|John, Lynn and Adam Fraleigh|
"They err who think Santa Claus comes down through the chimney;
he really enters through the heart."
~Mrs. Paul M. Ell
Dearest Beloved Friends,
Each year as Christmas approaches the little girl inside of me gets so excited. I have always believed in Santa, but I do even more so, since I gave birth to my son David. He is the one who reminds me that of all the gifts we can give one another, the greatest of these is love. I know your son or daughter is teaching you that as well.
I want to tell you about something cute that happened at our Westside party but before I do I wanted to make sure I tell you about our upcoming Chapter meetings.
I am especially excited for you to come to our January meeting so you can meet my dear friend, Kent Phelps. He is an attorney who specializes in Estate planning and Special Needs Trusts.
I asked him if he would be able to give Sharing families a discount for their Special Needs Trusts and he thrilled me when he said he would do them for only $250.00! So please come to hear this wonderful man. We do videotape our meetings so if you can't attend call our office to get a copy from our Lending Library.
When I was at the Westside Christmas party it tickled me when Brenda Lopez told me she appreciated having him come to speak to their group. To contact him just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (480) 686-1238. (Make sure to tell him we sent you!)
Each Sharing Chapter has guest speakers according to what the members request. So if there is a specific topic you'd like to learn more about just let your Chapter Leaders know.
These dear people serve as volunteers but I know they feel like I do...that even a million dollars could not make them feel what they do when they are with your children!
At our East Valley Breakfast with Santa my cute son Luke was our Santa and as always my dear friend Mark Trombino was our Elf!
Mark is an actor, a gifted motivational speaker and the author of the best seller, Life is Short. His presentations are amazing but you will especially love the one he does for schools about bullying. He will make you laugh and make you cry but he will always inspire and empower those lucky enough to hear him speak. To contact him you can email: email@example.com. His cell number is (602) 421-6314 and his website is www.motivationalsmalltalk.org.
I am not surprised Mark is such an amazing person. It has been said "An apple doesn't fall far from the tree." And it probably will not surprise you to find out that Mark's mom, Betsy Trombino is the person who trained me as a "Pilot Parent" over 26 years ago. She is the one who taught me to be the kind of parent-to-parent contact I'd always hoped to be. I adore her and her son Mark and feel blessed to call them my friends.
Lisa Case, Betsy Trombino, Kathy Pastores and Kathy Dumaplin
I would like to say a special Thank You to dear Miss Morgan Adair and her friend Cassidy (who are practically professional
Cassidy and Morgan
photographers) as they helped me take pictures at our East Valley party. A special thanks goes out to my dear friend, Perry Sevey for the beautiful photos he took. Please take a minute to email him and let him know just how beautiful his work is. We are so grateful to him for the precious gift of memories and time that he gives to us every year and never asks for anything in return. If you need photos for your family, please think of him first as this is what he does for a living. firstname.lastname@example.org.
|East side party volunteers|
I am thankful for the many volunteers on both sides of town.
On the Eastside it was those great young adults from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and our dear Christy Burke (whose best friend's brother has DS), John Michael (whose twin sister has DS) Jennie Bradfield! And also our dear Rachel Hanzuk, Teresa Adair, Polly Standifird and Jennie Bradfield. And last but not least, a big thank you to the many volunteers at the Westside Chapter. I want to thank you all by name but I don't have them!! Please know that you are loved and appreciated more than words can say.
Here's a list of our chapter leaders. We are so thankful to them for everything they do.
|Rachel and Teresa|
And I LOVED being able to go to both of the Christmas parties this year and I have to tell you something that happened that made my day!
At the Westside party Santa was adorable with the kids as was Mark (My favorite Elf!). It was so fun to see how much not only the kids loved Mark but the grown-ups did as well! When the party was over and Mark was trying to leave one little boy was thrilled to see him.
Mark was great and stayed to pose for pictures. Just then my friend (and new mommy to James) Joanie came over and I asked if she would let me take a picture of her and Mark which she did. As she knelt by him I suggested that she give Mark a 'kiss'. She was a little embarrassed but she laughed and obliged me by giving him a little peck on the cheek.
As always Mark was delightful and after she kissed him he said, "Just don't tell my wife!" We all laughed and playfully Joanie agreed saying, "Don't tell my husband!" It was really sweet.
Well I had to get in on the action so I said ,"Hey, I want to kiss Mark!" I gave him a kiss on the cheek as well.
During this whole time, there were two older young men (who have Down syndrome ) standing there watching this silliness unfold and laughing right along with us. But then all of a sudden one of the big boys looked at me and while pointing to me said, "I want to kiss you!!!"
I thought he was going to give me a little kiss on the cheek as well so of course I said, "Sure!"
Well as you can see, I got quite a smooch!!!
All I can tell you is, Boy, I am loved!!!
Well dear friends...I hope during this Christmas time you will feel as loved as I do. xoxo I wanted to let you know some sad news... that our sweet little AJ Medina passed away.
I know that little guy gave his all to stay here as long as he could. He was so loved by his parents (Armando and Joanna) and his entire family. He was the most popular baby in the NICU and I know the nurses always fought over who got to be his nurse during their shift. That cute nurse Trina almost always won! xoxo
I am so thankful that Heavenly Father let that amazing little boy come to our world for 58 days! During that time everyone fell in love with him. After AJ passed away and I told David he could see the tears in my eyes. In his innocence he reminded me that it was okay because now he could be with "Sugar Mama." (David's beloved Grandma Johnson who passed way 2 1/2 years ago.)
Sugar Mama and David 1983
Sugar Mama and David
I have a feeling David is right...when AJ meets Sugar Mama he will be smooched on and hugged by the greatest grandma ever!
AJ's dad Armando gave the most beautiful tribute at his funeral saying many things that touched our hearts. But one thing he said stayed in my mind. He said every time we feel the wind blow it was really Aj letting us know he loves us. This past weekend Curt and I were in Flagstaff helping our youngest daughter Emily pack up to come home for Christmas and then to leave in February to go and serve as missionary for our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
As I was carrying some boxes to the car, for some reason AJ was really on my mind. Then all of a sudden, the wind started to blow. It was so much so that I even had to pull my coat tightly around me. I just began to laugh and in the air said, "Hi AJ! I love you too!" Now others might try to say it was just the winter wind, but I know better!
Merry Christmas dear friends! And to our Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah
All my love,
David's Mom & AJ's favorite Aunt Gina
(aka Gina Johnson)
In Loving Memory of AJ Medina
October 1, 2011 - November 27, 2011