On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make a Wish Day ONE

A few months ago Erin visited the Make-A-Wish Wishing House
and made her special wish

To Meet Disney Princesses.

Her wish finally came true this last week.

Day 1

The kids could hardly stand the wait to get on the airplane.  When we landed in Orlando, Florida our 4 year old son yelled out in the airplane, "we're going to Disneyworld!" 

We were greeted by a Give Kids the World employee and she showed us to our rental car.  The car rental people were all smiles and told us to be sure to bring our car back with an empty tank of gas.  Erin picked out our car for the vacation...she first asked for a red car, but they didn't have any red ones so we settled on a charcoal colored minivan.

We arrived at the Give Kids the World Village and were greeted by this cute sign.

The Village is the MOST amazing place, it covers 70 acres and is magical at every turn.  It was founded by Henri Landworth, who spent 5 of his childhood years in concentration camps wondering from day to day if he was going to live or die.  I am so grateful for his sacrifice in creating a place for our family to feel burden-free.  The entire village is FREE for wish families...meaning that we never needed money for anything.  It is staffed by 1500 VOLUNTEERS each week.

We registered and got oriented at the House of Hearts.

Then we were escorted to our villa
in the Fairytale Forrest.

Across from our villa was
a life-size candyland playground!

 Of course, we hit the playground first.

It's looked like we were living in a fairytale.

We made our way to the Ice Cream Parlor
We could have ice cream any way we wanted it all day long!
(I had an Oreo milkshake...ahem...everyday)

Erin had a lot of chocolate ice cream cones
throughout the entire trip.

Erin received a special invitation to visit the Star Fairy
and wake the sleeping owl at the Castle of Miracles.

She decorated her star.

The magical star fairy placed it on the ceiling of the Castle of Miracles.

There are over 100,000 stars on the ceiling in the Castle of Miracles.
It brought tears to my eyes to realize that each star came from a child just like Erin.  Some have made it and some have passed on.

Next she woke up the sleeping owl who lived in this tree.
The kids got to make special wishes
and then three little pillows magically appeared
just for them.

Visiting the Castle of Miracles was a beautiful way to end the first day on our magical vacation.

John put the kids to bed while I made a quick trip to WalMart to pick up snacks and supplies to keep us going while we visited the parks on upcoming days.  As I drove back to our villa I just couldn't help but cry a little as I thought about how amazing and wonderful we were being treated.  Every time we turned around we were treated like royalty.  The whole village has a special spirit about it.  Everyone smiles and there is a very distinct feeling of service and love there.  It is a special place and it will forever be a place of some of my most favorite memories together as a family.


  1. Jill, you made me cry again! Your first day looks so wonderful! What a great place.

  2. Jill, I cannot read this post but help but cry. I am so HAPPY for you guys, what an amazing place! I am sure you guys have been dreaming of this day for a long time. Just the idea of being able to be together as a family..probably doesn't hurt to be at DisneyWorld! You are an amazing family, so strong, and a true inspiration to us. Thank you for you, your cute little air bear....and your family!

  3. hooray!! this post makes me so darn happy!! i'm so glad you guys got to spend a good full day exploring around the village. you are right - it is such an incredibly special place. there aren't words for it!