A BraveHEARTS Update

 Since CHD Awareness week/month is creeping up on us I figured it's about time for a little Hope for BraveHEARTS update for y'all.  :)

In December we went down to MUSC for our annual Ronald McDonald House dinner, blanket giving, and donation making.  Our goal each year is to donate more than the year before.  This is our fourth donation, and every year our goal has been met because we have amazing people who support us and make it possible.  I'm so excited to share that the 2012 Hope for BraveHEARTS donation was $13,500!  

Of course we realize that this is barely a drop in the bucket for what is needed for the grossly underfunded yet insanely common beast that is a Congenital Heart Defect. 

While we are tiny, we received a personal letter from the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at MUSC, and this is part of what he said:

You should feel assured that the funds you donate are being put to good use.  The important thing about the money you raise is that it provides "discretionary" funds that can be spent on any worthy project, which is not true for most of our accounts, even dedicated research grants.  One example occurred just this week when I approved the purchase of a minus 70 degree freezer, at a cost of about $10,000, to hold research samples being collected by Dr. Graham, as well as other cardiology investigators.  In addition, this year we are supporting a funding gap for one of our research labs that is investigating the genes that control heart development and working on stem cells that could replace the heart's natural pacemaker cells when they are damaged.  These types of activities would not be possible without your generous support and that of others.

Y'all, I had to wipe away a tear.  It is worth it, and it does matter.  No matter how small.  

I'm happy to report that we have officially donated $35,000
to CHD research.  We are beyond grateful for every single person who has made a donation, no matter how large or small, for every breakfast patron and server, every golfer, every person who has donated items for the BraveHEART Baskets, everyone who has bought t-shirts, cookbooks, and everyone who has ever said anything at all about Hope for BraveHEARTS.  Because not a penny of this (or a basket) would be possible without all of these people.  

We are grateful.  We are joyful.  We are HOPEFUL!  
We thank you!

We love being able to serve at the RMH.  Its so oddly emotional, but we love it.  While we were waiting on the rest of the crew we took a little photo opp with Ronnie.  Isn't he cute?!  :)

Texas Roadhouse came through with another amazing treat for the families.  Mouth watering pulled pork, salad, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and that amazing butter! The butter alone is reason enough to visit Texas Roadhouse!  We are so grateful for their support in feeding the families such a great meal.  They always bring enough that we can take back over to the hospital to feed the PC staff and families who are there too.  They're such a blessing!

I wanted to let all of you locals know that it's time for our annual pancake breakfast!  It's delicious and you'll get the best service in town.  Ha! :)  We'd love to have a huge crowd and we'd love to have anyone within driving distance to come!  You know you want some pancakes!
We're also having another t-shirt design contest this year.  We sold the heck out of our most recent shirts that were designed by Logan.  We're looking forward to having another awesome shirt, so if anyone (no matter where you live) is interested in drawing a design for our new shirts we'd love to have it!  It needs to be done by a child and have "Hope for BraveHEARTS" somewhere on it.  Here's a (terrible quick phone) picture of the shirts we're selling now:
 Yellow closet light makes a blue shirt look purple.  We're wearing the shirt in the pic above, which is a way more accurate color!  And yes, we just placed another order for them and have them for sale if anyone wants one!  They're $10...and we still have a few cookbooks too.  :) 

We hope to have a new shirt for sale next year so get to drawing!  You can scan the pic in and email it to me by Jan. 30th and we'll vote at the breakfast then put them online for voting.  $1 per vote.  And of course the winner gets a free shirt! :)

Thanks to all of you for all of your support.  We really appreciate it more than we can ever express!!



Basketball and Germy-ness

For the past couple of years our church has done a fundraiser to raise money for the church basketball teams.  Last year Justin played, but this year I was asked to play on the girls team.  I haven't played basketball since high school.  And I wasn't even very good then.  I was kinda nervous.  We had a great time though, and I'm pretty sure we kicked booty!  It was a little difficult to tell who won by looking at the scoreboard because you could buy points, but I'm pretty sure we took the middle school girls down.  :)  Even if most of us couldn't walk the next day. 

A few shots from our game...

It was pretty serious!  :)  I did score, which considering I cannot remember the last time I picked up a basketball, I was pretty shocked.  I can't remember if it was once or twice, though.  I think I was too oxygen-deprived to remember. 

Between our games the kids needed a break so we went to play on the playground.  I love to see my kids play with their little friends.  Someday these pictures will be so much fun to show them.  By this point JK had only one pig-tail and her second pair of leggings on.  It was kind of a rough afternoon. 

The boys...oh, the boys.  They're so crazy!  Lots of wigs...and Justin used the game as a great excuse to get a mohawk.  He's been wanting one forever and this was a perfect excuse.  I was surprised, but I really liked it.  He still has it and now Derrick has one too!  I haven't gotten a picture of them so I'll do that soon.  D loves having a mohawk like daddy! 

The pre-game warm up did not involve a basketball at all.  They did human bowling and and fishing.  Here they are fishing:

And their prized firsh...

We didn't get a team shot of the boys before the game, so this was an attempt afterward.  They were missing a few and had gained a few extra. 

We've had two small construction projects going on. We had some wasted space in the kitchen so we added drawers and now the kids' cups and plates are in a drawer so they can reach them themselves.  That's mostly been good.  JK enjoys pulling it all out, but we're working on it.  Obviously this is a work-in-progress pic.  We still have painting left to do now.  We also added a built-in dresser to Derrick's room.  I'll have to post pics of the completeld projects. 

We're so ready for summer around here!  In the past month we've had two rounds of breathing treatments for my man.  They gave him albuterol in the office.  We always get Xopenex because of his heart, but he was wheezing a good bit and all they had was albuterol, so that's what we did.  Boy was he pumped up after that!  I'm definitely glad for Xopenex!   

Sometimes it's a fight to get him to do the treatments, but he's a Justin Bieber fan so he'll watch the "Baby, Baby" video over and over while doing his treatment.  Works like a charm! Ha!  He even sings while doing it.  It's really quite a sight!

Jenny Kate has had her share of germs this winter too.  As of last night she just may be getting the gunk D has.  She's only been well for about two weeks.  Have I mentioned I'm ready for spring? 

On this morning we dropped D off at school and had to run in the store for diapers.  We had one left.  ONE.  How do you get down to one diaper?!  Anyway, she had been insisting on wearing her earrings, so she wore them in the car, the store, and kept them on while she was in the nursery at bible study.  I was shocked!  We might have a little diva on our hands!  She loves her big 'ol clip on earrings! 

So that's what's going on around here.  So exciting, huh? :) 



Our Weekend & Getting Back Into Things

In an effort to get back into this blogging thing that I've let slip away, here's a snippet of our weekend in iPhone pics. :)

We celebrated Justin's birthday by going to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Cheese dip is a requirement.  And I now officially have someone who loves it as much as I do, which makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Jenny Kate was completely satisfied with the chips and salsa.  She literally sat in the chair and only asked for "mir pease" (more please) for at least 30 minutes.  She was enjoying her little bowl of heaven.

Saturday morning we headed to the park.

Jenny Kate is such a little girl now.  I don't know where my baby went!

I love this picture! :)

After the park we headed to the Farmer's Market.  I love the Farmers Market!  Local grass-fed beef, homemade ravioli, real lemonade, soft, fresh, whole wheat bread and kettle corn are my favorites!

We got there a little late so the bread lady was sold out and I guess it was too cold for the fresh squeezed lemonade people to come, but we left with lobster ravioli, beef, and kettle corn.  Well, some of us left with kettle corn.

They have an ice skating rink set up temporarily, which attracted quite a crowd. A crowd that even included clowns!  I guess they were there promoting the Circus that's coming in a few months, I'm not sure.  Derrick shocked me and enjoyed chatting with the clown.  The clown asked him if he and JK were married.  He said yes.  Ha!  He makes me laugh!  JK wasn't impressed.  She was way more worried about her kettle corn to fool with some silly clown.

There were two huge black dogs there that D was dying to pet.  We had a little chat about how you don't just go up to dogs and pet them (since we have 5 he's not the least bit afraid) and  I told him he had to ask their owner if it was ok.  He walked right up to the guy and said, "Excuse me sir, can I pet your dog 'pwease'?"  It was the most adorable thing I've seen in a long time.  The guy thought it was cute too and of course he let him pet his dogs.  I may or may not have had a tear watching that little exchange.  Just look at my little big boy!

We managed to save a little bit of kettle corn for Justin as a treat after work, but not much.  And he had to share what we'd saved him.  Looks like we may be back at the Farmers Market again this Saturday for a refill!  :)