Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying to Fly

Jake and Sam have been studying the Wright brothers and flight this semester and they have been helping John with this remote control plane that my dad gave them. Wednesday we decided to take it out for a whirl.
Will gets very excited as it races down the runway
But Will has better luck getting it in the air than John. As usual, the darn thing crashed!
Will was not happy to head home. He would have stayed all day! Maybe we have a future pilot?

A Leprechaun left his snowy footprints and a trail of gold coins which led to his treasure!

A St. Paddy's Day breakfast. Green egg, shamrock toast and bacon. The leprechaun also turned our milk green. Will covered his eyes and yelled "Oh no! The leprechaun trickeded us!!"

Green milk and gold coins
Three crazy leprechauns!

A Quick Trip to Scottsdale

We made a quick trip to Scottsdale last week for a Civil War Reenactment that Jake was going to be in. However, I messed up the date and we missed the reenactment, but we did get to enjoy a fabulous resort, The Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. They had a fishing lagoon that all the boys loved fishing in
Sam caught 10 fish, Jake caught eight

and Will caught one all by himself!
Will enjoying the hotel room

The view outside our balcony

The beautiful bar was also right outside our room--convenient!

Daddy and Will

Naked Cowboy

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Madorom Wine Release and Auction

We were back home in Bakersfield last week for the annual MadoroM wine release and auction. Friends, Andy and Marissa Amador, hold a release of their current vintage each year in Bakersfield because they have so many fans there! They also generously include an auction at the close of the evening to benefit Small Miracles and Angioma Alliance. It is such a fun event; everyone has a great time. And as the wine flows, so does the love and generosity! This years auction raised over $117,000! The total from the last four years is approaching $400,000!! The funds raised in this auction have been absolutely essential to the success of Angioma Alliance's mission. Without MadoroM and the generosity of the donors at this event, the advances in research we are seeing today would not be possible.
Our family is forever grateful to everyone who donates to Angioma Alliance and because of these donations we are right at the edge of seeing a cure. Our donors have changed our lives. As I remarked in my speech Saturday night,
"Without the heroes in this room tonight my family's story would not have had this fortunate turn of events. You see my story has turned into our story. It is the story of how a community of caring people can directly change the future of two little boys. Just a few years ago I thought my story was one of adversity and misfortune. And it was, until so many of you entered the tale. Together we have rewritten the narrative and our story is now a story of hope. Hope conquering fear. And because of you not just my children, but so many other children will have the ability to write any story they can imagine for themselves--full of adventures and not limited by this illness."
I truly believe that because of everyone who has donated to Angioma Alliance and because of everyone who keeps our family in their prayers, Jake and Sam's future is going to look very different than we could have even hoped for when Jake was diagnosed, ten years ago. John and I just want to thank you from the very bottom of our hearts. Whether you have given $10 or $10,000, we are forever grateful for your generosity. Because together, we are changing the future of this illness one prayer and one dollar at a time!
Crates of Napa Valley MadoroM
Me with Congressman Kevin McCarthy. We used to work together for Cong. Thomas years ago, and now Kevin holds that seat! He generously came out and helped support our cause. He and Uniglobe Travel donated a Capitol Hill Experience that brought in $17,000!! And he is wearing our Angioma Alliance awareness pin.
My friend Leigh Ann who ran her bootie off running bids during the auction!
Mike Blom, the maker of this extraordinary wine!
My niece, Amanda and my mom
My sister-in-law, Liz and her friend Cheryle having a great time!
Andy and Marissa Amador the owners of MadoroM. Andy is holding the 18L of MadoroM cabernet sauvingon that they donated to the auction. These 18Ls have brought in tens of thousands over the last few years!
Andy Amador and Paula and Terry Maxwell. Paula and Terry own T.L. Maxwell's Restaraunt and Bar in Bakersfield. They donated a dinner experience where Terry will teach couples how to make each course. So fun!! And it brought in $3400!
All of the beautiful photographs were taken by my buddy, Anita Matejka. Please check out her work at You will be so glad you did!! Thanks Anita for all your hard work and everything you have done for Angioma Alliance!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good News

It has been a very busy week for us! Sam had been having some symptoms and we were afraid he may have had a bleed. He had a scan in Phoenix last week which showed no changes. Great news!

The very next day we left for Bakersfield for the wine auction we hold each year to benefit Angioma Alliance, there will be more to come on this later in the week, but I just had to let you know now that we raised over $117,000!!! We are overwhelmed by generosity! I think we may be the luckiest family on the planet!

Family Pictures

My friend, Anita Matejka, world's best photographer (seriously, check out her work at did some family photos in January when we were in Bakerfield for my mom's 75th b-day. Here are a few: I think this sums up our family pretty well!

That little one looks really sweet, but watch out he turns into a dinosaur or a monster at the drop of a hat!!
Will and Aaron. Cracks me if Aaron wants that hat!