Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finally, Iowa bound

Not a lot to update accept that we are likely traveling to Iowa the week after we go to Denver.  Yes, we FINALLY heard back from Iowa, but only because we have a family member who has a direct connection with the director of the Cancer Center and with the mere mention of our frustration the ball was set in motion to try to get us seen there.  We received confirmation from the main pediatric Dr there who continued to drag her feet in responding to us (all of the nurses and administrative staff we have spoken to have been super apologetic and have been more than helpful...  as they said, they just can't force her, the Dr, to respond).  We have dates and will be traveling to Iowa the first week in May.  We continue to trust that the Lord allowed the delay for a reason, maybe we wouldn't have learned about Denver had we not been so frustrated with Iowa.  God knows our heart and needs before we do, so I trust that He already has all the details figured out, we just need to be still and know He is God.

Andrew finished his second round of chemo on Thursday.  All things considered, he weathered it well.  His tummy pain has definitely been better since he's been on chemo (he still takes pain medication around the clock, but we are able stretch out the duration between doses from every 4 hours to every 6+ hours and use a little lower dose of pain meds-- that is praise worthy for sure).  However, as of today (Tuesday) we are noticing that the pain seems to be creeping back up :-(.  Please join us in praying that the improvement in pain will hold.


Here are a couple highlights over the past few weeks that I want to make sure to share with y'all:

-We continue to be blessed by the best, most thoughtful, and generous community EVER!!!  The kids' school (staff and families) have come along side of us in ways we never imagined.  I have to admit, when I'm at work and see a call from Campbell Elementary, my heart drops because I immediately think it's the nurse calling because Andrew needs to be picked up because of his pain or he's come down with a fever or something (it's mortifying to send your kid with a weak immune system to a place with all things germy, especially when you hear about kid after kid coming down with flu, etc), but I'm more often than not surprised to find that it is just one of the precious staff or administrators calling to give me an update on steps they are taking to help make school a stress free place for Andrew, a fundraiser that a parent has suggested and they want my approval, etc.  Andrew's Army was in full effect on free dress day at school.  It was crazy amazing to see so many children and staff rocking their shirts and bracelets.  I think the biggest blessing of that day was the prayer meeting that took place before school (across the street from the school). Our youth pastor came and did a brief devotional, led us all in prayer, and then we all enjoyed donuts (with green icing of course ;-).  I know so many are praying near and far for our sweet boy, praying as if he is your child, for which we can never say enough thank you's.  I got to see a beautiful picture that morning of unity in Christ...  children and their parents came to school early, banding together to hear about the hope we have in Christ and where we can all draw our strength and courage from.  The kids were all so attentive it was awesome and then the opportunity to witness the unifying of the body of Christ in prayer, petitioning our Lord on behalf of Andrew and our family was powerful.  It is an image that will forever be etched in my mind!









-A couple weeks ago, Andrew's year round swim team, Escalate, held a swim-a-thon for Andrew.  This swim-a-thon was a phenomenal display of boys and girls sacrificing their comfort, time, and energy to support a team mate (many of the kids that swam were good friends, but there were a bunch who hardly know our family and yet still participated as if it was for their brother).  These kids literally went door to door to collecting sponsors from neighbors, etc.  On the day of the swim-a-thon the kids swam as many laps as they could in an hour. I watched as these kids pushed themselves beyond their comfort zone, many had a number of laps they were determined to make to maximize their fundraising and they pursued that goal like it was for an Olympic medal.  I was touched by, grateful for, and beyond proud of every kid who participated!  On the morning of the day of the swim-a-thon, I was feeling beat up and discouraged because Andrew's tummy pain was at an all time high, we couldn't get Iowa to respond to us, and life was just overwhelming. I told God that I knew He was there with me, I just needed to see His hand.  I asked Him to reveal Himself to me and boy did He...  prior to the swim-a-thon the most laps Andrew was able to do since he was diagnosed was TEN (for what ever reason the motion of swimming is very painful for him).  Andrew really wanted to participate in the swim-a-thon, so we just encouraged him to do what ever he was able to do and no matter what we would be so proud of him.  Can you believe that boy swam SIXTY TWO laps?!?! That, plus seeing all those kids come out in full effect for Andrew's Army, swimming their hearts out, was just the hug from God I needed.  Then to top it all off, David saw Andrew's most recent labs were posted on My Chart (the online application we use to check for any updates on labs, scans, etc) and a test they run that looks at circulating tumor cells in his blood had been cut almost in half since he started chemo!  The hug I so desperately needed from God went from a sweet embrace to a bear hug!






-Other ways that sweet friends have supported our family are going door to door or sitting at the stop sign selling cookies and water or doing extra chores around their house.  It is so cool to see kids want to do something to help someone in need, something more than just ask their parents for money.  Another super cool story of generosity is the senior class at George Bush High School.  Every year Chris Cipolla's class chooses a philanthropy to raise money for and this year they chose Andrew's Army!  I can't help but think about the fact that all the children I have mentioned (and many more) are the next generation of leaders, which gives me great hope for a future that promises to be hard and scary in so many ways.  These kiddos are learning what it means to humbly serve those in need, bear one anothers burdens, and practice empathy.  I stand in awe of these children and the families they represent!


-Lastly, David and I celebrated 14 years of marriage and 19 years of being together!  I picture how naive we were stranding at the alter 14 years ago, saying vows that seemed so simple at the time.  I couldn't even fathom at the time the ways in which God would stretch, bless, break, restore, bend, and mold our faith and marriage.  My man is my hero!

I meant to hit publish on this post last weekend, but somehow that didn't happen...  so here are a few more updates!

We celebrated Easter weekend with a whole lot of soccer, family fun complete with an Easter egg hunt and redemption center (trade in eggs for prizes, since we are trying to avoid candy with Andrew), and a mommy/daughter date with Abigail (we spent time talking (a lot), playing card games, laughing, shopping, playing soccer, eating, movie watching, and snuggling).





Mommy/daughter date night!


Andrew went to the ER today because of unusual intense pain on his left side.  After an ultrasound, chest X-ray, and labs they still don't know the cause (his pancreatic enzymes were slightly elevated, but they don't seem too concerned about it), but will be releasing him soon (hopefully).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

We have a date!

I'm so sorry for my lack of updates, we've sort of been in survival mode.  I jumped on the blog to tell you that we finally have dates to go to Denver, but are still waiting on dates for Iowa (surprise, surprise :-/ ).  Then, I realized that y'all may be scratching your head and wondering how Denver became a part of the plan. Here is the readers digest version...  the girls (Abigail and Grace) and I had the pleasure of modeling in the 2nd annual Gigi's Playhouse Sugar Land Fashion Show fundraiser.  Here is a quick couple of pictures from the fashion show.






Side note- the jumper I'm wearing seriously feels like pj's, it's so comfy and super cute, everyone needs to own one!  If you think you need one, its a Cabi piece and you can reach out to Kathryn Self to find out how to get one.  I seriously love it so much!  And my sweet friend Kathryn found me a zebra belt (made also by Cabi) that I can wear with it.  In case I haven't mentioned, the reason behind my new found love (or obsession) for all things zebra, it is the "color" that represents Neuroendocrine Tumors (Andrew's type of cancer). Exhibit A- check out my new Zebra print sneakers ;-)

Ok, getting back on track now-- at the fashion show, I spoke with a precious friend (her name is Brooke, she was in the trenches with us during Grace's journey and is now joining deep in the trenches on Andrew's journey as well) who shared with me that while she was praying for Andrew with a friend from her Bible study she learned the person she was praying with had a brother who also had a neuroendocrine tumor and sought treatment from Dr. Eric Liu in Denver (he is a surgeon that specializes in Neuroendocrine Tumors) and couldn't speak highly enough about him.  She told me that she had two important things to tell me, but we didn't get to finish our conversation at the fashion show because we were both pulled away to different conversations.  She texted me later that afternoon to tell me the two things she needed to share with me 1) she was passionate about us going to Denver (in the event that is where God was leading us) to see if they could help Andrew (I'm certain she would have just shown up on their doorstep with us, if we couldn't get an appointment to be seen by them) and 2) her family wanted to help us get there!  David and I quickly researched who this Dr. Liu guy is and we were super encouraged to see that he trained in Sweden (many of the latest/most cutting edge advancements in Neuroendocrine Tumors have been used in Europe for years, but are still not approved by the FDA here in the states, yet) and was a surgeon at Vanderbilt, before opening the Neuroendocrine clinic in Denver.  He is considered a thought leader in this type of cancer, having taught/spoke at any and all conferences related to this type of cancer, and he has people come from all around the world to see him.  David and I were feeling pretty discouraged having not heard back from Iowa yet, so we thought, maybe God is allowing Iowa to drag their feet to get us to stop knocking on the closed door and to look at the door He has opened in Denver.  At that point, it was 4:10 pm last Friday when I got Brooke's text, so David and I thought "well, what can it hurt to try", so David left a message for Dr. Liu's assistant.  Within 30 minutes he got a call back from the assistant and had a ton of medical documents in his inbox needing to be filled out by us and sent back in order for them to schedule us an appointment.  Also, before Dr. Liu's assistant even called David back she had asked Dr. Liu if he would be willing to see Andrew, since he was a child (with an adult disease) and Dr. Liu (who is an adult Dr. said "sure, I would like to see him."  What?!?!  We have begged and pleaded with Iowa to just return our phone call(s) and emails for 3 weeks and at almost 5:00 pm on a Friday evening Denver was ready and willing to help us get the ball rolling.  By Wednesday of this week we had an appointment scheduled!  Praise the Lord!  Lord willing, we will head to Denver from April 25th-27th to meet with Dr. Liu (the surgeon), an oncologist, and to get a gallium 68 PET scan.

While this second round of chemo has been a doozy for Andrew and there have been some really rough days/nights, God has been faithful reminding me of Isaiah 40:29-31, "He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not grow faint."  Andrew has been in so much pain and feeling so sick that he has said "I feel so discouraged" or "it's hard not to want to give up", but it has been so awesome to see the Lord speak into Andrew's heart in ways that has brought him to tears (whether it's through His word, worship music, through the love and prayers of His people surrounding him/us spiritually and physically, etc).  Prior to Andrew's diagnosis we were talking to the kids a lot about how to listen to God and not always go to Him and do all the talking.  They would often times ask "how will we hear God speaking to us?"  We did our best to explain how He speaks to us, but it wasn't until they had experienced hearing from God for themselves that it became real to them.  I have to say, hearing your child share about how God spoke to them is one of those parenting moments I will always treasure!

PRAYER REQUEST- Will you please pray for Andrew's pain and chemo side effects?  Will you please also pray for all of the logistics surrounding our trip to Denver (safe travel, peace for the girls as they stay behind on this trip, that the Dr's would have supernatural wisdom, skill, and hope as they treat Andrew and anything else you feel led to pray for)?
***I'm not sure what's going on in downtown Denver those 3 days we are there, but many hotels are sold out and the others or are expensive.  If you or someone you know has the ability to get a discounted rate at a Marriott (or any other hotel in the area), please let us know!

There is so much more on my list of things to share with y'all, but I want to respect your time and eyeballs, so I will save it for the next post :-).

Andrew's Army- THANK YOU for every single thing you have done, are doing, and plan to do to support our family.  We seriously couldn't endure this journey without each and every one of you!  This journey is a constant David and Goliath type battle that can best be illustrated by a few of the pictures a friend took at one of Abby's soccer games this weekend.  Abby is already tiny (but fierce;-) and her team is playing up an age bracket, so that sort of explains the extreme size difference!





GOAL!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

When it rains, it hails...

Update on Grace's appointment and Andrew:

***When it rains...  it hails!  Grace's gradient across her mitral valve was almost double what it's been :-(.  Her cardiologist said that she doesn't want to make decisions based on one reading (there's always a chance her body is still recovering from the illness she had a week and a half ago or she is about to get sick and her heart is just showing early signs of that), so we are going to recheck her gradient in a month.  If it's still high, we will have to go to Boston to have her valve dilated.  David made the joke that one of us might have to take Grace to Boston and the other take Andrew to Iowa and Abigail would come with one of us.  Dear Lord, please don't let that be the case!  That is not the least bit funny to me, who needs to keep her man and little chicks together as much as possible.  In the event you don't know us personally, let me let you in on a little secret...  In only God's strength, David is the rock of this family.  That guy is unwavering in his faith, has a way of seeing everything through God's eyes, and shepherds our family through the toughest of times with such grace, confidence, and dependance on the Lord (it can seriously only be a big, giant, amazing, awesome God that is responsible for equipping him to do such a difficult, sometimes impossible job).  It is for this reason I can't imagine taking any of the kids for any sort of scans or treatment without him.  Will you please pray that God would work out and bless all of the details?

***Andrew continues to have excruciating pain that has the ability to break the girls (me, Abigail, and Grace) down because we hate to see him suffer and have no way to take away his pain.  Don't get me wrong, it's hard for David to watch too, he just doesn't cry along with Andrew like we do ;-).  David called University of Iowa again today to let them know we just got news that we may need to take one of our other children to Boston for an intervention soon, so we would really appreciate a call back from them with some insight as to when they would like us to come out and what our next steps need to be.  That was at about 3:45 pm today and we have not heard back yet.  Will you please continue to pray that the Lord would make His will clear, take care of all of the details, and we would have peace in the process?

Y'all continue to blow our minds with your kindness and generosity!  We can't thank you enough for constantly reminding us that you are in this battle with us and that we aren't alone.  THANK YOU!!!

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name."  Psalm 33:20-21

#ANDREWSARMY



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Agh!!!

Quick update...

I really wish I had more of an update, but unfortunately... I don't.  I guess my no update is the update!

-We have been praying, and remaining as patient as possible, as parents desperate to hear back from the one place which might be able to help their boy in this battle for his life!  The Dr in Iowa was out of town all week last week, so we had hoped and anticipated hearing from her on Monday...  Monday came and went, so did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now Friday :-(.  We have called the Dr's nurse twice this week and emailed once and nothing.  We are holding onto hope that for some reason God is allowing this delay.  I'm trying to fight the temptation to fear that the reason for the delay is because they have reviewed Andrew's images, pathology report, etc and don't feel like they can help him in this battle.  We have felt like the Lord was leading us to Iowa, but we can't help but wonder if for some reason God is closing that door in some way.  We want a team of Dr's who are led by the Lord in wisdom and skill, passionate, and hopeful in treating Andrew.  Will you please pray that we would not get ahead of God, He would lead us clearly, and that we would rest in the shadow of His wing?

-While we've been heavily focused on Andrew's battle, we are reminded this coming week that Grace's battle continues too.  For those not familiar with Grace's journey, you can go to the very beginning of the blog, I started it when Grace was born.  Grace has a cardiology appointment on Monday to measure the gradient across her mitral valve.  If the gradient has gone up and/or any other area of her heart looks strained, we will have to go back to Boston for another dilation.  Will you please pray that on Monday's echo, Grace's heart looks super happy and there is no need for any intervention anytime in the near future (even better... not for a long time ;-)?

A new, precious, generous, and talented friend took pictures of our family as a way to document the beginning of this journey.  I typically hate taking family pictures because it's just too much work, so this time I had very low expectations because I didn't pick out everyone's outfits until just before we left for our photo session, we didn't take much time getting ready because we were all exhausted, and it was a wildcard as to if Andrew was going to have tummy pain or what kind of mood Grace would be in.  In fact, as we were driving down the street to meet our photographer, I look over at David and he is wearing a random shirt, not the one we had discussed (I guess he thought we did discuss that shirt) and it didn't really match what the rest of the family was wearing, so we had to turn around for a last minute outfit change (I, David, edit the blog every week before it is posted and as I do so now, I am fighting the temptation to defend myself; however, I will not make a fool of myself and just state, I misunderstood the options;).  We were pleasantly surprised that the photo session was super low stress and in some ways even fun.  Our photographer captured our raw, beautiful, and exhausted hearts in such a way that makes these my favorite photos we have taken as a family yet.  They tell such a story!  Thank you so much, Courtney Griffin!!!  If you need a great photographer and amazing person to capture your families heart, you can find her on facebook under Courtney Griffin Photography.

***Before we left for our photo session, we did a family devotional and prayer (each of us prayed).  Andrew prayed first and left me confessing to the Lord that my boy's faith was bigger than mine at that moment.  In his prayer, he praised the Lord for how powerful He is and said "God, I know you are a big God and nothing is too hard for you, so I pray that you would heal me from cancer, but I also know your will is what is best, so if you don't, I know that is what is best."  Abigail prayed next and echoed Andrew's prayer...  by then I was fighting back tears as I witnessed the raw, humble, faithful, and steadfast prayers of my little people, which God used to both break my heart and bolster my spirit all at the same time.  What a simple and profound reminder of how big God is, only He could work in the hearts of little people in such rich ways.

***In case Andrew ministers to you like he does me, here is one more (of many) stories about comments Andrew makes that start with "if God calls me home early or at a young age..."  On our way home from a Dr appointment last week, Andrew asked me how many stages there are of cancer.  I tried to soften the answer as much as possible, but being honest, I stated the fact that there are only 4 stages and he has stage 4.  He asked what all the different stages meant, so I explained it.  I took a deep breath as I prepared to help him process the information I had just shared, but he beat me to it, saying "if I had stage 1 cancer, the Dr's could easily just take it out and that would be it, so maybe God let me have stage 4 because it will be a long hard battle and that way He can use me to minister to more people and He will get more glory?"  Again, as I fought back tears, all I could say is "I couldn't agree with you more, Buddy!  God is so good!  I'm so proud of you!"







***UPDATE- We now know what sent us to the ER last weekend, with Andrew having shortness of breath...  an anxiety attack :-(.  It happened again this week at school (him having shortness of breath) and the school nurse helped me identify what it was.  Between her and the school counselor, they were able to help him through it and within 15 minutes or so, he was back in class.  Praise the Lord for answers and the amazing staff at his school that helped us identify the problem and solution for how to handle it when it comes on.

ANDREW'S ARMY, WE LOVE YOU!!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dearest Soldiers...

Dearest Soldiers of Andrew's Army!

We want to express how deeply we are touched by your love and generosity!  I often times catch myself imagining how I would thank each of you personally, what it would be like to hug your neck and thank you for the specific way in which you have blessed us.  It has been our intention and desire to get thank you cards out at some point, but I'm realizing our limitations (we are in survival mode much of the time and any free time we have we try to be purposeful about pouring into the kids).  We pray y'all understand that while you may not get a personal Thank You card, not one prayer, meal, gift, word of encouragement, gift card, fundraiser, monetary donation, meeting needs we didn't even know we had, etc has gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  Instead, your thoughtfulness has been a GIGANTIC source of encouragement, serving as a tangible reminder that God's got this, we are not alone, you are in this battle with us!  God has used you to sustain us like in Philemon 1:7 "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the 
hearts of the saints."

As we begin our assent of Mt. Everest with God as our Sherpa, we are praying that along this journey, surgery and new medical advancements (specifically PRRT) will be an option for Andrew (big prayers that Andrew's tumors have the necessary receptors to make this treatment an option). PRRT is a treatment that has been very effective in adults with neuroendocrine tumors; however, it is not FDA approved in the US yet (and I don't know that it has ever been done on a child as young as Andrew before); therefore, the treatment is not covered by insurance requiring people to go to Holland, Switzerland, or Germany (where it is approved) which means paying for an expensive treatment, travel to get there, etc. Your generous donations are freeing us to focus on taking the best care of our boy (and the rest of our family) as possible without worrying as much about the financial implications. That is a priceless gift, so please accept our deepest thanks and gratitude! 

P.S.- Thank you also for remembering our girls (Abigail and Grace) through this journey, this is super hard on them too! (((GIANT HUGS)))


Andrew's Army on three...  1-2-3....!!!







Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Painfully Beautiful...

Our dearest Andrew's Army-  I want to give y'all an update on how everyone (especially Andrew) is doing physically, emotionally, and spiritually, however some of our recent conversations with the kids (that I want to share with y'all) are so painfully beautiful that it's hard for me to pluck away at the keyboard and relive them this soon.  I know that probably sounds a little strange, but I just don't feel like my heart can go there again at this moment, so David is going to do today's update.

David here...

For starters, we are blown away by everyone's support.  Kristi and I wish we were able to personally thank each of you for the way in which you have come alongside of us.  One day soon, we hope to have a blog post just about how amazing Andrew's Army has been to our family.  We truly feel as though we have an army on our side right now and your efforts help us to feel as though somehow all of this is doable.  I love the manner in which God works in and through people, whether you believe in Him or not, that won't stop Him from using you to be a blessing to someone (and right now that someone is us); therefore, we are, at the same time, grateful to all of you and grateful to God for His grace and provision.  Thank you!

This week, Andrew began his second chemotherapy drug on Sunday and has been tolerating it rather well.  The only side effects we seem to have noticed is him feeling extremely tired and nauseous at night time (it has only resulted in vomiting a couple times), but he has been able to tolerate it rather well.  We also feel, particularly since beginning this second chemo drug, there has been a very small improvement on the frequency of him needing pain medication.  We have been able to go from five hours to six hours in between each dose of pain medication (two nights ago, he went 10 hours), as well as being able to slightly reduce his dose (at least during the daytime).  These might seem small, but we are hoping it is evidence the two medications are doing what they are supposed to be doing and are reducing the size of the tumors and lymph nodes.

One of the hidden blessings of this experience is the growth we get to see in our kids, in both their maturity and their faith.  When we were going through all the crazy stuff with Grace 3 years ago, we were able to experience the same thing; however, since the kids are older, their questions and understanding of everything is really amazing.  We have realized, especially with Abigail (who is almost 10) that just giving a simple answer to her questions doesn't quite cut it.  When we try to give a simple answer, she continues asking more in-depth questions until she feels satisfied that she is truly receiving an authentic and full answer.  We also know Abigail, who is a rule follower all the way, and honesty is something we have grilled into the kids ever since they were little as being a non-negotiable; therefore, we realize we have to be honest with her, otherwise she would feel betrayed in the long run if we tried to shelter her from the hard stuff now, only for her to possibly be caught off guard and experience the tough stuff later on.  For this reason, we have been honest with Abigail and answered her questions, when she has been ready to ask them, especially as she has inquired about long-term prognosis.  By God's grace, Abigail has handled these conversations like a rock star. (considering the depth of the situation).  She understands the worst case scenario and there is a possibility that could be just a few years away, but even better than that, she understands and has faith in an awesome God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we ask or think; therefore, she has hope in who God is and what God can do and she doesn't limit Him to what the doctors state as being the prognosis.  With that said, it doesn't mean that watching tears stream down her face often, as she shares her heart and fears, isn't one of the toughest things to walk your child through.  Her feelings are raw and real and there is nothing we as parents can do to take her pain away, however we continue to point her to the one who can comfort her broken heart, shut up the "what if" monster, and produce something beautiful out of the heartache.  We talk and practice often how to implement Philippians 4:8, setting our mind on what is pure, lovely, just, and praiseworthy, when the "what if" monster comes out of nowhere and tackles you.

In regards to the conversations we had with Andrew, that little man blew our socks off two nights ago.  I had just put Grace to bed and came out to everyone sitting at the dinner table and Kristi answering Andrew's question about what would happen to Grace  if she doesn't have the ability to understand that Jesus died on the cross for her sins.  She did a great job of reassuring him that, one, Grace is smart and we truly believe she will be able to grasp that she is a sinner in need of a Savior and, two, even if she somehow was not able to understand, that God is gracious and merciful and He will not condemn her because she is not able to understand.  That conversation went on to other questions about Heaven and then Andrew stated (with tears in his eyes), "I should probably stop playing at recess and spend more time talking with _______ about God, just in case I die soon from cancer."  Kristi and Andrew both began crying and Kristi scooped him up and told him how proud she was to be his mom, that he was her hero, and all sorts of good stuff.  Andrew then went on to ask more questions about Heaven and stated, through tears, that he is a little worried about dying because we won't be in Heaven with him, so how is he supposed to know where to go when he gets there.  I am usually pretty solid when I am around Kristi and the kids, but even I couldn't contain the tears.  We praise God for Andrew's faith and his willingness to express these thoughts and worries.  That was simultaneously a difficult conversation to have and a beautiful conversation to have.  This is the new reality of our life.  The reality that Andrew's death is potentially imminent, but hopefully distant (praying it's really distant).  However, I guess that is the likelihood for everyone, or at least, it is the manner in which we should live our lives.  Nobody is promised another day; each day is a blessing from the Lord.  In a weird way, we have been give the opportunity to keep that truth on the forefront of our mind each and everyday.  It does impact the way we live and think.

In case you aren't on Facebook, here is Andrew as JFK for his Famous Americans play at school this week.




Abigail's 4th grade class had a Writers Tea where each child got to share one of their favorite writings.  Abigail chose to read hers about someone important to her, God.  One of her precious friends and sisters in Christ chose to write about Abigail as their important person.



Meanwhile, Grace continues to be loved well by her teachers and friends at school.  She loves that place and so do we!


***If you haven't got your Andrew's Army shirt and would like one, you can place your order here:

My daddy is modeling the shirt for you ;-)