Category Archives: Fresh Air Fund

I learned a few things in 2012

Well 2012 hasn’t been real pretty.  We have been beaten down, frustrated, stressed out, exhausted, overwhelmed and weary.  We had to deal with a busy spring sports schedule and then the angry outbursts of Alzheimer’s.  (You can read more about that here).  We traveled a ton this past summer for Tyler’s baseball team, I did a lot of driving and really missed Curt’s great driving skills and endurance!  Curt continued his downward spiral into the black hole of Alzheimer’s and has lost much of what we love about him.  But the man still retains a strong sense of humor which we are thankful for.

But along with such gloom and doom I learned a few things in 2012!

Christmas Eve 2012

I have seen the incredible goodness, care and love people have shown our family.  I have learned that friends and family can make a huge difference in the lives of people they care for simply by lending a listening ear, bringing dinner, helping with the practical things of life (yard work and laundry), sharing a hug at just the right time and sending text or note of encouragement.  I can’t tell you how many times dear friends and family have pulled me out of the miry pit by lending that hand of encouragement and practical help!

C and I  Christmas

I have learned to worry less!!!  There has been SO  many things I have worried about in this whole journey….who will I find to care for Curt while I am at school, how will I figure out all this financial stuff, how are we going to pay for long term care, etc. etc. etc……..So many of my worries have all come to work out in ways I could not even imagine or have planned for.  God provides!

I have learned that my plans are not always God’s plans.  This one is a tough one for me, as I am such a planner.  Curt and I had plans to retire early, pay off our house, travel…..but God has other plans for us and I am slowly learning to trust in His plans and not mine.

I have learned that the Keurig Coffee brewer is one of the best inventions ever.

Curt and Mom

I have learned that when you are down and out, cry, have a pity party, go all out!   But when the cry is over, pick yourself up and move on, don’t stay in that place, it just isn’t worth it.   It will do no good to stay there and dwell about the misery of your current situation.  Move on, laugh a little, Pray a LOT, make fun of your self a little, lighten up and MOVE ON!

I have learned that a sense of humor can go a long way.  Oh and let me assure you our family has always had a sense of humor.  If you know us, you know this to be quite true.  Laughter truly is good medicine.  :)

Cousins and Isaac

 I have learned to have fun with  family!  Even if things are looking grim, do something fun.  I have found that doing something fun and silly just helps to eliminate the doom and gloom stress of living with a fatal disease!

Paisely Christmas

And last but certainly not least, I have learned that no matter what is going on in our lives,  I still hate doing laundry! :)

DSCN0688

I stuck in a few fun pics from Christmas into this post.  Don’t you love this great picture of Tyler and Isaac!  Isaac is our Fresh Air Fund young man that has come to stay at our house the last 10 summers!  This year he got to come and stay with us for Christmas!!  It was so much fun to have Isaac here for Christmas!

So 2013, Welcome! 

I have NO IDEA what this year will bring, but I know I will continue to trust in Jesus, enjoy my dark chocolate and rely on the things I learned in 2012!

Fresh Air Fund Fun

I haven’t been around blogging as much since our Fresh Air Fund young man The Questinator arrived at our house for his 7th summer!  If you are not aware of the Fresh Air Fund, it’s a program that takes children away from their NYC/Bronx/Brooklyn homes for 14 days to spend the summer in the country.  It has been a great experience for our family, and for The Questionator.  It’s amazing to see him grow each summer, when he first arrived at our house 7 years ago he had a big head of hair, and was so afraid of the wild lions( squirrels and an occasional raccoon) that lived in the jungle ( woods) behind our house.

He didn’t like the bugs, he couldn’t ride a bike, he had never gone barefoot, never shot a basketball or played mini-golf or eaten fresh watermelon or corn on the cob.  He had never gone to the beach for the day, camped in a tent,  shot a BB gun, or climbed a tree.  He also never prayed regularly or attended church.

Well as you can imagine, we have worked to change so much of this over the years!

And this summer was no exception.  He got to sleep under the stars in the the Catskill Mtns of NY.  He literally laid out  on the deck of my brother’s place, and he and everyone else slept out under the stars for the night.  As soon as he got back to NY he set up a Facebook account, and I noticed that he listed” looking at the stars” as one of his favorite activities. That just warmed my heart. :)

Here is the aftermath of the late night star gazing.

sleeping on the deck

The Questionator also loved jumping in and swimming in the pond on my brother’ s property.  When he first came 7 years ago he would have been so fearful of swimming in a pond with living things.  But over the years, that fear has subsided, and he was quite content to spend hours in the pond!

jumping in pond I and T

He really enjoyed trying out something that he has NEVER done in the Bronx before!  And SportTman was happy to let him take over part of his job!

mowing the lawn

He also loved being part of our neighborhood gang and having an airsoft gun war with all of them.  He just can’t walk outside and play, so simple things like walking out our front door to a yard means a great deal to him.

airsoft battle

He enjoyed a trip to Dairy Queen and a round of mini-golf.  His shot even got better as the game went on.

mini golf

This young man is truly part of our family, and once again we had a great visit with him. We have also seen spiritual growth with him.  When he and SportTman were little Drums or I would pray with them each night before bed.  This time we noticed they prayed on their own before bed, and The Questionator initiated it! I would secretly sit on the steps and listen to the 2 of them pray……so endearing!

We are thankful for the Fresh Air Fund and bringing The infamous Questionator to our house each summer!

whole family

The Fresh Air Fund program

I’m back…..ok so you didn’t realize I was even gone. That is the fun of blogging. I have done a ton of things since I wrote my last post. We went camping with our Fresh Air Fund child, The Questionator (he is so inquisitive!). And we were at another baseball tournament.

The Questionator loved camping, he enjoyed eating hot dogs cooked over a fire and not in a microwave, he liked playing tether ball, he enjoyed running down the beautiful wooded trails, he relished time looking at the stars at night, he thought is was cool that you could pee in the woods( boys!!) and he loved the pool at the campground. The Fresh Air fund is a wonderful program that brings kids to the country for the summer. The Questionator lives in a small 3 bedroom apartment in the Bronx, and rarely ever can just go outside and hangout. I know this trip to “the country” means so much to him each year, this is his 6th summer with us. Each year we get more of a glimpse into his isolated life in that apartment in the Bronx. What a contrast it is for him to come to our house. His first year here he thought the woods behind our house contained lions, and zebras, he thought is was a jungle. Now he shoots the air soft gun and runs in the creek back in the “jungle.”

We thought he might be bored going to back to back baseball tournaments, but instead he learned the names of all the players, he cheered for them, and congratulated them when they won. He said he has never been “part of a team before.”

He leaves tomorrow, we will all be sad to see him go. It pains me to think of what he goes home to. The Fresh Air program has been a great experience for my kids also, they have learned to appreciate their home so much more, and have also learned to demonstrate God’s love and kindness to someone who is quite different then they are. It warms my heart to see my son form a close knit friendship with a boy from the Bronx!

If you are interested in learning more about the program click here, I know they still need families for THIS summer!

Here are some pics of the fun times we have shared together for the last 2 weeks.

(Wow this post went in a totally different direction than I planned, I was going to write about my lack of summer exercise program. So stay tuned for a good, motivating exercise pep talk…..I know I need one! :))

The Questonator with his infamous gastronomical abnormality sandwich……..chicken breast, lettuce, mayo, potato chips and blueberies….he loved it!