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The beauty of kids

So, we’re one week into our Christmas break and we still have three kids! It’s been a test of patience some days, but for the most time it’s been a blast. We’ve stayed up and slept in late, there’s been a constant stream of neighborhood kids in and out of the house, we’ve enjoyed the 80-ish weather we’ve had. As Nathaniel put it so clearly “Florida doesn’t really get much of a Christmas weather thing, does it?” No, no, we don’t and he says he’d like some snow, but this kid has never been sent out to shovel snow so you can try to leave the house. The grass is always greener.

Today was a fun day for the kids and me because we met up with a bunch of friends for a lunch and park. We showed up with kids and food and let them all run wild.

Nathaniel with Andrew and David Wylie, about a second after I shot this picture I took that rocket in the kidney….boys!

Lily Kennedy, our favorite 5th grader!

It’s neat when your kids actually get old enough to organize themselves into an activity, kickball was the game of the day. The littler kids played in the water fountain…no, not some elegant shooting water display…they actually just played in a drinking water fountain, with a plastic baggie and an empty water bottle occupied themselves for quite a while.

Rachael and Paige Toth

Out of 14 kids, Peyton was the only one that managed to find herself in a nest of ants, bites all over her arms and legs. Poor kid, she just can’t get a break. But regardless of the mild infestation, she has an absolutely great time at the park.

Sarah Wylie, our resident gymnast, #3 in the state in her age bracket!

Morgan Toth, one of the sweeeeetest kids I've ever met.

When I watched my kids playing with their friends, laughing and just being carefree, I felt so blessed. I got picked to be their mom and there’s nothing more important to me than that.

Peyton’s going through some weird changes, they’re hard to predict and understand and some are really hard to cope with. She’s got this great appetite all of a sudden, which we were gearing up for because of the upcoming steroid treatment, but she hasn’t started it so we’re not sure why she’s eating like mad. She’s a skinny little thing so we’re not fighting it, she needs the extra padding as she’s lost all she’d gained plus some. Her sleep cycle is so messed up. She isn’t sleeping at night well, and that’s when we can GET her to go to sleep. She hasn’t gone to sleep before midnight any night in the last week, it’s driving me nuts, because I can’t tell if she’s tired during the day because she’s not feeling well or if she’s just tired.

It doesn’t take them long to figure out how to work the system. We’re struggling with how to discipline this poor kid who’s been through so much and continues to just be amazement to us. Because, seriously, there are moments that “amazement” over there needs her fanny paddled. The clinic told us about a dad who called one day to ask if he could bring his son in for a blood count. When the nurse asked if he thought his son was sick he explained “No, but I need to know what his platelet count is so I know if I can spank him or not. (Basically he needed to know if the kid was going to bruise from a spanking).” I know how he feels. And you haven’t been glared at until you’re the person chastising your cancer kid until she cries in Target….bring out the tar and feathers!

The thing we tell each other is that we have to continue to be parents and discipline as we normally would, because eventually she’s going to be well and we don’t want to have to get her an apartment because we can’t live with her. Please pray for us to have understanding and patience, and that we’re able to cope with mood swings and temper tantrums AND keep our sanity.

Christmas is just a few days away, and we’re looking forward to a visit from my Mom and Dad. They only live a few hours away in Daytona Beach, but with all the schedules involved, it’s still hard to get together as much as we’d like. It’s going to be fun to have them here for the present free for all that is my living room on Christmas morning. I just hope no one gets hurts in the mad trample.

We have made the kind of plans for New Years that can only be made between two families that both have kids with cancer: IF no one is in the hospital, IF no on is sick, IF treatments go well, and IF there’s no other unforeseen event, would you like to go out for dinner? But we hope to have a nice evening out with the Powells, to bring in the New Year with new friends and to start it out with a fun bang.

We pray for love, health, peace and happiness for all of you and that God will bless you in a mighty way in this upcoming year.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

ps…Please say a special pray for my friend Chris’s dad who is in the hospital in Gainesville trying to recover from a liver transplant. He’s having a lot of complications and I just ask that we all pray for God’s healing love to surround him and strength for the whole family as they help him fight for his life.

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