Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet the tumor, thank you

First, I am posting a picture of what the tumor looked like in November and then maybe I'll post another one after Josh's MRI next Tuesday.
Secondly, I hope that you will indulge me in reading my Christmas letter. I tried my best to send it to everyone who has helped us, but so much of what has been done has been anonymous and, let's face it... I am not perfect and after I used up all I had ordered, I kept thinking of more people I wished I had sent them to. So... this is also a late Christmas thank you.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

No duct tape and silly putty!

Josh went to the ENT today and he assured us that there wouldn't be any major complications from the perforated septum. Surgery, like I had read on the internet, would most likely be unsuccessful. But, they can put a shunt/splint thing there if needed. For now, he is just going to try antibiotics. I can't say enough how impressed I was, again, with this doctor. (He is the same doctor that took care of poor Benson when we went through all the crazy ear infections, tubes, mastoiditis, and then the PICC line.) He went above and beyond to make sure that we understood what was going on, how it may or may not be related to Glioblastoma, and even took an active interest in our family and our situation. So... everything is what it is. Not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.
So, while I did dream that Josh had a hole in his nose, I guess I won't be trying to fix it the way I did in my dream: with anything I could put my hands on- including duct tape and silly putty! Ha! (Seriously, if only you all could visit my dreams.)
Josh has another round of marathon appointments on Tuesday: MRI, blood work, Dr. Coleman, infusion! Here we go again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perforated Septum

Something new to add to my list of things that make cancer dumb (aside from the obvious):

A perforated septum. What's that? Well if you stick your finger in your nose... haha... you are doing it now, aren't you? You can feel a membrane that separates your nostrils, right?

That is your septum.

Josh no longer has one. It's just a gaping hole. He told me there was a hole. I didn't believe him. I got out the flashlight and looked in his nose. Sure enough. Big hole. Nothing separating his nostrils. Holy crap! I had to google, of course and found out that it is called a perforated septum and that it is rare but can be caused by trauma (like his surgery), cancer (which he has), or Avastin (the drug he may or may not be getting as part of a glioblastoma study).

Awesome.

The upside? He says he can breathe better. Ha!

The ironic thing? I had a dream probably a week ago that he had a hole in his nose.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Follicu-whatis?

Before I get to the actual post, I just have to post these pictures of Eliza for two reasons:

1. Um, they are adorable and of course I want to share them. My friend Mindy took them and just brought me the disk the other day.

2. My camera is broken and so I honestly haven't had pictures to post. I have an AWESOME video camera (Thanks Lindsey) but haven't figured out how to upload the videos to the computer. Until recently, we didn't have a computer with enough memory to do so. I am sure it's not hard, I just need to take the time to do it. So, these pictures are to spruce up all the boring text!


So... first things first: JOSH UPDATE
Josh had another MRI on Tuesday, October 26.  Dr. Coleman said that it looked nearly identical to the scan a month ago which means that his tumor is stable. He also let us know that stable is the best you can ask for. Glioblastoma is aggressive enough that those diagnosed will never be in remission. So... stable is successful. We will gratefully take it! He just finished another round of Temodar (chemotherapy) and has been officially off the Dexamethasone (steroids for swelling) for a week. So far so good. No seizures, no drastic change in coordination. He does have a random rash all over his body (arms, legs, torso). It drives him nuts. It not only itches, but is painful. We found out is called Folliculitis. It seriously looks like chicken pox. We actually wondered if it was either that or shingles. Hmm... what do ya know? Random rash that sounds made up.  After reading what wikipedia has to say, I am not convinced that it is said Folliculitis, but it does say that malignancy can cause it. So... maybe it is. Dumb cancer.  

That being said life is normal-ish. I continue to be impressed with a couple of families going through the same illness. When I read their blogs I realize I have a lot to work on and that I am grateful I have their examples. I've been using blogger as a journal, I just hope that I haven't made myself out to be a big whiney-pant. I feel like I should apologize to anyone who has read this blog and been annoyed by my relentless purging. Writing has proved to be very therapeutic for me, but I realize I should try harder to be more positive and focus more on my boys, my baby and our everyday lives.  Please accept my apologies for past posts. 

Halloween was a lot of fun because we had Joseph and Martha and their family come and visit. We had a great time visiting, playing games, and taking the kids to the pumpkin festival and trick or treating. My mom always has an awesome Halloween dinner for us. It's been the same ever since I was a little girl. Dinner in a Pumpkin!! I told the boys that is what we were having and this was the following conversation between Kimball and myself:
Kimball: "Mom, so then what is it that we are eating?"
Me: "I just told you, Dinner in a Pumpkin."
Kimball: "I know, but what is it called?"
Me: "Kimball! I said, Dinner in a Pumpkin. It's dinner cooked inside a pumpkin."
Kimball: "I just feel like you are ignoring me. I want to know what it is called."
Me: "I think you must be ignoring me. It is called din-ner in a pump-kin."
Kimball: "Mom, I am saying that I want to know what the dinner is called in a pumpkin." 
Me: (after wiping egg off my face and feeling sheepish for not listening and actually hearing what it was that he was really asking) "Sorry Kimball. It's yummy rice and meat and sauce and stuff." 
He was satisfied.

McKay has (until his haircut on Saturday), been sporting a new 'do. He told me one day that he thought Kimball looked good but, he "didn't look any good." I think he is a handsome little devil and told him so. The next morning he told me he wanted his hair fixed different. I obliged, and if it makes him feel more confident, why not???  I try to compliment him often and tell him how handsome I think he is or how much I like the outfit he picked out. I had NO idea whatsoever that I would be dealing with this particular kind of struggle in self confidence with THREE boys. I have to remind myself to tell him that he looks awesome, or handsome, or great... because when I look at those eyes and that smile- I see BEAUTIFUL! (That, of course, is not manly and if I slip and say it, he is quick to remind me that he CAN'T be beautiful because he is a boy.)

Benson is doing great, and with the release of Toy Story 3, we have had a bit of a break from Harry Potter visiting our house 24/7. I have to say that after almost a year of not being sure as to whether we are being graced with the presence of Harry or Benson, this week or so of sans-Harry has been strange. It's almost like I don't know what to do with myself since I am not constantly drawing scars, searching for wands or fixing glasses! It had become part of my daily routine! Ha! He still loves me to snuggle him at bedtime and wants me to sleep with him. That actually just means that he wants me to lie down next to him and tickle his back. He has also become as much a fan of Lime Ricky's as myself. He is always asking if we can go get one. It's great. It's kind of turned into "our thing."

Eliza is six months old today. Can you believe it? Because, I can't. She was rolling over so good last night. She rolled from her back to her belly and then to her back. She did it over and over and over. We have proof on video! Do you think she would do it today? Not a chance. It's just like a month ago when she rolled from her belly to her back four times in a row and then only once or twice since then. I guess she is content to just be. She is such a little cutie and smiles all the time. She is a good baby and continues to be a constant joy and comfort in our home. Night time is still a struggle, but I keep reminding myself that it goes so fast and to not wish it away. These six months have already flown by. I wish she would stay my baby for longer. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

Help Me to Believe

I (Kristen Baumgarten) updated our personal blog again, and decided that I would copy and past to this blog as well. There may be suggestions that I don't want to miss out on!

A new worry has plagued my mind. Well, not just one... I am also worried about GBM in the spine (once again, too much googling) but there is just one that I seriously need to address. My boys.
They are smart. They know what is going on. They understand that their dad is sick and that he has a tumor. They know that he goes to Salt Lake for medicine. They also know that sometimes people die.  Ever since Josh had his first seizure (yes, he has had another since my last post) the boys keep making comments and asking questions about if their dad is dying or going to die.
How do you answer that? I have told them that he is going to be okay, but I know that isn't good enough because all three of them keep commenting. For example:

  • Kimball was emotional tonight. He was worried that his dad would keep having seizures and that he would die before we could go on vacation. He said, "He is our very first dad, and we don't want another dad." 
  • On the day Josh had his second seizure (last Tuesday) McKay asked, "Is Dad going to die because Heavenly Father needs him like he needed Josh Graham?" (Josh Graham was a friend, our bishop, and my boss. We all loved Josh and miss him)
  • Friday after I drove Josh to work, Benson must have forgotten that we had taken Daddy to work because he was looking for him and said, "Where's Dad? Did he die?"

The truth is Josh and I both have decided that we must accept whatever the Lord's will and understand that in doing so, we will be able to find the peace and strength we need to be able to endure. Josh is better than me. I just want answers. I don't like feeling like things are up in the air. However, I KNOW that I have felt the quiet peace that comes from knowing the Lord is in charge and no matter the outcome everything will be alright.
As adults, with a life of experiences, we still struggle to understand that this life is given to us, and that we need to be okay with just letting go. So, how do you explain that to little boys? They are smart, yes. They have felt the Spirit. I know they have. I have been privileged to witness their sweet experiences. But they are still little boys. I wish that I could protect them from the harsh reality that we are facing. There are no concrete answers that we can give them. No absolutes in one direction or the other. Just that we are doing everything we can, but that ultimately it is up to Heavenly Father. Ultimately, Heavenly Father knows how their dad can best help these boys grow into righteous, stalwart, honorable men (which is something we pray for daily). Heavenly Father can work mighty miracles. He can see the big picture, and we are given so little and must extend our faith. It seems like such a hard lesson, a burden really, that doesn't seem fair to place on little boys.
So tonight, I am contemplating the best way to be honest and fair but to somehow protect them.  We have plans to discuss it for Family Home Evening. I guess I have about 16-17 hours to figure out what the Lord would have me teach them.
When I was in seminary, I had an awesome teacher. Brother Kunz wrote lots of songs and used them in his lesson plans. The songs he wrote all had stories behind them. The one going through my head tonight was about a family who had a son injured in a terrible car accident. To the best of my memory (which may not be so great, given that it is nearly 2 am), the lyrics go something like this:

Help Me to Believe
As I kneel beside his bed, I think about the blessing on his head.
They were the words my Father gave to me. Help me to believe.
I know he hears and answers prayers, when we call him he is always there.
He promised miracles would never cease. Help me to believe.
And help me to put my trust in Thee. Hear my plea, please comfort me.
And help me see-- Miracles never cease. Help me to believe.
As I see him sitting there, I know his life is in our Father's care.
In his eyes I see his faith is complete. Help me to believe.
If I knelt at Jesus feet, He could heal my son so easily.
But I know his power works through me. Help me to believe.
And help me to put my trust in Thee. Hear my plea, please comfort me.
And help me see-- Miracles never cease. Help me to believe.

SIDENOTE: Hmm... I can't remember the rest. I tried to google it to see if I could find the lyrics. (I am getting really good at googling these days.) I just found out that he is teaching at BYU-Idaho. That's awesome. It sounds like his students enjoy his style of teaching as much as I did. One of the quickest ways to invite the spirit is through music, and he did that so often in our seminary classes. Anyway, that song is from his CD, I Believe. 

Tonight, I feel like I am praying and pleading with the Lord to help me put my trust where it belongs: with Him. I am praying for comfort and faith. I am praying for the strength I need to be able to share it with my boys. I want to help them have faith, not fear. I am praying for the enabling power of the atonement to help me do something that I would not be able to do if left to my own means.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The good and the bad

I (Kristen Baumgarten) am running out of invitations to my private blog, and so I am going to try harder to update on this blog so that people know what is going on with Josh. To be honest, there really wasn't a lot going on until last Tuesday, (August 31).
Josh had a meeting to go to and was up early getting ready for it. He stepped out of the bathroom and hit the floor. He was having a seizure. There was a lot of craziness, but eventually he was taken to the ER by ambulance.
The next day we saw the nurse practitioner for Neuro-Oncology and practically had to INSIST on an MRI. Neither one of us are complacent about the situation to go a long with the suggestion to wait it out. They found that there has been tumor progression (the bad news), and possibly some cell death (the maybe good news). They decided they needed a little more time to determine what exactly was going on, and we will go back for another MRI later this month.
Please don't think that because I say this over and over that it loses it's sincerity. We HONESTLY and TRULY appreciate what everyone has done for us. We have come to draw on the strength from the prayers in our behalf on a daily basis. We still pray for blessings to be poured out upon those who have reached out their arms to support and lift us up. We recognize that those are the arms that the Lord uses to answer prayers. Those are the arms he sends as proxy to his own. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update Coming plus note about the raffle

Hey everyone! Sorry the blog has been neglected. I've noticed there are still people visiting the blog everyday and want to tell you all how wonderful your support is. I talked to Kristen Baumgarten today and she told me she'll be posting an update on here very soon.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we had to draw a new winner for the raffle necklace. I've been unable to contact the gentleman whose ticket was drawn and it is likely he was making a donation rather than buying tickets and still has no idea about the raffle in the first place. Anyway, I tried to contact him through September 1st by phone and email without any response. So following the rules we established for the raffle a new ticket was drawn on September 2nd. The winner was Michelle Allred of Vernal who was especially excited since, according to her, she NEVER wins anything! So congrats Michelle!

Just so you know the fundraisers organized have all been completed and wonderful. You can still make a donation on this website by clicking on the DONATE button in the upper right hand corner. We are so thankful for the support that has poured out from all corners of the US. If you or anyone you know are still working on a fundraiser, let us know because we would love to help and can post any information on this blog to get the word out.

THANKS! And be looking for an update coming soon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thank You from the Kremins

Just wanted to say a big Thank You again to everyone who has in any way participated in the fundraisers! I had no idea what the cost of Chemo and other things would cost our kids!! and thanks to many many willing and generous hands JOsh and Kristen have been able to keep their heads above water. Maybe one of these days, chemo won't be so expensive! Thank you again everyone. Please know you are in our prayers and we are so very grateful to you all!

Bill and Laurie Kremin

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Raffle Winners!!

CONGRATULATIONS JOIE MADISON OF HURRICANE, UT
YOU ARE NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF THIS GORGEOUS QUILT!
WINNING TICKET # 9893739

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRATULATIONS TIMOTHY FLANIGAN OF NEW HOPE, PA
YOU HAVE WON THIS FRESHWATER PEARL NECKLACE!
WINNING TICKET #9893415

Last chance to buy raffle tickets!

RAFFLE DRAWING SET FOR 
6:00pm TONIGHT!!!

LAST CHANCE TO GET YOUR TICKETS
*The ticket number and name for each winner will be posted on the blog tonight and they will be contacted.
*If the winner cannot be contacted by September 1st then a new winner will be drawn.
*The quilt and necklace will be mailed (or delivered if possibl)e to the winner anywhere in the US.
*Any questions email dadnamedjosh@gmail.com or call Kristin at 801-225-3946
*To learn more about the items being raffled click HERE.


THANKS EVERONE FOR YOUR HELP
TO MAKE THIS A SUCCESS!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Raffle Thank You and Alive After Five!

TONIGHT
WHAT:  Alive After 5 (raffle tickets will be for sale at a booth at this event)
WHERE: Western Park

05:00 PM - 08:00 PM MST
Local musical talent compete in a weekly contest for prizes. Public invited.


Having the raffle set up at the fair was a success and one that could not have happened without lots and LOTS of help. I hope everyone felt appreciated for their contribution but sometimes words just don't communicate how grateful we are. Well, the drawing is coming up this Saturday and there is over 1,000 tickets in the bucket!! I know everyone is crossing their fingers to win and I must say I am already jealous of whoever that may be. The quilt is AMAZING and the necklace BEAUTIFUL. We'll just have to see who the lucky winners are.....

That said there is still time to enter the raffle! Tonight we will be set up at the Alive After Five celebration at Western Park Ampitheatre at 4:30pm until about 6:30pm. It would be wonderful to have visitors come buy some tickets or just say hi. Also there is also a really easy way to buy some tickets right this very moment. There is a button to the right of this message that says DONATE. If you make a donation using PayPal then as a thank you, the appropriate amount of tickets will be entered into the drawing in your name. It's easy, safe, and obviously going to a great cause while giving yourself a chance to win something amazing. And while your at it please let your friends and family know about the raffle and how to buy tickets if they are interested. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Booth at the Uintah County Fair

We've sold hundreds of tickets for the raffle so far. Thank you to everyone who has participated! The date for the drawing has been set for August 7th. The wonderful people over the county fair have given us a spot to have a booth to set up the raffle at the fair. This is a great opportunity to make the quilt and necklace raffle a success but I'll need lots of help. We'll need someone at the booth all three days of the fair. I am planning on covering the hours on Thursday but will need LOTS of help for Friday and especially Saturday because I will be out of town. So I'm asking for your help by signing up for a time to be at the booth to manage the raffle. As people volunteer I will add their name by the time slot. Please email dadnamedjosh@gmail.com or call 801-225-3946 to sign up to help. Thank you!

WHAT: Raffle at the Uintah County Fair

WHERE: Western Park Convention Center, 302 East 200 South in Vernal

WHEN: Thursday July 29th - Saturday July 31st

BOOTH SIGN UP: 
Friday July 30th

11:00 am - 2:00pm  Laurie Kremin
2:00pm - 3:00pm
3:00pm - 5:00pm Rachelle Durrant
5:00pm - 7:00pm Tami Gross
7:00pm - 9:00 pm Kristin Baldwin

Saturday July 31st
 
9:00am - 11:00am Amber Hancock
11:00am - 1:00pm Rita Smith
1:00pm - 4:00pm 
4:00pm - 6:00 pm  Sharon Connelly
6:00pm - 7:00pm Amber Hancock
 
CONTACT: Kristin Baldwin 801-225-3946, dadnamedjosh@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Facts:

I (Kristen Baumgarten) wanted to post on this blog to give anyone who might be interested an update.

We went back to Salt Lake last Wednesday to see Josh's doctors, and for an MRI.

So here's the latest:

  • Josh's tumor has shrunk by a little over a centimeter. It was 4.5cm and is now 3.4cm. 
  • He finished another cycle of Temodar (chemotherapy)
  • He will start another cycle of Temodar in about 21 days from today
  • He will continue to receive an infusion every two weeks as part of the study he is participating in. (It is a double blind study, and we aren't sure if he is receiving Avastin or saline)
  • He will not have another MRI until September unless there is a need for one. 
  • We are fine, just taking one day at a time.
  • We are still overwhelmed and completely humbled by all that has been and continues to be done for our family. We continue to pray for blessings to be upon each of you for helping us carry the burden.
"'Our family’s faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.' 
...We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome."  
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Friday, July 9, 2010

Let's Get Ready to Raffle!

WHAT: Quilt/Necklace Raffle for the Baumgarten Family

This gorgeous, one-of-a-kind quilt was made and donated by Helen Smith, a long time family friend of Josh's parents Pete and Lyle Baumgarten in Virginia. She is by profession a long arm quilter. The quilt is on display at the Uintah County Library, 155 East Main in Vernal. The quilt's dimensions are 57 inches by 78 inches. Click HERE to see more pictures of the quilt and necklace.


The necklace was donated by Jerry and Cindy Sprosty, friends of the Kremin family. It is a freshwater pearl necklace from Indonesia.











COST: $1 per ticket or $5 for 6 tickets

To Purchase Tickets: Find a community member selling tickets. The list is below.


If you live outside the Vernal area simply email dadnamedjosh@gmail.com and tell us how you found this blog. You will recieve a reply email with details on how to purchase tickets. Or you can call Kristin Baldwin at 801-225-3946.

Vernal Community Members Selling Tickets
          Kristin Baldwin: kristinsbaldwin@gmail.com
          Sha Nielson: mnielson2@yahoo.com
          Colette Kremin at GBS Benefits: 1256 West 400 South #2, Vernal,
             435-789-9151, colette.kremin@gbsbenefits.com

Want to help sell tickets?? If you would like to help sell tickets please email dadnamedjosh@gmail.com to add your name to the list and help out! It would be great to get community members from areas beyond Vernal.

CONTACT: dadnamedjosh@gmail.com

We are inviting EVERYONE interested to purchase tickets regardless of where you live. The winner will receive their item by mail outside of the Vernal area. If you live outside of the Continental United States you can still purchase tickets or make a donation but you will need to help cover the cost to have the item mailed if you win.

Raffle Details Coming Soon!








Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quilt Raffle

Love and support for the Baumgarten family has come from all over the United States and even other parts of the world. Several months ago I received an email from Helen Smith, a long time family friend of Josh's parents Pete and Lyle Baumgarten in Virginia. She is by profession a longarm quilter and planned to make a quilt for baby Eliza. At the suggestion of a friend she also decided to make a quilt to be auctioned in a raffle as a fundraiser and got to work on it. I received the quilt this week and it is GORGEOUS!! I can only imagine the hours of hard work and love that went into making this one of a kind quilt. Thank you Helen for your Christlike service and love for the Baumgarten family. The design of this quilt is the perfect representation of the people who have, in their own ways, reached out to Josh and his family. Thank you all!

WHAT: Quilt Raffle

WHEN: At least through the month of July

WHERE:  TBD. The quilt will be displayed somewhere locally in Vernal. We should know for sure where that will be by July 1st or 2nd. More information to come.

DETAILS: 1 Ticket for $1.00 or 6 Tickets for $5.00

I need your help! A raffle is most successful when many people are involved in selling the tickets, spreading the word, and offering places and events for the raffle to be set up. So, if you are looking for a service project to do with your kids, your church youth group, or for yourself please join in helping.If you have resources that will help make the raffle a success please offer them! If you have any idea for upcoming events where the raffle could be set up please share! If you own a business and you have a spot the raffle information can be displayed please let us know! With such a beautiful item being raffled I know that together we can make this a success. Please contact me!

CONTACT: Kristin Baldwin, cell: 801-225-3946, text: 435-239-3881, email: kristinsbaldwin@gmail.com

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Experience the Blessing of Giving

Have you heard of UOWHO bracelets? Each little circle in the bracelet represents an act of kindness. When one act of kindness is performed, the circle can be pulled out and the bracelet can be passed on creating a chain of giving. Learn more at http://www.uowho.com/. The concept of UOWHO [as in 'You-Owe-Who?'] is simple, but holds a powerful message: make the world a better place, one Random Act of Kindness at a time!

These bracelets will be sold for $1 each during the DinaLand Triathlon at the Uintah High School track and field area. A portion of every bracelet sold will be given to the Baumgarten family. Come buy some for yourself, your family members, a youth group, girl scout troup, community club, etc and experience the blessing of giving!!

WHAT:        Get your own UOWHO bracelet!

WHEN:        Saturday, June 26th;  8:00am - 2:00pm

WHERE:      Uintah High School Track and Field area, Vernal

DETAILS:    Buy a bracelet for $1 - a portion of every bracelet sold will be given to the Baumgarten family.

CONTACT:  Lynise Mason 828-8295

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Weekend: DinoLand Triathlon and Life Fair

WHAT:  DinoLand Triathlon 2010; Life Fair

WHEN: Saturday, June 26th

WHERE: Reed Fleet State Park; Uintah High School

DETAILS: During the Triathlon a life fair will be held at the Uintah High School track and field area. The cost is $100 for a booth and all of this fee will be donated to the Baumgarten family. The life fair will last from 8:00am - 1:00pm. A raffle is also being organized. Anyone who would like to contribute gift certificates or items to be raffled please contact Lynise Mason.

Contact: Lynise Mason 828-8295

Charity Softball Tournament this Weekend!

WHAT: 11th Annual Men’s, Women’s & Co-Ed HIT-RUN-SCORE All-night softball tournament

WHEN: Friday June 25th, Saturday June 26th, & Sunday June 27th, 2010;  6/25 - 6/27

WHERE: Vernal, Utah Softball Fields

DETAILS: Come enjoy some softball action, drop off a donation, check out the raffle items, other goods, etc. Josh and his family are among the recipients of this annual charity tournament.

CONTACT: For more information call Jaime Feltch (435)781-6042

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A heavy dose of surreality

This is what I (Kristen Baumgarten) posted to our private blog yesterday.

Today was Josh's last day of treatment! There will be 28 days of "normal" life until he has to start another cycle of chemo. He will also have an MRI at that point to determine how effective treatment was. Until then though, I am so glad he will be able to rest more and be able to stay home. Although I just asked him what he thought he wanted to do tomorrow and he said that he thinks he will go to work!
Lately I have been feeling like this is all so surreal. It feels like the weirdest thing to realize that we are actually facing this. We are actually living this. This is something that always happens to other people, and it is always so upsetting and worrisome to hear their stories.
When my friend, Josh Graham, got sick I remember feeling the same way, thinking that it didn't seem real. It was SO hard to wrap my head around it. My heart ached for him and for his family. It just didn't seem fair, but I was amazed and inspired by his positive attitude and rock-solid faith.
Now, even though it has been a little over two months since my Josh was diagnosed, I am feeling that same feeling. I can't wrap my head around it. That surreal feeling was so strong at the Relay for Life during the survivor/fighter and caretaker walk. It was actually kind of hard and emotional. I just kept thinking: "I can't believe we are here doing this," and "How did we get here?"  "How is it that so many people just randomly get thrown into this heart-breaking, scary, and yet faith-building/testing reality?" and "How are we among all these strong families and friends?"
This is just after the walk and I was feeling a little overwhelmed by everything. It felt so good to just have Josh put his arms around me and remind me that no matter what, everything would be okay.
Benson didn't want his daddy to go without him. He walked with him all the way around the track with all the other survivors/fighters. What a cute little man. He is such a sweet little boy. 

This was the first time that we have ever participated in the Relay for Life, and even though we didn't participate in everything, I was impressed by how many people support the event and take the opportunity to honor and remember those who have experienced cancer in one way or another.
We have great friends who put a team together in honor of my Josh and in memory or Josh Graham. One of our friends that organized the team, brought luminaries for us to decorate. Because I thought what Kimball put on Josh's was so cute, I decided to take pictures of what we had done to remember them.
The first one is for Josh Graham and I just wrote just a few of the things that we remember and admire about Josh. (Toni, in case you read this, I hope you know how much we all loved your Josh and how I admire your strength. My heart still aches for you, and yet you set such a good example for me.)
The second is for my Josh and Kimball wrote a message for him on the back. The picture is of Josh throwing a ball with Kimball.

Before I put this post to rest, I have to post a picture of my baby. Eliza is one month old! Seriously? It's not fair. I hate that time goes by and they grow out of the newborn stage so quickly.
She actually has a little cold right now, and because she is still so tiny I took her in to the doctor to be sure that it was just a cold and that everything was fine. The doctor reassured me that she is fine, and we just have to wait for the virus to run its course. The fun part of the visit was that I got to have her weighed and found out that she is now 7lbs 11oz!! Way to grow Eliza! Holy smokes! That's a whole pound and two ounces since she was born a month ago.
Here she is just chillin' in the swing. See how her hair still sticks up all over everywhere? Benson says, "She meeds to fix hers hairs!" He is so cute about making sure I know when she needs me. They all love her so much. McKay is always so good to be sure he gives her a love and probably could never hold her enough and Kimball sings to her about how much he loves her and will always protect her.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yard Sale/Bake Sale this Friday and Saturday!!!


WHAT:  Yard Sale/Bake Sale, ALL to benefit the Baumgarten family

WHEN: Friday June 4th 10:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday June 5th, 8:00am - whenever everything's gone!

WHERE: Katie Morgan's home, Vernal 9th Ward Member
                          653 W 200 N in Vernal

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Come on June 4th/5th!! DONATE items to be sold! BAKE(or buy;) some goodies for the bake sale.

CONTACT:    Katie Morgan at (801)415-9689
                                      Email: kmorganmama@gmail.com
                                    Sha Nielson at (435)790-5192
                                      Email mnielson2@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Call!!

The month of May, with all its wind and crazy weather, has FLOWN by. Two fundraisers are coming to a close in a few days so here is a final reminder of what they are and if you have a minute please visit their website to say THANK YOU!!! 


WHAT:     MARY KAY Fundraiser
WHEN:    Now until the end of the month. Order accepted through May 31st.
DETAILS:  Alicen Taylor Independent Mary Kay Beauty consultant is donating 40% of your purchase price to the Baumgartens.
HOW TO ORDER: Order online at www.marykay.com/ataylor24, call Alicen at 435-789-8992, text 828-8416 or email ataylor24@marykay.com.
 
 
Kyle Ashworth began his fundraising effort the beginning of April and finishes on June 1st. He committed to give $500 for every home he sold before June 1st.  That is coming pretty quick so there isn't enough time for new clients to be part of his fundraising effort but this is the perfect time for all of you to help say THANK YOU to him for his generous and heartfelt contribution. Visit http://www.vernalhomefinder.com/!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Never enough ways to say THANKS!

There probably isn't a proper way to thank everyone for the amazing things being done for the Baumgarten family. This isn't the first and surely won't be the last post trying to say THANK YOU for what has been done. In the last few weeks there have been more fundraising events.

The ladies at Sending Smiles and all the people who bid on the items that were auctioned are angels. Most of the people involved are perfect strangers to the Baumgartens and some are even clueless about where Vernal is, but they showed their love anyway. What amazing examples of selfless service. THANK YOU ALL!!!!

The owners and staff of Basin Sports and Marsen Furniture are an excellent example of the GIGANTIC hearts of people in the Basin. Obviously, not every business can reach out and help every cause. To all involved in the fundraising efforts at these businesses last weekend THANK YOU for your love and support!!!


The rummage sale was a great success and a lot of fun! THANK YOU Coldwell Banker Aspen Brook Realty, Inc. for the time and effort to put this together. Every minute of your precious time and effort is appreciated!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A daddy daughter moment.......

My fingers may be small,
but I can still wrap daddy around them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

SATURDAY: Coldwell Banker Rummage Sale


WHAT:    Coldwell Banker Rummage Sale/ Quilt Raffle

WHEN:    Saturday, May 22nd; 9:00AM - 1:00PM

WHERE:  1340 West Highway 40 in the Coldwell Banker parking lot,  just East of the movie theatres

DETAILS: Come to the sale. Enter the quilt raffle. Donate items to sell. If anyone would like to donate items for the sale please drop them off at the Coldwell Banker office anytime Monday through Friday between 9:00AM and 5:00PM. If you have items to be picked up please call Angela Walker or Jennifer Hawkins. A picture of the quilt will be posted later this week.

CONTACT: Anglea Walker at 435-828-3770 or Jennifer Hawkins at 435-828-4198

A Sincere Thanks

The Baumgarten family in Virginia wants to express our deepest gratitude for all you have done for Kristen and Josh the past 2 months. Words cannot express how we feel being over 2,000 miles away and reading about all the fund raisers, service projects, and love expressed for our children and grandchildren living in Vernal. May the Lord bless you. All our love, Pete and Lyle Baumgarten and Family

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Half way there!

Tuesday was Josh's 15th radiation treatment, and since he needs 30, he is half-way there! The best part is that he is still feeling pretty good. Yes, he has lost hair and yes, he gets really tired. But, he hasn't gotten sick and thanks to the radiation van that takes him to Salt Lake everyday, we have been able to try and maintain a "normal" family life. He is still in good spirits and positive about treatments, traveling, and everything in between.
Once his radiation treatments are done, he will have a "cooling period" for four weeks followed by another MRI and a shorter cycle of Temodar (the chemo). The MRI will determine how successful all this radiation and chemo have been on the tumor.
Everyday is a new day and a chance for us to be grateful for life and for all of you who have reached out to us in one way or another. Not a prayer is spoken that we do not thank our Heavenly Father for the acts of kindness, the service, the financial support, the well-wishes, the prayers in our behalf. We pray that blessings will be upon each of you for what you have done for us. We pray that in someway, someday, we might be able to reach out and show the same love and support to others and that we will never forget how humbling this experience has been.
With much love- Josh, Kristen, Kimball, McKay, Benson, and Eliza

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relay for Life: Team Ad Astra - To the Stars

"The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated." -relayforlife.org

WHAT:   Relay for Life
WHEN:   June 4th and 5th
WHERE: Uintah High School
DETAILS: Team Ad Astra - To the Stars has made a goal of raising $1000. This money is given to the American Cancer Society for cancer research's fight for a cure. Tami Gross and her sons Kiersten and Kiley know and love the Baumgarten family. Josh was their Young Mens Leader at church for several years before the Baumgartens moved out of the 9th ward. They formed this team in honor of Josh and in memory of other close friends who have lost their battle with cancer. They have 9 team members who have also been affected by cancer and are part of relay for life's fight for a cure.

CONTACT: Tami Gross at 435-790-4490 or Mindy Smith at 435-781-1515
click here to visit the Team Ad Astra page

How You Can Help:
Donate to Team Ad Astra
Join Team Ad-Astra 
Buy a Luminary
Team Ad Astra invites everyone to purchase a luminary bag for $10 that can be decorated and dedicated in honor or memory of someone affected by cancer. The bags can be decorated however the purchaser sees fit and the luminary will be displayed at the event. It will be part of the luminary ceremony at 9:00pm on June 4th. All are welcome to participate! The bags must be decorated and returned to a member of Team Ad Astra no later than May 27th to be displayed and part of the ceremony. They would love to have a section of luminary bags for Josh as a show of support and love for he and his family. Call Tami Gross at 435-790-4490 or Mindy Smith at 781-1515 to purchase a luminary bag.

Raffle Tickets:
Raffle tickets are also being sold and can be purchased from any Ad Astra team member or other teams participating in Relay for Life.
1 for $1 or 6 for $5. 

What is Being Raffled:
3 month membership to Curves
1 month free lessons and uniform to keep from Unbroken Circle
Tickets for a family of four to a Salt Lake Bees Game
3 free days of Handy Man Service from K&W Handy Service
Tires and Rims from Dan's Tire
1 Adult and 1 Kids punch pass to Vernal's Rec Center
8X10 Autographed photo of Kyle Korver with jersey and basketball
8X10 Autographed photo of Andrei Kirilenko with jersey and basketball
Flaming Gorge Lodge overnight stay with dinner breakfast and raft rental
Years supply of milk from Meadow Gold.


The buyer can choose which prize drawing to enter.
Donations or sponsors can be made to my team Ad Astra - To the Stars (Kiersten picked the name he is taking Latin can you tell?) online at uintahrelay.com (search my name or team name to make donations or sponsors) or call Tami Gross at 435-790-4490 or Mindy Smith at 781-1515.


To see other team pages or to learn more about Relay for Life in the Uintah Basin, visit http://www.uintahrelay.com/

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Drink and Never Thirst by Liz Lemon Swindle

"The story of the woman at the well holds a particular interest because it speaks so directly to all of us. There are times in each of our lives when we stray from the path leading back to our Heavenly Father and need to know there is a way back home.


"In the story of the woman at the well, the Savior invites the Samarian women to drink of the living waters. She mistakenly thinks Jesus is speaking of the water dripping from her jar. It is only as she sits at his feet and listens to His words that she comes to know Jesus is speaking of the spiritual waters of repentance.

"It was Jesus who gave rest to the woman's troubled soul that day, and it is He who continues to give rest to a troubled world. He stands ready to forgive if we will but ask, and He continues to show each of us there is always a way back home."

-- Liz Lemon Swindle

Friday, May 14, 2010

Helping Hands: Basin Sports

WHAT: Basin Sports Baumgarten Benefit

WHEN: Saturday, May 15th, Open till Close

WHERE: Basin Sports, 511 West Main in Vernal

DETAILS: 10% of all sales will be donated to the Baumgarten family

CONTACT: Phone: 1-888-246-4867, E-mail: customer_support @ basinsports.com


Come get equipped to enjoy the great outdoors while showing your support of the Baumgarten family!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Helping Hands: Marsen Furniture Outlet

WHAT: Marsen Furniture Outlet Baumgarten Benefit

WHEN: Saturday, May 15th; 9:30AM - 6:00PM

WHERE: Marsen Furniture Outlet; 40 N 500 W, Vernal

DETAILS: 10% of all sales will be donated to the Baumgarten family

   *note: if you haven't been in to Marsen you should take this chance to check it out on Saturday. I own a fabulous couch(like the one above) and comfy lazyboy from Marsen and am a 100% satisfied customer!

Message from the Family

From Our Family.....We are Kristen's parents, Bill and Laurie Kremin. How in the world can we ever thank you enough???? We will be loyal to your businesses though!! And we will give back to this community!! We so appreciate this help!! Josh and Kristen are very appreciative! You guys are the BEST! Thank you a million ten trillion times! With all of our hearts thank you! The Kremins

Thank you Subway and Channel X94!

Saturday's SINK the PINK event was an absolute success. The golfers were more than generous and everyone had a great time! Kristen's Aunt Collete and Uncle Mark Kremin represented the family and accepted the check for the money raised on their behalf.
The pic above is the X94 crew and Scott from Subway, myself and the Kremins

I doubt we can say THANK YOU enough to Charlie, Scott and everyone who made this event possible and a success but I'll try anyway.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Helping Hands: Rifle being raffled by Nikki Kempton and family


WHAT:    A new Weatherby Vanguard 270 short mag rifle with a Nikon BDC scope is being raffled to benefit the Baumgarten family. The rifle picture above is not the actual rifle but a stock photo of a Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic rifle from weatherby.com. The scope picture is not the actual scope but a stock photo of a Nikon Slughunter BDC scope from nikonsro.com.

WHEN:    Through July! The raffle winner will tenatively be announced at an event related to the Uintah County Fair. When those details are available they will be posted on the blog.

COST:    1 ticket for $10.00 or 6 tickets for $50.00

CONTACT:    Nicci Kempton at 789-4423 to purchase tickets or learn more!