Ready, Set, Go! School Year 2020-2021

This is definitely NOT how Russell feels about his brother and sister leaving.

I remember feeling like we were stuck in time back in March when everything was shutting down and getting cancelled.  Now I’m like “WAIT where did our Summer go?”  I know Brad really appreciated all of the extra family time but as with anything it started to feel like too much.  Not because we don’t love our kids but when you have young adults at home who don’t really want to help vacuum or unload the dishwasher for the 1487th time it creates conflict.  I enjoyed cooking for everyone and got to experiment a lot, especially Vegan recipes for Whitney.  I have always cooked in a deconstructed way so I have a low carb option and the boys had high carb/protein/fat option (all the things.) This has turned into a no meat/dairy option with the proteins on the side for me and Whit.  Russell has been super helpful and when I begged Whitney she would trade chores for me buying her necessities.  Carter really likes going to the gym and will not change any sort of plan if it got in the way of his plan for the gym.  I find myself thinking a lot about how the Big kids will have a big fat reality check when it is time for them to take care of their own home.  I guess that is just life and someday they’ll understand. We’ll revisit the *sharing of the chores* when they come home over Thanksgiving-February break.

We said our goodbyes, Carter in the driveway which is what he prefers and Whitney’s has been going on for a month.  Her grad parties morphed into goodbye parties with a few teary hugs in the driveway just before she took off for Lawrence after her busy day of recruitment on Thursday.  The Big kids are settled in Lawrence for the school year and we are enjoying a quiet house, less dishes and trash with more time to clean out the pantry, fridge and cabinets for an upcoming Kitchen spruce up.  Whitney is figuring out how to more easily eat vegan without the comforts of home and learning in college it takes some effort to eat well.  We’ve hardly heard from Carter but he’s ready to go back to his job and be more busy.  The fraternity had some positive Covid cases, including Carter so they have been laying low and quarantining in the fraternity. Several houses have been quarantined and we hope dealing with this early will help the year run more smoothly. Whitney is loving her waitress job, especially the tips for quick cashflow! We are proud of both of them for soldiering on.

Aubree and Whitney on Pref Day!
A teary but happy goodbye
Whitney and Lindsay both pledged Gamma Phi Beta! It seems like a great fit!
Lindsay and Whitney in their beautiful dorm room.

Russell started high school on 9/8/2020. He was nervous but had a great first day so all of the nerves settled. He’s been playing hard for his JV Soccer Team and we are so thankful for a progressive district that has given us the choice to be in-person or virtual. We feel really good about the choice to send him to school! He’s happy, he’s learning and isn’t having the tech glitches some of the virtual students are dealing with. We are hopeful, positive and looking to the future!

As for Brad, we are waiting for insurance to approve the new chemo plan. I can’t express the rage I feel about this…I don’t understand why we have to wait on insurance to approve what a skilled specialist is prescribing. Meanwhile he feels more and more “cancery” and no doubt his numbers are rising. He rests in bed and in his recliner as much as possible and has been doing his honey dos around the house fixing my new Keurig, Whitney’s brakes, the front glass door and all of the other annoying things that pop up. He’s been working when he can but the pace is definitely not the same crazy level as the last few months. I’m so proud of him for working so hard and taking advantage of low rates to bring in some extra money these last 6 months. Brad needs lots of prayers for strength: mind, body and spirit. This battle is weighing him down as we approach the start of year 3 on 9/14/2020. He turns 50 on Friday, 9/11/2020 which is a huge milestone but doesn’t seem to be as exciting with him not feeling good. We pray the chemo and immunotherapy will fight for him and give him more energy and time in his day to feel some sense of normal. His major battles are gaining weight, a weak liver and the growing cancer. It is a conscious battle to eat, watch his salt and not succumb to the urge to lay around and rest. Cancer sucks. It feels like a slow burn, always there, sometimes the burn rages and we struggle to contain it…right now is that time for him. It is strange, the last two years this is when he felt the worst, dx in 2018, liver struggles in 2019 and this year the rising numbers and low weight are the biggest battles. Forget Covid! Seriously…that is the least of our worries. I won’t go political here, it isn’t worth it but we are ready for the choice of normalcy and decide how we want to protect ourselves. Brad is so adamant about the fact that he doesn’t expect society to keep him safe from covid. It is his job to avoid situations, wear a mask and wash his hands. Healthy people need to work and go to school and enjoy life again. That is all I’m going to say about that.

Thank you for your continued prayers. We are hanging in there and excited to celebrate Brad and Whitney’s birthdays together this weekend. We are so blessed and God is working in our lives, the kids are happy and healthy, we have everything we need. God is GOOD all of the time.