Thursday, April 3, 2014

What We Have Been Up To

Are we already three months into 2014!?!

Time seems to be going by so quickly! Not quite sure how that happens when sometimes the weeks and even the days seem to drag on and last forever! 


Our weeks are still pretty hard as we try to keep up with schoolwork and homework. Sometimes all it feels like we do is work on incomplete schoolwork, do homework, work on a project, work on completing study guides, and study for tests. We all definitely live for Friday nights! Those nights are still our pizza and a movie night! No homework, just us relaxing.


So, since tonight was actually a light homework night, we thought we'd take a moment to share what we have been up to. Here's a recap month by month.


JANUARY

January began with going back to school after a glorious Christmas Break with family and friends. January also brought the birth of Carter Hankinson. Cori and Phil welcomed their second son into the world on January 10th. We went to visit them on the 19th. The girls love holding newborns as much as Mark and I do! 

We celebrated Liv's birthday on the 15th. She is a beautiful, smart, witty 12 year old with a great sense of fashion! Between Christmas and her birthday, she got two pairs of boots and a pair of shoes. She also planned a fabulous hot chocolate bar for her birthday party!


We also attended several events during our church's annual Missions Conference. It is always an amazing weekend learning more about what the missionaries and non-profit organizations we support are doing and learning about new ways we can serve others.


The end of January brought us two snow days! We love snow days more than we love Friday nights! 


On the last day of January, Elena received more of her re-immunizations. We go back for more at the end of April. 


FEBRUARY

On February 1st, Liv's school chorus sang at the Gwinnett Gladiators hockey game. It was great fun!

The girls went to the Winter Jam concert at the Georgia Dome with their youth group and we had a much needed date night!

Then February 11th - 14th brought four more snow days!! We had the best snowcation filled with sledding, snowman making, talking walks in the snow, watching movies, reading and napping! 


On the 26th, Elena had her regularly scheduled three month check up at Aflac with Dr. Lew. We LOVE him! He is the best doctor! He knows Elena so well and how to handle all things with her. Elena's counts were perfect according to him. He is so happy with her progress and we will go back to see him at the end of May. We also saw an endocrinologist for the first time. At this point, the doctor is going to simply monitor Elena's hormone levels for another six months before we have to make any decisions regarding possible hormone replacement treatments for Elena.


MARCH

Last month, brought Elena's induction into the Beta Club at school. It's mission is to promote academic achievement, character, service and leadership. Elena has already participated in two service events and is enjoying meeting new friends.

We are also on the hunt for a piano teacher for Liv. She decided that she would like to take lessons. 


Both girls are still taking dance classes and are learning the routines for their May recital.


Life is definitely feeling more and more normal and more settled. Each day, we feel like we are able to breath a little more easily. 


Next week brings our Spring Break. We are ready for a week of no school and no homework. It will bring us some much needed rest and relaxing. We are looking forward to fun filled days and nights replacing stressful, tiring ones. At least for a week. Then, we will be ready to tackle the final six weeks of the school year and all of the state tests and finals that come with it.


Thank you for continuing to pray for us and for being a part of this journey with us!!


In Him,

The Tates

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom." 
Psalm 145:3

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year's Eve!

 


We can't believe that another year is coming to an end.

2013 can be described in many ways. At times, it was hard, difficult, lonely, and filled with long, never ending days. At other times, it was happy, joy filled, and peaceful.

Looking back:
We rang in 2013 at home together. In April, Elena was able to return to school and church. Elena reached the one year anniversary of her bone marrow transplant. Liv graduated from fifth grade. Elena graduated from eighth grade. We spent a wonderful summer together doing all the things we couldn't do last summer. We went on a trip of a lifetime - Elena's Make A Wish trip to Hawaii. This fall, we slowly adjusted to new schools, new grades, and new schedules.

One thing we have come to realize is that every year is filled with joy and pain. What we are learning is how to continue to see God's faithfulness and blessings in both, how to see joy in each new day, how to appreciate the little things, how to let go, and how to breathe.  

No matter what challenges we continue to face, we are thankful for our many blessings.
We know that God is faithful and promises to carry us through the hard times. We are thankful for your presence in our lives, for continuing to ask how we are doing and how our girls are. Thank you for faithfully praying for our family. Your presence and prayers continue to encourage us daily.

We wish you a healthy and blessed 2014. We pray this new year will be a wonderful one!
As we move into a new year, we hope to use this blog to document many new joys and happy memories that we can look back on in the years to come. 

In Him,
The Tates

"Trust in Him at all times, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:8


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cooley's Fundraiser for CURE TODAY

Are you wondering what’s for 
lunch today or dinner tonight?!

Have Cooley’s Pizza and help support 
CURE Childhood Cancer

CURE Fundraiser at Cooley’s Pizza
TODAY- Tuesday, October 29th 
All Day
In Honor of Elena Tate and Abby Boone

25% will go to CURE Childhood Cancer

You can order online at http://cooleyspizza.com
or call:

Suwanee Location   
1120 Peachtree Ind. Blvd.
770-904-6463      

THANK YOU Andy and Courtney Cooley!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thank You!!

The girls from the 2011 CURE Initiative photo shoot - before Elena relapsed in 2012

Thanks to our generous family and friends, we have met our goal of raising $2000 this month for CURE Childhood Cancer's research initiatives! Thank you for making a difference is the lives of children as CURE works to find better treatments for childhood cancer and most importantly to find a cure!

Thank you for loving us through the good and the bad! 
Thank you for joining us in the fight!




 Here's another picture from the 2011 CURE Initiative photo shoot.

Just because September is coming to an end, doesn't mean you still can't donate.
The girls' elementary school (& where Christy works) is have a Hat Day this Friday, September 27th, where students can donate $1 and wear a hat to school. All proceeds will be donated to CURE.



CURE's September Initiative: CURE's "Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time" continues all month. Click here for more information or to donate:


In Him,
The Tates

"For I know the plans I have for you." declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Monday, September 16, 2013

Tate Girls Day with CURE Childhood Cancer

Today is the day! 
Elena and Olivia are being honored today by CURE Childhood Cancer for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

This past week, we learned about three more children who have been diagnosed with cancer. One is our cousin, Sophie. Today, she is undergoing brain surgery at Texas Children's Hospital to remove a tumor.  

We hope you will share our story with your friends and family. By doing so, you will help us raise awareness about childhood cancer.  We ask that you join us in this fight and consider donating to CURE in honor of our girls, their fight, their perseverance, and their grace.


Please help us in our goal to raise money today in our girls' honor to help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers. 

Click here for more information or to donate to our cause.


Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers!
In Him,
The Tates


"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 
1 Corinthians 13:13

Monday, September 9, 2013

We Invite You to Join in the Fight


September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
CURE's Kids Conquer Cancer
One Day at a Time
In our last post, we shared with you the great and not so great things going on in our lives.

Those not so great things:

  • trying to meet the demands of school work and homework
  • nightly trying to keep up with multiple classes and multiple assignments
  • not knowing how to best help our girls learn, retain and process information
  • feeling overwhelmed because our girls feel that way
  • feeling helpless because our girls feel that way
  • the harsh reality that every school year, every transition, every assignment, every test, will be hard for our girls

Watching our girls' struggle daily because of the harm their brains suffered is our reality - that is our life. The very procedures that saved their lives, Liv's brain surgery and Elena's chemo and radiation, hurt them. We grow tired of these not so great things. 
It is hard.
It hurts. 
It also fuels us to fight. 
We fight for the girls to receive the best education possible.
We fight to learn more about their disabilities.
We fight to help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers. 

Because you know us, you are already fully aware of the statistics. 

In the next 12 months, 12,700 children will be diagnosed with cancer.
80% will survive - 20% will die
Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease of children.

Today, 46 families were told, "Your child has cancer."
Today, 7 children took their last breath.

3 out of 5 children suffer from long-term side effects from cancer.
That is Elena and Liv's reality.

For the fifth year in a row, we have been asked by CURE to share our story. It is an honor to join such an amazing organization in raising money to fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers.  In the years since our girls' diagnosis' , there has been little improvement. One of the factors for this is the severe lack of awareness of childhood cancer and the severe lack of funding.

Only 3% of federal funding for cancer research is focused on childhood cancers.
Childhood cancer is not one disease. 
There are more than 25 different types, each requiring their own research. 
Childhood cancer is not the same as adult cancer. 
Separate research and treatments are required. 
This year, CURE is funding $2.5 million in research spanning 13 major studies.

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, CURE Childhood Cancer is committed to educating people about childhood cancer and empowering them to fight back. So how does childhood cancer become a priority cause in this country?  The journey begins with each of us.  We need your help to raise more funds and more awareness.

This year, CURE Childhood Cancer will honor Elena and Liv on September 16th.
You can find them on CURE's web site www.curechildhoodcancer.org

As we have in the past, our goal is to raise as much money as we can to help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers. Childhood cancer is severely underfunded and will never make the progress it needs to without money for research.

We hope you will help and share our story with your friends and family and ask them to join you in donating in honor of our girls, their fight, their perseverance, and their grace.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us, care for us, and encourage us.
In Him,
The Tates

"For I know the plans I have for you." declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Great and Not So Great

Since our last post in July, many things have happened.
Some great, some not so great.

The great things have been:
receiving some good news about Elena's test results - her heart, lungs, and thyroid are all working well - huge praise!
great counts for Elena at her August clinic visit - they were the best they have been since transplant - another praise!
hearing the news that Elena does not have to go to the clinic for THREE months! A first in FOUR years! Praise God!

going to the park and pool


back to school shopping


meeting new teachers
going to Louisiana for our niece's wedding





seeing Christy's brother and his family who live in Colorado and
filming a commercial for CURE that will air on 11Alive during the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month






The not so great things have been:
trying to meet the demands of school work and homework
trying to keep up with multiple classes and multiple assignments nightly watching our girls' struggle daily because of the harm caused by Liv's brain surgery and Elena's chemo and radiation
not knowing how to best help our girls learn, retain and process information
feeling overwhelmed because our girls feel that way
feeling helpless because our girls feel that way
the harsh reality that every school year, every transition, every assignment, every test, will be hard for our girls

(pictures of all of this would be bad!)

Once again, we are growing really, really weary of the not so great things. 
We continue to try to choose joy each day, but finding that joy in the midst of the chaos, anger and sadness is hard.

Please continue to pray for us.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." Romans 8:26-27

In Him,
The Tates