Ver Beek Blog

Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
Breast Cancer Ribbon

Archive for January, 2012


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My parents and our family went to Florida.   

After a four hour delay, we flew out of Lansing and said good bye to Michigan!


We arrived in Orlando and drove to our house by Cinnamon Beach.  By the time we got in bed, it was 2:30 a.m.

The next morning we woke up to the sun.  We ventured to the beach find sea shells.  Samantha and I were walking the beach together when, right in front of me, was a star fish!  It was beautiful.  It was missing a small section of its leg, but I didn’t care.  I took it back with me. 


The next day we went to an alligator Farm in St. Augustine.  For five bucks we could hold a baby alligator.  Later that week, the kids ate Fried Gator Tail.  After her first bite, Brooke exclaimed “It tastes like chicken!”




Every morning Beez and Papa (my parents) cooked breakfast.  It was always Orange Juice and Turkey Bacon.



We had a lot of time at the pool and the beach.  Nice jump Samantha!






We spent a cloudy day in Daytona Beach.  I drove on the beach!  It was so cool.  Another one I can check off my bucket list.


We went to Marine Land and we let Brooklyn pet and feed a dolphin. 

Brooklyn’s in the white shirt holding the dolphin’s tale. 

The dolphin jumping out of the water is the dolphin she just got done feeding.  Unfortunately, Brooklyn had her back turned at that very moment and missed the whole thing. 



On Friday, the day before we were leaving, Papa and Max went to the beach to find shells.  My dad found a starfish.  Only his was complete!  It looked just like mine, but it wasn’t missing part of its leg.  Later that morning, Brooklyn and I were sitting on the front porch going through the shells and deciding which ones to give back to the ocean and which ones to take home.  She said to me, “are you sad that Papa’s star fish is better than yours?”  I said “Why?  Because my star fish is missing part of its leg?”  She said “yeah.”  I said “No.  That’s my star fish.  My body isn’t complete anymore either and I think God put that starfish right in front of me because it’s meant to be mine.  Papa’s star fish is complete because Papa isn’t missing anything.  That’s Papa’s starfish.  Papa is complete.”  That seemed to be okay with her.  🙂

Then Saturday came and it was time to kick the tires and light the fires.  We were going wheels up!  


Soon we’ll be off on our next great adventure.  Thank you for your prayers.  I could feel them during this trip.  I had renewed energy.  I was able to keep up with my busy kids and have a lot of fun with Dusty and my parents.

Hello 35

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated, but we’ve had a few things we were celebrating. 

First it was Thanksgiving.  The kids were going to have a Thanksgiving camp-out in the basement.  It never happened.  They got scared and slept in their own beds.  Oh well.  Maybe next year..


We made cinnamon ornaments with my mom.  They smell SO good!


We celebrated Dale Ver Beek’s (my father-in-law) birthday.  Happy Birthday again Dad!

This picture is from Christmas, but it’s the most recent one I have of him.  Besides, he’s holding a really cute kid.


The kids saw Santa.  Yep, his beard is real.


We had a lot of nice Christmas parties with our extended families and our own family.


Overall, we had a good Christmas and New Year.  I’m so happy I was able to do it off chemo. 

About a month ago, we booked a trip to Florida.  So we’ll take off for that soon.  We can’t wait!  The kids can’t wait and Brooklyn is counting down the days.  I look forward to the warm air, warm sun and the salt water ocean breeze.  We were planning on going to Disney for a day while we were there too. 

For those of you who know me.  I’m a kind of a control freak.  I’m a planner.  I like to have my ducks in a row.  I like to know what to expect. 

When I realized our plane doesn’t assign seats.  I bought them.  I bought row 6.  Why row 6 you ask?  Because I don’t want my family in the back of the plane.  Why?  Because they board back to front.  I would prefer our three-year-old twins to board last.  The less time they spend sitting on the plane while it’s not moving, the better.  The quicker they can get off the plane, the better.  Was it worth $80.00 round trip?  I don’t know.  We’ll have to wait and see. 

So for Disney, we weren’t going to buy tickets at the gate.  Oh no, I was going to buy the tickets on line so I can have them in my hand when we get to the gate.  But each time I went to click on the “check out” button something interrupted me from buying the tickets.  My phone rang, one of my children started crying, there was a knock at the door or I wanted to ask Dusty if he wanted me to book a meal plan with them. 

As you can see, I have a bit of a control/planner problem.

I have everything prepurchased, planned and we are starting to pack.  Except we don’t have Disney tickets.

Here’s where God comes in.

Around the same time we were planning a trip to Florida, we also filled out an application to Inheritance of Hope.  We sent it in and forgot about it. 

On Christmas Eve, I got a message from Jill at I.O.H.  When we connected again, she told me our family was chosen for their next retreat….drum roll please….to…….. Disney World in February!  I was shocked.  Completely speechless.  Mouth gaping open.  Never in a million years did I think we would have been chosen so soon.  Still sitting there with my jaw on the floor, she went on to say it’s all expenses paid, airfare included with four day Disney park hopper passes for everyone in our family.  Then she said to talk to my husband about it and let her know.  I picked my jaw up off the floor and said I would call her back in the morning. 

Dusty and I talked about it.  We decided that it’s doable with his vacation time.  Herman Miller has been wonderful to us.  They’re a great company.  The timing works well with my next scheduled appointments at U of M and it’s a long weekend so Brooklyn won’t miss a lot of school.  Then with me being a woman and needing extra support, I called Jill and my mom who both, without hesitation, said “GO!  Do it!”.  So….We’re going.  We’re doing it. 

Now here we are.  I’m packing the family to leave on what I thought would be our last great family trip.  I could lay eyes on the ocean at least one more time.  Pick up shells with the kids.  Watch the sunrise.  Who knows.  But God had something up his big giant sleeve.  A second trip to Disney!  Back-to-back Florida trips!  We are blessed.   

I think God made my phone ring.  He had someone come to the door.  And yes, had one of my kids cry.  It was His way of saying “slow down My little control freak, planner girl.  I have something better for you and your family.”  

Maybe you think that sounds a little crazy.  That God doesn’t work through Disney.  Even I think that sounds a little silly.  I know He worked through Inheritance of Hope.  Being able to do two Florida trips with my family before the next round of chemo is amazing.  I think that has God written all over it. 

P.S.  It’s my birthday on Saturday.  Happy Birthday to me.  Hello 35.

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