Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Count Down Has Begun!!!

Here is a link to the Make A Wish blog page.

The countdown counter was started and only 9 days left. Feel free to post the count down on your blog or facebook or where ever. I think the ratings from Utah will be high. Callie is really excited as we all are. Dont miss!

Mother's Day
Sunday, May 9th, 2010
Channel 4 ABC
7:00 PM

We will be doing a premiere for Callie at the Classic Fun Center in Layton. 6:30 -8:30.
Come and watch with us.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Disney California Adventure

Today we went to California Adventure for the day. It was fun. Zoe loved the Ladybug ride and there were a lot of rides that Zoe really enjoyed. We started at the tower of terror and Zoe, Callie and I ate at Ariels Grotto for lunch. Each of the princesses came by your table and had their pics.

I'm so exhausted tonight I'm going to have to stop. Highlights were:
Ariels Grotto
Ferris Wheel
Zip line
Mormon Boys
Electric Parade
Bugs Life
No turkey leg
Zoe peed her pants
Asleep Good night!

Monday, April 5, 2010

It has been a long day. Disneyland was full of the Utah visitors here on spring break. We hit most of the major rides that were at Disneyland. In looking at the cost of taking our own vehicle to Disneyland we decided to ride ART to and from the resort. It allowed us to avoid the drive while arriving to the front gate. Callie enjoyed becoming a jedi and fighting DarthMaul as did Brody. Jordan was just glad to get to ride Indiana Jones. Zoe was all about the teacups. I know that more details would be nice, but leave it at full day with lots of Disney. Since we are planning to do it again tomorrow I will post a few pics and add to the story. The Celebration Parade and the Fireworks were awsome to see. Well we will see if we are really able to do all day again tomorrow.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

This morning was exciting as we left Modesto headed to Fresno to see the first temple of the day. We ate at the hotel before we left and it was a good breakfast. It was an hour and a half drive to get there. It is in a neighborhood of houses with a church adjacent. It was very similar to the Temple in Reno and was built at the same time. The grounds were all locked up but we walked around the outside fenced area, took some pictures. The kids were being silly and everybody posed for a picture before heading out.

We then started the long hall to LA. We made it almost to Bakersfield before Zoe needed a potty break. We pulled off and ate at Perko's, a ma and pa kind of restaurant. It was good food. We got back on the road to finish a four hour drive to LA. We made it to the LA temple without much traffic. Four or Five slow downs and not for long. We got out at the LA temple and another family was there saying that just 15 min. before we got there the chandelier in the celestial room was swaying because of an earthquake. We didn't feel it but we were driving and the roads in CA are like a roller coaster. You would never be able to tell if the earth was shaking or if it was just the road. The temple ground were open and it was really fun to get pictures. A lot of good picture spots all around that temple. It is one of the larger temples. It is huge. It had a ton of green grass and lots of flowers and gnarly trees. One cool gnarly tree we all sat in to have our picture.

Then we decided that we hadn't already had enough fun in the car that we would visit the Newport Beach temple. It was pretty cool. It is in a richy part of town and very pretty. It's kind of PINK, it is a light pinkish color with domes on top, not very tall and kind of smaller. Very pretty. Then we went to find our hotel and drove past Disneyland. We checked in and got dinner at Maui Hawaiian BBQ. It was good we had a ton of left overs. We came back unloaded the car started treatments and tried to get the kids in bed. They are so excited that they can hardly sleep. Finally at 11:00 they fell asleep. Now I better go to bed if I'm supposed to keep up with them tomorrow. Disneyland here we come! (kind of sad NO Paulie) ;(

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Well it was such a great day on our trip although it started with sad news. Paul Dimeo who was planning to join us at Disneyland had his father pass away last Saturday so today when we texted him he indicated that he was still in Phili with his family. Our thoughts go out to him and his family. After getting started this morning we went to the Reno Temple. It was closed so all of our photos were taken outside the main area of the temple. After that we faced the part of road that we had monitored the most: Donner's Pass. No problem, it was dry and cold.

When we arrived at the temple in Sacremento, it was amazing! It is located in a very secluded plateau with a large parcel of land that the church uses for Girls Camp and even has a chapel on the property. It was so beautiful. Callie loved it so much that she has indicated that this is where she is getting married. Although there would be no complaints from any of us, I am sure that time is necessary before we need to book a room. It was interesting as there was wild turkeys and deer on the property by the temple.

We then headed off to Oakland to see that temple there. We were amazed to find that due to the proximity of the multistake center next to the temple that there were a lot of people there. They also have a visitor center. So we learned a lot of interesting facts about the Oakland Temple. It has NO WINDOWS due to the earthquakes that they face in the area. It has palm trees that line each side of the path leading to the temple and there are twelve trees on each side symolizing the apostles of old and current. There is three different palm trees at the head of each row representing the Godhead and the First Presidency. There was a statue of two children at the base of the temple and they looked up to the temple. I really reflected on the purpose that we had sought in starting this family goal two years ago and creating the desire in the hearts of our children to turn their hearts and minds to the temple. It was a beautiful temple and as we came home after a visit to San Francisco it shined bightly and stood as a becon on the hill for all to see (which is what David O McKay said it would do)

We ended our day at Fisherman's Wharf and had dinner at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Restaurant. We had a beautiful view of Alcatraz and watch many boats passing. The meal was very good and the kids really liked the specialty drinks that they got in glasses that light up. Although it has been a long day it was still happy kids and excitement for tomorrow. The pics help add to the story.

Mark didn't post all of our pics so here are a few more I will post. I like pictures and they do tell a thousand words. They all posted at the top. I know there are more from the temples I just don't know where he saved them. We are having a blast!

Friday, April 2, 2010


This week the kids are out of school and we decided to go to Disneyland. We also thought that on our way we would stop and see as many temples as possible. Which going the round about way would let us see 9 temples. So we headed out Friday after school to Reno. Mark and I have been to the Reno temple but the kids haven't. On our way to Reno the kids did awesome! Zoe slept about 3 hours and the worst it got was fighting over who got the pillow. Today is our longest drive day. We went 8 hours and tomorrow we will go 5 with 3 stops along the way. We plan to see the Reno temple tomorrow. When we got here it was already dark and the kids were anxious to get to our hotel. We will then head to Sacramento to see that temple then to Oakland to see that temple and I was thinking of taking the kids to San Franscisco. We will have time tomorrow and when I went as a kid it was fun. The kids might be in for a culture shock. We will have to talk about girls like girls thing and guys like guys thing. Not much for today just a lot of driving and Stacie complaining. I don't like driving in the snow and rain and wind. It scares me. I will be glad to have most of the weather behind us. By tomorrow we will be in the clear. Tomorrow night we will stay in Modesto Ca. Like in the movie Monsters vs Aliens. Here are a few pics we took today in the car, since that is where most of time was spent. Also a picture of the sun shining through the clouds. It was very beautiful. Last but not least the kids on their vests.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This has been an event that could never be duplicated. I think that there is a story behind this week that has not been told. When Callie first approached Stacie and I about her wish to participate on the Extreme Makeover set, we actually discourage her thinking that getting her hopes up would make it frustrating to deal with denial. As the people at Make-A-Wish began working with her on the wish they became aware of it and actually encouraged her to put it down as her first wish. As they sent it to the National office, there was uncertainty that there would be any way to grant this wish. It was a week later that Extreme Makeover, with their plans to do this house for the Starkweathers, that they called the foundation and indicated that plan. We have been told that if we had not made the wish when we did it is very likely that it would have not been able to have been done. It is amazing how things happen in life.

This morning Callie wrote her co-stars to tell them that she was home. I think it says something as we prepared to leave and Ty, Paige, Paul, and Eduardo all wanted Callie to keep in touch.

It is going to be nice to visit the Starkweather family once this all settles down and be able to get to know their wonderful family. We feel that we share with them a wonderful moment in time and it is really not about the house, but the love to serve someone else. Luckly I have Callie to help teach me that going to the finest points of the earth may bring a memory, but not a lasting impression. Most people who hear or comment about Callie's wish are not as much drawn to the celebrities or the television, but that she wanted to help someone else. As I spoke this morning with Callie about her favorite part of this wish, it was the reactions of the Starkweather family that meant the most.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

There's just one more thing to blog "Welcome home London Family Welcome Home"

We are home!!
Today was a busy day for us. I stayed up late last night getting things packed up and Mark was blobering or I mean blogging. Mostly both. We had an early morning today. Needless to say I am falling asleep at the computer. Tonight won't be much but I promise there will be more to come. We didn't have too many pictures because we had to carry around all of our luggage. There were not enough hands to do both.
We met with the Starkweather family at 8:30 in the dining hall. Callie was able to give Ethan his dog tag with his name and his bracelet that said *WISH*. They loved it and there is more to the story but I will tell that in another post. Here is the link of what was recorded.
We were very emotional and made sure that we would keep in touch.
We then had to be to Callie's final interview at 11:30. She did awesome! More info to follow. At the interviews we saw all the designers and got signatures and email addresses for all. We had our picture one more time. We then gassed up the car headed for the airport and got home about 8:00 or 9:00PM.
We had a wonderful welcome from Kelly and Debbie at the airport, along with the Hutchings family. And when we pulled in the garage was decorated with balloons and a sign from friends in the ward. Then Chad and Karla couldn't get enough of us so they came over and so did the Polsons. Callie was out of control telling and showing all her fun wish surprises. Thank you so much for being part of our blog. It makes me stay up late just because I know people want to hear. Sorry for such a short one tonight but I've already counted 4 times falling asleep during this one. More to come. I promise!
We love Tulsa and we love Farmington. Good to be home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Move That Bus!!!

Today is the climax of the show. This is the big moment when it is time to pull out the kleenex and get ready for the flood gates to open. And that it what happened for us. A lot of it is because of the wonderful expression that was seen from the Starkweather Family, but we can not help but feel that the staff of EMHE and Make-a-Wish are also a big part of the emotion. We feel like there is family here in Oklahoma and that we are leaving them. The people of this community were endless with generosity and their love for our family. They even told us that they would love for us to become a part of their state. That is the ultimate if they would build you a house if you want to live here. If anyone is ever moving to Oklahoma and especially the Tulsa area, look no further then Simmons Homes for your house. They have hearts the size of Oklahoma (not Texas due to the rivalry here) that they care about what they stand for.

So I am sure you really want to know about the day. We were on set at 11:30 today and the crowd had already started to form for the big event. The bus was around the corner and the street was being cleaned. We were there for about an hour before they needed Callie and they sent Callie and Stacie to the Art Tent. She was welcomed there by Paul and two muscians. Here was Callie talking with Cheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert, both were going to be there for the reveal of the house. After a little filming in the tent they sent Callie down to eat before the big moment. So as we go down the street to eat, Callie is shouted by several people in the crowd and she has a few photos with mostly girls her own age.

After the lunch we returned to Callie's trailer and waited for them to call us out for the big event. As they called us out they put our family right in the front of the crowd and had Callie stand with the design team to welcome home the family. They filmed the arrival several times before the family actually came home. Once they did arrive we practiced moving the bus several times. In Zoe's words, "We are telling them to move the bus, but they are not listening!" Once the producers had the film that they needed then they actually moved the bus and got the reaction of the family. They had emotions of gratitude as they we given that awesome gift. Not to ruin the show, but pleanty more was also given to them that you will see in the show. We watched as they were taken into the house. Callie was quickly sent down to the designer bus with Cheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Paul, Paige, and Eduardo. Don't worry we will stay here while you all go enjoy the plush life.

While they were gone Sammy, a crew member asked us and others close to the family to move to the side of the street that the house was on. As the main crowd dispersed we waited. Soon the Starkweather family came out of the house and were walked down to the bus, while Callie and the others came back up. At this point, Callie and our whole family got to go into the house and prepare to welcome the family into their home for a concert. We sat in this home designed mainly but people who are behind the scenes, and we got to join the Starkweather family in listening to the music of Cheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert. Nothing is like a private concert with thirty people and have the experience of listening to these fine artists. Callie was with the design team the whole time dancing and clapping and joking with them. Cheryl and Miranda talking with her as with the rest of the talent, like they had a long relationship. It was unbelieveable!!!

This has been a dream come true for Callie. It has become a memory in the lives of all of our family that could not have occured any other way. As the day ends so does many of the close daily interaction with people we talked and walked with daily. A great example was Erin, she is from the Make-A-Wish of Oklahoma. As we rode home Zoe said to me "I love Erin, she took care of me all day." She then told it to Erin. After arriving at our hotel, Erin let us know Callie's schedule for interviews for tomorrow and let us know that she would not be seeing us tomorrow. Emotions flowed as we made sure that e-mail address and phone numbers were well documented to keep in contact. Others that you see in the photos in todays blog are the same thing. People who have found their way into our lives, not to be forgotten. We will head home tomorrow night, but we will never leave Oklahoma for good, Callie has made sure of that when she not only etched her name in the sidewalk in front of the Starkweather home, but took the city of Tulsa by storm via newspaper, television, and interaction with the people. We have been blessed, and those blessing make the trials in life seem just a small amount easier to handle.