Their Smiles

The smiles tell the story of their hearts!  Their anticipation was off the charts!  Vern had never wore a dress shirt or tie before!  As he stroked his tie he quietly repeated over and over,  “I wear my father’s!”

Yes son.  You waited 14 years for a daddy to share ties with.  No doubt it was a long wait – we cannot imagine!  But it was so worth it!!  You have the best daddy in the land and he will gladly share his tie.   How grateful that we could experience your first dress shirt and tie with you!

Jubilee wore lipstick for the first time!  She beamed!

And before long they were off to their first ever Night to Shine!   It was sponsored by our very own church‘s ministry to special needs kids: In His Image

Liberty had gone early to meet with the other volunteers, so Dw and I duked it out for who would get to drive them and watch the event for a little bit.  Clearly I have a pretty good left hook and won easily.  *giggle*

If you haven’t heard of Night to Shine, Tim Tebow (the talented football and baseball player) began a foundation that ministers to kids with special needs.  He created Night to Shine as a prom-like event designed specifically for those with special needs. Over 350 churches/ministries around the world sponsored Night to Shine events this year!  In order to become an official host church you must apply almost a year in advance.  There is a packet of details that must be closely followed to ensure the quality expected from the event.  This is definitely not a slop-shop deal!!

And boy-oh-boy, the grandeur of the evening was absolutely spectacular!! There is a red carpet experience and literally each guest walks (or rides) the red carpet while their name is called and folks standing on each side cheer the prince or princess coming down the carpet.   My eyes well with tears as I type that.  I was able to see Jubilee come down the carpet and although my camera would not focus because of all the flurry and darkness, my mind will never forget her beaming smile!  She loved every second of it!IMG_0830

Vern and Jubilee were each assigned a buddy for the night.   Vern’s buddy was a precious woman named Kay.  At the end of the evening she told Liberty to tell me that she had had a blast with Vern.  From what I hear, Vern and his chair did some serious dancing!!


Liberty had signed up to volunteer and wondered what I thought of her being Jubilee’s buddy.  I told her if she was up for it, Jubilee would love it, I was sure.  Just like I thought, Jubilee was THRILLED! Big sis is a blast so it worked perfectly!IMG_0854


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When Liberty brought the kids home she told me that Jubilee had been a dancing machine! She never wanted to leave the dance floor the entire night!  Who knew?  From what I hear she had some serious groove on!

Our prince and princess both loved every second of it!

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IMG_0109-XLMiss Kelsey, who serves under Missy at In His Image couldn’t help but snag a photo of our boy.  Isn’t it the cutest??

I cannot tell you what it means to this mama to have them honored in such a powerful event.  Their hearts were overflowing as hundreds of people came together to joyously celebrate their worth!!  And this mama will smile about that for months!


If you have a 14 year old and older who didn’t get to go this year, find an event next year and begin to plan for them to attend!


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