Saturday, November 23, 2013

We went through our basement this weekend, and we have got some things that we want to give away to children who could use them.  Most of it is girl stuff!
We have:
  • 10 different pet shop sets
  • 5 different polly pocket sets
  • 3 sets of Squinkies
  • a few doctor sets
  • a few sets of My Little Pony
  • Boxes of crayons
  • Leap Pad toys
  • Kitchen sets
  • Princess stuff
  • Barbie and accessories
  • Small school desk
Let us know if you or anyone else is interested by emailing

Friday, October 25, 2013


Halloween was a favorite holiday for Lisa.   As we eluded to in the past, Lisa always loved to go somewhere.  She really didn’t have a favorite place, she just wanted - to go.   Halloween is like that.  You don’t stay home or sit around to celebrate, you go, and she did.  Once she started walking she led the way on Halloween night.  The last couple years when she couldn’t make it too far we shortened the route but she was still determined to make the trip.  Once or twice she may have made the trip in a wagon or stroller if I recall correctly. 

So anyway a few months back I was looking for something in my desk drawer at work and came across a Halloween card Lisa made for me last year while she was at work with me.  She was such a sweetie. 

Yes, Halloween is a little less fun this year for us. Hollow. Gutted.  We're feeling a bit like the pumpkin with all the insides scrapped out.  We went from having a nine year old looking forward to the night filled with silly costumes and a pillow case filled with goodies, to three teens a lot less enthusiastic about the whole business. This picture below isn't from Halloween, but it's fun.  Enjoy and have a safe and fun filled Halloween.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Plymouth Canton High School promoting awareness

We are happy to share that last month's BLAST fundraiser raised $2100 for The Rainbow Connection and $3020 for research at U of M/Mott's Hospital.  We were a small but dedicated team and thankful to all those who joined us in our efforts.

Today was a special day as I shared our story about Lisa's fight and the need for awareness and funds with 300+ STEM academy students at the high school today.  I was joined in this effort by a dynamic young cancer warrior Christine Wall.  She stood in front of all her peers and shared her personal story to inspire all who listened and who could, with small actions, help make a big difference.

There should be an article in the newspaper tomorrow and on the following was posted on the high school website:
The STEM Academy will be fundraising for Childhood Cancer Research starting October 10 until October 22.  This hits close to home because of students within the Academy who have battled/battling cancer, as well as, families within the district who have lost loved ones. specifically the McMasters'  It is up to the STEM students to raise $15,000 within this time frame. I know they can do it! As teachers, parents, family members and community members...WE CAN HELP THESE STUDENTS REACH THEIR GOAL.

We have also had support from the student council and NHS members as they embrace opportunities to raise awareness. 

I am hopeful that the PCCS community can take our efforts and grow them into a legacy that raises awareness and funds for Childhood Cancer so research can abound and families and children will have treatments that were designed for children and allow them to live longer and BLAST cancer.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

BLAST Childhood Cancer #4 is TODAY

The big event is today!

Are you coming?  If you are and you have one of Lisa's babies that you adopted, please bring it with you.  We are hoping to get a baby reunion photo op:)

Lots going on today...don't miss out!

We have raffles, a fantastic dinner, games, live music, a magic, fun, fun!

We will be at St John Neumann church in Canton on Warren road from 5-8 and a euchre tournament starting at 8:30.  All are welcome.

Join us!  It's going to be a BLAST:)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Euchre Tournament--September 21

If you plan on playing Euchre Saturday evening, pre-register by emailing and save $5!!!

Euchre Tourney
St. John Neumann Church
44800 Warren Road Canton, MI

Registration 5 pm – 8 pm
First deal begins at 8:30

$15 pre-register/$20 at the door

Snacks, Cashbar
 1st, 2nd, 3rd place prizes.

All proceeds benefit
University of Michigan-C.S. Motts Children's Hospital and The Rainbow Connection.

Anyone want a signed baseball by Al Kaline ?

Hey Tiger fans!

We have a ball that is signed by Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline, aka "Mr. Tiger", and it could be yours!  

How?  Be the lucky one person who is holding the winning raffle ticket this Saturday evening at BLAST.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BLAST bake sale

Many of you know my brother Frank and his knack for baking fantastic peanut-butter based desserts that are impossible to resist. (I often think he does this just so he can make his siblings fat and then tease us afterwards!).

As much as he loves making goodies, he enjoys eating them, as well as, hitting up local bake sales to try out other's creations.  This love has prompted him to declare that we must continue to have a Bake Sale at BLAST. 

Frank has taken it upon himself to start mixing up some of his best treats to stock the bake sale. While he is pretty talented I fear that he has bitten off more than he can chew (haha!) and could use some helping hands.

If there are any bakers out there who would like to contribute baked goods to the sale that would great! 

You can drop items off at the church on Saturday starting at 2:00.

Email if you have questions.

Happy Baking:)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Come have a BLAST this Saturday

Things are shaping up as we prepare for our 4th BLAST fundraiser. There will be:
  • Great food
  • Raffles
  • Bake sale
  • Live music by Kylee Phillips-a pop/folk singer, pianist and songwriter from Plymouth who survived Neuroblastoma
  • Magic Science Show
  • Games
  • Lantern  Light up and Launch (weather permitting)
  • Euchre tournament (be sure to email to pre-register and pay only $15 vs $20 at the door)
Special friends have arranged to place a memorial stone in Lisa's honor at her school, Hulsing Elementary, at 4:00 on Saturday, Sept 21. Please join us for this "opening ceremony" and follow us afterward to the church to have a BLAST:) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sweet 16:)

16 years ago one of the most wonderful people I know entered my life:
Happy Birthday Maranda:)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BLAST Fun Fair....we need:

We are taking inventory and found a few things we need for BLAST

Please email if you can provide:
  • Gently used to new stuffed animals for prizes
  • Plastic Tee Ball stand
  • 16 oz Coke or Towne Club bottles to be used for ring toss game
  • Restaurant vouchers or other raffle items
  • People to come join us at BLAST and have fun:)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BLAST Childhood Cancer Sept 21! Need your help

Thank you to all who sent encouraging words for the first day of school.  We made it through.   I have a great picture but for some reason cannot get it to post:(

Second day one kid overslept, one kid lost their schedule and one kid was organized and ready to go (I'm sure you can guess who did what!).

We are quickly approaching our 4th BLAST and need your help!. 

BLAST is on 9/21  at St John Neumann in Canton. 
Dinner and Family Fun Fair is from 5-8
Euchre tournament--first deal starts at 8:30. 
You can go to for details or checkout the FB event

We do know that our event is the same day as Canton Homecoming and we are offering a special dinner rate for homecoming attendees, as well as, transportation to the dance.

If you are reading this please think about what you can do in your neighborhood, at work, school, and sporting events to help raise awareness!   You could:

·         Post event fliers

·         Pass out GOLD ribbon awareness stickers

·         See if kid’s sports teams and clubs will wear gold ribbons or gold shoelaces

·         Sell awareness pins & pencils

·         Sell suckers (Cancer Sucks)

·         Circulate collection cans and take donations

·         Wear GOLD and let people know why you are wearing gold.

·         Volunteer to help at the event on 9/21
If everyone picked one thing on the list and then asked a friend to pick one thing, and they asked a friend to pick one thing and so on,  imagine the difference we could make!!

Please consider lending a hand or two:)

Hope to see YOU on 9/21!!

P.S.  We are still in need of a photographer, party bus for transportation to Canton homecoming dance, and raffle items.  If you know of someone who can help please email


Monday, September 2, 2013

Not ready...

I'm not ready....I'm never ready for school to start.  I love summer and the schedule-free days and having my kids around.  I dread the homework, cooler weather and shorter days.  I'm not ready.

Tomorrow my teens will wake up and get themselves ready for the bus and holler goodbye.  I will stand there with tears in my eyes as they move on in their life and I know I must let them--- they are just growing up.  I will cringe at the letting go as all parents must do.

I will sigh and try not to have an anxiety attack as once again the hole of sorrow left by Lisa attempts to swallow me.  As the clock ticks, I will try to count all the blessings Lisa had and not regret that she does not get to start third grade as she/we had all hoped.  I will try not to cry too hard that for the first time in 12 years I do not have a child to put on the grade school bus and then race on my bike to beat them to the school so I can greet them when they get off with smiles and a camera.

I will try to balance my thoughts and feelings so I can figure out a way to LIVE life fully.  Lisa having cancer was hard, living without Lisa is harder.  I will do my best to live and remind myself that there are many times in life we are not ready for what we are dealt but we must still move ahead because life isn't about waiting for the storm to's learning to dance in the rain.

Monday, August 12, 2013

From one day to the next....

Hello all.

I know the blog has been pretty quiet.  Mike has done a few posts, I just cannot find it in me to "think" or "feel" so I just keep myself very busy and keeping watching one day turn into the next.  Every once in  a while I "test out a memory" only to find myself hurting and having to shut down my feelings quickly.

For those of you with Facebook pages, be sure to check out LoveYouLisa.  A family vacation in July turned into a photo opp for one of Lisa's babies and since then many of you who adopted one of Lisa's babies have been sharing pictures of their adventures.

While it doesn't change the fact that Lisa is gone and there is a HUGE hole, it does help me smile to know how much fun her babies are having.

Please keep thinking of us as each day is another day without Lisa and we are still trying to adjust.

Also, please mark your calendars.   With the help of my sister and other family members it looks like we will be hosting BLAST this year on Sept 21, 2013.  Perhaps we can reunite the babies;)

Please spread the word and if would like to help out, let us know.  We could use help with the website, fliers, organizing.

Trying to live life fully and moving forward:)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Travel and Treasure

By this time next month Maranda, Thomas, and Christina will have traveled to and from Montana, Minnesota, Muskegon, and be on their way to Topsail Island NC.
The trips to Montana and Muskegon are both week long camps for kids with siblings that have or have had cancer.  The Minnesota trip is one that will have them, and me, meetup with Linda who will be there for a work seminar.  Along the way we'll enjoy a water park, the Mall of America, and the company of our dear friends Heath and Amy and their family.  The trip to Topsail will be on the heels of the Muskegon trip.  Topsail is an annual event for us and a place to rejuvenate on the sandy, uncrowded beach of the Atlantic seashore where Blackbeard once frequented. We're guaranteed to find treasure this year as we will be in the company of most of my siblings and their broods, and a smattering of others as well.  In all I think we are up to about 35 of us going.  Look out Topsail.
Life without Lisa's physical presence has been almost unbearable.  We see her everywhere and in everything. Were it not for the treasure of family and friends I don't know how we would get through this. A big thank you to all. Be safe, have fun, and live life fully.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A gift from Lisa on this 4th of July.

It’s been a while since our last post.  Since June 7th Maranda, Thomas, and Chrissy have wrapped up the school year, we all enjoyed a couple weeks at the cottage, Maranda finished drivers training, Chrissy celebrated her 14th birthday, and Tom visited a friend in California for a week.  As we ready ourselves for the 4th of July I’m compelled prod you all to be safe, thankful, and live in moment as Lisa taught us to.  As the saying goes, The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift – that’s why they call it “the present”.

Speaking of gifts, here’s a link to a video of Lisa reading this past December.  I want to thank Ms. Mattson for capturing this and sharing it with us.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

We've another birthday coming up quickly. Christina is turning 14, on June 20. Chrissy celebrated her 8th grade awards night on Thursday night – see photo with mom. The following appeal is a bit of a step outside of the norm for me so I apologize if it seems inappropriate to ask, but in consideration of Lisa’s passing and Tom’s Birthday last month, I’d ask you to go to Christina’s Facebook page and wish her a happy birthday. Or if you are so inclined send her a card. Christina is (or was) that “middle child” that often gets overlooked in the daily chaos. Maranda’s the oldest, Tom is the only boy, and Lisa was the baby. Christina was the middle of the three girls. She’s quiet, introspective, very intelligent, naturally athletic, and astonishingly pretty. She loves to read science fiction, likes to spend time with a single friend rather than hang in a large group, and she’s always agreeable to just go along and not rock the boat. I’m blessed to have her in my life and forever thankful. Love you Chrissy.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday to Tom:)

Today is Tom's birthday and while we are all still reeling from our loss, it is important to recognize that life still goes on.  Tom is celebrating his 15th birthday today. Sadly, this is the second year in a row he has had his birthday in a funeral home.  Last year was Grandma's viewing, this year Lisa's:(

When we asked him if he would prefer we move the viewing and funeral to later in the week so he could celebrate his birthday on the day, this loving, kind, thoughtful, strong young man said "I wouldn't really feel like celebrating before having the funeral....and this way if I have my birthday at the funeral home, Lisa can be there"  When asked if he wanted people to wish him Happy Birthday today he said with tears "I would like that"

Tears and big sigh.....for those of you who know Tom if you would like to bring him a card to the funeral home that would be wonderful.

Monday, May 20, 2013

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

University of Michigan
Memo field: In memory of Lisa McMaster/BLAST cancer (BLAST is the fundraiser we started for childhood cancer)

Mail to:
1000 Oakbrook
Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Attn: Kim

McMaster Foods for Funeral and Meals

For those of you wishing to help out....please go to :

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Funeral Arrangements

Visitation will be at
Vermeulen Funeral Home
46401 West Ann Arbor Road
Plymouth, MI 48170

Tuesday, May 21st
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Family
2:00 pm-9 pm Family and Friends
The Rosary will be held at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, May 22nd
Lisa will be in state from 9:00 am-10:00 am
St. John Neumann
44800 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187

The funeral celebration will begin at 10:00 am

May 19, 2013 - Heavy Hearts

It is with a heavy heart this morning that I write this.  Lisa passed away this morning at 4:45 AM, with her Linda and I at her side.  I'll post funeral arangement details as soon as they become available.  Thank you all for your love and support.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Back Home

I brought Lisa home Wednesday evening and we met with Angela Hospice to get her setup with the PCA at home.  The PCA enables her to self medicate through her IV if she is feeling any pain.  That works well at the hospital so we are hopeful that she’ll be more comfortable with it.  Once she was at the hospital and a number of things were done to address her pain she felt much better.  On Monday Lisa had platelets and red cells, and after she was admitted she was put on the PCA, increased steroid, increased pain meds, Ritalin and IV fluids.  Tuesday she was all go at the hospital with only a brief nap. Wednesday she spent some time in the craft room and we walked down to the cafĂ© for lunch. Thursday I walked, Lisa rode in the jogger/stroller, to McDonald’s. It was about 80 degrees.  After we got back home she took a long nap and woke for dinner and another walk in the jogger.  Only time will tell if her pain is under control but she seems better that she was last weekend.  Here she is pictured with a new frog that Aunt Paula sent along with a box of other goodies.  Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1st Communion

Lisa made her first communion on Sunday morning.  I woke her up about 15 minutes beforehand.  I was able to get her dressed and in the car, and when we arrived she managed to walk from the car and into church but immediately laid down.  That little ordeal was enough to take a toll. She stayed down the entire mass with the exception of receiving communion.  She sat up and managed communion with a few painful tears. It was a very touching moment with Father Ron coming to her.

Monday I brought Lisa to UofM for lab work that would tell us if she needed more blood products, which she did.  She needed both platelets and red blood cells.  When I brought her in she was very uncomfortable indicating pain on her right side near her bottom rib and additionally up in her right shoulder.  Her pain was so bad that she was actually crying which I can't remember her ever doing. Typically Lisa will retreat to a bed, close her eyes and try to manage her pain quietly and hope to sleep it off.  She’s so strong.  I think she’s actually trying to “suck it up” at home so that she isn’t a burden, even if she doesn’t know she’s doing it.  What we are beginning to understand is that when Lisa arrives to the infusion area she seems to feel safe enough to let her guard down just a bit.  Whenever the nurses ask her to rate her pain from 1 -10, it's always 10, at the hospital. When asked if she is in pain at home, almost always the answer is "no".  I wish I had her strength.

Including this picture so that you can see her outfit. (Still tightly clinging cha-ching the teddy bear.)

We decided to keep Lisa overnight at the hospital with the hope of getting a handle on the pain.  We are considering bringing her home with VI pain medicine which would be managed by hospice but we haven’t yet made that determination.  Today, when I spoke to Linda, Lisa was playing in the craft room so I’m taking that as a positive sign that she’s feeling “better”.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, and send her lots of healing/pain relief energies.

As always, thank you for checking in.