As I sit here tonight with the woman I love a mere six inches away, (and even that seems too far!) I cannot believe how wonderful God continues to be to us. Max and Catie are laying on the couch in Target House watching Underdog and the smiles on their faces are beautiful and infectious. The last few days have really been strained as Christine and I have noticed the distance between us having more and more of a negative effect on our ability to communicate. One minute into our reunion, and all of the moments apart seemed to melt away in our embrace. While we have a beautifully spiritual bond that allows us to feel our love for one another despite the distance and the time apart, there is no substitute for actually holding Christine in my arms. Thank you to all of you that made this trip possible with the financial support as well as the care of the other kids while I am away. God bless you all.

I had a chance to spend the afternoon and evening in Basking Ridge with Mom-Mom and Da, and the fab 5. They are definitely enjoying their vacation with their grandparents and the outpouring of support and visitors has kept them very busy. They had the opportunity to go to the Turtleback Zoo with Aunt Franka and went swimming with Mrs. Carola, Mrs. Gilbreth, and the Kerwins. Max and I had an uneventful flight down to Memphis and were picked up at the airport by Catie and Christine by 9:30 in the morning. We then spent the day following Catie’s schedule at St. Jude’s and worked in a meal at the Commissary where Catie had another chance to sample Memphis ribs. The Rhea’s joined us for dinner, (check out the photo tab for new shots of Catie and Katie), and another member of the Rhea’s church, Ellen met up with us and loaned Christine a car to allow her the freedom to take care of Catie. While Christine was changing Catie’s bandage today, Catie did not cry, this was a milestone for them. Not only has Christine become extremely proficient in caring for Catie’s central line, today was the first time that either the physical or emotional pain of changing the dressing did not bring tears to Catie’s eyes, what a triumph.

Catie has 4 radiation treatments left, and although the long term effects of the treatments will not be known for years, it is wonderful to think that this phase is almost over. Christine and Catie have done a wonderful job of controlling Catie’s medication dosage so that the nausea stayed under control for the most part. Even though they are coming home in a week, we still do not know when. Why? Because apparently only one person makes that call, and she is out sick. We are still planning on the afternoon of the 28th, but like all of this, it is in God’s capable hands, and we will keep you posted. We had one I.Q. scare this morning when Catie had yet another test. She was required to name a number of items in a given category under a time constraint. For example, in one minute, name all of the animals you can. When all she could come up with in a minute was dog, cat, and bird, (which Christine wanted to discount because a bird is not an animal???), we were slightly alarmed that the radiation had already fried a major portion of her cognitive ability. So we gave the same test to Max, and it appears he is just as intellectually challenged, so we’ve got that going for us.

I am going to cut this short as the kids are asleep and Christine and I are not, but I want you all to know three truths before we sign off for the night. We know and appreciate how very blessed we are to have each and every one of you that are reading this in our lives and part of our family. We know that while we have some challenges that we have faced this summer and that we have more to come in the months ahead, that in all, we are loved and blessed beyond measure by God. And finally, we know that looking at the events and circumstances of our life as a blessing and not a curse is as simple as making a choice to see God’s hand working through the people in our lives. Thank you all for allowing yourselves to be God’s instrument, and thank you for your prayers for us that Christine and I, Catie and the rest of the kids continue to accept and live up to the opportunity to do God’s will each day.

May you have a restful night and may you have the opportunity to let the persons you love know the depth of that love.

God bless,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

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