Me and She in Haiti

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There She is.

Me and She. I didn’t know until I left Haiti the first time, She was the reason I went. And She, is one reason I am going back.

Haiti is no joke. It was hard. And bringing an extremely large group of high schoolers there for a mission trip was a challenge. It was hard to lead students while I was experiencing and processing everything they were for the first time. The blind leading the blind, so to speak. Although I think I was learning more from them, then they learned from me.

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How One Woman is Embracing Plan B After Her Son’s Tragic Accident: A Guest Feature by Kristen Clack

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Hold onto your seats, friends, and grab the tissue. I can’t wait for you to meet my friend Kristen. Her story is remarkable. But what is even more remarkable is her faith in the midst of her circumstances. She has such a contagious joy that can only be understood in the context of her Savior, Jesus.

What if your worst nightmare came true? Could you praise God in the midst? Kristen’s faith is a challenge to us all. Thank you so much, Kristen for sharing your story of going from Type A to Plan B with such grace and joy.

 

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Confessions As I Anticipate Grief: part 2

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Lately, I find myself having conversations I never imagined. Like the other day with Jayden and Brooklyn’s palliative nurse. Or the one I had with their sister, Ellie, on the floor of her bedroom.

I guess when two of your kids are labeled “terminally ill” these conversations are bound to happen. For those of you new to our story, we have 3 children, the two oldest, Jayden (10) and Brooklyn (7) have a rare and terminal disease, Sanfilippo Syndrome. Our youngest, Ellie (4) is does not.

This piece is part two of a series of blog posts entitled, Confessions as I Anticipate Grief.

WARNING: Friends in painful places, especially for my “me too mamas,” my Sanfilippo sisters. This is a difficult read. I wouldn’t have read it even a year ago. It just depends on where you are in your diagnosis. Just know it is here when you need it. But, I am 7 years in and this is our reality. A tough, gut wrenching, honest, reality. Sometimes it can be too much. But isn’t it all?

My intention is to share truth. Here’s what I promise if you choose to read. You will see me rise. Just like you are rising. We are not just surviving, but thriving in the midst. Death doesn’t win. We don’t drown. I am tired of trying to avoid the darkness, because light is so much brighter when we acknowledge how dark it is. Thank you for showing up in the meeting for a club you never wanted to join. Since we are all members, may these be our words.  Continue reading “Confessions As I Anticipate Grief: part 2”

How to talk to your child about their friends with special needs: part one


She’s starting to notice.

Ellie is finally at the age where she is starting to recognize that Jayden and Brooklyn do things differently.  And she is asking questions. Good questions.  The problem is, there’s no parenting manual for these type of conversations. Quite frankly, we are making it up as we go. A lot of our friends ask us how to navigate these noticeable differences with their typically developing children as well, so here is the first of two phrases that are gaining traction on our house.

Continue reading “How to talk to your child about their friends with special needs: part one”

How to fail at staying home with your kids

School breaks always remind me why I hate my life.

When everyone sees them as an opportunity to bond with their children, I see it as entrapment. When everyone else gets to do fun Pinterest crafts or explore “25 family friendly places to visit on break,” I feel like I got a week long prison sentence.

All I choose to see is more mess, less patience, and no fun.

I mean, I wish we could do something fun. At least more fun than hours and hours of Barney. I would love to do crafts, or go somewhere, but I can’t. I can’t take my 3 kids anywhere alone.

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it takes a village


Do you know who these lovely ladies are? 
 
Part of our village. Therapists. Teachers. Social Workers. Psychologists. District Reps. Hearing Itinerants. Principals. 
 
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. 
 
There are hundreds more. Teacher aids, nurses, doctors, specialists, case workers, grandparents, friends, volunteers, buddies, and teenagers. Some in the past, some still with us, and even more to come.
 

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OASIS-Special Needs/Inclusion Ministry at Immanuel Church

It’s official! 
Our doors and hearts are open and ready to include children and love families touched by disability at Immanuel Church!


I am so thrilled to see another dream become a reality.  It really is a dual blessing-our children, and the story God is writing through us, has forever changed our church family, and they have forever changed us. 
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My Birthday Breakdown

 

Because of the nature of my job, Justin never gets to go on overnight retreats with our high schoolers.  I am in charge of all the details from booking, to schedules, permission slips, etc….except for our fall retreat. Fall retreat is with a number of other area churches and I don’t have a lot to do with the actual weekend so the option was open for Justin, instead of me, to go. So, with my blessing, he went but that meant all three kids, all weekend for me. Stubborn as I am, I really wanted to do this whole weekend with no help. I mean, I am their mom, how hard could this be?!

 

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why we do youth ministry.

 

Trever Carter is an amazing young man that we have had the honor to get to know quite well over the years as he has been a part of iMPACT, our high school ministry at Immanuel Church.  He is compassionate, funny, and has a servant’s heart.  Jesus looks good shining through him. He is a blessing to iMPACT through the way he serves and loves, and a personal blessing to our family. He is even on time, thoughtful, and responsible…AND 16.
Continue reading “why we do youth ministry.”

Sept 20: Adventures in hearing aids

So both of the kiddos have hearing aids now, and they really don’t keep them in much. It has turned into a bit of a game. They say, “How fast can I disassemble them and put them in my mouth before mom gets me while she’s driving?” Brooklyn lost her set…Jut found them in the trash in a McDonalds bag. The next day, Jayden lost one ear at school. The next day, I sent him with the one he didn’t loose, and he lost that one somewhere between the bus and classroom. That same day, they found the one he lost from the previous day! Needless to say, these things, for as well as they work…need to be implanted!And we are already on set two with Jayden! Oh, did I mention they cost $2,000 a set!? That’s $1,000 an ear X 4!