Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Celebrating my amazing mama!

Happy birthday to a wonderful woman! Her strength, grace, faith and beauty far surpass others. This full time working mummum is still helping me daily even when she is exhausted... She is a blessing. One of the main reasons I can function daily in this season, We love her!!

Happy birthday Mom!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Baking it up!

A calm evening.. (thankfully) with baking. Princess is reading with mum Joel is on the computer. Me playing with my phone dreaming of tropical beaches and a full nights sleep.

Pray for continued emotional consistency for Joel. The tumor directly is in this part of his brain. Pray as we gets more active and independent that we will have no seizures! Meds are tapered now. He is sleeping more!

Pray for princess as her cough is keeping us both up at night! I am sleeping less again ha!

Pray for answers to basic questions, provision for our trip and peace. The next season of our journey will be another wild ride for us.

We are so thankful for so many things... Our parents are good support... My parents have earned many stars for putting up with us.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Look who wants to be like Ducky?

This cutie!


We love puzzles... They are challenging but obtainable here are two of our projects....

Have a puzzle we can play with? Hope it has all the parts..

Proud of him!

Guess who just did a mile on the treadmill!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Enjoying the sun today!

Thankful for time of mindless puzzles. Talks and planning starts. It's beautiful outside and we are going to take a quick walk..

Keep praying for provision. Can't put a cost on life, but life does cost.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another Upgrade!

Well I did mention another adventure!! I guess we could say it tended to come from left field! We got a call this evening from our oncologist and our tumor indeed got reviewed at UCSF today. The recommendation, well unexpected.

We get to go to San Fran in the next 2-6 weeks for yet another "de-bulking" What does this mean? Another crani- The surgeon in Cali feels as though there was more tumor left than he would have liked to have seen left. Due to the increased swelling it was a challenge to get all of the tumor- we knew this. We weren't expecting this. But we are ready to face it. This is one day at a time.

Despite a tearful start, we are remaining positive. God is faithful, we know he plans to prosper us, give us a hope and a future. We had been praying that the best medical professionals would make the best call. We are trusting that these doctors, who truly are some of the best in the nation are right.

This is another crani- he will have a similar or larger scar. We will have recovery and other issues. This procedure will have state of the art mapping during the procedure, potential radiation during the procedure... ect. Removing this tumor will give us the best long term prognosis.

There are good things, I am a little sad that we will have to be away, but thankful my Mom will be coming with Evey. This is good. I will miss being in my own hospital. This will be very HARD. But we are thankful!

Details will come with time. They will fall in place. For now. Day by Day. We plan on getting home. We want to be in our house by the next weekend. We are going to work at getting Joel as healthy as possible. We are going to focus on maintaining life as normally as possible!

Joel is so far tolerating a reduced dosage of his seizure meds! Evey is still not feeling super tonight. I am stressed a bit, but Joel is seemingly positive. He is calling it "Joel 3.0" as 2.0 may have a few glitches.

So for now~ Good night. Please keep praying for NO SEIZURES. Continued provision!! (This is going to cost alot... not sure how this will work, but God does provide!) Lastly for health for all of us.

Thank you for your love and prayers!

Change and Adventure

More to come, but we have another adventure coming our way.

Will post more tonight. Pray!

Another dentist appointment

Sitting at the dentist again... Too many years of braces and throwing up for nine months with princess really did a number...

Its beautiful outside but cold... Princess is still congested but getting better...

Joel is doing better he is eager to do more every day... But when he is tired he is tired.. We have been talking with ucsf and his case is being presented today. The tumor board there with neuro oncologists and leading neuro surgeons in the nation are discussing what is best. Please pray over this. We know this is a very good thing to have them review our case...

Will post more later!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Attempting to update from my phone instead of computer....

This weekend my Dad helped wash up our Belle. Still not sure why princess held the sprayer....

Just a bit of normal life. I have a cold today as does princess... She has a junky cough... My head is spacey.... Not a super combo, but life goes on...

Joel is getting more independent daily... He is still quite strong willed... A challenging combo at times... We are learning and failing..

Keep praying. Pray for rest and no more colds... Ick... Pray as I get rehab in line for Joel.. Thank you

Monday, February 20, 2012

Now we live our lives.

We had an oncology appointment today--  and at this point are doing what we thought would happen. We wait and see. We allow Joel's body to heal, and we pray to God that this tumor does not regrow. We are still pending some of the chromosome work from UCSF, and are praying that Joel indeed does have deletions, as this kind of tumor with specific deletions is more response to treatment if it is needed in the future. We also have put our name out for clinical trials, and research, as well the only way we will find a cure is by learning more about it. So more to come if we are eligible for trials at this time. So as of today NO CHEMO OR RADIATION at this point!!

Everyday despite not working (which we both are missing a bit) is feeling more and more normal. We get up and have a day. We are getting out a little more, but this is a lot of work for both of us. And Joel gets tired quickly. 

Still no seizure activity. Day 4 of no steriods, and more sleep for me!  Ha! Joel is now being tapered on two other medications, including his seizure med.

Joel has been having some vision issues so please pray specifically that God heal these.

We are so thankful everyday for progress. God is so faithful and just. We are tired at times, but we aren't weary.

Thank you for continued love! Your prayers, comments and letters in the mail are so encouraging. Thank you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day with my girls-

Spent the morning with my Mom and daughter. Let me just say this---  My mom and I are not gooshy emotional people, never has that been our case. Putting on our BIG GIRL pants is something we both have learned how to do, and it is really a  strength from our God. We both understand the importance that a few words of love and encouragement go a long way, too much can be suffocating. I am thankful that she my dad, along with my brother and his wife are our main supports, as they too understand this about me and Joel. Its not that we don't process or discuss things, Its really about the fact that we understand actions speak louder than words. You can say oh I am so proud, or I love you so many times, but without respect and action, these syrup filled words are meaningless.

That little note aside, we were able to spend time, just us girls and well... This makes way for a beautiful normal day of shopping, frozen yogurt and hair cuts. Don't get me wrong I did call numerous times to make sure Joel was doing ok. Dad was with him. And yes they were fine. (watching old duck football games) Princess has moments of tears, mostly cause she doesn't like to be away from her Ducky for long. But all in all it was really quite normal. It reminds me of all the hours and days I spent with my Mom and Grandma, thankful I have a daughter to pass this along! I found a new pair of jeans ( all my others are falling off) and they were on clearance! woot! $13 and a new tshirt for $2 HA! Sure is funny to think I only used to wear gap and other higher end clothes... but I guess that girl  left when I said "I DO." Good thing I have been a clearance shopping, coupon using mama for the last few years. And its so odd how God really does provide.

I am keeping quite busy, I have always enjoyed baking a little bit, and am really loving that I do have a little bit of time to experiment. My mom bought me a cake pan, that is a filled heart cake. (target clearance for $4) looks like this one---

We did stare at the cake pan for awhile, and finally found a solid blog help tutorial on how to use it, so maybe I will experiment soon. I do love fun shaped pans and tins! It is my secret kitchen love. So if I make this and do not fail too badly, maybe I will post pictures, otherwise I will use images from the wilton site. 

Monday is the day we find out UCSF and tumor board recommendations. Please be praying. This effects Joel, our long term fertility and overall his health. This also effects what is next and when I can begin to return to work. We are trusting God and thankful for all the capable and wise medical professionals in our life. 

Joel feels like his healing is body, mind, and spirit. His  heart has changed so much in the course of the last 3 weeks. I really do feel as though God had been working on him leading up to the weeks before we found the tumor. God has had a divine hand on so much that, I truly feel like the way was being prepared.

He has not been on steroids 2 days now. So far so good. He still thinks a 20 minute nap was a long time, but that aside he is a little bit slower. Do keep in mind this is good, as he had been bouncing around, and often resembled the energizer bunny. He likes to keep up on dishes, I can't complain. He also really enjoys recycling, "thank you Jim D." he says.  Folding laundry and overall lining/shuffing anything is filling his days. Joel has been playing is guitar and reading some too. I try an keep the stimuli from internet down, but Joel really likes the computer. This is an ongoing topic. Ha. Good thing neither of us are stubborn.

On a funny note, we misplace things at times, we are both apt to do this. Good things we both have head injuries. (Yes Kel, our fun has only just begun.)  Forgetting things, only for Princess us to remind us, may be our new normal. Good thing she is so smart. She tells her ducky. "Ducky enough computer."  baffled his listens. She often follows it with "MY TURN please" 

We continue to be thankful for provision, warm meals, and good friends. These visits break up our sometimes long days. 

Joel is wondering how long this blog post will be, to him I say as long as I want it to be, mostly because he is the only bugging me. I say one person is fine, two I will get of the computer. Besides I gave him a stack of presidential facts, that will keep him busy for 5 minutes. ;-)

Thanks for the continued prayers and love. We are so encouraged from all of you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Courage for each day

Each day is full of challenge. Whether it be in being a mom, with a busy toddler. Being the wife of a man who recently had a brain tumor, and is well BUSY.... but improving. Or just being me. I am busy as well.  Ha. 

Evey's needs are changing, we are getting back into a small routine, but her boundries and rules may have been stretched a little out of grace. This is harder than it seems. With lots of questions and comments, I don't always know how to respond. I am always honest though. I know we will have lots of questions for lots of years ahead.

Joel walked the stairs at our house, we are almost  ready to get home, but we are tapering seizure meds and I really need the peace of mind that seizures are not continuing. Its been one week today since our last episode.  Otherwise Joel is doing well. He has alot to say. His heart and outlook on life has changed dramatically. This is something I have prayed for, for many years. That is a whole other blog subject. But lets just say I am thankful that with this tumor filters are off, and he is more honest than ever. Yes yes, we need filters still but well we are thankful none the less. 

As for me? my nerves are a bit calmer these days. I remain confident that God is really bigger than all of this. He is our healer. My heart is still heavy at times, but I am learning to see the joy in the moments we have right here, right now. I have been getting my dental work done- OY and glasses fixed! (Thanks complete vision!)
I am learning to take the negative stories on the internet with a grain of salt, and praise God for the positive ones. Initially there were alot of tears. Our last day in the hospital I was so tired, and so eager to be home, my mom had to come help me.  I may or may not have cried my self into throwing up, several times. But in these moments, when I am literally face to the ground, I have learned that in Christ alone, I do place my trust. He is a fortress in a time of trial. And honestly this storm will pass. For our future holds plans of prosper and hope. 

I don't have the option to lay in bed, as long as I want, or avoid the day. I have to put on my big girl pants, take a deep breath and remember that God is Good. I have my spouse today. And I love him, and our daughter. We all plan to grow old, and sit on a porch someday.  Honestly I am still believing that old age, not Cancer will take my husband.  

Day by Day.... I knew in my spirit from when I saw that first CT scan, that day  by day is how our life will be. We will encourage others to live every day in that day. LOVE your friends and co-workers. TELL THEM. Encourage them to be healthy. Live every day with purpose and meaning. Life is not for wasting.

Please remember Rob Pennock's family, and my Work Family in your prayers. We have been hit with a loss of a younger co-worker, friend and brother.  He was a great loving man, who really was the real deal in life. Full of love and compassion. And a good laugh. To Rob I say this.  "I loved talking about fresh herbs, and scrumptious deserts with you at 2 in the morning. Your joy for our job fueled, my desire to learn more and more all the time. Those late night talks and laughs will be remembered.  Know that you will be missed. You are loved. and we will see you on the other-side."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tumor Board

Be praying as well today as Joel's Case is being reviewed heavily today. The tumor board is giving recommendations. We will find out more on Monday the 20th.

Our wedding song-

Today is valentines' day. A day of Love. A day of romance. A day of overpriced cards, flowers and candy. No I am not cynical but this love that is expressed should be everyday.

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. From fear to rejoicing, failing to learning, and more than I can express. God is faithful, even when we are not.

Joel's neurology appointment went well. We are going to start decreasing medications soon. We are thankful for wise doctors who care.

Tonight will involve take out with my parents, maybe a movie at home. Not what we planned a month ago- as we were going to try and get away for a few nights...

Little things can bring alot of work, someone misdates a document, and well someone else has to fix it. This is what I have been dealing with.

When Joel and I married the song we danced to is all too fitting, for how our life really is. To be honest I had nearly forgotten what it was and today I remembered. So let me share..

We Will Dance- By Steven Curtis Chapman

I've watched the sunrise in your eyes
And I've seen the tears fall like the rain
You've seen me fight so brave and strong
You've held my hand when I'm afraid

We've watched the seasons come and go
We'll see them come and go again
But in winter's chill, or summer's breeze
One thing will not be changin'

We will dance
When the sun is shining
In the pouring rain
We'll spin and we'll sway
And we will dance
When the gentle breeze
Becomes a hurricane
The music will play
And I'll take your hand
And hold you close to me
And we will dance

Sometimes it's hard to hold you tight
Sometimes we feel so far apart
Sometimes we dance as one
And feel the beating of each others hearts

Some days the dance is slow and sweet
Some days we're bouncing off the walls
No matter how this world may turn
Our love will keep us from fallin'

And we will dance
When the sun is shining
In the pouring rain
We'll spin and we'll sway
And we will dance
When the gentle breeze
Becomes a hurricane
The music will play
And I'll take your hand
And hold you close to me
And we will dance

The music will play
And I'll hold you close
And I won't let you go
Even when our steps
Grow weak and slow
Still I'll take your hand
And hold you close to me
And we, will dance

If you want to listen-- to a taste of the song

Never would have guessed the last six years babe- Know that no matter what, we will continue to dance; In sickness and health. Richer or poorer. When we are tried and when we rejoice.  Always and forever, love you.

Thank you for following us on this journey. Happy Valentines' Day. Much love.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Car wash!

One thing we have always loved to do, is go through the car wash. Yes, you heard me right. Parents of young children understand what I am saying. The rest, who think we are crazy can just nod and smile! This morning we we loaded up in the car ( It was close to this afternoon, because I slept in! THANKS MOM and DAD!) and went through the car wash! It was so fun. So normal.

We ran by world market, and Joel did go in, just for a few minutes. We parked in our special spot and marched on it. We bought PEZ candy dispensers. (Evey's first time!!)

Normal. This felt normal.

Life. Its truly a blessing. Joel is really quite fresh out of this whole ordeal, but really has learned a lot about what is important. Love. Loving and respecting all. Loving your partner, your children and family.  Joel's heart has grown. In some ways his more of the Man I married years ago, in other ways--- he is even better. I know he will continue to change, as well all do. But this Joel 2.0 is a whole lot less cynical than Joel 1.0--- What this all means I don't know? I do know he, will continue to change with medication and time.  We do have moments with anxiety, tears, (on all sides) anger and frustration. But the Good moments FAR out weigh any other time. Joel is still busy and full of ideas.

Be praying as we taper more on the steroids- no more seizures! Pray for our neurology appointment on Monday- For this doctor to have wisdom to help us balance his medications a bit better. 

We are thankful to both be sleeping a little bit more. Day by Day. Joel is learning strategies for resting and being quiet. I feel like this is truly a  key in reducing seizure activity. We are so thankful at the love and generosity every day. You make going to the mail box FUN! Your support is sustaining us. Even if I don't need it today, in the month ahead our life will be quite tight.

I do miss working. I love my job. I love my work family. This is my work weekend, and I love our times together.  Right now, I know this is my job. Loving on my daughter--- and watching/loving  my spouse.

Joel and I continue to dream. We dream about being debt free, about vacationing in yep... Hawaii... We dream about getting a tent trailer so we can go on some road trips! (Yes we miss our Canada Family!) We dream of Disneyland ( I haven't been since I was three.) And visiting our family in AZ.  We even dream of another child. For those of you who really know us, know that fertility pregnancy and I well... ummm its a bit of a challenge.  But we hope. We hope for joy ahead. We find joy in the day we are in. Our lives are full. We laugh, we cry, we endure and we trust that these dreams are in hands greater than our own.

Forgive this scattered post, as well I had to take a break between start and finish. Nap time for my loves! My own mind is well.... busy-- its an organized busy, but no one else could figure out that organization.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mornings of busy!

Had another morning of busy, which I suspect is the new normal. With my mom by my side, I had errands ran, truck vacuumed out and had gone to the chiropractor for myself. Snap Crackle Pop. At least I can move my neck a little better!! I did get our "special" parking pass, to make our trips easier. It is a little odd getting a disabled pass for your spouse, I thought that was something we were supposed to be doing in 50 years? (I plan on doing it then.)

We did have a bit of a rough night with some seizure activity starting up. Joel is doing better this morning, and is feeling better. He didn't get hurt and was stable through the event, but it is still a reminder that we are still just learning. Joel is starting to learn that when he feels anxious, maybe its more tired, and he needs dark, quiet music and rest. Day by Day we are learning to cope.

All my calls paid off the last few days. Paper work is arriving in the mail for several things, calls are being returned, and appointments are being made. 

Joel is napping, soon Evey will. Yep this is normal-- I think?

Keep praying for NO MORE SEIZURE activity. This scares Joel. (I kick into work mode and then am exhausted afterward.) Pray for continued protection for safety if these things are going to happen. 

Thank you for your love and prayers.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


What is a normal day? Not sure I know but I think this was about as normal as it comes. Every night Joel and I write out goals for the next day. They are usually small but needed things---  like call so and so... (usually about 10 of these ha!!) Walk more, drink more water, ect... Or goals of things to do with and for Princess. Today our Goals are getting  checked off, and we are going to move on to valentines' cards and Thank Yous! (Thankful we have a lot to do!)
Friends have visited, Joel loves this, but it is a bit exhausting... Laundry is done, floors are clean and bills are paid.

We continue to be amazed at the way God provides, and directly hears the desires of our heart.. Here are a couple of examples----  I wanted to make special valentines day cookies with Evey, but knew spending the extra money on the "supplies" was not really something i should do. Only to find a friend had bought the supplies, and dropped them off at my house-- to make cookies-- they happened to be the same sprinkles I had nearly placed in my cart. Yep made me cry. Another is the desire to make crafts with Evey and how friends randomly bring craft things for  me  her!   

Yet, today this one got me- Joel has already lost quite a bit of weight not that its horrible, but I am concerned its muscle based and it needs to slow down! So we were talking about a protein powder drink, and I had no idea what to get and would need to spend time searching--- low and behold a friend who stopped by-- brought us a bag of high quality protein drink. Shocked? Yep I am amazed everytime. 

People keep asking how they can help? There are several ways.

The warm meals, and bags of groceries that friends and new friends have been bringing has been a blessing, and I know will bless us for many months to come. These meals also bring visits that feed our souls. 


Want to buy a nifty storage solution or personalized item? Check out 31 Gifts! A dear friend is donating the proceeds from a sale at 31 Gifts! These are great products! I do love my bag!

And now, a friend of Joel's Uncle is giving the proceeds from her etsy store to us! We are amazed at the generosity and compassion of a woman we have never even met!! Her products and patterns are so beautiful!

Your cards, gift cards, and money are easing our journey so much as well. We are so excited to go get the mail, to find not just bills but actual mail!!!

J&J Dougall
PO BOX 40702
Eugene, OR 97404

But most of all your prayers! Keep them coming each time we know someone checks our blog "Even as a hit" we know it means a prayer or loving thought. This is so encouraging to us!

Pray that with the appointments ahead (Yep my phone calls pay off!) we are able to stabilize Joel's medications safely- so he may rest!   Pray for my neck and back, as I tweaked it a few nights ago (Thankful to be heading to the chiropractor soon!) Continue to pray for our princess- This is hard to understand as an adult, yet alone as a toddler. Those that have thought of her from the start-- thank you for your heart. The coloring, crafts, baking, and leapster fun are helping keep her mind busy! 

We are so thankful. Joel is continuing to make progress. He is walking well with just a walking stick (He is using his hiking stick as the cane/walker made him feel OLD!)  Last night he even went to the potty alone, so I could sleep!! We are thankful that all God has and continues to give us. We are surrounded by such love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oregon liquid sunshine is coming down!

So far so good, another day with the three of us. Its raining, so it will be a wonderful day to be home, inside.

Pray for rest for Joel. He still isn't into sleeping a whole lot.

And pray for me, as I tweaked my neck last night.

Having a fun play day, pictures eventually to follow...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


As promised here are a few photos. These times are precious, and these photos are so dear to me....  thank you Auntie E for these---(In case you ever need a photographer she is pretty awesome!! http://www.facebook.com/pages/DreamFlash-Photography/359761366081)

These are from Superbowl Sunday-

 Snuggling with ducky. She loves to nap on laps. Yes she is three, but this is what we love. It nurtures both souls.

 Ducky's Scar, staples were still in this photo.

 Out taking pictures with Auntie E

 "Say Cheese E"

Our beautiful Evey. The last weeks, have grown you up so much Princess.

We have had a good day... Joel helped do dishes and went with when, we picked up Princess from Preschool. It was nice to get out of the house and having him help me with the dishes, is always a bite of normal.

Tonight we start decreasing one of his medications, the steroids to be exact--- pray for no complications. This needs to go smoothly so we can decrease all the other medications. I really feel as though his seizure medication is really causing a lot more side effects at this time then we realize. He is quite tired at times, and been anxious. His mind is busy mostly with thankful thoughts, occasionally work or historical thoughts... HA!! So if you get a text or email or phone call... please keep in mind that these medications are really taxing on the mind... for both of us... He is still Joel but his mind is really being stressed at times. I appreciate that his friends have understood this and kept the mood light.

 Joel and I continue to be amazed at how people love us. Generosity and compassion from so many friends is nearly overwhelming. Joel has been calling it a "ground swell of blessing" an accurate description for our hearts cry.

Also pray as we get physical therapy going. I am going to try and get home PT to start with---  as its hard work just leaving the house... 

Next up more pictures soon... and the disabled parking pass, (I always wanted a good parking spot!) This will come handy as Joel is wanting to take me out to valentines day dinner. I told him, we will see.

 Have I mentioned lately that I love this man? I never ever would have imagined in my wildest nightmares dreams that we would be facing this-- but am thankful we get to face this cancer together one day at a time. No one can understand this road, or how deeply you fall in love with your partner unless you experience this. When I say this I mean, nearly loosing your spouse and facing cancer. I do not  wish it on any one, but there truly are blessings even in the most dire of situations. Love is so powerful. Even through these tears, it can't be diluted only strengthened.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your love, generosity, thoughts and prayers. We plan on spending the rest of our life paying this grace and love we have been shown--- forward.

Phone calls!

Another day with phone calls, thankful Joel works for the state, and we have the union. We slept and  are glad princess is at preschool. We are really needing a different vehicle, our truck works fine, but its hard for Joel to get in and out of, and have Evey in the back and any gear. Anyone want to buy a 2003 toyota tundra?

Pray for these details. I do have pictures to post soon, but for now I need to run and take care of a few things. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

A quick update~

Just a quick update tonight as two Dr appointments in one day is well... exhausting to say the least! 

The day has gone well. So do not interpet my quiet as disappointment! hehe! My life is still going on ya know? I still have a three year old... a dog and occasionally laundry!!!

We did get confirmation that it is a stage II Oligodendroglioma. It has probably been there six to eight years. A seizure is a common symptom and signal of tumor. It occurs more in males then females. It is often a slow growing tumor. Our Surgeon was pleased with the fact that he did remove so much of it! (He appears to be a perfectionist, so I am pleased!) 

Our oncologist was very kind, smart and positive he shared that with this time of tumor, the outcome is more favorable.   (Several studies even have 30+ year survivors)   So now we wait. We wait because the treatment plan will be reviewed by multiple Drs in the coming week. (2/14 to be exact) We also wait because the slide, information, and scans are all being sent to a leading research facility for recommendation and confirmations.

We are so THANKFUL.  Your out-pouring and generosity is amazing.

Your cards are so encouraging to us! 

PO BOX 40702
Eugene OR 97404

I will post more soon. But for now, my sleep deprived husband is sleeping. Thank you God! 

Pray for a smooth transition for Joel as we decrease his steroids! This could be the time when a seizure could sneak in. Pray for them to never come back! Pray for our Princess as this is all hard to understand when you are three. We have a lot of tears and questions that are HARD TO ANSWER. Sometimes I just tell her "sometimes we just don't know, and its even hard for a mommy or ducky to understand." Continue to pray for our support team, as they are keeping me sane, eating and remind me to shower! HA  

Yes for those of you wondering, Joel and I have both lost weight, I have no idea how... especially since our amazing friends and new friends keep feeding us such wonderful meals.. WHICH IS HUGE! Yes we are staying at my parents, but they do work full time...  and Joel and I are left to fend for ourselves....

This road is not going to be easy. But I am so in love with this man, even as I have to help him with daily tasks. I am thankful that I get the chance to have these times. Day by day he is improving!

My eyes are heavy, but my heart is confident that the best is yet to come. Joel is positive and feels encouraged by today. God is still good. His love still endures. This is the song I still sing, even in the darkest of nights.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A busy day ahead.

Tonight we headed to bed early. Yep didn't even finish the superbowl, we had the best party and are so thankful to friends who made the day that much better.

Joel gets tired quickly. He always has, but now we understand the importance of sleep.

My mom is reading Princess a bed time story while I finish up some loose ends and paperwork for the drs to sign tomorrow.

We are going into tomorrow slightly nervous.. though we may not admit it, but confident that God is still in control. Joel has no fear, as he feels its all going to work out.

Still no seizures. Which I am SOOOOO thankful.

Please pray for rest and peace as we go into tomorrow. Its not every day you meet your oncologist.... ha! Not really the specialist we intended on having... haha but I guess we didn't plan on needing a neurosurgeon too. I was the one with the specialists, not him. ha!

We still hold so much hope for the future and our family. I still honestly have not given up on any dreams.

Hawaii still lays in the back of our mind... but for now its day by day. Our next big goal is home. But that is still a while away.

Thank you for following us on this journey. And praying daily.


I have pictures to follow, but had a fun day yesterday and a wonderful dinner last night! (Thanks!!) It amazes me how people know exactly what we want... but we don't have to say it. 

It been interesting to watch people in this. There are so many people that love and care. Yet so many respond differently. We continue to be thankful. And rejoice that God is loving and compassionate with so many things.

Our Princess is doing well, has a cold, and is a bit of a cling-on. We are so thankful for the family support and her preschool consistency. 

Joel rested more than me last night. It is so good for his mind and heart. I did get a little more rest this morning. I am now so aware that the days of sleeping in are rare and precious.

Tomorrow will prove to be a busy day-- Dr. Appointments! Be praying for us in those!

Today is the normal fun of SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!! WOOHOO... So excited!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love this sunshine.

Princess, Joel and I spent the morning with my parents. French toast, bacon and fruit... We love the feeling of home, and quiet. Love the time here as family. Not sure what we would do with out my parents, they are holding the fort down, cleaning up after us, helping with laundry. Yesterday we navigated showers, walks around the house and have found Joel lots of things to do with his bored self. He folded laundry. Played games with Evey. Even called his sister on her birthday!

Well he is doing good, once the steriods and seizure meds level off time will tell. These meds have made him a bit ummm hyper at times. His thoughts are very rapid. He likes to tell me while I slept how much I slept... "Jill, you slept 20 minutes" "ummmm babe... that wakes me up" This goes on all night... pretty much from 2am on. Ha!

Please pray this improves--- Also pray for the staples in Joel's head they come out monday, but are starting to feel irritated. 

Its a beautiful day outside, we are trying to go enjoy it. Belle is enjoying it too.. she loves laying in the sun. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

A little bit of normal.

How do I describe today? A little bit normal.

Cleaned the house, laundry was done, bills paid, naps done, showers given....  it is so refreshing to have a little taste of what is to come. Normal. Our new normal at least. We all take it for granted. We continue to be AMAZED by generosity of friends and new friends alike. 

 Joel is eating breakfast--- at the table!!

Belle joined us at my parents house-- she is quite happy! Joel loves seeing her!

Joel is moving more and more daily, his balance will still take time -but is improving. 

Monday we have Dr. appointments. One with an oncologist, the other is with the neurosurgeon. We still have tear filled moments, but mostly happy tears, as we are so thankful for the chance to fight this. This could have continued and advanced into something much worse, with time.

God is good. He is still amazing. Even when I am tired, worn out and discouraged. God is still God. He is still good. My family continues to be an encouragement. We remain hopeful for what is to come, but are taking each day at a time.

Continue to pray for our daughter during this adjustment time. Pray for my family as they continue to (do my laundry) support us and keep me from going crazy. Pray for Joel and I as we continue to fight together (not against eachother... I can't even get him to fight me.. ha!) Continue to pray that I stay healthy as well. 

What I am remembering and hearing shouted into my heart... when I am so frustrated is that God is God, and I am not. I can not see or understand what is next but I do know it is good. As a friend used to always say... and ingrained into me....  the best is yet to come.  (I still can hear you say it Andy.)

So we face another day, knowing that no one has the guarantee of the next day or next breath for that matter. Please keep joining us in the journey. Your love and prayers are overwhelming.  Your comments are encouraging as well. We are thankful.

If you want to help- here is a way!

Buy a fun thing for your house through my friend Amanda who is hosting a 31 gifts party! A portion of the proceeds come our direction, so get some neat thing for yourself and help us!

 A nifty magazine rack

Many personalizable options... I have one like this! LOVE IT!

 Or a nifty new lunch bag?  With your name on it?! Yes please!

Ok, Ok I am done- but these are great products! 

More ways to follow~!


Meal train slots are still available. These meals are already proving to be a God send at the end of a long day.

We are having a good day. Joel slept, even after getting up at four in the morning. We ate breakfast at the table this morning, Joel really enjoyed that. We can not thank people enough. Your outpouring and generosity is amazing. God is good.

 (We are thankful my parents are home today too.. hehe... ) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More ramblings from Joel

This was done early in the morning--- Just a delayed wife posting it...

Wife--So Joel has continued to make progress every day. He is a bit awake around umm... 4AM! I think he wants to go to bootcamp... He was ensuring my dad remembered all his gear this morning! HA. Well to say the least I did sleep some. I hop between Evey's Bed and Joel's Bed depending on how either are doing. I guess I get around.

HAHA!! so Joel just flipped through the music tv stations and it landed on 90s... Evey loudly proclaims that is Mommy music... not mine! Apparently anything 80s or 90s is my music now... hmmm

Today there is a lot to get taken care of, Mark will help with Joel for a few hours. Joel is getting along well but is thankful Mark is similar size, it makes him feel safe. Me too. Evey is off to preschool. Phone calls are being made...

So when Joel woke up at 4 am he decided he wanted to blog. This may have been because i wanted to sleep and not talk.. oh well.. ha! Here it is:

More ramblings from the guy that just had brain surgery.

 I just want to say that I don't think I have a any special authority, or wisdom but since Valentines Day is coming up I want everyone to re-evaluate what is really important in your life.

 I don't why it took something being taken out of my head for me to realize this, but the most important thing in the world to me is my wife and then my daughter, then my family, and then my friends in that order!

 I am so blessed by all of them. and they or more important then any job, money, or anything, The Beatles had it right. all you need is love!! 

Wow I must be on drugs. (Wife says I am not)  but I'm serious I love my wife and she is the most important thing in the world to me! After family and friends is  the next important thing is -- community, lets all support  local businesses.

I love the group Brundage Bootcamp firstly, because I believe it saved my life by helping find what was wrong with me in the first place. The fact that he brings together so many wonderful people helping each other is pretty great!

 I also want to say thankyou to all the firefighters out there that do such a wonderful job helping people!
(Especially the medics who brought me in)

 Anyways love you all!

 Peace and love!--Joel

Quick Update

Been a busy morning- I did sleep some. I took Evey to Preschool while Marky hung out with Joel. I ran to the store and our house to pick up a few things, and love on our doggy. ( I can't wait to bring her over here tonight!)

Things are busy, my head is clearer. Phone calls are never ending. Please continue to pray for us. 

There is a blog posting from Joel. Do know that we are overwhelmed by the generosity from friends, family and others. A lot of things to do. But I am telling Joel to stop thinking about it. ha!

Love you guys! Thank you for continuing to pray. More to come this evening when the phone stops. Insurance, appointments, ect. Also if you have experience with a local oncologist, please comment a recommendation. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ramblings from Joel-

(Wife disclaimer- Joel is not on narcotics, he is taking ibuprofen these days and is amazing. I am tired, but sleep will come, please do not try to rescue me, or worry about me being tired.) (Who wouldn't be tired if the longest day of their life was 8 days long in a hospital at her husbands side?!)( I got sleep last night and am looking forward to drugging Joel so he sleeps through the night nap time. We are all happy. Joel feels like the new him will be better than ever, his thoughts are quick at times a bit disorganized but coherent. So enjoy his ramblings.) He just said he is looking forward to visitors in time. But first his beautiful wife needs sleep.)


Wow! I feel so happy to be out of the hospital! but I am so thankful for everything and everyone's prayer and love and support! Wow I slept so good last night I know I am on drugs but I had the most amazing dream in my life! I dreamed that I was with Nanny and Grandma Dougall and Great Grandma Hobinsefikin. It was so amazing! It was like they they were my angels watching over me. It makes me cry happy tears.  I don't understand it but my dreams have never felt so real and comforting.  

Makes me love my daughter and wife so much! I don't know what was cut out of me on Thursday. but I cant wait to thank the doctor who did it. I am so proud of my brother mark and dad for running a 5K this morning. MY ONLY WORRY IS THAT MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE WONT GET ENOUGH SLEEP. She is so strong it amazes me, but she needs sleep.

I'm going to learn to speak  Chinese. 

Please don't worry about me I'm going to be back to work after a while and back to  bootcamp doing those seal claps and spastic "cheerlearderworkouts" with Allen.

I am enjoying this time with my baby girl. 

--Joel and I thank you so much for your continued love and prayers. We are so thankful for this covering. As for now we will continue to take life day by day. I urge you to do the same. Life is a precious gift. Do not plan for tomorrow, live for today.

Home Sweet Home.

Good Morning!

We are live from home- Joel states he has "never been better." Princess will not let go. And me--- better but looking forward to nap time!!

Many Mommy Ducky days to come- Joel is steady on his feet, with a little help, and loves being out of the hospital.

We slept, some of us better than others. Joel is still adjusting to his new body, but is doing so beautifully.

I must admit, as my overtired self drove home from the hospital with my husband I cried. As we pulled up to the house, I cried as held my daughter I cried.

Here are a few pictures of these first moments. 

This made us both cry-

Princess immediately snuggled her ducky first. Not a dry eye. 

Normal feeling... tv watching life. I never thought I would miss Wonder Pets.

Watching chipmunks with Princess- She planned this!

This is medicine. This is beautiful.

Keep praying.