Monday, December 11, 2017

Joel

We were recently invited to celebrate the birthday of one of my WISH kids, Joel.  He had a superhero dance party that was a lot of fun!  I don't know how I came away with only cake pictures...ugh!  I went in a HULK shirt, which of course was William's favorite.  Michael somehow left his Captain America shirt behind, so we said he was Clark Kent.  😜

I also learned some party dance that I don't remember the name of, but it was a lot of fun.  Michael and I BOTH learned the Macarena!  Glad there's no video on THAT! 😂😂😂😂

It was so much fun to watch Joel celebrate with his friends and we were so thankful to be included!  He's such a super fun kid!  I can't wait to make his wish come true!




Even MORE exciting...later in the week Joel got to RING THE BELL!  This is a fun tradition when a patient finishes their cancer treatment, which signifies the beating of cancer!  This is the first bell ringing ceremony I've been to and it was merry and joyous occasion.  I was so glad to be part of it!

Joel was so excited to ring that bell!  He got after it two or three times, but I only got this one video. 😊

Some of Joel's friends and family...

Joel and his wish granters...

I had never heard of the BEADS OF COURAGE (the necklace that Joel is wearing), but it's a wonderful way to help children record, tell, and own their story through cancer treatment.  They get a bead for each "item" they face...doctor visits, lab work, chemo, surgery, finger sticks, etc.  At the end, they can tell their story with each little memory reminder of how they faced scary things with courage.  Such a great idea!

I absolutely love things like this.  It makes my heart glad when I can watch a family say, "Today we won."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Abby's 21st Birthday Photos

Abby recently did a photo shoot for her 21st birthday with A'Lissa DeVorss of Fat Cat Photography.  They turned out beautifully!  Here are some of my favorites:






This is a fun one of Obi kissing Abby! 😍

I like this cut profile:







A fun shoot - except I missed out on the whole thing.  I think this is the first photo shoot done of any of my children that I wasn't present for.  I had planned to be but the whole illness thing got me.  Anyway, they turned out great!  I'm proud of Abby and what she's accomplished, not only with this horse, but as a woman.  Her unyielding determination has also been tempered with grace, forgiveness, and mercy and it shows in her gentle spirit.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ru is TWO!

I cannot believe this super sweet boy is two!  Isn't he just the cutest?!?!?!
He is such an incredible blessing!  This boy loves to snuggle and hug, climb into my arms and wrap his arms around my neck, then pat my back while he loves on me.  He is such a joy.  I remember William climbing into my lap and rubbing on my tummy and telling Andrew how much he loved him.  He couldn't wait for Andrew to arrive!  (Although, we didn't know Andrew's name at the time and William insisted he was going to call him Ru!) 😍

We had a good time celebrating our little Ru, even though I was still quite ill. 😬 I'm finally feeling better, though.  Bless his heart, now Andrew is sick!

The siblings always have fun cuddling up for pictures!

Andrew got this fun racetrack for his birthday.  It was a hit with EVERYONE! (Except maybe Bandit!)

He also really enjoys his roller coaster.  It's indoors for now.  Probably for winter...I'm a softy!

I love that face!



Yep! He's 2!

He blew out the candle with no incidence! Yay! (Truth be told, Sydnee is the only one who ever grabbed the candle - it was on her 1st birthday.  Ugh!  But we've been extra careful ever since!)

Birthday prayer with Daddy...

Sweet Andrew is such a joy to our home.  How thankful we are for him!  We know that God is far better to us than we deserve and we are grateful to Him for all the time He gives us!  Happy birthday, my sweet love!




Thursday, November 30, 2017

Illness...

It's been a busy and full week.  We enjoyed hosting two Thanksgiving celebrations then attending a fun party.  Then I got sick and I've been in bed since Friday night.  😞

Traditions can be pretty tough. It's really hard to do things without him. We give gifts to our children on Thanksgiving: something needed, something wanted, something educational, and something to grow spiritually. It was especially difficult not to buy gifts for him this year. So I bought gifts for 4 people he loved dearly instead. That was fun!

Being sick has given me lots of time to think.  Perhaps not rationally, though, because of the fever.  So, today, I will keep my thoughts to myself, as they are deep and dark and probably not worth sharing.

However, I will say, I think this week has been really good for me.  No faces, no masks, no participation.  Just the bed.  I know eventually I am going to have to get up and face reality again, but for now, it is doing just fine without me...



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving

Remembering what I'm thankful for today, even in the midst of great sorrow...

This morning as we were all praying, it came to Andrew's turn. I love to watch him pray. He squeezes his eyes shut and bows his head and is so very serious about it. As he prayed though, I thought of William and how differently he prayed. William never closed his eyes, nor bowed his head. In fact, his head was typically lifted up to the Lord. And he poured his heart out to God. How differently we do things when we see with our hearts and not our eyes...