Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AWANA Begins

It's a new school year and that means another year of AWANA club is starting up too. The kids once again were super excited to start club. Evelyn is starting third and final year in Sparks and Matthew is in his second year of Cubbies.

It warms my my heart to see both kids working hard to memorize God's word. I doubt they realize that planting verses in their hearts will make a huge difference in their relationship with God as they grow up. They just think it is fun, which is great too!

Praying they continue to deepen their knowledge of God and his love for them as they go thru the year!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Matthew's First Day of School (Ever!)

When I heard that our fine state was going to make full-day kindergarten mandatory the year Matthew started kindy (yes, MANDATORY.. don't even get me started... so not happy about this!) , I knew we both would need to get used to the idea of being apart from one another BEFORE it was 6.5 hours a day. We didn't send Evelyn to preschool for a myriad of reasons, and for the above and other reasons, we decided to enroll Matthew in preschool this year. 2.5 hours a day.. just  like half day kindy.. for us to get started on the "separation" process.

Matthew has been SO SO excited to start preschool and "play and make friends", frequently asking how many more days until school starts. I actually was excited too, knowing that HE was excited and already knowing that 2.5 hours was do-able for my sappy momma heart. Last Thursday we went to orientation and met his teacher and classmates, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Then, sadly, yesterday.. he lost it. "I don't want to go to school!! I want to be home with you!!" We both had a good cry and worked through that... but I was a bit nervous about how he would do today. Thankfully, my worries were unwarranted!

He woke up excited and ready to go. Doug took the day off so we both could take him and pick him up. I wanted to take some pictures before we left.. he just wanted to GO!!

He is growing up before my eyes....
...but he will ALWAYS be my baby! :)

He was so happy and proud to get to go to school with daddy! :)

Waiting patiently to go in...

The goodbye was quick, as his teacher, Mrs. Goff, had requested. I hugged him tight, prayed a quick prayer of blessing in his ear, and off he went to go play. I may have made it to the door without crying, but in reality probably not! :)

I know I will enjoy the "free time" I will have, but man, today I wanted 11:30 to get here quickly so I could see his face again. Thankfully Doug was home and was good company and a good distraction, and soon enough it was time to pick him up.

He was all smiles and happy to see up when we got him. He said his day was "good" and his favorite part was recess (of course). He also said he was excited to go back tomorrow... a good sign! :)

We took him out to lunch at Five Guys for a treat and had a fun time just the three of us.
I missed that face!

Happy BIG boy!

I think he is going to have a great year, learn lots of things, and grow more into the little man God wants him to be. I hope to be able to drop him off without crying... someday! :) I am so thankful for this preschooler... he is such a special boy. 

Preschool... let's do this!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Parade Day!

Saturday was Beaverton's City parade, a highlight for my kids.. and for me, too... every year. It really is a fun event and I am so glad they put this on. Evelyn's classmate and friend Joshua and his mom Theresa (who is awesome) joined us and we had a fun morning.

Motorcycle Police always start the parade.

Mayor Doyle.. a great guy and a great leader.

Matthew's favorite truck... it is in the parade every year and he gets so excited everytime he sees it!

Fun with friends!!

We got enough candy to last us for months and lots of fun memories were made again this year. Thankful for this city I call home!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Second Grade

I have a second grader. That is just so surreal to even write let alone digest!! I have to admit, compared to last year, the start of the school year was not as emotional for me. Of course, I cried... that is a no-brainer..haha... but it wasn't as bad as last year! For two reasons. 1) This is her second year in school all day. Yes, I will miss her terribly, but I know I survived last year so this year will be even better! 2) Evelyn was fortunate enough to have her first grade teacher, Mrs. Beltran, move up to second grade and is her teacher again along with her same classmates from last year. Such a huge blessing that has made the transition back to school easier for all of us!

Here are some pics from her first day!

Sadly her pink headband that she was going to wear snapped in half last week so she had to wear the white one. She still looked so cute in the outfit she picked!
This was NOT the first hug he gave her this morning!!

I love them...

Obligatory school sign photos... :)

She's growing up. Sigh....

Poor Matthew.. I think he was the most upset out of all of us. He missed his sister SO much today!! They really did have a great summer together and got along really well.. it was a hard goodbye for my sweet boy. We did many things to just keep us busy until it was time to go get her, like riding bikes (well, him riding his bike) and making silly faces to try to not cry but laugh!

After reuniting after school, it was fun to hear her talk about her day. She is much more confident this year in terms of school routine and school "lingo".. she has grown up a lot since last year. She had a fun first day but also was super tired!

We celebrated the first day with after dinner ice cream!

Love her!!

While I will miss her when she is in class, I know she is where she needs to be and is in good hands. I think this is going to be a great year for my smart and dramatic girlie!! Who knows.. I may not even cry when she goes off to 3rd grade.... (who am I kidding!)!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Call

Around the time Evelyn finished school mid June, I started noticing my neck and right arm being sore more than usual. I chalked it up to maybe doing one too many push-ups or picking up Matthew the wrong way, and didn't think much of it. The pain continued to slowly get worse until it was almost unbearable. I was diagnosed with "ridiculopathy" in my neck. (I think that word is silly.. and apropos... I think it should just be called "ridiculously" painful neck syndrome..haha). After two trips to the doctor and failed attempts to treat it with pain meds, muscle relaxers and steroids, I was sent for an MRI. It was determined that I had a herniated disc between my c6 and c7 vertebrae. I was referred to a neurosurgeon, who then referred me to physical therapy and the pain clinic for management of my neck issues.

The MRI incidentally also found a small nodule on my thyroid. Apparently this happens alot with thyroid nodules... the endocrine doctors call them "incidental-omas" because rarely are they found without imaging for another issue. After an ultrasound revealed actually 2 nodules, it was necessary to biopsy them, just to be sure.

During the biopsy (which was NOT very much fun) the endocrinologist was telling me how less than 30% of thyroid nodules biopsied are actually cancerous, and because mine were pretty small he was not worried much about them. He told me that he would email me the "good news" once he got the pathology report back. He would only call me if it was "bad news".

Last Thursday at 1:50pm, I got a call from Dr. Prihoda. I knew what that meant.

I have thyroid cancer.

I think Dr. Prihoda was just as upset at having to call me as I was receiving his call. He fumbled through his words the best he could. I tried to be as generic as possible with my responses and my questions, as I was in the car with the kids (I had pulled over.. don't worry!) and really wasn't sure what I wanted them to know. I was shaking as he spoke, trying to listen but also trying to just digest what I had just learned. Needless to say, I turned the car around and headed home, put a movie in for the kids, and sat down, took a deep breath and tried my best to calm down. Tears started to flow as I dialed Doug's work number. His calm voice and reassuring words were comforting and what I needed, although I know he was just as upset as I was. 

As a former nurse.. a pediatric nurse who specialized in oncology... I can honestly say if I could pick a cancer to have it would be this one. Very treatable, almost 100% curable if caught early (which mine was). But there will still be many hurdles to jump to get to that point.

What I know so far it that I will have surgery to completely remove my thyroid sometime soon. Once final pathology comes back a treatment plan will be put in place.  My doctor said it could be a very long six months or so for me.. but I will eventually be back to good health. In reality, tho,  it's hard to say how it really will go.

But...we will stick together as a family . We will stick to Jesus. We will do our best to live each day as a gift, celebrating victories and trudging thru the hard days with grace. We know that God is with us and for us. We know His hand is upon us and have clearly seen that in that past few months. and know we cannot do this without His love, grace, mercy and strength.

Onward we go.. one day at a time.