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Definition of SORE….by "the free online dictionary"….feeling physical pain; hurting….by Anissa….48 hours in the the blazing hot June sun, lifting tons of other people's stuff and feeling the effects the next day!

Worth it? Absolutely!

Friday we got the church early in the morning to prepare for donation day. We weren't really sure what to expect, but the first arriving vehicle was my friend the Wylies, and when Warren got out he said "I've got a water heater and a dishwasher." I laughed because I figured he was joking and just named the two heaviest things he could think of, but when he opened the back of the SUV, there they were…a dishwasher and water heater! When waiting on other people's toss-aways and cost-offs, you're never quite sure what you're in for. However, the people who showed up all day long to drop off donations were fantastic! We had so much stuff, it filled up over 25 tables, lined the ground underneath, covered several tarps and we had a ton of furniture items! It was unbelievable to see what rolled in throughout the day.

It took us forever to get organized, I guess we underestimated the actual manual labor involved and only through the hard work of dedicated friends were we able to be ready for kickoff this morning. We had to take in all the stuff, set up the tables, price and price and price, organize to some extent, and prepare in case the rains came. It was horribly hot, and I got a fierce sunburn….the kids played with friends all day (they actually used the church baptismal fountain as a wading pool…these are the holiest kids you'll ever see!)…we started working at around 8:30AM and I know I didn't walk back into the house until almost 10PM last night.

We went through mounds and mounds of stufff, we set up for the raffles, we unloaded what felt like a million pounds of furniture and toys…it was crazy! When we finally got as much done as we could in the evening, Pete stayed up at the church overnight…sleeping with the stuff to watch out for all our goodies. I got up late, planning to be there at 6:30, but waking up at 7! Luckily I had taken two showers the night before to take off the sweat, dirt and stink of donation day.

By the time I got there at 7:30AM, things were under way….our friends had shown up and were already selling! Wow.

There was a snow cone booth, a food booth with hot dogs, chips, and drinks, we had a table set up for temporary tattoos for the kids (and some adults), we had several tables set up for baked sale items, [url=http://www.ponypartyplus.com/]a petting zoo[/url], a [url=http://www.happykidsinflatables.com]huge bounce house[/url], and even tables of brand new stuff that people had brought for the cause! It was so much fun to have everyone's kids there to help, we had special jr helpers selling candy and baked good, hotdogs and sodas, snow cones, doing tattoos, selling tickets for everything and just keeping the energy levels up.

I couldn't even begin to tell you how many people there were throughout the day….it was insane in the morning, but steady throughout the day.

Within the first hour of the hour of the bounce house setting up Peyton was brought to me in a wailing ball of tears. On her way out of the house she'd gotten bounced right onto the concrete and had a nice case of road rash on her forehead and cheeks where she'd landed face first. It took a little while, but she got back up into fighting mode.

–Bounce houses are not for the faint of heart!

One highlight of the day was when the [url=http://fl501st.com/tampabaysquad/page1.htm]Tampa 501st Stormtroopers[/url] arrived. That was supremely fun and cool! It was so funny to watch them walk in formation and to see the kids' jaws just drop to the ground as they walked by. The costumes and props were so darn authentic the kids were in awe! They mingled with the crowd, took lots of pictures and just added a lot of fun to the day for the people who came. They were phenomenally nice to Peyton, they went around the corner of the building and took off their helmets to show her that they were just real people inside and after that she was thrilled to be with them. They gave out tattoos and gave Peyton special patches that name her as an honorary Jr. Trooper! The 501st is an international group who provide an amazing amount of charity work, and we were just blown away by the kindness of these people….it takes a special person to come out in 98 degree weather dressed from head to toe in those costumes, just out of the goodness of their hearts and willingness to support a good cause. Awesome!

–Peyton says "Those are my buddies, I love those guys!"

–Poor Wendy….that's what happens when you don't sell enough tickets!

–Can we say "bliss!"

–What Stormtroopers look like on vacation

Nathaniel had small R2-D2 figurine he was running around with saying "Is this the droid you're looking for? This is the droid you're looking for!" And when the StormTroopers arrived, one of them walked up to Dante, a classmate from Nathaniel's school, and asked "Have you seen any droids?" Dante took one look at this guy and backed up saying "Nathaniel has them!!" That was hysterical! Nice to know your friends have your back, Nathaniel!

When all was said and done, the raffles were pulled, everything from gift certificates to restaurants and Home Depot to granite countertops, we'd had our last sell-out-everything-is-a-dollar sale, the cleanup was performed in a record breaking amount of time…..we raised [strong]5500$ for Peyton's Fund[/strong]!! That was tremendous and we are so thankful for each person who helped, donated, gave of their time and effort, who sweated and sold and made this day possible. Here are a few who need special mention:


Lisa Bedrosian and family
Kathy Vida and family
[url=http://www.givinghopethroughfaith.org]Sherry Tucker [/url]and Lexi and friends
Monica Tappan and family
Kim Kennedy and family
Sarah Feakes and family
Linda Linderman
Wendy McPike and family
Melanie Shenning and the Blooms
[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/jacob]Heather Duckworth[/url]
[url=http://www.paigewirth.org/]Holly Wirth[/url]
Christina Thomas
Tami Schaller
Maryellen Flint and family
Brandy Fishman
Candace Hollingsworth
[url=http://www.ponypartyplus.com/]Jennifer Borg and family[/url]
[url=http://www.lifeisagiftphotography.com/LG.htm]Lisa and Harry Greenaker[/url]
Chris Toth
Sharon Mayhew and Maureen
[url=http://www.baylife.org]Baylife Church[/url]
and so many more that need acknowledging, plus each and every person who took the time to come out and drop off the stuff that made the yard sale such a success!

Today has just been a day to rest and catch up. Laundry is seriously piling up without a washing machine, but Holly Wirth hooked us up with a friend who is going to see what they can do to help us out…that's so huge! The Brandon Foundation is also coming out later in the week to meet with me and see what other home repairs they may be able to help us out with….we have so many issues with our house, it's scary, but if they can help with a couple it would be an enormous blessing!

Our week starts off with a bang tomorrow. Nathaniel is going to the dentist, thank you Grandma for taking him, to see about the other tooth giving him trouble. I have to take the girls to the clinic so that Peyton can get chemo in her port and her spine if her counts meet criteria. We'll also start 5 days of steroids and being our home chemo schedule. In the afternoon we have to head to St. Pete to meet with Peyton's oncology radiologist for a check-up, but she's doing well and I'm betting they'll be pleased.

I want to give huge thanks to God for allowing Peyton-Palooza to go off without a hitch and for providing the friends and support needed. Without Him in every detail and step of the way, I know it would never have come together. We were continually blessed by the depth of love and encouragement given by those around us. I truly hope the day was glorifying to the Lord, because we felt his blessings throughout it all. I have to share that one answered prayer just blew me away. I was concerned about the weather, and it threatened to rain all day on Friday, but we all prayed and knew that if it rained and had to be cancelled, there was a reason and a purpose. But it wasn't until I pulled into the driveway of our house…turned off the truck….the first raindrops fell on the windshield. It just felt as if God was saying "I held it back just for you."

I have tons of pictures to post and share, I'll get them up as soon as I can.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

More pictures of Peyton-Palooza are in the gallery too.

7 Comments on “Peyton-Palooza”

  1. #1 Julie
    on Jul 2nd, 2007 at 7:35 am


    Dear Anissa,

    Praise God for his goodness! I was so excited to read how well Peyton's fundraiser went. God is in the business of taking care of His children. He provides in such amazing ways and it's a blessing to hear about how he has provided for your family.

    It sounded like the entire weekend was a huge success- not just from a monetary perspective, but also encouraing hearts and souls.

    Thanks for sharing your weekend with us. Boy, I wish I could have brought my entire family to this event. The kids would have had a blast and I would have loved to sweat along beside your precious family to help out. I was with you in spirit.

    Can't wait to see more pictures. Here's a verse that comes to my mind of your efforts this weekend taken from Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    I hope and pray all goes well with Peyton's chemo treatments this week.

    God's Blessings,


  2. #2 Basi
    on Jul 2nd, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I'm so glad that God held the rain for Peyton and her awesome family, but that he let the blessings pour out in a mighty way. It looks like you all had fun, too.

    Take care, love, basi

  3. #3 Denise
    on Jul 2nd, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    It was a true blessing and honor to meet your family and share the day with you this past Saturday. I only wish I could have done more. It was an honor to be of service to you. Peyton is a beautiful child and I pray God will give her a smoother ride in her journey through this life. The entire family was purely a joy to meet. Hugs and kisses to the family.

    Denise aka Imperial Officer ID4459 of the Florida Garrison of the 501st.

  4. #4 Kate
    on Jul 2nd, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Hey Anissa and Family,
    I am so glad that all went well at the yard sale. I missed you all last week. I hope that we get to see you tomorrow. Talk to you soon. Lots of love, Kate

  5. #5 Penny Hawkins
    on Jul 2nd, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Hi from ACH. Thank you guys for coming by we loved the visit. It is always nice to see friends when your stuck in doors….. I really can't say just how much your friendship means to me Anissa. You really can pick up someones spirits. (P.S. Thanks for the bag of goodies…. they didnt come up signed but we KNOW it was you.) Nik wants to say – HI. (I know – very wordy….) Love ya, The Hawkins "CHICKAS" (Nik came up with that name – today for us – cuz you know I have SPANISH running through my veins…. LOL!!) Cancer sucks!!!
    Penny and Nikki
    (F.R.O.G. RULES)

  6. #6 SciFi Dad
    on Jul 22nd, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Yes, I am commenting on a year-old post, but when you don’t have an email address anywhere on your site, this is my only way of communicating.

    Those photos were great. I think it’s pretty cool that those people (the troopers) do that charity stuff. I’m sure your daughter was thrilled.

    Beer can discussions not withstanding, it was nice to meet you as well.

    SciFi Dads last blog post..The Token Dad Blogger

  7. #7 Day 49 | Hope4Peyton
    on Jan 6th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    […] sent in the 501st to fight […]