Thursday, August 09, 2012

Shared Heartbreak

There are so many people I look up to... my mom, my sister, London's teacher and classroom aides to name a few. I especially look up to other moms of children with special needs. I always feel like I am scrambling around for help, answers, prescription refills, doctor appointments, and sanity- but I swear when I look at other SN Moms (special needs moms), they seem to just always have it all together. Maybe this is because most SN Moms I know have kids who are a bit older than London; they're more experienced. Maybe it's because they don't stress out the same way I do... Or maybe, like me, they are the duck who looks calm and collected above the surface and paddles like hell below the surface.

***Insert the funny photo that I can't seem to find here***

Anyway, I have a few friends whose SN kids have passed on. One friend in particular is someone who I never met face to face until the day of her sons funeral. I've never been a crier at funerals, but then again, I had never been to a funeral like this. So full of love. I've never seen so many people come together to give condolences. Of course it was heartbreaking; the loss of any child, for whatever reason, is a hard pill to swallow. Of course there were tears (mine included, I was a mess!)... but more than all that, there was a love for this sweet boy that was almost tangible. I think about this particular boy nearly everyday- I never had the privilege of knowing him personally, but that doesn't mean his light didn't touch my life. My heart broke then, and breaks now, for the loss of his presence in this world.

Another SN child that I never met, but who profoundly affected me passed away a few weeks ago...
I have had the same dental hygienist my whole life. She's always been so kind, so caring, and so dang sweet! She's one of those people that, even though you only see every 6 months, always makes you feel like you just spoke the other day. She asks about your life and actually cares. I found out a handful of years ago that her youngest daughter was born with severe disabilities. We made a special connection through our children. Her daughter was born the year before me, London was just diagnosed, but nonetheless, the connection was made. Over the years since I found out, we talked about our kids every time I went in for a cleaning. She encouraged me in my struggles with London and was always so kind to share her experiences with her daughter. I so looked up to her- she had been doing for my whole life what I was just barely learning to do: caring for someone with severe disabilities, navigating insurance and medical systems that are just not on our side, learning things she never thought she would need to learn, and silently trying to put the pieces of a broken heart back together.

I took Kannon in for his cleaning the other day and because it's summer, I had London with us. My dental hygienist touched London's face as we were leaving and said, "I so needed to see you today, London". Then she looked up at me and told me that her daughter passes away a few weeks back. I didn't know what to say, after all, what COULD I say? What could I possibly do in that moment to ease her pain?

Just like when any SN kiddo passes away, my heart broke. Even though that child is no longer suffering, it's still a tremendous loss.

My heart goes out to Jennifer and her family...

Love, me

Yardsale Total!

As always, time just seems to get away from me every time I have something I want to blog... but here's a quick little update:

Our yardsale went great! It was way too hot and we didn't make the goal I had set but we sure came close! I had set a goal of $1500 and we ended up being just $155 short of that! WOWZA! I am considering that quite a success! I can't thank those who donated, helped out, or shopped enough for the support!! THANK YOU!!

Some of my Facebook friends already know this but London recently had to get a feeding tube placed due to silent aspiration discovered during a swallow study. I'm handling it all fine... after all, a mom just does what she needs to do. But let me explain some of my heartache over this latest change...

When London was diagnosed, we were told that because her entire brain was not affected by her condition, she could very well live as long as any 'normal' person. We were told that with her condition, breathing and eating (swallowing) problems were the main contributing factors to a very short life. So you can imagine my gratitude to the Big Guy upstairs when London came out screaming, breathing, and eating on her own. Of course, at the time of her birth, I took all that for granted- I didn't have the perspective I have now, after diagnosis.

As life went on and London grew but didn't meet so many other milestones, I clung to the fact that at least she could breathe and eat on her own. Knowing this was a lifeline to some sort of peace.

When the speech therapist conducting the swallow study showed me what was happening when she drank liquids (and even sometimes when she ate) and told me that she suggested a nasal-gastric feeding tube be placed until we could discuss a permanent G tube, I felt a little like someone pulled the rug out from under my feet. London? Needs a feeding tube???

She has never had pneumonia, never stopped breathing... the only reason the swallow study was even done is because she started sputtering and coughing a bit when she'd drink from her sippy cup. I went from going in for an hour-long appointment, to being taken to the Rush Treatment Unit and watching 34 centimeters of rubber tubing being shoved into my daughters tiny button nose.

How could I NOT feel a bit sad??

I know that a feeding tube is not the end of the world. I know we are still so very lucky. I know that feeding tubes are manageable. I know that there are far worse things that could happen. I've heard it all and I know... doesn't change the fact my lifeline to that certain bit of peace has been snipped. Don't get me wrong, I still have a huge sense of peace in other areas of London's life, but this is one that I especially liked.
Don't worry about how nasty I look in this photo... We came from the hospital (6 hours there, just me, London and crazy Kannon- I was SO tired!) and we went right to the rodeo. London even still has her hospital 'anklet' on.

Life goes on though, right? Whatever London has to face, she'll face with me by her side.
Thank you all for your support and well-wishes and offerings of help. I truly do appreciate it!

Also, just want to throw this out there- while at the rodeo, I met an amazing woman named Amy... As I was sitting there with London (Thomas and Kannon had wandered off to see what they could see) I felt a hand on my back and someone asked me "How are you doing?". I turned and here is this woman sitting by me and all I can think is 'holy cow I don't recognize her and she knows me!'... She said that she knew I didn't know her, but that she wanted to come say hello... she told me that they had lost her young daughter who had also had some disabilities. We talked for a while about London's tube and how London reminded her so much of her sweet angel. It was incredibly reassuring to me to know that in a crowd of strangers, I was not alone. After our day at the hospital, getting London's tube, it was nice to just have a connection to someone. I always marvel at how us Special Needs Moms can come together like nobody's business. I feel so much more comfortable approaching moms whose children have special needs than a mother who doesn't know what it's like to go through what we go through. I want to thank Amy for coming over to us- we needed it!

Big squeezes!
Me and L

Monday, July 16, 2012

Yardsale Time!!

Hey folks!
We FINALLY have a date set for the yardsale! It will be held
Friday and Saturday the 27th and 28th of July
8am to around 1 or 2pm

It will be here at our home, in Roy. If you live in the area, come on out and see what there is to see!

We have SO MUCH STUFF! Our 3-car garage is FULL!!

Clothing will be fill-a-bag-for-a-buck!! We'll have plastic shopping bags and you can stuff clothes in there for just ONE DOLLAR! This includes womens, mens, kids, toddlers, and baby clothes! Don't just brush it off because of the low price- there's actually a LOT of great items!! (I had my eye on several things as I went through it all yesterday!)

There are also a lot of books and games! (Had my eye on a bunch of the books, too!)

We've got home decor, holiday stuff, electronics, furniture, toys, sporting stuff, crafting and sewing stuff, SHOES ($1 per pair!), and SO much more!!

I will also have a table or two of my random crafts and we'll have London's Lemonade stand up so you can have a yummy treat while shopping! Come out and see what London does when life gives her lemons! :)

I hope to see ya all there! Thanks so much for your donations! We couldn't have done this without the help of so many people giving us the things they no longer use. Remember, one man's junk is another man's treasure! And we have a LOT of treasure!!

Love always,
Danielle and London

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Late Night Reflection

As I sit here, at nearly midnight, with Kannon while he watches Curious 'Borge' (curse those late naps!!), I am thinking a lot about one particular reason I started this blog. It's not all about fundraising... I've said before that this blog is a place where I want to be honest about what it's like being a parent of a child with severe disabilities.

So here's a little honesty:

I've had a hard time the past month or two trying to deal with London's constant fussing and whining (ok, so it's been the last 4 1/2 years, but especially the last month or two). All she wants is to be held all day, every day, and I can't ever get anything else done. It seems as though the second I put her down, she starts with the whining. Not only is it frustrating to not be able to even do a load of laundry or reload the dishwasher without having to stop and calm her down, but just listening to the whining itself, regardless of if I'm doing anything, is completely draining. I have the shortest fuse ever, and I get frustrated so easily- it's something I'm continually trying to overcome- and sometimes I feel like I just can't do it anymore... I feel inadequate because I can't 'fix' what's wrong with her, I feel lazy because I can't get all the household work done, I feel bad because I rarely get around to making an actual dinner and we end up eating unhealthy food, and most of all, I feel like I'm not cut out for raising a child like London. I feel like she deserves someone so much better than I can be.

During a camping trip with my parents and some of their friends last week, one of the husbands in the group called me over, patted the bench next to him, and said he needed to tell me something. I figured he was drunk, and honestly, I was waiting for him to tell me some lame joke or something haha! Instead, I was surprised when he asked me, while looking at my mom holding London across from us, if I ever asked, "Why me?". I told him that I had never asked "Why ME?" but rather, that I asked, "Why HER?". Why London? Why does she have to bear this burden? An innocent little potato bug like her??? He offered some words of comfort... he reminded me that she's a blessing to me, and I to her. I can agree with the former; the latter, however, is not as easy to convince myself of, especially lately.

I'm not a religious person, but I do consider myself to be spiritual on many levels. I may not believe in what you believe, and I don't attend church, but I'm strong in my faith; a faith that I have acquired through many things, but through London most of all. I've always told myself, in regards to London, that God doesn't make mistakes; that London was sent to me just the way she is because that's just how it was supposed to happen. Maybe there's a reason, maybe not. But it wasn't a mistake on God's part. Having that belief, however, doesn't suddenly take away my stress or desperation. I can only use it as a reminder that God won't just give me patience, he'll give me the OPPORTUNITY to be patient.

I was meandering around online today and came across one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, Rocky... 

Life truly will knock you down; nobody can escape that fact. I just sometimes feel like London got suckerpunched by life. And sometimes it DOES bring me down and I don't want to get back up. Sometimes I want to lay in the fetal position and pour my frustrations out through my tears. Can I really handle this role I've been cast into?

Yes. Yes I can. Eventually, I will get up. I will fight on.

But before I do, can I please just lay here for a few minutes, in the fetal position, crying??

It's hard for me to admit all of this, especially to those I'm close to, as odd as that sounds. But my hope is that by talking openly about feelings like this will enlighten people who have no connection to a person with special needs, and maybe it will empower those who do have those connections, knowing that feelings like this are nothing to be ashamed of. I've been ashamed to admit weakness when it comes to caring for London for the last 4 1/2 years and I'm doing my best to overcome that...

Lots of love, readers.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Quick update, better one to come...

I had a fun blog update in the works and of course I'm so technology incompetent that I lost the whole thing so I just wanted to do a quick update for now...

We have nearly $4000 in the bank for London's home!! I am incredibly thankful for all the love, support, kind words, donations, and word-of-mouth that have helped us get to this point.

Our yardsale is still in the works- we've got a TON of stuff for it and right now I'm trying to get it a bit organized and also plan a few other things to have going on during the yardsale. I want to do a bake sale, lemonade stand, and a sort of craft booth... It'll be super, so come see what there is to see! :)

Much love to you and yours!
Hugs, Danielle and London

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Catching Up...

So it's been a while since I last posted anything and I'd like to say I have some great excuse, but honestly, I've sort of been avoiding it... when there's no good news to post, why post at all?

But that's changed!

 But before I get to the good news, let me just update you all (nine of you now!) on what's been going on with London:

She had been accepted to Shriner's Hospital and we were stoked for our appointment! I was anxious to find out what the doctors there thought about her CP (cerebral palsy) and what they suggested in the way of braces that may help her bones and muscles grow properly. The appointment went fine, pretty run-of-the-mill as far as doctor's appointments go (except for the fact that there was NO waiting and Xrays were done on the spot rather than 3 months out! YAY for that!!)...

So they wanted to get London into some ankle braces and a soft back brace to wear while she is using the stander at school and occasionally here at home. *Let me insert this: a stander is one of the pieces of equipment that I oh-so-desperately want once we can have the space and $$ for it! It could do SO much for London!*

So I was excited when our appointment came the following week to have her casted for the molds to make her braces... that is, until we actually got there. Once they started the whole process, my heart just sort of sank. There I was, sitting on a hard exam room table, holding London on my lap, and restraining her while a man put casting material on her skinny little non-functional legs.

 We should have been picking out ballet shoes, not cold, hard plastic braces.

And if I thought that was a moment of heartbreak, what came next was something even more gut-wrenching. To cast for the back brace, London had to be laid on a three-inch-wide strap, balanced and restrained at the legs, arms, and head. I was in charge of holding her head still and her arms up by her ears. London can stretch out like this on her own, but BEING stretched out when she doesn't want to be can cause a serious tantrum. Add that to the fact that she's being balanced on a narrow piece of belting, and she was in complete distress. She began to calm down as I spoke to her and the warm casting material was being wrapped around her torso but something, somewhere (never did figure out what), hurt her BAD and she had a complete meltdown. I also almost had a meltdown! Halfway through wrapping her up, she's writhing in pain and screaming bloody murder, and my job is still to restrain her until the cast is hard enough to cut off and use for the mold. Those minutes were agonizing for us both.

So along with the traumatic casting incident, the news we got at her last neurologist appointment wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear... since medications haven't been working, I was all set to try a VNS in an attempt to further control her seizures (as if we have any control at all...)

Well, the VNS is more of something they go to after they rule out surgery. Meaning brain surgery. BRAIN. SURGERY. They want to see if any parts of her brain that are having the seizures could safely and without detrimental side effects be REMOVED to stop that particular type of seizure. Removed. Gray matter, gone.

So an extended EEG is going to be set up (they'll come to our home, connect the electrodes to her head and she'll wear them from 3 days to 2 weeks, long enough to hopefully capture all the different seizures she's having) and from there we'll discuss possible treatments. Even though we haven't even set up the EEG, I can't help but start weighing my potential options.

Well, now that that's out, I'll get to the GOOD NEWS!

The Scentsy party put on to benefit London was a great success! I can't thank Krista enough for donating her profits from sales to A Home For London! She was able to donate $300 for our fund! I'd say that's pretty amazing!
Thanks again to Krista and to everyone who ordered! It's appreciated more than you could ever know!!

Another little tidbit of happy news is this: we may have a killer deal on electrical work once we get to building our home!! Friends who are willing to talk to their connections (in this case, her dad) are surely incredible friends, indeed!!

So, we have a roof, possibly a killer deal on electrical work and supplies, and about $4000 in the bank for out home.

We just need to keep up the momentum on our fundraising efforts.... so please pass around the blog. There's also a page on Facebook we'd love for you to check out!

Until next time, love from me and London!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Mary Kay for London

Here's the latest! :)

A dear friend of mine, whom I've known so long I can't remember NOT knowing her, has so generously offered to help us out through selling Mary Kay. She is going to donate 100% of her profit from all specific sales NOW THROUGH JULY to A Home For London!
Need to put your next Mary Kay order in? We'd LOVE for you to go through Heather this time!

Here's what ya need to do to ensure that a donation is made for London...

1. Go HERE

2. Shop til ya drop!

3. BE SURE to write 'A Home For London' in the COMMENTS box next to where it asks for the payment method for your order. (You may have to register to complete your order, just FYI)

4. Sit back, relax and wait for your order to arrive! :)

If you can't order online, you can order through Heather by calling or texting her @ 435-695-3700 and let her know that you're ordering for this cause.

Can't tell you all enough how much we appreciate any and all support you give us!

Love and thanks from me and London!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Yard Sale Collections!

So we are organizing a massive yard sale and we are asking for any and all donations! I can come pick the items up so you won't have to worry about that... with Spring cleaning and open-all-the-windows kind of weather, please keep London in mind when decluttering. We would SO appreciate anything you are willing to donate! :)

I have a few ideas for this yard sale... here are just a FEW ideas of what we'd love to take off your hands, and please keep in mind that these are things we'll be trying to sell:

Clothing (mens, womens, kids)
Electronics (like old *but still working* game consoles!)
Kitchen items (appliances, dishes, etc.)
Crafting items (scrapbook items, fabric from your stash, etc.)
Home decor
Furniture (we'd LOVE some bigger ticket items!)
Baby iems (toys, books, highchairs, strollers, etc.)
Seasonal items (Christmas trees, outdoor lawn decor, etc.)

Contact me if you have anything you'd like to donate: 801.941.7777 (call or text)

Along with this, I kind of think it would be fun to have another boutique happening at the same time... Maybe I'm nuts! I live across the street from a huge park and I want to see if the city would let us do all this in the park... SO if you are a vendor or crafter please let me know if you are interested in setting up a booth! I will get details worked out as soon as I can. So far, I'm thinking about doing this at the end of May/first of June.

Thanks so much for all your support! Whether you've donated, passed the blog or giveforward site along, or even just READ our blog, I appreciate it!!

Ok, so now everyone go through your closets, garages, basements, and storage sheds! :)

Danielle and London

Boutique for London

Yesterday, March 31st, there was a boutique held in Brigham City to help raise money for A Home For London. There were tons of great booths including Paprazzi Jewelry, Scentsy, Jamberry Nails, Tupperware, a photo booth, a BBQ booth were people could buy lunch, and many more! Unfortunately there just wasn't a lot of shopper traffic (General Conference may have affected this, something we didn't think of during planning)...

I had a booth of my randomness that I craft- wood crafts, blankets, bow holders... I sold a whopping $15 worth of items! LOL!!

BUT, the other vendors and crafters who set up booths all donated a raffle and we sold tickets for just $1 each... so from the raffle alone we got $183!! We are SO very grateful for the kindness of those who donated and to all the people who purchased raffle tickets!

Also, to help us raise money, Michelle (the woman who organized the whole thing) charged a $30 booth fee and after paying the rent for the facility we used and paying for an ad that was run in the paper, the rest went to London!

There were also a few jars set out for those that simply wanted to make a donation...

All in all, we walked away with $643.62 for A Home For London!! WOW!!

Thank you SO SO SO very much to Michelle! I can't even express how grateful I am to her for her hard work organizing and arranging and getting vendors for the booths!

Thank you to everyone who set up booths! We will more than likely be doing another boutique of sorts and hopefully we'll get much more customers! :)
(If you're interested in getting involved, please contact me!)

Thanks also to Hillary, who let me get her up early and drag her out to Brigham to help me at my booth (ok, ok, I didn't have to DRAG her, she volunteered willingly... and I'm extra appreciative of that). I have known Hillary my entire life and it was so fun to hang out with her!

Thanks to everyone who came out and checked out the booths and bought raffle tickets!!

Even with so few shoppers, I absolutely consider the boutique to have been a great success for our fundraising efforts!

Oh... I have debated on whether or not to include this thought on my blog, but I feel like if I don't, I just am not being true to myself so here goes:
I was disappointed by something that happened during set-up at the boutique. I won't say from which booth this came from but while we were all preparing our tables, a woman quite loudly said something along the lines of, "Hold it up just like that your retard!" to a man who was helping her set up... Now, I am criticized all the time when I point out that there are a TON of far better words to use in the place of 'retard' in a situation such as this but after everything I've learned and been through and everything that my sweet London has been through, I simply can't NOT say anything. I didn't go over to this woman and make any kind of comment about her words, I let it slide. I didn't want to be that crazy woman who scolds people when it is SO not her place, I didn't want to embarrass her, and I certainly didn't want any bad feelings but I was a little hurt. She wasn't trying to put the man down, it was just a sort of playful remark, and I know that people everywhere use the word 'retard' in the same manner as she did, but I was disappointed nonetheless. I just thought it was an inappropriate thing to say (especially so loudly) at a boutique being held to help raise money for a severely handicapped child. Just saying. Take it as you will- you can criticize me, you can back me up, you can remain completely neutral...

Much love,
Danielle and London

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Frog Legs and Chicken Wings

So I want to start letting you all into our little world with London. I'm gonna start by telling you a little bit about why simple things like giving London a bath can be so difficult...
With London, as with many differently-abled kids, she tends to curl up when she isn't comfortable or when she's scared or upset. Well, either that, or she arches her back. Either of these things can make what should be a simple task very frustrating!
A lot of the time, her arms are bent at the elbow and wrist, tucked into her sides, with her hands pulled up by her chin. Those are her chicken wings. When she does her 'chicken dance' (chicken wings with legs bent, crossed, and tucked into her tummy)- EVERYTHING is more difficult! Holding her, putting her in her wheelchair or car seat, getting her dressed... She's surprisingly strong (more of a muscle spasticity issue than her guns being loaded), and she doesn't like having her arms moved FOR her, so trying to get her to relax those little chicken wings long enough to strap her in or dress her can be a challenge all in it's own.
Other times, she'll arch her back, stiffly hold her legs, knees dropped and heels brought together. Those are her frog legs. She does this a lot when we pick her up by holding under her armpits and almost always when we give her a bath. So there we'll be, her in the tub, me on the side of the tub with my feet on either side of her, holding up her head and torso with my left hand and washing/rinsing with my right hand... as if she's not difficult enough to hold on to, add frog legs to the mix and not only do things get more difficult, but she usually ends up hitting her knee on the side of the tub and that, obviously, makes her cry. Add crying to the mix, wait, actually she's usually already crying (being lifted up out of the water partially like that sends her into hysterics usually... but we'll cover that later), so she cries even harder, bring out the frog legs, and twists her wet soapy body all while I'm trying to hold her up with one hand... just thinking about it makes me tired- and, honestly, a little anxious. Bath time is NOT our favorite activity around our house.
Anyway, that's ONE (or would it be two?) that things can be a little draining at our house.
I will continue to post about London and our life at home with her- I've learned that so many people want to know about things like this, but are afraid to ask and risk offending us. Let me tell you this: I, and so many other moms of special-needs kids, would LOVE for you to want to learn more about my sweet girl! Your questions don't offend me! What offends me, or hurts our feelings, is when people stare and whisper things like, 'she must be retarded' or when parents quickly pull their children away from us as we walk by, like we're carrying a contagious disease, or when a mother tells their child to 'look away'... I actually really love when kids ask me questions about London or her wheelchair when we are out and about (well, at least I have so far)! I like knowing that they aren't just quickly turning away from her and ignoring her presence. I like that it gives me a chance to show them that London isn't scary or gross or dirty. She's just a kid in a wheelchair, who needs a little more help than most kids because her brain is different. So thanks to all those parents who haven't been afraid to get close enough to us to let their kids ask about London or talk to her or touch her wheelchair! :)

Hugs from me and London!

A little clarity...

So I have been asked a few questions lately that I'd like to answer here on the blog... Maybe you've been wondering the same things or maybe you can relate to these answers...

1. Question: Why don't you just go to the bank and take out a loan for a home? Answer: Well, let me ask this in return: Can YOU go get a loan for $500,000 or more? Do you qualify for that and make enough money to pay for it? We have to eat, just like you. :) To be totally upfront and honest, we are not and will not be in a position to afford a high monthly payment for a home- that's why I am trying to raise/earn/save enough money to just be able to pay for the home we need for London. With the money we can have each month if we don't have a mortgage payment, we can get the specialized equipment London will need for therapy and various adaptive activities. I would also spend the rest of my life paying forward the kindness that we will have received from everyone who helped us realize this dream we have for London.

2. Question: Why does London need extra space, she doesn't walk. Answer: Um... no, she doesn't walk, she relies on us to carry her into different rooms. I need more space when I walk down a hallway carrying anything than when I walk down a hallway empty-handed, don't you? So it stands to reason that carrying London around the house, I need more space. :) I need more space to maneuver. I need more space to store things like her wheelchair, and adaptive equipment I hope to one day have for her. We need more space in the bathroom to make things easier (for us and her) when bathing her. We need more space to get her dressed because she can't sit up- it's like dressing a 3-foot-long doll. We need space because we'd like to be able to use London's wheelchair in the house- like at the dinner table, in the living room to watch a movie, in the kitchen where she can sit up and help me bake cookies...

3. Question: Why do you need so much money? Answer: A customized home is expensive. Really expensive.

4. Question: Why do you want to use London's wheelchair in the house and why do you want to have so much equipment? (stander, special chairs, etc.) Answer: London has no trunk support whatsoever. Her head flops, he back slouches and her shoulders slump. She needs to be seated in proper positions to encourage muscle development, core control, and proper bone growth. For example, we want to have a stander in our home because since she does not bear weight on her legs and hips (not standing, walking, running like 'normal' kids) her hips are at risk of not developing properly and becoming easily dislocated. We want to be able to use her wheelchair more because she tolerates it well and it sits her up so nicely- I want to be able to engage her in activities like cooking and baking with me in the kitchen, eating dinner at the table, watching a movie, playing at a table or sink... all these things require her to be sitting up straight. Right now, we either hold her, lay her on the couch or her bed, or sit her a beanbag chair when we're in the house. Holding her and putting her in the beanbag chair certainly do not promote proper posture, core strength or muscle control.

5. Question: Why don't you use her disability income to pay for a house? Answer: First, she doesn't receive disability income; second, it certainly wouldn't pay for a house! haha!

Well, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask! We'd much rather answer questions about London, her condition, and our situation than have people be afraid to offend us! :)

Love from me and London!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jar Update!

So on Tuesday I took 5 jars to the Harmon's on 2nd street in Ogden and yesterday (Saturday) I got a call from one of the managers... he said I might want to come empty them because some of them were getting pretty full. I found a few minutes to drive down there to empty them and I was SHOCKED by the amount of money that I collected!

First let me tell you this: I left a small handful of coins and a few dollar bills in each jar...
So me and the manager on duty are pulling out this money and there are several five dollar bills and a few tens, even a twenty! When I got home and counted the bills and change- I had just over $124!!!
I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of these strangers who dropped their change and extra bills into the jars! I had thought to myself, "would I have dropped a twenty dollar bill into a jar like this?"... sadly the answer was probably that I would give a few ones or a five and keep my twenty. Well, not anymore!

I have said from the beginning of this crazy campaign that I will pay this kindness forward in any way I can and this even made me realize that that promise is more important than I even thought. All those people made such a huge difference in our lives by their spare coins, dollar bills, fives, tens and that twenty- I hope that I can make a difference for people by helping at any opportunity that comes my way... Paying it forward truly IS the way to make a difference in the world! You are just one person, but you are presented with so many opportunities to make a positive impact, big or small, on other people! :)

To those Harmon's shoppers who gave a little or a lot to help us out: ThAnK YoU!!!

I have also been able to collect money from the jars at both Domino's locations (thanks, Nick for helping out with the location in Tremonton!), Quizno's, Arby's, and Dylan's on 12th street (thanks, Mom!!) and a few very kind friends have made it possible for us to put jars up at Walker Cinemas and Capital Theater in Brigham City (thanks SO much, Tabitha and Kymnbel)!!!

Also remember, visit Willard Bay Gardens for their Basket Daze and so much more and check out the gardening aprons I have for sale there! :)

Thanks friends!
Hugs from me and London!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Scensy for London!

So if you love Scentsy, like I KNOW you must, you can put an order in HERE from now through St. Patty's Day and all the proceeds from your order will go toward A Home For London! So get your Scentsy fix and help our campaign at the same time! Here are a few of my personal favorite things:
**Room Spray! I LOVE this stuff! I spray it in my garbage can between changing bags, in my kids' rooms, the bathrooms, and my car! Anywhere!
**Buddies! So London has a lot of sensory issues and this is just a fun way for her to have something to stimulate her senses... And to be honest with you, my son, Kannon is OBSESSED with his sometimes! He loves to snuggle his Roarbert at night! I think the scent is very soothing for him and bed time is a breeze because of it! We've had our scent pack in his for a few months and I haven't needed to change it! LOVE IT!! The Buddy Babies are new and oh-so-cute!!
**Scent Circles! Ok, so these are SO great to hang on your mirror in the car and I LOVE them for CLOSETS!! Seriously, try it!
Plug-Ins! Perfect for bathrooms. Enough said! I actually got mine a long time ago and the plug rotates so that you can put it in whether your outlets goes horizontal or vertical and I would always bump mine and spill wax all over my counter. But now they LOCK so that doesn't happen so that is awesome! These are also THE BEST gifts for any occasion!

Remember, your online orders must be in by the end of the day on Saturday, March 17th. Online orders ship right to your house but if you CAN make it to the actual party, please come! It's at my house on Saturday, March 10th- stop in any time between noon and 6pm. You can smell the yummy scents, browse the catalogs and place your orders, eat yummy snacks, purchase raffle tickets ($1 each) for a brand new full-size Scensty Warmer, check out a few other fun things we'll be selling and have a great excuse to get out of the house! Bring your friends and make a girls day out of it! If you come to the party at my house and wear GREEN you will get a fun little prize!

** If you're placing an order online, make sure to order under the party name: A Home For London **

Thanks, friends! Hope to see you all there!
Love from me and London!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hi blog readers (I think we've got two of you now!)...
Just wanted to quickly update you- so far, we have almost $2200 in monetary donations and don't forget the overwhelmingly generous donation of a ROOF! :)
This past week, London was featured on this great BLOG (go to February 17th!)... I just love it!! It's so neat to have someone else, a complete stranger to me, see London as worthy of being in the spotlight! Thanks, Miggy!!

Well, I have loads of laundry to get to some day but let me end this post by giving you a little peeky-poo into some fun things we've got coming up/in the works to further the Can You Spare A Dollar Campaign and make our dream of a London-friendly home a reality...

The first is a Scentsy party! All proceeds will be donated to our Campaign so hurry over HERE and get your Scensty on! Online orders must be in by March 17th, and they ship right to your door! If you are able to make it, the actual party is at my house on March 10th- there will be prizes for wearing green, yummy snacks, and we will be selling raffle tickets (just a buck each!) for a brand new, full-size warmer!

I have a super cool friend who will be selling the ca-utest greeting cards at Roy Days... but that's not until August- so I will keep everyone (you two!) posted about those details.

I am trying to throw together a Harley Ride, big yard sale, and a craft boutique. So if you know anything about organizing a Harley ride, want to donate anything to the yard sale, or you want to be a part of the craft boutique, please get in touch with me!

Also, if you ever find yourself in need of a homemade, quality quilt, or some new family photos, I'm your girl! I don't want anyone out there thinking that I am just sitting back watching the money roll in... I am scrimping and saving and working hard to pay off bills so that I can put away as much money as I can for our home. We will not be in a position to afford a large monthly mortgage payment, and that's why I am trying to have the money we will need to build a home at once, or most of it anyway... I have a long way to go, I know, but (call me silly) I truly believe this Campaign can happen!

Thanks, loyal readers! *wink!*
Hugs from me and London!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Roof Over Our Heads

Just wanted to share this little bit of love we have received... There is a local roofing company here in northern Utah who have so graciously offered to donate their services for when we reach our goal of getting a home for London! YAY! A roof!!
I can't adequately express my gratitude for this gift they are giving us. How do you thank someone for, quite literally, putting a roof over your head?? Somehow 'thank you' just doesn't cut it... I want them to know that they are making such a huge difference in our world by giving us that gift! Something like that reaffirms my belief that there truly are good people out there in this world. THANK YOU!!

To date, we have received monetary donations of nearly $1600! Thank you for the support you have given- whether you have made a donation, or just helped pass the word along...
When I decided to take on this task, I wasn't naive in thinking I could do it alone. Something this big can only be achieved with the help of a lot of generous people!

So thanks again!!
Hugs from me and London!