Do you Lighthouse?

I’ve been struggling to post about our trip coming to an end because I’m sorta in denial that it is actually over. We met some of the best people over the week.

We got to celebrate Alec’s birthday with him.

We had Italian night which is when we serve a fancy dinner and have the slideshow and talent show. Such a great night.

We had to say our “see you laters” and we all drove home admittedly in a bit of a funk. Jennifer (Alec’s mom) and I texted back and forth most of the ride home. It was just hard to step back into reality. We got back Saturday evening, unpacked, and drove to pick up the boys (& dog) from the Jansen’s and then I was back at work early the next day. Like all was normal – which it wasn’t. It isn’t. I’ll post another time downloading what the week meant to our family and all the ways God showed up.

The Blues ended up winning the Stanley Cup (#blueswinforalec) which was a special birthday present for Alec. I ask you say a special prayer for him because tomorrow (Friday) because he is having lots of scans and tests. Those days are always nerve racking and full of more unknowns and answers.

This sweet family made such an impact on me. We learned that lighthouse is more than a large building. It’s more than a retreat. It’s a verb. It’s a frame of mind. It’s your heart in action. This week we learned how to use lighthouse as a verb!!

And if you were still hoping to give financially to our trip it’s not too late – here is the information to do so.  We are only about $900 short of being fully funded which is so close!  Thank you for your generosity!!

  • Online: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/LFR2019/AshleyJansen
  • Mobile Phone: Text LFR2019456 to 71777
  • Mail a check to: Lighthouse Family Retreat, 4470 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Ste. 200, Atlanta, GA 30338.  Please make sure you put on the memo line: Ashley Jansen – Retreat #5

Today I Became A Blues Fan

So if you aren’t following hockey than you may not know that the St. Louis Blues are playing in the Stanley Cup Final. Alec and his family are HUGE Blues fans and thus we have become Blues fans this week. We watched them win last night all together.

I even changed my bitmoji for Alec 😉

As I mentioned in the previous post we had a big birthday party for all the kids. We played a lot of board games with Alec – Uno, Dos, Clue, & Life.

It’s been raining off and on but it’s been nice because it has forced us to cool off inside. Today the sun popped out just enough for us to take our kids to the pool for FlipFlop time. I am with the 3-4 year olds. Here are our 9 kiddos for the week. A couple of these were staff kids, a couple siblings, and a couple cancer children.

Tonight is sadly our last night. It’s Italian night and we dress up in tuxedo shirts and serve our families “high class” style. Tomorrow we say our “see you laters” and are on the road by 9 in the morning.

Keep praying for Alec. Pray for safe travels home for everyone. Thank you for your continued support.

Beach Time

Yesterday was such a fun kick-off to our week together. Alec got to get in the ocean and went deeper than he has ever before. (His backpack and heart machine is not able to get wet). This is from L-R is Harrison, Alec and Hamilton.

We had a dinner picnic on the beach and dressed in our Hawaiian best. Unfortunately Alec got sick and couldn’t join us but we went up to his room and played Dos (think Uno, but two).

We ended the day with the dads having a Texas Hold’em tournament and the moms and kids hanging out together.

Today brought the clouds and a bit cooler weather. Tonight is the Unbirthday party event. The parents get a date night and we hang with kids for pizza, cake, ice cream, and a full on birthday celebration. (Ironically Alec turns 14 on Saturday so it’s not so much an “un” birthday for him.)

Thanks for your continued prayers. Don’t forget to follow along with Alec on his FB page – CLICK HERE.

Our Family Has Arrived

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Our family has arrived and we have just taken them to their room.  We have an hour before we meet up for dinner which is a low-country-broil tonight.  It’s an early night with not much activity to allow the families to get settled and rest after a long day of travel.  We have families coming from VA, TX, MO, GA, AL, WI, & IL!!!

Before our family arrived we received a list of some of their favorite snacks and drinks.  We went shopping and had lunch on our own.  We went to their room and turned on the lights, turned down the air conditioning, baked some chocolate chip cookies to have warm and out for them, put out their retreat t-shirts and bags on their bed, and put all their ‘favorite’ goodies in a welcome box.

They were the second family to arrive (there are 12 retreat families this week) so once they got checked in we took them to their room and helped them carry up their luggage.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing family he has a facebook page that you can go to read more of his story and more specifically details on how you can be praying for him.  CLICK HERE.

We Made It!

We are here. Just had dinner and are about to kick-off our volunteer meetings.

Mark was assigned to the “Jellyfish” flip flop group which is 9-11 aged boys.

I am with the “Goldfish” flip flop group which is 3-4 year olds.

And Hamilton will be with the “Silverfish” which are boys his age 12-14 year olds.

Our retreat family that we have been assigned is the Ingram Family who are from Missouri. Jennifer and Chris have Alec who is 13 and you can follow his story here: https://m.facebook.com/Alec-Ingrams-fight-with-Cancer-815312145216741/

Your prayers are appreciated as we prepare to love and serve this family as best possible this week.

Love

Mark, Ashley, & Hamilton