We Love Basketball!

Team Daves  

By February of each year, our lives are fully saturated in basketball. All of our children (except Shafer) play on organized teams now, and Kevin and I coach the Elementary and Middle School Chattanooga Lady Patriots. So, life is overflowing with basketball practices and games.

Getting 2013 Started...

  The Daves Family Motto 

I’ve always had a hard time of getting started in the new year. I never want the excitement of Christmas and all the festivities to end. So, this year we extended our holiday celebration by leaving up our decorations an extra 3 weeks and doing some post holiday things, like visiting the Enchanted Lights at Rock City. It had been several years since we had put this on our local excursion priority list. It worked out perfectly one evening since all three girls were invited to a sleepover, and we took the boys for a fun-filled, yet chilly, adventure. We had a blast trekking up, down, and all around while listening to Christmas carols and sipping on steamy hot chocolate. The boys’ favorite, by far, was the light up “blinking” cotton candy. They had so much fun eating the sticky, gooey stuff while lighting their way down the paths. We had lots of photo opportunities to remind us of our stargazed night.

Christmas Memories


Shafer & Shaw early Christmas Morning



Santa Pics 2012-124.jpg

Shafer all smiles with Santa

Once again on this chilly Christmas day, our hearts are warmed by the outpouring of love and support you have shown our family. What a joy it has been to see the children relish the sights and sounds of the season! Our greatest gift this year is being home together as a family celebrating each other. We praise God for these precious memories and are so thankful that Shafer is doing well at this time.

What a Bright Night…

Shafer at the Tivoli for Bright Night  
  Sharing a moment with Gordon before the event

There have been many highlights on our 40-month journey, and Bright Night served to remind me of the miraculous side road we have been on with Shafer. The music, the message, and the memories from November 8, 2012, will forever reign in my heart. What a  gift Gordon Mote, Squire Rushnell, Louise DuArt, and T-Ran Gilbert gave to Shafer as we celebrated his precious life and raised funds for transplant-related expenses.

From 3 Weeks to 3 Years…

DSC_9623 - Happy Birthday.jpg  

Shafer celebrated his 3rd birthday with friends and family on October 15, 2012 at Mystery Dog Ranch in Ringgold, Georgia. Our little cowboy enjoyed riding horses, fishing, a hayride and lots of cake and presents. The blessing of the day overwhelmed me…

I’m realizing more and more how much sweeter life is. Every day is a cause for celebration. Baby Shafer reminds me of God’s goodness even when times are extremely hard.

I Don't Want to Miss It

Enjoying Shafer and his love for horses  

Days now have extra-special meaning. I am learning to live in the moment. I’m really there in mind, body, and spirit for my kids, husband, other family members, and friends. I’m not just physically in the same room…I am “in”volved, “in”gaged, and fully “in”vested. My kids are growing up fast. They are now 11, 9, 6, 5, and almost 3. Seems like only yesterday that our oldest, Shayli, was born.

Crazy Good, Crazy Bad

Happy Times at Cross Country Meet  

  In Hospital Bed at Vanderbilt

“Rockin’ Roll ercoaster” was the answer my

8-year-old daughter, Sharayah, answered to her Classical Conversation home school tutor when asked to give an example of an alliteration. Mrs. Vest smiled and affirmed Sharayah that her answer was a great one. What she didn’t know was that her answer went far deeper than a grammar illustration…it was an accurate phrase to describe our life.

Greatly Blessed

  Me & mom in ICU - Day 5

We moved the family to Nashville for my mom’s open heart surgery and recovery which took place on July 2, 2012. She had rare complications in surgery as her heart ruptured (atrioventricular dehiscence) and they could not stop the bleeding. About 30 friends and family gathered in the waiting room of Vanderbilt University Hospital and cried out to God to save mom’s life. The surgeon told us several hours later that whatever we did worked, because this has happened only 4 times out of 2,700 surgeries, and the other 3 were fatal. In his words, “The Lord sure did bless your mom!”

Summer Fun is Finally Here!

Shafer started out the month with a mini vacation to our friend’s lake house for a few days of swimming, fishing, boating, and making smores by the fire. Shafer definitely took to my love for the outdoors. We had lots of fun spending time with family as Mamaw & Papaw (my mom & dad), along with my brother John, Aunt Zina, and Hannah, joined us on the trip.

Make a Wish


What a marvelous blessing to receive the news that Shafer will be an upcoming “Make A Wish” recipient! We are in the process of setting up our home interview with the dream committee assigned to Shafer’s case. How exciting, yet surreal, to think that we are now one of those families that I used to read about.

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