Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well our Thanksgiving Break is over. And I do mean break. Ally had a nice break from all the chemotherapy and hospital stays and we got the chance to see our "real" daughter again. She creeps out every few months here. She gets happy, exuberantly happy, and we just sit and relish in the sound of her giggling. We did all sorts of things that you would expect a normal family to do.
  • We spent the Thanksgiving Day up at Fox Hill with my Dad. We hung out, swam in the hot tub, made cookies, and tried to help each other pass the day without Mom. It was hard. Very hard. But we made it. We even spent the night up there (all five of us!) and it was fun. All three kids slept in their bunk beds which are attached to their Pa's room. I think he loved it.
  • We ate a wonderful dinner at Jerad's office. I believe there were 23 of us there and we all sat at the same table. That was pretty special. My Aunt Connie did most of the organizing, cooking, and my Uncle did ALL of the dishes. We owe them an enormous amount of gratitude for including us and making our day go a little easier. My cousin Kevin was even in charge of getting the crafts for the kids...never thought I would see the day he did that. But he also let Ally paint his toenails green this summer...she brings out the best in everyone!
  • We enjoyed the baptism party of our twin nieces Sofie and Abby. We actually traveled the furthest we have been since Miss A got sick. We normally wouldn't have been able to do it, but the break allowed us one more pleasure. We got to see all of Jerad's family, even his sister Amanda who lives in Florida.
  • We had our niece Bella stay with us Saturday night. Bella and Ally were born three weeks apart. They have been best friends their entire lives. Bella lives in Columbus, so we haven't gotten to see her much these days. She came down after the baptism, spent the night, and stayed with us for the entire day Sunday. So nice to just see the girls being the girls and enjoying each other.
  • We also did a lot of Christmas decorating...more pictures on that another day. We had to take advantage of our "slow" time and try to get ahead of the holidays a bit. I even ordered my Christmas card. Which I may post out here at some point for all my blog friends who I don't even have addresses for!
Making cookies with Pa
Hot Tub on a cold day
This is me...trimming some juniper greens and red twigs, and berries and such to make a pot for my front porch. My mom always collected stuff from her land to make me a Christmas arrangement. Every year. It was tradition. So this year, I braved the sprinkling rain and collected it for myself. In her honor, as always.
Our mega-huge table....
Ally and cousin Aly showing Great Grandma their knitting techniqueOne of the most special things that we did was to help dedicate our new church building. My Dad has been largely responsible for the construction and financing of this lovely new church...Grace Crossing is located at 1553 Beaver Valley Rd. The installers from Booher Carpet are starting to lay the floor tomorrow. So today, we took the opportunity to write some verses, prayers, remembrances on the floor of the church. Sort of a time capsule, if you will, that might get looked at again when they change floor covering. Very cool idea if you ask me. I was happy that our girl was there to represent Ally's Army and put a few things down on the floor for herself. You know all of the stars had to be perfectly aligned for her to participate in this event. Pastor Gil called her out in front of the whole congregation. She wouldn't stand up, but so many people are praying for her there, and most don't even know her. I helped the kids to come up with some verses that I thought were is what we did:
Here we are...writing our prayers
This is what Ally wrote....very applicable for her. It is also in honor of our friend Bill Beecheler who is currently battling a brain tumor. This is the verse on the sidebar of his blog. (written by one of my very best friends, Lisa Bauer)
Ally wrote this one for her Dad....always thinking like a builder
This is Evan's. Hard to read but it says "Be still and know that I am God"
This is what I wrote, also on the sidebar of my blog. Someday I will tell the story of the verse, but it is very special to me.
This is what Bella wrote...
So if you are at all interested, the first public service is being held on Dec 13th at 11am. It will be a special time. All are welcome and encouraged. Especially all of you Hunter's Ridge and Hunter's Pointe people right across the road.

And just like that it is over. We are headed back to the hospital at 9 am tomorrow. To start a new round of chemo that lasts about eight weeks (every week). She will start with a spinal tap. I am not looking forward to this because she can't eat before the procedure...and this girl has been eating every hour all weekend long. Tomorrow she will get the same drugs that they gave her that very first day we found out she had leukemia. I was in a complete daze at that point, so I can't even list them here...but it is almost as if she is starting over. These drugs were hard on her. Very hard. So I will brace myself for what is to come. Maybe I learned something last time (like never ever stop the miralax) that could make this a little easier. I also would like to her to start back to school...we will see what they say. I wish her well as we start on this journey yet again. Praying for her every minute.....


  1. Janel...

    I know you've heard it before...but you inspire me everyday. Even though this is not a journey you would have picked for honor your parents with your courage...your family with your perseverance...and you honor all of us with your faith in letting us share. WALK ON SISTER...WALK ON... Strong Hugs, Jill

  2. So glad to see you enjoyed your weekend and took a blogging break. I missed your updates, but knew you were busy doing family things. Bless you Janel.


  3. Well, it's almost 9am. And I am thinking of all of you on this next chapter. SO thankful that this past weekend was so special, and that you all made it through without your mom., even managing some celebrations. I'll bet she loves all of our verses and your home-harvested decorations. Here's to continued strength.

  4. I've been following from my parents' house, and have been so glad that you enjoyed your break and had some good family time. Thinking of you this morning and hoping that all is going well.

  5. So glad that you were able to have some "down" time from the hospital and all the drugs, truly something to be thankful for. I am glad you were all together in support of each other. Your mom is very proud, and she was smiling as was John. Many prayers and thoughts coming your way during this next round of treatment. Ally's Army is very strong and we will win!!!! One day at a time. Bless you and your family.

  6. Janel and Jerad,
    What a few days off! Sounds like you all were very busy. So glad to hear and see that Ally was right in there with all of you. Praying that the next few days are uneventful. Thinking and praying for all of you everyday.

  7. So thankful to have you for a friend, Janel. My heart is always with you and your whole family. Thank you for honoring my Dad. Happy to read about the joy you shared at Thanksgiving and hoping the next treatment goes very well.

  8. Janel, the verses were amazing. Your kids did an incredible job (I'm really impressed with Even's)! It was wonderful having Ally there as a part of it!

  9. Prayers, we are praying for your little ally.

  10. Great pictures and so glad you had such a nice Thanksgiving - I know it was a hard one for so many reasons so keep pushing along - you are inspiring so many of us with your strength! and making me feel like a bad mom b/c you do so much more with your kids and you are battling so many side effects and hurdles- good job!