The Big Open House

 Last weekend, our family enjoyed going to the open house introducing the new building at Seattle Children't Hospital. They had all kinds of fun for the children and tours of the new building. The younger children brought their dolls in for the teddy bear clinic. They each got their own bag filled with supplies and got to use the "real" tools that doctors use.

 After the teddy bear clinic, we all stood in line for a free helmet fitting and give away. Each of our children got a free helmet! Our children got a little lesson in economics from Daddy about the cost of helmets and only having to stand in line for 1 hour to get them. They figured that at just five dollars an hour it would take them approximately 55 hours of working to pay for eleven helmets at $25.00 each. They decided standing for one hour was not so bad! As you can see, Selah was super happy to get her pink "hat" (as she calls it!)

 Once finished with the helmet fitting, we headed over to the new building for a tour of the new cancer wing. The building is called "Building Hope" and is beautiful! The new rooms are very spacious and are getting ready for the very first patients. The building officially opens around the 25 of April- about two weeks into Anna's transplant. So, Anna will be the very first patient to use the room she is given! Very exciting! Below, you see the children gathered around Daddy. We are all in one of the new lounge areas for the families. Here he is explaining to our children that this will be where Anna will be spending a whole lot of time. The next photo, we are praying for Anna to be healed and for our testimony to be one that glorifies the Lord in all of this. It was all very sobering, but we know Anna will be in good hands.

 We ended the day going to one of the favorite spots for special date nights, Fondi pizzeria. Most of our children had never been and so we thought this would be extra special....and it was. We enjoyed the fabulous salad, flat bread with fresh mozzarella, and pizza...many pizzas actually! It was a perfect end to a great day! Kind of our last "hoorah" before everything began.

 And now it has. We are feeling the tension of being apart from one another, but we know this is what we have to do for now. I am home with the little people for the weekend, the older boys (minus Daniel) are at Boyscout camp and Naomi has taken my place in Seattle. Anna and Daniel must be extra cautious right now. It would be okay for Daniel to be home, if everyone is healthy, but Selah has a little cough so he must stay away. They will not be in church the next couple of weeks as we had hoped, but they will get to live stream the services. The days have been long and busy. I am weary, Craig is weary, Anna and Daniel are weary. Tomorrow holds just a few appointments and then there is a break until Monday. Anna will be admitted on April 2 to start her chemo. April 11 is still scheduled for her day of rest and it is Nathanael's 13th birthday. We asked Dr. Woolfrey if it would be okay to have all of our children (as long as they are healthy) come for a little party. She said her only requirement is that we give her a piece of the cake! And then, on the 12th, Daniel goes in for his bone marrow aspiration and Anna will have it put in her line. This is day 0. The 13th is day one and the count begins until day 100. By this time, hopefully her body will have adapted to the new marrow, and the marrow will have adapted to Anna's body. Then we will get to go home to Bremerton and the care of Dr. Irwin in Tacoma. But this does NOT mean that life will be back to normal. In fact, life won't be "normal" for about a year. Anna will not be allowed to be around large groups of people until life is considered normal....after the first year if all goes well. Next week holds more appointments and classes, but only until Thursday, then Anna should get a nice rest for five days before her hospital stay.

I am exhausted. The "all day" sickness is starting to really hit hard, it had been not so bad and I was so hopeful that it wouldn't get any worse...but I digress. I am thrilled to get this time in my own bed with all of my little ones surrounding me! This will be a very special weekend for us all! I have missed them. And now I miss my sweet husband, Anna, Daniel, and Naomi. We are definitely still looking for a house, this WILL take a miracle! Every lead has been a no go thus far. But, we are still trusting! My sweet Anna read Psalm 61 & 62 last night when she was feeling overwhelmed. She encouraged me to read them today. I did. And now, my friends, I encourage each of you to read them, may they be an encouragement to you when you are feeling overwhelmed at life's circumstances! May the Lord bless thee and keep thee and make His face to shine upon thee!


  1. My heart aches with you all -- emotional fatigue is real and it is only revived by true hope -- Praise God He and He alone gives real hope. Not hope of physical life alone but of eternal life. We will pray with you on this journey and we hope to rejoice with you at its completion. Thanks for including us in the journey -- We love you all.

  2. My heart aches for all you are going thru, and still have ahead of you. I pray that God gives you all the needed wisdom to deal appropriately w/each issue that arises over the next days, weeks, and months. You have some very competent physicians caring for Anna, and the staff there is the absolute best & most caring of anywhere I know of. God knows your needs, and desires, and in His timing will provide what is needed according to His will. May you all find the courage you will be needing for the time ahead. Our prayers will be with you. Be sure and take along some lip moisturizer for Anna, I remember that can be a problem. Do you have techy things that you can download the free kindle app on to? There are an awful lot of good Christian books that you can download for free and read during your setting around time. Emily, take care of yourself! Rest, fluids, sit w/feet elevated, etc., or you won't be able to be the help to Anna that you want to be! When the hours ahead get long, and the nights dark & lonely, remember that folks all around in different time zones are upholding you all in prayer, and likely someone is praying their heart out to God on Anna's behalf right at that minute. May the Lord bless thee and keep thee and make His face to shine upon thee! Carole & family

  3. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart! Praying daily for Anna and you all!!!
    Prayers from Spokane,
    the Poole Family

  4. Such an encouragement message. Once you get past the next few weeks it will fall into place. We will continue to pray for your strength. Love you guys. Stay encouraged. ;-)

  5. Love you guys so much and miss you! Been sending you prayers from Japan.

    Isaac and Nonna Mikat

  6. We are, and have been praying. We will continue to do so
    Jim and Deby Long

  7. Praying for you sweet Houston family! Praying God provides in His way for each of you in His time. He is FAITHFUL and HIS mercies are NEW every morning. The picture of you each praying with one another above made my heart swell! That is what this is about for all of you and everyone that your lives touch....bringing US ALL deeper into the richness of a relationship of utter dependance upon HIM!
    WE love you and are praying diligently!

    The Hand Family

  8. Praying for all of you! Thank you for sharing and for being so real and transparent. Strength and peace to all through Christ Jesus!! Much Love, Reydell family.

    p.s. Thank you for the scripture is what I needed today! God is sooooo good!!!!

  9. Emily, thank you so much for keeping us all heart aches when I read the beautiful words you write you have so much pain, yet your motherly love rises to the top everytime. We continue to pray for Anna, and the entire family and Ron and I will read Psalms 61 and 62 as Anna suggests. Love you all so much! Ron and Kathy Isom

  10. Thank you for keeping everyone up to date. We love and miss you all and are continuing in prayer for each of you. We loved seeing the nine kiddoes at church on Wednesday. I gave Zeke a big hug and kiss; I am glad he is still young enough to not get embarrassed!

    Your post is so sweet, and brings tears to Brian's and my eyes.
    Teresa Olsen

  11. Praying for all of you!! love you. The killians

  12. Continuing to pray for your entire family! The Blackstads

  13. You know what?? The Lord is already being glorified on this new road that you walk, simply because you are testifying of Him and His goodness. One of the songs that really encourages me when I'm feeling overwhelmed is "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns.

    I prayed for you and your family as I logged in to this new post, and I prayed these things:
    That you all would be infused with strength.
    That you and Anna and Daniel especially would have courage.

    I see and hear the Lord loud and clear in your life. Be encouraged!!!

  14. Praying for strength and peace for you all and that God would give His beloved sleep. I continue to be challenged and encouraged by your faith. Praying for your health specifically, Mrs. Houston, as you carry this precious baby. Anna's heart of encouraging others during this time is such an example. I am humbled by all of you.

    Much love to you all!
    Sarah S.

  15. Wow, Psalm 61and 62 are tremendously encouraging. Here's a verse that I read recently and I immediately thought of you guys: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." (Exodus 14:13) We love you guys!

  16. Emily!

    God bless you my dear for keeping up with this blog.

    I am blessed to hear you all got to get bicycle helmets! Two years ago we did the same thing. I am amazed how God gives even "little" blessings amongst trials.

    We praise God for the RMH and that you are able to be there!

    I cannot find out how to contact you personally, so I must do it here. Please find out about "Beads of Courage." If you haven't already. Seattle Children's is a participating hospital in this great program. It's a great way to remember what Anna has and will be going through, and also a nice momento.

    Also, one more thing for you. PLEASE take advantage of the 5th floor family resource center at Children's. They have so much just for the asking. Need to borrow a last-minute camera? They have them for families to use. Little necessary items or anything for your children during a long wait for an appt....they happily provide. Even a library to borrow books regarding Anna's condition to show your little ones. The people there are great and will become your friends quite quickly....especially with all of the smiles your youngin's have!!!!

    We love you and are praying for the entire Houston Family!

    Heather H

  17. Always pointing us back to Christ.... even in the midst of your hardest trial. Thank you! Many hugs and prayers, Grace


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