Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Beach Trip

With over 200 pictures to choose from, we thought a Smilebox slideshow was the best way to share pictures from our trip to the beach. Don't worry, there are only 30 pictures!!
We had a great time in Gulf Shores with Christy's parents and two of our nieces from Wyoming, Shaye and Logen. We had a wonderful time playing in the sand and surf, collecting shells, swimming, and watching nightly sunsets! What a blessing!!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today in Pictures

Today's Clinic Update

A dear sweet friend sent this verse to us last night:

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in
your girls will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6

We were able to sleep soundly with this promise in our hearts. We were also able to go to the clinic confident in knowing that God cares for our girls, He cares for us and He is truly at work in their lives! Praise God!

The clinic visit today was great.

We arrived at 7:45 for Liv's appointment. She was seen by all of her neuro doctors - - surgeon, oncologist and psychologist. They are very pleased with her scan and her progress. We were all able to talk about Liv's struggles with learning and reading.
Liv's tumor was located in her cerebellum. This area of the brain is commonly associated with motor control, balance and coordination. Apparently new research is showing that the cerebellum has a larger impact on learning than previously thought. It is also involved in some cognitive functions such as language and memory. While Liv's doctors can not predict the timeline of learning or to what degree Liv will become proficient in the area of reading fluency, they do know that long term, she will be fine, she will improve and that now we need to address her identified weaknesses with appropriate accommodations and a comprehensive reading program.

We were finished with Liv's visit by 11:30 and enjoyed a yummy Chick-fil-a lunch outside courtesy of the Rally Foundation, a
non-profit organization that works to raise awareness and funds specifically for childhood cancer. After lunch, we were back at the clinic for Elena's 12:30 appointment. Everything went well. Elena's physical exam was good, her counts are stable and she received her regular dose of chemo. We left the clinic about 2:30 and were home by 3:30. We have since rested and we are now about to make dinner.

Big praises for all of the doctors, nurses and staff at the Aflac Cancer Center. They are an amazing group of people who truly care about each child. It is a blessing to live so close to an exceptional facility that employs exceptional people!
Thank you for your prayers today and every day!

In Him,
The Tates

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clinic Visit Tomorrow for Both Girls

Yes, tomorrow will be a family affair at Aflac.
Olivia has to be there tomorrow at 7:45 am for her yearly brain tumor clinic appointment and Elena will have her monthly chemo appointment at 12:30.

Please pray that Liv's team of doctors will be able to answer our questions about how to best help Liv with her struggles in reading.
Please pray that Elena's counts are good and that this second to last treatment will have no negative side effects. Please also pray for her as this week brings with it another round of steroids. Pray for patience and peace.

It still boggles our minds that we have two children who both have doctors at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at CHOA. Even after so many years and appointments it still seems surreal.

However on Sunday, I read this in 2 Corinthians 4:
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For out light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." verses 16-18

It reminds me that no matter what trouble we have here on earth, it can not compare to the joy that there will be in heaven. This life here on earth is not all there is.

The commentary in the bible for these verses stated: "Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering.
Some good things that can come out of sufferings:
* they remind us that Christ suffered for us
* they keep us from pride
* they cause us to look beyond this brief life
* they help us share our faith with others
* they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power

These verses helped remind me that we can continue to be renewed each day by knowing we have the assurance of eternal life and by remembering that God is here with us every step of the way.

Thank you for praying for us.
In Him,
The Tates

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beach Bound!!

The Beach 2007

We are so excited to be headed back to the beach tomorrow!!

This will be our first family beach vacation since 2007!
Up until then, we had spent a week at the beach every year. Then...

2008 - Liv's second surgery
2009 - Elena diagnosed
We did go on the Lighthouse Family Retreat and while wonderful, very filled with emotion and not your 'normal' family beach trip.
2010 - Elena still on treatment
We had to stay close to home and could only take one trip. We went to a family wedding and to visit family in Louisiana.

2011 - Beach Bound
Heading to the beach with family and ready for all that it brings: sand, surf, sunscreen, naps, putt-putt golf, watching movies, snow cones, go carts, cooking together, sleeping late, eating out, souvenir shopping, sunsets and simply loving to be together relaxing!! Can't wait!

Please pray for safe travel, safe fun and nothing but joy!! Thank you!

In Him,
The Tates

"In His presence is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

A Dog in the House

No, we did not get a new dog. Liv wishes we would!
She even put on her Summer Fun List.....get a dog.

We kept a dog for some friends. Thanks to the Taylor Family,
while they went on vacation, we were dog sitters for the week.

Scout is a fabulous dog! Well trained, sweet, loves to cuddle up and doesn't bark (except when he saw a squirrel out the window!) If we could have a dog just like Scout, we'd have a dog.

It was really a blessing to have this opportunity. The girls were very responsible this week while caring for Scout. They took him out every time he needed to go out. They remembered to feed him each night. They even picked up poop! I guess we should seriously consider becoming dog owners : )

Enjoy the pics:

Liv's favorite spot for Scout...her bed!

In Him,
The Tates

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Picture Review of the Day

Checked in

Checking vitals
Liv's prayer quilt from her first surgery in 2004 is beside her.
A wonderful woman from our church, Mrs. Shirley, made it for her. It is now called 'Night-night'
and travels with Liv to many places.


IV in
What a great girl!
Lamby Lamb tucked under her arm. Lamby Lamb is as old as Liv!

Ready for her MRI

About ready to go in

Going home!
Thank you Lord for this great day!

'Shout for joy to the Lord'

Praise the Lord - we have already received the results of Liv's MRI from one of her nurses from the Aflac Cancer Center - the report said there is no change from her last scan a year ago! That scan showed no signs of residual or recurrent tumor! Praise the Lord!!
We are so thankful for the wonderful news! We are blessed to have received the news so soon.

All in all the morning went really well. Liv was brave while getting her IV. Her nurse was wonderful. We have had her as our nurse for the past couple of visits. Very patient, kind and funny! Liv did tear up a little right before being sedated. While I was there waiting with her, she whispered to ask me to wipe her tears. Coming out of the sedation wasn't as bad as last time. Liv was still agitated. But this time she was less angry, just more grouchy and irritated, more tears. It took about an hour before she was up and ready to leave.

Thank you for your calls and emails!

Thank you for being with us in prayer and praise!

In Him,

The Tates

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His."
Psalm 100:1-3