Friday and Saturday December 28th and 29th, Wedding Weekend!!

Mr. David and Miss Laurie got married this weekend and we were so excited about heading up for the weekend!!  But before we could leave town, we had to swing by St. Jude for an eye check-up and for a port flush.  Lindsey was with us but Madison headed to Jackson with G-mommy and G-Daddy to spend the night at Grandmother's house so Ingram was excited to have one of his girls with him.  Ingram had a good check-up on his eye and of course the two hooligans were up to no good in the exam room until the doctor came.  Ingram also got his port flushed with the new "sterile" protocol that had been put in place within the month.  It was definitely different than what we were used to and a little scary than normal since it had been around a month since he'd been accessed.  His poke happened, but it took a while for the "flushers" to work right to get a blood return before they could flush it with the heparin and Ingram handled it like a champ keeping his mind of the prize...the treasure box!  We also found our friend Mae who was still inpatient in isolation since she had the flu and an ANC of zero.  We knocked on her window and waved from the hallway, but stayed across the hall even while talking to Tricia, her mom, since she wasn't feeling great either.  They were excited that her fever had broken the day before and they were hoping to get out soon. 

Speaking of out, we flew home and packed up to head to the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner two hours away.  Craig was a Groomsman, Ingram was the Ring Bearer, and the girls were Attendants greeting everyone at the door.  The Rehearsal went smoothly except for the fact that we were not dressed correctly!  It was a "Tacky Christmas Sweater" party and somehow we didn't get the memo; David however had a different story and said that Craig knew about it; what am I going to do with these boys??  The dinner was great and we even met one of the relatives that is a heart surgeon; the coolest thing about that other than picking his brain about Craig's heart was finding out that he does surgery (like Craig had) through the side of the chest with a robot arm that goes through the ribs instead of cracking open the chest.  Pretty interesting!!

Saturday morning we (all five of us) finally made it out of our hotel room around 10:30 and headed to Huddle House for breakfast/lunch.  The kids were all bonkers by now and were having a blast.  It was also snowing and I think the weather had a little to do with their craziness or it may have been the full bag of M & M's that were in a goody bag in our hotel room??  I think the waitress felt sorry for me because after we all ordered, she told me she felt bad for me having to cook for my crew since each one of us ordered something totally different.  We drove around a little after we ate then realized we had less than an hour to get ready for the wedding so we high tailed it back and got our move on! 

The wedding was wonderful and everyone even had fun before the wedding taking pictures and eating lunch.  The guys played "bags" or "corn hole" and even Ingram got in on the action.  The girls were playing and and running around with all the Bridesmaids and even got their hair and make-up done while I was gone; they were in little girl heaven and looked so cute!  We even managed to talk Ingram into a little nap which was great; I guess his body's still making its comeback from surgery, radiation, and chemo and needs a little more sleep every now and then.  The girls did a great job and then sat with me up front; since Ingram was supposed to be on stage the whole time, we picked that just in case he needed to sit down. 

Ingram was his regular self on the stage and was just looking around and trying to decide where he was going to stand.  He stood in the right spot for about 5 seconds, then looked around some more, set his pillow down and went to stand with Craig.  Then he started dancing with one leg trying to touch the carpet and then he looked up and saw us.  You guessed it; he came running down, climbed in my lap for a kiss, then ran back up the stage but this time went to Mr. David and held his hand for the longest time during the ceremony.  I think he only let go because he had too for Mr. David to hold Miss Laurie's hand while they did the rings and vows.  It was just the cutest thing!  The rest of the ceremony and reception went off as planned and then we headed for home.  The kids are really excited about Mr. David and Mrs. Laurie being married now because it means when they come in town they get to stay longer now that they can spend the night!  I think we're just as excited too and can't wait to watch their marriage develop and to be a part of their lives for years and years to come.

Here Comes Trouble!!
These Two Are Definitely Good At Being Bad!

Not Quite Digging The New Protocol,
But We Made The Most Of It And Kept Our Germs To Ourselves!

Say "Caterpillar!!"
We Look Just Like G-Daddy!!

Lindsey's Food Was The Last To Come Out By About Ten Minutes
And She Was Tempted To Take A Bite Out Of Madison! 
These Two Goofballs Keep Us On Our Toes And Are Quite Entertaining!

It's Dismuke, Ingram Dismuke!
Yeah, I Look Good!
Check Out The New Hair...It's NOT Red :(

Ingram With Miss Laurie And Mr. David Before The Wedding!
A Few Hours Later And It's Mr. And Mrs. David Kissell!!

All The Girls!

All The Boys!

My Favorite Girls!

My Sweet Little Man Holding Mr. David's Hand!

Thursday December 27th, Make-A-Wish Magic!!

So we've been keeping a secret for a while now and finally can let the cat out of the bag...or I guess I should say MOUSE!!!  Ingram's Make-A-Wish has been granted and tonight was the granting event.  We felt so honored to be able to receive such a gift from Make-A-Wish, but even more honored and humbled that our friends Alicia, Jonathon, and Ramsey Harrison were able to be a part of it as well.  Their daughter Evie, Ramsey's twin, passed away two years ago in December and they raise money for Make-A-Wish in her memory all year long and serve as Make-A-Wish Sponsors or Wish Granters.  They also had a team running in the St. Jude Marathon Weekend and raised money for St. Jude on top of raising money for Make-A-Wish. 

We love the Harrison Family and our relationship with them goes back to when Madison was 4 years old and "Mrs. Harrison" (that was Alicia's teacher name) was her teacher at Germantown Baptist Weekday Preschool.  Madison even broke her nose that year chasing Alicia's shadow around the playground! Then two years later, "Mrs. Harrison" was Lindsey's teacher in the 4 year old class; then Evie And Ramsey were born that Spring and we knew Alicia wouldn't end up being Ingram's teacher.  Instead, Ingram and the girls were friends and in the same classes at church and their classes were next door to each other at Preschool.  We even ran into them at the beach when they were in the "One's Class" and Ingram went up to Evie and started hugging her because he recognized her before even any of the adults did. 

Tonight we (our family including G-Daddy and G-Mommy, the Harrison's, Tim, and Nala) all met at Chick Fil A (shocking I know!) and when we got there, a section was reserved for a Birthday Party, but it had the Make-A-Wish sign on the window with blue and yellow balloons tied to the chairs.  Madison had used her deductive reasoning (and sneakiness) to figure it out, but Lindsey was just beginning to catch on, especially once she saw us talking to our MAW people, but she still had no idea what was happening.  The kids played a bit in the playground area and then we all sat down and started eating.  While we were eating dinner, Tim (MAW Volunteer) started talking to Ingram and it was pretty funny because like at our house when we had our MAW meeting, the conversation went all over the place!  Then Tim asked everyone to go around and say who their favorite Disney character was; Ingram kept saying Scooby Doo and we could not convince him that Scooby wasn't a Disney character, but I think he finally settled on McQueen and Mater.

Nala (MAW Director) brought out a cake that read "Ingram, Your Wish Has Been Granted!" and Tim hollered out "Your Going To Disney World!" and then everyone (including the kids and adults) started cheering and "woohoo-ing!"  The best part was watching Ingram's and Lindsey's reactions and realizing how they had NO idea and how excited they were; Madison found out a few days ago on accident, but wasn't allowed to tell Lindsey, Ingram, or her friends (I know, that's shocking too!).  

All three of the kids got backpacks filled with gifts for the trip and Ingram got another special gift too!  He loves baseball (we were even playing it this afternoon in the freezing cold with the Boyd family that stopped by from Austin,Texas on their way to Jackson, Tennessee) and they got him an automatic pitching machine, a bat, batting gloves, and a helmet.  The second he pulled out the bat, the whole area dispersed immediately because we knew what could happen!  The helmet wouldn't go one his head because he's got such a big head; I think Tim, Craig, Jonathon, and G-Daddy all tried to get it on but it was not going to happen.  The funny thing about it was that it fit Madison's head, but not Ingram's! 

We're so looking forward to our trip and can't wait to have some time away as a family.  We'll be staying at Give Kids The World Resort which is a Make-A-Wish resort and are sure to meet other families that have been dealing with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.  We're very excited to be able to give all three of the kids some extra special attention that they definitely need and pray that this will be not only a super fun time, but also one that makes some very special memories for all of us. 

Madison, Lindsey, And Ingram With Koffman Boyd!
It's Always Fun When Friends Stop By Passing Through Town!

Ingram Giving Tim The Low Down On Everything Under The Sun!
We Sure Missed Liz, But Hopefully She'll Be Feeling Better Soon!
Madison Reading A Book To Ramsey After They Finished Dinner.
Apparently The Adults Were Talking Too Much Instead Of Eating!

I Love This Face!!!
Talked About Totally Surprised!!

Ingram Showing Us His Passport To Fun!!

This Was A Sweet Sister Moment...
Madison's Bag Had Hershey Kisses And Lindsey's Bag Had Skittles.
As Soon As They Each Saw Their Own Bag, Without Hesitating,
They Picked It Up To Hand To The Other...Without Seeing The Other Candy First!
It's A Silly Thing, But I Was So Proud Of Them!

Are You Kidding Me??
My Own Baseball Machine??

So Honored To Have The Harrison's As Part Of Our Wish!

If Only You Could Have Heard Everything That Was Going On Right Now!!
Our Family With Alicia, Jonathon, And Ramsey Harrison!

Ingram And Nala!

Tim With The Kids!

Part Of Our Amazing Make-A-Wish Team!

Talk About Fully Loaded!
Ingram Couldn't Even Carry His Bag It Was So Full!
I Predict He's Going To Be Playing A Lot Of Baseball!

Wednesday December 26th, Pajama Day...Almost!

Other than Craig having to be at work at the crack of dawn, the rest of the house slept till after 9am this morning!  It was so hard to get out of the bed today with the icky rain/snow falling and the cold cold air, but we managed to do it.  Ingram and Lindsey were the first ones up and of course I heard them as soon as they came down and so did Beau.  I think Beau was excited to finally be out of his kennel since that was the latest he's been stuck in there! 

G-Mommy, G-Daddy, and Madison were still asleep so we tried to stay quiet so they could keep sleeping.  Once they were up, Ingram and Lindsey started playing with toys and eating candy; I figured we all could use a little chocolate so I joined in too!  Little did I know Madison was also awake now and playing on her computer and eating candy in her room too.  She came downstairs to hang out with us and Beau snuck upstairs without anyone knowing and ate almost a whole bag of Skittles and I'm not talking a small bag from the gas station; it was the real deal big bag from the store and it was almost gone.  I guess as a natural consequence, Beau spent the majority of the day outside throwing up, but we at least gave him his dog bed so he could snuggle up in it.  I think there are at least four or five different throw up piles upstairs and we don't think he's back to normal yet!

Another interesting part of today was a last minute visit to Dr. Joe Rowland, our favorite Opthamologist and family friend!  It has become a standing joke with our family that someone, most notably G-Daddy, will need to make Joe come to his office at some obscene hour and take care of an eye-related emergency.  He even gave Craig's dad a hard time (all in love) and was trying to "schedule" the emergency visit because he had some things he needed to do with his family, but still wanted to be available to take care of all our our eye care needs.  This year was no different and there was a Dismuke in need of emergency, but there were two changes in the wasn't G-Daddy and it wasn't on Christmas.  Ingram (his full name is Keith Ingram Dismuke II and was named after G-Daddy) was the one that needed an emergency visit, but at least he waited until the day after Christmas for his emergency! 

Ingram was using a knife to open a present (I know, I know...I was in the other room making the bed and he took things into his own hands!) and it slipped and hit his eye somehow.  I immediately heard the screaming, but there was no blood or anything and he calmed down after a few minutes and explained what he did.  He complained and cried about it off and on all day and we ended up calling our clinic for direction.  They didn't want us to go to the ER for all the nasty germs and flu bugs going around, but we needed to be seen to figure out what exactly happened and they didn't have an "eye guy" in house then. 

Who'd we think of first?  Dr. Joe Rowland of course!  About an hour later, Ingram was sitting in Joe's chair letting him check out his eye and he realized he had a scratch on his cornea.  After a numbing/stain drop, he was able to see that a pretty big corneal abrasion (big cut) and said it was one that would make any of us cry.  Ingram was a great patient as usual and even had fun letting us take pictures of it so that he could see it on the phone.  Before we left, he made a trip to the treasure box so that he could get a treat for his girls because he just knew they would love a treat...and he was right!  Spongebob and Ironman ink stamper toys and Passons Eye Center pens for all three kids plus pictures of his eye and Dr. Joe made an unhappy little guy feel better.

He's Such A Trooper!
Not Ingram, I'm Talking About Joe!
He Never Stops Helping People...Even If It Becomes A Holiday Habit!
Ingram's A Stud Too Though!

Yep, There It Is!
The Round Bright Green Circle On His Eye Is The Stain Showing The Cut.
Pretty Big Cut But He's Doing Great!

Oh Yeah! 
Picking From The Treasure Box For His Girls
In His Christmas Dinosaur Pajamas!
He Still Was Having A Pajama Day!

Ingram And Dr. Joe Rowland!
If You Live Nearby And Need An Opthamologist...

Monday and Tuesday December 24th and 25th Merry Christmas!!

This Christmas was a little bit different to say the least around the Dismuke house!  Both of our parents were here and the kids 90 year old Great-Grandmother too; the kids were soooo excited to have them all spending the night for the first time ever! 

We all did last minute rushing around during the day for things we had forgotten, and we made it to on time church for the Christmas Eve Service.  The service was so special and the best part for us was when they asked all the kids to come up to the front.  They sang a couple songs but right in the middle of the singing, Ingram got up and started running...straight to where we were sitting and climbed up in my lap just because he wanted to give me a hug and a kiss!  My heart melted and my eyes started to water then off he went to sit back down and sing some more.  I think I was the luckiest Mom in the room that night!  After the service the whole crew, all 10 of us, headed to eat dinner together at the restaurant of Ingram's choice, Waffle House and it was another night to remember.  Once we got home and got the kids to bed, Phase II of Madison's Room Makeover began.  Craig, G-Daddy, G-Mommy, and Pops started painting Madison's room while Mimi and me finished up everything downstairs.  I think by 2am (maybe) we had all the parents in bed and the Craig stayed up till about 4 finishing up Madison's room. 

But...Christmas morning started very early after only a few hours of sleep!  The kids slept in our room on a pallet like usual for Christmas Eve, and once the girls scoped out all the stockings and Santa surprises, they decided to wake up Ingram.  After about one minute, he came back into our room and told me Santa gave him a car then crawled back into his spot and covered his head with his blanket.  He wasn't seen or heard from again until I finally woke up Daddy after 8am because we just couldn't wait anymore.  Once he came out, the party officially started and continued non stop until close to midnight!!  In addition to the ten of us that were already there, my sister Amye and her crew came down and joined the chaos for lunch!  After all of the chaos of lunch, presents, and running around crazy, we headed to Jackson for the Dismuke family Christmas at Grandmothers house with Craig's side of the family.  Another big meal, more presents, and lots of candy later, we drove home during the beginning of the snow, icky rain, and freezing temperatures without any incidents. 

As we were putting the kids in bed (at almost midnight) on Christmas night, Daddy and Madison were talking about our day.  She said that the best present out of everything was Ingram and once again, my heart melted.  Madison has been known to say the sweetest things at the right moments before, and this conversation was no different.  Aside from Jesus' birth which ultimately leads to our salvation being the reason for celebrating Christmas, Ingram was second in line as what we are most grateful for right now.  Last Christmas was great because it was so fun to see him getting into everything and all the time we were able to spend with our friends and family, but this Christmas was even better for the sole reason of him being here with us.  God has perfect timing of everything and for right now, we are enjoying holding and cuddling all of our children each and every day.

Christmas Eve Service At First Evan With The Kids On Stage Singing!
Such A Sweet Little Surprise!

Ingram's Favorite Mode Of Transportation To Dinner...On G-Daddy's Back!

Madison's New Double Purple Room
Thanks To All The Grandparents And Daddy!

Lindsey's Temporary Green Room..Her "Re-Model" Will Happen Very
Soon With Some Pretty Bright Paint Colors...Imagine That!

I'm Not Sure Who's More Excited?
In This Picture It Looks Like Madison Might Be More Excited;
But Then Again,  Ingram Was Pretty Tired!!
Baby It's Cold Outside!!
Daddy's Favorite Present...One Of Ingram's Balls That He Wrapped Himself!

Look Who Might Get Put Back On The Naughty List!
It's Lunchtime...Not Candy Time!

Super Cool Photo Collage From SJ Marathon Weekend Pictures
 That Craig Put Together On A Stretched Canvas!

Mimi And Pops!
Bring On The Caffeine...4 Hours Of Sleep Is Not Enough!

Grandmother Is Ready For The Chaos Of The Dismuke House!
We Love Having Her Spend The Night Every Christmas Eve!

G-Mommy's Already Thinking This Is Going To Be A Long, But Fun Day!
It's Her Favorite Time Of Year Too!

The Whole "Jones" Family
Len, Amye, Brett, and Carley, Mimi and Pops, And Our Crazy Crew!
Ready Aim FIRE!!!
Grandmother's House Was Littered With Mini Marshmallows!
Thanks Aunt Leigh!!

Saturday and Sunday December 22nd and 23rd, Busy Weekend!

It's been like a whirlwind at our house for days and I don't think there's an end in sight.  Even with Christmas right around the corner, there will be still so much to do for days or even weeks.  In addition to getting ready for Christmas, we've also been doing some remodeling around the house and also playing with friends and family a bunch.

Saturday was a beautiful day that started out cold!  Madison had Goalie training again and hit the ground hard for over an hour.  She's learning to dive and roll and come up blocking the ball too.  Have we mentioned that she's a Rockstar Goalie??  Lindsey and Ingram stayed home and played with friends while she got her soccer moves on in the afternoon too.  She also had an Indoor game and then had her Legends party. 

The Rooker family stopped over to get some last minute "Ingram" luck before they head to Miami for Brent's Home Run contest where he's hitting home runs while the announcers talk about Ingram and St. Jude.  We can't wait to see how many home runs he hits and to also spread more awareness about St. Jude and childhood cancer.  After the Rookers left, we headed over to the Wingfield's house to have dinner.  The kids all had fun together and  our Lindsey even attempted a new food...she at least licked her fork with a little bit of homemade lasagna on it.  That girl is such a booger when it comes to trying new foods; I guess one day it will just click and she'll realize she shouldn't live on macaroni and chicken. 

Who can't end the night playing Tickle Monster?  Well, our family isn't the only one that loves tickle monster and all 8 kids (this includes both Dismuke Daddy and the Wingfield Daddy) had a blast running around the upstairs of the house in the dark playing the Wingfield version of Tickle Monster.  It's quite easy to get injured during this version because of the "dark" factor, but also because Madison and Lindsey taught Abby, Matt, and Kate how to run full force and attach the Tickle Monsters before they get tickled.  Oh the noises we heard that night!

After church on Sunday, we started some major changes on the house!  For some reason, Madison and Lindsey (19 and a half months apart in age) decided to move apart from each other and have their own rooms.  They've shared a room since they were 2 and 3 years old, but it had finally gotten to them and they need their own space if you know what I mean!  It's going to be a long process, but it also meant that Ingram's room had to be moved too and he has taken over the guest bedroom and gave his room with it's own bathroom to Lindsey.  We moved their belongings for a while before we moved on to a short road trip to Jackson Tennessee.

Both of our grandmothers, Granny and Grandmother, are 90 years old and live in Jackson so we decided to go up and see them for the afternoon; we even brought Grandmother (who is able to travel still) home with us for a couple days.  Granny was so surprised to see us and was so sweet to let the kids roll all around in her wheelchair.  She lives in an assisted living apartment and we had fun seeing her and the kids couldn't get enough of her wheelchair; the good thing about the chair is that even though her room is small, they didn't hit the wall toooo much in it.  We stopped by Grandmothers house too and dropped off our "Dismuke Family Christmas" stuff and are looking forward to seeing the rest of the family on Christmas as we continue another one of our traditions by having Christmas at Grandmothers house with Craig's side of the family.  We feel so lucky for the kids to be able to enjoy their Great-Grandmothers, especially at Christmas, and it just won't be the same when they're gone. 

Please continue to pray for our friends the Adams, the Blands, and the Christensens as this will be their first Christmas without their sweet boys.  We feel truly blessed to have gotten to know them while they were at St. Jude, but can't imagine their heartache they are going through on a daily basis but especially during Christmas holidays. 

Madison, Granny, Lindsey, And Ingram!
If We Let The Kids Loose In Granny's Room,
They Would Be Having Wheelchair Races Down The Hallway!

Pam (aka Mimi or Mom), Granny, And Ashley
Do You Notice Any Family Resemblance?

The St. Jude Commercial With Our Friends Mae, Bailey, And Jennifer Aniston
Came On During A Rare Quiet Moment At Our House So Madison Recorded It.
Mae Is On The Left And Bailey Is On The Right!

Josh, Alden, Lindsey, Brent, Ingram, And Madison
Go Brent Go!  Hit 'Em Hard!!

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday December 19th, 20th, and 21st Friends and Family Time

Over the past few days, we have been lucky to have friends and family come around us and just show us old fashioned love.  Not only have they been supportive and understanding of our emotions, but they have also been comforting and loving when we don't really know what we're supposed to be doing with our feelings.  Cancer is really hard and when it hits children, it's exponentially harder in our eyes because the children haven't even had a chance at living their lives.  So as we've been trying to navigate through the days and figure out how we're doing after losing another friend to childhood cancer, we've been getting text messages, emails, phone calls, and people stopping by just to check on us.  We can't even count the number of people that have told us they're praying for us and for all the other families and that's not taken lightly by us.

With the holidays here and the kids out of school, there's not a lot of spare time to sit and "sulk;" we have to keep going and doing for Madison, Lindsey, and Ingram.  We've had dinner with friends that we haven't had time with in a long time and the kids all played with each other (all seven of them and nicely for the most part) while the adults just sat and talked for hours.  We had lunch with the Whelan's so that Collin could show Ingram his new haircut that he did for him; and Collin had a lot of hair too before he shaved it!  Then we also had dinner with two families from school that were also on Team Ingram and are very good friends with our girls and Ingram.   Sometimes its good to just have a pajama day and make the house a wreck while we wrap presents, watch TV, make homemade chocolate chip cookies AND eat them all before making dinner. 

Although regular Christmas stuff is getting done, we're realizing or rather our kids, are realizing that its not really about the presents under the tree.  Don't get me wrong, they're going to get presents and probably too many presents at that, but they're understanding Christmas is about Jesus and what he did for us in being born as a baby but more importantly as a man when He died on the cross.  Each time one of our friends have died from this nasty monster called childhood cancer, one of the first comments they say is "they're cancer free now" and "at least they're in Heaven with Jesus now" and they get it!  They understand how it all works and what it's all about.  They're not happy about it at all, but they get it and "getting it" for them is one of the best presents possible.

Taking A Break At St. Jude Wednesday After Lunch.
We're Debating Busting Through The Rope And
Eating Either Peppermint Sticks Or Graham Crackers!

Jack And Ingram
Boys Will Be Boys Fighting As Super Heroes And Villains!

Ainsley, Madison, Abby, Lindsey, And Ann Claire
And Girls Will Be Girls Putting On Plays In The Den!

Collin And Ingram
Almost Matching Haircuts!

Lindsey, Abby, Sarah, Megan, Madison, Ingram, And Cooper
Our House Was Full Of Love And Laughter!

Lindsey And Abby
Can You Tell Which One Had TOOOO Much Chocolate??
Here's A Hint...It's All Over Her Chin!