A.J. is our nephew. He’s a really bright and sweet kid who lost his father at a young age. My sister moved out of state a few years ago, but as time went on A.J. became increasingly homesick. Over the summer we started discussing the idea of A.J. coming to live with us and after more time and prayer, we all agreed it was the right decision.
We are ecstatic to have A.J. here with us full-time now. Our hearts overflow as he’s able to spend more time with us, but also with his older brother and both sets of grandparents.
If you see us around town or in church, please take a minute to welcome A.J.!
…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother…
Introducing Tennessee Charles! Tenn will be three months old on Christmas Day and he is such a sweet baby.
Tenn’s name came easily to us on many different levels. The obvious level was a nickname of “Tenn” as he’s our tenth child. The historical level honors the Cherokee who lost so much to the dooming presence of the white man. The spiritual level references our trip to Tennessee back in August. After many years of being separated from my sister and her family due to Theo’s health, Tennessee was the first place I wanted to visit once we finished chemo. My heart had ached for years to see my sister, and the Lord was faithful and brought us together again.
The prophetic level comes from the meaning “gathering place.” It’s our prayer that Tenn will be a gatherer of souls, a uniting presence wherever he goes.
Tenn’s middle name is in honor of a dear friend named Charlie. Each of our sons is named after a man who has made a difference in Scott’s life, and Charlie is no exception to that description. Charlie was Scott’s first role model as a Youth Pastor and a man passionate about the local church. Thirty years later Charlie continues to invest in Scott and in young people everywhere, and it is an honor for Tenn to take his name.
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Friday July 20, 2018
Theo is doing great! His counts continue to be stable and his physicals are uneventful. Our only glitch has been frequent bleeders in his eyes which, honestly, bother me more than they bother him. Between the eye doctor and the oncologist we have classified them as harmless so we are thankful for that.
Prayerfully Scott decided not to work for the Summer School Program this summer. Although we’re always appreciative of another paycheck, it seemed like “time” was the priority this summer and it has been fantastic to have him home. We start every morning with devotions and a bike ride and he’s teaching the boys how to play baseball at our local elementary school. This decision has given us the chance to be more intentional with each kid, enjoying one on one conversations that don’t always happen when you’re hustling during the school year. Scott has also purposed to meet with a friend each day. I have purposed to meet with one friend a week, so if you do the quick math, that means Scott has 45 friends and I have 8 friends. What can I say, opposites attract.
For about 30 days our house was on the market with the hopes of finding a 5 bedroom home for our soon-to-be 10 kids. That turned out to be a more costly goal then we expected so we’ve decided to stay put for now. Instead we’ve converted one of our master closets into a toddler bedroom for Troy, we have the baby’s crib set up next to our bed and we’re adding a shower in the laundry room. We’re calling it the “boys’ shower.” In an attempt to honor our daughters we have given them exclusive rights to the upstairs bathroom, which means all 5 boys have been sharing our master bath. Once I realized moving wasn’t an option, I started brainstorming ways to reclaim my privacy and a first floor shower is what we landed on.
I am now 30 weeks along with Baby #10. I am grateful for good health and an uneventful pregnancy. With the bedrooms and bathrooms better organized I think we’re ready to begin a new school year and meet Baby Boy in September.
As always thank you for your friendship!
Friday, May 4, 2018
It isn’t often that I find a parenting book that really resonates with me, one that sends me looking for my highlighter or heading for my desk to find my journal. This book, however, is now on my top five list of recommendations. It is less about having a large family, or family size at all. It is mostly about rising to a higher level within your calling to parent, applying scripture and developing the people you have been tasked to shepherd. I so appreciate Lyette’s straight talk style which helps me to relate to her but also challenges me to step it up a bit. Just thought you might enjoy!
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
April 7, 2018
We are so excited to share …
We are expecting a new baby boy …
He is due September 30, 2018 …
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
Tuesday February 27, 2018
Theo’s surgery went really well; thank you so much for praying!
There were many blessings that day: Theo was first on the surgery list, Dr. D and his nursing staff were great, and Anne came and talked to us while we waited. Anne was a mom and a sister in Christ who was also waiting for her son in the Parent Waiting Room. I was extra thankful for her boldness and chatty nature because she helped the time pass quickly. We were home by 11am and yes, eating Doritos by dinner time.
Tomorrow we go for an EKG, echocardiogram, bloodwork, and an exam. One of Theo’s chemos is known to cause heart damage so this is part of the after-care routine. Honestly we’re just so glad the kid is alive, so don’t spend too much time worrying about the damage.
We’ll visit monthly for two more years for blood work and a physical exam, and every now and then they’ll throw in an extra test. Theo is dreading the arm stick, but that’s not until June.
That’s all that’s new around here. Our new normal is nice. Real nice.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Thursday February 8, 2018
This is it. This is the final step in closing out our cancer days.
Theo is scheduled to have his port removed tomorrow at CHOP. Out of the 3 risk factors, he only has one, which is that the port has been inside his chest for longer than 2 years. Ideally the port and it’s wire will slide out of his artery with relative ease. Dr. D says he’ll have the cardiac team in the room in case there’s excessive scaring making it hard to remove. He says they have a plan if that happens, but I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell.
The anesthesiology team called yesterday to go over the final details. I was crying on the other end and hoping the woman didn’t notice. We have fought so hard for this kid, I just don’t know if I can hand him over one more time.
Will you please pray for Theo tomorrow? Will you please pray that this port comes out with such great ease that everyone in the room breathes a sigh of relief? Please pray for Dr. D and our witness as we meet with him. This is our third surgery with him so it’s been fun to develop a relationship along the way. Please pray that the Lord would give us comfort as we watch them roll Theo out of the room one last time. Please pray that we’re eating Doritos together by dinnertime.
Thank you dear friends
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.