Ahhhh, summer time! While Leah spent most days playing with her sisters and swimming in our pool, she has some really big and exciting news to share.
About a week after she turned five years old, she lost her first tooth! She was sitting at dinner saying that she felt something funny in her mouth. After checking it out and not finding anything in there, we realized that her tooth was loose. She wrote a note asking the tooth fairy to come because she had a very loose tooth. The next morning she came into the room saying, "Ma ooth...ma ooth" That little girl sat down right on the counter in front of the mirror and pulled her tooth out before I could even get the stool for her. She was so excited to get a note from her tooth fairy, Jennifer. (Our girls each have their own tooth fairy.) And she doesn't just have one note from Jennifer, but she has two because she already lost a second tooth! Jennifer says that Leah is keeping her busy.
Another BIG piece of news from this summer is that Leah started swallowing her enzymes whole! Everytime Leah eats, she needs to take pancreatic enzymes to process the food. Before, we would open up the capsules and pour the little pellets into her mouth for her to drink down. Now, she can put the whole capsule in her mouth and swallow it down! Not only that, but she will take the handful of enzymes (she takes 4 with meals), pop them all in her mouth at the same time and just like that, she drinks them down! Yay! This is such a big accomplishment for a child with cystic fibrosis. Leah takes an average of 14-16 enzymes a day, which is about 450 a month, and about 5475 enzymes a year. Yes, we have been celebrating this and her new found independence in helping maintain her health. We also are celebrating how much easier Kindergarten is going to be now that she can swallow her enzymes! We are so proud of her!
On the Road... to Cape Cod
The Nordquist girls - Molly, Emma, Leah, Hannah, Claire, Rebekah
Early July, we headed out on vacation. Our first stop was Syracuse, NY, where Phil grew up. It was fun for Daddy to show off his old stomping grounds to the girls. We got a chance to visit Phil's home church, North Syracuse Baptist Church, and reconnect with some old friends, including a dear family whose daughter lost her battle against cystic fibrosis in 1989 when she was twelve years old. Hannah & Bekah also had the opportunity to meet their pen pals that they have been writing to for the past year.
From there, we continued on to Cape Cod to visit with Phil's brother's family, Eric, Amy, Emma, Molly, & Claire. The girls could not wait to see their cousins. They absolutely love spending time with them. It's so fun to see them playing all day long.
We spent our days at the beach. A short walk down their street is access to a private beach on the cape side. We visited this beach our first day during high tide to go swimming and then every evening at low tide to watch the sunset and look for crabs. We spent the next day at a beach by a fresh water pond (which was really more of a lake) that was in the middle of the Cape. The water was perfect for swimming and kayak rides. And, of course, some brotherly competition as Phil and Eric raced between the piers to see who could swim the fastest. A quick drive on the next couple of days took us to the beach on the ocean side. Even though the water was cold, the older girls were out there thoroughly enjoying boogie-boarding. Hannah & cousin Emma even saw a seal swimming close to them. They, of course, came in right away as seals are shark bait. The crazy thing is that we later found out that there was a 12-14 foot great white shark that chased a kayaker just two miles away at the next beach. Scary!! (By the way, the kayaker paddled away safely.)
Another highlight of our trip was the Fourth of July celebration. We headed down to the beach to see the sunset and while we were there, people started showing up with boxes of fireworks. Eric ran back to the house to get his stash and hurried back to the beach. All along the beach, you could see fireworks being shot off. And not just little fireworks, some of these guys have obviously done this before because they had some really amazing fireworks. It was a spectacular show... that is until the police man showed up walking from group to group, telling them to stop. Apparently, it is not allowed. So, we headed back to enjoy s'mores and a campfire. Fun times and lots of great memories!
Clean Your Closet for a Cure
At the end of July, we had our second annual Clean Your Closet for a Cure Garage Sale. With thirteen families donating items to our sale, we had a really nice selection of items to sell. This year, we decided to run the sale a little differently. Instead of pricing the items, we asked people to make a donation for what they thought was a fair price. This seemed to not only help focus the sale on being a fundraiser, but gave us the opportunity to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis as we shared Leah's story.
I would say most people were respectful of our request and many generous in their donations. Altogether, we raised $1126.65 at the garage sale to help us find a cure for Leah! A BIG BIG thanks to Melissa Drechsel for hosting and organizing our sale! And a shout out to her Mom's Club for the many who donated items and/or shopped our sale.
As summer vacation is quickly coming to an end, we are busy getting ready for school. We are thankful for an enjoyable, fun, relaxing, and healthy summer! Thinking about summer, I can't forget to mention Leah's "pets"... last week, she brought home Angel (nicknamed Gracie) the Grasshopper from church. We convinced Leah to take off the top and see if Angel wanted to stay in the box or jump out. We found out that Angel is a good jumper and off she went. This week, Leah brought home Sparkles the Worm, who is living in some dirt in a cup. What fun! I guess this is what happens when you don't have a dog.
We are truly blessed. We want this to be a place we can share updates on how Leah is doing with her CF. As well as a place to share our hopes, dreams, and prayer requests. Thank you for loving and supporting Leah as she fights everyday to add more tomorrows.