Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Foyer de Sion Haitian Orphanage - Please Help

I have shared with some of you that James is going to Haiti in January. He'll be leaving with my dear friends father, who has been dedicated to completing an orphanage just outside of Port au Prince, where a tragic earthquake struck. Everyone who is going down will do so at their own expense, and all funds donated are going for labor and materials.

The organization has raised over $250,000 but is still short on funds to complete the orphanage.


Click here to lend your support to: Finish Construction of Haiti Orphanage and make a donation at !

Another $70k will get the building to a point where the children can move into the new building. Conditions in Haiti are very dangerous at this time, cholera has killed hundreds and kidnappings still take place. This new orphanage is located out in the country, safe from the horrible situation they face in Port au Prince.

While the goal of having the kids in by Christmas was not met, a lot of progress has been made. The $53,000 needed to complete the tile work was generously donated and work should start this coming Monday.

An extremely large donation was made that allowed the purchase of two 40’ containers, which were loaded last Thursday & Friday. By Friday night, they were on a train and en route to Haiti. They should arrive in Port au Prince, Haiti about the first week of January and will be delivered by the 15th. My friends dad will be taking five or six men, including James to with him to Haiti to help work on doors, skylights, painting, etc. and to meet the containers on their scheduled delivery date.

For those who HAVE or are INTERESTED in donating to this cause, please join us for an open house at the home of Ken & Laura Potter and meet Bishop Mardy (who runs the orphanage) in person.

January 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
551 S. Ranch Circle
Alpine, Utah 84004

This is a rare opportunity to meet the director as he is in the country for a short time visiting his family. Light refreshment served. He will be returning to Haiti Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

other birthdays...

hours old... let the big bows begin...

1st birthday. big needle in the belly procedure with conscious sedation. she was tripping, see video below for a good (but sad) laugh. that's a contradiction.

lunch of champions @ the hospital-- milk a-la-tube and cheetos

checking out her sweet heart, to be sure she'd be okay for transplant among other things

she wouldn't eat her breakfast birthday cookie. before i had kids i decided we'd always do cupcakes, ice cream or something sweet for (and or with) their breakfast. this year i think all she had was sugar on her birthday.

i was so broken hearted this first birthday of lulu's, or just broken is also a good way to describe how i felt at the time. i thank god for the difference a year made for me as well.

the better part of the night HERE

Monday, December 13, 2010

happiest 2nd birthday, ever

LuLu's BFF LaLa from next door...London lights up when she sees her. They are so sweet to each other and play so well. They are above acting like "2" year olds.

Make a wish...mine was that nothing will stand between us and being home rather than the hospital for Christmas like last year. I'm very sure it will come true...

Lu was determined to get the plastic off that lollipop....

and she did.

Our dear friends Jen and Aaron

Badger Cousins

Aunty Anna, Bubby's Ben and PT and my dear, sweet niece Abbie

One happy aunt

Pink has been my new favorite color since transplant. Pink--like a healthy liver.

My beautiful, wonderful Grandma Badger

Aunty Kath and Taydo

Big, beautiful eyed Miss Kaia

She's become really good at giving gnarly looks. This is just one of many she may flash at you if for no good reason

My Mum and the Rex Family

Aunt JuJu and some lovely princess gifts for Lu. She's really only known cars, transformers and Super Heroes...but I'm sure she will soon love all things girly.

Jonni and Carlie

NaNa and PaPa

Aunt MJ and Uncle D

In "lieu" of gifts for LuLu we asked for donations to Primary Childrens which made this night even sweeter. We will get to deliver the presents as a family...
What a difference a year makes, a saying we hear and say often when it comes to London's healing and progression. ( click to see : Birthday #1 )was a sad day for all of us. We spent a good part of the day at the hospital with a cardiologist, to the liver clinic and a procedure where they had to insert a large needle into her belly to drain off some of the excess fluid she carried in her distended tummy due to hypertension. I had tears all day as I sang Happy Birthday to her many, many times.
We got home that evening in time for an intimate party with Jonah and grandparents. Kathryn had decorated my home beautifully, because I couldn't. She is the kind of friend I'm so blessed to have.
LuLu was too sick to eat any cake, ice cream, treats or food other than what was being pumped into her nose and arm. I couldn't help but wonder if she'd have another birthday she was so sick and continued to get much sicker throughout the month of December. I vowed if possible her 2nd birthday would be a big, wonderful bash. It was. She had nearly 100 of our closest friends and family drop in to love on her and give well wishes.
Happy 2nd Birthday Hummingbird. Thank you Ashes, we love you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Terrible 2?

No way...not our London. She'll never be terrible. Difficult- sure. Sassy and bossy- you bet. Grumpy- sometimes. I'll take her any which way she decides to be. Even terrible, because she's here, with us. I'm just glad we can celebrate another year with her, which came at a high cost to others. She is perfect and wonderful and funny and happy and beautiful and smart. And mine.

Happy almost birthday LuLu. It'll be so much better than last year, I promise. No needles. No hospital. No procedures. No tube in your nose, no IV in your arm. Tomorrow will be full of fun. Family, friends, neighbors. Candy, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, candy and more candy.

Happy almost Birthday # 2
little miss, we love you.


Monday, November 22, 2010


I just logged onto LuLus blog and was the 100,001 visitor since last December! I never could have imagined when my sister started this to keep friends and family informed that it would serve as anything more than "keeping friends and family informed."

I'm grateful for the support we've had, it's been overwhelming. I'm grateful LuLu has been able to touch the lives of others with her fighting spirit and witness the miracles that have happened. I hope we've helped spread the word on the shortage of viable organs being donated and the importance of blood donation. Also, I think it's been theraputic for me to write and share-and to give a glimpse of what it's like to walk in an ill baby's shoes.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

modern sick girl

my friend from jr. high and high school is gearing up for her 2nd kidney transplant. yes 2nd. and she's not even 30.

follow her blog @

she's positive, funny and witty. it's transplant time for someone, somewhere at all times. blows my mind.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Growth Charts

It's been on my mental list to start making and selling these beauties for FOUR years, so here I am. FINALLY. Hoping to develop a little homebased-business....

These growth charts are solid wood (5 1/4 inches wide x 6 ft. tall), come with a hook on the back for hanging and will be a family treasure. I can customize colors or stencils to your liking.

These make great baby gifts, birthday gifts.....or Christmas gifts! My mom loves marking her grandkids on hers a few times a year too.

Email me @ elizabethbarnum(at)hotmail(dot)com Cost:50$, shippping 23$ or if you are local (SLC)we can arrange pick-up.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Breaking News.....

Lu & Ashley's story will be on channel 4 tonight @10 & the article in Womans World Magazine comes out Monday the 15th....spread organ donation awareness, SPREAD!!

Here's an abc4 news link for a written version of the story:

Happy Birthday Ashes

It's NOT my party, but I'll cry if I want to.

Cheers to Ashley, they say.

Sunday was Ashley's birthday.

What do you do for the girl that saved your baby?
How do you celebrate when it's such a tragedy that she is gone?

We, with her parents, friends and family scattered across the US decided to send balloons up to heaven. This will be a new family tradition.

13 from us- blue and purple, her favorite. She would have been a teenager. I remember how special turning 13 was. We sang Happy Birthday and let them go to her. Jonah really wanted to send her a cupcake but a smudge of frosting on his balloon had to do.
I know her parents wished to celebrate differently. I wish they could have. I wish she never got hit. We would have found a liver elsewhere.
They would have made it such a special day, cause that's just the kind of people they are. I imagine she would have gone horseback riding, been gifted a new pet and eaten lots of cake and ice cream and posed her pretty little self for many happy pictures.

We feel so lucky to have the connection we do with her and her family. It's healing for all of us. They LOVE LuLu and have taken her in like their own.
Happy 13th Birthday Ashes. I know you had a big old bash in Heaven with your Grandma and Jesus. We love you to pieces.


Friday, November 5, 2010

i'll never say knock on wood again...

We spent the day in the ER, expected to be admitted but were able to come home tonight. (an early Christmas miracle ;)) LuLu has had a stomach bug that come day 4 today left her lethargic and dehydrated. Her liver team takes things like this very seriously as imbalances for her can cause big problems. After labs and more labs she was able to receive two rounds of IV fluids and we were released. My mom and I celebrated over diet cokes and Cheetos, she even let LuLu have a sip.

Highlight Reel from this ER trip:
1- going home after, that's never happened before
2-when the nurse was doing vitals and needing to look in London's mouth with her little light, LuLu stuck out her tongue and put the compressor down on it and said "ahhh." She loves opening them and playing with them so the timing was just perfect. (she'd opened about 50 before they came in, my mom and I kept throwing them away as to not leave any evidence behind, but she still had the one in her hand)

3-When they drew her blood (for the second time this week) she didn't flinch, make a peep, move her arm, squiggle or wiggle. The nurse was dumb founded. She was given the honorary best patient ever award--which is a bit sad to me but hey-- we'll take whatever accolades we can get. The scarring up and down her arms testify to all her practice.

4-The YUMMY sandwich and bowl-of-beets from the U of U's cafeteria. It is much (much) better than PCMC's. Make a mental note. And of course the Diet Cokes courtesy of our nurse.

We are extremely grateful to be home...there really is no place like it. Our new house really (and finally) feels like home-sweet-home.

On a different note our sweet, sweet friend Lydia is back in the hospital with serious complications that are any liver mum's worst nightmare. Please pray for them, send them your love and good energy. Be so grateful if you are a parent of healthy children, never, ever take that for granted because you never know if one day that may change.

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