The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Thanks Make-A-Wish!

Posted under How God Provides - Aug 28th, 08

The Make-A-Wish “Wish Teen” pilot program provided summer fun for the whole family! We can’t thank them enough. Sunday was our last Wish Teen event of the summer. We had a lot of fun at Lifetime Fitness and Cold Stone Creamery. Wow! The LORD not only provided us with some great activities to do with our kids, but gave us opportunities to show love and compassion to some very physically-challenged Wish Teens as well! We haven’t really had any prior experience interacting with kids with special needs. This summer we had some wonderful experiences laughing and playing with them! It was great to be a part of it. I especially enjoyed talking with some of the kids who were going through chemo.(and their parents), and encouraging them not to lose hope.

Make-A-Wish was so wonderful to us back when we first started planning for Paige’s trip. When the volunteer from Make-A-Wish asked Paige (age eight) where she might want to go, she said, “Antarctica?” She was crazy about penguins, but bc and I weren’t too crazy about freezing (as I recall our jaws dropped open). She wasn’t too disappointed when the volunteer from Make-A-Wish said Antarctica wasn’t an option right now.

She quickly came up with the perfect wish. She absolutely loved reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She actually read the exact set of books that G.G. had given to my sisters and I when we were Paige’s age! G.G.(Paige’s great-grandmother) was also a big fan of Laura, and had traveled to the many homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She shared her postcards, pictures, and great stories with us. I think this really started Paige’s interest (Thank you G.G.). Paige especially liked the fact that these were based on true stories (although not everything was; her books were classified as autobiographical fiction). These stories were about the pioneers and the hard times they faced, as well as the fun times they had with family, friends, animals and music. It recorded Laura’s (and her family’s) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through these tough times. It was absolutely encouraging to read these books when we were going through our own difficult times. We also enjoyed most of the episodes from the “Little House on the Prairie” t.v. series (Pa and Laura could always make me cry). We really felt like pioneers ourselves…struggling to survive (literally…Paige; financially…us; emotionally…all) yet always hoping to the end. But it wasn’t all bad…we were able to laugh during this rainy time, and we saw the grace of the Lord everyday! So with all that said, for her “wish” she asked if she could see the homes of Laura in De Smet and drive a covered wagon.

We had so much fun! The ladies at the LIW society outfitted the girls in prairie dresses and cotton bonnets, and the boys donned cowboy hats and boots. My mom had also made the girls some dresses with aprons, and even made me one. (I think there is still a little bit of Laura in all of us.) Being a child of the seventies, I actually wore a Holly Hobbie dress, with matching bonnet, to school in third grade. I loved that dress (also lovingly made by my sweet mom…thanks mom). Even bc joined in the fun by wearing boots, jeans, suspenders, and a hat. We called each other “Pa” and “Ma” all week. We took tours of the houses and museum. We also had a scavenger hunt which involved going to all of the historical places Laura fans would know about…and ended with each of my girls receiving a “Charlotte” doll (replicas of the beloved Christmas present Laura received) , and my boys receiving toys. A special gift to Paige was a replica of Ma’s china shepherdess doll. Paige loved it.

We had so much “hands-on” fun at the Ingalls Homestead as well! That was where Paige drove her first covered wagon! Paige and Michelle were able to be “extras” in the outdoor play that the town of De Smet puts on each summer. It was great seeing Paige and Michelle out there having fun acting like school children…jumping rope, misbehaving in class, laughing and twirling around in their dresses. I remember crying tears of joy and thanksgiving as I watched my little girls enjoying themselves so much. I remember after the play, some of my little ones (with their cute cousin) were circle dancing around and around until they were too dizzy to stand. It was wonderful to witness everyone with such huge smiles! It seemed like their tiny precious faces couldn’t contain all their joy! These are memories I’ll never forget.This little town was so full of community spirit, much like we read about in Laura’s books. (We had felt community, within our own community, through love in action from so many kind people from churches, schools, doctors’ offices, organizations like Make-A-Wish, and Relay for Life.) We also have never been able to thank our family and friends enough! We love you all dearly!

We also really enjoyed Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and the Prairie Homestead. I’d tell you all about it, but this is long enough for now. Make-A-Wish is so wonderful. It gave us the thrill of looking forward to something fun while going through chemo. (something not fun).Thank you again Lord for all of your wonderful blessings for we know they are from you! What an awesome God!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

One Response to “Thanks Make-A-Wish!”

  1. bc » Blog Archive » A Fresh Cut Says:

    […] 2003, Paige was being treated for cancer, and was given the opportunity to participate in the Make-A-Wish program. She chose to go to South Dakota to see some places where Laura Ingalls Wilder […]

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