Friday, October 17, 2008

My first bloggy giveaway!

Okay, so as many of you know, our sweet Brent has a birthday coming up. He would've been 13 this year. (It's so hard to believe he'd have been a teenager)

It is in his giving spirit that I want to celebrate his birthday.

If any of you knew Brent personally, you already knew that he found GREAT JOY in giving gifts! A perfect example would be his "Make-A-Wish" shopping trip. (That's what he chose for his wish) Of all the MANY things he might have bought for himself, he MADE CERTAIN that some of the things he bought, he bought in THREES! (One for himself and one for each of his brothers)

Brent LOVED to pamper his nurses (and sometimes doctors) too. If we were eating at his favorite Mexican restaurant, he'd ask to bring his nurses chips & salsa. If we were in Walmart (and he was about to go "in-patient" for chemo) he'd want to buy the nurses donuts. For Christmas one year, we made most everyone at St. Jude candy apples.

Of course while in Vermont, he was also eager to have me bake and share Sweet Potato Bread. Yes, GIVING was what made him happy!

SOOOOOO.. to celebrate the generous spirit of our little man, I'd like to give a couple of YOU something for HIS birthday! I'm thinking since he LOVED to share baked goods - I'm going to send out some of his favorite Sweet Potato Bread along with a cookbook that features his recipe and a photo of him. (The cookbook was put out by Lunch for Life. They're a fundraising group that helps raise money for Neuroblastoma research) There will also be a little "mystery surprise" in each of the two boxes. You'll have to wait to see if you win to know what it is. (AFTER I KNOW the winners have received their packages, I'll announce what they won online)

You can start entering today (by leaving a comment). We will hold the drawing on Brent's birthday - October 28th. The winner will be announced the same day. Be sure to leave your email (Or check back here on the 28th) so I'll have a way to contact you should you be one of the winners! (We will draw 2, one from my blog and one from Brent's website. I'm posting links to both since this post will be in both places) Oh, and feel free to comment on both his site and my blog to double your chances of winning. :o)

Oh, on another note.. this can also be a way to celebrate my Blogiversary! Yes, I will have been on blogger for one year on October 26. It's been a wonderful experience getting to know you all better! I've made some very dear (hopefully life-long) friendships here! (and OF COURSE on Brent's website)

With much love,


Ashley Griffin said...

I cant wait to see who wins. what a great memory to have of your son. I hope that my boys (and girl) will learn to have a giving heart. don't think they are there yet...
this thanksgiving I am planning to take my 7 yr old to work in our local soup kitchen. any other ideas?

Phyllis said...


This is exciting. What an awesome inspiration you are to everyone. Thank you.

Liz said...

What a wonderful way to remember Brent.

Jennifer said...

Tonya---this is an awesome awesome way for us to remember your Brent on his birthday. What a special way to remember all of his birthday's!!! Please put me in the drawing for some out-of-this-world sweet potato bread!! Have a great weekend!

Beth E. said...

Sweet Tonya,
What a wonderful way to honor and remember Brent! He had such a loving heart...what a precious boy.

This giveaway will be so exciting. Thank you so much for YOUR loving heart. Thinking of us during Brent's birthday makes this giveaway very special, too!

I'll be remembering you and your family in prayers, especially during the next couple of weeks.

Love you...

Melanie said...

Oh, Tonya... what a wonderful way to remember Brent on his birthday this year! I'd love to join in on the drawing and be a part of honoring just a great guy!

Love you, girl!

kahlanne said...

Oh, Oh Oh, I love sweet potato bread and recipes. Count me in! I am so glad that you are able to do this. It is a great way to honor Brent! Now...pick me! LOL.

valerie said...

What a sweetheart Brent was...always thinking of others in the ways you mentioned. How special and appropriate that you'd have a give-away on his 13th birthday! I know he's smiling from ear to ear in heaven.

This makes me cry though....cry for you. I just can't imagine how difficult it would be to lose a child. You and your family are amazing though and you know your strength and peace come from God alone.

Congratulations on your one year anniversary of blogging as well. You will always have a special place in my heart as you were one of the first of my blogging buddies when I started. My one year will be in Jan.

Have a blessed weekend Tonya!

valerie said...

I forgot to give you my e-mail address. I don't have it posted on my blog, but it's :

Tricia said...

What a wonderful way to honor the memory of your precious son! And what a blessing that he had such a generous spirit and loved to bless others!

And congrats on your blogiversary (did I spell that right??)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Angela said...

That is fantastic! Teach me how to make those apples!

My youngest, Sarah, loves apples. We bought the old cheap sheets of caramel at Wal-Mart for her to make caramel apples last weekend...

I really believe it is better to give than receive! I am glad Brent thought that too!

Have a great weekend!

Belinda said...

Brent knew that giving was so much more fun than receiving. I'll just have to agree with him! What a wonderful way to honor his memory. If we could just get that across to our kids, wouldn't the world be a better place? and wouldn't they be happier people! have a great weekend.

Ashley Griffin said...

actually as far as the widows go... in our church the only real responsibilities that our deacons have is to take care of the widows in our church. each deacon is assigned a certain number of them each and it is our job to call them, send cards, check on them when they are sick or having surgery, make sure if they don't have family around that their needs are met!! and Frank is a deacon so we have 3 that we help!
How many other churches do you know of where the deacons aren't a governing board?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Angie ( said...

I read both your blog and Brent's caringbrige site often, I guess I am a "lurker". You are so inspirational in your words. I enjoy hearing about your boys and dealing with the absence of your son. You are an amazing lady.
My prayers are with you. What a way to honor your son.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

What a wonderful way to honor his memory. That is so sweet of you.

I've never had sweet potato bread.

Love ya,

Patricia said...

Tonya, your spirit amazes me. I love that you celebrate Brent. I have popped over here a few times just for the lift you give me with your beautiful soul.

I'm going to make that Sweet Potato Bread this afternoon. I made baked sweet potatoes last night and have just enough left over.

With the Banana Bread recipe I'm making from Kim @ Homesteaders Heart & What's Cooking at My House & Brent's Sweet Potato Bread, we're having a tasty weekend!

Faithful Froggers said...

Oh, I just love give-aways! :) And what a great way to honor Brent. I can't believe he would have been 13 - just doesn't seem possible! How amazing, though, to have a "forever 11" year old waiting for you in Heaven. Won't that be a glorious day!

Am praying for you . . .

Jennifer said...

What a great way to share Brent's birthday! It sounds like that would be what he would've wanted to do as well! Congrats on your bloggy anniversary!! I love reading your blogs and again am so glad to have "met" you! I would love to win this giveaway!
jls_wss2003 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie said...

Hello Sweet Friend,
I came on over to get caught up on reading your blog. I knew that Brent's birthday was coming up, so I wanted to come see how you were doing.

Happy belated birthday to Zach! That is a great present that he got his cast off and his mom made him a yummy cookie cake to top it all off. I didn't notice the dust on the chair, but I did notice the flourishing peace lily that you have...I have killed several of those in my lifetime, as well as several other unfortunate species of plantlife!
EWWW! The hairy pork cracklins gave me the willies, but Link's comment sounded like something my own husband would say to me. Don't you love laughing with your hubby, even if the joke is on you! BTW, your cracklin picture reminded me of coming home in the first grade and announcing that I would not eat fried chicken at school anymore because there was hair on it. That was in Mississippi, too! I still will not eat chicken with the skin on it to this day and you can bet that pork cracklins will stay safe in the bag around me!

Hugs to you!

Greg P. said...

What a blessing and inspiration Brent was to those with whom he came in contact.

I pray everyday that we'll ALL go home soon as the skies open and Christ appears. I'm ready!

cpullum said...

Wow!! Alot to celebrate!!!
Congrats on everything!! God is good!

Susan Foster said...

It always takes me a while to figure out how to post a comment to a blog, I think I have only done it once or twice before. But while I was trying to figure it out I realized that whether there was sweet tater bread to be won or not, I will definitely remember Brent on his birthday anyway. I think of him daily and the day that I called you I had gone way back in the history on his site to see what was going on then that had him on my mind so strong. Then I read even further back and found myself still in my pajamas when the kids got home from school, LOL. Some days just gotta be lazy days I guess....

Daphine said...

What a great idea! Since I am a new reader, I have some catching up to do on reading more of your past posts and now Brent's website. Thanks for sharing with us.

My email address is: It is also listed on my blog.

Take care and have a great weekend!

Ann (Mom to Jason, Joshua,Ashley,Cody) said...

What a great way to share Brent's Birthday. He was such a sweet and giving young man, or as Ashley would say, he is such a Baby Doll!!! I can't wait to see who wins.

Faith Hope Love Mama said...

Would love to win this. I love baking and new recipes.

Your boy was the sweetest. What a great thing to do for his make a wish.

Blessings friend.

Kyle said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate Brent on his birthday!!! And that sweet potato bread sounds so yummy! Whoever wins your giveaway will be lucky to share in a piece of your family's history and the new tradition of giving in the spirt of Brent, how lucky!! Your family is in my prayers! :)

Sheryl said...

What a great way to honor Brent's birthday. Thanks for sharing his heart with us!
Love to you-

Amydeanne said...

sounds like a great idea for remembering his bday! hugs to you!

Sarah said...

This is such a sweet way to honor Brent! He sounds like a wonderful boy to be so giving. May you find special joy in your memories on his birthday...
Much love,

He And Me + 3 said...

What a precious post honoring Brent. Memories are so wonderful. Thank you for sharing some of them with us.

Kristen said...

What an awesome idea!!! How precious that he thought of others while going through such a difficut time!
Love you and hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Mike and Molly Spivey said...

What a sweet way to honor Brent! He was such a sweet little guy!

Anonymous said...

So I lost on Susan's site...and I lost on my friend Renee's site...third time's the charm? Didn't mention on CB that I think this is an amazing way to celebrate Brent's birthday. He would have loved it! Saying extra prayers right now as the day approaches....

Haven said...

Thank you for your blog and your story. My daughter, age 4, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma recently and there is so little I can find about it. I am truly touched by your story and want to thank you.

crispy said...

Count me in. Sounds wonderful. Great thoughtful idea.

Jill said...


You are so generous and I love how you ensure Brent's life lives on! I love how you celebrate his life and know that right now at this very moment he is smiling as we celebrate the joy in giving with you!

Big hugs and love,
PS I have two birthdays this week too!

Susan said...

Hey Girlfriend,

Wow, you've had so many visits!! Oh, I know Brent would just be beaming to think other's were following after his THANKFUL~GENEROUS sweet heart.

He truly loved Jesus with ALL of his heart, and loved to bless others. We were ones he personally touched many times.

I know somebody is going to be really blessed by winning this.

Sending lots of love and many hugs your way as it gets closer to Brent's 13th birthday. He's now a young man walking hand and hand with his heavenly father.

LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Amie@HeartSmiles said...


This post had me in tears. What an amazing young man your son was. What a blessing to so many who had the priveledge to know him, and to those of us who only know of his story. What a wonderful way to honor such a wonderful young man. I am so touched by his heart, his kindness, and his spirit.

It tickles me to think how pleased he must be with how you are honoring him this birthday. You are such a sweet heart, and though I have known your for only a short time, I am so thankful God caused our paths to cross. I am blessed for getting the chance to know you.

I am sending you an e-mail regarding this post..:)

Lots of LOVE!!


Cheryl said...


It is so much better to give than receive!

I love hearing about Brent, and absolutely would have loved to have met him here on earth. I will one day in heaven.

Thanks for sharing bits and pieces of Brent, as well as your entire family.

Anytime you want to talk about Brent, you can talk to me and I would love to listen.


A Stone Gatherer said...

Thank you for sharing your son's birthday with us! What a wonderful young man! I have your recipe for Sweet Potato Bread! I would sure love to try it without making it first! Lazy huh???!!! Happy Bloggyanniversary too!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a perfect way to celebrate Brent and his memory...He really was such a giving boy, and I know as a parent that makes you proud...So of course I want to win..LOL.....I think this is great...((HUGS)) Love, Marci The Prayer Bears and a fellow blogger now..

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Just arriving at your blog from Amie's and am in awe of the impact Brent had on so many lives. Bless you for carrying on in Brent's name - and in His.

Sweet potato bread sounds awesome!

Sharidrew said...

Im sure I'm too late for the contest. But that is ok. I have followed your family for so long, I feel like we are friends. I think about your brave son and how amazing he was. I know he is smiling down on you today on his birthday. What a sweet boy. Well, I know you miss him more than words. I just wanted you to know that I still pray for you and your boys. Your faith is so stong and you are definitely a roll model. God bless you!

Hugs from Shari in Missouri

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in your giveaway for Brent...I pray tommorow brings you peace and that you can remember your sweet boy in a happy way!
Hope you have a Blessed day and I so enjoy reading your blog...your other boys are so cute!
Kelly Bryan

Shelby said...

What an inspiration your son and family are!! My 10 year old daughter made a list of RAK she will be preforming tomorrow. She read the post over on and was eager to get involved. She is also a kind soul who just loves to do for others. Thank you for giving us all some encouragement to do more!! Blessings, Shelby

Dawn~^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, and Seth's mom said...

Hey you!

I so wish for a wonderful day for you the "momma" and for all of the family as you remember Brent's Birthday. I will be thinking of you and praying for you! You are keeping his legacy moving, and that is a most wonderful gift to him!!!


Pam D said...

Hey sweet Tonya,
I posted my tribute to your handsome brave boy. Someday...someday... we will all understand why things are the way they are. Til then, we have faith....
With love, with faith, and with the greatest of HOPE!

April said...

I just came across your blog and was so very touched by your son's story. He sounds like a wonderful person and I know you were and still are so proud of him. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for children with cancer. They are some of the bravest warriors I know.

Please enter me in your great giveaway. Sending blessings your way!