Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Man

Yesterday we celebrated Mike's birthday!  He is now offically on the backside of his forties:)  I had preschool open house last night so we celebrated his birthday this morning over breakfast.  That's how we roll to get it all in around here. 

Mike despises attention and is one of the most humble men I know.  He also has the strongest work ethic ever and gives us and this school system all that he has.  He loves Jesus, Louisiana Tech, and coaching our kiddos teams.  His job is brutal and demanding and he handles the constant criticism, stress, and occassional Sunday morning angry parent phone calls with grace. 

He does not mind being silly in some minute-to-win-it games on New Years Eve or participating in the Daddy root beer chugging contest. 

Our marriage is not perfect by any means but he is my forever love and I am so thankful that God gave him to us. 
We celebrated by getting him a new portable camping grill for our next camping adventure. We are really enjoying this cabin camping setting and we are planning another trip soon!  Happy Birthday Mike-we love you even if you text me from the dugout to quit yelling during baseball games

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Slacker

I have been a wee bit of a blog slacker the last few days.  Since my own kiddos went back to school I thought I would have all this time to be leisurely before going back to preschool.  It has been the absolute opposite.  I have been a busy busy bee trying to prep preschool rooms, serving in  the food pantry at church, and prepping this house for a visit from my mother-in-law in a few weeks. 

The kids have adjusted well to school.  Hope is exhausted but is loving kindergarten.  It has been such a joy to have a girl in school because they tell you EVERYTHING.  When I ask the boys about school I may get a shrug of the shoulders or a generic "good."  Not so with our little girl, she tells it all and that has been fun.

Last week I served in the food pantry at church and once again it had a profound impact on me.  I know that there are lots of jokes and snarky comments floating around on social media about people sitting around and living off the government while "we" are the ones working to help them.  I know there are people that do manipulate the system, but I also have learned that there is a real need for basic food.

It is humbling to sit across the table from folks that come to our food pantry and fill in some basic eligibility paperwork to see if they qualify for USDA food.  To hear their stories and to see their faces humbles and touches me.  There was one lady that did try to lie to and manipulate me (the newbie paperwork gal) to get an additional box of food.  She knew to come to the new gal with a tender heart !  I love working in this ministry at church and I am so thankful for the lessons it has taught me.  This food pantry is Jesus' way of reminding me to love my neighbors-not to judge them and feel righteous about them, but to just love.

Yesterday our worship team rocked this song and it touched me so. 

All the Earth
Will shout your praise
Our hearts will cry
These bones will sing
Great Are You Lord!

Despite the heartaches and disappointments in this life, Great are you Lord!  Despite bad medical diagnosis, divorce, and drama, Great are you Lord!  Despite bankrupcy, broken hearts, and miscarriages, Great are you Lord! May those words forever be in my heart and on my lips as I carry on today and everyday. Amen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of School 2014

Our kiddos headed back to the classroom today!  This week is always a week bit emotional for me  because  I am forced to realize that time is marching on.  I was up at 3:45 this morning and I was so excited and nervous for my kids that I had a hard time going back to sleep.  I finally just gave up and started my day. 

David insisted to wear a shirt and tie like Daddy and to "be hot for the ladies." 

My loves heading out the door for the day-Kyle (7th grade), David (4th), and Hope (kindergarten).  We took Kyle to the middle school and then headed to Oak Point where Mike was meeting us to drop off Hope and David. 

When we were walking up to the school, Hope saw Payton and Dalton who are preschool friends who are also in her class this year.  David insisted that Hope tell him goodbye and hug.  Precious! 

Quick Mommy/daughter picture! 

This is the moment I aboslutely lost it. I had to leave the school before I embarrassed myself.  Sweet Ms. Surber took Hope, Payton, and Dalton by the hand and led them to their class in the gym.  She walked away and my heart broke.  I was not prepared for this outburst and I barely made it to the car before  snot and tears were flying.  It was a big ole ugly cry.  Blessedly my girl never saw my tears and had a fabulous day!  All three of mine had a wonderful day!

Tonight we headed to church for a wonderful event called Blessing of the Backpacks.  It was awesome.  Simply awesome.  The church members have been donating school supplies and tonight we invited anyone and everyone to a pizza dinner, a short time of woship and prayer, and then to those that needed it distribution of school supplies.  What a wonderful way to end the day! 

It was a great night to check in with friends and see how their day at school went-I love Olivia's expression!  I helped serve pizza tonight and what a blessing not to have to cook!  After my 3:45 wakeup a pizza meal at church with friends was a blessing. 

A nice crowd turned out to give and to receive school supplies. 

Our new pastor, David first called the school teachers and administratos up to pray for them.  Mike was up there with several other teachers and staff.  Then he had all the children come up with them and then they were prayed for. 

Everybody that attended tonight received this backpack/work bag tag to take home from the event.  On the back side there is a bible verse on there.  Coming together with friends, praying for our kids, and eating yummy pizza and desserts was a wonderful way to celebrate the first day of school.  My heart was touched.  If folks needed supplies they could come up afterwards and get the supplies they needed for school.  It was an honor to help kids stuff their backpacks with much needed supplies. 
Pastor David's final prayer was for the families and he had the families come together and pray together.  I love that Hope is grabbing her DAddy's shirt and I love that David is holding onto me.  My heart is thankful for a wonderful first day of school for my kiddos.  My heart is full from a wonderful meal and fellowship with dear friends new and old, and my heart is overwhelmed to God fo blessing us.  This Momma is super tired from my early morning but I am going to sleep feeling blessed.  To God be the Glory today and everyday.  Amen.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School

I have been so excited about my baby starting kindergarten because she is so excited.  After our fun years together at FUMC preschool, my little sidekick is now in the big school.  I have been beaming with joy over her going because she is so ready and so excited. 

Today we went to visit her classroom and meet her teacher and I got teary over jitter glitter.  A little bag of glitter and a cute little poem about getting all the first day jitters out did me in and I had to wipe away a few tears.  My baby is no longer a baby. 

Here is the bag of glitter that made me tear up:)

Ms. Powers also gave them this little capsule to put in water with these directions on it...

Wow-seriously, how creative is this?! 

Hope was so excited today that she put on her new dress to go meet Ms. Powers.  Here they are unpacking all those school supplies that she was so excited about.  Her cubbie is right next to her friend Brady, and she is in class with four other friends from preschool. 
My sweet, sweet Kindergartener.  You are going to have a wonderful year with Ms. Powers-your older brother David certainly did!

After visiting Hope's class, we went upstairs and visited David's. David will have Mrs. Storie this year for fourth grade!  I cannot believe this child is in fourth grade.  Not only did David move onto fourth grade, but so did his Monkey in his  Chair, Rocky Duke.  Rocky Duke is also ready for fourth grade.  We hope and pray that he spends all of his year in his bag and not in David's seat.  If David misses a day due to a trip to UVA, a scan, treatment or anything medical, Rocky Duke will sit in his seat until he returns. 
This time of year is when I struggle with wanting to control every facet of my children's lives.  I love them so much and I want to pick their teacher, who they sit beside, what they eat for  lunch, who they play with at recess, and basically everything!  My tendency is to be a control freak about my kiddos, but cancer has taught me to let go, and let God.  Seriously, he is way more capable than me of handling my kids:)
I am over the moon excited about a new service we are having at church this Wednesday at 6:00 in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church! We are having pizza and other yummy goodies and then we are having a short worship time/prayer time over the teachers, administrators, students of all ages, and just generally anyone who loves someone in a school system.  It is a great way to start the year off right-by coming together and praying for our children!  After an awesome first day of school come to church for a meal and a worship service.  EVERYONE is invited to this awesome event!  I will be helping serve pizzas and would love to see you.  No cooking on the first day of school and a time to pray for our children returning to school-sounds like a great plan to me!  Each child/teacher/administrator/staff person/aide may bring their backpack or work bag to receive a special tag to place on it.  Please join us!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Soccer, Queen Esther, and Baseball

It has been a full but great family weekend.  School starts this upcoming week, so we are trying to squeeze in as much fun and family time as we can. 

This little girl is so excited about life!  Her first ever soccer practice is this Tuesday and she cannot wait.  It was finally her turn to buy something at the sports store and she bought cleats, shin guards, and soccer socks.  Between kindergarten starting this week and soccer this girl is pumped.
We also had a wonderful morning of worship at church.  Hope learned about Queen Esther in Rotational Sunday School and here she is modeling her crown.  We started a new sermon series at church called Me to We, teaching us to focus on others before ourselves.  David our new pastor said something so profound and true- often we feel more welcome going into Walmart than a church.  Ouch!  Several points from his sermon today are still spinning around in my head.  He preached on the parable of the wheat and weeds and my new prayer is to be a wheat at all times.  Good stuff going on at church for sure. 

Yesterday and again this afternoon after church we spent many hours at the ballfield watching Kyle's Riverdogs team play fall ball.  They are now playing 13U which means that the field is now much bigger.  My baby is growing up.  David spent all four games inside the dugout being a cheerleader and team encourager all in one.  He may have even harrassed a pitcher or two in that dugout!  Ha!

Y'all know I am not a big baseball fan, but I love to cheer on my #2.  We are blessed with a great group of boys to play and great coaches who encourage our boys.  It is a fun team!

David thinks he is on the team and here are both teams praying the Lord's Prayer after the game.  I looked over and not only was David in the middle of both teams, but he had his arm around Kyle during the prayer.  I know that David annoys Kyle to no end, but they do love each other so much.  Every single time Kyle came up to bat David yelled in his loudest voice "lets go Big Poppy!"  Kyle just smiled. 

After four undefeated games, our team won the championship!  The first trophy they presented to the team was to their honorary teammate and cheerleader David!  We all about cried and it was so sweet to see him kiss his trophy and then hold it up in the air. Kyle has a bazillion trophies, but because of David's kidney and Down Syndrome he does not have the opportunity to earn trophies like Kyle does.  This was a sweet moment for sure. 

My favorite number 2 getting his championship trophy!  Kyle got hit by a pitch today in his elbow/arm.  You can actually see the laces from the ball on his arm.  Ouch!

I know our days are crazy running from sport to sport and it is only going to get worse as Hope's soccer begins, but I do love every.single. moment of it all. I love the time together as a family, I love our baseball family friends, and I love the lessons that come from sports.  It was a great weekend cheering on our Riverdogs!

My two favorite players.:)

Friday, August 15, 2014

VT playdate

This week has been our last full week of summer, so we are trying to squeeze in lots of last minute fun. 

We have also had some appointments to squeeze in before school-here is Hope getting her flouride treatment at the dentist.  I love this little girl-she cracks me up! We have not seen much of Mike this week because this is a crazy time of year for him.  Hopefully soon his life as a Superintendent of Schools will calm down. 
We snuck in a chilly trip to the wave pool this week too.  It has been freakishly cool here this week but the kids braved the cool temps to enjoy the waves.

Yesterday we had a super special treat.  We headed to Blacksburg with Pops for lunch with our favorite VT basketball player, Seth Allen.  My boys were so excited to have pizza and a playdate with him.  He used his french fries to spell out Dave's name! 

After pizza and fries at the restaurant the boys and Hope had fun shooting hoops.  Seth is the real deal and we thoroughly enjoyed a couple of hours hanging out with him and laughing at David.  David was extra sassy yesterday and he was funny.  He kept calling Seth "hey old lady!"

After Buzz's bunch we are huge VT basketball fans and Coach Buzz fans.  After hearing Seth talk about how amazing Buzz is to the team I am an even bigger fan after yesterday.  Coach Buzz shares his faith with the team and teaches them life lessons that go beyond the game of basketball like money management and character.   I hope and pray that my Kyle will have a coach like Buzz in his life who cares about their character and faith and not just wins versus losses.  VT basketball is blessed by having Coach Buzz lead the team.  Without stepping foot on the court for the season yet, Coach Buzz is already a successful coach.

My boys had a blast playing this basketball arcade game with Seth.  Kyle, Seth, and David got super competitive and worked together to win the highest score on the machine ever. 

Three proud boys very excited with their record score of 299!

Dave and Seth taking selfies.  To be only 19, Seth has a good head on his shoulders and a great personality.  He is going to be very successful at VT.  I know as a Mom I was so overwhelmed and thankful for his time investment in my boys yesterday.  I am not sure at 19 I was mature enough to "get it" about making a difference in the lives of others.  After Dave's clean scan last week this was a wonderful way to celebrate Dave being two years cancer-free!

Thank you Seth for spending a few hours making my boys (and Hope) smile!  We will pray for you and your upcoming foot surgery and know that no matter how many wins or losses you accrue at VT, you are already a huge winner in the book of life.  May God bless you as much as you blessed our boys yesterday!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scan News, Family Funeral, and Prayers and Friends

After three long but great days, I am home and in my pajamas. 

Friday morning our day started out super early as we had to be at UVA hospital by 7 a.m.  This was the most stressful part of the day for David-taking Versed the amnesia medicine to help his transition to sedation go smoothly and to help him not remember a thing.  It does taste horrible and Rocktar David really hates it.  He hated it so much he actually threw it up:(

But he did get enough in him to make him loopy -love this silly David smile!
After he woke up from sedation we took him by wheelchair to clinic in the gorgeous new Battle Building.  We saw several friends we have met along the way, and it was great seeing everyone. 

Truly the highlight of the day was taking the toys and unloading them into the new toy closet with Ms. Meghan!  We love her so much and it was wonderful to take these toys to fill up their new space.  To all our dear friends that came to Hope and David's party and brought gifts for the closet THANK YOU!! A cute girl named Izzy got to pick a toy from our stash as she was leaving clinic.  It was awesome to see her have a hard time picking out a new one from all the great toys.  Hope and David were so proud of their toy stash!

Overall David's checkup went very well. Labs were good and Dr. B thought he looked well.  We were not gone long from UVA when we got the call that the scan was clean!  Praise God for two years cancer-free! 

So here is the tricky part.  Now that David is two years cancer free the risk of relapse decreases which is great.  BUT, now he needs to start being monitored for late effects of all that chemo and radiation he was exposed to.  Late effects could include a secondary cancer, organ failure, stunted growth, heart problems, etc... They went over these very carefully with us when he was first diagnosed and now I am remembering them all.  So now we will switch from a sedated CT scan to a chest xray and ultrasound.

It will be wonderful that he will not be exposed to all that radiation and sedation! But, I worry that the xray and ultrasound will not be as thorough and it will not be done for perhaps four to six months down the road.  I did not like the sedation and radiation from the CT scans, but I do love how thorough they are and how much peace of mind they give us every three months. 

After leaving UVA, Hope, GG, and I headed to the eastern shore to a beautiful town of Gloucester for a funeral for my great Uncle.  It was a sad reason to get together, but it was great seeing the family.  Friday evening we went to Susan and Jeanette's house for a family dinner.  Susan and Jeanette live on the water in a gorgeous house.  Hope loved checking their crab pots to see how many crabs they had caught!!
Here is Hope on their pier with their house in the background.  It was a great evening, just sad we were all together for a funeral. 
Saturday morning after the funeral service we went to Yorktown for a yummy seafood lunch across the street from this beach on the waterfront in Yorktown.  After our lunch we had a long drive home back to our mountains of southwest Virginia. 
This morning it was wonderful to be in church praising God for all that he has done in David's life.  It was a great morning of worship and afterwards we hit the road for a tennis tournament in Bristol for Kyle.  Here is our little tennis dude playing his heart out!
Kyle's match came down to a ten-point tiebreaker and David started praying for Kyle to win!  It was so cute!  Kyle lost in a heartbreaker but he played very well and had fun.  With siblings to cheer and pray you on-how can you go wrong?

We ended this whirlwind last few days with a sweet treat with the Jonas family at Sweet Frogs in Bristol. 
Thank you all for your prayers and love over the last few days.  We are so blessed with so many great friends who encourage us on our hard UVA days.  It will be an early bedtime around here tonight!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Robinson Happenings

So this is a scan week.  That means that we will head to UVA Thursday night to be at UVA hospital bright and early Friday morning for a chest, pelvic, abdomen scan to make sure that David's cancer has not returned.  We have been through roughly seven of these over the last two years since he finished chemo and radiation.  If this one is good and clean, then we will celebrate that we made it to the two year post-chemo milestone and keep praying for three more years until we hit that magic year five. 

Scans are not too terribly stressful to David because he will be sedated.  He is gone from us for 2-3 hours for the entire procedure.  The staff is wonderful that take care of him and we have faith in trust in them and the ultimate physician, God.  He has taken such amazing care of us throughout this entire nightmare and I have no doubt He will continue to hold us in the palm of His hand.  We should know results Friday afternoon. 

These weeks are hard.  I am thankful for God and the peace that can only come from Him.  I am thankful for good friends that pray for us and encourage us through these weeks.

We have been a little distracted this week meeting some new friends. 

This is Seth Allen-David's newest BFF on the Hokie Basketball Team. He and David just connected at that camp last weekend and he has reached out to us and called David on the phone and even attempted to facetime David!!  Here is a selfie that Seth and David took on his phone at the camp. 

This picture is totally out of order and random, but it makes me belly laugh that David was way too cool to sit with us at church on Sunday.  We sang several David Crowder songs which are David's favorites and he wanted to sit near the band and sing his tone-deaf guts out! 
Anyway, another amazing thing that has happened this week is that this little Mom blog has seen lots and lots and lots of activity from Hokie hoops fans reading about the Buzz Bunch fans this past week.  To the Hokie fans that are new on here, welcome and just know that the pictures from Saturday do not even come close to expressing how very cool that event was.  Coach  Buzz, his staff, and players made my child's entire year.  Only God could have orchestrated this new friendship between David and Seth on a week that is stressful in this house.  This little Mom blog was shared on twitter and other social media this week after the Buzz's Bunch event.  Hokie fans-if this team plays with as much class as they showed on Saturday with a room full of special needs kids, then buy your season tickets now.  They are the real deal. 

For a fun diversion from the reality of a UVA trip we hit Claytor Lake today for some boating and tubing fun.  Check out my boys on the tube and sweet girl had a little snooze on the boat:)
While at the lake today, I found out that Buzz's Bunch was discussed on a Hokie website and the link is below.  My boys flipped out because in the comments section someone took a picture of David dunking and compared it to a previous Hokie player whom they loved.  Very cool stuff!  Check it out below!

Thank you dear friends for praying for David this Friday.  Childhood cancer sucks, but our little cancer warrior, hoops-loving dude is getting by with some help from his VT basketball friends.