Monday, January 31, 2011


We can't believe we recently had off an entire week because of snow?!
We LOVED every minute of it!

It was amazing! At our house, the snow started falling at about 10:20 pm. An hour later, we had two inches. It just kept falling and by morning we had 7 inches of snow!!
It was beautiful and so much fun! It was a wonderful gift to be able to spend a week together with nowhere to go (we literally couldn't) and nothing we had to do. We had plenty of time to play games, watch movies, sleep in, enjoy big breakfasts and of course, play in the snow.

Enjoy the pics!

By day three, when the sun came out,
we thought we should get the hammock out!
Our hammock is definitely a place of peace,
comfort and happiness for our family.
We took our family pictures in this hammock back in September.
The girls and I pile on it to read in the summertime.
It a great place to nap anytime!

In Him,
The Tates

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Here's one of the photos from September in the hammock : )

Friday, January 21, 2011

Clinic Visit Update

Sorry it has been a long time since we've posted a prayer request for a clinic visit for Elena.

I guess I know in my heart that you are praying for us all the time : )
Elena had her monthly chemo treatment yesterday.

For this appointment, she was sedated for a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to receive one drug to treat her brain and spine and a second drug via her port to treat her blood and body. She also began her monthly round of steroids and will continue to take her chemo pills at night as usual. The appointment went well. No problems with the sedation, her counts are good and the doctors kept her drug dosages the same. Her next appointment is scheduled for February 16th.

We have almost completed 22 months of treatment!
Only seven more months to go!!!
Thank you for the continued prayers. They have helped sustain us more than you'll ever know.

In Him,
The Tates

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Olivia turned NINE on Saturday, January 15th.
It is hard to believe that nine years ago our family grew from three to four!

With Liv's arrival, we had another precious red head to love.
She has brought us such joy and laughter in her nine years.

Her carefree love of life itself reminds us to stop and take it all in.
Her smile lights up a room.
Her heart is filled with love for others.
Her giggle is contagious.
She still loves to snuggle.
She likes to shop, always has.
She loves her scooter, not ready for a bike.
She has LOVED gum since she was two.
The beach and being outside have always been two of her favorite places.
She's been wearing flip flops since she could walk.
She's simply wonderful!

Enjoy her birthday pics!

A birthday tradition for our family is that
the birthday girl gets to enjoy breakfast in bed.
Somehow the breakfast tradition became
mini-powdered sugar donuts and a fruit smoothie.
Here's Liv lovin' the whipped cream on top of her smoothie.
(Yes, the birthday crown is a tradition, too.)

Opening presents after breakfast....this is her new comforter.
For her present from us this year,
Liv wanted a "room makeover".
Complete with new bedding, paint, and curtains.
We'll be sure to post pictures of the completed project.

After breakfast, we all headed out for shopping,
a movie, more shopping and dinner.
A birthday girl's perfect day!
Here's Liv posing at Charming Charlie with
the new scarf and bag she bought with gift cards.

While at Target buying new throw
pillows for Liv's bed, the girls wanted to go look at the toys.
Here they are sword fighting in the aisles!

It was a FABULOUS day enjoyed by all!!
We thank God every day for Liv and the joy she brings to our lives!

In HIm.
The Tates

PS Snow week pictures coming soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Know the Plans I Have for You

A new year usually brings with it a renewed perspective and much excitement.

This year, the new year seemed to bring with it just more of the same - stress and frustration.

While our Christmas holidays were filled with several wonderful visits with our families, lots of time in the car (we traveled a total of 1600 miles!) and great thankfulness of Christ's birth, it still carried with it the heavy burden that comes from battling cancer and all of its side effects. The bottom line, the past 21 months have completely worn our family out.

However, over the past several days, the following verse keeps coming to mind ...

Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

This verse has changed my outlook of this new year. We have to claim this verse and the promises it carries. Also, in Joshua 1:9 it says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Elena still has eight more months to go. Eight more clinic visits, eight more rounds of steroids, eight more months of daily chemo pills at home, and three more times to be sedated for chemo treatments to her brain and spine.

We need to be strong, not discouraged.
We need to be courageous, not disheartened.
We need to rely on God, not ourselves or others.
We need to trust in His promises, not our own.

We will make it to the end. We will grow stronger as a family. God will lead the way.

In Him,
The Tates