Friday, August 28, 2009

What a week it has been! Jacob finished his first week of kindergarten and did wonderfully! It is so nice to have this first week under our belts! Jacob is adjusting beautifully and each day comes home with lots of his work to show us and many things to tell us about. Last night was parent/teacher orientation and I must say that his teacher is just wonderful! I left his classroom with a huge smile on my face as I am so excited to see how he will grow so much this year both in wisdom and in his faith. He is looking older to me this week and I see his daddy in him so much lately (those of you who know us well, isn't he a little Jim!)! We are so proud of our Jacob!

Today we went to clinic for Abbey's numbers to be checked. They continue to be nice and high! She has been feeling great and has been so active. Our nurse Kathy who is like family to us at this point was so sweet today as she talked about how comfortable and well adjusted Abbey is when we're there. Abbey has been "helping" Kathy draw her blood and flush her port. It is amazing how far she's come! I used to be terrified of her port (as Abbey was too) and every time they did anything with it, it would cause instant panic, but now it's like second nature to see her accessed and the port being used. Only by God's grace could something so foreign and scary be so o.k.

Barb, the Nurse Practitioner examining Abbey at clinic today.

Abbey playing catch with Buddy and Bev.

Notice Abbey's flower in her hair and beautiful bracelets on her wrists?! We got a wonderful package of homemade gifts from Amanda and Cameron from Utah (followers of Abbey's journey through our blog) and she LOVES her gifts! She has a flower for her hair to match every outfit and there were also headwraps, hats and bracelets in the package! Thank you so very much Amanda and Cameron! When we are in public I can't tell you how often people think Abbey is a boy (yes, even with girly, pink and purple clothes on) and comment on my three boys and it always makes me so sad for Abbey. After everything she's been through, she is reminded often in public that she's different. These flowers will definitely help these people see that she is ALL girl.

And I always feel bad when I have updates on Jacob and Abbey and not Micah... so here's a fun picture of Micah from the week. He is growing fast and saying tons of words lately. He says "Abbey" "Jake" "mommy" and "daddy" all day long. He also will try to say pretty much anything that we ask him to that's been fun. He LOVES balls and has quite an arm on him. He pretty much turns everything and anything into a ball, a bat, a hockey stick or some other sports equipment. It is very normal to look over at him during mealtime and see him using his spoon as a bat and his food as little balls. We are still working on manners with this one :)....

Well, we are excited for a restful weekend ahead. Jim is off all weekend (which is a treat with his rotating days off) and it will be nice for Jacob to be home all day. He gave me a break tonight and did baths, snacks, books and is now getting the kids to bed (and I just got to sit here and do the blog :) We have a good movie to watch once the kids are in bed and some good snacks to share. Hope you all have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Monday was Jacob's first day of kindergarten. It's so hard to believe that our first born is old enough to be in school. His first couple days have been great. He was a little nervous on Monday, but also very excited and he went right in his class without hesitation. His main concern was that he wouldn't know where to go when we got there, but I assured him several times that I would be walking him to his class. The first two weeks are the "honeymoon time" where parents can walk their kids to class and make sure they are settled before leaving. He seemed pretty comfortable when I left and I had to make myself walk out that door.

I did pretty good until I got out in the hallway after dropping him off and then the tears flowed (I held it back as much as possible until I got to the van). I felt much better when I went to pick him up though and he had a big smile on his face. He has only had good things to say about his days so far so we are thankful for that. Jacob is our social kid and adjusts quickly to new settings so I think this school thing will be good for him. He was so cute on Tuesday when he came home. He is my encourager and reassures me when something concerns me. I have been feeling like the days will be really long for him as he loves to be home and it's a big change going from being home all the time to being in school 5 days a week from 8:30-3:00, but right when we got in the van on Monday, he said that the day went really fast and it didn't seem long at all. That was a relief to hear.

This is a big adjustment for all of us as Jacob has been home for a year now. He went to preschool two years ago for three days a week in the morning and last year he started a second year of preschool, but in early October we pulled him out very soon after Abbey was diagnosed to keep our home and family as "sick/germ free" as possible. We are so thankful that we decided to wait a year before starting kindergarten last year as he's a July birthday so we could have sent him to K last year if we wanted. It was totally a God thing that we waited because last August we had no idea what was in store for us just a couple months later, but looking back it would have been way too much for him to be in school with all that we went through with Abbey. He is ready now though and we are very excited for all that is in store for him this year with school.

Hope you're all adjusting well to your little ones (or big ones) being back in school! Summer sure did fly by and I know as our kids get older time will go faster and faster. Onto a new season in life and looking forward to all that God has in store for our family as we enter this new chapter of school :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Abbey!

Once again I've been slacking with posting! We've been busy, busy and there is much to update you on.

Abbey turned 4 on August 9th. We had a party for her on the 12th with family and friends and we had a super fun day celebrating our girl. Her party was a teddy bear theme so we did some bear games, a bear craft and ended the day at Build a Bear. We kept the party fairly small because Abbey does not really like being the center of attention and is pretty shy, especially around crowds, but the days following her party, she couldn't stop talking about her party and how much fun she had.

It's hard to believe that she's 4 already. She was diagnosed less then 2 months after her 3rd birthday so in many ways this year has felt like a blur. She continues to do very well with her treatments. She just finished her 5 days of steroids and usually at the end of the five days we start to notice some side effects, but nothing too bad. She bounces back from them quickly. She is still getting her two shots a day and handling them as good as can be expected. Only about 5-6 weeks of them left so we're getting there.

Her numbers again were nice and high last Friday so we are enjoying our freedom from having to be isolated. During her last clinic visit she had to get her monthly vincristine and also have a spinal tap and have chemo put into her spine. She only has to get that once every three months now so it was nice to be able to walk out of there last Friday and know that we don't have to do that again for three months. We got this Friday off and don't have to go back until next Friday to check her numbers and see how her body is handling her oral chemo.

With summer coming to an end, we have many new changes coming this fall. Jacob will be starting kindergarten this Monday at a nearby Christian school. We spent much time these last two months praying about our decision for schooling for Jacob this coming school year. I have mentioned before that last year we decided to pull Jacob out of preschool right after Abbey was diagnosed and I began homeschooling him. I was doing a kindergarten curriculum with him and it was wonderful. We did not get through the whole year though so that's why he will be going into kindergarten. We feel good about the head start that he has with all that he learned last year. With our situation at this time in our lives with Abbey, we really felt like putting him into a school this coming year is the best choice and we are thankful for how clear God made this decision for us. We fell in love with a Christian school near our home and are excited to see all that God has in store for Jacob there. With Abbey's treatments and hospital visits continuing for the next year and a half , a new baby coming in early November and her fluctuating numbers that keeps us homebound at times, we feel that it will be so nice for Jacob to have some consistency with school and more consistent social interaction. We are also so thankful to be able to send him to a Christian school where we know that what we are teaching him at home will be reinforced every day at school.

And for extracurricular activities.... Abbey's summer dance class is coming to an end, but she will be starting up a class this fall once a week. She loved her class this summer and will get to be in the recital next summer, which she already talks about. Jacob is playing outdoor soccer. He has had a few practices already and tomorrow is his first game. We have had a wonderful summer, but are excited and ready to move into fall and have more routine.

Micah continues to keep us smiling :) He is talking a lot more these last couple weeks which has been so much fun. He is a very happy little guy and is a joy to be around. I am officially 30 weeks pregnant. With my past pregnancies I've always said that the last 10 weeks is the final stretch. I am feeling great and we are all getting excited for this new little guy to be here!

So that's what's new here :) Thanks for checking in on us! Hope you all have a great last weekend of summer :)!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We got home last night from our vacation and as good as it was to get away, it was equally as good to get home. We broke the trip up into two days on the way home and stayed an overnight in Virginia at friends of ours. Our drive yesterday was long and we didn't get home until 10:30 last night so we were all exhausted and ready to sleep in our own beds.

Our vacation was wonderful and we made lots of great memories last week. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the whole trip (except maybe the 12 hour drive :). The last couple days the kids really started getting brave and more comfortable in the water. Jacob was like a little fish and most of the last two days he was underwater. He came up for quick breaths, but loved his new found talent of being completely submerged. He also loved jumping in and doing canon balls off the side of the pool.

Abbey too got much more comfortable in the water as the week went on. She realized that she could stand in the 3 feet part of the pool and she was so proud of herself that she could be in that deep without being held. She also loved jumping in from the side (with one of us catching her) and of course being held and snuggled in the pool.

And in Micah's own timing, he too loved the water. The first few days, each time we'd put him in the water he would get very concerned and would point to the side of the pool wanting to get out, but by the end of the week he was jumping in to whoever would catch him.

We also enjoyed a good amount of time on the beach, we went to a minor league baseball game and we went to this really cool Alligator Adventure place where there were hundreds of alligators, snakes and other cool animals to see.

This morning we were back to reality as we had to take Abbey back to clinic bright and early for her blood to be checked again to see where her numbers are now. Once she's accessed and her blood is drawn, it usually takes about 10-15 minutes to get back her numbers and as we sat there today I felt so burdened by the possibility of her numbers still being very low. I don't know if I've mentioned this in past posts, but the lowest they want her ANC to go at this point is 750 and the last two weeks it was right around 100 so it was very low. As we sat and painted together in her exam room today my mind was wandering and it was hard not to be scared that they would again be so low. Our nurse Kathy came in with a big smile on her face and immediately I felt this huge weight come off my shoulders. Her ANC was up to 1790 today and all I could do was grab Abbey and squeeze her tight! We are so thankful that she did so beautifully on our trip with no fevers or sickness and that her immunity is back up!

We are back on track with her medications and she started her oral chemo again today. We will be going back Friday for her spinal tap and vincristine through her port so of course it's a bitter sweet as she is back on all her meds, but to know that her blood is looking good and she continues to be in remission and back on track in her treatment is a breath of fresh air for all of us.

One of our favorite songs right now is 'You Reign' by Hillsong United (the new song that I just added on the blog) and as Jim and I belted it out in the van many times on the way home we were reminded of God's faithfulness and goodness to us. He Reigns over everything and oh what a wonderful reminder that is in both good times and bad! Listen to the words and be encouraged today that whatever you are going through, God is in control and His love for us is amazing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Myrtle Beach

We are having a blast and truly enjoying every second of our time here. The condo is absolutely beautiful and there is tons of fun stuff to do around here. We have spent lots of time in pools, at the beach, the ocean, a waterpark, done some shopping, gone for walks, the kids have gone on some rides and we've ate some good food. Abbey has been feeling great and we have all been relaxing and enjoying our time very much. We still have plans to go to a minor league baseball game, to an Alligator Adventure, the water park again and more beach and pool time. I will post more pics in a few days of our last days here. Thanks for your sweet words and prayers for a great trip for our family and for Abbey to stay healthy. God has blessed us immensely and we are thankful!