Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You are all so wonderful!

I first wanted to say a big "thank you" to all of you for your donations, prayers and thoughts for my friend Kari and her sweet baby Bree. I was able to go this past Thursday to Kari's house to bring her the "gift basket." My original plan for a small gift basket of goodies, food cravings and time-passers became so much more. Many have asked me to post pictures of what we got. So I will post them after I tell you about that day.

My sister Jaimee and I went to Kari's house. As she welcomed us inside, immediately she asked us if she could get us a drink of water. She then proceeded to ask me how Claire's appointment went that day. She also asked Jaimee how her back is doing. Kari is so selfless and she is just always thinking of others. After we talked for a little bit, we told her that some people had made some donations to go towards a "little gift basket" and that we were going to go get it from the car.

We came back with bags and bags and each time Kari's face looked more and more amazed. She kept saying, "There's more?"

Here are the things we got:

Hospital Toiletries
When I stayed at the hospital during Claire's surgery, I missed having REAL shampoo and conditioner, not the body wash/shampoo combo that the hospital offers. So we got lots of travel size toiletries for Kari and Justin (including "Stress Relief" lotion!!!) Also a journal and pens for when she is at the hospital.

Winter Church Clothes
Of course we had to have the kids matching! Bree got this beautiful silver dress and matching headband, and the boys got a shirt and vest.
Thank You Cards and Stamps
After Claire's surgery I didn't have enough Thank You notes for the things people had done for us. So we got them plenty of those along with some stamps so they don't have to worry about postage.

Snacks and Cravings
Some of the snacks are just for the boys. But I got other stuff for Justin and Kari. Kari loves Trail Mix and Luna Bars and Justin is all about Diet Coke.
We found out from siblings that the boys like Elmo and Dora so we made sure to find some books with those characters.
Educational Toys for the Boys
With Caleb having Down Syndrome, we know that music is an important part of his life so we found some musical toys. We also found some toys for Gunner that he could sit down and do quietly. (Not pictured is the Kung Fu Panda DVD that Angie (Mighty-Nice) from Illinois had her donation go towards).
Gifts for Bree
Some PJ's, diapers & wipes (MAJOR NECESSITY!), and some toys that Claire loves (since they're the same age, I figured Bree might love them too!)
Home Decor
I got these things from my favorite little store called Real Deals, where they really do have the best deals as well as the cutest stuff! If you have a Real Deals store in your area, check it out! Luckily everything we got her matches her colors and style.
Willow Tree Statue
I just love these statues (I collect them), and I hadn't seen this one yet. When I saw it, I knew this was the one to buy. It's called "Our Gift."
Homemade Quilt
My dear friend Sarah has a gift. I have never seen quilts like hers. She is just amazing. She has made one for my Claire, and I loved it so much I paid her to make a large one for our guest bed. Yes, I am taking a moment to "put in a plug" for Sarah. She is currently in the works of starting her own quilt pattern business. She is so creative. And Kari just loved the detail. On the back in the corner she had this quote that said, "There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith." (Quoted by our church's late prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley).
Baby Bling
My sister Shanon's sister-in-law Tasha (who just found out that she has cancer) made this beautiful necklace for Bree. When Kari opened it, she immediately put in around Bree's neck.
Temple Picture
This is a vintage picture of the Mesa Arizona Temple which is where Justin and Kari were married. The size of it is 24x47" (She LOVED this).
So after she opened all of these gifts and we were visiting for awhile, I said, "Oh wait, I forgot something from the car" and I came back with this memo board of gift cards. Kari's jaw dropped to the floor.

And finally I handed her an envelope and said, "And this is because I ran out of time and ran out of ideas." Inside was some leftover cash for them to do what they wanted with.

Kari was just in shock. I wish I could have seen the look on Justin's face when he came home from work that day...he is known to cry...in a manly way of course!

And Kari sent me an email with a "thank you" for me to post on my blog to all of you. Here is what she said:

I feel like I cannot express enough through words what an incredible gesture of thoughtfulness, love, and service this was.Our family has been so humbled by this outpouring of love from so many people. When you gave us the list of people that donated to your “gift basket" we were blown away.

We were filled with such gratitude towards you and everyone that donated and even for those that didn't but who are praying for our family. The variety and thoughtfulness of the gifts took our breath away but what filled our home with joy and warmth wasn’t so much the gifts but the fact that so many kind and Christlike people rallied behind us to support our little girl. Each gift, donation, and thought represents a faithful person praying for Bree. That means so much to us, especially since so many are complete strangers. We are strengthened and comforted knowing that people all over the country and even in different parts of the world are concerned for our family. One day when Bree is older it will be so fun to show her how many people knew her and prayed for her. We don’t feel like our words are enough to show how grateful we feel. The only way to show our gratitude will be to serve our fellow men as well. Out of this trial we truly have seen the goodness of God shown thru other people. Thank you for playing a part in that. We will always remember this!

For those who want to read an update on Bree, CLICK HERE for the Cook's blog.

For those who are still wanting to make donations, please feel free. Once a week I will mail them off to the Cook family. You are all angels!

(Bree gets her second round of chemo on Friday the 21st. Kari said this should be an intense treatment. If you are willing, please pray for her on this day).