Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We had a very exciting day today! God has truly answered our prayers! Let me explain... one month ago Brent's while blood cell count was at 120,000. As of today, just 4 weeks later, it was down to 3,600. That is amazing news! These pills must be working, huh?

They actually took Brent off the pills for one week. Next week Wednesday we will go back to the cancer center. They are going to adjust his dose in hopes that it won't upset his stomach anymore.

OK, I just had to post that exciting news! I promise that I'll post pictures soon!


Monday, December 29, 2008


I know that I haven't posted for quite some time, and I'm so sorry! This is just a quick post, though, to let you know that we're still here. I promise that I'll update this week with pictures from Christmas. We had a great Christmas with our families!

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) Brent and I have to be up at the Cancer Center at 8:00. We'll be there all day again. Basically they do the same thing they did last time he was there. They take blood and do an EKG before he takes his pills. Then they do that at 3 hours and 6 hours after he takes the pills. All together, we'll be there for about 8 1/2 hours. I think they just do this to see how his body reacts to the pills that he's taking.

Well, I just didn't want anyone to think that I had gotten out of the blogging business. Like I said, I'll update soon with more!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Clause Came to Town

We've been telling Karter stories about Santa. He's watched him in movies and on TV, and he recognizes him and knows him by name. He gets so excited when he sees pictures of him or sees him on TV. And then he comes to your house...

And he's scared to death!

Don't tell Karter or Brody, but this wasn't the real Santa Clause. Warren and Fonda Post came over this evening. It was so much fun! I remember having Santa coming over every year when we were little. It was so cool! Thanks Warren and Fonda!!!

Brody had his 2 month shots today. He is getting bigger every day. Today he weighed 14lbs and 6oz and was 23 1/2 inches. He had 3 nasty shots. He did OK (probably better than I did) after the initial cry. He's still doing pretty good, but I have him doped up on Tylenol and Motrin (not at the same time). Hopefully our night goes well and he doesn't have any reactions.

Here's a picture before shots...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Good Weekend

It has been a great weekend! The snow definitely came, and along with it came the bitterly cold weather. Normally, I wouldn't consider that a good weekend. BUT... Along with the snow and bitter cold came family time. We've been home pretty much all weekend. Brent (who is now my hero) installed a dishwasher for us. And get this... it works. We've had a dishwasher ever since we moved in, but it never worked. I've been making all kinds of dishes dirty just so I could run the dishwasher. (I'm pretty easily pleased.)

Today Brent and I played about 15 games of Nertz (a card game that is a lot like Solitaire). He said I turn into quite a jerk when I play cards. I don't have any clue what he's talking about.

Tonight we might open Christmas presents with the boys. (I'm sure that Brody is so excited!!!) I'm acting like it's a good idea because then Karter can play with the toys while we're stuck in the house. Actually, it's probably because I'm terribly impatient. I get so excited to give people their gifts. In fact, Brent has had one of his for about a month now.

Hey, if any of you are looking for a good book to read I have the perfect suggestion for you. (Thank you Helen for telling me about this book!) It's called My Sister's Keeper, and it's by Jodi Picoult. It's an awesome book! Let's just say that I shed a few tears! A friend of ours dropped off another book for me to read, but it's pretty short. If you have a favorite book that you think I'd like, let me know. Just leave a message on this post, and I'll check them out. I love reading!

Anyway, that's probably a lot of random thoughts and kind of a strange post, but that's how my brain works most of the time.

Hope you're all having a great weekend and that you're all ready to have a wonderful Christmas!


Friday, December 19, 2008


It's going to be a good day. Yes, it's true that we got lots of snow during the night... and I hate snow. But it's still going to be a good day! Wanna know why? I put Brody to bed last night at 10:45, and he didn't wake up until 7:00 this morning.

Like I said... It's going to be a good day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Relay For Life Fundraiser

Oops! I forgot one thing in my last post. We're starting a fundraiser for our Relay for Life team (Camp Cureageous is the name of our team). We are collecting used printer cartridges (from simple home printers all the way to the fancy printers at businesses) and used cell phones. We will then be sending these to a company that will recycle them. They will give us a certain amount depending on the type of cartridge/phone. If you don't know what to do with your old cartridges/phones and would like to donate them to our cause, please contact me.

Note: This is not just for the immediate area. This will work as long as you live in the 48 states. Just shoot me an email or call me for more details.

Thanks everyone!

Oh, and if anyone is interested in being on our Relay team, please let me know. We would love to have more team members. (We don't make anyone do any individual fundraising or anything.)


Some Firsts...

I can't believe all the firsts that we've experienced in the last few days. Here's two of my favorites...

Oh my... look at my little Brody Alan smile at the camera. This is the first time that I've been able to catch his smiles on camera. I'm seriously loving all these stages. I can tell already that he's going to be a sweet little boy. And, like his brother, I think he's going to be a Daddy's Boy. I may get smiles like this one, but you should see the smiles he saves for his Daddy. I love my life!


Wednesday night Karter and I had to get out of the house, and coincidentally enough, there was some snow that needed to be scooped. So, for the first time, we put on his winter attire, handed him his own little shovel, and out to the driveway we went.

He had a ton of fun, and he giggled every time he slipped and fell. He would just act like a puppy and send the snow flying into the air. He's so much fun to be around! Every day he is learning new words. OK, so maybe not everyone would know what he is saying, but I do. Example: a "Dootch", (pronounced just as it looks) is actually a horse. Not sure where that one came from.

We're supposed to get some nasty weather over the night tonight. That kinda figures, though, since we were supposed to go to a Christmas program in Sheldon tomorrow morning for Brent's nieces. That happened last year too, but we went anyway. We're also supposed to go to a Christmas program tomorrow night for my sister Wendi's kids.
Well, since Karter and Brent have both retired for the evening, I suppose I'll shut down for the night. Brody is asleep in my arms, and I'm just going to enjoy this for a while.
Goodnight to you all! Have a great Sunday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Time Flies

Can you all believe that it's December 8th already? It just shocks me. Maybe it is because I'm on maternity leave, and sometimes my days can seem to run together. Maybe it is because I'm on maternity leave, and I want time to stop. I look at Brody and just can't believe how quickly he's growing. Then I look at Karter and wonder where the last two years went. My life is so full, and I have so much to be thankful for!

Last Thursday was Brent's 26th birthday. He's getting old (but he'll always remind me that I'm older than him). Friday night we went to Sioux City to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate his birthday. I'm teaching Karter that it's OK to be a picky eater. We were at a really good Mexican restaurant, and I ordered popcorn chicken and french fries for him and a taco salad (with just the lettuce, hamburger and cheese) for me. Brent actually ordered Mexican food with all the bells and whistles. I would have ordered grilled cheese if it was an option. :-)

Today was Brent's 6th day of taking his chemo pills. We are taking it one day at a time. We've had to learn as we go. It takes time to figure out different things like how soon after eating breakfast he should take the pills, or how much activity is just too much for him, or how do you explain to Karter that Daddy is tired and needs to rest. We were told that it could take about a week before he starts to feel the full effect of the side effects. We're a little nervous for that, but we'll have to wait and see.

So far the pills have managed to make Brent's stomach a little upset. Most of the days it has gone away after a little while. Our families and friends have been wonderful. We've had food brought in, many offers to take the boys off our hands, and they guys took Brent out this past weekend for his birthday. Those things have all been wonderful! But I must admit, the thing we appreciate the absolute most is all the prayers! It's amazing to know that people out there are praying to our Heavenly Father on your behalf. Honestly, what would we do without our friends and family?

Living in Maurice, we have taken part in the Christmas decorating. Sorry the picture is kind of fuzzy, but at least you can get an idea of what we've done to our house. If you have a chance, you should ride through Maurice and look at all the lights. It's tons of fun!

We're supposed to get snow tonight. I got Karter some snow pants, and he loves wearing his boots. If it snows tonight and isn't bitterly cold tomorrow, maybe Karter and I can go out and play in the snow while Brody sleeps. He would think that was so cool! If so, I'll have to have my camera along and post pictures asap!

And finally, here are a few pictures of my boys...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Hey everyone. I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow is Brent's first day of treatments. He is still going to be taking chemo in the form of a pill. Because he's part of a study, we won't know for sure which pill he'll be on until we get there tomorrow. We have been told, however, that we should just plan on spending the entire day at the cancer center. That makes us think that he'll be on the newer of the two pills (Bosutinib). That's actually the one Brent was hoping for. Newer is usually better, right?

Karter went to Gretchen's house today. I think he really misses the kids there, so we thought we'd just let him play and have fun there for a day. Brody and I have been hanging out and getting our Christmas decorations ready to go up outside. Brent and I are going to try get that accomplished yet tonight. It's pretty nice out today, so it's a good day to do it. I'll try post some pictures if we get it done. We don't go all out, but I was happy with how it looked last year.

Brody is growing like a weed. I've had to put his newborn and 0-3 month clothes away already. That's always hard for me. I always think I want them to stay little and cuddly for longer than they do. But, on the other hand, it's so fun to watch them grow and learn all kinds of new things. Karter just loves his brother, and that just makes me melt!

Well, back to my decorations. Have a great day!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Can you believe that it's the end of November already? It's amazing to me how quickly time passes.

I decided something this morning. What was it, you ask? Sit down for this one... I think I'm one step closer to being all grown up. I was thinking this morning about what I'm the most thankful for, and that's when my exciting decision was made. Three years ago, if you would have asked what I was thankful for, I would have said things like a good job, a running car, or a trip that I had just been on. Don't get me wrong... I'm still thankful for those things. But I think that one step to growing up is realizing that some of the things that I'm the most thankful for aren't "things" at all. Here are some of the things that I'm the most thankful for:

- A God who loves me so much that it hurts
- My 3 boys
- Family (Immediate and Extended)
- Karter learning to give bear hugs
- That moment when Brent said, "We have another boy."
- Brody and the way we can feel his love for us
- Memories (like the way Dad would shake his finger at Karter and say, "There's my buddy." Oh, how I treasure memories!)
- Those moments when Karter kisses Brody, even though he doesn't know I'm watching
- The feeling when you look at your husband and wonder how it's possible that you love him more and more every day
- The feeling when you know he's thinking the same thing
- Prayers, and the power that they have
- Having a home that keeps us warm
- Brent (I know I mentioned him in #2, but you guys don't know how great of a husband I have!)
- Friends (whether close or distant, I appreciate you all)

I could go on and on, but I think you'd all get pretty bored. I really just want each of you to know how much you mean to me! With all that's going on in our lives right now, we're trying not to take anything for granted. We appreciate every prayer that has been offered up on our behalf. Trust us, we feel them.

Brent, I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you! You are so much more than I could ever have asked for in a husband and best friend. We're going to get through this, even through the tough times. It will make us stronger. Thank you for being the person you are!

Last, but not least, we appreciate our favorite photographer. Let me show you a little sample of why...

May you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Update on Brent

Hey everyone. I just wanted to update after Brent's doctor appointment today. Unfortunately, there's not a lot to say. Basically, all they said is that the bone marrow test proved medically that he does have leukemia (CML is the type he has). I asked if it showed what stage he was in. He said that CML doesn't have stages. Either you have it or you don't. At least it wasn't worse than what we were thinking.

Next week Wednesday we have to go back to Sioux City for more tests. After that they'll know when the treatments (pills) will start. It will most likely be the first week of December.

Sorry to be short, but I hear sleep calling my name. Thanks for all the prayers! Please know how much we appreciate each one of them!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here's What We Give Thanks For...

Yeah! I am actually posting a few pictures! We gave Brody his first "big" bath tonight. Up until tonight it's been all sponge baths for him. He loved his bath, so that made it lots of fun! Here's a few pictures... The first picture was right before his bath.

I love his cheeks in this next one...

Here's a silly picture of Karter. He loves this hat for some reason. Today he even tried to put it on Brody. Needless to say, it was a bit big for Brody (or Bro-Bro, as Karter calls him).

I must say, though, this is my favorite for the night. I just love it when they're fresh out of the tub and in their snuggly jammies. And it melts my heart when Karter holds Brody. He is so good with him, and he just loves him to pieces. I tried to get a picture of Karter giving Brody a kiss, but he was too quick for me.

Thanks for checking in! Sorry that it's been so long since I've posted pictures! I'll try do a better job of getting that done more often! Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Week's Appointments...

Hello everyone. I just thought I'd update you on what's going on in our family for this week. As far as we know, we should only have two doctor appointments this week. One is today, and that one is for Karter. I have to take him for his 18 month checkup and shots. Yeah, you read that correctly... we're getting his 18 month shots even though he's 22 months. Apparently, I'm not one of those organized kinds of moms who does things "on time" and all that jazz. Anyway, I'm sure it won't be a fun appt, because in addition to the normal shots, I think Karter and I will also be getting flu shots. We need to make sure to do everything we can to keep the flu out of our house and away from Brent (and the kids, for that matter). He got his shot at work, so I suppose we better get ours, too.

Then on Friday, we have another appointment with Dr Wender. This time the appt is in Sioux Center. This is the appt where we find out the results from the bone marrow test and EKG. I'm assuming we will also find out when Brent will be starting his pills. I must say, I just wish this appt were over with. I'm scared for B to start these pills. As with every form of treatment, you take the bad with the good... in other words, there will be side effects. I'm not looking forward to finding out how this affects B, and I just wish I could take these pills for him. In fact, I wish I could go through all of this for him. Better yet, I wish they'd just find a stinkin' cure so no one would have to go through this ever again!

Please pray for us as we go into this. Please let us trust God and His plan.

Also, I promise I'll post some pictures of the boys very soon. Sorry that I haven't been better at that! We just had their pictures taken last Friday, so I'm really looking forward to getting those back!

Hope you all have a great week and are enjoying the weather!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life Changed in the Last Five Days

Just when we were starting to settle into somewhat of a routine... our lives were changed in an instant. Last week Wednesday, after a standard cholesterol screening at work, Brent was told to see our family doctor. After more blood tests our doctor called a doctor in Sioux City and discussed the results with him. The very next day we met with that doctor in Sioux City... Dr Wender at the Cancer Center. Brent was diagnosed with Leukemia. It's bad enough to hear yourself say that your 25 year-old husband has Leukemia, but personally I find it harder to say that he has a form of cancer. To say the least, that scares the crap out of me!

Dr Wender was my Dad's doctor, and our family really trusts him. He's one of those doctors that does not sugar-coat anything. He feels very confident that Brent won't have any problems kicking this thing! He won't be doing any chemo or radiation. Instead, his treatment will be in pill form.

Yesterday we went back to Sioux City. Brent had to have an EKG at the Cancer Center. Apparently, this pill can sometimes affect the heart. The EKG was just so they had a picture of what his hear looked like before he started treatments. After that we had to go over to Mercy Hospital and have a bone marrow test. We were a little nervous about that. We had heard that it was quite painful. Brent did really well. He was sore by the time we got home, but he handled it really well. Today he said it's feeling better. He stayed home today because he couldn't do any heavy lifting. He'll be going back to work tomorrow.

We have another appt with Dr Wender on Nov 21st. We'll find out all the results at that point, and hopefully Brent will be starting his pills after that.

Please pray for Brent. This is hard information to accept. Please also pray for the rest of us, that we may give him whatever kind of support he needs.

I'll try keep this blog updated, so feel free to check back and see how everything is going. We will have our hands full, between a (soon to be) 2 year-old, a newborn and Brent's treatments and appointments.

Thanks in advance for all of your support!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

21 Month Old Experiments with Pot

Oops! I meant to say that Karter experimented with pots... not pot. Sorry about that. :-) Karter's new favorite past time is playing the drums using my pots and pans. Luckily he is OK with plastic spoons, because they're not nearly as loud as other spoons. I like to say that he's taking after his mom, since I played percussion in high school. But Brent says that can't be, since I only played the cymbals in marching band.

Here's our little Monkey on Halloween. We went a few places to Trick or Treat, but I got tired pretty early... so we went home. Brody had a onesie that said "This is my costume". He looked good in orange, which is good... since that's one of Sioux Center's school color.

And then here's just a few extra pictures that I thought you might enjoy. Doesn't Karter look huge?

Sorry it's a short post, but Karter is trying to push buttons while I'm typing. I guess at least that way I can blame any mis-spelled words on him, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We are blessed... again!

For those of you who may not have heard yet... Monday morning we welcomed a new little boy into our family. Brody Alan was born at 8:24 AM. He weighed 8lbs 6oz and was 22 inches long. I know that I may be a little biased here, but I must say... He's absolutely beautiful! Enjoy the pictures!

I must admit... the one with Karter holding Brody is my favorite. Karter has been so good through all of this! I had a c-section, so I'm limited as to how much I can do yet. I was a little worried about what Karter would think about me being confined to bed. For now he likes to sit by Mommy in bed or in the chair... and so far he hasn't bumped my incision. He does, however, like to give his little brother hugs and kisses.

I believe we'll be going home from the hospital tomorrow. I can't wait to be home with my guys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Today is a just that... a lazy Sunday. Right now Karter is taking a nap. He, much like his parents, loves his naps! I'm trying to avoid a nap, because then I won't sleep good tonight. Today it's rather easy to skip a nap... the Bears are playing the Vikings. GO BEARS!!! (Brent strongly disagrees, but he's not the one writing this.) Why am I a Bears fan, you may ask. Well, I'm a Bears fan simply because my Dad was a Vikings fan. It's the same reason I choose Chevys over Fords and Jeff Gordon over whoever it was that drove the Ford that Dad liked. It wasn't because I know anything about the teams, drivers or kinds of cars... but because it created a friendly rivalry in the Langstraat household. If you knew my Dad, you know he never really got worked up about much... but it was still fun to call him up after the Bears would beat the Vikings. You know, just to make sure he knew who won.

It's days like this that I really miss Dad. Well, days like this... and every other day there is. It's going to be weird to not have Dad visit me in the hospital when this baby is born. Or to not have him present (and take part in) baptism. And every other part of this that Dad would have loved to be part of.

Oh no! Vikings just scored a touchdown! GRRR!!! Chicago still leads by 7 with 3 minutes to go, but why cut it close?

Random thought: Karter's new favorite thing is to sing "E-I-E-I-O". You have to listen pretty closely, but he sings it like he wrote it.

OK, I can't concentrate. I have to watch the game now.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where We're At

Right now, I'm sitting on my couch with my feet up. Karter is at daycare, so it's quiet in the house. You would think I would like it, but really... I'm not loving it. I miss Karter, and I look forward to he and Brent coming home. Why am I home? Well, I'm home because Belinda (our midwife) says that's where she wants me to be today (and yesterday). I am amazed at the fact that I'm 8 months pregnant. I think it's too good to be true, and I wonder if it's really true. ...And then I try look at my feet and realize that yes, it is true.

I've been struggling a bit with headaches the last couple days, but other than that it has been a dream pregnancy. I've really enjoyed being pregnant. It's such a miracle! Every morning when I get up and get Karter out of bed, I take a moment and thank God for the many miracles in our lives.

Enough sappy time, and on to pictures. Karter is quite a ham lately and likes to have his picture taken... so enjoy!

My First Post

Look at this... I, Kelli Hooyer, am trying my hand at blogging. I make no promises as to how often this will get updated, and I don't claim to be all crafty and creative. One thing will make this a little bit easier, and that is that I have a great family to talk about.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure we call... Our Growing Family.