Hope4Peyton header image

A Christmas Story….and no one shot their eye out!

“Who has more presents than me?”

“Oh, that’s right…no one!”

Ahhhh, Christmas. Come and gone, with memories to keep forever and pictures with which to blackmail our children through puberty. Our holiday was wonderful, we had so many moments of laughter and a couple of unplanned tears, it was a day of blessings and love for us.

Christmas Eve, my mom and dad arrived from Daytona Beach to partake of festivities. The kids fell on Grandpa and Grandma like a pack of attention-starved wild dogs, acting like goofy monkeys in an attempt to win the “favorite grandchild” trophy. If each child wasn’t whispered to that they were indeed the favorite grandchild, they were made to feel as though they were. The whole family packed up and attended our church’s evening Christmas service where the music and message were a thing of beauty and clearly defined the truest meaning of Christmas. However, we did have to have a talk with Nathaniel about what Christmas means to us because he wasn’t quite getting it. A gentleman who has been Nathaniel’s camp counselor for the past few years and is very active in the children’s church sat next to us during the service. As the service ended and we were all gathering our kids and belonging he told us “Merry Christmas” and Nathaniel answered “Happy Hanukah”. We tried real hard to make him understand that that’s not an appropriate comeback for holiday wishes for our family….because we’re at a Christian church….and primarily because we’re not Jewish.

We shared a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at Peter’s mother’s place, ate too much of some truly fantastic food and opened sweet special Grandma gifts. We hurried home to get the kids in bed because Peter and I were just slacker enough to have wrapped NOTHING yet. We were still wrapping presents at 12:30. I guess the kids didn’t really notice the difference between the early precise wrapping and the later “just get a stinking name tag on the box” wrapping. Note to self: next year just throw the gifts on the floor and let the kids jump in like mud wrestlers.

At 7 AM the kids started getting us up and we made our way to the living room. They were in awe of the presents lining up around the tree and did the customary lift-and-shake on a few, but were twitching with impatience as the adults got coffee, brushed teeth and made our way to the living room. Besides the parents-to-kids, kid-to-kid, kid-to-parent, grandparent-to-everyone gifts, there were also some added blessings under our tree from a Baylife Church life group that brought special presents for our whole family. Toys and clothes were gifted to the kids and gift cards were given to the whole family. They truly reached out to bring extra love to our home and succeeded.

It’s amazing how generous and giving those around us have been. Besides the parties we’ve been invited to through the Children’s Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society, gifts have shown up from friends, strangers and relatives. We’ve been overwhelmed by the way our family has been embraced and cared for by so many. We have no way to show the depth of our thanks, but we keep saying and we keep meaning it: Thank You!

I had a moment of absolute panic this week, the kind that makes you feel like you’re just going to pass out or throw up or both. In October, Verizon has all its employees enroll in insurance for the upcoming year and I did the online enrollment to keep our same insurance which was the best that they offered and which we would so desperately need over the next few years of treatment. We got our new insurance cards in the mail and my eyeballs almost fell out of my head because they were cards from United Healthcare and we were supposed to get Cigna. Yikes! Bad! Oh NO!!! Anissa looses it! Pete freaks! Fun times! It was very very bad because it would be a significant drop in coverage, huge out of pocket expenses and deductibles to meet, I was just ill. After a very stressful phone call, it was all explained and the situation was put right. God provided a fix and we are now safely insured for the next year. Pfhweeeew!

Peyton is still eating like she’s already started steroids, which is fantastic because it’s the first real appetite she’s had in months. We’re getting mentally ready to hurdle into this next phase of treatment, please pray for all of us as it is a very hairy 8 weeks ahead of us.

Our sweet friend Adelaine Powell has finished the worst part of her treatment and is now starting the maintenance phase of her treatment. She has a tentative projected date of September 18, 2008 for the end of treatment. She will still be immune-suppressed and run the risk of infection, but the ups and down are going to level out a lot at this point. We are so happy to hear this great news and to see a light at the end of her tunnel.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

1 Comment on “A Christmas Story….and no one shot their eye out!”

  1. #1 Doug P.
    on Jan 9th, 2007 at 11:50 am

    We also had a mad scramble wrapping presents on Christmas eve. The children had placed cookies and milk on the fireplace for santa trying to make up for any missteps they may have had during the year (Bowen seriously thought santa may not have anything for him, Bowen has had a tough year). "Santa" ate the cookies as soon as the children were in bed. Adelaine shot out of her bed @ 11:30 pm and sprinted into the bedroom to tell Angela that we left cookies for santa. To her surprise the cookies and milk were gone, but the presents were not there. She freaked and had to get more cookies. I explained that santa had stopped by eaten the cookies for an energy snack and that he would back any minute to bring the presents. I also stated that he would give her a kiss if she was asleep. She freaked again, because "santa is all hairy and he will scratch my face (with his beard)". I think she slept with one eye open on Christams Eve.
    Lessons for all: Make certain "Santa" eats the cookies after he leaves the presents and dont kiss a kid when your face is scratchy.