Our life is nothing short of an adventure...

Wind in our hair and screams of delight but also unpredictable turns and unknown outcomes. We are a family of six; Dave, Susie, Nate, Jake, Sam, and Bella.

God has been faithful in our marriage and through the birth and blessings of our boys.

God has been faithful during our adoption journey and united Bella with us in May of 2008. We were privileged to visit with Bella's birth mother; therefore, Bella's family in Guatemala will always be dear to our hearts.

On October 16, 2008, Bella was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. We are now battling the disease with 2 years and 3 months of treatment. We believe God will continue to be faithful!

Our family is committed to living life to the fullest...even on the hard days. Thank you for checking in and journeying with us!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Uh-oH!




Oh this girl....she makes me laugh. I have really been working on Bella learning words the past few weeks. Therefore, I emphasize all my words with my mouth so that she can see how to use her lips and tongue to say words. Well, that has resulted in a Bella walking around all day with her lips out like the pictures above. She looks like she is in "Uh Oh" motion all day long. I was also cleaning out the refrigerator the other day, while dumping out food in the garbage disposal, Bella decided she would climb in to the refrigerator. A great sign that she is feeling better.

It's been a rather uneventful month for Bella. She has really done well, we had quit a few "throw ups" in the car seat, but we have finally figured out a way to solve that problem by giving her anti nausea meds before we get in the car and placing a rubber bib over her as well as a towel so that I am not continuously washing her coat and car seat. These episodes are a result of the chemo. Monday is clinic day and she gets a pretty strong dose of chemo that day...believing for the best and letting God take care of the rest. February-April will be her most intense months of treatment, the good news is, after that, she begins maintenance and we go to once a month. We are seeing the light...summer should be a good time for all of us.

As for the rest of the household, we are praising God for all our blessings. I must admit, I have personally struggled with a few losses....like my CAR! Right before Christmas my 2001 Pontiac Montana died...being that it has 163,000 miles on it, we decided it was not a good idea to fix it as the cost to fix the problem is high. However, with my not working and Dave being paid in commission, we decided it was best to try and survive on one car for the time being. Not so fun when he works 25 minutes away and you have 4 kids in school, sports and hospital trips. Not too mention that his car is the "point A to point B" car and is a small Ford Taurus Station Wagon. Like fun only different and very humbling. Yet when you stand back and look at the big picture, it is only "but a time" and we are not "of this world only in this world". I am focusing on who I am in Christ and not what car I drive...some days are easier than others. I am a spiritual being living in a physical body, and that physical body would like more functional wheels that are a little more aesthetically pleasing. :)

I want to thank everyone again for all the lovely and wonderful things you have sent Bella. My heart just leeps with thanksgiving and joy every time a package comes in the mail. Nancy, we received your package and the outfit is adorable as is the bear. We also received "Broviach"(Bella's official name for her port) covers from a nurse (I am so sorry, I cant remember your name off the top of my head) in Oklahoma a few months ago...they have made caring for her port so much easier not to mention comfortable for Bella. Thank you thank you!

Lastly, I am so very excited for a dear and special friend of mine, Amy. She is officially pregnant with her second...a baby boy from Ethiopia was born in her heart this week. I am going to love every second of sharing this journey with her and her beautiful family.

Thanks for checking in on us, I know posts have been few and far between lately, I appreciate your loyalty and prayers.

God Bless! Susie

27 comments:

Vanessa said...

Susie, I'm glad to hear Bella is feeling better!! I'm keeping you all in my prayers!!

Aimee said...

She is absoluyely beautiful!! I am so glad to hear she is feeling well enough for a little mischief!

annb said...

I have been following your blog for a short time now after finding it through Michelle R. I pray for Bella and your family regularly and wanted you to know that I have given you an award. It's a blog award for blogs that show such love and trust in God and that shows through your writing.

Susie said...

She is such a sweetie! It's hard to believe that the worst part of the treatment is so close to being over. What a blessing! Ryenn does the same thing in the fridge, the dishwasher, the kitchen cabinets, etc. There's just no stopping these little wild women!

Gail said...

I thought that lip thing was a Johanna thing. Guess I had better watch how I talk to her. LOL
Bella is as cute as always. Glad she is doing well.
Gail

Courtney said...

Bella, you look like my little Stella standing in the fridge. So sorry you are getting sick in the car, that is no fun. Glad you worked it out. Praying for you guys.......xoxox Courtney

Bobbi said...

Glad she is doing well. Hope things continue to go well for her.

Mallory said...

What beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing her story. You have a beautiful family, Susie.

Cheri (prounounced Cherry...really!) said...

Loved the pictures of Bells!!! She is beautiful and I would love to give her a smoocher on those full lips. Sus, you may not know this, but you really don't have to exaggerate your mouth...with those full lips of yours, Bella can see them just fine without the special attention!ha! love.

Candy said...

So glad to see a new post from you and to know Bella is doing great...Love the pic of her IN the FRIDGE...so cute! One car would STINK...but man you have a great attitude about EVERYTHING and believe me I could learn a thing or two from you. BIG OLE HUGS

Jaimee said...

I am so glad that she's feeling better and that pic of her in the fridge is just so cute. Bella and Isabela would get along great. Isabela is always trying to climb in the fridge too!

-Jaimee

Stacy said...

So glad to hear you have had an uneventful month! We will pray for many more. I love her little lips! I have been doing the same thing with Anaya, I feel like I am teaching BAMBI how to talk "Say B-BIRRD!" So fun! Looking forward to seeing you guys!

Jack said...

Glad to hear Bella is feeling better! You know we are praying for you and your family! Glad you liked the outfit and bear!
Blessings!
Nancy

The Adoption Journey of Baby King said...

It is good to see Bella into mischief. They are so fun! I hope the rest of her treatments go well. Praying for you all.

Rhonda said...

LOVE it! Those faces are so incredibly cute!!! I'm so glad to see she is feeling better.
Blessings, Rhonda

Mary Ann said...

Susie, She is tooo cute! I am glad to hear she has been feeling a little better! I do pray for this sweet child!

Barb said...

What a cute little monkey...she has the lips now and the climbing technique :) Hugs!!

Sara said...

I enjoy your blog and am glad Bella is feeling better.

Colbert Family said...

I found your blog through the Riggs family blog. I have spent some time looking back and getting caught up on your journey. We too have a little girl with leukemia (ALL). Her name is Abbey and she is three years old. She was diagnosed on Oct. 2nd, 2008 so we are just about at the same spot as you in treatment. I will pray for your little Bella. She is beautiful and your family seems amazing. We too serve our amazing God and know that this is A.L.L. in His hands. We too have a blog that is journaling our journey through this disease....
www.colbert-family.blogspot.com
In Christ, Shelley

Colbert Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex and Sam said...

susie,
glad to see that Bella is feeling better & getting into things.. uneventful is a good thing!! praying as always

alex

Donna said...

Just wanted to let you know that we're praying for Bella and for her continued healing. Your family is just so beautiful inside and out!

The Burk Family said...

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love. And know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge; that ye might be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS of God. Now unto HIM that is able to do EXCEEDINGLY abundantly ABOVE ALL that we think or ask, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be Glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end Amen."
Ephesians 3:14,16,17,19-21

Therefore, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for HE IS FAITHFUL that promised) Hebrews 10:23

Continue to stand firm on the promises of God for HE is ALWAYS faithful. We will be standing firm with you as we bring fervant prayers before the throne of God for Bella's complete healing!

I see that Bella likes to get into mischief as well. I have said it once and I'll say it again. God puts a special spark or fight if you will, in those who He knows will need it later for survival, but rest assured that fight doesn't go away once they're better. (Trust me) As a matter of fact I think it only gets stronger with age. Our Serenity also has quite the little personality. :) She definitely keeps Mommy on her toes. But We praise our Heavenly Father every day for her God given fight!

By the way, Bella is absolutely beautiful!


Love in Christ,
Dana Burk

One Busy Momma said...

AWww..tooo cute with Bella in the fridge!!!!!!

Glad that she is handling the chemo...and that you are seeing the light.

nancy H said...

She is the cutest. Love MOMXO

Hannah's Mom said...

Cute, cute pictures of little Miss Bella. We'll be in clinic tomorrow (Monday) ... we'll look for you!
Love, from the DeHaan's

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

She's such a beautiful little girl. We'll keep her in our prayers here in S. Texas.