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, February 27, 2009

We talk in summer, now lets meet on the slopes!

We re on our way Up North for a ski day with our boys and friends. Bella will be staying with my Mom for the day. Just wanted to touch base and let you know all is well. Bella had chemo again yesterday....she is really shaky, so they put her back on the Narontin which helps with her nervous system. She now has 7 days off of steroids, and believe it or not, has a small appetite. Her belly is really bloated again, she looks so funny walking around...she looks like a tiny pregnant person. Other than these very small circumstances, she is doing GREAT! We go back for week 3 of chemo next Thursday. Truly I tell you, the Doctors are absolutely amazed at how well she has handled the last rounds of chemo. They keep preparing us for hte worst, we listen and continue to respond with God's promises over her. Fortunately, our Doctors are in agreement with us. I am still putting a skiiny pig tail on top of her head...who knows, she may never totally lose it. That would be so like God to spare me from that hurt, but its only an earthly set back, its not eternal.

My first born, Natey, turned 14 today....can somone please explain to my heart that its time to let him grow up. Oh my heart, I love this boy so very much. I will never ever forget his quick delivery in to this world. He came out with a perfect head, perfect face, and eye's wide open...ready to take on the world. He's been that way ever since. He has been performing for us since in the womb and he never stops. He brings us so much joy, he is a wonderful son, a helpful and kind big brother and a ver doting and loving big brother to his sister. Heavenly Father, I know he's "on lone" to us from you...just want to thank you for trusting your spirit in him with us. We took Nate and our fam to dinner at the Melting Pot tonight for a special celebration. The boys loved it, and Bella enjoyed walking around the restaurant to hear everyone say "awwwwe, she is so cute"!

I am on my lap top, pics are on my desk top down stairs. so you will have to wait for pics till Sunday and they will be from our ski trip day.

Thanks friends for checking, I like to post more often as I know you are checking in and I want you to see someting, but most days, I just run out of time to gather my thoughts together to type.

I am working on this issue as I love to blog.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quick Update

I apologize for not updating sooner. I truly appreciate all of my faithful bloggers and your comments means so much to me. Life has been a bit busy, but fortunately, its been a GREAT 7 weeks with Bella. All glory to God.

Bella started Delayed Intensification yesterday, this is phase 4 of 6. This next 60 days is a repeat of the first two months with a couple additional chemo's. Bella is also on Steroids again, however, they are 7 days on 7 days off, rather than a full 30 days. So far, she is doing really good, she's just really tired and does not have a big appetite. The doctors say she will lose her hair this round...we shall see, they said that the first 2 months and she still has a decent head of hair. They also say her counts will drop again thus making her prone to infection and illness...so we will be housebound again in a couple weeks. Monday she receives another bone marrow aspiration, I don't even know what number this is now, she has had so many I have lost track. We are so thankful to be at one of the top notch hospitals in the country for Hematology and Oncology, Bella has always been sedated for these procedures, she does not even know what happens. It's always a little entertaining to me as she does not like being knocked out and tries to fight it. Her eye's get really big and she gives me this angry look, I count to 5 and she's always out by 6. She is always miss happy lovey girl when she wakes up.

On a side note, I just completed week 3 of training for a 5k I am doing in May with my cousins and sister-in-law. This is huge for me as I have disliked running very much in the past...I am group exercise all the way. It's getting easier, I am actually starting to believe that I will be able to accomplish 3 miles without stopping to walk. A week ago, I just couldn't even imagine it, but I knew that "all things are possible with God".

I leave you this evening with a recent video of Bella playing Jake's drums last week. She was so pleased with herself and made sure to hit every drum and symbol.

God bless you all, I pray you hear God's whisper as to you how much we appreciate you, we treasure all of you.





video

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Family Pictures















"So now faith, hope and love abide; but the greatest of these is love."
1 COR 13:13

My friend Jen took these photos for us about 6 weeks after Bella began treatment. I wanted to have photos taken before she lost her hair, the unfortunate thing is that she was on steroids which not only alters her look but also her personality. These pics definitely captured that time, but more importantly, they captured the love we have for each other and Bella as well as the adoration the boys have for their little sister. I praise God daily for giving me my hearts desire in my husband and children.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's Quiet







Well, the boys left yesterday afternoon for Colorado and have already called us today talking about their first ski day. They are having a great time and make wonderful memories. It has left Dave and I wondering what to do with all the quiet. Believe it or not, we feel like we have a bunch of time on her hands. Since the weather has been sunny and in the 40's, we started Spring Cleaning. In the last 2 days, we have managed to clean out the garage, the boys media and music room, and their 2 bedrooms! Purging feels so good and is great therapy.

Bella continues to do great. To be perfectly honest, the last 7 weeks have been so good that its easy to forget most days that Bella is a chemo patient. She still has a descent head of hair, (it has thinned out a lot, but no bald spots), she's eating and drinking great, walking and talking non-stop, playful, happy and just all around fun. Dave and I were watching her walk around outside on the driveway and the last time we remember watching her so happy and strong was the end of September 08'. We are treasuring these moments and absolutely giving God all the glory! He is faithful to His Word and we continue to speak it over her on a daily basis.

We got out the "potty" last week, just for Bella to become familiar with, she is in no way ready for potty training. She still pee's immediately when taking her diaper off and doesn't think anything of it. Friday afternoon I was working on my lap and I heard her calmly saying "stuck"..."stuuuuuck". When I turned around, this is what I found. Sweet girl, she makes us laugh all the time.




Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Comic Relief!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83JDXXKzOXg

Trust me, this is worth watching. It is the best medicine of the day. I could not figure out how to post the youtube box on my blog, but this is the direct link. Make sure you watch it all the way through.

Enjoy!



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

EXCITED!



Introducing "Slash"

"What you talking about Willis?" Thanks MaryAnn for the perfect quote!
This is Bella and my friend Sue.


Brothers, I wish I could say this was a "loving moment', but NO, it was Nate teasing Jake.


Jake


Nate


The Beaver Creek Skiers...ready or not, here they come.

Do you think they are EXCITED! My Dad took the boys tonight to "get some gear", new ski helmets, snow pants, goggles, gloves and hand warmers. They are good to go! They came right home and put everything on and ran around the house in them for a half hour. It's been 4 years since Dave and I have skii'd, as far as we are concerned, Beaver Creek is the closest experience we have had to the "physical" side of heaven. You just cant help but feel closer to heaven when you are on top of the world and flying down at a breath taking speed. There is just no better feeling than skiing. So excited for the boys, just hope my Dad's prepared for them wanting to go with him every year. Ha!

Once again, no side effects for Ms. Bella, she had a great day. Spent some time with my buddy Sue (and oh can she cook!), and tonight, Bella posed as "Slash" (Guns n Roses Guitar Player). Never a dull moment in this house.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oodles of Noodles


Uh Oh! Dad caught me!


Interesting use of noodles, they make for nice finger nails.


It's so much fun to put these in Mom's boots



So our Bella girl has a fetish with noodles, particularly, Rigatoni noodles. Tonight we caught her in the pantry again....she is just so darn cute.

Tomorrow marks the last day of the third phase of chemo. Here's the part I love, they did not anticipate they would be able to give her this last dose....most kids do not get it because they have not tolerated the other 4 doses! Oh I just love how big our God is. There is nothing more powerful than His spoken word. So after tomorrow, we get a week off of chemo and then we go in to the last phase of chemo before maintenance. Were have almost 4 months in and only 1 yr and 11 months to go to completion. We are praying and believing God for a big celebration trip when this journey is completed. Maybe a Disney Cruise?

The boys are off to Beaver Creek Colorado with my Dad and two of my brothers this Saturday. They are overly excited and as happy as Dave and I are for them, our hearts are a little sad. This will be Sammy's first time on an airplane and the first time skiing and we will miss it. We have had so many wonderful firsts with our children, so I am thrilled for my Dad who gives so very much to all of us to have these firsts with one of his grandsons. I am also thrilled for my boys to get this one on one time with my Dad. When I was a child and even today, I was willing to go any where with my Dad, even if it was just the gas station for what us midwesterners call a "pop". There is nothing better than special time with a grandparent...and to add a major bonus, they get two of my brothers whom they adore. I'd say they are three blessed little boys and I cant wait to hear all their wonderful stories. One things I can promise them, there will be many laughs. My brother Tom is always asking at the end of the ski day "who wants to smell my neck warmer"? For those of you that dont know what that is, its a scarf that goes up over your mouth to keep your face warm. It tends to collect just a little saliva by the end of the ski day. I was never inline for that adventure.

Leaving you with a scripture verse that I cant get out of my head today "Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you". Matt 7:7 How has God used this scripture to expand and change your life? If you haven't thought about it, I challenge you to mediatate on it for awhile and see what answers the Holy Spirit gives you.

Blessings to All!