Archive for January 2012

January 29th, 2012. Day +324. Charlotte’s Make-A-Wish trip reviewed!   5 comments

I’m knocking on wood right now, but we seem to be past the worst of the stomach bug.  Both of the girls are still showing signs of the cold, but even those symptoms are improving.  Both have been getting good rest by taking great naps and sleeping through the night.  This has allowed Amy and me some much needed rest as well.

Ready for the details of our fabulous trip?  We warn you right now that this blog entry will be the longest one we have written.  So if you don’t have the time, stop now and just know we had a great time.  But if you’d like to know more, just sit back and enjoy the story.  Not only do we want to share these memories with our faithful readers, but this is our way to share these memories with Charlotte and Molly when they are older as we are quite realistic in knowing that they will not personally remember a lot of this due to their young ages.  Well….here we go!

Saturday, January 14th:

Charlotte and me in the limo at 4am!

We were scheduled to leave at 4am on Saturday morning and on Friday night, Molly was having a low grade fever.  We were both worried about an ear infection and the dangers of flying with one of those.  Though she showed no specific signs of ear problems like she had before (more crying when we laid her down, hitting at her ear, etc), we noticed she had been more whiny than usual most of the week.  So we were worried, even considered a trip to the urgent care Friday night at 10:30pm.  But she slept through the night and Saturday morning, we woke her up at 3:30 to get going on the trip and she seemed completely happy.  Temperature was back to normal too.  Charlotte was very confused until we told her it was “Disney Day.”  She happily jumped out of bed and was willing to get dressed as fast as possible.  We were seen off by Grandma and Grandpa Elske and Charlotte’s wish granters Linda and John-such devotion to do this at 4am!!!  They and Charlie (the limo driver) loaded our bags into the waiting limo and we were on our way!  Both girls LOVED the limo ride and were too excited to ever fall asleep.

Charlotte, Molly and Bert

We boarded the plane and CJ and I sat on one side of the aisle and Amy took Molly on the other side.  Our flight took off at 7am and Molly was so tired she was sleeping by the time the plane started moving and slept throughout the take off.  Meanwhile Charlotte and I raised our arms in the air as the plane took off – she loved the speed.  Amy had to readjust and woke Mollers up about 20 minutes into the flight.  She was happy though, and spent most of the flight playing/flirting with the father behind us.  We had a family of four (two girls) going to Disney in front of us, and a family of four (two girls) going to Disney seated behind us.  Molly only cried once or twice but never for more than a second…she was just telling Amy she wasn’t happy with her shoes on, or without water…

Charlotte played with her iPad, crayons and Highlights magazines for almost the entire flight.  She started to ask “Are we there yet” about every minute or so with half an hour to go.  She finally gave in and fell asleep in my lap for the last 10 minutes of the flight and missed the entire landing.  Molly was well behaved and didn’t seem to mind any of it.

At the airport we were greeted by Bert, our first GKTW volunteer.  She helped us navigate the airport, find our luggage and rental car, and gave us directions to the village.

We found the village without problems and we all headed in to be welcomed.  It is such a terrific place.  All of the volunteers and staff are so happy and friendly and to be quite honest, we never would have had to leave the entire week as the girls would have been happy just playing there every day.  There is a life sized Candyland board game called Matthew’s Boundless Playground, Dino Putt Mini Golf, an enormous model railroad display, arcade games, two pools, carousel, and train to explore all day every day.  The Gingerbread House (with food from Perkins) served us breakfast and dinner and Katie’s Kitchen (Boston Market) served us lunch.  We also could have ice cream any time we wanted it – even for breakfast!!  All of the restaurants have child-size tables and volunteers galore to completely spoil us (i.e. opening the door, carrying our food trays, grabbing drinks, clearing the table).

But back to Saturday……the greeter brought Charlotte a stuffed Mickey and a Shamu for Molly.  He gave us a quick tour and brought us to our villa, #188.  We unpacked the car and headed to Katies Kitchen for some lunch.  We brought the girls back and got them settled in their rooms for naps around 2:30.  Amy left at 3 for an hour long orientation meeting where they fill us in on how things work and what passes, etc we will be given for our stay.  They both slept wonderfully, with us waking them up so we would have time to get something to eat and explore the village.  On the way out of our villa we were met by the mobile cookie and hot chocolate cart.  We ate at the Gingerbread House and then spent an hour or so at Mayor Clayton’s (GKTW mascot) birthday party where Charlotte just danced and danced with staff and volunteers.  We went to the Amberville Train Station and played with the huge model railroad setup and Chuck-E-Cheese style games.  We just had a fun time exploring and seeing some of the sights, though it was on the cold side (about 45 degrees), Charlotte had a super time and never stopped smiling or running.  We came home and had to give them a bath.  I don’t think we got the girls to bed until almost 10pm!  But it was one terrific day.  For being so far from home, on a plane for the first time, without the proper amount of sleep, we could have not asked for a better day from our girls.

Charlotte decorating her star to be placed on the ceiling.

Sunday, January 15th:

We decided to let everyone sleep-in today as we were all pretty tired last night from our early departure time.  Molly woke once at 6am, but went back to sleep fairly quickly after a diaper change and bottle (we could hear her tummy growling)!  The next thing I knew Amy was waking me up at 9am!  Molly was already awake, but Charlotte was still sound asleep.

This is one of the many rooms filled with stars of previous village guests. It is touching to think that every one of those stars is from someone else's Charlotte.

We spent the remainder of the morning touring the village and doing some of the special activities meant for Charlotte only.  Every wish child receives a gold star that is given a home in the Castle of Miracles here at the Village.  Charlotte was able to draw a picture on her star, then give it to the Star Fairy who flies the star up to the ceiling for its permanent location.  The star actually has a barcode on it so that we will forever be able to find Charlotte’s star in the future.  Then we went to make Charlotte and Molly “magic pillows” that are made by a sleepy owl in a tree.  Charlotte had to wake him up and then send him lots of love to put in the pillow.  To our delight, Charlotte was given a purple pillow with ice cream cones and Molly a pink pillow with the

One of the pools at GKTW.

alphabet/animals.  The girls were so happy.  We were also able to receive a journal for Charlotte to track the weather, activities, food, and best thing of the day for each day of our trip.

After we checked off these special activities Charlotte also jumped on the carousel and put her fingers in the village pool (too cold to swim yet).  Although the weather today was in the lower 70s, we spent most of it in pants and a long sleeve shirt which still felt quite heavenly.  The girls then really enjoyed themselves at the huge Candyland playground.   We spent a good 45-60 minutes there and still had to take both girls away kicking and screaming.  Charlotte was also able to make a wish in the wishing well….hope it was a good wish!

We attempted lunch, but neither Charlotte nor Molly really ate much.  After nap we were off to the Magic Kingdom to mainly see the Electrical Parade and Wishes Fireworks.  We were able to get there a little earlier than we thought so we were able to sneak in some visits with Mickey & Minnie and Princesses (Cinderella, Belle, & Aurora).  Amy and I were in tears after these meetings as Charlotte received special privileges to skip to the front of the line and to have one very special picture with all 3 princesses together.  They were just so sweet to her….we couldn’t contain our tears.  Charlotte wanted the character visits to continue and specifically asked for Snow White and Mater.  We hoped we could find them for her in the days ahead.  Although Molly got a little antsy, the parade and fireworks were also quite a sight.  Charlotte was so excited for every new character that went by.  It was a great taste to the magic of Disney.

Monday, January 16th:

On Monday mornings Disney characters come directly to the village for the kids to meet.  Pluto, Goofy and Mary Poppins were out in the Avenue of Angels so Charlotte got to hug them and get their autographs!  Then inside Julie’s Safari Theater we saw Mickey and Minnie again!

After breakfast at the Gingerbread house we were on our way to Universal’s Islands of Adventure!  Charlotte had a great time on Dr Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish ride and the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train ride.  She also rode the Caro-Seuss-El and played in the play area.  We then went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks.  Amy and I had pumpkin juice and butter beer.  Both were very different and quite good.  We didn’t have time to go through Hogwarts and the Forbidden Journey ride (as the girls were exhausted) but arranged for Amy’s mom to watch the girls the next day to get this accomplished.  We had every intention of just having dinner and making it an early evening this night, but after we left the Gingerbread House, we were met by volunteers handing Charlotte a trick or treat bag to join in on the Halloween celebration.  CJ started trick-or-treating at different stops throughout the park, and there was music and dancing and snacks.  She had a fun time playing bowling and eating cupcakes.  We all rode on the carousel and had ice cream.  We then came back for a bath and nighttime by 10pm.  (oops to that early evening).






Tuesday, January 17th:

Tuesday mornings at the Village bring a Nickelodeon character meet and greet at the Castle of Miracles,but there was only Sandy Cheeks from Spongebob

Squarepants present…it was a little sad for us.  We were all kind of hoping for Dora, Diego, or Spongebob himself at least…but Sandy was good too.  We also saw CJ’s star in the Castle that she had decorated previously.  On the agenda today was to visit Gatorland (for Daddy).  It was pretty awesome.  We saw hundreds and hundreds of alligators and crocodiles!!  They put on a show for all of us where they would try to get the alligators to jump out of the water to eat, but it was too cold for them to be very active.  We rarely saw them do anything but swim around a little bit.  Charlotte got to feed a slice of cantaloupe to a huge tortoise, who ate the entire thing in seconds.  We walked around the park and CJ and I got our pictures taken holding a crocodile.

After Gatorland, we came back and put the girls down for a nap.  By this time, both my family and Amy’s family had come into town to spend the rest of the week with us (fortunately they made it out of the Milwaukee airport before it closed for a while due to the snow).  And we started by going to pick up Grandma Wags at her condo to have her come watch the girls while they napped so Amy and I could return to Universal and go through the Harry Potter ride and castle.  We sped off and ran through the parking lot and entrance to the park so we could hurry up and get to the ride and see the rest of the sights in the town.  The ride’s waiting line led us through the Hogwarts castle and a few of the rooms that were often featured in the movie like Dumbledore’s office and the Dark Arts classroom.  The ride itself was supposed to be like flying on a broomstick while playing in the critterball (quidditch) tournament.  Then we were attacked by the dark and scary guys in long robes (dimentors) and they tried to suck out my soul through my nose…then there were some spiders and the big pissed off willow tree and then we were back at the tournament and we somehow won or something like that….it was pretty loud, fast and not for kids, or the elderly, or people like me.  But Amy, the weirdo that she is, loved it.  After I was done suffering through the ride, and Amy was beaming with pride and happiness, we went through a few more shops in the town.  We waited in line for 30 minutes or so to get into Olivanders wand shop and watch the 7 minute show.  They put about 15 of us in the room and Olivander came and picked out a kid in the audience and tried to find “his wand”.  He picked a few wands that didn’t work (the flowers died instead of getting watered, then he tried to ring one bell and he rang them all….then Olivander picked the third one and a light shone upon him as if he was the golden child.  He went on to explain how the wand picks the wizard and then the show was essentially done…it was pretty cool and the shop was very much like I remember in the movies.  We made our way through one of the many crowded gift shops (Dervish and Banges) and into the Honeydukes candy shop.  We got some of the every flavor beans (warned to not eat the orange ones with red dots) and some chocolate cauldron or something.  The town itself was very cool but we just had no time left.

We needed to get back to the village so we could have Scott meet us with the rest of the Wags family at 6, then he and I drove to the Disney Movies hotel and picked up G&G Elske and Lyle’s family.  It was quite a couple of hours driving and picking up and delivering, etc but when we all finally arrived at the village about 7pm, it was really an awesome time.  Charlotte was so happy to see all of her cousins they spent the first 10 minutes running around the avenue.  We then went to the pool to have a poolside cookout and we had a nice time.  From there we headed to Matthews Boundless Playground and everyone had an awesome time playing for about half an hour.  We then got a train ride back to the avenue so we could all have a carousel ride and go to the ice cream shop. Everyone had something good and enjoyed it.  I think they all loved the village as much as we did.  We stopped back at our villa to show them around and then we packed up the two cars with everyone and headed back to the Disney movie resort to drop the Elske family off.  Scott then took the Wags clan home and I went back to our place to hit the sack.  Finally having everyone here, and seeing how much Charlotte loved showing them around and having fun playing with them really made us happy they were able to come.  It was the first time all of the WI based family members were together since before CJ’s diagnosis, and we had a great time!

Wednesday, January 18th:

Charlotte riding her first horse!

Although it was a late bedtime last night, Molly still had us up at 7am this morning (and again had woken at 4am during the night). The early rising was good, however, as it allowed Charlotte to ride her first horse (again, a special event at the village) – a black and white horse named JoJo.  She certainly surprised us with how willing she was to ride and how much she truly seemed to enjoy herself.  It brought a tear of pride to our eyes.

We then met the Elske and Wagenknecht families at WD Hollywood Studios and we all set out on our own paths.  We first met with Woody and Buzz Lightyear.  It was actually by accident.  Amy pulled over to take a look at the map and a WD worker saw Charlotte’s special pass when she was letting someone else out and told us we would be going in next.  Next thing we knew we were in a room with Woody and Buzz and out again within seconds!  Then we were off to the Toy Story Mania ride and then back to character meet and greets.  We saw Mike and Sully from Monsters’ Inc, Mater and Lightning McQueen from CARS, and Phineas and Ferb from Phineas & Ferb.  Before we knew it we were meeting up with everyone again for a pizza lunch at Pizza Planet (from Toy Story).  Then everyone went to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground area while I was able to get Molly to take a nap in the stroller.  From there we were off to visit with Handy Manny, however Charlotte was too shy to get out of the stroller.  So just Molly and Amy had the honors at first, but Charlotte quickly became jealous and hopped on over too.  From there we went to Disney Jr. Live and both girls had a fantastic time dancing and singing to their favorite Disney Jr songs.  Next was Voyage of the Little Mermaid show and last was the Pixar Parade.  After this we said good-bye to the Wagenknecht Family and began our 2 mile walk to Epcot.  It rained pretty steadily the whole walk, but thanks to the stroller rainguard, the girls stayed nice and dry and both had a good nap.  We met the Elske family for supper at the Coral Reef restaurant and then went with them to The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride and Turtle Talk with Crush.  Julia was able to ask Crush a question during the performance (What do you eat?)  Afterwards Charlotte was very sad and said she had a question for Crush too….How many worms do you eat?  From there Lon and I ran (literally) the girls to Germany so Charlotte could meet her favorite princess, Snow White.  And although she said she wanted to meet her, she refused to get out of the stroller and wouldn’t even smile for a picture.  Oh well… will still be a good memory to share.  After such a busy day, we were thrilled to catch a boat that took us back to Hollywood Studios and our car.  It was a LONG, but fun day!!!

Thursday, January 19th:

Molly must have been very tired because for the first time in 5 days she didn’t wake up at 4am.  This time she lasted until 6 before crying and being not happy.  We took her into our bed and slept until about 7:20.  We got up and got some breakfast and had a couple of little meltdowns and delays so we didn’t leave until about 9:20ish.  By the time we finally got into Animal Kingdom it was 10:15 and we had to go to our brunch with Donald Duck (character breakfast).  We motored through to the Africa area and met up with the Wagenknechts and Elskes and had an awesome family picture with Donald and then headed into brunch.  Right away the kids loved seeing Goofy, Mickey, Donald and Daisy.  We didn’t start to eat for another 10 minutes!  The food was terrific and I think everyone loved it.  I know all of the kids did.  We all left and headed to the safari adventure ride.  That was a really cool time.  We saw lots of pretty animals and scenery and the ride itself was bumpy and fun.  Charlotte really loved the bumpiness and speed of it all and Molly fell asleep in Grandma Elske’s arms.  With Molly snoozing in the stroller, we then went to the Dino-land play area where the 4 oldest kids played in the excavation area finding bones and playing in the sand, though the kids really just had a great time digging.  Next was the Dinoride.  Charlotte loved it, but Molly wasn’t too thrilled. We went back to the entrance area and got in line for the Lion King show.  Because of Gma Elske’s scooter, we were seated way up in the front rows.  The show was really great and towards the end, the performers picked a few kids from each side of the theater.  They picked Charlotte and Julia and both of them got to walk around with the performers playing little maraca type instruments.  It was a really special moment that we will never forget.  We watched the AK parade and then headed home.  The girls both napped very nicely on the way home and we got to the villa and got something to eat at the Gingerbread house.  We then went back to the theater and met Santa for the usual Thursday night Winter Wonderland party.  Both Charlotte and Molly got to pick out gifts and we all got our pics taken with him (something neither CJ or Molly wanted to do this past December)!  We again got some ice cream and headed back for some much needed rest.

Friday, January 20th:

On the porch of our villa for the last time.

We slept in a little today as it was our last day at the fantastic and charming Give Kids The World village.  This was truly a magical week that Amy and I will never forget.  We have been spoiled with gifts, food, and smiles as we have never experienced before.  We will never get the chance to stay here again, but will always be welcome as visitors.  We wish every family that has been tortured with poor health of their child has the blessing to stay here.

The carousel at the GKTW Village.

There was a Universal character meet and greet this morning at the village so Amy and the girls were able to get the autographs of Woody and Winnie Woodpecker.  We enjoyed our last breakfast at the gingerbread house and finished packing up our villa.  I then returned our car to the airport to re-rent it under my name (it had been rented and paid for by the village).  Amy took the girls to the playground and walked the grounds one more time before picking up lunch for us to take to the townhouse that would be our new home for the remaining three days.  It is a pretty nice and somewhat modern place, but the upkeep leaves a little to be desired.  I think every other light bulb in the place is either missing or burnt out.  And some of the light switches don’t seem to be wired to anything that we can find, but it is a very roomy place with 4 bedrooms and enough space for us to relax in.

We got the girls down to nap in the new digs about 1-2pm and they slept for three hours until we woke them up.  We needed to get moving to see the Wagenknechts in their condo tonight.  We picked up a bite to eat on the way and ate when we got there.  We spent the rest of the night playing in their little heated pool.  We returned home to get the girls to sleep by 9:30 and will head to Sea World tomorrow.

Saturday, January 21st:

How the Elskes spent their Saturday!

What a difference a few hours makes.  About an hour after I finished the daily blog, I was busy playing Skyrim on the laptop and Amy was just hanging out on the couch when we heard a disturbing noise through the monitor from Mollys room.  It sounded like she was throwing up…We both rushed up to her room to discover she was completely covered in vomit and so was her crib and everything in it.  We got her out of it onto Amy’s lap and she continued to throw up so we got a bath going.  Amy bathed her while I cleaned her bed, did some laundry and got it sleep ready again.  We never put her back in it.  Her vomiting continued every half hour to hour for the next 6 hours or so.  She was pretty miserable and so were we.  I checked on CJ a few times and she seemed to be resting fine.  Amy and I took turns holding/cradling Molly on the loveseat while the other slept on the couch until about 4am when I noticed she hadn’t thrown up for a couple of hours.  I then went upstairs to get a little rest in the master bed and woke up to Molly crying downstairs about 6:30.  Amy had given her a couple of sips of water and she wanted more and screamed until we gave her more.  That sat in her stomach for about two minutes before she promptly and violently threw it up all over the floor.  So it was a pretty rough night and the morning started out rough too.  Charlotte woke up soon afterward and we were up for the day.  We called Amy’s family to cancel our Sea World plans because we had no idea if we were contagious, or if the rest of us would become ill so we spent the day at home doing very little.  Molly took a long morning nap, Charlotte and I went to Target for some groceries and we all went for a walk around the property that afternoon.  The girls both seemed to be doing just fine towards the end of the night so our Sunday plans were still uncertain at this point.

Sunday, January 22nd:

Both of the girls slept very well and we woke up wanting to take them to Magic Kingdom for our last full day here.  They were both happy, and we felt we could always return home if the day didn’t go as planned.  On the way, Charlotte started with her cold and we made it to the park by 10:45.  Amy and Charlotte went to the Phil HarMagic show and Charlotte wasn’t too thrilled.  We then met G&G Elske and went on the It’s a Small World ride.  We all liked it.  We then got onto the Winne the Pooh ride and met with Lyle and Jenny and the girls for the Teacups ride.  We then went back to the Peter Pan ride, which was fine, but way too dark to even enjoy anything and after that we went to the cafe for some lunch.  We had burgers and hot dogs and fries, like any good American family would.  We all went to the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor.  That was an awesome time.  On the way out Charlotte found out that the park was filled with these little birds that flew around and ate everybody’s food on the ground.  She spent 10 minutes chasing them around the area.  We got on the People Mover ride which is like an elevated train ride around TomorrowLand.  It was a nice relaxing time.

Uncle Lyle took Julia and I took Charlotte and we got on the race track which was a fun time, but it was loud so Charlotte didn’t like it as much as she could have-until the end of the ride when I kept bumping into Uncle Lyles car-she thought that was pretty funny.

Amy took CJ on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride while I watched Molly nap in the stroller.  Then we went on the Magic Carpet ride which ended up being our last ride of the trip.  Charlotte loved that one too and says it was her favorite of the trip!  We took the ferry back to our car and drove to Downtown Disney for some food and shopping.  We ate at Planet Hollywood and I ordered the deep fried lasagna like any good American would.  And we then went to what is probably the largest Disney store in the world (though it didn’t stop us from getting lost trying to find it) and picked out a few souvenirs.  Everyone was beat and tired by the time we got back to the car, but it was one fantastic day and we felt so lucky that we could enjoy it at the parks instead of being stuck in the townhouse.  We needed to stop at Target on the way home to pick up another large duffel bag to take home all of our goodies we bought and that were given to us by the village.  We got the girls to bed right away and Amy and I spent the next couple of hours doing laundry and packing up all of our bags.

CJ insisted on pushing Molly through the airport.

Monday, January 23rd:

We got the girls up in time for Amy to feed them while I got the car packed full of our stuff.  We left the townhouse and headed back to the airport.  We got our boarding passes and checked our luggage and made it through security with about half an hour to spare before boarding.  The flight home was not quite as uneventful as the first.  Molly was very tired and kept fighting Amy as she refused to sleep for the first 30 minutes.  She eventually gave in and had a nice hour and a half nap.  Charlotte was pretty happy most of the time until she fell asleep toward the end of the flight with her seatbelt off so she had a typical three year old fit when Amy went to wake her up to buckle her in for the descent.  She was pretty unhappy for 20 minutes or so and even got herself a little visit from the flight attendant.  She unhappily gave in and recovered by the time the plane hit the ground.  We got our bags and met our limo driver (Paul) who took us back to Columbus.  It was nice to finally be home.

It was a roller coaster of emotions all week.  You realize that, by enjoying the perks of the village, you aren’t quite normal yet.  You don’t get the opportunity to stay here if life has been normal for you.  We met families at GKTW who knew this would be their only trip with their child.  I plan on coming back to Florida with both of my girls in another few years so we can do it all over again!  All in all, we feel so blessed to enjoy this time with our family.  It truly was a magical experience.

Posted January 30, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

January 27th, 2012. Day +322. Back in Wisconsin   1 comment

We have had a terrific couple of weeks!  We left for Florida on January 14th and came back home on Monday the 23rd.  We had a wonderful time at the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee.  We went to Disney Magic Kingdom a couple of days, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We also visited Universal Studios and Gatorland (a favorite of Daddy’s) while we were there!  Grandma and Grandpa Elske and Uncle Lyle and Aunt Jenny and the girls AND Grandma and Grandpa Wags and Uncle Scott and Aunt Kim and the kids all showed up on Tuesday and we all got to hang out at the village and be together Tuesday night!  It was the first time since before Charlotte’s diagnosis that all of us were together at once.  Charlotte sure loved having her cousins around her and she led them all around the village showing them all the sites and attractions.  We missed Aunt Lynn and Uncle Bret and Drew but we talked with them a few times during the trip as well.

If none of you have ever checked out Give Kids the World Village, I urge you to do so.  It really is a wonderful place for families of Wish children.

We look forward to returning to the village as visitors the next time we are down there, and even plan to volunteer someday.  I think Charlotte and Molly would really get a kick out of it.

The girls now have colds and we all have a stomach bug so we were able to get back home just in time-not quite the souvenier we had in mind.

As we feel better we will post a more detailed description of our trip along with some pictures!


Thanks for checking in on us!

Posted January 27, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

January 10th, 2012. Day +305   8 comments

imageCharlotte had her monthly clinic appointment today.  She was once again very well behaved for the blood draw, but she still doesn’t like to be held down while they find and access a vein.  Like always, she recovered quickly and we were out in the hall only to find her first primary nurse Katy!  They were both so happy to see each other and enjoyed a quick visit.

We were able to see Dr. DeSantes and the NP.  There were lots of smiles in the room as they both agreed she looked great and Amy and I were both happy to hear that.  Fortunately, her CBC results came in while we were still talking Disney with them.  Dr DeSantes asked Charlotte if he could come with her to Disney World and she jumped up and down saying “Yes!!”  Her WBC was 7.0, hemoglobin 12.9, 279k platelets, and 3320 neutrophils.  As Sharon put it, “Beautiful”.

After the appointment we headed over to the UW Hospital to see my uncle.  He is getting his first round of chemo and we are happy to report he is doing well.

Disney here we come!

Posted January 10, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

January 3rd, 2012. Day +298   3 comments

Looky looky, it’s been another two weeks since most of you have heard anything from us…things are terrific in Columbus.  Amy and I got the chance to spend another Christmas and New Year with our girls!  Who can say that is anything but terrific?  We were fortunate enough to spend a couple of days in Jackson with Amy’s parents and Uncle Scott and Aunt Kim and the kids before Christmas.  And we got back in time to partake in the Christmas Eve church service in Columbus with Grandma and Grandpa Elske and Uncle Lyle and Aunt Jenny and the girls.  It was a holiday season unmatched by any other.

We had a small party for Charlotte on Thursday given to her by the Make-A-Wish foundation.  It was Charlotte’s Make-A-Wish unveiling party where we learned all of the details of our trip to Florida and the awesome Give Kids the World resort.  We will be spending a few days at DisneyWorld, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.  And if things go Daddy’s way, we will also make a trip to GatorLand!!!!  But something tells me that we won’t have enough time for that.  We will have 10 days in the [hopefully] warm Florida weather later this month!  We will also be joined by Grandma and Grandpa Elske and Wagenknecht and Uncle Scott’s and Uncle Lyle’s families so we will have a great old time with the family!  We are all so excited!!

We have recently learned that Charlotte’s Great Uncle Dean has been diagnosed with leukemia.  He is not only a close relative of mine, he is my godfather.  And he was instrumental in the success that was the Clyman Lions “Charlotte’s Web of Hope” fundraiser in December of 2010.  He now has several rounds of tough chemotherapy and probably a stem cell transplant in his future.  We ask that you add him to your prayer list.

Charlotte goes in for her clinic appointment on Tuesday the 10th, we hope her numbers reflect how well she has been acting.  We hope the new year brings happiness, health and joy to all of you.

Posted January 3, 2012 by L. Elske in Uncategorized