Monday, December 31, 2007

YAY Kam made it to midnight this year!

Goodbye 2007!!!

Wow what a crazy year 2007 has been! Here is our Garcia Family Year in Review, which is mostly medical stuff, how sad! Many of you have walked through this year and its ups and downs step by step with us, praying the whole way. We can never thank you enough for that!

January 2007 started out with continuous trips to the doctor for Kassidy and Kameron who battled constant strep throat and they both had their tonsils and adenoids removed on February 19th. Both surgeries went well and they haven't had a single case of strep since!

In March I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes which made eating oh so fun! Frank had surgery the end of March to repair a deviated septum and have his tonsils removed. He was pretty miserable for awhile, but healed well. Kass and Kam also started Spring soccer.

In April Kennedy was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. It came as a huge shock to all of us! She started chemotherapy right away and we pretty much moved in to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital while Kassidy and Kameron moved into my mom's house. Not long after that I was diagnosed with ICP (Itrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy) just to keep things interesting! Because of that my OB care was switched from Blanchfield (Army hospital) to Vanderbilt which turned out to be a huge blessing.

May 1st brought the arrival of the very last KJ - Keeghan Joel!! What a great completion to our family! We can't imagine life without him... it would be so quiet! LOL On May 16, Kennedy celebrated her 3rd birthday at home! That same day Kameron graduated from pre-k. What a fun month! Spring soccer ended this month as well. The only downfall was Frank contracting an MRSA staph infection which put him in the hospital for yet another surgery. He was down and out for a couple weeks with it.

June and July brought along summer fun. Kassidy and Kameron hung out at Grandma's where they learned how to swim, went to the library and did lots of other fun things. Kennedy, Keeghan, Frank and I hung out at Vandy while Kennedy kicked cancer's butt and Keeghan... puked. A lot. Kennedy also had 3 new Hickman lines placed for various reasons.

In August, Kassidy started 2nd grade and Kameron started Kindergarten! They were both so excited to start school! They have fabulous teachers this year who have not only been great teachers but also great friends and role models.

September is Fall soccer time! Kass and Kam both played and had a lot of fun! On September 19th, Keeghan had surgery to repair his hypospadias. It went great and his doctor forsees no future problems. Then on September 17th Kennedy had her very last day of chemo! What a great day that was!!

October brought lots of sick visits back to Vandy for Kennedy. She just wasn't quite ready to say goodbye yet. In November Kameron celebrated his 6th birthday on the 3rd and Kassidy and my mom celebrated their birthdays on the 4th. Kassidy turned 8 and my mom turned 29... again. November also marked the end of Fall soccer and fun times with family and friends.

December of course is our favorite month as we prepared for Christmas. The kids both had solos in our church Christmas play and Grandpa came to visit from California! Then as you all know, we had to say goodbye to daddy as he left to serve a tour of duty in Afghanistan. We are all so proud of him and miss him bunches!

So, we are happy to say goodbye to 2007 and hello to 2008! We look forward to a fabulous year full of good health and happy memories. We can't wait to see the many ways God blesses our family throughout the year. We of course will take you all along for the ride! Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beautiful lights

On Christmas Eve we went driving around town to look at lights and found a fabulous display down by the river. The kids wanted to get out and look so Frank took them out walking. It was too cold for Kennedy and Keeghan so we stayed in the car warm and cozy! Here are a few pics:

Too Many Angels...

Heaven has gained 2 more beautiful angels, one last night and one today... both victims of this stupid cancer. Please click on their names to visit their pages and show their families some love.


Christian Barker
5/6/93 - 12/29/07
Rare Form of ALL


Seth Becker
8/16/05 - 12/30/07
Brain Tumor (PNET)

Rest in peace little angels. Your battle has been won. You're with Jesus now.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A revelation

"Hey Kassidy! Your shirt has short sleeves and your pants have long sleeves!"
-Spoken by Kameron after the kids got their jammies on

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deployment 2007; Day 1

We pray you all had a very merry Christmas, we did here. Kennedy woke up sick on Christmas morning, but she perked up long enough to open presents before she crashed again. She continued to spike high fevers up to 104 so I took her to the doctor and she has adno-virus. It's just something she has to ride out herself, and she seems a little better today so hopefully she's getting over it.

Keeghan's ears are STILL not clear even after the 3 shots of rocephin. He's now on Augmentin. His ped said that there are 2 more meds we can try if this doesn't work but if those fail he'll have to go see ENT. He had a great first Christmas and really enjoyed opening the presents (and trying to eat the wrapping paper) LOL.

Kass and Kam both had a great day and got lots of cool stuff. I think the hit gift for both of them were their ipods (from Grandma) and idogs from us. Spoiled kids! I have lots of pictures I will post soon.

This afternoon the kids had to say goodbye to daddy and at 11:45 tonight his plane took off for Afghanistan. This is deployment number 3 for him, but it doesn't seem to get any easier with time, that's for sure!

We remind ourselves that the only reason he is deploying right now is because Kennedy is done with treatment and doing well... and we'd much rather have him over there and her well than him home because she's still sick.

Kassidy was sad tonight, she is so emotional anyway and wears her heart on her sleeve. I don't worry too much about her though because she is a talker and I always know how she's feeling.

Kameron got irritated with Kassidy for saying she missed daddy. He kept telling her, "STOP saying that!" He worries me a little more, he acts out when he's upset and refuses to talk about why he's sad or angry or whatever until he finally just falls apart in tears. I hate to see him like that.

Kennedy had NO clue that when she hugged daddy goodbye today that it was for a long time. She worries me the most. While she was going through chemo she became a huge daddy's girl. She wakes up and asks for him and every time there is a knock at the door she assumes it's daddy bringing french fries.

Keeghan doesn't worry me for now, but I am sad that when he sees Frank again he will have no idea who he is. Something tells me Keeghan is going to be an even bigger mama's boy than he is now... if that's possible LOL!

Frank will be meeting us in Orlando in May for his 2 week R&R and Kennedy's Make-A-Wish trip and then he will return to Afghanistan until March 2009. Please keep him in your prayers that he stays out of harms way, he has a wife and 4 beautiful kids here who miss him already!!

Please pray for Frank's safety over the next 15 months. Pray for his friends over there with him. Pray that they can do some good while there. Pray for all the families here holding down the homefront and all the kids who are adjusting to life without their moms and dads for awhile. I'll keep you posted on how he is doing, of course! Thank you for praying, as always!

Here are some pictures of the kids saying goodbye to daddy.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!


Happy Birthday Jesus!
I'm so glad it's Christmas!
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is You!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Jesus we love you!


Merry Christmas Eve!

It's hard to believe tomorrow is Christmas! I think we are ready. I KNOW the kids are ready. Kassidy and Kameron are so excited they can hardly stand it! Later today we will make cookies for Santa (don't be fooled, they're the place and bake kind) and bake a birthday cake (from a box) for Jesus (I hope He won't mind! LOL). Then when it gets dark we will go drive around town and look at Christmas lights. When we get back home the kids will open their annual Christmas Eve jammies from my grandmother and then it's off to bed so Santa can come and leave lots of wonderful things. YAY! I really don't know who gets more excited about Christmas, them or me! HA! Keeghan decided he REALLY wanted to get to the decorations on the coffee table today and we looked over to watch him pull himself to a stand and he stood there playing with the toys like it was totally natural for a 7 month old to do so. Someone needs to tell him to SLOW down!

I can't help but think of all our friends this year who are spending Christmas without their children. I am totally aware that it was VERY possible we could be spending this Christmas without Kennedy, yet even though I am aware, I can't comprehend not having her here, not seeing her face light up as she sees her new Groovy Girl house tomorrow, not hearing her squeal of delight as she opens the Wow Wow Wubbzy toy that we paid way too much for on ebay. My heart just breaks as I think of Cody, Charlie, Chloe, Copeland, Rayley, Abby, Hazel, Cristina, Roman, AJ, Haleigh, Caroline, Penn, RJ, Allie, Kayla, Maddie, Jessica, Magie, Rachel, and so many other little angels who are celebrating Christmas with Jesus this year. While I know they are Home and happy, those left behind have to pick up the peices and figure out how to move on. PLEASE keep all these families in your prayers tomorrow and hug your kids just a little tighter and thank God for them.

Kennedy spiked a random 104.8 fever last night. She was miserable, tossing and turning and crying out. It, of course, freaked me out and I had visions of spending Christmas at Vandy. I called the doctor on call and he told me to just give her motrin and if she still had a fever today to get her counts checked. I put her in bed with me so I could keep an eye on her. The motrin got her down to 102.3 and she pretty much stayed there all night, then this morning... nothing. No fever, no illness, she's up running around like there was never a problem. Only Kennedy I tell ya! Please pray her fever stays away! 








I am thankful for Jesus coming to earth as a baby to save us all so we can have eternal life with Him!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kennedy's dance

When we went to Michigan last month and visited our friend Ashlyn, she had this little frog that danced and sang an Usher song. Kennedy loved playing with it so Kass and Kam got her one for Christmas... and she opened it a little early. You can't see the frog in this video, but check out my girl's moves!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What's on your tree?

Our friend Ricardo over at Our Box of Chocolates posted this question and included some of his favorite ornaments. SO here's some favorites from our tree. I'm sure I've missed some, so there may be a part 2 later! ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're searching for the King...



Kind of... LOL. I bought this Fisher-Price Nativity set a few years ago and this year Kennedy was fascinated with the Baby Jesus. She carried him around everywhere. She hugged Him and loved Him and put Him to sleep and fed Him... it was really cute... until she hid Him! Now we have a manger with no baby. Joseph and Mary are sad, Kameron is VERY disturbed by it. I'm sure He's tucked away safely in some corner somewhere but man we need to find Him! Brings a whole new meaning to searching for Jesus!

It's Potty Time!

SO I don't know if anyone's noticed, but at the beginning of my blog I was posting about potty training Kennedy and then those notices kind of stopped. Sorry about that! For those of you who follow her CarePage (site name: KennedyGarcia), you have probably figured out that it's due to her diarrhea issues. It's kind of hard to potty train a kid who's filling up to 12 diapers a day with poop! (Yuck, I know!)

ANYWAY, the point of this update is, Kennedy has been telling me when she pees and bringing me diapers, then tonight she was upstairs with Kassidy and came down and asked to go potty. So I got out her chair and sure enough she went! YAY! She's SOOOOO ready, we just need to get these poop issues under control. *sigh*

OK back to your poop-free evening!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

OK so this is weird updating every day! I'm not used to it! 

So today was a little more calm. I took Keeghan in this morning for his 3rd and final Rocephin shot. The doctor said his ears are starting to look better, but they're still not completely clear. We go back in one week for a recheck. He also has a really bad yeast infection from all the antibiotics so we got some nystantin for that. 

Kennedy had her dentist appointment at 1:00. No cavities! YAY!!! She did great while they were cleaning her teeth. They have a TV on the ceiling so they put Spongebob (blah blah as Kennedy calls him) on and she was a happy camper. Everyone was so impressed with how good she was! Then on the way out she had to wave goodbye to EVERY patient in there! LOL They all thought she was adorable, of course! 

Tonight my mom took us out to dinner for our anniversary, Frank and I have been married for 9 years today. Crazy how time flies! We're going to go celebrate on our own this weekend and my mom is going to keep all the kids. Hopefully Keeghan won't drive her too crazy! LOL 

We haven't heard a word out of the people who hit me, I'm thinking they are just not going to call back, which at this point is fine with me. I'd rather not have the stress of fighting them to fix my car right now, I'll just get it fixed and they can fix their own. Still, it makes me mad they're not owning up to it! Whatever! 

Tomorrow, NO doctors! WOOOHOOOO! Kassidy and Kameron both have their class parties tomorrow and my mom is going to keep Kennedy and Keeghan so I can go help. They're VERY excited and I'm sure they'll be full of sugar by the time they come home. Then Friday they have a 1/2 day and then they're out for Christmas break! YAY! 

Anyway, thanks for hanging in there with me and praying this week! I appreciate it! Please continue to pray that Keeghan's ears clear all the way up and that everyone stays healthy through Christmas! 

I am thankful for my husband and 9 wonderful years together.

Nine years and four kids ago...

Frank and I got married! It was a VERY stressful day and if we had to do it all over again, we'd elope! LOL Just kidding! It's been a crazy 9 years mixed with the good, the bad and the ugly. Lots of fights, lots of tears, deployments, sick kids and hospital stays, but we've also had a lot of wonderful and the good has always outweighed the bad. I don't know anyone who can make me laugh like my husband (or make me as angry sometimes! LOL) I look forward to another 9 amazing years as we get close to embracing life with teenagers and drawing closer to one another. Happy Anniversary babe! I love you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Crazy Day...

Well it's been another crazy day. I'm looking forward to a day of no doctors, no phone calls, so stress. Maybe... soon. I took Keeghan back in this morning for his 2nd Rochephin shot. Poor little guy was NOT happy with mama. Then I took Kennedy to her hemonc appointment which went well, her counts look GREAT! One more month to relax! She wasn't very happy with them drawing her blood. My poor babies both got stuck with needles today! She has been kissing her owie all day. 

As far as my car goes, the "honest" girl that hit me has now changed her story and is saying it's not her fault. I talked to the witness today and she said she didn't want to waste her time talking to liars and she will ONLY talk to my insurance company. I REALLY wasn't planning on involving them since my rates will go up even though it's not my fault. UGH SO I called the police department and filed a claim but they said it's not an offical report and I should have stayed there and waited for them. We called TWICE dangit! UGH!!! I know for next time, which hopefully there won't be one! SO now we need to figure it all out and pray they don't want to take me to court or anything. Pray it gets worked out soon and without too much more stress! By the way, thanks Tricia for not letting me stress out TOO bad! 

Tomorrow I have to take Keeghan back in for his 3rd shot and have his ears checked. As of last night he still had a temp of 102. Frank said he slept a lot again today, but right now he's crawling around trying to unwrap the presents under the tree. LOL Hopefully they will say his ears are CLEAR tomorrow! Kennedy has her dentist appointment at 1:00, so pray for no cavaties! Also pray for our friend Ryan who has his MRI tomorrow. It will be good to get the "all clear". 

OK I am off to shop. It's the best stress reliever EVER! You can find me at Wal-mart! LOL  

I am thankful for good counts... always!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ugh what a day!!

Keeghan was doing better we thought, with the omnicef, then Saturday night his temp spiked to 102 and he started in with a terrible cough again. After getting NO sleep on Saturday night I called the doctor on Sunday and they told us to try to keep him comfortable until I could get him in today. 

SO this morning I got up and called to get him in right away so I could still get Kennedy to Vandy by 11 for her urology appointment. His ped wasn't in so we saw another doctor and even after a full week of omnicef his ear infection is STILL there and still really bad! UGH!! SO they gave him a shot of rocephin and we have to go back tomorrow and Wednesday for more shots. On Wednesday they will check again to make sure it's clearing up. In the meantime he's pretty miserable :(. The doctor also decided to do a CBC and just make sure his blood looked ok, so here's something I never wanted to know about my son: his WBC are 8.4 and he has 308,000 platelets. At least it came back good! LOL He is a little anemic, but it's nothing to worry about. Please pray he kicks this silly infection and feels better soon!! 

SO I got home, left Keeghan with Frank, grabbed Kennedy and rushed to Vandy. Fortunately, my friend Angela had an appointment for her son Ben with the same doctor so she let them know I was running late. I got there and they didn't have a referral! UGH! So we got that worked out and got Kenn back to do an ultrasound of her kidneys which Dr. Brock said look MUCH better than last time we were there and now we don't have to go back unless she gets a UTI. YAY! 

Then Angela and I were going to meet our friend Jamie for lunch so we went over to look for parking which was just not happening so I called and told her to meet me somewhere else. I was on my way when I stopped at a 4 way stop, pulled out to turn left and WHAM another car hit me! UGHHHHHH I had no idea whose fault it was or anything. Fortunately a witness came over and told me the other lady ran the stop sign. The other lady was of course not driving her own car, it was her mom's, and she didn't know where the insurance was so we exchanged numbers and she said she would call me. I was too shook up to even think about getting her license number or anything. Fortunately while I was at lunch the mother of the girl called to check on us and promised to call again after work. Thank God for honest people! My van isn't all that bad... my front passenger bumper is a mess, but Kennedy and I are both fine so that's what matters. Poor Angela ended up getting all turned around and Ben was sleeping so she took off even before lunch. It was a very stressful day! LOL 

I called and canceled Kennedy's eye appointment since THAT referral wasn't in either (GRRRR) so we'll have to reschedule that for later. 

SO pray that Keeghan feels better soon and he doesn't hate me for making him get 2 more shots in the next two days; pray that I can get Kennedy's appointment with the eye doctor set up again before 2009; pray for good blood work results for Kennedy at the hemonc clinic tomorrow; pray that her dentist appointment goes well on Wednesday; pray that my van gets fixed without any hassle, but mostly send up a praise and thank God for protecting us. The accident could have been so much worse!!! 

I am thankful for the stressful days... it makes me greatful for the boring ones.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kennedy update and stuff

Hello Everyone!! 

Here's the latest on Kennedy. GI decided to do an endoscopy to see if they can figure out why she's having so much diarrhea. That will be on January 3rd. Nothing like starting the new year off with surgery! In the meantime they are going to put her on a medication to help with inflammation of the gut... assuming that is a problem. Hopefully it will help. She also has an ophthamology and urology appointment on Monday and we go back to the hemonc clinic on Tuesday then she has a dentist appointment on Wednesday, so pray all those appointments go well. 

Keeghan is feeling much better. The omnicef seems to have worked with his ears. Now he just needs to cut those bottom 2 teeth through and he'll be a happy kid!! 

Last night we went to a Christmas party at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. It was put on by Gilda's club for kids with illness. The kids had a lot of fun and I of course took a lot of pictures that I will get posted soon. I do have some new pics on my blog right now. 

Please pray for our friend Allie Goodrich's family. Allie relapsed with her cancer and on Wednesday her family was told nothing more could be done. Today Allie went home to be with the Lord. She was at Vanderbilt with Kennedy several times and we will miss seeing her beautiful smile. 

Until next time, 
Renee

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Wonder Place

We of course had to do something fun for Kennedy while we were in Arkansas too. We went to The Wonder Place. It was pretty good for small children. They advertise for ages 8 and under... I would say more like 5 and under, but Kass and Kam found a few fun things to do there too.

Check out my little chef:

We're all in this together


Last Thursday we jumped in the car and drove to Little Rock to take the kids to the High School Musical stage show. It was part of Kassidy and Kameron's birthday present. My mom came along to take care of Kennedy and Keeghan at the hotel so we could have some one on one Kass and Kam time. What a fun night :). It was a really good show... if you get a chance, go see it! My kids rock.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Out of the closet



So... my friend Carlos over at Ragamuffin Soul came out of the closet... no wait... that's not right. Let me rephrase. Today is National Blog Lurker Come Out Of The Closet Day. SO if you read here, if you have EVER read here, if you are going to START reading here, if you're only reading today's entry and are never going to come back again, leave a comment let me know! Come on... you know you want to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This N That...

Hey everyone! 

Sorry it's been a few days again! We've been busy busy busy!! We're all doing well here. Kennedy is still having diarrhea issues. Everything they can think of has been ruled out so oncology is sending her to GI. They're trying to get her an appointment right now, but it takes forever to get into that clinic. At least we know it's not c-diff or anything contagious. I feel bad for her though, she had 12 dirty diapers yesterday... and none today... yet. There's really no rhyme or reason to it! 

Yesterday I took Keeghan to the doctor again because he's still not feeling well. He's been on amoxicillan for a week for his double ear infection but when his ped looked in his ears she said they look HORRIBLE. So now he's on omnicef. Again, at least it's not contagious! Please pray that he feels better soon, he's been pretty miserable the last week or so. He weighs 17 lbs 6 oz... little chunk! He'll be outweighing Kennedy soon! 

Kassidy and Kameron are both doing great! Last week we took them to Arkansas to see the High School Musical stage show. It was a belated birthday present. They had a blast! It was really a great show. My mom came along to take care of Kennedy and Keeghan in the hotel (thanks mom) so we got some one on one Kass and Kam time. I have some pictures that I will get posted soon. 

Sunday night was our church Christmas play. Both Kass and Kam had solos and they did GREAT! :). I have videos of both of them singing on my blog (Visit my blog here). You won't want to miss it! Please leave a message if you go there! 

Also, don't forget to vote for Kennedy in the photo contest, you can vote every day. 

Most importantly please remember to pray for Julian!! Visit his page and let them know you're praying. Pray pray pray!!!! Carepage: Juliansworld. 

OK I guess that's it for now, pictures coming soon! 

I am thankful for Kassidy and Kameron. They are beautiful, wonderful, amazing kids and they make life fun!

Phophecies Foretold!

OK so Kassidy has not gotten her fair share of space on this blog! I must change that! My firstborn... she's growing up so fast! Keeghan is the cute (albiet whiney) little baby, Kennedy is most undoubtedly the center of attention (she demands it most of the time). Her little toddler antics are hilarious. Kameron is the funny one. He keeps us all rolling (or rolling our eyes). Kassidy is the little mommy. She likes to help (and boss her brother around) and she's turning into this mature, dare I say it, almost pre-teen. Scary!

Anyway, here is Kassidy's Christmas solo from the play. We are so proud of her... and not to take away from her, but when the camera pans out... check out my son in the background. Crazy kid.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Can we just start over?

How many times in life do we say or do something and then think, "Wait, that wasn't right... can we just start over?" Unfortunately life doesn't always allow us do-overs. Last night was Kass and Kam's Christmas play at church. Kameron had a big solo, his first ever, and I was worried that he would get stage fright or forget the words... I should have known he would handle it in true "Kameron style". Check him out:



Thank you Miss Maria for giving him a do-over!

More to come...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

From Christmases Past... Part 2

From 2006:

On Friday, my son Kameron who just turned 5 had his pre-k Christmas play and party. Last week his teacher told us to bring in a new book so the kids could do a book exchange.

We went to the store and Kam picked out the Charlotte's Web the movie book. He thought that it was the coolest thing ever and BEGGED me to let him read it before he gave it away. I explained that it was going to be a gift for one of the kids in his class and we need to keep it new.

SO Friday after the party, his teacher said that only 3 kids had brought in books to exchange and that they were on the table in the classroom and those 3 could all go pick a book to take home. Kam got this gleam in his eye and I KNEW what he was thinking. He wanted his own book! SO we got to the classroom and there was only one book left... HIS book! He was SO excited and couldn't wait to get home to read it.

Before we left, a little girl from his class came in and looked at the table and said "Where are the books? I didn't get mine yet and I brought one!" Her mom tried to focus her attention on something else and we left to walk out to the car...

As I was getting Kennedy in, Kam looked at his book and said "Mommy, do you think I should give Lilly this book? She didn't get one." I said "Well Kam, if you want to, that would be fine, but then you won't have a book." He looked at that book again and said "That's ok Mommy, she's sadder than me." And he ran back in and gave her that book without another thought.

After I got home I was thinking you know, he REALLY wanted that book, and for him to understand, at 5 years old, that Lilly was so sad about not getting a book, and even more be willing to have NO book so she could have one, just makes me so proud of him.

Under the tree on Christmas morning, Kameron received that book with a letter from Santa praising him for being a kind, loving kid. I can't wait to see the man he becomes.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Prayers for King JuJu



It's Christmas. It's supposed to be a happy time of year. Parents should be frantically wrapping presents, children should be waiting anxiously for the big day. There should be parties to plan, baking to do, church services to attend and cards to mail. It's Christmas, and most of the world is busy doing all these things and more.

But what about the mom who was just told that cancer has taken over her child's brain and spine? What about the child whose seizures are getting worse by the day? What about his siblings who have no idea this could be the last Christmas they will ever spend with their brother? How can this family celebrate Christmas while this ugly, dark cloud is looming over their heads?

Right now, this is the mountain that my friend Mimi, her son Julian, and their family are facing. Fortunately they know that Christmas is more than the presents and the baking and the parties. They know that Christmas is about family, friends and a tiny Baby born in a manger so long ago. I have no doubt that this Christmas will be special for Julian and his family. I have no doubt they WILL celebrate. At the same time, my heart is breaking for all of them. I just want to scream with the unfairness of it all. I wish Mimi could take Julian and run and hide and keep him safe from this evil cancer. I wish someone, somewhere would hurry up and find a cure! Cancer sucks.

Pray pray pray for King JuJu!!! Pray for the miracle that only God can bring now. Pray for peace, for no pain and for the best, most wonderful, most memorable Christmas EVER for the Avery family. If you have time, visit Julian's page and show them some love. I know they'll appreciate it. Tell them Kennedy sent you. carepages.com site name: juliansworld .

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The many adventures of Keeghan

Man, I love this kid! He's having such fun discovering our tree (and pulling off the ornaments), getting into the kids' stuff (and eating their homework), and today he figured out how to pull things off the coffee table. What will he get into next? (Maybe I don't want to know!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm on a roll...

So many posts in one day! You all are going to get tired of me! LOL
I come to bring more pictures! These are from Michigan where we went to visit my Grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins for Thanksgiving. You'll see pictures of Kennedy with Ashlyn (cp: AshlynNichole) who we had the pleasure of meeting while we were there. Then there are pictures from the Christmas party we went to and pictures from decorating our tree. Enjoy!!

Vote vote vote!

I entered Kennedy in a Christmas memories photo contest, can you please go vote for her? We need all the votes we can get! You can vote once every 24 hours! Thanks!!!

Vote Here For Kennedy!

From Christmases Past...

This story is from 2005, but it still makes me laugh!

We've been listening to the CD of Kassidy's Christmas play for church over the last few weeks so she can learn the songs. Kameron has been learning them too! There is a part in the play where they talk about Jesus being the King of the Jews.

So last night we are sitting down eating dinner and Kameron jumps up and runs to his room. I was thinking "What the heck is he doing?" He came back downstairs with his Batman cape on and he grabbed his cup off the table and said....
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"Look Mommy! I'm the King of the Juice!"

My Little Elves

So Kameron does NOT like that I've made him an elf, but oh well! I think they're cute and Keeghan looks so happy! LOL

The Garcia Elves

When you're done watching, be sure to make your own and share! :o)

Monday, December 3, 2007

New pictures of the Special Ks

I have LOTS of pics to share, so I'm breaking them up into 2 slide shows. Here is the first set... most of them are from Centennial Park in Nashville and then there are some random ones mixed in. The next show will be our trip to Michigan, the kids with Santa and the kids decorating the tree. I may even update again tomorrow so you can see... maybe. Happy Watching! :)

Happy December!

Happy December to you all! 

Can you believe Christmas is almost here? This is by far my most favorite time of year! On Friday night we went to the Christmas party at our church. It was adults only, but we kept Kennedy with us while the other 3 went to child care. I'm not quite ready to expose her to all the hands on germs without me there to follow her around with hand sanitizer! LOL Kennedy sat like a little lady and ate TONS of food! She had a good time socializing with everyone. It was nice evening of good food, good friends and good fun.

On Saturday we went to the Christmas party for our local Down syndrome association. We had a lot of fun and the kids got to see Santa. Beats waiting in line at the mall any day! The party was at Vandy so we got to visit a few friends while we were there too. After that we braved the mall... can you say "insane!"? Sheesh. Good thing we didn't really have anything to buy. We ran into several of our Vandy nurses and therapists there. It was kind of funny actually. We were taking bets on who we were going to run into next! We went to see the movie "Enchanted". It was really cute. Popcorn for dinner! Oh so healthy! HA! 

We went Christmas shopping for the kids yesterday while they played at my mom's house. We are all done with them except for one present for Kameron that is apparently sold out everywhere! GRRR Then we went home and decorated our tree. Kennedy had a blast with it this year... though we ended up with 20 ornaments on one branch! LOL 

Today I took Keeghan to the doctor because he had a pretty bad cough and was running a fever. Turns out he has a double ear infection, poor kid! He's on amoxicillan now so hopefully he will be better soon! Kennedy is having bad diarrhea again. We can't seem to get rid of that! So I took a culture into her ped's office so they can check for C-diff. If it weren't so much and so mucousy I wouldn't worry... I just want someone to figure it out already! 

For those of you in the area, this Sunday at 4:00 Kassidy and Kameron will be in their Christmas play at our church. They are both singing solos and have been practicing hard! We'd love to have you join us! Just give me a call or send me an email and I'll give you more info. 



OK I guess that's it! I'll update again soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baby Kayla


Kayla Evelyn Weber
8/30/06 - 12/2/07


What can I say? Cancer sucks. It claims the lives of the innocent, of the beautiful, of the most brave, strong little souls I have ever had the priviledge to meet. Pray for Kayla's parents, Julie and Jason. Pray for her family and friends. Pray as they go through this Christmas season without their beloved baby girl. Rejoice that Kayla is no longer in pain, no longer suffering. Cancer free forever. Congratulations baby Kayla. You won.

Visit Kayla's page and show the family some love. Kayla's page

Such a horrible blogger!

So there's all these amazing blogs out there, and here is mine... it has the potential to be great, to be useful, or at the very least provide some mindless entertainment, but sheesh I just can't seem to get into it. So much to do and so little time! I just wanted to write and say I am still here, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, and one day soon I'm going to become this totally dedicated blogger. You'll see! Don't give up on me just yet!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quick update...

November 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM CST

Hello everyone! 

I was trying to get myself organized enough to post all the pictures from our trip before we updated but it just wasn't happening! SO here I am... no pictures! 

We had a wonderful time in Michigan with family and friends and on the way home we detoured to Chicago for the day. We went to Navy Pier which looks A LOT like Pier 39 in San Francisco. It was fun, but made us get home very late. I'm still catching up on laundry and stuff! HA! 

Kennedy is feeling well, she's been sleeping a lot the last couple days which always makes me nervous, but she could just be fighting off a cold or something. The other kids are all good too. Kassidy and Kameron are back into their school routine and Keeghan has almost totally stopped puking! YAY!!!! It's so nice not to have to keep towels with us to mop up his mess! LOL 

Anyway, I'll update with all our pictures soon. Thanks for checking in and praying!! 

I am thankful for a safe road trip and that Kennedy didn't get sick while we were gone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
We are here in Michigan at my Grandmother's house and having a wonderful time. Today we traveled from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to visit our little friend Ashlyn who has Down syndrome and is battling AML like Kennedy. Ashlyn is just too cute for words and we are so glad we got to meet! She and Kennedy kept giving each other big hugs like they've known each other forever! I took lots of pictures, of course, and I will post those soon. Check out Ashlyn's page and add her to your prayer list! Carepage: AshlynNichole.


Our family has so much to be thankful for this year. Obviously at the top of our list is Kennedy's health! She is done with treatment and doing well! Thank GOD for that! 

I am thankful for each of my four beautiful children and all the wonderful things they bring to my life.
I am thankful for my husband who is there to support me and take care of us and can always make me laugh when I'm feeling down.
I am thankful for my mom who has been a HUGE help this past year and is always willing to do whatever she can to lighten my load (even if that means folding my mountain of laundry!).
I am thankful for all the blessings God has bestowed on our family, the joys through the trials, and the lessons we've learned along the way.
I am thankful for all of you who are reading this carepage. Whether I know you personally or not, I am thankful you return to read and pray for our family. Please know that I pray for you all, collectively, as well. My prayer tonight is that you all will have a blessed, peaceful Thanksgiving day and that you will all find at least one thing to be thankful for! 

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kennedy & Keeghan

I am really far behind on posting pics, so here is part one! LOL These are pictures of Kennedy and Keeghan from August through... well... now! LOL Some of these were taken last week. Some are still from when Kennedy was on chemo. Sheesh, how far we have come in just a few months. Last night, my mom, Kennedy, Keeghan and I got to go see the Elmo Makes Music show. The Make A Wish Foundation got us front row seats. Kennedy absolutely loved it! She sang the songs with them and danced and clapped and cheered! We were sitting right at the base of the stairs of the stage so when the characters came off the stage they all came over and gave her a hug or high five. It was awesome! Keeghan really enjoyed it too. There were lots of colors and bright lights and music. Such a fun night! I took a ton of pictures so I will get those uploaded and posted soon. Enjoy my 2 youngest babies!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This N That Part 3

Hey everyone! 

So it's been a few days... YAY! :o) Kennedy is doing well. She is battling a constant runny nose, but we can handle that! She had clinic today and her counts were all great. She had fun wandering around saying hi to everyone. She did NOT want to stay in her room! LOL We don't go back until December 18th unless she's sick. 

We saw Matthew and Jillian in clinic and they both looked good. Matthew broke his wrist on top of everything else, so pray that heals ok! After clinic we went up to 6B to say hello to Max, he looked pretty good too! Pray they get to go home soon! Then I wandered over to A side to see Erica who looks just fabulous! :o) She was in great spirits today and is hoping to get a few days at home soon. Keep her in your prayers as well. Miss Nevaeh was sleeping so hopefully I can see her next time... actually hopefully they won't be inpatient next time! 

The rest of the kids are doing well too, Keeghan has a little cold right now, but it's not too bad. He went to the urologist yesterday for a check up and he said everything looks perfect and he doesn't have to go back! YAY!! Frank swears Keeghan is saying "dada"... I think it's just a fluke though LOL! He is SO close to crawling, he's up on his hands and knees and just rocks back and forth. Then he'll get his knees moving forward, but he hasn't figured he needs to move his arms too so he face plants into the carpet. LOL He'll get there soon... then the fun begins! 

Yesterday we had family pictures taken. I've already seen a preview and it came out awesome! I'll leave you all in suspense until I see the rest. ;o) We wanted to make sure we got one done before Frank deploys. Our last family picture was taken right before Frank deployed last time which was 2005, so Keeghan wasn't in it of course. 

We got a call from Make A Wish today and found out we are getting a new wish granter. Our last one was... well... different (for lack of a nicer word) lol and our new one is one of our most favoritest care partners from 6A! We are VERY excited about that! :o) I know she'll take good care of us! 

On Tuesday we are going to leave for Michigan for Thanksgiving. We're going to visit family up there. It will be nice to get away for a few days. We're driving, so pray it's not a long, long, long trip! All the kids have their own DVD screen (even Keeghan, spoiled baby!) so hopefully that will help! 

Anyway, I guess that's it. I have lots of pictures to share so I may post those soon. Just in case I don't get the chance, I'll say "Happy Thanksgiving" right now. We have so much to be thankful for this year!! 

I am thankful for head colds, somehow they just don't seem as serious as they did a year ago.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This N That Part 2

Well we are still home, so that's a good thing! Kennedy threw up a few more times last night, but beyond that she slept hard and woke up in good spirits this morning. She slept from 1:30 yesterday afternoon until 7:30 this morning. The only times she was awake was to puke. I think she was WELL rested! She threw up her lunch but kept fluids down after that and had no more fevers, after a long nap she woke up and asked to eat. She had a little snack and kept that down then ate a HUGE dinner and she seems to be good to go now! :o) Kassidy woke up feeling totally fine so she headed on back to school. Keeghan has been a little congested today and since they pulled all the cold medicine off the market he didn't get much relief. Jerks. Sometimes I feel like instead of recalling perfectly good products they should recall the dumb parents who can't read directions. 

OK Sorry, got off on a tangent there! Anyway, please remember Luke in your prayers as he continues to heal from heart surgery. It's still up and down for him, but we're believing for that miracle! Remember our friend Erica as well, she's had some rough days, but I hear she always has a smile on her face! Matthew is fighting GVHD, and Austin is still having trouble with his platelets dropping. Our little friend Samuel has neuroblastoma and is in kidney failure. They aren't sure what's causing it, but it's serious and he needs to get better so they can continue treatment! Our little friend John is inpatient with parainfluenza and on isolation, pray he is feeling better and can go home soon. Also, my friend Christina's daughter, Kallie, was diagnosed with diabetes tonight, so please keep them in your prayers too as they learn how to care for her. 

Luke's Page
Erica's Page
Matthew's Page
Austin's Page
Samuel has a carepage at the name "samuelandersoncarepage".
John's Page

I guess that's it for now! Keeghan goes back to the urologist on Monday and Kennedy goes back to the Hemonc clinic on Tuesday so I'll update then unless something exciting happens before. 

Until next time,
Renee

I am thankful my girls are feeling better tonight. I hate to see them sick!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This N That...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes for Kassidy and Kameron! They had great birthdays! On Friday I took cupcakes into both their classes and then after school we went to see The Bee Movie. It's REALLY cute! The kids loved it! On Saturday they both had soccer games so we took donuts to share with the teams and then Kameron chose Red Robin for his birthday dinner. Of course there is only one in the state and it's an hour away, but oh well! LOL We got to see some friends and we had a good time. On Sunday we went to church and then the kids had practice for their Christmas play until 2:00 then we went out to celebrate Kassidy's birthday (and it was my mom's birthday as well they celebrated together) and Kass chose a Mexican restaurant in Nashville. Apparently Clarksville restaurants are boring! LOL They didn't get a big party this year, but in December we are going to take them to Little Rock to see the High School Musical stage show. They're both very excited! It should be a nice mini-vacation for all of us before Frank deploys. 

Yesterday I won the "meanest mom of the year" award and took all 4 kids in to get their flu shots. Kameron went first and he did really well. He was very brave and cried for a minute and when I went to take him back out to my mom he said "Wait mommy, I have to dry my tears first so I don't scare the girls!" So he composed himself and then went out with a smile and said "That wasn't so bad!" Such a cool kid! Kassidy on the other hand was NOT happy with me!! I had to drag her down the hallway to the room and then it took me and 2 nurses to get her inside. She cried before, during, and after. Yep meanest mommy in the world, that's me! UGH! Kennedy did fine with her shot and Keeghan had to get 4 shots because he was getting his 6 month vaccines too. Poor baby! He did fine too though, as soon as I picked him up he was all smiles. He weighs 16.2 lbs and is 25 inches long! He'll be outweighing Kennedy in no time!! :o) When we got home I realized Kameron had a VERY loose tooth so I talked him into letting my pull it out. It was so loose he didn't even feel it! So the tooth fairy visited our house again. This is Kam's second lost tooth. My babies are growing up. *sniff* 

Now onto today... Keeghan had a fever going all night from his shots, but tylenol controlled it well. Kennedy had a very restless night and woke up this morning with a 101 fever. SO I called the clinic and they had me bring her in. They gave her IV antibiotics and checked her out but said it's probably viral. They didn't think it would be from the flu shot with it that high. So we're back home, but now she's completely lethargic and the one little bit of water that she DID drink, she threw right back up. I'm supposed to try to get her to drink again in a bit and if she throws up again I have to let them know and I assume we'll be heading back in. We don't need her dehydrated. Then just as I was getting back into town I got a call from Kassidy's school and she has a low grade fever and was complaining of feeling achy. So my mom picked her up and now both girls are sleeping on the couches. As far as I know, Kameron is ok. Stupid flu shots. 

Anyway, pray that the girls are both feeling better soon and that Kennedy will drink so she doesn't have to be admitted! She's waking up, I must go in case she starts puking. 

As of right now, Kennedy's been sleeping since 1:30 when we got home. Kassidy and Keeghan still have a low grade fever and Kameron is fine. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

The scream heard round the world

Man what a night!

Last year, right around Halloween, my mom was sent an email, many of you probably have seen it in one form or another. It was a series of pretty pictures and at the end this scary lady pops up and screams. Well, my mom was telling Kassidy and Kameron about it and they both begged to see it. So after much nagging, my mom said ok. As the pictures progressed my mom kept telling them, "OK it's coming... it's really scary... get ready... here it comes." At the last second Kassidy ducked and missed the whole thing. Kameron on the other hand, watched. He freaked out... bad! He ran from the room, screaming uncontrollably and my mom had to contain him. He had nightmares for months after this and talked about "the scary black lady" on a regular basis. He even made my mom a Halloween card this year and drew a picture of this lady on it because it was the scariest thing he could think of. This incident will not go on my mom's resume as a grandma!

So tonight I was clearing out some emails and there was an email from a friend called The Bubble Wrap Game. It claimed to be a lot of fun and a good stress reliever, which I needed tonight! So I thought, why not?! Kassidy and Kennedy were both asleep on the couches, and Kameron was sitting on the floor watching cartoons. So here I sit, happily popping bubbles and he hears it. The scream. He looks over just in time to see the "scary black lady" and I hear a thump. He passed out and hit the floor. HARD. He immediately came to and ran over to me, shaking, crying, "DON'T play it again mommy, PLEASE!!!" I was in tears myself trying to click off the website in case it happened again, feeling HORRIBLE for doing this to my unsuspecting son, when I look up at him and see... blood. Everywhere. Apparently when he passed out he hit the floor so hard it gave him a bloody nose. His shirt was just soaked in blood. This of course got him more upset and he was crying saying he was sorry he ruined his shirt! I told him not to worry, we could throw the shirt away if it didn't come out. AHHHH

He clung to me the rest of the evening and asked to be reassured that I would never do that again. He was in bed for less than 30 minutes when he came down crying that he couldn't sleep. And thus begins the trauma. I can't even begin to say how horrible I feel! We have every light on upstairs. To make it worse, it's "B" week at school this week and they were all supposed to take in a toy that starts with B so he took in his favorite bear, his comfort toy, and left it there. *sigh* It's going to be a long night.

For those of you out there who like the thrill, here's The Bubble Wrap Game. Be warned. It IS scary. It's NOT for the faint of heart. It's DEFINITELY NOT for kids. Next Halloween, I'm not clicking on any links, ever.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KASSIDY!!!!



Happy 8th Birthday Kassidy!
Eight years ago today you made me a mother. It seems like just yesterday I was rocking you in my arms and singing you to sleep and now you are turning into this beautiful, amazing girl. I couldn’t be more proud to be your mom. Kassidy, you are a fabulous big sister. The love you show for your brothers and sister is so special. Your heart is so tender and I just love to watch you with them. I am so proud of all your hard work this past year; whether it is school, sports or just helping Grandma or Daddy or me, you work hard and always do your best. Take that attitude into all areas of your life and you will accomplish great things! I am excited to see what this next year brings for you, Kassidy. I pray it will be one of your best ever! I love you so, so much and I am so blessed to be your mom. Thank you for not only being my favorite oldest daughter, but also my friend.
All my love,
Mom

Friday, November 2, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAMERON!!!!!!



Happy 6th Birthday Kameron!

Six years ago we started our journey as mother and son… and what a ride it has been! I love so many things about you, Kam. I love your sense of humor and I love your never-ending quest for knowledge. I love the crazy stories you tell me about school and the wonderful pictures you draw. I love your imagination and the silly jokes you come up with. I love the love you have for your siblings and I love that you will still give me a kiss goodbye even if your friends are near. I love that you love life. You never miss an opportunity to have fun. You make the most of every experience and no small detail goes unnoticed. The memories you will carry with you will be the foundation of the man you will become one day, and I know you will be amazing! Until then I will continue to be in awe of who you are now: a crazy, silly, mysterious, wonderful, funny, handsome, loving kid. I love you more than I can ever say and I’m so glad God chose me to be your mom. Today is the day you’ve been looking forward to all year! The big 6! I am looking forward to spending the day with you and having lots of fun! Happy Birthday sweet boy, I hope you have a wonderful day!
Love,
Mommy

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

We hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween!! We had a great time trick-or-treating around my mom's neighborhood. Kennedy caught on by the 3rd house and was SO excited to get candy! She wanted to pick her own candy out of everyone's bowl... and she always picked suckers! LOL Then she'd wave it in front of her and yell "Thank you!!!" Then we would put her back in the stroller and she'd say, "More candy?!" Yes, she definitely got it this year! She liked the scary houses best and laughed at all the spooky noises. Kameron on the other hand skipped the scary houses all together! LOL

Keeghan had a good time being outside as long as he was being held and Kass and Kam of course just wanted to rack up the sweet stuff. The more, the better! Once we got back to my mom's house my mom and I stole all our favorites from their bags... er...um... I mean we checked all the candy to make sure it was safe. Yeah, that's it. ;o)

Here are a few pictures, I didn't get a whole lot because Kennedy decided to take a nap before we went out and then it was dark and I couldn't get good shots... but you get the picture (no pun intended! LOL).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

21 things about Kennedy

In honor of Down syndrome awareness month, several of my friends have been writing a list of 21 things about their child with Ds. SO here are 21 things about Kennedy... though I bet I could name 2,100!

1. Kennedy is our 3rd child and our 2nd daughter. I had her name picked out from the moment Kassidy was born.

2. Kennedy LOVES macaroni and cheese. She asks for it at least twice a day.

3. Kennedy knows over 100 signs in American Sign Language. Her favorite sign, which she uses frequently with us, is "Pay Attention!"

4. Kennedy's favorite show right now is "Wow Wow Wubzy". She loves to dance and sing with all the songs. Spongebob runs a close second.

5. Kennedy loves dogs (or "Dodies" as she calls them).

6. Kennedy's nickname is Boogie. This started when she was really tiny and had lots of respiratory issues and had lots of... well... boogers! LOL Daddy also calls her "Shorty" a lot.

7. Kennedy has had over 15 surgeries and has spent over 100 days admitted to the hospital. She has not had heart surgery though.

8. Kennedy loves music. She likes to sing, dance and especially bang on a drum. She has pretty good rhythm too!

9. Kennedy is very girly. She loves dresses that twirl and cute shoes. Whenever I show her a new outfit she says "Awww!"

10. Kennedy speaks over 100 words or phrases. Her favorite right now is "WHAT did you say?!" She also speaks fluent "Kenned-ese" which we're hoping she will teach us someday.

11. Kennedy can pretty much talk anyone into playing Groovy Girls with her... even macho men doctors!

12. Whenever someone has an "owie" (or a freckle for that matter), Kennedy will kiss it and make it all better.

13. Kennedy loves to watch Jay Leno... we're not sure why, but she claps and cheers for him every night.

14. Kennedy has the best laugh in the world.

15. Kennedy LOVES her siblings. She gets very excited when Kassidy and Kameron get home from school so she can play with them. She loves to give Keeghan kisses and bring him his toys.

16. Kennedy loves to talk on the phone.

17. Kennedy loves green tea, and is sad that she can't drink it anymore.

18. Kennedy takes medicine better than any child I've ever seen. She even gets excited about it.

19. Kennedy gives the best hugs, she pats you on the back and will kiss your forehead.

20. Kennedy loves to steal people's seats. You stand up, it's your loss.

21. Kennedy is amazing. She's the light of our lives and I can't imagine our world without her.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One Week Home!

We did it! One week home! :o) YAY!!!! We even got brave and removed our hospital bracelets and unpacked some things. Kennedy continues to feel good and is having fun playing with Kassidy and Kameron. 

Right now we are getting ready to go to church and then Kass and Kam have practice for their Christmas play afterwards. They both have solos this year! This is the first time Frank, Kennedy, Keeghan and I have been in a couple months I think! One more step back to normal routine! 

Anyway, enough about that! I probably won't post again until the 1st when I'll have lots of halloween pictures to share :). Please keep all our friends in your prayers... Erica, Austin, Matthew, Nevaeh, Ryan, Luke, Julian, and our little friends with Ds and AML like Kennedy... Ashlyn, Rylee, Chelsea, Julia and David. So many right now! Links to all these kids pages and more are on Kennedy's Caringbridge Page. Please remember Kennedy in your prayers too that she stays in remission forever! 

OK I guess that's it! "See" you all in a few days! 

I am thankful it is staying somewhat warm so we won't freeze while we trick-or-treat!