Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Kari!

Happy Birthday, my sweet angel! I can't even express how much I love you!

You've come so far in this past year.  You've made me so proud to be called your Mommy!

I love listening to you pray.  Listening to you sing.  Listening to you talk about Bible stories and retelling them the way your own imagination remembers.  I love listening to you interact with your brother...interacting is a word with many meanings these days.  :)

I love how you love your family...each and every member, you LOVE. 

God has a great plan for your life, Kari!  I can't wait to see where He leads you. :) 

I love you with all my heart!



Sunday, July 29, 2012


I just want to take a little time today to say thank you.  Thank you to those of you that pray for us, those of you who text or call just to let us know you care,  to our family who gives us their steady support...I'm so thankful to God for each and every one of you! 

I was thinking back to last year when Kari was diagnosed and how the employees of Farmers National Bank (my former co-workers) came through for us financially and in several more ways.  They continue to keep close tabs on the kids and I and are quick to help when we need it. 

(If you're reading this, Bill Pollom, thank you for providing the tent for Kari's birthday party!  We are so grateful for it!)

So many friends, and even those we didn't even know, came through for us in so many different ways.  If I forgot a thank you card, please know that whatever you did for us was greatly appreciated.  I often pray for God to bless those that helped us and prayed for us during THE HARDEST time in our lives.  We love you!

It goes without saying that our family is WONDERFUL!  I could really go on and on about them, but you all know how much we love and appreciate them! 

Most of all, I thank God for his blessings on us.  Just when I think things are going to be a mess, God comes through and works it out for our good.  While I readily admit that I definitely don't understand His ways, I do know that He's got us in the palm of His hand and, for that, I'm grateful. 

I'm thankful for the good report we received last Tuesday at Clinic.  Her ANC is still low but her individual counts are GREAT!  We enjoyed an awesome day in Lexington together.  It was a reminder of just how far we've come in the past year.  We've gone from horrible clinic days every single week to once a month clinic visits that end with a day spent in Lexington having fun.  Thank you, Jesus!

(If you ever wonder why I have more pictures of Kari than Malachi, it's because Malachi refuses to smile or be still for the camera unless I promise a prize; I'm running out of prizes)

Don't forget the Light the Night Walk on September 22nd!  Please email me at kariandmalachi@live.com  for more information! 
We love you!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Friday

Well.  We're gearing up for homeschooling.  I think that pretty much sums it up as to how busy we are right now.

Kari had counts checked last week and, although they are pretty low for her (ANC at 928), overall things seem well!  Since we are so busy right now with various activities, projects, youth camp, and etc., I'm going to post some pictures! 

Don't forget the Light the Night walk in September!  Please join us if you can!  Email me at kariandmalachi@live.com for more information. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Part II

 I've been told that my recollecting on the beginning of our journey has brought up quite a few bad memories for other members of our family. That was not my intention at all. My purpose is to remind and be reminded of just exactly how God has helped us through!

After July 4th when we returned to our "normal" lives, Kari remained very tired, our of breath and just overall not well. For 3 days I was concerned but tried to leave it alone. However, when I went to work Thursday, I dropped the kids off at aunt Lacey's house; they were going to play there that day and have a great time. Lacey called me shortly after I arrived at work and said that Kari was burning up with fever and was screaming for me. I assumed she hadn't rested enough and was simply tired and needed me. But there was an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I picked her up at Lacey's where she had dropped into an exhausted sleep. She woke up quickly and immediately began crying. By the time we reached our house, she was rolling in the floor in pain. Pappy and Gammy came over and we prayed for bout 30 minutes. When it didn't ease up, we took her into the emergency room and left Malachi with Lacey.  I was prepared to force whatever doctor was there to do blood work and tests. What I wasn't prepared for was a young medical intern who listened intently and immediately ran tests and began blood work. After 3 different nurses came in to get blood work, we knew something wasnt right.

To shorten this down, that doctor sent us to UK to the children's hospital where we were met by our wonderful friends and family who were praying and were there to encourage us. I was so thankful to have them there. I'm not a loner, I prefer people by my side when times are tough! After an official bone marrow biopsy the next day, our greatest fear was confirmed. Kari had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

I rarely forget anything in times like those.  It usually plays over in my mind quite often and little bits and pieces of the details come back to me.  One thing I remember is that I was a WRECK that first night.  I thought when they told us her diagnosis that I would totally lose it.  However, such a peace came over me when we found out that I ended up being the one to comfort the rest of our family!  God was merciful and gracious to all of us and we quickly came together as a family to get things done.  Malachi needed taken care of, we needed clothes and things from our house, I needed bills paid and "life" taken care of while we stayed at the hospital. Chris and Lacey kept Malachi the majority of the time.  Lacey decided she wanted to be a "stay at home aunt" for a few weeks.  LOL! Malachi was taken care of so well and I am very appreciative.  My mom, Gammy, and Pappy also took turns with him when they weren't at the hospital with Kari and I. I invite you to go back to last July's posts and read how God kept his hand on us through that first very terrible month.

When I think back to what all God has done for us and how He has encouraged in the darkest times, provided financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually...it overwhelms me. God has truly kept his hand on our family and most of all, Kari.  I've watched my little girl (still a baby, really) blossom into this fantastic little fireball of courage, faith, hope, and confidence.  She touches people's hearts just by sitting and talking to them.  She sings with such a confidence and assurance of who she's singing to...I cry just talking about it.  If she has been chosen to go through this, I'm thankful that God will someday make her a great testimony for HIM!

I also have to commend Malachi.  He has adjusted so well to everything that has happened.  He's learned to pray for his sister and be protective over her and I.  He is such a big help to me and was always very gentle with Kari when she was at her worst.  I remember thinking that it was gonna be a nightmare when I brought her home from the hospital and to take care of both of them by myself with Kari so sick...I couldn't have been more wrong.  We have had ROUGH days but God has truly helped us come together and make it work here at home.  Not everyday has been awesome, that's a given.  But our good days outweigh the bad thanks to a great and mighty God!

This has been a very long post and my mom just glanced at it and said, "Gee whiz, Ashlee, are we gonna have to read all that?"  Oops.  I get long winded sometimes.  Good thing I don't preach.  Ha ha!!

Thanks to all of you that have helped us through this past year.  I can honestly say that I have added MANY friends to our list in the past 12 months.  It blows me away that God has placed such awesome people in our lives.  My family (ALL of you) is amazing.  Pappy, Gammy, Sissy Bran, Memaw, Aunt Lacey, and Uncle Chris...you all have pulled together like none other to make everything easier for us to handle.  We love you with all our hearts!

Most of all...thank you, Jesus for being there and for making it possible to get through the tough times of life and survive!  But not only survive,  but also to have joy and peace and happiness in the middle of it!