Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We won the battle.

Someone came yesterday to hook Steph up so that her pain meds will be administered through her port. This is good. Thank you VERY much to our hospice nurse Linda and the medical director who made that possible. We feel like we won that battle.

Steph had a bad weekend. We are thinking it was due to the steroids she was put on instead of the pain pump. Hopefully we won't have anymore days like that. Unfortunately, she can't have those days back. Frustrating to say the least.

Today, I heard a little rumor that Steph, my mom and the guys had coffee on the back deck together. I told my mom, "That makes me happy....a little jealous....but SO SO happy!" Keep praying for moments like this. When I hear about them, or better yet get to see these moments, I feel like running to the computer and sending a note to all of you simply saying, "THANKS." I know you are all praying for "normal" with us, so thank you.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

God's Blessings

There are moments when I think this is just too much to bear. I do fine...until I am alone. Sunday, I had one of those moments. I went up to check on the kids. I peeked in and watched the light from the TV dance on the precious faces of Drew and Claire. I went to Drew's side and prayed over him, asking God's blessing on this sweet child. Asking Him to give Drew strength, comfort, peace and wisdom beyond his years. I crept out and over to the next room where sweet little Levi and Cohen were resting peacefully. I prayed over Levi...the same prayer. I felt God in those rooms with me. I didn't make it to the stairs before I lost it. The sobbing was uncontrollable. I tried hugging Brian, I tried walking, rocking, sitting, standing, laying...nothing was making it stop. Nothing was helping me to breathe. I went outside on our deck and called my sister-in-law. As I we talked, I calmed down. We began to talk about God's blessings.

The thing is, this sucks. HOWEVER, God knew this was going to happen. He is not surprised by what is taking place this very second. From the day Steph was born, He knew she was going to touch the lives of more people in her 36+ years than many do in a LIFETIME.

He knew when she met our family, that we would form this special and amazing bond and he knew WHY this would be so important down the road. He knew that my mom and dad would open their home to her more than once during her life. He knew by doing so, she would feel at home when she was welcomed in one final time.

He knew when Scot was born, that he would grow and be shaped into the man who would take care of her and raise their boys. And let me tell you...he picked the right guy for the job. Scot is ABSOLUTELY amazing. There aren't enough blog posts in the world to describe how incredible he has been.

He knew when those two boys were born that they would need us. He knew there would be nights when they would be in my home during a very difficult time. I know that is why I have bonded with these boys the way I have. I am so comforted by the fact they feel at home here and I can share the burden with my parents and Scot. (Please know that I am not tooting my own horn here...GOD deserves the glory. He is responsible for all of this!)

He knew that someday, we would become family with her family and Scot's family. That is why he gave us this habit of adopting people as our own!! He knew my kids needed a Grandma Edna, Papa Ed, Granny Pam, Papa "Jail" and a Nanna Banana! Then he threw in an Uncle Jon, Aunt Abby, Uncle Ryan and an Uncle T for good measure!! Of course Drew and Levi hit the mother load of relatives too!

He knew my brother would be hired on at the office so my dad would not have to worry about work during this time. Jarad has stepped up and taken the load off of my dad. He also knew YEARS ago, who would be in that office with dad and Jarad during this time. He knew it would be a group of people that had been in our lives for a VERY long time. People who have offered up prayers, meals and special treats to make this a little more bearable. People who are like family. (See previous paragraph about our habit!)

He knew that my brother would marry one of the most amazing women I know. He knew she would fit right into our family. He also knew that she would become my very best friend in the whole wide world. He knew she would be the one I leaned on while my mom was where she needed to be.

I could go ON and ON about the road that he has paved for us. He knew we were going to be here someday. What an amazing gracious God we serve. He put all of these people and things in place for us. If this is how it has to be, He has done everything to make sure that we come out of this fog together. Thank you God for your tender mercy and your blessings. I pray that we are always able to see them, no matter how rough things get.

Please continue to pray for EVERYONE during this time. May God bless each of you, and may you take the time today to notice the blessings of the Lord in YOUR life!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

One day at a time.

That's our motto right now. Some days are good. Yesterday was good. Steph was up most of the day, which hasn't happened in weeks. She had a visit from some Lady Bear teammates and Coach Middleton. She REALLY enjoyed it. As they were catching up, Drew came in and said,"EXCUSE ME!! We need to be talking about ME! Start asking ME some questions!" We think he gets that from his Nanny, we KNOW he doesn't get it from his mommy or daddy! Nanny recognized that it was probably time for the boys to move along and said, "Boys, do you know what time it is?" Levi jumped up and yelled, "IT'S LEVI TIME!!!!" These boys light up our world! Scot's family came for a visit and Steph was able to spend some time with them before she was exhausted and went up to bed.

Some days are bad....other days are worse. Thursday night was horrible. Friday was bad. We are having a hard time keeping her pain under control. She is on A LOT of pain medication which is causing her to be nauseated most of the time so she is often vomiting shortly after taking them. It is hard for the pain meds to work from the toilet....I'm just sayin. We are pushing for a pain pump for numerous reasons. First, it would obviously be the most effective way to administer pain meds. Second, it would be far more efficient. Third, it would take a lot of stress off my mom and Scot who are having to keep track of what she takes and when. It sounds like a win win win situation...right? We are still pushing, I will let you know when we win. You know we will.

Today, I have the privilege of hanging out with the boys. Steph is not doing well today. We are not sure if it's the medication or something else, but she is not herself. We thought it would be best for the boys to be away for the day so we are planning a great day at our pool and I am sure ice cream will be present more times than one today!! Right now they are playing "tigers" together....wait, I stand corrected...they are playing "tigers" without Cohen. Probably because he refuses to wear his tiger pants....or tiger underwear....or any tiger clothing at all. I wish you could have seen what just happened as I was typing. It involved a huge snot bubble and an uproar of laughter from four precious babes. And now, they are ALL back to playing "tigers.".
We had art therapy a few days ago with the littles. Some of our long time friends brought TONS of food and two really great baskets for the kids. One full of snacks and one full of fun toys and activities. There was a package of t-shirts and a box of fabric crayons. Drew went first and he decided we should make shirts for his momma. Claire and Drew made theirs, I made Cohen and Levi's, but they told me what they wanted the shirts to say. We snapped some they are!

"I love you to the moon and back."

"Der Mom, I love you so much up to the planit Plooto."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Care Calendar

I started to get really anxious about coordinating a food schedule again. It was a major project, and honestly...I don't have it in me right now. However, I was directed by a few people to the Care Calendar page and it is WONDERFUL. SO, I set one up and it will take the place of my sad attempt at organization. If you will notice, River Bluff Fellowship has already taken over many of the dates but there are still some available. We can also post other needs on there as the come up. I believe if you sign up, it will alert you when new needs arise. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Here is the log in info.
Calendar ID : 42920
Security Code : 3276

We have not designated a certain time for food to be dropped off. Since Steph and Scot have moved in with the boys at my parent's house, there should be someone there around the clock. I will be keeping an eye on the schedule to make sure there are no conflicts. It seems so silly to just say that we appreciate all that everyone is doing. There really aren't words. Just know, that you are ALL making our lives a little easier in a time that is so difficult. We are thankful from the bottom of our hearts.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


On Saturday we spent the day at my parents pool. I arrived to find Steph sleeping. A very good thing. I went up to check on her and she said she wanted to eat something because she was determined to make it to MSU to watch her girls play at team camp. She ate and took a bath. My mom dried her hair and put it in a ponytail. I decided that Grandma Connie (my mother-in-law), Scot, Grandma Edna and Uncle Ryan (Steph's little brother) had it all under control so I went with them. Steph enjoyed watching them play and was very excited about the upcoming talent. I was amazed to see her talk to the girls with such strength. She encouraged them to keep working hard. This girl...she is incredible. When we got in the car we realized, she had overdone it...but I'd be willing to bet she wouldn't take it back for the world. We talked on the way home and we decided that it was time to call Hospice. We need someone to help keep her pain under control. She and Drew decided to spend the night with my parents and the next morning she was excited to report that she had a REALLY good night. She hasn't had one of those in a very long time.

Sunday morning your prayers were felt. My mom made coffee. Coffee with my mom is one of lifes simple pleasures. As my mom was telling me about their morning, I remembered the last time I sat with Steph and my mom and drank coffee. We were on St. Pete's Beach and is one of my greatest memories. SO, they sat outside on the daybed and watched Drew swim while they sipped their coffee. Mom read from a book that our friend Shelly Jones brought over the day before. Drew came up and sat for a while and decided that he would like to read something a little more entertaining so he went and got his Curious George book. They sat and listened to him read. All you mommas out there know, this was a wonderful moment for them. We are praying for more mornings like this.

Yesterday a decision was made. Steph, Scot, Drew, Levi, Nanny and Papa decided it would be best if the Phillips family moves in with Nanny and Papa. The upstairs is a little more secluded so noise won't be so much of a problem which will allow Steph to rest and the kids can still be kids. It will just be easier for everyone.

Today, all of the littles understand what is going on. Please pray for wisdom as we are all asked questions that we wish we didn't have to answer. Pray for their little hearts.

If you would like to bring a meal, please e-mail me at and we can work out a time for you to drop it off. We are thinking Tuesday and Friday nights for drop offs. I know many of you have said you would be willing to do this and we are at a point where this would benefit us greatly. Thank you in advance.
While doing the book for Steph, I cam across some really great pictures. This one (which I am really afraid I left out of the book, BOO!) is a sweet moment captured on Easter two years ago at Nanny and Papa's. Steph is helping the youngest of our bunch (Miss Alivia Jane) find her eggs.

That's Steph...always a coach!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Game Plan.

It is time. This part of our journey that we hoped we would never see. It's here. In true athletic fashion, we had to talk strategy. Our goal is to keep things as normal for the kids as possible. We ask for your discretion when in the presence of our littles. We decided that it is important at this point for one person to be devoted to caring for Steph and Steph only. Of course, my mom has gladly taken on this role. She has noticed that this has made a big difference in Steph's strength. Keeping up with medication and making sure she is getting enough to eat is a very important job. I know better than anyone what an amazing nurse my momma is. I know I'm a little biased, but really...she's awesome. In the meantime, Scot is keeping the boys busy and the George family is always eager to take the boys whenever they want to come play. I got to put my old fort making skills to good use on Tuesday. We had a great time, but I was not allowed in either fort. One was ONLY for 3 year olds and the other was ONLY for 5 and 6 year olds. Hmpf. I guess next time I will make my there. I finally finished my project for Steph. It is awesome if I do say so myself...all 93 pages! I can't wait for it to get here! I can't believe it took me so long, but the crazy ambulance/spinal tap incident set me back a few weeks!

Keep praying for strength, peace and understanding. MOST importantly....pray for our miracle!!! We continue to praise God for His works in our lives. We feel Him now more than ever. He is holding us in the palm of His hand. I stand amazed that he decided I was worthy to be a part of this incredible family. Thank you Lord.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hardest post...ever.

I have to write a post tonight that I don't want to write. I have been given permission to update you all on Steph's condition. I'm just going to put it out sugar coating. She wanted to me to ask you all first and foremost, to PLEASE pray for her pain to go away or at least become more tolerable. She is on A LOT of pain medication right now. She has lost 13 pounds in the last two weeks, 30 since January. She is weak, is having trouble eating and is miserable. You can't even imagine how her condition has deteriorated over the past few weeks. Her most recent scan revealed what we feared...more cancer. Even with chemo every week and radiation 5 days a week for 7 weeks, this cancer is ravaging her body. During this fight, we have been afforded the luxury of a seemingly healthy girl. She never looked the part of a cancer patient. She never lost her hair and when she did look sick, it was because of the chemo. We are now faced with the ugly reality that this cancer is overpowering her. Please pray for the following:

1. Her pain to go away. This is the most important.
2. Scot as he tries to keep life as normal as possible for the boys.
3. Her boys.
4. My mom, she has been designated primary care giver for Steph.
5. Her family and friends.
6. Her miracle.

My Wish.

I wish I was here...

I wish I was with these two.

I wish these kids... didn't know the word cancer.

I wish I could go back in time to this day....
and tell her to get a colonoscopy. I wish I could take this away. I wish for a cure. I wish for a lot of things....but I'm PRAYING for a miracle.