Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday
February 2011
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Nov 2010

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday
Feb 2010

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Post radiation MRI #3

Stable--nothing new and nothing changed= GREAT!  That's our goal.  We feel very blessed.  Of course no matter what we'd feel that way, because we are.  Our Father in Heaven cares for each one of us in the exact way we need to be cared for.  Whether or not we see that is up to us.  I know He loves us and He REALLY loves my Mitchell.  I know angels watch over my little guy all the time and I'm just so thankful for every day I get to be wrapped up in his arms. 

I love the film "Life is Beautiful."  Although it's so heart-wrenching and tragic it is such a good example of staying positive and choosing to be happy no matter what challenges come our way.  I'm weak and succumb to fear and anxiety at times, but I try very hard to choose happiness and optimism each day because that is power.  I know that our Father in Heaven blesses us too as we choose to see all that is good around us. 

Thanks to all!  I'm going to continue to hope because isn't it exciting afterall to think of having my little hero defeat the monster?  He always tells me he's good at fighting monsters and I believe him. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Isn't This a Nice Time?"

If I had to choose Mitchell's most popular phrase, that would be it: "Isn't this a nice time?"  He says it 50 times a day, and although at times the repetitiveness of it gets on our nerves, it has caused us to seriously reflect on the insights of this little boy.  Often after that question, he follows it with observations, "The sky is so blue," "It's such a beautiful day," "We're having so much fun," etc.  He's our own little Pollyanna.  I'm so grateful for that.  How could you not be a happy person with an influence like that in your life?  Even on days where life just seems a little too much, Mitchell will ask me, "Isn't this a nice time?" and gratefully I'm forced to step back and look at my three little ones around me, my totally amazing husband, and our lovely home then respond with, "Yes Mitchell, it really is."  Life is SO hard sometimes, but also SO great! 

Mitchell has his quarterly MRI this Wednesday, August 24th.  I don't know how I feel about it because honestly we just try to live in the moment and I've really not thought too much about it.  Physically, he's doing spectacularly well.  We recently signed him up for gymnastics.  Obviously he will need our help to complete many tasks, but I think he'll enjoy the exercise a lot more than traditional physical therapy.  Emotionally, he is struggling a bit more.  He cries at the drop of a hat and loses his temper quite easily too.  Could it be the tumor?  VERY possible.  Could it be a 4-year-old's moodiness?  Absolutely.  I remember Jackson causing me some serious grief about this age.  Hopefully the MRI will look great and Mitchell will have some harsher consequences for his misbehavior as a result...probably not though. :)  I admit, however, I am a bit nervous about sending him to preschool without me shadowing him every second.  Yes, call me the helicopter parent--I'm keeping my birdies in the nest as long as possible! 

We appreciate your prayers and support.  I am so impressed by how our friends and family continue to walk this path with us because I'm afraid if the role was reversed, I might have abandoned ship by now.  It has been a great example to me of enduring service and love.  Thank you all!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

July 2011

Sorry I haven't uploaded any pictures and this one was in my email box! I'll have to load summer pics soon. Here's our day boating.

Sorry to all of our friend and family following this! We have hardly been home this past month. We've had cousins visiting and are truly enjoying our summer. We've been to amusement parks, boating, camping, DRIVING (a lot!), and swimming. Lots of fun. Mitchell is doing really well despite getting much less sleep than he was used to during the spring. We're often out past bedtime and he's missed a lot of naps. His behavior was pretty bad for a stretch. It was very concerning, because behavior changes are a sign of tumor growth. It really could be a wide awray of contributing factors, however, so we've tried to not let ourselves get too worried. He took a neuro-cognitive test at the end of June. His knowledge base/skills are average for his age-group, so he is supposed to be fine for preschool. Of course his fine motor skills are lacking. His verbal/word usage was really high. In short, his weakness is in abstract reasoning, which will eventually become math skills/problem solving.

We've made it through 6 months of chemo, which is the bare minimum, so anything after this is great. We had some rough spots, but we made it through. Mitchell is a champ. He had his first opthamology appointment since November 8th (two days before we discovered his tumor had tripled), and although a bit awkward, we made it through smiling. The dr said his eyesight has improved from patching (yay) and when reviewing Mitchell's scans he said, "With the size of his tumor I can't believe he's doing this well!" Uhhh...what are we supposed to say to that?

I want to share a quote I found the other day and loved by Elder Scott from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "May I share some suggestions with you who face...the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to His commandments. Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benfit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

Chad and I are reading a book called, "The Price We Paid" about the handcart pioneers who crossed America in 1856. It has been eye opening on so many levels, but I've found myself comparing trials/experiences with them. The trial doesn't matter, but there seems to be the same fundamental principles in trials that we all must learn. I am so grateful because I CAN see that I'm learning them and while I still have a LONG way to go I feel so grateful the Lord has blessed me with enough knowledge for it to make some sense.

I have a beautifully talented penpal mother I'm corresponding with whose son is also battling brain cancer and she recently wrote this on her blog: "[As we celebrate our anniversary I realize] there's a shadow there that has changed us forever. It hasn't all been bad change. A lot of good change, actually, but still some very real heartache that we didn't anticipate years ago. " Chad and I just celebrated our anniversary too and I agree. I never imagined I'd experience this kind of trial and this much heartache, but from such intense pain CAN come overwhelming joy. I have a better understanding of what an eternal marriage "through thick and thin" means and I am completely devoted to my sweetheart no matter what. I also understand how incredibly blessed I am to be a mother and entrusted with these little precious angels. I have truly savored every second my little Eden Joy is awake and I didn't always do that before with the boys. I just feel so blessed. I don't know what's around the corner, but I know at least part of it will be really great.