Tuesday, March 8, 2016

More Adventures in Jacksonville

For our field trip last week, I chose Tree Hill Nature Center.  It was a nice place with several hiking trails and various animals scattered about.  Amelia and Matthew got their "goat fix" after missing theirs so much, and we met a snake that seemed more like a puppy.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I've never seen a snake want attention as much as that one did.

It was a fun dose of afternoon nature/education.

Amelia wants granddaddy to build this "playground" for their goats.
We're pretty sure this alligator understands how Brad feels about being confined to a hospital room for two weeks, although I'm betting this guy has been looking at these four wooden walls for much longer.
There were some big turtles in this room - as well as the friendly snake.  I should have took a picture of him!
And lest we forget the whole reason for being in Jacksonville......caught Brad with his mask on his forehead.  He has had to wear this if he ventures out into the hallway or if they come in and clean his room - and everyone has loved his bright orange shirt.  No chance of him getting lost! (And there's GOOD news - looks like Brad may be leaving the hospital tomorrow!!)
Madison got to come see us for a few days.  We enjoyed her being here!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


When thinking ahead about what future seasons in our lives hold, I never dreamed I'd be packing up and moving to Florida for two months.

When the amazing doctors at Mayo confirmed my husband's diagnosis of POEMS syndrome, his treatment plan included a few months of chemo and steroids to get his body close to remission followed by a stem cell transplant.  The transplant could be done at Mayo or we could try to have it done locally at Emory in Atlanta.

At that point, I couldn't even begin to entertain the idea of having it done in Jacksonville.  Such a procedure requires being in the hospital for approximately two weeks followed by close followup after discharge of around two to four weeks' duration.  I couldn't imagine how we could make THAT work.

But after multiple failed attempts to get in with Emory (until a date that was really just too late), I started to realize that Mayo was the place and that once again, God was directing our footsteps in such a direction.

When it seemed like an impossibility to me, God once again showed me how he makes the impossible possible.

He's great at that.  Not sure why I keep forgetting.

It would have been nice to have it done locally, but I'm definitely seeing benefits of being here in Jacksonville....

*We are 10 minutes from the hospital.  Emory would have been at least an hour away - maybe more depending on traffic.  This makes it easy to make multiple visits throughout the day - giving us and Brad a break.
*When I say us, I'm referring to Brad's mom and I.  She is here with us, and it would have been difficult to do this without her here.  Matthew and Amelia are not allowed to see Brad (no one 12 or younger is allowed on the floor), so it's good to have someone here who can help with childcare.  (Cari is here, too, but she likes to visit and daily childcare for her would have been quite wearing I'm sure.)
*Had we stayed in Atlanta, I most likely would have tried to continue on with everyone's usual activities (for instance, going ahead and letting Matthew play spring baseball).  Since we came here, we put a stop to everything.  That has been a blessing.  We're able to focus on Brad and his care and are not trying to fit him into our schedule.
*It's Florida, and we're here in February.  Need I say more?

What a blessing that we homeschool, too.  We can pack up our books and school anywhere!  Although most days we're just hitting the "high spots," at least we're getting some things accomplished.  I'm also trying to fit in some field trips while we're here.  There is so much history in Florida, especially in the St. Augustine area, which is just down the road from where we are staying.

And also what a blessing that my job allows me to work anywhere!  Anywhere I can plug in my computer and have internet access, I'm good to go.  And I've truly been blessed with amazing bosses that are so understanding of all that's going on.  I truly love what I do!

God is always in the details of our lives, and I am so thankful that He's blessed me with the ability to not miss those details.  I don't always see them in the beginning, but at the end, they are always in plain sight.

Proverbs 16:9 ~ The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.


Here's the "more about that" I mentioned in the previous post... I was around 6 years old the first time I realized I nee...