Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 started out beautifully. Christmas Eve morning we loaded up to head to Radford for the day for family celebrations. We met up with my brother and his family at my parents house for our annual dinner, presents and fun.

This was the best attempt I could get at a picture of all five of my parent's grandchildren. David was so excited and silly that it was hard to get him to take a picture seriously:)
After some of GG's good cooking, we opened gifts. This little girl was so excited about everything about Christmas except for Santa:)

David loved being the center of attention of course, and thoroughly took his time on ever.single.present. It was hilarious and painful to watch! He would also grab his heart when he opened every present just to add to the drama of the moment. This present he was especially excited for because....

it was a new Lebron Cavs jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After presents we played dirty bingo and had a relaxing afternoon chatting and catching up. We all then went to the nursing home to visit with Memaw. She was doing great.

After the nursing home visit we headed to an extended family gathering at my great uncle's house with my mom's side of the family. The family has gathered since 1964 together on Christmas eve. WE have missed the last few years, but this year we made it. Here is Hope with my 95 year old, Aunt Louise! Isn't she precious?!

After another big meal (calories don't count on holidays) we had a family worship service. Here is Hope handing out the song sheets to sing.

Here is Kyle doing a reading. Someone always reads the Christmas story from the bible. We got home late on Christmas eve tired but happy from a fun day of celebrating Jesus' birth.

Christmas morning started out great. Hope came downstairs to excited to find her Doc McStuffins medical cart!

David was thrilled with his new Kevin Durant jersey and Kevin Durant shoes. Dave loves him some NBA action.

I cannot believe we managed to keep this secret for almost six weeks, but the kids big present is a trip to Atlanta next week to see the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers play!!! We have seen Lebron as a Heat player and now we will get to see him as a Cav!! We are going with some dear friends and we will stay in Atlanta for New Years. We are so excited and we not only managed to keep the secret, but we shocked the kids! Atlanta will never be the same after the Pugh's and Robinson's leave!

AS the kids were opening their presents, I noticed that I started chilling and feeling terrible. After I took this last picture of the kids with their stockings, I told Mike I felt terrible and needed to go back to bed. Within an hour I had spiked a fever and I stay quarantined in my rook the rest of Christmas day:( I slept most of the day and today I am much better. We are just praying that the kids don't get this nasty bug with our upcoming trip.

So Christmas was wonderful, but not exactly like the script that was written in my head. Because of my bug, no visits from GG,Pops, and Mimi like we typically do which the kids really missed. I didn't get to see the kids enjoy their presents because I was so sick. But, thinking back to the first Christmas when Jesus was born, it did not exactly go perfectly either. I am sure Mary never imaged herself giving birth in a barn far away from home. Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Buzz's Bunch Day At VT

Our first day of Christmas break was spent as a family at Virginia Tech with the men's basketball ball team.  Back in August David attended Coach Buzz William's Buzz's Bunch basketball camp for children with special needs.  Coach Buzz invited the campers back to campus to attend a game!

Here is David with Coach Buzz.  This guy is the real deal.  He and his family have a heart for special needs kids and it shows.  This guy is genuine with a strong faith in God.  If you do not already, follow this guy on Twitter.  His tweets are awesome and inspirational.

Kyle and his buddy Ethan with one of the Hokie players, Devin Wilson.  What is amazing about this experience with the basketball team is that it was like a reunion with friends. 

David of course had to school his BFF, Seth Allen in some hoops.  The campers were allowed to come on the court and warm-up with the team prior to the game.  Of course David scouted out Seth Allen immediately! 

David with Joey Van Zegeren.  These players were totally engaged and awesome with all of the campers.  They patiently posed for pictures, fed kids balls, and even raised many of them up to dunk!

David showing off his defense to Coach Buzz. 

David hanging from the rim after dunking!  What impressed me the most is that these players are real.  They may not end up first in the ACC this season and they may not even end up with a winning record.  But, watching these players truly interact and encourage special needs kids on a game day reminded me that in life, winning means way more than what a scoreboard says at the end of the game.  These guys have touched my son's life and blessed him.  Therefore, to me, they are true winners.

VT basketball rocks so much that even this UVA grad is a Buzz fan!  I caught Mike smiling and grinning while watching Dave give it his all on the basketball court. Dave was sweating and smiling-what more could we as parents want?!  It was a great way to celebrate David's recent scan that helped us get to the milestone of 2.5 years cancer-free!

David was so proud of his badge!  The game even ended awesome with VT pulling out a close win against Citadel.  We cheered, danced, and laughed watching our Buzz's bunch camper have a great day.  Thanks a million Coach Buzz to you and the team!  You all are true winners with us. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Clinic News, Christmas Festivities and Lots of Hoops

Oh dear the last few days have been a true whirlwind.  If you were around me at all last week, you know that I did not handle the scan last week very well at all.  David had been complaining for about two weeks about severe belly pain and it was really making us nervous.  Belly pain is how he was diagnosed three years ago and anytime he mentions his belly our ears perk up. 

More clinic information below, but the best news is that the ultrasound and CT scan showed that his organs are happy and healthy and that he is now 2.5 years cancer-free!  Glory to God!

Hope is obsessed with writing, drawing, coloring etc... and I was cleaning up piles of her creations and found this.  I guess sweet girl has really been listening to the Nativity story about Jesus' birth! 

The last few weeks have been full of basketball!  Kyle has played on an AAU team for many years and now most of his teammates are playing on different middle school teams.  It is cool to know that these awesome group of guys can play on different teams during the week and play together on the weekends.  I really dig these guys.

Here is sweet David getting his IV for his ultrasound and CT Friday.  It was intense getting the IV but  he did GREAT!!  We were so proud.  The clinic staff is amazing. 

Amazingly we ran into Nurse Kendall!  She was one of our favorites on the floor when David was going through chemo.  She shared with us that she is expecting her third little baby in a few months. 

Our boy is really growing up.  He handled the ultrasound like  a champ!  The girl doing his ultrasound started rolling up his shirt and she then lowered the lights to begin the test.  David looked at me with these enormous eyes and said "well this is awkward!"  He cracks us up! I drove myself crazy with my untrained, unprofessional eye trying to read the ultrasound.  I asked her a million questions which she is not allowed to answer for us. 

After the ultrasound we moved on to the CT scan.  The hardest part of the day besides the IV was going until 12:30 with no food or drink.  David calls the CT machine "riding the doughnut" which I think is pretty accurate.  He did so well!  It always freaks me out that Mike and I have to suit up in protective gear to even be in the room with that much radiation when our baby has had a bazillion of these?! 

We got to see several friends in clinic.  We saw sweet Wes, who is currently in treatment for neuroblastoma.  Here is the beautiful Anna who has been off of treatment for leukemia for almost a year!  Isn't she beautiful?!

Anna had labs drawn and David had an IV and labs so they each got to visit the toy box.  Thank you to all the sweet souls who gave toys for the kids birthdays last summer.  A trip to the toy box makes ouchies all better!  It is nice to end clinic with a stop at the toy box to reward them for their bravery. 

David and the amazing Dr. Belyea!  He and I emailed back and forth a lot last week prepping me and David for the appointment.  He is so compassionate, smart, and kind.  Our visits feel more like old friends chatting about life, parenting, and David's overall health.  He is simply amazing and we are so thankful for him.  We are now halfway through the magic five year period where David will receive routine imaging to make sure his cancer has not returned.  In 2.5 years if he is still cancer free, he will be turned over to Dr. Peterson for survivor's clinic. 
On the way home, Dr. Belyea called me with the amazing news that David's labs and tests were all normal!!  Praise be to God!  I stopped off in Radford at the nursing home to tell my grandma for her birthday. 

To celebrate a clean scan we spent a good portion of the weekend cheering on the Hornets!  We love this group of boys and David is the self appointed third coach! 

After church this afternoon we went back to church for youth group.  Kyle's youth group is sponsoring 11 families for Santa's Elves.  Last weekend they shopped and this weekend was wrapping weekend.  I can honestly say that my son now knows how to wrap a present!  Our group has a family with four children so we had a lot of wrapping to do!  It was not as pretty as I would have liked for it to have been wrapped, but they worked hard:)

We ended this crazy and wonderful last few days back at church tonight for family Advent night.  We gathered at church for a potluck meal, then the children made Christmas cards while the adults worked together to make fruit baskets.  We then loaded up on the bus and went to the nursing home to sing, visit and hand out the fruit baskets.  It was a precious way to end a whirlwind of the last few days.  To watch my shy baby girl hand out cards and fruit baskets to the elderly touched my heart. 
I am overwhelmed by the love we received last week from out friends.  For lots of different reasons last week was hard.  I am so thankful for the awesome friends who helped us through a rough week and helped us with Hope and David.  We are blessed and so thankful to God for the wonderful news Friday.  He carries us when our burdens get to heavy to carry and I felt His presence last week.  He truly is Emmanuel-God is with us!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week in Review

December is so festive and awesome and we have sure been busy this past week. 

Kyle made the middle school basketball team and we are having fun attending the games and cheering him on.  He has great coaches and great teammates!  Their busy schedule is keeping us hopping but it is so much fun. 

David was the photographer for this picture of the Robinson girls before we headed to the Nutcracker ballet for the day with Misty and Sydney. The whole day was so much fun!  We saw the ballet, did a little shopping and then had an early dinner.  Watching the Nutcracker brought back so many memories of dancing it as a student with Mrs. Upp growing up. 

Before the ballet we hit the Thomas Musser 5K for St Jude.  Here is David with Jason's twin brother, Jonas who ran the race. 

Local children's pictures lined the homestretch of the race and I gasped when I saw David's.  My emotions were already in high gear as this is a scan week for us.  More on that later.  Sigh.

More Nutcracker pictures!  After having boys all these years it is such a treat to have a girly day with friends.  Hope and Sydney take ballet together and it was magical to watch their faces as these dancers came on stage.  Hands down The Nutcracker is my favorite ballet ever. 

While we were at the ballet our husbands were sending us more 5K race pictures.  Evidently our boys did the one mile fun run! 

Hope and Sydney with the prima ballerina! She was amazing.

Saturday night one of our AAU basketball Moms hosted a sleepover for the team.  I went to her house early Sunday morning to help get the boys fed and ready for church.  I giggled when I went in and saw that she had taken all their phones at bedtime!  She said they couldn't have them back until they were completely ready for church:)

Sunday morning most of the team came to church which was a great end to a great sleepover.  These boys have been together for five years playing ball.  We are so thankful for the memories we have all made, the friendships formed, and the great coaching!  Theses boys play middle school ball for different teams, but for AAU tournaments they will all come together and play as a team.  Thanks Sarah for hosting such a fun night. 

Sunday afternoon GG and Pops took David and Hope to cheer on the Virginia Tech basketball team,  Kyle had youth group Christmas project, and I had my big fundraisisng dinner and show for the preschool.  Hope and David not only got to see their cousin Clayton, but they got to see Seth Allen-their favorite Hokie! 
So this week is scan week.  We are very nervous and concerned because David has been complaining of high belly pain.  Anytime David says anything hurts it makes me want to throw up.  This is hard stuff but I know that God will be with us.  We are also nervous because for previous scans we knew what to expect.  It was a long day but it was not necessarily a hard day for David because he was sedated. 
This time we are switching from CT scans to xrays and ultrasounds.  He will not be sedated but will have to have an IV.  Facing something new makes me nervous and knowing that the day potentially could be stressful for David makes me really nervous. Dr. B explained to us last time that we are at the point post-treatment that the rate of relapse has gone down coniderably (praise God for that) but late effects from all the chemo and radiation could be surfacing.  Xrays and Ultrasounds are good ways to make sure all his major organs are happy and healthy after all the treatment he did receive.  So that is what we are facing Friday.  I dread it but it must be done.  
We ask for your prayers for David (and for us) this week.  Even though we have been very busy this past week, I have been so thankful for the distractions and festivities of the year to keep me distracted from the scan.  No matter what we face we have learned from experience that our faithful and amazing God will always be with us. Amen.