Help Make Terminally Ill 5-Year-Old Boy’s Wish Come True

8 11 2009

The Cosmic Cow’s Carra Riley sent me a message on Facebook from one of her other Facebook friends telling me about this heartbreaking/heartwarming story that I wanted to pass along to everyone else in hopes that you, dear Active Rain members, will help this little boy and his family create a legacy of help and hope for other little kids.

Little Noah Biorkman is a typical 5-year-old boy: he loves Christmas.  However, what is atypical for this little guy is that he has been fighting cancer since he was 3 years old.  When it went into remission in late 2007, the family was overjoyed.  But, a year later, Noah experienced a relapse.  Currently, Noah is in hospice care in Michigan after being diagnosed with end stage neuroblastoma.  Both he and his family have come to terms with the fact that Noah most likely will not make it to Christmas.  But, instead of focusing on the negative, they have decided to make the most of the time Noah has left in this world.  Christmas was brougth to Noah this weekend.

After the family had put out Noah’s request to receive as many Christmas cards as possible, they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and wishes from all over the world, including a package from as far away as Hong Kong.  So far, they have received around 8000 cards.  The family is forever grateful to all these people for showing such tremendous support to their little boy.  They have set up a trust fund in Noah’s name and have asked that, in lieu of gifts, please send a card with $1 inside and they will donate all money received in Noah’s name to the University of Michigan’s neuroblastoma research center and the Michigan Make-a-Wish chapter.  Please send a card to the family and make a donation of anything you are comfortable with.

Cards can be sent to:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

Thank you, Carra, for letting me know about this story.  It is heartbreaking as well as heartwarming.  My card and donation are in the mail tomorrow.  I hope more people join me in this.

Click here to view the video of Noah’s story on Click on Detroit.

Heather Chavez, Real Estate Virtual AssistantSecond Self Virtual Assistance: When There Isn’t Enough of You to Go Around!


Two Great Scary Movies to Review

2 11 2009

My son and I love horror movies.  So, what better way to spend the Halloween weekend than to rent scary movies, turn out the lights and wait for the mayhem to begin?  We decided to try “Orphan” and “Dorothy Mills“.  You might remember “Orphan” from the creepy kid poster with the words “There’s something wrong with Esther“.  There definitely WAS something wrong with Esther.  It is sort of like “The Good Son” but with a twist that, believe me, you DON’T see coming.  After suffering a miscarriage, a husband and wife decide to adopt an older child from an orphanage to round out their little family of four, which includes a boy who is around Esther’s age and a younger girl who happens to be deaf.  Once Esther charms her way into the house, the games begin.  You’ll want to hang in to the end to see what Esther is all about.

Orphan movie: There's something wrong with Esther. Dorothy Mills movie

My son had absolutely no interest in seeing the next movie I rented, so I went at it alone.  I have to admit that “Dorothy Mills” caught my attention because of this phrase above its title on the DVD box: “A contemporary take on The Exorcist”.  But, this is a bit misleading.  This Irish tale takes place on an isolated Irish island set apart from the mainland.  It begins with teenage Dorothy seeming to abuse a baby by trying to force him to drink from his bottle while babysitting.  The extent of his physical injuries is shown later in photographs.  Dorothy is sent to trial for the abuse and a psyciatrist comes to the island to find out more about Dorothy, what happened and why.  The psychiatrist has a story all her own which plays out quite interestingly in the movie.  What appears to be a case of Multiple Personality Disorder soon turns into something else.  But, not exactly what you are lead to believe.  And Dorothy has an ability that the town has been using to her detriment for many years.  Once you find out what these personalities really are, another great twist takes this to a whole other level and completely satisfies.

All in all, I would completely recommend either one of these movies for those of you who like a horror movie that actually has a good plot and twists and turns that make sense.


Surprise! You’re Throwing a Baby Shower!

2 11 2009

Have you ever gone to a baby shower where the surprise is that YOU are doing the work instead of the people hosting the shower?  This happened to me almost 2 1/2 years ago when I went up to my husband’s brother’s house over 700 miles away to attend his wife’s baby shower being thrown by my husband’s sister and his mother.  I made the silly mistake of thinking I was a guest.  However, when I showed up, I quickly learned that this was definitely NOT the case. 

Like all grand plans laid out by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, they had planned everything down to the last possible cute detail but hadn’t thought about how long it would take to get things ready.  So, the day after driving those 700 miles to my brother-in-law’s house, I found myself alone at the kitchen table making table decorations for a rubber ducky themed shower and following specific instructions on how many of these doo-dads go into the cheesecloth, how many of those confetti sticker thingys get added and how long the ribbon needs to be to tie everything together.  Now, I didn’t start out alone at the table.  Somehow, everyone found other things that needed their attention in the other room.  My sister-in-law (the mommy-to-be) eventually wandered in the kitchen and asked me where everyone else went.  I told her I didn’t know.  So, she sat down to put these little goodies together with me…and it was HER PARTY that was supposed to be done FOR HER.

The day before (on the day we had arrived after DRIVING 700 MILES…no, I’m not bitter), we had piled everyone up into two cars and gone on a scavenger hunt to find all the necessary items to make this the most precious baby shower ever.  We went merrily through the grocery store, snagging this and grabbing the “Oh wouldn’t that be cute!” that and stuffing it all into the grocery cart.  “We just HAVE to have those!”  In the cart they go.  Sister-in-law likes this for the baby.  In the cart it goes.  “ALL babies need THAT!”  In the cart it goes.  Hubby’s sister wants this magazine and those candies for herself.  In the cart they go.  When we got to the register, my mother-in-law heads straight through the line.  My sisters-in-law both dally in the back of the line looking at the magazine rack.  Register rings up the total and the clerk cheerfully lets me know the total (somewhere in the neighborhood of $70).  When I “ah-hem” loudly and ask if that is all they are getting, they cheerfully tune up with a “Oh, yes!” and head straight through the line.  I feel the blood rise in my face while I reach for my debit card to pay for all the stuff, including my hubby’s sister’s crap that had nothing to do with the baby shower.  If I had been asked to do it or even forewarned that it was going to happen, I would have been more prepared.  The blatant gall of it all just took me by surprise and totally floored me.

Oh, but we weren’t through yet.  The day of the shower, we went to the pizza parlor that this shower was going to take place in and started to decorate the area.  My hubby’s sis couldn’t help us decorate because she had to work that day.  She left us that morning of promises to help when she got off work (about an hour and a half before the grand event), but didn’t show up until after everything was set up.  My very pregnant sister-in-law couldn’t get up to hang decorations and none of us expected her to.  But, my mother-in-law sat down to keep her company while I was drafted volunteered to lay out the tablecloths, hang the banners, set up the balloons and place the centerpieces where they belonged.

I had a very tiring few days.  But it was a lovely party, if I do say so myself.  I did get paid back the money for the groceries after my husband got on his mother and sister’s case about it.  They told him that they had told me my brother-in-law would be paying me back (to which I called a “BS”, since they did no such thing).  You can imagine how wary I am whenever it is suggested that we come to a “family function”.  I don’t know how much of the “family” will be helping with the “function” and how much I am supposed to take care of.


Full Moon at Halloween

26 10 2009

It just isn't Halloween without a full moon!

I knew you couldn’t resist!  You’re naughty, naughty children and need to spend time in the naughty chair.  I hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Heather Chavez, Real Estate Virtual AssistantSecond Self Virtual Assistance: When There Isn’t Enough of You to Go Around!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

23 10 2009

The birthday boy at lunch The birthday boy enjoying a birthday drink.  Yum!

Today was my husband’s 42nd birthday.  He was actually in a celebratory mood, too.  This is a far cry from two years ago.  He absolutely DREADED turning 40.  So much so that he took the entire week off so he could disappear from the world and leave his birthday behind him for just a little while.  This year, however, he told everyone everywhere we went that it was his birthday and only took two days off work to celebrate.

After gifting him with a big Starbucks gift card (his morning drink of choice) and  a nice new travel mug (which will probably end up in the back seat of his truck like everything else seems to do), I took him to Mimi’s Cafe for lunch.  He got to enjoy a bit of alcohol in the middle of the day (not something he normally does, since he usually has to go back to work).  He is gearing up to take his sandrail and favorite uncle out to Glamis for a quick day trip tomorrow.  All in all, it’s been a pretty good birthday this year. 

Happy Birthday, Baby!


This is NOT Denny’s!

21 10 2009

Ankle-biters need leashes, too!As I was walking my darling Angel last night through the neighborhood, we came across a woman pulling her trash bins from the street and putting them in the backyard.  In the process, she allowed her ankle-biter (Chihauhua for those of you not in the know) to run freely about the neighborhood.  Being a good dog owner, I had my chocolate lab on a leash.  However, size doesn’t matter to a Chihauhau.  In fact, they all seem to suffer from “Little Man Syndrome”.  This tootsy-nibbler yapped and yapped at my Angel girl and even went in for a little nip.  I kept my girl close to me, calming her down and waiting for the little terror’s owner to get a hold of the situation.  That didn’t happen.  The dog just yapped and yapped, lunged and nipped.  I finally turned to the lady and asked her if this was indeed her dog.  She indicated that it was.  I then asked her as politely as I could to please get a hold of the thing.  She called the dog a couple of times before it came back to her and we went on our merry way.  However, the dog came yapping at our heels further down the street and the owner never did anything about it.

It reminded me of a certain demographic of people who frequent Denny’s, IHOP, Coco’s, etc. who let their children climb all over the furniture and run loose in the aisles.  You know who they are.  They’re the same kind of people that allow their children to run freely about the front yard in nothing but their underwear for all the world to see.  They also seem to believe that a diaper is sufficient clothing to take a baby out in public.  Is it really that hard to throw a pair of shorts and a tank top on little Joey for goodness sakes?  Really?  Maybe it’s not a demographic necessarily, but a certain “class” of people.  Although, most of this “class” of people seems to fall into one particular demographic around my neighborhood for some reason.  I don’t know!


Vegas Creates a Brand New Family

20 10 2009

The new happy familyOn October 3rd, my family went out to Las Vegas to celebrate the nuptials of my brother and his new bride. They have been together for four years and have finally tied the knot. My new sister-in-law wanted a ceremony while my brother was happier with just having a simple vow exchange at the courthouse with just them. Vegas was the compromise. It was a very simple, sweet and quick ceremony involving just the bride, groom and their children (who are only a few days apart in age). Her daughter was the flower girl and his son was the ring bearer. He took his job very seriously, too. He was very aware of making sure that his new stepmother’s train wasn’t left to drag on the floor and the rings were left in his very special care. Keep in mind, these kids are only 5 years old. (Well, they’ll be 6 in December).

My brother hates to be the center of attention.  So, standing in front of a crowd (even if it was only about a dozen family members) can be a bit of a nail-biter.  As soon as the kids brought his bride down the aisle and presented her to him, piping up with “We do!” in response to the question of “Who gives this woman to this man in holy matrimony?”, my brother’s face lit up with a huge grin.  And, I don’t think he ever stopped smilling.  I’m very happy for the new family.