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Jars of Hope (and other stuff)

Jars of Hope

Post contains affiliate links and cute animal pictures.Duma the cat and Frodo the dog

Duma the cat and Frodo the dog….because sometimes eight children at home just doesn’t seem like enough.

These little mess-makers are kind enough to leave dead animals and piles of feces around the house. Since most of my children have outgrown that stage, these two step in to fill that space. Thank you, Duma and Frodo…and Pabu and Mr. Pitsch. What would I ever do without you?

Jubilee is loving her Canon Rebel.

Tilly (who is currently living in up in New Zealand) asked me to give Jubilee her old Canon Rebel for her birthday. We helped Tilly buy this Rebel used for her 11th birthday… that was seven years ago and this old Rebel is still in great shape. I had a friend ask just this week about my thoughts on buying a refurbished lens from Canon. My short answer? Go for it. I have bought used cameras and lenses from reputable companies (Canon and KEH specifically). If a new camera is on your Christmas list, check out my post: How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera.

Family board games on Thanksgiving Day.

Judah was home for a short break over Thanksgiving. It is always great to have him back in the mix…even though it only takes about ten minutes to tire of his bad puns…Here they are playing one of their favorite board games ever, Cash Flow. If you have older kids and are looking for a new board game, this one is amazing!

Board Games and Rhett and Link on Thanksgiving morning.

We always get a new puzzle for Thanksgiving. I really love the White Mountain puzzles (I think I am going to get this one for Christmas day). A few years ago I bought a puzzle with a BEAUTIFUL photo of a basket full of yarn. I was so excited to start that one. Turns out the pieces didn’t fit together well and we were continually wondering, “does this piece actually belong here?” It was so disappointing. It is the only puzzle we have ever given up on and not completed. Since then, I only buy puzzles from companies I am familiar with.

Jars of Hope

Someone on from one our vascular ring groups on Facebook gave Apollo’s name to Jars of Hope. Jars of Hope is run by a guy named Brian who fills these jars with fun stuff to brighten the day of kids going through tough medical stuff.

Apollo’s staph infection after his surgery is one of the most traumatic and painful things he’s gone through…and he’s gone through a lot. I told Chuck I don’t think people fully appreciate what “packing a wound” actually means. If you’re brave YouTube has plenty of videos. But I’d advise you to just trust me that it is painful, smelly and gross.

Jars of Hope really came through to brighten Apollo's day!

Anyway, Brian contacted me on Facebook asking if he could send one of his jars to Apollo. Within two days this customized jar (and amazing Avengers pillow case) was at our door. This seriously brightened the day for Apollo and he loves sleeping with his Avenger pillowcase. These small gestures really do make a big difference.

I have mentioned on this blog several times my friend Abigail. I met her while we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, TX. She has become a great friend over the last four years. Our stories of medical tragedy and hope overlap and while I wish many of the parts of our stories didn’t exist I am so happy to have met Abigail. She lost one of her precious twin daughters to twin-to-twin transfusion. She has written a book about her experience (one that I can’t wait to read) and it currently raising funds to publish it. She decided to go the self-publishing route so she can freely share the book with anyone who needs it. Please, please check out The Day Between: A Memoir of Miracles

I hope you’re having a great Monday. Mine is full of laundry, dishes, and SNOW!


  1. Deb Koch

    Have you heard about WASGIJ puzzles, from a company in England Here’s a synopsis of the puzzle concept:

    There are five different concepts in the Wasgij range . They are very different from each other, but with one common theme – the picture on the box is not the picture you will be puzzling! The first concept, released in 1997, was Wasgij Original – the brainteaser puzzle that requires puzzlers to use their imagination (and a few clues provided) to put themselves in the position of a particular character that appears in the picture shown on the box. Once the puzzler has done this, they need to imagine what that character is looking at in front of them – that is the image they must piece together. The addictive concept is designed to keep the puzzler guessing right up until they have completed the puzzle and is the reason why Wasgij is the brand it is today. – See more at:

    You can find them on Amazon, they are quite pricey, but I recently found one at a garage sale for a mere quarter. They have a sealed envelope with a clue in case you are stumped. Take a look at their website and check out reviews on Amazon. I just recently discovered these and purchased one for my husband for Christmas so we haven’t tried it yet, but he loves complicated and tricky puzzles, so this one is sure to be a hit.

  2. Judy

    I love brian from jars of hope i have suggested several kids to him and always he responds within 15 20 min. He is so kind and generous. Im glad he helped brighten Apollos day!

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