“What We Learned on my Summer Vacation”

“What We Learned on my Summer Vacation”  by Elizabeth.

(Can you tell I’ve been getting children ready to go to school-school???)

The best way to tell you all about our vacation would be if you could come over, move a heap of books off the sofa and sit down with Danny and let him show you HIS book about it.  He just HAD to get a brand-new main-lesson-book within about ten minutes after we got home, and has been writing steadily ever since.

But since that’s geographically challenging for most of my friends, these few photos of mine will have to do.

Dixon drove us up and back… my parents and Jane and AJ took care of the kids and everything… so my job was basically to rest, eat well, take naps with George, knit, spin, and be thankful.

You know, my cancer was diagnosed exactly 2 years ago this week.  And when it was diagnosed, my best-estimate optimistic life expectancy was 22 months.  Therefore I was VERY busy being thankful that I could be in Michigan.

While I was busy being thankful, my children were busy learning things.  Danny learned to hand-pollinate tomatoes.  My dad takes his tomatoes very seriously.

Papa also taught Danny how to throw and catch a frisbee.  (Remind me to email this photo to Karen, his physical therapist.  I don’t think she’d believe me without the proof 🙂 )

Speaking of Papa, he learned that once you’ve had a good number of grandchildren, you figure out that it’s not worth it to try to teach them not to bang and pound when they sit on your lap to play the piano. 

We all wanted George to learn about the zoo.  For some reason, lots of zoo animal words are in his reading and signing vocabulary.  Danny, of course was in charge of the map and keeping us all on task.  It turned out, however, that George wasn’t impressed with all the animals… but he sure liked the train. 

Nana claims that while she was at the zoo, she learned how to use my camera.  Below is actually, believe it or not, a photo of ME on my own blog. 

While we were at the zoo, Brian learned what it’s like to get up close and personal with the wildlife:

I’m not entirely sure who was learning what exactly at this moment… but it was either Emily or the giraffe:

Before we went on our trip, we had all learned that our dear friend, Father John, has Alzheimer’s.  Father John has been a part of my life for a long time… I guess since I was Danny’s age, since he heard my First Confession… and married us, and baptized Emily at his church, St. Basil’s in South Haven, Michigan.

Father John came to Charlotte to baptize Sam, and next we chose him to be Brian’s godfather.

We saved our visit to his house until Dixon flew back to Michigan so that he and Father John could spent some valuable time together.  Plus, I obviously couldn’t take care of two particular boys of mine at the beach without his help…

George got to learn about the water of Lake Michigan.

And George got to learn about the sand.  I think George likes water better than sand.

So there you go.   My Summer Vacation.  Now we’re back to reality, back home with Sam, who has returned from North Dakota, and back to two weeks full of doctor’s appointments for me… starting tomorrow morning, so I’m going to see if I can make enough room among the heap of boys on my bed to go to sleep.  Thanks for looking at my pictures!

15 thoughts on ““What We Learned on my Summer Vacation”

  1. Thanks for the pictures! Looks like your family learned a LOT this summer!

    Hope you found enough room to rest up for your dr visit marathon…will be thinking about you and sending lots of love and prayers your way!


  2. You have had a good summer vacation! Thanks for sharing it and the photos of some of it with us. Prayers, peace and strength to you in the upcoming weeks.

  3. Hello! Ever so pleased to make your acquaintance. I hopped over from A Holy Experience. Lifting you in prayer, never ceasing, silver threads spiraling to heaven, to The One who knows all needs. Praying for time and miracles and more love love love. **blows kisses** Deborah

  4. Hi Elizabeth, Came over today to your blog for the first time from Holy Experience (Thanks, Ann) and have been seeing your journey through your pictures and words. Thanks for sharing! Your summer post is lovely. I, was diagnosed with Stage 1 invasive lobular carcinoma and was breast feeding my youngest at the time (November 2009). I am 38 years old, a homeschooling mom, love the Lord, had chemo, had your same hair style (bald 🙂 and am now watching my hair grow back in a mighty way. Blessings to you today! Thank you again for your sharing! ~C

  5. On our trip, Felicity learned that a deep puncture wound at the beach from an unknown something (conch, perhaps) bleeds a whole lot & hurts a whole lot more. looks like george enjoyed sand about as much as felic liked her heel puncture.

  6. Hi Elizabeth,

    The trip to the zoo looked like great fun, and I really like how Danny took over the tour leader duties. I know your socks went where they were needed most, and your aunt will have hers soon. I know how important Fr. John is to your family, and I know how heartbreaking it is to see him decline. I’m certain your time with him was meaningful and greatly appreciated. He is truly one of the finest priests around which is indicative of what a kind, caring individual he is. I don’t think they can teach that in seminary. I’m praying your doctor appointments go well, and you continue to show them how wrong their predicitons can be. Papa and Nana are wonderful teachers in all manner of things. Danny throwing the frisbee was just one of the many things learned while in MI.

    Love and prayers

  7. Hello – I can not find contact for you…I know a biochemist that works w a lot of health things including cancer w great results. They test to see what is going on w in…nothing quacky @ all. I have heard some amazing stories. I can send you her contact if you would like. Just e mail me.

  8. Just wanted you to know that I read your letter that Ann Voskamp posted on her Holy Experience blog today . From one mom, who battled cancer, while caring for a two year old beautiful boy with Downs Syndrone, I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you today. Priorities on the Unseen! Yes! I’m with you.
    Our God is Bigger than all delays and stronger than all that which is seen and unseen.
    In His Grace,
    A friend in South Carolina,

  9. Oh how I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. Oftentimes it even takes the place of my morning prayers as I find more to meditate on. Thank you so much for sharing you life with us. I love the socks and feel the prayers. They are coming back to you – not the socks – I’m not that talented – the prayers are on their way.

  10. I’m glad you had a fun vacation! And praise God that the doctor’s life expectation has been exceeded thus far!

  11. Hi elizabeth so glad your doing well I have prayed for you off and on (though heart of my home button link) I read this (should everyone spin? Another yarn manifesto @ abby’s yarns) And I thought you would like it love shannon

  12. Wow, what wonderful photos…I love Danny’s zoo notebook! And your cashmere socks look luscious!

    I’m always glad when I drop in and find a post here. God bless you, Elizabeth. Praying that you stay well.

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