Day +3

Today is day +3. Naomi came to spend some time with Anna while I stayed home with the little ones, and Craig took the older four boys over to Bremerton. He had a couple of appointments today, several errands to run, and the boys had Boy Scouts this evening. One of the meds Anna was scheduled to take today we knew made her really sick the last time she took it so Anna knew that if she needed me, I would come in an instant.

On the home front, school went on for Julia and Lydia as normal. Okay, as normal as possible right now. Abby and Zeke drew pictures for Anna and enjoyed "helping" mama fold clothes. Selah was ready for a nap, so I put her into the playpen and shut the door. Next thing I know, I am hearing the turning of the door nob and a precious but naughty little girl is standing there with her THREE special blankies in her arms and a huge grin on her face! Too cute, but, being the good mommy I know I need to be, instead of smiling at her and telling her how adorable and clever she is, I scooped her up and let her know that in no uncertain terms, she MUST take her nap...thus she must stay in her bed! Again, after the door was closed, I heard that familiar sound..the turning of the door nob, the three blankies in tow, the huge grin on her pudgy face. Scoop number two, you MUST take your nap! Sigh...The third time I heard it I was in the dining room and didn't get up right away. I instead quietly got up and peeked around the corner. She was laying on her tummy in the hall by the kitchen with her 3 blankies and huge grin. When she saw me with my phone taking a picture, she sat up and grinned even bigger...uh oh, I was caught! So this time, I scooped the little munchkin up and hauled her to my bed, where we BOTH took a little nap...and she stayed put.

As I woke up from my little nap, Naomi was calling me to come for Anna. She was feeling pretty lousy and needed her mommy. So, we all piled in the car and headed to Children's. I went up after saying good bye to all of the little ones who were very sad they didn't get to come say hi, and traded with Naomi.

It is sometimes hard to keep that smile when you feel lousy, you want to be home, and well, you just feel lousy! I held her precious hand and stroked her fingers, telling her how much I wished that I could take this from her! After a bit of time, the smile was back, tears were gone, and we were laughing together remembering the night doctor's corny jokes. Laughter really does do good like a medicine! As well as having mommy there to comfort you! Anna was able to stay awake for quite some time and she actually asked for a bite of FOOD! She ate 3 bites to be exact! And so far, she has not vomited! Yay for small victories! She was able to get freshened up with a shower and then tucked back in a freshly made bed. Then we Face Timed with the family at home. This was medicine for her soul! She enjoyed watching the little ones clamor in front of the computer, taking turns to express their love for her and how much they missed her! Zeke was so excited he almost spilled the beans about a special birthday surprise waiting for her! They were all quickly gathered and admonished to not tell the secret so Anna could have a surprise! Then it was loves, and kisses, and "hi's" all over again! When Anna got off of the Face Time, she was all smiles and a few yawns. She was all tucked in, her sleepy anti-nausea meds kicking in, and ready for much needed sleep. "Mom," she said, "I love you. Thank you for being here. Now go get yourself a bite to eat at Starbucks." "I love you too, it is my privilege to be here with you, my love! I'll get food when you have gone to sleep, until then, I'll be right here by your side. Good night sweet heart." As she nodded off, I slipped out of the room to get my dinner. Since then, I've been here, using her computer to catch up on some blog reading of my own, and post a quick update for everyone out there.

Thank you all for your love and prayers! God is truly giving us the strength we need on a day to day/moment by moment basis! I have a wonderful husband who has the support of a wonderful church to be able to stay here and take a huge portion of the hospital stay upon his shoulders. He affords me the luxury of sleeping in my own bed at night and he is always making sure that I don't over due it. He also makes sure the other children get lots of mommy time while then getting over to give them daddy time as well! I am truly thankful. We are also very blessed by every opportunity to minister to others that God is giving us! We have a very long prayer list that grows daily as we meet more people. Our hearts are breaking for the souls here who are hurting beyond measure! It is a love only our loving Saviour could instill in us. Thank you, Lord for this trial in our lives, that gives us true understanding of what other's suffering means to them! Thank you for breaking my heart, keeping me dependent on you! As in the words of the famous poem, "Footprints", it is when we are in the biggest trials that you are carrying us...unlike the author, I KNOW I am being carried, Lord, as I feel your arms around me all of the way!


  1. Houston Family,

    Thank you again for the continued updates. Thankful to the Lord that Anna's anti-nausea meds kicked in. Anna.... you are a very special young lady who has been a BIG encouragement to many of us.... you are constantly being prayed for literally around the world. Praise the Lord for His strength during this time. As you stated Mrs. Houston laughter truly is good for the soul just as the Bible says.

    Love and prayers,
    Rick Potvin
    Pr. 3:5-6

  2. Emily and Anna, please give each other hugs for me. Love you both! You ARE a good mommy! Hugs, Grace

  3. Thank you so much for your regular updates. I am praying for Anna!! ((hugs)) to you all!

  4. Praying for a special gift for your birthday, Anna! That you would have a break from your nausea and feel well. That it would truly be a very happy birthday. I'm praying that God would encourage you, as you're probably going stir-crazy in the hospital! And that the joy of the Lord would continue to be your strength! I love you, Anna!

    Sarah S.

  5. Did you hear the joke about the third set? There are foot prints and then next to them there are two lines. When asked what those represent, the Lord patiently answers,"Those were the times I drug you along." LOL

    I thought it was funny, because I feel like that sometimes. I love you all and am praying for you daily!!

  6. I feel your mother's heart. Thank you for the love you give to your family and to the church family. We are blessed to see the work of the Lord. Sending love and hugs.

  7. What a heartfelt time, and such a blessing. You are in our continued thoughts and prayers. We miss you Anna!
    The Hilsons

  8. I am so glad that you and Pastor are able to be with your sweet Anna at a few moments notice. A mom and a dad have a special way to minister to their children that others do not have. Hugs to Anna and you. Sunday morning when you were holding Selah she and I were trading smiles. She has a fun mischievous smile. I can just picture her in the middle of the hall grinning away. How often does Anna have to take the med that made her so sick? I will pray additionally for that med too. We are so thankful through your writing that we see a glimpse of what is going on and how to pray. I so can picture Anna making fun of the corny jokes. You both have a sense of humor that is the same.
    We love you!
    Jackie Harper

  9. My name is Christin. I'm a friend of Jackie Harper. I've been reading your blog for the last several weeks and am hopeful that Anna will be granted a full recovery. Her grace very much shines through her pictures and your words. I can only imagine how proud you are of her. My friend's 15 year old daughter is also currently fighting leukemia. I am so thankful that you are sharing your story. It is so helpful and inspiring to read your words as we care for our sweet Jade. Thank you <3

  10. It's nice to get a glimpse into what your "typical" day is like during this time. Miss you guys! Praying for less nausea, more eating, and comfort and peace all around! Also for acceptance of the bone marrow by Anna's body and vice verse!
    Love you guys!


  11. Thank you for your updates and the glimpse into this episode of your lives. We pray for your family every day. We Love you guys.

    Kim, Kevin, Brent and Jeremy.

  12. Thanks for the sweet updates and for sharing openly about Anna's struggles - it helps us know how to pray more specifically for her! Lots of love to you all!

  13. Thank you for the updates on Anna! We continue to uphold your family in our prayers.
    May God continue to answer prayers, and keep you all strong in Him. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
    Lots of love and prayers to you all,

    The Smythe Family

  14. Thank you for the frequent updates! You're in my thoughts and prayers constantly, and I know that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. The words to this song are very encouraging to me and I hope it can be to you also:

    Jesus calm my heart Come near me please
    Lord don't let these worries get the best of me
    Oh I believe, that You're still here with me
    Cause You meant what You said when You said You'd never leave

    Carry me, carry me, carry me now
    From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
    The only way I'm ever gonna make it out
    Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
    God carry me, carry me, carry me now

  15. Thank you for sharing! Whenever I read your posts wanting to be an encouragement to you, I leave feeling encouraged. It is truly AMAZING what God is doing in your families' lives. Your example of peace and dependence on God is encouraging and inspiring to watch. Love you all and praying alot! (Please give Anna a big hug from me :) )

  16. My whole being wishes that I could be down there to help. I will be bringing my family to the airport next Thursday so I am available to babysit, fold laundry, clean house or whatever you can think of. I will call next week to see if there is anything that I can do. We have the whole church praying and very much appreciate the updates so it can stay fresh in their minds and hearts.
    Love from all of the Shavers


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