Archive for November, 2009

Story 3/7: All-Access Pass

November 16, 2009

On November 12, 2008, I finished 6 1/2 weeks of Radiation Treatments.  We were so excited to be DONE with chemo, surgery and radiation.  We went to Outback to celebrate and got ready to have the BEST holiday season ever- so thankful for health, family and all the blessings of life.  We told our kids that as a Celebration Surprise, we were all going to DISNEY WORLD!!!  (We had never taken the kids, and Jerel and I hadn’t gone since we were both kids).  We were all counting the days until April 3.

In mid-March, we found that I had a reoccurance of cancer and needed  further treatment–not sure what type and when.  Well, on March 31 (4 days before our BIG trip!)–we met with my oncologist.  Not only did he tell us I needed more chemo–but he said I needed to start TOMORROW!  What?  3 days before our promised trip to Orlando?  I cried and cried right there in the doctors office… I wasn’t crying because I needed more chemotherapy (which I was sad about BTW), I was crying because I didn’t want to tell our kids that we needed to postpone our trip and that it wasn’t quite time to “celebrate.”    After talking to the nurses and doctor a lot—they all agreed that I could still go.  I just had to take some meds with me… and take it kinda easy in Orlando.  So, the next day I did a full 4 hours of chemo and started packing for Orlando the next day.

On the way to Florida in the car– I read in our book that Disney is wonderful with people who have disabilities or any kind of medical condition.  So, we called my oncologist and asked him to fax a doctors note saying that I had just had chemotherapy that week.  My doctor was wonderful and within hours, we had a note.  When we got to the Magic Kingdom, we went straight to the Guest Assistance House at the main entrance.  We told them our situation and they immediately gave us a Guest Assistance Card (picture above).  This card gave us access to basically the handicapped entrance to every ride.  Yes, that means we waited in NO lines.  Our first ride was Dumbo, the flying elephants and I felt SO guilty walking right past all these people in line. (It was Spring Break–so there were LLOOOOONNGG lines everywhere!)  I felt bad because after all, we looked kinda normal.  I was worried about what people thought of us.  It made me realize that you just never know what people are going through. Things may look fine on the outside–but you just never know!  After a few rides, I began to enjoy the “no-waiting” and didn’t feel guilty anymore…after all, if anyone DID say something (which no one did)—we definitely more to say than they’d ever want to know!

The Disney People were awesome!  EVERY SINGLE employee treated us so wonderfully, never a single question asked..even when we went to Mickey’s House/Tent (where people wait literally HOURS to see Mickey)–the Disney Girl took us in a side door and we waited 5 minutes.  (Picture below!)    I told our kids that we would NEVER have this opportunity again– to experience a no-line Disney World at Spring Break.  And while we were so thankful for this all-access pass, I also told them that we never WANTED to do this again.  They agreed!

Now, the lesson learned….there’s always a lesson, right?

The ultimate all-access pass:

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”  Romans 5:1


Lego Party

November 10, 2009

We had a few of Christopher’s friends over last week for cake at our house.  Then, we headed to the Lego Store at Concord Mills.  Christopher was thrilled to be able to have an hour of building legos with his friends!   He has such nice friends- we are very thankful for that!  We let him open a few presents before the party (from us)…. and one picture below shows him “fake-fainting” when he opened his Darth Vader Lego Set.   

Normal Day

November 7, 2009

saw this on a friend’s blog and thought it really captured so many of my feelings from the past year.  you don’t realize how wonderful “normal” is until you don’t have it anymore.  read and enjoy your normal…

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.

Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.

Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.

One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.

                                              – Mary Jean Iron


One of my favorite pictures

November 6, 2009

I came across one of my favorite pictures today.  It makes the list because sadly, we don’t take a ton of pictures of the 5 of us.  Either Jerel or myself usually has the camera!  This was taken 4 years ago in Hilton Head under the big tree at the Harbor Town playground.  We have so many wonderful memories in Hilton Head–and it’s still one of our favorite places.  It’s hard to imagine Luke this little–but even then he was a daddy’s boy!  And I love Bailey’s face in this picture–she is growing up so fast (almost 10 now!)–and I love to see me holding Christopher like that.  He’s so tall just turned 8….  and of course I love seeing me with hair!



Happy Birthday Christopher!

November 4, 2009

Eight years ago today, Christopher was born and the dr. said “it’s a boy!” just like in the books/movies.   I was shocked!  This post is dedicated to our 8 yr. old Christopher–a child who has brought so much joy into our family.  He is also our child who has a very strong-will  and we’ve had to “discipline” him more– (but for us it’s been an inside peek at God’s love for US–we are loved ALL THE TIME and God is crazy about us! )   About a month ago when I was writing his “lunch box note”, I put 9 words that described him and he LOVED that so much that he saved that note in the pocket of his lunch box….so here are some adjectives that describe this precious boy:

sweet          funny          smart

brave          creative       loved!

caring         inventive    handsome

FUN!           kind            determined

strong-willed                 persistent

artistic         compassionate    loving

Enjoy the pictures.  The first one is of course from November 2001 when he was born: 


This is his first birthday.  He had the coolest “train” cake but he was sick this day and didn’t even care!!

Here he is at 2.  Bailey liked this picture because she remembers sneaking M&Ms off his cake!!


His 3 yr. old birthday pictures are missing!  I looked and looked today and can’t find them.   He had a cool dinosaur cake and we had an outside party with tons of games–one of my favorite parties we’ve ever had.  Wouldn’t you know those pictures would be missing?  Here he is at 4 yr.  He had a  Rescue Hero Party. He is decorating his fire truck cake==notice his face…he banged his face on something before the party.  Boys will be boys:


Turning 5 was a Space Party.  


Turning 6 brought LEGOS and we’ve never looked back!  Turning 7 was also Legos and we’re having a birthday party tomorrow at the LEGO store– we should probably purchase some stock.  Here he is 6:


and at 7….  this is a Darth Vader Lego shirt.  He loves Star Wars and Legos, so it’s the perfect combination.  Like I said, tomorrow is his party at the Lego Store–his first “away from home party” -I’m sure I’ll post some pictures.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET BOY!


Halloween 2009

November 1, 2009

Here is a picture of Bailey (a hippie), Christopher (Harry Potter) and Luke (a Panther Football Player).  We all had a great time!