Friday, November 25, 2011

The Van Story

If I were to say I was overwhelmed with gratitude, that would be very much the understatement of the year. Our van is a miracle...seriously, I am not trying to be dramatic, it is a true testimony of God's faithfulness in our lives once again.

About a year ago, we made the decision to "start" the process of getting an adapted van. Looking into it we discovered it was WAY over our heads to cover the cost with our current monthly budget. We looked at used van but then even they were too pricey.

Knowing very little about conversions at the time, we sort of figured we would just convert the van we already had only to find out later that there is no such conversion kit for our van...ok back to square one.

With the help of various people at the Child Development Center, we were given names of organizations that offered grants for such a situation. I started to look into these grants.

In March we were surprised...SERIOUSLY a fundraiser that had been thrown in Karter's honor to help raise funds to put towards this project. Just over $5000 came in from that event. That spurred us on to move forward in the process.

I spent about a month compiling all the information that we would need to put an application together for the two grant applications I would be sending. At the end of April I sent both applications out; the amount I asked for would combined equal about $50000. After getting quotes for converted vans, we knew we were looking at over $60000 as our final price...EEK!

In June, we received our first application letter back...we had been denied because our pre-taxable income was $2000 too high. This was so hard to understand because of the circumstances that surrounded that extra $2000 (I will spare you the details to keep things short). Although extremely disappointed, we picked ourselves off and gathered our slightly bruised faith and reminded ourselves that we trust that God had all things taken care of and that this was no surprise to Him.

My Grandmother passed away at the beginning of June and unknown to us, in lieu of flowers people were asked to give donations in her memory to Missions or to a fund for Karter. Over the course of a few months another $2000 came in from friends and family in my Grandma's memory...if you knew my Grandma, this would have expressed the desire of her heart perfectly. We were more than overwhelmed by this.

I started looking further into other sources of funding; different service organizations and other children's charities. I received grant applications from two other charities and completed and sent applications to them at that time.

In August I received word that one of the first grant applications I sent in had been approved for $25000...we were elated. We were more than half way there!

In September we received approval from two of the other charities; $7500 from one and $3500 from the other.

At the end of September, we felt that we needed to take a step of faith and purchase the van. Each of the grant approvals was only good for 6 months and the ordering process takes up to 12 weeks. So we went ahead and made our choice and signed the papers. Because they required a down payment, we went ahead and traded our old van in to use as the down payment.

On the way home after signing the papers, I received an email from one of the people I had contacted in the summer about funding. He was from a local service club. He let me know that he had been away for a few months and that he would be sending me an application for funding. In the end, we received $1000 from them (actually the email came in as we were driving to pick up the van...interesting how that all worked out).

With our trade in and all of our grant money we managed to raise a total of $52,000 towards the van. There are a couple of other things that we are waiting for and hopefully those will take down that amount even more. An additional blessing is that we have had a family member offer us an interest free loan for the balance, an amazing gesture that helped us out more than they will even know.

God is so faithful. He saw our need and provided for it. This van is a testimony that He is interested in every part of our lives, even a wheelchair van! He knew that we were unable to attain the van through our monthly means, so He put people and agencies on our path to assist us.

Karter loves his new van, it has made daily routines so much easier and Karter is thankful to not be transferred out of his wheelchair into his car seat and vise versa every time we make a stop. And me...well I an thankful that I no longer have to hoist both Karter and his chair into the vehicle anymore...I think my chiropractor will see me even less now!

So if you see us driving down the road with enormous smiles on our faces just know that it is because of our extreme gratitude for God's provision! Many of you are a part of that provision, so we extend our thanks to you as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I have only a moment to update right now, there will be more details to follow...soon!

We picked up the van the other day. We are thrilled at its ease on our daily routines with Karter. We are absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude right now. I cannot wait to update you with all the details....

Friday, November 11, 2011

"We Remember"

I had the privileged of joining Karter's class for a school wide assembly for Remembrance Day. Karter and another girl from his class had been chosen to participate in the Wreath Ceremony.

It moved so fast and because of the nature of the assembly, I held myself from back from jumping in the middle of the ceremony to get a shot... (but you have no idea the restraint it took ;-)). Most of my pictures are a bit blury because of movement, but I had to share them anyhow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Sometimes there are no words...

The Pumpkin Patch

Karter's first elementary school field trip was to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunaley for them, they missed the nice fall weather by 1 day and ended up going on a dreary cold October day; such is life in BC.

Because the patch is not easily accessible by wheelchair, we sent Karter in his stroller. Here are a couple of shots from the day. We were told after he was not a very happy camper (secretly I didn't blame him, I don't think my mood would have been very cheery in the rain either ;-)).