A Birthday Greeting From Josiah’s Mom

Happy Birthday to Two

Happy 19th Birthday, Josiah!
Happy 18th Birthday, Autumn!

Today marks a double milestone for our family. Don and I went to dinner with the two of them at a Mexican restaurant, then to the mall for some birthday shopping. At home, the whole family celebrated with Josiah’s traditional birthday choice, a cookie cake, and an ice cream cake for Autumn. We ended the day with a fast-paced game of scrabble, and both Andrew and Josiah outscored me by an embarrassing margin.

We’ve always tried to do separate celebrations for their birthdays, so that each one could have his/her choice of activities, but sometimes we do combine them. One of the most memorable was a birthday probably 10 years ago, when we had planned double slumber parties: a party at the church, followed by the girls spending the night there and the boys staying at our house. Each of them was allowed to invite six guests. We wanted to have plenty of time for all of the planned activities, so we requested on the invitations that the guests be allowed to come directly from school to our house. What we weren’t expecting — and certainly could not have predicted — was the several inches of snow that turned school out mid-morning. I had more than a dozen kids in the house (and out in the snow) all afternoon while I prepared the food, cake, and decorations for the party.

And I’m sure Autumn wouldn’t want me to tell you about the time that she threw up on several other family members in the van seat in front of her after a trip to Celebration Station …

Birthdays in our house are always an adventure. Like all of life, it’s a roller coaster ride that I enjoy with all of my heart. I hope the ride goes on and on …

Happy birthday, sweet babies! (I guess it’s too late to tell you to stop growing up so quickly.)

🙂 Sharon

Source: My Life With Cancer


Josiah’s Easter Picture

Here is a picture of Josiah from Sharon’s blog. This was taken on Easter.

Josiah Leming

Article About Josiah’s Mom

Parenting inspiration from mom of American Idol contestant

I’ve gotten to be a big “American Idol” fan over the past couple years. I guess it goes back to being 8 or 9 years old singing songs I’d written into a hairbrush. What little kid hasn’t dreamed of being a rock star at some point?

I look at those contestants and remember what it felt like to wish I was up on a stage having people listen to my incredible voice. Problem is, I don’t have the incredible voice. So, I watch the show, really pulling for these people who do have musical talent and a shot at making a career out of it.

I got a chance to watch part of the first shows of the season and caught the audition of 18-year-old Josiah Leming from Morristown, Tenn. I loved his initial audition. I then watched his auditions in Hollywood, where despite being an early favorite of the judges, he was cut.

Not only was it disappointing because of his obvious talent — he sings, writes his own songs and plays keyboard and guitar — but also because of the story they aired of him living in his car, traveling the country, trying to live his dream of making music.

So, after he was cut, I thought it would be interesting to interview him and write about what he had been doing since being part of the show. It seems I wasn’t the only one interested in his story.

The day I tried reaching him, he appeared on “Ellen” and “Access Hollywood,” and had already been visited by a camera crew from MTV. He was out of town doing a radio show when I called.

I talked to his mom and asked about her large family. Josiah, or “Joey,” as he is called by family and friends, is the second oldest of nine children (five boys and four girls), ranging in age from 9 to 20.

She gushed about how “gussied up” he looked on “Ellen,” thanked me for being a fan and told me she was his “original fan.”

Being a mom, I was interested in hearing how she manages such a large family and decided to call her back and maybe get some material for this column on raising kids.

That call ended up being well more than an hour where she talked about her family, her kids’ musical talent and living with cancer. She said a lot of interesting and inspiring things, so I thought I’d dedicate a couple columns to the topic.

Sharon Leming, 40, has been battling a rare form of cancer for more than seven years. She was diagnosed in 2000 with ovarian leiomyosarcoma and has endured 16 surgeries, 45 radiation treatments and six cycles of chemotherapy.

According to her Web site, http://www.mylifewithcancer.com, it affects only four people out of a million and there is no cure.

As a mom of a large family, I immediately felt a connection to her, but the further the conversation went on, I learned more about what an amazing person she is.

Sharon married young and had three children. The marriage ended in divorce, but the second time around she found a wonderful man named Don.

Don adopted her two sons and one daughter, and they went on to adopt six children together, all kids they had taken in as foster children. Some of them have special needs and emotional issues from previous homes.

Sharon worked as an Internet programmer until her health deteriorated in 2004. The following year, she lost the use of her legs due to cancer and now spends much of her time in a wheelchair.

When we talked, she had just gotten bad news that an aggressive form of in-patient chemotherapy is her best option. She got that news just before seeing her son’s Hollywood Week audition on “American Idol,” from the hotel room near the hospital.

She was home the following day to watch him get cut from the show together as a family, including Josiah.

As you’re reading this column, she’ll be in a hospital room finishing up her round of chemotherapy.

I’ll share more on my conversation with Sharon Leming in my next column. You can find out more about Leming by reading her blog at mylifewithcancer.com. You can hear Josiah’s music at myspace.com/josiahleming.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. Carrie Steinweg, the mother of five, lives in Lansing. Her column alternates with that of Schererville mom Rebecca Bailey. She can be reached at csteinw@yahoo.com.

Josiah in Hotel Cafe on March 7

Sharon, Josiah’s mom, posted another message on the VFTW board.

I am sincerely thankful for all of the kind wishes, but I and my health have seriously hijacked Josiah’s thread for the past week.

When everyone is finished power-voting, can we please make the title more about him again? (And don’t make it TOO mean, okay?)

He is VERY pleased with his meetings so far. Also, he is actually going to play a show in Los Angeles this Friday. Here’s the note on his myspace page:

03/07/2008 10:30 PM – Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028 – 10.00

ok, so i know this is last minute, but this will be my first post-idol show, and i would love for you guys to come out! doors open at 10, and you might want to show up early…hopefully we can fill up the room! love you guys, and i’ll see you then ( : Josiah

(Sharon’s Note: Due to the locale, the show is 21+ only.)

Sad to say I can’t be there. 😦 So I’m calling out to anyone who will go to please take pictures and/or videos and post it here. Will credit of course. Thanks.

Get Well Soon Sharon

Well recently we heard news about Josiah canceling a show to be with his mom who went into a coma. Well, I’m happy to say that she is getting better now. Here is what she said:

Hello, everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I came out of the coma yesterday afternoon. Here’s a little trivia that you all will appreciate: the last thing I remember before I “fell asleep” is David Archuleta singing John Lennon. I remember feeling very annoyed, and wanting it to end. Haha!

I’m very weak, and I’ve been throwing up constantly. I’m still easily confused, but I do believe I am coming back.

Josiah is on a plane and will soon be in San Diego. He was right by my side through the whole thing. You would have been proud of him. His dedication and loyalty to me was amazing.

Okay, I’m his mom … I have bragging rights!

WantToLive (Sharon)

P.S. – There are more details on my blog at http://www.mylifewithcancer.com .

Glad you’re okay Sharon. You’re a tough and inspiring individual. Press on!

Source: VFTW

Good News and Bad News

An article from Wane about Josiah being given a car and Josiah’s mom.

(Fort Wayne – WANE)  America first met Josiah Leming on the music reality show American Idol.

The high school dropout left home when he was 17 and was living in his car, chasing his dream of becoming a singer-songwriter.

He was eventually cut from the show, but not before winning over the hearts of some in Fort Wayne.

This week, local radio hosts Dirk Rowley and Jeannette Rinard from Majic 95.1 found out that Josiah’s live-in-car broke down.

So they set out to find a way to help.

Several members of the Fort Wayne community decided join the cause and reach out.

Glenbrook Hyundai donated a car and the Chamber of Commerce filled it with momentos from around Fort Wayne.

Mark McKibbon from Glenbrook Hyundai says, “It really does show what a great town we live in and the community we have here, you know around us.”

“The entire Fort wayne community just kind of came forward and just had this huge outpouring of love and support and help for Josiah, it’s just amazing,” says Rinard of Majic 95.1.

Originally, Josiah planned to come to Fort Wayne to pick up his new car and perform a small concert.

But just last night, Josiah’s mother was taken to the hospital after a bad reaction to chemotherapy.

Josiah describes what happened, “I got here and she wasn’t awake.  She was like in a coma because the chemo she just started is a really rough version.  We didn’t know what was wrong, She wouldn’t recognize anybody.”

But all of that won’t keep Josiah from his new car.

Dirk and Jeannette left this afternoon to deliver the car to him personally in Tennessee.

A Message from Josiah’s Mom

Josiah has been so busy during the past week that he’s barely even had any sleep. He gets e-mails, myspace messages, and phone calls constantly.

Yes, he does read every one of them, and he loves his fans. But I’m sure he is WAY behind on responding to them at this point.

Yesterday, he spent the entire day with the MTV film crew. Today, he is flying to the west coast to do the Ellen show. If he makes it back to Tennessee on Tuesday as scheduled, he is scheduled to do some local media outlets.

And now, to justify taking the bait and replying to this poster’s thread, here’s a little “Josiah trivia” for you:

– The ending on his Grace Kelly audition was NOT pre-rehearsed. He was told that he needed to improve the ending, so he came up with that ON THE FLY as he was singing it. When I asked to hear it after the fact, he said that he could not possibly re-create it from memory. (Of course, he could watch it now and repeat it.)

– The large water bottle that he carries with him in the hotel footage has an interesting origin. I don’t know if he’s told you that his car was (and is) broken down more often than it runs. The water was purchased at a gas station while he was traveling to Atlanta for the second round of auditions. He “shared” it with his radiator. He would pour part of it in his car and drink the rest to keep from dehydrating while he was stuck by the side of the road.

🙂 WantToLive

Source: VFTW

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