Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 everyone. We have been busy trying to stay warm around here. We finally got our first real snowfall for the season which is very very unusual for us. The boys were dying to get out in it but it was really cold! They did some shoveling last night.

Grandpa made some Beef Noodle Stew tonight which really hit the spot on a cold day like today! Grandpa also started the stove and Alex "tended" to it for awhile. He came in and said he wasn't feeling well. He hasn't felt great all day. I hope he's not coming down with something. Grandpa has been under the weather so it may just be going around.

Mark is continuing to get better everyday. He had a follow up Doctors appointment on Wednesday and they were amazed at his progress. He still gets tired and has some headaches but usually it's when he's done too much. We try to get him to take it easier, but you know Mark. He likes to be moving. Overall most of the time he feels good. He is going to start physical therapy 3-4 times a week. The doctor feels he needs to strengthen his core and strengthen his neck muscles where they worked during the surgery.

2010 has been quite a year for us. He are looking forward to putting it behind us and starting a fresh new one in 2011. I'm excited and optimistic about the coming year. I feel it's going to be great. I hope it is for all of you as well!

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

Alex shoveling the sidewalk

Connor sweeping the sidewalk

Alex tending the stove

A couple of delicious cupcakes we picked up for the kids at Tony's

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm so thankful...

I'm so thankful...

  • That Mark is improving every day
  • To have a great job
  • That Mark is improving every day
  • That my boys are such good people
  • That Mark is improving every day
  • For all of my family
  • That Mark is improving every day
  • To have a roof over our heads (Grandpa's roof to be specific)
  • That Mark is improving every day
  • For the lady at work who wanted to "pay it forward" and offered to cut AND color my hair for free!
  • That Mark is improving everyday
  • That so many people have done so many kind deeds to make our Christmas brighter
  • That Mark is improving everyday
  • For our two little dogs that bring us so much joy and laughter
  • That Mark is improving everyday
  • For a brand new little nephew who will be here soon
  • That Mark is improving everyday!!!
  • For being surrounded by wonderful friends
What are some of the things you are thankful for today?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Skylar comforting Mark

I asked Mark's permission to post this picture. He was hurting and knelt down beside the bed. Skylar instantly went to him. I just happened to have our camera in the same room. She has been very affectionate and protective of Mark since he came home from the hospital. Both dogs seem to sense his pain. It's pretty precious.

This was last week and he is doing much better! Improving every day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Decorating the tree

Last weekend Grandpa got the tree out. The boys pretty much decorated the entire thing by themselves.

What are they using for a topper? Is it an angel... uh no

It's one of their Halo action figures and when I looked closer there were several all over the tree, Perfect!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanksgiving continued... Grandma's house

Skateboarding at Grandma's

Skylar had to be right in the mix

Skylar nipping at Alex trying to play

Grandmas riding lawn mower

"Watch out Mom"

Mark taking a little ride with Alex


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Up and Down days

Just to give you a little update on Mark...

He seems to be healing well. He is still having quite a bit of pain, mostly in the front of his head. The doctor predicted some pretty severe headaches while things are getting back to "normal".

His spirits are pretty good most of the time but I know he's impatient to get better. He has lived with the pain from this for a long time and he's ready to get past it and move on with his life. You know Mark, he's not used to anything slowing him down, even when he was battling cancer he was never down for long. This has been a little different. It isn't something he can muscle through. He's learning to take one day at a time, even if it's slow progress, and keep looking to the future.

I know he appreciates everyone who has shown concern and checks in on him. We have been overwhelmed by everyones  generosity and thoughtfulness. It's comforting to know we are surrounded by  so many family and friends who genuinely love us and are concerned for us.

For those of you who don't really know much about Mark's condition, it's called "Chiari Malformation". You can click HERE to learn more about it.

He basically had the decompression surgery which is described HERE.

This isn't Mark's case exactly but it is basically. He has what's called a "Chiari malformation" which probably caused "Hydrocephalus" or too much fluid in the brain. They think he was probably born with it. The doctor explained that is probably has effected him his whole life but he just learned to compensate for it. We believe the stress from his condition could have been related to both cancers and other medical problems he has encountered through the years.

He is looking forward to healing from this and moving ahead to a bright future that is pain free!

A few people have asked about the boys and how they are doing with this. I would say they are doing pretty well. I know even though neither really talked about their concerns or asked many questions before the surgery, it was weighing on them. As someone pointed out to me, after the doctor came out and told us everything went well and Mark was doing good she noticed a visible relief in both their faces and demeanor. They have both seen their dad go through a lot and they know he is strong.

It was a long day and by the time they saw him is was 8:30pm. As I wrote about before he was still coming out of the anesthesia and on many other meds so wasn't quite himself. I think it was good for them to see him cracking jokes and being a little silly. They are both very conscious of the fact that he is still healing and life may not be back to normal for them for awhile but they are troopers. I'm pretty proud of both of them!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 1

We traveled to Kansas to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. It was a nice visit, long overdue. Mom (Susie) cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma Dots help. Everything was wonderful.

In the car, boys being silly
Skylar comfy in Grandma Dot's lap!
Look at that colorful feast!
Ready to dig in!
Alex conked out with Max after a very long day

Mark is home!!

I just wanted to update everyone on Mark's condition. He was doing so good the doctor decided to release him yesterday (Thursday). He thought Mark was doing remarkably well considering the surgery he had been through (that's our Mark).

Mark is glad to be home and we are all nagging him to take it easy but you know Mark...

He is resting quite a bit today, I think coming home wore him out a little.

Thank you all again for your encouragement, prayers and support during his hospital stay.

We appreciate your continued prayers and positive thoughts as he recovers and heals.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thank You

Thank you all for your prayers and special thoughts.

Mark's surgery went very well. The surgeon was able to do everything he planned to do and didn't have to do a couple of the procedures we were hoping he would not need to.  Does that make sense? I'm pretty drained but just wanted everyone to know Mark is doing well.

We got to see him in ICU and visit with him. He was able to joke a little and had us all laughing.... His main concerns were  1.) He wanted the catheter OUT  and 2.)  his head hurt

It was hard to leave him but he really preferred we all go home and get rest. I think he needed time himself to rest and heal.

I'm very proud of him as always....

I will try to update more when I feel I have more cohesive thoughts.

It's been quite a day and we are all pretty exhausted.

Thank you all for your thoughtful texts, calls and emails. It really helped us get through the day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Prayers and positive thoughts appreciated...

As most of you know Mark will be undergoing a pretty serious operation tomorrow. We appreciate any and all positive thoughts you have to offer.

I know Mark is going to come through with flying colors, he always does.

I believe he is in very good hands and thank you ahead of time for thinking of him and sending a few good thoughts or a small (or big) prayer his way tomorrow. His surgery will start at 1pm mst.

I will keep you posted the best I can.

Also if you could say a little prayer for me and his mom and dad as we sit in the waiting room "waiting."

We all know what that is like, when you are waiting for word about a loved one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What are they up to now??

Every once in a while the boys (all of them) including Dad and Grandpa will disappear into the basement. There are all kinds of cool tools and gadgets down there. I call it the boys club and always ask permission to enter. They are pretty cordial............ most of the time.

Well the other evening all the boys were in the basement so naturally being the nosey female I am I had to go see what was going on. They were building something.





                                     TA DAHHHH!!! A MINI SKATE BOARD PARK!!
                                                (CONNOR CREATED THIS VIDEO)


Monday, November 15, 2010


This is a post that is a little overdue. Connor performed in his school play "Romeo and Juliet" a couple of weeks ago. He played the part of Sampson (one of Juliets cousins) He was in the opening scene with quite a few lines AND a fight scene. He also appeared in many other scenes and even got to "twirl" Juliet in one scene. That was one of my favorite moments of the play.

We were very proud of him. We thought he did a great job! I took some pictures at one of the dress rehearsals. They didn't turn out great but I will post them anyway.

Opening scene
Connor in light blue shirt 

Connor in his first scene
Connor on the ground after his fight

During the "party scene"
Connor in party scene (light blue shirt)

Final bow
The director and Connor's drama teacher (Connor in yellow shirt)