Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The kiddos and Momma are officially on Thanksgiving break as of yesterday!  We are so thankful for a few days of family time.  We started the break by gathering Kyle's Hornet basketball team for a fun evening of pizza, cake, and a local college basketball game.  Kyle's birthday is coming up and he really wanted a fun night out with his hoops buddies. 

Kyle picked the menu of pizza, brownies, cookie cake and watermelon to eat before heading to the basketball game.  This group of guys is awesome and we know that because we have spent HOURS and HOURS in gyms with them all!  I love that Kyle has such great sports buddies and I was even more impressed with how awesome they were to David. 
This picture of my boys makes me smile.  David worships Kyle and Kyle adores David in between their typical sibling fights.  Kyle is never phased that David insists to hang with the big guys.  They treat David like a teammate and that makes me smile.
A group of boys ready to cheer on the Wasps!  We borrowed the church bus to transport all the guys to the game and they had a BALL riding together.  I have a new respect for bus drivers but we really had fun.  I spend so much of my time between Hope, preschool and afterschool church with little people that it is a treat to spend a big chunk of time with preteens. 
This morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow!  What a way to get into the holiday spirit!!  I tried my hand at a few Christmas pictures and this one was the only good one.  Mike had to work a few hours this morning but now he too is on break with us!!  YAY!
My attempt at a group picture-wow our kiddos are getting tall:)
They were so happy to be out in the snow!!  Sadly we had to come in and head to the doctor's office because David need day two of his injections for a nasty ear infection that has not cleared up on three different antibiotics:(  Poor pumpkin-three straight days of a shot in each leg is pretty brutal, but Rockstar is reminding us how tough he really is!  We are so hopeful these injections will clear up this nastiness that has stubbornly settled in his ears. 

We have spent the evening decking the halls with our christmas decorations, hanging out and relaxing together.  I LOVE thanksgiving and Christmas break so much because it is the only time during the year that we are off on break together. 

We are heading to Radford tomorrow to eat some turkey and catch up with some relatives in that neck of the woods.  Mike is determined to shop Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday eventhough I am morally opposed to it:)  We do have an anniversary date Saturday to shop together to celebrate fourteen years together!!!  WOW! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stars Everywhere!

My last blog post launching the fundraiser for Give Kids the World blew me away!  Many of you have gone directly to the Give Kids the World website and donated!  Bless you and thank you so much.  We are humbled and so grateful.  (Just a note that if you donate make sure you are on David's Stars of Hope team so the money will be credited to our team)!

The star fundraiser for Give Kids the World has taken off thanks to you dear friends and family.  Thank you to all those that "shared" the idea on facebook and for those awesome souls that invited us to your office.  Thank you Smyth County School Board, Farm Bureau, and Wytheville Community College for allowing David to visit your workplaces and supporting Give Kids the World!!!

The last two days David has had very important business meetings after school to sell stars for Give Kids the World!  He has dressed for success in a shirt and tie!  If you want a star, David will be set up tomorrow (Saturday, November 23rd) from 2-5 at HodgePodge on Main in Chilhowie.  Many businesses will be set up such as Premier, Thirty-One, Scentsy, Origami Owl, and Mary Kay!  Stop by to support these home-based businesses and to buy a star from David!  He will be there at 2:00 -5:00 or until the stars sell out! 

Your response to this star fundraiser has blown us away.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  Not only are we raising money for an amazing cause, but this has been a great life lesson for David.  My heart was broken today to learn that a little girl was at Give Kids the World two days before she had a seizure and ultimately passed away due to cancer.  I am so sad for her family but thankful that they at least got to experience two days of the magic at Give Kids the World. 
Thank you again for your support of David and his star business!  We will have some more available tomorrow and early this week!  Thank you for being a star on David's team:)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

David's Stars of Hope

Sometimes there are moments in life that truly take your breath away. The entire week we were at Give Kids the World Village we were overwhelmed in the magic, hospitality, and love from the village. I am convinced there is no other place like it on Earth.

Our first night in the village we invited a dear friend, Meg, from my growing up days in Radford to meet up with us at Give Kids the World. She was so impressed with it like we were that about a week ago, she contacted me with a brillant and amazing idea. The village is undergoing an extreme makeover in January where 100 villas will be updated at a cost of $50,000 each.

Meg pitched the idea for us to create a David's Stars of Hope team, to raise money toward this makeover as a way to give back to the amazing place that blessed us with a magical family retreat.

So, would you like to be a Star of Hope on David's team to help us reach our goal of $5,000 by mid-January? Click on the link below to learn more about this amazing makeover at a place that will forever hold a special place in our hearts. You may donate directly to Give Kids the World through the link below.

Our family also wanted to support this fundraising goal and we came up with the idea of making star-shaped Christmas ornaments to sell with 100% of the profits going back to Give Kids the World.
We have worked like elves in Santa's Christmas shop making, painting, glittering, and package ornaments to sell to contribute towards the cause. David would LOVE to sell you one of our ornaments? They are $5 each:)

Do you work in an office that would love a visit from David to market his stars to you? Not only does 100% go towards our $5,000 goal, but this project is a great life lesson for David:)

We have had such fun as a family making these stars! We have a batch ready to sell if you are interested in purchasing:)

We are so thankful for your prayers and support during David's treatment and follow-up scans. Thank you for considering helping us reach our goal of giving back to such a magical place for children like David with life-threatening illnesses.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Da Heat Game!

Saturday morning we hit the road for a quick overnight road trip to Charlotte to see the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats play hoops!  We were blessed with tickets by a dear friend and person in the area who has season tickets.  All five of us were excited to see Lebron in real life!

These kiddos were SO EXCITED!!! I have to admit that Momma was a little excited too!
When the Miami heat came on the court for the team warmup David was so excited!
LEBRON!!  I was stunned at how huge these guys really are.  Wow.
This Lady Cat danced right beside Kyle and he turned beet red.  I told Mike to quickly cover Hope's eyes so she will not see these scantily dressed gals as a role model.  Wow.  They can dance.
The game got close at certain points which was great because the Heat superstars stayed in the game longer than usual.  I was shocked I was allowed to take my camera in the game, but nobody ever said anything to me.
Josh McRoberts and Lebron on the foul line.  Our seats were so amazing that we felt like we were on the court! 
Lebron up and down the court!  David yelled his name several times and I am sure he could hear David, but he never turned our way.  He is such a superstar that I am sure everywhere he goes he hears his name.  There were as many Heat fans at the game than Bobcats.  That Time Warner Arena is goegeous!
The Bobcats mascot stopped by our seats to point out to my boys that they were wearing the wrong jerseys:) The boys loved it but Hope dove for her Daddy's lap!
The Lady Cats came out on the court with a new copy of NBA 2K14 to give out.  Kyle wanted one so bad he could taste it, but the kid in front of us (with a Bobcat jersey on) got one!  Santa is coming soon....:)
Lebron put on quite a show with lots of dunks, fancy moves, and hustling!  What is amazing is that these huge NBA guys are big and fast!  WOW!
Lebron!  When we were offered these tickets I was so overwhelmed and thankful to God.  Saturday night two years ago David and I were headed to UVA on an ambulance facing a scary immediate future.  Only our amazing God could turn beauty from ashes.  Two years ago we were sad, scared, and clinging to our Jesus minute by minute.  This Saturday were having a great family night out of town eating Five Guys and cheering on Lebron and the Miami Heat!  Only God. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


This week has not stung like last year but I have still been mindful where we were exactly two years ago. We were living life and the terms Wilm's Tumor and port-a-caths were not in our vocabulary. We were taking leaf pictures, celebrating Ashley's birthday, and getting excited for the holidays.

This year we once again found ourselves a big leaf pile for jumping! We now jump thankful that we survived and that Momma can do these pictures without crying.
This year we once again celebrated Ashley's birthday with a cookie cake a special visit from Jason! We have not seen him in a while and David always loves a Jason visit.

These sweet little faces....

I cannot believe how little these kiddos were when life was getting ready to change drastically. This was literally the day before David first uttered the words "my belly hurts." Ashley and I both attest that we can see the bulge on the right side of his abdomen?!
What a difference in two little years! We are so thankful that David made it through the ordeal and that most of it is a blur to him now. I will never be thankful for cancer but I am thankful that two years later we are stronger in our faith despite the uncertainty of the future. We will may not remember every single card that came in but we will never forget that feeling of love and community you all showered over us. We are committed to living our lives for God, giving back to the organizations that have blessed us, and loving our neighbors.

We will celebrate the actual two year anniversary of David's diagnosis day this Saturday in Charlotte seeing David's favorite Miami Heat player-Lebron James!!!!!! We are so excited to get out of town for the weekend, watch David's reaction to seeing Lebron and company, and hopefully Christmas shopping a little.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Roundup

This weekend has been relaxing but fun. I am still looking over and reminiscing about our Disney trip. I hope to finish our digital scrapbook this week:) We did get our photopass picture CD this week and I shed a few more happy tears over seeing all the family pictures that were on that CD!

This is not the best picture of us, but how cool that fireworks are going off behind us from Cinderella's castle?! Wow!

Last week at our church after school program we talked about serving others and the big group of kids baked cookies for our local police force and the construction workers that are working hard to remodel our church. I LOVE service projects!

I also thoroughly enjoyed watching the kids create cards for the police. They were true from their heart and they were so sweet. One said "thank you police mans for helping me not be afraid of bad guys." I loved it so much.

Here is Hope and her sweet friend, Olivia at preschool Friday. It was pajama day and I thought the girls looked so cute snuggled under their blankets like grandmas:)

Here is another family picture in front of the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom!

Yesterday we traveled to Radford to not only spend time with my parents and grandma, but we went to Virginia Tech to let Kyle play in his first ever tennis match. considering he has only been playing tennis about three months, he did awesome and he won! His local tennis coach, Ms. Bennie drove all the way to VT with her husband to watch Kyle. We were so touched and thankful to God that he brought Ms. Bennie into Kyle's life. He adores tennis!

My heart is also heavy for my sister-in-law Pam, in Shreveport. (She is married to Mike's brother, Daniel). Her mother died very suddenly and unexpectedly last week and tomorrow she will bury her mother. As Christians we know heaven is a wonderful place and that her Mom is rejoicing with Jesus, but it is so hard when things happen so suddenly.

This is also THE WEEK. This is the anniversary of David's diagnosis of cancer. Today we took fall leaf pictures just like we did the day before he has diagnosed two years ago. I cannot believe it has been two years! We praise God that David is still with us and that this year this anniversary does not sting as much as last year.

Hope your weekend was awesome!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


This might be the longest I have gone without blogging in a long while.  After that magical trip to Disney we are digging out of all the paperwork that has piled up around here and still trying to find places for all those gifts:)  I have spent an inordinate amount of time looking through our pictures and working on a digital scrapbook, and I am also anxiously awaiting my CD in the mail from Disney photopass that was shipped yesterday!! 

When we returned home to Virginia the cool, crisp fall days that I typically love so much bring me right back to David's diagnosis two years ago.  I will never forget walking back and forth to the Ronald McDonald house crunching leaves under my feet and needing a jacket in the mornings.  I guess for me, Fall will always remind me of the day our lives forever changed. 

We also just received his scan date in the mail and it is set for December 5th.  I will always be anxious for those and we covet your prayers for this one.  This is the longest he will have gone between scans and of course my mind always goes there-what if his cancer is back?  His stamina is still really low and we wonder if that will ever get better? 

I have not talked about David's hands and feet on here, but over the last month they have been peeling.  Not like a little papercut, but big huge chunks of skin are falling off of his hands and feet. It is bizarre, really bizarre.  His oncologist was puzzled and referred us to our pediatrician.  The pediatrician gave us a steroid ointment that we have used that has helped some, but we all wonder if this is a side effect of chemo?  No one can say for sure but it cannot be ruled out.  It is really weird. 

So, we are digging out from Disney, still savoring the memories and fun in our hearts, and anticipating a scan in the next month.  We do not know what the future holds, but we know that God will be with us.  I have spent a lot of time in prayer lately begging God for his peace, for His will in our lives, and that all five of us will truly seek Him.