Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Delivering goodies . . .

The days leading up to Christmas were full of fun, as we delivered various and sundry goodies all over Atlanta. We started by delivering our baskets to the CICU at Choa. It was such a treat to get to spread a little bit of joy to a place where we spent the hardest days of our lives. Everyone was blown away by how much we were able to give, and we were quick to tell them it was only because of all of YOU. Seriously, they wanted to put our name on the baskets and on the bag of gift cards for the nurses, and we made them put "Caden's friends and fans" (or something) on the label, because they were NOT just from us in the least. It was especially wonderful for us to be able to tell the families that the baskets were the result of suggestions and contributions from SO many heart families who had spent time in the CICU. We were glad to be able to remind those sitting at the bedsides of their loved ones that they were not alone. That others had walked before them and many were walking alongside them and covering them in prayer. So thank you all a million times over for your kindness and generosity, and for making it possible for us to honor Caden's journey this way. It was a privilege and joy for us.
Each basket was full of goodies - including parking passes, a $25 gas card, $25 worth of restaurant gift certificates, the Matt Hammitt cd, plus wonderful coupons and such from Chickfila, journals and pens, notes from us and other heart families, lotion, homemade treats, water bottles, gum, tissues, prayer blankets, homemade burp clothes and more. The whole Phi Mu chapter at Georgia Tech put together a fantastic basket, as did several friends and even a few brand new blog friends who I haven't had the privilege of meeting yet. I was BLOWN AWAY. For realz. And I'm hoping and praying that each basket (which was prayed over specifically) ministers to a family this holiday season and touches their hearts in a special way. We also gave 50 Starbucks gift cards for nurses and staff, and were able to give special gifts to the social workers and doctors too. Again, I cannot overstate what a JOY and privilege this was. And we've already had lots of people say they want to help next year. I love when God surprises us with even more ways that Caden's special heart is making a difference. I'm literally tearing up right now just thinking about it. Thank y'all.
Not to mention that everyone at the cicu was just over-the-moon at how great Caden looked. They reminded us that the Ross-konno procedure is so rare and that Caden looked amazing considering what a huge procedure he had. Caden had also had a nurse come give him a synagis injection that morning, and she said she had seen a baby earlier in the week with the exact same procedure. And she said Caden looked remarkable in comparison. All that to say the whole day was a reminder of God's goodness to us and to his miraculous healing through the amazing people at Egleston.

Next, on Christmas eve, we delivered some Christmas gifts to kiddos and neighbors. We had fun walking around and handing out gifts and homemade caramel sauce. Yum. Oh and this little smile right here is the best thank-you ever.  If you've been hanging around the Stanley Clan for awhile, you've seen it before.
We then got dressed quickly and went to Christmas eve service, dinner at the in-laws, and then back home for a fun bonfire and marshmallow roast with the kiddos. As we pulled into the neighborhood (we have to go around the block because we live on a one-way street), the kids yelled and ran after us and followed us home for the bonfire. It was SO fun, totally my favorite Christmas eve ever. We sang Christmas carols, one of the kiddos read the Christmas story from Luke (by heart!), and we ate delicious smores under the stars. It was a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is really all about.  

9 comments:

  1. So happy to see all the wonderful baskets. I can only imagine what a blessing it was for the families. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it!

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  2. The baskets were amazing and I know brought joy to many families. The Starbucks cards also brought joy to many a nurse! Thank you so much, although that smile I got from Caden was better than anything money could buy!

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  3. The baskets looked awesome! Yall are the best ever! We love you tons!

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  4. Man I love reading about your ministry!

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  5. Amazing. Just all of it and all of you.

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  6. Beautiful. What an inspiration you are!

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  7. Amazing!! So great to give back!! Can't wait to hear about when you go next year, I'd love to help out too!!

    And what a wonderful Christmas night...under stars, so neat! Couldn't do that in IA, too cold! ;)

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  8. What an amazing thing that you did for the hospitalized families and the kiddos in your neighborhood!

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