Lots and Lots of Stuff...but Oh, So Important!

Business first...

Remember way back last summer when many of you sent me your Letter of Hope for Broken Hearts?  Well, the time has come for them to make an impact.  Our original attempts weren't as successful as we were hoping, but we're not giving up!  Stefenie Jacks was part of a documentary with the Children's Heart Foundation to raise awareness for CHDs.  The pilot for the documentary will be taken to Washington D.C. in April when they lobby Congress again to push for more CHD awareness.  Along with the documentary, they want to take our Letters of Hope!  (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here.)

If you didn't write a Letter of Hope this summer, have no fear!  You still have time!!  You don't have to have a child with a CHD to write a letter, and there are plenty here for you to read if you're not sure how to get started.  If you want to read mine, you can click here.  (I'll be updating it this week before sending it in.)  Please, please, join us and make your voice heard for all of the heart babies (both big and small) fighting now, who've fought a hard fight and earned their wings, and all of the heart babies to come. 

In order for your letter to be taken to Washington, and your child's photo included in the CHF documentary, here's what you have to send:
  1. Photo(s) of your heart child.  (Again, it's ok if you're not a heart parent. Just ignore this step and do steps 2-4!)
  2. Letter sharing your story and most importantly why awareness for CHD awareness is needed.
  3. Click on this link to have the release form automatically pop up.  Type in your information (it is Microsoft Word) and save it.  Then when you are ready to e-mail your other info attach it to your e-mail and send it off.
  4. Send your e-mail to chfbetsy (at) aol (dot) com  (don't forget to remove the spaces and change the (at) to @ and the (dot) to .  in the e-mail address.  Sorry, but in order to prevent her from getting spam e-mails I have to type it this way on the blog.)
Here is the link to the release form http://www.ourlettersofhope.com/CHFTalentRelease.doc if it didn't pop up for you above.  If you do not have Microsoft Word and are unable to open the release form here is the link to the PDF file http://www.ourlettersofhope.com/CHFTalentRelease.pdf .  You can print this off, fill it out and mail it to the address at the bottom of the form.  Just be sure when you e-mail your story and pics to add to your message that you had to mail your release form to TMK Productions because you could not open the release form.

If you have ANY questions about any of this, please email me (carolinacarters (at) gmail (dot) com).  I have all of the letters that were sent to me this summer if you no longer have yours.  I'll be glad to send in whatever you need or help in any way you need me.  Please just ask!! :)

Now for a BIG pat on the back for YOU...

Dig way back again (well, just a month) to February 6...the pancake breakfast.  The breakfast was a HUGE success thanks to ALL OF YOU.  Justin and I prayed and prayed about this being a success, and God delivered!  We had over 250 adults (and a TON of kids 4 and under).  We couldn't have been more pleased (and I really don't think we could have handled many more people!)!

Here are a few shots from the morning...


It was hard work,

but there were lots of smiles!
Lots! :)

Everyone who came seemed to have a good time, which made us VERY happy!

D came in at the end of the morning to see what all the fuss was about,

and was very excited to see his fellow heart buddy Parker. 

How precious is this!?

Thank you for the pics Amy!!  

I cannot thank everyone enough for coming in at 6:45 that morning to help.  There is no way this would have been successful without EVERY ONE OF YOU!  I know everyone was nervous about waiting tables, but I think the fears were drowned out by the adrenaline rush of the crowd, and in the end, I hope you had fun.  Thank you SO, SO much!

An ENORMOUS thank you to those of you who sold tickets!!  OMG...thank you, thank you, thank you!!  Again, couldn't have done it without you!!  

And WOW...the donations that poured in!!  So many of you who live too far away to come to breakfast or had other plans that day but still wanted to help and sent in donations...you shocked our socks off!  We GREATLY appreciate your generosity and your passion for saving heart babies! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So now for what you really want to know...

the grand total....

drum roll, please....


Yep!  We couldn't be happier.  We couldn't be more grateful for all that YOU did to make this successful!  We can't thank you enough!  We can't wait to do it again next year!  Mark your calendars!

While we were out...

we visited Zeb as he was recovering from surgery.  This is the first time we've been to MUSC procedure-free.  It was a little overwhelming and emotional, but that's for another day.  Zeb was doing great, and it was nice to visit with him and his mom and dad.  
D was nervous about having to stay,

but Zeb calmed his fears.  Sweet little heart babies! :)

And now for some super exciting news...

Derrick can eat REAL food again!  Woo hoo!! 

And some prayer requests...

Please continue to keep Aunt Sandy in your prayers.  Her surgery went well, but she will be undergoing treatments because the mass they removed was a neuroglioblastoma.  Of course this is not the news that everyone was hoping for.  Please pray that her body handles treatment well.  Please also pray for peace and strength for her and the rest of our family, especially her daughters. 

And don't forget sweet Ruthie!!

And for something F-U-N for YOU...

check back Monday morning!  We have a giveaway!  We were contacted to do a giveaway, and at first were a little hesitant.  Then we thought about it, and you all are so supportive of us that you deserve a chance at something nice.  Also, if someone new comes here because of the giveaway, maybe they'll learn a little something about CHD, right?! 

We'll see you Monday...or maybe before!
(Yes, his daddy made him wear a turban while we were at Dr. Shuler's office.) 



  1. Glad the pancake breakfast was such a great success.
    And, I'm pretty sure Derrick gets cuter with every post! :) I love that little green shirt..looks like a little man!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am pleased to know that I might be of some help in getting the word out about CHDs. Derrick is adorable!


  3. Great job on the pancake breakfast Shannon!

    Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

  4. Congrats on raising so much, great job!

    That last black and white photo brought tears to my eyes, how sweet.

  5. Glad to hear the pancake breakfast was a success! Love the new blog lay out and of course the new picture of D! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers always....

  6. OMG~ Derrick looks like a big boy in those new pics! Love the background too! I think it is great that you all raised that much money. We are having ours in a couple of weeks! Love the pic of your Corley friends! :) Miss you!!!
    Love ya,
    Sue Shelton

  7. Derrick and his heart friends are too, too sweet! Love all these pictures! We are so happy that the CHD breakfast went so well. You did a great job and that is an AWESOME amount of money raised! Congratulations!!

    Kati, Rocky, Evan & Brycen Dunn

  8. Wow! I am so excited about the $$$ you guys raised. That is Awesome!! Love the new pics. I love the pics of Zeb and Derrick..I am just sitting here crying. It is so precious. I never got them on email..wierd? but I will copy them..THanks..they are precious. I know what an effort/sacrifice it takes to walk into that unit without being there for procedures, I myself would love it if I never saw it again. So we Thank you from the bottom of our hearts..You really made our day. You are such a Blessing!! We will be praying for your family..GOd can change the situation...We Believe in MIracles!! Love ya

    Rhonda and Sonny, Preslee, Kerrigan & Zeb ( aka superman) lol..