Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is it really May 2010?????

Was the last time I posted really August of 09???? Geesh I am more of a slacker than I thought. It has been a whirlwind of a year. Last September, Alex turned 1 and we had a wonderful party at the house with family. We all had a great time and Alex enjoyed all his toys and the cake. I think he liked the balloons more than anything. Alex continued his treatment about every 6-8 weeks and if you kept up on Caringbridge, you already know he finished up his treatments in December. He has done great and as of today, still no sign of his Cystic Hygroma and we do not have to go back for a year unless we notice something. He is just growing up and into everything. He will say anything you say and loves to chase/be chased by Ella. He has all but 4 teeth, that was not a fun process especially with all 4 molars coming in at once. But we got through it. Other than that and a 24 hour virus that we all got except Ella, he has been really healthy. He loves to be outside and doing anything Ella is doing and loves to be with Daddy. He is enjoying going to my Mom and Dad's to spend the night. He will try to sing "Old Mac Donald" I will sing the beginning and he will sing "Eee Eee Oooo" he is just a delight and I am so thankful for him, even in the middle of his new temper tantrum stage which consists of stomping his feet, saying "NO" and throwing himself on the floor. Ugh....these are the days!!

Ella, wow has she ever grown up right before our eyes. She is finishing up Kindergarten....I can hardly believe it as I type it! She has done really well. Honestly, I didn't know how she would do because she had just turned 5 when she entered Kindergarten so she is one of the youngest in her class. I didn't know if we may have to hold her back a year or not. She is such a little perfectionist (I have no idea where she gets it from). She would just get so frustrated if she didn't get something right on her homework the first try. It took a long time for her to realize that you have to practice to get things right. After the new year we really saw such an amazing transformation in her patience and her abilities. She has just done so well. We had an end of year talk with her teacher and she calls Ella her little success story and is really proud of Ella and how well she is doing. Ella cheered for Upward Basketball this past winter and really loved it. She is now taking swim lessons and is a natural. She LOVES the water!! We all joined the Y where she is taking lessons and have really enjoyed it.

Summer is upon us and we will be taking the kids to the beach for a week with my parents in mid June and Ella loves that and I know Alex will love it as well. We usually celebrate her birthday at the beach which makes it extra special for her. Of course we won't be doing a lot for her birthday this year because in July we are taking her to Disney World!!!!! This will be her first time there and she is excited but doesn't really know what to expect. I hope she has a wonderful time and loves it as much as I hope she does. We will not be taking Alex, he will stay with my parents for the week. He is just too young. Of course we will go back in a few years with both kids when Alex is older but this will be Ella's special time. She had to watch me and Mom or me and Stephen take Alex on multiple trips to Charleston last year. Although, she knew he was seeing doctor's while we were there but still, in her mind, we were taking Alex with us on trips and leaving her home. That was not easy on her. Plus, what 5 (actually she will be 6) year old doesn't want to see Cinderella and her castle??? We are really looking forward to it. We were planning on using my Delta miles to fly down and stay in a cheap motel but then I found out that my Delta miles can pay for hotels and we were able to book a resort for a week using my miles. Wow!!! We would never be able to afford a nice place like that so I am very thankful. Speaking of travel I went to the Dominican Republic last October to assist with their Upward camp as well as their medical mission. I loved it, and was so thankful to be a part of a mission that I normally don't get to be a part of. I am always going for Upward Sports, that I rarely get the opportunity to do humanitarian needs missions. I got to be a part of both and love it. It was an amazing time and you can't help but have a broken heart for the conditions that these beautiful people and oh the little children....they have no idea the desperate situation they are in. They just smile, with their dirty little faces with tattered clothes, if any at all and they are just beautiful. It shows me just how greedy I am and how I really don't need for anything, I just have selfish wants. Those are lessons that I need. After the Dominican I had a break from travel for several months. I returned to the Czech Republic in Jan. to see an Upward Basketball game. They were piloting a new Upward Sports program that our team has been developing for 1 1/2 years so that was amazing to see it in action. Plus, I LOVE Prague. It's the most beautiful city I think I have ever seen (even Sydney, although Sydney is a close second. I have been to Canada several times this spring for training and am now doing more domestic travel promoting our new International mission program to US churches. As far as I know I only have one more big trip (to the Ukraine) this summer. These things tend to change quickly so I never really know.

Well I better wrap this up. I will try to keep this current and not let life get in the way of writing about it :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Excuse

Ok I have no excuse to not have updated a post since July. Well I have been traveling a lot, been absorbed by Facebook and Alex's Caringbridge site. So I do have excuses, not necessarily vaild but I will throw them out there anyway. We are all doing fine and I will update just a bit on Alex since you can get more information about his Cystic Hygroma treatment on his caringbridge site ( ). So Alex had did very well with his first treatment and it seemed to go down quite a bit. Two weeks later I was in Toronto for work and saw via webcam call with my husband that his CH was just huge. So I called his Dr. from Toronto, and big props to Dr. Chaudhry at MUSC. Within 1 minute of calling the hospital, he was on the phone with me. Amazing!!! Anyway, he said to try not to worry and we would be seeing him soon as his appointment was coming up. We went back to MUSC on August 10th and Alex's CH was starting to go back down. Alex had his second treatment last Tuesday and did very well. His CH didn't go down like it did after the first treatment but it is just a wait and see thing. I am waiting for his office to call me to set up our next treatment in 4-6 weeks. It's hard, so hard to see your child lay in the hospital. I am thankful for people God has placed in our path that we have been able to connect with, that can understand what it is we are dealing with. So we are just back to the waiting game to see what it does between now and our next treatment. Other than the CH Alex is normal, healthy and just great. He is just about to turn 11 months old. He says Ma Ma, Da Da, Ella, Mi Mi and just yesterday I was saying Poppi to him and he said Pa Pa (well something very close to that) and he said it again today....Can't wait for my dad to hear that!!! He also says bye bye and waves and is starting to say "up" when he is picked up. He has been standing on his own for about a month and took 1-2 steps a few weeks ago and he is still at that point. He is so close to walking, he will take that step or two and then just slowly sit down. He will be running before I know it!!! Can't believe my little boy will be 1 next month.

Now, little miss Ella. She is just growing up so much!!! She just started school Tuesday and is now in real "big kids school - kindergarten" Last year she went to the school half days for K4 but now it's all day with the big kids. She loves it. Her first day we walked into the room and her teacher knew her name and showed Ella the bunnys and hamsters and frogs they have in class. Ella was in heaven. I was trying to kiss on her and hug her and have those special mommy moments....Ella just waved me off and said "bye mom" Oh how it hurts, but oh how proud I am. I love her independence and her being to inquisitive!!! I will blink my eye and she will be in high school!!

Stephen and I are doing well. We are both happy that my travels are over for this year. It was great to go to all the places I was able to travel to for work, it truly is a blessing that God put me in this job, doing my hearts desire....serving Him internationally. I am as blessed to have a husband that supports that and helps so much with everything. I know it's not easy when I am gone but he doesn't complain. I will post some photos soon of Ella's first day of school and of Alex's treatment. I will try to update more often.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Alex Update

Alex had his first treatment yesterday at MUSC (medical univ of charleston). He did great and will be going home today. I have updated in more detail on his caring bridge site:

Thanks for all the prayers, they were felt, needed and still needed.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Good Googly Moogly

I can't believe it has been so long since an update. Man, time flies and I just get busier and busier. We are all fine. Alex is doing great and getting ready for his first treatment tomorrow...more on that later. I have been so busy with work and traveling. In May I went to Winnipeg which was great but it was cold and snowy!! June 5-17 I was in the Ukraine for 1 week and Prague for a week. Both were amazing and it was great to see some of the same children at came in the Ukraine that were there last year. Prague was just unbelieveable. I can't even put into words how beautiful the city is. My computer at work crashed and I am waiting for a new one and can't post photos on my temporary computer but will as soon as I get a new one. I never seem to have the time to do it on our home computer!! Ella finished up her first year of school (4K). She had to adjust to no school for the summer and still doesn't quite understand it, she askes everyday if she will be going to "big kids school"....I guess that is a good sign that she wants to go back. Alex, the boy is growning and going all over the place. He now has 2 bottom teeth and a top tooth about to break through any day now. He is pulling up like crazy and just wants to walk so bad so I wouldn't at all be suprised if he was an early walker. Ella walked at 10 1/2 months.....but I will be fine with him staying in the crawling stage as long as he wants too. Once they walk, it's on. He really is doing well. He will have his first treatment for his Cystic Hygroma tomorrow. We will go to Charleston tonight and get admitted to the hospital at 6:45am. I don't know if they will have wi-fi or not but if they do I will post updates, probably on Alex's caringbridge site that I started to have all of his medical things in one place. It's We are just encouraged and although I am nervous and at times weepy, I have a peace and calm...for now anyway. I am thankful for that. We just pray that we will remain calm and that the treatment will go well and Alex will respond to it. I am just amazed at the outpouring of love for Alex and our family. Thanks to everyone for your prayers!!!


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What's New

Have mercy, I have not posted much lately. Just life.....busy busy busy!!! It isn't slowing down for me that is for sure. We are all doing pretty well. Stephen has been so busy at the University getting ready for graduation. Glad when that is over and his schedule slows down a bit. I can't complain, his schedule is pretty good and only a few times a year does it call for longer hours. They are always understanding if he needs to adjust his schdule for a Dr. appointment or when I am traveling and he needs to take Ella to school. Speaking of miss thing, she is just getting bigger and growning up so fast. It's unbelieveable that she is almost 5 years old, just over a month from now. She has done really well with her first year of school and likes it. Last week we had a Mommy / Ella day. I have been away so much traveling and taking Alex to Dr. appointments she needed a special girl day. We did some shopping and went to a pottery shop and painted and the day is not complete without Chuck E. Cheese!! She is enjoying having a baby brother more and more. She is interacting with him more now because he laughs at her and gives her attention which she just eats up. He is "her baby" and she is very protective over him. She got a hair cut the other day and it's her first real style. It's a little short in the back and just a little longer in the front. I wasn't sur how she would react to shorter hair but she loves it and couldn't wait to show everyone at school. Well, Alex has just turned 7 months is 18 lbs and 27". It's hard to believe he is 7 months old already. Here are some things he is doing now:
* started rolling over in March and rolls all over now
* sits up unassisted
* Says "Da Da", "Mum Mum" "ba ba" and a lot of other cute sounds
* waves bye bye
* on the verge of crawling, he gets up on all fours rocks and scoots his little legs
and gets up on his feet but doesn't know what to do
* Is eating stage 2 foods but still NO Teeth!!
* loves his jump-a-roo and goes crazy especially early in the morning when I walk in
the room, I think he is going to bounce himself right out of the thing.
* loves to watch Ella and laughs out loud whenever she is around
* still sleeps all night 7:30pm-6am

Travel is getting ready to pick back up for me. I leave Friday for Winnipeg and return on Sunday. I will be home a week and then go to Toronto for 3 days home a week and then to the Ukraine from June 5-12th and then to Prague from the 13th-17th. I will be home a couple of days and then off to the beach for a much needed family vacation.

Alex is getting an MRI today and on Monday we will go to Charleston to meet with the Intervention Radiologist to discuss the best treatment for Alex. I am posting most of his medical information on

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CaringBridge Site for Alex

I have decided to create a site for Alex on CaringBridge. I will continue to update this blog about our life etc. but most of Alex's medical updates will be on the Caring Bridge site.

You can access it by going to and entering his name with no spaces "alexhoward"

Or here is the site: