Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas Presence


It’s 3:45 am and my son is up. He’s ready to get this day started and he’s trying his best to let the whole house know about it.

This is typical with children on Christmas day, right? They’re excited to open presents, pour out their stockings and just play, play, play. Unfortunately, my Gideon doesn’t know it’s Christmas. You see, he’s blind and deaf and so really, this morning is just like any other…and right now, he just wants someone to come get him up.

Christmas is just different for me now that I have Gideon. You see I’ve been trying for the past 2 years to figure out ways to make Christmas special for my son who can’t experience this day like other kids. I’ve bought everything from dog toys to special needs toys; and what I’ve finally come to realize is that Christmas presents will never be special for him because that’s not what my son’s heart desires.

It’s finally so obvious to me, that the gift my son desires the most is one that cannot be bought and yet it’s worth far more than anything that can be bought. You see Gideon doesn’t want our presents, he just wants our presence.

He longs for a person to rescue him from the quiet, darkness that (while he’s on this earth) plagues him. Fancy paper that feels cool and toys that vibrate- those can never compete with his need for our physical presence. And why should it? We were created with a need to be in the presence of love.

On this Christmas day it’s my hope that you, like my son, will understand that your Christmas presence is needed so much more than your Christmas presents. I hope you willing choose to see past the flashy media version of what today really represents. Because more than 2000 years ago, God sent the greatest present that humanity has ever known….and it came in the form of His presence. Jesus, the Son of God, came down to light the way and rescue us from the darkness that would otherwise forever plague us.

Embrace His presence today.. and everyday after.

Merry Christmas!


“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12

Gideon’s Homemade Wheelchair

This past Summer we attended an event put on by RISE Adaptive Sports. There we met some of the most amazing people and families. One of those was the Rose family.

Brian and Heather Rose have two children and their youngest Abel, has spina bifida. To say their sweet boy is an inspiration would be a huge understatement. You can’t help but be drawn in by his beautiful eyes and strong spirit. One look at him and you’ll forever question any doubt or complaint you’ve ever had about your own life or abilities.

We have been so encouraged by Abel and all that he’s accomplished in just 3 years of life. While Gideon’s diagnosis is completely different from Abel’s, the Rose family has reached out and loved us as if we were part of their family. They took it upon themselves to make Gideon a homemade wheelchair, just like the one they made for their own son. Talk about raw talent!!

Laynie & Abel with Gideon’s new chair!

We met up with the Rose family last night and they presented us with Gideon’s homemade wheelchair, pictured above. Unfortunately Gideon was passed out  tired and we weren’t able to get him in the photo. Upon arriving home, Gideon was wide awake and so we decided to put him in his new chair.


At first he seemed pretty content (he has a regular bumbo seat that he’s familiar with). But because it was so late, we were only able to work with Gideon for about 15 minutes before he had had enough. If you go to my Facebook Page you can watch a video from his first time in the chair. He only manipulated the wheels for a few seconds, but it was really heartwarming to watch.

We absolutely love the Rose family and are so grateful that Brian took the time to fashion this chair for our little man. It turns on a dime and I would put it up against anything the medical companies manufacture.

It just goes to show you that there are amazing people in our world willing to do so much for others. We are blessed to know so many of them, including Abel and his family.

If you’d like to know more about the Rose family and what sport Abel is doing this month, you can follow them on Facebook. Also, if you have an athlete with a disability, check out the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Santa Photo: Why ours is the best

One week ago, I took the kids to the ECI Christmas Party and we had a really good time. Laynie decorated cookies and made cards. She even helped her brother get an elf tattoo and they both made ornaments.


It was cool to see Gideon’s therapists and caseworker outside of our house! We absolutely love these ladies and appreciate everything they do for our little man.


But the best part for me was the Santa photo below. And I think you’ll laugh too when I tell you why ours is the best.


Just to clarify, our oldest has never been interested in Santa in years past. Mostly because she always seemed to be afraid of him; plus we’ve always emphasized the birth of Jesus as the reason for Christmas. So we made the decision last year to tell her that Santa isn’t real and that it is just something people pretend. We used the example of the princesses at Disney World and how those girls are just regular people dressed up like the story book characters.

I realize by admitting that, we may not be the popular pick for play dates around this time of year and that’s okay. I’ve been working with Laynie on the reasons why it’s not our job to tell others that Santa isn’t real. And so far she’s been really good. In fact, at this particular Christmas party she kept looking over at Santa. The first couple of times I asked her, “Do you want to take a picture with him?” she replied no. But then after a few minutes she said, “Mom, I think I do want to and don’t worry, I won’t tell the other kids in line that he’s not real.”

So with that, we headed over to the line for our first official Santa photo. Of course Gideon doesn’t always sit still and he has a tendency to pull on anything he can grab. So while my daughter may not reveal Santa’s true identity, I started to worry that my son would. I became concerned that Gideon would grab Santa’s beard (after all he loves beards!) and ruin Santa for all the children present. So with that horrifying scenario playing in my mind, I searched the diaper bag to see if we had any toys. Unfortunately for us, the z-vibe was dead…leaving only one option.  So I reluctantly handed over the only toy which is a 100% guarantee that Gideon will sit still AND keep his hands to himself.

Yup, the pink bath ball.

If you don’t know the story behind the bath ball, let me briefly explain. Gideon hits himself in the head because he’s blind and severely deaf; therefore, Gideon loves vibrating toys. Unfortunately, all toys that vibrate consistently (without manipulation) are hard and leave bruises on his head when he hits himself.

So, thanks to a dear friend (who shall remain nameless), we learned about the Bath Ball by Pure Romance and we quickly ordered one. It vibrates consistently…it’s soft…and it’s WAY cheaper than any adaptive toy I’ve ever found.

Have you put the pieces together yet?

An adult toy is part of our Santa photo.


I can’t help but laugh! Never in a million years, would I have predicted a photo like this. And no, I’m not ashamed because after all, it’s completely innocent. I smile every time I see our Santa photo and it’s my hope that it makes you smile as well.

Merry Christmas from the Jolicoeurs!


PS: If this blog post offended you, please take a deep breath and remember this- With the exception of his daddy’s beard, that pink ball brings my son more joy than any other toy he possesses.  Blessings! 🙂