Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Christmas in July" Toy Drive

"THIS IS NOT AN EVENT YOU ATTEND!!! If you can't take part or just don't want to... just remember Oliver on his day and do something nice for someone else. I just thought I'd give people the opportunity to serve...

Oliver would have been 11 this July 11th, but passed away four months ago after a two year battle with a brain tumor (DIPG - Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). As a parent of a child with a life threatening illness you never know if a child will reach another birthday or holiday. As Oliver's birthday gets closer I wanted to do something to honor and remember him as well as help other children. There may be children battling now that won't make it to see another Christmas and I would like to make them happy if just for a moment. I know Ollie would have enjoyed making them happy as well.

I ask for donations of toys or items (games, fingernail polish/decals, arts and crafts items, books, etc.) for the hospital where Oliver was treated. I know the radiation department is on board as they are in need specifically of items for 10 -14 year old patients, but can use anything. After each radiation treatment, the children are allowed to pick an item out of the toy cupboard, usually something small. It was something that always made Ollie smile.

I know it may not be much, but I think this would be beneficial to the kids and their parents.

I'm going to try and find 'Santa' to come down to the hospital as well. I'm still in the brainstorming process, but would love any help I can get. THANK YOU in advance!!!

You can send toys or a donation of money (we'll buy the toys here locally and take them down to the hospital) to:

Christmas in July
c/o Ed and Stacy Palmer
417 Oaklawn Avenue
Waterloo, Iowa 50701

We'll be taking donations the entire month of JULY!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visiting Ollie's grave

March/April 2012

 Mount Olivet Cemetery
Waterloo, Iowa

My brothers joked around about changing the 'T' on the sign to an 'R' so it would read Mount Oliver Cemetery!  Yeah... we don't want to end up in jail for such a thing.  I'll have to cut an 'R' out of construction paper and hold it up there and take a picture!  Since it was around Easter I wanted to find something to decorate Oliver's site since his headstone isn't finished.  I found some fun wind chimes and pinwheels at the dollar tree along with some Easter decorations to make it look nice.  The fresh dirt just turned my stomach every time we went there to visit.  Still so fresh in my own mind and heart. 

My aunt and cousin Katie were up visiting and wanted to see Oliver's grave site.  Katie and Eden picked some corn stalks and made a cute little heart to put his grave.

We went out there again to visit with some fresh lilacs and yellow gerbera daisies.  I tried finding yellow and/or white tulips, but no luck.  I found a cute dalmatian planter at Pier 1 which I love because my mom and brother's dog, Willie, was a dalmatian.  We are just trying to make a sad place a little bit brighter.  I'm so grateful that this cemetery allows you to decorate and leave stuff out.  They did warn us that people do steal flowers and other things people leave out on their loved ones graves.  Sick, huh?  I can't believe people would do such a thing!  I'm reserving some of the signs and other statues for our memorial garden for Oliver that we will put in our own back yard.  That way... hopefully... they won't get stolen.

Visiting Oliver at sunset by myself for the first time.  They had just laid sod over the dirt which makes it look much nicer.

A beautiful day for a walk.  It is a really well kept and pretty cemetery.  The only thing I don't like about it, is the highway at your back.  I wish it was quieter and more peaceful.

My mom, Eden and Uncle Chad sitting by Ollie's grave.

 Also... thank you to all of you that still stop by and visit Oliver.  It really means a lot to us and I'm sure it means a lot to Ollie. 

Poppin' Wheelies

March 2012

Sweet boy and his new bike!
Sizing up the hill...
Getting ready...
And... he's off!
Feeling defeated.  Well it is his first time.  He'll get the hang of it soon!

I love the look on Eden's face in this one!  We made a road and signs with sidewalk chalk for the kiddos.
I can't believe my little girl is getting so old!
The 'Whomping Willow' tree at my friend's house!

Jaren... first farting... then taking off on the bike...  HAHAHA!

"Don't Mess with Texas!!!"

February/March 2012

After the UNI Dance Marathon was over we decided to head to Texas where Ed's sister, Janene and her family live.  We've never been down there to see them and we thought that we would get out of town for a week and get out of the house.  Too much sadness.  It takes about 12 hours to get there and so we broke the trip up into two days as it hurts my back to sit for that long and the kids needed rest in a bed as well.

Rays of sun peeking out from behind the clouds.
This was near their home.  It looks like a blanket of snow clouds!
Aunt Janene gave the boys a bath.  Sweet mohawk, Jaren!
Phineas and Aunt Janene at Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Cousin Derek playing with Finny.  I was always thinking that it should be Ollie playing and wrestling with Finny.  I also missed Oliver because I know how well he and Derek played together.
Sunset on the way to the Dallas LDS Temple
Dallas Temple

Eden, Jaren, Finn and Papa
You can see the moon in the upper right hand corner.  Always makes me think of Ollie now.
I loved the look of these wiry trees.
Bear and Sissy
The Angel Moroni

All Spongebobed out...
Carina and her boyfriend, Josh at their choral concert event at the local college.  I felt like an idiot standing there in the midst of so many other people because I found myself unable to control the flow of my tears.  The music they produced was angelic.  It made me think of what Oliver was privy to up in Heaven.  It was just amazing.  I'm so glad I got to see and hear her sing!
This picture just made me wish she was always able to hold my babies and watch them grow up... not just from afar.
Cousin Gabe and Phineas
Jaren, cousin Derek, Eden
Carina, Janene, Stacy
Such a sweet pic of Derek holding Jaren...
Amazing sunset while we waited for a table to open up'
Phineas and Gabe
Phineas being a silly boy.
Eden sipping some root beer.  I love how the ceiling is covered in hub caps.
Brittan laughing as she proved her point that there actually WERE GOATS roaming around near the restaurant!  Her face is priceless!
Oak Lawn??? Say, what?  (We live on Oak Lawn Ave. back in Iowa...)
We ate dinner at the Magic Time Machine in Dallas and had a ball.  Each waiter/waitress dresses up as a famous character and there are many different seating areas, including a bus and a jack-o-lantern.  We saw Marilyn Monroe, Superman, Mr. Incredible, Cho Chang from Harry Potter, Sinbad, Raggedy Ann, Lucille Ball, Peter Pan... to name a few!

Salad bar in a car...
Finn and Jaren piling on top of poor Derek.

Brittan and Gabe drinking their poison bubbly brew.
Making quick work of his drinks!
Lucy and Sinbad helping deliver our dinners.
Eden with our waitress, Raggedy Ann
Large jack-o-lantern in the middle of the restaurant.
Ed and me.  Ollie would have LOVED this place!

Eating at Applebees before we left for Iowa.  Carina, Josh and Jaren
Finny and Aunt Janene
This reminded me of Oliver.  If you've heard of the comedian Jim Gaffigan... you'll understand the photo!
Our little gnome friend on his first trip with us.

Not the best picture, but I loved the moon.
Thinking of Ollie...

We had a good time visiting Ed's sister and her family.  It was nice to get away for a while and try to think of other things for a bit... even though I still saw Ollie in everything from the moon to the places we went to the license plates with a bow and arrow.  I wonder if it will always be like that.  I know I'll never forget the things he loved and how he would have reacted to certain things.  I feel like a part of him still lives on when we can make those connections to him.  Again... thanks Wawro family for letting us come and crash at your house for the week.  We'll have to do it again soon!