Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Fun Day

Despite all the bad news we have been getting about Joseph's tumor, he himself seems to be doing better every day. He is starting to wrestle with Daddy again, yell with joy over his trains crashing into each other, even walking and running on his own. He still doesn't want to play on a playground but I'm hoping we can change his mind on that one.
Today he had a full morning of appointments, the last of which was his radiation. Allen took him and I stayed home for the first time. He did fine at his appointments then they met Aunt Jen and Winnie Kate for lunch at Moe's. He came home and played trains, then he and Daddy wrestled and played hide and seek with me (they hid under the covers and I pretended to be shocked and awed each time they re-appeared). Next, we had an outing to Kroger where he picked out some new cars, then we went to see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything."
Did you notice there was no nap in this day? Well, after the movie we were walking outside and he noticed it was dark outside. This is when I realized how tired he was...he starting bawling crying that it was night time and didn't want to leave the theater. I think he was sad the day was over. It was one of the best days he has had in a while. As he has tapered off his steroids his mood and temperament have become sweeter and calmer. He has one more dose of steroids to take and then he will be off them completely (after almost two months of being on them). His appetite is more normal and he is sleeping much much better. Praise God for that!
We are being well taken care of here in Memphis, too. Today a sweet lady who I've never met dropped off boxes and boxes of food and household supplies from Sam's. We were overwhelmed with such generosity. We are also receiving four meals a week from Aunt Jennifer's friends. It is amazing to me the love and support we are receiving from perfect strangers. It is a true testimony to the power of God's love. It compels us to do outlandish things. Thank you all the Memphis people who are welcoming us and feeding us making us feel so loved.


Em said...

praying in Texas!
LOVE the update!! will pray for many more days like today! :]

Jennifer said...

Hey - some of the people providing meals for you - I don't even know! You guys are super stars here and everyone wants to lavish you with love! I am SOOOOOO happy to hear that the rest of the day went well. I was so happy and refreshed after leaving the house with Joseph's laughter echoing in my ears. When he hugged Winnie Kate and she was real still and let him, I thought I was going to cry it was so precious. His eyes were back to their sparkly selves, I noticed today....

Kidtown said...

So glad to hear you had a great day today, and am loving getting the reports--happy and sad ones. We're still praying...

Anonymous said...

I check every day; thank you so much for the updates. What a great day!! You have lifted my spirits for the day. Hopefully, now that the steroids are complete there will be many more to come.

-Chris in Knoxville

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of a friend and was told about Joseph and your family in November. God has really laid your family on my heart these weeks. I've been checking on Joe through your blog and praying for all of you. I have to admit that I've had some conversations with God about why these things happen to children (I myself have four) and to sweet, God-loving families like yours. I feel like He's told me over and over again that this is how His people are shown victorious (through trials such as these). I feel that He's using your situation to demonstrate the amazing power, strength and courage that's only possible through faith in Him and His ultimate plan for our lives. You guys are demonstrating that to all of us! I'd like to share something I was reading this morning, if I may, that I thought might resonate with you as it did me. This is from the daily devotional book "Indeed":

A Safe Refuge

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. Psalm 16:1

If we are to receive the wisdom of God, we have to know who He is. Though that begins with reading about Him in the Word, it doesn't end there. God is to be experienced. And, much to our anxiety, He's to be experienced in the crucible of life, where fires burn and hearts melt. It's in the trials that we learn the most about God. It's in having to trust Him that we become wise.
David often referred to God as his refuge. He would know. The would-be king had spent long seasons hiding in the caves and fleeing the irrational wrath of Saul. But the caves were not his refuge. David knew that there was a surer, safer source of protection. When all of life seemed to be against him, David could hide in the safety of God.
Dictionaries define 'refuge' as a place of safe retreat. No refuge conquers the threats and the dangers we face -- it protects us from them. It will not promise us an absence of conflict or pain. But it will provide a haven of rest when the conflict or pain is intense. And we can take deep comfort in the refuge we are promised. It is not a cave or a bunker or a bank account or a good plan. It is God.
Do you know Him as your refuge? You can never know this side of God until a crisis strikes. But when it does, He is there to be found. He may seem absent at first; but He does not ignore your pleas. Though you pray for deliverance -- and deliverance will come, in one way or another -- He first wants you to know Him as the place of safety and rest. The Father's desire for His children is that we know, in the most treacherous trials of life, that His presence will welcome us home. When we just want to hide, we can hide in Him.
Storms rage, but the good Father never leaves His children out in the elements. He takes them in. They will have to wait out the storm, but they can wait it out within the solid walls of His presence, where a warm fire glows and His hand comforts. The wise will always go there first.

Thank you for letting me share this with you. I thought of you when I read it.

Here's to another great day today!

Heather in Richmond

Jean Joiner said...

wish you guys were closer so we could love on you more by providing meals, etc, but i'm so thankful God has provided folks there to care for you in the mean time. glad joseph had such a great day yesterday!

love you,

Chas and Catherine said...

What a wonderful update! I had so much fun reading about ya'lls activities as a family. I was praying for you guys on my way in to work this morning.

Anonymous said...

It''s like a breath of fresh air when you leave a comment like that. We're all rejoicing with you in those good days. Praise the Lord he is taking steps forward and enjoying the simple things in life. You know, none of us have a clue how long we have with our kids...I pray we can all savor EACH day as you are. You have had a reason to stop and refocus...often times life happens and we never stop and appreciate all that God has truly just blessed us with. We love you guys and I am DAILY amazed at how many people stop and ask me how you're doing. I agree with Jennifer...you really are superstars! :)

Margaret said...

Gillian and Allen,
It is amazing how much pleasure can be had from one sweet day. I'm so glad for you to have a fun time with Joseph and to have his great personality shining through. We miss you sooo much in Atlanta and Matthew is asking for GeeGee just about every day! Your Atlanta playgroup and Redfield prayer chain is still going strong!! All my friends and family are still checking the blog, asking about you and praying for you!
Love, Margaret, Chris, Matthew & Sarah

Anonymous said...

Goodmorning! I loved reading the newest update. What a great day you had!! How thankful I am to God for hearing our prayers that you will have joy and great moments as a family.
One of my student's said, "I am glad that the Lord has helped you and that you will get better and better every day."
Another said, "I am thankful that all your treatments have gone well and I am thankful that God is with you."
Another, " I am thankful that God is keeping you safe and healthy."
Another, "I am happy that you are ok, and that you will stay healthy. I hope everyone is happy."
And one more, "Hey Joseph, hope you are feeling well, I've been praying for you. Have a nice day!"
We are going to devotions now and we will be praying for all of you.
Here's to another great day!
Love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

We are thankful to hear about, "A Fun Day". I know you were all refreshed.

Praying always,


Nana said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!Iamtring to teach Holly to sing that ..well see!!Yam so thrilled Lightening mc queen is doing soo well...we all love you very very much.."This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it"love and kisses Guido and Mac..aka Nana and Holly..gotta go play with ballet doll!!

melissapedsrn said...

I am a Pediatric nurse on a multi diagnosis floor that is about 1/3 oncology kids. I have been following Joseph's story with many prayers and sending all the good karma I have your way! I have also been on "your side of the door" as my oldest daughter battled leukemia (AML) six years ago at which point she was lucky enough to receive the gift of life from her younger sister, with a stem cell transplant. She is now a neonatal ICU nurse. The challenges we faced with a child being diagnosed with a catastrophic illness certainly seem insurmountable...until we opened ourselves to the help, encouragement, prayers, and support from all those around us. Aren't people amazing? Truly amazing. They are really the face of God. Gives you hope for the world in general, doesn't it? Here's wishing the best for Joseph! I'll keep sending all my good thoughts and prayers! Melissa, RN.

Mary Vagnoni said...

What a good morning to read such a great report and that you are having such a good time with Joseph. You are all still in our thougts and prayers constantly. What great parents you are and what an inspiration to all
love Mary

Christy said...

What a joy to hear of Joseph (and thus Mommy & Daddy) having a (relatively) good and normalish day!

Baby Andrew wants to send a message to Joe:


I think that means, "Can't wait to go to the playground with you again ... there's one 'round these parts with swings and a dirty sandbox that will certainly change your feelings on the subject."

Jeanne said...

Yea for a great day! Praying for many more of the same! "What wondrous love is this!" SO glad, but not surprised, that you are being so well taken care of in Memphis! Thanks to Memphis from all the Atlanta friends who wish they could be there to help!

Lynn T said...

Gill, Allen
So glad to hear of such a great day. I love the hide and seek story... I can just picture Joseph laughing at you rediscovering him and Daddy under the covers!
I love watching you both with Joseph, Holly and each other. As Aunty Mary said, you are wonderful parents and truly an inspiration.

I love you and am praying for lots more fun days.

Love and hugs to Joe P.



Christy said...

I found your blog posted on another blog, and have been following it since December. I've also held sweet Joseph and your family high up in my prayers. >:0) I'm so glad that he had such a great day. I don't blame the little guy for not wanting a day like that to be coming to an end. (My son is very excited about The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything...can't wait to see it myself!) Praying for many more good days, like that, for him and for you all.

Praise God for the people that He sends to us to show us that He loves us! How amazing that a perfect stranger brought you guys a nice abundance of needs. Our God is an awesome God! Praying that you guys continue to receive such blessings. >:0)

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to hear about your day yesterday! Glad you were able to get out and even catch a movie - Brennan and I just saw it last night, too. Praying for you each and everyday. Feel all of our love and hugs coming your way from ATL!

Liz, Scott, and boys

William Loeffel said...

Hey guys. We love you and are praying for you all. Good to hear about the fun day. May there be many more.

William, Jaime, and Liam

The Morginskys said...

Gillian, So glad you had a day of smiles. Here are some memories to make you smile more: Do you remember how funny our tour guide in Scotland was? I think his name was Hammish:) And how, in the pouring rain, we ran down that huge hill on the Isle of Skye and how hard we laughed????

Gretchen Davis said...

The Davis family in DC continues to pray for sweet Joseph's recovery - so glad he had a great day. Now WE want to go see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything".....

Craig and Gwen said...

I agree the Dirtest Sandbox in the universe should change his mind (bear still has the scars)

So I was right - you have find better
looking nicer friends in Memphis to replace us!! Don't think we will give you up without a fight!

We took KJ to see "Pirates" on Saturday - Rock Monster - yeah yeah...

Happy for some good days - praying a ton and miss you!!


Erin said...

praising Him for days like yesterday and praying for many many more!

carolyn & dave said...

WOW! What a great update! Praying for many many more fun days for Joseph.

Love you,
carolyn & dave

Wrights said...

Glad for a fun day and will be praying for many more like it!
Nathaniel, Rebekah, Anna Walton and Olivia

Brea said...

Praising God for each joyful moment He provides, and for all the people in Memphis who love Him and show it by caring for you!

Nana and Holly said...

SHERIFF Sally and lightening macqueen .We hope you have had a good morning.Mac and Guido had company today my bible study came over and Anna came to play with HOlly Holly had a wonderful time with Anna.They played trains and dolls and hiding Holly still plays hiding her face behind her hands"where is Holly gone" then she says Nana~s turn!! We can play that for for a long time!!until Nana gets bored. love from Nana and Holly

Lisa Allen said...

What a blessing that Joseph had such a fun day! I'm sure that day brought you great joy in the midst of it all. How nice of the people in Memphis to provide meals for you guys. Thanks, Memphis! God's love is amazing. Joseph is greatly missed in his sunday school class!! Can't wait to see him back at Intown. We're still praying for a miracle.

Love, Bill, Lisa, and Tripp Allen

Anonymous said...

Praying for many more good updates and many more good days for Joseph!

I check and read your blog daily.

Vann and Norma said...

Gillian and Allen you will never know how much your words mean to us. We are THANKFUL for so many folks reaching out to you. Prayers continue all day long.

Chloe said...

hey guys, i'm warmed to hear that you had such a great day with joe! hopefully things continue in this way. love chloe. xx

Allison & Jeff said...

We are so happy that Joseph is slowly returning to his happier self and that all of you were blessed with such a wonderful day in the midst of so many difficult ones. Our God is an AWESOME God and through Him all things are possible!!

Our family continues to hold you close in our hearts and we pray for you every day - in good news and in bad. Your strength is amazing to us!

suzanne morris said...

It is snowing in Atlanta! I wish Joseph and Holly were here to see it, touch it , taste it, play in it and squeal with delight at it. Hopefully it is snowing in Memphis too.
Thanks so much for the updates. Thinking of Joseph smiling makes me smile. So often I see young families going about their business and I think of you and how I wish that's what you were doing instead of spending time in hospitals, worried about your son's future. I am so glad that in the midst of all this you are still making happy memories.
You are walking through a trial none of us would ever choose and you are doing it with amazing courage and grace. I admire you and I praise God for upholding you.
Love, Suzanne
P.S. Any test drives yet?

Anonymous said...

praying that today was as great as yesterday! You are in our prayers and thoughts each day and night. Anyway we could help we're not far away. Martha and Karl

Anonymous said...

got chills as i read this. praise God praise God praise God!!!!!! i am continuing to pray and update people around me. you are surrounded and covered in every way and will continue to be. the amount will not go away but rather increase with each day. loving you guys

Anonymous said...

We are so glad you have had a fun day...and that sweet Joseph had some fun. You amaze us with the way you all make the most of this heartache. We ache with you that you have to endure even a single day of it and pray that it will go away altogether.

We beg for the Healer's intercession in your life.

keely, josh & salem

courtney said...

So glad to hear of Joe's good day. Moe's and the Veggie Tales?? Sounds pretty awesome..... You all are utterly fantastic- truly inspiring for us as parents. Praying that God gives you all rest and an even better day tomorrow-


Anonymous said...

It's snowing in Franklin! Holly came over to play so Nana could go to her D-group. We had so much fun playing dollies, kissing on the dogs (don't get too jealous Millie and Laney), and going outside to see the snow falling. We opened our mouths and let the big snowflakes fall in. For dinner she had her favorite black beans, peas, butter beans, cheese, and chicken nuggets. Finished up with a tangerine. She can put the food down! We sang "This Little Light of Mine", and she held her finger up and blew out the light when we got to that verse and sang out loud 'No" when we got to the hiding the light part. So much fun.
Glad to hear that Joe P. had another good day. Tell Joseph that Mimi loves him SOOOOO much. Love to you all, Mimi
P.S. I saw that Holly's toenails were painted. I said did mommy do it? "No"
Nana? "No"
Lynn? "No"
Sarah Jane? "Yea"
Way to go Sarah Jane!!

nana said...

Sheriff Sally and Lightening Macqueen!!Guido has to confess Ithink I`ma blogaholic!!if there is such a word.It snowed a tad in Nashville tonight .In fact two cars went off the road on Holly Tree Gap.Thankfully Holly and I got home safely.Holly made David sit on the green chair in "your bedroom"to read goodnight stories the only book she wants to read is Good Dog Carl" the same story same place everynight!!So glad Joseph had another great day.We all love you tons and tons.Guido Mac David and Grandad.Sleep sound in Jesus.Bonnie read this to our bible study today:
Col. 1:9

The Weaver

My life is but a weving
Between my lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors steadily.

Oft' times He Weaves in sorrow
And I, in foolish pride
forget He sees the upper
and I, the underside.

The dark threads are as needed
in the weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned

Not till the loom is silent
And shuttles cease to fly.
Will God unrollthe canvas
and explain the reason why.

Tracey said...

Wow - just overjoyed to hear about such a positive day. What fun. And, what a great reminder of how special a family day can be.

Oh, and Chad is now trying to motivate Landon to go potty with more CARS! You guys are our inspiration:) Sending our love to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I just praise the Lord for all his provisions for you each day. He is enough, isn't he? His grace is truly sufficient. Praying daily for mighty miracles from a Mighty God!!!!!

Jai said...

Praise God for glimpses of grace and GOOD DAYS!

Ann said...

Hi Gillian & Allen, loved reading the blog about your fun day. I hope with all my heart that you'll have a lot more fun days. You really deserve them. Your strength baffles me. Hide and seek is such a simple game but so exciting I can just imagine Josephs's delight. Love you all
Ann Ben & the boys

Audrey said...


susan and brian said...

So glad that Joseph is feeling better, thinking of you all the time and wish for all the days to be good days.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for good days and the blessings brought by perfect strangers.


Anonymous said...

Blessings to you all. I pray that today will be another great day and that you all can make more precious memories. I pray that joy and laughter will fill your hearts. Missing you and constantly lifting you up in prayer.
Love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for Joseph's miraculous cure--all things are possible with God-- and sending love to you all.

Jody (Atlanta) said...

I am both smiling and tearing up at my desk reading about your fabulous day with your boy. I hope that sparkle in his eyes and good times last. I am glad Memphis taking such good care of you all since we miss you terrbily here. You are loved around the world and my friends/family always checking blog and asking about you. Thanks for brightening my day with your update. I love staying informed...the ups and the downs.

We love you and continuing praying. Jody, Rob, Abigail, Molly!

DukeSoprano said...

As a member of Duke Chapel Choir, I just received an email about Joseph's condition, and I am very thankful that I did because I truly believe in the power of prayer. Your family will certainly be in my prayers during this difficult time, and I will continue to check up on Joseph's progress through the website. God Bless! =)

A little background.... said...

Allen and Gillian-
Great to hear that today was good. Our family has been praying for you guys every night in family devotions. And Ksusha has "pray for Joseph" written in such huge, bold letters across our mirror that I can barely see to put my contacts in :-) Anyway, we love you guys and miss you guys! I'm moving to Russia in a few weeks so probably will not get to see you before I go but know that I'll continue praying and staying updated! Love, Cristi

Sam said...

Gill and Allen,
it was great to see you and Big bad Joe the other day! Praise God for sleep and pooping in the toilet! I loved seeing how proud Joe P was of his recent achievements in the bathroom, and reading of his parents' pride as well. I continue to pray for strength and faith during all of this... I am so grateful for the way God is using you in the lives of many! Everyone has been writing about what great parents you are, and they are correct! I miss you and love you all very much.


Nana and Holly said...

Sally Sheriff and Lightening Macqueen.Glad you are having a good day !!Mac and Guido cleaned house and painted in a thomas coloring book!!After all that hard work we went to avis KIdd books and played with the trains and made lots of new friends.Holly made friends with twins named Kyra and Ellie they were 14 months old and then we met Natalie aged 3 and Holly played a long time with her as she had the big puppet Elmo.Natalie showed Hollie how to make Elmo talk.Then we met Fletcher and Edward their Mama is going to have a new baby boy tomorrow Holly liked Edward a lot and hugged and kissed him.Then HOlly and Nana did lunch and Holly chose mac and cheese which came with fruit and carrots and a dip which is one of Hollys requirements when she is eating out..the waitress came to take our plates and Holly said HEY !!she was letting her know she was not quite finished!!Holly helped pick out Joseph a present and we came home for a long winter nap!!..love and kisses Guido and mac

Cristal said...

Gillian & Allen,
This is from Cristal O., a penguin in Antarctica with warm thoughts for you.
I pray you and family receive continued encouragement and support from others, hopeful things will get better.
There are fond memories of Joseph's baby shower, not so long ago. I know now you make awesome parents! Stay strong.

Marianne said...

We are praying in Durham, North Carolina! I will share your story with my family in Florida and they will be praying too. May God Bless you and keep sweet Joseph feeling better and better everyday.

Sarah Norsworthy said...

still praying for all of you... checking the blog regularly to see how things are going. glad you all had such a fun day! hoping you have many more :) so awesome to see the body of Christ coming together to love and support you guys...


Guido aka Nana said...

Goodmight Sheriff and Sally and LIGHTENING MACQUEEN!Guido and Mac and David and Grandad watched UT beat Vandy in basketball tonight go VOLS. Holly painted some more including her face and hands she painted more Thomas the Tank Engine pictures and then commented sooo pretty.After a nice bubble bath and a story read by uncle Dave Holly was happy to climb into her crib with her baby dolly teddy bear and ballet doll.Holly loved her long chat with Sheriff.Good night all and sleep sound in jesus. lots of love and hugs we miss you guys Nana holly Grandad and David

cindy terrell said...

Still praying. Just want you to know that!
the Terrells

Chloe said...

gill i never sent you the email! sending now - to your gmail account. xx chloe

Margaret said...

Hi Nana and Mimi,
Thanks for your blog notes. I love hearing what Holly's up to/ into! Matthew misses Joseph and Holly both. And when they come back to Atlanta, Sarah is ready to play dollies, draw and dress up with Holly. Grandmommies have extra special prayer powers - stay strong!
Love, Margaret

Anonymous said...

Goodmorning from Mimi. I'm all packed and Holly and I will head out on the road around 12:30. Depending on how long the snacks last and how many pit stops Mimi has to make, we will roll into Memphs sometime around 4. Can't wait to see you all and give big hugs to everyone. Looking forward to spending time with you all.
My class sends their love and prayers for a great day today.
Love you, Mimi
P.S. In devotions we had a special celebration for Martin Luther King day and a little boy who is in kindergarten sang this old spiritual song which really blessed me. "Trouble in my way, I have to cry sometimes; I lay awake at night, but that's alright...Jesus, He will fix it after while."

Laura said...

Oh, I so glad to hear Tuesday was such a good day. Praise God! I hope the rest of the week went well too. We are praying for your protection and strength.
Much love, Laura

Lauren Klein said...

I'm so happy to hear about the support you are getting from all the locals. :-) Here's to more fun days for Joseph!

sj said...

I've noticed how nice the blog looks...good job Gill, the yellow and the story...very nice:)
praying for the adjustment back with the "lil" factor:)
love and miss you

Shannon and Carey said...

Praying for Joseph in Austin Texas!
Shannon in Austin

Allison & Jeff said...

I wanted to add to Mimi's post to also tell you that Joseph was prayed for in devotions again today. You have an army of people at NHA praying for you - many more than post to you here.

This for Joseph:

For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37

And this for the rest of your family:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

We hope you are all able to have a wonderful weekend!!

Lynn T said...

Goodnight Gill, Allen, Joe P. and Holly,

I hope you have had a good evening. Love and miss you and thinking of you all the time.


nana said...


Uncle Dave said...

hey Allen, Gill, Holly, and Joe
we had sooooo much fun with holly and we'll miss her. still praying hard!

Im working on getting Mom out of caps lock mode

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update! We do not praise God enough for the joy in small things...laughter, hugs, etc. We keep Joseph and you in our prayers!

Cobbles said...

Happy Saturday night from The Cobble Crew! We continue to pray for Joseph and all of you throughout each day. We pray you are having a wonderful weekend filled with blessings, big and small!

Nana said...

Guido here.We hope Lightening Macqueen mac sally and Sheriff have all had a great day.Tell Hollybear David just finished reading Nana and Grandad our goodnight story .we only want him to read us Good Dog Carl !just like hollybear.we love you all tons and tons and miss you tons too!love from Nana and Grandad and davy.Allen check the email an addictive game!!!!check it out.and then tell us what you scored!!!

Anna Tester said...

Good Morning Gillian, Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking about, praying for, and loving you all in atlanta on this snowy weekend. xxxooo! Anna

Nana said...

HEY sHERIFF sALLY lIGHTENING mACQUEEN AND mAC.What fun photos.Sam you are definetely a very fun uncle!!Ithink everyone should have an uncle Sam!!IN fact I think we all do!!That is if you live in the USA!!Gill I hope Holly sleeps better tonight and you too!! i will definetely pray for that.I cant wait to see you all Ill be down early on Wednesday morning.When i wake every morning I pray the scripture that I wrote yesterday"This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it"Those photos show all of us how you all do rejoice!!Praise God for great days of joy!!We love you all dearly,Much love and hugs and kisses Guido(Nana) David and Grandad send their love