Thursday, July 30, 2015

PHF Walk MI 2015

Well, the walk that many have been hearing about for what seems like forever - is almost upon us!  :)

I truly can't believe I finally decided to take this jump and host a walk for the MI PHF and yet there is a part of me that is thinking why did I wait so long to host one? There were many things that were holding me back, and a lot of it really boiled down to the fact that I didn't think I was making a difference and that in the end the walk would cost the MI PHF money instead of raise money.  While the walk hasn't happened yet, so I really don't know numbers of what we will raise. I can say that I have been blessed to meet so many people who share our story, either Willow's journey or a story of their own that has enabled us to host a walk with very little expense!  I never thought something like that would be possible. We have a band who is playing for FREE, we have been gifted with the use of carnival games for FREE, we have found people willing to do face painting for FREE, we have been given generous gifts for our silent auction for FREE, we are also getting donations of baked goods for the bake sale for FREE. Do you see a theme here?!  It is so overwhelming to have received these gifts from people who want to help us raise funds and awareness of a condition that truly affects so many Americans, and people all over the world.  Let us not forget about the incredible sponsors we have who have helped us to cover the cost of park fee as well - Medtronic, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Hansen-Balk Steel Treating, Palmer Elementary, Gained Access, and the Grand Rapids Griffins

This morning, I woke up to find yet another person has signed up to walk with us. We are now up to 63 people who have registered and our walk is still 2 1/2 weeks away! I was told when I decided to start this walk process that the goal is generally 100 people. I never thought that was going to be possible. To be honest that was another reason I held off so long on hosting a walk, I needed to build a following I felt in order to host a walk. Who would come walk and raise funds for something they know nothing about?! Well, I decided to bite the bullet so to speak and just go for it! I have a great director on the east side of the state who can help advertise and get the word out as well, so that this can truly be a state event, and not just a west Michigan event and by golly it's working!! 63 people is over half way to the 100 ~ 37 more people to sign up and we have the goal of 100. I almost feel like I am walking in a dream the way all of this is coming together.

Today I am feeling so overwhelmed with all that is happening for this walk. Friends are sharing the information to get the word, they are volunteering to help get this walk going, they are donating, they are signing up to walk. Then there are the people whom I don't even know who are doing the very same thing, sharing the information, volunteering, donating, signing up to walk!  For this being the 1st annual walk I am so excited to see where this is all going and it truly makes me even more excited for doing this again NEXT YEAR!

I can't say thank you enough to all who are helping this year, but I hope they know how much it means :)

For those who have not signed up to walk yet, or would like to make a donation to our event, or would like to pass the information along follow this link here

If you would like to give a donation for the silent auction, or the bake sale, or volunteer, or hey we are looking for vendors still too if you make things - please contact me via email

Thank you all so very much for making this a great first walk :)



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keeping oneself busy

So, I have not been very active on the blogging aspect of my life; or on Willow's blog for that matter.  But it doesn't mean I have necessarily fallen by the wayside. Instead I have been in over my head (this time in a good way, if that is even possible) in planning the first ever PHF Walk MI 2015.  A FREE, fun family day at Riverside Park in August leading up to the trip to DC and then National Hydrocephalus Awareness month.  I have my reasoning for the picked date, but I think next year I may wait until September.  My fear with that though is we all get 'too busy' with kids in school, fall colds since the kids are back in school, winterizing our lives, cleaning up the summer.  At least in August we still have the feeling of there being a bit of carefree left in us, and we aren't tied down to schedule yet. Or maybe that is just my own thinking - being a mom to 5 kids who need to go here, there and everywhere once school starts! LOL
Anyway, what do you think? Input on next years walk date will be considered :)

So, I am truly excited, inspired, in awe, and still pounding the pavement for this walk.  If you know someone who has a generator we are in need. If you know of a business owner who would like to buy some ad space in our program - we have the space.  If you would like to volunteer and help out that day - there are places for you :)   Silent auction items are still needed, vendors are still being accepted. There are many small things taking place now that we can still allow to happen leading up to the walk, that if you want to help just let me know :)

So yeah, live has been going. Walk planning, fundraising set for September for the PHF as well. School starts so the PTCC will be in full swing at Palmer as well (plans for something every month!!), and I also co-lead the Hygiene Pantry at Frontline Church :)  Yet the funny thing is, while all of these things are going on and may seem like a lot - it is still only a quarter of what I used to do 2-3 years ago.  It is absolutely crazy how my life has changed since Willow came along and how much I have learned and changed with her. Then came along Orion. He definitely put me into a huge tailspin, one that some days I wonder if I will ever recover from - then there are days like today; where sometimes you have to just pull out the slip-n-slide, throw down some dish soap, add water and joyful screams! Days like today may be far and few between, but we had a blast and that is the best part. :)

Here is some info on the walk if you are interested in joining us:

Facebook Event info here

Register for event/make a donation here

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time continues on

Time continues no matter what is going on around us.  I almost can't believe that it is the middle of July and the last time I entered this blog was January.  At the same time though, I feel like it really has been too long since I have written anything, whether worth sharing or even just for catharsis purposes.

So how does one begin to even sum up 6 months of life in one blog post? If I figure that out, I will share the magic with you. :)  February brought us to house hunting - for our first house!! We spent February looking at homes, found one at the beginning of March, long story short, closed in April, and moved in the weekend of the April 18th.  Evan's birthday was the first one celebrated in our new home :)
Then came end of the year for the kids school, Willow did great and has great plans in place for next year. Amanda came out with a great year as well and will be in 5th grade at Palmer, Evan did a great job and finished 6th grade at Blandford with all A's and B's! I am so proud of him.  Jonathan struggled a lot this year, as a freshman at City High; despite all my working with teachers and counselors he finished the year with sub par grades and was dismissed from the school. :(  I had told him that if that were to happen (as I had many talks with him throughout the school year) that I would home school him.  I knew he didn't want it, but I also know that for someone as bright as him, there really aren't many options for him here in Grand Rapids and I trusted the school when the counselor said she had control of the situation and not to worry. So I didn't look into filling out applications for school of choice or other theme schools.  Luckily, we were able to compromise and he is now signed up for Nexus Academy in Grand Rapids (check them out here). It is a blended program with four hours of on campus learning and the remaining 2.5 at home, and they require weekly check in's by the parents and it sounds like he will be able to go at his own pace as well.  So we are now hoping that this year is much better than last.
We are now in the middle of summer and my kids are definitely bored. LOL I have to laugh a little at that, because it probably is the truth - but there is still so much they could be doing and instead seem to not 'see' it.  We have had no fun trips anywhere, no big vacations planned as this is our down here from DC (meaning we aren't going), we have been sharing one car this summer and only taking it on days when we have appointments and many errands to run, so not even any fun day trips have been planned.  Yet while staying here I have been busy planning the PHF Walk MI 2015. So I have been pretty busy even though the kids feel like they haven't.
Another event that happened this summer was Evan had his appendix removed at the end of June. He then spent the next 2 weeks in recovery mode, and not able to do anything anyway, so that also kind of put a sad face on the summer. Now though, we are all doing well, Amanda has come back from camp, Jonathan leaves tomorrow for scout camp and now we start the planning of summer's end and back to school.
Now let's not get too far ahead of ourselves on that! LOL, but I do need to start thinking about school as we will have 2 kids in uniforms and 2 without. We also need to start thinking about a second car, and what that will look like for our family as well. One car this September with all the places kids/Jon needs to go will NOT look pretty or work out at all.  Wish us luck on that journey as well.

I hope all of you are doing well, I know I didn't touch on my depression at all this time, and well - let's just say that I am still trying to figure things out, but feel closer to a goal than before. Enjoy summer!