Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Camp CoHoLo

Kerstin has spent the past few days at Camp CoHoLo! It is a wonderful camp for kids touched by cancer. It is held at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H center near Gretna. Here are a few pictures posted on the website. It looks like she has been having a great time! Laser tag, slip n slide, and a visit to the water park are just some of the fun activities. We will be heading back to Gretna to pick her up in the morning. I am sure she will have lots of stories to tell! To see more pictures and learn more about the camp, go to www.campcoholo.com.

New Additions!

Kerstin and McKinsey have big news! They have both adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. Kerstin's kitty is calico-colored with a few tiger stripes. Her name is Kallie and she loves to play! McKinsey's kitty's name is Oreo and she is black and white. She loves to snuggle. The girls are having lots of fun playing with the kitties (and emptying the litter box!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Summer Fun!

It has been a while since we have updated. It has been a fun summer so far. Both girls have been a part of the swim team at the Racquet club. They have learned a lot, received a few ribbons, but most of all have had a lot of fun! The last meet is Monday, July 16th. Phew! It was a quick season!

The girls and Mom had Vacation Bible School the last week of June which is always as blast! We have tried to go swimming as much as possible as well as visiting the library 3 times so far. We also enjoyed a wonderful performance of High School Musical at the Pinewood Bowl. It was quite a fun summer experience (see 2nd picture).

We also had the pleasure of going to Arkansas to visit Grandma Clarice and Papa Gene. Uncle Brian, his new fiance' Erica, and cousing Brenna were there as well. We spent quite a bit of time hanging out on the lake swimming, splashing, boating, water skiing (both girls gave it a try - Kerstin didn't get up, but will try again next summer), and kayaking down the creek! As always we had a wonderful time. Kerstin was getting tucked in for bed the first night we were there and said, "It feels so good to be at Grandma's!" Amen!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Century Ride

Just wanted to post a few pictures after Jeff's century ride as part of the Team in Training program for the Leukemia/Lymphoma society. The girls and I (Annie) were able to meet Jeff and the rest of the team there for an awesome and inspiring weekend. Jeff and the rest of the Nebraska cycling team did fantastic! The 100 mile ride had many tough climbs not to mention the other 3000 riders and traffic to contend with. I continue to be amazed at the dedication it takes to complete a ride like this as well as all the work involved in raising nearly $5,000. The team was pleased to have Kerstin (an honored hero for the team) and her family there for the event. The girls and I had a good time watching the riders and cheering for them as they zipped by. Thanks to everyone who contributed to Jeff's fundraising efforts. If you'd like to see more pictures from the weekend, go to http://www.flickr.com/gp/90439781@N00/48Z2h1

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Two Front Teeth

Kerstin finally lost both of her front teeth. She lost one of them on April 30th, and the other one today. You can see the other teeth already coming in behind them.

Bike Rodeo

Kerstin and her sister took part in their school's bike rodeo this afternoon. There were bike inspections, safety quizzes, and skill stations to complete. The weather was ok for the first 45 minutes, then the rain came.

Make-A-Wish Golf Tournament

Kerstin, her mom, and her sister hung out at the 2007 Make-A-Wish golf tournament. This year's golf tournament benefited a boy's wish to go to Walt Disney World in Florida. Last year's tournament benefited Kerstin's trip to Hawaii. Kerstin brought the scrapbook and some other stuff from her Make-A-Wish trip to show everyone.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Diamonds and Decadence

Last night Kerstin and her family went to Omaha for the Diamonds and Decadence fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Kerstin was one of three leukemia patients that had a drawing turned in to a piece of art to be auctioned off.

We all had a great time dressing up. The event raised a lot of needed money for leukemia research and treatment. Kerstin's piece sold for $2500!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

K Team Krafters

Last weekend, Kerstin, McKinsey, and Annie hosted a K Team Kraft Extravaganza. This was a fund-raising event for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Kerstin's dad is doing a 100 mile bike ride in Lake Tahoe on June 3rd as part of the Society's Team in Training program. His goal is to raise $5,000. We wanted to help him meet his goal. For $10, each person could come to our home and we taught them how to make earrings, beaded bookmarks, and greeting cards. They got to take home what they made. It was so much fun! We had 50 people between the 2 days and raised over $525!! Most of all, we had a great time for a great cause.

The K Team Krafters have expanded! If you missed our Kraft Klub, but would still like some crafts, send Annie an email at aleaf@earthlink.net. For $10 ($12 if we need to mail it to you), we will send you your very own beaded bookmark, 2 pairs of earrings, and 2 greeting cards. If you have any color preferences for the earrings/bookmarks, we will try to accomodate your requests. These will all make great Mother's Day gifts. All proceeds will go to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

Thanks for checking on us and have a blessed day!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dr's Appointment

We're a couple of days behind, but Kerstin's doctor appointment on Thursday (4/19) went very well. Her blood counts are normal and Dr. G said she can stop taking her Bactrim a week early. That means Kerstin is completely med free!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Husker Red/White Game

Kerstin and her Dad attended the the Cornhusker Red/White scrimmage game on Saturday. She got to watch the game in style from one of the new sky-boxes on the north end of the stadium with some other Make-A-Wish children. The sky-box owner, who is still unknown to us, was very generous to donate it to Make-A-Wish for the game, complete with food and drink.

At half time Kerstin joined kids from the entire audience on the field for a "drug free" pledge put on by D.A.R.E..
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Make-A-Wish Fashion Show

Last Friday night (March 30th) Kerstin and her sister were models in a Make-A-Wish fashion show. The show was organized and put on by two high school girls to raise money for an 8-year old girl who has been fighting brain cancer. The goal was to raise $3500 to send the girl on a Disney cruise. There were approximately 450 guests. Out of all the models, 11 were previous Make-A-Wish recipients including Kerstin. (Click here for the video.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pennies for Patients

On Friday (March 23rd) Kerstin's elementary school presented a representative from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society a check for $3820.44 from the Pennies for Patients fund raising program. (The school's original goal was to raise $534.00.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fun in Arkansas

Just wanted to share a few fun pictures of what we have been up to during Spring Break in Arkansas. It was a nice warm day yesterday, so we had to get out on the lake. No trip would be complete without a ride on Grandpa's boat. Can you believe he let the girls drive??

Kayaking was an adventure. The water was icy cold, but is it possible to kayak without getting wet.

We were also able to spend an afternoon in Springdale, Arkansas at the Jones center. A very generous couple has provided a wonderful facility for families (free!!) complete with ice skating and a pool! What a fun afternoon! Kerstin loved the big yellow waterslide the best! We even got Grandpa Gene out on the ice with us. Thanks for checking on us! Have a blessed day!

American idol??

Kerstin and McKinsey have been having fun singing Hannah Montana songs on Grandpa Gene's Karaoke machine here in Arkansas. The girls and I (Annie) have been having a nice spring break with Grandma and Grandpa. The weather has been lovely. More photos to come!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Birthday Muffins

Kerstin woke up to her family singing happy birthday and a tray full of muffins this morning.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

7th Birthday Party

Kerstin doesn't actually turn 7 until Feb 28th, but she had her birthday party today at Valentinaland (Valentino's Pizza). Kerstin and 10 of her friends (including her sister) opened presents, ate cake and ice cream, played games, and picked out prizes for about an hour and a half. Everyone had a real good time.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dr's Visit

Kerstin had her first doctor's visit last week since she stopped meds. With the exception of a runny nose that has been hanging on for about three weeks, Dr. G said everything is looking good. Kerstin's ANC was down to 900, but Dr. G wasn't concerned about it. He felt it was probably due to her recent ear infections and head cold.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gone for Good (We Pray)

While we feel saddened that we couldn't turn the unused portion of Kerstin medications over to some other patient that needs them, we were happy to hold a ceremonial flushing of the meds to mark the occasion.

"No More Meds" Party

We had a surprise party for Kerstin tonight to celebrate her finishing one year of daily maintenance medications. There was cake, balloons, soda, and lots of playing. We would have loved to have everyone attend who was a part of our lives over the past 15 months. We can not give enough thanks to God and all of you that prayed for Kerstin and our family.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The News We Have Been Waiting For...

Dr. G called today to give us the good news: Kerstin's final test results came back negative! Her last dose of maintenance chemo medication is January 24th. So what's next you ask? Kerstin will still have monthly clinic visits with Dr. G for a year (which will include blood draws). Other than that, it's just a matter of keeping a vigilant eye on her health. She will still be immune compromised for a couple of months while her immune system recovers from all the meds.

It feels good, and strange, to be taking the next step in her treatment. Thank you again for all the prayers and support you have given Kerstin and our family.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

American Cancer Society Gala

Last night we attended the American Cancer Society's "Celebration of Hope" Gala. Kerstin was one of the special guests of the event. She and another leukemia survivor got to help out with an auction and a raffle. It was somewhat of a formal event and the whole family got to dress up "real fancy like". Kerstin has been fighting a cold and an ear infection, but was well enough to attend. When we told her that she probably wouldn't be able to go because she was sick, she was so disappointed we think it was sheer will power that she was able to suppress her coughing and runny nose for the evening. We all enjoyed the evening and the opportunity to help out another wonderful organization in the fight against cancer.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Good News

We heard back from Dr. G yesterday that Kerstin's morphology and flow studies came back normal. Now we just have to wait until next week to get results back from two more studies and we can hopefully discontinue her medications. Keep those prayers coming :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Good News!

Kerstin had her bone marrow biopsy today and the preliminary results came back "a-ok". The doctors are sending some samples to another lab for some other studies and tests. Those results should be back in 1-2 weeks. If those results come back "a-ok", she will be able to stop taking all of her current meds.

Kerstin got the royal treatment from the staff at Children's Hospital. Here's a picture of her getting a wagon ride up to the clinic after her procedure.

We hope this post finds everyone doing well. We continue to pray for all of those who are still fighting these horrible diseases, and for the families whose fight is over.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


After being couped up for a couple of days from the snow storm, we went in to Woodland Park where they have a Dinosaur Resource Center. In this picture, Kerstin is watching one of the "dinosaur dudes" work on a dinosaur head.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Snow Angel

While we were in Colorado visiting Kerstin's grandparents over the holidays, we had about 27 inches of snow dumped on us. Kerstin took advantage and practiced her snow angel skills.