My e-mail list of people to whom I send the regular updates about Ashley has now grown to 265! I am constantly being amazed at what a powerful communication tool e-mail is, and how far and wide the message about Ashley has spread through e-mail and the internet. Susan and I sincerely appreciate your continued interest in Ashley, and your continued prayers on her behalf.

My original e-mail, "URGENT PRAYER REQUEST", was sent out early Sunday morning, March 16, 1997, shortly after we learned of Ashley's brain tumor. I am still hearing from people who are just now receiving forwarded copies of that original e-mail message!


We live in a 3-bedroom rented house. Ashley and Justin share a room with bunk beds, and the third bedroom is a combination study/playroom. When Ashley came home from the hospital, Susan and I wanted to have her near us at night, so she began sleeping with us in our bed, while Justin slept in his bed. He quickly grew tired of being in their bedroom by himself, so we put an air mattress in our room on the floor, and now he and Ashley both sleep on it. A small portion of the kids' stuffed animal collection has also migrated to our room to keep the kids company at night.


Last weekend was a good weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, we went to the park. Ashley swung on the swings, rode the merry-go-round, and slid down the slide. We kicked a soccer ball around quite a bit, and played catch with a soft rubber playground ball. She did really well!


Ashley and Justin hunted Easter eggs in our back yard on Sunday afternoon, and made quite a haul! So now we have all this Easter candy sitting around the house, in addition to all the snacks and food that people have brought to us. We also had a special visit from the Easter bunny, who came by our house just to see Ashley and Justin!

Ashley hunting Easter eggs Justin hunting Easter eggs

Ashley and Justin with the Easter Bunny


Justin and I went to church Sunday morning, while Susan stayed home with Ashley. I was prepared to switch places with Susan and let her go to church Sunday night, but Ashley decided that she wanted to go too, and felt up to it. So we all went! After church, we were literally flooded with hugs and pats from people who wanted to find out how things were going and wanted to get a look at Ashley! She was still feeling good, so we stayed after church to participate in a youth activity (I'm the youth minister) that one of our youth volunteers had completely put together on her own. Ashley and Justin both had a blast! We went home Sunday night exhausted! ... and feeling good!

Ashley and Justin dressed up for Easter Sunday


Monday morning, Susan took Justin to school. Ashley went along, and was greeted like visiting royalty by students and teachers alike! She turned in her report card (straight A's -- that's my girl!), and visited with her class for a little bit before returning home. A friend of ours came over to the house and sat with Ashley while Susan and I both went to work (Susan does wallpapering, and I am the youth minister at our church, as I mentioned earlier). We came home from work Monday afternoon, ate supper (which was brought to us by church members), and then went to watch the Waxahachie Lady Indians High School Softball team play. Several of our teenage girls from church are on the team. We had promised one of them that we would be there if Ashley felt up to it, and she did, so we went. We all had a very enjoyable evening.


Tuesday was a busy day. We dropped Justin off at the house of some very dear friends (only very dear friends would let you do such a thing at 6:00 in the morning!), and then headed for Dallas. We had an 8:00 AM appointment for a "radiation simulation", where they marked Ashley's head and back at the spots where they will be aiming the radiation. After the simulation, it was almost lunch time and we were all hungry, so we went to the Black-Eyed Pea restaurant and had a big lunch. To our surprise and amazement, Ashley did not order shrimp this time! She had chicken fried steak (so did I), and Susan had chicken fried chicken. It was all really good! Ashley was giggly and acting goofy all day long, and we had a very enjoyable day! Supper was brought to us again (this time by some people from Ashley and Justin's school), and then we went out to the softball fields to watch Susan's team play.

Ashley at the Softball Park Ashley at the Softball Park
Ashley being goofy, and Julie


All throughout this ordeal, Ashley has been receiving lots of special attention, and has loved every minute of it! Tuesday evening, a couple of teenage girls from church came over to the house to paint Ashley's fingernails and toenails. She now has alternating blue and purple nails. Her uncle Mark (my brother) has promised to buy Ashley a blue wig (thanks Mark!), so maybe it will match her nails!

Ashley getting her nails done

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