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Catching Up On Things

Posted Nov 08 2012 2:00am
I know it's been awhile since I penned a post here for the blog. But, I was honestly shocked when I recently looked and saw that it was August when I last sat down to write. Let's just call it a needed break. God's been working on me in a number of ways recently and it was a good time to do less talking and more listening. As I always say, no news here on the blog is good news. We have been good. I'll try to do a little recap on what's been happening here in Smithville since my last post.

Gavin and Garrett started school. Gavin is enjoying first grade and making some great progress. Garrett is loving kindergarten and rocking right along. Here's a few pictures from their first day of school --

 Gavin was so excited to get 1st grade started.  

 Walking to school.  This picture will likely always hold a special place in my heart.  So many times I prayed that Gavin would live to see the day when he and Garrett walked to school for the first time together.  So thankful for this.
Garrett was such a brave kindergartener.  Walked in like he owned the place.  :)

We have been able to spend some fun times with friends, like an afternoon spent fishing with the friend I've known the longest and her sweet family.  I treasure friends, old and new.  But there is something so special about friendships from my early years that remain so strong after all this time.  (Love you, Julie!)  I feel blessed that our kids get to love on each other as well.

September also brought a new baseball season in our household.  Gavin wasn't so much interested in playing this season, so we honored that.  Garrett played.  Jeff coached.  I helped with the dugout.  And Gavin helped with the bats.  He preferred to be called "Batman."  ;)
 Play ball, Garrett!  :)
 "Baseball ready"
 Batman Gavin
Gavin had the chance to attend a camp through Children's Medical Center Dallas for children who have survived cancer of the brain and/or spine.  It was a weekend camp.  He even skipped most of one day of school, but we deemed it worth it.  ;)  It was the first camp we've ever sent him off to.  We felt fine doing so because his oncologist is the doctor for that camp.  Not sure there's a doctor in the world that knows Gavin better than that man!  One of his favorite child life specialists was in charge of the camp.  And two of our favorite nurses from Children's were the camp nurses.  Clearly, he was in good hands.  He was so excited to head off to camp.  In fact, he was the first kid on the bus!  I got an email from his oncologist Sunday morning.  I feared at first that he was writing to tell me that Gavin had strep throat, that he had already called in script, and that he needed me to pick it up on the way to pick him up that day.  Not the case at all.  He was writing to tell me how great Gavin did at camp.  He said, "Gavin had so much fun at camp. We all enjoyed having Gavin with us. See him below making snow cones at our party last night."  Here's the snow cone pic he sent me.   image.jpeg
I later learned that Gavin took charge of the snow cone station.  He was delighted with how many repeat "customers" came to get his snow cones!   
The camp goes from age 7 to 17.  I pray that Gavin and I will be blessed to look back at this picture when he's 17 and heading back to camp one last time.  I envision him walking up to the snow cone station and asking the first time camper that has taken over the snow cone station for another treat.  He won't likely say anything to the snow cone kid, but will recall how it felt to be there for the very first time.  And I pray that he feels eternally grateful for the chance to still be heading to a cancer survivor camp when he started with such a low chance to survive at all.  And as he heads into adulthood, I hope he will take a moment to thank those at camp that helped him reach that point.  Gavin's oncologist must feel blessed to see those graduating from camp for the final time.  Many of them were once very small children fighting such a big disease. 
We feel like Garrett has sacrificed quite a bit to help his big brother get to where he is today.  So while Gavin was at cancer survivor camp, we treated Garrett to some fun as well.  Part of that included a Texas Rangers baseball game.  He loved it!  Jeff and I enjoyed getting to spend some one on one time with this special little guy. 

October brought more fall fun.  We headed to Canton, Texas to experience a new pumpkin patch at Yesterland Farm.  I've looked at all the pictures from that venture and decided it really needs its own post.  Local readers, you need to head there next fall if you didn't go this year.  It was good old fashioned Texas fun!  Here's my favorite pic of the boys and me as we made our way through the corn maze --

Gavin had his follow-up laser eye surgery in October as well.  He enjoyed riding the Hummer once more into the operating room.  The surgery was considered successful.  (Wow! I just realized how far I've made it into this post before mentioning medical appointments!  See, we are doing pretty good!)

My sister and part of her family came down for their fall break.  It was good to see them and the kids had a great time together.  Riley is just a couple of months older than Gavin.  She and our boys enjoyed a trip to Six Flags.

 Steph and Riley
 Brave enough to ride the kiddie coaster without holding on.  ;)
We wrapped up October with some super fun trick or treating.  Gavin was a doctor...again.  Technically, he was a vet last year.  But really, he's been a doctor for three years now.  I joke that he's our "3rd year resident."  Here he is checking out Garrett's (a.k.a. Storm Trooper's) heart with his stethoscope to make sure it was in tip-top condition before hitting the candy trail.

Gavin will soon celebrate his birthday.  Each year we donate prizes or snacks/drinks to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Legacy Campus for Children's Medical Center.  We're collecting again this year with a focus on prizes for the prize closet.  As some of you may recall, the kids in the cancer clinic get to pick a prize out each time they are poked (i.e. shot, blood work, port access, etc) or experience some other significant trauma.  Gavin loved his prizes and he loves to refill the prize closet.  We like to donate around his birthday as a tangible way for Gavin to give back to a hospital that helped save his life.  If you'd like to donate to Gavin's cause, email me at staciesmith19(at)hotmail(dot)com. 

Thanks for checking in on us.  :)  Happy fall, ya'll!

Much love,
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