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Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday May 30th, 2011

Happy Memorial Day. Hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends this weekend, and took time to remember those who are serving, and have served.
Thanks for you patience, sorry this post is late.
Ella and Josh had a great weekend. they got to play in Wisconsin with their cousins all weekend, and they were just go, go, go! We went up on Friday and took our time, going through Madison. It was a really nice "family" weekend. Steve and I ran a quarter Marathon on Sunday and got to hike a bit through Devils Lake. The cousins just played all weekend. They went to the movies, park, had a Lemonade stand at Auntie Becky's.  This is probably the only time I wish we had about 4 more kids. When I see them all together and we gather all 10 of us around Grandma's table to eat together, then I want more kids.

Ella had clinic on Monday. This was not one of her better days. She had a procedure scheduled so she was not allowed to eat. She threw up in the car on the way to clinic, and cried. Grandpa switched places with me and drove to clinic so I could sit in back with Ella. When we got to clinic they were busy! Her labs came back good, labs are always a concern especially after traveling. The only count that was a bit off was her liver, so they are just going to keep an eye on it. While we were waiting for Dr. Sarvida to come in and do Ella's spinal, she fell asleep on my lap.
As soon as her spinal was done, she threw up again. So they finished her IV chemo and we stayed at clinic longer to make sure she got some anti-nausea meds before we left. She didn't eat much the rest of the day, then around 8pm, right when she had to have her meds on an empty stomach, she said she was "Starving". Oh, steroids started again yesterday. She she was up until 10pm last night so we could time her meds out and she could eat.

She is doing much better today. She still seems tired, but better. Her little body went through a lot yesterday.
If you are in the Schaumburg area, please join us at Noodles and Company on Thursday between 12-4pm for the Cancer Butt Kickers Fund Raiser! Leave me a message here and I'll email you the flier you need to take with you. If you bring it in, they will donate 25% of the sales to our Relay for Life Team- Cancer Butt Kicker, Kickn' for Ella and Carrie!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Monday May 23rd, 2011

Ella had a great week. She played, laughed and smiled. What else can we ask for. I can tell you the most ridiculous purchase Steve and I have ever made is this bounce house. It is also the best thing we ever did! Friday night all you could hear in our back yard was the laughter of children. We cooked out and the kids bounced and played for hours. It is definately summer!

I had a friend call me this week, the funny thing is that she didn't mean to, but I'm glad we had a second to chat. She asked me when I thought I might be able to take a deep breath again. I was honest with her and said never. This, how it is now, is my new deep breath. I don't think there will ever come a time where our guard is down and and we don't take every illness or cough very seriously. She has a series of bruises on her leg this week, and I could not help but think maybe her counts are low. I am sure there will be times, when we breath a little deeper than others but, at least at this point, I can't imagine breathing any deeper than I am at this moment. this week I am praying that God will help me not to be fearful, and to just have faith in his plan for Ella.

I wanted to share Ella's 5year old photos with you. Steve and I took these together. I think they show her personality, and they also show Joshua's love for his sister. Here are a few, but you can see them all at the link below.

Have a blessed week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday May 16th, 2011 Ella's Birthday

I know it probably goes without saying, but this birthday had a whole new meaning for our family. Ella turned five today. Ella, lived to be five years old, have a birthday party, eat birthday cake, and smile with her friends. Ella is still here with us. I can tell you that tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type because I feel that we are so blessed to have her here with us still.
Ella's Birthday party was a gift to us this year in more ways than one. There is a foundation called Bear Necessities that does a mini gift to children with cancer. Ella decided months ago that she wanted hers to be a Build A Bear Birthday party, and so it was. We are very grateful to the Bear Necessities Foundation for their generosity and support.
Ella's Birthday party theme last year was rainbows, and this year she has been really big on the peace symbol, so it was very fitting that build A Bear has a new Peace and Rainbow bear that Ella fell in love with for her gift this year. She had so much fun with her friends and when the party was done, the kids all went out to the front of the store, gathered around Ella and sang happy birthday to her. Even one of the BAB employees teared up as everyone sang. After the party we went to Rain Forest Cafe for dinner and the kids got to enjoy the build A Bear cake that Steve and I made for her.
Ella at the Rain Forest Cafe
Ella's cake

This cake was definitely a labor of Love! Ella wanted it to look like the Valentine's day BAB Box, so we did our best to copy it for her and she was so surprised when she woke up on Saturday and saw it on the counter.  Josh was really sweet and said" Ella, it's the perfect cake for you!"

Our family came in from Wisconsin not only to celebrate Ella's birthday but to watch Josh at his Karate Tournament Saturday Morning. He took 2nd place in Self Defense. I am so very proud of him. He was so very nervous. I don't think he moved a muscle except for when it was his turn to compete. I think he was relieved when it was all over.

I just want to say that Steve and are are so grateful to everyone who was a party of Ella's birthday celebration. Weather you sent a birthday wish, gift, or were able to be a part of her day- we just really appreciate your love and ability to spend this joyful day with us! THANK YOU ALL.
Ella and her Rainbow Peace bear- Yes, that is what she named it!
I also wanted to mention that we saved some of Ella's hair before it all fell out, and this week we compared the color. It is the EXACT same color it was before! Which from what our Onc says is rare. Ella was so happy. She really wanted her red hair back, and I am happy that at least that stayed the same for her!
Have a wonderful week my friends.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday May 9th, 2011

Ella had clinic last Tuesday. Her counts were a little lower than I would have liked, but she still got 100% of her chemo. She was pretty tired for the rest of the week, and hungry and moody from the steroids, but overall she is doing really well. She was very happy to have Grandma and Grandpa at clinic with her, and she loves that she gets to work on a craft project while we are waiting for chemo. She was also excited to bring in a bouquet of cookie flowers for the nurses to celebrate nurses week.  There are 4 main nurses that handle the Peds/Onc area and they are a group of strong woman, all unique in personalities. We appreciate all of them dearly.

Kailee and Ella enjoying the weather.
She is so very happy that it has been nice enough out to wear dresses. We took these today in front of the house. We had a very nice Mother's Day celebration. We went to church and Steve helped me garden in the back yard. I love the spring because I love seeing the trees and flowers begin to bloom and grow. Ella had gymnastics this morning with her buddy Avery and now loves hanging from the rings.

This weekend is Ella's 5th birthday party, and her birthday is next Monday. Her birthday party this year is a gift from the Bear Necessities Foundation that supports kids with cancer. She is counting down the days, and guess where she picked for her party?  Build A Bear. Thank God they just came out with a new line of bears, because otherwise I have no idea what she would pick out! Afterwords we are going to the Rain Forest Cafe for an early dinner. I can't tell you have many times I have prayed that I am grateful that she is here to celebrate this birthday and how much this day means to me. I think since Carrie was diagnosed with cancer, I look at birthdays in a whole new light. Instead of " oh crap, I'm getting older- It is more like "Yea! I'm getting older- and your getting older too!"  So, happy to look at her and celebrate her life. She is so strong and has had such an impact on so many people.

If Ella has impacted your life at all, or you would like to leave a birthday message for her, please leave a comment. I am making this into a book for her and I think it will be cool for her to look back and read them when she is older.

Have a Wonderful Week.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday May 2nd, 2011

Strong girl!
 I love Stuff like this. When Josh and Ella and just being brother and sister and playing. We got to karate 15 minutes early on Saturday so we hung out in the car and they were goofing around, so I took a few pics. Ella liked this one because she said she looks so strong. She is the strongest girl I know.

Ella had a good week. Not a ton of meds because it is the end of her "month" so she was in a really good mood and have lots of energy.  Tomorrow is clinic day, so we will see how her counts are holding up and do it all over again.
Just goofing in the car.

Happy girl.
Grandma and grandpa are back from Florida so they are here for clinic and to help out with Ella. I am under the weather so I'm trying to keep my distance just to be safe.  This picture I took today. She is in a really good mood and was so excited that grandma and grandpa got to watch her at gymnastics class.

This week Steve and I will be attending Noah's funeral.  That's going to be a hard day. I am sure there will be such a great representation of family and love there to respect little Noah.

Many blessings to you and your family. Cherish every moment.