Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

.3 years old.

get yourself ready, because this is a long post. complete with loads of pictures too!


a little over one month ago, my sweet Jack turned 3. I think I have said this many times over the past year, but one year ago, seems like a very long time ago. Three years ago, well that seems like another lifetime. I know that we are a completely different family than we were when we were waiting for this precious gift to arrive.

My easiest pregnancy and delivery, and my most chill baby too. So much like his daddy, in his disposition, to the shape of his eyes, the way he takes things in stride. This time one year ago, he was hardly talking, why talk when Tyler would do such a good job of it for you?! But now, the funny things he says! He was born the day after Thanksgiving, and what thanksgiving we give to the Lord for the precious gift of his sweet life.

How can a mother find words to clearly express the impact her child has had on her, even a child of only 3 years. From the beginning, when he was born, the transition from one child to two, proved to be tiring, hard work, and hard on some days. I knew being a mother was not an easy job, yet there where days when I just could not muster the strength. There were so many moments when I wanted a clean house, more than I wanted to snuggle and savor. Now, three years later, I call myself a fool for moving too quickly past these moments. How kind of the Lord to use a wee babe to show me just how weak a vessel I truly am, and how utterly dependant I must be on him. This lesson continues on.

My sweet Jack, has taught me to slow down, to take my time, to give my affection more freely- when it is not just convenient- but all of the time, to never be too busy to snuggle or talk, he has taught me to be patient and he has taught me what long-suffering looks like. He has suffered, and we have watched him suffer, trying our best to ease his discomfort, pain, and overall frustration with circumstances. And yet, through it all, he always always comes to the end with more joy than I thought humanly possible. I do not think Jack knows how to feel sorry for himself. A lesson I am learning from him, and I am sure will continue to learn from him.

"The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life--the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it's hard to remember it all the time."-- C.C Lewis

This boy loves life, he is full of so much effervescent joy and energy. For a little 3 year old, that only sleeps between 6-8 hours a night, he is amazing. He has been through one of the hardest trials the human body can face, yet his life is not ruled by it. He is still Jack. Not a sick little boy, even when he was in fact sick and was not feeling good. He is just a little boy.

Oh the list of things that I love about this boy is a long one. Even as sit here thinking of them, my eyes are filling with tears. I remember thinking, when I was pregnant with him, how could I possibly love a baby as much as I loved Tyler. The idea of loving another child as much as the first was beyond my comprehension. My heart doubled in size the first moment I held you. What a silly thought to have, I think now.... yet as a first time mom about to have her second, it was a very real one. Now, three little boys later, I am amazed how the Lord fills us with new and unique love for each little life we have the joy to care for.

How could I have known, of all that your life would bring to my own? I could not have planned these circumstances for us, likely I would never have even dreamed or chosen to have a son battle with cancer. Yet here we are. As much as I hate to see you suffer, have not liked the tears shed, the hours of sleep lost, the pain suffered... God has been made bigger in all of our lives because of it. He is all we can cling to, and what a steadfast rock he is. Your life has helped me to see these things so much more clearly, and, to my sweet three year old baby, your mommy thanks you.

My sweet Jack, oh I love you my baby boy.
i love the way you rub your tag on your blankie when you are falling asleep
i love the way you smell, your breath, your head, your neck... you just smell so good to me
i love the way you play with my hair when I am holding you
i love that you want me to rock you and sing to you every night (although my arms don't always love it)
i love that you want to be like Tyler in every way, trying to do what he does and imitating him in your own little way
i love the way you skip and hop, so delicate on your feet
the love how hard you give hugs, like you want to tell me just how much you love me in that hug
i love the way you are so simple, content to play with Mater and McQueen all by yourself
I love the way you like to surprise me
i love that you always want to hold my hand
i love our special times at the hospital or clinic, just you and me
i love your joy for life, your bottomless energy
i love how much you adore your daddy.
i love that you love our family
i love the way you say thank you to the nurses and doctors every time you see them
i love the way you are so brave and tough. it has served you well my son
i love being your mommy, the greatest honor in my life.

a few pictures from the past 3 years

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We live, I promise.


No, the move didn't kill me... I am still here, alive and well! Actually, living a pretty blessed life. The move however, has changed how I am living life these days, and have little to no time to sit at the computer and blog! But here I am, sitting down... ignoring the laundry for a few minutes, the dishes in the sink, and the crumbs on the floor... I think an update is way over due!

To recap the past month, well would be a very long post. I am not sure the poor readers of this neglected blog would enjoy all of that! So I will do my best to be brief:

- We moved to VA October 9, and were thrilled to be here. We had tons of help, and are pretty much settled already into the house. Boxes are the enemy! So our goal in the first few weeks was to empty as many as possible! We generally, sit in the various rooms and marvel at the gift this home has already and continues to be to us.

- The first night the kids came home, Sunday, Jack spiked a fever and Jordan spent 6 hours with him in the ER downtown. They got home some time around 3 am. We were surprised they sent him home, but then they called back Monday at 10:30 pm to tell us his blood did have an infection... again surprised they did not have us come in. The next day, we got a call from our primary nurse, who was extremely stressed that he was not in the hospital getting antibiotics. So, Jack was then admitted and spent the rest of the week in the hospital. What a first week in our new home!

- While at the hospital, his tube in his chest broke, it had gotten pulled on and twisted so much, it just fell to pieces. I went to change his diaper, only to find his chest and diaper covered in blood. This was not what I had hoped to see. I picked him up in my arms, ran into the hall to get help, and tried to calm him down. The nurses and Dr.'s came flooding in, the tube was clamped and we all recovered. I think Jack has an adrenalin rush, because after all that, he was super hyper. Because his tube broke, he had to get an IV in his arm, which sadly took several times, and left Jordan with blood on his pants, and Jack quite miserable. They were able to fix his tube without surgery, and they came home on Saturday.

- Since we have all been home, we have had unpacking, adjusting, time changes, and new daily chemo routines to adjust to. The boys had a rough time at first. Moving out of Jordan's parents home, that is filled with many memories, people, and distractions; to just mommy with them all day and everything being new, provided quite an upheaval for them. Then add the week of Jack's hospital stay, it is not too surprising that we are just now getting things settled here.


- Jordan and I LOVE living in Virgina. Seriously, i love it here. Our home is conveniently located near pretty much all my favorite stores, only 35 min from the hospital for Jack, and minutes from most friends and people in the church. We love our neighborhood. Today, I took the kids on two walks around the area, to a playground and just on some paths. We live real close to 4 Mile Run, a paved path that is 4 miles long, and is lined with trees and parks. We are loving being only 10 minutes from church, and loving living in community with the people at Redeemer Church of Arlington.

- Dylan took 4 steps to me today. He is my most active child, and is just crazy sometimes. We just got him (as of today) to start going down the steps backwards instead of head first, which was his preferred method. He is a joy, but boy is he active. Hard to believe he will be 1 in two weeks!

- Tomorrow, Jack goes in at 6 am to get his port placed in and his broviac tube removed, at long last! It is looking like it will be a long day, starting at 5:30 am, and who knows when it will end.. hopefully by naps. Jordan will be with him at the hospital. We are praying the procedure go well, without problems, that Jack recover well, and that this be an improvement to life for him in general.

So that is life in a nutshell. I have many many many pictures to post, who knows if I will get to them! I will try.

.We're Moving.

God certainly loves to surprise and delight us, doesn't he? We have been waiting on Him for a while now, hoping our insurance situation would somehow get worked out so that we could start to look for a home to rent in Arlington. Looking back on the last time we were going to try to get a house and the Lord shut that door, we are just filled with gratefulness that is was not our will, but God's will that was accomplished for us. What a mess it would have been to try to move down to Arlington a month or two ago!

This past Tuesday, Jordan was talking with our insurance company, and trying to figure some things out with them, when we found out that in fact, our carrier provides insurance coverage to the region of Northern VA in addition to Maryland! This came as quite a shock to both of us, and we were delighted to discover that we could indeed start the house hunt up again!

The beginnings of the hunt were not showing to be too exciting. I found a few on craigslist worth taking a look at and a one or two on the listing our realtor sent us that worked within our finances and needs. One was a cute little bungalow, and the other was a nicer home near to the hospital. On Saturday, we stopped by both homes, and were both uncertain about what we felt about them.

That night I went to a baby shower for my sister in law, very much excited and in faith that even if these two homes we saw were not the ones for us, that the Lord would provide and that we could patiently wait on him. That night, I did my normal nightly routine (very patient, right?) and got online to check and see if there were any new listings on craigslist and the MLS database. That was when I found two bigger homes within our limits.

We had previously decided that we wanted a smaller home, since we do not really need that much space, and so I was not looking for that big of a home. We simply needed a home with a room for a renter (a friend from our church will be living with us) and a room for Jordan to have his office in, and bedrooms for the kids and us (either one room big enough to fit all three boys in or two rooms for the kids and a master for us). Tricky to find all those things together, but we knew God has something to meet our needs out there! We had no idea how lavish God was about to be on us!

Monday afternoon, our realtor took us out to visit some of the homes we thought might work. We went to the first of the bigger homes, and I really liked it. It seriously has enough room to have two families living in it. It was huge. It was quirky, and retro, and something about it was really charming to me. Then we took a look at two smaller homes, that might have fit the criteria, but the room set up was all wrong. So we were running out of time, as we had made plans to bring dinner to friends, but decided to stop in this last home.

On a quick side note, this last home, was listed on MLS on Saturday afternoon. We got to see it 2 days after it had been listed, and I "happen" to see it the day it was posted.... God is so wonderful isn't he??

So we drive up to find this...

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Pretty isn't it?

Then we walked in to find this... yeah... I was just about screaming/ squealing/ laughing/ crying... pretty much my dream kitchen!

and this perfect room for an office for Jordan

and a great big room to be together with friends and family...

How does this kind of house even sit on the market for a day? It can only be the Lord. The story with this amazing home, is that is was the retirement home of a military family, that was about to move into it, when they were stationed in California. They tore down the original and built up a brand new home on top of the old foundation. Amazingly, as it is pretty much all new, there is not a hind of mold or mildew, which was a big concern for Jack's health.

So we put in the application the next day, and prayed that the Lord would make his will clear, and for favor with the Landlords as they reviewed our application. We were confident, that if this home was not the one, the Lord had something different for us, and it would be just right for us. So we waited. While we waited, I feel like I learned some old truths in new ways. You see, I have been taught that, the Lord does not treat me according to what I do or measured what good things I have done in my life to earn favor and rewards. And yet, as I sought to wait patiently for the outcome of this application, I realized that I was tempted to want to have faith so perfectly, so that God would give us what I wanted!

It became so clear to me that no matter how responded to this test, whether full of faith or complete distrust and failure, that those things would and could never change the Lord's disposition towards me at all. This great truth sank in so much deeper, the truth that because of what Jesus has done for me on the Cross, I am a daughter of God, and not because of anything I could ever do, but because of His perfect life. Romans 3:3,4 resonated with me in a whole new way. It says, " 3What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4By no means!" This truth just took hold of me in such a profound way, and all I can do is sit back and marvel and say, "Look at all the Lord has done!"

Oh man, sorry to go on that long-winded way of saying, I really learned a lot over the course of waiting to find out if we got this amazing home. So since all that was so long, I will just cut to the chase!! The next morning, a happy email from our realtor told us that the house was basically ours, and we were just waiting for all the paperwork to be done, and should be signing a 2 year lease some time next week!

I was shaking I was so happy! Oh, and it still has not sunk in at all! Here is the crazy part , well maybe just another crazy part.... we are going to move NEXT SATURDAY!! In one week! I have been packing as much as I have been able to, gathering boxes and tape. It has been a whirlwind, full and exciting. We have a lot to get done over the next week, but so much to look forward to! We are so excited to be living down in Arlington, and, well, this sweet house makes it even more exciting!

Tyler and Jack are really excited too. Jack has been doing great, and although he has not been sleeping much, and we are pretty tired from his many middle of the night interruptions, he has been full of life and joy. We are grateful beyond words to the Lord for his lavish goodness to us. Thanks for all the prayers for our insurance situation to be worked out and for housing! I am so aware of the many prayers being said on our behalf! Much more to tell later! Thanks for reading all this!!

.10 months.

Oh I love my sweet little Dylan boy... He is such a cutie pie, and he keeps me running around after him. With three teeth, and a fourth on its way, this little rascal is done with baby food, almost altogether. He sees mac n' cheese, he wants it. If his brothers are eating something, so must he! He is also chasing after them all day, joining in the wrestling and tickling, he is a speedster when it comes to getting places. I often loose track of where he is, because he is gone so quickly. And yes, the boy loves to climb the stairs. I have no idea what kind of man he will become, but it is certain God has gifted him in unique ways, and it will be a joy to watch those gifts develop and grow as he gets older. But for now, I am a busy mommy to a rascal of a boy. I love every minute of it.

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.book recommendation.

I have been asked many times, what are you reading these days? Over the past 8 months or so, I have been reading and re-reading and devouring this book. Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie was a gift to me from a dear friend, and what a gift it has been to me. I cannot, simply cannot recommend it enough. It is a collection from 25 different authors on the topic of suffering and pain, with the preface by Guthrie (who lost two children in their infancy).

The writers within the covers of this book have become dear friends to me, many of whom I had never read of and a few I had never heard of, but now feel I can go to at any time and come away refreshed, re-focused, full of faith, and more in love with my God. This book has been a tremendous means of grace to me, and I am so grateful to have been "introduced to the friends" contained within its pages.

I have posted some quotes on facebook that have meant a lot to me as I have been reading it, and as I now am reading through it for the third or fourth time, find that every page has a morsel of truth that can re-direct my wayward thoughts to truth so effectively. Here a few quotes that are a small example of the riches found in this book.

"We are all, in our turns, disposed to think our own trials peculiarly heavy, and our own cases singular. But to them who ask this question we may answer, Yes- there has been sorrow greater than yours. If we conceive of him hanging upon the cross, speaking in this language to us, "Was ever any sorrow like my sorrow?" must not we reply with admiration and gratitude, "No Lord, never was love, never was grief like thine." The highest wonder ever exhibited to the world, to angels, and men, is the Son of God suffering and dying for sinners."
-- John Newton

"You may not understand what is happening to you; it may seem, to you all wrong. Trust yourself to Him. Believe when you cannot prove. Hold on to his constancy, his justice, his eternal purposes for you in Christ. Regard these as absolutes, which can never be shaken, remain steadfast and unshaken, confident that ultimately all will be made plain and all will be well." - Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"The test of suffering reveals whether our "knowing why" is an irreducible bedrock conviction grounded in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, or whether our faith is resting to any degree on what is not bedrock, but sand."-- Os Guiness

‎"When the winds of suffering blow in our lives, what we need most is something secure to tether ourselves to, something strong and unmovable that will keep us from being swept away in a storm of questions, fear, discouragement, and disillusionment. We have a true "anchor of the soul". "- -Nancy Guthrie

"Trials are like a ire; they burn up nothing but the dross and they make the gold all the purer. Put down the testing process as clear gain, and instead of being sorry about it, count it all joy when ye fall into divers trials, for this bestows upon you a proof of your faith."
-- Charles H. Spurgeon

I cannot recommend this book enough. Even to those who are not experiencing trial or suffering, it is a wonderful reminder of the gospel that we all need reminding of daily. I found myself weary again this morning, after many nights of little to no sleep and the demands of my three crazy boys, and after spending some much needed time with my God, and my "friends" found in this book, I find myself in a place of humble and grateful faith for what the Lord has for me today.

the beach

Ahhh, I miss the beach! Have we really already been home only a week and a half? The sound of the crashing waves seems such a distant memory already! Although this vacation was quite different for us and more difficult than the many years past for many reasons, the beach days could not have been more amazing and memorable. Couple perfect weather, kids who love playing all day, a group of people just happy to be together, and joy from the Lord for the gift each day was... it was a wonderful vacation.

I wanted to take tons of pictures, but when you have a baby who knows no fear, and is crawling headlong into the ocean, stuffing handful after handful of sand in his mouth... and two big boys that want to play hard all day... there was very little sitting down time, and less time to hold a camera and a baby... but oh so worth every moment with my boys. Here are a few shots of those precious memories and sweet beach days...