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Snowmaggedon 2 or storm Rocky happened last night. We are digging out this morning and enjoying some snow ice cream.

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ImageSeptember 2012 looked very hopeful for my blog. I had gotten a much better start posting regularly and had the goal of becoming a consistent blogger. A visit to the doctor by my husband, Brent, on September 17th changed all of that.

Brent had been struggling with his health for months, never quite recovering from injuries and getting sick regularly. At the time we certainly did not put all the pieces together but were frustrated by his continuing lack of full, vigorous health. On that Monday, September 17th during his visit to our doctor’s office they finally did extensive testing to see why Brent was feeling like he may have “walking pneumonia” in his words. He came back home and told me that they took so many vials of blood he was surprised he had any left. We waited for a call back to get his lab results. When the Nurse Practitioner called to give him the results in person, he was immediately alert to the seriousness. She sent him directly to the emergency room and told him that they may need to give him transfusions because his platelets and white blood cell counts were so low.

Our journey began at North Kansas City Hospital ER. They took Brent back and began the process of discovering why his blood cell counts were so low. The search began with possible blood loss. He went through many tests and was placed in the intensive care unit. On Wednesday, the 19th, we were finally given a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We were told that it would be possible he would need a bone marrow transplant and that those were not available at NKCH so they contacted KU Medical Center to see if he would be accepted as a patient there. He was accepted and we transferred within hours to KU Med’s BMT Unit.

Brent began chemotherapy almost immediately. We found out that he had the markers for Philadelphia Positive ALL and that they would definitely plan to do a bone marrow transplant if they could find a donor. Brent went through two rounds of Chemotherapy and then on November 19th he received a stem cell transplant with a donation from his brother, Dwayne, who was a virtually perfect match. Brent is recovering well and has almost reached the 100 day mark where he will undergo extensive testing. All in all everything related to his current battle with cancer has been “best case scenario.” He was in remission after the first round of chemotherapy. He had one more round, which is the minimum they recommend. The transplant was exactly two months after diagnosis with a wonderfully matched sibling donor. Our family has had such wonderful encouragement and support from friends, family, acquaintances, above all we could ask or think the Lord has blessed us throughout this trial. If you would like to read a more detailed account or would like to follow Brent’s journal follow this link.

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Today my daughter, Gaubri, and I took my foster son to Kauffman Memorial Gardens to have his picture taken for his adoption profile. We met his new Wendy’s Wonderful Kids worker and admired the beautiful gardens.

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I mentioned earlier that my daughter, Gaubri, and I plan to go on a mission trip in March with a group from Faith Community Church so I wanted to share more details.
The trip  will be 10 days and 9 nights in Chalchuapa, El Salvador, March 8-17th. We plan to have a vacation Bible school, do door-to-door evangelism, build a home for a church family that lost their home in a typhoon, and spend some time in a music ministry as we serve a church in Chalchuapa.
This is the timeline we were given in December:
TIMETABLE – This is a best estimate of the next 13 weeks:
  • Immediate – Passport secured DONE!
  • 12/19/11 or before – Prayer / financial support letters out 1/2 DONE
  • 01/11/12 – Team meeting after Wednesday service / El Salvador pics / Q & A  LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS, MATT GRECO IS IN EL SALVADOR THIS WEEK SO HE WILL HAVE MORE INFO TO SHARE WITH US DURING THIS MEETING.
  • 01/15/12 – $400 EACH deposit due – We’ll buy tickets after we have this deposit!
  • 01/29/12 – Team meeting / covered dish dinner – Time and place TBA
  • 02/12/12 – $500  EACH payment due
  • 02/29/12 – Team meeting after Wednesday service
  • 03/04/12 – $600  EACH (balance) payment due
  • 03/07/12 – Wednesday Night dedication of El Salvador team
  • 03/08/12 – Leave for El Salvador!

I am super excited for the opportunity to go and serve in El Salvador and be a part of this team.  I am also so grateful for the chance to take Gaubri to experience another culture and expand her view of the world, I think she will come back with a much better appreciation of how very blessed she is.

Please pray for all of us as we prepare and if you feel led to contribute to the trip you can make donations through Faith Community Church.

7:17 Wake-up and rejoice that both babies slept through the night, woo hoo.  Check baby J, he still has a few minutes to finish his nighttime tube feeding.  Load up his syringes with meds and his next feeding bag with his morning water. Load up the coffee maker with coffee and water for Mom and Dad.  Make up a bottle of formula for baby D who will be very hungry after a nice long sleep.  Run to the bathroom before anyone is calling for me.

7:30 Give J his meds, change his diaper, start his morning water and tuck him back in for a little more sleep. Make a cup of coffee and wake up baby D for the day.  She is happy, well-rested, sweet and warm, she takes a few minutes to realize how very hungry she is then slurp. Mom sneaks a look at The Voice semifinals on Hulu while baby D drinks her bottle.

9:00 D is playing happily in her bouncy seat; J is starting to wake-up and talk in his room.  Breakfast casserole is in the oven and dad is working out in the garage while the older kids (18.16,13) sleep on.  I will take pity on them this stormy morning and let them sleep in. D gets changed into her clothes for the day, or at least for the next 15 minutes  J.

10:50 J spent 30 minutes in his stander and is finishing up his morning tube feeding.  D had a short nap and is working on her second bottle of the morning. All kids are up; Dad is back from a trip to Tires Plus with Mom’s Taxi.  All enjoyed the French Toast Casserole for breakfast.

11:00 Mom left to take her Dad to lunch. Daddy B left in charge of all the kids.  He’s a trooper and, yes, he does change dirty diapers.

1:15 Mom goes to five garage sales and comes home with an exersaucer, pack n play, baby girl-shoes, headbands, dress, and toys.

2:00 Mom gives baby D a bottle and works to clean all garage sale items.

3:00 Dad takes two of the older kids with him to a wedding. While he is gone baby D takes a nap and Mom works with Baby J on his physical therapy.

4:30 Mom starts broccoli and cheese soup for dinner.

6:30 Everyone has been fed and the older kids clean the kitchen. Dad leaves to go have a Spurgeon Night with some men from church.

7:00 Baby J gets his meds then back in his stander, Baby D had a bath and bottle, then fell asleep in her bouncy seat. One child playing Wii, one playing outside, older son on laptop and his girlfriend here painting a picture.

8:00 Baby J gets dose of water followed by the start of his overnight tube feeding. Changed and tucked in for bed.

9:00 All kids (under 18) in bed and Mom soon to follow.

10:30 Dad at the grocery store picking up formula for the babies on his way home…

I love how the fireplace is looking. Painting the mantle and the screen was a great choice.

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We just celebrated our two year anniversary as licensed foster parents and the time has flown.  I started our story quite a while ago in a post here and will continue today.  We had a home visit which we were told really just ruled out obvious problems in a potential foster home like a totally unsuitable household such as a major lack of cleanliness, safety, etc… We were then invited to attend the PRIDE training classes at the MBCH location in Lee’s Summit, MO.  During this process we were working on a home study which included several home visits and lots of paperwork.  For every two years licensing we are required to do background checks, fingerprinting, physicals, and required training.  While we were traveling each week for the original ten weeks it seemed like so much to do but looking back it really feels like it went quickly.  We decided that we wanted to be available to adopt into our home any children that were placed with us, were not reunified with the birth families and seemed to be a good fit with our family.  In order to be ready to do that we went ahead and took the Spaulding adoption classes for 12 hours and added the adoption portion to our home study from the very beginning. Little did we know that our first foster care placement would exactly fit those parameters. It is amazing to look back and see how the Lord orchestrated the timing of our training, our placement and the addition of two new children to our family.

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families. Psalms 68:5-6

Lori Chally came by this morning with Benjamin Moore paint decks and we talked color.  We decided the first thing to do would be to decide on carpet so I will be going to get carpet samples soon to view in the living room.  We are thinking something like this textured Shaw Carpet in Jamocha.  For the woodwork possibly Meadow Mist and the walls Fernwood Green. Just a starting point but you have to start somewhere…what are your thoughts?

So I am looking online for things that catch my eye and there are so many cute items of furniture and decor out there.  One of my problems is just ending up with something that feels complete and cohesive, my tastes are all over the place.  Target has so many examples of fairly inexpensive, tasteful, fun things to choose from so most of these are from there.  My room will need:  task/ambiance lighting, end tables, a tray for the ottoman to turn it into the functioning coffee table, wall candy, carpet, paint, drapes, blinds, and a flat screen television. Hopefully all for $2,000 or less…or incremental decorating.

I love the website Young House Love you should check it out because I would really like to channel some of their style.

These are some of the things catching my eye online today:

Sunburst Mirror

Brown Round Accent Table

Green Lamp Base

Red Lamp Base

Target Fanciful Collection

A shot of COLOR, what do you think?

Too traditional? Great small grandma chair~cause grandma's rock!

I have no decorating sense whatsoever, as anyone who has visited my home can attest.  If I had a big, bigger, unlimited, budget I could happily duplicate something I have seen and loved in a magazine or on a blog but alas that is not the situation. So I have taken pictures of the first room in my home and am going to ask for lots of constructive input.  I just got the go ahead to shop for carpet because my hubby found out he will get a bonus in March, yippee.  Carpet input is my priority request.  I am posting pictures of my very small living room and as you will see it needs help.  I love my fireplace and clearly it will stay and be the focal point.  I need some ideas for the mantle since it is still bare after the post-Christmas/Winter clean off.  The brown couches will stay but that is pretty much it.  Have at

it creative friends and family!

I do love my fireplace. Should I paint the gold surround flat black?

Inside front door which goes right into the living room.

Living Room window. This whole wall seems like wasted space...would love to eventually have built-in bookshelves here. Any other ideas for this space?

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