoarseness and fatigue.  The technician called within the hour of leaving the MRI and said that he needed to contact his ooncolgoist ASAP.  My Dad has already had thyroid cancer removed and he currently has Chronic leukemia. 

You can imagine the agony of the last several days for us as we have all been very concerned about these nodules that were found during the MRI.  Due to my parents persistance they got an appointment today to see the doctor.  It worked out beautifully that I could stop in Christiansburg for that appointment and sit in with them. 

Amazingly, the oncologist was not too concerned about these nodules and feels that they are part of his leukemia and nothing to be too concerned about.  He did refer him to an ENT for further investigation about the hoarseness but he was not nearly as upset as we were.  Poor Pops, he has really been super worried about this since last Wednesday. 

As I have already shared, David's last chemo was not as celebratory as we had anticipated and frankly we both left there heavy-hearted that there are no guarantees with cancer.  We are beyond thankful that he survived the intense chemo and radiation but no one can guarantee that the cancer will not return. 

Then we heard the sad, sad news of our UVA cancer warrior, Trent who was David's age and who was also diagnosed last fall.  He suffered from medulloblastoma which is a brain cancer.  Poor pumpkin, he suffered so in his final days and our hearts ache for his community and family. 

Today David and I went into clinic for the PICC removal.  Wow-he was sedated for the placement of it, but the removal was done bedside and it was stressful for Mom and David.  It was a workout to hold him down physically and it was pretty gross to see that long IV tube come out of him.  He fought so hard that he immediately crashed when we got into the car to come home.  I cried a good thirty minutes to relieve stress and in anticipation of Pop's appointment. 

Then, this song that came out by Chris Tomlin came on the christian radio station and it pierced my heart.  I have loved this song for a couple of years, but it spoke to me in a different way today.

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can
sing when I lose my step
and I fall down again

I can sing cause you pick me up
Sing cause you're there
I can sing because
you hear me Lord
When I call to you in prayer

I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
and the saints around the throne

Those lines pierced my heart today.  God knew I was stressed because my baby was stressed and in pain today.  He knew that I was worried about David's bff, Pops, my heart was broken for Trent's family, and that we now must wait in faith about DAvid's cancer.  But he hears me and no matter what goes on in this earthly life because of Jesus we always have a reason to sing.  Praise you Lord!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I should be sleeping....

I should be sleeping but I can't. I have always said that this blog would be a place where we honestly share the highs and lows of this hard journey. I never want to come across as whiny or negative because we have been so blessed by God.

Tonight, however I am just sad. I am sad that one of our fellow cancer warriors from UVA, Trent passed away today from cancer. He and David spent a sweet Saturday morning back in the winter playing Wii together. My heart hurts for his family and it also is a painful reminder to us that cancer fights dirty. It has no rhyme or reason when it strikes and it affects the entire family.

Friday Mike and I both left clinic heavy-hearted after our meeting with the oncologist. We want to say this nightmare is over, but sadly we are entering an emotionally hard phase. Active treatment is physically hard on David's body, but this next phase will be gut-wrenching for us as parents. We just want his scans to always be clear and for him to live happily after after. Sadly, none of us are guaranteed that for our children.

I guess that is where our faith steps in. I need to make some scripture cards about faith and fear because I am going to need them. Tonight I snuggled David in bed and I told him how proud I am of him and that God is proud of him for teaching so many people how much He loves them. He has no idea how he has changed our lives forthe better. I am so proud to be his Momma.

So tonight I am excited for him to get his PICC line out tomorrow so he can enjoy some water fun and summer before heading back to school. He does now know it yet, but a wonderful business back home has a fun surprise for him this week. More details coming soon about that! Despite the excitement on the horizon we are still scared.

We just want our boy to have a wonderful life far away from UVA. We pray for clean scans always and that his organs will holdup after all the toxicity it has been exposed to. I just pray that our faith as a family will continue to grow as we lean on God for peace over the next year and beyond as we face the scans. We know the next year will be crucial for clean scans in terms of his long-term prognosis.

So tonight I am just a scared Momma that wants to promise her sweet warrior that the fight is over. Sadly I can't make any promises. As mommys we just want to shelter our children from the harshness of life, but we can't. When Your child is fighting cancer you cannot protect them and you must simply have faith in the Great Physician and turn your child over to Him.

I trust you God with my babies. I know your plan for our family is perfect. Grant us your perfect peace as we wait. Help this Momma overcome her fear. I pray for the other concerns that are heavy on my heart tonight. Please use this nightmare for your glory. Lord I am so dense and often so stubborn that please be clear with your plan for our family. Thank you for providing for our emotional and physical needs thorough this nightmare. I love you. Amen.

Update from Charlottesville

Despite a fever for several hours on Friday night, David seems to be doing well.  Friday night he spiked a fever between 100 -101 which made us nervous, but he has done that in the past with these three same chemo drugs.  We did call the on-call oncologist who happened to be Dr. B, and he said if his fever ever hit 101.5 to head to the ER, but blessedly it subsided on its own.

Yesterday we had the bright idea to drive to Williamsburg and hit a few of our favorite stores.  David slept most of the way there and back but the little trip gave him an opportunity to work on his stamina some.  He ate really well yesterday and has only had a little bit of post-chemo belly issues.  We are so thankful.  Mike and I were thrilled that we got some Christmas shopping done!!!

Mike and I have definitely decided to have the PICC line removed Monday morning.  We just feel that we would basically be keeping it in for three additional weeks to use for his scans the week of Ausgust 20th.  Because of his history of infection with his central lines we feel this is the best.  I am sure when they put an IV in for his scans the week of August 20th we may second guess ourselves, but this way he can go to school, play in the water, and have some fun before school starts.  I would be nervous sending him to school with a central line in. 

Mike is heading home today.  The opening of school is coming way fast for him and he has a lot to do in the next few weeks.  Kyle and Hope are with GG and Pops this weekend. They had planned to bring them down here today, but if we are returning tomorrow morning after clinic then that seemed kind of silly.  So, Dave and I will be solo tonight, get that PICC line out tomorrow in clinic, and then head home!!!  We would appreciate prayers for this removal tomorrow.  His PICC is stitched in and was placed in while under sedation, but it is simply removed in clinic without sedation.  I shudder thinking of it, but we are all thrilled that he will get to be central line free for the first time since November 18th!!!

Some of our UVA friends could desperately use your prayers.  I posted on Facebook about our little friend, Trent who is fighting brain cancer.  He is in the hospital now and and could use prayers for pain and healing.  Our other friend, Alyssa who initially received treatment at UVA has moved her care to MD Anderson in Houston.  This summer she had her leg amputated to fight a reoccurance of osteosarcoma and sadly they are heading back to Houston tomorrow for a third reoccurance in her residual limb.  Cancer is an ugly beast. 

Thank you for your prayers and love.  We have both received some sweet and encouraging emails and comments.  I was surprised that we were not more celebratory and excited about DAvid's last treatment. but we still have a long road of faith and prayers for our boy.  Cancer is sneaky and can come back at anytime. We will; however,  trudge along with you our prayers warriors sustaining us and storming Heaven on David's behalf, and our Mighty God showering us with his mercy and grace. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Planned Chemo Over

David's Last Planned Chemo

Good evening from Charlottesville.  David's last scheduled chemo went well today.  He took three different chemos today and had a bandage change.  He is tired and has recently spiked a fever from his chemo today.  He is asleep now with Laura.  We are planning to stay in Charlottesville for the weekend as a precaution and if he is doing well on Monday we will bring him home.

As of today the PICC line is still in.  We will be making a decision over the weekend as to whether to take it out on Monday.  We are leaning toward getting it taken out.  The risk of infection is too much in our opinion and our oncologist is supportive of either decision we make.  Dr. B was wonderful as usual and always takes time to answer our multitude of questions.  In addition, the clinic staff is so great to work with and we appreciate their professional and positive attitudes.

As we celebrate the last chemo we are also aware that our journey is a long one.  David goes back the week of August 20 for a CT scan.  After that we go once a month for a check up and every three months for a scan.  Dr. B shared with us the chance of reoccurrence drops significantly after the first year.  However we are painfully aware that cancer can creep back in at anytime.  We are at peace and so thankful that God has seen us through to this point and that David has done so well with the treatment regimen.  We also will continue to ask for your prayers and our Fathers guidance as we navigate the fear of reoccurrence as we move forward. 

We know that David has tolerated an enormous amount of chemo well.  We as parents think he has had some rough times, but from the oncologists perspective they are happy that he is finishing so close to his original finish date. Of course we know that he is high risk because of the Loss of Heterozygocity, but we remain thankful that the chemo has worked thus far on the nodules on his lungs and that he has had such a positive response to chemo.  We will forever be fearful of the dreaded relapse, but we will also remain concerned how his major organs continue to function after being exposed to such high levels of chemo and radiation. 

We are looking forward to watching the Olympics this weekend.  We miss our Kyle and Hope.  They will be heading to Charlottesville on Sunday and I believe they are planning a putt-putt golf outing.

We hope each of you is having a great summer and enjoying every minute of your time with your loved ones.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Last Hooray!

Sadly we are pulling out those darn suitcases for another trip to UVA, but we are overjoyed that it is for his LAST chemo treatment!!! 

Today we had a little outing with some friends at Hungry Mother to play, ride bikes, and have fun.  We also went to lunch when we were done, but I took no pictures because fifteen kids between four Moms kept us too busy for photo ops. 
David and Jack! 
Miss Priss who loves a good playground! 

David and Mason!  David really had a great time but he got tired quickly.

My boys love to throw rocks into the lake-cheap entertainment!! We love this beautiful park in our backyard. 

Miss Sydney has morphed into a big girl this summer.  She asked "where's kyle"  a million times today and she had such fun keeping up with the big kids. 

David and Mason solving the world's problems!
Lots of friends met us out there and these cuties will be in preschool together this year.  It seemed like yesterday that these two were born.  They are eight weeks apart and it amazes me that they are old enough for preschool. Sigh.
While we waited on Tanner and Kelsey we had a little snack.  Kyle was anxiously awaiting the Grubbs because they had all the bikes.  The boys took off on their bikes to the creek. 

Brady is only three but he really thinks he is a big boy.  He pitched to Kyle-so cute!!
Soooo cute!!!  They were throwing rocks into the lake.  This past year we have missed spontaneous playdates with friends.  Either we have been in Charlottesville, or David's counts have been too low to be around people.  It was a crazy morning with lots of kids, but it was such fun. 

Kelsey is going to be a great Mommy one day.  Hope ADORES her and Sydney loves her too. 

A dirty butt certifies that the playdate was tons of fun!

Hope and Sydney played this cute game where they laid in the slide and pretended to be asleep.  Sydney played along beautifully but nosy Hope could not close her eyes!  Ha!  Yes, that is dirt on Sydney's face!! 
Sweet, sweet girls. 

Even though it was crazy with all these kids, I loved every minute of it.  My kids have missed this-random playdates with kids.  I have certainly missed Mommy time with my Mommy friends.  Thanks ladies for such a fun morning and God bless the waiters that handled our two tables at lunch today!!

Tomorrow is a pretty huge milestone in our family.  We know that the future is uncertain but for now we are overwhelmed with thanksgiving that tomorrow is the last chemo.  What a journey.  We are so thankful for amazing friends who have encouraged us and loved on us.  We are so appreciative of the amazing care we have received at UVA, Ashley and Jason's unfailing love for David, this amazing community for their concern for our boy, and the list could go on and on. 

We are planning a celebration here locally very soon.  We are very excited to celebrate this amazing accomplishment.  Many do not make it through the intense chemo and radiation, but by God's amazing grace our boy is still here and and is still singing praises.  I am bawling now as I type.  This has been such an emotional week for me for lots of reasons.  Our God is simply amazing and we are overcome with love for Him. 

I could go on and on but my emotions are not going to let me.  I have now been working on this post for over and hour because I can't stop crying tears of thanksgiving that today we are on the eve of the last chemo.  Thank you dear friends.  Your comments, emails, facebook messages, and texts have meant the world to us.  Reading your messages and comments have kept us going on the long, sad days.  Your love for our Rock Star is something we will never forget.  Thank you.

Speaking of thank you, we have been blessed financially by Taco Inn in Radford.  Dale and Anita from Taco Inn have loved on our boy and helped fatten him up with some of their yummy food.  If you live in Radford or are ever by there please say a thank you to them for their love and support.  David recommends the corn dogs and spaghetti there!

We will update tomorrow after the treatment is over.  Today he has good energy and we are all loving rubbing on his very blonde peach fuzz:)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Countdown to Chemo

I am still in awe that we are only days away from David's last chemo.  Mike and I both plan to take him this Friday for his last treatment.  Hope and Kyle will stay here with GG and Pops so Kyle can go to a swim team event and then they will bring them down on Saturday. 

This week we have been enjoying home and friends. 

Yesterday we did a kid swap with our neighbors, The Grubbs.  Kelsey came here to play and Kyle went to their house to play.  We are so blessed to have such great neighbors. 

Yesterday David received a package from Mike's brothers family with a new paper jams microphone and a cute shirt that says Redheads Rock.  He has been jamming on his new microphone. 

Mike is in crazy school prep mode.  That man works so hard that my head spins.  David's school is going through a major renovation and our school system is also building a new elementary school.  On top of his job as superintendent he also is heavily involved in these projects.  I pray that my children get his amazing work ethic.  He is also worried about his father who suffered a broken hip recently and is currently in a rehab hospital in Shreveport.  His heart hurts that he cannot physically be there with his Dad now.  We are soon ending David's active treatment phase and entering the "wait and see if the cancer returns mode" and that is weighing on his heart as well.  He will probably kill me for blogging about him, but his plate runneth over right now and he still manages it all with grace. 

I have been in major cooking mode these days.  I am obsessed having fun exploring Pinterest and finding new recipes to cook and fun kid/preschool ideas.  This weekend I tried lots of new dishes.  I try very hard each day to cook my children real food using real ingedients.  My kids love chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and frozen pizzas but we try to do those occassionally for lunch. I am also over the top excited about preschool.  I cannot wait to be in the classroom again with my favorite girl. 

We look forward to getting this last chemo over with and discussing the next phase with his amazing team.  I am very emotional about this milestone and want to personally thank everyone of you that has prayed and loved on us through the active treatment stage. It has been brutal and hard on our boy, but with God's overflowing grace and mercy we are almost there.  We covet your prayers for the next "wait and see if it returns phase" as we will face the dougnut (aka CT scan machine) many times in the future.  We know regardless what the scans show that our God will be with us.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Church Music and Family Time

We have had a wonderful family weekend together.  It sort of feels like old times where we pack the weekend full of fun and activities.  I love it! 

Saturday we took the kids to the Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival.  It was cool and cloudy which was perfect weather for David. 
We ran into the Bystreks and had fun catching up with them and throwing rocks into the lake.  My children could do that for hours!! 

There are lots of vendors set up selling cute stuff, there is also great music and yummy food.  Here are my sweet three together. 
Hope picked out some new hairbows!  I love the Hello Kitty ones and we just had to have the Minnie Mouse one for our next  Disney trip.  This sweet lady in Saltville makes these and we had such fun picking them out. 

I bought some Christmas gifts as well!  We love the park year-round and we are so blessed to have this in our backyard. 
When we came home Hope and I had a spa day.  She had to wear one of her new bows as we did our nails and toes  yesterday.  This is the fun stuff that I have missed with her so much.  Our life has been so crazy and fast-paced between here and UVA that I have missed quiet time with my girl doing girly things.  She is growing up so fast that I want to bottle all her sweetness-even if she can be a huge diva!  I love how she is sitting on our bed (yes my bed is unmade in the afternoon) letting her nails and toes dry while she is watching Max and "Wuby".  Below is a really cute father/son moment I caught out of the window where Mike is teaching Kyle how to mow.
Last night we cleaned up and headed over the mountain to Rich Valley for a party at the Buchanan's.  Wow!  It is so beautiful over there and the party was at the restored family home that dates back to 1905.  It is gorgeous and we had a great time.  David had so much energy and had a great time playing.  Kyle and Spencer had a great time together.

David loves Jeff Cassell and Dennis Carter and they were both there!!! The food was amazing and the fellowship was even sweeter.  I met a blog reader when Hope saw her daughter's skirt and said "I want a "skurt" like dat gurl!" 
David was in heaven sitting on the tractor, playing on the swingset, and playing ball. 

If you look closely you can see that the scooper on the tractor (I am sure it has a more accurate name than scooper but I am not a farm girl) that was used as the cooler for the drinks. My kids had a ball playing in that big ice pit!  Lights were strung across the yard and tiki torches were burning and it was a wonderful night.  Sadly our kids were ready for bed before the band started playing, but it was a wonderful night.  Thank you Buchanan family for your hospitality. 

This morning was church as usual.  I must apologize now for the people sitting around me in church.  Today the praise band played David's top three songs ever and I got very emotional.  They started with Our God and I could remember that little guy singing that right after his surgery. He still had hair then and we were in the big room beside Haley. That song brought back memories from early in our journey.  Then they launched into Forever Reign and that is when the tears started really flowing.  I love that line that sings my heart will sing no other name Jesus, Jesus and it gets me every time.  After I got control of myself I whispered to Suzanne sitting beside me that if they launched into How He loves us I was going to croak and sure enough thirty seconds later that familiar opening chords started.  It was the most intimate and emotional worship I have ever experienced.  I just felt bad for the poeple around me.

I am not emotional because I am scared or nervous about the future.  I am at peace despite what the future scans will say about his cancer.  I am emotional because the nightmare has taken us into a more intimate relationship with the father and I am so in awe of how he has provided for us.  We have been so scared and hopeless that Abba Father has been our only hope.  He has provided such blessings to us during the journey and we will forever be changed.  It was just so fitting that the Sunday before David's last treatment all his songs from his journey were played in church. 

I believe that flyers were passed out today in all our local churches for the Ordinary Women's Conference coming up here in Marion on September 22nd from 9-4.  I have been asked to be one of the speakers at this event and I am super nervous and excited.  Admission is only $5 and the event will be held at Marion Baptist Church.  The weekend will be based on Psalm 121:1-2 and I look forward to having a womens event here in our community.  I just pray that I do not throw up or cry when I speak.  Speaking is not my gift, but I must share how God has been so present and active in our lives throughout the nightmare. 

It has been a wonderful weekend here in our community.  From the festival at the beautiful park to the party last night on the Buchanan farm we have been blessed with time with friends and time together.  We are truly blessed. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fishing on the Lake

Today we went to Claytor Lake to visit with family and to play at the lake.  The weather was cool and cloudy which was perfect for David.  It was really not swimming weather so we enjoyed a day of fishing.
Miss Hope and GG caught the most with five!!!  They used David's new pole from Sam and Logan and caught a bunch! 
I love that she is fishing in a skirt!!

David had a ball today riding the boat, fishing and being outside.  It was perfect weather for him!
Can you believe that GG cut her own worm, put it on the hook and even took the fish off of the hook???  Impressive for sure!
I am not sure why this picture is sideways, but I love that she is checking out her latest catch!!!  She did awesome and I think fishing teaches children patience. 

The kids also jump at the chance to ride in the golf cart.  These two fought all day long but they are truly best friends!!
David typically does not drive the boat when Kyle is tubing, but today he did!!  Kyle grinned when he saw that David was driving him!  I thought it was too cool to tube, but Kyle did not seem to mind. 

David insisted that I take this picture of him sitting in "ashley's seat" on the boat and send it to her!!  We missed her going with us today, but it was a fun and quiet day on the lake. 

This time next week David's LAST chemo will be done and the PICC line will be removed.  Kyle and I figured it out on the way home from the lake today and I cannot stop thinking about it!!  We are so on the homestretch and I am in awe that we are almost to the finish line.  I remember back in November looking at his chemo regimen on paper and feeling so overwhelmed, but God has guided us through it.  Next week when we walk out of clinic central line free and with all those chemos marked off of the list the victory will be His!!! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Our Kyle is showing some awesome maturity these days.  He is the super helper around the house with David and Hope and we are so thankful for the young man that we are seeing.  Here are he and his buddy Ian helping little Sydney and Hope into the church.  These young men were not asked to hold hands with the little ones, they just did it. 

In the last week Kyle has fixed Hope's hair because she requested him to do it, helped Hope through her well check when she had to walk for the doctor, read books, helped me around my classroom, and just as had a giving spirit lately.  I know that we are on the verge of the teen years and life can get very complicated very soon for our young Kyle, but I am so enjoying his overall pleasant sweet spirit. 
Today he and his buddy Ian helped at FUMC food pantry.  I love this church ministry because it gives kids an opportunity to be apart of a local mission right here in our backyard. It does not take a lot of skill to sort, box, and distribute food, so all ages can be involved.  We have missed several of the monthly food pantries because we have been at UVA, and I was so thankful we were here so Kyle could spend a day serving others. 


We are so proud of the young man you are becoming.  I know this year as been rough where we have all been spread out all over Virginia helping David get better.  We are sad you have had to grow up so fast this year, but we are so proud of the young man you are becoming.  You have a heart that worries about me and about others and I know our time at UVA has impacted you as well.   Stay close to Jesus sweet boy because He has an awesome plan for you.  I hate we have had to endure this nightmare, but I am thankful for the maturity, sweetness, and grace I see from you because of it.  We love you and we are so proud of you!

I know Daddy and I  have both had to miss several important things this year, but our heart is with you always even when we cannot get there.  I love how you ask about our UVA friends and how sweet you are to people younger than you.  You are mature and wise beyond your years sweet boy.  I do not want you to keep growing this fast, but I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you.  Just know that we are both so proud of your maturity and kindness and my heart has been so touched watching you jump in at the food pantry, help your siblings, and be kind to everyone. 


Victoria's Chair

Last night I took a few hours for myself and went and got my hair cut and colored.  Cancer is like being the president-it grays your hair very fast!  Ha! 

This week has been freakishly hard-my feelings have been hurt,  people have frustrated me, my iphone took a swim in the pool, and I have been grumpy with Mike.  Last night we had to do a sterile dressing change on David's PICC line, and lets just say the first go around did not go well and I was NOT the picture of calm, cool, and collected christian Momma in front of my children.  I was scared and stressed doing it for the first time and it did not go well.  The good news is that after a phone consult with Hope's blue doctor (Keith Kilby) we rocked it the second go around. 

I got to Victoria's to get my hair done thirty minutes late and shaking like a leaf.  After catching up with her about our kids and our summers, we started talking serious.  She too is a christian and I was telling her about the last month in how I have been so excited and energized by my prayer life.  I feel for the first time in a long time I have so much peace because no matter what God is with us.  I have also enjoyed lots of bible study time while we were in Charlottesville.

Then I explained to her that this week has been horrible. I have not been a christian witness to my children, I have whined and complained about stuff that frankly I cannot do anything about, and I have felt attacked from all sides.  She then bluntly said "girl, the devil is nipping at your heels!"  She summed it all up!  Don't think for a second that the devil has been thrilled with all the bible study and intense prayer I have been up to the last month or so and so he is going after me. 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.

Johnn 10:10

Yep, this week the devil has been after my peace, my witness to my children, and my marriage.  Those three things mean more to me than anything.  Satan knows that and he fights dirty.

So to fight in this spiritual war I will arm myself with God ad his word.  I will stay steadfast in my time with God knowing that He and He alone can give me the peace and grace that I need.  Victoria also shared with me the song above from Newsong and it is awesome!  God has been so visible and active in our lives and I am so thankful. 

Also, I was suppose to go see her Friday afternoon, but she texted me yesterday and said she had an opening last night and to come on for my cut and color.  I think God knew that last night after that dressing change I would need a little Laura time away to collect myself and he used Victoria to relay the message to me to put on my spiritual armor because the evil one is not happy with me!! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Angie, God, and Church

We have had a great week!  We have caught up with some friends, swam a little, and I am in preschool mode.  David has had great energy and is eating well.  Monday we had a full day of Hope's well check, working at preschool with friends, and then a fun dinner date that evening.  We could tell that night he was worn out which makes me worried about school coming up.  I am so excited about his school this year!  There is a major renovating going on at his school and it is going to be cool (literally with new AC) and beautiful when it is done!!

We had a fun dinner date on Monday with Angie Mountain and Susan Kilby.  Local folks all know Angie because not only is she the life of any party, but she is a local hero.  She has the funniest personality ever and everyone loves her.  She has a heart for Jesus like I have never seen. 

Here are the two beautiful, bald heads-Angie and David!!  Angie has not had hair for years, but a few months ago she woke up and told her Mom that God had talked with her and that he was going to take care of her hair.  If you look closely you will see lots of new hair growth of her head!!!!  She is also wearing her medal from the state Special Olympics where she got bronze.  She bowled for David that day!!! We love you Angie!
Kyle adores Angie and thinks she is hilarious!  He has asked for a year if she could come over so we were excited to have a dinner date.  Pizza hut had a fancy jukebox and she wanted Kyle to help her find the song "boots under" which is that Shania Twain song Who's Bed Have Your Boots Been Under!  Angie is an amazing person who has prayed on the altar for David at church every Sunday.  Angie is an inspiration to us all how to simply have faith in God. 

I know this post is totally random, but church on Sunday was so awesome.  The sermon was about enthusiastic praise for our Father who has blessed us all so richly.  After the sermon, we had communion.  They had several small children and a few youth bring up loaves of bread one at a time.  Jonathan arranged the loaves to look like a man.  In his chest he had a heart shaped pan filled with the wine to symbolize Jesus' blood.  For communion we came up and took the bread, dipped it in the wine to remind us that He literally gave up his body for us.  It was very moving. 

I asked Hope when we got in the car why she did not bring up a loaf of bread and she replied "I not going to take dat bwead into big church."  Alrighty!

Monday we worked so hard in the preschool room arranging, cleaning, and sorting toys that I got the organizational bug for my house.  I have cleaned the kids play room downstairs and took out all the baby and toddler stuff  moved the Wii in and it looks great.  It makes me sad because it reminds me that my kids are growing so fast and it looks more like a big kid hangout than a baby/toddler area now. 

Today Kyle starts golf lessons (he is super excited), and I am trying to finish all my cleaning projects here at home and at school.  I am also excited to report that a bag of rice works wonders on an iphone that was dropped in the pool Sunday.  Last night I heard a text come in from that bag of rice and amazingly it is working!!!  Yay!

Monday, July 16, 2012


The fact that I have not blogged in three days might be a record!!!!  We are enjoying normalcy and family time.  Mike's professional plate is beyond full and I have relished jumping back into my preschool classroom.  Thanks to two dear friends, today we were able to clean and organize quite a mess.  Thanks ladies!!

Today Miss Hope had her well check and she is quite healthy and it was adorable to see David coaching her and the nurse through her appointment.  Tonight we had a treat because we got to have dinner with two special ladies!  When I get some pictures I will share more about our evening!

We cannot believe that we are on the countdown to David's last treatment.  I am surprised how emotional and reflective I am about this huge milestone.  Yesterday's church service was wonderful and very emotional and I just cried at the altar during communion in thanksgiving to God.  His hand has literally guided us the last eight months and we will continue to seek his peace and his will for our family as we enter the next stage which I have termed "the waiting game"  Will his cancer return?  Will his lungs, kidney, and heart continue to function as they should after all the toxicity of his chemo and radiation?  (Just for the record I originally typed kidneys, and had to go back and adjust it when I realized that he now only has one).Sigh.

Yesterday the praise band at church rocked the song Audience of One by Big Daddy Weave and it just spoke to me yesterday even though I have heard it a million times.  A heart that beats to praise you is my favorite line.  It goes along with my latest study of Acts 16 where Silas and Paul are singing praises to God from the pits of a prison.  I desperately want my heart to constantly praise the King of Kings-on days like today when I am sweating and cleaning out a nasty preschool storage room, days in the future when my baby is on the CT scan table wating for that all-important scan, and everyday as I strive to be the christian Jesus wants me to be. 

I hope you enjoy this song too!  Thank you for all the prayers and love that have been showered upon our family.  It is so uplifting to go out and about around town and be greeted so warmly.  We live in such a wonderful community-we are truly blessed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our Week in Pictures

We are HOME and I finally have a chance to update the blog with pictures from our week.  After a long drive yesterday with lots of traffic and backups, we got home around dinner time.  When I stopped in Radford to pick up Hope, my Mom stuck our dinner in the car.  We actually got to sit down to a home cooked meal together around our dinner table. 

These pictures show the highlights of our week in Charlottesville.  Here are Hope and David leaving clinic after chemo last week.  He is all smiles but several hours later he crashed. 
To encourage movement, one night we went to Dick's sporting goods to buy a birthday present.  The kids had a ball getting a workout in!!  Pops and I had to drag them out of that store:)
Waiting for labs in clinic-my boys being goofy:)
This picture makes me belly laugh because Kyle threw Hope in the pool with all he could muster and she LOVED it.  He was so sweet to help her swim this week at the pool at the condo and she did great!  If you are friends with me on facebook you saw many videos of Hope swimming because she insisted that I put them on fb to share "with Ashawee and all her fwiends"
We opted for the outdoor shower all week.  My kids never entered the shower at the conod because they would take an outside shower at the pool before leaving!!  That was awesome:)
One night we played putt putt and David almost beat Kyle.  That boy is good at putt putt!  that amazing place in Charlottesville gave us free passes to return so next chemo we will have a family night there for a rematch!
Kyle loves to teach and help Hope do stuff.  He most of the time has a lot of patience with her and he is the chosen one to help her. 
This picture cracks me up because she hit her ball in but did not realize it!  She was asking David where her ball is and of course it was already in the hole!!
Here are some pictures from the fishing expedition.  When the boys and Lisa pulled up in her fancy red jeep to pick us up, he said "holy crap" at her awesome ride.  We are working on de-programming that phrase from his vocabulary and he inists that Pops taught it to him!!  For the record I have never heard my Dad utter that phrase:)
Fishing with Logan.
Fishing with Sam. The water was so clear that we could watch the fish nibbling at the bait.  That was really neat for David. 

I think this is the bass that Logan caught and they have a tradition that you have to kiss the fish you catch-yikes!!
David's catch!!  Look very closely and you will see a tiny little blue gill on his line!!  Look at that excitement!!
Posing with his "big catch" of the day!  He opted not to kiss his fish:)
Great picture of two great guys with Big D!
Being silly...
David's bandage finally fell off of the port site and it is healing beautifully.
We were welcomed home last night by a big tray of hokie cupcakes from the Buchanan's.  As you can see the boys dug right in!!!

We are thrilled to be home and this Momma is sooooo excited to leave the kiddos home with Daddy and start prepping my preschool rooms today.  We are so happy to be home!