Tuesday and Wednesday May 28th and 29th, St. Jude Friends and Moving Friends :(

Tuesday was a super fun day for the kids!  The girls got to go to St. Jude with Ingram to have his sinus x-rays taken and to meet with the ENT to discuss the results.  He's been battling a pretty major sinus infection for the last few months; we thought it was just allergies since everyone in Memphis seems to have allergies, but when he had his MRI on April 29th, they saw some pretty full sinuses and the poor guy had never complained!  His x-ray showed great improvement, but they felt the need to start him on 3 different medicines to really get him all the way better.  We're hoping that these next few months of medicine will have him all clear and dry so that he might get his port out at the end of the summer after his next MRI in July.  Speaking of 3 new medicines, Ingram is definitely great at medicines and we all know that, but he used a nose spray, chewed a chewable pill, and swallowed a pill all for the first time the very same day!  He was so excited about it that he has been telling everyone he's seen about it.  We also got to see Bailey and play with her while we were at SJ for his appointments.  Bailey and our three monkeys took over the Toddler playground in between D and E Clinics and had a ball playing with all the balls and blocks with each other. 

Wednesday was a fun and sad day all at the same time.  We got to have the Huelskoetter kids over for the day while the moving truck loaded up their house for their move to Chicago.  Madison and Anna are the same age, Lindsey and CC are the same age, and Luke and Ingram are pretty close as well.  The girls have played on the same soccer team with Germantown Legends for two years and you could say they're all a little attached to each other.  The first year, all four of the girls played on the same U10 team even though Lindsey and CC were to young, but the next year, they played older and younger on separate teams.  Luke and Ingram have spent a lot of time together with practices and games at least 4 times a week and then on the weekends too.  They all go to each others games and the younger girls can create mischief every where they go.  We started out at the Dogwood Playground and then headed to Moe's for lunch; we also had to test out a new ice cream shop next to Moe's and of course had a little too much fun there!  Afterwards, we swam at the house until it was time to take them back to their empty house.  We're going to miss them, but I feel certain a trip to Chicago may be in our future...but not during the Winter!!

Ingram Lining Up For The First Of Four X-Rays!

He Needed Just A Little Bit Of Help For This Tricky Pose!

"I Want To Sit In The Chair."
"No I Want To Sit In The Chair."
"Girls, Y'all Can Both Sit In The Chair With Me!"

Breaking All The Rules At SJ Once Again!

The Dodge ball Champs...Ingram And Bailey!
Madison And Lindsey Are Requesting A Rematch!

Breaking News:  Monkeys Have Escaped From The Zoo!
They've Been Spotted At The Dogwood Elementary School Park!

Lindsey And CC With Some Pretty Awesome Faces!

Ingram And Luke With Bad Guy/Good Guy Faces!

Madison And Anna With Some Pure Awesomeness!
At Least That's What Madison Said.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday May 25th, 26th, and 27th, Memorial Day Weekend!

We headed to the Memphis Zoo along with everyone else in the world on Saturday!!  It was so crowded, but also such a beautiful day that it was totally okay.  Since last time they got to feed the elephants, they were dying to see them again; I think they were secretly hoping to get to go "backstage" again!  We didn't go behind the scenes, but an even more exciting thing happened according to the kids...one of the elephants pooped right in front of everyone!!!  Everyone in the crowd, including the adults, started laughing but then it quickly turned to "ewwwwww" as one of the other elephants started playing with it.  After you get over the gross factor, it was funny watching these huge elephants play like toddlers!   We also went to Stingray Bay and got to touch the stingrays as they swam by us; well, at least Lindsey and Ingram did.

We taught Lindsey's Sunday School class at church and Ingram decided he wanted to go to the third grade class instead of going to his three year old class.  He definitely made it more interesting for the kids and surprisingly wasn't a distraction.  Once we were home, the girls roller bladed, swam, biked, ran, and played soccer the rest of the day and night.  Daddy took off Ingram's training wheels and we all attempted to teach him to ride his bike.  It didn't go too well, but it was pretty sweet watching Madison, Lindsey, and Megan try to teach him to balance without his little wheels. 

Monday was another day full of running, roller blading, swimming, and playing.  We headed to the park around lunchtime and played in the tennis courts with the West crew even though not much tennis was happening.  Ingram has decided that his new favorite sport is tennis and always asks to play it; the only bad part is that he has no idea how to play yet.  The comical part is that I'm the one attempting to teach him how to play and I'll just admit that I'm a terrible tennis player!  We took over a tennis court and all 6 kids raced around on roller blades, rip sticks, bikes, and plain old feet the whole time we were there.  We also did have 2 tennis rackets and one ball and took turns playing tennis since we were on the tennis courts.  Ingram got it over the net a couple times and was very proud of himself!  If that wasn't enough physical activity, we headed to the Wilkins house for a Memorial Party that involved a zip line, a pool, a basketball court, and the biggest kickball game known to man!  With the adults outnumbered by the kids 25-17, there was a lot of food and fun had by everyone there...and miraculously no one got hurt!!

What Are Those Elephants Going To Think Of Next?

Since We Haven't Been Able To Go See Bob The Boat Yet,
Ingram Took A Turn Driving This One Instead!
For Some Reason, He Never Could Pass The Boat In Front Of Him!

Madison Tried And Tried, But She Just Couldn't Keep Her Hand Down
To Touch The Stingrays...She Must Have Her Daddy's "Scared To Death Of Stingrays" Gene!

Madison And Megan Trying To Teach Ingram How To Balance!

You Want This Football? 
Come And Get It!

The All-Sport Tennis Court With Isabelle, Gabby, Daniel,
Ingram, Lindsey, And Madison!

Ingram And Tommy...Partners In Crime!

The Above Is A Clip Of Ingram Going Down The Zip Line. 
Play Close Attention To The End When Daddy Nails Him With The Football! 
He Loved It And Went Over And Over Again!!

This is Only Part Of The Kick Ball Game...25 Kids And 17 Adults!

Monday to Friday, May 20th to 24th, School's Out!

To say that this week was busy was an understatement!  After a crazy Monday of running errands all day with Ingram, he stayed home with Miss Rebecca and swam while we had soccer for the night.  Madison's team had their party at the soccer field and it turned into a parent/kid soccer game.  The girls were definitely in better shape than the parents, but I think we hung with them running up and down the field and worked up a sweat on both sides!

Tuesday was Ingram's last day of school and he was sooo excited!  When I picked him up, he stretched out his arms as wide as he could and said his teacher loved him this much and couldn't wait until they saw him again next year.  He's already talking about being in the 4 year old class next year!  As for Madison, she had her 5th Grade Picnic today and also practiced for Graduation.  She was very concerned about remembering which had to shake with and which had to get her Certificate.  The Picnic itself was a lot of fun because of all the pictures being taken of the kids.  At this age, boys and girls like to do things separately (Thankfully!!) and so there were groups of girls getting pictures with the boys jumping up in the back and vice versa.  These are a great group of 5th graders and they've all been so encouraging to Madison these past 13 months and they all mean so much to us.

5th Grade Graduation was Wednesday and Carley and Mimi came down Tuesday night to help celebrate!  We had dinner out during a couple sets of thunderstorms at Perkins and it was even Kid's Night; they had a balloon artist there and all the crew loved picking out their own balloon creations.  Wednesday morning we all packed the gym and the Ingram was so excited to watch his Madison and all her friends get their awards and become Middle Schoolers!  We checked Lindsey out of class so she could watch too and I'm pretty sure she had a lot of fun too.  During the reception, there were donuts, lots of noise, and even more pictures!!  A fun lunch with a bunch of loud girls and even more fun in the pool finished out our Graduation Celebration...and now we're already talking about next year.

Lindsey had her last day of school Thursday and is now officially a 4th Grader; unfortunately she's currently refusing to get older because she want to keep Mrs. Berry and stay in 3rd Grade forever!!  We spent the rest of our afternoon at home watching movies until it was time for soccer.  Thankfully it wasn't too hot since we were there for a few hours. Ingram always seems to find something to occupy himself with like jumping over the ditch, throwing rocks in the ditch, or running through the water in the ditch. Oh well, like I've said before, its nothing a shower can't help!

Friday we finally celebrated getting out of school with ice cream!  It was my turn to pick the ice cream shop so we headed to our neighborhood Baskin Robbins.  The kids all picked their favorites and of course we all ordered too much, but it was ohhh so good.  The best part had to be sitting outside in the cool air eating ice cream and watching the kids race up and down the sidewalk.  We finished off our night with Movie Night and watched Legends of the Guardians: The Owl of Ga'Hoole and of course took pictures of the kids as they piled on together when the movie ended.  It's never a dull moment around here, but the girls are extra excited about being out of school and getting to go to St. Jude on our appointments next week.  They love going to SJ as much as Ingram and I think the SJ ice cream bar is calling their names too!!

And This Is Why Madison Loves Going To Soccer All The Time!
These Girls And Their Coaches Are Too Much Fun!!
In Case You Can't Tell, Madison Is Upside Down Holding The Ball!

5th Grade Picnic
Girls Being Photo Bombed By The Boys!

Touring Collierville For Restaurants With Electricity Tuesday Night!

It's Official...We Have A Middle Schooler!

Make That A Ton Of Middle Schoolers!

Daddy's Baby Girl Growing Up!

Look At Her Smile!

Apparently Mimi And Carley Also Know How To Photo Bomb!

Sitting Peacefully At The Table (Even With Ingram) Until
They Realized The Boys Were Just A Few Doors Down!
No Boys Allowed...Well Except For Ingram!

Look Who's A Fourth Grader Now :(

But Still Pulling Stunts On Her Sister!

They've Got Me Surrounded!

Saturday and Sunday May 18th and 19th, More Smiles

Things around here just kept getting better over the weekend!  Ingram had his last T-Ball game Saturday morning and we all had a blast at his game.  He nailed a few hits and ran the bases but of course, he had to stop and make a few dirt piles along the way.  He also caught a ball or two while he was in the field and did better than he had all season long.  His favorite part I think was the team party at the playground after the game was over; he loves playing baseball, but the playground is his favorite place to go...other than St. Jude!  Before Ingram went to the playground to play, he got his first ever Team Picture and his first ever TROPHY!!!  He was so excited about it and wanted to show it to everyone; it's actually still sitting on the kitchen counter so that he can look at it anytime he wants.  It was soooo hot that after playing at the park, we headed home to hit the pool!  Soon, there were more than Dismukes in the pool and the kids were having a blast.  Ingram got out of taking a nap (even though he needed one badly) and headed to go see Mr. Brent for his graduation.  A few hours later, Daddy and Ingram returned and Ingram hopped right back in the pool where he left off with Lindsey. 

By the end of the night, the pool was full of girls and Ingram and they were all having a great time swimming and playing together.  Thankfully, we didn't have any mudslides this go round, but instead they did "stunts" in the pool pretty much the whole time!  We ended up with a few extra girls spending the night and Ingram decided he wanted a sleepover too; he ended up going to sleep in the middle of our bed!  Without his knowledge, he got moved to a pallet on the floor for the rest of the night so that we could sleep without having knees or elbows hit us all night long. 

Sunday morning we headed to church and Ingram was so excited to see his friends!  He even got to go to the "Big Kid" playground and was hot, sweaty, and stinky and super excited to tell us all he did on the playground. The girls were out there too and had fun too, but they're used to the playground so it wasn't a big deal to them.  Once we were done with everything around the house, we hit the pool for some more water fun, only this time is was just us.  The kids played all afternoon with some left over blue latex gloves that they filled with water; they also named the "balloons" and ended up with Lilo 1, Lilo 2, Lilo3, Lilo 4, Lilo 5, and Lilo 6.  I have no idea where that name came from but they seemed to love it for some reason. and they played until we made them come in for showers, dinner, and bedtime.  Bedtime thankfully came easy since they've been playing hard all weekend long which is a good thing for all of us!  They've got to get rested to be able to handle the crazy last week of school because we are ready for summer break!

He Sure Is One Cute Little T-Ball Player!

Talking Trash At Home Plate After Rounding The Bases!
I Know; They Start So Young Now!
That's Ingram On The Left And He Hasn't Touched Home Plate Yet!

The Red Sox Party! 
They Were All Way Too Busy To Pose For A Picture!

Sweaty Ingram With His Coach Kory Right After He Got His First Ever Trophy!

Trying Out The Razor Rip Rider 360  From Meia For The First Time!

Even Beau Went For A Swim!!
Don't Worry, We Took Off His Shock Collar First!

Look At Me!
With A Little Help From Sarah, Emily, And Madison,
Ingram's Ready For Some Stunts!

Monday to Friday May 13th to 17th, An Emotional Week :(

It seems that the emotions of Mother's Day continued to linger on through the week.  We have been told that at some point everything would start to feel heavy because of our last thirteen months and it seems that the gravity of it all is hitting.  We have definitely felt it at different points in Ingram's treatment and with each loss we have had within our St. Jude family for sure, but I don't know why it's happening like this right now except that we're just exhausted and everything is coming to the surface.  We've trucked along for so long on auto pilot, but now it seems the truck is getting stuck in the mud for the time being. 

Monday's highlight was running a "quick" errand with Ingram to Sports Authority.  He loves going with Daddy to the store and now I know why even more.  We walked the whole story even though what we were coming for (new running socks) was in the very front aisle.  We hit golf balls, played with tennis rackets, tried out the boat toys, then headed around to all the other balls.  We played with baseballs, basketballs, volleyballs, and soccer balls and finished out our hour long tour by punching the boxing bags.  It was great and I now know why it takes Daddy forever to go to any kind of sports store.

Ingram loves all sports but asks daily when his next baseball game is and it was finally game night on Tuesday.  He looks just so cute in his little Red Sox uniform and is even cuter running around the bases when he hits the ball.  Of course, there was plenty of playing in the dirt during the game and it doesn't bother me one bit!  The Rooker's came out to see his game and of course Ingram loved showing Mr. Brent how he plays baseball.

Wednesday was our normal St. Jude day, but it was anything but normal; it was actually a very rough day.  We did get to paint glasses that are going to be sold and the money donated to SJ and also saw several friends including Mae, Bailey, and Josiah while we were there and it always is fun to see the kids happy and playing.  The bad thing about seeing friends is that sometimes the news isn't good and that's what happened today.  Our friend Bailey just had a set of scans and got the news that her tumor has come back.  To say that they're upset is an understatement and once again we and many others are heartbroken; as for Bailey, she's a fireball and I'm sure will have her smile on again while she's undergoing treatment.  They're in the process of doing more testing to see how they're going to treat her cancer this time so keep her and her family in your prayers.  We also made a very last minute trip to Jackson after the girls got out of school to surprise Mimi for her birthday dinner.  It was a good distraction from the day and the kids loved playing with their cousins, even if it was only for two hours.

It seems that since God knows everything already, he started sending encouragement our way by friends and strangers alike to help perk us up.  Thursday, one of Ingram's friends sent home a gift from school and Ingram has been smiling ever since.  It was a picture of Ingram and Nolan with their arms on each other's shoulders in a cute blue frame.  They are best buddies and have been together since they were in the 1-year old class.  His teachers sent home his "Memory Book" for this year and it was filled with pictures from his time at GBC from December to May.  The first picture wasn't his typical "First Day Of School" picture, but it is definitely this year's first one...taken in December when he went back to school post treatment with a little bald head wearing his CONQUER shirt.  That picture alone made me cry because it was anything but a normal "back to school" picture, not to mention the rest of the book.

By Friday, God once again knew that I needed some more comfort.  Two different friends sent sweet messages with pictures that reminded me of His Faithfulness for Ingram.  The first was a picture from the newspaper of Ingram (looking totally normal and like he had never been sick a day in his life) and two of his buddies at their preschool Field Day last week.  The second picture was one that a friend found in her son's papers from school; Team Ingram was making an appearance in Crosswind Elementary, which is another local elementary school in town. 

That's not even the end of the kindness that we're being shown!  Our school had its "Jump Rope For Heart" Awards program for the Fourth and Fifth Graders today with the top fundraiser, Meia Farmer, raising $1000.00 for the American Heart Association.  The PE teachers called us because when she went up to receive her prize (the coolest prize ever and wanted by all the 4th and 5th graders), she asked if she could give it to Ingram!  We were floored by her sweetness especially because Meia had never even met Ingram or the girls and wanted to do something special for him anyway.  We drove up to the school so that we could meet Meia and let Ingram thank her and of course take pictures with her; she has the sweetest heart, the biggest smile, and we felt so honored by her generosity. 

We ended the roller coaster week on an even higher note with Lindsey's soccer team coming over for an end of the season pool party.  In the midst of all the emotional craziness, it was really good to see all the girls and Ingram having so much fun!  They went swimming and played on the playground and then they got really creative; they made a water slide with water from the pool on the playground slide then turned it into a mudslide.  It was a nasty mess and they were all loving it.  I guess whatever works sometimes is what you got to do...and they did it well!! 

Yep, That's Ingram Playing In The Dirt While
He Waiting To Run To Second Base!

Ingram's Rainbow Glass!

Getting Cheered Up From Friends Part 1!!

Getting Cheered Up From Friends Part 2!!

Mimi And Pops With The Grandkids At The Casey Jones Train!
Ingram, Brett, Lindsey, Madison, And Carley

The Most Wanted Prize Of All...The Razor Rip Rider 360!
Meia With Ingram, Lindsey, And Madison

Ingram And Meia!

Saturday and Sunday May 11th and 12th, Mother's Day

After our whirlwind of a week, we were looking forward to a relaxing weekend...at least as relaxing as it could be in the midst of lots of fun things to do!  Lindsey and Daddy went on a special date to Build-A-Bear while the rest of us stayed home.  Ingram, Madison, and Madison's friend Megan decided to go running and then jump in the pool afterwards, but the heater had been turned off.  Since Ingram only rode down the street and back on his scooter, he wasn't as ready for cool water as the girls were and didn't stay in long at all!  Daddy and Lindsey had been gone for several hours, but they were enjoying "Daddy/Daughter time."  Then Ingram and Daddy went to see Mr. Brent play in a baseball tournament during nap time instead of taking a nap; I'm pretty sure Ingram needed that nap, but he did pretty good at the game cheering for Mr. Brent.  Once we were all back together, we had a pretty eventful night of "Tickle Monster" and had to call it quits before the final page was read.  Beau decided to go into protective mode and caught Daddy's elbow in his mouth while he was chasing the kids.  I guess in Beau's eyes, he was guarding the kids from a big, furry, blue-handed monster.  After the kids finally made it to bed, Beau snuck around to Daddy and jumped up onto the chair to snuggle and apologize with they (Beau and Daddy) watched TV. 

Sunday morning, I was greeted with a Mother's Day surprise like no other!  I heard a noise and woke up but didn't see anything...until I opened the bathroom door and found my family standing in the restroom holding my "Breakfast in the Bathroom" instead of "Breakfast in Bed!"  I know they're crazy, but they're also creative; I don't think I've ever heard of anyone else getting their day started quite like that!  They all piled in the bed and Beau came in and jumped up as well to join in the celebration of my kids since they're the reason I'm a Mother today.  We headed to church and then went out to lunch at the kids favorite Sunday place...Carrabba's where they continued to be crazy!  We spent much of the day running around with each other and playing and running around some more until we grilled out for dinner and the kids and Daddy swam while it was cooking. 

All weekend long, I couldn't help but think about all of our friends who have lost children this past year and it was really difficult to be truly joyful.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy and thankful, but our daily lives have been so similar at St. Jude with Radiation, Chemotherapy, and everything else in between, that it's hard to get through an occasion such as Mother's Day the same as we had before.  It has such a different meaning now and I don't even know how to explain it.  Last year for Mother's Day, we went away for the weekend to the Lake to have family time and it was really great.  We were a month into being St. Jude patients and a couple weeks into Radiation, but I think still in shock with everything that was happening.  On this Mother's Day, the shock has definitely worn off, Ingram's active cancer treatment is over, and we are attempting to figure out our new pattern of life.  I know our lives will never be the same as before because nothing is the same anymore because of the Cancer and the new way we view everything.  I know my emotions are starting to come out more  and I have a very hard time looking at pictures of Ingram during treatment; but I cannot wrap my mind and my heart around the possibility of not having Ingram with us right now after everything we've been through this year.  My heart aches for our sweet friends who are missing their babies on their first Mother's Day without them on this Earth, but I pray they are being comforted by our Heavenly Father in a way that the rest of us can't comfort them.  So at the Dismuke house, we've been staying up a little later and hugging a little tighter...

Ingram Watching Mr. Brent Play Baseball!

Indoor Ping Pong Tournament At The Acuff's!
Megan, Madison, Emily, Sarah, And Abby

Craft Time With The Newest Dismuke Supervising...Rocket Dismuke!
Surprisingly, He Came Home Potty Trained Already.

It's Blurry, But Your Can Still Make Out Beau About To Take A Piece Out Of Daddy

Breakfast In The Bathroom!

The Reason I'm A Mom

Like I Said Before...They're Crazy...

...But I'm Holding A Little Tighter These Days And That's Okay.