We are officially registered to have our first annual lemonade stand with Alex's Lemonade Stand! Woooo hooooo! We will be holding the event on Oct. 31 from 11-3. It will be at the Smith's Marketplace in downtown Salt Lake City (455 South 5th East). Aunt Nancy's Smith's!! We are so excited to raise some money to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Our stand is called Sweet Brinley's Stand. So put it on your calender and take the time that day to come visit us and buy a glass of lemonade (or hot chocolate, it'll be c-c-c-cold I'm sure!) It's a great cause! What's that? Can't make it? Not to worry, we'd love to see you there, but know it isn't always possible, so you can donate on Brinley's home page: http://www.alexslemonade.org/stands/19728

We have set a goal to raise $500, so we need help to meet that goal! All proceeds will go directly to Alex's Lemonade Stand to fund important research for childhood cancer. If you want to actually help with the stand, we would love it, just let me know. Kids are welcome, in fact encouraged, to participate. It is a great way to get the whole family involved.

Oh boy, there is so much to tell about, I'm sorry for how very long this post will be! I'm just not willing to leave anything out!

Day one was travel day and we were so glad to get that part over with. Air travel is not the easiest thing to do with 4 kids, 3 of them 5 and under. It was pretty bad, but we survived. The first 5 minutes after take off and the 5 minutes of landing were fun, the rest was pure torture. We had a stop in Chicago after 2 1/2 hours, then ran off the flight for some food (they don't serve meals anymore on planes!! Booooo to airlines!) Anyhow, they also don't preboard small children any more, so we had to wait until the very end to board. We probably could have been on a comedy show trying to get situated with our kids. Everyone was praying we were not going to plop down by them, hehe. I caught a couple of young guys whispering and looking at us and chuckling, then sure enough one of them ended up next to us. Surely he was whispering about how excited he was to sit by us :) The one thing that make it all better was a sweet woman next to us that gave us a lovely compliment after a long flight with misbehaving kids. I will pay that forward by giving a compliment someday to someone who is a bit flustered. It meant a lot.

When we arrived, Brinley was greeted by someone from Give Kids the World, the village we stayed at. The kids were given some stuffed animals right when we got there, and a gift bag of goodies and fun stuff was on our table. The kids were so excited, especially when we got to meet Mayor Clayton, the bunny mayor of Give Kids the World. The girls had heard all about him and were thrilled to see him in person!

Give Kids the World (GKTW) is a village that was made just for wish kids. I want to tell you all about that first. It was started by a man who was a Holocost survivor and wanted to make a difference in the lives of children who had life threatening illnesses. It is truly a magical place. By the time we left, I had truly grasped it's purpose and it made it all the sweeter. They have created a fairy tale place for children who have seen some very dark times. Everything about it was like every child's dream.

There is a carousel you can ride any time, every time Brinley walked by it she wanted to jump on and have a couple rides. Before breakfast, after breakfast, before dinner, after dinner. All the rides are free, they even have those little rides like the ones outside the grocery store (the ones your kids ask to ride every time you walk by them...) but you could just push the button and ride! I think Brinley rode her favorite one about 20 times in a row, no joke. You can also order pizza every night, which we did practically every night. There is an ice cream shop open at 7am! (All of this at no cost at all). They have a castle of miracles where a star is hung for each child who has stayed at GKTW, so Brinley got her star hung too. We had to spend a whole day just doing things there because there is so much to do. Each night there is something new. One night there is a Christmas party, then a birthday party for Mayor Clayton, a life-size candyland game, lots of dancing and games, a tea party with a princess, nail painting and make-up, the list goes on. My kids were IN HEAVEN! Each day was a new gift on our table when we came home. Movies, games, toys. We had a whole duffel bag of gifts just from GKTW when we came home.

GKTW is full of volunteers. Throughout the year, they have about 8000 volunteers there. Everywhere you turn there is someone with a volunteer button on. They carry your trays for breakfast and dinner, they deliver food to your door, they give you train rides. I had to really fight back tears in the beginning when I saw how many good people there are willing to give up their time like that to do something nice for families like ours. It was an amazing experience, we feel so blessed to have been there to witness it and be receivers of the goodness in these wonderful people. Words can't describe it. So here are some pictures.

I would have to say the highlight of GKTW was the "tuck in" with Mayor Clayton. One night while you are there you can schedule for Mayor Clayton to tuck in your kids. The kids were full of giggles, and the pictures turned out great, but to get the whole experience you have to watch the video. So I decided just to share the video with you!

Mayor Clayton's Tuck In from David H Torres on Vimeo.

We spent 3 days at Disney World. I love Disney! Disneyland has always been one of my favorite places, and Disney World held true. We were treated like royalty, we got passes to the front of all the lines for rides and character meets. Make A Wish gave us all of our spending money, including souvenirs, so there was no expense on our end whatsoever. It was such a happy place, so cliche, but true! Just look at my kids faces and you can't argue it!

Here was Brinley's actual wish, to meet the Little Mermaid. She hasn't stopped talking about it!

The Wish Lounge - I just have to put in this little tidbit. They had a special room at Disney World for Wish families to take a little break in. It was by far my favorite place there! We had the whole place to ourselves both times we used it, and I could nurse Mylee, the kids could just lie down for a bit and watch some Disney classics. It was the best! I think we spent about an hour there just unwinding.

While we were walking out of one of the parks, an employee with Disney noticed Brinley's Make A Wish button, and told us to "follow me". He led us into a back room, where lo and behold, Minnie and Donald Duck were hanging out! They spent a good 15 minutes just playing with my kids. We all felt so special, it was really awesome.

We were also given tickets to Universal Studios Orlando. We had a great time there too. Once again we were treated extra special! An employee there also noticed Brinley waiting for the superheroes to come out, and led us back to where they would come after meeting people. So we waited and were given another private meet and greet with all the superheroes! Jade was especially excited to meet spiderman, he is her favorite! They were great, and Brinley is now a spidey fan as well!

This was truly a once in a lifetime trip, we could never possibly repeat it. It was an absolutely wonderful carefree trip. We love Make A Wish!!! Thank you!!!

We got home last night from an absolutely amazing, magical trip! We are doing our best to sort through our pictures to put some up, but there are over 500 to look through!! We'll shoot for tomorrow, but here is the short version. It was such a wonderful, carefree vacation. We loved Give Kids the World, and Disney World was so much fun. I can't wait to share it with you all!!

Brinley got a fever right before our flight, our only hickup, but we made it home without any hospital trips, just a few calls to the oncologist. We got back and had a hospital visit today because of the fever. Turns out she has an ear infection (she had been up all night the night before we left crying about her ear, so we kinda figured...) but counts are GREAT and we came home w/antibiotics. We also had a car repair of about $600 today, so here we are back to life. But what a blessing to be able to have a week where we didn't think about stinkin' cancer all the time. I have thought about it every day for a year, and it was wonderful to let it all go for a bit. The kids were so happy and had so much fun, you know, the way it should be for kids.

She goes in on Thursday already for her chemo. Where did the month go? Check in tomorrow night for pictures (hopefully!!!!)