Merry ChristmaNewDisentines


It’s been a grip of time since I’ve updated so why not cram a few weeks/holiday updates into one, shall we?

IMG_5163 (Hence the title: Christmas, New Years, Disney and because it’s going to take me a few days to get this one written, we may as well throw Valentine’s in there too!)

I will not be able to do Christmas justice this far after the fact.

It was a good Christmas. (I’m saying that in my best “wind in his hair” accent. Except it’s not from Dances with Wolves, its the old Indian dude Staab from Legends of the Fall. This is why i shouldn’t blog after a bowl of Cherry Berry. Only my husband will understand what i am saying and he will do his little smirk which is about as much emotion as he shows, even though he does think I am hilarious. most of the time.)


where was I?

Christmas. Good. See, I knew ahead of time that their big gift was going to be our family trip to Disney, so it made me very reluctant to get a lot of “real” (wrappable) presents. (Well, that plus a distinct lack of fundage to buy tons of presents. Splitting hairs.) BUT – I wanted to get them stuff FOR the trip as part of their gifts, except that their Christmas wish lists didn’t include “new underwear” and “car trip boredom busters”. It’s not a super huge deal, but I wanted them to get at least one of their Santa list gifts, even though I knew that a trip to Disney (and a whole extra week off school) was plenty gift in and of itself. We were extremely blessed by an agency that we work with for Kendall’s nursing as well as some amazingly generous friends who both helped ensure that some of the financial burden of providing a good Christmas was relieved. Ben has done an amazing job of utilizing some of his travel points to provide the hotel room for our two nights at Disney, a flight for Kendall and I, and we have been saving our pennies up to pay for the gas for the rest of the family to drive down to Florida. Christmas would not have been as Christmasy if it were not for our Christmas angels. Thank you is so inadequate – to all of you who have helped our family out on our journey over the past couple years. You all know who you are. I would fall short if i even tried to begin listing you out by name. I pray that God blesses all of you in the way you have blessed us. Anyways – Christmas rocked.

We were all so excited that we got to share Christmas with “sissy Christine” – a beautiful young lady that Ben and I first met when we lived in Washington and worked at our church in the Awana program. It is hard to believe that she has been like a daughter to us for almost 12 years now! And now she’s a momma herself! She and Baby Sophia came to spend a few weeks with us, and we had so much fun getting ready for the holidays with her! She is getting ready to leave and it is making me sad! It has been an adjustment having a 4 month old baby in the house again – but oh so fun! We are going to miss them so much!

And then Kendall had to go and get stuck in the hospital on December 30 (she had spiked a lowish gradeIMG_5191 fever that i would have likely let go, except we leave for disney in a week and i couldn’t risk that she would pull the stunt she pulled last time she had a lowish fever and needed an ambulance ride within a few hours!) So we trekked up to milwaukee, had a nice little 24 hour long visit (they wanted it to be much longer, but a. i needed to get home to pack and be with my family, and b. you DO NOT want to start the year out by owing your entire out of pocket copay in the first few days!) She’s getting tanked up on IV antibiotics and IV antifungals so we can hopefully “optimize her health” for her quality of life on the trip. In english, this means that we are treating a UTI that we normally would choose to not treat so that her typical UTI symptoms including bad pain, increased spasms, lethargy and nausea will be held at bay so she can enjoy next week’s magic to the fullest of her abilities!

So now we pack and prepare and hope we have everything we need for Atkinson General Hospital to hit the road!

A little bit about our plans:

Ben and the big three girls will all leave early Saturday morning to start driving to Florida. They will have most of Kendall’s medical equipment/supplies, all of our luggage, etc. Then on Sunday morning, Kendall and I will head to the airport to hopefully navigate the TSA nightmare with all of her fluids/pumps/medications that we will need for the day. Trying to pare this down to the bare minimum while making responsible decisions about any “emergencies” that may or may not arise has been a challenge. I think we have the letters of medical necessity/medical care plans/other paperwork all set, her emergency supplies, her daily supplies, her crayons/playdoh/minnie doll/glass slippers…

Ben will stop in Atlanta on Saturday night (because he likes to make it a direct straight 24 hour drive but his dad told him he BETTER stop and take two days to drive down or he would not be buying Disney tickets! Thank you Poppa Bob!!) and then meeting Kendall and I at the Orlando airport to pick us up on sunday afternoon. We will be staying at an off-site Hilton property that “has a view” of Disney’s Magic Kingdom on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights – going to the park on Monday and Tuesday. We debated about which parks to try to hit – but in the end decided that for our first trip, and not knowing how Kendall will do with the “overload” of it all, that we would probably get the most bang for our buck by hitting Magic Kingdom for  both days. I mean, Pirates is there, and that’s really all that matters, right? 😉

Just kidding. I honestly don’t even think the girls know there are actual RIDES there besides the teacups (because they see those in the disney commercials). I think they will all get enough enjoyment out of the activities at MK, and for Kendall, she just really really really wants to meet the Princesses. And Minnie. And Mickey. And Goofy. And Daisy. And….And…And… The parades with the characters will hopefully satisfy the “meeting everybody” requirement. I know they are going to love the trip no matter WHAt happens or who we meet or what rides we manage to make it on. They have no expectations so they will be easy to meet/exceed. It will be magical and awesome and I feel like I want to take nonstop videos and pictures to try to capture the absolute wonderment of it all in their eyes. i hope to be able to do it justice in the retelling.  I’ll likely be putting most of it on the Terra Talking FB page and tweeting a lot of little moments. (My tweeter is up on the side on the left if you aren’t on twitter regularly.)

On Wednesday morning we will be driving a few hours south back down to Ft. Myers to spend a couple days with Ben’s family enjoying the pool and beaches, and then Kendall and I fly back home on Friday, with the rest of the family following behind in the car. It was a rather impromptu trip, but will be oh so welcomed! The girls are very happy to be missing a whole extra week of school, and I am so glad that it is for a GOOD reason! They deserve the magic of this trip just as much as Kendall does for all she endures and has fought through the past couple months especially.

So now to finish the last minute packing, making sure all the stuff to fly with kendall’s stuff is in order, putting batteries in cameras, gathering up crayons and markers for the car trip. In the words of a character from my favorite book/movie (the Shawshank Redemption) “I find I’m so excited I can hardly hold a thought in my head. I hope the Pacific Ocean is as blue as it has been in my dreams  (that Disney is as magical as it is in my dreams). I hope…. I hope.”

Thank you to everyone who is or has been a part of us being able to mobilize and move out, getting TO Disney, helping with suggestions or advice on how to fully take advantage of our two days, EVERYTHING. Thank you Thank you Thank you to so many people.

I better get off of here for now and go actually finish packing or it will never get done!

I’m sure I’ll blog one more time at least before we go. So much I want to say and not enough time to sit and type it all out!

Have a super sparkly day everybody!



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