Monday, February 21, 2011


Well we did it! It was birthday week in our family, and our biggest girl Emma turned 7 on Friday! 7!
We had a special 'Disasterchef' birthday party with 9 of Emma's friends which was great fun. Needless to say I was completely wiped out for the rest of the weekend, but it was a good time and I think Emma had a ball, as did all her little mates. A special thanks to Lindsey and Nicola who worked themselves silly in the kitchen (even cleaning up when I couldn't move at the end of the party!) and Adam who did an excellent job entertaining the crowd between activities. Ultimate compliment - being asked by a dad if we'd got some company in to run the party!! No, no, just me and some friends! Will take bookings.....

Making mini pizzas

Aftermath of spaghetti relay - I told them that was the party food...they were strangely happy with that!
Choc coconut treats

My big 7 year old girl - seems like not long since I made her first birthday cake!

I am so very very proud of my beautiful girl Emma, who is a wonderfully sensitive and thoughtful person. She has a deep awareness of her failures (which can be quite hard to deal with as a parent!), but is learning the great value and freedom that comes with admitting them and trusting in the forgiveness freely offered by God through Jesus. She is such a treasure, and has and is learning to deal with all that life has thrown at her (which is quite a lot!) in her short life, and has a wonderful capacity to see and act on the needs of others. So often she reflects things to me that I've said or taught her in other contexts, in a way that just blows me away. Like me, Emma is learning to trust her loving heavenly Father every day, in every way, and I am so grateful for the way He holds onto her. Happy birthday gorgeous girl!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A big week

Well, all the Burke girls have had a busy time these last 2 weeks!

We arrived back from holidays at Fingal Bay on Saturday. It was a great time with our lovely friends the Kings and the Yapps, for whom I am most grateful. There were lots of great times at the beach, bike riding, eating, sleeping, playing, swimming, watching, and generally having fun. A most most welcome break for me (and the girls) and I was very aware, especially on Sunday morning when I went to church, just how much more relaxed and less anxious I was feeling. Am trying hard to hold onto that feeling, but it's slipping..... anyway here are a few pics of our week

So excited at sitting down near the sand!

Maddie just loved making sand castles

Lucy's first bike ride - very excited!

Emma's new love - boogie boarding, with Jas looking on

We came back on Saturday and Monday saw everyone swing into action. Madeline had her first day at pre-school. She has been dropping her big sisters to pre-school since she was born, so she was super keen and very excited that it was FINALLY her turn to stay! Very keen on painting in particular. I was very proud of myself that I had managed to remember to pack spare clothes in her bag as when I collected her in the afternoon she was wearing said spare clothes due to some overzealous water and sand play.

Emma started back at school on Monday too, year 2 this year.

Tuesday was Jasmine's first day of school which went well. She told me very confidently "You can go now Mummy" as she went off to join some other kids in the hall when we arrived. She was a bit overwhelmed at the end of the first day, but today (her second day) she was very pleased to have found a new little friend. I think she will be quite exhausted by the weekend, especially with it being so jolly hot!

And finally today, Lucy had her central line out!!!! She had a blood test first which was fine, and we then proceeded up to day surgery where she had a quick little operation to remove the line. Quite amazing really, and a real signal of the end of all her treatment. Woo hoo!!!!! She came through the anaestheic fine again which was great, and there was no trouble getting the line out. I was a bit worried the procedure might have been delayed as she had a little cough, but thankfully there was no problem and they were happy to do it. Thanks Mum for coming with me again. It's always a bit traumatic when Lucy has a GA, and visiting the clinic and the hospital in general is a bit hard these days, so I am very grateful for having someone with me.

And here we are outside the front of the hospital on our way home - hopefully we wont ever have to spend much time there again aside from routine check ups!

Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us. We are so grateful for your support. I am thinking that I might add things to this blog from time to time about Lucy's progress so that you can see how she's going. And of course if there are any developments with the leukaemia stuff I will definitely let you know. For the moment she will have monthly check ups and blood tests to see if the disease comes back - a possibility that I just can't bear to think about and am trying not to worry about. As time goes on the length of time between check ups should increase, but she will be monitored for many years to come.
Lucy and I go back to our early intervention stuff next week. Lucy has graduated into a group which operates a bit like a compacted pre-school programme. She still seems like such a little baby so it's hard to imagine her doing big girl pre-school stuff with other kids. But I'm sure she'll love it and hopefully thrive with the challenges set for her there.
We are still learning each day to trust God with our lives - at the moment my favourite verse and one that I remind the girls of often is this -
"God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'. So we say with confidence ' The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'." (Heb 13:6)
Some days and some moments life still feels very overwhelming, but we trust in a great God who is far bigger than us, who indeed holds us all in his hands. Very early on in Lucy's treatment I had a very strong sense of our safety in God's care - whatever the outcome with Lucy's leukaemia - and now I am reflecting on that safety again. At the moment my sense of that safety perhaps isn't so strong, but thankfully the God in whom we trust is not affected by our wavering but is the same yesterday, today and forever. And so I can still say with confidence that whatever happens we are all still safe in His sovereign care. It is a decision to make every day to keep trusting in God's goodness and kindness and salvation, and I pray that it is one that you will make with me, and seek to live a life to His praise and glory.