The Davis Family

Our journey of faith through the fire

5 Years of Gratitude and the Goal to Be Better Than I Was

The Goal To Be Better Than I Was

lakers-game5 years ago today I left my house with some friends to go mountain biking and the events of that day and of every day since has dramatically changed my life. I’ve come to the realization over the past year since I last wrote on this blog that I will never be the man that I was before November 26, 2011. Even if God chooses to miraculously heal me or there is a dramatic advancement in spinal cord injury research I will never be the man that I once was. Too much has changed in my life and in the way that I see things. Everything has changed with the way I am with my wife, kids, friends, family, team members and clients.

When I came to this realization earlier this year I felt immense freedom and gratitude and I was finally able to let that man go. That man I was before November 26, 2011 is gone and he will never be back. But the awesome thing is the man I am today and the man that I can continue to become is a better man and is a better version of myself. A 2.0 version if you will ūüôā and for that I am grateful. I would not have chosen this path but God chose this path for me and through these trials I have learned to be more than I ever could have been without it.

5 Years of Gratitude

Be generous with gratitude, for it is contagious - an inspiratioEarlier this week I heard about an exercise called the gratitude flood. I thought it was quite appropriate since this is the week of Thanksgiving.

So on this Saturday, November 26, 2016 I want to focus on the great wins in my life over this past year and over these past five years as God has been making me into a different man day by day.

So these are the things that I am grateful for today as I write this looking back over these past 5 years:

  • I’m grateful for my salvation and my relationship with Jesus, for the trust that I have in him, and that he will never leave me or forsake me. That my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. That I have the Holy Spirit who leads and guides me each day. That I have the word of God that is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
  • An amazing wife who has become an incredible caregiver while still maintaining the intimate connection that only a husband and wife can have. I am eternally grateful to God for my Julie. She is an awesome wife, mother and my best friend in the world.
  • For my 3 gifts from God whose names are Ethan, Isaac and Grace. I am thankful for all the gray hairs they have given me and all the laughs and how they can surprise me with the way God uses them in my life to teach me so much.
  • I am thankful for my mom in love Barbara who shares our house and our lives. She’s an incredible blessing to Julie, the kids and I every day I’m so privileged that God chose me to be part of this family.
  • I am thankful for my good friends. My accountability partner Stephen Gonzalez and his wife Carmen and their kids. I am thankful for all of my dear friends from my home fellowship group the Martin’s, the Vance’s and the Hartman’s and all of their kids. I’m thankful for Jack and Andrea and their kids and so many other good friends and good families that we know from church that we get to do life with.
  • I’m thankful for my extended family; my sister Mary and my brother in law Anthony, my Mom Dianne and my stepmom Jill, my brother Mike and my sister-in-law Mia, my nieces Kassidy, Julia and Jenna and my nephew Brendan and his family.
  • I’m thankful for all of my family on Julie’s side of the family; grandpa Royce and grandma Billie, uncle Rick and aunt Sylvia, Collin, Reid and their families, aunt Donna and uncle Bruce, uncle Mike and aunt Sandy, aunt Tammy and uncle Pat, grandma Ginger, Jenn and Tom and so many more (Julie has a big family :-))
  • I am thankful for my team at Upper Cervical Marketing. For Heather, Summer, Clare, Adam, Dr. Jane, Jessica and more. I am so blessed to be part of such a fantastic group of people who have a common mission to reach sick and suffering people and connect them with doctors who can help them.
  • I’m thankful for all our clients at UCM. We have the privilege of serving some amazing doctors who do incredible work and it is a great blessing to be able to help them help others.
  • I am thankful for our house that we are turning into a home day by day and for the resources to be able to make it better and better for our family.
  • I’m thankful for the ability to drive and the van that is such an incredible blessing to our family.
  • I am thankful for my standing frame that I can get into at any time at home and get into a standing position which is so good for my body and my mind.
  • I’m thankful for our dog Joey and the smile he can put on my face when I see him.
  • I am thankful for my favorite team the Chicago Cubs who won their first World Series in 108 years :-).
  • I’m thankful for being able to go to some awesome sporting events in this past year including the sweet 16 and elite eight games of March madness, the Chicago Cubs opening game against the Angels, Cubs game versus the Padres and also against the Dodgers in the playoffs. And the Cubs won all three games :-). I’m thankful for being able to go to the Lakers versus the Warriors game a few weeks ago for my 40th birthday.
  • I am thankful for being able to take our first family vacation to Washington DC a few months ago and making some incredible memories.
  • I thankful for all of you who are reading this and I pray that God would use my struggles and trials to encourage you to keep going and persevere because it’s worth it.
  • I’m thankful for the hope of a future that’s even better.

I know there’s so much more to be thankful for and so many more people who are important in my life and I probably could go on and on for days and days about all the blessings in my life. But I want to get back to enjoying the life that God has given me and the opportunities he has for me going forward.

So thank you again for reading this and I pray that as I begin my sixth year of my new life after paralysis I pray and expect that this year will be my best yet!

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But if not…4+ years of rolling with trust, faith and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‚ÄúO Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.‚ÄĚ

In my favorite book (The Bible) chapter 3 of the book of Daniel, we learn the story of 3 of Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and there interaction with the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. You see Daniel and his friends had been forced to move to Babylon as young men and had been indoctrinated into the Babylonian culture. But regardless of what was taken away from Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel they continued to worship the one true God.¬†In chapter 3 God tells us about a time when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians had built a large idol for the Babylonians to worship King Nebuchadnezzar. Whenever the Babylonian band would play everyone was to bow down and worship the great statue of Nebuchadnezzar. The entire city was gathered together and everyone bowed to the statue except for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

When they were summoned by the King the 3 young men were told that if they did not worship the statue then they would be cast into a burning fiery furnace. On hearing their fate the 3 young men said these incredible words to King Nebuchadnezzar ‚ÄúO Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.‚ÄĚ

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego resolved in their hearts that one of 2 things would happen either God would save them from the burning fiery furnace or he would not but regardless they would trust him to do what was best.

Over the past 4 years in many ways I have been in the burning fiery furnace. I would not wish what I have suffered on anyone. The loss of the ability to stand and walk is just the beginning of a spinal cord injury. The loss of bowel, bladder and sexual function can be much worse. The daily nerve pain, the inability to regulate temperature, the inability to sweat, loss of hand function (the claw and a half that I have :-)), battles with depression, self-pity, anger, moodiness and many more emotions.

But as one of my favorite speakers Zig Ziglar used to say “The problem with pity parties is very few people come, and those who do don’t bring presents :-).” There is no use in wallowing in a situation that you cannot change. So although I regularly pray for healing of my body and to be released from this burning fiery furnace or as Paul said “the thorn in the flesh” I will have unity of mind with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and say BUT IF NOT I will trust HIM.

Now let’s get back to our story in Daniel chapter 3. King Nebuchadnezzar had threatened to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace for not worshiping him and the 3 young men had refused. This angered the king and he had the fire temperature increased by 7 times. It was so hot that the men who took Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to throw them into the burning fiery furnace were killed themselves by the flames.

What happened to them was truly remarkable. They trusted God in insurmountable circumstances and in the midst of that burning fiery furnace, Nebuchadnezzar did not see 3 men but 4, and the 4th looked like the Son of God to Nebuchadnezzar. It is believed that this is a pre-incarnate Jesus who is with these 3 young men who trusted in him. This is what is known as a christophany. An appearance of the Christ prior to his appearance as the Messiah born in Bethlehem.

These men trusted in God and Jesus was with them in the most difficult time of their life.

This has been my experience over the past 4 years. Jesus has sustained me and helped me survive and thrive in the midst of insurmountable circumstances.

In this week of Thanksgiving (and always) I am reminded of how many blessings I have. God brings blessings in the midst of the furnace. Over the past 12 months since I wrote last here are just a few of the incredible things that the Lord has done:

  • blessed us with a home of our own
  • blessed ¬†me with the ability to drive and has given me a vehicle
  • blessed our business with continued growth and prosperity

Many of you have stood with us since November 26, 2011 when our whole world changed. You supported us in prayer and financially. You have cried with us and laughed with us and held us up when we didn’t think we could continue. “Thank you” and “we appreciate it” seem like such empty words to how truly impactful the blessings of friends and family have been to me personally and our family.

I am pleased to report that through God’s grace our new business Upper Cervical Marketing has grown over the past 3 years to a place where we are fully able to support ourselves. Thank you to all of our clients and contractors who work with us every day to increase awareness of the best kept secret in health care, Upper Cervical Care. We have closed all of our donation accounts and are asking for those of you that have donated to us in the past please consider donating to spinal cord injury research with the Reeve Foundation. You can find out more about their current project here¬†http://www.reevebigidea.org/.

And lastly I want to finish our story from Daniel chapter 3. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had trusted God and said “but if not” and Jesus was with them in the midst of the fire. But in their case he not only was with them in the midst of the fire he delivered them from the fire as well.

Nebuchadnezzar ordered the 3 young men to be brought out of the fiery furnace and when he did they had not been harmed. So whether I am fully healed one day here on earth or if I have to wait for heaven, I WILL TRUST HIM. For his ways are not my ways and his thoughts are not my thoughts and he works all things together for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

So I want to encourage you if you have not trusted in this great God who created the universe, who loves you and died for you on the cross put your trust in him today. And if you know my Jesus and you are in the midst of a furnace…TRUST IN HIM! And unite with me and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to declare…deliver me from this furnace oh God, BUT IF NOT be it known that I will not serve the god of myself or this world but I will serve and worship Jesus Christ and him alone.

-Bill

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The story of our new house

If you happened to read my blog post from June 5th, you might remember me mentioning a house we were hoping to make an offer on. ¬†I want to share with you the story of this house that we call “The Knoll House”.

My Uncle Rick and his business partner Ken were building a patio deck for a client on Knoll Rd. ¬†They spied “The Knoll House” and asked their client about it. ¬†Turns out the house was vacant and had been for nearly two years. ¬†Their client, Bob, said he thought the owner was wanting to sell the house but he wasn’t sure of the timeline. ¬†My Uncle didn’t say anything to me or my Mom (Uncle Rick is Mom’s brother) because other than walking around the outside and looking in the windows, they didn’t know much about the house. ¬†However, just from what they could see, Ken said to my Uncle Rick “I think this is Bill and Julie’s house”! ¬†What? ¬†How could that be. ¬†They didn’t know how many bedrooms for sure, what the square footage was or how my Mom’s granny flat would fit in the space, but Ken felt that is was a God thing and he was certain that this was our house.

One day when they showed up to work on the deck, Bob told my Uncle Rick and Ken that he had spoken with the owners son the evening before. ¬†He learned that they were getting the house ready to sell. ¬†Bob mentioned to Jason, the owners son, that he knew some people that might be interested in the house. ¬†So my Uncle Rick called me and finally told me about “The Knoll House” about 2 months after ¬†he first saw it. ¬†I went over and looked at it on May 12th before it was even listed. I walked the outside during the day with my Uncle and Ken with permission from the owner. ¬†Then Jason allowed us to come back that same night with my Mom, my Uncle and his friend Tom to see the inside. ¬†We immediately fell in love with it. ¬†We saw the possibility for Mom’s own “wing” for her granny flat and a master bedroom big enough for Bill to get all the way around. (In our rental…he has just enough room to get into the room and to his bed, ¬†he can’t get around the foot of the bed or over to my side.) There was also great potential for the master bathroom to become wheelchair accessible. ¬†Jason was clear that they wanted to list the house to be sure they got “fair market value” for the home. ¬†We were willing to offer $475,000 with no realtor fees but his Mom was not open to that idea. ¬†So we waited, and waited and waited for the house to go on the market.

The house finally went on the market May 28th. Bill and the kids saw the house the first time at the open house on May 30th and they all loved it as well. ¬†This was only the second house in 14 months that everyone had loved!!! We wanted to make an offer, however, the owner didn’t want to accept offers right away, she wanted the house to be on the market for a few weeks to get lots of interest and then open it up for offers in hopes that she could get the most for her house. ¬†I get it, but it was so frustrating because we LOVED the house and wanted to make an offer right away and we couldn’t. So again we waited, and waited and waited some more.

I had already seen it several times because I saw it before it was listed and then went to the open house, but we wanted our realtor to check it out as well to give us her opinion.¬†She went to¬†look at the house on Monday June 1st¬†and she loved it just like we did!! ¬†She contacted the Help-U-Sell agent that was the listing agent and found out that the seller wouldn’t accept offers for two weeks. ¬†So again we waited, and waited, and waited.

Finally on Sunday June 7th we decided to just submit an offer and see what happened. ¬† The seller received our offer on June 8th but said she would not reply to any offers until the following Monday, June 15th. ¬†The next weekend, Bill’s step Mom Jill came down and I took her over during another open house so she could see it. ¬†The owner was hosting her own open house that day so I got to meet her. ¬†Jill told her very directly that she needed to accept our offer!! ¬†Apparently there were 3 offers.¬†On June 15th, she had a migraine and didn’t reply. Finally on the 16th she pushed back to all three offers to come back with our highest and best. ¬†We decided we could go up just $5k more and would have to pray that would be enough. ¬†After a long, agonizing week of many texts back and forth with our agent and many prayer requests the owner finally decided to pick our offer!!! ¬†June 19th we were officially in escrow!!!

Escrow was another fun time of waiting! ¬†The seller was challenging to work with to say the least but after a full 30 day escrow and many last minute scrambles…we closed escrow on Monday July 20th and we are officially home owners!!! ¬†There is so much joy in our home right now as we anxiously await moving into our very own house. ¬†But first, there is about 6 weeks of demo and remodel that has to happen. ¬†Praise God my Uncle and Ken had some shifts in their schedules and the 6 week slot needed to do our project opened up at the last minute…another God thing. ¬†They have already ripped out some plumbing and drywall and moved the washer and dryer to the garage. ¬†I will try my best to document photos along the way but for ¬†now I just wanted to share our good news.

This is another dream come true for us. ¬†If you had told me 3 1/2 years ago that Bill and I would be home owners today…I would have laughed. ¬†I honestly remember saying to God “oh great, there goes any chance we had of owning a home”. ¬†Oh me of little faith. ¬†I put God in a box and relied on my own understanding….FAIL!!! ¬†God has continued to show me over the past 3 1/2 years how big He is and how He is not limited by my lack of vision. ¬†I never dreamed when Bill and I each lost our Father’s last year that God could take that and make something good. ¬†It is only because of our Dad’s that we were able to buy a newer family van, furniture for our new home and our new home. If not for Bill’s step Mom Jill’s generous advance on Bill’s inheritance, owning a home would have been 10 years away for us. ¬†Without my Mom coming in with 1/3 of the down payment and making 1/3 of the mortgage payment, we wouldn’t be able to own a home. ¬†There are so many ways we have been blessed even in the midst of tragedy and sadness. ¬†God has truly made beauty from ashes. ¬†Now we get to own a home and only spend $50 more a month towards our mortgage than we have been paying¬†towards rent that was paying someone else’s mortgage!! ¬†AMAZING…there is just no other word for it. ¬†We are humbled, blessed and excited. ¬†Our new address is 112 Knoll Rd., Vista, CA 92083. We look forward to hosting a house warming party once we get moved in and settled. ¬†Excited to have a home we can open up to friends and family to gather for holidays and special events and just fun times of fellowship. ¬†God is good…all the time…He truly loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. ¬†Thanks for caring enough to read about our journey!! ¬†God bless!!

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Bill’s van update

So there is very good news to share about Bill’s van. ¬†The first one we thought he would be getting turned out to not have a deep enough drop in the floor for his tall self to get through. ¬†We were so bummed to learn that, but we knew God had something for Bill, we just had to wait a little longer.

 

About 6 weeks later it came out of the blue and the mobility center called us first because they knew how much Bill wanted a van. ¬†It ended up having a lot of the things he needed already in it, saving us about $10,000 in the long run. ¬†The van is about $5,500 over what we had raised for it, but we felt it was a great deal and have been moving forward with the purchase process. ¬†I was there 3 times last week…driving to Poway that many times, in rush hour traffic, makes me very grateful to be a stay at home Mom/hubby’s helper with very little commute around town…LOL!! We were hoping it would be ready to drive home last Thursday but it turned out there were still some small details that needed to be added.

 

We just heard today that it will be ready for us to pick up and bring home this Friday!!!! ¬†Bill can’t drive it on his own just yet, he has to complete his drivers training courses which aren’t scheduled to begin until August 14th. ¬†But once he gets in his 5 lessons he will be ready for the DMV test. ¬†Once he passes that he will be officially licensed to drive with hand controls!!! ¬†He has been very patient through this entire process…not getting frustrated by the delays. ¬†He says he’s waited 3 1/2 years to drive again…a few more weeks or even months is not a big deal!!! ¬†So, Lord willing, around the first of September Bill will be driving.

 

We are so thankful for all the amazing family and friends who have helped make this dream possible. ¬†Without the generous donations we would not have been able to afford this awesome gift for Bill. ¬†I know I have said it before, but I will keep saying it because that is how my heart truly feels…Thank You…to every person who prayed for Bill’s van, donated to the fundraiser and/or shared the links for others to donate!!! ¬†I am one grateful wife and mommy…can’t wait for my hubby to take me out on a date…just in time for our 15 year anniversary. ¬†I am also excited for the Saturday afternoons when Bill can take all three kids to the park and I can have the house to myself…a very, very rare treat!!!

 

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Davis News: Kid’s accomplishments, van update, prayer request for house

The past two weeks have had some amazing highs and lows for the Davis family and for me personally.  I would like to start with the really great things that have happened over the last two weeks!

The end of the school year is upon us (Praise the Lord!!). ¬†Ethan was recognized with an award for being a “Thinker” in his class and Isaac was recognized as being an “Achiever”. ¬†Each class picks only one student for each of those awards and it was such a joy to see our boys both recognized.

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Then, on Monday, at our church’s Memorial Day picnic, all three of the kids chose to get baptized. ¬†I had the honor and privilege to baptize Ethan and Grace and Isaac had a much loved Sunday School teacher, Mr. Rick, baptize him. ¬†Bill had a front row seat and was overwhelmed with joy as he watched. ¬†It was always his dream to baptize the kids, but we just couldn’t figure out a way to get him into the water. ¬†I was so concerned that Bill would be sad but he said he just felt joy…praise God for that. ¬†The day started out cool and cloudy…but just as we started to sing worship songs before the baptisms, the sun broke through and continued to shine throughout the rest of the day. ¬†God provided the most beautiful backdrop as you can see in the pictures.

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The day after Monday was a rough day. ¬†It started out very exciting. ¬†We were going to Poway to look at “the van” that we had raised funds to buy for Bill. ¬†He got into the van and maneuvered around, noticing the center console in the back of the van created an obstacle for his head, but nothing he couldn’t learn to work around. ¬†He pulled up to the drivers area and attempted to use the hand controls that were already in the van to see what he could use and what would need to be changed. ¬†After 45 minutes of trying things out we found out that he can’t drive from his wheelchair because there would be no head rest to protect his head/neck if he were in a collision. ¬†So an added expense to put in a transfer seat. Here is a video to give you an idea of how the seat works.

But the transfer seat was not really the bad news, the bad news came when he tried to get out of the van. ¬†We quickly realized he is too tall to get down the ramp without ducking his head and leaning forward which would make him loose his balance and would be extremely dangerous. So the owner of the Mobility company we were working with said the van wouldn’t work for Bill. ¬†He told us that a standard conversion on a van lowers the floor by 12 inches. ¬†They do make an extended conversion that lowers the floor 14 inches and that is what Bill would need to accommodate ¬†his height. ¬†The bad news continued when they told us that for every ten vans with the 12 inch conversion there is only one van with the 14 inch conversion. ¬†I was so deflated…I couldn’t believe we had waited all this time, fund raised to the very penny for this van and now not only did it not work for Bill, but the van he will need is more difficult to find and of course more expensive. ¬†The only bright side of the visit was that they did just happen to have a 14 inch conversion van with a transfer seat like Bill will need. ¬†So Bill was able to get in and out to be sure it would work and it was perfect…no head issues at all. ¬†He was also able to use the transfer seat on his first try in a van that was not set up for him with no assistance. ¬†That was a reassuring because I was worried about him using a transfer seat when we had talked about it in the past. ¬†The van they had was a 2013 with only 15,000 miles so of course it was way out of our price range. ¬†The out the door cost with all the controls he would need added was $53,000…just $20,000 more than we have raised…oye vay!!! ¬†So, Goldenboy Mobility has started searching for another van for us but there is no way to know how long it will take. ¬†In the mean time, we have to do some more fundraising, which honestly I don’t want to do. ¬†I feel like we have asked our friends and family to help so many times that I really don’t want to ask for any more help. ¬†But, I also want Bill to drive again and without fundraising we won’t be able to get the van he needs. ¬†I am trying to get grants from anywhere I can apply but so far we have been turned down for all of them.

Later in the day Tuesday, we found out a that a house we really wanted, but we got out-bid on, sold for less than the price we offered. ¬†We learned from our real estate agent that the appraisal came in low and that is why the house sold for less. ¬†The house had the most amazing granny flat that had just been built. ¬†Unfortunately, the owners built it without a permit so the bank would not count any of the square footage towards the value¬†of the home. ¬†In the end, the people who purchased the home ended up having to pay cash for the difference between the appraised value and the sellers list price. ¬†I know that ultimately it was not meant to be our home but it sure seemed perfect at the time. ¬†I was secretly praying the entire time it was in escrow that it would fall out of escrow so we could get it. But God’s plan and my plan were not the same. ¬†We have been looking for 14 months and at times I get frustrated and weary from all the emotional highs and lows, excitement and disappointment. ¬†But really…I need to just be grateful and stop complaining. ¬†If not for the amazing gift from Bill’s step-Mom Jill (she calls it an advance on his inheritance but I call it a blessing!!) and the fact that my Mom is buying the house with us, pitching in towards the down payment and helping with the monthly mortgage payment…we would not be able to afford a house of our own for many years. ¬†I am truly grateful, it has been my dream to own a home and when Bill got hurt, I thought it would never happen.¬† It has been hard knowing we have money for a down payment in the bank and not using it for Bill’s van. ¬†When we accepted the down payment gift, Jill¬†asked us to promise that we would only use it toward a home and not towards Bill’s van, therapy,¬†or other medical expenses. ¬†Jill was wise to set those guidelines because we would have used the money for all of those things and then we would not have been able to afford a home if we had a smaller down payment.¬†Because of Jill’s¬†gift and my Mom’s down payment and paying part of the mortgage, we will be able to own a home and keep our monthly mortgage payment right around the same amount we are currently paying for rent!! ¬†That is an amazing God thing!!! ¬†So I am trying hard to not grow weary in the search and trust that God has the perfect house just waiting for us.¬† I know not everyone gets the opportunity to own a home and just knowing it is possible is a huge blessing. ¬†(PS…I started this blog post a week ago, but as of today there is a house my uncle found for us that we love…we are hoping to place an offer on it in the next few days…please pray for God’s favor if in fact this is our house. We are calling it¬†“The Knoll House”.)

To end this post with some great news I will share with you a praise that is an answer to months of prayers. ¬†We have really been praying about what to do for school next year, as 3 days of home school is not going so well for Isaac and Grace. ¬†Ethan has proven to be a very independent worker and has gained the privilege of staying home next year to do his school work so long as his self motivation continues. ¬†Isaac and Grace are going to be working with a wonderful lady who has been helping with “home school days” for over 9 years. ¬†They will go for 2 of the 3 home days and then of course continue to have their two regular¬†workshop days. ¬†That means that all 3 of the kids will only have 1 home school day at the house together. ¬†This will give me some much needed sanity time to run errands for our household, take care of our home and help Bill throughout the day, it will keep the house quieter for Bill to work without the hearing our frustration levels rising, it will give the younger kids more structure which they both need, and allow Ethan to grow in his independence¬†as he continues to demonstrate a strong work ethic and self motivation. ¬†This is such a huge relief, like a weight lifted from my shoulders, and I can actually be excited going into to summer about the next school year starting. ¬†Thanks to those of you who have been praying for this decision. ¬†We looked into MANY options but this one made the most sense and came together easily which in my opinion means it is from the Lord. ¬†He love us and wants to bless us, He continues to teach me to trust Him no matter what, in every situation.

 

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UPDATE: We thought we had officially raised all the funds!!

Please read the most recent blog post for an update…this post was originally made to announce all funds had been raised for Bill’s van…however we have some new information that changes things a bit.

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I am just oozing with joy and amazement at how great my God is. ¬†He is faithful and has never once left us or forsaken us. ¬†Even in the deep dark valleys we have journeyed through, He was there every step of the way….sometimes carrying us just like in the Footprints poem. ¬†Tonight as I type this post I can hardly hold back the tears and sobs of joy at all the amazing things God has done to bless us. ¬†As of Friday night, we have now received enough donations to buy the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with all the conversions, hand controls and modifications added to allow Bill to drive!!!! (insert me doing the happy dance here) Several donations came in to Bill’s Help Hope Live campaign this past week. ¬†Some good friends of Bill’s from childhood and high school stepped up and donated a total of $3,000 (Thank you Clay Lake and Lucien Laviolette, such an amazing gift!!) ¬†Another $1200 came in from some sweet friends who have been amazing to our family. ¬†They wanted to donate the remaining balance of what we needed for the van but asked not to be mentioned by name!! ¬† Then tonight, a sweet couple from our church stopped by after Saturday night service and wrote us a check to cover the costs of Bill’s drivers training course and threw in some extra for Bill to take our family out to celebrate once he gets his van and is driving!! ¬†I am just overwhelmed that in 6 months time, we were able to raise the total amount of needed funds and find a cheaper van than we had originally thought possible. ¬†That is not a coincidence because I just don’t believe in them…it’s a God-incidence. ¬†He knew 6 months ago how much we would need, He knew who would give and how much, and He knew we’d find this van at just the right time.

My Facebook post from April 16th:

There is an awesome van coming in to the mobility dealer we have been working with on May 1st!!! It is a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan, fully converted ( this means it has the power ramp Bill will need), has around 21,000 miles, and will be listed at $25,000. We have raised about $18,500 so far. The dealer told us a van in this condition at this price only comes their way about every 6 months or so and usually sells within a week! With title, tax and registration we are guessing the out the door price will be under $28,000. Then we have to have hand controls and an ez lock system installed…this will run $3,000 to $4,000. Finally Bill’s drivers training course is an additional $1,200. I know raising $15,000 in the next few weeks is a huge undertaking…but I also know nothing is impossible with God!! Give, share, pray, fundraise….whatever you feel led to do to help us reach this goal!!! Ready,
Set….GO!!!!

I try not to put God in a box, but sometimes I find myself thinking…this is just too much. ¬†Oh how I love when the Lord proves me wrong and reminds me to trust Him above all human logic. ¬†Now we just have to wait for the van to actually arrive at the dealership. ¬†It was supposed to be there on May 1st but there was a delay in the shipping so now they are expecting it to arrive midweek.

Another blessing I wanted to share is on it’s way here tomorrow. ¬†I recently received a final gift from my Daddy…a life insurance policy on which he had named me as a beneficiary. ¬†With that we were able to buy a newer van for the family to replace our van that was no longer dependable to travel any significant distance (breaking down on the side of the road is just not an option that we want to consider). ¬†Another issue with our old van is the special turning seat that we use to get Bill in and out. ¬†It rotates out and then lowers down so Bill can transfer from the seat into his wheelchair when the seats are side by side. ¬†The old seat is pretty worn out and in fact it got jammed two days ago. ¬†An amazing friend of ours, Charles Martin, came over and figured out how to get the seat to work again. ¬†However, making it work now involves laying on the floor of the van and using a screw driver to reach up under the seat to release it each time Bill gets in or out of the van…this is not ideal. ¬†But we were grateful he was able to fix it at all because we didn’t want to have to put anymore money into the old van or that seat. ¬†A few weeks ago I was able to find a new version of the turning seat that is all automatic to fit in our newer van. ¬†Brand new and installed these seats are $9,000. ¬†But I was able to find one used for $3,000!! ¬†The kicker is shipping. ¬† The seat weighs a lot so shipping would have been pretty gnarly. ¬†However, as God would have it, the seat was in Sacramento which just happens to be where some amazing friends from our Home Fellowship group had moved several years ago. ¬†When I put out what seemed like a shot in the dark post on Facebook asking if anyone was making a trip to Sacramento any time soon I never expected how quickly I would receive a response. ¬†Right away our friends messaged me and told me they are very near Sacramento and would be happy to drive the seat out to us!! ¬†They arranged for the gentleman we bought the seat from to drop it off at their house, stored it in their garage for the past month and are bringing it here tomorrow!! ¬†So Lord willing, we will be able to get the new seat into the newer van sometime this week!!!

Bill’s van will take at least a week to have the modifications done and then it will take a few weeks to do his drivers training course and take the DMV test, so in the mean time we will be able to travel as a family in our newer van that my Daddy blessed us with. Most¬†likely when we travel any large distance, we will take the family van (my van) because in Bill’s van all 3 kids have to sit in the very back seat together…and that is a recipe for disaster on a long trip!! ¬†So while Bill will be able to get into both vans…only he will be able to drive his van and only I will be able to drive my van!!!

I would like to ask for prayer for several things in our life if you are willing to pray.  Here is what is on my heart tonight:

  • Bill’s power assist on his wheelchair stopped working yesterday when the repair tech that was supposed to make the wheels stop clicking somehow caused the power to no longer work. ¬†In hind site Bill is wishing he would have just dealt with the clicking because while it’s annoying, at least he could use his wheelchair properly. ¬†The part to hopefully fix the power assist will be in on Tuesday and while the tech offered not to charge us for the labor (although he claims he did nothing wrong), we are still stuck with the bill for $350 for the part. ¬†Please pray that this part that was ordered will actually fix the wheels, the clicking will be gone, and Bill will have his power back by Tuesday evening.
  • pray for the installation of the new turning seat into our newer family van…I am nervous that something won’t work or the stow n go seats won’t be accessible after the turning seat is installed…I know, silly but it is a concern I am having.
  • continued prayer for Bill’s online marketing business to keep growing…God is blessing him with new clients and I am beyond amazed at how much he has learned about this industry that was brand new to him just 2 years ago…(he is an amazing man…I am one blessed lady!!)
  • prayer for our family as we decide what we will do for schooling next year. ¬†We have been homeschooling through a local charter school for 5 years now and I am just at my breaking point. ¬†Ethan does amazing but Grace and Isaac struggle to get work done and stay focused on their home days. ¬†They go to a workshop twice a week and seem to do much better in that setting. ¬†We are looking into all the charter school options in our area but are wait-listed for now at several of them. ¬†I know God has the details worked out, but prayer for patience as we wait and wisdom for the best option for our children and our family would be appreciated.
  • Pray for our good friend Owen…as I was typing this post I got a message from his wife. ¬†He is in the hospital, has been having chest pain and feeling pretty miserable for several weeks now. ¬†Docs keep telling him they can’t find anything. ¬†Spiked a fever today and docs finally got serious. ¬†Just had a catscan done and the doctors are concerned about what they are seeing. ¬†There is a 10cm mass hiding behind his heart. ¬†They don’t know yet what it is and want to run more tests but because it’s the weekend he might have to stay until Monday to get those done. ¬†Pray that the doctors will be able to figure out what the mass is and that it will be something that is easily treatable. ¬†We just love this couple and their 4 children…they are like family to us. ¬†Pray also for Owen’s wife Theresa as she finds the balance between supporting her husband, comforting and reassuring their children, and maintaining her strong faith in the Lord.

Thank you for praying for us, encouraging us, supporting us and loving us. ¬†We feel so unworthy of the blessings we have been showered with and are humbled by the kindness and generosity we have been shown. ¬†Bill and I both agree we can’t wait until the day when we are in the financial position to return the blessings that have been given to us. May God bless you and keep you all.

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We are so close to reaching our fundraising goal!!!

Hello everyone!!! Let me start by saying thank you to all of you that have faithfully read our blog and followed our family’s journey for any part of the past 3 1/2 years. ¬†It has certainly been an amazing journey with some very deep, dark valleys of despair and sadness, then some peaceful plateaus where we could take a breath and listen for God’s voice, and now, finally, we are seeing some high mountain top experiences¬†that cause us to shout with joy!¬† God has been gracious to us throughout the journey, always showing us mercy and grace and using his people, and quite frankly sometimes using non-believers as well, to bless us and encourage us along the way. ¬†We have never doubted His goodness, but there have certainly been times when our hearts have been so broken and hurting that it was difficult to understand the why’s. ¬†Ultimately, we know and accept that our ways are not God’s ways, but we trust Him fully and therefore have surrendered to His will for our lives.

That being said, I would like to share with you all some very exciting news about our fundraising efforts for Bill’s van. ¬†About a week and a half ago, a childhood friend of Bill’s¬†donated $10,000 towards the van!!! ¬†This was a most unexpected gift that truly caused my knees to buckle under me as I read the news. ¬†Here is what I posted on Facebook for those of you who did not see it:

Okay…are you ready for some awesome news???? I wanted to share this last night but I was too tired after I got home from Bible study and I didn’t want to short change the news. If you could please imagine a drum roll happening right now that would really be appropriate. Last night at 6:45pm, as Bill and I were “rolling” out the door to Bible study, I got a Facebook message that nearly made my knees buckle underneath me. It was from a dear friend of Bill’s, Sean K. Claggett that he has known since he was a child and whom I was blessed to meet when Bill and I were dating. Sean was sending us a message to let us know that he and his beautiful wife Louella Gonzales Claggett had donated $10,000 towards Bill’s van on Wednesday!!!! WWHHHAAATTT???? I couldn’t believe it. My fingers could hardly unlock my phone to read the full message. I was trying to tell Bill and my Mom what I was reading but I could hardly make words come out of my mouth. Bill later told me that he knew in that moment that it was either really good news or really bad news that I was reading just by seeing the look on my face. I was finally able to read the words of the message out loud to Bill and my Mom and by the time I finished we were all crying. “I can’t believer it” and “wow” were repeated many times in the next few minutes while we tried to process such a gift. So with that amazing gift…we now have enough to cover the purchase price of the van!! Which only leaves $5,000 for the hand controls and other adaptations and the drivers training course. I knew $15,000 wasn’t too big for God…but I was shocked by the awesome news just the same!!! Thank you Sean and Louella…your kindness and generosity are such a blessing to Bill and our entire family. Hope you will be able to visit us next time you are in the San Diego area so Bill can give you a ride in his van!!!

And here is the updated information I just posted today:

We are getting so close to our total…originally we thought we were going to need to raise $45k in order to get a van for Bill….but we have been working with a mobility company and they have found what we believe will be the perfect van for Bill that comes in far under the original amount. The van is set to be available on May 1st..just 3 days from now!! As of this moment that I am typing and posting we have raised a grand total of $28,601.09. There was talk on a previous post of the balance being taken care of but there was a bit of a misunderstanding about the total still needed and the deadline so as of now those funds have not yet been donated. This total does include a recent donation of $50 from Jan Hardesty and another $50 given anonymously via GoFundMe and a check for $250 from our sweet friends Yunnel and Kathleen Aguilar!! Thank you so much for your kind gifts!!!
On our way home from a doctors appointment this morning Bill was looking at his phone and made a very cool discovery. When we started this fundraising effort to get him a van back in November of 2014 (with the amazing help of our sweet friends Amos and Nickole Perry…we love you guys, thank you for everything), Bill put a date into his phone declaring when he thought we would have enough raised for his van. Guess what the date was? April 30th, 2015!! That is pretty awesome that he put that in his calendar and the van we are hoping to buy for him will be available for purchase the very next day!! Wow…God is good in all the details!! So…we are making a push to try to raise every penny needed before we buy the van. The invoice they sent us for the van (tax, license, registration, etc.) and all adaptations…out the door is $31,860 (the driver training is an additional $1,250 but we can wait a week or two to raise that still!!). Which means between now and Saturday we need to raise another $3,258.91. You can donate through GoFundMe, by cash or check. (You can also donate through HelpHopeLive but it will take 2 weeks for us to access those funds!!!) If you have been considering making a donation but have put it off for whatever reason….please, please, please do it now!!! I can’t wait to get my hubby driving again…looking forward to the first date he takes me on where he drives instead of me in over 3 1/2 years!!! Thank you so much for all the love and support you all have shown our family…we are so blessed by friends, family and even perfect strangers that have chosen to donate towards Bill’s van…it is truly going to be life-changing for our family…in a very good way this time!!!

Here are the links you can follow to donate towards Bill’s van. Please keep us in prayer as we work hard to raise the last few thousand dollars….God has delivered big time in just a few weeks time, we are trusting Him with all the details!!

 

Help Hope Live

GoFundMe

 

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Davis Family update

March 1st marked the one year anniversary of the day Bill’s Dad went to be with Jesus. ¬†We miss him so much and talk about the fond memories we have of him often. ¬†It helps that there are many places around the city that hold memories of Papa Bill for the kids. Most often we drive by the driving range where they would go hit golf balls. ¬†We also have many pictures of Papa Bill that show up in our screen saver slide show which helps to keep his memory alive. ¬†It has been a tough year for Bill’s step-Mom Jill. She suffered a terrible fall only a few weeks after Bill Sr. passed and then a pretty serious car accident only a month after that. ¬†She is finally able to get out and about again and we are so grateful that she has been going to church with her dear friend Leslie. ¬†Jill wasn’t able to drive for many months, but she drove down to Oceanside to visit with us for the first time in over a year just a few weekends ago. ¬†We had a great time visiting with her and she spoiled Bill and I by taking us out for an amazing steak dinner at Hunter Steak House in Oceanside. ¬†Jill joined us for church that Sunday and then treated the entire family to lunch at Apple bee’s afterward. ¬†She traveled to Las Vegas last weekend to visit with Bill’s sister Mary, an old friend, and some family from the past that she hasn’t seen since 1984!! Please pray for her safe travels as this will be the furthest she has driven since her injuries.

I would love to ask for continued prayer for my nephew Cooper who is just into his 3rd year of battling Leukemia. ¬†It is a long treatment process and it is taking toll on his body. ¬†He is suffering from bone necrosis that makes his legs hurt so much that he can’t walk at times. ¬†He also gets sores in his mouth from the chemo and just feels crummy. ¬†Pray for his body to endure the chemicals, beat the cancer and heal from the bone necrosis. ¬†My sister in love Mary (Cooper’s Mom) is one of the strongest, loving and generous people I know. ¬†Not only does she give her all to take care of Cooper and her family, but she has also started an organization to help support other¬†families affected by¬†childhood cancer. ¬†Her organization is called Light of the World Childhood Cancer Foundation¬†¬†¬†and you can also follow on Facebook.¬† Continue to keep Mary and her family in prayer as God uses them to be His light to this world.

It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on one year of looking for a home to purchase. ¬†Bill’s step-Mom Jill generously offered to give Bill an advance on his inheritance so we would have money to put down on a house. ¬†Our dream since we moved to Oceanside has been to own a home and have a “granny flat” on our property for my Mom. ¬†When the kids were little I wanted her to be close so she could help me with the kiddos, now that our life has taken the course it has, I want her close to help with the kids so I can help Bill and because she is my very best friend!! ¬†I would love to have coffee on a nice patio on the weekends (she gets up too early for me during the week!!) with my Mama. ¬†Mom is offering to put 1/3 of the down payment towards our home but we are struggling to find a house that will work in our budget. ¬†We made an offer on a home in December and got as far as the start of escrow…but a home inspection revealed many problems with the home that were beyond our budget to repair and the owners were complaining about the termite damage repair which was the least of the concerns. ¬†After prayer¬†and much discussion between Bill, my Mom and I, we decided to pull our offer. ¬†It was such a bummer because we were all so excited about finally purchasing a home but buying the wrong house would have been a much bigger bummer. ¬†So, I would ask that you continue to pray for our home search. ¬†Specifically for a 3-4 bed/ 2 bath main house with a complete granny flat 1bd/1ba/ and kitchen/living area. ¬†I know God is good in every detail of our life so let’s go ahead and ask for specific details!! ¬†I am trying not to be discouraged by the process but it certainly has taken longer than I ever dreamed. We know that God already knows which home we will buy and He is working out the details before it becomes available to us.

We are still trying to raise money for Bill’s van!! We have raised over $18,000 to date but still have a ways to go. ¬†Yesterday we contacted a¬†company in San Diego¬†called Golden Boy Mobility. ¬†We are learning that we might be able to get Bill into a used van that is already converted for much less than the $45,000 to purchase a one year old van and pay for the conversions. ¬†The man Bill talked with told us conversions themselves with a power ramp are between $20,000 and $25,000!! YIKES!! ¬†However, we can get a van that is a few¬†years older for the same price as a conversion. ¬†If that is the case we may only need to raise another $7,000 to actually get him driving!!!! ¬†This is very exciting news!! ¬†Bill called yesterday to schedule a driving evaluation. ¬†This is where they will determine the type of hand controls he will need to have installed on his van. ¬†After he has that we can start looking for vans actively. ¬†We are hoping to find a van around the year 2008 to 2011¬†for around $25,000k. ¬†We are going to have them start looking for us as soon as Bill gets his driving evaluation and if they find one that works for us…we will find a way to make it happen even if we haven’t raised the full amount at that point!! We cannot say thank you enough times or in enough ways to all of you that have donated towards this van…what a community of loving people we are blessed to be surrounded by. ¬†So many days recently we have been faced with choices about attending certain events for our kids and one had to win out over the other because I literally couldn’t be in two places at once. ¬†When Bill has his van…we can each attend an event at the same time so our kids always have one of us there to support them and cheer them on!! ¬†I am so excited to see how life is going to change for us when Bill is on the road again!!! ¬†Such an amazing thing to think about…and just think…it would not be possible without each and every donation given from $10 to $1,000!!

Our current fundraiser is our 2nd Annual March Madness Fundraiser!!! ¬†We just go this going a few days ago and it has already brought in $420!! ¬†Click HERE to view the event on¬†Facebook. ¬†If you don’t have facebook…here are the details of the fundraiser. (UPDATE: as of March 19th at 9:15am…you can no longer fill out a bracket for this fundraiser…but you can still donate through the GoFundMe.Com link below!!!)

Best picture for March Madness

Click HERE for a link to the GoFundMePage!!

Finally, an old friend from high school very generously paid to sign me up with Do Terra and also paid for us to receive the Family Physician Kit as well as a few other goodies. ¬†This is a huge blessing to us because it allows me to use essential oils to help treat our ailments and illnesses in a very natural way (which we are all about!!). That being said, another way you can help us raise money for Bill’s van is to place any orders for Do Terra Essential Oils through our families site and we receive a percentage of the purchase!! ¬†I am NOT working this as a business…but if we can raise extra money simply by sharing our website…why not? ¬†I do have great up-line that have a ton of knowledge about oils and how to use them so if you want to order some but have questions that I most likely can’t answer (LOL) they are happy to help you in any way!!

Click  HERE to order from our Do Terra site!!!

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Top 5 Reasons why Bill needs a van!!

We are well into our fundraising efforts to raise enough money to buy a van that Bill can drive.

I would say I am sorry for posting about this so frequently (more so on Facebook than the blog) but honestly I am willing to do whatever is legal and ethical to get my hubby a van, so if the fundraiser announcements are annoying you…please¬†just try to understand my heart!!! Our goal is $45,000 which will allow us to purchase a used van with about 20,000 miles and all the conversions needed to allow him to wheel into it, park on the drivers side, lock into place and drive using special hand controls.

Bill won’t be getting a top of the line luxury vehicle, just a standard minivan that can be converted to work for his needs. ¬†The conversions cost more than the van itself which which is why we are raising funds. ¬†Our goal is to not have a car payment because that would just put more of a weight on Bill’s shoulders to provide. ¬†He is doing awesome building his new business, UpperCervicalMarketing.Com¬†but coming up with an extra $45k is beyond our means at this time.

We have decided that if he is going to get a van, the full cost will need to be raised through fundraisers. ¬†At this time we know we have about $15,000 raised which is amazing! ¬†That means we are already 1/3 of the way to our goal in only 2 months time, if we can keep that pace Bill will be driving by Spring! This is just an idea of what his new van could look like….although his van will have the driver seat removed which is not the case with the van in this picture:

2014 Blue SXT6

 

So here are the top 10 reasons why a van would be such a blessing:

1. FREEDOM for Bill:¬†He will be able to roll into his van and go anywhere he wants at anytime and not have to worry about being a burden to me or my schedule. ¬†He won’t have to rely on the few friends that know how to get him in and out of our current van (I really ¬†need to take a video so you can see what we go through now just to get in and out of our van) just to have a “guys night” out. (Thank you Ben and Stephen for being so willing to fight with the seat and all the frustrations that come with it just to take Bill to the movies!! ¬†You guys are amazing friends and we love you so much!!) ¬†We have the manual version of a Bruno Turny Seat which means I have to unlock and turn it manually to get it in place to come down. ¬†The side handle has lost the top piece and the seat continues to move slightly from continued use. ¬†These two things cause the seat to sometimes get “stuck”. ¬†I literally have to move the van so it is at a different angle to get it to go in and out sometimes. ¬†It’s a lot of work for me and puts a ton of stress on my back. ¬†It has worked this far but is certainly not a long term solution for us. ¬†It is also a pain when it’s raining because it takes about 5 minutes to get the seat down, Bill transferred over, the seat up and turned into the van. ¬†Then I have to get the wheelchair into the van. ¬†It is impossible to hold an umbrella and do all of this so either Bill or the wheelchair or both get wet ( I always get wet but that is the least of my worries!! LOL). If Bill’s wheels get wet, the power assist that is on them can burn out (which has already happened to us once). ¬†Those wheels cost about $8,000 to replace…yep…just the wheels!! If Bill had a van with a ramp he could roll from the porch into his van in less than 30 seconds which would keep him and the wheels much drier.

This could be Bill and I off on a date in his new van!!!!

2. FREEDOM for me:¬† I will not have to drive Bill everywhere he needs to go and strain my back to get him in and out of the Bruno Turny seat we have in our van. ¬†I won’t have to lift his 75lb wheelchair in and out of the van every time he has therapy, an appointment or we just want to go on a date. ¬†I won’t have to DRIVE for the first time in over 3 years, my husband can drive our family to church and take me on dates. ¬†This may not seem like a big deal but it is making me cry just writing about it…this is life changing stuff for us!!

IMG_3586

3. Fun for the kids:¬† Bill will be able to take the kids to the park for Daddy dates or just take them out of the house to give me a “sanity break”!! ¬†Currently I have to load everyone up, drive them where they want to go, unload them and then come back to pick them up when they are done. ¬†The kids are so excited about the idea of Daddy driving because honestly, other than Ethan, I don’t think they have any actual memories of Bill driving. (Again…tears at the thought!!)

2014davis5_5x7

4. Normalcy:¬† Bill will be able to help run errands, take kids to practice, pick them up from school, etc. ¬†“Normal” things that he used to do, that he would LOVE to be able to do, but hasn’t been able to do in over 3 years.

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5. THERAPY:¬† Bill is currently going to therapy at VIP NeuroRehab in Mira Mar only once a week. ¬†We have to take the whole family because it’s a home school day. ¬†If he could drive himself, he could go twice a week and still spend less a month than he used to spend going just one day a week to Project Walk for 3 hours. ¬†VIP is the ONLY time Bill gets to “stand up” and “walk” each week. ¬†He gets into a cool machine called a Lokomat and it holds him upright in a harness and the robotic legs allow him to walk non-stop for 30 minutes. ¬†This is so good for his body…imagine if he could go twice a week how much better that would be? ¬†¬†

 

Want to help make this dream come true for

our family???  Donate Now!!!

http://www.gofundme.com/billdavis

https://m.helphopelive.org/campaign/903?3.8.757.7

Or mail a donation to:

The Davis Family  ~2919 Luana Dr~ Oceanside, CA  92056

 

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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