Sunday, May 29, 2011

May Catch Up

 Ashlynn's 4th grade recorder concert
 The first moving van
 Mark, Larry and Brian drove half of our stuff up to the new house over Labor Day weekend.
 Ashlynn's last piano recital with Joan Miles.
 This is obviously the Father son Camp out. Where else would you see 3 five-year-old playing with fire unsupervised. Sometimes I don't even want to know what went on during the campout!
Brian had a conference in Tennessee and stayed at the Famous Peabody Hotel. I was supposed to go along, but life got too chaotic.This is a picture of the famous fountain the ducks parade to each day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cupcakes for Caroline!

I wanted to sincerely thank all of you for your support with Ashlynn’s bake sale. Many of you volunteered your time, baked goods, supplies and money and we are so grateful to you for that. This bake sale meant a lot to our family, mostly because of the outpouring of love you showed us. (We are going to miss our San Luis Obispo family!) Overall, Ashlynn earned $1,200 to donate to the ALS Association! A big thank you to Brooke Brundage for her generous donation of cupcakes from her shop. The cupcakes were the fun part of the bake sale and brought a lot of customers to our little stand.

I thought I would share a letter Brian sent out to his family following Ashlynn’s bake sale. In it, he describes some of the special things that came out of the bake sale. Often the greater reward than funds raised for projects like these are an increased feeling of service, community and inspiration.

Thank you, all for being a part of this event with us!

To all,

I know we provided a few updates yesterday, but just wanted to throw out a few more notes about the bake sale. I am so proud of Ashlynn and her thought to put on a sale. Also for Kate and all the hard work she put in. Some of these details you may have heard, some not. I’m in Memphis right now at a conference and just wanted to put together some overall thoughts as the sale is still on my mind.

Enough credit can’t be given to Kate and Ashlynn. Ashlynn and her friends did a fantastic job getting ready and executing the sale, Kate did a fantastic job preparing, baking, printing and everything else. I drove in from Sacramento late Thursday, took the boys to the father son campout on Friday night, drove home at 10:00 am on Saturday morning right when the sale was starting, repacked the car Saturday night, driving back up to Sacramento to be on a plane this morning at 8:30 going to Memphis for 2 days. So Kate pretty much hauled out all the goodies, equipment advertising, ideas and logistics. Ashlynn and her friends did all the selling.

There were a lot of people who had heard about the sale via the 300 door hangers they passed out last Wednesday. There were a few people who came by and particularly asked for Ashlynn with the flyer or door hanger in their hand. In my mind testing her sincerity. She held her own better than I could have imagined. She did a great job explaining where the money was going and thanking the people for their donations. She showed pictures of mom that she had put together in frames and only slightly struggled when a customer became emotional with a personal ALS story. The girls were not shy by any means and 4 hours was about right in length. We sold most of the items and the girls were starting to get antsy by 2:00.

One lady I texted you about lost her husband April 29th. She was from Chico and was in San Luis to visit a friend at a soccer tournament. She happened to be at her friend’s house and saw the door hanger on her counter. She broke down and brought her daughter down to make a donation. It was very inspiring for her. Her husband had ALS for 5 years.

A doctor came by asking Ashlynn if she knew what ALS stood for. Ashlynn said no, but it was the same as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He rattled off the medical term and was complimentary of the cause.

1 lady came by and dropped off a $100 check, no goodies to be taken. She had a family member pass away from ALS. There were other inspiring stories of people who were touched by the idea of the sale and had family members who had died of ALS. They all gave very generously. One lady came by and said she had heard at the gas station around the corner that there was a fundraising effort around the block and that they “had it going on!” She came by off that tip. Ashlynn’s teacher at school collected money from her lunch group, the next door neighbor ordered cupcakes to take to work. There were many ward members that came by including the girls Sunday school teacher, who not only bought cupcakes for herself, but to take to church today for the girls to eat.

Kate and Brooked developed a new flavor cupcake called the “Sweet Caroline” just for the sale. It is a Bordeaux flavored cupcake and frosting. Pretty dang good. A lady came by in the afternoon and asked for 2 of the “Sweet Caroline” cupcakes. Then her eyes lit up because she found out and loves the Bordeaux flavor and also loves Neil Diamond! She doubled the order to 4.

More people donated at church today, all in all effort brought in more than $1,200. We had friends who helped bake, donate their plates, time, lemonade dispensers, easy ups and efforts. It was a joint effort and I know that mom spirit was there. It was so exhausting by the end of the day, but very worth it.

Looking forward to the walk in October. Mom is with us always. It was nice to be able to do something like this and not only think about mom, but associate with other ALS victims. Last week Briggs came down from bed at Lynn and Jan’s in tears. Kate had put a CD on for the boys to go to sleep to, it happened to be a church CD and Briggs associated the music with mom funeral.

Three cheers for the “Sweet Caroline”!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week 13: The Really Busy week

Dear Mom,

I'm sorry I don't blog much any more. It's not that I'm trying to leave you in the dark, or leave you without cute pictures of your grandkids. It's just that it's hard for me to find the time. No time these days!

It's not that I don't have anything to write about. I think of things throughout the day that would make a good journal/blog post. Like how this morning, while reading the Cheerio box, Ty finally met his match with a word he couldn't read or pronounce. The word "Cholesterol" just stumped him. Even when we coached him, he couldn't say it. Then after preschool he told me that Miss Brittany taught them a really big word that started with an "M" that they were supposed to remember for tomorrow, but he couldn't remember it! All I had to do was ask him what it meant. He blurted out "To change" without even skipping a beat. Then together we solved the riddle of the Really Big Word and decided it was metamorphosis.

I could blog about how Briggs got in big time trouble at school for -

wait for it-

turning his project in early!!

I could blog about that, but i already ranted and raved about it on the phone with you when you called to say you got your new ipad (Yay!)

I could write about how this is week 13 of Brian and I living separate lives and how hard it has been for us to manage. Then I remember that you have done it before, and I try not to whine too much. And even though Brian always does such a good job of making me feel special and loved and important, sometimes when i am mopping up the floor because of the juice the kids spilled all over it because the house has to stay clean ALL THE FREAKING TIME because of potential buyers, or renters, or whatever, and listening to the kids blatantly ignoring my pleadings to get ready for bed and are instead wreaking havoc, and worrying about how I'm going the impose on someone to pick Ty up tomorrow because after 18 months of not doing anything to my hair, I've decided to bite the bullet and try to fit it into my schedule, even if it isn't convenient, sometimes, I get angry with him. Angry for having to take a job that is going to take us away from our friends and our home. Angry at him for having to move on ahead and leave me to do battle with the kids and this house all by myself.

Then I get over it.

I could write about those things, but sometimes it's hard to take the time to sit down and write out your thoughts.

Love, Kate

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ALS Fundraiser

This is Ashlynn's project she has been working on for months now. She really wanted to do something to honor Grandma Caroline in her own way. We hope you can join us! There will be cupcakes, cookies, free lemonade and lots of other goodies! Tell your friends and let me know if you'd like to help by donating any baked goods!