Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fun day at VBS… Day 988 31JUL11

Joshua had a day full of playing with his friends. He started off by going over to play with Taylor and AVery for a while at Grandma and Pa's house. A little later in the afternoon he headed off to VBS with Trent and Emma. He didn't return home until after dinner and although he was tired he had a great day. While he was gone Jarrod and I headed up to the rink to get some ice time in. We had a really tiring but good skate and we were pretty whipped when we got home. The rest of the afternoon for us was doing stuff around the house and getting ready for the coming week. Tomorrow morning is a long clinic day for Joshua with him getting his Pentam treatment, Vincristine, and we get to start another round of steroids. Tough way to start the week.

Renee took these pictures of us on the ice this past Saturday so I thought I would share.
Jarrod and Joshua practicing

Old men can play too :)

Joshua is in the red jersey

Jarrod working with one of his team mates

Our little hockey player

Joshua working on stick handling

Look at my "little" boy :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Family team… Day 987 30JUL11

We all got up early this morning and got some breakfast before heading off for our hockey lesson. Now that we are all in the same class it is a lot less complicated and a lot more fun. We had a great skate and for the first time we were all on the same team when it came time to scrimmage. Joshua did really good digging the puck out of the corner a few times and I managed to get two goals. Jarrod was quick on his feet and chased the puck down several times to get it back for our team. Afterwards we were all pretty beat so we headed home to get some lunch and rest a bit. We hid inside for most of the afternoon to escape the heat. After a nice dinner, burgers on the grill and a salad, we headed in to Brandon to run a few errands, the boys had a bunch of old games to trade in at GameStop. They managed to get two new games that they wanted and even had money left over, got to love recycling. Next stop was IKEA for some legs for the school table I built for the boys for this coming school year. We managed to navigate our way through the store and escape without buying anything extra. The boys were itching to get home to try out their new game so we headed out. The rest of the evening was nice and relaxing which is what we all needed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The LEGO twins… Day 986 29JUL11

Joshua got up this morning and declared that he was too tired to go to the beach with Wojtek so he decided to come over and play at our house instead. Ania and Wojtek arrived right before lunch and the boys disappeared in Joshua's room almost immediately. I had to leave for work soon after but I understand they had a lot of fun playing and made an afternoon of it. When I walked in this evening the boys already had their hockey gear packed and lined up by the door. I get the feeling they are excited about going to skate tomorrow :) Should be a fun morning and I am looking forward to getting on the ice with the boys. Joshua is looking forward to his second scrimmage and a chance to show off his skills that he has been practicing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ice time and such… Day 985 28JUL11

We got up this morning and had some breakfast before packing up to head to the rink for some ice time. Renee decided to tag along and watch us skate so we all piled in to the car and headed off for morning skate. It was pretty quiet at the rink and we all got a really intense and good skate in. I was beat and so were the boys by the time we walked off the ice. After a nice salad for lunch the boys headed over to Renee's parent's house to play with Taylor and Avery for a while. I got some yard work done and then headed off to run some errands around town before dinner. I picked up the boys and we came home for some salmon on the grill. The rest of the evening was rather laid back as we are all still tuckered out from all the exertion today. It is a good day when I get to be on the ice with the boys and we all get to have a bit of fun together.

Rain = Relax… Day 984 27JUL11

Joshua and Jarrod spent today resting up and hanging around inside due to the torrential rains that were falling most of the day. It is nice for them to get to take a break now and then especially after yesterday with all of the ice skating and playing that went on.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Extra skate… Day 983 26JUL11

Joshua and Jarrod got an extra skate in today, Renee even got on the ice. Ania called to see if the boys wanted to go skating with Wojtek and of course they said yes. Right after lunch they got their gear together and Renee drove them up to the rink. The boys got dressed and headed out on the ice and proceeded to impress Renee with their skating skills. She had a great time and really enjoyed skating with the boys. I wish I could have been out there with them but work calls. The rest of the evening was pretty normal up until the point the phone rang and it was Coach Raymond calling from Quebec to see how we were all doing. He talked to Renee for a bit and then hopped on the phone with Joshua to catch up. It was great to hear from him and we look forward to when he will be back in Tampa and we can visit a bit. I am sure he can give all of us some great pointers to improve our hockey game.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Laser tag… Day 982 25JUL11

Joshua spent the morning hanging out around the house waiting for Trent to come pick him up to go play Laser tag. He left after lunch and we didn't see him again until after 9 tonight. He said he had a lot of fun playing laser tag and then hanging out at Trent's house playing. He looked pretty tired when he got home so I imagine he played pretty hard all day. He has had a lot of fun these past two days which is exactly what he needs to do. The rest of the week should be rather normal and we will settle back into our regular schedule.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

VBS… Day 981 24JUL11

Joshua did his normal routine for the first half of day while he waited for the afternoon to arrive so he could leave to hang out with Trent at VBS. Jarrod and I ate lunch and then headed off to get some ice time in this afternoon. We had a good skate and it was a lot of fun to hang out together. Joshua meanwhile had left to go to spend the day with Trent which he was really looking forward to. When Jarrod and I got home Desiree's mom Dorothy was here visiting since she drove in to drop Desi off to play with Emma. We had a nice chat while Jarrod and I rested up a bit before heading out again to go to Sam's and the grocery store. I got a call from Renee on the way back saying that Joshua had decided to spend the night and that it would just be the three of us for dinner. We fired up the grill when we got back ad had a nice salad and some hamburgers. It was nice to spend a day with Jarrod doing stuff and we finished up our day watching a cool documentary before turing in. We got a text from Coco just a few minutes ago saying that Joshua was doing great and she was pretty sure the boys were already asleep, we were a little bit worried that Joshua would get anxious and want to come home but it looks like he is doing fine. Tomorrow is Trent's birthday party and I heard that they were going to go play laser tag. Sounds like fun :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Joshua moves up… Day 980 23JUL11

The boys and I got up early because we had hockey class this morning. We got our gear together and headed out after breakfast. When we got out on the ice I told Joshua to go find his coach so I could talk to her about when Joshua might be ready to move up to the hockey class Jarrod and I are in. A few minutes later he comes skating up with his coach and she says they talked about it and he is going to move right then and there. I was proud of him for taking the initiative and asking for want he really wanted. So he joined our class and got to play in his first ever hockey scrimmage. He was very excited and had a great time. We all had a great skate and headed home after we got cleaned up. For the hot part of the afternoon we did chores inside and a few out in the garage. Renee's mom had invited us over for dinner so we got ready and headed over to her parent's house. As always dinner was yummy and we all tucked in for a great meal and then had a chance to visit afterwards. We left to come back home after a nice relaxing evening and settled in for the rest of the night. Joshua has several things planned for the next few days and it sounds like he is going to have a fun time. Check back for the details :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hula Bay… Day 979 22JUL11

We all had a rather normal day with me at work and the boys and Renee at home. This evening however we all got to have a bit of fun because it was parent's night out at the Children's Cancer Center. They do this once or twice a year and it works like this: we get to drop the kids off for several hours so that they can have fun with their friends and we parents get to take off and enjoy a night out knowing that the kids will be watched after and taken care of.

Good plan for both sides of the equation.

So we dropped off the kids and all the parents headed down to a neat restaurant called Hula Bay which is on the water in South Tampa. Renee had arranged with the owner for us to have a large table where we could sit and hang out for a bit. The place was really neat and the food was not only fantastic but it was enough to stuff us all to the gills. After we ate it was time to just unwind a bit and visit with our cancer family. It didn't take long before the girls had all migrated to one end of the table and the guys had moseyed up to the other end. We stayed that way for the next several hours just relaxing and sharing back and forth. It seemed all too soon that it was time to head back to the CCC and pick the kids up.

We all had a great time thanks to the owner and staff at Hula Bay and the great volunteers at the CCC. It was a wonderful night out and a great chance to be normal for a few hours :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuckered out… Day 978 21JUL11

The boy's and I got up early this morning so we could go skate. Normally the ice is available in the afternoon but today it was only open in the morning so we ate breakfast and got our gear together. We had a good time on the ice and we were all soaked and pretty tired when we got done. Joshua was so tired he crashed in the back seat of the car for a bit on the way home, matter of fact he was pretty tuckered out for the rest of the day. He is feeling fine and to tell the truth I am pretty wiped out as well. So we all took it easy during the rainy afternoon and didn't do a whole lot before dinner. I put some chicken on the grill and Renee took care of the salad and a nice cup of fruit to go with it. Afterwards we all sat together and watched a bit of tele before shuttling the kids off to bed. All of us have busy days tomorrow so a good nights sleep will be good for all of us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just played… Day 977 20JUL11

I asked Joshua what he did today and he replied, "just played." Ahh, the simple, and highly enviable, life of a child :) Other than that not much happened around our house while I was gone at work. Taylor stayed until late in the afternoon before Renee took him home. They stopped at the grocery store on the way back and then headed home for the evening. A perfect way to spend a summer day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day with friends… Day 976 19JUL11

Joshua has had a full day with his friends. He started his play time off over at Wojtek's house. The boys ran around and played with LEGO's (Wojtek is crazy about LEGO) and just generally had fun. Afterwards Renee and the boy's stopped over at Scott and Alecia's and Joshua asked if Taylor could come over and spend the night, so the fun started all over again. They played Creationary with Jarrod and Renee, played on their DS's and watched a Scooby Doo movie to help them fall asleep. A fun filled day for Joshua and his friends.

Jarrod said he did a little school work and basically tried to hide from all the little kids running around him today :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Clinic and helping out… Day 975 18JUL11

Joshua got up and had some breakfast before heading off to clinic. His ANC came back at 1850 which is a good place to be after getting off of the steroids last week. As soon as his results came back the boys and Renee headed over to my dad's house so the boys could help him get a few projects taken care of. They took a trip up to IKEA to pick up a shelf that my dad had picked out and then grabbed some lunch on the way back. After lunch Jarrod got busy getting the shelf built and installed while Joshua pulled ferns outside and worked on cleaning up an old doll house inside. Both boys worked hard and came home pretty tuckered out. We had some dinner after I got in from work and then headed outside to practice a few hockey skills before it got dark and all the friendly bugs came out. The rest of our evening was pretty quiet. Joshua has a play date over at Wojtek's tomorrow which I know he is looking forward to.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Surf's up… Day 974 17JUL11

We got up and had belgian waffles for breakfast thanks to Renee before heading down to the beach with our eyes on getting a little surfing in. The weather was perfect with overcast skies and a nice breeze punching the waves up. The boys and I got several good rides in before we called it quits and played on the beach for a bit. Lunchtime had us heading back to the condo to eat and then take a relaxing swim in the pool, we even managed to get a little hockey practice in this afternoon on the sidewalk. Jarrod asked if we could go play putt putt so we headed off to get a game in followed by a stop for ice cream and a visit to a really cool dinosaur store that was loaded with fantastic fossils and rocks. Afterwards it was back for another quick swim and then it was time to get packed up to come home. The drive back was nice and we made good time getting home just before dark. We got everything unloaded and everybody crashed. Jarod said he had a great birthday trip and we enjoyed it as well. Tomorrow is back to work for me and a trip to the clinic for Joshua to get his counts checked.

Birthday dinner. Cool hat courtesy of the Old Fish House

The boys monkeying around on the golf course :)

Joshua ridin' one in. I'm the handsome guy in the surf line ;)

Jarrod was attacked by a sand pit monster on the beach. Luckily we saved his arm.

Jarrod's latest LEGO build, a complete airport that is only a few inches tall. Pretty cool!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beach time ... Day 973 16JUL11

We got up this morning and headed off to the rink for hockey class. Jarrod and I got to play a short game at the end of our session and Jarrod scored his first goal on the ice. Joshua did well in his class and is progressing quickly. As soon as we were finished we got out of our gear and headed home to get cleaned up so we could leave for the beach. We made a quick stop at Cameron's birthday party before heading for the east coast and Cocoa Beach. We arrived in plenty of time for the boys to play in the pool a bit before we headed off for Jarrod's birthday dinner. He choose to eat at a great restaraunt that we all love and got his favorite crab legs. We all ate way too much because it was so yummy. After dinner we made our traditional pilgrimage to Ron Jons before heading back to the condo to take a long walk on the beach. What a great day and a fun way to celebrate Jarrod's special day. In the morning we are going to head down to the beach and try and get some surfing in.

Friday, July 15, 2011

More packing… Day 972 15JUL11

Renee and the boys got up early and left to go help Jamie and Christian get all of their belongings loaded into the truck. Jarrod worked really hard and was a big help moving all the boxes and heavy furniture, Joshua kept Miss Allie entertained the whole time so the adults could get some work done. They got finished right before lunch time and headed for home, I passed them on my way to work. In the morning Jamie and Christian will hop in their vehicles and head away to Georgia taking our little Allie with them. We hope that they decide to come back and visit often because we will miss them a lot.

In the morning we have skating lessons and then we are heading off for a quick weekend away to celebrate Jarod's 14th Birthday which is on Sunday. It should be a great time and we all need a quick break. Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Skating and packing… Day 971 14JUL11

Renee had to get up super early this morning to get her parent's dropped at the airport for a trip, she had already gone and come back before we even woke up. Joshua was feeling much better today so he decided he wanted to go skate with us this afternoon. We ate lunch and then headed up to the rink for a little ice time. We all had a great skate and really worked hard, amazing how much you can sweat in a giant freezer sliding around on a sheet of ice :) As soon as we got done and changed at the rink we hopped in the car to head over to Jamie and Christian's house to help them pack. They are going to move to Georgia on Saturday and we wanted to help out as much as we could. We stayed for several hours and managed to put a big dent in the packing. Renee and the boys are going back in the morning to help them load it all into the truck they are renting, I would go as well but I have to teach. It was sad to say goodbye to the kids and Miss Allie tonight, I won't see them again before they leave. Hopefully they will be able to get down to visit frequently once they get settled in. Needless to say none of us are going to have a hard time falling asleep tonight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Afternoon with a friend… Day 970 13JUL11

Joshua's friend Wojtek and his mom came over to spend the afternoon. The boys played with LEGO's and played LEGO Universe on the computer while Renee and Ania played around in the kitchen creating some yummy food. They got some pizza for dinner and kept playing until it was time for Wojtek to head for home. I was happy that when I got home there was some great beet soup in the fridge :) It was a fun day for all of them and Joshua enjoyed spending time with his buddy, the perfect kind of summer day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Restful day… Day 969 12JUL11

Joshua didn't do a whole lot today. He was feeling better but still taking it kind of easy. He ran some errands with Renee and spent the rest of his day playing on the computer and lounging around the house. Nice for him to take a day off to rest every once in a while.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Achy day… Day 968 11JUL11

The vincristine Joshua got this past Monday finally caught up with him this morning. He woke up achy and feeling kind of down, he gets pains in his hips and back and is pretty stubborn about not taking any Tylenol to ease the pain a bit. He takes so many meds I guess he just doesn't want to take another pill. So he spent the day resting and laying on the heating pad to try and ease the pain a bit. When I got home he had decided that we all needed to eat the same thing for dinner, which is a distinct rarity since he got diagnosed, and Joshua had chosen salmon and rice to eat. I changed out of my work stuff and jumped into the kitchen to prepare what he asked for. So we had a nice dinner with all of us sitting at the table together eating the same meal. He ate all of the salmon on his plate and most of the rice along with a salad I made for him, a nice lot of protein and veggies :) An ordinary day turned special! I love it when that happens!

He seemed to be feeling a little better later in the evening and was relaxing with Renee while watching a little tele. With luck he will feel much improved tomorrow and the aches will subside until next time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Birthday Party!… Day 967 10JUL11

We had a party today to celebrate Jarrod's upcoming 14th Birthday. His actual day is next weekend but almost everyone was going to be unavailable so we did it this weekend instead. Renee worked really hard the last two days to get all the food figured out and getting everything prepared. We had a house full of family: Jamie, Christian, and Miss Allie; Gramps; Grandma and Pa; Scott, Alecia, Taylor, and Miss Avery; Jim and Sally. The food was great and we really enjoyed having everyone over for the evening. Jarrod had asked for two things for his birthday, money for hockey gear and a new LEGO freight train the he has been eyeing for several months. Lucky for him he got both :) After we had cake and ice cream the adults settled in to talk and Jarrod got started on his LEGO build. He finished rather late tonight and took a few pictures to share with all of you.

The party was a great success! Thanks Renee! Jarrod had a wonderful time and I know he really loved all of his presents. Really hard to believe our "baby" is going to be 14 in a few days.

Allie being cute :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sunny day with Carly… Day 966 09JUL11

Josh and Carly decided that they wanted to hang out together today. So after breakfast Renee and Joshua took off on their bikes to head over to play. He wound up spending the whole day having a great time with Carly. They had chocolate dumplings stuffed with peanut butter, went swimming, built a fort , rode bikes, and just hung out. He came home right after dinner although he was still hungry and has been eating pretty much all the time these last few days. The monster gets hungry :) It was a nice day for him to get out of the house and have some quality time with a good friend. We spent the morning cleaning up the house a little bit in preparation for Jarrod's Birthday party tomorrow. Renee did a bunch of shopping and filled the house with the yummy smell of cupcakes baking in the oven. The party for our "little" man looks like it will be a fun one.

I had to share these pictures of Miss Allie that Jamie sent me today :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rainy IVIG… Day 965 08JUL11

The rain continued today which made it a fitting day for Joshua to be stuck on the couch hooked up to an IV pump. He did pretty well getting accessed and other than being tired for a bit he weathered another IVIG transfusion without any other problems. For the afternoon the boys played on the computer and hung out around the house. So another transfusion out of the way and his last dose of steroids will be tomorrow which means we can get the monster back in the cage by the first of the week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whole bunch of rain… Day 964 07JUL11

We got a ton of rain this afternoon. We were all up at the skating rink, the boys and I went skating, and then we were watching the first day of the Lightning development camp with the new players they just picked up when the bottom dropped out of the sky. It pretty much poured for the next several hours. We finally got a quick break in the rain and made a dash for the car so we could get home to get cleaned up and head for the CCC for family night. We made it after fording several small lakes that were covering some of the roads we have to travel down. They had a wonderful BBQ dinner from a restaurant I grew up eating at and I loved it. Not often I get to eat good BBQ and hush puppies :) Afterwards we had a great visit with all of our family and met several new families that came for the first time tonight. Everyone is doing pretty good right now which is a great thing to hear. Joshua has his IVIG transfusion in the morning so it will be an early start and a rather boring day for him tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back at home… Day 963 06JUL11

Joshua and Jarrod had a great day playing and having fun over at Jamie and Christian's house. They even went fishing for a bit this afternoon. Renee and I were just settling in for the evening when Joshua called to say he wanted to come home tonight. The steroids were apparently fueling his anxiety about being away from home so Renee left to go pick up the boys. Joshua was of course hungry on the way home so she swung through McDonalds to get him a Happy meal for the ride. They got home safe and sound and the boys got ready for bed. Gotta love those steroids! This too shall pass…Ha!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mini-vacation… Day 962 05JUL11

Joshua got up this morning and headed in to the clinic to get all his stuff taken care of. He got his pentam breathing treatment, labs, and vincristine. Everything went okay but took a long time to get finished. As soon as they were done Renee took the kids across the bay to Jamie and Christian's house to spend a few days with them which means they get a mini-vacation… matter of fact we get one too :) The boys were all excited about heading over and I am sure that they will have lots of fun but probably won't get a lot of sleep. Joshua also started steroids today so hopefully the monster will not come out if he gets too tired.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!… Day 961 04JUL11

We all slept in a bit this morning to get a relaxing start to our holiday. Our calendar was wide open until later in the afternoon when we be at Taylor's Birthday celebration. I put the finishing touches on the gift we made for Taylor while the kids played. Jamie and Christian along with the ever cute Miss Allie arrived after lunch to visit for a while before the party. The party was great and the kids had a lot of fun playing inside and out. Allie loved going down to the water and we were treated to a very special sighting of two dolphins who swam very close to the dock, Allie would make this cute little ahhh sound every time they surfaced for a breath. By the time the sun was fading we were all pretty tired so we packed up and headed home to finish out our evening. Joshua has clinic in the morning which will include getting accessed for vincristine and his pentam treatment.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A dry day… Day 960 03JUL11

Joshua was much improved this morning and was back to his old full of energy self. The kids and Renee left for a bit to go visit a family friend who has been having some health issues lately so I took the morning off for the most part and just puttered around the house a bit. After lunch Joshua headed over to play with Taylor and Avery for a while and before long all the kids migrated to our house to hang out. They had a good time as usual and we got to enjoy having all the kids around. After dinner the boys and I headed out to practice a little hockey since for the first time in quite a bit we didn't get any rain… yet… The sky's were pretty black and the wind was picking up when Jarrod and I ran up to the grocery store right before dark. That's okay though, we will take what we can get to make up for all the dry months we have had.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day to relax… Day 959 02JUL11

Joshua was feeling a little slow today so he decided to relax and take it easy. Sometimes we think the chemo just catches up with him and he gets really tired and achy. His back was bothering him a bit this morning but it got better as the day progressed. He was tired enough that he decided to not go up to the rink with Jarrod and I for some ice time. Later in the afternoon he headed over to Renee's parent's to hang out with Taylor and Avery for a little bit. They had a fun time playing and he told me he took it easy and didn't over do it. He was back home after dinner and curled up to watch a movie. We have lots of thunder and lightning tonight so it looks like we will get a big storm later in the night. I am sure the frogs are looking forward to it ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Playing with cousins… Day 958 01JUL11

Joshua got a call from Taylor this morning asking if he could come over to pa's house to play. He packed up a few toys and Renee took him over a short time later. He tells me he had a great time playing and stayed until dinner time. When I got home the boys were quietly playing and we all had a relaxing evening at home.