Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fun Days!

These days are filled with some sadness, yes they are. Like when we discovered yesterday that Kari's hair is falling out AGAIN. I've been told that this is the last time it should fall out unless something unforseen happens. Kari kinda shrugged it off like it was no big deal. I wonder though if inside she's very disappointed since we just tried putting a small bow in the side and it actually stayed there?? She was getting pretty excited about her hair! It will grow back in due time, thank God!

However, these days are also filled with FUN and LOTS OF LAUGHTER! I am truly enjoying being home with my babies despite the circumstances. Today we did arts and crafts for around 3 hours??? It was so much fun and the kids are learning a lot about arts and crafts...and how to be creative! And messy. :)

So, here's what we did today:

Fingerpaint (I love this better than my kids I think)

Stuffed our own pet

Paper Bag Puppets

Modeling Clay Critters

Tissue Paper Animals and Flowers

I love being with these kids! I thank God for our time together!

One funny thing that I have to share before ending this post. Jess and I went shopping Thanksgiving night and it was a hoot. We walked in Walmart and saw this:

After that madness we needed fuel. So we went to Waffle House for some food. Jess ordered smothered hashbrowns. When they brought the smothered hashbrowns out to her, we decided that Waffle House must be having it hard right now.

Love y'all!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I haven't posted a whole lot lately. I claim that I don't have time which is partially true.

But this morning...we're sitting at the table at 5:00AM waiting on Kari to finish her 3rd bowl of Ramen noodles and also a bowl of Honeycombs. Bless her heart, she has acquired a taste for Ramen noodles and has hardly eaten a thing besides that the past couple of days. Only 3 more days on steroids. Hallelujah!!!

That's about all I have to post at this time in the morning. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks With a Grateful Heart

Yes, it's been two weeks since I've posted. Today, I stopped by the bank where I used to work and was reminded by several people (Lorie, Scott, Marlene, Linda) that I need to update my blog. I've honestly tried to but since Kari started the new phase it's been tough to find time!! It was so good to see all my bank friends today. You all make me cry every time I see you because you say such kind and encouraging things! I love you all!
Please pray for a friend I worked with, Amy, who lost her mother to cancer a few weeks ago. I know the holidays will be tough for them and my heart goes out to her and her family. If you read this...I'm praying for you, Amy!

I'll try to play catch up on the last few weeks as quickly as I can. The weekend of the 12th was Kari's benefit singing. The Holcomb family also held a mini-revival the two days before and we had an awesome time! The girls (all 4 of them) got to stay with Malachi, Kari, and I and we had a blast! We were very tired the next morning but it was worth it. Kari was able to sing at the benefit and there wasn't a dry eye in the church I don't think. It was priceless!

The next week the kids and I went with Pappy and Gammy to Alabama for a campmeeting there. We had a great time and stopped by a park called Noccalula Falls on our way out of Gadsden. It was so pretty and I was so mad at myself that I had my iPhone and not my camera. It would have been a perfect place for Christmas pictures.

One our way home we stopped in Knoxville to eat with the Holcombs. Kari was ecstatic to get to see her buddies two weekends in a row. I was thrilled as well...I love this family dearly. for Kari, she's doing pretty good at this point. The first week of treatment in our new phase was very rough as she had to have 2 days of chemo. She got very sick both times and the second time I didn't even have her nausea medicine with me.

Last week was better and this week she hasn't even had to have the nausea medicine. Her counts are staying up for now so we're thankful for that as well. Some of our clinic friends are really struggling right now. One little girl just relapsed and another boy has a cancer that is spreading rather quickly. Please pray for these families! We also received some fantastic news...our buddy Michael is in REMISSION!!! He's waiting to hear when he gets his PORT out and only has maintenance check ups. We are so happy for Michael and his family!! We love you all!

Malachi is doing well. We attempted potty training but after Resolve carpet cleaner became my best friend after one week...I scrapped the idea for the time being. My patience (and Malachi's) ran out rather quickly. Until I can get my mind and game plan together, we're not attempting it again.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am truly thankful for all that God has blessed us with. Despite the hard times we've faced and are facing, we have been so blessed. When we visited clinic this week, I was honestly almost depressed at all the bad news we heard from our friends there. However, it always makes me more thankful for Kari's health and all of the times that God has moved for us in the past four months.

I'm thankful for my precious babies and that I have an opportunity to teach them about Jesus.
I'm thankful for my family and friends that love us and support us. You are so special to us...each and every one of you!
I'm thankful for a warm home to live in, food on my table, shoes on my feet, clothes on my back. There are so many people without those basic things, more than I even realize I'm sure.
Most of all I'm thankful for my salvation and for my relationship with the Lord. I don't know why God listens to me whine day after day and still loves me and blesses me the way He does. But I'm thankful that His ways are higher than mine. His ways are good even when I don't understand them. Thanks, Lord, for all you are to me!

I can't end this post without saying...HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING TO EVERYONE! (hee hee hee)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Delayed Intensification

Today we begin the Delayed Intensification phase of Kari's treatment. Along with new chemo, she also has to have a spinal. For some reason, clinic is absolutely CRAZY today and at almost noon, we still haven't had any treatments or received any results from her count check. Her spinal is scheduled at 1:00 so at least after that she can eat even if we have to wait on her chemo.

Kari and Adilynn (Adilynn's sister is here for treatment)

We have had the privilege of seeing so many of our clinic friends today! Kari has been in heaven playing with these kids who understand what she's going through. I have been so emotional watching them play that I can hardly talk at times.

Kari and Katelynn (she is Kari's age and has been through some tough treatments)

At last but certainly not least....the infamous MICHAEL!!! We were so surprised and pleased to see Michael and his mother, Kim today when we came to clinic. Michael was so sweet to Kari when she was in the hospital and she talks about him and prays for him all the time. He's the one that got Kari hooked on Cookies 'N Cream candy bars!!! She will love him forever for that. Thanks, Michael, for being so sweet to Kari. Kim, thank you for being a friend to me! We love you both BUNCHES!

This weekend is the benefit singing for Kari! She starts steroids again today so I'm not sure if she will be up to singing Saturday or not. For those of you interested in coming, look forward to some good singing and a good time in the Lord! I'm sure Gammy will be updating about that tomorrow or Thursday.

I want to thank you all again for everything you've done for us. We love you and we appreciate your friendship and support more than you know! The next few weeks will probably be tough if it goes the way they say it will. I hate that it's through the holidays but perhaps it will make us appreciate the true meaning of the holidays a little more! As you pray for God to strengthen us, we ask God to bless you as well!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

27 Big Uns

Yesterday was my 27th birthday. After 25 it seems that the birthdays get a little mundane??!

But thank you to everyone who sent birthday emails, texts or called to wish me happy birthday! It was nice to know people were thinking about me! :)

Thursday afternoon a good friend of mine, Sarah, called to ask if the kids and I wanted to meet her and her 3 boys in London to eat. And seriously...she has the most well-mannered, sweetest boys ever. They were so sweet to the kids and I and we really enjoyed our time with them. In fact, Kari cried when we had to leave. We stopped by McDonalds after we ate with them so the kids could play in the Play Place. Thank you all for a wonderful afternoon!

For my birthday, the kids and I had to go back to McDonalds for more play time. Ummmm....about 3 hours worth. LOL! The kids had a blast!

I also got to see my childhood besties Andrea and April! Andrea stopped by McDonalds while we were playing and we got to catch up while the kids played! Then later I got to spend some time with April catching up on things too!

It was a nice day altogether and, although so many life-changing things have happened since last year's birthday, God hasn't changed and I thank Him for letting me make it through another year!

Love you all!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Love These Kids!

Kari had her last chemo treatment for the Interim Maintenance I phase last Monday. We got to clinic early which meant we got out of there fairly early. Kari and I always make these big plans to go to the mall and out to eat and all kinds of fun stuff after clinic but it never happens because she's usually worn out and not feeling well afterwards.

Monday, however, she felt great and Malachi was in a good mood too so after I let them nap in the van for an hour or so we went to Tony Roma's for supper. Why Tony Roma's when you're going out to eat with two kids? For one, I love their food. Two, we wanted to go to Joseph Beth to feed the ducks and Tony Roma's is inside Joseph Beth. Much easier on this mama to kill two birds with one stone.

Normally trips like this that I plan can turn out pretty disastrous. But since I played this outing by ear and let the kids decide what we did, it was seriously the best little outing we have ever had.

After feeding the ducks, we played inside Joseph Beth for about 2 hours. They have an awesome train set, doll house, and building blocks that kept the kids and I entertained and, yes, we rode the escalator about 5 times. :)

Then a trip to the mall for cookies and play time in the little play area in the middle of the mall. I was taking a picture of the kids and told Kari to kiss Malachi and this little girl who must have thought it was a free for all walked up to Malachi and laid a big smacker right on his cheek! His eyes were big as saucers! All the parents and I got a big laugh out of it!!!

Last for the evening was a trip to Bath and Body Works to get Kari some "hanitizer" as she calls it. LOL...cancer kids quickly learn to love it.

As I've mentioned before, the only thing on Kari's "Fun Things I Wanna Do" list that we hadn't crossed off yet was the zoo. But...the next day we went to the Cincinnati Zoo with our friends Jess and Chase. We were so excited that they invited us to go with them. We had such a good time and the kids were so good!

Two things happened here: while we were in line to ride the train, everybody around the stroller area was pointing and my stroller. Come to find out, a huge squirrel was stealing all the snacks out of my snack bag. It would go inside the bag, take a snack out, run around a tree and hide it, then come back for more. It was so funny but I had to throw a whole bag of goodies away! Pesky thing.

Then when we got back to my van after we were finished at the zoo, we found this:

Van locked up tight as a wedge....with the door open. Seriously? Only me. Nothing was missing, thank the Lord.
I appreciate your friendship, Jess! Love you and Chase bunches!

Yesterday, Kari had to go to Clinic for an EKG and an echo of her heart. Next Tuesday when she starts the new phase of treatment, she will be receiving a medicine that can damage her heart. They needed a reading of everything so that they can monitor any changes. Thank God things were normal to begin with and her ANC is at 5580!! Pappy got to go with us yesterday and we had a blast with him!! We took him to the mall for lunch and then to play again in the play area there. I'm beginning to love that play area in the mall. My kids enjoy it so much and it's actually relaxing for me!
During this horrible battle we're facing, God is always there to give me the strength I need to face each trial. But there have been times when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. Mainly when Kari seems at the end of hers. She is so strong and seems to bounce back pretty quickly. Only a few times has she let it show that this sickness not only wears on her body, but her little mind as well. Once was when her hair was falling out and she cried her little eyes out watching me put handfuls of her hair in the garbage can. Another time was when she had to face getting "magic milk" every week for her spinals. She has since came to terms with both of those things and I'm so proud of her.

But while we were at the mall yesterday, she had been playing with a little girl and was so happy and carefree for a while. She ran and played until she couldn't go anymore. When I finally made her stop because I was afraid she was going to overdo it, she was ready to drop. She looked up at me with sad eyes and said "mommy, will I always be like this?" I thought my heart would just break into a million pieces. Because all she sees is the here and now. The endless clinic visits and procedures, the restrictions that she has due to her condition, the fact that she has no hair and no longer looks like other little's hard to imagine what she must be thinking.

But I've also seen her grow in the Lord. That's been my prayer from the beginning and I'm so thankful to God that I can see the change in her. She prays so sincere when we do our prayers before bedtime. When she's in pain, she doesn't cry for Tylenol (I'm the weak one that wants to do that) but she cries for someone to pray for her. I'm so proud of who she's becoming! Malachi is also learning a lot. He says prayers every night and is learning to be sensitive to things that are going on around him. He worries about Kari when she doesn't feel good and will lay his little hands on her and pray when she cries. They are more precious than anything in this world and I'm thankful I was blessed enough to be their mommy!

The other night, mom and I took the kids to the park to feed the ducks. At the end of the day, Kari saw the sun setting and said "Mommy, will you take a picture of the sun? It's the perfect end to a perfect day."

I love these kids!