Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lighthouse See Ya Laters!

At The Lighthouse we don't say Good-bye. Good thing cause See Ya Laters are hard enough. Ya'll know our family doesn't meet someone once and then lose contact. We have hopes of staying in touch and seeing them again. We get very attached to our family partners. That was obvious cause we were still calling Sharon, Kelley and Diane our family partners and that was last year.

We had a wonderful breakfast provided by Watercolor. The slide show that Tim did was amazing. He did a wonderful job capturing so many special moments from the week.

Well it was time to load up and head home. Making sure to tell everyone how much we enjoyed it. Once again we can make it through another year or at least until we get to see some of them again. Thank you to each one of the families that took the time to come and share their lives with us. Thank you to each one of the volunteers that helped make life a little easier and remind us of how blessed we are. Thanks especially to Melinda for EVERYTHING!!! Without her amazing vision none of this would have taken place. Thanks to Watercolor too and all the wonderful families that shared their houses with us.

Our ride home was filled with Marlee Anne wanted dad to keep up with Kimberly. HA! Thankfully Marlee Anne fell asleep. When she woke up though she wanted to find Kimberly. When she realized she was long gone she had to call and check on her.

Mary Elizabeth & Michala were glad to be home. Mike and I were trying to figure out life without our wonderful family partners. Today was hard on Michala because she didn't have that one on one attention that she so loves at The Lighthouse. Thanks again to everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lighthouse Day 4

The sun was shining so Marlee Anne got to ride her bike to breakfast. KJ and Mike pushed Mary Elizabeth and Michala while I tried to keep up with Marlee Anne. By the time we got to breakfast the baby was in a knot crying out what was I thinking.

We had a nice breakfast and then went outside for Morning Watch. Then back to the house for Common Grounds while the kids practice for the talent show. Marlee Anne had gone back and forth about what she was doing or if she was even performing.

Our time was cut short for Common Grounds that day. Mike and I hadn't shared but we were very anxious to hear the other family share. Thankfully they shared first. We shared a very condensed version but I am so thankful each time we get to share. I am amazed at how much healing still needs to be done.

We went back to baithouse to meet for the boat ride. We were blessed to have get a ride on a glass bottom boat in Destin. It was a really great ride. I tried to walk around and take pictures but the baby didn't like that too much so I ended up sitting down and enjoying the ride. Nachelle came to sit beside me but that didn't last long cause she was about to throw up. Me being the good friend that I am got up and moved. I wasn't very supportive. We had a delicious lunch from Chick-fil-a. There were about 20 dolphins swimming next to our boat. That was so beautiful!

Once we got back to Watercolor we had beach olympics on the beach. I wanted to go down and get pictures of Marlee Anne on the beach but about 5 minutes was my limit. The smell of the dead fish got to me. I walked back to the house to spend time with Peggy and the girls. Another God thing cause that was such a healing time to be able to share with Peggy.

We had the talent show with pizza from Pizza Hut. The talent show was filled with so much talent. Mike "performed" in his coconuts and grass skirt. Marlee Anne went back and forth as to whether she would perform or not. Each time she decided she just couldn't. Mary Elizabeth & Michala were blessed to get to up at the stage while Hailey signed When I Call on Jesus. Mary Elizabeth kept a huge smile on her face while Michala bounced and clapped. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lighthouse Day 3

We woke up and it was raining again. Same plan as yesterday. Mike stayed with the girls until a volunteer could come relieve him so he wouldn't miss Common Grounds.

After a wonderful breakfast prepared by our wonderful Sharon and others we had Morning Watch. I was concerned about us not being able to have it on the beach but once again God was there and it was blessed.

While the kids did Flip Flop at the baithouse restaurant the parents went to a house to do Common Grounds. It was the house we stayed in last year with the Metz family. It brought back so many wonderful memories. It gave a more relaxed and comforting feel to Common Grounds. We had more wonderful families share. Each time I am amazed (AMAZED was my word for the week) at what families have and are going through and they still have time to stop and be concerned for others. You can still catch a smile on their faces and hear laughter from their family. Even though there are times I forget it - God is Good. As a matter of fact that is The Lighthouse theme. God is Good, God Cares, God is in Control and God wants you to know Him. All reminders that I really needed this week.

Since it was raining we were blessed to ride down to Common Grounds with Nachelle and her mom Norma. It was nice to have a few minutes to visit with them. What a blessing these two are! I love spending time getting to know the other families.

After Common Grounds it was back to the baithouse for lunch. The kids were all wired up and excited from their fun. We saw KJ but couldn't find Marlee Anne. Some how during the week those strong ties between them were loosened. She got very attached to Kimberly and Tom. She even got to spend time with Diane, partly because she had Joanna (the little baby with her). Good for her to have that baby time.

After lunch we headed back to the house to relieve Hayden and our wonderful family partner Peggy. Last year Peggy was our family partner too. We seemed to have more time to spend together this year and it was wonderful. What a sweet sweet spirit she is.

OOPS! I forgot to say it stopped raining. KJ, Mike and Marlee Anne decided to go for a bike ride so Peggy stayed to let me nap. Mary Elizabeth & I had a wonderful nap while Michala tried to help Peggy knit. When the gang got back from riding bikes they had gotten me creme' brulee cheese cake and a coffee from Starbucks. Back out to ride the trails they went. Marlee Anne rode her bike for 4 miles all by herself. I was so very proud and so was she.

Mike had just gone upstairs to take a nap and there was a knock at the door. Dave had come to pick me up for my spa treatment. I felt bad that Mike was going to miss his nap, which he never got all week, but I was so thankful for that time for me. We picked up Amy and he gave us our instructions to wait on the steps. I knew what was in store for us. You cannot get this type of service in the most expensive of spas. I thought I can't start crying now but as soon as I reached the steps and Melinda was there waiting I let the tears flow. Once every mom was there Muriel shared some scripture and prayed. Melinda told us to not think of it as the volunteers doing this for us but God. As we topped the stairs there was a room filled with all the female volunteers dressed in white. There were windows every where with God's light shining in. We all got wonderful manicures, pedicures and shoulder massages. It was amazing. Once again I have to remind you that these volunteers chose to be here, the paid to serve us. Amazing!

We all were chauffeured back to our houses to get ready for supper. Supper at the baithouse was wonderful with pasta and salad. Marlee Anne and I got a treat with Tom telling us wonderful stories that Marlee Anne gave him the theme to. Rusty continued to rag Mike about the talent show. He and Mike have connected and I am so very thankful for that friendship for Mike. Michala was enjoying Danny playing the guitar every chance he had. She thought it was just for her. Mike said Mary Elizabeth was going to have a have a face massage because of all the smiling she was doing.

Back to the house for hopefully an early night in.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lighthouse Day 1 & 2

No post about these two days. I am so very sorry! I will try to get my thoughts together. I typed these each night on Mike's laptop. He reformatted his laptop before I had a chance to get those two days journaling off. I can promise you they were days filled with as much peace, love and amazement as the next three.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Day!

First of all THANK YOU for your prayers! Even if it didn't help Michala, well it probably did cause I am sure it could have been worse, it helped Mike and I have some laughs and look at it like there was nothing we could do to change it. I have to laugh each time I think of Michala and her EEG. NO she didn't sleep at all. He was very patient and waited and waited. He had to put her in the papoose because she kept grabbing the wires. He felt bad because he had never had to do that. Even with that she is so strong and kept sitting up. Her foot and leg was sticking out and she kept kicking Mike in the head with it. She got one hand out a little bit and kept clawing us with it. The whole time now we are supposed to be getting her to go to sleep. It's one of those times when you have to laugh to keep from crying.

When he put the flashing light on her she kept turning her head and closing her eyes. A lot of good that light did. Mike reminded me on the way out that's the reason we do not do those very often. Hopefully he got enough info to help us decide what direction to go in with her seizures and meds.

While we were waiting to be called back, this volunteer - a big guy came walking by with this precious tiny little baby. I told the baby hello and he stopped to let us speak to her. He told us that he is a policeman and volunteers there. What an amazing heart this guy must have. It made me once again thankful that Mike and I are blessed to be able to be with the girls when they have to be in the hospital. I love how God uses some many people around us to remind us of our blessings we sometimes miss and take for granted.

Last night we had the opportunity to go to Camp Sunshine House for Spa Sydell night. WONDERFUL!!! We couldn't find anyone to keep the girls so we decided that we would just take them. They all did wonderful. Our Camp Sunshine family is such a true blessing to us.

We found out last night that two of our special Lighthouse friends' cancer has relapsed. Please remember Chayton and Abby and their families in your prayers.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers for us. It's truly what gets us through each day!


Monday, October 01, 2007



Up and out fairly early to get to MGM. We met The Malcoms and a Howard at MGM. The rest of the Howards met us a little later. Mike and the girls stayed with the Malcoms and the Howards to watch Beauty and the Beast while I went and met Brooksey our CM friend. She is pregnant too and I couldn’t wait to see her. The two of us had a wonderful time comparing pregnancy stories. Then we headed over to Beauty and The Beast to meet the rest of them before Brooksey had to go back to work.

We split up and some of us went to Animation Studio to draw while the others went to see Lights, Motor, Action. As we were going into Animation Studio we ran into my friend Angie, her mom and her daughter Aly. It was the strangest feeling running into someone that I email with every week but had never met. We were in the que for the art class when our CM friend Teresa surprised us. We were expecting to see her over with Toy Story characters. She had moved over with the Ratatouille bunch so we were very excited to see her. We drew Stitch in our class. It was Courtney’s first time in the class and she did an amazing job.

After art class we went to see Remy & Emile from Ratatouille. They were the cutest things! Great characters! Emile even grabbed the girls candy bag from the back of Mary Elizabeth’s wheelchair to snack on it. We got to see Frozone before we left too. More time to visit with
Teresa and then we were off to meet the rest of the crew.

After a quick lunch we decided to go to Muppet 3D. Everyone enjoyed that one a lot. Then we headed over to Star Tours. I don’t know how many times they ended up riding that one without getting off. Everyone wanted to ride Great Movie Ride next. Since Lawson was sleeping I decided to sit out with him and wait for Maegan. It wasn’t long before Maegan got off for the day. She met me in front of Great Movie Ride and we caught up before the others got off the ride. Maegan was in my small group at church way back when and I was so excited that she is interning at Disney.

We made a quick stop by to see JoJo and Goliath. Time for dinner at The Brown Derby. It was such a nice treat to have Maegan, Cindi & Scheree eat with us. We had a wonderful meal – birthday meal for me.

After dinner it was a down pouring of rain. Aunt Nay and De met up with us. It was so special to have time to spend and visit with them. We decided to skip Fantasmic since it was raining and headed back to the room.