Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving & Tree Triming

Today is the Monday after Thanksgiving & I have been weepy all day.

Can't help but reminisce about 2 years ago today & having Hannah admitted to the hospital for the very first time. Even Hannah was teary about it last night when we talked about the journey to her miraculous recovery.

What a blessing to have her healthy & at home!!

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time with my family in Illinois.

The girls had a fantastic time & LOVED being with their cousins...thanks, Sarah & David for making the drive from Philadelphia with your mom. We love you guys!!!

Lily especially LOVED my cousin's daughter, Maddy. They are about a year apart but played perfectly together for hours non-stop!! Not bad for a day without naps.

My dad in all his glory enjoying time with our sweet prize from China.  Lily licked the icing off of 4 cupcakes ... hilarious!!
My adorable cousin Blair with our new dog, "Annie-Cupcake". 
Lily putting her first ornament on the tree.
Hannah's first ornament.
We bought these bell ornaments when we were in China with Lily ... happiness to see her hanging them on the tree!

It's a good thing that I am not a perfectionist because I let the kids put ornaments wherever they like .. even if they are all clumped together.  Who really cares, right? 

More of the ornaments that Lily hung on the tree ... you should see the bottom of the tree!  It is just one clump of ornaments after another ... she prefers them that way!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

God is good & I continue to trust Him each day as He leads me with His peace that surpasses understanding. 

All God's best from HOME in KY,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Member of the Family

As soon as Joy died in October Hannah started talking about getting another little Shih Tzu.

I was reluctant ..

for about the first 48 hours.

Then I started looking online.  

A puppy was not an option so I started looking for an adult dog.

Before Hannah's birthday I found the cutest dog (see above!!) sitting at a shelter about an hour from our house.

Turns out this little dog is deaf but has been very well cared for by an elderly owner who could no longer take care of her.   

The dog's name has been Annie but the girls re-named her Cupcake. 

She looks so much like Joy that I call her Joy at least 5 times a day ... of course, she can't hear what I call her! :-) 

The girls absolutely love, love, love this dog.  It was love at first sight, especially for Hannah!  Lily took a minute to warm up but now she tells me "I love my puppy!"

Cupcake is sweet, house trained, good with the girls & she doesn't bark  -- even when the doorbell rings (bonus!).

My sister & her kids just arrived from Philadelphia for some Thanksgiving fun.  We are all headed to Illinois on Thursday to see family ... looking forward to seeing our mid-west family, plus my parents who are meeting us there!  

Thank you, in advance, Aunt Kathy for hosting so many ... can't wait!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

Two years ago this year we went to my Aunt Kathy's place for Thanksgiving.  Hannah was as healthy as could be.  Little did we know that the Monday after that Thanksgiving she'd be hospitalized for the first night on the start of a long journey with Aplastic Anemia.

I have too many blessings to count.  All I have to do is look at my healthy kids ..... I am grateful, thankful & overwhelmed with God's complete goodness!!!  

All God's best from HOME in the great state of Kentucky,

Monday, November 15, 2010


Today Hannah turns 9!!! 

She shares her birthday with her Aunt Roisin, who would have been 45 today.  We celebrate Hannah but we also remember Roisin's treasured life -- all she meant to us, to so many and to three girls that had the privilege of calling her Mom.     

Here are some pictures from this past weekend.   Plus, a video I have been working on.


Four friends from Hannah's class came over to celebrate with cake, crafts & a dance party with the strobe light!
  Doing crafts
 Lily didn't miss any of the action & kept up right along with the girls!
 Last night at 11pm (1 hour before turning 9!), she pulled out 2 teeth. 
A new look for the new 9 year old girl!!!

Happy Birthday, Hannah!! 

You are so loved & treasured!!!!  

Your family, friends & thousands of strangers prayed for you to reach this birthday ...and many more!!!  

Thank you, Lord!!!

Here is my video celebration of Hannah's healing ...  (just under 5 minutes)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

In Her Own Words ...

"The Day I Found Out I had Aplastic Anemia"

As written by Hannah Eriksen, age 8

A Personal Narrative project for her 3rd grade class

December 1, 2008: 

My mom said let's go rent a movie and we can have movie day.  Okay I said thinking if the blood test I had earlier that morning would reveal if I had to go to the hospital or not.  As we were driving to the movie place the phone rang.  I thought please do not be the doctor.

When my mom answered the phone her face looked in horror and her face looked hard as a rock.  I thought I heard the word hospital.  I thought Oh no what am I going to do if I have to go to the hospital.  Maybe I will not go.  I hope I do not have to go.  What am I going to do if I have to go?  A bunch of things started racing in my mind.  My heart was pounding like the fastest roller coaster in the world.  Then my mom got off the phone.  Her face looked scared & I thought oh no.  I could picture nurses putting thousands of needles in me.

My mom started talking.  At first I was so scared and had no idea what she was saying.  Then it hit me, she said i had to go to the hospital.  Tears started shouting out of my eyes.  Then I got a horrible thought in my head.  I thought, oh my goodness, I am going to die, as the car slowly pulled out of the parking lot.  I told my mom I didn't want to go to the hospital but she said we had no choice.  When we got back to my house my mom quickly started packing up.  I asked her, am I going to die?  She said, I don't think so.  Then I started crying even more when we got in the car and drove to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital it was like we got to a haunted house.  My mom said that if I stopped crying and did well in the hospital maybe I could get a Wii for Christmas.  I stopped crying and had no idea what would happen next.  That day I learned to be braver and the hospital was fun because my mom always made it fun.  In the hospital I also got to watch a lot of movies.  That was very fun too. 


So many thoughts for me, as Hannah's mom, about her personal narrative. 

Her 160+ nights in the hospital were anything but fun but I always tried to make the best of it & make it "fun" for Hannah. 

I am so thankful to the Lord that we have many wonderful memories of that time together despite all the bad things.  We have so many memories of dragging that IV pole everywhere, Hannah dancing with the IV pole, making friends with everyone around us, eating cereal in the middle of the night, watching movies, doing crafts & napping. 

It was a rough time.  A time that I am still, personally, recovering from but God continues to be faithful in every way.  I am forever thankful for the healing for my Hannah & the days of normal that we now have. 

She will be 9 on Monday.  Hard to believe my girl that was so sick is now approaching ANOTHER birthday ... thank you, Lord!!!!!

Life with health is such a blessing ... I don't take any of it for granted!!

All God's best from HOME in KY,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Look Up

I snapped this picture the other day while Lily & I were on the playground at Hannah's school.  

I just love this photo!  

Reminded me of a favorite verse:

Psalm 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

All God's best from KY,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Priceless Day at Hannah's School

Lily & I went to have lunch with Hannah today at her school.  Hannah invited two friends to sit with us at our lunch table -- sweet girls & I am so happy to see Hannah making nice friends! 

After lunch was recess (burr!!) and then the class had a "Writer's Celebration". 

Each of the kids have been working very hard on a personal narrative.  I have not read Hannah's story yet. I couldn't bring myself to read her story in the class today -- I know I will have too many tears so I will read it when she brings it home after it has been graded. 

Her teacher had all the kids come up to present the title of their narrative to the class & then all the kids got to go around & read each other's stories and leave written comments.   So sweet the comments that Hannah's classmates made about her story.  One girl wrote that she felt like crying when she read Hannah's story.

I will have my tissues ready when she brings this home ...

Presenting the title of her narrative to the class ...
Going back to her seat on the carpet.  She was SO excited to be a part of this celebration ... she worked SO hard to get this paper completed in time!
Lily only wanted to sit with Hannah during the presentation of the papers ... ALL the kids wanted Lily near them (I don't blame them!) but she only wanted to be with her "best friend foreber".  The relationship these two have is just astounding to me - a complete miracle!

They have my heart & they love each other so much!
While the kids were still at recess, Lily & I went back to the room to wait ... notice what state she is sitting on.  That's for you, Auntie Mom & T!!
We stayed out for recess for a few minutes but it was freezing ... a friend of Hannah's gave Lily her sweater to wear.  It looked like she was running around in a bathrobe.  So cute!
Lily also got a hair cut today ... cleaned things up & she is just as pretty as ever!

In the hallway going back to the room after lunch together.  Lily wanted to be right there with Hannah!!

No joke, Lily sat at this table for 25 minutes working quietly on coloring her papers.  She loved being in the class with the big kids & Hannah delighted in the fact that everyone wanted to be near Lily but she only wanted her big sister! 

Priceless day being the mom to these two treasures.

I have nothing to complain about. Life is good.

It is not always easy. It is not always the way we had hoped it would be -- but each day is a gift!

Hug your kids & thank God for the health you have --it can all change in an instant.

All God's best from HOME in KY


Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight."