I am finally blogging about our FABULOUS wonderful awesome trip to Disneyland.  This trip was exactly what our family needed.  It was so great to get away from our everyday life and just play and enjoy and have fun together. The memories we made are priceless, and the time we were able to spend together is invaluable.  I loved being away from all the worries and stress, not having to worry about cooking or cleaning, and just get away from the drudgery of cancer and everything else that cancer entails.  I took more than 500 pictures as I tried to capture each precious memory, that way when I am gone my family can look at these pictures and remember what a great time we had together.  

    I felt pretty good while we were in California.  I had taken the week before off from chemo, and of course took the week off while we were on vacation.  I am so frustrated that I feel sicker from the chemo than the cancer.  I had a lot of pain still, but thank heavens for pain meds. I had to increase my dosage because of the abuse of being up and about more than I was used to.  I either had a wheelchair or a scooter (talk about humbling to have to use those), so I was able to keep up with everyone else.  

    We loved Disneyland, all the rides, meeting characters, delicious food, and the magical place that it is.  The weather was perfect!  The kids loved having their own souvenir money and shopping for the perfect keepsakes.  We had so much fun at a character breakfast, and getting autographs.  I wish we could have stayed longer!  

     Thank you once again to Get away today, and all of the generous people who made this trip possible.  You will never know how much this meant to us, and how grateful we are.  The trip was perfect, and we will treasure the memories and the time we had to spend together as a family.  Thank you!!!!

Here I am at Disneyland in my motorized scooter.  Not only was it great for getting me around, it had room enough to load a child on with me when their feet got tired.  

We loved the holiday themed Small World ride.  It was lit up so beautiful!

Toon town was so FUN!  We all enjoyed playing around and posing for silly pictures.  

I was so thrilled to meet Aladdin and Jasmine.  

This picture was taken at Universal Studios.  We met Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona.  Ammon LOVED Curious George, and SpongeBob. 

Caleb and Ammon got matching Mickey Pirates of the Caribbean T-shirts, and the girls also got matching shirts, and fun Mickey Ears.

Just some more fun photos.



We returned from Disney Land on Saturday evening (12/13) and we had a wonderful time.  This was truly a trip to remember and the sweet memories for us and the kids will linger in our minds for a lifetime.  At Disney Parks 2008 was dubbed "The Year of a Million Dreams" and so it has been for our family.  Our hearts are full of gratitude to all those that made this dream family vacation possible through your generous support of the "Run 4 Amber".  It is only fitting that December 2008 be dubbed by our family as "The Month of a Million Thank yous". 

Amber fully intended to immediately chronicle our dream vacation on the blog and post pictures.  But the morning after we returned Amber immediately began her regimen of the oral chemotherapy Xeloda which will continue through Saturday night.  Since Sunday each day has passed with her feeling too fatigued, tired, and nauseated to work on a post.  Finally, she asked me to post something explaining the delay.  She told me to put a disclaimer on the post so people would know it wasn't her.  I assured her that it would not be hard for them to figure out after reading it.  My sweetheart is so articulate and witty and talented that even I, who live with her and see what she goes through on a daily basis, check her blog a couple of times per day. 

Amber asked that I express our love and gratitude to our wonderful friends and family who so tirelessly serve and help us.  At the beginning of this journey I told some of you that really wanted to do something to help us that this illness would be more like a marathon than a sprint because Amber would be in treatment the rest of her life.  At the time I assumed that even though you are all wonderful friends you would grow weary from helping.  Quite the opposite has been the case.  We are constantly in awe at the capacity our friends and family members have for serving and providing for our every need.  In the last 19 months I cannot remember a single person who did not seem genuinely happy to be helping no matter how many meals they had brought in or times they had taken our little boys.  Amber often comments when people ask what they can do that all of our needs are being met, even some needs we didn't know we had.  Each of you angels among us has taught us a lesson in giving loving service.  It should be said of you as it was said of the Savior, "He (or she)went about doing good...for God was with Him".  God bless each of you for your love and kindness.  


This post is coming to you LIVE from DISNEYLAND.  Someone forgot to tell my 2 year old Ammon that this is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth.  Besides Ammon's 2 year old temper tantrums and a little bit of impatience from Dan, (he has a hard time slowing down on vacations and I move at the pace of a snail) everything has been FABULOUS!!  The weather has been cooler than I had hoped, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm.

    Monday we went to DisneyLand first thing in the morning.  It was simply magical to walk in those front gates and see the amazing Christmas tree and decorations.  Then who should we run into but Goofy, one of our ultimate favorite characters.  Of course we got pictures and autographs.  (I will add pictures once we are back home)  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast from the bakery on Main Street, and then off to the rides.  I had a motorized scooter that I rolled along in, so I didn't get too tired.  We enjoyed rides, and my favorite was the newly redone Small World ride.  We even got to see the amazing firework show.  I was in heaven!!!!  The finished out the firework show with real snow.  Beautiful!!!

    Today we went to Universal Studios.  It was a long drive there in L.A. traffic.  Universal studios was very uncrowded, so we were able to get on all of the rides right away.  The little kids, Ammon and Caleb, didn't enjoy today as much.  Too much time in the car, and not enough kiddie rides.  They did get to meet Shrek, Donkey and Fiona, and later Spongebob and the Simpson Family.  On our way out we saw Curious George, who Ammon loves.  He was so excited, he ran and gave him a hug.  Totally precious!  Then we found a stuffed George for Ammon to take home as a Souvenir. 

I actually went on the Jurassic Park ride and the Mummy ride, but would you believe that the ride that caused me the most pain was the studio back lot tour?  Riding in that tram up and down hills, and then experiencing and "earthquake" made my body quake with pain.  I survived all those fun rides, and Dan "enjoyed" the fun ride home driving once again in L.A. rush hour traffic.  It took 2 hours to drive 40 miles.  Let me tell you, our hearts were pounding more than they were on any of the rides we've been on.  Utter crazy-ness. So many times I said, someones going to crash into us!  We survived, and we were all so glad to arrive back at the hotel. 

    Tomorrow is another Disney day.  We are so excited for our Character breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen.  Then tomorrow we are going to split up.  My Mom and Dad are going to stay with me and Ammon and Caleb, and we are going to devote the day to them and rides and activities for their enjoyment.  Dan is going to take the older kids on all of the crazy roller coaster type rides.  That way everyone will be happy rather than complaining about rides that are not suited for their age.  It is also supposed to be 75 degrees tomorrow.  I hope it is, because it seems like I have been cold the whole vacation.  I really would love a warm sunny day.

I typed this on my Dad's computer so I can't add photos, but I will when we get home.  Thanks again to everyone who made this trip possible.  It has been wonderful to get away from all the stresses and worries of daily life, and spend magical time together as a family making precious memories.  Thank you for making my wishes a reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



My kids (and I) are bouncing off the walls with excitement for DISNEYLAND!!!  We are SO EXCITED!!  We leave on Sunday.  Bekah and Abby wanted to start packing when they got home from school today.  I told them we will work on it tomorrow, and then off we go on Sunday morning.  Thanks again to all who made this trip possible!  I am bringing my laptop so I can post some pictures and share the fun and memories while we are there.  I am so glad we get to leave all the worries and stresses of regular life behind and go to the "Happiest place on Earth". 


I can not find the words to express the feelings in my heart.  I never knew a heart could feel like it is breaking  because it can't contain the love inside.  
     The Run 4 Amber was an overwhelming success!  The amount of generosity, love, and support was truly humbling and amazing.  Saying thank you just does not seem like enough.  Even if I were to stand on the tallest mountain and shout it out to the world, it would never adequately convey the gratitude that our family feels for all of the support.
     All of my siblings (two sisters and three brothers) are runners.  They have run many races including marathons.  Alas, I am not built like a runner.  However, in my life I have been running a different marathon in battling cancer.  My marathon has been going on almost 18 months of continually fighting cancer.  How fitting that a race was held to earn money for our family to go on a amazing trip and also extra funds that will cover the rest of our doctor bills from this year, and enough to meet our deductibles for next year.  The amount raised was reached  $20,000.  As we spent literally hours counting the money, we shook our heads in awe at the generosity and love and support.  We still can't believe it.  
   I believe from the bottom of my heart that we experienced a miracle Saturday in Perry.  First of all, this event was put together in less than 2 weeks.  And from the hundreds of people who came and ran, the beautiful weather, the generosity of the donations, the success of the auction, me having enough strength to be able to attend, it was truly a miracle.
   If the news and world would focus on the good things like this that happen in the world, the world would be a happier place.  There are so many good, caring, humble, Christ-like people in the world, and in their small way, they make a huge difference in the world.  I know that all of my family, including my extended family and Dan's family, will never be the same because of all the love and service that has been shown to our family. 
     A special thank you to Melissa Huntsman and Lee Perry and Jared Griffith and their families, Anytime Fitness, Getaway Today, Galactic Bowl, all who helped organize and advertise the run, all who donated items for the auction, all who ran in the race, all who donated and supported, all of the people who pray and send well wishes.  There is no way I can name all who helped, but know we are grateful to each and every one of you!!!!  God bless you all!!!  We have been blessed because of you all, and we pray that God will bless your lives for serving as He has richly blessed our lives by having you all be a part of ours. 

We counted more than 400 people who signed in for the Race 4 Amber.  Amazing!

Amber with the people from Anytime Fitness. 

Amber with Caleb & Ammon, and Jared Griffith.

Pinkyest person contest!  This was FANTASTIC!!!!

Look at all these cute kids!

These 2 beautiful albums were full of beautiful messages.  I cried as I read all of the sweet messages from all of the people who came and ran.  What a wonderful treasure!

These awesome baskets made the kids feel like Christmas morning.  They were full of fun Disney items, towels, blankets, back-packs, scrapbooks, and Disneyland passport holders!  Thank you to Getaway Today!!!  If you are planning a trip to Disney in the future, please show your support and use this awesome company!

This was the beautiful jar for runner's donations.  The jar held more than $10,000!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!!

Amber with the beautiful scrapbook from her gift basket.

Dan getting ready to break open the jar!  How exciting!