Saturday, November 22, 2008

Catching up..

Hello, Sweet Friends!

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to "catch up" with you all. This has been ONE CRAZY/BUSY week.. but it's been a LOT of FUN! Let me fill you in... =-)

Okay, so when I last posted I told you that we had out of town company coming in. They DID arrive just seconds BEFORE I clicked the "Publish Post" button. (The boys were outside EAGERLY watching and waiting for them.. I heard them scream out, "They're HERE!") LOL!!!

So, who WAS this company??? It was our dear friends from Memphis, Mark & Mylissa Horrocks.

We met them just before we learned that Brent had relapsed, back in 05. They too have had their world "rocked" by the diagnosis of cancer in their own child. However, AND PRAISE BE TO GOD, their daughter, Bella, has done BEAUTIFULLY! She's been in remission since she finished treatment in 04!

A couple of quotes from her caringbridge site..

"Bella was diagnosed with Stage IIIa Malignant Melanoma at age of 3 on 9/11/03."

"She finished on October 8, 2004!!! She had her first annual scans and redone October 18th, WHICH PROVED HER TO BE CANCER FREE FOR 1 YEAR!!! Praise the Lord!!! In November, Bella had a baseline PET which was NORMAL and a repeat MRI...NORMAL!!"

Okay, now would you like to know just how AMAZING this family is?? They saw a GREAT NEED while in treatment at St. Jude. They didn't just carry their daughter home and forget about the things they saw, felt, and experienced while at St. Jude, they did something about it!

What did they do, you might ask?? Through the leading of the Holy Spirit they started a non-profit organization called, "Habitat for Hope."

Please, if you have a minute, go and read how this all began.

Yep, they packed up their family (they lived in Florida) and MOVED to Memphis, TN just to support families like ours day in and day out.

They helped get us housing so that we could keep ALL of our boys together after Brent relapsed. (Although St. Jude goes ABOVE AND BEYOND what you might expect from a hospital, they can only provide housing for 4 people. You are NOT ALLOWED more than 4 at any time) We DESPERATELY wanted to keep the boys under the same roof after relapse. (They told us there was NO HOPE of a cure for a child after relapse occurs)

Mark & Mylissa called and visited often, organizing meals for us while we were in the hospital. They walked the halls of St. Jude with us, praying between scans. Mark & Mylissa were there with us the day we first heard that there was nothing more that could be done for Brent. (Of course we didn't accept that, but that's a ANOTHER story)

I could go on and on telling you about how they helped meet the physical and spiritual needs of our family.. but for the sake of time, and to avoid writing a book today, I won't. LOL!

I would like to share one more quick story.. another memory that stands out. It was when they came to the hospital and threw Gabe a birthday party (at St. Jude) so that he'd HAVE one. See, we'd just brought Brent back to Memphis "to let him go" and were beyond even remembering that it was our baby boy's birthday.

They also came and got the kids and took them places during those very sad and very dark days so that they'd have a little bit of "normalcy"... so they could get their little minds on something that wasn't so tragic.

This sweet young couple doesn't just "talk the talk," my friends, they WALK THE WALK!

The very home they live in is open day and night to families in Memphis who have a child with a life-threatening illness. When I say "open" I mean people LITERALLY LIVE in their home. (I'm nagging Mylissa to build a cabin somewhere on the property so that they can have their own space.. I'm telling you, I could NOT do what they do ALL the time!) The hope/plan is to one day build cabins on the property for more families to live in while their child is hospitalized/or in treatment. As far as I know they only thing holding them back is the money. (It's a NON-PROFIT and it's running on donations)

Okay, so I could talk ALL DAY about this sweet family and what they do. I know you'd be blessed if you went over and "met" them for yourselves.

I know I promised pictures, but there are children sleeping all over the place right now. LOL!! The boys had a sleepover last night so there are some in the boys' bedroom, the living room, and one in our bed. HA!!! I'll try to get the photos uploaded sometime today and will share them in the next post. (HOPEFULLY)

Oh, I forgot to tell you what we've been doing the rest of the week... WHOOPS! Okay, so if you've not left already... I'll QUICKLY fill you in!

The Horrocks family left on Tuesday.. we were hosting church in our house Wednesday as well as having Thanksgiving supper with them afterwards. SOOO... the POWER-CLEANING/SHOPPING/COOKING began just after our sweet friends walked out the door. Then on Thursday, it was school and cleaning AGAIN. Yesterday, we went to a friends house to make dough ornaments... FUN, FUN, FUN! (I'll post pictures of those soon, too!)

Yep, it's been a really CRAZY week, but OH-SO-MUCH-FUN!

Today... I'm keeping Allie Grace! WHOO-HOO!! =-)

Okay, I've SERIOUSLY kept you long enough. THANKS SO MUCH for letting me pour my heart to you. I PROMISE to try to keep the next post REALLY SHORT-N-SWEET! O:-)

Thanks again for stopping by - I've MISSED YOU ALL!



Pam D said...

Ooooh, girl, I have missed you SO much! I figured you were enjoying your company, so I didn't bug ya, but I'm glad you're back! Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays (my boy has THE WHOLE WEEK... hooooorah!). Hug on those boys, and feel my hugs coming across the miles.... xoxoxo

April said...

We've missed you around here, too...but, you sure have been busy, huh? Forgive me, but I just have to say it...BLESS YOUR HEART! Ok, now I feel better! :)

We used to live in Collierville, TN., right outside of Memphis. We'd drive by St. Jude all the time on the way to see my family in Arkansas. I used to always think about all those children who were suffering from cancer and my heart would break. I've always had a special place in my heart for kids with cancer. I had a very young cousin, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 2, so I think that's where it all started.

I will definitely have to drop over and tell you friends hello. They sounds like such wonderful and giving people...the kind that can change the world!

Enjoy your weekend...hurry back!!

Beth E. said...

Well, it's about time! ;o) Just kidding. I'm soooo glad to read a post from you. I love your blog, and your posts really brighten my day.

Hey, and guess what? I love YOU, too! :o)


Davisix said...

Oh my great it is to hear from you and I LOVE this post. Your friends are so inspirational. What a blessing they certainly are!!! Thank you for sharing their hearts with us. {Hugs} to you!!!! xoxo Ang

Liz said...

I am so glad to "see" you again.

What a wonderful and inspirational family!! I am in tears reading about all that they do for these families in need. I am on my way over there now to read all about this amazing family!!

Greg P. said...

Man, you are just a bundle of energy! I'm glad you had such a good time with your company. They sound like such wonderful people to be friends with.

Good to see you posting again. Your posts are always uplifting! God bless you always.

Melanie said...

Hey, Tonya! So good to hear from you. I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering how things were in your neck of the woods.

It sounds like you all have had a busy, busy week! Oh, but all the fun you've had in the busy-ness! It sounds great!

I am familiar with Habitat for Hope as I've read about it in the past on Brent's Caringbridge site and several others that I have kept up with over the past few years. What dear, sweet people they are... I can only imagine how wonderful they must be to know in person!

I pray you have a wonderful weekend that leads straight into a blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Will be praying for you all...

Jill said...


Sounds like a crazy, busy and fun week!

Praying for your friends and their wonderful organization to see a bountitful harvest and provision to meet the many needs of families who will be blessed by the work they do!

Thanks for sharing them with us!

Praying you have a blessed holiday and restful week!

He And Me + 3 said...


Your wonderful posts have been missed. But this one was so worth waiting for. They sound like awesome friends and what they are doing is remarkable. Thank you so much for catching us up and for sharing once again your heart. I am going to check them out now.

Ashley Griffin said...

just glad to hear back from you! sweet friends!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Mark and Mylissa sound like incredible people....I am heading over to check out their organization.

Enjoy your time with your sweet friends!


Reba said...

Missed your posts...sounds like you have been busy! I am glad you had a good visit...I have always been in awe of their willingness to leave their Florida home to serve families in Memphis. I also remember well what a support they were for you when Brent was sick. Anyway, hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

Jennifer said...

I've missed you!! But you have been busy though, so I'll forgive you!LOL! What a wonderful family to spend time with!! I'm glad your back to the blog world and can't wait to see the pics!

Jennifer said...

Yes, we have missed you! I read a lot about Habitat for Hope when I would read Brents' caringbridge site. They ARE an AMAZING family and you can truly tell that GOD has a hand in this. Looking forward to ALL of your pictures.

Daphine said...

Well well! Hello to you today friend! You have really been MISSED!!!

What a sweet post! I loved reading about your precious friends, the Horrocks. I'll have to visit their website after leaving your blog here. Wow! What a thoughtful and sincere couple they seem to be. I don't know if I could do what they do all the time either. Wow again!

Okay, we'll be looking for the pictures in the next post dear! No pressure though. lol!

Lynn said...

Am so happy you were able to spend come time together! They are such a special family.....

the voice of melody said...

What a busy week! It was heart-warming to read all about it and your friends.

Many sweet blessings!

Tricia said...

Wow, sounds like you have been busy, but a good kind of busy! What a blessing to have friends who are such givers... being around people like that just make you want to give to, doesn't it?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Michelle said...

Wow!! Your friends sound like amazing people. I'm going to go check them out.

I hope you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!!