Welcome

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.

.Steroids.

.Steroids. A thing not to be trifled with. A thing we will not have to endure in large doses again. A thing that made my baby boy gain over 6lbs in a few short weeks. Oh man, are we grateful to be be finished with that segment of Jack's treatment.

I do not joke, when I say that the steroids changed our day to day in dramatic ways. I wanted to wait to put pictures up of the changes the meds caused in Jack, until I could show the progression of change. It really was quite dramatic. Each morning, I observed that he seemed bigger... which perplexed me that he could change so rapidly. My eyes could not believe it, but my back and arms certainly knew it was true. Jordan and I both were achy all of the time and our backs were just so sore from holding him.

It was truly heartbreaking to watch him unable to stop eating, knowing that each bite was making him bigger and more uncomfortable. The weight gain was primarily in his face and tummy, so his poor legs were just not used to holding so much weight. One day when I was giving him a bath, his legs began to tremble under the weight as he was standing for longer than usual. I kept having to tell myself that this would soon end, and we would get to a point in his treatment where I would be begging him to eat something!

He was such a trooper given the inability to control his appetite. God gave all of us such grace to love him in spite of the constant demands for something to eat. And there was so much grace on him, to not be angry and physically act out in anger , which is a common effect of the steroids. Even though he was up most of the night hungry and was feeling pretty miserable, he still gave us smiles and laughed at silly things. We are grateful for the moments of joy in the midst of this past month of difficulty.

Thankfully, since being home from the hospital 2 weeks ago (has it been that long already??), he has already lost almost 3lbs and is back to his crazy ways! It is a JOY to have our boy back. We honestly had forgotten just was a sweet and silly boy he truly is! More on that later.... here are some photos to prove just how drastic the change has been.

.on day 6.

.on day 14.

.on day 17.

.on day 21.


.on day 28.
(the last day he got steroids)

.on day 29.
(the biggest he got and with the fullest effects of the meds in him)

.on day 30.
(we were going HOME after a brief stay due to the cold he had caught)

.yesterday.

I know the change is shocking. He really looked different. He still does. It is hard to watch your child change so dramatically and not be able to help them. I think having walked through this brief season has given me more compassion for others. It has taught me to see beyond the appearance and just see the boy that I love so so much. I pray these lessons stay with me for the rest of my life. I truly feel like I have the privilege to lay my life down for Jack, and especially during this time, was able to lay it down in real and tangible ways. It has been good for my soul in so many ways. And now that we are on the other side of the first phase of treatment, I am all the more aware of the abundant things we have to be grateful for!

.Results and Re-Admission.

I am so happy to share that the results from the bone marrow biopsy came back with the results we had hoped and prayed for! They said they found less than 0.1% Leukemic cells in his bone marrow!!! So this is such great news! The prognosis is a good one, and now we get to keep marching on into the next 3 years of making sure the Leukemia does not come back and he is fully in remission!

Thank you all so much for all the prayers said on our behalf! I also have the happy report of how last night and this morning went as well... So last night, we woke Jack up at 11:30 to feed him one last time before midnight. He was so sweet and groggy but ate a bunch of nuggets and french fries. We gave him a bottle and put him in bed at midnight and hoped for the best... well, he did not wake up again until 4:45... which was AMAZING for us and him! That was a long stretch for the little guy!

After that he cried for a while and Jordan tried distracting him with books and holding him for a while. Jordan wanted me to sleep as long as I could, and served heroically by making sure the monitor was off in our room and he was in the boys room with the door closed! By 5:30 am, I wanted to help, so we got him out of the room and put on a movie for him, where Jordan was able to be on the couch kind of sleeping with Jack, and I got to get back in bed until 6:15. He asked occasionally for food, but no more tears came after that.

And then, when we hit the road at 6:45, Jack sat quietly in his car seat watching Finding Nemo the WHOLE RIDE DOWN TO DC!!!! He smiled at me when I looked back, asked for a bottle a few times, but no major tears. Once we got to the hospital at 8:25, he was getting a bit grumpy and easily angered, so the blood work and the Dr.'s looking at him was not easy. When he finally get into the procedure room at 10:20, he was ready to be done with all the hosptial stuff eat some food.

The results of his blood work were concerning, as his white counts went from 8,000 last week to 50,000 this week. They were concerned that the Leukemia had relapsed or the other option was that he was fighting an infection. We were hoping it was the latter, and found out much later that indeed it was an infection he had. He has been admitted back into the hospital where he will stay for 48 hours and get antibiotics to fight whatever is going on in his body.

So this kinda made me chuckle--- As the day progressed, Jack seemed to be getting pretty uncomfortable, and he had not had a bowel movement all day, which was very unlike him- since he eats so much he is usually having them many many times a day. By the time we got into our room after 2:45, and hooked up to the machines, his heart rate was up in the high 170's and 180's... too high for him; and his breathing was pretty shallow and quick. So the nurse was thinking it was due to his tummy being so compacted and him being so uncomfortable. When you touched his tummy it really hurt him. So, they were all ready to give him some meds to help things move along, but I knew that if he just walked around a little he would eventually get things moving (as with most little kids, they like to go somewhere private to do their business). So around 6:00 I had him stand next to the bed and look at a book (he had been sitting all day and had barely walked at all), and 10 minutes later he had done his business and his heart rate dropped to 155!!! That made me and the nurse laugh! I am glad no more meds were needed!

So now, I am home with Dylan and going to bed, and Jordan is at the hospital with Jack and being taken care of by one of our favorite nurses we had last time we were there. So hopefully, we all will get some much needed rest tonight! Pictures coming one day!!!

Thanks again friends for all the prayers. We are so grateful for this happy news, and even though we have a 48 hour stay this weekend, we are grateful it was caught before he spiked a fever, that it is easily treatable, and we were already downtown! So many ways the Lord helped us through the day! We are so amazed at how He is in every detail and every cell function in Jacks body and our lives. Thanks for sharing this burden with us. We are so grateful.

.Please Pray.

It is hard to believe it has been a month since we first heard the words Leukemia from the Doctors at Children's Hospital. Is it possible for the days to be both long and fast and the nights to seem like they will never end, and yet they are all too short? Many days, by the time is is 5:30 or 6, I feel like I am about to loose my mind! Jordan coming home is the sweetest sight for me, and the boys! I think it is a universal law, that dinner time, no matter the circumstances of life you are in, is just tricky if you have children! And this month has been no exception.

There are two reasons why I title this post as .Please Pray. One is that tonight is THE LONG ONE....after midnight, Jack is not allowed to eat until 10 or 11 am after his procedure. If you have been following the blog or talked to us, you know that this is no small feat. He has for the past 3 weeks been awake every 2 hours or so with several nights being every 20 minutes asking for food to eat- which he has eaten all of.

We are expecting this to be a long night, but we are also anticipating much grace from God to endure it with joy and faith. And for the provision of coffee tomorrow morning.

The second is, that the bone marrow biopsy being done tomorrow is VERY important. It will determine if Jack is "in remission" and determine if we can move into the next phase of treatment called Consolidation. The Dr.'s are looking to find less than 0.1% leukemic cells in his bone marrow.

The thing about cancer cells, is that they are wily... they like to hide... so even though he may or may not be "in remission" he still has to endure 3 years of Chemotherapy and many many more procedures, tests, and drugs put into his body to ensure that he does not relapse or find the cancer in another part of his body. I say all this so that if/when we get the news that the count is below 0.1%, that those who are praying understand that we are not done yet! Although this news will be good and worthy of much praise and joy, we know the road ahead is long and not without its share of bumps and hurdles.

So we are getting up tomorrow early and heading to the hospital around 7 am (into DC this time) and hoping to get little man in the OR by 9 am. We will see how it all goes, how quickly we get in, ect. We should hear a result about the bone marrow by the evening or Saturday morning. I will post when we get the results! Please pray the results are good and we can move forward! Please pray for tonight... maybe tonight he will just sleep sleep sleep.... I am not holding my breath for that one!!! But pray for grace for us tomorrow too on the ride and at the hospital before he goes under.... the long car ride with him crying and begging to eat is really hard on our hearts and we so want to give in and feed him!

A little humor in the midst of this.. last night, Jordan was making Jack some chicken nuggets in our toaster over. I heard him getting them out while I was feeding Dylan. Next thing I knew, Jordan got back into bed. I had a brief thought wondering what happened to the nuggets or if I had misheard... only to wake up to the strong smell of burnt chicken! He had fallen asleep while they cooked waking up 45 minutes later to some charred nuggets! This is the land we live in!! Oh my! Tonight is the last does of Steroids (unless they find more leukemic cells, in which case we would have another week of the steroids). Glad we can laugh at things like that, and even more glad that the house didn't catch on fire!


So please pray. And thank you for praying. We are so aware that the Lord hears and look forward to sharing with you tomorrow the many ways he not only answered but lavishly blessed and met us. Thank you dear friends.

.Needful Grace.

A friend of mine sent me this quote from John MacDuff the other day, and it has richly blessed and encouraged me. Thank you Susan. I hope it encourages you as well.

"As your days, so shall your strength be."
—Deuteronomy 33:25


"God does not give grace until the hour of trial comes. But when it does come the amount of grace, and the nature of the special grace required is granted. My soul! do not dwell with painful apprehension on the future. Do not anticipate coming sorrows; perplexing yourself with the grace needed for future emergencies; tomorrow will bring its promised grace along with tomorrow's trials. God, wishing to keep His people humble, and dependent on Himself, gives not a stock of grace; He metes it out for every day's exigencies, that they may be constantly "traveling between their own emptiness and Christ's fullness"—their own weakness and Christ's strength. But when the exigency comes, you may safely trust an Almighty arm to bear you through! Is there now some "thorn in the flesh" sent to lacerate you? You may have been entreating the Lord for its removal. Your prayer has, doubtless, been heard and answered; but not in the way, perhaps, expected or desired by you. The "thorn" may still be left to goad, the trial may still be left to buffet; but "more grace" has been given to endure them. Oh! how often have His people thus been led to glory in their infirmities and triumph in their afflictions, seeing the power of Christ rests more abundantly upon them! The strength which the hour of trial brings, often makes the Christian a wonder to himself! --- John MacDuff

.13 weeks.


In the midst of all that is going on in our lives right now, little Dylan boy is growing so fast. Tomorrow he will be 14 weeks old! He has been such a sweet joy to me during this time, and I have so enjoyed his many smiles and coos. I am amazed at what a good angel baby he is. God knew that during this trying time in your lives, we would need an angel and what a kind God to have given us one!

Dylan sleeps so well and is truly a happy baby. He is sleeping around 8 hours most nights, so at least when we are up at night it is only with one child! And he is just a sweet snuggler. I love love love to hold him. Looks like he is going to be our dark child, keeping brown/green eyes and dark hair... we will see! Here are a few pictures of him at 13 weeks that I took earlier last week.







.Perspective.

Oh these men are so precious to me... I look at this picture and see the gifts God has so lavishly blessed me with, and cannot help but be amazed that God would be so kind to me. To have been given a man like Jordan as a husband, friend, leader, and love... there are no words. I am just so grateful. He is my match, he cares for me so well, he is exactly what the Lord knew I needed to face these trials we are currently in, and them man to lead our family back to the Cross time and time again. And when I see my dear sweet little boys, that we have the privilege to raise them, teach them about the gospel, to watch them grow and just enjoy the joy they bring to our lives... they are such gifts to us.



The past few days and nights, I have had several moments where I have been overwhelmed by the lavish care of God. My 30th birthday was a few days ago, and over the course of three days, my family and friends lavished encouragement and care and gifts on me. They have pointed me back to the ways God has been at work in my life, been generous with their time and money, and just gave me time to be alone and relax.... all have proven to be refreshing and oh so special.

I feel like during the past few weeks, I am constantly in need of re-evaluating my perspective. In the middle of the night, when I have gotten up 4 times to either change Jack's diaper or give him more food to eat, I can feel like things are, well, that I am about to fall apart. A few nights ago, I can't even remember what night it was now, Jack was up a LOT. He wakes up during the night due to the steroid he is on- it causes insomnia, mood swings and extreme appetite increase... so basically, the boy eats all day and night. That night, I had been up with him every 20-30 minutes from 2:30-5:30 am. Jordan and I had just put him back to bed, after he had a tear filled 30 minutes or so over us not understanding what he wanted to eat, when finally in the hall outside the boys room, I looked at him and was filled with dread and fear for nights to come... particularly the night when he has to fast from midnight till 9am for a biopsy procedure in a week.

In that moment, Jordan reminded me that we have ZERO grace for that night next week. We were not there yet. He reminded me to grasp hold of the grace that was abundant for us in that moment. And there it was, the grace, waiting for me to take hold and believe in the goodness of God. And so, with faith, I went to bed... again! When I woke up at 7:45 that morning, keeping what Jordan had said in mind, my perspective was one of faith, instead of fear.

But even then, the battle for faith can seem to be not only day by day, but sometimes more like hour by hour or minute by minute. When all three boys are crying at the same time, or I am covered in throw-up, or when we have gotten up for the 4th,5th, and 6th time to care for one of the kids... those are the moments I need a perspective change.

I keep having to go back to the fact that if I am to trust God in the midst of this, I have to embrace the boundaries that are around me, that they are in pleasant places. And those boundaries have me hemmed in very tightly- one day at a time. If I try to push beyond each day, to the unknown future, to the next 3 years of Jack's treatment plan, I am stepping outside the grace the Lord has given to me. I pray I keep him always before me.

Psalm 16
"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."


I recently shared some prayer requests with a friend, who shared it with her small group, and they prayed. And the Lord answered that very night. We do indeed serve a Lord who not only is leaning forward to hear our requests, but is eager to answer and bless. With that in mind, here are some ways you can be praying for us:

- Jack has a sniffle/runny nose (he got from his big brother), so we are praying his body is able to fight it off and it does not grow into a fever or anything more serious that might send us packing back to the hospital.

- Jack has a hard time taking his medications each day, he gets really defiant and angry when we try to give them to him (somewhat understandable as he takes them a lot and is sick of them!), so that he would persevere through all that and he would have grace to take them joyfully!

- for rest for Jordan and I, even though we are not sleeping much, that when we sleep, it would be restoring sleep. Jack is up most of the night asking for food (the steroids he is on make him starving all day and all night)

-Grace for Jordan to accomplish much with his studies while he has much to do at home as well. That his capacity to learn would be increased and to be able to get much done in little time. Grace for his studies and much faith to know when he can stop studying too. (to those who do not know, Jordan is in Pastor's College at Sovereign Grace Ministries- more on that later)

-Patients for me and Jordan to care for the demands of the boys

-We go in for Chemo treatments each Friday, so we always need prayer that those go well.

-Next Friday is the big Bone Marrow Biopsy to see how the treatment is going so far. This will determine a lot for our treatment protocol, so we are praying they find less than 0.1% leukemic cells in that. In addition to that, he has to fast from midnight till the surgery at 9:30, and as you can imagine, since the boy is already eating all night, it is going to be a huge task to keep him sane and not screaming all night and all morning till he has the procedure done. We will need much grace for that!

Thank you friends for your prayers and love and support. We are so grateful for each of you.