Thursday, March 18, 2010
Where to begin? It’s been a while since I’ve updated…so I have a feeling this will be a more than one part post. Just warning you…we’ll see! We’ve been keeping busy as usual, and some days, “moments” are better than others. I could blame it on the weather (it’s been really gray and muddy lately) but I think the “funk” we find ourselves in would come and go no matter what the weather. Some warm sunshine sure would be nice though! It’s a good thing God is helping us along no matter what the weather outside…
Here are some pics of the snow- it has melted a LOT since I took these- YAY!
We did get another day of sledding in before the warm up…and Caden and I are no longer playing “Ice Road Truckers” on the way to school each morning! I was getting a little tired of that game anyway! :)
Now we’re just trying to make our way through the mud, and keep sucking water out of the basement until it’s dried up and GREEN again!
Let’s see…Caden has been a social butterfly lately. He had four birthday parties to go to in two weekends, a music carnival last Saturday night and he was in a talent show at school! I wasn’t able to go to his talent show, as it was the same time as the Manners Tea Party in my classroom, but Scott went and said he was a hoot. Imagine that! He sang the song “Big Green Tractor” with a little girl in his class- one of his THREE girlfriends now- and I asked him if he remembered all of the words. He said, “well, I pretty much just stuck two fingers in my pocket and stared into her eyes and hummed.”
Scott asked him, “wow, you have 3 girlfriends? How DO you handle it?” He answered, “watch and learn my fuzzy friend!” He cracks us up.
Here are a few pics of Eli’s birthday party in DesMoines… (cp: elirhorn) Caden had a blast. Eli and the Horns are very special to our family. We love you guys!
Caden’s been having some difficulty at school the past couple of weeks…his teacher says he has a lot of “aches and pains” that move from his tummy, to his toe, to his hip, his leg, his head, finger, etc. and he also “lost his voice” for an hour or so before it miraculously returned after he got a drink of water. He loves the school nurse, so not sure if he’s trying to make a trip to the office just to see her or what it is. He’s been having ‘emotional /teary’ moments and keeps complaining of ‘aches’…but they move…one second it will be a headache and then a tummy ache and then he can’t remember where. We’ve tried to talk to him about what’s going on, but his stories change all the time- he ends up in tears and doesn’t want to talk about it…but wants us to know that sometimes it’s hard to breathe too.
His teacher says once he gets involved in an activity he seems to forget all about his physical aches. I’m wondering if I need to get him back into counseling…we’ll talk again to his teacher tomorrow at his conference, so maybe we’ll learn more after that. Physically there doesn’t seem to be a thing wrong with him, but we may take him to the doctor just to ease HIS mind that he’s not sick.
A couple of weeks ago we went out for supper and he was over playing the video games when a couple of girls we didn’t know came up and asked him if he missed Coleman. He said he didn’t answer and they just kept asking until one said, “be quiet or you’ll make him sad!” I asked him, “DID it make you sad?” and he said, “no, my eyes just got a little burny, but they get burny lotsa times…. not cuz I’m sad.” I asked him if kids ask him a lot about Coleman and he said, “WHAT DO YOU THINK???” I asked, “well what do you say?” He told me he tells them he’s HAPPY Coleman died. That really shocked me! I asked him why in the world he would say that- and he said, “well, cuz then he don’t have to go through all-a the stuff what he kept havin to do. Now he don’t have no more pain… so I’m happy he died.”
I explained that I too was glad Coleman didn’t have any more pain, but that I still miss him, and wish he didn’t die. Caden answered, “yeah, me too. I wish he never got cancer.”
I sometimes forget all Caden has witnessed in his short lifetime. It was one thing for Coleman to have to go through it all, and it was so hard for US as adults to witness, and not be able to change the situation, but Caden was right there for almost everything, and I worry about the lasting effects on him sometimes. At the time I felt it was important for us to all be together as a family- as a TEAM- but did we make the right decision to let him be a part of every step until the very end? Should we have shielded him from some of the procedures or hospital time? I don’t know the answer. All I know is I pray for God to help Caden along through his journey without his twin. He and Coleman were connected in a way I’ve never witnessed…so I guess we should probably expect that he’ll have some rough days too. He’s seemed to handle everything so well, but little by little I think as time goes on, there will be much for him to process as he tries to figure things out. Heck why should HE be any different than the rest of us? I have my good and bad days too, and find it hard to put into words…I can imagine it’s hard for him to explain at six.
One night he was watching the History channel with Scott and started asking about presidents…how did all of the presidents die? Did they all get shot? Did some of them die of cancer? Why do people get cancer? Why didn’t we just have the doctors take Coleman’s out again? Why couldn’t the doctors give him medicine to make it better? Etc. etc. Scott did a great job of answering his questions.
He asked me one day, “Mommy? When people die, do they all breathe like Coleman did?” and then sat there gasping loudly. Scott asked him if he thinks about Coleman a lot, and he said, “Oh yeah, BIG TIME…More than you will EVER know.”
His questions are difficult- but we do our best to answer them honestly, and reassure him that he is loved, and we are here for him. I’m praying his “aches” he’s been having at school will subside and he can enjoy his time with his friends and learning.
He’s all signed up for soccer, so that will start again soon…and of course T-ball to follow. I’m really looking forward to being home with him this summer- even though we have a lot of school days to make up- summer WILL come eventually, and he’s already planning a “camouflage party” where he wants to invite “9 or 5” friends over to dress up in camo and have a squirt gun fight & go on a treasure hunt.
Speaking of school, I’m on spring break this week, but Caden has school all week. My school has been going a half hour longer each day until April 22nd to make up three days of school. My class hasn’t really even noticed the extra half hour and it’s been nice to fit in some lessons we missed out on with all of the snow days. Caden still gets out about a week earlier than I do for summer vacation. With the economy being tough all over, his elementary school is in danger of closing…which we’re praying doesn’t happen. Their school wants to go from three buildings to two. Scott has been attending school board meetings and trying to help keep the elementary open, but time will tell. It’s where Scott went to school, and only a mile from our house. Caden also attends daycare there and only has to walk across the hall to Kindergarten. If it closes, and he has to be bused to another town, that will mean we’ll have to find different daycare too, as it would be way out of the way for me to drop him off each morning and pick him up. All of the talk and wonder has been stressing Caden out too I think. He loves his school AND his daycare! Personally, I would love to open enroll him and take him to school with me, but it would mean leaving his friends, and Scott really wants him to stay in this school system, so we’ll have to see how it all turns out. Again, we’re confident God will put Caden right where He wants him to be.
A couple of funnies before I mention all of the business I want to-
One morning when I was drying my hair, I turned my head and was hit SMACK in the nose with a nerf football. There stood Caden with an “UT OH!” look on his face saying, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I was aiming for the wall!!!” ugg. I told him to sit on the stool and think about what he just did while I finished drying my hair, (and the tears the blow brought to my eyes!) When I turned the hair dryer off, I asked him to give me his WORD he would never do that again…he said, “well….. I don’t know what the word is, but yeah, you can have it.”
One night he asked for a drink of juice. As I was pouring it he was looking in the fridge and asked, “are you ever gonna drink that crayola stuff or what?” I was confused and wondered what in the heck he was talking about until he said, “you know…that brown bottle of beer what you got at Christmas?” Then I realized he meant KAHLUA!
Back to the manners tea party I mentioned we had in my classroom. It was so much fun- the kids had been studying Amazing Americans and good character. We read many biographies of people in history, and the kids wrote their own autobiography on their life- talking about how THEY are Amazing Americans too. For the end of the unit, they’d earned punches on an invitation ticket for a Manners Tea Party. They dressed in their best- some boys wore ties, (one little guy told me he HAD a suit he wore to his grandma’s funeral, but his mom took it back haha) and girls dressed in their fanciest dresses (gotta love my little cancer survivor who said there was NO WAY I was going to get her to wear a dress to school, but donned her HARD ROCK café jean jacket with pride! She makes me smile!) We ate finger sandwiches, mini muffins, cookies, and fruit, and drank juice they got to pour into their tea cups from fancy tea pots. We danced the waltz and the tango- one little boy is convinced he and I would win Dancing with the Stars if we entered. It was a fun day to end our unit. THIS is a book that was donated to my school library with a sticker inside the cover in memory of Coleman- (Thank you to the Ghetting family!) I read to my class. It talks about how everyone has an invisible bucket they carry around to keep their good feelings about themselves in. We talked about how you can fill someone’s bucket. It also talked about how some people try to dip out of someone else’s bucket to make themselves feel better- we discussed how none of us want to be a bucket-dipper! One little girl wrote… “A friend is someone who fills my bucket with love.” Have I mentioned I LOVE my job? Most days anyway! :) So if you have kids or grandkids- this would be a great book I’d recommend to anyone! I ordered a copy for Caden.
Well, now down to business…
I know I’m always asking our carepage people for help, and you’ve all been so wonderful and supportive throughout our family’s journey. We want you to know how much it has meant AND continues to mean to us. I have a couple of requests to throw out there once again, and THANK YOU in advance for all of our angels here on Earth!
The first is a request for an on-line vote…
Little Mikayla VanWey’s family has made a dance video and is trying to win a dance contest that will benefit the Iowa City Children’s Hospital where Coleman was treated. Sorry Spoonies, I voted for you too, but have to pull for our home-state hospital on this one! :) Here’s how YOU can help. Go to
and vote for the VanWeys video. Simple as that. Doesn’t cost a dime, but every vote counts and could make a big difference to a hospital we called “home” for so long. I think you can vote every day through Friday.
Here’s a little video Coleman made for Mikayla while we were in New York. I’m not sure if I ever sent it- as it was hard to understand him…he was trying to tell Mikayla not to “twy” (cry) because she looked pretty no matter how much hair she had. Then he went into “a snake wif a belly ache”…not sure what that was all about- something only he and Caden understood I think! Anyway- a vote for the VanWey’s video would really mean a lot to us. THANKS for taking the time!
Visit our page at:
Curesearch Walk- TEAM LARSON PAGE.
I think we’re way behind in raising money compared to where we were last year…but we’re doing our best. You do not need to be present to join or donate to our team, but we’d love to have you join us if possible. Again, Caden is working on designing the shirts- and has come up with LOTS of ideas… for SOME reason is determined to include the number 22 on the shirt somewhere??? Not sure his reasoning on that, but I told him that was okay- HE was in charge of the shirts. He’s excited about it! He’s also asked if we could have a garage sale, and he would be willing to sell his toys to make money for the kids with cancer. I love his giving heart.
Speaking of hearts- my friends and I got the chance to go to a screening of the movie Letters to God last night. The movie is inspired by Tyler Doughtie…a little boy who had medulloblastoma like Coleman. There were so many times during the movie that it reminded me so much of Coleman. From the first scene with the back of the little boy’s head- with the scar running down his bald head and neck- I was reminded of how many times my lips kissed Coleman’s scar and prayed it would one day be covered by a full head of hair…but most of all the movie reminded me of Coleman’s faith in “Dod”. Coleman talked to God so many times that brought tears to my eyes- praying for a crying baby in the room next to ours in the hospital, thanking God for people being so nice to him, and repeating time and time again throughout his journey how he KNEW Jesus was going to help him.
We should ALL have the faith of a child.
Matthew 18: 2-4 “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I was also reminded that when you pray- God doesn’t require you to use big words- or find the need for you to be scripted…Coleman talked to “Dod” like he was talking to a friend. He kept it simple and conversational.
One of the lines in the movie was “Everything I touch turns to dust. I can’t hold on to anything.” Oh how I have felt like that so many times! But it went on to talk about clasping your hands together and entwining your fingers in prayer- then nothing can slip through.
There have been times I have been on my knees- desperately asking for things to be different. There have been so many times I have felt NOTHING was in my control, and I was right. GOD is the only way I have been able to get up off the floor. He has listened to every cry I’ve whimpered to Him. He hasn’t always answered me in the way I wanted…BUT He has never left me, and He’s shown me that there is so much I have to be grateful for. PLEASE go see this movie if you can. It comes out in theaters April 9th…the message is one that everyone needs to hear. Some people have told me they don’t want to see it- it would be too sad, but the message is one of HOPE and FAITH. Yes, you may cry a tear or two, but I promise it will touch your heart. THANK you to BigFinishFilms for bringing the screening to DesMoines so we could watch it with people who mean so much to us…and God bless the Doughtie Family for sharing Tyler’s faith. Also check out: www.letterstogodthemovie.com
Here’s a preview of the movie…
And a few of the funny faces of the Cman- oh how I miss that scrunched up face he’d do! We’re so blessed God chose US to be his family.
Until next time, thank you so much for checking in on us- for your support and your continued prayers- Thank you for filling our buckets and may yours be filled in return!
One day there WILL be a cure…NEVA DIV UP.
Blessings to you all,
FOREVER TEAM LARSON