Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On the lighter side of "Life"!

We had a little mishap in our house!
Somehow someones knee found someones nose!

They both were injured and needed ice packs!

It happened while they were outside playing in the snow. 

Thank goodness they both recovered quickly!

Every time Katie's puppy Penny is at our house she is the center of attention!

We have been very busy wedding planning!
It will happen this summer and then they are off to Germany and stationed in Stuttgart.
Oh my, will we miss the three of them ;-(
(I included Penny, of course!)

FYI- I am already planning a week in Stuttgart!

Maybe Penny will be safer in Stuttgart?

When Penny stays at our house she sleeps with Sarah!
One time she slept with me, one time... it didn't go well...
One of us did not sleep well...
Guess which one!
Sarah can have her!

Luke is such a great eater! He likes anything!
(He's like Mikey on the old "life" cereal commercials and I am really dating myself by saying that!))

One hour later...

Except he can be a bit slow... especially if we have the TV on (it's educational TV, of course)!

Someone is having fun researching-
 wedding dresses,
bridesmaid dresses,
reception venues,
reception decor,
the list goes on!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today is a New Day!

Today I woke feeling the power of all of your prayers. It was refreshing and a "full of hope feeling"- 
it. was. good!

Thank you, thank you for your prayers! 
They mean so much to us!

Somehow every thing always looks better in the morning! I know it's God! He is so all over this- HE is way ahead of me, way ahead of us, HE has her covered and we are so grateful to HIM!

Thank you for sharing our prayer requests. I completely believe that our Lord hears your pleas and petitions and that when many pray- HE hears us! 
HE is a mighty God and He can heal our sweet girl!

We are so thankful she is home with her forever family!

Yesterday was a tough day. I could barely speak and Abby would often look over at me wondering what was wrong with her Momma. 
She watched way to much TV as I processed all the new information.

But today was a NEW DAY and was full of HOPE!

She is tolerating the Chelation medication. Her urine is bright red from the iron leaving her body- Yay God!!

She will most likely feel pretty good up until we begin the bone marrow transplant and that is not for awhile.

She may have periods of extreme fatigue depending upon how frequently she has her transfusions. If my hemoglobin got as low as hers does I'd be lucky to get outta bed!

She is such a trooper and still seems to keep up with the other children.

She has a new puppy dog friend and we've worked on puzzles, play doh, baby einstein movies (to try to get her to start speaking english), taken many walks, played in the playroom, painted and even-

riden a tricycle down the hallways of the hospital!
It is currently parked in our room- I think she's laying claim to it while she's here!

Abby and Luke will be anointed after church on Sunday!

We also found out that Abby's MDS is not linked to a chromosomal abnormality. I don't really know the significance of this information and the Dr seemed as if it didn't really matter.

She did say that it is important to get as close a match as possible for the bone marrow transplant to take. This means that her donor has to be of the same ethnicity(Chinese) and have 7 other markers that match. Thank you to those that have offered to be a donor. You are so kind and your generosity is noticed and appreciated.

Hubby and I have switched places tonight- he has hospital duty and then they will come home tomorrow- Saturday! YAY!

It was hard to leave her but once all the other children cheered and told me how much they missed me I knew we did the right thing!
Abby was very excited to spend some time with Daddy and show him how she can pedal!

It is so good to see the children and hug them!
I sometimes don't feel worthy of so much love! These dear children are such a blessing!

We are looking forward to all being together on Saturday!!

Once again we are so thankful for your prayers and so grateful to our GOD!!! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It is Cancer and We Need Prayer...

This is not a post I want to post. In fact I'm not really sure where to begin...

If it is not written perfectly please overlook the imperfections...

First, I will say that I firmly believe the GOD is in control. And that he reveals information or urges us to seek information as we are ready to deal with it- HIS timing is perfect timing!

When Hubby and I saw Abby's picture and we prayed about it and both came to each other with the exact same words- it was all GOD! He impressed upon our hearts that "she needs to come home".

HE was right! More than I really knew or understood.

When we got Abby's referral I did my homework. The Dr's at the adoption clinic carefully reviewed the file and I researched on the internet. All of that didn't really matter because HE knew all along she was our daughter and before we even knew it, he had chosen us for this journey.

I have been a bit cocky lately- you see the chances of Abby actually having MDS are 4 in one million. Most Drs concluded that she was misdiagnosed and that we would figure it out once she got home. (including the Dr's at the medical clinic in GZ) Because of the specific nature of the diagnosis MDS-RAS I wondered of maybe there weren't right. China doesn't like to be wrong and they certainly must have done many tests to come up with this unusual diagnosis. There was no medical information to back up their diagnosis, no test results, nothing- so I held out hope that they were wrong.

I also did not fear the diagnosis because GOD can move mountains and surely he can heal a child if he chooses... PLUS from what I had read... it wasn't cancer and we could hopefully get it before it turns into cancer.

My thinking was off, my research was flawed and I am humbled... big time...

We came into the Hematologist/ Oncologist office to start the chelation process and to be admitted to the hospital for the next 3 days. My Mommy barometer started to pick up different vibes- people were saying "I'm sorry", have you "met with" and "you need to meet with" the bone marrow transplant team asap, you need to hear what they want to do and what they foresee as the possible outcome. 


First of all why the I'm sorry's? Why words like survival rate, isn't this going to cure her? I already knew the plan- we get the iron out of the blood, we have a transplant and she is cured and we all live happily ever after. She gets to grow up and we get to be her Mommy and Daddy- right? RIGHT!

When I googled MDS- it said it used to be considered a pre leukemia but it is no longer considered that...
Pause... think... okay, that sounds pretty good. It is no longer considered a pre leukemia. What they neglected to say... It is no longer considered a pre leukemia because it is now considered a form of leukemia.

So today I asked is MDS cancer?

Yes, it is cancer.

My stomach is in knots, the tears flow, my heart is so heavy, I am in shock for our little girl. Today, I can't really think straight...

I shouldn't be surprised but I am...

Hubby seems peaceful, it is what he expected, it's not what I expected, although I knew it was a possibility...

We are still waiting for chromosomal and genetics test results. They will not be back for a month or so. I am guessing this will lead us towards some answers- I am just praying they are the answers we want to hear. 

At this point I have heard that there is a 60% survival rate. I am going to be honest- I wanted much better than that...

I am hoping to talk to the Dr. and gain more knowledge on all of this...

I am no longer going to sit back and let things happen...

It's time to mobilize the troops!

It's time to spread the word to every prayer warrior out there, to your church, to your prayer groups, to your bible studies, to everyone that believes in the power of Prayer!

Please spread the word! We need the prayers of many! Feel free to blog about it, and share the prayer request on facebook (right now I don't really do facebook but who knows maybe someday).

When I know more I will share it.

The tentative plan is to do the chelation 2 times a month for 2.5 days in the hospital each time. Then hopefully we she will have a bone marrow transplant in 6-9 months.

Please pray that the they are successful getting the iron out of Abby's body.

Please pray that they find a bone marrow match for Abby.

Please pray that they are able to do the bone marrow transplant before this turns into AMLeukemia.

Please pray that the bone marrow transplant is successful and that Abby is cured of her cancer.

Heavenly Father you are the King of Kings. You hold our daughter in the palm of your hand. We pray that you will heal her and allow her to live a long and blessed life.

Is anything to hard for the Lord?
Genesis 18:14

But with God anything is possible.
Matthew 19:26

You may ask for anything in my name and I will do it.
John 14:14

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Different Views of Homeschooling

In other words... what do those people do all day?

12 years ago I homeschooled Mark and Johnny for 2 years.

I loved it!

They liked it 
and then I needed to go back to work so they went off to school again.

I love schooling our little children AND I think they love it too!

Mark emailed me this pic-
I think it is so funny!

Hope you enjoy it, too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Abby and Luke's Baptism!

It was a big day today!
The kids were so excited to welcome Abby and Luke into the Christian faith AND to wear the nice clothes that were sitting out for them!

It was Abby and Luke's special day!

The candidates and their Godparents!
(Johnny is a Godparent, too but he was out of town and unable to be with us.)

Looks like Sam may someday be a priest or deacon!
Oh my goodness would he ever set the congregation on fire- he has so much personality and charisma!

The baptisms were after the service!
There was 6 other families having baptisms!

How difficult it must be to always be looking up!
No wonder he likes to be carried!

It was a casual ceremony but still wonderful and perfect for our crew!

All the kids behaved well- so thankful for that!

We are so happy to have these two dear children baptized! Especially as they both are facing surgeries and procedures in the near future.

God is so good and we are so grateful to HIM!

They gathered the children around the baptismal font so the could see what was happening next!

Abby went first- no tears or fears!

Then Luke- he was a champ!

The boys- trying their best to behave!

Such sweet blessings!

The children with their baptismal candle!

Oh sweet child of God - you are so precious!

And a welcoming round of applause as the sacrament was over!

Then they both blew out their candle!

Thank you Jesus!
Wish we could have had all the big kids there but it just isn't possible any more...
(We miss you Mark, Matt and Caitlin)

After the ceremony we all went to brunch!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Books and Plays

I love reading a book to the children and then taking them to the play!

This time we went to Llama, Llama Red Pajama!

The asked if they could take pictures of the children and possibly have them on next seasons brochure!
They snapped away while we purchased tickets, found our seats and got settled!

This was the first time I took all 8 children by myself!
They did such a great job! Everyone sat still for the whole hour!
Luke was on my lap. He has a great attention span and didn't move a muscle.

Our next play is The Secret Garden- I am reading the abridged version to the children and they are loving it! We will watch the movie too and then see the play!
(Hopefully someday maybe some of the children can read the unabridged version!)

After that is Giggle Giggle Quack!

It is so much fun spending my days with these precious children!

Feelin Blessed!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday on a Wednesday Night!

It feels wonderful to... feel wonderful, again!! We (hubby and I) are not good at being sick- yuck!

To be honest I think hearing Abby's diagnosis took a lot out of me. There was so much hope that it was the wrong one- none of the Dr's believed it until the result all pointed in that direction. We are starting the chelation process(getting the iron out of her blood) on the 23rd-25th of February- we were going to start it in June but time it of the essence and everything is moved up now. She is such a sweet little girl and she seems so happy. She copies Anna a lot and well... Anna is not always the best behaved but she has adorable cornered so its all good! Abby is attempting to speak more English and trying harder to enunciate- it's good!

The Dr's have called and wanted to change some of Luke's procedure and surgery days. I was bummed BUT figured "Lord- it is in your hands, we will do as you say". Then they called back and wanted to leave it as is- thank you, Jesus!

Sam is healing wonderfully and doing well with poopy training- he still gets surprised now and then but it's not much and we are surprised with how well he is doing so early on!! Another huge- Thank You Jesus!!

The wedding plans are falling into place- WOW! I can't believe it! There are signs all over the place of God's grace! People, places, etc that were not available became available- truly amazing! Only God! We are so grateful to HIM!! I felt from the beginning of their engagement that God was saying "put your trust in me, things will happen as I have planned"! And they are! We are so thankful!

There are others in our family that extremely thankful!

The puppy dogs have never gotten so much attention!

Ahh, Ahhh, Ahhhh Choo!
I am allergic to them BUT I can't imagine not having dogs in the family!
So every time I pet them I have to wash my hands. 
They live in the mudroom and our yard (invisible fence).

Now that we have brought home some true doggy lovers they are so much happier!

They are getting tons of love and

hair combing!

I opened the door for them to go outside and they wouldn't budge!
They were much too happy getting so much attention!

The clean freak in me wants to say- out of the mudroom children but I am holding myself back and just letting everyone enjoy their time together!

Of course we do "roll brush" after the love session!

I guess I still have a few issues I need to work through ;-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We interrupt this programming...

Hubby and I have been outta commission all weekend with the stomach flu- YUCK!

Somehow we made it through and are on the mend now. Sarah was a huge help and played the Mommy role while I hid under the covers and resurfaced just to....  I'll stop there ;-)

Praying the children don't get sick, too...

Friday, February 10, 2012


It wasn't my idea BUT I liked the idea a lot!

It was Johnny's idea! 

Not mine!

Now that I have established that I can tell you what we did!

We had a back rub contest!

Johnny and I were the judges!

They went in groups of two!

First Sarah and Ava- they both were great! They tied!

Then it was Sam and Anna- they were pretty great too!

Sam let Anna know that "Me is gooder than you!"

Anna disagreed! And they battled back and forth like an old married couple!

They tied, too!

Then it was Emma and Ellie. They also did a great job!

Once again it was unanimous- a tie!

I think next we will have to have a foot rub or a shoulder rub contest next!

It's hard work being a judge!


These two have a future in the back rub business!

Sorry I didn't get more pics during the process but I was really enjoying my back rub, so I couldn't take pics!

I strongly encourage you to have a back rub contest at you house!!

It's good for the children! It's good fine motor exercise! It's good healthy competition! Just all around good good good!!
And it feels oh so good to have those cute little hands trying so hard to win!

Shameless... I know!

May I remind you... it was Johnny's idea!