Lexi Lee Walk for Hope at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival

StJude

Over the last 8 months I have participated in various events for a 3 year old little girl in my community. Her mother and I were co-workers and then became friends as the recent events in Lexi’s life unfolded. Here is Lexi’s story directly from her mother:

Lexi’s Story
Within 2 weeks, Lexi had 20 to 30 unexplainable, thumb print size, dark bruises mainly on her legs but on the rest of her body as well. After noticing the excessive amount of bruising, with no explanation and no signs of going away, instead more were showing up, an appointment with her local Pediatrician was scheduled and blood work was done. Then, about four hours later while Lexi was playing outside on the swing set, the phone rang. Lexi’s blood-work came back abnormal and we were told to take her to Huntsville Hospital as a direct admit. Fear and confusion set in. Lexi was outside, playing like a normal 3 year old child and hours later she was being poked for more blood-work. Later that evening we got news that she might possibly have a blood disorder or leukemia. On September 24, 2013, the oncologist came in and told us the confirmed unfortunate news. Our beautiful daughter who we had bragged on since birth for being so healthy and never getting sick had the c word. She has cancer. She has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, commonly known as ALL, or just simply, Leukemia. That was the day our lives changed forever. We did not know what to do other than pray. Doctors at Huntsville Hospital gave us options as to where to receive treatment for Lexi and when St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was mentioned, we knew that was where we wanted Lexi to be. We knew there was no better place for Lexi to receive treatment. No family ever pays for anything at St. Jude. Because of events like, The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope, with the help of participants like YOU, my daughter is getting a second chance at life. Without the funding for research, Lexi and many other children would not be so lucky. People like you make this possible for our daughter and our family as well as so many other children and families. We will never be able to say “thank you” enough to all of the researchers who work to find the medicine and cures or the doctors and nurses who care for the children, so as a way of saying “thank you” and helping bring awareness to childhood cancer and it’s need for funding, our family is hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope. Our goal in hosting The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Donations like yours allow research like this to happen!
YOU are helping St. Jude save lives by making a simple donation!
We, Lexi’s parents & family, want to say THANK YOU!
**100% MONEY RAISED WILL GO TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL – MEMPHIS, TN.**

Update on Lexi
Lexi is doing amazing! She is in the last phase of her treatment which consists of 2 ½ – 3 years. The last phase consists of 120 weeks. As of today, May 21, 2014, she is on week 15. We have a long road ahead of us even after the 120 week mark. Currently, Lexi receives at home chemotherapy which we give to her at night time. She also has an appointment each week at the Huntsville Hospital St. Jude Clinic where she receives chemotherapy, physical therapy and musical therapy. Sometimes she needs blood and/or platelets, which she is able to receive at the affiliate. She also goes to St. Jude in Memphis for check-ups, intrathecal chemotherapy and more intense chemotherapy. Some of the chemotherapy Lexi receives causes the leg and hand muscles to weaken and some cause nausea but if you saw Lexi, you wouldn’t believe that’s true. She runs and plays all the time like nothing is wrong. Even on clinic days when she has received chemotherapy, she comes home and runs and plays like it’s a normal day. For that, we are thankful!

Pictures of Lexi Lee and her Family:

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Chase, Jenna, and Lexi Chase Lee at St. Jude

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Lexi in the early days at St. Jude

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Lexi getting to play video games and still be a kid!

The Lexi Lee Walk for Hope was held at the Alabama Jubilee and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Decatur, AL. The Jubilee is held every year around Memorial Day Weekend. The walk was at 9 a.m. on Saturday and was a great and upbeat way to start the weekend! I love doing positive things and being active on a long weekend because it makes my time feel more accomplished. I invited my Girl Scout troop and also took my daughter along. It turned out great!

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This was the flyer distributed for the event.

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My daughter, Khloe, and Lexi’s Mom, Jenna. Lexi did not get to be at the event, but everyone still came out in support!

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Sign up table at the walk (:

HERE IS A LITTLE FYI ABOUT ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL:

In 1962, the survival rate for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (which is what Lexi is diagnosed with) was only 4%. Thanks to St. Jude & it’s research, the survival rate has reached 94%!!
• On average, 5,700 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
• St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
• St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world.
• The daily operating costs for St. Jude are $1.6 million, which are primarily covered by public contributions.
• During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If you would like to have updated information on Lexi’s progress or would like information on how to donate to the Lexi Lee Walk for Hope you can follow the pages on Facebook here and here. Also, Lexi’s mom blogs here.1240607_10202265096095892_106046578_n

My daughter and I didn’t get to stay long for the Jubilee after the walk, but we did get in a few hot air balloon sightings. (Next year it is my goal to go for the balloon glow and get to do a tethered ride. 😀 )

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We did get to see one balloon up while we were there and my daughter was SO EXCITED. She told everyone about it the rest of the day.

 

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EZ Girl Scout Troop Camp – Summer 2014

This past weekend, I took my girls to a one night “EZ Girl Scout Troop Camp” in Anniston, Alabama at Camp Cottaquilla.

The girls chose to use their Girl Scout Cookie Sales money to attend a one night camp. We left on Friday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and headed home Saturday afternoon around 4. To them it was the greatest trip EVER, and that is what mattered!

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Entrance to the Camp

Out of my 4 girls, none of them had ever stayed away from home on a trip like this. So when we pulled in to the gate they were jumping up and down.

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This is the lodge at the front of camp. It houses dining and offices.

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This was our first view. The lake/pond, boat house, flag pole and pool.

After check in we dropped our bags off and headed to the lodge for dinner. They served pizza and drinks. The girls learned some songs and were given an assignment to create a skit that had to do with camp. Hilarious. After that we were given about 30 minutes to get our cabins settled and then we went to the campfire area where the girls sang songs and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.

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This is where all of the troops come together for the campfire, girl scout songs, and s’mores.

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This is pretty much what all of the cabins looked like.

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Inside of the cabins. We literally FROZE. Who knew it was going to get into the 40’s in May in Alabama!? They held about 6 cots and some walking space.

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This was the bath house for “Four Winds” set of cabins and “Deep Woods” cabins.

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Cabins

Saturday morning it rained. My girls went fishing, canoeing, and pedal boating. In the rain and never cared. Before lunch they also got to do archery. By then it had stopped raining and that was a lot of the girls’ favorite part.

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My young cousin and a camp counselor at the archery range.

After lunch our troop went on a Fairy Hike and a Nature Hike. The fairy hike took them throughout the entire camp and they learned about the 3 fairies that live at Camp Cottaquilla. It is a really cute story and if you have the opportunity to take your girls, I definitely suggest taking them!! The EZ Camp was one night and was just enough for the age of the girls in my troop. Our Junior troop consists of ages 9-11. The other troops there were Daisies and Brownies (K-3rd grade.) I think it was perfect for the maturity levels and ages. They offer week long camps but I think that most appropriate for the older end of Juniors and above.

Have you ever been to a Girl Scout Camp with your troop? What was your experience like?

Our Lifelong Bucketlist as Husband and Wife

Trevor and Cindy’s Lifelong Bucket List

We were sitting around a few nights ago and came across the movie Bucket List and decided to watch it. I had never seen it before, so I was curious to see what it was about. Mid-movie, the Man of the House and I decided to create our own Bucket List of things we both want to do throughout our lives. I think by combining them together it will help us mark more off the list. I’ll be interested in helping him complete his dreams and can always find ways to combine items in one trip or event. I plan to update this list as we add things or mark them off.

Things in BOLD means only one of us has completed.

Things in BOLD AND ITALICS means that we have both completed it.

ADVENTUROUS THINGS:

1. Skydive (Planning to do this in October 2014 for my birthday!!)
2. Deep Sea Fishing
3. Backpack across a foreign country (Hoping for Ireland on our 5th Anniversary.)
4. Smoke a Cuban Cigar
5. Scuba Dive
6. Earn our pilot’s license
7. Fly a biplane
8. See the Egyptian pyramids
9. Whitewater rafting
10. Dog Sled in Alaska
11. Swim with Dolphins
12. See all Old/New 7 Wonders of the World
13. Drive Route 66 from Chicago to California
14. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
15. Visit all 50 states
16. Drive a NASCAR
17. Try skeet shooting
18. Ride a camel
19. Get a couples massage
20. Hike a tropical rain forest
21. Visit Yellowstone National Park
22. Stay in an underwater hotel
23. Visit every Six Flags Park
24. Disneyworld and Disneyland
25. Swim with Sea Turtles
26. Ziplining (We will be doing this in October 2014 on our Honeymoon.)
27. Ride a dune buggy in the desert
28. Milk a cow
29. San Diego Safari Park
30. Go to a Kentucky Derby race
31. See a manatee
32. See a polar bear
33. Niagara Falls
34. Yosemite Falls
35. Bourbon Street
36. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves in NZ
37. Universal Studios
38. See a Volcano
39. Mt. Everest
40. Mt Kilmanjaro
41. The Venetian Hotel in Vegas
42. Sea World
43. The Georgia Aquarium
44. Iguacu Falls
45. The Great Barrier Reef
46. Coral reefs of Florida
47. The Everglades
48. Go on a cruise
49. Walk through a corn maze
50. Mount Rushmore
51. North and South Poles
52. Navy Pier in Chicago
53. The Bucket List Bar in Bondi Beach
54. A hot air balloon festival
55. Brooklyn Bridge
56. Gateway Arch in St. Louis
57. Kennedy Space Center
58. Cadillac Ranch
59. Elvis Presley’s Graceland
60. Lincoln Memorial
61. Times Square
62. Great Wall of China
63. The Galapagos Islands
64. Vatican City
65. The Taj Mahal
66. The Eiffel Tower
67. The Tower of London
68. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
69. The Grand Canyon
70. The Statue of Liberty
71. The Sears Tower
72. The Northern Lights
73. The Pyramids of Giza
74. Stonehenge
75. The Sydney Opera House
76. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
77. The Colisseum in Rome
78. The Smithsonian
79. Central Park
80. Las Vegas Strip
81. Grand Central Terminal
82. The Empire State Building
83. Tour The White House
84. Machu Picchu
85. The Crossroads Museum, Corinth, MS
86. Mud Island, Memphis
87. The Memphis Zoo
88. St. Louis Zoo
89. Own a successful Cattle business
90. Prank a stranger
91. Be at the birth of all of our grandchildren
92. Find the love of my life
93. Have a family
94. Raise a happy and healthy child/children
95. Renew our wedding vows every ten years
96. Build a house
97. Fly an airplane
98. Fly a helicopter
99. Fly a jetpack
100. Get a bachelor’s degree
101. Get a Master’s degree
102. Get an Education degree
103. Write a book
104. Write a blog
105. Learn to surf
106. Ride a mechanical bull
107. Make a difference in a person’s life
108. Volunteer
109. Create a YouTube video
110. Serve a meal to those w/o on a holiday
111. Teach my child/children to read
112. Teach my child/children to swim
113. Teach my child(ren) to ride a bike
114. Tutor students
115. Kiss the Blarney Stone
116. Attend an NBA game
117. Attend an NFL game
118. Attend an MLB game
119. Coach our child(ren) youth leagues
120. Watch my children be baptized
121. Learn how to use a pottery wheel
122. Carve our names in a tree
123. Visit the Sistine Chapel
124. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
125. Mayan Ruins
126. Inca Trail
127. Eat Kangaroo
128. Japanese Tunnel of Lights
129. Meet Chuck Norris (Ha! Please know this was not my submission.)
130. Visit Normandy Beach

131. Monroe, LA/Duck Commander
132. Scenic tour of the Natchez Trace
133. Mardis Gras in New Orleans
134. Jekyll Island

135. Volunteer in a Children’s Hospital

COUNTRIES:

1. Fiji
2. Canada
3. Mexico
4. Monaco
5. Belize
6. Costa Rica
7. England
8. France
9. Italy
10. Greece
11. Ireland
12. South Africa
13. Australia
14. Brazil
15. Japan
16. Maldives
17. Switzerland
18. Portugal
19. Spain
20. New Zealand
21. Antarctica
22. Turks & Caicos
23. Bora Bora

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

1. Alabama (Obviously. We were born and raised here.)
2. Alaska
3. Arizona
4. Arkansas
5. California
6. Colorado
7. Connecticut
8. Delaware
9. Florida
10. Georgia
11. Hawaii
12. Idaho
13. Illinois
14. Indiana
15. Iowa
16. Kansas
17. Kentucky
18. Louisiana
19. Maine
20. Maryland
21. Massachusetts
22. Michigan
23. Minnesota
24. Mississippi
25. Missouri
26. Montana
27. Nebraska
28. Nevada
29. New Hampshire
30. New Jersey
31. New Mexico
32. New York
33. North Carolina
34. North Dakota
35. Ohio
36. Oklahoma
37. Oregon
38. Pennsylvania
39. Rhode Island
40. South Carolina
41. South Dakota
42. Tennessee
43. Texas
44. Utah
45. Vermont
46. Virginia
47. Washington
48. West Virginia
49. Wisconsin
50. Wyoming

What is on your bucket list? Have you ever created a bucket list with your spouse or significant other? Have ideas that we don’t already have? Please send them to me! I’m adventurous and determined to make my Man of the House that way!! (;

Spring Girl Scout Day 2014

So after over a week off from blogging, I am ready to jump back into things! I’ll use the excuse that after 7 hours at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center a few weekends ago, I was WORN OUT! Let me add the detail that it was with 4 Girl Scouts age 9, 10, and 11 plus my own three year old. This was me that night:

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That Saturday was our Girl Scout Council’s Spring Girl Scout Day and it was held at the United States Space and Rocket Center located in Huntsville, AL. My girl’s had opted to use a portion of their Cookie Sale profit to attend. Admission included lunch, access to all of the rides and museum and “things to do”, plus an IMAX movie ticket. Unfortunately, the IMAX would break down when it came time for our movie reservation. ): We did get to see a 3-D movie on Tornado Storm Chasing. My 3 year old did get a little impatient, but over all it was good!

The girls rode the Space Shot and a gravity ride a million times. They rock climbed and were able to watch a “magic show” on the science in what most people think is magic. Then they toured and were able to see the Saturn V (which is GIGANTIC!) and see a lot of other NASA things. We stood in line for 45 minutes just to ride a 5 minute Mars Rover simulator. Now I know why parents hated field trips that included Six Flags. Ha!

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Mars Rover Simulator

 

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Astronauts in training

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Girl Scouts waiting to ride the Space Shot

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Future Astronaut (;

Even though they all had a great time, I made sure they learned and focused on some educational things. While we stood in line waiting to ride the simulator,  I made them all try out the kiosk that featured all of the female astronauts in history.

I never thought we would be there for 7 hours! I was thinking 4 hours, maybe 5 tops. I definitely did not wear the appropriate shoes for 7 hours. It was a really great time, though! My daughter now knows the older girls by name and thinks she is a Girl Scout too (; Which hopefully she will be in a few more years.

 

If you’ve never toured the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and live within driving distance of Huntsville, AL, I suggest planning a visit. It really is a great time. (I actually plan to go back one Saturday without children so that I can actually stop and read about everything.)

Thin Mints, Samoas, and more…

Surely when you read the title, you already knew what Thin Mint and Samoa meant.

If those words did not ring a bell, your life is not yet complete. (:

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Girl Scout cookies are pretty well-known around the South, and I am certain that they are popular in other parts of the country and maybe world (considering that Girl Scouts is not only a very established organization in America, but is also now international as well.)

With that being said, I hope you really have had the chance to experience Girl Scout cookies before, whether it really be the Thin Mints, Samoas, or any of the many other options! They are amazing. And slightly addicting.

In November I made the decision to become a troop leader. Maybe I’m crazy. This year I have 5 girls age range 3-5th grade. Our first meetings is coming up, I’m actually excited!

The annual Girl Scout cookie sale is coming up for us in January. I usually always stick to what I like (I really love the Samoas), but learning ALL of the different types over the last week has gotten me intrigued. I plan to try many of the other types this year. I had never even heard of the dulce de leche. Let me tell you, THEY ARE GOOD.

Have you tried many types girl scout cookies? What is your favorite? What are the ones you think I should steer clear from?