Magnanimously homeschooling, worshiping, creating.......

Join us on a journey of faith, healing, learning to live with part of our hearts missing, and recovery, as our family rebuilds our lives, after our son's long battle with cancer....and his eventual rise on eagle's wings into Heaven...victory is his...he is serving the King!!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

cute little Christmas memories

I have to mention that we're not huge on Santa here. We don't usually talk about him much. If they say his name, we don't correct them when they are little. If they ask, we tell them the truth. We don't sit them down when they are two years old and tell them he doesn't exist either. We know how kids can blab to other kids. They just kinda always know, there is no special moment and they don't feel wronged or that they missed out on anything. It's not hard when they are always hearing about Christ. I think it has been good for our family that has developed a very healthy Christmas. We try to make Christmas all about the Savior and place as much meaning as we can on that. However we also have always enjoyed gifts, cookies, and especially stockings; hanging them, admiring them, filling them and digging into them on Christmas morning! So, when A wanted to make some special cookies out of our stash to leave for Santa Daddy I said 'sure'. Who am I to get in the way of creativity?? No one had ever wanted to do this before. She is the writer in the family afterall, always looking for an excuse to write. These are those moments that you jump on. I thought this was so sweet.

for santa
from 'a'
do not touch
santa ownie....

Well, here is a few memories from Christmas day. I never quite get a great one of 'everybody' as it is so hit and miss that day. None of me, dad or grandma!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Well, family and friends, this is my cyber Christmas card and I will try to get my snail photo out to some of you as soon as I can. You can check out this blog for more all year photo happenings. We are just so thankful to have our son here with us and feeling almost normal. Last year, when he was admitted to the hospital in Nov. of 08, he was very sick and we had spent our Thanksgiving there as a family, which was great to be together. We were thrilled that he could even eat food by then. I have always left many of the details out, but he was truly at death's door that visit. It was really hard. We came home and just hung out here for Christmas and did nothing but be together while he recovered. It was nice to just be a family and not be running all over. We are so thankful to God for bringing us through it.

This was Christmas 2008.

Here is 2009!! Doesn't he look great??

Here is a brief update on what we have all been up to:

Glenn: He turned the big 40 this year!! I think he is still so young and handsome looking. He was laid off for a short time, but is back at work for the sa
me company and is currently on a 3rd shift job for 4-5 weeks. He did some racing this summer and built a really cool rocket. He spends lots of time helping the kids build their rockets too, working up towards taking the kids and all the rockets to shoot them off at the big event. They had a...blast!

Tonya: I am always trying to get my home in order but this is just part of life you know. My feet are much better overall but have been a bit worse this month. I am trying not to get discouraged though. Many of you may not know that I damaged my knee late this summer. It was a doozy too. I am able to walk but it is still swollen and not completely healed. It is getting there. Other than that I am so thankful to be home and caring for my children. I work hard to keep B healthy, spend time with the kids, while really trying to sit back and crochet which has helped me to distress and heal those feet. God has blessed me greatly with this whole family and B's health.

I think the biggest news for us is that we just celebrated 18 years of marriage!!!

That is a long time and we have been through so much, growing stronger through these trials. I think we are truly stuck with each other forever. :)

Dylan: Well, so much has happened for him too. He likes to race with his dad. He is 17, a Senior and is attending the local community college as well. He has been working on high school and getting some college credit as he goes. So far he has 16 hours of college credit!! He is interested in some type of Computer Science or Engineering degree. God has really bless
ed him with a job at a small computer company. He has been paying for most of his classes so far. I will have my first graduate next spring!! Wow!

Braveheart: Just look how good he looks now!!
He is 12 now as he continues to do very well with his chemotherapy treatment. He takes one monthly chemo injection at clinic through the port in his chest, one weekly oral chemo dose and one daily oral chemo dose. He is tolerating it more all the time and is avoiding fevers and infections at this time Praise the Lord! He feels tired and ickey sometimes and his feet are getting a little stiff from the side effects too. He does PT for that daily. Mostly he is doing well though. Check above and keep track with us for his countdown to a cure!! Oh, don't forget to pray!! It truly helps.

Secret Agent: Well, this guy is now 10 and finally had his dream com
e true when he started Karate. He has a great, self discipline teaching, teacher. He was just promoted to red belt and seems to have a real gift for it. He is also enjoying being a Webelo Scout. He loves to learn about birds, exploring outdoors and studying geology.

Damsel girl: My only little girl. Can you believe she is 8 now? She loves so many things. She is still really into dolls and loves her violin lessons that she started this f
all. That blesses us so much. She has a great teacher who is very talented at what she does. She loves to learn and keeps herself very busy and helps me so well. I am glad to have a girly girl who does fun girly things with me. She is very creative. Quit growing so fast girl! I have to confess she is still quite tough and can get dirty with the rest of her brothers.

I can't believe it, but I actually got a decent family photo!!

I can't forget this important member of the family! She is a grandma again this year. Why not, she is the best grandma ever!! She is my best friend. How can I not include someone who is so special to us and who has worked her whole life around helping us get through all of the hospital stays, clinic trips, babysitting, cooking, providing needs, praying for us. She even moved in with us off and on too. I thank the Lord for her everyday as do all of us in our family. We couldn't have done it without you mom. We love you so much.

We hope that you all have a most blessed new year in 2010. We are looking forward to END OF TREATMENT for Braveheart and hope and thank you for your continued prayers for a cure.
We also thank the Lord Jesus Christ for His help and sustaining us through everything. We hope you are thankful for that baby sent from above to take away the sins of man.

John 6:40

"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

cookie cutter christmas cheer

We have had so much pre-Christmas things going on here. Things we just didn't do last year for reasons I think you all know well. Braveheart was just sooooo sick last year.

However, this year, B was ready to get moving about. So we signed up for the gingerbread house party and the Christmas program and we made our traditional home baked and frosted sugar cookies...mmmmm.
My feet are starting to wish that I had not gotten so much going thus far though I might add. :)
Here are some photos of those Dec. happenings. It has been really hard to get a good photo that turned out of D and T.

the ultimate gift

Ok, you all must see this movie!! It is full of laughs and tears and the whole family can enjoy it. I promise, that when I got this, that I had no idea whatsoever, that it involved cancer at all. It still isn't the main focus of the movie. There is a clear character building message in how a selfish, spoiled man was changed through the death of his grandfather.
Check your library, order this from Netflix if you have that like me.
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

recital and promotion

We have really been busy lately with so many different appointments and events, so I hope I am able to show them all but here is a glimpse into some achievements for a couple of the kiddos this weekend. We decided too this fall, that it was time, after much waiting, to invest some time and money into some interests that the littles have. It was especially important after all we've been through this last year and a half.

Secret Agent has been asking and waiting to start karate for forever and we finally got him started and he is loving it!! This teacher really focuses on self-control and discipline which is right up our alley.
He's a red belt, it's official!! Here he is with his teacher.

Just turn sideways here...I can't turn this video..sorry.

Damsel had a lovely first recital for family and the elderly and this extended care home. I just could not get a good head shot, however I did get a nice video! It sounds so sweet. It's the next best thing to being there. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

countdown to a cure....5 left!

Did you see the number?? Did you see that countdown up there?
148 days!!!
#5 on the countdown!!!

How can we express our excitement?? I am so thankful for another Christmas with our precious boy and our whole family united, together. Thank you Lord. We are starting to think of his end of treatment coming up in May.
Today's visit to clinic was quick, although VERY busy and we were out of there in good time. My granny went with us. She is such good company. He got his usual access to his port with blood draw and then his IV chemo drug, Vincristine. He tolerated it well. This is the drug that can constipate and cause lots of jaw pain and body aches among other things. That part is getting better for him. It also can cause foot drop. His ankles are getting a bit stiff in their range of motion. (remember he is working on PT exercises for that)
The only bad news, if you can call it that, is that B's counts are going up significantly enough to warrant an increase in his chemo drugs. Here comes the blood draws and possible yuckier feeling. Thankfully they are letting us get through Christmas first so we don't have any major upsets in the count level world. God is in control and knows what my boy needs so we will leave it there.
Love you all and thanks for keeping up with us!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I am still here...crafty things happening.

I would have been here sooner but our monitor broke!! Can you believe it? I am so dependent on my computer these days.
I have been feeling creative and very crochetish lately. I started making these fun crocheted snowflakes. Aren't they cute?
It is very relaxing as I am just very stressed this fall. I think I have post traumatic nerve exposure. This is a term I made up, where it feels a little like my nerves are on my skin and quite heightened. Sometimes I just worry about something I said or I can't sleep well. Don't worry, I am trusting the Lord. Trying to fully give it over to Him. I can't explain it and I have no real excuse. I am just so happy to be here, home with my family and for Braveheart to be feeling more normal these days.

Our library had a gourd painting day and so we went and spent the morning painting these. What fun! It felt good to create with paint and not have the mess at home right now.

I have more fun things to show you but I have to wait as some are gifts.
We are nearly ready for Christmas. Tomorrow we take B for his next monthly IV chemo. Please pray for us as we drive.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

here it comes...winter

Winter is officially here. I am so excited to post some wintery photos. The kids are happily applying all their snow paraphernalia and all the sleds are out and hills are being traversed and slippy slided down, down, down.....
there has been very much snow blowing, shoveling and hot cocoa too. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

prairie town reading adventure

Here is our new reading adventure. LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE. I know that all my kids can read this on their own but we have always read these aloud together...slowly and here we are. Obviously we've had some delays in our schedule over the last year. We love them so much. I love this little family. Already, I am loving this book just like the others. We decided to take turns reading aloud to each other with this one, fine tuning every one's read aloud skills and there will be narrating going on. We have our sketch books out for all to use as well.
Laura is a teenager now (not a term then). I am already loving how selfless the girls are regarding their sisters. Laura obtained a job in town that requires her to sit still doing tedious careful stitches for a QUARTER a day!!

Quickly, Laura multiplied in her head. That was a dollar and a half a week, a little more than 6 dollars a month. If she worked hard and pleased Mrs. White, maybe she could work all summer. She might earn fifteen dollars, maybe even twenty, to help send Mary to college.

Isn't that sweet?

Here is another sweety. Pa just asked the girls, while at the fourth of July celebration where he obtained some free fireworks that they would never have waisted money on, if they would like him to set them off now or after they eat.

Laura and Carrie were thinking the same thing. They knew it when they looked at each other and Carrie said it. "Let's save them Pa, to take home to Grace."
I know that was simple but I wasn't even expecting that thoughtful.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

christmas decorating 09

Every year I always take photos of our Christmas deco day. I don't know why, but this year was very willy, nilly. No great photos but here are some memories for us.
Damsel loves to be in charge of the Nativity.

We must hang our special airplane collection..of coarse.

This is our official ceiling airplane hanger this year.

Christmas Bear is happy to be out for the season.

Dad is stuck trying to work on these pesky know a section always wants to peter out on everyone??
What a handsome smile..I am keeping this one!! :)

I am praying you all have a low stress, Christmas season and that you remember WHO it is all about. JESUS is the reason for this precious season!!


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Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:
MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.