Tuesday, July 31, 2007

3Day Fundraiser at Alleycats

Please check out the opportunity to the right of this post
(in the lime green box).
Thanks :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer fun

Katelyn went to church camp last week. She came home Friday, and had so much fun! I love her time away to be with friends, play on a pretty cool lake, and learn more about God. This year continued on our VBS theme of heroes. She came home singing such a catchy song, "Jesus you're my superhero. You're a star. My best friend!" Imagine it with a super-fast beat and you might get the idea. Or, if you are around me, you will catch me signing it!

Leaving for camp...

And coming home!

She also came home with one pair of shorts that are going to have to go right into the trash. I think they were the pair she used to go slip and sliding. You might be thinking water, right, but Katelyn and the other 6th graders slipped and slid on mustard, ketchup, relish, baby oil, and I’m sure whatever else they had on hand!

Jake was gone all last week during the day at a literacy in-service for teachers. Jadyn and Bryn are taking swim lessons last week and this week. They are doing so well! Jadyn has really taken off. Bryn is also doing great. She did not want to even put her face in the water before lessons started. Now, she says that is her very favorite thing to do!

I got caught with a little virus last week. I had been dragging for several days, very tired and weak. Last Tuesday, I had a fever. Not high for normal standards, but pretty dangerous for someone on chemo—101.5. The fever held on for a few days and I was able to see my oncologist Wednesday. She put me on an antibiotic. She also ran blood work to find all my counts to be very low. She gave me a red blood cell boosting shot and told me to eat liver! I was pretty anemic, but I just settled for a steak! Actually, Dr. Hayley does not like liver either. I have been feeling more like myself this week.

I have been getting around very well, to me! I have stopped using my cane altogether. I walk a little slower than most, and have a slight limp. But, I feel good, which is the most important thing.

Saturday, our family went out to my sister Jennifer’s house in Granbury. She has a new house that has a pool, so we spend most of the beautiful day outside. We really had great weather. I also was able to visit with my step-dad’s sister, my Aunt Joanne, who is in from Arkansas. It was great to see her!

Here are some pictures of the kids by the fountain and having a blast swimming all day. The girl high in the air is Raegan with her strong Daddy (Russel) catapulting her into the air.

My cousins Mark and Ryan left for New York Monday. They have been with us for so long, it is weird to have them gone. I am sure their parents miss them, but they can come anytime!! We have had some fun filled weeks with them.

Katelyn and I are about to leave for Portland, Oregon to enjoy some time with my Dad and family! I am sure I have not taken a trip with Katelyn alone since I have been married (almost 9 years). I am very excited for the break! Jadyn and Bryn will not doubt have a blast at home with their Daddy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Home again, home again...

What a week! We just came back from a family reunion in beautiful Broken Bow, Oklahoma. It was a week of firsts. First family reunion. First time in OK. First time on a jet ski. First time in a canoe. First time to go down a waterfall in a canoe. (Did I mention that I was not in the canoe at the time of said waterfall?) We had so much fun!!

It rained on us a lot, and we had a few bumps along the way, but I am so glad we went. We have not stopped talking about our adventures.

I came back a little early Friday with my mom to squeeze in my chemo treatment. The round went very well, and my counts were good. I have another round Thursday and then I am off for a week.

Today, my new furniture is being delivered!! Our recliner broke a few weeks ago so that the footrest will not come up. I have a hard time sleeping at night, so I use that chair a lot. Jake took me out looking for a new one before our trip to Oklahoma. After several hours of looking and sitting in every chair in the store, I fell in love with a chair and ottoman that I could sink into for days. It is a blessing that we are able to buy a new one.

Here are a few of over 500 pictures taken last week!

The Kaylor family of 5 in Oklahoma.

An example of shopping for breakfast for 32! (This was just the trunk; we also had the back seat and each of our laps fllled with bags.)

4 generations: Grandma and Grandpa, daughter Judy, granddaughter Hope, and great-granddaughter Ella Grace.

This is only half of our group in the kitchen at any given time!

Zander with a smore, our favorite dessert in Oklahoma. Some liked their marshmallows charred, others slightly brown. Either way, it was a sticky, gooey, yummy concoction we enjoyed several times.

Ella in her first swimsuit! Too cute!

Several went on a morning hike. Jadyn and Kaylee loved seeing the baby deer and turtles. Also on the hike, Jake, cousins Mark, Ryan and Austin, and uncle Gene (taking the picture!)

Jace is laughing so much now...and he is ticklish too!

The life and death canoe adventure! It was hard to maneuver among the rocks, aka boulders. However, Sandy and I, when faced with an open lake of nothing but ONE rock in the middle of the water... hit the rock! Our group took out 8 canoes. The name of the canoe company was "Ambush Tours" which was a fitting name as we were taken to the top of the lake, told to follow it to the end and given NO instructions at all. If this were an episode of Survivor, (which it seemed like as we canoed the last 30 minutes in pelting rain and thunder and lightening)...Sandy and I would be voted off the island! It was a true bonding experience.

Katelyn and her Grandma!

Jadyn drew a picture of our cabin, complete with a porch swing and hot tub. We had our own cabin, but the girls spent the night almost every night with a different cousin, aunt or grandma in thier cabins.

Swimming back in Texas: we take up half of the country club pool.

We might look like ants, but this is all 32 of us! I am so blessed to have such a big, loving family!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Family time

We had a great visit with Grandma Martinez and Judy. The girls all bonded quickly and we enjoyed their visit. All the girls came away quite spoiled with gifts and activities! One of the highlights was watching Katelyn and Grandma Martinez get their pictures taken together at Studio One in the mall. They looked like models on a photo shoot! It was so fun and the pictures turned out fabulous.

From left is Judy, Grandma Martinez and Katelyn.

Grandma Martinez, Jadyn and Katelyn

I was able to enjoy a weekend at a beautiful hotel with some of the ladies in our family who could get away. It was my off week of chemo!! We had a great, relaxing time, and I had a VERY good facial. One of the rooms in the spa was a "slumber room". It was dark, with a soothing fountain and super-comfortable lounging chairs. I definitely "slumbered".

On the left are myself and Sandy; my Grandma and mom are on the right.

There was also great food. During breakfast, a magician roamed amongst the tables and came to ours; he amazed us all! We are still trying to figure out his tricks.

One of the other nice things about the hotel was everything we wanted to do was indoors. That is a great thing because it has been raining non stop here in our area! We have had more rain this year so far than the average for the entire year. Here's a view from the hotel room of clouds rolling in yet again!

I start round 5 of chemo today. I had a good visit with my doctor (Hayley) who was pleased with my progress. In general, I have very little side effects to medicines she gives me. Sometimes she shakes her head saying, “No mouth sores, no tingling in the hands and feet? None? Nothing?” It is moments like this where I am so thankful and humbled at what little complications I have. At times, when I am feeling down, with a raw stomachache from chemo, I wish I did not have to ever feel like that again. But, then, days like today, I am feeling good and get to hear that I could be feeling a lot worse. Thank you God for big blessings. I can be thankful for chemo that works, and smart doctors who prescribe it. Mostly, I am thankful for one who gets me though the bad days. I serve an amazing God!

We had a fun 4th of July with family and friends. A lot of us went to the local parade downtown in the morning. A friend of ours always wakes up very early to save some great seats for the parade. The past two years we have joined them, and Jake wakes up early too. He says that it is pretty special to be up that early (5 AM!) and watch everyone setting up their seats for the parade. He also gets some good quality guy time!

Therefore, our seats were great: we had a great front row view, we were in the shade, had no rain, and we made some fun memories. 14 of our family were able to enjoy the parade this year. My favorite memory last year was when a clown came up to us and SO seriously said, “This is not a joke, where is the end of the parade?” I guess if a clown needs to ask a serious question, one must preface it with saying ‘This is not a joke!’ We could hardly keep from laughing. Well, this year, every time we saw a clown, I looked to one of my aunts and said, “I am not joking!”

More good memories were the flying Elvis’ on mini motorbikes, and critiquing the floats as we are planning to enter a family float next year (all 30+ of us, so get ready!) I am SO kidding!

Aunt Jacque with Kaylee and Zander

Jadyn and Bryn

Cousin Ryan in from New York

Family at the parade, cousin Mark (in yellow) is visiting from New York too!

Hope, Matt, Austin and Baby Ella

After the parade, we had a nice lunch at my Grandma’s house, followed by setting off fireworks. Usually we go watch fireworks, but we had the opportunity to set them off ourselves at Zander and Kaylee’s Nina and Grandfather’s house. It turned out to be so much fun! Jake and Matt (my sister Hope’s husband) were busy keeping all of us highly entertained. We have our favorites picked out for next year (the butterfly, the bumblebee, and the cuckoo are some) and hope it can be a new tradition!

Watching the fireworks!

Ryan, Katelyn and Corbin

Sparklers!--We were very careful--no burns!

Aunt Pam and Mark

Aunt Sandy and Jadyn

We are busy firming up plans for our first ever all-family vacation to Oklahoma next week. There will be 31, 32 of us…I loose count! We have 5 cabins by the lake. Right after I send this blog, I am going to make sure they are not flooded from all this rain we have received lately. My doctor said when I told her where we were going, that she heard every city in Oklahoma had been declared a national disaster area!! I’ll let you know ☺