Thursday, 27 February 2014

Kenny is quite insistent that he be included

So, the blog has been pretty quiet lately, which we're hoping to remedy in the coming days. In the meantime, here's a snapshot of life in suburban Chicago.

Although it is indistinguishable from the rest of the yard, Tommy and Kenny are in fact standing on our deck.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


When we got the flyer announcing the science fair at Tommy's school, we thought we would encourage Tommy to participate since, objectively speaking, science is awesome, and it is never to early to learn to be curious. But we didn't want to pressure him, since he's only in kindergarten (and I don't want to make him think he is obligated to enjoy the things I enjoy, etc. etc.) It turned out he didn't need much of a push - he seemed pretty excited about the whole idea. We figured he could start out with something pretty easy, like what happens when you soak a penny in various household liquids. Tommy was thoroughly unmoved by that proposal, stating flatly, "I want to learn about gravity."

OK, then. Gravity. Here's what I came up with:

From the experiment description I wrote for his presentation:

We set up a ramp and a track for the marble to roll down. We used blocks to raise the ramp in small increments. We used a stopwatch to measure the time it took the marble to go 10 feet along the track.

Basically, we rolled marbles across the kitchen floor - which all three boys thought was awesome. Tommy was in charge of dropping the marbles while I assisted with the stopwatch. Tommy put his ramp height and travel time data into a table and plotted his results. The experiment confirmed his hypothesis - marbles do indeed go faster if you raise the height of your ramp. Best of all, we had fun playing with physics.

We had a good time at the science fair itself, both presenting Tommy's project and looking at all the others. The boys were predictably impressed by all the volcanoes and other decidedly more messy presentations.

After we finished Tommy's experiment (and writing out the report), I asked him what his favorite part of the experiment was. "Actually doing it," Tommy answered. "The writing part was boring." I responded that honestly, that's pretty much how I feel too. Nobody likes writing papers.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Update on Mary: Chemo Postponed

Mom was supposed to begin another round of chemo today. Her blood counts weren't perfect, but they would have allowed her to get chemo. However, they did some other tests and found that she is having a digestive problem that requires further explorationexploration. They are scheduling her for an upper and lower GI, so she will postpone chemo until after this procedure, unless it takes weeks to get scheduled, in which case she will have chemo tomorrow.

Mom is in a great deal of pain. She is not having intense pain from the tumor area anymore, but she is having extreme pain in her stomach and intestines and is having difficulty eating. She is doing better than she was a month ago as she is eating slightly more, but she continues to rapidly loose weight and her body is just not digesting the food she eats properly.

Please pray for her pain to decrease. The pain is just wiping her out. Also, pray for strength and peace for Mom and Dad (and the rest of us) as she undergoes testing and wisdom for any decision that need to be made based on the results of the tests. Please pray that the tests can be scheduled sooner rather than later, so that if something can be done to alleviate her suffering it can be done soon.

Thank you all for your ongoing prayers! They mean so much to us.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Update on Mary: Week Two

This week I have some actual good news, the likes of which we haven't had in months...Mom's cancer marker is down! Better yet, it is down quite a bit, which indicates that her cancer is responding to this new drug regime. Also, her tumor hasn't changed discernably since her CT in October. Praise God for this light in our darkness. Unfortunately, while the images and numbers look good, Mom is still in incredible amounts of pain. She is doing a little better this week compared to last week, but she is still miserable and very sick. She is now working on establishing a new pain management plan. ALso, she has lost too much weight recently and needs to beef up so she can get her full chemo dose.
Please pray that her chemo will effectivly fight her cancer and shrink her tumor so her pain will decrease.
Pray that she will be able to eat, digest well, and put on some pounds.
Pray that she would find the right balance of pain medications to provide her some relief, and that her body would adjust to the side effects of these new medications.
Thank you all for your continued prayers! We appreciate them so much.