Friday, October 17, 2008

Mom's Cancer Journey

Just wanted to give an update on how my mom is doing. After having two weeks off of chemo ( which she said she felt better than she's felt in a long time), she had another treatment yesterday. Bless her heart, her treatment lasted 6 hours. Her strength never ceases to amaze me! She met with her doctor and got a great report. The last scans she had done showed that all the cancer cells were dead! PTL! She will have more scans done in the next few weeks.

She's come down with a cold and in addition to the side effects of the chemo is not feeling well. Continue to keep her in your prayers. Pray for her doctors, Dr. Fox and Dr. Stone. They are amazing.

Well, I'm off to the airport! Until next time, enjoy the rest of your Friday!

All good things must come to an end

Just wanted to give the highlights of my trip home

Friday-Sunday: had a fun time in Atlanta with Wes, Shannon, Cait, Gracie and Daniel as we celebrated the girls 3rd birthday

Monday- chilled out at my mom's and went to the Loop for dinner with my dad and his wife, Jan

Tuesday- spent the day with my dad after a wonderful summer salad at Crispers, spent the evening with Aunt Maggie, Uncle Walt, Angie, Kaylee, Connor and Christian; Aunt Maggie fixed a wonderful dinner for us

Wednesday/Thursday- baked all day for my aunt and uncle's 40th wedding anniversary part; made peanut butter balls, pecan balls, spinach wraps, lemon bars and bacon wrapped hors de vors.

Friday- chilled out and left for Nashville.

It was a nice break to be able to sleep in.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's Been A While

No, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth!! We are alive and well. Busy, to say the least. Where do I start?

May: I completed a long term interim in a Nashville school teaching 3rd grade ELL (students whose first language was not English). No, I am by no means bi-lingual, the students new English very well, but were just a little behind academically. It was a teacher's dream. I only had 12 students. They were wonderful. Of the 12 students, there were 7 nationalities represented.

At the end of May, my dad came up for several days. He puts "Tim, the tool man Taylor" (aka Time Allen of Home Improvements) to shame. He helped us hang blinds and built a shelf to go above our washer and dryer.

June: We had a great VBS at church, and had a wonderful family vacation in the mountains.

July: Had a wonderful 4th of July with friends and church, and even won a free night's stay at Union Station (a train station renovated into a hotel). I had a promising interview for a 3rd grade teaching position at a great school.

August: I was hired as a 3rd grade teacher at WA Wright Elementary. The story behind me getting this job was truly orchestrated by God. I had already completed applications with the schoolboard and had personally given my resume to several principals. One particular day I went by WA Wright and a 3rd grade teacher I feel very blessed to be teaching here. After teaching in 3 other states, I can honestly say that I am in one of the BEST situations I've ever been in! I have a great group of kids, wonderful parents, work with great teachers, and have THE BEST principal and assistant principal. We even pray together as a faculty. I look forward to going to work everyday. There have been years when I couldn't say that. God is so good!

September: Our church launched a new campus. Our church is really growing and it's exciting to see how God is expanding it's influence. Chad worked so hard recruiting workers for 3 different Sunday schools.

October: I am on Fall Break. I love the schedule of the Wilson County School System. We're in school for 9 weeks then off for 2 weeks. We have 2 weeks off at Christmas and in the spring. To top it all off, we have several weeks off during the summer. It's a great schedule to be on.

My visit to Atlanta and Jacksonville is now coming to an end. After teaching 3 days of intersession, I flew to Jacksonville last Thursday night to see family and friends. Mom and I drove to Atlanta early Friday morning to visit my brother and his family. My twin nieces Cait and Gracie turned 2, so we were so excited about being at their party. I have never seen children so excited about a party like they were.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mom's 2nd chemo

This morning, my mom went for her 2nd chemo treatment. Her doctor adjusted her treatment schedule because of the side effects she had the last time. Read the posted titled "Wonderful News" for the details of the 1st treatment. Today, after running some errands, I was able to sit with my mom for the last part of her treatment. I enjoyed spending that time with her. The nurses there take good care of her while she is there. From start to finish, her treatments last about 4 hours. Please continue to pray for her. The first 2 days after treatments are fine. It's usually the 3rd day when she starts to feel yucky.

Here's how you can pray:

Pray that the side effects this time would be minimal and not last very long.
Pray that she would not have trouble sleeping.
Pray that her red/white blood cell counts would remain high.

She had a great time on vacation. No one would have ever guessed that she was on chemo by the schedule she kept on vacation. She didn't miss out on a single thing!! PTL! She even spent about 6 hours in the heat at Dollywood and several times carried Cait or Gracie or pushed a stroller.

After her treatment, we returned her rental car, went to Target, had dinner and went to Lowe's where she bought a new dishwasher.

When we got home, I washed laundry and here I am now, posting a new entry.

I think I'll go for now and play solitaire.

All good things must come to an end- Day 6

It's always fun looking forward to an upcoming vacation. Getting away from the hum drum of everyday life is so rewarding. Spending time with family and friends in a new setting helps to make special memories. All that said, getting back to the reality of everyday life is inevitable. With our vacation coming to an end, we packed up Wednesday night and loaded the car for the trip home. To wrap the week up, mom, Chad and I, Wes, Shannon, Cait, Gracie and Daniel went to the Apple Barn for breakfast. It was so good. Not only was the food delicious, but the apple julep was wonderful. I'm gonna have to make some. After breakfast we said our good-byes and headed home. I went back with my mom so I could be with her for her next chemo treatment on Friday.

A Hayride and Picnic- Day 5

Chad was definitely in his element Wednesday night. At 6:00 all 25 of us piled onto a flatbed for a hayride through Cade's Cove. For those of you who don't know what Cade's Cove is, it's a HUGE nature preserve with deer, bears and other wildlife. That night, we saw close to 20 deer, some horses and wild turkeys. All of the children loved being out in the "forest". Gracie was convinced we were going to see a goat. She loves goats! According to Cait, every deer we saw was a mama deer. One highlight from the trip was what Gracie said when we saw 4 deer together. We were all trying to point out the deer and Gracie stood up and said, "Look, it's the sun!" Isn't neat how excited little children get about the small things in life?

After the hayride, we took a group photo and headed to the picnic area for dinner only to find it was already closed. Being the creative group that we are, we found picnic tables outside the park along the road. It was a perfect place to stop. Our dinner consisted of, fried chicken, sandwiches, fruit, apple fritters, chips and everything else that had not been eaten during the week. To top it all off, for dessert we had no bake cookies and butterscotch nutty noodles (chow mien noodles with peanuts and melted butterscotch chips). They were awesome! Chad is an incredible cook and made them for the trip.

The scene after dinner was priceless. Picture 8 children running in an empty field catching fireflies. To top it off, the ring leader of the whole thing was none other than my husband, Chad. He had them "flying" through the field waving their hands as if they were airplanes. That memory alone made the vacation special.

Did we have a fun day? Yes, even if our picnic plans were not quite like we expected. It's times when things don't go as planned that memories are made!!

Splash Country- Day 5

After another princess slumber party, we packed up the clan once again and headed to Dolly Parton's water park called Splash Country. Once again, we headed toward the kiddie part. It's amazing how kids can change your whole perspective on going to a theme park. It didn't matter to me what we did as long as all the kiddos were happy. Watching them get excited was a treat for me. Boy was the water cold. The excitement started with a ride down a slide. At one point, I thought I was going to flip over. Not good I thought! The girls loved it so much they wanted to ride the green one, as they said. Afterwards, I watched Daniel so Wes and Shannon could take the girls down the lazy river. He was such a trooper. For those of you who are worried, we covered him with sunscreen and kept him in the shade with a hat on his head. When they got back, they were ready for lunch. Can I just tell you that the price you pay for food at a park like this is a rip off. After some more fun, we headed back to the cabin to re-fuel for our hayride and picnic at Cade's Cove.

When we got back, Shannon and I went for a walk. It was nice spending time with her catching up. Let me tell you, no amount of training could have prepared us for the hike we had. I promise the incline on the road had to be at least 60 degrees. For that reason, we walked a shorter distance. The tough workout was worth it. The view at the top of the road was breath-taking. God's creation is so beautiful. I felt the effects of the steep walk for days. I guess that means I got a workout.