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).


Jessica said...

I was so excited to see that you were able to get them so much with the donations! I'm amazed at how much money people donated, not to mention all of the kind words.

You're absolutely wonderful for what you have done for the Cook family! Thank you for sharing our words with them, and using the donations to get them such thoughtful gifts that their family truly needs!

Alicia W. said...

I was also amazed at how much you were able to do! They are a darling family...thank you for allowing all of us to serve them at this time.

Joy said...

Wow! Way to go Summer! I am impressed with all the different gifts you were able to bless the family with. Yay!!! Thanks for sharing the story. Prayers for BOTH of your families. :)

Linda Walton aka bobbysgirlforever said...

Summer, this is SO truly amazing! What an INCREDIBLE outpouring of LOVE for Justin, Kari, Bree and the boys!

Thank you SO much for posting photos! It makes it all just THAT much MORE real to see what you surprised Kari with on your visit!!! I can ONLY imagine the look of overwhelming surprise and joy on Kari's face - not to mention Justin's!!!

I must apologize as when I visited I was to come back on leave my donation! Well, I posted about your kit for Kari's family on my blog and completely forgot I had not returned in light of my recent computer issues while working on a project. I have you on my blog roll and just saw your update!!! WOO HOO!

I am SO thrilled that you are going to still take donations. I am leaving a small one now and will try to do so again next month.

Again, I thank you SO much for making the Cook's needs known so that we could all have the opportunity to help whether it be monetarily or in thoughts and prayers and by sharing with others.

Have a GORGEOUS day and I ADORE the photo of you, Kari, Claire and Bree together! SO very sweet!

Linda :)

No Reimer Reason said...

Thank you for posting the followup and the pictures. It was amazing to see just how many blessings were poured out for them.

Mandy said...

Summer you are truly amazing! What a wonderful and thoughtful "gift basket" you put together for the Cook's. Thank you again for letting us all help you make a difference in someone's life!

Our continued support and prayers go out to this wonderful family and to yours!

Me and The Boys said...

WOW-that is so amazing! You did an awesome job!

Tim and Jennifer said...

My eyes welled up when I saw the Willow Tree statues. How perfect. What a great friend and what a special family.

The Nielsen Family said...

What fun stuff. Amazing that a bunch of scrapbookers could donate enough to get all of that. I plugged the kit and donations again today on my blog so maybe you will get more

kate said...

That is awesome! I know that was a huge blessing to them! It is like Christmas. I bet you had fun getting all of that. That is amazing. You are a wonderful friend to her!

Melissa said...

Delurking again to say - Holy Cow! That is so awesome! I'm so glad you were able to do so much for their family!! You're an amazing friend :)

The Scotts said...

WOW!! I cannot believe how many people donated! You thought of everything Summer!! I LOVE SARAH'S QUILT!! Holy cow she is talented! I know that took you a lot of time to organize and gather things. You and Cory and such great friends. I am glad that you are mine! We love you and love the Cooks and continue to pray for both your sweet girls. Love ya Shanon

Stewart said...

I'm so thrilled that our little contribution went towards so many wonderful gifts. I think about Bree every day. Thank you Summer!

Watts Family said...

That is wonderful....It's great to know that people still love and care about each other...I love the quote from President Hinkley...WONDERFUL!!!

Watts Family said...

That is wonderful....It's great to know that people still love and care about each other...I love the quote from President Hinkley...WONDERFUL!!!

Beth Swann said...

I had no idea you were LDS! I knew I liked you, even though I didn't know you IRL. Big hugs to you and your adorable family!

Stephanie and Co. said...

OH that makes me cry (in a happy way, because people are so dang awesome). Thanks for sharing. You are amazing for doing that.

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to see the photos, and how my small donation contributed to such a special love offering. Your selections were so incredibly thoughtful. Blessings to you, all those who contributed, and of course to the sweet Cook family.

Newbie said...

Bless you for taking the time and making the effort to do all of this. I could not have imagined that the contributions would have provided so much for this family. And your creative and knowledgeable touch, made it practical as well as loving.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with this family as well as with your family.

Thank you for sharing this opportunity and allowing us to be a part of it.

smodi said...

Summer, Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful spirit with all of us along with your georgous daughter Claire,the very giving and thoughtful Kari, and the Brave and Beautiful Bree. It so touched my heart when you shared this story with us. I couldn't sit back and not pray for you and your family and the Cook family. I am so grateful we were able to reach out to them in some small way t let them know many people love them and care about them, even if we don't know them personally. Again thank you so much for that opportunity to serve my fellow brothers and sisters. May the Lord bless you as much as you have blessed all of us!

Lois Michael said...

WOW....You did an awesome job. I had a hard time reading this thru my blubbering. You all will continue to be in our thoughts & prayers. Thanks for allowing Brandy & I to be a small part of this. Hugs

Lisa said...

Summer, You did such a wonderful job on the things you were able to give the Cook's. Thank you so much for using all of the wonderful donations to get such awesome things for them to use! I will be praying for little Bree and her family as she endures her second chemo treatment tomorrow. Thank you also for posting the photos and the one you girls is just precious!

Charis said...

Thank you for allowing us all to be apart of something so wonderful. I loved seeing the care package you put together. Thanks for posting the pictures. Isn't it amazing what a little bit from a lot of people can do? We continue to keep Bree and her family in our prayers. You are a great friend.

Jewel Goodwin said...

It's really amazing how many peopel must have come through to bring the family such a wonderful bunch of gifts. Thanks so much for helping us help the Cooks.

raising4boys said...

Thank you for sharing. I couldn't believe there was more too as I was scrolling down. Even though I only put in $5 it's amazing how ever little bit helps when everyone pitches in. She is such a sweet little girl and my heart goes out to her family.

That gift card board is amazing, I love the matching church outfits, and the willow tree statue. You did GREAT!! you are an awesome friend.

Jenn Andrews said...

Praying in puddles right now for precious Bree and the Cook family. I feel so blessed to have found your blog and this precious story. I lost my daughter last year to SIDS. I cannot even imagine what this family is going through. Oh, and thanks for the blog love on my first digital layout. Your kits are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks! And God Bless you!

Kenzi Dawn said...

I am so happy that you were able to get so much for the Cook family! Your love for your friends just inspires me! I am so grateful for all the wonderful things that you have done. You will definitely be blessed for your love and compassion for others.

I just wanted to let you know about a scrapbook page I made using your Gratitude kit. If you want to check it out, visit my family blog at http://hartsoccerfam.blogspot.com.


Kez Creates said...

Wow. I am in tears reading this, and reading all the amazing stories and help that everyone has given. I have an 8 month old little boy and I cannot imagine what everyone is going through with beautiful little Bree. Praying for her, and for her parents and family and friends xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

peata said...


Tiffany Webber said...

Seeing those bruises on her little face just breaks my heart, but seeing those smiles is so heartwarming! I'm so thankful that you gave us all the opportunity to bless them! You got them so many wonderful things and I am so happy I got to be a part of it, even in a small way! What a wonderful friend you are!! My favorite is the picture of the Temple too!! So beautiful! This is just heartwarming!

Vanderbeeks Images said...

Wow! I love that photo of the temple. That is where my parents were sealed. And I must say that I think this is the most wonderful thing I have seen in years! I went through chemo and radiation treatment right after my son was born and back then I said I was glad it was me with the cancer. But you know, no matter who has it, it's the lessons we take away with us that really matter. It's the Spirit we feel. It's the refiners fire. It's the wonderful service that is given. It's the prayers we feel -I remember I could feel them so strong sometimes it was as if the air was thick. It's knowing that Heavenly Father often shows his love for us through others. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives.

Anne said...

Thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of this, and for sharing the photos and story with us. You did a fantastic with all you were able to buy! The Cook family remains in my thoughts and prayers, and it does my heart good to know that they could have something nice like that during such a scary time.

Stephanie M Larsen said...

Is there a way that you could start a paypal acct for people to donate to them? I just did a quilt giveaway on my blog for a girlfriends little 4 month old baby who needed a heart transplant (she just got one! :) and I asked everyone who wanted to enter to please get the word out about Baby Mia and to donate, within 3 days of the giveaway 3,000.00 had been generated (people donated thru paypal). Maybe you could do something like this too. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Connie Babe said...

Simply wonderful

JessLawyer said...

My name is Jessica and I actually; accidently stumbled on your page, looking for something else. (Imagine that) I started reading, for whatever reason, and I have to tell you how much you and the Cook’s supporters touched my heart. I hope the best for Bree and her family. I will keep them in my heart, thoughts and prayers. The Cook’s seem like such a strong family and I am sure they have more strength from all the support you and so many other angels give them.

vixen said...

It's my first time here and also my first to hear about Bree and I have to confess, I am crying my eyes out..

I'm so touched by all the kindness.

And the sweetness of Bree's smile.

You were wonderful. Every gift was so thoughtful and perfect. And you should tell Bree's brave Mommy that she is so beautiful in more ways than one.

I need a tissue now.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I'm just reading your blog for the first time and am AMAZED at your talent and generosity and the blessings you are bringing to the lives of others because of your generosity! Truly amazing and Christlike! Thank you for sharing your talents and love for others with us! A friend of mine has a 3 year old son who lost his foot in an accident with a riding lawn mower this week (karsenmery.blogspot.com) and seeing how much help you were to your friend really inspires me to do more for my friend!

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