If you are looking for wonderful causes to donate to this holiday season, I have several suggestions that have touches our family personally with the cancer diagnosis of our daughter. I will highlight a few organizations here and you can research them yourselves and see if they are a good fit for you and your donations!
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Oncology and Sarcoma Research
Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington
Wishes for Kids with life threatening illnesses
Give Kids the World
Magical place for kids to stay when in Florida during Disney World wish trips
The Goodtimes Project
Camps for cancer kids and their siblings
Strong Against Cancer
Research for immunotherapy at Seattle Children’s, ambassador Russell Wilson
We have been looking for a new puppy over the last few months. We weren’t sure what we wanted, probably a lab dog or a lab mix. We looked in Burnese and found out from the breeders that they only live 6-10 years. They have lots of problems early in life and basically what we were told is that it would be common to have a young dog who became immobile at an early age. So, we decided against that. When I found an ad for Burnese/Border Collie mix, we went to Arlington to check it out. She was a cutie and was the one I tried to get a week before. She initially went home with another family, but they ended up bringing her back when their older dog didn’t get along with the new puppy. So, we went to meet her when I got a second chance. Our daughter has wanted a dog as long as I can remember. She has asked for one for her birthday and Christmas for years. Finally, during Spring Break we got a dog! She said it was the best day ever… and of course our 8 year old son who is scared of dogs said it was the worst day ever. One of the main reasons we wanted to get a dog NOW is to help our two younger children get over their fear of dogs. The 8 year old has never had a bad experience, but will not go near dogs and has thrown numerous fits when walking to and from school with me if a dog comes near him. Doesn’t matter what the size, from Chihuaua to St. Bernhard, they are all scary. We’ve had our new puppy “Berit” now for about a week and half. Everybody likes her, even the boys. The boys are slowly getting close to her. Now they will both pet her as she rests or is asleep, and my 8 year old actually helped “walk” her with Daddy this morning. I am so proud of them!
My soon to be 8 year old son is hooked on the Pop Cap game called Plants Vs. Zombies. Of course when it came to plan his birthday party, he wanted a PvZ party. There are no party goods for the theme, there aren’t even any toys related to the game, at least not sold in the U.S.A. This mom had to get creative. I got a few ideas from Pinterest, ordered some items like action figures, small plush toys, and key chains for goody bags and they all had to ship from Hong Kong. Luckily, the items arrived in time. We hung up green streamers, balloons, and had lots of Easter grass everywhere. My goal was to offer as many of the fruits/vegetables/plans that are mentioned in the game. Starfruit and cherries are not in season right now at the grocery store, along with marigolds, but I am proud to say that I was able to assemble a wide variety of items for my smorgasbord. I bought peanuts (tall nuts) and walnuts (wall-nuts), squash, mushrooms (doom shrooms), snap peas (pea shooters), several melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew) and that was fun! I had little candy eyes that I purchased at bakersnook.com and I used frosting to adhere eyes to all my fruits and veggies. My son really wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken, so along with that “meal,” all my fruits and veggies, and cake with ice cream, I had a party plan! The boys played Plants Vs. Zombies on the iPad, the computer, and we had relays outside with the stuffed toys. The goody bags included Easter grass, the PvZ key chains, plant stickers, little dirt pots with seeds, pop rock candies, and cherry zots (for my version of cherry bombs). It was a fun party, and even more fun to brainstorm our own ideas instead of buying up a theme at the party store!