I know you won't believe me, but last week we mostly stayed out of the car and still managed to enjoy ourselves. We did a complete and total deep cleaning of Erin's room, including dusting every single item she owns (which in and of itself could explain the week-long absence of posts to this site). I could have started a pool with the pay out going to the person who came closest to predicting how long she could maintain the new, unadulterated state of her room, but unfortunately I didn't think of it soon enough and the opportunity has past.
Lately, Erin has put the pressure on our Congressman, Chet Edwards, about when he is going to open his local campaign headquarters (Erin calls this "The Chet Store" because she always gets stuff, like buttons and stickers when she goes there). We think it will be later this summer. In the meantime, she will have to be satisfied with the notable item that arrived in the mail this week from her friend Marsha Milford. It's a postcard from Chet's campaign 30 years ago (postmarked May 2, 1978). No wonder Lea Ann snapped him up!
Erin also has had a blast having twin sisters, Mary Beth and Rachel, visiting their grandparents next door. This happy occasion goes far in explaining why I haven't had to drive as much. . .if you can have fun with friends right in the neighborhood, then you don't have to go looking for it in town. The convenience of having friends next door certainly makes the concept of neighborhood living more appealing. The girls have raced up and down the road on every type of non-motorized wheeled vehicle imaginable, done a bunch of lake swimming, and in general, just hung out.
Saturday, when Mary Beth and Rachel had to drive over to Huntsville for a family reunion, Erin re-grouped and spent the day cooking for a small dinner party we had planned for that evening. She chose chicken wraps, potato boats (see below), guacamole and homemade dippers, and a fruit parfait, as her contribution to the get together. I'm not sure where Erin's cooking initiative came from, but we're glad she has it.
In exchange for a lovely dinner, our friend George brought his magic show. Erin tried her very hardest to figure out the illusions and slight-of-hands. Notice, in this video that even in a simple coin trick her eyes never leave the George's hands.
She cares not a wit that George:
- is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University;
- holds the George and Julia Blucher Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies;
- has served as the Olin Professor of American Government at Oxford and the John Adams Fellow at the University of London;
- has held senior visiting appointments at Peking University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point;
- is an Associate Member of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford; and
- was the founder and from 1991-2001 the director of The Center for Presidential Studies.
Two other aspects of the week bear noting (uh oh, back to the miserable world of neuroblastoma). Last Monday Erin began the third cycle of temador/irinotecan, and I can report that she has had no Imodium nor any other noteworthy health issues the entire week (any tiredness she complained of was a thinly veiled attempt to avoid the above mentioned room cleaning expedition). We do not have to report back to Houston until July 17, when we'll have labs and an office visit to get the okay for Cycle 4. This gives us just enough time to finish up this round early Friday morning and fit in a trip to Pittsburgh before we have to see Dr. Russell again.
For those of you who have perused Erin's complete timeline link, you may note that this week marks the sixth anniversary of the beginning of the diagnostic process that ultimately plunged us into NBWorld. Back in 2002, Erin hadn't yet started public school. NB interrupted swimming lessons and vacation Bible school. Now , Erin has moved on to competitive soccer, horseback riding, piano, and in a few short weeks. . .Middle School. We're still in the fight and proud of it.