Category Archives: munro’s

Graduation Day Pictures

Below you’ll find a ton of pictures from my graduation day, last Sunday, June 10, 2012 at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmonson Pavilion in Seattle, Washington.

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I have some fun Instagram pictures that I will share tomorrow-ish, plus yesterday was my graduation party so there are a ton of fun pictures from that event too!

 

 

Summer Daze Fun Photo Party

This post is part of Summer Daze – a fun photo party! hosted by Kristi {Live and Love Outloud}, Alicia {Project Alicia} and Rebecca {Bumbles of Light}.

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Arizona: Day 8 (Family Fun Center)

On the last day of vacation we visited a Family Fun Center!  It was another gorgeous evening and we had fun riding the rides and hanging out.

It was no surprise that the kids’ favorite ride was the go-carts!

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The girls (especially MacKenzie) also really enjoyed the kiddy rollercoaster!

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Wow, that only took me like two months to get all my vacation pics up and posted.  Now I’m caught up….I think…

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Arizona: Day 7 (Ostrich Farm & Alec’s Birthday)

I bet you have never been to an Ostrich Farm…. well I have!

And in case you were curious…..

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and the Ostrich Farm is …

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I was a bit hesitant when I heard about the plans for this day.  For starters I don’t like animals and furthermore I don’t like to be dirty, outside or on a farm.  Pretty much I was screwed and we would be doing all of the above.  To my surprise it was a lot of fun and we had LOTS of giggling and smiles the whole day!  Even I got in on the fun….for a bit (the rest of the time I happily agreed to be the photographer and stayed many steps away from the animals!  I had to protect my camera you know

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They also had a bird sanctuary where we were given containers of nectar and the birds would swoop down and land on you and drink the sweet concoction!  It was pretty cool, even I got in on this exhibit!

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….and a Monster Truck ride that took us Ostrich Fishin’!

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What’s Ostrich Fishin’ you ask?  Well, they have fishing poles that you stick grapefruit on the end of and tease (or “fish”) to “catch” an ostrich.  Pretty entertaining if you ask me Open-mouthed smile

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That night (or I guess technically all day!) it was Alec’s birthday so we had some cake, when on a golf cart ride, I worked on homework and some of us slept…

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Wow, how is that for a mish-mosh of photographs from a fun-filled day?  Only one more day left in Arizona and then I’ll be all caught up…yay!

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Arizona: Day 6 (Easter)

*Sigh* I’m so far behind in my blogging, lately I just don’t have the energy by the end of the day to blog.  Not sure if it’s school or my new medication, or a combo of the two, but I am exhausted come evening time!  It’s crazy for me to not get on the computer at night, but for some reason I have no desire to power up my laptop like I normally do.  Anyway, I’m still trying to get through all my Arizona photos.  Two days left after today’s post!  Oh and did I mention I graduate in 16 days! Yippee!!

Back to Arizona….

Easter Sunday started early, very early.  I attended a sunrise service for church at get this …. 6:30am.  I struggle to get to church by 9am when we’re on that cycle, but 6:30am!  I’m still amazed that I was up and and we all made it to the service by 6:30am. 

I’m used to church lasting three hours long.  This service we were in and out in just over 30 minutes, kind of crazy.  Just long enough for the kids to get hyped up for the Easter Egg Hunt that awaited them when we returned to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

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It was fun watching the kids hunt for eggs and goodies.  With us being in Arizona the Easter Bunny had to be careful about where he hid the eggs as we were surrounded by cacti!  Needless to say the kids were extremely careful when picking eggs up!

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We spent the balance of Easter at the pool lounging and swimming.  It was a great way to spend what normally at home is a rainy icky day!  Bring on the sunshine!

Easter evening was the night when my mom called and told me about Kelly’s diagnosis of cancer.  This was the last real carefree day of my trip, as my mind became quite preoccupied and anxious after talking to my mom.  One of these days I’ll write out how I found out…not very exciting, but I think it would be good for me to document.  Writing is a good stress reliever for me…

On a happier note …. Happy LONG Memorial Weekend to you all!

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Arizona: Day 5 (Golfing & Pinnacle Peak)

The Saturday of our trip to Arizona found us at the driving range, there’s nothing cuter then a child golfing … let alone four.  However, they weren’t that coordinate, well one in particular who while getting assistance from Julia, smacked her on the cheek with the golf club. 

Poor Julia’s face immediately bruised and turned horribly painful Sad smile  You can decide for yourself which child it was Winking smile golfing

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On our way back to the house we passed this adorable creature…a havalina.  Okay, not to cute!DSC_0425

 

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That evening we headed out to Pinnacle Peak, a fun old fashion cowboy town where we put the kids in jail, shot rifles, mined for gold and saw a hilarious stunt show!  Oh and we cannot forget we had a delicious dinner too that ended with everybody’s favorite balloon animals!

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Want to see more of my Arizona trip?  Photos from our first three days in Arizona and Day 4 are already up and posted!  More photos to come!

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Arizona: Day 4 (Children’s Museum)

Day 4: Children’s Museum

After frying ourselves at the pool the day before, we chose an indoor activity….the Children’s Museum.  Apparently Julia and I were either bored or totally enthralled, because we didn’t take many photos this day!!

Of all the exhibits the two favorites were the Police Motorcycle (to Alec’s dismay over the fire truck the also had!) and the store.  Between these two exhibits we spent most of the day!

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If you missed the first three days in Arizona make sure you read it HERE!

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Devastating News

Midway through my vacation in Arizona I was hit with bad news that my little sister has cancer. This sent me into a downward spiral as I tried to grasp what was going on.  Below you’ll see the letter that we sent out to our friends about the cancer and how Kelly is doing. 

I’m home now, but feel very behind in the grieving process and very much alone.  It’s funny everyone I’ve ever met is reaching out to me and my family and yet I still feel alone.  I’m going back to school today for the first time and hopefully that will distract me a bit.

The good news is Kelly is in no immediate danger and we have lots of time to make the right choice.

Thank you to everyone who has called, texted, emailed, facebook’d, tweeted and sent virtual love, support and prayers.

I would like to especially thank Julia and Alec for being great stand-in parents when I received the devastating news so far from home.  I really appreciate it.

XOXO, Cori

Email to our friends:

Dear friends,

We received some very difficult news this past week and now that we have a little more information, I wanted you to be aware of what’s happening.  First, let me tell you that the Benson family is doing okay and that we are taking a breath and putting together a plan.

Kelly, who is 23, was diagnosed last week with a rare form of cancer.  We had our first meeting with her oncologist yesterday and received confirmation of the seriousness of the situation and a mixed prognosis.

The bad news is that her cancer is stage 4 and incurable and because the tumors are extensive and not in a mass, it is inoperable. Chemotherapy is also ineffective against this cancer, so our treatment options are limited.

It’s called metastatic carcinoid cancer.  The only place they can find evidence of it is in her liver, but it originated from somewhere else and they can’t seem to find the source.

However, the good news is that this is a slow growing cancer, so we have time.  How much time is the focus of our next step.  The other good news is that the tumors are incredibly small, so small in fact that they didn’t show up on the radioactive scans.  They did however show up on the MRI, but no other cancer could be found which is also good news.

So the bottom line is that we have time.  It’s very serious, but not so urgent that we need to move into treatment right away.   She’s probably one of the youngest people to ever get diagnosed with this thing since it’s generally a cancer that affects people 55+.  (Sounds like Kelly, huh?)

The plan is to run a few more tests to see if we can find the source, and then begin the vigil of benchmarking the changes of the tumors she has.  So every couple of months they will rescan her to see if there is growth.  After 6 months or so, we’ll be able to get a sense of how slow or aggressive it might be.  That will give us a better handle on the amount of time we have to figure out how to treat this.

As of now, we’re going to hold off on any intervention and start looking around the country for the research hot spots.  Her biggest chance to beat this is in the world of future drugs, so the slower growing this monster is, the longer we’ll have for a breakthrough, which we fully expect to happen.

The other good news is that Kelly is symptom free.  A lot of times, this cancer isn’t detected until people are experiencing the affects of what is called carcinoid syndrome with a lot of unpleasant symptoms.  Kelly isn’t experiencing any of this, so we’re thrilled about that.  They found these tumors accidentally while removing her gall bladder a few weeks ago.  That was a blessing to catch it when we did.  Kelly is doing remarkably well and in good spirits.  As most of you know, Kelly has a wicked funny sense of humor and has been drawing on it all week.  As long as we’re near her, we’re fine.

If you are interested in reading more about metastatic carcinoid cancer, please check out the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation‘s website: http://www.carcinoid.org/.

We welcome your prayers and your positive thoughts and will keep you in the loop as our journey progresses.

Fondest regards,
Linda, Bob, Cori, Kelly & Alex

First Three Days of Arizona

On Our Way!

On April 3, 2012 we made our way from Seattle to Tuscan!  We left behind a dreary rainy Seattle day for the sunshine in Tuscan!

We had a great flight.  The highlights being the landing where we hit pretty bad turbulence.  The kids thought it was hysterical and were giggling so hard with each jolt and bump we’d encounter.  That right there made the trip Open-mouthed smile

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The other highlight of the day was getting to see the rental car Alec had chosen.  We could have fit into a mini-van, but he decided a big 18 passenger van would be much more comfortable!  It was comfortable, after one long day of playing I was exhausted so on the ride back to the house I took over an ENTIRE ROW and slept the entire trip back!  Very convenient….even if we looked ridiculous!

The funniest part as we were loading our luggage into van a lady came running up in a panic asking “is this the shuttle to Phoenix” …. sorry lady, not quite!

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Day 1: Swimming & Popsicles

We stayed at Alec’s dad’s house, where we were lucky enough to have a swimming pool to go to!  The very first day we all fried after just a couple hours out in the sun swimming!

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After swimming, we headed back to the house for a deliciously cold Otter Pop!  (Which I love by the way!)

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Day 2: Zoo & Cactus’

On our second full day we went to the zoo. 

This zoo was not nearly as big as Woodland Park, but the animals were so much CLOSER!  You could almost reach out and touch the elephants!  It was surreal!

The best exhibit would be the DUCKS.  Yes, I said DUCKS.  In Arizona they have an entire exhibit just for ducks.  YOu know those big mallard – ugly – pooping ducks that litter the beaches and water here in Seattle, apparently they are a novelty in Texas.  There was by far the MOST people within this small exhibit.  It totally made me laugh, because I’m used to seeing ducks all the time, but never at the zoo!

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On the way back to the house (and it was this trip where I took the nap in the back of the van!) we stopped at a cactus national park.  It was AMAZINGLY beautiful!  We watched a video and then saw the most beautiful sites ever.  I didn’t realize Arizona would be that pretty.  I expected dead looking brown terrain.  However, the cactus’ make it very green and gorgeous!  Highly recommend!

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I promise tomorrow to write more about what we do!  I was behind by three days and just wanted to get pictures up and posted … so there Open-mouthed smile

I’m not sure what is on the agenda for tomorrow, but I’m sure it will involve SUN!!

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