Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Waiting to Hear Results

Brad had a CT scan last Friday at Methodist hospital. We will pick up the CD and take the reports to Germany with us next week when we meet with Dr. Thaller. While I would usually feel very anxious, waiting to hear the results of the tests, the unknown has actually brought me a lot of comfort. It allows me to drift into the world of possibility without the confrontation of what may not be good news. It allows me to remember who God is, and to revel in this moment a little while longer. I am at peace in waiting.

Please pray for our upcoming travel this weekend. Brad, Bryan Hanna & I will be leaving Saturday evening to land in Munich on Sunday afternoon. I pray that Brad travels comfortably and that we arrive on Monday morning at the clinic without any difficulties. Thank you for your prayers.

Brad's Cough

I am asking for prayers tonight for Brad's continuous cough. The last several days his cough has grown increasingly more problematic. Last Thursday Brad's back began to flare up again very badly and he has been suffering from back & shoulder muscle spasms since then. The pain from the back was so intense at times, he was having difficulty breathing. His current cough only complicates the problem...adding extra pain to an already VERY sensitive area.

To make matters worse, this morning Brad slipped and fell backwards across some wet tile. In an instant, he and I both panicked...thinking he might have broken something again (or hurt his back worse). But, fortunately, he doesn't believe that he broke anything during the fall. However, he tailbone and bottom are extremely sore from the fall.

Please pray that God lay his hands on Brad tonight and that he is able to get some much needed rest and reprieve from the coughing.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. We love you all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stayin' Cool

Kaelyn has found the way to beat the Texas heat! I opened the fridge this afternoon and she sat right down on the ledge and didn't want to move so that I could shut the door. It has been really hot here the past several days so I can't say that I blame her if she wants to stay there.

Kaelyn has also come up with a new trick...she finds different places during the day to sit, pose and then say "cheese." She will actually sit there until I run and find the camera. Haven't I taught her well?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I have gotten on a huge videoing kick here the last several days. There has just been so many fun things happening...I just can't seem to video enough. So, here you are being subjected to more video footage from this evening.
These are clips of Steven chunking Zeke across the pool.

Tonight's Life Group

We had life group tonight over at Katherine Jak's house. This first picture is of Kaelyn sitting on the fireplace. Rebecca said that I had to take her picture because she was sitting there for so long...looking like such a big girl. Ok, I know...she might be the most precious thing anyone has ever seen. I know ;) It's also a picture to be noted because in this picture, Kaelyn is showing off her very first ponytail. Her hair is getting long enough to put in a tiny ponytail that I can then use to slide a bow into...yippee! The hair-styling begins...how very exciting! I LOVE doing girls hair...yippee...hooray!

The last picture is of Zeke holding Baby Nate. The funniest part of that moment was listening to Zeke as he held the baby...he was giving non-stop "Nate" commentary...saying things like "who is this boy holding me? I don't want to just lay here on my back...I want to get up and walk around and play. I think I am hungry now. Here I am, just sucking on my hand and laying here with Zeke."...it was SO hysterical!

A Great Big Brother

On the way home from church today Kaelyn was fussing in the back seat. Zeke took it upon himself to sing her "a little baby song" (ie Twinkle, Twinkle) and rub her leg until she fell asleep. It was so sweet.

Once we got home I carried Kaelyn into her room and put her in her bed. As usual, the tranfer from the car into a "still" environment was enough to wake her, so she started crying. After a few minutes, Zeke called from the another room to say, "Don't worry Mom, I can handle it. I will rub her and sing to her and she will fall asleep. I've got it." It made me smile...he is such a sweetie!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kaelyn Speaks Out More!

Kaelyn is so funny...she is starting to repeat everything that we say...it is super-cute!

If you are wondering...how was this filmed? Is Jenny holding the camera from inside the pool? The answer is, why yes, of course....you have to capture these moments whenever you can get them...I practically wear my camera strapped to my wrist all the time as to not miss something cute during the day! :)

A Trip to Minute Maid Park

These were cut-outs of the Astros that Kaelyn really enjoyed playing peek-a-boo behind.

Our kiddos standing on home plate.

Uncle Bryan's law firm had a softball tournament today held at Minute Maid park...complete with Milo announcing the game. It was really fun to be there in the park, with just a few dozen other people....the whole stadium to ourselves. It was great. The tournament came complete with 3 teams, jerseys, popcorn, and a lunch buffet. The kids had a great time watching in the stands, running the bases, and playing on a large playgym outside.

An exciting part of the afternoon was when Bryan was awarded the game's MVP! He even got a signed ball from Milo congratulating his efforts.

Here is a video of the base running. Kaelyn could use a little coaching on how to "run" bases.

Kaelyn's Tricks

Kaelyn has a new trick: standing up on my hands while we are in the pool. She also likes to spin around and around, fast enough to make herself dizzy and fall over. The last picture is of Ashton and Zeke going for a late-night swim.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Circus

Zeke received circus tickets for his birthday from Uncle Bryan and Aunt Lisa. Lisa & I took the 3 older kids this past Thursday evening for the event. I hadn't been to the circus since I was a little girl and I have to say, I think I enjoyed it as much as any of the kids. Zeke was absolutely in a trance watching the show. He stayed focused the whole time...it was funny to watch.

This is Zeke's description of the circus (as he told his Daddy about it):
The funny part was when the music came on singing "you're beautiful, you're beautiful, it's true" and the clown was in love with that pretty lady and he threw her the heart balloons. And then there was a part with tigers and one man in the cage with them but he didn't get eaten. And there were elephants that stood on each other and then there was a part when the little dog went up the ladder and then down the ladder and then up the ladder and then down. He wouldn't slide because he was scared so the trainer chased him around in a circle and that was a funny part.

Ice Skating with Brother Ashton

Ashton is here visiting us this week. Zeke was so excited about Ash coming that he must have asked me a hundred times, "Momma...when is Ashton going to be here?"

Zeke had his first experience ice skating today with Ashton. The weather was so terribly rainy here today we had to choose something to do indoors...we voted and decided on ice skating. We really had a great time.

In case you are wondering why we are all wearing white...Zeke decided it was "white shirt, blue jean day" so he picked out matching clothes for us to all wear. (I don't know where he gets that from?...hmmmmm.) It just so happened that Ashton walked out of his bedroom wearing the same. I'm sure he gave some thought to going back to his room to change clothes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Praise for Brad's Health

Brad has really been doing better over the last several days (ie less coughing, less fever spells). We associated the extreme coughing spells with his inhilation treatment, so Dr. Thaller suggested we only do the treatment 1-2 times a week instead of 3. After making that adjustment, Brad is coughing significantly less. I am VERY prayerful that the treatments are working well and the slowed cough is a sign that the tumors are losing the battle.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Brad does another inhilation treatment tonight so we will see how his body responds to it this week. I am praying that his coughing will be minimal.

Hooray for Air Conditioning!

The air conditioning in my suburban hasn't been working well since May. So, this week....after my sweaty thighs were pealed off the leather seats one too many times, we decided to take it in to the shop.

The air was fixed yesterday and as I sat back today and enjoyed it's marveous coolness, I thought, wow...I really love air conditioning! In this intense Texas heat...I really, really appreciate it. My kids do too...Zeke's not one to sweat...we found that out during his soccer camp this summer when he proclaimed that he did not want to go to soccer anymore, "soccer made him way too hot and way too sweaty." I told Brad it was ok, that maybe Zeke would make a good swimmer or gymnast (Brad LOVED that comment.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Dog Bucky

G.G. & Papa kept the kids the last couple of days, so I haven't had them around to take their picture. So, instead you get a picture of our first child, Bucky.

Bucky is the best dog ever. He is really more of a permanent family member than a dog. There are times when I think Bucky gets better treatment than me. He started out as an outside dog and after we had Zeke, he became an indoor dog (between Zeke & his Daddy...someone is always letting him inside). It is unusual if the dog spends more than 2 hours outdoors. In the summer, "it's too hot for him." In the winter, "it's too cold," or "too wet" or does there really need to be a reason?

Bucky is the perfect pet. He is so loving, so sweet, and so easy to take care of. He & Brad are completely attached and the kids are infatuated with him too.

According to Brad, there is no need to lock our doors (ever) because we have Bucky. When I challenged this idea once, explaining that an intruder with a gun would pose a threat...even to a wonder-dog, Brad told me that Bucky would always warn us of an intruder..with plenty of time for us to plan an alter-attack. This idea was terminated during Uncle Matt's last visit to our house.

One night during his stay, Uncle Matt stayed out late and didn't come home until after 1am. Bucky was laying on the floor in our bedroom that night. The next morning when Brad woke up he asked me, "Did Matt come home last night?" When I said yes, he said, "well, I didn't hear Bucky bark." I said, "that is because he didn't bark." So, Bucky's life as an alert guard-dog is no more. HA! That's alright...I think we'll keep him anyway and I'll just keep locking the doors at night.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kaelyn Reading with Her Daddy

Kaelyn loves this book called "Where is Baby's Mommy?" In case you can't understand her, she is saying "no" after every question. She says it so funny...of course, I had to video it and subject all of you to watching it!

Kaelyn Decorating Daddy

Kaelyn has taken a new liking for shoes, jewelry, bows and purses. She walks around the house in my shoes, her brother's or her daddy's. She is becoming such a GIRL! She also drags her bows all over. Tonight she decided to decorate her daddy with them....he looked so pretty!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Pool Time....

I know that everyone must think that the only thing the Wims Family does day in and day out is swim in the pool....well, that is pretty much right. I think the bulk of our play time is spent right there.

Today the Hanna's and Stephen Grove came over for a little "fun in the sun." The boys decided to play football-pass-diving board-tricks. That was....interesting. They were trying to pretend they were young, flexible teenagers. Here is a little footage of the craziness.

Sleep, Precious Sleep

Bryan & Lisa very kindly took our children overnight on Friday. I wasn't feeling the best on Friday and I was so excited about having time to myself....that I went straight home on Friday afternoon and went straight to bed (a three hour nap...it was wonderful). I slept straight through the night on Friday with no interuptions....wow....that was nice. So, I'm a new person now...refreshed and ready to go!

The older kids went with B & L to see the new Wall-E movie while Jane & Bill took Kaelyn to Pappa's Seafood for dinner. Jane said that a new word to add to Kaelyn's list is "fish." It sounds like a good portion of their time at the restaurant was spent looking at the fish tanks.

Thanks so much Bryan, Lisa, Jane & Bill for allowing us an evening to ourselves...it was so great!

Zeke The Fish

I just wanted to capture how well Zeke is swimming at 4 1/2. He is so confident at this point in the water...it is fun to watch. He can dive off the diving board...he can swim to the bottom of the pool...he is really doing great.

Toothless Kaelyn

Ok, have you ever seen anything so crazy? Kaelyn will be 18 months old in just a couple of weeks and she still only has THREE teeth! She was 14 months old before the first one surfaced (I thought that was a long time)...once she got that one..I thought surely the others will quickly fall in line. Nope. Here we are, four months later and we are still waiting patiently for more to sprout up. It looks like the top left tooth is about to break through (but we have been saying that for weeks now)...I'm really ready for that one...at least then she will look even. My poor little toothless child!

Zeke's Wardrobe

You probably watch our blog and think, "doesn't this poor child have any other clothes?" Zeke makes most of his clothing selections during the week and he is always drawn to his super-hero pajama tops. Yes, he does wear his pajamas most of the time... I have even been known to let him go to school in them. Even when he strays from super-hero themes, he still prefers the pajama tops. He wears them with just about any short to complete the look...it is quite interesting. So, for the summer he spends 90% of his time in that outfit, or his swimsuit...that's it. (except for Sunday morning....that would be silly to wear it to church...I mean, you have to draw a line somewhere! HA!)

My Veggie Eater

As I know many of other mothers have difficulties in this area, I had reached a breaking point with my four-year-old over the vegetable/fruit eating battle. At 1 and a half, Zeke began to develop his own taste preferences and from that point he has always prefered to eat only a few (and I mean a few) select items: chicken, ground beef, bread products, dairy products, and bananas. (That is it....really) Between then and now...things hadn't changed much. Bananas were the only fruit or vegetable he would eat without complaint.

We have started something new at the Wims Household this week. Zeke starts every meal with at least one fruit and one vegetable cut up on his plate. Once he eats those items, then we move to the remainder of the meal. We have given LOTS of encouragement and lots of praise every time he finishes the veggies and fruits (ie high fives from Daddy, etc) The amazing part is that he really hasn't complained much...I was really surprised. So far he has eaten asperagus, broccoli, apple, blueberries, watermelon, pineapple, and corn. I have been shocked! So, that is our new plan of attack!

As I laid his plate down on the table on Thursday, Zeke told me "I am going to eat all of it Mommy!" (earlier in the week he was consistently asking how much he needed to eat first) Yeah...hooray...success....I LOVE IT!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kaelyn Starts to Talk

Kaelyn's first words:
"Da-ye" meaning Daddy
"eye" which she always says as she gouges her finger into her eye socket.
"E-I-O" she is a big Old McDonald fan
"Uh-Oh" a statement she uses often as she drops things onto the floor (on purpose!)
"E-I" this is a request...she yells this all the time....I don't really think it stands for anything....it just means that wants attention or that she needs something.

Today's Visitors

Our family was blessed by wonderful visitors this afternoon. Aunt Alli came in from Austin, Matt Hartleib and Hank stopped by and Abigail Saldua, Ava and Sophia came for Brad's infusion. Thanks for coming to see us!

Alli and Kae

Zeke giving Alli a big smooch!

No day is complete without a little "Rock Band!"

Hank flirting with Kaelyn. She wasn't to thrilled with him touching her on the couch...Brad has taught her well!

Hank towards the end of the visit...a little dazed...I think it was nap time.

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Four Kids in a Tub

The Hanna's came over on Tuesday night for a visit. At the end of the night all four kids hopped into the bath for a quick wash before we put them into jammies. No one is allowed to grow much or they aren't all going to fit together anymore.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Health Update

On Monday Brad & I went in to see Dr. Lehane, an oncologist with Methodist hospital. We were wanting to establish a relationship with a doctor in Houston who could help us with any health matters while we were are here (ie. port problems, medication needs, overall case coverage.) We haven't really had a doctor closely watching Brad's case since Dr. Marco (our orthopedic oncologist).

We were pleased with our visit with Dr. Lehane. Dr. Lehane has been in practice for 35 years..he is calm, thurough and takes his time with the visits. When we saw him on Monday he asked about the treatments in Germany and how Brad was feeling, etc. Brad had bloodwork done that day and we scheduled a CT scan in a week. We will then take the results of that test with us when we return to Germany so that Dr. Thaller can see how Brad is progressing with the treatments.

Overall Brad is doing pretty well right now. Over the past week Brad has been bothered by a menacing cough and an occasional nighttime fever. Dr. Thaller told us when we left that Brad may experience some fever due to the continued treatments. The cough had gotten so bad in the middle of last week that it was keeping both of us awake many of the nights. However, the past several days have been much better. We have attributed the cough largely to the New Castle inhilation treatment that he receives 3 times a week. Until today, he hadn't received that inhilation treatment since Wednesday of last week and by Saturday the cough was much better. We gave him the inhilation treatment today and the cough is back (along with more fever). Dr. Thaller believes that the cough & fever are good signs of the treatment working....so that is encouraging.

Our plans are to return to Germany on August 2nd and we will be staying for 2 weeks. This trip will include us and Bryan Hanna (Brad's cousin). Everyone else will be staying here....the trip will be a lot easier without so many in tow. Since we are not staying as long, we both felt comfortable leaving the kiddos this time.

We would appreciate prayers for a safe, uneventful return trip. The treatments are always challenging but I pray that this stay is easier since we know what to expect and we have built some relationships with those in Markt Berolzheim. Thank you for all of your continued support for our family.

Look at this handsome little boy...man, is he cute!

I have been receiving a lot of grief from certain people (Uncle Matt) about my lack of blogging over the past week. Here you go Uncle Matt...a tribute to you.

Zeke & his daddy were driving down the road the other day. Zeke pointed out an American and Texan flag which started a conversation about the US and the different states in our country. They talked about who they knew who lived in and outside of our state.

B: Zeke, do you know anyone who lives outside of Texas?
Z: No
B: Uncle Matt lives in another state...he lives in North Carolina.
Z: Uncle Matt lives with Santa Claus?
B: No, that is the North Pole.

Fort Worth Friends

One of my very best friends & college roommate, Amber Dayton & her two girls, Anna & Maelyn came for a visit for the past several days. They just left this morning. We have been busy swimming, climbing outside in the playhouse, playing lots of UNO (a new game to Zeke), playing chase, coloring, and much more! Zeke & Anna play so wonderfully together...it is always a joy to get them together. Anna brings out the softer, quieter side of Zeke. He actually spent quite a bit of time with her coloring with markers (which he NEVER does) and he even played "wedding" with her (sorry Kaitlyn).

The first night they were here Amber offered to sit with the kids while Brad & I went to a movie. When we came back Amber shared stories of how the kids entertained themselves. Amber said that part of the evening was spent in the playhouse where Zeke & Anna were playing "wedding." Amber said one minute they were performing their own ceremony and the next minute they were tending to their new baby. Whoah..they move fast!

During dinner Zeke let out a huge belch and then turned to Anna to say, "I burped." (as if she and the next 3 houses couldn't hear). Anna then said, "Zeke, haven't you hear of princess nanners (i.e. manners)?" Zeke said he hadn't. Anna then went on to explain for the next 15 minutes about princess nanners: how you shouldn't burp out loud, how you should say "excuse me" if you bump into someone, how you should be polite....etc, etc. Towards the end of this very long, very detailed speech, Zeke started to dose off and was literally about to fall asleep in his plate! I guess that topic of conversation wasn't one of great interest to him.

Here are the 4 munchkins together...not an easy picture to take with 4 little ones 5 and under. I was impressed that we got them all to sit still long enough to take the shot.

Kae & Mae in the sandbox.

There was a lot of time spent in costume. Kaelyn even tried to get into the game by wrapping her blankie around her head...I'm not sure who she was supposed to be....maybe Mother Mary?

One night the kids had a "picnic" for dinner. Here they are testing out the blanket before we filled it with food.

What a cutie! Brad laughed & laughed at this one all weekend. He thought she was the funniest thing ever....Maelyn has such an expansive vocabulary...it really is unbelievable. Brad would say, "Jen, did you hear her...she just said....no, Mr. Brad...that is dangerous!" Since Zeke didn't speak a word till 26 months....we find Maelyn's speech completely amazing!

A Visit from Aunt Krista, Brother Ashton & Sister Kendall

We were so excited to have K, K, & Ash here this past weekend. Zeke loves nothing more than spending time with his "siblings." Of course we spend most of our time outside in the pool trying to stay cool!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Crazy Hair

Ok, so I'm pretty flexible when it comes to my hair cut, length and color. Most of my friends know that I get my hair done at the local beauty school (because I can't stand paying the $150+ it costs to go elsewhere).

Well...today's experience was rather interesting. I think my first clue came when the beautician next to mine turned toward me when we were taking out the color foils to rinse my hair and said, "Is that the color you meant to do?" That was worrysome.

The second clue was delivered when my beautician said, "Don't worry...it will fade over time."

Third clue came when I got home and Zeke looked at me with his head cocked to one side and said, "Mom.....ummmm...some of your hair looks the same and some.....ummmmm......looks different." (So carefully choosing every word) When he saw my hesitant look he quickly followed that statement with, "You're beautiful Mommy." What a guy. He knows JUST what to say to me. Man, I love him.

So, here it is...my new look! What do you think (it's a little hard to see in these pictures that Zeke took...trust me....it's interesting)? Gig em' Aggies....my low lites are MAROON! Wow...now that is some hair. Good thing I am F-L-E-XiBLe!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Miracles For Fun" Golf Tournament

Some very kind friends have organized a golf tournament to benefit Brad. I wanted to share the link for anyone who might be interested in attending or sponsering the event. There has been a lot of work and effort put into this tournament...it really sounds like a lot of fun.

Miracles for Fun Golf Tournament
September 6, 2008
Battleground Golf Course in Deer Park
Registration for golfers and sponsors at http://www.miraclesforfun.org
For more information, contact Chris Jones at miraclesforfun@gmail.com

K's Appetite

I think K is going through a growth spurt.

I'm pretty certain that it is safe to say that Kaelyn spends the large portion of her day rifling through the pantry. With her hand frantically circling her mid-section (her sign for please), she hands me canned goods from the lower shelf. When I tell her that I don't think she will like the dill pickle relish she has chosen for herself, she goes into a frenzy (asking for me to open it)!

While we were in Germany, my friend Valerie re-organized some of my closets (including the pantry) and relocated all the breakfast bars, granola bars and snack items in a large basket at the bottom of the pantry. Kaelyn is thrilled with the new location of the snacks. She pulls them out one at a time and carries them all over the house. I find cheese nips in my bathroom drawer and peanut butter crackers in the laundry basket. There is security for her in knowing that her snacks are safely tucked away for her when she needs them (she's a little like a puppy in that way..hiding bones for herself).

Tonight she woke up at 1am. In an effort to let everyone else sleep, I dashed into Zeke & K's room to get her. I took her into the den to feed her. After we sat down in the rocking chair, she sat up, got down out of my lap, walked into the kitchen and opened the pantry. I guess she knew that milk just wasn't going to satisfy that middle-of-the-night craving she was having.

So, here we are at 2am sitting in the laundry room....me on the computer...and K in her high chair eating cheerios and raisins. What a crazy girl!

Fun in the Sun

Gena took the boys to Galveston yesterday for fun in the surf. They all got new boards to float on....Zeke is in love with his. He is infatuated with dolphins so of course he picked the board with their design. A couple of hours into the adventure Gena called to say that she was going to have to call in for help because the boys were continuously trying to see how far out they could go before she would call them back. No fear in any of them at all.

Zeke absolutely loves the beach. Gena told him a few weeks ago that she would come into town and take all 3 of the boys to the beach. As soon as we stepped off the plane from Germany he told me, "Now Bibi is coming with Ryan and Regan and we are going to the beach."

When they were finished for the day, they started to pack up everything and Zeke said, "Well, ok, now where is our hotel." Bibi didn't realize his expectations...he was ready to make a week of it.