Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don't stop believin'....until it's time to stop.

It has been many months since I last posted.  One day I will post on the success of our relay that was the inspiration for this blog.

Today, though, it is with a sad and very heavy heart that I share that my mom, aka the kids' Gran, ended her year long battle with stage 4 lung cancer two weeks ago today on Sunday, September 2, 2012.

While my family is relieved that has suffering has come to an end, we miss her and will forever.  We are beyond proud of her courage, her determination, and the spunk she kept throughout her illness.

We love you, Mom.. You are missed terribly, and will always and forever be in our hearts.

I see trees of green, red roses too

I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really sayin', "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

~Louis Armstrong

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An appeal

Mom here.  What a long time between posts.  Gran, aka my mom, had an extended hospital stay.  I spent the last week at my parents' home with my sisters.  My mom is still full of spunk and her sense of humor has yet to escape her.  She's the epitome of a true fighter.  

The Relay is in 16 days.  We have yet to meet our goal, so I'm reaching out to you, dear readers.  My husband has appealed to his Facebook page, and I'm simply copying and pasting his appeal from a few days ago here.  Any help from any of you would be eternally appreciated.

I set out this summer to do something insignificant but important.

My mother-in-law has lung cancer. It’s a fight that she is slowly losing.

My wife, McKenzie, got her extended family involved in the Relay for Life this year as a way to fight back. After looking at the team goals that can be set, McKenzie chose $15,000. The reason for this was personal. $15,000 is what is called the “Sapphire (blue)” level. Her mom’s favorite color is sapphire blue.

As of today (July 10, 2012) our team is at $9,144. $15,000 is a long ways away with 18 days left until the Relay.

So I am making a personal appeal to anyone who will listen. If through spreading the word we can find 500 people who are willing to donate $10 each, we will get there. I will have some fundraisers outstanding and expect I’ll bring in another $1000 before we’re done, but I would really like to give my wife this one sapphire in tribute for her mom.

So please, if you are able, click on the link below and ‘Donate on My Behalf’. If you can do $10, or even $5, every little bit makes a difference.

But even if you can’t donate, please spread the word by sharing this on your timeline, your friends’ timelines, through email or word of mouth. If just 500 people respond, with a donation of $10, we’ll make it, and bring a world with more birthdays that much closer. And in the process, you’ll help me help McKenzie reach a small goal with a lot of meaning right now. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Factical Tuesday

The kids made up their own day today.  Factical Tuesday, name chosen by Nathanael.  They learn new things every single day, but they wanted to dedicate one day during which they learn "many facts about one topic" they choose.  They want to keep it going every week. This week's topic?  Raccoons and rabies. 

Stay tuned for next week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Day In The Life

Been a few days since our last post/update.  There have been some ups and downs and in-betweens, and finding the time/energy/oomph to blog has been a bit difficult.  But we're back and still raising money, and with only 66 days left until the Relay and a lot more to raise to reach our goal, we're back with a vengeance.

In the last week, Savannah has turned 4 (going on 16), joined karate, and has changed her outfit approximately 1,200 times.  Nathanael has added yet another occupation to his long list of things he'd like to do when he grows up (pharmacist, astronaut, animal rescuer, karate teacher, and now a robotic engineer), has taken a keen interest in entomology and ornithology, has mastered Jim Carrey-ish faces, and succeeded in getting the rest of us sick with some nasty virus.  We've had the sewer back up into our basement, a raccoon on our back deck, and a power outage.

Our last fundraiser at Nola's BBQ featuring the Skycoasters was a small success.  Somewhere on this ancient laptop I have the names of people to thank for their donations for raffle items.  We do have another fundraiser coming up in just a couple of weeks at local family restaurant Cheeburger Cheeburger.  We have items to raffle, and the restaurant will be donating 15% of their sales to our team for the American Cancer Society.  We're still so far from our goal, but we're all hopeful that we'll get there.  

Keeping the hope alive has been a bit of a roller coaster ride as of late.  We're still listening to Don't Stop Believin' and Jump to keep the message present in our daily lives.  It's harder for me than it is for the kids, but their youthful innocence and naivete can be infectious.

The kids are busy preparing something that they'd like posted on the blog which will get on here by the end of the week.  In the meantime, I thought some of the dialogue that has occurred in the time since the last post might put a smile on your faces, dear readers.  Thank you for your continued loyalty to our blog.  

There is still time to donate to our team, and if you'd like to do so on behalf on Nathanael and Savannah or in honor/celebration/memory of someone you love, please visit our team page here.  If you'd like to mail a check, you may do so by writing it out to The American Cancer Society and mailing it to:
Nathanael and Savannah Haskell
P.O. Box 506
Buffalo, NY 14226

And now, may I present "Overheard In The Haskell Household" or "A Typical Day In My House"

Mom: I'm nauseated.
Nathanael: Me too.
Savannah:  I'm lazy-eyed.

Savannah:  Make it a double!  (referring to the amount of fruit snacks she was getting, but still)

Savannah:  Hey Mama, take a whiff!
Mom:  Excuse me?
Savannah:  Oh, did you toot, too?

Nathanael, attempting to speak French: Clooka dooka f*cka troolay
*when asked what he was trying to say, he told me he was asking what the time was

Savannah: Do spiders have private parts?

Nathanael:  Girls are better than boys.  Oh...wait a minute.  That's not what I meant.

Nathanael:   Mama is WAY more fun than Daddy!

Savannah:  Mama, I've got an itchy spot right here.
Mom:  You do?  Where'd it come from?
Savannah: 'Cause I've been scratching at it.

Savannah, hitting their little table and in a creepy voice:  I give up, you scary table!

Nathanael:  Auntie C. texts you a lot.  I hope I get to text when *I'm* a pharmacist.
*for the record, Auntie C. does not text a lot, nor do I receive a lot of text messages.

Savannah: I need help wiping!

Nathanael:  I'm over homeschooling for today.
Mom: Now what do you think would happen if you went to regular school and you told the teacher you were over school for the day?
Nathanael: She'd throw me in the dumpster.
*again, for the record, we spend about an hour and a half total homeschooling at this age.  Not long enough for him to be "over" anything.  Little turkey.

Savannah: Do we still have lemonade?
*she asks this every day.  We haven't had lemonade since our lemonade stand in MARCH.

Nathanael: I need some tape for my microphone.
Mom:  Why do you need tape for it?
Nathanael: I can tape it, of course.

Nathanael: I just put deodorant on.
Savannah: Regular?
Mom, knowing all he did was slap water under his armpits: Why did you put deodorant on?
Nathanael: Because my elbows smelled like sweat.

Most of this is probably "Guess you had to be there" funny, but trust me.  In the moment, the hilarity was too much.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A World With More Birthdays....

In honor of Savannah's 4th birthday today, would you please consider donating to a cause whose mission is to fight for and preserve *more* birthdays?

You can donate to Savannah directly here or to our team here.  Any donation, big or small, is                     wholeheartedly appreciated, and can make a huge impact in the fight against cancer.

For a world with more birthdays....that's our wish.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You say it's your birthday...

Mom here.  On May 15, 2008, our family became complete.  Savannah blessed us with her presence at 2:03 p.m., and made that presence known to everyone in the room.  One look at the sweet face, the beautiful blue eyes, and I knew I had a special, special girl on my hands.  Four years later and I have yet to be proven wrong. 
Happy birthday, Savannah.  You are my sweet, smart, funny, beautiful and sassy girl, and I am SO proud of all you have done in your short time here on this earth.  You are helping to change the world, my girl, and you bring a light to this world that no one else could ever bring.  May all of your dreams come true.  May happiness and love always be at your side.  May you always know how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.
~Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On 80s Music

Nathanael, age 3.
Savannah, age 1 1/2.

Who would've thought they would turn out to love old-school 80s rock?  Much to my husband's delight, even now at 5 and 3, they love to listen and dance to the cleaner songs that we grew up with.  Thankfully, they still don't catch the meanings, whether hidden or not so hidden, behind the songs.  They get this first line or two but what really captivates them both about any music is the melody.  

The rock obsession started with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."  My husband happened to have his iPod on shuffle the other day, and Van Halen's "Jump" came on.  They were immediately in love.  I've heard the song
many times, but never picked up on the first line.

Nathanael did.

"I get up....and nothin' gets me down."

Nathanael: Mom!  This is a great song for the Relay For Life!"

Mom:  Why, buddy?

Nathanael:  Well, because "I get up and nothing gets me down" means people with cancer shouldn't let cancer get them down.  They can get up and fight!

Savannah:  Like Gran.

Nathanael:  I hope she doesn't let it get her down.

Mom:  You know, of all the times I've heard this song, Natty, I've never paid attention to that lyric.  I think you're right.  I think that's a great message for the Relay.  Do you know what the next line is?

Nathanael: No, not really.

Mom:  It's "You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around."  That kind of reminds me of Gran, like something she or anyone else fighting cancer could say.  Should say.  Your Gran is one tough cookie.

Nathanael:  I know she is.  I'm proud of her.

Savannah:  Me too!

Mom  I'm proud of her, too.  She's the bravest of them all.  She's roaring her mighty roar (*we just finished reading Where The Wild Things Are*) at that nasty wild thing called cancer, and we just have to keep hoping that we can help her and anyone else who may be fighting cancer to feel like they can get up and not let their sickness win in terms of getting their spirits down.  

Hey, cancer - "I ain't the worst that you've seen."  My kids are coming after you.