Happy Weekend! Well, we returned from Jake’s Disney Make-A-Wish trip on Tuesday night and scooted right onto the 9th floor at 7:30am Friday morning for another week of treatment. Talk about not staying in one place for long! We were just here, hearing that we would leave for Disney in a week, then spent the week in the world of fantasy and now, back again. As for Disney, it was a wonderful trip! We were so blessed to have all of our kids with us, including our oldest Meghan, along with her family Adrian, Nikolas and Ebby, which made the trip extra special. We have to say THANK YOU to all that helped make that happen! Having everyone together will be something we will remember forever! The week passed so quickly and Jake kept up really well. We only had one day that he needed some downtime so we stayed back at the village to swim and rest while Daddy took the big kids park hopping on all of the big rides. Jake LOVED the rollercoasters and road all that his whole 42 inches could fit (which was most). His favorite was Magic Mountain and I think we road it about two dozen times. We would finish and he’d run off toward the line, yelling, “Again, again!” The Fast Passes were THE BEST! Jake’s #1 character to meet was Jake the Pirate and we met him the first hour of the first day! And Jake, Nikolas, Ryan and Daddy went on stage to open the Indiana Jones show as Jr Directors. This was a thrill for all of them but especially Ry. This is Ryan’s “thing”! After the show Indiana came over to take pictures and talk with the kids, and then gave Ryan his hat. Ryan! Not Jake, but Ry! This made his entire trip! Most times the emphasis is on Jake and the sibs are in the background but at that moment, Ryan was the special one and this momma was SO HAPPY for him! Animal kingdom was our favorite park as the Safari was so realistic. The animals were super close, the tour guides were animated and full of information, and I have a feeling that no matter how often you take the tour, there is something new each time. We road twice and on one of the journeys, we had a delay due to a giraffe that decided to stop and eat at the edge of the road. Our caravan couldn’t pass so it gave us lots of close up picture ops. (I have to add that there was a falafel stand that was one of the best we’ve ever had…. Disney of all places!!!) One night, we made an excursion to the T-Rex Café where Jake found his little piece of Heaven on Earth! And I wrote this on Jake’s FB page but I’ll share here too… we had LOTS of phone disasters… Emma was first as she dropped and cracked her iPod screen, then Adrian cracked his, Meg left her phone on the changing table in one of the bathrooms, then Kate followed by dropping hers in Magic Kingdom’s toilet and Daddy pulled up the tail end by leaving his in the rental car. The good news… Meghan’s was returned to lost-n-found, Daddy’s phone was Fed Ex’d home and Kate’s booted up two days later! We stayed at Give Kids The World Village, which was such an experience! EVERY family visiting has a story and are walking the hardest, darkest road imaginable, yet there was joy and celebration at every turn. It’s an exclusive resort of warriors, a place that is magical and wonderful but if given the choice, we would all give it up in a second. The village is mostly run by volunteers with the kindest, most gentle hearts – many were college students bussed in for a few days at a time, many were retired grandparents who were there to love and laugh with us. And the ice cream shop is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all times in between. Upon arrival our guide sweetly and grandfatherly stated, “You are responsible for your kids around the ice cream shop. If they enter, we feed them!” There was an American Village (Idol) Contest one night and Emma sang and received a trophy. The performers were kids and that was about the only time I thought I might cry. They were dancing, telling jokes, singing their little hearts out – being kids! There were families with their cancer shirts everywhere we looked and there was a commonality, a quiet understanding, something that actually brought hope as there was a realization that each of us are making it through. It was good and it was a week without a single tear. THAT was really good! As for today, Jake is feeling good, although his allergies have him a little congested and coughy which puts me on hyper-sensitive-mom-alert. The thought of something dropping into his lungs is terrifying. This admission, we have a great view of Fannin (for some reason, this side of the building is my fave), we’ve met a couple of new friends and been able to catch up with a couple of old ones and have had some of our most loving, fun, favorite nurses with us. Next weekend is the 2nd Annual NFL/MLB Photo Shoot as we gear up to push for GOLD in September. Now is the time to start thinking of how you want to Go GOLD too… your office, neighborhood, school teams, community, businesses. Our hearts swell with joy when we are out and see y’all supporting our fighters! We continue to pray over all of our cancer family and are keeping the faith for Jake and all of our kids. We will not loose hope and will stay prayerful for God’s mercy and healing. After all, “Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.” Although the author of that quote is unknown, I feel certain it stems from scripture…. Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11 1:2
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