Sunday, November 9, 2014

This is how we party!

Well, our little Asher turned 6 on November 3rd. We had his party the saturday before his birthday because we had a work event to go to on Sunday. My daughter decided a while back that a Power Ranger theme would be great this year, but after we saw the options were so limited on decorations etc she changed it to a Lego Theme. Asher is all about legos right now and this party was really fun to get ready for.
Here was his birthday table, my daughter ordered the banner from someone on Etsy.
Giftbags that looked like legos, daughter used a circle cutter and cut construction paper, glued the dots on. They came out too cute!
Simple decorations, cheap gift wrap from dollar general, covered some empty boxes and the little studs on the top box were actually bottoms of Sonic styrofoam cups, cut off and wrapped.

Table setting, i just printed the legoman heads out and put them on top of the plates, removed them before we served cake and ice cream.
Ashers cake made by a family friend of my daughters boyfriend, she always does the cutest cakes for him!
Can't forget the happy birthday boy, love that little booger!
If i remember right the first year we had his party here he ran into his room and closed the door when we started singing happy birthday to him, he avoided it last year also but this year...not so much, that boy sat there and grinned from ear to ear and blew out the candles by himself!
He had a lot of presents to open, that will make any kid smile
He got his from his mommy and her boyfriend, a lego table made from an IKEA table and chair. Lego base plates glued on. He loved it!
Other details of the party..
Marshmallow pops, also made cake pops looking like lego man head
Water bottles with custom wrappers, ordered these from Etsy this year i could not figure out how to do the Lego font.

This was my custom marshmallow/cake pop holder piece of styrofoam covered wih tissue paper and we used his megablocks to frame it. After i stuck the pops in the holder we used shredded blue paper to cover the bottom.   

We also had a photo booth set up for the kids but apparently my daughters and their cousin had a blast playing around with it.

We had to get a little creative when it came to the favor bags for the guests. My daughter found an idea on pinterest and we ended up making lots of these..
Lego Crayons
I bought lego molds from Amazon and we melted crayons in the molds, 6 fit perfectly in a zip loc bag and i printed out the topper on cardstock. Thought they came out cute!
Lego coloring book
Found a free download of these coloring pages, the book had like 6-8 pages and the book was small enough for the bags.
Lots of candy including these cute ones, hershey nuggets and kit kat bars wrapped in lego themed paper.

Asher had a blast! He loved playing with all of his birthday guests and just loved all of his presents. I can't believe he is 6 already. SIX. Sure doesn't seem that long and it sure is a miracle considering what he has been thru. Thanks to everyone that came and celebrated with us. Love you little Asher man you are a ray of sunshine in our lives!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September is Childhood cancer awareness month!

When Asher was diagnosed we were pretty well unaware of Childhood Cancer. Sure, we've seen the St Jude commercials, received their address labels etc, but let's be honest here, this stuff happens to OTHER people. On October 5th, 2009 we became THOSE people. With the simple words from a doctor "He has a brain tumor", our lives changed. Just like that.

He was the healthiest little boy, met all the milestones, just a bundle of joy with a smile on his face.
This picture was taken about 1 1/2 months before he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. There was no signs that this silent killer of a disease was lurking in his body. NONE. We can't blame his cancer on smoking, or chemicals he was exposed to, we do not know why a tumor grew in his head. Doctors think he might have been born with it, we'll never know. What i do know is that this little boy is alive today because we were convinced something was not right once he showed signs of being sick, we persisted and took him from doc appt to doc appt and to three different ERs.

We were told many things, stomach bug, gas, teething, why was cancer or a tumor never even thought of by the medical professionals? Because childhood cancer is rare. So they say. Well let me tell you something, it is not rare and it sure isn't rare when your child/grandchild gets diagnosed with it. 46 children get diagnosed every day, 7 children pass away everyday because of cancer. Cancer is the number 1 killer of children in the USA.

I don't remember which is the #1 killer of adults in the US, Obesity? Health issues related to smoking? I see quit smoking signs, commercials all over the place. Fast food restaurants are forced to offer more healthy options or in some places super sizing drinks is banned. So why do i not see billboards on my way to work that address childhood cancer? Where is the outrage, the anger? The pointing the finger at someone to blame? There is none. We have noone to blame. We can't explain why these children get cancer, we do not know. The only way we will ever know, treat or even find a cure is to do research. Let me show you a graphic i found on the American Cancer Society website. This just made me sick...

This graphic shows Cancer Survivors by age. 0-29 years...look at the percentages. Less than 1%
to 1 %. I'm sorry but that is unacceptable. We are robbing children of their lives. Simple as that, because we try to cure them with treatments designed for adults. Let me show you how much funding Childhood Cancer gets...
4%..four. Disgusting. The American Cancer Society spends 1 cent of each dollar donated to them toward childhood cancer research. I'm glad they are trying to find a cure .*insert sarcasm*

Asher is a survivor and to be honest he's a miracle. His doctors were not sure what treatment to use because they never heard of a child with an extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma in the brain. They just offered options they thought would help and hope for the best. We had two nothing and see if the tumor would grow back, in that case the possibility of removing it completely again with surgery were slim, or do proton radiation and hope that any cancer cells that might still be there would be eliminated. That's a hard decision to make, it was a decision my daughter, at the age of 20, had to make for her son.

I've seen more awareness being spread this year than i've ever seen before. It started with the refusal of the Empire State Building to light up gold in September, because of the refusal and the actions on their part afterwards, acting like the parents of kids with cancer are trying to bully them, removing posts on their facebook page etc...only because of that all of a sudden some people started to listen and act. Town Square went gold for the first time this year, so did the Freedom Tower and many other buildings in New York. A reporter from the local news (Joel Waldman) in New York has done so many stories about this now, he's becoming the hero of the childhood cancer community.  He heard the stories, he listened and he acted. Check out this video here: . All i can say is Thank you Joel Waldman. You ARE making a difference!

This is what we need, we need people to be aware, but once they are aware we need them to act. Donate a dollar to St. Baldricks or St Jude or even a local organization that you know helps families that have children fighting this disease. We had several organizations help us, local organizations that we try to support whenever we can now to give back. We can't do much but we do what we can.
My ex brother in law is heavily involved in the athletic youth department in his town..for the first time ever this year he made shirts and all profits will be donated to
He's aware, he acted. Love you Mike, you are amazing!

We also took part in a new campaign called Whippingchildhood cancer. Check it out here I might upload our videos this weekend. It was fun and for a good cause. We donated to St. Baldricks, there are several links on the website to foundations that actually make a difference.

Later this month we will attend the annual poker run in memory of Cash Caywood. All proceeds will go to the OK Kids Korral. Check them out here... A beautiful place that was built for families to stay at that come to the OKC area for their childrens treatment. It was much needed, especially since we also have a proton radiation center here in the city and OU Childrens hospital nearby.

 The Payton Wright foundation was another organization that helped us tremendously. They help with expenses while the families care for their sick child such as rent, electric, gas etc.

There are lots of them out there and many were founded by parents that lost a child to cancer. They GET IT. They know the struggle parents are facing and the expenses. Please support them, every dollar counts.

And i'm sure many that read this will think oh this is sad, i'm thankful my child is healthy. Yes, i understand that thinking, remember? this happens to OTHER people. I was a grandma to a healthy little boy, till he was diagnosed. Then i became THOSE people.

 Be Aware, Care, Act, Donate and i pray you will never have to be in our shoes, but if you do, i hope by then there will be a cure. That's what we are fighting for.
Picture taken Oct 2009
Love you Asher, you are the strongest little boy, you are my hero!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wow, it's been a while

Well there went my new years resolution to blog more frequently. Sorry. Sometimes it's really hard to find the time to blog or knowing what to write about. I could always throw a bunch of pictures on here, trust me i have LOTS of pictures. So many in fact i have to constantly clean out my phone lol.

Anyways...His MRI was clear. Thank God! We were a little disappointed during the appointment, i'm not gonna go into detail it's in the past. We did not see the Endocrinologist that day, one reason we were upset. They were always part of the comprehensive visit but for some reason that changed and we weren't told. My daughter ended up having to make an appointment with them separately and the soonest they could get him in was in May. Figures.

I took a week of vacation last week and told my daughter i would keep Asher. He loves to be at our house and since we live out in the country he can just roam around, ride his tractor and just be a little boy. We got him on Friday and of course the first couple of days we ended up stuck in the house. We did manage to do a few fun things such as...

Going to the zoo

Going to the science museum

Going fishing
That's Ashers first fish by the way :)
Indoor camping
Fixing the house

Looking for bad guys
and lots more. Let's just say it's been a busy week lol, but probably the most fun week i've had in a while.

We did end up having to go to one doctors appointment. The endocrinologist. That visit is pretty important, they make sure his hormone levels stay ok, that he's growing like he should, weight etc. He is growing, he's still in the lower normal scale but that's fine with us. She said he's at 12th percentile, which means if she looks at 100 kids in the US 11 of them will be shorter than he is. At the rate he's growing she's estimating him to be 5'6 as an adult but of course that can change at any time. He might have a growth spurt or he might completely stop growing, at which point the decision will have to be made if he will get growth hormones or not.

She is scheduling an appointment for him to get a cortisol check. Cortisol is very important for the body, it can be life threatening if his body doesn't produce enough. He used to be on hydrocortisone till his levels were in the normal range, but his body could stop producing it at any time. This will have to be checked regularly and since it's been a while, she wants to get his levels checked again to see if he needs to be put back on medication or not.

My daughter scheduled to get some pictures done with her boyfriend and Asher. They came out so cute!
Here is one of Asher by himself
Love that boy
Well that's about it, hoping i will get to post more frequently from now on. Thanks to everyone for the prayers for the clean MRI. Means a lot to us for people to care so much about Asher.
To finish this post, here is a video of Asher talking on his cellphone (which is an old phone of ours that doesn't work anymore lol) Since my husband had to work while i was off, Asher was always looking forward to seeing his Papa come home. He would "call" him on his cellphone several times a day.

He kept saying papa is on the way lol...he's just too cute.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A book, St. Baldricks and an upcoming MRI

Asher has been doing well. His talking is improving drastically and he is so funny it's hard to keep a straight face when he's here, even when he's in trouble. He's busy riding his little tractor around, cutting and coloring and keeping us on our toes.

Some of you that have kept up with Asher over the past few years have read about Ashers little friend Cash. We always try to attend the memorial ride in memory of Cash, unfortunately we missed last year but hoping to be there again this year. I've also written many times how inspiring Cash's family has been to us, we are so honored to know them. Even though Cash earned his angel wings they are still fighting for a cure, for more research. They are heavily involved in the Kids Korral that was opened by Toby Keith to provide a place for kids with cancer and their families to stay closer to the hospital in a setting that is safe but still has a feeling of home. Cash's mom Stacie wrote a book called "Keep praying".

When our son was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in August of 2009, our world came crashing down. Through Cash's treatment, we found strength in Christ and our faith grew by leaps and bounds. We always wanted our story to help others going down the same path or to be a guide to help others who have friends or family going through this. This is our story, during one of the most trying times in our marriage and our lives. We made it, against the odds, and use our story to bring hope and comfort to others. Keep Praying!

It's available thru Amazon as a paperback and Ebook

I still have to read it, my tablet was messing up when i was getting ready to buy it but i can not wait. One of my daughters read it and said she read the whole book in one sitting. She couldn't put it down. 

Stacie is also part of the 10 Strong team this year to shave her head for the St Baldricks foundation, if you have a few dollars to spare, this would be for such a great cause...and i would love to see Stacie bald : )

I donated, will you?

And he we are again..we are 11 days away from Ashers annual MRI and saying that i'm starting to freak out is an understatement. My daughter and i haven't really talked much about this one. I'm sure she's feeling the same way i am. Scared. I don't think we will ever get over that fear. It's the most nerve wrecking time ever.
The MRI, the waiting on the results, Scanxiety as we call it. I've been watching Asher like a hawk lately. Is he loosing weight? Wait a second...was that smile a little crooked? Why is there a white spot in his eye when i took that picture? You get the drift...looking for signs and praying there aren't any. I am so glad Asher is too young to have that fear and in the meantime i pray that we will get another clean scan. I will keep you all updated..till then please keep him in your prayers.

Love you bubba.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas 2013

I have to be honest i was not in the christmas spirit at all. 2013 was a rough year for us and honestly i was just ready for 2014. Asher on the other hand seemed to really get into christmas this time. Guess he's getting to that age, realizing that christmas and Santa means presents. Probably one of the reasons he was actually smiling when he was sitting on Santas lap lol

We had to do chrismas a little different this year than we usually do. Usually my girls come christmas eve, we open presents and they spend the night and the next day they go to their dads house. Work schedules conflicted with our little tradition so we still did presents on christmas eve but they didn't spend the night. I missed just having an evening of playing games and pigging out. 

Asher showed up dressed like a TMNT. TMNT hoodie, turtle shell and weapons. He was ready and equipped to open presents.

A pro at ripping that paper

After he opened up most of his small presents it was time for his big one. Ashers aunt took him in his room and we rolled in his present.

Yep...that's the one he cried over for two days. And he LOVED it! He can thank his mommy for that one, we just helped a little but i am so glad he got what he wanted so so bad

When he realized it wasn't in the plans for them to spend the night he was determined he needed to put his new PJs on that he got from us. Hmm wonder why lol. When his mom was getting ready to head back home he kept stay omi? me stay? Of course he stayed, since his mom had to work the next morning it worked out pretty well and i don't think we could have convinced him to leave that tractor behind at that time.

It was pretty cold so he had to settle with riding it back and forth in the house.

He didn't care, he was happy.

Next day i met up with his mom to drop him off and they went to his g'pas house for their christmas there.
He got another big surprise there.

A Duck Dynasty Fourwheeler. I can tell by that smile he loved that one too!
The next saturday we had my husbands family over for our family christmas.
Asher was thrilled to get a real toolbox and tools, and soon after everyone left he said..
Gotta fix my tractor
and he did

So even though i wasn't in the christmas spirit, we had a great time. I can't help but love it when I see Asher so happy. He had a great christmas and that's what matters most.
Love you kiddo.

I will try to upload some videos, i will share them on my next post.
Have a great 2014 and thank you for keeping Asher in your prayers!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

And another post...this and that the birthday post out of the way...time for THIS and THAT..
What has Asher been up to?

Lots of playing NINJA

Carving pumpkins with Papa

Playing with his racetrack and his "Woody Shirt obession"
He was Woody from Toy Story for halloween last year, for some reason he wanted to wear this shirt for a week straight this year, and yes he wore it out in public. Who cares lol

Cutting his own my house. Ugh.
Needless to say, i went thru the WHOLE house and found every pair of scissors and put them up

Can't forget about his tractor obsession...
He found a walmart ad on our table and came across this..
You see that John Deer 12v $279 ground loading tractor? So did he and he was OBSESSED.
For 2 days straight he cried over this tractor, he decided it was HIS tractor.
So all we heard for 2 days, and i'm not exaggerating, all he would say is this..
it's mine, it's mine, omi my tractor, i want my tractor followed by more crying.
I'm not talking about a fit you all. It was the saddest thing i've ever seen or heard.
Then he decided it was time to go..oh but not go was time to find omis car keys and get his tractor

This is what he's saying:
Asher: It's mine, it's mine
Me: It's yours?
Asher: Need to find my tractor
Me: Asher it's not yours, it's at the store
Asher: Omi find the keys please, please find it

Sigh, he broke my heart.

He eventually got over that tractor but believe it or not he still talks about it every now and then.
Talk about being persistent.

He also showed me that when you go to check the mail, you have to wear a jacket...and a Mask

and sometimes you just have to be goofy and wear blow up sneakers

or a doo rag

or wear a bucket on your head

Remember a year or so ago someone at his school suggested that Asher needed to be medicated?
Look at this...
Yeah...take THAT! No medication required!
We were so proud!
Ashers mommy and I were really worried about going to the assembly when they were gonna recognize students of the month, we were wondering which one of us would be the one crying.
We didn't cry, but someone did, Asher.
When his class walked into the cafeteria his teacher pointed us out and that was all it took. He wanted his mommy and wanted nothing to do with his class, the assembly or anything.
Afterwards he was all smiles though
Asher and his teacher Miss Helen

He has come so far and we couldn't be prouder of him.
Afterwards my daughter wanted to reward him and we took him to Andy Alligators Arcade.

Asher also started additional speech therapy once a week. He has made HUGE progress with his speech but we are hoping the extra therapy will help him catch up some more. His next MRI is scheduled for February 28th. It will be his first annual MRI and as always it will be a nerve wrecking time for us, especially since this will be the longest time between MRIs we've ever had. Praying for a clean scan as always.

One more picture to finish up

How was that for an update? LOL I think i pretty well covered it all and i'm back to being up to date.
Merry Christmas to you all!