Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014~Week 47

So Desi's dad had his surgery last Thursday and there was a natural separation of the tumor and brain and the surgeon was very happy with how easy it was to get the tumor out.  Des woke up after surgery and recognized his wife and Desi and was able to speak and move!  Praise God!  We were all SO RELIEVED! In a short 48 hours post surgery, he was home and on his road to recovery.  Desi has been an amazing help to his mom and dad at this time and is flying home tomorrow night.  I'm so SO happy that he's coming HOME!  I've missed him so much and it's been hard to be away while his family goes through this trial, but God sustained the kids and me and we continued on with normal life as much as we could.  The last thing we are waiting on to hear about from Des Sr's doctor is the report to hopefully find out that the tumor is benign.  He's healing quickly and is glad to be home.

These little ice crystals are so beautiful!
Hope and I got to go to a mother daughter 13 year old "welcome to womanhood" birthday party on Friday evening.  It is a special thing a lot of families out here do and the women who come bring written blessings to share with the birthday girl while she opens gifts that we give her that represent womanhood or what we love about being women.  It is our 2nd party like this and we really enjoyed it.
Saturday walk...
This place is beautiful all year long...sometimes it's just harder to really see the beauty...
A beautiful morning from my living room window:
We tried something fun this week: filled balloons and gloves with colored water and set them out to freeze...
Sunday night games...this was right before a fight between Owen and Emma that really took it out of me...I was discouraged and frustrated and sent the kids to bed with a pretty bad attitude :(
...and then Todd caught a mouse and was playing with it while it was still alive and Levi and I just watched!  The poor mouse eventually died and Anakin ate him.  The boys and I were totally grossed out as we heard mouse bones crunching between Anakin's jaws!
Lots of snow on Monday...
Hope had a half day of school and I was so nervous to drive her, but it was fine...I just went slow like most everyone else.
Sweet sleeping 8 year old...
I know this is kind of gross, but it provided a LOT of excitement for us on Monday...we trapped a mouse and Emma insisted on giving it to Anakin so she could hear mouse bones crunch between his jaws!  Then we left for the Garden School's Thanksgiving Feast...
The annual Thanksgiving Feast.  My mom joined the kids and myself.
After eating we clean up and enjoy contra dancing!  It's SO MUCH FUN!
We got back home Monday afternoon and found a mouse nest under the stove.  We cleaned it out and Anakin caught a mouse under the stove.  He played with it and there was much entertainment as we watched him fling the mouse around...
Todd on the hunt...  In the end, in less than 24 hours we trapped 2 mice, Todd caught 1 and Anakin caught 1.  Since then, we've had no mouse activity at all...maybe we got them all?!  I wonder if having the wood burning stove (and thus a warmer house) has invited these mice in?  At least we have great mousers living here!  Anakin ate 3 whole mice and 2 half mice...GROSS!  ha ha!
It's a terribly fuzzy photo, but the kids were excited to see how our experiment with freezing water in balloons worked!  Here is one of Owen's:
We didn't have good lighting today, but below is a pretty good photo I got of one of them...so beautiful!
Hope cutting her balloons off...
Pretty fun!
I took the younger kids on a quick trip to the library today...we are SO SO SO Thankful to have a beautiful library on our very own street!!!
We tried making one version of snow candy today...
It wasn't all that tasty.  We used molasses and brown sugar.  We really want to try a version with pure maple syrup...like we read about in the book Understood Betsy.  Oh well, not all experiments turn out the way we'd like!  At least it was fun to try.
I got my grocery shopping done today for Thanksgiving.  I'm SUPER DUPER happy that Desi's coming home tomorrow night!  My sweet Dad is going to pick Desi up from Grand Junction which will be a great help to me as I have to work magazines, do school (we're a bit behind and will only do reading tomorrow) and get some prep done for Thursday's big meal around 1pm!  We're going to have ham, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, sausage sage stuffing, yams, home made cheesy biscuits, collard greens and candied apples and apple cranberry cobbler for dessert.  Hooray! I'm just so happy to have my parents back in the country, my husband back home and his dad healing so well from brain surgery.  It's a fun day to watch football, play games, eat tasty food and enjoy spending time with the people I love most.  It's my favorite holiday!  Thank You God for loving me, sending Your Son to die in my place in order to pay for my sins and making a way for me to spend eternity with You when my journey on this earth comes to a close.  This earthly pilgrimage is hard at times and so beautiful at times and I know the beauty only is a shadow, a hint of what is to come.  I love YOU!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2014~Week 46

Heading out to my delayed plane at PDX in Portland...it feels old school to walk out to the plane :)
Arrival at SNOWY DIA in Denver!!!
My flight to Grand Junction was cancelled!  I got a flight in the morning but waited on standby for an early evening flight...
Didn't get the flight...so...I got a hotel room about 15 min from the airport.  It was CRAZY COLD...close to ZERO!  I've never slept in a hotel room by myself before.  It was weird but I was exhausted after a rough night sleep previous, and a long day spent in airports...so I showered and went to sleep.  Didn't sleep well and woke up at 5am to catch a shuttle back to the airport...but at least I rested!
Thursday morning in Denver...sunny skies...I was so thankful to be going HOME!!!
Desi and the 3 younger kiddos picked me up in Grand Junction (about 70 miles from our house in New Castle).  We walked around Cabela's and the mall and got some lunch before heading home.
It was sunny and dry in Grand Junction...somewhere between Parachute and West Rifle, the snow started falling.  Unfortunately just as Desi started to decrease his speed, we slipped around some and slid off the freeway but thankfully our car was fine and we were fine.  Man, it's crazy how slick the roads can get.  We drove the rest of the way home very slowly.  Super scary.  We are so thankful God protected us!!
Stocking up on firewood once we got home.  This was our first big snow of the season!  We got at least 4 or 5 inches.
We took a snow day on Friday in honor of the first snowfall and my sheer exhaustion!  I took the day to do laundry and catch up on all sorts of things.
Took Peterbilt on a nice walk :)
Snow makes everything so pretty!
Emma, Levi and Owen rolled three of these huge snowball things:
On Friday night Desi and I took Hope to see Les Mis.  My mom met us there and we all enjoyed the wonderful performances!  It was truly impressive!!  Community theater is such a treat.  Hope is determined to be in a production of Les Mis someday :)
We got a text from Desi's mom saying that his dad had such a bad headache that they were going to the ER...which worried us so we began to pray...
Desi and I took a cold 4 mile walk on Saturday...walked on one of the 3 new pedestrian bridges just as it began snowing...so we ran home!
More snow = happy kids!
On Saturday morning we heard from Desi's mom that his dad had gone through some testing and had been transferred to a hospital in Fontana due to a mass that had been found in his frontal lobe. Naturally we were very concerned and Desi quickly began to make plans to fly out to CA to be with his parents.  Des Sr. got meds and began to do better by Sunday.  Desi left Sunday morning and flew out of Grand Junction.  I took a long walk to take time to pray and work off some stress.
Desi got to the hospital by Sunday afternoon and the photos below are from Monday I think...Des's brain scan showed a 4 cm mass...
The smaller bright spot is the mass, the larger area is the swelling...
The kids and I made cards for Des that Desi delivered to his dad:
A happy Des, pain free and waiting to learn more about the brain surgery he needs:
We are thankful for how easy it is to stay in touch these days!!!  The kids and I miss Desi but home is the best place for us.  Back to school and as much of a normal routine as we can muster.  Levi and Emma got into making armor this week...so fun!
The only tv show we watch is The Voice...it's something to look forward to on Monday and Tuesday nights.  Tonight I had a sweet kitty on my lap :)  So cozy!
The kids and I are doing well.  We've got lots of support here and are encouraged by all the love and prayers and support shown on Facebook.  Desi's sister is updating once or twice a day and we've got people all over the place praying for Des.  Below you will find some of Shannon's updates:

Update 11/17 at 9:30pm
We met with my dad's Desmond Martin Starr surgeon today, who is the head of the neurosurgery department, and he gave us more of an idea about the tumor itself and what to expect during the surgery.
Most likely the surgery will be on Thursday. This will give time for some swelling to go down to allow for a safer surgery. We don't know what time yet so we will post about that later.
The tumor is on the left side of the brain behind his eye and pressing on the speech center. The doctor said the tumor happens to be in a very sensitive area so he will need to be cautious with how much of the tumor to remove while trying to be as safe as possible for normal speech, motor and cognitive functions.
Please pray for these specifics:
1. The swelling to go down before surgery
2. Dr. Goldenberg to have wisdom in all his decisions before and during surgery.
3. That it is non-cancerous
4. For our entire family to have rest and peace that surpasses all understanding
Thank you for your prayers and support!!!! We are so appreciative of everyone loving us through this. We are doing well, however, this new information was a lot to take in. We are leaning on Jesus our Rock and the Mighty Physician.

Update 11/18 at 8:30pm
We found out today that Desmond Martin Starr is supposed to be prepped for surgery on Thursday at 11am. The actual surgery should take 3-4 hours, but the whole process will be around 7 hours.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us. My dad had a good day today and was so blessed to get the cards and banner that the kids at Calvary Murrieta Christian School made for him. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support!! Please keep praying.