Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our Arrival

There is so much to share from our Magic Moments/Give Kids the World (GKTW) vacation that I don't even know where to start.  How about from the very beginning...
Our friends from Magic Moments met us at the Birmingham Airport on Valentines' Day to send us on our way in style.  Yes, we left to go to the happiest place on earth on Valentine's Day, not too bad, huh?  Magic Moments ( is the organization that sent us on this trip of a lifetime and Give Kids the World Village is the place we stayed at in Kissimmee, FL.  Sophie Kate was given a little Mickey Mouse and some glow sticks and bracelets for all the parades and nighttime shows we would be attending on our trip.  The boys were given a bag of snacks and candy for the trip thus kicking off a week of over indulugence (in a good way) like we could have never imagined.

On the plane, Sophie Kate was fussed over by the flight attendants of course.  And in true SK fashion, she did better than I did on the flight over and let's just leave it at that.  We were then met at the Orlando airport by a sweet lady holding this sign...
Yeah, we were feeling kind of like celebrities at this point. She took us to get our luggage, took us to our rental van and then made sure we had our directions to Give Kids the World Village.  Once we made it to the village, our children received even more welcome gifts and then we were taken to our villa.

Our villa was just beautiful and fit our family of 6 perfectly. It backed up to a lake and was on a quiet little street just around the corner within walking distance from all the fun stuff.  Magic Moments ordered all the medical equipment and supplies Sophie Kate would need for the week and they delivered it all to our villa.  The only things we brought with us, medically speaking where the things we needed for her on the plane and her medicines.  When I say we were completely taken care of, it doesn't even begin to describe it.

We arrived at GKTW around 4:00 on Saturday, Feb. 14, so after unloading we spent the rest of the evening exploring. We played Putt Putt golf, in which Sophie Kate proceeded to beat all of us unmercilessly.  Of course, everything and everywhere at the Village is completely accomodating and accessibile for wheelchairs.
We had dinner at the Gingerbread House, where would be having many meals during our stay.  
Cooper and Jacob even got involved in some of the games that evening. We found out very quickly that there is always something going on at the Village.
Their cup stacking skillz came in handy.

I went to a parent meeting that night where my mind was blown even further.  We received tickets to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Seaworld Orlando.  In addition, we received a special pass for all three parks that only GKTW families receive.  Those passes gave us access to a once in a lifetime trip.  

As special as this trip was for our family and y'all all know how much I love Disney, equally special was the time we spent at GKTW.  The village is run mainly by voluteers. The actual employees we saw paled in comparison to the huge amounts of volunteers.  These folks made us feel so special during our stay.  Give Kids the World Village was started by Henry Landwirth, who is a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp.  Please go to their website ( and read about his story and how his vision for the Village has grown into the amazing place it is today for special needs children and their families. 

Well, that was our arrival day.  It was packed full and set the stage for an unforgettable week of suprises, experiences and memories.  

Here is a small glimpse into our week at the parks...

Y'all know I will give each day its due.  I am going to have so much fun reliving this trip through pictures with you. Thanks for continuing to share in this journey with our's gonna be fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Where we've been...

We have just returned from a week long vacation at this place...

I cannot wait to share all of the details of our Give Kids the World trip, but at the moment I am finding it all so much to process myself.  It was a once in a lifetime experience for our family.  There were so many memories made and so many neat things we were able to experience together.  I will get to them all, but for now we are trying to deal with the harsh reality of returning to normal life, haha.

Sooo much more coming soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A New Nurse

I have the neatest story to share with y'all about how we met Sophie Kate's new nurse.  We still have our nurse and friend Kelly, who has been with us for 4 years now, it's just that we have been approved for more nursing hours than one person can work.  We have been looking for a new nurse since September and all along I have consistently said, "I know God already has this special person picked out for us we are just really ready to meet her."  And that's the really cool we came into each other's lives.

Every December our church hosts a dinner for families in our area.  It's a special time of eating, presents and getting to know new folks.   In December 2013,  our family did not get to participate because Sophie Kate was so sick. However, all of us were back together and well this past December and able to participate.  In the course of talking to the family we were sitting with, I shared with the mother that we were currently looking for a nurse to care for our daughter.  Immediately, she said, "I might know someone," and proceeded to call them right then and there.  Well, a text led to a phone call and a phone call led to a visit and well the short version is....we have a new nurse for Sophie Kate.  

She is just precious.  I love how she has jumped in unafraid to take our girl on.  Yes, she's a nurse and that's her job, but Sophie Kate can strike fear in even the most confident caregiver.  The quality I love most about her is the sweet way she interacts with SK.  I can teach just about anyone the medical aspects of caring for SK.  I can even teach non-medical folks how to take care of her, but I can't teach them to love her.  I can't teach them to be tender and gentle and kind.  I can't make them connect with her.  So it's not just job competentcy that allows me to leave the house worry free, it's their connection, it's the relationship I see already forming that sets my mind at ease. 

The things I see that encourage me is the way she brushes Sophie Kate's hair and the soft sweet way she talks to SK when she doesn't even know I'm listening...that is what going above and beyond the job of hanging a feeding bag looks like.  Isn't it neat to look back and consider September and even before that, before we even knew we had a need for another nurse God was already preparing.  Preparing us and preparing her for that meeting on December 10th...I knew she was out there, we are so glad to have met her...I am encouraged. 

Philippians 4:19, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."