Sunday, August 30, 2009

a GREAT man!

Meet my sweet father in law, Harvey Cook. He is the sweetest man that needs some extra prayers. He was recently diagnosed with cancer and will undergo some painful treatments to fight the cancer. If you know Justin’s Dad, you know what a great man he is. He’s a devoted father to all his kids and loves his beautiful wife Anne. He’s funny, was an amazing business man and his credo is all about hard work. No other person had, and continues to have, more of an impact on Justin’s life than his Dad. So you can imagine how concerned we are and what a shock this was to our whole family. Justin has said more than once that in his eyes his dad is “indestructible” and it still hasn’t really set in the reality of the situation. Dad Cook is quite the jokester and always trys to put a positive spin on things. Even when they told us the results of the tests he said, “ I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is I’m not pregnant, the bad news is I have cancer.” Dad Cook has had a great attitude about this and is a man of much faith. He strongly believes in doing everything in our power and leaving the rest up to the Lord. He is someone I’ve come to love and admire as if he were my own Dad. So on Septemeber 8th he will have a surgery to begin his treatment. Justin’s dad taught them as small children to never give up and that when times got tough to draw from that God given strength from within. He called it “Cook Power.” Dad we love you so much, we are confident that you will win this battle. Cook Power!!!
My sisters in law Krista and Alisa also wrote a blog post about their Dad. You can view each of their blogs by clicking on their names. Thanks again for your extra prayers!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I have a 7 year old!

This past Tuesday Caleb turned 7. I can't believe that I have a 7 year old. I feel old. Little Caleb has brought so much good into our lives. It was a surprise to know that our first born would have Down syndrome, but we wouldn't take Caleb any other way. He is an amazing little boy with so much love to offer. He gives the best hugs and kisses and his smile still melts my heart.

Here's a few pictures of our little guy through the years:

His first smile with his proud Grandma Cook (2 weeks old):

You can't see the logo in this picture, but he was wearing an AZ Cardinals jacket at just 5 months old. Daddy started training his boy to be a fan at an early age!
Age 1:

18 months (I love this picture, he's so big!)

Age 2 with Dad & Mom:

Age 3: (when he started preschool)

Age 4:

Age 5: First day of Kindergarden!

Age 6:

Age 7!

We love you cute Caleb! Happy Birthday!!

Cursed Cough!

Yesterday Bree started getting a fever and a cough so I called her docs and they have decided to postpone her MRI for a few weeks. The anesthesiologists won't take her if she has any kind of airway issue. I guess mixing anesthesia with a cough can even worsen her symptoms. No pneumonia, thank you!

We are disappointed that we have to wait to get this done but it's better to be safe than sorry. So, her MRI is now scheduled for September 16th. In a way, I'm kind-of glad that we get to postpone but it's also stressful to just wonder what's going on in her little body. We just want to make sure all is well and that yucky tumor doesn't grow back. We both feel very stongly that all is well with Bree so until then, we're moving forward and enjoying everyday!

Until the next time...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prescott/Soccer Camp!

Last month we spent some time in Prescott, Az with Justin's sister, Krista her her family. We had a lot of fun. We did 3 days of soccer camp and also just relaxed and enjoyed the nice weather! Gunner attended the same soccer camp as his cousins and did a great job running all over the fields. The coaches are from all over the world like Great Britian and Australia so they have somewhat of a different accent when they speak. It was fun to watch the kids run all over and try to listen to what the coaches were telling them. Gunner and Cameron are the same age & were on the same team. They had a lot of fun together. Koby & Billy are such great soccer stars already. Even little Anna attended the camp at her young age of 3. They had a fun day called "crazy hair day" where you can color your hair in funky colors. All the kids loved this. Bree even joined in the fun and we put pink polka dots in her new hair! Thank you for having us Krista. You are the cutest hostess! Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today was one of those typical days. Nothing really special or important happened. I went about my day as I usually do. Laundry, running kids here and there, playing Candyland 3 times, sweeping floors, doing dishes, chopping potatoes for stew. I even branched out and took all 3 kids with me to the gym and the store afterwards. That was an adventure, as it usually is. 3 donuts and an ice cream later and the kids were happy campers.

As I was cleaning up from the day, an incredible feeling came over me. That feeling of a wonderfully crazy normal life. Forgive me if I indulge on this aspect for a moment. During the 7 months that Bree was sick was, in a word, agonizing. Going to the hospital, watching my daughter experience chemotherapy, taking care of her sick body and getting her better then having to go back and do it over and over and over again. I look back and think, "how did I do that?" I have said it so many times that it feels great to just be together with my kids and my husband, a complete family. But tonight, it really hit home with me.

These little moments that we experience with our kids are so precious. Tonight the kids and I bounced a bouncy ball all over the house and it was the best game ever. It was like I was a superstar to them. I really don't want this to come across like I am this great mom or whatever, because trust me, I'm not. I usually try to just get through the day with my kids. And most of the time, I'm watching the clock, counting down the minutes until it's bedtime! Today was an exception I guess. My point is that I want to look back 20 years from now and feel like I experienced my kids. My parents are constantly telling me that they grow so fast and most of the time, I just shrug it off. But today I guess you could say those words sunk in.

So here's to the little things (and big things too, see below!):

As for my little ones, Caleb lost his front tooth. We think he swallowed this one because we couldn't find it anywhere! Oh well, the tooth fairy can still visit right? He is still mighty handsome in my opinion. I just love toothless grins! What do ya think?

Gunner is growing up on me too quickly. When he thinks I'm not watching him, he is the sweetest brother to both Caleb and Bree. That might've sounded bad, he's a good boy most of the time, but he IS a mischevious 4 year old! He is a good example for his siblings and that always gives me warm fuzzies. :) He is quick to forgive (even me when I'm not the nicest mom in the world) and lately is always asking for a hug. That may change when he's a teenager so I better soak it up while I got him, right?

My little miss Breezy has started walking. She's so proud of herself and Justin and I are so thrilled with how great she is doing. She cracks us up with her independence. She puts a HUGE smile on our faces!

One last update, and for those that might be wondering, her first set of scans (MRI & bone scan) will be on August 28th. Please keep her in your prayers that day. Love to all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Goodbye Summer, Hello School!

This summer flew by! It seems like Caleb just barely finished school and now he’s already gone back again. Our summer has been busy with lots of fun. We were able to take a family trip to San Diego and did Sea World and the beach. I’ll probably make a separate post for that since it will be picture overload!

But for now, I need to back up a bit and catch up on a few things. The last time I posted about Layla.

A few weeks ago, Bree had her check up with her doctors and everything is still looking good. Yea! Bree has her 1st set of scans in two weeks. The time has flown by!

The same day we were at the docs, Layla was upstairs getting her last chemotherapy before her surgery. Bree and I were able to visit her and surprise her with lots of toys. It had been her birthday the week before, so it was great to see her reaction to all the toys.

Layla’s favorite color is purple so I bought a whole bunch of girly toys, purses, necklaces, coloring books and fun things to do. She also loves baby dolls, so we picked out a few with purple accessories. She absolutely loved the babies!

Layla’s surgery is coming up on August 20th. Please keep her in your prayers. This little girl is such a sweetheart! Her motto is “Boo stupid tumor! Yeah Layla!” Aren't these the cutest girls!?

As for our family, we’ve been having a great time being together. It’s been wonderful. Bree has thrived being home for this long. She’s starting to take a few steps and say a few words. She’s also been signing more and her personality is growing everyday. It’s amazing how girly she is already. She’s reintroduced me into the world of “girl.” Since I’ve had my boys (Justin included), I’ve just kind of thought about boy stuff. Like wrestling, bugs, swords, guys, etc. But it’s nice to be reminded of why it’s fun to be a girl. Bree brings it out in me! She loves to wear my bracelets and necklaces. She loves her shoes and she likes to bring on the drama. Already, if her feelings are hurt, she’ll put her hands over her face and put on a fake cry. I can’t wait until I can capture it on video. All the things that a Mom would love of course! I call her my little diva princess because lately she can really give me some attitude yet is so sweet at the same time!

The boys had a busy summer. They did swim lessons and Caleb & Gunner both had summer school. Are you thinking I’m a terrible Mom to put my kids in summer school? Well, this was more of a summer cool! Caleb did SEEK AZ and Gunner was with Ms. Stacey. We love Ms. Stacey! We also did the summer movies, lots of swimming and Gunner did a soccer camp (I'll put that in a separate post). And now it’s time to say goodbye to summer, even though it’s still hot as heck here!

Mr. Caleb is a big 1st grader now! He started school on July 27th! He had the cutest first day pics.
All ready to go! What a cute boy we have!

So far he is loving being back in school. This year he has the same teacher, Ms. Martin, for his homeroom and then goes to a typical 1st grade class for chunks of the day. We love Ms. Martin. In fact, during the summer she came over and picked Caleb up and took him to a movie and McDonald’s. Caleb loved every minute of it! So, by the old age of 6-1/2, he’s had his first date! Hubba Hubba!

Gun man also started preschool this week. It was cute to see him so big and ready to go to “class” as he calls it. He loved to see all his friends back together again! He was so proud to show everyone his new shirt, shoes and backpack. He's growing up on me!
Hugs on the first day of school.

Gunner's class: L to R: Maddi, Hayden, Gunner, Carter, Will, Lucy, Ellie, Guire, Burton & Max in the background.

Oh and notice the new blog design? My sweet friend, Jessica, did this for our family. I didn't know her before she started our design and through the past few weeks we've become good friends. She has such a good heart. She's worked very hard on our design despite some personal tragedies of her own. Her Dad passed away a few weeks ago and she has been inspirational to talk to and share feelings with. Thank you Jessica for your wonderful design. You are amazing! Click here to check out her website. She's awesome!