Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios

Our daughters are the masters of blogging, so I am deferring to Tara's blog  if anyone would like to take a guided tour through our four days at Disney World. She was meticulous at documenting, with words and pictures, everywhere we went and everything we did. It could certainly serve as a Travel Guide should you ever plan a trip to Disney!

Many, many, many thanks to Jamie and Tara for making us a part of their trip. We will treasure our memories forever!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Tribute to my Dad

Remembering my Dad, Chief Warrant Officer David G. Stout, who spent 21 years serving his country, in Anchorage Alaska, Seattle Washington, Arlington Virginia (The Pentagon), Panama Canal Zone, Ft. Meade Maryland, Saigon Vietnam, and Naples Italy. Couldn't be prouder for your faithful service.  I love you.

Thank you to Larissa Holland who shared this moving song and video, and knows it's creators. It will surely touch your heart and help each of us realize how many paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we often take for granted. As a little girl, we lived across from Arlington Cemetery and the sight of that many tombstones, row upon row, along with the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" is something I will never forget.

The Port Orleans Riverside Resort at Disney World

Following the family reunion at my brother's house, EZ, Nick and I joined the Dews for the beginning of our Disney adventure. We are so grateful they took us along to help out with the little ones so that we could be there to see their faces and hear their excitement as they experienced Disney for the first time. Kyle, Leah and Emery were able to spend some time Sunday night with us as we explored the resort that would be our home for the next four nights. Here are some pictures of the beautiful Port Orleans Riverside...just perfect for families! Should you be planning a trip to Disney, we would highly recommend staying here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

EZ Update - Uh Oh...Walking Pneumonia!

As we began our trek home from Florida after two hotel stays, four nights at the Port Orleans, multiple dips in various pools, a full day at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, EZ began to run a fever. It could be controlled with ibuprofen, so we continued heading home, in case we needed to get in touch with his oncologist. Well, the fever re-appeared off and on, ranging from 98.8 to 102.5, with NO OTHER SYMPTOMS, so we decided to give the doctor a call on Monday. He definitely wanted EZ to come in for an exam, in addition to blood work, urinalysis and a chest x-ray. We are so thankful Dr. Kritz is VERY pro-active in treating fevers with his patients, as nothing could be heard in EZ's lungs with the stethoscope, but the films revealed walking pneumonia. The diagnosis really surprised everyone as he had no congestion, no cough, no cold, and no shortness of breath.

EZ has spent the past week on antibiotics... resting, recuperating, deep breathing and sleeping. Thank you for your many prayers. Our goal was to keep him out of the hospital and we are so very grateful that hospitalization wasn't necessary. It all makes us realize just how vulnerable one can be with an immature immune system nine months post-transplant. He doesn't regret the trip for a minute, and even with the use of multiple packs of anti-bacterial wipes, there is absolutely no way to protect one from all the germs out there. We also realized how different one's stamina is after transplant, or just with cancer in general. Activities that seemed rather "normal", can really zap the energy right out of you. EZ really pushed himself, to help out, be a part of, and experience just about everything we were doing, so it didn't surprise me when he got sick or did ALOT of sleeping.

Many have wondered how EZ would "rest" or participate in the various activities. When there's a will, there's a way! Fortunately, Disney buses expect many to stand, and the parks have alot of half walls and long benches in the shade that he could lie down on. Meals meant we found cocktail height tables, or he would simply stand at the table to eat. I can't count the number of times the Disney waiters and waitresses tried to be accomodating and get him a chair...so kind. Pushing Nathan and Natalie in the double stroller turned in to "Grandpa's Wild Ride" and they held on for dear life and loved it!

Hopefully all will look good at our follow-up appointment on Wednesday. Though we are so happy EZ was able to take this trip with us, we are once again keenly reminded of how much more fragile one's health can be with multiple myeloma.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Sunday Afternoon "After the Wedding" Family Reunion

As our family grows and more little ones are being added, it's often difficult to gather everyone together in one place at the same time. Ben and Alli's wedding provided the perfect opportunity for all of us, so my brother, Johnny, and his wife, JoAnn, hosted a BBQ reunion at their house on Sunday afternoon. Along with the inflatable water slide, and bounce house, we enjoyed time for some group pictures and much needed fellowship. We are so very blessed to have such a close-knit family who love hanging out together. My how we've grown! And to think it all began back in 1949 when David Stout and Virginia Koch tied the knot and had their first son in 1951! We miss "Grandpa" aka "Gramps", but are so thankful to have "Grandma", aka "Gigi", to share the joy with.

Here's all the big kids!
Mom Stout with her grandchildren
Add in all the great grandchildren (with one on the way!)
Almost the whole clan (missed you Jeff!)

We sure did enjoy our time together on that beautiful afternoon. We got to check out the bride and groom's rings up close and personal, hold babies, hug people we haven't seen in a while, eat some delicious brisket, and catch up on life. Many, many thanks to Johnny and JoAnn for hosting!

Posted by Picasa