Holiday season of giving...

I am having a hard time lately with my Facebook feed, not technical difficulties, but the kind where the status' that are popping up either have given me much to think about, or have frustrated me to no end.  So I have been left to think a lot before I just post and speak.  Which is honestly a huge change for me, (just ask my husband he will tell you I have eaten my foot more times than I can count)!
Also a major thought provoking thing in my life is that I am part of a book club for the first time ever! I am both excited and nervous about this.  Excited because I get to read a book FOR me, not because I am being told over and over to 'read' (by my many children), but a book FOR me to help make a better me.  But I am about to digress here, so back to good ol' Facebook and its difficulties that I am facing.

I have seen a LOT of posts lately about how to help parents with chronically ill children either during the holidays, or while they are in the hospital (such as this one:, and these are great articles.  Yet they remind me that Willow is a part of this 'list', and then I get angry.  Not because she has a condition that is considered 'rare' despite the large amount of children that are born with hydrocephalus (1 in 500), but angry because I try so hard to put myself out there (something that I am not accustomed to despite what my husband will say), and raise awareness (FOX17 news story last summer for a Pay it Forward segment), and numerous fundraisers that just don't seem to go anywhere.  Now why is that? That is where I struggle with this.  Does no one care that there are so many people out there that could die or suffer severe brain damage at any minute if the shunt stops working? (trust me being in the hydrocephalus community, there is at least 1-5 people that I pray for daily as they go into the hospital for a shunt issue, that may or may not lead to their next brain surgery).  Is it that they do care but there isn't a list out there of 'how can you help..." because if that's the case let me make one for you.

Then when I think about giving to the PHF, it leads me to think of giving in general and this holiday season.  Our church just finished a series called 'Do Something Now', and it was kicked off on Orphan Sunday (Nov. 3).  You see, last year at this time the series brought Jon and I to discuss a possible sponsorship of a child, but that never went anywhere beyond a conversation or two.  This year, I am part of the Missions Team at church as well, and I guess my heart is being tugged a bit more than normal.  I have actually asked my kids what they would think about if one of their gifts was not a physical gift per say, but one where it allowed them to GIVE to someone or something else.  And you know what, my kids said that was okay by them!  I love that for once they were thinking of others instead of their own personal gain.  The other cool thing this year is their holiday 'wish list' is quite short!  About a handful of items for each of them is all they are asking for. :)  So, when I get an email from World Wildlife Fund about animal adoptions for as little as $25.00 (,  I got excited!  Amanda would love to 'adopt' a wolf!  She would think she was in heaven!

So then I go back to the PHF, the pediatric hydrocephalus foundation, and wonder what am I doing wrong to where people are not excited to give to this foundation?  I could flood your mind with facts about this condition and how it affects so many in different ways and how serious it is.  Then I was thinking last night about this season of giving and was there some way I could incorporate a 12 days of giving type of thing for the MI PHF.  My mind is still reeling from so many things, this month.  So I am sorry if this post doesn't make much sense - but I will leave you with some family photos :)

A reminder of how our journey started:

 Our family now:

 And a fun one, because sometimes you just have to make a face :)



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