Thursday, August 30, 2012

Changing Hats

This Momma and preschool teacher is worn out!!! I love being being back in the classroom!! The last two nights we have had open houses at preschool. I have two of the sweetest classes of preschoolers and Hope is one of my students!!! I love this busy pace of our family life with the morning rush, school, homework, baths, and evening stories and prayers. I will take this over long, scary, and boring days in the hospital.

I am so thankful that for this season I am blessed and can put my teacher hat on again and take a break from giving shots and flushing lines. Mr. David is full of energy and is happy at school. We are so thankful that he is surpassing our expectations in second grade.

We are excited for lazy family time this weekend catching up with loved ones and relaxing. I have a huge stack to laminate this weekend for school. One of the amazing finds I found on pinterest (yes I am addicted) was scripture cards to pray for your children. Each day of the month there is a different topic and scripture to pray for your children. God has laid it on my heart the need to pray more specifically about my children. Kyle is getting to a complicated age with the pre-teen tears right around the corner. They are growing up so fast and I pray that my children will have a heart for God and his Word.

This tired momma/teacher is ready for bed!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Echo Results

UVA just called with the echocardioram results and it looks GREAT!!!!  Heart function is good and there is no effusion now!!!  Praise the Lord what a relief.  It is amazing to think that there was so much fluid on his heart just two short months ago in June when he was so sick and now it is gone.  We celebrate every victory large or small around here!!!! 

We are so thankful for good results and we are continuing to push fluids on David.  His creatinine was a little teeny bit high this past visit (.8) and with good fluid intake it should be around .6 or .7.  His doctor was not alarmed but encouraged us to encourage David to keep his fluid intake around 50 ounces/day.  His teachers are wonderful about encouraging him to drink at school which we are so thankful for. 

I am really getting excited about the Ordinary Women conference coming up September 22nd.  Posters are all over town and I do not gasp in fear anymore when I see my name included with the speakers.  I am speaking on God's unfailing mercy and faithfulness when you are in a pit of despair.  That sentence alone sums up the last 8 months of our lives.  He is so faithful and true and that I must take every opportunity to share about our God. 

We have lots of excitement on the horizon this weekend and I am so excited for preschool open houses this week.  I cannot wait to meet all of our preschoolers and to get our year started.  Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When You Wish Upon A Star...

Today was a much anticipated day in our house because the Make-a-wish volunteers were coming to interview David about his wish.  David was wild but really was shy about his wish.  One of  the sweet volunteers interviewed me and Mike while the other sweet volunteer took David to the kitchen to interview him.

We sent Kyle with David to help translate if needed, and Kyle did such a good job of sitting quietly and not jumping in and taking over.  He is mature enough to realize that this is David's wish and he was simply helping out.  

After lots of questions for David, his first wish is to go to Disney.  Typically children that go to Disney for Make-a-Wish stay at a special resort called Give Kids the World.  You must check it out and read the backround story about the resort.  Of course I cried reading about such a fun and special place.  We are beyond excited about this possible blessing.  What a fun and amazing family trip this could be to celebrate surviving cancer treatment as a family!!!!  I could cry thinking about it:)

David is getting stronger and stronger each day.  He has had a height growth spurt just recently and his peace fuzz is multiplying daily.  We are so thankful for each healthy day were we see his spunk and energy return to normal. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Photo Catchup

We have had a busy weekend still trying to organize our home.  Today was the garage and boy was it a job. This week we had our new chest feezer delivered, so we had to make room for it.  I am giddy with the possibilities for once a month cooking!!  I am really enjoying my freezer meals and I even made two more this morning. 

So today I am downloading pictures from my iphone and camera from the past week.  Do you recognize this cool pirate?  Isn't this the coolest pirate costume ever???  We love it, however, it is a mystery to us who dropped this brand new costume from Disney off (with all the accessories) for our Rock Star at my parents house in Radford?!!  Thank you-we LOVE it!!  The dreadlock hat is my favorite part:)
This week in clinic David got his purple heart for finishing chemo!!  He has collected beads of courage throughout his entire cancer journey, but the purple heart is a big milestone. 

This picture makes me laugh!!  Here is David on Versed.  He was "drunk" and goofy and he provided us with lots of laughs when we were nervous.  Versed is wonderful amnesia medicine so he did not remember that they used the mask to sedate him:)
Here is poor pumpkin still sleeping after his scan.  We knew he was ready to wake up when he started pulling on the cannula in his nose. 

Here is Teacher Daddy working on spelling words with David while he was getting his Pentamidine medicine to ward off pneumonia.  He will continue to get that medicine for another five months until his immune system catches up from the roller coaster ride of chemo. 

Tonight we are heading out to an adult spelling bee where Mike is one of the contestants for charity.  The little ones have played so hard and are so worn out from the week that they are staying home, but Kyle and I are going to cheer Mike on. 

Preschool open houses start for me this week and I am so excited!!!  We are loving our normal and boring life.  Thank you for all your prayers, emails, calls, texts, and messages this week.  These scans will always make us very nervous, but we are so thankful for God's peace and you, our prayer warriors, supporting us and encouraging us through the tough days. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Our doctor just called us on the way home and the scans were CLEAN !!!!! Praise the Lord!!! We face the dread CT scan again in November (and every three months after that) but for now we are thrilled  and thankful that the scans were all clean!!! No news yet on the echo but hopefully that report will come in tomorrow!  Thank you for all the love today!!

Driving home

We are leaving Charlottesville after a long day with no news. The morning started out funny wih Dave looped up on Versed. He was so silly and drunk that he did not care if they used the mask for sedation.  The CT scan went okay it just took two hours which made us nervous. After the scan, we went to clinic for the echo, labs, and his monthly IV pentamidine drip. He is groggy but fine.

His doctor felt that he looked great and she was glad to hear that he has put on several pounds!!!! Their scales say he weighs 56 pounds which is his pre cancer weight.  We are hoping his doctor calls us on the way home or we may have to wait until tomorrow for the results.

We are driving home pretty tired after an early morning and long day. Thank you so much for your prayers, texts, calls and love. We will update again if we get any news :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Belly laughs, Friends, and Another Recipe

Mike and I are trying to stay peaceful about the upcoming scan.  I can tell that it is front and center on both of our minds.  The last two nights I have had terrible cancer related nightmares.  I will not go into detail, but I woke up gasping and crying.  Cancer is not for sissies!

Today; however, God blessed us with a wonderful day at Hungry Mother with some preschool friends.  The weather was perfect and cool, and it was a playdate that was relaxing and fun.  The kids played well together and the Mommies got to chat and laugh.  One mommy told the funniest story and I am sure we woke up the fish in the lake laughing.  A good belly laugh with friends is so good for the soul.  Ladies, you have no idea how much I appreciated today-you  made me laugh in a week where I could really use some humor! 

Miss Hope is so ready for preschool and she enjoyed playing with some of her classmates today. 
Here we were at this beautiful playground and they just wanted to play in the dirt!  Check out my prissy girl that dug with a stick so her hands would not get dirty:)

This picture has such a story, but here is sweet Hope and Brady.  We watched as he led her into the woods.  I asked if we should be concerned at three that they want to go off into the woods together and his Momma said this is payback for all the years that my son has tried to hug and kiss their daughter:)  What goes around comes around-ha!

We hit a huge milestone today where the kids sat at one table and we sat beside them at another table!!!  This is huge and we were able to eat and chat.  The kids actually behaved  and ate their plates. 
Speaking of plates, here is a picture of Hope's meal tonight with one of our freezer meals-Quesadilla Casserole!!  It was yummo and I think I hear Mike warming up some more as a late night snack as I am writing this.  I will put the recipe at the bottom of this post. 

Tonight Jason stopped by to see David. David's hair is really coming in a light blonde, so I asked Jason to use my camera and snap a picture of my boys.  This is what he got!! If you look really closely you can see some BLONDE peach fuzz.  He has to return as a redhead, because he has a cool new shirt that says redheads rock from his Uncle Daniel and Aunt Pam. 

Here is David giving Jason a belly bump.  A belly bump is David's new greeting:)

We are leaving tomorrow night for UVA.  GG and Pops will be here to hold down the fort.  We covet your prayers and just know we will update the blog as we get any news.  It will be a brutal morning because he will endure some pokes for an IV, an echocardiogram which he usually fights at first and then settles down and dreaded blood work.  I am so thankful that Mike and I are going together. On a fun positive note, David's make-a-wish interview is coming up this weekend!!  We cannot wait to see what DAvid says his ultimate wish is going to be!!! 

Quesadilla Casserole


1 lb of ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 can corn
6 flour tortillas
2 cups of shredded cheese

Brown beef and onion in a large skillet.  Add tomato sauce, corn and mix well.  Stir in all the spices and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer on medium for five minutes.

spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on bottom of 9 x 13 pan (sprayed with Pam).  Top with three of the tortillas overlapping as needed.  Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, beef, and cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.  Enjoy!  The adults loved this one, Kyle and Hope ate it okay and David said yuck without even trying it! 

I froze this meal before baking.  I thawed it out today and cooked it tonight.  I am ready for another cooking night because these freezer meals have been such a lifesaver. 

Monday, August 20, 2012


Mike and I amazingly are calm and peaceful about David's scan on Thursday.  We are well aware that every scan from here on out is going to be high stakes.  A clean scan will mean our life will stay this quasi-normal and David has a good prognosis, or a relapse will mean that his prognosis is not great and our lives will be topsy turvy again.  You would think that with those kind of stakes involving our child we would be nervous wrecks. 

Believe me that the scan is forefront on our minds, and of course I teared up at church again this past Sunday, but God has given us both a peace about it.  We are living, breathing, examples of Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.

That peace that only comes from God is what we are experiencing right now.  We know what is at stake Thurday.  We have been told that if the cancer comes back quickly within the first year off of treatment that his prognosis is not that great.  But, thanks to God we are mindful of what we are heading off to do Thursday, but we are not paralyzed with fear.  This is why we cannot walk through this (or anything) without God.  He is life, peace, grace, mercy and salvation to us. 

Mr. Rockstar is doing very well in school. We had an IEP meeting with his team today and we are all pleasantly surprised by his progress.  Considering how sick he was in June and early July we are amazed that his energy, his spunk, and appetite have multiplied.  We are so thankful that he is doing so well in school and for his team that appears to appreciate his spunk and personality. 

Hope and I have been at preschool a lot working on our rooms.  Along with the other two ladies that work with me, we have two rooms to prep for the upcoming year.  We are so looking forward to a fun year with some cute three and four year olds. 

Kyle is loving fifth grade with his sweet teacher and several buddies.  Mike has been working like a crazy man in his job lately and will soon take a trip to help out his Father.  His father broke his hip and has recently had to make a change in his living situation to get the help he needs. 

I will close with another recipe that I got from my Madison County friend, Patty, years ago when David was born.  This is a hit at our house and I know I have posted it a while back and I could not find it so here goes again:



1 lb ground beef
1 package of crescent rolls
1 cup of shredded cheese
1 packet of taco seasoning
16 ounces of sour cream
tortilla chips

in a skillet, brown hamburger and add the taco seasoning while cooking.  While beef is cooking, unroll crescent rolls.  Using a pie pan, cover the bottom and sides of the pan with the uncooked crescent rolls. It does not have to be pretty just cover it!  Layer cooked taco meat on top of uncooked crescent rolls, next layer sour cream on top of the beef, and lastly add shredded cheese.  If desired, sprinkle tortilla chips on top the last few minutes of baking.  Enjoy!  Let me know if your family loves this dish:)  This is Kyle's very favorite. 

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until crescent rolls around edges are brown.  Easy easy family meal. 

Off to bed-Hope and I have a fun playdate tomorrow with some preschool friends!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Mr. David has had two great days at school this week!  We are so thankful for his team that have kept us in the loop and been so encouraging with him.   We have both been praying so hard for David going back into school and once again we see God's handiwork all over David. 

We are both at peace about the first post-chemo scan coming up this week.  I asked Mike this morning if he was nervous and he said "not really-it is what it is."  We pray for clean scans but we also know that if they are not, then God has a plan.  We are witnessing first hand the "peace that passes all understanding" that only can come from God. 

Yesterday I headed to Rural Retreat to try out the new teacher supply store.  It is called Main Street Supply right on the main drag in Rural Retreat and it is awesome!!  We got preschool goodies for the classrooms and she is well stocked to help teachers get ready for the year.  The sweet owner, sent David some goodies back when he was diagnosed and I was so thankful tofinally  get to meet her.  Sadly, cancer has touched her life as well, because she lost her husband (age 48) to cancer a few years ago.  Teachers, Sunday school teachers, homeschoolers, parents, etc... head over there and support this great business!  

Last night (I told you this post was random) Mike took Hope and David to a local football game.  Kyle was too tired from swimming to go, so he and I stayed home and watched the movie, My Sister's Keeper.  It was so painful in a beautiful way.  I was annoyed that the book ending differed from the movie, but what a sweet Momma/son moment to watch a movie that in some ways has mirrored our own life.

I asked Kyle if he thought that cancer has stressed our family out and he said "uh yeah Mom."  He said he liked staying with friends, but he was always worried about David and missed us when we were gone.  He also asked if David was going to relapse like that girl in the movie, and I honestly answered "I don't know-we certainly pray no."

That movie brought back so many memories of the nightmare.  I know this sounds strange but this cool weather also brings back memories for me.  These cool mornings remind me of the mornings where I walked from the Ronald McDonald house to the hospital early for David's radiation.  Sometimes I get so sad thinking of all the trauma that sweet Rock Star has been through and then I remember that instead we should be thankful for the horrors that God walked us through.  This last year we have all been walking testimonies of God's love and faithfulness. 

I must then share about God's love, mercy , and faithfulness when given the opportunity.  I have been provided an opportunity with the Ordinary Women's Conference coming up here locally at Marion Baptist Church on September 22nd.  I am one of the speakers for the day and I am honored to get to brag on our God that day (even if I picture a sanctuary full of women and get weak-kneed).   It is going to be  a great and encouraging day!  Early -bird registration ends August 31 to hurry and get signed up.  Check out the Ordinary Women's page on facebook. 

We are spending this weekend nesting and catching up around the house. We love spending Saturdays cleaning piles, cleaning, and cooking.  I know that sounds so weird because we used to be on the go so much, but for this season of our life we are enjoying HOME. 

We do covet your prayers for the scan Thursday morning at 7 am.  We have so enjoyed watching David regain strength and stamina from the last chemo and we cant wait to see what the scales say:)  Not only will he get a scan, but he will also get an echocardiogram to check his heart to see if the paracardial effusion (fluid) is gone from his heart.   The scan is at 7 (with sedation) and then echo is at 9:30 followed by check-up at clinic.  We look forward to seeing clinic staff, but we dread David having to get an IV since his central lines are all gone. 

Sorry for the rambling post, but I have lots swirling around my brain today:)  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School

Today despite the drama, tears, and fears from Momma, today was a great first day of school in our household!  David made it all day and his teacher was thoughtful enough to text me about mid-morning to say that there were a few tears but he was doing great!  That text was such a blessing to a Momma that was trying hard not to worry:)

Here are our sweet three this morning before the big day!  It was 56 degrees when I took them this morning and David and Hope were chilly enough and wanted coats.  Here is the first day of school picture from last year-I miss that red hair but I am so thankful that our boy is doing so well.
Here is my big tall 5th grader.  The other day we went to the doctor for his yearly physical and since February he has grown three inches and put on 10 pounds.  I believe it-he is such a big eater these days!
Our sweet, strong second grader!!!!  What a joy to take this child to school knowing he is strong and that his planned treatments are over.  I got up a little after five this morning to pray for my kiddos, my teacher friends, and the teams that will be teaching my children this year. 
 The kids and I belly laughed when we pulled up to David's "new" school and saw Mike outside directing traffic, getting kids out of cars, and helping out in his swanky yellow traffic vest.  Here is Mr. Little getting David out of the car!!

Miss Hope and I spent the morning in our preschool rooms and then we snuck in a quick swim at Hungry Mother for some girl time.  I love this picture of our diva!! She missed her brothers today and it was a happy reunion when we picked them up.

Miss Hope also insisted to get her picture taken this morning even though her first day of preschool is not until after Labor Day:)  She is ready for preschool to start with her "fwiends"

Despite Momma's fears, the first day went very well for the boys!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Recipe and Confession

Pardon me for forgetting to post another freezer meal recipe yesterday.  Yesterday was rough.  Like losing my cool in front of my children rough.  Like so stressed out about David starting school that I collapsed under fear and anxiety kind of rough. 

Then last night I prayed like I have never prayed before.  As a way to minimize the fear of sending David to school I walked through the last eight months of our life and thanked God for all that he has gotten us through since just November.  Surely if he could carry us when we heard words like stage four cancer, oncologist, radiation, and surgery, he can certainly be with our sweet angel as he goes to school tomorrow. 

I will also admit that I am seeing the Ordinary Women conference all over facebook and I had a few moments of self doubt when so many have so sweetly said they cannot wait to hear me speak.  I have promised God that he has been so faithful to us that I will forever be faithful to him through this blog and with my mouth.  I just feel more capable behind the security of a computer:) The blog is my confort zone and not a sanctuary full of women.  But once again I know that our God is not going to put us somewhere and NOT be with us. 

So today I awake with a new attitude.  It is a an attitude of thanksgiving.  Instead of stressing that David is "not ready" to head back to school I should just be thankful that he survived chemo and that he is still with us.  I am thankful for all of his sweet friends in his class and for his fun and sweet team working with him.  He is going to a beautiful, new, modern classroom and he will have a great year.  His new teachers even had Rocky Duke waiting for him in his seat. 

So today this Momma is choosing to be thankful for the three angels that call me Mom and for a God that is ever present-even when control freak Momma is stressing and worrying. 

As promised I will close with another fabulous freezer meal!

Pizza Casserole

a bag of egg noodles
1 extra large jar of spaghetti sauce
3 cups of shredded mozarella cheese
1.5 lbs of hamburger meat
1 package of pepperoni

Brown meat and drain. 
Boil noddles until soft and drain.
Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of pan to cover.
next place half of noodles on top of spaghetti sauce.
next place half of the meat
next half of spaghetti sauce
next place rest of the noodles on top
next place half of the cheese
rest of the meat
rest of the sauce
rest of the cheese
place pepperoni on top. 

Cover with foil and freeze.

label on foil: Thaw, Vake covered for 30 min. in 350 degree oven.  After thirty minutes remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until heated thoroughly.  enjoy! 

Kyle and Mike loved this dish.  This was a dish that all five of us ate and I added a salad to get in a few veggies.  Easy family pleaser meal!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sing Praises

Last night we got an amazing opportunity to get our praise on with our new friends at Rosedale Baptist Church.  David's music teacher and family friend, Chrystle Gates is part of the praise band at this church.  She has been inviting us for months to come to one of their praise band practices and let David jam with them.

Because of David's recent hospitalizations, infections, and trips to UVA it has not worked out until last night.  What an awesome night of fellowship and praise with these talented musicians. 

It took David about 20 minutes to warm up and then with Kyle by his side he went and joined the group. They played all of his favorites (more than once) and he had a ball!
At first David (and Kyle) made their rounds around to all the instruments.  Here is David helping Chrystle play with the paino.  Kyle was David's security blanket and Kyle jumped right in.
After the piano they played drums-notice that David is making Kyle play while he bosses!  HA!

This is Adam who is singing How He Loves Us.  David was convinced that he was the REAL David Crowder because he too had facial hair! David had such a great time that he said he never wanted to leave and asked this morning when  he could go back:)
This picture is hilarious because David is getting his full David Crowder praise on!!

This picture below is our family, Ashley, and the entire praise band.  After they prayed over our family we wanted to take a group picture.  Mr. Stubborn did not want to leave his pew for a picture and insisted that the group join him in the pews for the picture.  He is certainly rotten!!

This picture David is drawing attention to Adam's facial hair to prove that he is the David Crowder!!! 

We had such a wonderful night of praise and fellowship with this very talented praise band.  We could have stayed all night singing praise songs to God.  Thank you Chrystle and the entire praise band for allowing us to come and get our praise on with you all.  What a special night for our Rock Star!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Silliness and a New Recipe

This picture makes me belly laugh!  This weekend the kids were once again on the waterslide.  It was super sunny and we insisted that David wear a hat outside to keep his sweet peach-fuzz from getting burned.  He did NOT want to wear a hat and then Kyle suggested that they all wear one! 

David chose his "choot em choot em" hat, a new Hokie bandana he just got (thanks Tama) for sister Hope, and then his fishing hat for Kyle.  They all three wore them to support David.  It was touching but hilarious at the same time!  Kyle looks like he has on a bonnet, and Hope looks like a biker chick in the "banana" hat!  These kiddos keep us laughing! 

Okay, I have gotten LOTS of requests for the freezer recipes, so I will post one a day this week.  I hope you all enjoy this one as much as Mike did!  This one is his favorite!

Baked Creamed Cheese Spaghetti

a box of rotini noodles
a jar of spaghetti sauce
one pound of ground beef
1 tsp of italian seasoning
1 tsp of garlic salt
8 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup of parmesan cheese

In a skillet brown the ground beef until cooked.  Drain fat and add spaghetti sauce.  Set aside.

Cook rotini until soft.  Drain and then add cream cheese, italian seasoning, and garlic salt to the noodels.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and spaghetti is coated well. 

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Cover bottom of dish with light layer of sauce.  Put noodles on top of sauce and top with remaining meat sauce.  Sprinkle paremsan cheese on top. Cover well and freeze.

Here are the directions you write on the aluminum foil:  Thaw. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and bake uncovered for 40 minutes!  Enjoy! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Picture Dump

This weekend has been fun with several parties and family time.  David is feeling great and I am trying not to feel too anxious about sending him to school:) His energy level has really improved this week!  Both boys have great teachers lined up for this year and they each have several buddies in their class. 
These pictures are totally out of order, but this morning we amazingly got ready a few minutes before church so I grabbed my camera.  David wanted to model his new Swamp People hat that says "choot em choot 'em" that he loves!!  To my relief the paperwork from Made-A-Wish says that the wish cannot involved firearms or anything that will cause bodily harm, so thankfully swamp people is out for his wish!!!

Our sweet three this morning before church. 
Yesterday Hope went to the sweetest little birthday party for one of her preschool/church friends.  It was such a sweet little girl time!  She is sooo excited to reunite with her preschool friends this upcoming year. 

Hope and sweet Macy enjoying their cupcakes and strawberries. 
The kiddos have also enjoyed some MORE watersliding fun.  They have enjoyed this thing so much this week.  Hope is a brave, crazy girl on it! 
Kyle has really loved the waterslide too! They get their water guns out and play police on it.  I know with school starting this week, my kiddos are going to miss each other so much. 
Friday evening David and Hope had a playdate with Brooklyn.  She is such a sweetie and my kiddos love her. They played on the waterslide and then the weather forced them inside to play. 

Another sweet picture of our three.  We have noticed that David has had a growth spurt in the last few weeks.  He is taller but now he looks skinnier to us:) We are so thankful for the blonde peach fuzz, for his increased appetite and energy level, and for the awesome teams that our children will have this year in the classroom. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cooking Night

I have had a couple of emails asking about how the Mom's Cooking Night went.  So I thought I would share how we did it for our first night.  Before the big night, I found five freezer friendly recipes on Pinterest (yes I am obsessed) and created an ingredient list for all five dishes.  I emailed that list to the ladies that were coming so everyone would come with the right stuff.  Several of us shopped together to split packs and to save money (and lets face it a trip to the grocery store with a friend versus three kids is considered super fun)!!

We arrived at the large industrial kitchen we were blessed to use and started right away browning the ground beef for the dishes that took that.  Two ladies got a bicep workout stirring/cooking twenty pounds of beef!!!  From there we just started prepping and cooking.  Some of us would take turns chopping and prepping while others would take turns keeping dishes clean and put away.  Overall it took us 3.5 hours to prep these five meals. 

We had fun and I did not take any pictures because there was no time and we were sweating in a hot kitchen!  We laughed, shared, and had a fun despite how hard we were working.  I was super tempted in my dorkiness to make us all matching aprons to wear, but to the delight of the other Moms I held off.   The other tip was that one Mommy bought a 25 pack of pans at Sam's for WAY cheaper than the ones at the grocery store.  Each pan was only 22 cents each and they are re-usable!

We all agreed it was fun and we want to keep it up monthly.  Next time to speed along the process (our chicken breasts took FOREVER to cook) we will either do freezer bag meals that we dump into the crock pot, or someone will cook meat ahead of time.  We probably could have been done in two hours without factoring in meat cook time.  We also took  time to wrap carefully and to write out instructions on the aluminum foil so directions were right on the meal and not on a random piece of paper that could have gotten lost.  I am not concerned that these meals will get freezer burn because I doubt any of us will hold off much longer to start enjoying the fruits of our labor. 

Here is what each Mommy came home with:

baked cream cheese spaghetti casserole
pizza casserole
potato soup
chicken tortilla bake
quesadilla casserole

Email or comment if you would like the individual recipes for these dishes!  Overall it was a fun night out!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Phone Dump, Playdate, and Cooking

Today has been a great day.  After yesterday, we pretty much could only go uphill.  My relapse nightmare is still rolling around my brain, but we have been blessed with some fun.

Last night I met four other friends with bags of groceries and we got our cook on!  Instead of having a traditional girls night to eat or to a movie, we got together and made freezer meals.  After three hours of cooking each Mommy came home with five freezer meals to help when life gets crazy with the start of school.  We worked hard in a hot kitchen but it was fun and sooo worth it!  We all learned something from each other and it was really a  fun night of girltime for me.  As a bonus I got to have a quick meal before with one of my dear friends/neighbors and it was great. 
Today I dumped some pictures off of my phone and I belly laughed when I saw this one
This is David as Peter Pan!  I had totally forgotten that one night while we were last in Cville for chemo, he and Mike worked really hard to get this picture.  Hilarious!!
The kids have been on the waterslide more than they have been inside since they got it.  They love it!! Hope had her bathing suit on by 8:30 this morning ready to slide. 
Tonight Hope and DAvid were excited to have Garrett and Grady Dimit over to play on the waterslide, but the weather did not cooperate for water fun so we met them at McDonald's for icecream and playtime. 
Hope noticed an ambulance pull into the parking lot and sure enough two of the sweet ladies that delivered the slide were enjoying some dinner at McDonalds too.  They were so gracious and sweet and let our kids climb in the ambulance and ask a million questions.  We realized that this was the very ambulance that drove us back in November and my heart dropped when I saw the inside.  Then I remembered how far God has brought us since that scary night and I was so thankful:)

Little Grady (who will be in preschool with Hope) enjoyed playing patient on the stretcher!!

These ladies were so generous and even let David "drive" his ambulance.  We created quite a stir in the McDonald's parking lot with the lights going and all of us standing around that ambulance! 

We are excited for a fun weekend!  I get a girls night out to head to a christian concert Saturday night, and we have lots of parties and fun to pack in before the school doors open next Thursday.  We are so thankful that David's energy level seems to be getting better and better each day:)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sneaky thief

Cancer is a sneaky, sneaky devil.  Last night I had my first nightmare that David relapsed.  I woke up gasping for breath and tangled in the sheets.  My heart was pounding and I could not get to him fast enough.  It is so weird that I had my first relapse nightmare when life has been full of fun lately.  It seems that when life feels quasi-normal again, fear creeps in. 

After waking up in such a panic I had a rough morning.  David's case managers came by and I was a total mess.  I am worried about DAvid going to school since he has regressed so much in so many areas and overall fear and anxiety tried to sneak in.  Cancer tries to steal your peace and joy, but thankfully a week or so ago I asked you for your favorite scriptures on fear and I have them now in a list. 

Thankfully we have God's word to help us when times are tough.  Here is a few of the scriptures that you all shared with me. 

Romans 15:13

John 14:27

Deutronomy 31:6

Psalm 34:4

Psalm 56:3

2 Peter 5:7

Jeremiah 29:11

Psalm 13:6

Isaiah 41:10

Hope these verses are as encouraging to you as they were to me!  Thanks also for sharing these wtih me. 

AFter our rough morning we have had a fun afternoon!  The kids enjoyed day 2 of their new waterslide, and then we met some friends at Hungry Mother for a fun time.  Thank you ladies for a fun afternoon-we must get together again soon!  You know I am having an off day when I do not take ONE picture!!!!  Surely this is a record:)

Today I am thankful for friends, God's promises through his Word, and carpet/furniture cleaner. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Splish, Splash!

Now that David is central line free he is able to enjoy some water fun!!  Today my kiddos got a wonderful surprise!
About 11:15 this morning I told them to get into their bathing suits because a surprise was coming!  David did his signature (but so inappropriate "holy crap") and they got dressed.

This is what they were waiting for!!!  Smyth County Ambulance Company was the ambulance that took us to UVA back in November. Stephanie and Dennis (to the right of DAvid) were the awesome souls that drove that long drive.  This amazing company purchased this super fun water slide for our kiddos to enjoy!! 
The group assembled that slide in just a few minutes and off they were sliding!!  This little lady was shy and did not get on until the group left:)  They have been on it for over three hours now!!!
David "helped" them fix it and they got a little wet with wild man operatin the hose!!! 
These two were soooo excited!!!
This picture sums the whole surprise up!!!  He was so excited and keep stretching at the top of the slide and saying "yeah baby"

Today my boy was surprised and blessed because of the generosity of a group of amazing people!  Not only did they love on us and help us through a rough night many months ago, but today we got to interact with them in a much more fun environment!!  Thank you all so much!!!!! 

In other news, David's scan was moved until Auust 23rd!!!!!  So now he does not have to miss the first day of school:)  They opted to use the sedation team instead of my brillant idea of Benadryl but the date was moved!! 

The Ordinary Women event is coming up here soon-September 22nd!  I am so excited to be one of the speakers for the day.  Speaking is WAY out of my comfort zone, but I have promised God that I will be faithful to him and share how He has provided for us during the nightmare.  I cannot promise that I will not cry (or throw up) when I speak, but I am looking forward to a fun local women's conference next month. 

Off to watch more splish splash fun on the water slide! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Great Outdoors

The last few days we have packed our schedule full of outdoor fun!!  We are so thankful that David's counts are looking good and he is slowly gaining back some stamina and energy. 

Thursday night Sam and Logan invited David on a fishing outing to the lake.  He was way too cool to drive with me, Hope, and Ashley, he had to ride in Lisa's cool jeep!  Sam and Logan are both awesome guys and have such patience to fish with my two budding fisherman/woman.
This girl may have a huge hairbow in and be wearing a skirt and princess shirt, but do not be fooled. This girl can rock her Barbie fishing pole!!  She and Dave have practiced casting all week (in the house) and they were ready! 
Here at the BEAUTIFUL Hungry Mother State Park we caught some pretty cool fish!  Logan's parents, Bryan and Lisa were there as well as his sister Carly.  It was a beautiful night to be out on the lake.  Here is David catching a bluegill!

This picture below melts my heart because these two are best friends. The water was so clear that you could see the fish nibbling on their worms and David was helping her watch!  Too cute!

We also worked in a trip to Claytor Lake so David could finally swim and jet ski now that his PICC is out!!! 

This brave girl will now jump off of the dock on her own!  I love her flying ponytail:)

Dave and his bff Pops on the jet ski!! He was so excited to get to enjoy the water for the first time all summer!!!!
Kyle took two good friends to the lake with him and they had an awesome time. 
The highlight of the day was when David and Pops took the big kids tubing
and we pulled them all over the lake in big circles.  David would yell to them "bumps, circles, get ready" and take off!  Pops and I belly laughed at these wild boys trying to stay on this tube.

We have been so blessed that David is feeling well enough to enjoy some summer fun!