A Grateful Aware Parent

Although September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month (I know it is October),  I think awareness needs more than one month of the year.  Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States.  Unlike many adult cancers, childhood cancer isn’t linked to lifestyle or environmental factors; but by genetics or chance.

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Honored Guest, 25th Anniversary Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters

The good news is that with improved care and treatment over the past 30 years, survival rates have increased to 80%. Children treated for cancer are now surviving for 5 years or more after treatment. However, many long-term health issues and late side effects follow survivors as they age.  Some late side effects may not show up until many years later: emotional troubles, secondary cancers, reproduction and sexual development, growth problems, cognitive loss, heart issues (and too many more). Once a child becomes an adult and leaves pediatrics it becomes a question of where do they go for followup? Adult oncology centers do not want a pediatric long term survivor – they are not new patients nor were they an adult when diagnosed. It can become a conundrum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Fun 2017

Family met at my son-in-law and daughter’s home in a country setting. The 16-30 somethings were ridding dirt bikes and ATVs in the fields as the feast was cooking. Phffft! Us 50-60 somethings invented cool – these children ain’t seen nuttin’!

My daughter was nervous. I made it back safely. In one piece. I just didn’t tell her about the trees I almost ran into. 😀

I shut off the motor and got off. I *thought* the kick stand was down. Me and the bike did a slow-mo to the ground. Only my pride took a hit. LOL. But, I still got “it!”

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! – – Joanne

Wedding Gift Quilt

Well, that’s it. Party’s over.  For many students in the States, it’s back to school (ummm, we started back two weeks ago). It still feels like summer and it’s a beautiful day to photograph a gift to my friends! This is the first quilt I’ve made that I am giving to someone outside my immediate family. No pressure!  😉 

quilt_lisa-deck1My dear friends are blending their families when they get married in September. I thought long and hard for the right design, feel and color. I wanted to give them something from my heart.

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They live at the oceanfront with their four boys and two dogs. Michael Miller’s Indigo Ikat line reminds me of the water, while not appearing too girly.quilt_lisa-beach1

I envision this new family snuggling together by the fire on winter nights as they watch a little TV wrapped in their family quilt.quilt_lisa-back

I hope they enjoy it for years to come!

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Have a good week! – – Joanne

DIY Real Wedding

“Mom, would you help us plan a really simple DIY, home-grown, ‘blended-family’, outdoor fall wedding?”

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Months after the wedding, my daughter and I gathered together the ideas, tips, suggestions, etc. to share – hopefully making it a tad easier for others to plan their own DIY “laid-back”, casual, outdoor special day. Beware: many photos!

We hope you can use an idea or find some little thing useful from this post 🙂

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Inspiration Piece

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We found an old box of inexpensive aqua Atlas canning jars in a junk shop.

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Initial Planning

Right away: Choose a venue, set a date and contact the officiate.

Create a Planning/Checklist

Browse Pinterest and online interactive planning websites

Start Gathering: DIY, Borrow, Thrift Shops

Write out Guest List

Purchase Invitations online

Determine wedding attire

Plan Menu

Write a ‘Wedding Photos to be Taken’ List

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The Day Before (AKA: Set Up)

Canopies & Other Supplies: Both my husband and son-in-law were eligible to reserve canopies, tables and chairs from the local Morale, Welfare & Recreation center. It was a considerable savings! We borrowed coffee and drink urns, platters and chafing dishes. An uncle provided ice for the canoe we filled with beer, wine, water and apple-pie moonshine. 🙂

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More ideas:

  • Canopies can be very expensive. If you live near a military base, are eligible (or know a friend who is) it is possible to save a bundle by renting tables, chairs, canopies, etc. from a local Morale, Welfare & Recreation storehouse.
  • Try to borrow chairs and tables from a local group (Scouts, church, benevolent group). Remember to make a donation!
  • Place waterproof seating arrangements.

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  • String plastic lighting around edge of canopy and in trees for evening lighting.
  • Repurpose vintage windows. Great-grandmother’s 100-year-old carriage garage house windows were turned into inspirational signage. (See DIY Vintage Windows as Signs here).

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  • Fill wheelbarrows, galvanized tubs, john boats or canoes with ice and load with drinks.

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The Special Day Arrives

Good Morning, Sunshine!

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Bouquet & Boutonniere: Simple. Grocery-store bought rose nosegay and hand-crafted boutonniere from the Etsy shop, The White Bouquet.

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Directional Signs: These were placed strategically to help guests find their way since the wedding was in the ‘boonies’. The groom’s mom created signs from scrap lumber, paint and balloon’s. My daughter and son-in-law’s names are pronounced “BRY-en” phonetically and we teasingly call them “Brianne Pink” and “Brian Blue” – hence the pink and blue balloons.

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DIY Wedding Cake Topper

Wanting to include the family in the wedding details, my daughter asked me to create her wedding cake topper to include their small son. I ordered wooden peg dolls from fair trade Etsy craft vendor, Goose Grease. Many family grouping variations, including pet dolls are available. Orders come with detailed painting instructions. (A nice touch from Goose Grease: when you receive your order, you are invited to enter your completed project into their monthly contest).

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