Wednesday -- April 30th

Well, they made it! I dropped them off at the Riverside T stop on 128 where they caught a private bus. There were only 21 people on it so there was lots of room for them to stretch out. Everyone was so wonderful and helpful to them. There were 2 doctors and 3 nurses on the bus to help out. They are taking the bus down to Newark and fly out at 9:00 tonight.

Along the way Maddie discovered how to send pictures from Mom's phone. I've already received quite a number of pictures of Maddie's lunch. Hopefully they will be able to send some from France as well.

Thanks to everyone for all your support. We've been quite anxious these past few days. I'll keep you posted as to what I hear.

Don't tell Kristen but the first thing I'm going to do is move my PMC bike up from the basement to the TV room. I should be able to get a lot more riding in that way.

Tuesday -- April 29th

Maddie had to go into clinic yesterday for a blood transfusion. She was not feeling well and had very little energy. It gave her a little more energy and put a little pink back in her cheeks and lips! Now we’re ready to get on the plane tomorrow! I can’t believe the big day is here! We are really headed to Lourdes!

I am very anxious! Partly due to the fact that we haven’t even started packing yet. The other part due to the fact that this is such an emotional time. We are both very excited and feel so blessed to be going! We know it will be an amazing experience. We can’t wait to come home and share all of our wonderful stories, not to mention, all the Holy water we’ve been asked to bring home! Thank you to everyone for all of the well wishes!

Trying to get out from under the laundry so that I can get an accurate reading on how much Ernie does while I’m gone! Tee! Hee! Seriously though, when the boys show up to school in mix matched clothing, please remember I didn’t dress them! Oh well, as long as they’re clean and smiling, I guess it’s all good right?! :)

We’ll be in touch when we get home – May 6th. Please keep the prayers coming!

Sunday -- April 27th

School vacation has come to an end. The kids are bummed that they have to go back to school tomorrow. The weather was so beautiful and relaxing all week. Hope you all enjoyed the time off with your kids.

Our runners/friends, Kristin and Claude did great running the Boston Marathon on Monday. Again, we are so thankful for all of their hard work, fund raising, and friendship!

On Tuesday I took Maddie onto Boston for a hair appt. We brought our neighbors, Lauren and Kristen Altmeyer with us. We had a great time walking around the Boston Commons and the girls even got to feed a squirrel! There was one in particular who was not afraid of people and ate like there was no tomorrow. At one point, he was so full, that he sprawled out on his stomach as he was eating his peanut. A little girl, with a bagful of peanuts, shared a few with the girls. Kristen opted not to feed the squirrel, but Maddie and Lauren couldn’t get close enough. The squirrel crawled right into their laps and took the peanuts! Maddie even tried to hold it in her sweatshirt like a baby! It was fun. We got some great pictures.

Michael had fun hanging out with his friend Drew, and spent several days across the street riding on a bike ramp the kids built. He actually ended up getting a new bike this week, after one of his jump attempts didn’t go so well.

Thursday was Maddie’s clinic day. She had her blood drawn and she will need to get a blood transfusion on Tuesday, before we leave for our trip. This will hopefully give her a little more energy for our journey. She has been very tired lately.

We hung out with our old friends, the O’Brien’s, for pizza and the park on Friday, Maddie went out for a spin in Beth Hill’s convertible on Sat, and we had a few impromptu hang outs with our neighbors to round out the week.

Colleen and Frank Duffy popped in tonight to drop off a great margherita basket Colleen put together as a raffle prize for our Kids PMC Ride. It’s great! She also presented Maddie and I each with a beautiful necklace for our trip. Hers says HOPE and mine says FAITH. We love them!

We also got a lot of work done around the house and the yard.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to pack for our trip, but I plan to get it done tomorrow, in addition to squeezing in a few appts.

Can’t wait to get on that plane and get us to Lourdes!

Monday -- April 21st

had William's Japanese tea party at school this week. It was so cute. I remember doing it with Michael and Maddie too. The kids all wear the traditional Japanese robe and the room is decorated as if you're in Japan. They put on an adorable show and then we get to sit on the mat and have tea. The kids were all so cute and proud of all they had leaned about Japan. At the end of the week, William came home with his paper suitcase and said, "Mom, I'm home from Japan!"

I started physical therapy on my shoulder this week. I really did myself some harm by waiting so long post op to start. Now I have "shoulder lock," or "locked shoulder." Pretty self explanatory. I only have 30% mobility in one direction and maybe 60% in the other. I have to do PT three times a week to loosen it all up and start healing it. I guess painting my living room the week before last, instead of starting PT, wasn't such a great thing to do!

Ernie's cousins, Mike and Priscilla, came up from NJ on Wed and stayed with us until early Fri. morning. As always, it was such a fun visit. Thomas loved hanging out with Uncle Mike and asked him to push him on the swing the whole time he was here. He also loved being Uncle Mike's helper in the yard. We loved hearing Mike play the bagpipes and had fun Wed night out on the back porch, with our neighbors, listening to Mike play.

We had such a nice weekend. The weather was amazing wasn't it?! We got a lot done around the house, inside and out.

Sat.morning Maddie and I woke up to a quiet house. Ernie had taken the boys out early for breakfast, so the two of us quickly got dressed and tried to catch them, but we passed each other on the road. So, Maddie and I got to have a quiet breakfast together and then start our day. We were on a mission. We went shopping at the outdoor Wrentham Outlets to get her some things for our trip.

It was so nice out and we had such a relaxing day, holding hands, doing girl shopping. Something we rarely get to do. We got her a great pair of walking shoes and some really warm slippers for the evenings back at the hotel. We were told it will be cold and rainy most of the time we're there. We also both got really cute "Life Is Good" hats. Mine is a baseball cap and hers is an adorable big rimmed comfy hat, pink with flowers. She looks so cute in it.

Saturday afternoon, Maddie and I went to the Westin Copley Hotel, in Boston, for the Miles For Miracles Boston Marathon reception. We have two runners running in Maddie's name. We have met one of them a few times. Her name is Kristin D'Orsi. She is such a sweet, beautiful girl. Her parents and boyfriend were there as well, so it was nice to get to meet them. What lovely people.

Our other runner is Claude Berreckman, whom we had never met. He got to the reception just as it was ending, so we were so happy to meet him! He brought along his parents and daughter. It was so nice to meet them. We had actually met his daughter, Kaitlin, at the first reception, when she stood in for him. It was a very nice gathering and as always at these events, so inspiring to see people come together, first as strangers, and then becoming life long friends, all with the passion to raise money for awareness and cures. There are so many inspiring people you meet at these events and we are once again reminded of the strength and beauty of the human spirit.

The Boston Marathon is tomorrow and we're hoping we'll somehow be able to be at one of the designated areas to cheer our runners on. Kristin is jersey # 21622 and Claude is # 21640. We are so thankful for all of these wonderful people who get out there, raise money, and run the marathon. They're Angels in sneakers!

Michael had a nice day on Saturday at his friend Keegan's house. Keegan lives on the water so they got to go fishing and tubing. They had a good time.

Sunday was quiet. I went to church with Maddie and then we went shopping for a few more things for the trip. Ernie spent the day doing yard work and taking the boys on bike rides. William and Thomas actually both fell asleep at one point on the couch, after spending so much time running around in the sun. They haven't napped since they were babies!

Later in the afternoon, Maddie had her very first piano lesson. Our friend, Danielle, arranged for this gift for Maddie and we are SO grateful! Maddie will have lessons every Sunday and she is SO excited.

School vacation week. Nothing terribly exciting planned. We have a hair appt. for Maddie in town on Tuesday and clinic all day on Thurs., but aside from that, we're hoping to see friends throughout the week. Hope you all have a great vacation week!

Monday -- April 14th

We had a great weekend at the Cape Codder with all of my siblings, their kids, and my parents. 14 kids and 12 adults. The hotel was packed, probably because some people have started school breaks. It was rainy weekend so it was the perfect place to be. The cousins hadn't all seen each other since Thanksgiving, but they always pick up right where they left off.

Thomas had the croupe starting on Thursday, so he was on a steroid. It made it hard for him to sleep at night. So, Sat. night he was running up and down the hallway at the hotel and on his last sprint forgot to put the breaks on and smacked face first into the door frame! Could've been really bad, but he managed to just scrape and bruise his cheek and hurt his knee! After a short recovery, Forest Gump was right back at it...up and down the hallway.

Michael's school band was playing at the Providence Bruins hockey game last night, so Ernie went down with him. They had a good time and Michael got a neat hockey tshirt.

Only a few more weeks until Maddie and I go to Lourdes. We're getting real excited. I've gotten a few calls from different trip leaders and they are all so friendly. We're going to meet really wonderful people.

Our Norfolk Kids PMC is coming up soon as well (June 8th). We'll be getting our first flyer out soon.

Well, have a good day everyone. Hope your weeknd was nice.

Monday -- April 7th

We had a busy weekend.

Michael and Maddie went to the Wild West night at school Friday night from 6:30-8:30. They had a good time. Maddie then spent the night out at her friend Molly's house.

Saturday morning Michael had to get up early and be at his band competition at 7:50. They were there until 1pm. His school band received a silver medal for their work! Isn't that great!? They are really good! We're so proud Michael has done so well with the band. As always, he looked real handsome in his dress clothes!

Late Saturday afternoon, Maddie and our neighbor, Kristen, sold cookies at the end of the driveway, to raise money for cancer research. Another neighbor, Emma, joined in too. They raised $13!

Saturday night I took Maddie and William to the Family Skate night, a fundraiser sponsored by Michael Sweatman's family. Michael is a friend of Maddie's from the hospital and he lives here in town. They did such a great job and everyone had lots of fun! Maddie and William stayed on the ice for most of the night, aside from the slush puppy breaks. We met up with the Linde's, MaryBeth, William and Marion. William is Maddie's friend and Marion is William's friend, so it was great they each had a pal to skate around with.

Our friend, Beth Hill, came over Sunday and took Maddie out for a few hours. They had fun playing with Beth's kittens at her house and then shopping for clothes. Maddie picked out a t-shirt that says, "My Mom Rocks!" Woohoo! I love it!

I took the boys to Target so that William could spend his birthday money! He bought himself two new DS games. He was so excited. Ernie spent the day getting his tax papers together - very exciting.

Well, that's it. Looks like the sun is starting to peak through - Yeah! Maddie is home today, not feeling well, so we're just hanging out. Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday -- April 2nd

Been a while...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with your families! My parents came up from CT. and we had a nice weekend.

Surgery went smoothly, so the recovery should go smoothly as well. I got real good with my feet the past two weeks! I could kick a laundry pile down the stairs and into the basement like you wouldn't believe! Thinking about taking up soccer now...

Last Thursday Maddie had her clinic check up. Still watching her blood counts. We go back on the 24th for another blood draw before Maddie and I leave for our trip.

Michael had a fun sleep over here with his pal Drew this past Sat night while Maddie had a fun night out with the Altmeyer's and Findlen's, helping out at a police hockey game, for Cops With Kids With Cancer. The girls sold tickets and Maddie got to draw the winning raffle tix.

Ernie and I went out with Colleen and Frank Duffy that same night, for dinner and a PMC fund raiser event. It was a great night out!

Maddie and I are getting very excited for our trip to Lourdes. We are going April 30th - May 6th!!!!

William turns 6 tomorrow!!! He is so excited! We haven't made any party plans yet, but I'm sure my little stud, William, will get on it himself! He may already have a party in the works! Ernie and I will find out about it when the guests start arriving!

Our babysitter/friend, Michelle Knowles turns 21 tomorrow too! Woohoo! Big birthday...Gosh, I could be her mother...ooow, that hurts! Happy birthday Michelle!

Have a great, beautiful, but very windy, day everyone, and if I may add one more thing...

We ask that everyone please say a prayer for Maddie's friends from the hospital, Tim and Mary, and their families.

Thank you.


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