Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the road

Well bet you will never guess where we are? Yep, back in the DC area. Fred had Dr appointments and tests for the next couple of days. His numbers were coming back down last time we checked just before Thanksgiving. Pray that continues to be the trend.

About the Family photos of the Thanksgiving week. Here is a little slide show and there is a different slide show on Carrie's blog

A week ago today we headed out of Boise to El Dorado, Kansas. The first night we stopped in our old home town of Idaho Falls and parked the camper in the driveway of our friends on the edge of town. We had a nice visit with some of our dear friends that we have know for more than 30 years. Did I really say 30 years? My how the years have flown. The next morning we had breakfast with Reid, our next door neighbor for 13 years when we lived in Ammon. It was so good so spend a little time reconnecting with those people and places.

After breakfast we started driving through the area were we spent so many weekends camping and white water rafting in the 80's. We have such great memories of our times there. It was fun to hear Carrie's take on memories of our family history. We pulled into Cora, WY about 1pm and spent the afternoon with Wade and cousin Ty. We watched them work on a remodel project and after supper we played games and had some good laughs.

Friday morning Ty made us breakfast and we headed out hoping to get as far down the road as possible. We had been watching a winter storm headed our way and were trying to stay ahead of it. It was a good travel day and we made it to Sidney, NE. Carrie had seen a sign for Cabela's campground on the highway and thought that might be a good spot for us. It was a great place to stay. We got long hot showers and a good nights rest.

Saturday, our goal was to get to El Dorado for the night. I forgot how far it is across Nebraska and Kansas. We were still watching the storm closely. My sister and her family were headed to our folks in SD, into the storm. We missed crossing paths by a couple of hours. I told her at least we were heading away from it. The last 4 hours when we headed south, we were driving into high winds. It was terrible.

About 9:30pm we landed, okay, we arrived at Fred's sister's farm and parked the camper. We were surprised what a warm wind it was. We parked next to a barn to break the wind and plugged in. We had made it. When we woke up the next morning the sun was shining, it was a beautiful morning. I thought maybe we were going to miss this storm. Then about 8:20am, it was like someone turned out the lights. The sky turned dark with heavy clouds and the temperature dropped about 40 degrees.

More than once in the past week I have been glad that I took a couple of afternoons in Boise and added some insulation to the camper. We have been keeping snug and warm in our little home.

Before we knew it we were on the airplane headed back to the DC area. There were a few weather issues yesterday but we arrived here just 2 hours late. It is pretty warm here compared to where we have been in the past week. If all goes according to plans, we will be heading back to Kansas on Friday.

We plan to spend a couple weeks in Kansas with family and then our next move will probably depend on the weather. South is looking better all the time.

Fred update. He is getting stronger every day. His appetite is improving and nausea is much less of a problem. I gave him his second haircut this week and there is a lot more dark hair coming in. So much for white hair. He has also started growing back his beard this week.

Once again we praise God for His tender loving care of us as we go forward.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Together

So much has happened in past couple of weeks...let's see. Two weeks ago I left Fred here and flew out to Seattle to spend some time with Shane and family. Kristi and the girls left the day after I got there to drive to her folks in Twin Falls. Shane, Daniel and I spent 5 days together shopping, visiting his work and school, plus driving back to Boise.

On Tuesday the 25th of November all of our kids and their families started to gather in Idaho City to spend 4 days together at the Knotty Pine Lodge. What a bunch we were. We had 4- two year olds, 1 - three year old, 1 - four year old and 2 - five year olds. With all our kids and spouses plus grand kids and Fred's Mother, Joy, there were 18 of us. This Thanksgiving week all together was truly a gift from God.

Our days were filled with cooking, eating, keeping track of kids, visiting, and playing games with lots of laughter. Joy, Kristi and Carrie even got in a drive one afternoon. We had lots of cameras going off so will add some photos soon. We were so blessed with good weather and plenty of room for all of us to be together in the lodge. Fred and I took our camper up so we had our own space too.

Yesterday the last of family flew out of Boise. I guess that makes about 10 days of fun. Now we are making plans for the next phase of our Quality of Life Tour.

The night I few into Seattle I tripped and fell in the parking lot of the train station where Shane parks his car. It was amazing that I did not get hurt too badly. I did jam 3 fingers on my left hand but no other broozes. Someday I will be able to put my wedding ring back on. It was pretty humbling, but I survived.

Fred has come up with an infection in his right armpit. They think he probably picked up in one of his hospital visits. The Dr had to lance it several times and keep it packed for the past couple of weeks. He just has a few more days of medication.

Fred is gaining more strength every day. He was able to win his share of games and keep up with all the grandkids this week. He is off lifting restrictions but being pretty careful about it. He is laughing more and even had an argument with me the other day. I thought it was a good sign.

We plan to hit the road next week.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Idaho rabbit food....

Fred finished his radiation treatments a week ago today at National Navel Medical Center. He had an MRI at 8pm that night and we flew out the next morning at 8am. We were so ready to move on. We have been in the DC area about 30 days and so much has changed. Fred came to DC in a wheel chair and in terrible pain. He left pushing the wheel chair with his luggage in it, with no back pain and weaned off all his narcotics. God is good.

Our first focus when we arrived here in Boise was to get our Suburban and camper out of storage at Mountain Home AFB. The girls had tried to get it a couple of weeks ago, but could not get it started. Wade drove over to see us on Friday night from WY. Saturday morning Misty got a babysitter and we took 2 vehicles down hoping to bring the camper and truck home one way or another.

First we tried jumping it, not luck. Then Wade went to check the spark plug wires and one fell off in his hand. He took off the air filter and there were pieces of wire everywhere. He said, "We've had a varmint of some kind in here." Misty and I headed to town 8 miles away and left Wade and Fred there to figure out what parts we needed. The more they looked the more chewed wires they found. We were at the parts store telling the guy behind the counter about our problem and he just smiled and said, "That is rabbits, we have it happen all the time." We had never heard of such a thing. When we got back we told the guys it was rabbits and Wade said that he knew it had white fur. It makes us laugh a lot.....rabbits in the desert must be hungry.

Wade and Misty spent the next hour or so putting in new spark plug wires and replacing or patching other wires. Before you know it we had it running and going down the road to Boise; Misty driving our patched up Sub, Wade in his truck towing the camper with Fred, and me driving Misty's vehicle. It started to sprinkle as we drove and I was thankful for God's timing once again.

The next morning they worked on it some more and it seems to be running pretty well. We will probably have it checked out before we head out in the next couple of weeks.

We have been unpacking and trying to find places to put everything in the camper so that we can find it again when we need it. Now that I am unpacking the suitcases I packed six weeks ago, I wonder why I brought the things I did and why not others. Oh well, there is always the thrift stores.

The first night here I woke up and it was so quiet and couldn't figure out where I was. We do not miss the noise of the big city.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just a few more days...

Yes, just a few more days here and we will be heading back to Idaho. We have 3 different Doc appointments tomorrow. The next couple of days should not be so full. Fred and I are both really ready to get back to Idaho and move into our camper.

Wade is driving up to Boise to see us next weekend. The girls didn't get our Suburban started last week, so his first project will be to help us get it started. Then get it and the camper moved out of storage. We are ready to move into our own space. We have been gypsies for 5 weeks now.

Today Fred and I went to the Chapel here in the hospital. It was my second Sunday in a row. We really enjoyed it. We met a people from a lot of different places and circumstances.

This afternoon we took the Metro to downtown Bethesda and had a late lunch at a nice restaurant. Fred did real well. We took the wheel chair but he did not use it very much.

We have been enjoying the sunny fall weather the past 3 days. Hope it stays this way until we leave. Alaska has been below zero lately.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One week to go

Our weather here is starting to remind us of what the weather was like in Alaska when we left, the end of Sept. Cool, cloudy and windy.

Monday, Fred started physical therapy. He has some exercises to strengthen his back muscles because of the surgery and leg exercises for the weakness from the nerve being compressed.

One week from tomorrow Fred will finish the radiation treatments. His biggest struggle with the treatments is being at the hospital at 8:30 am. When he finishes we usually stop at the coffee shop. I have a cup of coffee and we read the paper for awhile before we walk back to our room.

In the afternoon I usually get out of our room, take a walk or go window shopping. Today Fred went with me. We took the wheelchair because he was worn out from the morning walk. We stopped at the BX and got him a light fleece to wear under his rain jacket. He has lost so much weight that he gets cold quickly.

You will be thrilled to know that I got out my art supplies and have been using them the last couple of days. Hummm........I can tell it has been while since I have picked up a paint brush. Today I worked on a bright red maple leaf with yellow veins.

I think that a few more days and Fred will feel better. Being weaned off narcotics has been a slow hard process . I am proud of how well he has handled it.

Once again we want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. We are very blessed by you.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pain Free...things are looking up

Yesterday morning Fred and I were at the hospital waiting room early and Dr M came walking through. He asked Fred how his pain level was. Fred said, "I have no pain just a little stiffness at the surgery spot." To say that Dr M was smiling was an understatement. He said, "Fred, you looked rough when I first saw you a couple of weeks ago and you look so much better today. I am so glad that we could help you." It is great to have another Dr in our corner as we travel down this cancer trail.

Fred is having 10 days of radiation treatments on his back. This should stop the tumor from coming back again. We will have him weaned off his pain meds this week. The next challenge is to build up his strength.

We have moved back into Navy housing, where we have spent a lot of time in the past year. We enjoyed staying with Skip and Sandra but it is nice to be so close to the hospital. They have Doc appointments here this week, so we will see them. They are still in the middle of their own cancer challenges.

November 7 - the date of our plane tickets back to Boise. It is also Shane's 36th birthday. Every year I am amazed at how the years have flown by since the day he was born. We look forward to driving out and spending some time parked in his front yard soon. It has been too long since we have been able to spend some time with him and his growing family.

The leaves are starting to turn here and the temperature has dropped into the 50's and 60's. There is construction going on all over the place, so the base has lost some of it's park like atmosphere. The Army Walter Reed Hospital is being merged here with National Naval Medical Center in the next few years. There will be a lot of changes around here.

I keep busy taking care of all the details of travel, lodging, food, treatment, and medications. I did bring some art supplies along but so far I have not touched them. I am glad we are staying in the same place for 12 days now. We have not been in one place that long since we left Alaska. When was that? Let me look that up....4 weeks ago!

Just 4 weeks since we left Alaska and Fred is pain free.... things are looking up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Post Surgery -- Ten Days

Fred and I have been staying at Skip & Sandra's for a week today. Fred has been continuing to improve as the days go by. Our latest challenge is to wean him off the pain meds. Today I can see an end to this hard phase.

We have a room reserved at Navy Housing across the parking lot from the hospital starting on Wednesday for the next 2 weeks. They are remodeling in our building so that should be interesting. Fred will be having 2 weeks of radiation on the area were he had surgery last week.

I have been doing a couple hours of yard work everyday to keep myself out of trouble. Sandra goes to work everyday, so I have been doing the cooking and cleaning for her. Skip has been out of town this week but will be back this weekend. Skip has chemo 5 days next week at the Navy hospital.

The weather here has been sunny and warm... it is cold and snowing at home.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where do we start? It's October?

Hummmm? To answer one of the most asked questions these days---Yes, we know Sarah Palin. Yes, Fred and I have both worked with her as mayor and governor. She is smart, articulate and approachable. She takes her job of serving the people very seriously. Yes, we are strong supporters.

Health update on Fred. As most of you know he started chemo in March and finished up in July. We did not get much out of that course of treatment except some of the bad side effects. I will say that chemo did bring the numbers down for a very short period of time... I do not see us doing chemo at this level again.

As the summer wore on Fred's physical and mental strength continued to wane. One thing that he wanted, was to spend some time with our children and grandchildren , plus our parents. I presented the idea that we go to the lower 48 for the winter and call it our quality of life tour. Fred retired from the Army a year ago June and all we have done since then has been medicine related. It is time for us to just enjoy life for awhile.

There was one problem with my travel idea and that was that Fred was in terrible pain. A year ago July, Fred had a tumor on his spine radiated to shrink it. He felt that that tumor was growing again and causing pain in his back and down his right leg. It was time to investigate how we could relieve this pain.

To make a long story short, we flew to the DC area a week ago. Our first stop was to see the radiation oncologist (October 6, 2008). The Doc asked if anyone had ever suggested neurosurgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve in Fred's back. We said no, and that we where willing to consider it. Well, here we are 4 days later, October 10, and Fred is recovering from the back surgery he had done yesterday. He is already walking much better. The last 10 days his pain and mobility had gotten so much worse. The surgeons were pleased with their ability to relieve the pressure on the nerve stem. We plan to have that area radiated in a couple of weeks, so that the tumor will not grow back.

Looking forward. Our camper trailer and suburban are in Idaho and we plan to return there to start our winter travel. All of our kids and grandkids are getting together for a few days at Thanksgiving in Boise, ID. I think that will be a great start to our quality of life tour. Who knows we may be in a town near you.

Carrie will be wrapping up her photography training in a few weeks and starting her new career. She plans to spend some time traveling with us this winter.

Once again Fred and I have felt God's guiding hand on our lives. We want to thank each one of you for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. We are so blessed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fall Feeling

A few yellow leaves are starting to dot the lawn, berries are ripening and the mornings are smelling like fall. We have had a little more sunshine in recent weeks, but everyone is feeling a little cheated when it comes to summer weather.

My flowers have been a little slow, except for the begonias and they love cool wet weather. Laila said she got some pictures while she was here.....

We also went to Hatcher Pass where she got some more good pictures. (Thanks for adding your pictures Laila.)

Last week
I went down to the Kenai Peninsula halibut fishing. It was great to get a fishing pole wet for a few days. The ocean was as smooth as glass. We saw lots of puffins, sea otters, and hump back whales every day. By the time I got home on Monday night Fred was in the hospital in Anchorage. He had gotten dehydrated and needed to be on IV's for a couple of days.

Fred is home now, eating, drinking and feeling better. He is recovering from the chemo very slowly. He is so proud of the peach fuzz he is getting on his chin.... he says it's blond, I would say platinum.....

Barbara L headed back to the lower 48 on Friday. She spoiled us so much this summer... Guess I will have to get back in the habit of doing dishes and laundry again. We will miss our morning coffee with you and those wild games of Hand & Foot.
Thank you dear friend, for sharing the most precious gift of your time. We are so grateful.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is it the end of JULY?

This summer has gone by so fast.... The weather here has been cold and wet. We have had about 2 days of sunshine. That is if you add together the 30 minutes here and there.

The end of June our friend Barbara L came from Texas to spend a couple months and help us out with the B&B. We have had a great time.....lots of laughs, lots of cards and digging out corners unseen for too long. Just a couple more weeks and she will be headed back to the lower 48.

Last Wed my sister, Laila came for a visit. With all the rainy weather we have spent our days inside sewing quilts, playing cards and just sharing time together. Every night after supper we have had a game or 2 of hand and foot before bed. We have even worked in some B&B guests during her visit. She flies out tomorrow night. Thank you for coming and filling our days with a little of your sunshine, Laila. And thank you Phil & Kids for sharing her with us.

Here is a Fred update.....I know that is what all of you are waiting for. He finished Chemo with good results. He is getting a little stronger everyday and we look forward to traveling to see friends and family in the fall. Fred's plan is to enter another drug trial in the future. Please pray that his numbers stay stable and that he continues gain strength and enjoy good days.

We have been so blessed by the support of all of you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wade Came to Visit..

I have been sooooo bad about keeping you updated in the past couple of months.

The end of April Wade came and spent 8 days with us. He had not been to Alaska in 6 years and 3 months. He has done a lot of living since he left, including being married and having 2 children. To say that he was excited to be here is an understatement.

He was the energizer bunny.......working on our cars, putting in a new kitchen sink and faucet and the biggest project, plumbing and putting tile in the master bath. Fred and I started to remodel that bathroom right before he was diagnosed with cancer. Has it been 5 years?

Wade came with us to Fred's chemo treatment and got in on all that involves. It was so encouraging for Fred and I to have him come and share this time with us. Wade also got to connect with a lot of old friends. It was a great visit for all of us.

Thank you Annadeidra for sharing your husband's time with us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Misty's Visit

Fred and I have been blessed again. A couple of weeks ago Misty came to spend some time with us. Now she had heard about all the projects Wade had done when he was here. And she was not to be outdone by her older brother. I don't think that is the real motivation for her visit, but in retrospect it could look that way.

Without her 3 children 3 years and under, under foot, she thought she was a light footed wonder woman. She helped her Dad sort through about 20 boxes of books and took 10 boxes to sell at the used book store. Then she gutted the loft and put in new sub floor, vinyl flooring, and painted it. Misty, with the help of her main cheerleader, Jim, also arranged for a new couch to be delivered. The last thing she did was tear out the old staircase and put in a new one.

Misty's goal was to give Fred a fresh bright new place to hang out when we have B&B guests here. Look for yourself ....thanks Misty for all the work and all the laughs.

Thanks you Peter for making this happen and being such and good Dad caring for those little darlings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here He Is

Here are some pictures......they tell the story better than I can.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

White World - White Count

We have a white world today. It has been snowing off and on all day. The big news is that the glacier covering our driveway has melted. We don't mind a little snow, it makes everything look clean and white for a few days. The ice usually goes off our lake from about the end of April to the second week of May.

Fred did very well after his first chemo treatment. There were about 4 days in that week where he was really out of it. He slept most of the time during those days.

Yesterday Fred had blood work done again and his white count was back to normal. Every Friday he has been having blood work done. The first week after his treatment his white count was very low. We were pleased that it came back up on it's own. This coming Thursday he will have his second chemo treatment.

Thanks for all your love & support.

Friday, March 21, 2008

One Down....

Fred had his first chemo treatment today and it went well. He started some new pain medication yesterday that is making him much more comfortable. I was the one that came home and took a nap this afternoon. He was the Energizer Bunny, heading off to the store as soon as we got home. He is napping now for a few minutes before supper.

Tonight I am going to a Good Friday service at church. It is hard to believe that Easter Weekend is here already.

Thanks for all your cards, thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We have a least for now. Fred will start chemo treatments here in Anchorage on Friday morning and will have a treatment every 3 weeks. Tomorrow morning we go in for chemo training (that sounds like a military term). His new doctor here will be working with our DC doctors, so that he will still be qualified for the upcoming drug trials there. We both slept so hard last night, I think it was because the decision making pressure was off.

It is a very pretty morning here. Today is the spring equinox, that means from now to the fall equinox in September we have more daylight than darkness. All the sunshine lately is great but it sure makes the dirty winter windows and cobwebs show up. Guess if I am home maybe we can get around to getting some cleaning done. I wonder how good Nick is at washing windows?

Our little granddaughter, Elizabeth, is having her tonsils out this morning. She called me last night to ask me about when I had mine out. For me it was a party with ice cream. My hospital bed was in the hall because they were out of rooms. I had a steady stream of people to visit with and all the ice cream I wanted. I was 6 years old not 3. It is amazing how much I remember about that experience and I can't remember what I left across the room 5 minutes ago. Papa and I pray for your speedy recovery, Lizzy.

This weekend is Misty and Peters 7th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! You know what Dad always says, "This is what memories are made of." Lizzy should be feeling better soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Unknown Territory

These past days we have spent gathering information from doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. There is not manual or check list to follow for this process. We just keep asking questions and searching for answers about where and how we should go about the next phase of Fred's treatment.

We are so blessed to have so many doctors and staff willing to help us along this pathway through this unknown territory. We have thought we were close to making decisions several times this week only to find out we did not have the whole picture yet.

Today it looks like we may be able to get all Fred's east coast doctors and his doctors here to work together and come up with a plan for chemo that he can be treated with here in Alaska. Everyone is concerned about the toll it takes on him to travel back and forth from coast to coast.

Tuesday we meet with more doctors here to see what they can offer. A decision should be made and treatment started this week. Just remember, at this point everything is subject to change.

Please pray for us as we work through these decisions this week. May God be praised.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Treatment Changes

I know we are a little slow getting you all brought up to date. Bad news is always a little to harder to share, so I will just get that out of the way first.

Let me review Fred's cancer over the past 8 months. In July, tests showed 2 cancer spots, one on his pelvic bone and one on his spine. We had the spine treated with radiation because it was pressing on his sciatic nerve and causing a lot of pain, plus we did not want any permanent damage to those nerves.

In September, Fred officially started the new vaccine trial. On his second dose, in October, he had a drug reaction that caused his liver enzymes to be elevated for 10 weeks. He did not have the vaccine during that time.

In January, he was able to continue with the trial and his PSA numbers were starting to rise fast.

Here we are in March. Fred had all the body scans and blood work done that we expected. We knew his PSA has been going up considerably faster in recent weeks and expected some new cancer activity. The scans showed 3 new cancer spots on his bones, two on his skull and one one his ribs. Because of these latest developments, Fred has been taken off this trial.

All the doctors that we have worked with at NIH and NNMC agree that chemo therapy should be our next step. We have calls into several more doctors and medical facilities gathering information so that we can make a decisions on a treatment plan soon. Please pray for us as we work through this information and make these decisions.

We were so blessed to have Shane travel with us last week. I think that he got a pretty good picture of what our lifestyle has been most of these last 4 years. It was fun to introduce him to all our Doctors and the community of people that are part of our DC life. (Thanks again, son.) We were sorry he missed meeting Skip and Sandi as they were out of town on vacation.

In the meantime, we are at home enjoying feeding the birds, feeding the fire and adjusting to the Alaska time zone.

Friday, February 29, 2008


What a difference a few weeks at home can make. Fred recovered from his injection in about a week this time and has felt pretty good the rest of the month. I was especially worn after this trip. The whole trip was filled with extra struggles that were very wearing on me. I can't believe, that I can honestly say I am feeling rested physically, mentally and spiritually now. I am reminded of that verse that says God will never give us more than we can bear.

The bright spot on our last trip was getting to spend a week with Carrie and Misty plus family before heading to DC. The plan was for us to babysit the kids while Misty & Peter went out of town for a few days of rest and to celebrate Misty's 30th BD. Well, to make a long story short the whole family ended up on antibiotics instead. Praise the Lord Fred and I did not catch that bug. Lizzy is getting to be such a big girl going to preschool and the twins are walking and talking. We had a lot of laughs that week. Nothing like the Grandkids to lift your spirits.

Tomorrow morning we head for the airport again. Fred and I, believe it or not, are really looking forward to this trip. The biggest reason is that our oldest son, Shane, will be traveling with us. I think that last time we had Shane to ourselves for 5 days was before his little sister was born. And we will not say how many years that has been. We appreciate his willingness to give us this precious gift of time. We especially want to thank his wife for her willingness to share him with us, as she will be left at home with 3 small children. Thank you Shane & Kristi!

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and words of encouragement. We are so blessed by all of you. God is good.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Numbers

The good news is that Fred's liver numbers were very near normal today. That ment he could have a treatment this afternoon. The bad news is that the PSA is up. The Doctors told us that sometimes it takes 4,5, or 6 treatments before the PSA drops. Fred has only had 2 treatments close together. Fred is also starting to have pain in his leg again but is able to control it with Ibeprophen. He is scheduled to have body scans next month, so they will re-evaluate the tumar then.

We enjoyed Sunday afternoon with Sandra and Skip, plus friends that gathered to celebrate the Super Bowl. Fred and I left early to head to Bethesda and got to our room in time to see the last quarter. It was a fun game to watch..... the only football game we watched this year.

Once again we are headed home on Wednesday. We here it's cold up there humm.......

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Maryland Morning

My it has been awhile since I updated everyone.....

We had a restful time at home watching the snow fall and feeding the fire. I even did a little closet cleaning. Fred recovered quickly from his injections. I know that he has been feeling better because he keeps thinking of things that I should do.

The last week that we were home I spent my time cleaning and reorganizing the basement because we had a new boarder moving in. Nickolas moved in just a couple of days before we left. I talked to him the other day and he was asking where a few things were in the kitchen. He seems to be settling in. We are so greatful to have someone living at the house and taking care of things since we are gone so much.

This morning I am sitting in Maryland at Skip and Sandra's kitchen table watching a flock of blackbirds coming and going around the neighborhood. I can't believe how many there are. I woke up to their chater this morning. We had good flights yesterday from Boise to Seattle to DC.

As many of you know, we went to Boise to help out with the kids so that Misty and Peter could run away for a few days. Feb 1 was Misty's 30th birthday. Well, to make a long story short the whole family went on antibiotics the day after we got to Boise and no one felt well enough to go anywhere. Sorry Misty, maybe another time. We did enjoy our visit with all of them, espcially when they all started to feel better.

So far, Fred and I are well. We all worked very hard at hand washing and sanitizing around the house to keep the bugs away. We enjoyed sleeping in our camper in the back yard. According to the family in the house, they did not get the full nights of sleep that we did.

Tomorrow Fred is back at NIH with blood work and Dr appointments. We will let you all know what we learn as soon as we can. If all goes well, our tickets home to Alaska are for Wed the 6th.

Happy Anniversary Wade and Annadeidra. Five years and counting...... God bless you both.

Monday, January 7, 2008


After much study, Fred passed his liver exam today and got a long awaited treatment. The first thing this morning Fred went to the lab to donate his blood for the day. It was only 20 vials this time. We went to see Dr G and were in her office waiting for the lab results and listening to all the possible tests they were considering if the numbers did not come down this time. And there it was on the compuer screen.....they are not all totally normal yet ...but definitely going in the right direction.

Everyone was doing a lot of smiling the rest of the day. Doctors even greeted us in the hall with their congratulations. It was a long day at the hospital but well worth it. We don't have another appointment until Feb 4.

About Wednesday at 5pm, we should be walking in the door of our home in Alaska. The time since we left has gone very fast with all the holiday travel but it will be good to be home.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

What a wonderful holiday season we have had! We flew from DC and spent about a week with Wade, Annadeidra and kids. We spent our time enjoying each others company with a lot of laughter, playing card games, dominos, and loving on the grandkids. Kyrstin and I baked a cake and Papa rode the little 4 wheeler around the yard with her. Ashton reminds us a lot of Wade at that age, always on the move with a cute grin and a twinkle in his eye.

After Christmas it was off to Kansas. Mom's car broke down on the way to pick us up so Rodney and Steve came to the rescue. They were having their big family Christmas dinner that afternoon....but we ate in shifts by the time the cars got towed and shuttled around. Fred and I sleep in the recliners in the middle of the livingroom while all the family of 9 visited around us. It was a long day, that morning we had to get going at 3:30 am to catch our flight in Nasville.

We saw a lot of family and friends in our week here. It was great to spend the night with Laila and family. The whole family got in a game of Hand & Foot. Lewis and Elaina did a great job of keeping up with us. I think they focus on the gamve better than we do, we are distracted by the visit we are having. It is wonderful to have a game that everyone can enjoy playing.

No one enjoys playing games more than Mom. She especially loves picking up 7 cards in Hand & Foot and saying, "There are just so many possibilities." It was amazing how many times she pulled it off & won.

We find ourselves at the Wichita Airport this morning on our way back to DC. Rodney and Mom brought us in and we had a nice breakfast at IHOP on our way to the airport. Laila and Elaina came by and saw us. We have internet hook up here at the airport so I thought I would catch you all up.

The next couple of days we will be at base housing remonising about the good times we have had in the past couple of weeks. Monday Fred will be back at the hospital. Our plans at this time are to fly home on Wednesday.

Thanks everyone for a great holiday.