Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good morning! I mostly just wanted to check in and say we're doing well here in Cebu. It has been so very good to be here with Richard and Carmen and their family. We've been keeping busy entertaining kids, cooking, shopping, and doing whatever else we can to make ourselves useful. Their time here has been long and they are facing so much-- we are so glad we could come for these days!

This morning we want to go grocery shopping for them then we'll head to the hospital to meet them. Kaleb and Kevin brought some entertaining things to do at the hospital, so the kids will play there for a while. At this point Elias is very content just to watch the goings-on, which he enjoys.

Tomorrow we head home again. Brian and Katherine, our helicopter family, will meet us there for a few days of flight program talking and catching up. We are really looking forward to some time with them!

We are also hoping that Brian and Bailey's little one will have arrived by the time we get there-- can't wait to meet him!

Have a good and Godly day....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good morning! This is just a quick note to let you know that we are headed to Cebu tomorrow, Monday. We are hoping to be a help and encouragement to Richard & Carmen and their family. I hope I can blog again from there, but if not, I'll be back one of these days:).

God is working out the details amazingly. Wow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

School's out! Yahoo for spring break! Yeah, we are on a funny schedule at the moment, but we are happy for a break from the normal school routine. In celebration we hope to do spring cleaning, bake some cookies, and read some good books... just kidding! The boys are thinking cookies sound good, badminton and biking sound relaxing, and that they'll enjoy sleeping in a for a week! I actually agree...
Jamie should have arrived home today (or the day I started trying to post this!), so I thought it was a good day to write a bit about what we did while she was here. We had fun a few times, though much of here time here was just busy with Elias's diagnosis and a quick trip to CDO. Jamie did a great job of pitching in and helping in the midst of the chaos!

Saturday morning we went to the market to shop. I thought you might enjoy seeing the options for your chicken for dinner-- buy it frozen at the wet market or fresh (and live!) at the open market. Umm... I LOVE the wet market! We did buy fresh veggies and enjoy a fresh coconut milk at the market (which I have photos of that will not appear when I try to upload them!) Later Saturday morning we heard about Elias and Garry and I headed to the city soon after lunch, leaving Jamie with the boys.

We got home late on Sunday, just in time to head to the guesthome for dinner and a baby shower for Bailey. I think Jamie enjoyed meeting the rest of our team-- they're great and very international.

Monday we spent doing some cooking and looking for a place for Richard & Carmen to stay in Cebu, where they were headed for the surgery. In between Jamie helped me teach school. Bailey was also here for morning, flight following by radio (she's been training with me and is taking over that job, but doesn't have a radio in her hourse). Tuesday the guys flew Elias's family to Cebu and we were by the radio. Jamie baked a couple kinds of cookies for us, which we all thoroughly enjoyed, especially Kevin! Wednesday was another flight day, which meant radio while doing school.
And Wednesday Jamie and I took off for lunch and some "girl time". She made me try halo-halo, a frozen delicacy of combined ice-cream, fruit, vegetables, and I have no clue what else. I decided I don't need any for a while... though she seems to have acclimated to it just fine! We also made bread-- go Jamie! And Jamie cooked supper for all of us while I was catching up on some other stuff. She made her mom's Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti Alfredo. It was amazingly good!

And Thursday came way too soon... we headed to the city in the morning and did another coffee, a little "malling", and lunch at pizza hut before it was time for Jamie to head out. Wow! Good memories!

We just got an update on Elias today (Saturday noon). It seems there was a mistake and they are currently saying that

It's Wednesday already! First, a quick update on Elias. On Monday the scan showed some buildup of blood, so they put in an external drain. That was removed yesterday! Elias can move all his limbs and is eating soft food already. Wow! Today they will get the final results of the biopsy done from the first surgery. After that the doctors will suggest any further treatment that might be needed.

Tomorrow is little Melissa's birthday... we are praying they can celebrate all together in a normal hospital room. (At the last report Elias was still in ICU.) Living in a different city, taking turns at the hospital, and trying to keep two other active kids entertained must be challenging at times for Richard and Carmen. Yesterday a couple of us got together and sent a little package... I hope it arrives safe and edible:).

And this is another thing you can purchase-- little fish for 10 cents-- delivered in plastic bags!

Here at our house we are thankful for quiet election days. Today Garry is at the airport getting things ready for tomorrow's flight. The boys and I are enjoying a quiet day at home doing school. This is their last week before semester break, which we are all looking forward to!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Wow, God! That's all I can say about Elias's surgery. The surgery was long-- I believe about 6-7 hours, but the doctors were able to remove all visible parts of the tumor. Today (Monday) is a catscan to see what else might or might not be left. We're praying that there is nothing left that needs treatment! Also, the initial biopsy showed the tumor to by low-non malignant. It doesn't appear that Elias will have any long-term effects from the surgery, but I guess that takes time to find out as he begins doing more normal things. However, he can smile, talk, and swallow-- all miracles at this point! They are hoping to move him out of ICU today-- yeah!

Today are national elections here. Pray with us for peaceful elections and for a positive outcome.

And this is Kaleb's Lego Blacksmith wishing us all a great day.

Garry is thankful for an office day today-- I mean, he doesn't enjoy the office, but he is glad to be able to get some things done in his office. The boys and I are about ready to start school.

Garry's mom sent me the Blumenort cookbook for my birthday-- what fun I've been having trying friends' recipes. Today I'm going to try another one-- a chicken in cream sauce. Sounds great.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Good morning. I wanted to post a quick update on Elias... thanks to the many of you who are praying! Elias and his family are in Cebu now, awaiting surgery tomorrow. On Wednesday afternoon they successfully inserted a shunt to drain fluids from his brain.
His surgery to remove the tumor is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 7:30. There will be a team of doctors doing the operation because of the complexity of the surgery. Please pray with us for healing. Pray for wisdom for the doctors. Pray for grace for his family and friends.

It has been a huge blessing to us as a family that Jamie (a friend from Canada) has been here for most of the past week. She has been helping with schooling the boys, washing MANY dishes, cooking, and just pitching in wherever she can. Thanks, Jamie! We actually even took a few pictures, and I'll post them next time with a bit more of the story of what we did while Jamie was here!

We are back home again, getting caught up some things that have been left undone. Garry is in the office today, and I'm doing school with the boys. They're both busy with their work, so I took this opportunity to blog.

National elections are scheduled for Monday, so we'll be staying close to home over the next couple of days. We pray for a peaceful, positive outcome to the elections.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Yes, we're on a journey. And the past few days have been rather eventful... on Saturday morning we received a test from Richard and Carmen, our friends and co-workers, that their son Elias had a HUGE tumor on his brain. Elias is 6 years old and had been having some balance problems over the past week. They took him to a doctor who sent them to a neurologist who ordered and MRI. Days of waiting and praying.

They were in a city a couple of hours from here and needed to admit Elias to the hospital to begin treatment. First they would give him medication to reduce the swelling on his brain. In two days they would be moved to a larger city for surgery. The pressure on Elias's brain is such that he can't fly-- the doctors recommended transportation by ferry.

Garry and I headed off to see them at the hospital and were happy to do a few little things for them and just be there. We are so thankful that Jamie had arrived from Canada on Friday and could stay with our boys while we went to the city. Over the past couple of days we've been busy helping them arrange their travel as well as somewhere to stay in Cebu, where they'll have the surgery. The doctors have agreed to let them fly by small airplane, since our guys can stay low and it reduces Elias's exposure to germs as well as transports him in about an hour instead of 12 hours or more.

Today Elias and part of his family are flying to Cebu with Brian and Garry. Carmen, Elias's mom, has a bad cold and has to delay travel for a day. Robby will meet them there to help during the hospital stay. Friends of friends will pick them up at the airport. They found a place to stay. The neuro-surgeon there comes highly recommended. Yes, a million little details have already come together.

Please pray for Elias. Pray for healing. Pray for grace for him and the family. Pray for wisdom for the doctors. Trust with us in the eternal goodness of God...