Sunday, June 27, 2010

California Time

Dane at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
Looking down into the tar that they are excavating for bones.

Dane at Disneyland at 7am after walking a mile from our hotel.
On Tom Sawyer's island with a ball of bones.
The charactors of Jessie and Woody from Toy Story.
We ran into Pocohantas.
Had to have a carousel ride.
We met Mickey Mouse in his house.
The fountain in Toon Town.
At Santa Monica Beach. The water was freezing but Dane body surfed for over an hour.
Santa Monica Pier
Dane at the park next to the pier inside the dragons mouth. There was mist coming out of his nostrils and eyes that ligh up at dark.
Shay sunburned and beat up after Scout Camp. HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY!
We served breakfast in bed for Shay the day after his birthday because he was still at scout camp on his birthday. He completed almost 6 merit badges. Good work Shay!
Devree had an awesome time at Especially for Youth or EFY for short. She said there were so many fabulous teachers that she could really feel the spirit and she met a lot of wonderful people from lots of places. She was a little sad that the harsh reality was the boys paid attention to the "pretty" girls. That is something that Todd and I have worried about every since she got sick. We are truly blessed that Devree has recovered so well but we are hoping that some day, some boy, will want more than the outward package. We are keeping the faith.
Thank you Kalene for cutting my hair beautiful. Thank you Mom and Dad for letting us stay with you and feeding us so well. I really appreciate that I could can so many wonderful fruits at your home. I love you both and look forward to seeing you again in a couple of weeks.
One more picture of the 13th year-old birthday boy! I love you Shay and am so happy with the great young man you are becoming.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wet Nose Wednesday

Kalene turned 2 today so we had her birthday party last night and she got a bubble wand and bubbles from Devs and I.
Aunt Celest gave Kalene a "singing" Ariel card and Kyree thought it was as awesome as Kalene did and she opened it and closed it many times.

The BEST present was from Aunt Celest was a Disney Princess Tea Party set amidst squeels of delight from Kyree. Aunt Celest brought down the kitchen set and the tea party came out and they played and played. Jackson became the "butler".

We celebrated Devree's and Talon's birthdays too since they are in the first part of July. Devree got a ball and jacks to work on her Occupational Therapy.
Aunt Celest gave a "Girls just want to have fun" singing card and Itunes card.
Breck worked hard at the BBQ all night and he made his ice cream cake. You take a tub of ice cream and plop it upside down, then you put "magic shell" over it. Celest had bought the numbers 2 for Kalene, 14 for Talon and 16 for Devree. It was a cake that had to be devoured quickly because of the heat.
Kalene blowing out her #2 candle.
I forgot to get a picture of Brenda and Abby. Brenda is our good friend that has been so charitable and let's us borrow cars while we are here. She brought a special friend named Abby. Abby is a laurel in her ward that had medulloblastoma when she was 9. She is one year older than Devree and Devree told me "It was so great to talk to another person that went through all of the stuff I did and now she is doing really wonderful. Abby has hearing loss and was in leg braces like Devree and now Abby does not have any braces. On a sad note though, she has hair like Devree and it was confirmed 2 times while we were here, that Devree will not grow any more hair.
There is a radio station that is set on the car that we borrow from Ethel while here in Memphis. The station takes an animal shelter adoption on Wednesdays and that is what they call it "Wet nose Wednesday". We have nothing but wonderful news to share and have been having a wonderful time with the cousins! Devree's 2 MRI's came back clean and free of cancer for her brain and spine. Her lumbar puncture also came back clean. Today Devree has been to physical therapy and they are adjusting her braces so they don't hurt her so much but she still needs to talk to the physical therapist about when she hopefully will get rid of her braces.
We are thankful again for the many blessings the Lord has blest us with and are so thankful for ST. JUDES! The hospital just got #1 in the U. S. News and World Report as the number one hospital for Children's cancer.

We have an appointment for Occupational therapy that will probably be put off for to a yearly asessment because she has great dexterity with her fingers now. The speech and hearing have been put to yearly asessments also. That considerably gets rid of appointments when we come for check ups. We may get out of here in 2 days appointments instead of 3 days from now on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15th and the month is half over!

Celest and Kallie are in the back and Kalene Marie, Kacey and her little girl in her tummy, Kyree and Ben.
Kyree, Kallie holding Kalene in front of the camara chili at Chili's Care Center.

We went to "The Commissary" which is the original restaurant that has been around forever with traditional Memphis BBQ. Oh it was so good. I love their motto on their take home cups "So good yull slap yo mama".
So amidst the tests, the doctors etc. we have been having fun with the cousins! Kalene Marie is such a fire cracker, but so sweet and Kyree is such a little doll! They loved coming to the hospital and getting the grand tour. The little girls loved the fish tanks and the toys and then we ate at the hospital cafeteria. We have been having so much fun catching up with Kacey and Ben. Ben will be done with school. He will graduate in Dentistry next June! We hope to convince them to move to our neck of the country.
We got a little bad news yesterday. Devree's hormones have not been kicking in with a little concern about her thyroid. She was prescribed a birth control patch to help jump start her hormones. Tayzia said "Wow Devree gets everything! She got a tatoo (for radiation), she took marijuana (appetite stimulant) and now she gets birth control! It reminds me of Shay that was complaining about how Devree gets everything and Noble quietly whispered to him "including cancer". The endocrinologist reminded Devree again that she won't be able to have children. Devree had to have a little cry and hates going to that appointment. I told her "MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! Look at Jen." Jen is our very good friend that had the final stage of breast cancer and has recovered and is expecting in July. The doctors gave her single digit percentage in chance of getting pregnant and after several years she is having a baby.
We did get good news that the spine is clean and free of cancer and we are waiting to hear about the brain scans. Then off to the lumbar puncture. We made sure to ask to get Devree's IV out so we can go swimming afterward.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Moisty Memphis

Shay and Dane playing at the fountains in Sparks. We had a fun day on Saturday. After helping someone move and other service during our first week off of school, we did do some fun things like go swimming with friends on Thursday. We were planning to go to Lake Tahoe, but it has been way too cold. Devree and Noble went to youth conference on Friday and Todd left to go to Wood Badge. Shay, Dane and I went to can some food storage and then we had fun. We haven't been to Sparks Marina in quite a few years that Shay and Dane didn't remember it. I made a promise to go more often.

Devree and her first appointment. She was taking off her shoes and braces. She has gained more weight and has grown too. She is now 108 lbs!
Our flight was really great and fast but then attaching on the 2 hour drive was long. It was so wonderful to see that Celest, Tayzia, Talon and Kallie came to pick us up in Little Rock. When we opened the doors of the airport that hot, moist air hit us and WHOO we knew we were back. I feel like I am breathing underwater and the "steam" makes my skin feel better. Even walking out of the door at 7am and the heat just hits you. On the way here the radio said it is 97 with a heat index of 109!
We had so much fun seeing Ben, Kacey, Kyree and little Kalenie. I have to take pictures of them. Breck made us a lovely dinner and Jackson seemed happy to see us too! We have made plans for the rest of the time we are here and it is just going to be party- party! Even playing "Apples to Apples" last night was hilarious! Jackson would just pick cards randomly, because he isn't even in Kindergarten yet and doesn't read and usually his card would get picked! Ben was hilarious too. We reminisced about when Kacey brought him to Grandma's house to introduce Ben to everyone. It has been 6 years.
We are also excited to realize the plan we made last summer about all of the cousins going to EFY. That will be a reality next Monday. Carson, Tayzia, Talon, Teara, Meagan, Spencer and Devree will all go to the "Especially for Youth" in Santa Barbara.
Today Devree is having her MRI of the spine and tomorrow is the brain MRI and lumbar puncture. We will keep you posted.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Memorial Day,Fun in the Sun, and Graduation

Shay on our very mini hike on Memorial Day.
Under the bridge on Memorial Day.
Todd and Noble on our hike.
Devree discovered she is not as agile on her feet as she wishes. But she still has a smile on her face.
We shot off water rockets after our hike. The boys tried to catch the 2 liter bottles after they were shot into the air.
Dane on his "Fun in the Sun" day at school. They had cupcake decorating and eating of course.
They had a few big bounce houses too.
Zac and the kids after Shay and Zac played at 8th grade promotion.
Dane had to be pulled out of a play off game to go to Noble's graduation. It was getting cold, windy and too long. Dane fell asleep on Todd's lap trying to stay warm.
Oh he was just faking! Can you tell?
Noble wouldn't turn around as he was getting his diploma.
Here he is afterward.
The happy seniors. The boys wear maroon and the girls silver. Too bad I can't hand-me-down the maroon for Devree.
At the grad party. I got these cool flags for each of the 6 boys and had their names embroidered on them. Noble was able to have a combined party with 5 of his buddies. It was a very wonderful party/BBQ at Dayton State Park.
Aaron VanSickle, the Valedictorian ? and Ray King hugging his Mom.
Jay VanSickle (Aaron's dad) and Paul Boga (Manny's Dad) were the cooks of the day. Everything was delicious.
Kyle Matsko's grandmother made each of the boys a box for their cards that people brought.
A closer look at the flags. Noble got to be the Nobel Peace Prize winner with his name spelled wrong. Oh well it was a good joke.
We couldn't have asked for a prettier day. Here is Roland Erickson and Koa.
Nica Scott, one of Devree's good buddies. Devree was the photographer for the day.
Obarr's came.
Olson's, Wheelers, Matthews, Hughes, Larkins and Clarks came too!
Here are the 6 graduates under their flags. Ray King, Kyle Matsko, Noble, Manny Boga, Jason Joyner ( Salutatorian) and Aaron VanSickle. Ray was the Pole Vaulter and the rest were band geeks. They even got Kyle to be a band geek for one year.
We had to celebrate Father's Day early because Todd will be gone to Wood Badge and then Devree and I go to St. Judes. Then we come back to take Shay and Dane to California for EFY and Scout camp.
This summer is already getting busy but at least school is OUT! Yea! Noble is graduated and now he needs to get enough jobs for about 50 hours a week to earn for his mission. I really liked how at graduation, they were given 2 wooden tokens that said "You are my Hero" and the seniors gave them out during graduation. Noble gave them to Todd and I.
I hope that you are a hero to someone and if not, think of those that are heros to you.