The Parthenon in Tennessee??

photoThank you to Beth for telling us about the Parthenon that’s only an 11 hour drive from our home (vs. an 11 hour PLANE RIDE over to Greece.)

I’ve learned that I should have the camera ready before I show Ben things so I can get his reaction, and this is what he did when I showed him the Parthenon in Nashville and explained how close it is. Safe to say he got VERY excited and wants to know when we can go. (I said maybe we’ll be able to do a trip to DC and see it on the way.)

This is also why we appreciate getting your suggestions for his wish list. Things that I thought would be impossible YOU make possible by sharing these creative (and closer) options! THANK YOU!!

Dreaming of Paris

I don’t usually remember my dreams, but last month I woke up with one so vivid it still feels real – and I still tear up when I remember it.

I was sitting on the steps of Sacré-Cœur with Ben and we were eating chocolate croissants and the sun was low enough in the sky that it was the golden hour, when everything seems magical and glowing. As I looked at him I spread my arm out across the city and said, “Ben, this is Paris!” He had that smile on his face, the one that’s ear to ear – when he’s so excited he’s practically quivering with happiness. In my dream I cried, because I was so happy that he could see Paris, that he could fall in love with this beautiful place. He could see it.

When I woke up I told Kit about it, and I said, “We’re taking them to Paris.” I don’t know how or when, but we are going to Paris and I’m going to sit on those steps and we’re going to eat croissants and this is going to happen. Just you wait and see… 🙂

Update here.

Art Exhibit & Auction!

We were contacted by Morgan Everhart after she read about our story in the paper. She has an exhibit this spring and offered to donate the proceeds from an auction for one of her pieces to our wish list fun. We, of course, said yes! We were honored, and the reception is this Friday, March 21st from 6-8pm. We are hoping to attend (I have a doula client’s baby due this weekend but if I’m not at their birth we’ll all be there) and would love to see any of you attend!

Update: The Denton Record Chronicle had some info about the exhibit which is tomorrow night:

Artist plans silent auction to benefit Denton boy
Artist Morgan Everhart, a recent University of North Texas graduate, is having a solo exhibition at an area art studio and will auction one of her works as a donation to help a Denton boy with failing eyesight.

Everhart’s mother, Diana Yensan, said her daughter was touched by a recent article about 9-year-old Ben Pierce and his family and their efforts to raise money to help him fulfill a wish list of experiences and build visual memories.
Among other projects, the family has been making and selling truffles.

An opening reception for Everhart’s exhibition is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
A mixed-media piece titled Battle of Casina will be sold during a silent auction to help raise funds for the Denton family.

The studio is at 139 S. Elm St. in Keller and the silent auction will continue through April 8. For more information about the artist, visit For more information about the Denton family, visit

1743585_597400330336450_277352378_nHere is Morgan’s piece being auctioned: Battle of Cascina, 2013. Mixed Media 26 x 40

You can also see Morgan Everhart Studio’s page on Facebook here. This was such a generous offer and we really appreciate Morgan reaching out to us!

Wish Fulfilled – Book Making!!

IMG_0295I had no idea that Ben was interested in learning how books are made until we started his wish list, and I had no clue where or how to make that happen. Then the article came out in the paper and we got a sweet email from Jessica at our local university. She works in the preservation department so not only does she know how to make books, but she gets to work with some really old books to preserve them. I took just the older three kids along for this trip and headed over one afternoon to learn more. The first thing we saw was a card catalog, which was really funny – C knew what it was, but Ben had no clue (I better fill in that little bit of history.) Then we entered what looked like one of the NASA labs but it was filled books instead of space equipment! Jessica and her two students walked us through the steps of making a book – and not just any book, but a special Doctor Who book which was fantastic! They even had a special custom made Tardis cover, it was perfect and thoughtful and so cool. (I told Ben I wanted a turn to read the book first!) They went through the whole process, from folding pages to sewing, gluing, cutting, creating the cover, pressing. And Ben was able to be right there seeing up close how it all came together.

IMG_0302Then they showed us some of the preservation steps, how some books are so old they get special custom made boxes to protect them. Others get new covers (since they try to preserve as much as possible.) Jessica explained why we use acid-free paper and showed them what happens to the pages if they are not acid free (which I think was a little sad for Ben to see, watching paper literally crumble before your eyes!) They were able to look at some of the old books, and watch them use the guillotine to help repair another book (which was appropriately dramatic.) Then they packaged up Ben’s book to finish drying and let C & Mo each pick their own blank book and we said THANK YOU, thank you and came home to show off the new additions to our library. 🙂

Coast Trip Day Two – NASA!

I’ll give you the gallery now, Kit’s setting up the video today of the entire trip (with slideshow, video clips, etc.) Below are more details about our day at NASA. The kids keep coming up to me and saying, “That was so awesome, Mom. I can’t believe we did that.”

So we got up bright up and early and headed downstairs for breakfast where the kids made their own belgian waffles and drank way too much orange juice and ate frosted flakes. Chad met us at the hotel at 8am and we followed him over to a different location through security and inside an enormous building. Someone came out to meet us (I wish I remembered his name, I will find out!) and brought us into what looked like a huge hangar with a wall 20′ high – and a pool on the other side. (I asked how thick that wall was!) We walked up some stairs and suddenly there’s the pool, which is 40′ deep and there’s a space center inside it! (Not the whole thing, of course.) It was so much to take in and so surreal! There are divers in the pool and people around the edges and up in this control booth and I’m praying Livy doesn’t get any ideas about swim time. Though I have no doubt she would have been totally fine with this crew around, that would have really been awkward if they had to fish her out. 🙂 Continue reading “Coast Trip Day Two – NASA!”

Coast Trip Day One – Galveston

IMG_4794We woke up early and buckled sleeping kids into their carseats and attempted to get out the door before rush hour. We failed, because apparently Dallas rush hour starts at 6:30am and goes through at least 8:30am which I think is how long we were on the road. I was not a happy camper, but interesting that the timing worked out to land us on the door step of the Russell Stover’s Factory exactly 3 minutes after they opened! We were sad to realize they didn’t allow tours but the kids could watch a video tour and check out their factory rejects section – which was very cool. There were also samples everywhere and what a great idea, chocolate up the kids at 9am and then stick them in the car for four more hours! I’m smart like that. 🙂 Continue reading “Coast Trip Day One – Galveston”

Coast Trip – The Introduction

Kit’s working on the video so you’ll have to just read the story in the meantime.

Last year (pre-eyeball update) we had planned a trip to camp on the coast with cousins but the weather last minute looked horrid so we cancelled. We wanted to reschedule and just hadn’t gotten around to it as things got really crazy last fall with some various challenges. When we received the news about Ben’s eye report he wanted me to make sure I included the ocean and NASA on his wish list. We researched how much it would cost and where we could stay and just let it sit on the list while waiting for life to calm down a bit and to budget for it.

Then the kids started the truffle fundraiser which lead very surprisingly to the newspaper article which was shared around and we were contacted by a great guy named Ron who got us in touch with another wonderful person named Chad who happens to work for NASA! (You should have seen Ben’s eyes pop out of his head when I showed him the email that actually said – he was deeply impressed.) Chad offered to help let us see some of the NASA sights and we thought – NEAT! We’ll go do the public tour and meet someone who really works there and maybe see some of the public exhibits up close – how cool will that be?

But oh, no. Apparently Chad had something else in mind. All I knew was that Chad did something there involving astronauts (which the kids thought was neat, he had met real astronauts? Little did they expect…)

The timing once again managed to work out beautifully that I wasn’t on call and Kit was able to get a couple days off work (with his always fantastic boss watching our dog while we went) and we were going to go soon! In a couple weeks! We looked around quickly for hotels and just picked one that was reasonably priced and looked in the vicinity of the space center. I asked for trip suggestions online and got wonderful ideas – a shrimp restaurant, the ferry ride, things in Galveston, etc. We wanted to make sure we drove down the day before to see the ocean (another wish list item), spend a night at the hotel, NASA, then head back home since I was going on call that following day for an expectant mom.

A few days before we were getting ready to go I get an email from Chad that says, “I may have spoken a bit too soon…” which made my stomach drop. Oh, no! Maybe we weren’t able to get clearance to visit with our little ones (I knew there were age restrictions for some of the public tours) or a work thing came up or something went wrong? Then I kept reading – and I cried. The issue was he had told us we would be meeting in the afternoon for a bit, but a lot of people around there wanted to help out so there was a growing list of tour opportunities that would be starting bright and early that morning – if we wanted. Then I read the list, and I got goosebumps. I knew these were once in a lifetime experiences that were being offered to our kids, and I knew it was going to absolutely blow them away! (And we had truly been expecting to just buy the public tour tickets and maybe see something special in that main building with Chad – we did not expect this!!!) I think I read that list four times going – no WAY! We get to see that????? I think at this point I realized Kit was possibly even more giddy about this than the kids were, and he was telling them all about the things they were going to see.

We had been studying space for awhile and the kids read about astronauts and the space station and we talked a bit about the Challenger and I let them watch an edited version of Apollo 13. They started to write up all their questions for the trip and checked out every book they could find from the library about space.

So of course we told Chad yes, yes, a hundred times yes, you say when and where and we will be there!! (I’ll share all those places in tomorrow’s post when we get the pictures up.)

Onto the first day…
Day One – Galveston
Day Two – NASA
The Sad Journey Home

St. Patrick’s Day – Truffles Part II

1911803_608766099177821_417695462_nHaving never imagined they would make the front page of the paper, the kids were not well stocked for the amount of truffle demand for Valentine’s Day! However, they are now taking pre-orders for the St. Patrick’s day batch. They’ll be available for pick up at our place in Denton the weekend of March 15th, 16th, and 17th. They’ll do a mint and a chocolate cheesecake again. The large boxes are $5 for 6 truffles, little boxes are $2 for 2 truffles. You can order by emailing me (

IMG_0111Here’s a peek at the supplies they picked out for these cute treats. Contact me to place your order, get our address, and set up a time to come by – you can pay when you get them. They will not be making truffles for Easter, but they will have some for Mother’s Day (May 9th, 10th, 11th) if you want to place orders for then. Oh, and don’t forget they are making the ciabatta bread if you want to swing by and get a warm loaf for dinner.

THANK YOU for your support – this has been such a neat experience for the kids, and you’re helping make their dream come true!

Wonder why a bunch of little ones are selling truffles? You can read about Ben’s story here and you can read Ben’s wish list here.