Be the change you want to see in the world...

Synopsis of Us

Lisa is au natural. She likes to have babies at home and drink slimy green liquids with large amounts of earth in them. She loves the quacks and we love her. If you are ailing, just call Lisa. She will doctor you up!

Melanie is a little bundle of energy. She's very peppy and always bouncing around. Do not drive with her. She tends to talk and visit and not watch the road. Cuts a mean hair-do!

Sarah is crazy! She loves Diet Pepsi (too much). The group photographer with many free photo shoots for her friends. Many questionable eating habits that we all ignore, hopefully they don't kill her.

Emily is an overachiever. She never sleeps and wakes up way too early so she can pratice music with her kids. She loves the earthy green drink too. Be careful, she will try to poison you with sugar-free goodies.

Jen is a dental hygienist. If you want to know which kind of gum to chew (to xylitol or not to xylitol, this is the question) she'll know.

Lana is full of crap! Literally, her house is full of crap! Yes, just stuff. If you ever need any random thing, pretty sure it's in her house... somewhere. Very competitive, don't coach children's athletics with her.

Adria is straightforward. She pretty much says it like it is. She is our community sex-ed advisor. Any questions, just ask her, she knows it all.

Marianne (one of the tall, leggy blonds) is amazing! She graduated from college while taking care of her four children and working to save the entire Chinese orphan population.

Marilyn is a perfectionist. She has to have everything at a ninety degree angle, if not, she's nervous. Hopefully this doesn't kill her. Likes to scrapbook, spends a large sum of money on this activity.

Stephanie (another tall, leggy blond) really likes to work out. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Nursing is her profession (not wet nursing).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Picture This

They say a picture says a thousand words,
yet I can't come up with anything to say.

Ty Asher Gibbons - Bone Marrow Match 10 out of 10

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Circle of Friendship

"Ours is a circle, a circle of friendship,
And just like a circle, it goes on and on
Endless, eternal, this circle of friendship
Enter our circle, for here you belong.

Laughing and singing our good times together,
And sharing the blessings sent from above,
You and I sharing this circle of friendship,
Join as we open our circle of love."
-Marilyn P. Adams

This is an OLD Young Women's sons (like 1978) that I remember from when I was little (I think my mom was the YW prez...). This was the inspiration for the gift from Jen and me, and so I wanted to share the whole song with you. If we could have fit this all onto those blocks, we would have!

I try to count my blessings all year, but of course, more so at Christmas. Our friendship is one of my most cherished blessings! I am so glad to have all of you in my life!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Are a Chain...

Stokes Fresh Food Market has recently opened up another grocery store in Aberdeen, ID making our little family business a chain!! Steve and John have pretty much been M.I.A. for a little over a month now. All their hard work and dedication has given them the opportunity to watch the family legacy continue to grow. Don't worry about not seeing one of the Stokes brothers upon entering the Burley store, right now as things get going in Aberdeen both will be there to get it up and running. Once the new store is on it's feet, Steve will be working the Burley store, and John will be working the Aberdeen store. So just wanted to let ya'll know - It's Official!! Way to go Stokes Bros.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Time For Our Annual Christmas Gift Exchange!

How does Morey's on Monday at 8:00 for dessert and presents sound? But remember last year they kicked us out nicely because they closed at 9:00? For once 8:00 means 8:00, unless someone else has a better idea. It's getting down to the wire, so we know Marianne has already left for Cali.... Mel, Steph and Sarah are one step ahead of the game but we still need you guys so we can shower you with our gifts. Marilyn doesn't think she'll make it before Christmas and says her central exchage is Jeff's office next week. Lana, you need to sneak away for an hour to feel normal. So spread the word and decide if this will work or not. Cheers-Jen and Adria

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Writer in our midst

Lana's good friend wrote this. I thought it was so beautifully written, it needed to be shared with everyone... Thanks Kresta

Have you ever learned something and immediately wished that you could turn back the clock just two minutes? Back to when you didn't know? Back to when life was uncomplicated and mostly good? It is true that ignorance is bliss. And yet, too often, the secret is out before we realize that our lives are going to be irreversibly changed forever. My dear friend learned just such a truth this week. She was going along with her merry little life; chasing kids, selling a house, building a new house, spreading joy and sunshine like she always does. I think she was probably like me; fretting over little things like what gifts to give for Christmas and how to find time to clean her house before the holidays and what she was going to make for dinner. Suddenly the "secret" surfaced and now she is worrying instead about her darling little girl and chest ports and IVs and spinal taps and chemotherapy and hospital recliners that never let you sleep. Instead of baking for Thanksgiving, she is struggling to put on a happy face for her little daughter as she brushes her long gorgeous hair and tries to find a way to tell her that all this beautiful hair will soon be found in big clumps on her pillow each morning until there is no more. Now she is curled up and crying in a hospital room by herself in the dark, wee hours of the morning only when she is sure her daughter will not see her fear. She is far from friends and family, worrying about her other children farmed out among relatives, worrying about what the next months and years will hold. And I wish that there was some way to take it all back, because, trust me, the road back to before seems so very much shorter than the long, long road through. And my heart breaks for her.Then I think about the "secret" that I just discovered and wish that I, too, could go back. Back to yesterday when life was great as I knew it. And yet, the secret was still there. Not a menace that could hurt me physically, but an ugly monster just the same. I was blissfully oblivious but that doesn't mean that the damage wasn't done. It just means that the stench was not yet apparent, like the dead mouse under my freezer in the basement. Just because I couldn't smell it, doesn't mean it wasn't there, preparing to knock me down with its odor the next time I opened the door. And I have to wonder which I hate more, secrets or surprises. Then I realize that there is no reverse button on this roller coaster called life and that the only way past is right through the murky middle. So, my friend, I will gather my courage and brace myself for the journey, praying for angels for me and for you. Angels to carry us through.

Posted by Kresta

Monday, December 15, 2008

Breaking News (as in breaking my heart)

Today... Monday... always the day, the big dance, the show.

Emma and I showed up at Primary Children's this morning for her treatments. I was so excited because we were only there for Chemo, basically in and out in an hour. I could handle that, Emma could eat (no fasting for tests) and we were happy.

Dr. Phil (seriously, but not the real Dr. Phil) came in and checked on Emma. She said she was happy, but gassy (quite hilarious description) and hungry.

The doctor then turned to me and said, "Well, we probably need to talk." The blood instantly rushed to my face as this statement brought back terrible memories of two specific occasions. I mean when has, "Well, we probably need to talk," ever meant anything good?

The first of these occasions was when I was a sophomore in high school. I was dating a severly attractive boy (he could bench 175, that was a lot). His name was Brad (the coolest name eva') and we were H-O-T! Anyway, one evening he takes me on a drive and completely unbeknownst (yes, that is a word) to me, he was breaking up with me. I mean usually I could tell if we were drifting apart as a couple, or I was the one doing the dumping, but no! He said, "I think we need to talk," and WHAM (not the singing group) it was over. Heartbroken.

The second occasion was just a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Graham called to let me know the results of Emma's blood draw. She had been sick. I was expecting something... but not that! Dr Graham said, "We need to talk, (this sentence is becoming a theme here... see?) You need to sit down." To which I responded, "I'm hanging up now." At which time WHAM (again, not the singing group, however I would like a reunion)... Leukemia.

As you can see this "talking" is not a good thing for me.

Anyway, Dr. Phil said that Emma has philadelphia chromosome translocation . Long story short (click on the link if you want some biology) two chromosomes (#9 and #22) have cross breeded, which is against the rules! This makes it harder to treat leukemia. These two cells had an affair (shame, shame) and as a result have caused lots of mutant DNA throughout her cells. In the end, Emma will need a bone marrow transplant. In the beginning (I act like it was so long ago) this is what we were so thankful she didn't need.

Her siblings (all five of them, thank goodness for proliferation) have now been tested to see if they are a match (we will know the results in two weeks). They each have a 25% chance that they will match. No this does not mean that we have a 125% chance of matching. Come on, where were you during statistics? But, with so many siblings, the chances are obviously higher that a match will be found.

This is what we are praying for... that a match will be found within her siblings. Please, please, I am pleading with you (I have lost all pride) to join me in prayer as we ask our Heavenly Father to help us through this time.

Of course it is late at night. I can't sleep and everything seems darker than it really is. The light will come tomorrow. The christmas trees and the season give me hope. I will head over to Emily's house tomorrow because her house sparkles and it makes me happy. You all make me happy and you all give me hope.

Tears... amen.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Day of Treatment

We left for Utah after church and had a nice visit with our friends Beverly and Keith. My neighbor, Diane, chauffered us down which was very comfortable.

Our treatment wasn't until 1:30 which makes it hard because Emma can't eat before and since she's on roids she thinks she's starving to death.
They got her in at 11:00 which I so appreciated because then she could eat.

She was incredibly brave. Last week it took 45 minutes to access the port in which she gets chemo and they draw blood. This week it only took 10 minutes because she wasn't fighting it so much. It actually doesn't really hurt her, she just works herself up and thinks it's going to hurt.

The snow started about 8:00 am and never let up which means we're staying another night in Utah. We heard the roads to get home were nasty and to tell you the truth, Diane doesn't drive after dark.

We ended up spending over six hours at the hospital. Emma's red blood count was so low that she needed a blood transfusion. Transfusions take several hours so Emma painted and did crafts while Diane and I visited and made fun of celebs in the People Magazine. Can you say BOTOX?

Hopefully we'll get home tomorrow. Until then, Jeff will have the fort held down (hopefully)!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome Home

I am so happy to be home! Emma and I arrived home on Monday.

We actually left the hospital Friday afternoon and went to stay with my cousins in Draper. That night Emma had a bloody nose that lasted for 35 minutes (chemo patients aren't supposed to bleed for more than 10 minutes). I was so nervous we would have to go back to the hospital because the bleeding lasted so long, but as we loaded into the van, the blood stopped. Thank goodness!

We went in on Saturday for a blood draw, had Sunday off and then went in Monday morning for Chemo and more blood draws. Also she had another spinal tap and bone marrow aspirate. We haven't got the tests back from either of those, and I am quite anxious to hear if there is leukemia in the bone marrow. We're wishing no!

So we got home Monday night and it was so great to see the family again. Ty kept saying I missed you Emma and Carly kept staring at me and then cuddling and then staring again.
The house was decorated with a huge Welcome Home banner from her school and lots of fun activities, treats and gifts awaited her arrival.

She's loving the activities because she's bored sitting at home and she loves the treats because she thinks she's starving to death (the meds make her hungry). She can eat!

For the most part Emma is optimistic and happy. Every once in awhile she'll cry because she knows she's going to lose her hair or she'll be disappointed that she's missing out on something at school or church.

Amazing people and amazing things have happened in the last couple of weeks. I can't believe the outpouring of service, love and prayers.

Thank you. Thank you.

Sick Joke - got outta hand...

Due to overwhelming phone calls (1 from a verry hopeful mother in Mexico) in regards to a Congratulations on Steph's big news...We regret to inform you all that the previous statements leading to the assumptions of an upcoming birth from Steph have all been False. Her friends -.(a.k.a Sarah, and Mel.) apologize for any inconvenience these false statements have caused.

To set the records straight - There is no bun in the oven with Steph

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meals on wheels calling

I know you are super busy and I pray every day for you and for Emma. I was just wondering if there was a good time to drop off some freezer meals for you. I have tried calling but I am sure you are flooded with that kind of thing. Sending lots of love from "Mallory Lane"