Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A sell-out crowd!

Looking forward to spending the day with you on Saturday, April 10 to scrap like we mean it! It's great to plan a day away, isn't it? One day where you can just have a little fun with friends--maybe even make a new friend.

And ... we're sold out! This means we're going to have a full house loaded with goodness. In fact, Chad mentioned the other day that he, too, was looking forward to the crop.

"Really? I asked, not making the connection between men and paper crafting.

"Yeah, it's just really nice to spend the day like that," Chad answered. "Our other fundraisers are really great, but this one is different because we get to spend all day with really nice people."

I agree.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today is a toughie.

In light of the last week, after learning of loss after loss after loss after loss in my circle, it's tough typing here today encouraging thankfulness when human consciousness stalls to transform grief into gratitude.

Days draw closer to April.

I sigh a lot.

So today I will be thankful for the ultimate. No matter what suffering prevails, no matter how empty our arms, our wallets, our spirit, this is not the end. I am ever so thankful for The Promise that makes that previous sentence so. I am thankful for hope, not just for what's around the corner, but for the effervescent bubbles of tiny lights that live alongside loss, confusion, pain ... because the story is not done being written.

Because you're still here.

Because what we know as toughest good-byes here are the happiest hellos up there.

Because it's not that long until we're all together again.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2 reminders.

One. If you have a little donation to give the Easter Bunny & Eggbert, they would really like it by Friday, March 26. This allows our very generous springtime duo to sort, organize and purchase any missing items for their trip scheduled on the following Friday, Good Friday, April 2.

You have no idea how cosmically, divinely delighted I am to see this much good being done on Good Friday. Fantastic, isn't it?

Two. Please pray for Kate McRae today. She's going in for a very important MRI, the MRI that will let us all know if the incredible procedures and the chemo plan have done anything to heal her. Remember, she is battling the same aggressive tumor that Kyrie fought. We really need this protocol to work, to show some sign of positive achievement in her little body. We know how physically sickening it is to wait and wonder and hope and wish and pray for some good news, some progress.

An excerpt from her CaringBridge site written by Kate's mother:

I tried writing and it won't come. So we simply ask for your prayers tonight and tomorrow as Kate goes in for her MRI and we await the results. Our hearts are very burdened tonight. We so desperately want to see our sweet Kate grow up. Please be praying for amazing results. Please also be praying for our protection for our hearts and minds as a million thoughts and emotions try to weave their way in. Thank you for your continued prayers during this difficult season of life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


A big, warm, thankful hug to all of you who were able to tune in to see our little 3-minute blip on KAKE's midday news show. It's a very difficult to task to succinctly say all that this foundation means, all that we are doing in 180 seconds.

Lacie & I were both a bit nervous, not because of the television cameras, but because we wanted to get it right. It is a constant struggle to build and grow and get the word out amidst a billiongajillion distractions in our lives. With every three minutes like this, we have the opportunity to engage someone, to connect, to inspire, to encourage. We never know when or why or who may decide to walk alongside us to help make a difference. This could be one of those divine connections.

Originally, our friend Brittany had put us in contact with Jemelle Holopirek as a way to help promote the scrapbooking fundraiser in two weeks. However, since nearly full up for the krop (thank you!!!!), we had the opportunity to simply talk about how we started and what's around the corner.

Though we supplied and anticipated the photos of Kyrie that ran under Lacie's answers to Mike Iuen, the images struck us anew. I view these photos nearly every day, but somehow seeing Kyrie's face on the screen, knowing that people would see her face for the very first time, images that I see on the insides of my eyelids every night, knowing that these are all the photos that we'll every have no matter how many times KAKE invites us back, well, it brought newness to old feelings. For a moment, I could have sworn she was here again. Saying and broadcasting her name, an utterance that seemed like a mid-air raindrop quickly seeking for its earthly home, made her here again. Maybe it's just my feelings playing tricks on my mind. Maybe it's just this time of year. Maybe it's just the pink tulips that have sprouted in her garden. Everything, her memory, what we're doing to save these children, shows up on the page in technicolor vibrancy right now for me.

And this happens to coincide with the making of another new angel. Four-year-old Sicily Zeka has been in my prayers for quite awhile after learning of her battle with kidney cancer. She arrived in heaven this weekend, and although I am crushed to learn that this, again, was God's will, I am inspired by the way her family accompanied her in this passing. Please read her mother's entry today. It so reminds me of another mommy & daddy we know here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Kyrie Foundation on KAKE-TV

Hey, KAKEland viewers! The Kyrie Foundation is scheduled to be on the midday show with Jemelle Holopirek on Monday, March 22. Hope you have a chance to tune around 11:15-11:30 a.m. !!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

If you're out this weekend ...

If you're out shopping this weekend or if you happen to be paying bills, it sure would be nice to consider sending something to the Easter Bunny & Eggbert.

I have a little sumpin' to put in the post barring the blizzard that is purportedly on its way. Maybe you have a restaurant gift card that you know you won't use or maybe there's a new pack of markers in the closet waiting for your child who already has a set open. It all makes a difference when it's put to use like this.

And ... remember our dear sister organization in Holland, Michigan, Kyrie's Gift? The mission of Kyrie's Gift is to deliver coloring books and crayons to bring some amount of joy and normalcy to children in hospitals. Marjorie, the founder and all-round nice person extraordinaire, was inspired by the photo of Kyrie and Lacie coloring on the hospital floor in our very first post here on Kyrie's blog. Kyrie's Gift has done spreading goodness through this effort. And now ... Kyrie's Gift is a part of the Easter Bunny's visit, too. They have generously given hundreds of coloring books and crayon sets. Isn't that so beautiful? I just love this divine connection.

So remember the Easter Bunny needs all donations by FRIDAY, MARCH 26.

Cash - Toys - Books - Craft kits - Games - $10.00 McDonald's gift cards - Teen items

Please send to:

Susan Jae Eckel
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update on Edouard

From Jill:

Here is the most recent email from my brother in law. Keep in mind that he is French, therefore sometimes uses broken English. 

Bad news. Test results came out today.
Edouard tumor is cancerous. Which means he gonna need chemo treatement for the next 2 months minimum before they can operate. Plus 4 months after that for precautionay measure.
Monster blow after he walk and talk fine for the first time yesterday.

Please remember this little guy in your prayers. He and his family are embarking on a journey familiar to us here. Jordan & Lacie have traveled this road. Kate McRae's family, too. Anna's family. Ethan's family. Taya's family. This family, too, will need to meet people like you to help get them through this. I've often said that we would not be where we are today with you--I mean you, there, reading, right now. You matter. Your prayers matter.

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for a finite life. I suppose that seems hypocritical to what I may have desired here in past blog posts, huh? In fact, it's contrary to what most people desire. Most people want more time, beg for more time. There never seems to be enough time.

The strange thing is that intellectually we all know our days are numbered. And as for the closing curtain, "we know not the place or time." Which is why we constantly are reminded "to make every moment count," "each day is a gift," and "life in the moment." In fact, if I rummaged through your house, office or garage sale, I'd likely find a mini book of these self-help platitudes from Hallmark. Am I right? ;)

It's one thing to know this and a completely other thing to have this knowledge affect your life.

This week, I learned of James Spring. There are complicated and unsavory details to his story, but the gist of it is that, approaching his 40th birthday, he realizes that he is "unremarkable." With 40 looming large, he wants to do something for his birthday that changes that fact. He wants to do something big. While his wife busily plans a typical birthday party, he waits for an earthquake with which he would have the opportunity to help someone. The earthquake doesn't happen, so instead he decides to find two daughters kidnapped by drug-addicted parents, who also happen to be suspected murders, who fled to Baja, Mexico. The girls' grandparents long for the girls to be returned, and the police hadn't been successful in over a month. In two days, James found them, alive, safe and needing the care of their grandparents. Remarkable.

I'm thankful that we have a time limit here on this earth, which creates a sense of value, a sense of urgency that cries out for substance.

We're familiar enough with the idea of tithing. Ten percent of our time, talent and treasure. It's easy to calculate treasure. But what about the time & talent? If each week, we all get 168 hours, then we're asked to give 16.8 hours a week to help, to goodness, to Godness. And it we want to play the math in our favor, let's take out 56 hours of that week for sleeping--how can we possibly be expected to help while unconscious? That would leave each of us with 112 hours from which we are encouraged to give 11.2 hours to help, to goodness, to Godness. Time set aside each week to make this world better for you having been here.

I'm thankful for the seasons of our lifespan: spring to leap into the world with green gusto; summer to flourish and grow like rogue honeysuckle vines; autumn to reap the bountiful harvest; winter to settle in fireside, warm & cozy, telling stories of our seasons. And when the year is over, when the work is over, when the allotted time is over, time itself, like love, becomes infinite for everyone.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Limited space!

Just 5 more seats left for our 3rd annual Kyrie Foundation Krop! I don't mean to alarm you, but if you would like to join us on April 10 for our fun, friendly day away to Scrap Like You Mean It, you might want to register very, very soon. A goodie bag, freebies, delish vittles, cool tune-age, lotsa laughs, plus the place and space for creative inspiration await!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Update on Edouard

We are discovering that many of you, indeed, said a little prayer for Edouard last Friday; he made it through an extremely extensive surgery! For that, we are immensely grateful. Moment by moment, child by child, we will find a way to beat this disease.

From Jill:

I found out today that the surgery actually took 17 hours!  They were able to remove more than 75% of the tumor, will conduct more tests, and will go back in a couple weeks later. Again thanks for posting this prayer request. We have prayers coming from all over the world including Tanzania, East Africa!  (I went on a mission trip there almost two years ago.)

17 hours. Can you, for one moment, imagine what it would be like to sit, stand, pace in that waiting room  for 17 hours? Desperately waiting for a doctor or nurse to come through the door with news? And what about hour 11? When they said it would be a 10-hour surgery, and hour 11 and hour 12 and hour 13 go by? Can you imagine the anxiety? And not just any surgery but brain surgery? Your sweet, little world terrorized by a tumor that threatens his very existence, which threatens to destroy your family?

Please continue to keep this family in your deepest thoughts and loudest prayers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another important prayer request.

We would like Kyrie's blog readers to find a moment today to say a prayer for little Edouard Chartier (pronounced "Edward Shar-Tee-ay").

Edouard is 6 years old and lives with his family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I received an e-mail this morning from Jill Hunter, the sister of Edouard's aunt:

[Edouard] woke this week barely able to walk, throwing up profusely, and unable to recognize his sister.  They took him to the doctor to find that he has an orange-sized tumor in his brain.  They live in Montreal, Quebec where they have socialized health care, which hasn’t proven to be very good to their family in the past.  Please pray for him and the family ...  Thank you and pass this on to anyone else you know who prays regularly, if you would.

And ...  he is currently in surgery today, Friday, March 12, 2010.  They expect his surgery to take 10 hours. And it is likely that he will need further surgeries in the near future.  

Once again, I know that our hearts hang so unbearably heavy for the Chartier family because we know. We know this. Again, trying to steer away from fearful thoughts and instead focusing on hope and complete healing. Let's transform any anxious energy into staunch spiritual support that will reach from wherever you are to the very room where Edouard is right now.

I have asked Jill to keep us posted, so we will let you know any information that the family would like to share as soon as we have it. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Easter Bunny needs your help!

Three months zooms by so fast, doesn't it? Three months ago, Frosty and Elf Rita were packing their sleigh full of toys and surprises for their Christmas visit to Wesley Hospital. And what a joyful visit it was, plus the local news came along to capture the value of this visit for all to see.

Now, with the spirit of the giving season behind us, Easter Bunny & Eggbert are hoping we can tap into that holiday generosity to make their Easter visit possible, too. For those of you new to the blog, this is how Easter Bunny's first visit started. Since 2007, she & Eggbert have been bringing baskets of cheer to an otherwise anxiety-filled place, a place where children are frustrated and parents try to hide their anguish. You wouldn't believe how much a sheet of stickers or a $10 gift card can do!

From Easter Bunny:

Dear Friends & Family,
Just 1 month from today…
Good Friday - April 2, 2010
"Easter Bunny" & "Eggbert"
will hop over to the
Wesley Pediatric & PICU Floor
to deliver Easter cheer, Bunny hugs, and lots of GOODIES
to the children that are stuck in the hospital over
the Easter Weekend!
This will be our 4th year for the
Kyrie Easter Trip to Wesley Hospital!!
"Frosty" & "Rita the Elf" had INCREDIBLE support
for our Annual Kyrie Christmas Trip…WOW!
But…this is 3+ months later and there will be a
whole new batch of kids that will be
oh-so-appreciative of the treats we bring them.
IF you are interested in helping,
we will gladly accept the following donations:
          CASH - New Toys - Games - Books - Craft Kits - Puzzles -
        Crayons - Markers - Dolls - PlayDough - Items for Teens -
        $10.00 McDonalds Gift Cards - $10.00 Spangles Gift Cards
We will need all donations by:  03/26/2010
  Susan Jae Eckel
  3738 S. Dugan
  Wichita, KS  67215
As always…you truly have no idea how much your help is appreciated!
We could not do this without all of YOUR contributions!!
On Good Friday a little angel will be looking down on all of us, chanting…
     Go Kyrie, Go!  Go Kyrie, Go!!
Happy Easter!
Susan Jae & Rita
(E.B. & Eggbert)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Sometimes it gets the best of me.

Sometimes that old sadness descends from the furthest corner of the room and swaths me in beleaguering heaviness. Some days I've had the good sense to pad myself with enough good thoughts and good moments that I can insulate myself from the cold. Other times I spend hours shivering like last year's leaf still clinging to a dormant branch in March, a leaf that should have dropped in November.

I consciously steer my thoughts away from meandering down the "what would have been" path. Like a shock from an electric fence, I stick to the pasture of reality, grateful for the good, quick to dismiss the pain remembered, reserving it for a good cry later. Because the truth is, whether I agree, like it or not, this was His plan all along. This is how it would turn out despite our efforts to the contrary.

As frustrating and preposterous as this is for my pea brain to understand, I'm trying to find comfort in not knowing and not having to know.  Sometimes that means suspending my incessant analysis, my constant desire to learn from circumstances, which I happen to think are good qualities.  Sometimes that means I must make peace with walking blind. And ... to find comfort in the meanwhile.

So meanwhile ... as we live the days that draw closer to the anniversary of Kyrie's heavenly homecoming, there are, indeed, good seeds and deeds emerging from once frozen ground. You wouldn't believe all the tiny ideas and "what if" e-mails that have accomplished so much for this work that we are all pursuing here. For example, this scrapbooking crop. Do you know how many do-good donors come together to make this day happen? It's amazing! The food, the beverages, the venue, the vendors, the organizers, the goodie bags, the prizes, the special extras, the printing, the transportation to converge all of these items, the word of mouth, the registration ability, the t-shirt printing, the set-up, the clean-up, the special guests—all little "yeses," little miracles that bond together to form an amazing event, like a swarm of butterflies lofting on a breeze that began somewhere near the coast of Bali.

And this is just one collection of goodness. You wouldn't believe what else is on the horizon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Little bit of greatness can really add up.

If you need a little inspiration to amp up your do-gooding, take a look at this post from marketing expert Seth Godin.

You rock.

This is deceptive. 
You don't rock all the time. No one does. No one is a rock star, superstar, world-changing artist all the time. In fact, it's a self-defeating goal. You can't do it.

No, but you might rock five minutes a day.

Five minutes to write a blog post that changes everything, or five minutes to deliver an act of generosity that changes someone. Five minutes to invent a great new feature, or five minutes to teach a groundbreaking skill in a way that no one ever thought of before. Five minutes to tell the truth (or hear the truth).

Five minutes a day you might do exceptional work, remarkable work, work that matters. Five minutes a day you might defeat the lizard brain long enough to stand up and make a difference.

And five minutes of rocking would be enough, because it would be five minutes more than just about anyone else.

Friday, March 5, 2010

From our Easter Bunny ...

3 dieters + TONS of clothes + 12 lady shoppers in 3-1/2 hours = $300.00 CASH


Our "Almost FREE...but with a Catch - Clothes Sale" was soooo successful that we are giving those who missed out a 2nd chance!

Monday, March 8, 2010
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Susan Jae Eckel's Home
3738 S. Dugan
Wichita, KS 67215

RSVP to: susaneckel@shelleyelectric.com

There are still LOTS of clothes left!! Better hurry before we box them all up and donate them to the Klose Kloset!

Wowwee-wow-wow! Mom and daughter look happy & healthy for 2010!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for best friends. I know. Sounds cliche, doesn't it? I promise I don't have a ukulele behind my back. It's just so nice, so very, very nice, to have somebody to whom we can turn for advice, for an hour of venting, for feedback, for support, for enthusiasm. And perhaps the reason why friends are so essential—the real, good, down-in-the-ick-with-you-pulling-you-out kind of friends—is because these friends are our kindred spirits, meaning our family spirits. Friends like this become your family, don't they? And likewise, sometimes we are blessed with family members who roll double-duty and function as friends as well.

I'm thankful that you all have become our best friends. Without your support, your belief in what we're trying to do, we'd likely still be mired in unspeakable misery. Your prayers, you telling your own best friends about Kyrie, you coming up with ideas to help us, your advice, your time: you exemplify friendship in a brand new and grand sense.

Sometimes the term "best friend" can sound a little exclusive, like you can only have one or that it's a cliquey duo or something. Not here. The adjective "best" in our case simply describes this type of friend who expresses the best and most beautiful qualities of friendship. He or she willingly stands close to us.

I'm thankful for all that you are and all that you given freely to grow this cause into what it has become.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting ready for the big krop!

With a little peekage of sun this week, thoughts turn to bright blooms, cabana stripes, peppy typography and sparkling glitter. And where can you surround yourself with all of this plus free coffee, lotsa laughs and burgeoning creativity? None other than The Kyrie Foundation 2010 Krop!

Come scrapbook, make some cards, work on an album, organize your photos, get ideas, gab with the girls, shop around and have a creative day away to help raise research funds for The Kyrie Foundation!

Saturday, April 10, 2010
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Family Church, 11135 W Kellogg
Wichita, Kansas

Just $45 per seat includes:
complimentary coffee, tea, water and soda
great goodie bag
fab freebies
shared tool station
chance to win door prizes from K&Company, EK Success, Inkadinkadoo, Creativity Inc. and more!

And if that weren't enough, we'll have on-site massage therapy, a mini silent auction and our oh-my-goodness! garage sale—all to raise some extra dollars to save children from this blasted cancer.

Wait—there's more! Vendors are coming on board to give you a shopping stretch break: the charming Brittany West with Premier Designs Jewelry, the creative Julie Whitecraft with Button Rings, the delightful Bonnie Kissinger with JuicePlus (remember her DEE-licious smoothies from last year?), the wonderful Kathy Clapp with Close to My Heart, the super-fun Scrappy Chicks, the immensely caring Stephanie Murrell with Scentsy candles, Niki Gehring with Uppercase Living & her own gorgeous faux finishings, our lovely Bead Queen Terry Casley with her handmade Creative Jewelry by TLC and more on the way!

Our dear, dear, dear friend-of-a-friend Cara with Scrappin' Boot Camp has once again made it possible for you to easily and securely register online through her Scrappin' Boot Camp site. She has been so generous with us each and every year. Or, if you'd rather contact the magnificent Christy Freeman to reserve and purchase your seat, you can send her an e-mail at christycmc@sktc.net. Oh—did I mention that seating is limited? Yep, it is and that's so you'll have plenty of space and elbow room.

When you register, you'll also have the option of purchasing a t-shirt with this year's Scrap Like You Mean It design on it!

Feel free to e-mail or Facebook this on to your friends or family that may be interested in a local, day-long, creative getaway like this. All you have to do is click the little envelope icon underneath this post to e-mail or click the "Share this on Facebook" link in the right-hand column over there.

And ... if you've ever been to a Kyrie Foundation Krop, would you mind leaving a comment to help others get sense of what it's all about?

Can't wait to see you next month!!