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alaskanabbott 03-25-2010 12:25 PM

The Week of YES!
I guess I'll just jump right into this trip report. To recap the cast, there is myself (amber) my wonderful hubby (Mike) and our children: Dakota (17) Caelan (15) James (wish boy 12) Macylea (12) Elijah (10) and Mackenzie (5). We live in Alaska and are a pretty happy family :lovestruc James ad Macylea were born preemie and spent about 3 months in the PICU. Macylea had ROP and needed surgery on her eyes at about 1yr old, after that her only ongoing problem was glasses. James spent most of his first three years in the hospital... heart surgery, meningitis, and lots of pneumonia. James ended up with CP and an immune problem. About a year ago James' health started a steady decline. He use to walk and swim, and while he was delayed, and uncoordinated, he was pretty healthy overall. Then last may he got pneumonia and from there severe stomach pains, and then his neurological system just went haywire. We still do not have a diagnosis, since CP is not progressive. James has spent much of the last year in the hospital, either locally or in Seattle. Our doctor nominated him for our local wish group "Wish upon a North Star" and he was granted his wish to go to Disneyworld, and GKTW. We had less than a month to plan, because James is scheduled to go back to the hospital soon...we had to "fit in" his trip. There, you have the back story.
Let me tell you a little about how we are. I am a stay at home mom, which when you have a child with an illness means almost no staying at home. We do not allow the kids to watch tv, but do let them watch video's. We do not drink soda, or eat fast food. We almost never have pizza or ice cream. My DH is a bit of a health fanatic, and we eat mostly pretty healthy. You need to know all of this, so you understand the "Week of Yes!"

Our trip

We had intended to leave for Anchorage, a three hour drive, about 3pm on Saturday. We had a dinner scheduled with the wish people, and then we had to be at the airport at 11:30pm to check in for our 1:30pm flight. Then we got our first change of plans. Our daughter Macylea had a wrestling tournament Saturday, with weigh ins at 9am. So we packed everything Friday night, and Mike, Macylea, Caelan and I drove to Anchorage for the tournament. We had to leave our house at 5am, so everyone was already cranky and sleepy. The tournament had 580 wrestlers, yikes, and Macylea had to wrestle 5 matches. Here she is on her first one.
She got a pin! Then so on and so on…..
James after about three hours was beat, and I took him and Caelan back to the hotel to rest. Macylea had her last bout, and we anxiously awaited the final tally. So how do you think she did?
THIRD! Ok, it’s not first, but it was amazing to us!! Here she is on the podium…..
And getting her medal…..
That’s my girl!
After the tournament, all 12 hours of it! We went back to the room and slept. Knowing we had a long day in front of us, we slept in the next morning too. Then we spent a few hours shopping and playing in Anchorage until it was time for my dad to show up with the other 3 kids, and get to our Wish upon a North Star Dinner.
Here’s us at the hotel, DH Mike, with Macylea and Caelan
And James

We ate at a place called Gwennie’s and the food was terrific.
This is Ron Rice (president of WUNS, and my dad)

And all the kids…

Our favorite picture of James from the dinner…
We have more photos of this dinner coming soon!

A lot of the board members were there and met James for the first time. Of course our dear Ron Rice, who is the president, was there, as well as Rich Owens who does all the travel arrangements. We found out that WUNS is all volunteer; these guys who made our dream come true did it without any remuneration. 100% of money in is money out! WOW!!! Rich who is like a silly uncle, sat next to Macylea. When he sat down he said, “Hi, I’m Rich” to which my daughter thought, “well good for you!” During the dinner, Rich kept stealing her French fries until exasperated she finally looked at him and said, “If you’re so rich, get your own fries!” We all got a laugh. He then told Macylea that he “works” at an ice cream shop. This got her attention. She asked how he got the job and he said, “Well since they wouldn’t hire me, I bought the place!”…So Rich is rich after all, lol! Don’t know if you have them there but his ice cream shop is Tasty Freeze 
During dinner we had another visitor. Channel 11 news showed up to do a story on WUNS, and James. Everyone was super excited. It aired that night, and we heard it was wonderful. Then we got our expense check, and wowee were we ever surprised. As to not be rude, I won’t tell the actual number, but it was by far more than we expected. Dinner ended at about 8pm, and we all piled into the car. We drove around Anchorage for about an hour trying to figure out what to do, in Anchorage on a Sunday night. We finally decided to just go to the airport. We checked in at 9pm for our 1:30am flight.

The Magic Begins
We were checking our bags and the flight attendant noticed James’ Wish shirt (so glad we made it!) and asked if this was a wish trip. She then waved the baggage fee ($15 per bag) and told us to let the flight attendant know when we boarded it was a wish trip.
Here are a few pictures of my children at the airport. We usually require them to be much calmer, but we had officially entered the week of yes….

The kids had found an airport wheel chair, and right behind our gate was two of those moving sidewalks, so they had wheel chair races and every other kind of game involving wheelchairs. James was so excited because it was a game he could actually play
About an hour before it was time to board my hubby called us to the window to show us our plane….

Once we boarded, we discovered two of the eight seats were about 10 rows away from the rest of the family. The attendant quickly went into action and after about 3 minutes had people moved so that we were all together.
Dakota, Elijah and Mackenzie
DH Mike, Macylea and Caelan
James, before the plane even took off

After that, one both planes, we were compt all of our food, and digi players, and treated like royalty. Then it happened, DH started to feel ill…he fought it for the first plane to Seattle, and kept saying he thought he’d eaten something bad.

We had a three and a half hour layover in Seattle. It was 1am, and the kids had barley slept. So what did they do?
They slept! DH however, lost his battle and was in and out of the men’s room. The next flight was worse and he spent most of the 5 hours in the little airplane potty  By the time we landed he was actually feeling a bit better. But still weak and tired. Mackenzie who I was most worried about slept on both planes and woke up 30 minutes before we landed, she never had time to do any activities we packed. James also slept almost the whole trip. I, being the good mother hen, read “The Lovely Bones” a book I’d vowed not to read, because I’m not ready to think of a child in Heaven, and don’t like to be sad. I finished it by the time we landed and actually loved the story very much, but I still think the idea of kids in heaven is no fun.
Finally, we arrived, exhausted at 5:30pm Monday, in Orlando. I’m so excited because I know what we’ll see in just a few minutes. It’s that one sight that lets you know it’s actually real, you are there and it’s going to start…. the GKTW greeter.
And so it begins.

NEXT: Finish your ice cream so we can go eat breakfast….and go to the Magic Kingdom!

onejellyshelly 03-25-2010 12:46 PM


I cannot wait to hear more about your special trip. I live in Fl. but I use to spend my summers in Anchorage with family. I loved every second of it:goodvibes

pacrosby 03-25-2010 01:17 PM

OMG what a great start!!!!! Can't wait to read more. Love the px (although I did notice that there are none of you in there anywhere ;))

Keep it comin' :)

Goofy442 03-25-2010 01:26 PM

I love that plane and my little nephew would love to fly on that plane. I hope your DH doesn't have the flu :sick: and he feels better soon so he can enjoy your trip. Can't wait to hear more!

maroo 03-25-2010 03:00 PM

awesome start!!! :) (and you are FAST!)

I am impressed with all of your pics and how organized you guys are! :)

Can't wait for more!

cajunfan 03-25-2010 03:07 PM

WoooHOOO!! A new trip report! Can't wait to read all about it!


pnutallergymom 03-25-2010 03:42 PM

Sounds SOOOOO amazing!!! :cool1: I am loving the wheelchair races!!!

You aren't going to drag this thing on like some people I know, right???? :rotfl:

I'm practically dying over here waiting for someone to hurry up and finish before we go!!!!! :)

Can't wait to hear about the ice cream!!!! :goodvibes

15isto2 03-25-2010 04:06 PM

Great start to the report, hope DH starts feeling better

pacrosby 03-25-2010 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by pnutallergymom (Post 35981888)

You aren't going to drag this thing on like some people I know, right???? :rotfl:

I'm practically dying over here waiting for someone to hurry up and finish before we go!!!!! :)

HEY! I hope you're not talking about me :eek:

Just you'll find out yourself someday soon miss smarty pants :rotfl:

noahsketomom 03-25-2010 04:20 PM

YAY!!! I'm taking notes because we leave in less than 2 weeks!!

Congrats on 3rd place, but UGH about DH traveling while sick. That happened to me one time when I was ALONE traveling with Ella (who was 9months). WORST TRIP OF MY LIFE. Hope the FL weather ends up making him better....maybe?

Can't wait to hear more!!!! YAY!!!!

ccgirl 03-25-2010 04:22 PM

Subscribing. Can't wait to hear all about it. You have a lovely family. I hope nobody else got sick!

heaven2dc 03-25-2010 04:36 PM

What a beautiful family you have! I always get so choked up and teary eyed when I read of wondeful stories like this - I'm so happy James got his Wish and you all could be included in on the trip. :grouphug:

Wee Annie 03-25-2010 05:40 PM

Welcome back!!!!!!! LOVE the start to your TR!

We are going in 3 weeks (and I haven't really started planning, although I finally found my sunglasses), and I plan on our spending a decent amount of time at GKTW. So I can't wait to hear all about it!

Momofwishkid 03-25-2010 05:40 PM

Great start! I hope Dh got better soon. Congrats on 3rd place that's awesome. Cant wait to hear more.

Wee Annie 03-25-2010 11:45 PM


Originally Posted by alaskanabbott (Post 35979190)
I, being the good mother hen, read “The Lovely Bones” a book I’d vowed not to read, because I’m not ready to think of a child in Heaven, and don’t like to be sad. I finished it by the time we landed and actually loved the story very much, but I still think the idea of kids in heaven is no fun.

I thought that book was incredibly well written. Depressing yet uplifting at the same time. And just so well written. Can you believe that my 12 year old daughter asked me if she could read it???? She claimed that "all" her friends had read it! I think it's so inappropriate for a girl her age (and obviously said no!).

Btw, SO sorry that your hubby got so ill. Hope no one else came down with it.... And I'm so impressed with your daughter wrestling (and pinning!) the boys. Love it when girls excel like that!

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