Tuesday, January 18, 2011

They are hungry.

Guezmo (director/LDS bishop) and Ken Potter (James's Haiti tour guide/boss man)

James leaves tomorrow night for Haiti to help the work continue on an orphanage outside Port au Prince. We heard today from the director that they are (literally) out of food. Much of James' 2 bags he can take are weighed down with tools they will need and his gear to survive. I begged Delta this afternoon to waive the 100$ fee for a few extra bags we could fill with rice and beans, to no avail.

So this means money will be better spent in country. We are pretty maxed out with James' travel expenses/shots/expedited passport etc. etc. My gracious parents are sending him with several hundred dollars to buy food directly for the orphanage with the hopes I can raise some money to give back to them/pay them when we can. The grocery stores are few and far between and the perimeter is surrounded with huge brick fences. (i.e. no starving people can get in...) Two 80 pound bags of rice costs 100$ and I'm sure beans are roughly in the same price range. I am humbled tonight as I feed my own children Easy Mac and fruit.

If anyone would like to contribute, it would be much appreciated, even 5 or 10 dollars will go far. Please email me at elizabethbarnum@hotmail.com and I'll send you my parents address or my paypal name.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ashley's Blog

Our donors mom is keeping a blog up in Ashley's memory. sweet, sweet pictures. It's HERE and on my sidebar.


1st Transplantaversary

I made LuLu's favorite soup...which becomes a favorite to all who try it:

Mango Salsa Soup
1 Jar Fresh Mango Salsa, 48 oz. From Costco
1/2 jar of jacks salsa from costco (right next to Mango salsa)
Put ¼ C olive oil in soup pan, simmer these two for 10 minutes

Add 2-4 Cans drained, shredded chicken from Costco
1 quart chicken stock from costco (it thickens quite a bit the next day so I add more then)
Simmer few minutes
Add 3 cups frozen corn from Costco
Squeeze fresh lime in soup

optional goodness!!
In bowl:
Tortilla chips, crushed
Chopped avocado pieces
Yellow/white grated cheese
Sour Cream
Ladle soup over

We celebrated with Grandparents earlier in the week thinking James would be in Haiti on the 15th. We are so glad he was here yesterday...it was a special, wonderful, FUN day with our kids. Jonah made these YuMmY cupcakes for Lulu and helped her blow out the candle...or maybe did it all by himself. ;)

Cream Cheese Filling:
8oz cream cheese
1/3c sugar
1 egg
dash salt
51/2 oz chocolate chips

*Cream first 4 ingredients together, then add chocolate chips
*Use Devils Food cake mix and mix per instructions on box
*Fill cups 1/2 full then add a spoonful of cream cheese mix, then top with more cake mix
*Bake per box instructions
*Let cool to room tempt, then frost.

*1 1/4c powdered sugar
*1/8c Milk
*1/4c Margarine
*1/2t vanilla
*1/2t almond extract

Her liver birthday started out with a surprise cake from NaNa and PaPa that was enjoyed shortly after breakfast...it was fun to compare and contrast this morning with the one a year earlier. I can't believe our sick, little baby turned into this vibrant child.

We could finally take London swimming--so we did. Transplant recipients aren't suppose to swim for a year after surgery while their immune systems are highly suppressed. It's one of those simple pleasures we missed this last summer and will always appreciate a bit more than we would have. She LOVED, loved, LoVeD the pool, the slide, the splashing, climbing, floating- everything. Until she took a good gulp (or a few) of water and started throwing up profusely. James got her out of the pool really quick, we got everything cleaned up and got out-of-there. Luckily we had a few good hours before the eruption. Sincere apologies to all around us were given....

Walking onto the Salt Lake City Library grounds to see the Donor Wall/Memorial. Ashley has a plaque that we couldn't wait to see. James holding her like this choked me up thinking of the long walk a year earlier where I held her limp body just like that down to surgery.

Lulu and I modeled for this one. No- not really. But think it was made for us.

Unfortunate for us, the wall is covered in the winter, because the plaques are glass I guess. However, just being on the grounds and seeing the beauty of the statues and words on the dedication was good enough for now. I walked along the wall wondering where her name was, we'll find out when the snow melts and spring comes. We love Ashley and for what she's done for our family. For anyone interested the monument is on the far SE corner of the block-- there is a fountain that I'm sure is so impressive when it's on as well as other statues.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Today marks 1 year since Ashley's life ended and LuLu's life would soon begin.

When I ran the Ragnar Relay last summer I had the opportunity to run what most definitely was the most beautiful leg of the whole race. It was through Paradise, Utah...rightfully named. Team Donate Life, we were running to raise awareness for organ donation and I carried Ashley's memory every step I took.

As I ran my first leg through Paradise I felt her with me, in me, around me and everywhere I looked. Tears stained my cheeks the whole run. It was green and lush with rolling hills and horses everywhere. I felt like I was running through her heaven. The air was so clean, the sky was very blue. It was amazing. I was extremely grateful to feel that kind of peace, when all I'd felt for months was guilt that she was gone and I had my London because of her.

I'll always mourn her, love her, speak her name and see a glimmer of her in Lulu's eyes. The day will come when we meet this sweet love in the next life and I can't wait to pick her up and thank her.

A-1, liver mum

Monday, January 3, 2011

It was a Very, Merry Christmas

The very best part of Christmas Day was going to the hospital...to bring toys. The ones we collected for London's birthday became a sick child's gift. How gratifying it was. I wonder where the gift London received last year at Primarys came from-- or from whom I should say.

Opening gifts was pretty fun too...

Christmas Eve was splendid. Emotional. And just so happy to be together as a family.
The whole month of December was wonderful and festive and so very different than last year. For this we are very grateful.

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