Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Giving Tuesday and an Exciting Opportunity!!

It is Giving Tuesday!  As always, our family is participating in The Red Shoe Shuffle on April 10th to raise funds and awareness for  Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore​.  We love this amazing house and all it stands for!

From now until Friday (12/4), Matt and I will MATCH any donations made to our Red Shoe Shuffle page, up to $500!!  In addition, we will also donate $10 for each person who joins our team.

ALL donations from the Red Shoe Shuffle go directly to supporting families staying at The Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore while their children receive medical care.  You can rest assured that your donation will be used wisely.

If you have been thinking about joining us for the Shuffle, now is the time to register!  You can do that here.  Be sure to join our team, The Joy Runners!  If you can't shuffle with us but would like to support our team, you can double your donation!

Please click here to donate.  Thank you for your help!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This year, I'm thankful for health and family...and that my healthy family can all celebrate under one roof!  Last year, my dad and Abby were both in the hospital.  We praise God that they are both doing well after a tough year!

Here is a collection of Thankfulness quotes and Bible verses I liked.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Ode to Children Who Only Eat Rolls on Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Day and the table’s all set.
All day in the kitchen I chopped, cooked, and sweat.
The green beans are ready, the potatoes are, too.
The cranberry sauce is a gorgeous red hue.
Sit down, have some stuffing, it’s seasoned just right.
Please tell me you’re going to have at least one small bite.
How about the star of the show: roasted turkey?
Why are your eating habits so freaking quirky?
How can it be that you fear mashed potatoes,
when I’ve seen you eat dirt, rocks, some paper and Playdough?
You’re making a scene, ok, please just stop crying.
My dreams of a calm Thanksgiving are dying.
Fine, just eat the bread. I’m tired. You win.
Once again, I’ll be scraping your plate in the bin.
But if you get scurvy, don’t come looking for me.
It’s not my fault you eat so damn crappily.
Another roll? Go ahead, please help yourself.
But tomorrow get ready for Elf on the Shelf.

Source:  www.momsnewsdaily.com

The Parable Treasury by Liz Curtis Higgs

Bestselling favorite Parable books bring fun throughout the year in this new four books in one format.
With more than 1.1 million units sold in the Parable Series, Liz Curtis Higgs has given parents and kids alike beloved parables they can read throughout the year. This adorable compilation, Parable Treasury, allows families to get all their favorite stories in one value-packed book.
For nearly twenty years, Liz Curtis Higgs has made the holidays a little brighter throughout the year with her Parable Series. In a lovely padded hardcover format, the Gold Medallion–winning books from the Parable Series will include:
  • The Pumpkin Patch Parable,which focuses on the harvest season and shows that we can let God’s love shine through us
  • The Pine Tree Parable,a heartwarming tale of the farmer and his family, who nurture tiny seedlings into fragrant Christmas trees
  • The Parable of the Lily, which helps children understand the power of grace and forgiveness and the true meaning of Easter
  • The Sunflower Parable, which helps children discover the value of planting seeds, not only in the ground but also in the hearts of those around us
My Thoughts:
I got this book to put into my daughter's bedtime story rotation.  The stories are fairly short and easy to understand.  She especially loved the bright illustrations!  While at five she may be a little young to connect the parable to the actual lesson being taught, we were able to have good discussions about the stories and talk about why the characters did the things they did.  I am certain this will be a book we will pull out often through the years, because the discussions will only get richer as she is able to comprehend more.  This is a wonderful book to help reinforce Bible lessons and character traits.

Disclaimer:  I receive complimentary books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2 weeks!!!

In just 2 weeks, we will be heading to Disney World!!!!  

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the Siblings of Kids With Special Needs

To the siblings who sometimes feel invisible...I see you.

To the ones who have celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving in the hospital instead of around your dining room table...I see you.

To the kids who get shuffled from one family member to the next during hospitalizations...I see you.

To the children who trade video games at sleepovers for blown up medical gloves during hospital visits...I see you.

To the students whose parents have missed games, performances, concerts, and school presentations...I see you.

To the kids who turn speech and physical therapy into fun games…I see you.

To those who have blown out birthday candles in hospital playrooms...I see you.

To the kids who share their houses with nurses and therapists...I see you.

To the students who have been picked up unexpectedly from school, only to find out your sibling has been taken to the hospital again…I see you.

To the children who had to grow up too fast and have way too much medical knowledge...I see you.

To the doctors-in-training who can give tube feeds, suction trachs, silence ventilators, and clean hearing aids...I see you.

To the kids whose world gets turned upside down by a medical emergency, yet you are expected to keep it together and be well-behaved…I see you.

To those who must worry about how long you will have your siblings, and wonder what life would be like without them...I see you.

I see you having a compassion that others your age just don't have.  I see you unabashedly loving your siblings and being their fierce protectors.  I see you trying to change the world's perception of special needs kids by reminding people not the use the r-word.  I see you playing with your siblings and accepting them just as they are.  I see you growing up to be therapists, doctors, nurses, and special education teachers, because you have seen first-hand the difference these people have played in your sibling's life.  I see you taking on the role of caretaker as adults when your parents no longer can.  I see you being thankful for the small things in life, because you understand that those are really the big things.

To Caleb, Ryan, Kennedy, Anderson, Sara, Jade, Peyton, Nate, and so many others who have sacrificed so much over the years...I see you.

So to the siblings of kids with special needs, THANK YOU for all you have given up so that your brother or sister can get the best care possible.  We couldn't do it without you.  You are loved!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Then and Now

Inspired by this article and photos, I decided to do a little photo shoot with Abby.

Abby:  Then and Now!

She got a little silly after a while :)

We keep this picture on our mantle to remind us of how far she has come.  Although some days can be hard, we are so blessed with her health, spunk, and zest for life!