Caring for Katie

Reblogged from CDAPress.com

Originally published December 29, 2014

By DEVIN HEILMAN
dheilman@cdapress.com

Katie & jacksonCOEUR d’ALENE – Katie Stolebarger’s world has been turned upside-down.

On Nov. 13, she received the worst news of her life – she has stage 4 breast cancer.

The otherwise super healthy 32-year-old single mom was in disbelief when her surgeon told her the swollen lymph node under her armpit was indeed cancer and that it had spread to her hip bone and a vertebrae on her spine. She thought she was just going in for a routine checkup.

“I immediately started sobbing and still can’t believe such a thing could be happening to me,” she said.

She is facing several rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation and won’t be able to work for a while. Stolebarger, of Coeur d’Alene, has been a real estate agent at Windermere for 13 years, and her work family at Windermere plans to be right by her side during her journey through cancer.

“She’s just a neat gal; I love her to pieces,” said Windermere co-owner and foundation secretary/treasurer Midge Smock. “We’re definitely family oriented and Katie is one of ours and we’re going to take care of her.”

Smock and her son and daughter-in-law were quick to action when they heard of Stolebarger’s distress.

“We were in Hawaii on vacation and we got a text and that was the week before Thanksgiving,” Smock said. “My daughter-in-law, son and I immediately got home and started figuring out what we could do.”

Smock and other Windermere agents are rallying support for Stolebarger to help her pay the forthcoming medical expenses as well as continue to provide for her 6-year-old son, Jackson. Smock said they have reached out to Stolebarger’s friends and others in the real estate community to donate their time or money to the cause. A Christmas photography fundraiser brought in about $7,000; combined with other efforts, fundraisers have generated close to $30,000 for Stolebarger, whose insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are about $27,000 so far.

Smock said they are in the process of setting up a trust for Stolebarger to also help with the medical bills and accompanying expenses. In the past, Windermere jumped to the rescue of one of its agents who needed a bone marrow transplant.

“We raised the money and it saved his life,” Smock said.

The real estate agency is once again stepping up for one of its employees.

“Her chemotherapy is going to be very intense,” Smock said. “We want to keep her in her apartment and help take care of her son. She’s in a fight for her life.”

Stolebarger has already gone through a couple sessions of chemo and knows she will be losing her blond hair soon. She is holding her head high and trying to maintain a positive and proactive attitude as she faces a frightening journey. She is happy and thankful to have her Windermere family.

“I can’t imagine not having them here right now,” Stolebarger said. “They’re like having an extra 100 family members to have by my side to walk through this with me.”

As for her own family, Stolebarger said being diagnosed with cancer has brought them closer. She said her friends have been supportive, too, and everyone is thinking more about the important things in life.

“I’ve been blogging about what really matters,” she said. “It’s not hair, it’s not having a perfect face or big boobs. None of that really matters because when you’re sitting in the chemo room, people are just happy to be alive. Everything just goes out the window.”

She said her family does have a history of breast cancer and she encourages all women to go in and get checked.

“I was fine, other than being a little tired. I feel fine,” she said. “Even if you feel fine, just go.”

For info, to read Stolebarger’s blog or donate, visit www.caringforkatie.org.

Caring for Katie

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser, Browser's Friends, Caring for Katie, Charitable Giving, Coeur d'Alene, Puppy, Quotes, Tracker, Trakker, Trakkers Tail, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Video: Digital Story of Christmas

We couldn’t resist!

This video has been making the rounds, and as of today has had more than TEN MILLION HITS on YouTube.com!

Enjoy!

 

Did you know? 

The Oetkens have their own YouTube Channel.
You can view Virtual Tours of many of our listings, check out a tour of our home decorated for Christmas last year, and more.
We will also be posting video of TRAKKER‘s “Firsts” this year and other fun stuff.

Check it out at http://www.YouTube.com/OwnTheLifestyle

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 11:42 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , ,

DOWNTOWN COEUR D’ALENE: Holiday in Lights

Coeur d’Alene is a magical wonderland during the holidays. 

 

The Holiday Lights is one attraction that make our city so irresistible.  Here’s a quick video tour, from our friends at the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association:

 

 

http://www.cdadowntown.com/
Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ON THE LEVEL: Holiday Decorating Trends

We just LOVE Hibbard Construction’s Blog & Newsletter!  Here’s another fabulous post by Tammy Henry, that we thought we would pass along to you – just in time for holiday decorating!

Holiday Decorating Trends

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to crawl up into the attic and bring down those boxes of decorations.  Many of us have been using the same decorations year after year, and some of those decorations may look a little outdated by now.  If this is the case, you may want to update your decorations or add some new twists to your decorative flair.

Two trends in particular have been emerging, with very different themes and looks.  One is a more sophisticated theme, while the other stays more traditional. Here are a few must-try trends that will guarantee a fresh festive look for your home.

Seasonal sophistication

Green and red might be Christmas mainstays, but your holiday decor doesn’t have to depend on these two hues alone. This season, look to more sophisticated versions of those classic shades with some other, more versatile tones.  For the sophisticated theme, the colors are rich burgundies, deep golds, dark cranberry and hunter greens as color schemes.  You can focus your holiday decor on just one color throughout or a mix of two or all four.

Table setting

To really set a sophisticated scene, add a new tablecloth or table linens in these rich, elegant colors. Use solids for the placemats and a fun pattern for the napkins to add interest and depth. Salad plates in these shades mixed in with your standard china add a punch of color, while entertaining new stemware in festive, chic hues make a great accent for your holiday table.

Slip on slipcovers

Add slipcovers to your kitchen chairs or change the cushions on dining room chairs. This is a simple but noticeable change.  This freshens up your furniture without having to buy any new major item.

Accessorize accordingly

One of the easiest ways to incorporate a seasonal theme throughout your home is with accessories. Use these colors in accent pillows on beds or sofas, cozy throws or blankets, vases, candles or decorative bowls filled with ornaments in your chosen shades.

Punch up the powder room

New towels in seasonal solids, patterns or festive trims carry through your look effectively. The powder room is one room your guests will use, so don’t forget about it.

Upgrade your drapery

Change your everyday drapery to your new color scheme. Fabrics like velvets or silks add a sense of luxury for the holidays.

Tastefully traditional

The other emerging trend in holiday decor this season is sticking to more conventional decor elements.  At its essence, this means reliving childhood memories and creating new ones for your family.  To make your holiday decorating a  more interactive experience, get inspired with these tips for getting tastefully traditional in your home this holiday.

Think vintage

Incorporate vintage decorations that have a homemade feel to give your decor a more traditional quality. Also think about using handed-down ornaments from prior generations to really add a nostalgic twist.  “A few ornaments that were your great-grandmother’s, or other ornaments that were your parents’ allow you to share stories of past Christmas get-togethers. 

Get cultured

Incorporate your cultural background into your decor this season.  Using ethnic pieces reflecting a family culture creates a very personal, intimate feeling and pride of one’s heritage.

Do a decor swap

Consider swapping ornaments and decorations with family members who are far away and can’t join you for the holidays. This is a great way to warm up your space and make it feel like loved ones are close by, even when they can’t be.

Incorporate nature

Natural elements like branches, leaves, pine cones and berries make simple, charming decorative elements in a traditional Christmas spirit.

Tie in toys

Vintage toys that remind us of childhood, like red wagons, Tonka toys, and old train sets, can be used as accessories or decorations.  Ask your parents if they have some of yours or your siblings’ toys they have kept, or get a new train with the family that will eventually be used in a future Christmas with your grandchildren.

Whatever your tastes may be, there are a multitude of ways to update and create wonderful holiday decorating schemes on any budget.  Get creative and have fun!

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TRAINING UP TRAKKER: Is Exercise the Cure for Canine Behavior Issues?

Trakker on Adoption Day

Hello Friends!

Yes, this is a purely shameless excuse to share another picture of our adorable puppy, TRAKKER. This is him on the day we adopted him.  OK…so he’s a bit bigger now than he was two months ago.  We promise to share some more updated photos soon…but we just couldn’t resist sharing this one today!

Training Up TRAKKER:
We’re always looking for puppy training tips.  Here’s an article we found that we thought you might appreciate, suggesting the value of exercise in curbing those pesky “annoyance” behaviors.  Especially during the holiday season, when we have more on our “to do” lists, guests in our home, and dazzling decorations which may be irresistible to “puppies” of all ages, it might be helpful for us to be reminded of the powerful effects of exercise.

Enjoy!

Written by: Sean McDaniel
Seattle Family Dog Training

Have you ever heard the old adage, “A tired dog is a good dog?” Well, a few years back we decided to put that adage to the test.

As a dog trainer for over a decade, I’ve never turned down a dog-problem. Consequently, I’ve seen just about every dog-related issue under the sun. There are perpetual debates over which training method is best and how to go about solving dogsbehavioral challenges. Instead of pitting two training methodologies against one another, we thought we’d compare a group of dogs going through ‘obedience’ training and a group merely exercising regularly.cctakesteps-1

The two groups filled out preliminary assessments on their dogs’ traits and issues, and then took part in either six weeks of obedience training or six weeks of an exercise program. The unscientific parts of this experiment are the sample size and the variance in types of exercise. There were only 6 participants in each group and the exercising group each did different things. Some “exercisers” went for a run twice a day; other dogs ran next to a cycling owner, some played fetch, while some did a mix of activities. The “exercisers” were directed to do at least 30-45 minutes of exercise twice a day with one session happening in the morning. They slowly ramped up the amount and intensity of exercise over two weeks and most of the participants had some really good workouts going with their dogs for the last 3-4 weeks of the test.

All participants in the “obedience training” group had goods results with all of their issues, and their dogs’ improved in both obedience skills and what we would call “annoyance behaviors” such as: jumping up, digging, barking, chasing other animals, and general over-excitement.

cctakesteps-ambers-group

The big take away for us, from this small test, was that the exercise group, though they hadn’t improved markedly in any obedience skills, improved greatly in all the “annoyance” behaviors.social-riverstone

Generally, the “exercise group” told us that their dog was much easier to live with during their new exercise regimen. They also told us that the people in the house experienced less stress due to not worrying about their dog’s “problem” behaviors as much.

So, did this experiment help map out the canine genome or discover a cure for hip-dysplasia – well … no. It was helpful to us though to show, in some more structured way, that the adage about a “tired dog being a good dog” really is true.

What does this mean for you? Well, it’s all good news. While there will be no shortage of issues left for professional trainers to help folks with; you might be able to take your first steps in solving some behavior problems today. Go for a long hike, a bike ride, a run (if your able) or play some vigorous fetch with your dog, and see if some of your dog’s “annoying” behaviors don’t start to wane for you too. By the way, there’s also a rumor out there that spending time walking, hiking, cycling and playing fetch with your dog is good for humans as well?english-point-molly-and-new

You can contact the author with comments or questions about this article and other dog-related questions at: sean@seattlefamilydogtraining.com

Live in the Spokane area and need some help exercising your dog?  Check in with Bare Paws Running.

For more doggie doings in the area, check in at our website.

Follow us onFacebook!

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Trakker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thank You, Veterans!

Randy & Christy Oetken wish you a very Happy Memorial Day Weekend and would like to extend our deepest thanks to all our Veterans and their Families.  It is our privilege to honor you and to remember your sacrifices for our great nation.

Thank you for your faithful service to our beloved country.

May God‘s richest blessings be yours this weekend and in the days and years to come!

http://www.ontherightinva.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/memorial-day-shadow-soldier.jpg

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memorial Day Weekend: Free Silverwood Admission for American Heros

 

American Hero Weekend Event at

Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Water Park

   

Date: May 28, 2011 – May 30, 2011

http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com

Event Description

American Hero Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend – May 28-30, 2011 –

Admission is FREE to all military, police officers and firefighters. Their spouse and children are 1/2 price general admission (only $20.99 all ages) when purchasing their ticket at the front gate.

 

http://directory.cdachamber.com/Events/details/event-at-silverwood-theme-park-boulder-beach-water-park-2100

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Community Events, Free, Holidays, Idaho | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On The Level: Clever Christmas Card Display

This idea is from our friends at Hibbard Construction:

Fun and decorative, this is a great way to display your Christmas cards.  Use two-inch wide ribbon with the wire in it.  Tie a bow at one end and use a push pin or tack to affix the bow to the top of the window frame.  Gently pull ribbon taught and using a push pin or tack secure the ribbon to the bottom of the window frame.  As your Christmas Cards arrive, use a straight pin or staple to attach the cards to your ribbon.

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Holidays, home, Idaho, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

We’re giving away FREE TURKEYS: Do you know someone in need?

Turkeys to Give Away

A recent Windermere food drive produced such overwhelming community response that the Food Bank has approximately 100 turkeys that need to be given away as soon as possible.

If you know of someone who might need a free turkey, please call  like a turkey:

     ·        Please remember to come pick it up on Wednesday morning because we do not have a space to store the turkey for you.

Please call or e-mail us by 4PM Today!

Randy & Christy Oetken

208-660-0506

Oetken@RealEstate-Browser.com

 

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Coeur d'Alene, Free, Holidays, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We Have What Santa Wants!

Here’s What Santa Likes, According to the National Association of Realtors and Zillow.com.  But we’ve posted a few suggestions (after the Realtor.org Mag article…) that Santa should add to his Christmas Wish List! Daily Real Estate News  |  December 16, 2010  |  

Rooftop Deliveries: Santa Rates the CitiesZillow.com crunched the numbers and determined the 20 top cities on Santa’s list.

According to Zillow, what makes Santa happy is:

· Percentage of homes with a fireplace (If there are fireplaces, there should be chimneys).

· Percentage of single-story homes (This presumes that Santa would prefer single-story homes so there’s less likelihood of a workplace injury).

· Weather (Snow and clear days are desirable, and rainy days are undesirable).

· Percent of homes with children (Santa enjoys spreading cheer to all the good girls and boys).

·

 

 

 Vintage 4620′ 4/3 Craftsman in Prestigious Historical Fort Grounds. Grace, Beauty, & Charm… all necessary ingredients in this creation. Architectually restored to preserve yesteryear’s beauty with all of today’s amenities.. Relax on the front porch & feel the tranquility as you gaze into the beautifully manicured grounds. Guest Quarters, shop & plenty of parking. Lake, park & downtown nearby. http://www.realestate-browser.com/viewdetails.php?nid=77398&mls=10-6537

 Lot size (A bigger lot often means a bigger roof and more room for Santa to land all those reindeer).

The top 10 Santa-pleasing cities were:

1. Colorado Springs, Colo.

2. Wichita, Kansas

3. Los Angeles

4. Dallas

5. Oklahoma City

6. El Paso, Texas

7. Minneapolis

8. Phoenix

9. Albuquerque

10. Denver

Source: Zillow.com, Whitney Tyner (12/14/2010)

BUT DOES SANTA KNOW THIS:

Hey, Santa!  Come visit us when you’re done this year.  We’ll help YOU “Own The Lifestyle“!

 

Posted on December 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Coeur d'Alene, Downtown, Holidays, home, Idaho, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Market News, Real Estate, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,