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Hop in the Saddle

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My oldest, 9-year-old Elizabeth, has always loved horses.  She even chose to have a horse-themed birthday party when she turned 6 years old.

Despite her love for horses, she has never actually ridden a full-size horse.  Well, this summer Adam and I decided she was old enough to handle the responsibility and danger associated with this sport so we signed her up for a week long horse camp at our local equestrian center.  Her Granny and Aunt Erica hooked her up with some sweet cowgirl boots and trendy new bedazzled t-shirt.

As we drove to camp on the first morning I asked if she was nervous.

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It Takes a Village

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We've all heard the African Proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child."  As a mother I recognize the truth in this statement as my children have benefitted greatly from the direction, discipline, encouragement and wisdom of many different people in our "village".

I think this proverb has special meaning for families served by Inheritance of Hope.  One of the goals of our Legacy Retreats is to create a solid "village" for these families...a network of support and understanding to help these parents raise their children with a focus on leaving a lasting legacy.

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Kid's Night Out!

After the morning sessions, the families headed back into the parks...

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Morning Ambush

(written by Children's Counselor, Meg Hill)

This morning the kids' counseling sessions included many awesome activities, one of which I can't share with you because it is TOP SECRET!  But I will tell you that our topic today was how to deal with anger and sad feelings.  One way that we (the counselors) help kids understand healthy ways to deal with frustration is to talk about volcanoes.  Two ways things that we want to avoid are volcano explosion (like when angry people take their anger out on others) or volcano implosion (like when people are depressed).  The way to best way to get anger out is by letting steam off and venting to prevent volcano problems.

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First Day at Disney!!!

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What a wonderful memorable first day!!! Everyone woke up and had an amazing delicious breakfast and superb service at the Doubletree Guest Suites...we are sort of celebrities here :). After breakfast we had great sessions with the children as well as the adults.

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Welcome to Disney World!

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Tomorrow, I will have the honor and privilege of welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  These families are coming from Arkansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Connecticut, Indiana, Tennessee, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Iowa.

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Rest in the Shade

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I spend a lot of my time these days out at a baseball field cheering on my seven year old son and his all-star team, the Stingrays. I enjoy watching them play and cheering them on.  One thing I do NOT enjoy is the unbearable heat that comes with June in Atlanta, GA.  There is certainly a reason people have nicknamed this great city "HOTlanta."

I am actually NOT complaining about the heat.  It is fine.  I have great perspective after living in Minnesota for 7 years. Truly I would rather sweat than freeze any day of the week.  However, in the same way it is essential to take cover indoors when the Minnesota temperature plummets below zero in January, it is equally as essential to take cover in shade when you are out in the 100 degree temperatures of June in North Georgia.

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Bull in a China Shop

I live in Atlanta, Georgia.  Home of the Braves, high temperatures, and southern hospitality.

I love hospitality!  In fact, I think if you quiz my closest friends and relatives they would tell you that hospitality is in my blood.  I enjoy having guests in my home for dinner or for weeklong visits. It is a joy to feed them a meal (or meals), take care of their needs, and make them feel very welcome in my home.  It makes me smile just typing about it.

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Smart Sally

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I don't know what we did before GPS navigation.  Now we just punch in an address and go.  My family even gave our system a name..."Smart Sally".  We actually stole that name from another family but we like it so it stuck.

Smart Sally has led us safely through numerous states, cities and streets.  Most of the time she lives up to her name and smartly directs us the most efficient and accurate path to our destination.  She even frequently "recalculates" when her human follower makes a mistake or misses a turn.  (Did I say, 'frequently'?!?)

However, occasionally Smart Sally is not so smart!

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It's a Small World

Deric and Kristen Milligan with Mickey Mouse

30 days from today Inheritance of Hope will be welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a trip of a lifetime!!!  As I get to know these families, I am amazed at some of the similarities.  In my mind I already see the friendships developing between the children of similar ages and the parents with the same illnesses.

We even have two families that (when I google mapped their addresses) live just a few miles from each other! (It's a small world after all....) These families are strangers right now but in a month they will be friends AND neighbors (literally)!

Although we serve a wide variety of families with a wide variety of conditions it always amazes me that the community that develops at our Legacy Retreats is very rich and unified.  These families may come from all over the country but they have much in common.

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