Chickpea salad

So I attempted the 27 day cleanse.  Got to about day 10 and felt hungry and deprived. Seven pounds lighter, but it didn’t seem worth it.  So I am just trying to eat better.  My friend Anna gave me this idea, and it was delicious!!  No feeling like I am missing something.  And super easy too!!


Faux chicken salad AKA Chickpea Salad

1 15 oz can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans, same thing) drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp sour cream, plain greek yogurt or mayo

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

tomato sliced


whole wheat pita bread

Put chickpeas, sour cream and sunflower seeds in a bowl and mix.  Use about 1/3 of mixture to top pita.  Add tomatoes and spouts.  Enjoy.  YEP, it’s really that easy folks!


New Beginnings

School is almost in…have I said that before?  I am really excited…as you can tell. 
Along with getting a few hours to myself, I am going to try doing a cleanse.  I know, I know.  I probably don’t have the will power.  True.  But my friend Anna, who is beautiful and skinny already, has lost like 11 lbs.  THAT my friends is MOTIVATION! 
She is doing the Green Smoothie Girl Detox.  So, I am going to do it too.  Nope it’s not all green smoothies.  There are supplements and stuff that I am not going to do, sorry Green Smoothie Girl.  But I am going to my best attempt to do it 100%.  Okay 97%. 
I am excited to not have to think about what’s for dinner.  Or breakfast or lunch either (at least for me). 
If anyone wants to join me, go right ahead.  Have some buddies along is always helpful!
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Miracles every day

    Well, we had an MRI and optho apt in the last 10 days.  When the doctor was going over Avery’s field of vision test, I seriously almost cried.  It looked like it did after her surgery, but before her sight started to go.  She still has peripheral vision issues, but she has a much wider range she sees now.

   I had asked the oncologist if it was the pressure from the fluid or the tumor making her sight go.  He said we don’t know.  So we just did a year of chemo that we may/may not have ever needed.  It’s always something that has weighed on my mind.  Especially when she was so sick. You try to do the best for your kids, but medicine is a lot of guessing.  But after seeing the optho report, I feel that we did the right thing.  Maybe that is just me making me feel better about dumping toxins into my 10 year old.  Maybe.

   I also have a new assignment at church.  Compassionate Service coordinator.  For those not of my faith, that is the person that arranges for meals, cleaning and babysitting for those families in need.  Like when they have a baby, or a kid with cancer.  I laughed when I got it.  Hopefully that means we are done with this chapter in our life.  I mean, how do you call someone to bring dinner to your own family??  Awkward.   Anyway, I am just hoping this is the Lord’s way of telling me we are good.  And I can use what I learned to help other families.  I can do that.

  My dear friend Kathy experienced a miracle too.  In her Counting to Ten, she talks about last weekends events.  Kathy herself is a miracle in my life.  She is little and feisty, and loving and always there when I need her.  She has been a HUGE blessing in my life.  LOVE her!!!

  So here is to counting your blessings. 


Cute new do’s

   We all just got cute haircuts for the new school year.  Which, by the way, I am COUNTING down the days!!  10 days to go!!

   We just got this package in the mail from a friend in Arizona with the cutest headbands I have seen!  A girl named Becki is behind the whippy cake company and donated these. 


I don’t think she makes headbands anymore, :(, but she does do some consulting.  She has almost the same haircut as Avery!!  LOVE it!  I can’t wait to sew some dresses to match!!!

  Thanks Becki and Marion for thinking of us!!


Corn Cakes


Okay, food is a big deal at our house.  Avery needs to eat as much as possible, Payton needs to watch her carbs (both for too high and too low) and Nathan needs to slow down.  Seriously.  How much can a 14 year old eat??  Don’t answer that….

Anyway, I found something similar on Pinterest….love Pinterest, but I wasn’t found of the fact it was only white flour.  Too many carbs.  So I took out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens red and white and found a corn fritter recipe.  It was close to what I was looking for and I added a few things and voila…a pretty good dinner.  Actually this would make a fantastic brunch, or yummy quick lunch.  It works for just about anytime.  And I KNOW it sounds weird to put syrup on it.  But trust me, SUPER yummy.  You CAN do just butter, if you want.  But it’s not as good.

I doubled the recipe.  I have a 14 yr old boy to feed.  So if you more than four mouths to feed I recommend you do the same.


Corn Cakes

Makes 6-8 cakes

8 slices bacon cut into 1/4” pieces

1/2 onion diced (I used white, but green would be awesome)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup corn meal

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup corn (frozen or canned works)

1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 cup milk

1 beaten egg

In a cold skillet, put in bacon.  Turn heat on low and start to cook, stirring every few minutes.  When fat starts to melt off and bacon is about half way cooked, add in onion.  Continue cooking bacon until crisp and bacon and onion is translucent.  Take off heat and let bacon cool (I put it in a bowl to cool faster).

In a large mixing bowl add in flour, corn meal and baking powder.  Stir.  Add in milk and egg.  Stir to just combined.  Then add in corn, cheese, bacon and onion.  Stir again.  On hot skillet cook like regular pancakes (about 1/2 cup batter at a time). 

Serve with buttermilk syrup, regular syrup, or the way I did was add in blueberries to the buttermilk syrup.  It was SSSSOOOO good.  Not kidding. 

Even ALL the kidos ate it too!!


MMA and Avery

     My cousin Sean lived with us a few years back.  Pre-brain tumor.  He was just beginning to train in MMA, and Las Vegas has some great gyms.  Avery and Sean hit it off.  He would show her some moves and how to protect herself.  She is VERY competitive and we learned early on she would pass out before she would tap out.

   Sean has been training and fighting ever since.  He has been getting better and better.  He is working his way up to bigger fights and more money. 

   But is also has a big heart.  He called us a few months back and wanted to do a fight to promote pediatric cancer.  There was a girl named Tenley that also had a brain tumor that would be at the fight.  They were going to raise money for Make-A-Wish and the Tenley foundation.  AWESOME!  We were in.

   Little did we know, Tenley (who is 9) has the EXACT same tumor as Avery.  A bit different location, but the same kind.  She was diagnosed in July of 2010 (a month after Avery) and did her Make-A-Wish to Disneyworld in April 2012 (a month before ours).  Kind of mookey. 
   Avery and Tenley hit it off at the fight.  It was great to see Avery just goof around and be a kid.  And the fact they have so much in common was heartwarming. 

   Sean won his fight.  Yes, Avery watched and cheered him on.  Along with me, Chris and Nathan. 



My Vida Loca


    I know it’s been a LONG time since I  posted.  But here it goes.  We have had a busy/good summer so far. 

     Avery started out being a princess for the Miss Nevada and Outstanding Teen Nevada 2013 contest.  One of the girls from the Make-A-Wish office, Alyssa D'Agostino was competing for the title this year.  She asked if Avery could be her princess?  Of course!!  She didn’t win, but it was a great weekend for Avery. 


Avery met the current Outstanding Teen NV, Elle Smith.  Super cute girl!


avery miss nv 2 

And Randi Sundquist, 2012 Miss Nevada.  We have met her at a few events.  SUPER DARLING!!  Always sweet to Avery.  We are really going to miss seeing her at events!!

avery miss nv 4

Alyssa had lockets for her and Avery made.  Inside there is a wish, castle and Disney charm.  And it’s pink and sparkly!!

avery miss nv 3

Alyssa helped Avery make this “dress” for the fashion show.

avery miss nv

More of our summer fun to come!!!!



You have to be kidding


    So  I guess our journey with kids with medical issues isn’t over.  Yes, Avery is going to be life long.  And now, so is Payton.  No brain tumor…diabetes.  She is not full blown insulin dependant.  They consider her pre-diabetic.  We have to monitor her blood sugar levels and she has to avoid all simple sugars.  No soda, juice, candy, desserts.  Except in the case where her levels go really low.  They she has to get some to bring it up.  Her problem is she spikes and her body can’t get the levels back down.   Luckily I love the endocrinologist.  She is both Avery and Payton’s doctor.  Dr. Saad if you are looking for a good pediatric endocryn in Vegas. 

   Any suggestions of low carb desserts would be helpful. 

And yes, we had a BLAST as Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain.  Since the weather was rainy and cold, no one was there!  Seriously.  I have never seen Disneyland so empty.  We were able to ride almost every ride in one day!  A miracle.  And Six Flags, emptyer (I realize that isn’t a real word…).  Hallie was the only kid on the little roller coaster for four times.  They didn’t even make her get off until she wanted to.  It was great.  Thanks so much to Project Teddy for sending us!! 

disney 2 2013   disney


They put us up in the Annabelle hotel.  It was super nice and close enough we walked to Disneyland.  Saved us on parking!  I would HIGHLY recommend this place if you are going to Disneyland. 


Make A Wish Gala

   We had another amazing event.  Make a wish southern Nevada throws an amazing party!!

makeawish gala0001

The dresses turned out nice.  Avery’s actually is vintage fabric.  It was from fabric my mother-in law had from her mom.  My mother-in-law had a dress made from it when she was about Avery’s age.  SUPER cool!!  Nathan of course looks annoyed…as usual. 

  We also met up with a super cute girl (women, but she is tiny and a lot younger than me, so I say girl).   Her name is Erica Linz.  We had seen her at a few other events.  I asked her what she did for work, she is a cirque du soleil acrobat.  SERIOUSLY??  She stared in the Cirque movie Worlds Away.  Her and Avery totally hit it off!!  We meet some amazing people.  She is at quite a few events we go to.  She has a huge heart and is helping children.  That makes her even more amazing!

erica and avery 2


It's Not Over

I went to Endocryn yesterday.  Not with Avery.  With Payton.  I did get some of Avery's results since they see the same great doctor.  Avery is low on vitamin D (REALLY?  We live in LAS VEGAS?  I just need to sit her outside a few minutes a day.) and her thyroid med needs to be increased.  
   Now onto Payton.  She has been having some blood sugar issues.  They had her do a glucose intolerance test.  If you don't know, she HATES needles.  Like passes out, hates needles.  Plus not eating to her is pure torture.  It wasn't fun.  But we made it through.  We knew that her blood sugar drops, but the concerning thing is her levels are spiking.  Over 200. That's bad in case you are like me and have no idea. 
   SO....we get to repeat this wonderful test.  Payton looked like she was going to faint just from that news.  We have to monitor her blood sugar now and pray that this doesn't end up looking like what it is looking like.  Diabetes.  I have a brother in law and niece with it. I know what it means.  Especially for a girl.  So if you can add Payton to your prayer lists, that would be great!! 
   But we are off to Disneyland and Six Flags.  I am going to try to forget about all the medical issues and just have FUN!!  
   Plus it's Chris' birthday today.  Happy Birthday Honey.  Even though you lied to me 16 years ago.  I still love you.   



   Avery has had her last dose of chemo….hopefully EVER!!  WE are SO glad to be DONE!  Obviously.  We have at least a month of blood counts and watching her.  Then MRI scans to see.  Then in about 3-6 months they will take out her port.  It seems like the longest year of my life.  And actually it’s been almost 15 months since we started. 

   Thanks to all our friends and family who have literally carried us through this.  You are amazing people that have made the journey bearable. 

   And we are going to DISNEYLAND.  Just for one day.  Then Six Flag, which Avery is super excited because she loves big roller coasters!!  Good thing we are bringing a 14 year old to ride them with her! 

  Hope everyone is having a great week too!!





Finish line


It’s right there….ONE more dose!!  Marianne, one of my super talented sisters, made this for me.  I am going to make a t-shirt out of it for Avery.

So Over It copy

I am HOPING she gets the last dose on Wednesday so I can give it to her!! 

Along with that my super talented sister made me this….

Ask not (green text)

Just so you know, you can save it and print it off.  I am going to SUPER size it for my living room!!


Mom gets a say


   St. Baldrick’s asked if I would write about our first event with them.  They helped edit and add the pics.  It actually turned out great!   And for once, I get a say.  AND my hair looks pretty good (thanks to Melissa Jacks and her amazing photography skills!).

Here is the link





   YAY, she got chemo.  Again, weird that we are so excited to dump toxins into my kido.  But we ARE excited!  That means only two more doses to go!!  Yes, she is pretty sick.  It’s been a few weeks so that makes it kind of hard.  But I am hopeful that she bounces back and we get chemo next week too!!  She is going to have to gag down a few Ensure a day to make sure that happens.  But a small price to pay to be D O N E!!!

     On other news….I have been doing some crossfit.  With my friend Mandy.  The tops of my thighs are so sore I can barely stand up/sit down.  I like being sore, but this is REDICULOUS!  What got me motivated?  I ran into Kim.  She lived by us across town.  Cute girl.  Has four kids.  Busy mom.  But when I saw her again….WOWZA!  She looked AMAZING.   She has been doing crossfit.  Yep, it works.  And with summer coming, I needed to tighten things up.  For me having a partner is key.  I work ALOT harder with her there watching.  Plus she is smaller and younger than me.  Motivation fer sure! 

   And when you feel better, you eat better.  Payton and I do a green smoothie every day for breakfast.  Everyday.   I skipped a few days and I was craving it.  I don’t have a fancy blender.  In fact I just broke one and had to buy a new one.  It was $25.  Again, tons of recipes for green smoothies.  But I like mine.

   Green Smoothie

1 orange slice off peel

1 apple cut cheeks off core

1 huge handful of spinach

2 tsp. chia seeds (I want to spout these, but haven’t tried that yet)

1 cup almond milk

1 cup water

Blend until all the bits are gone.  Then add:

1 banana

4 strawberries

Blend again. 

The banana and strawberries I put into small zip bags and freeze.  It makes it cold and yummy.  I add in blueberries or raspberries if I can find them at a good price.  Some add in kale.  I love to eat kale in soups and pasta, I am not crazy about it in my smoothie.  If you want an added boost, you can throw in a scoop of greens.  Green Smoothie Girl has her own version, or you can buy some at about any health food store. 

  Hope you are all having a super week!!




     Avery had ANOTHER delay.  This is getting old.  BUT, we are getting ready for the Southern Nevada Make a Wish Gala.  SUPER fun.  And trust me when I say, you are NEVER overdressed at a Las Vegas event.  So we have to go big.  I have been stressing over my dress.  Here is what I came up with.  There is no pattern….Sorry.



Just a maxi dress, but the fabric is super awesome.  Dresses it up.  I might try to find a black leather belt instead of the shiny one.  Maybe….if I have time. 



P4029602     P4029601


It is made from a super cool light blue metallic fabric.  The underneath is lined in a black satin.  I put pennies in sewed into the hem to keep it from flying away and give it some weight.  A great idea…I know.  Genius. 

   Hopefully we will have news of getting chemo this week!!  Here is hoping!!!


Mother’s Guilt

    If you are a parent, you know about guilt.  Not spending enough time with each child.  Not realizing that they are really sick until they throw up in the hall.  And it just doubles or triples when you have a kid with medical issues.  You feel bad because the other kids don’t get the same attention as the “sick” one. 

    We did this.  We chose to dump toxins into my healthy child.  We chose to make her sick.  I remember a conversation when she wasn’t eating.  She understood this cancer won’t kill her.  It won’t.  But chemo could.  At least the complications from chemo could.  Not eating for weeks, that could. 

   We all have the ebbs and flows of life.  But when you have a kid with cancer, even non life threatening cancer, it is much more of a roller coaster.  And just when I think we are leveling out, it hits again.  And I realize we are no where near the end of this ride. 

   Her white counts are low.  Like 200.  At 400 she has to stay home and stay away from anyone who might be sick.  It could put her in the hospital.  It could kill her.  It makes me want to throw up to even admit that.  But it’s the truth.  And we chose this path. 

   There has to be a better way.  There has to be treatment that doesn’t put the flu as the killer in a child’s life.  There has to be an option that doesn’t make a kid not eat for months so that they look like the kids in third world countries that are starving.  There has to be a better option other than sight or health. 

   It’s not about the hair, or the tube up her nose.  It’s about finding ways to help a child be healthy and happy.  Lead a full life.  Not loose a year or even a month of their precious childhood fighting something that wouldn’t even kill them. 

  It’s why I sew.  I can’t think about what I can’t control.  I can’t think about how sick this has made my healthy happy child. Or how my other kids have been robbed of these last two years.   I can put fabric together and create.  It’s about all I can do some days (along with doctors visits).

   So get involved.  Donate to St. Baldrick’s.  Volunteer for Make a Wish.  You can make a difference if only in the life of one sick child. (Or bring me fabric).  

And thanks again for all the prayers.  They make the most difference.   God is in charge.  He lets me know that most days.  It’s humbling. 


Keep on rollin…..

    Alright, it’s been an eventful few weeks.  First, the Avery update.  No chemo last week.  Platets and red blood transfusion.  Then Sunday she had had a low grade fever for 12 hours, so got to spend 5 hours in the ER.  Her counts were ok. So then we got to go home.  I relate the ER to the machine from “Princess Bride”.  It sucks the hours or days out of your life.  Anyway, no chemo again today.  Her other counts were okay, but her ANC was SUPER low.  That is the white blood count.  White blood is the stuff that fights infection.  She can’t go to school or anywhere really until Monday.  Unless she gets a fever.  And then we can go to the hospital for a few day stay.  Let’s REALLY pray that doesn’t happen.  THREE MORE DOSES TO GO…….

   On a lighter note, we had some birthdays.  Mine for one.  I am officially past my 30’s.  It’s weird.  I don’t feel older than 33.  Actually closer to 28.  So if you ask, I may/may not admit my new age. 

   Avery turned 10.  She is finally in double digits.  She shares her birthday with three other cousins.  Actually, it’s even cooler than that.  We had babies on March 30th, four years in a row!  So Allyson is 12, Hannah is 11, Avery is 10 and Shakur is 9.  They are all seriously strong Aries personalities.  Hannah lives in AZ, but was here for spring break.  She came to the doctor with us and it ended up being a trip to the hospital.  It was Avery’s best trip to date.  Because Hannah and her laughed and giggled the entire 9 hours we were there.  Hannah did have to look away when they did anything with blood.  She has a weak stomach. 

avery and hannah   

   I have been sewing…a lot.  Big surprise, I know.  It’s therapy for me right now.  And  I love creating.  I saw this link for another blog.  It’s about creating and not being afraid to try new things. 

    There are other things besides using a pattern to make something.  I would love to learn patternmaking.  I am working on that darn second book of my trilogy.  I needs to get done.  And there are lots of other things I want to try.  But we do need to get through chemo first.  AND Payton is having what appears to be blood sugar issues.  I have a niece that is 11 that is diabetic.  I am REALLY praying that it isn’t that.  But when I take Avery to the Endocrinologist next week, I added Payton to her patient list that day too.  We will see what she says.  Always a medical adventure at our house!!

  I hope you all are having a warm and great spring like we are!!!


Simplicity 4662 Vintage

I found this awesome vintage pattern on etsy.  It was a great price too.


I used it to make these darling girls some darling dresses.  They are seriously so cute (the girls I mean).  


I used a Riley Blake bright yellow houndstooth and the prints are a pink and purple floral.  They turned out really cute.  I did put in a petti skirt with tulle to make it “fluffy”.  The little ones always like a fluffy dress!!  Just in time for Easter!


Maxi Dress

   So we had someone generously give us tickets to “Shrek the Musical”.  My dear hubby said, “you know we need to look nice.”  Hum……does that mean that he thought I didn’t know that you dress up a bit for a nice event?   Or was he saying I didn’t have anything to wear?  I was trying not to be offended.  THEN…I remembered I have fabric.  I have a very cool fabric and in just a few hours…without a pattern, I had a cool maxi dress. 

I tried it on and showed him.  Even he was impressed.  SCORE!


I know it’s hard to see the fabric, but it has small stripes and stretches.  But then it has these variegating stripes of the black.  It was fun and comfortable too.  Glad I have a huge stash of fabric….                 

P3229591-001 P3229597-001     P3229596-001


Simplicity 2053 and Avery

I made this dress while in Washington.  It was pattern 2053 from Simplicity with some alterations. I may/may not be able to duplicate it…


On another note…AVERY GOT CHEMO!!  It’s super sad that I am so excited that they pumped toxins into my child.  Only THREE doses to go!!  Since it had been so long, she is super sick.  But hopefully by this weekend she will feel better and able to enjoy our fabulous weather.


Simplicity Pattern 2683

So I am posting thing I have made over the last few years.  It helps to see a pattern done up with super cute fabric like these.  I adore these dresses!  And the girls look so young!!


Avery always did know how to strike a pose! 


This was done with some super cute Bonnie and Camille fabric.  Love their stuff!!


St. Baldrick’s and Criss Angel


We had a fabulous weekend.  I do worry sometimes the people will think we are exploiting Avery.  But we get calls all the time for events for Avery.  We have never (not once) solicited these for her. 

  We started out the great weather weekend with the St. Baldrick’s head shaving at McMullan’s in Las Vegas.  What a great place.  The owners lost a baby (yes, a baby) to cancer years ago.  So for the last seven years they have hosted this event.  Last year they raised an obscene amount of money.  I don’t have the totals from this year, but I am sure they did at least as well.  Our resident awesome photographer, Melissa Jacks, came and brought her mini-me (her daughter Ashton).  If you need photos, Melissa is BRILLIANT with a camera…Seriously. 


st baldricks IMG_0058


IMG_0072 IMG_0014



THEN…..we got invited to Criss Angel’s Believe.  AND he asked us back stage….

criss angel

The show was A M A Z I N G!!  It even kept Hallie in her seat the entire time!!!  Criss is an Angel.  We had great seats.  There was another girl there who was just diagnosed with a serious kind of cancer.  She is 16. Criss was super sweet to both girls and our family. 

OH and it was Nathan’s 14th birthday.  He was super thrilled about the cancer event, but didn’t complain either.  Now he gets to go to church dances (gulp!). 

  Hope your weekend was filled with sunshine and hope like ours was!


McCall’s Pattern M5793

  Here is dress I made for Hallie.  She looks so little!  This was a Bonnie and Camille fabric.  I adore polka dots!!  Love, love this one..



Mrs. Nevada Pageant

    Avery (dad and I) got to attend this years pageant which was held last Sunday at the SunCoast.  It was super fun for her and she was awarded “girl of the year” from the Project Teddy with a crown and sash.  She loved it.  And we (the family) got one day passes for Disney to have her end of chemo party!!  HORRAY!!!
  I however, was a little concerned at the women putting so much emphasis on outward beauty.  I am SO lucky to be in a church where we focus on the inside.  Even from the time they are small, girls are taught that true beauty comes from within. 
   This is the founder of Project Teddy, Suzie Monahan, Mrs. Nevada 2010.  I have to say out of all the ladies she was the most beautiful there.  Even my hubby commented on that.  It’s because she is truly giving and you can see that. 
   We are so so blessed!!! 
a crappy pic I took with my phone of Avery and Suzie....


New Look Pattern 6309



This was a dress I made the girls when we were in Washington.  The top is a crushed velvet and the bottom was a bolt of fabric my mother-in-law had left over from her oldest daughter, Lisa’s wedding.  Lisa had her bridesmaids in this color.  Funny how it all comes back around. 

Avery is super good at posed looks.  They all have a half pettiskirt underneath to make it full.  It swished when they walked…






Hallie and Payton’s dress were from this same pattern.  Avery’s was another.  Hallie looks super annoyed.  At least Nathan was smiling! 



A little Vaca

By Stephanie

   I KNOW…it’s been SSSSOOOO long!  Sorry…again.  There are just some days that I can’t think about it, let alone write about it.  How do you write about your daughter is being stuffed with toxic medicine.  And she doesn’t eat.  And the other kids are sick of it.  And although you do have amazing opportunities, you would wish it all away….if only you had a wand. 

   And speaking of wands…I would like the Harry Potter version of Pinterest.  The one that every time you pinned something….it magically appeared in your life.  My dinners would all be wonderful.  My butt would look amazing.  My home would be spotless and decorated perfectly. 

   But since I don’t have a wand and can’t wish my daughter better, or make dinner appear and still have to exercise, I will try to be better.  

   I am working on a few dresses that I am super excited to post about.  But in the meantime, you are going to get a few other items that I have made and just want to show off…not really.  I just want to have a catalog of the patterns I have used. 

  OH, and Avery had her LAST dose of this round of chemo last week!!!  She gets this week and next off.  Then on to our LAST ROUND (I can’t say that enough).  Four more doses!!  Then DONE, DONE, DONE!!  (Hopefully!!) 

   AND…..Avery ate three and a half pieces of pizza the other night!  WOOO HOOOO!!!  We are all thrilled when she eats more than Hallie!


McCall’s M5793


Alright, so you are going to get some random posts over the next few weeks.  I am gathering all the pics of the things I have made and their pattern numbers. 

  In these, after reviewing all the photos, Avery is sitting perfectly posed.  Payton has a forced look on her face and Hallie was never close to the same position twice (she moves way to much!).  And they all look so LITTLE!  Kind of makes me sad…kind of makes me happy. 

  And almost all of the pics with Avery are pre-tumor diagnosis.  She doesn’t even look like the same kid at all.  Sigh….











Even Hallie said, “I was so cute!”  Yes, yes you were…are.


Ruffled Skirt

By Stephanie

   So a friend at church gave me a great contact to do some pattern testing.  YAY!  More sewing.  I tested this ruffled skirt pattern.  And all her patterns are reasonably priced.  That is a plus!

   I made it for Avery so I left the bottom layer of tulle off since she is super sensitive right now.  Believe me when I say the pics do NOT do it justice.  It is the most amount of fabric I have worked with in a LONG time.  Layers and layers.  Super girly and twirly.  I am going to make a cute belt with a big flower to complete the look.  She is thrilled to have a new skirt. 



Endure to the end

By Stephanie

   Sometimes I hate the word “endure".  Sometimes it’s all we can do just to hang on…by a thread. Or a thread of a thread.

   We are done.  We are all done with chemo.  All except her doctor.  He says we are not done.  We had ANOTHER delay.  BOOOOO! 

   That is how the last few weeks have been. Frustrating.

     We found out after the last dose of chemo Avery decided to pour her drinks down the drain and not take her meds.  FOR THREE DAYS!  Actually I was suspicious of her, and her dad got her to confess.  Otherwise it may have been longer before we knew everything.  SERIOUSLY BAD…if you didn’t already know!

   So the next day (and every day after) I have had to sit and watch her take her pills and drink her drink.  Let me tell you about the first drink…waling and gnashing of teeth comes to mind.  She yelled “you are ruining my life.”  I didn’t expect to hear those words until she was at least 13.  So I laughed, which made her more mad.  She actually said, “You are running my life.”  Yes, yes I am.  When you show you are not old enough to have that responsibility, I take it from you. It’s my job.  The pay sucks, but the benefits are good.  It’s my job.  

  After that my mom bribed her with $5 for every drink she drinks in 30 minutes or less.  Surprisingly she has had better luck getting them down.

   I found this great link.  Drops of awesome.  I just can’t stop thinking about it.  She puts the Atonement in such a great visual.  It really has made me think.   And it is helping us “endure”.  Although if the doctor said we are done today, we would all be grateful.


Back to the Grindstone

By Stephanie
   I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season!  Our's was amazing.  We had FOUR, yes folks, that is FOUR families that picked us to do the twelve days of Christmas.  Two let us know who they were, the other two, we have no idea.  But we do have some awesome ideas for us to do a family next year.
   Our holiday season was mostly uneventful.  Mostly.  During one of Avery's doctor visits (she was on a break from chemo) her doctor recommended we do the NG tube.  Her weight was the same, but she just didn't look good.  FULL ON MELTDOWN from her.  He laid out what she needed to do, and so far she has done it.  She even had two helpings of enchiladas for breakfast (I don't care what she eats, just that she eats).  She does look better, so we avoid the NG tube agian (I think).
   New Years Day, Chris and I decided to go to the movie.  But I wanted to see Les Mis and he really didn't.  Katie and Ty were in town and my mother and father-in-law also wanted to go to the movies.  So the girls went and saw Les Mis and the boys, some other stupid movie that I would never pay to see.  Avery had had a bloody nose earlier that day, but then she was fine.  The movie (the almost three hour movie) was almost over when I got a message from Nathan that "Avery's nose has been bleed the whole time you have been gone and now she is crying and feels sick."  WHAT??  Okay, time to go over what "emergency" means with the thirteen year old.  Blood =call mom.  So Katie and I left the movie early and rushed home.  I called her doctors office and they had us take her into the ER.  Which was SUPER packed that night.  But they got us right in and got her blood work.  Her red blood was low but her platlets (the stuff that clots the blood) was SUPER low.  It was 13.  She has never been under 18.  You are probably 200, but for her 40-50 is high.  But under 20 she needs a transfusion.
   So we spent a long night getting blood.  And we had to delay chemo a week.   But we are on the count down.  IF there are no more delays...10 weeks to go.  We are shooting for her Birthday (March 30th), which is also Easter weekend (March 31st), which is also spring break!  If not, it'll be okay, but we are HOPING!!
   And I have a TON of sewing projects and a house to MUCK out.  We have Avery's Make-a-Wish run on Feb. 2nd, which is also Payton's baptism date.  It will be a long but fun day.
   If anyone wants to come run with us or donate here is the link.
Avery's Team 5K or 1 mile run
   We are trying to raise enough for one wish.  Which is about $2500!  I know it's right after Christmas, but if you can, please help make other kids wishes come true!!