Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Thumbs Up Ball

Have you made your plans for Valentine's Day yet?

Bring the sweethearts in your life to the Thumbs Up Ball! 

This family dance will feature:
Live music by Offering, a diverse local band!

Family-friendly food provided by Pepicelli's Pizza and Kelly's Cakes. 

Craft activities for the kids

We will have a Silent Auction with items ranging from massages, restaurant gift certificates, tools from Ashland Ace Hardware, veterinary services from The Housecall Vet and Wellesley Animal Hospital, a pink mini-cooper kid's car, tickets to Goochland Drive-In, and MORE! For more items, check out a full list of our generous sponsors.  

There will be raffle items too! Each ticket to the event will give you a raffle ticket. Additional tickets will be available at the event for $1 each.  

PLUS...take advantage of the opportunity to have the family "all dressed up".  Richmond Photographics will be on hand to take family photos for a nominal donation to CJSTUF.

The best part? 100% of the proceeds will benefit CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation! 

The event will be Saturday, February 18th from 4:30-7:00 PM at the Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Short Pump.  Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door (if available).  

PS Don't forget to bring some extra spending money for the Silent Auction and Raffle. We will be able to accept cash, check, or credit cards at the event.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Share your memories with us

Saturday January 7th will mark two years since Charlotte emerged from her consuming chrysalis and flew away as a beautiful butterfly. 

We will remember the day with friends and family at 1 PM in our cul-de-sac. Anyone local is welcome to attend. We will have plenty of balloons and blank notes so people can write and send messages to Charlotte.

If you cannot attend our Remember CJ event, we invite you to remember sweet Charlotte in your own way. Please leave a message in the comments, either here in the blog or on our Facebook page, telling us how you have marked the day, a favorite Charlotte memory, or anything else you would like to share.

We appreciate the love and support that we feel from our community at this time. 

With much love,

Rachel & Roger

If you have tissues handy, you're invited to watch this video created by our friends, Julia Dollison & Kerry Marsh, in honor of Charlotte. It's a beautiful tribute to our girl.  

About the music: transcribed from Keith Jarrett's improvised solo piano recording in "Radiance Part 8", vocal a cappella arrangement by Kerry Marsh, lyrics by Julia Dollison, performed by Kerry Marsh & Julia Dollison.


Sometimes in her sleep, she smiles.
Is she dreaming? is she far away?

Sometimes in her sleep, she laughs.
Is she happy? does she wish she could stay?

Sometimes in her sleep, she cries,
and you hold her and pray.

Morning comes, and she'll forget -
Things we dream about never make much sense.
Then the sun shines in, so bright,
just like her radiance.

All these moments fly by so quickly,
but she never seems to mind -
as long as you're by her side.

Sometimes in her sleep,
She awakens to find you were there all the while.
With a smile, she returns to her dreams.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Cool is That?

January is starting off with a BANG! 

First of all, a group of aspiring marketing students at King William High School are using our organization for their DECA project.  For one part of their project, they have created new CJSTUF plastic bracelets to sell at their school.  They have given us a limited quantity of the bracelets to distribute to anyone interested in the Richmond area. Suggested donation is $1 per bracelet and all proceeds will benefit CJSTUF.  

The bracelets are pink and purple and feature our name. 
We will have a bunch of the bracelets at the Remember CJ event this Saturday. Roger and I will also carry the bracelets around until we sell out. Contact Roger (or me) if you would like to get a few.  

Next on the agenda, there are only 2 more days until voting officially ends for the Eagle Rare Life Award. After all the votes are tallied, there will be an official selection process by the good folks at Eagle Rare to pick the top 20 and, eventually, the top 7 prize winners.  We are hopeful that Rachel's strong third place status in the popular vote will yield great results for the foundation.  There's still time to submit your vote. Thanks to all those who have been voting on our behalf.  We expect to hear news of final results sometime in February.  

Speaking of voting, Macaroni Kid of Richmond has generously offered to give $1 for every "Like" that their fan page gets on Facebook during the month of January (up to $200). If you live in the Richmond area and are looking for great family activities or deals, Macaroni Kid is a great resource. Please visit their Facebook page and thank them for supporting CJSTUF.

Finally, you may have heard through the grapevine that the Thumbs Up Ball is back! For those of you who remember the event from 2010, we are excited that this year's family dance and silent auction is going to be just as much fun! We will be in a new location this year (the Shady Grove Methodist Church in Short Pump) and the date is Saturday, February 18th, 4:30-7:00 PM.  Tickets are $10 per person and space is limited. We expect this event to sell out and registration is open now on our website.  

We are also currently seeking donations of items for our Silent Auction and raffle during the Thumbs Up Ball.  If you would like to be featured as an event sponsor, contact our event coordinator for details.  

That's all for now! Whew! What happened to that leisurely holiday vacation????

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Big Year-End

Wait...that didn't sound right.

Well, it's that time again when it seems everyone is either making top 10 lists of what happened the last year or predicting what's GOING to happen next year.

Well, I'll jump on the band wagon and give you a list of my own.

Here's my list of top 10 (or so) businesses that didn't disappoint me in 2011 (in no particular order).

Cougot's Chimney Service - We had them replace the panels in the fireplace and then, when one of them cracked again, they replaced it for free even though they really didn't have to.  They were polite and usually early.

Atlee Chiropractic Center - Dr. Anna Madland Bender has been the family chiropractor since before Charlotte was born and continues to be amazing for all her patients.

AAA - I need them, I call them, they're there.  Plus, they even offer "Tipsy Tow" service in some areas for free and you don't even have to be a member.  Call: 1-800-222-4357 to see if they are going your way.

Primos Pizza Mechanicsville and Pepicelli's Pizza Ashland - Between the two of them, that's where I eat 99% of my pizza.  Yummy all around!

The Bed Corner in Mechanicsville - We bought a bed there.  It's very comfy.

Target - Because "there's ALWAYS something to buy at Target!" (Said Charlotte)

Cracker Barrel - the food is great, the service is fabulous, and they have all that wonderful candy!

Air Park Auto - We have gotten a lot of our basic maintenance done there.  And as with most on this list, the service is always great.  He also has a party business on the side just in care you were in the market for a bounce house or something.

VW Motor Rebuilders - Speaking of auto repair, this is the only place Rachel wants looking at her car.  The place kind of looks like a dive from the outside but the guy is knowledgeable, fast, and honest!  804-798-6437

Taza Coffee n Cream in Westover Hills - My little oasis across the river.  There's a chocolatier on premises and they support the arts.  I picked up a few pieces for the Art Auction by meeting artists who had art on the wall there.

And a bonus - Humana One Insurance.  Yeah, I know we had to wrestle with them a time or two when we were getting treatment for Charlotte but they always paid and with the police I still have with them, it has come in very handy for the little esophageal procedure I had done and some other little things here and there.

And now for some predictions:

The Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos will meet again in Super Bowl XLVI.

CJ's CD will be recorded and produced with the help of the very talented local Richmond music scene.

Barack Obama will get re-elected but will choose Steven Colbert for vice-president and Jon Stewart for Secretary Of State.  Hillary Clinton will begin writing children's books

CJSTUF will distribute $50,000 in financial assistance grants, meals, and emergency funds.

On December 13, 2012, I will wake up in a strange hotel room in North Korea with a massive hangover and a chubby Korean guy named Kim passed out in the bed next to me.  Oh, and don't forget the llama with the red silk boxing trunks chewing on what appears to be the remnants of a US $1,000 bill.

And in conclusion:

Yet another year to which I say "good riddance" has ended although I can honestly say it didn't suck quite as much as 2009 or 2010.  2012 is shaping up to be a very good year for CJSTUF.  Let's hope so.

If I could offer everybody one wish, it would be that you gain a little more peace this year than you had last year.

Now go have an adventure!