Monday, March 18, 2013

Strangely Normal

The last week at home has been strangely normal. The first few days Esther was a bit overwhelmed. She was also feeling pretty crummy from the lingering effects of her antibody therapy. Esther is feeling much better now. Eating and playing and even throwing a fit or two.

We've all been figuring out what life looks like as we strive to return to our "normal" lives. I've been trying to be diligent with the kids' school, maintain the cleanly environment Esther needs, and to just simply enjoy my kids. Over the last few months we've catered to more preferences and desires than usual. So, there's been some adjustment relearning that mom is not a short order cook and it's just not okay to expect me to prepare three different kinds of fruit, serve 5 different kinds of cereal, oatmeal, scrambled, fried, and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. We've renewed the saying "you get what you get and don't throw a fit." Sorry thankful I'm makin' you some breakfast.

Really, though, the kids are doing very well. Enjoying each other tremendously. They've been working together, supporting each other. I am often in awe of the way Esther's cancer, and especially the last four months, have solidified their relationships. Cancer has provided a deep unity for these little hearts. This is a complete kindness from God. The kind that brings me to tears, not of sorrow, but of utter thankfulness and awe of a God who hears, who showers us with mercy.

While Esther is well enough to be home, life is not completely back to normal. Esther is still pretty vulnerable. She has to wear her mask any place outside of our home, including the back yard. It will be several months until she can weather a cold without risk of serious complications. We still need to be quite careful. I'm not sure that's fully understood. Esther was able to return home earlier than many children because she received her own stem cells and because she's done so well. We don't want to be antisocial and would love to see all the people we love, please don't be offended that we're standing with arms held out a bit.

A few moments from our week...

The first few days Esther was home, these two were inseperable. Esther wasn't feeling great, so Zinnia hung out in bed with her watching movies, looking at books, and just being sisters.


School time. It has been so nice to get back into a routine. I love being able to teach my children. While we homeschooled before Esther's cancer, it is more of a blessing now to treasure every moment with them.

Sunday night Frannie asked me, "Instead of reading tonight before bed, is it okay if I do these?" Bewildered, I responded the best I could, "Ummm. Uhhhh. Sure?"
The kids have been enjoying school as well and now have newfound motivation. Rourke is working on his reading and writing skills because he wants to work at Brent's Place. We told him he needed to be able to write grants and read lots of books about taking care of families with cancer. Lydia is working on her math facts because she needs to be able to dose medicine when she's a nurse at the "Children's Hospital." Frannie recently said she wanted to be a waitress but has changed her mind and wants to do Miss Bridget's job at Brent's Place. We told Frannie she raises money to help other families, so she's been more motivated to work on her math and reading "so I can write good letters to raise money and count the money." What's that you say...manipulation to work harder on certain areas of school...never.
We enjoyed some face time with Anthony's mom! She sent Christmas gifts for the kids...with all the craziness of being in the hospital and back and forth, the Christmas gifts weren't opened. They were stoked to finally get a chance to see Grandma Sherry and open their presents. Lydia got a bead set and was eager to share it with everyone. I like my new bracelets...I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of the fashion curve.


And there's this. I used to stand in the mirror and cry. Guess she takes after me.


  1. Oh Sam, I am so glad that you are all back home together. That in and of itself has to just feel good. Life had to always be busy with 5 little ones under foot and now your job is bigger yet. We continue to pray for energy, good rest, healthy children, and a journey for God's glory. We are so thankful for your honest testimony and faithful character. Many blessings on you and your family this week :)

  2. Aaaaaw! Yay! back to normal life! I'm so happy that everyone is doing well and of course love the pictures! The kids wanting to work at Brent's Place is awesome, and hopefully your future grant-writers will choose HDFS (with a biomed minor) as their major and write epic grants for that capstone class! :D Anyway, hope you all do some fun activities with the nice weather! :) Still praying for you and praising God that life is getting back to normal!

  3. Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only mom who says, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit"! lol I'm glad things are transitioning to normal for your family. Yes, homeschooling is such a blessing. My heart was closed to the idea for a long time (which I now regret), but our faithful God put numerous people in my path that softened my heart and encouraged me along the way to finally take the leap. I'm so thankful that we do because it has really been a blessing to our family in so many ways and has helped tremendously with Andy's cancer treatment too. We continue to pray for you all!