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Our weekend began on Thursday.

Because of being private school, the kids not only got Good Friday off, but also half of Thursday…which I’m not entirely what the Biblical reference was there…if perhaps they felt that it was “Sort of OK Thursday” or what. Whatever. It did give us an early start to our Easter vacation and we took full advantage.

We had friends come in late on Thursday night, this being my best friend since high school and her 3 daughters. The addition of 4 people in the house…4 females…made for a high intensity, high energy, high estrogen weekend…..poor Nathaniel. He actually did pretty well, he’s used to the Garcia-invasion, it’s been happening since birth, so it’s sort of like lovebug season. You just accept it’s going to happen and prepare for the fallout. I guess it helps that these are girls that he…would never freely admit…but can enjoy hanging out with. They play video games, they like to spar with weapons in the backyard, they like action movies, they don’t mind getting dirty…if he could just get them to stop bathing and wanting to shop they’d be perfect….they’d be guys.

The younger set, Rachael, Peyton and Sabrina (8) take off running in the morning and don’t stop until they drop snoring at night, it’s literally a marathon of activity. They have to be glued to seats to make them eat.

When the weekend was over, the Garcias out the door and on their way back to Daytona, the house was a wreck, we were all exhausted and we had a new tick infestation. Yeah, apparently the back yard had never been completely tick free and the constant in-and-out action all weekend had given the ticks a nice taxi service back indoors.

So, we’re going through the de-ticking process again. Pray for my sanity. I really can’t stand it.

We had a lovely Easter. The kids and I got fancied up in our Easter gear and headed to church. The getting ready took a bit of tweaking….as Nathaniel swore his dress shoes had “heels”, Rachael didn’t understand why she couldn’t just wear her Converse All-Stars under her dress and Peyton wanted to wear all 3 pink headbands! But, we did get out the door, we did look pretty snazzy and we did it with a minimal amount of hollering!

After church we headed over to lunch with Pete’s mom where we ate too much, a holiday tradition around here. Then we trucked over to our friend Mary Ann’s to enjoy some more Easter festivities with friends, more food and an egg hunt that involved almost 300 eggs.

The kids threw themselves into the egg hunt with all the enthusiasm of an Indiana Jones movie…but partially because Mary Ann had thrown out the words “Golden Egg” and “Cash Money”. So, the kids dashed madly looking for the prized golden egg and Peyton didn’t find it. Long after the 3 golden eggs had been located and claimed and we knew there weren’t any more out there, Peyton was still lifting branches and looking under shrubs in hopes that the Easter Bunny was a little bit Alzheimer and had left a few extra. Mary Ann being Mary Ann made sure every kid got a little something extra, but there is nothing better than watching the look of absolute glee on a little one’s face when they open an egg and find a candy treasure inside. My older ones are beyond that now, wise and cynical, but Peyton and Andrew Gliddon were still mightily impressed.

Today is just a big day of catchup. A million phone calls, a to-do list a mile long, things to accomplish and tasks to complete….a Lost episode that calls to be watched. It is so quiet around my house with all three kids at school today, which took some cold-heatedness, I tell you. Peyton is at day 7 of her 5 days of steroids, which is typically the day when she peaks. But she did well yesterday and I made her go this morning and left her crying at the door of her classroom, knowing that her teacher would either calm her or if she could not be comforted and distracted with fun, I would be trekking up there to get her. The school day is complete and they are on to lunch and naptime, so I guess it was a success.

[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mathewjgliddon]Mathew Gliddon[/url] will be heading home this week with Hospice, please keep his family in your prayers as they make this adjustment and that the new arrangement brings him much happiness. I know they are looking forward to getting back into their home. There aren’t a lot of words to say about this, but I know miracles happen and I never stop praying for one.

[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sierrakesler]Sierra Kesle[/url]r is making improvements, although still in the hospital. Her counts are coming up and she is feeling much better. Mary Lynn has even mentioned on their site that the word “ home” has been mentioned, but I know that they want to make sure that Sierra is really and truly healthy before they let her go this time.

I don’t have any updated news on Kaylie, just that she remains on a vent in the PICU. As far as I last heard there had been no improvement, but no decline.

My heart is sad to say that another young friend has relapsed for a second time. Jimmy Reichert, relapsed the first time having just finished the first round of treatment for ALL Leukemia. He was finished with the second treatment and just had his port out this past December and word came that he will be heading into bone marrow transplant. We pray that one of his sisters is a match, that he is successful in this treatment and that cancer will finally be gone from his life. Please keep this family in much needed prayer.

With this thought in mind, are you registered with the Bone Marrow Registry? Have you considered it? The testing process is nothing at all, 4 swabs on the inside of your mouth, and it could give you the chance to be the person to save a life. I won’t lie and tell you it’s as easy as giving blood, because it’s not. It’s a serious commitment, it’s one that you shouldn’t make unless you understand what it means if you are called as a donor match.

Please take into consideration that for the people waiting so desperately for a match, the ones who aren’t lucky enough to have a match in their family, you could the difference between having a bone marrow transplant in time to save their life and finding a match too late.

We have been blessed to meet [url=http://www.drivingfordonors.com]Pat Pedreja[/url], a local Tampa boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia and has since made it his mission to rock the world to awareness about the need for bone marrow donors. In 2007 he began his nationwide trip,[url=http://www.drivingfordonors.com] Driving for Donors[/url], which got huge media coverage and led to him being awarded the CNN Heroes Viewers Choice Award. He is a tremendous young man, doing amazing things and we were honored when his mother Claudine asked if they could use a photo of Peyton for the side of their RV that they use to travel around the country. This RV goes from marrow drive to marrow drive and this year they are heavily promoting the need for minority donors.

Minority and mixed ethnic backgrounds have a much harder time finding bone marrow donor matches because of genetic compatibility issues, so we encourage everyone TO encourage EVERYONE to get involved!

The [url=http://www.drivingfordonors.com]Driving for Donors program [/url]for 2008 is supposed to get underway in May, but it is under-funded for the year. It is in need of sponsorship. It needs 35,000$ for the US leg of the trip. Seriously, people, if we can get 1000 people to donate 35$, it could save a person’s life. It could save 1000’s of lives.

Pat’s dream is to take this mission international and get [url=http://www.drivingfordonors.com]Driving for Donors[/url] overseas this year as well, and the financial need for that is 100,000$. So, please pray for the sponsorship to come that will provide this great need.

I just keep thinking of Emily, who was blessed to have a sibling be a match the first time, but is looking desperately for a match now. I think of Mathew who had Andrew to be his match. We pray that Jimmy finds a match in his sisters, but the chance is only 25% that a sibling will match, no matter how many siblings you might have…the chance remains at 25% that a family member will match.

I think of Peyton. With her mixed ethnicity. If she needed a bone marrow transplant, and Nathaniel and Rachael weren’t a match, what would our chances be of finding a match? Would the perfect match have taken the time to get registered? Would 52$…the cost of testing…have stood in the way of them getting tested so that they could be part of the Bone Marrow Registry?

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

2 Comments on “Catch-up”

  1. #1 Tracey Saylor
    on Mar 24th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hey Anissa
    It looks like you had your hands full this weekend. The kids look adorable. I just had to tell you after reading your story about Pat I had to go back and check an email I received when Katie was diagnosed A girl I work with sent me Pats website I guess she and her family are friends of Pat's what a small world. I'm not sure about the bowling thing, I think the kids can bowl Im sure if you email them or call them they can help you out. With me being in Jacksonville im kinda out of touch with the world hahah THe only world I know right now is trying to find my way around this busy busy town, radiation 3 times a day, and trying to keep a 16 year old busy and focused on some school work 🙂 But thats ok I love every minute I spend with her. Well Im going to go for now we arer heading off to treatment again. Please feel free to email me at [url=mailto:mama3644@yahoo.com]mama3644@yahoo.com[/url] since I dont have access to my other email while im up here.

    Matthew is in our prayers daily along with all the other children that are going through this terrible diease.

    And of course we are always keeping up on Peyton

    Angels all around and on her pillow too

    Prayers & Hugs
    Tracey Saylor 🙂

    on Mar 25th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I love your Easter pics. The girls look so beautiful and Nathaniel so handsome! Continued prayers.