Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MRI Results - Great News

Hello Friends... Today was our review of the MRI with Caleb's Oncologist. We are thrilled to say that we got wonderful news. The news was that we have gone a year since the previous scan and have no change in the size of the mass or other findings in the brain. This news is huge because each passing scan where there is no change adds stability to the situation. We left the office with a skip in our step and joyful hearts.

We are so grateful to each of you who called/texted/prayed for us today. Your prayers and words of encouragement are such a blessing to us. God has graciously blessed us to surround us with folks that care about our family.

I was reminded today from a few of the writings in "Jesus Calling" that God is near to us - very near. He uses all sorts of mechanisms to show us this and one of the ways we experienced it today was through you. Thank you for being a voice of encouragement and love to us.

The passage that stood out to me today was Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Today as we went into meeting we had no idea what the outcome would be - but we can say that our hearts were peaceful - though not perfectly - and we knew that regardless of the discovery that we were placing our trust continually in Him.

Tonight we celebrate this provision and this great blessing of a good report on our lovely son.  Here is photo that we took as we went to the park this afternoon to enjoy the fresh air and Spring.


Austin & Nicole

Thank you all for your many prayers yesterday. We truly felt covered throughout the day. I felt the Lord give me certain very meaningful passages from His Word along with a reminder of an awesome song out that many of you may know called “He is with us.”

In light of all that it doesn’t necessary mean that what we walked through yesterday was a breeze and that everything went perfectly. However, what I do know is that we experienced His grace and it created some opportunities for future growth for Caleb.

Caleb was really confident walking in until I realized I forgot our special numbing cream that we ALWAYS have. Needless to say his demeanor changed quickly, and I felt really bad. He was courageous to take the IV even when he didn’t want to. He cried, but we reminded him that courage doesn’t mean you don’t cry or show emotion- it means that you face your fear and with God’s help you don’t run away- and that’s what he did, so we were proud of him.

He was excited about the movie goggles and the Child-Life specialist was really great to prepare him for the MRI. Overall the MRI was successful- we got the images that we needed and for that we are very thankful. However, Caleb did struggle with being in there for so long. He kept moving his feet; he needed to wipe his eyes, etc. He was informed often that he couldn’t move a millimeter, and I believe that was very nerve-racking for him. He said he was sore coming out, and I believe that’s because he tensed his muscles up the whole time. We had hoped he would “get lost” in the movie; but that wasn’t the case. The noises were loud and although he could hear and see the movie, it didn’t distract him enough. He came out saying he didn’t want to do that again!

So, our prayer for future MRI’s will be for wisdom to have just the right words to help Caleb take steps of faith to do something he really doesn’t want to do. It’s been in these moments that the Lord has grown and stretched my faith. And that Caleb will not develop a negative spirit towards these experiences.

 So, the positive is that I know the Lord can use this and future MRI’s to grow His faith and dependence on Him. It still hurts my heart, but we will trust the Lord with that as well.

Thanks again for loving us well with all your prayers and support. We will update probably tonight if we can after hearing the results.

In Christ,


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring 2014 Prayer Request

Well, I can’t believe it’s been a year since our last MRI. It has flown by. I've been meaning to update the blog since I last posted in October, but life has been a bit too busy…we've had a few appointments since then with his Endocrinologist and his Ophthalmologist. Both doctors have been pleased with their findings, and we've been thrilled.

We have an upcoming MRI scheduled for next Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 pm (yes it is a late MRI). This MRI will be a bit different. We've decided to try a non-sedated one this time! We have been skeptical in the past, but we feel really good this time around. He will be watching a movie with some special goggles for an hour.
So our prayers this time are:
  1. That the MRI will go smoothly: Caleb will not move at all; they will get clear images, and that Caleb will not be fearful but peaceful throughout the MRI. 
  2. As we always ask- that the Lord might see fit to do a miracle in our son’s life and remove the tumor completely!
  3. However, if that’s not His plan, that we will trust Him wholeheartedly and rest in this journey.
  4. That the doctor’s will have wisdom and that we would ultimately have wisdom from the Lord on what course of action to take at this time.
We continue to be blown away by those that tell us they continue to pray for Caleb- wow! What perseverance you have! We are so incredibly encouraged by your faithfulness to us throughout this long journey. It’s been 7 years now.

We will be going back for results the next day on Wednesday the 9th. So, we will keep you posted.

Here’s some highlights of the last few months…

Caleb's 8th birthday- Revolutionary War!!
 Caleb has been loving American History and has wanted to read and read about the Revolutionary War. When his birthday started to be talked about, he begged us to have a reenactment of the war - and he wanted to be George Washington who led to Patriots to victory!! How could we say no! ;)

The Lord blessed us with a beautiful day for the party. Here Caleb and Annelise are smiling with a new friend we've made this year, Ms. Sheila. She's a dear and loved being a spectator of the war.

Here Emily and Luke have decided to join Washington's side with their blue vests ready- I made these out of Kroger sacks, and Austin painted them!

Here some are signing up for war- they had to decide whether to be a Patriot or Loyalist.

Dad played too...the kids brought their modern day rifles- Nerf Guns- to the party and had a blast running around pretending.

Here some of the Loyalists lined up for battle. Chase, Austin's brother, was a big kid too!

The Patriots hid behind trees as they chose Gorilla Warfare as their style of fighting.

Caleb's cake has a funny story that I'd love to share if you ask...and if you are wondering what I have on...yes, that's a colonial dress I HANDMADE in high school for a history project!! ha!! I saved this dress for a time like this!!I told Caleb I was Martha, George Washington's wife. He didn't think that was funny.

Caleb here is excited over a new SkyLander for the Wii he just received. His passion endears me to him. ;) 
Happy Birthday, sweet boy. You are a gift from heaven and we love you more than life itself.
Caleb got a bow and arrow set from Mimi and Grandaddy- he loves it!!
For Valentines, Annelise got to go to the Daddy Daughter Dance with her daddy for the 2nd year in a row. Boy was she excited! She got a chance to have daddy to herself and enjoy Frozen music, dancing, crafts, and some treats. I think her favorite part was seeing her daddy shave off his scruff just for her! ha! She wants him to stay clean shaven all the time, but Austin tells her that her mama likes the scruff and so it stays! ;)  But just for her date, he shaved them off. What a sweet daddy!!! She grinned from ear to ear.

here she is with her corsage Austin gave her. One of these days some other boy will be giving her a corsage for a date...I hope that day doesn't come for a long time. We've told Annelise she just has stay little- maybe she will...
Here we are celebrating Austin's dad's birthday. Yay! Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Annelise has really started reading over the last 6 months! We are so proud of her!! This past summer she was reading sets of words for us and loving it, but she has been reading little readers to us since then. Here she is reading to Ma!

And reading to Papa!
And to Grandaddy when he was in the bed after surgery on his foot. He is doing better, and we pray that he will be able to walk with much much less pain than before.
We came over to take care of Grandaddy one day. We made breakfast and watched some fishing with him!

here Caleb and Annelise are eating dinner with Grayson at Five Guys. Grayson is wearing Caleb's old, favorite sweatshirt when he was his age. I love it!
I had to add another of Grayson- he's such a doll and we love seeing him whenever we can. Mom and Dad finished their house, and it's so lovely. This was our first dinner in the new kitchen!!!

If you want to know what Caleb's been up to the last several months- well, here's what he's been doing- sticking his nose in a book...sitting on the heater in his batman P.J's or in the car, or at night before bed- he's loving everything from The Boxcar Children, The Littles, and Stewart Little to biographys like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. His latest right now are these three- reading them all at the same time: Indian in the Cupboard, Joan of Arc, and I survived the Titanic! It's so sweet to see him loving this new world of adventures right at his fingertips.
I could post a ton of Christmas pictures, but I'm not- here are just a few- we were so blessed to have a sweet Christmas again this year. Caleb and Annelise never cease to amaze me with their understanding at such a young age the true meaning of Christmas. We are seeing the Lord moving in Annelise's heart as her prayers have really begun to change lately. She is praying for people's hearts, for people around the world to come to know Jesus, and she's even stopping us at random times to say a prayer- whether for a friend who's sick or for me with all my neck pain. She is growing sensitive to the Spirit and we are really encouraged by her growth.

The kids were in our church's Christmas play this year!! It was so sweet. Caleb was a shepherd and Annelise was his sheep!

Here we are celebrating Christmas with Austin's dad's side. We played some fun games and ate some yummy non-traditional Christmas food- Mexican!!

We gave Chase and Krystle their 1st baby books for their soon-to-arrive baby girl!!! Yay!!!
Here we are with Austin's mom side. This year we dressed in tacky or dated Christmas sweaters- that made for a fun day! We enjoyed little Jonah and a fun game of Bingo!
sitting in our sweaters with Grandma and Pa

Ha! Look at Caleb and me in our puff paint sweatshirts that my mom made back in the late 80's! wow! I even sported a side-ponytail and big hoop earrings! ;)
And here's the goofy side of my side of the family...Christmas this year was at our house because Mom and Dad's house was still under construction. It was a joy to have everyone-well, not everyone- Hunter, Leslie, and Grayson couldn't make it last minute because Grayson was really sick. That was a sad part of Christmas- it wasn't the same without them.

And Christmas at Ma's is always a good time- with the same traditional reading of "It Aint the Gift," to eating the perfectly scrambled eggs and country ham with gravy to watching the little ones pass out the gifts and the room to go crazy with wrapping flying everywhere. What a gift family truly is.

Another sweet memory I'll cherish from this Christmas was taking Annelise for the 1st time to the Nutcracker. It is always a beautiful performance but most of all it takes me back to all my years of dancing. Christmas just isn't complete without the Nutcracker, and it was so special to share it with my baby girl.

Here she is getting a special collector's Nutcracker to take home as a keepsake to add to our collection.
In November we enjoyed taking a weekend trip to Knoxville with Kathy and Jim to see the Vol's play against Auburn. Although it was a terrible loss for us, we loved sitting in the stands and watching the band, the T, the cheerleaders, and screaming for the Vol's no matter what!

yes, we screamed and had a ball!! I love being silly with this sweetheart of mine. And I love those big blue eyes!! ;)

Halloween was fun too! Caleb was a ninja and Annelise was a fairy. They both loved getting dressed up--Annelise loved me putting makeup on her. ;)
And going back further into October...we enjoyed a weekend with our dear friends at the farm. It was a memorable time like always. The farm is wonderful time to let the kids be kids- explore and play out in God's nature- the creek, the barn, the pond, the fields, the playground and around the fire with their family and friends.

The kids are growing up-they seem so tall this year!

here Caleb and Annelise are loading up in the back of the truck to head down to the pond.
Ma came up one fall day and watched the kids while I got my hair done. The kids get so excited to see her coming!

Here we are again at the Pumpkin Patch with a bunch of dear friends. It was a beautiful day!

We've multiplied so much the kids can hardly fit on the truck! ;)

We were delighted to have the Morrows in town for the weekend of the Pumpkin Patch. The kids miss them so much- and we do too. It's been a step of faith for all of us. We love you, Morrows and can't wait to see you again.

I thought this one was so sweet of Annelise in her Hello Kitty shirt playing in the corn.

 And lastly, here's the 1st day of Shepherd's Heart for Caleb AND Annelise! This was her 1st time to go to preschool. (and Caleb in 2nd grade) She has absolutely loved school both here and at home. Shepherd's Heart is truly a blessing and we are so grateful for it.
Well, that sums up our past several months in a nutshell. We are so grateful to have had ordinary days with our family in many ways. Thank you for your prayers. We will keep you posted.
In Christ, Nicole