Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Weekend Filled With Birthday Parties!

My sister's family celebrated 2 birthdays last weekend, as they had grandparents from Tulsa visiting and wanted to have them enjoy the festivities too! So we all helped Daena to put together 2 amazing parties for her kids, first for Jude who turned 1 and then for Adorlee who turned 6. You may remember from a few previous posts detailing some of our birthday parties in year's past, that our family LOVES to throw a party and tend to go ALL OUT for our kid's celebrations. This is especially the case in their early years and it seems that as they grow older (hit about the 8 and up range), that the parties are more intimate gatherings with smaller groups of friends and far simpler, which is also nice. But while they're little, we rock those parties!

(Here are a few loads of my favorite parties we've thrown - Elliot's 1st "little man" birthday - Monty's 4th birthday "swim party"  -Elliot's "superhero" 4th birthday - Parker's 7th birthday "Christmas party" - Daena's 30th birthday "white party" - Adorlee's "ballerina" 3rd birthday )

Let's first take a look at Jude's first "pow wow". It was perfect. He loved every minute of it and even wore his little feathered headband without ripping it off in the first seconds. I made the feathered headbands for the kids and decorated the room for Daena, while my younger sister put together the dream catchers (I slightly abhorrent job I hear) and the grandmas helped with food prep and cleaning. We all made it happen! (Daena received her 3rd round of chemo the day before Jude's party, so we all tried to help her as much as we could).
Jude's head band - Kelli Murray
Others - supplies from Hobby Lobby
Dream Catcher supplies - Oriental Trading
Balloons & fringe garlands - Party City
Cake and ice cream cone teepees - The Amazing Cupcake 

And the day after, Adorlee's "cake" party. What you're looking at below is an impromptu performance by the party goers. And of course you are right, it is indeed "Let it Go". How could it be anything else. Each girl belted her heart out, sometimes added punches into the sky. And Charlie couldn't resist joining for a minute too. Scarlet and I swayed and twirled as their voices rang into a great crescendo. ;)
I thought I'd take a moment here to share an update on Daena's story. Do you remember the last post I wrote about her? I mentioned that she would be having another scan to see where her cancer was at ... how much it might have shrunk. And I said something like, wouldn't it be awesome if they said it was gone?! Well, it is. The tumor is gone. 100% completely gone. She has no cancer in her body. After just 2 chemo treatments. We give God all the praise for her speedy healing and are so awed by how He has made Himself so very present and real during these last months. He has taken this awful thing and made it an opportunity to grow our faith and to make us feel incredible, crazy huge love from Him. There are so many times in our lives when our faith in God is just there, simply because we have chosen to believe. It's those days when we see through the glass darkly, I suppose. But then there are these astonishing instants when He's suddenly very, very clear and you have that chance to experience a face to face moment with God. He heard our prayers and He reached out and touched her, wiping it all away. So thank you again for those words you lifted up on Daena's behalf. When hundreds of people agree together in prayer, so many powerful miracles take place. We've seen it in the life of a new baby named Pierce (once again, unbelievable healing in his body) and we've seen it here with Daena.

She will continue with her 3 remaining chemo treatments. There are several reasons for this but the best I can give you (in my own words) is that it's not something we and her docs would want to mess with. Like a round of antibiotics that eradicates an infection, you don't just stop taking them. You finish the course. And I believe that cancer is pretty sneaky, so she's going to make sure there's not opportunity for it to be hanging around somewhere unseen.

Lots of love to everyone. Thank you for being such incredible family, friends, and support to her. Please know that while she is free from cancer, these continued treatments are still often really hard. She has days where she feels really good but then many where she is still tired and weak, sometimes nauseas, etc. Life is certainly not normal yet and she's laying low, keeping away from the hugs and hands shakes while tummy bugs and colds pass in a whirlwind around church and school (and Target!). All of your texts, voicemails, and cards have meant so much and she has cherished every word. She may not always be able to get back in touch with people the way she would like to (I can barely do it myself with just an average amount of texts and emails to deal with!), but please know that you are appreciated. And these updates here can help keep you all in the loupe from time to time, when the Gus' are not able to let you know themselves. One day we'll have a big thank you party for everyone who sent a card and a meal and flowers and blankets and prayers. Since we love throwing parties and all! Right?! :)


  1. Wonderful parties, and even better news! Great, great blessings. ;)

  2. You all throw spectacular parties and the cakes....I need to know your bakery! I love the verses you shared, truly God's work here! Prayers will keep coming to you all as you ride this storm out!

  3. So many wonderful blessings!! Keep praying for you and your family. Thank you for the awesome photos and updates!! Erin Cook


Thanks for reading!
xx Kirsty

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