Saturday, August 30, 2008


Due to not much time and lots of other things to write about I won't be able to write too much about my trip to California. It was a wonderful trip and I wish I could have stayed much longer, but couldn't. :( Also...I didn't get ANY pictures which is so sad, but thanks to some friends I have a few to post from the premiere.

Well first off, we went to CA and the first day there we went to Disneyland and to an Angel's baseball game! It was so much fun! I loved Disneyland and California Adventures. Since my bday was around that time, they gave me a big bday button to wear so I had MANY b-day
wishes from the staff there! :P
So then Saturday, was the big day! Mandy and I went early with David Ingrassano to pass out little postcards with information on them and helped get some things ready for the premiere. It was such an exciting day for us. We both went to get our hair done and both ended up hating it! lol I guess CA is into the "big hair" and I'm SO not into it! ;) I have one VERY embarrassing pic I could post, but I'll save myself the embarrassment! So anyway, then it was time for the big showing. A little before hand Zack Lawrence and his fiance Natalie came with her family and Nathan Daher and his family showed up. We had it planned that the 4 of us (Mandy, Zack, Nathan and I) would join forces and make one youtube video. :) So, we filmed that just a little before the reception started and had a blast. Zack actually just finished today editing it, so it's
now available to see! If you haven't seen any of our other youtube video's though, it might not make TOO much sense! ;)

So, then it was time for the showing! I of course was super nervous but also anxious to see the film myself. Mandy and I sat up really high in the theater hoping no one would hear us cry that way. Our plan DIDN'T work! ;) There were many parts in the film that I "lost" it. Not just a little cry but sobbing, because I had forgotten I what I said at the time, and going back to seeing all of it on footage and one point me saying, "If my Mom dies, I won't be mad at God, but I'll be really confused" It's weird seeing that now, because it's so true. I thought for sure she would be healed and I by reading the bible, I felt like in scripture I could be assured of her healing, so that's why I was left confused. :( And to be honest, I am still confused....

Well, after the showing they had a panel on stage for a Q&A time. Many people asked questions to David and Dr. Donsbach. Thankfully I was only asked one or two they made it easy for me! :)

I think the most rewarding thing about having this movie done is that others are able to see and "get to know" my Mom. I was so worried at first that others will just see my sick Mom and not the real treasure and blessing she was. But, I was wrong...I had several people come up to me after the movie and explain that my Mom's testimony through the film was an encouragement and blessing to them and that they could see my WELL Mom in there. :) I had one person write and say, "I wish I could have met your mom, just from the little I saw in the movie, it seems like she really loved people, and was a real bright spot in the midst of whatever situation she was in." This person didn't even know my Mom and it was SUCH a blessing to read this and see that even though he didn't know her, this was evident in the film. :) Praise God!

Well also I wanted to say that Mandy and I are SOOO thankful to Frank and Patti Carter, our aunt and uncle. They had us stay with them in CA and took us to the game and to Disneyland and then did whatever we needed for the premiere, they were such a blessing! WE wish so much they lived closer to us and we could spend more time with them! Love you guys! :)

(pictures by Nathan Daher...thanks!)

Monday, August 25, 2008


First of all...just wanted to say I've been HIJACKED!!! As you see from my last post "somebody" posted on here... :) Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone though! :) I'll say, that post "somebody" did was QUITE the show, HORRIBLE pictures and well...yea. Anyway, I've had a lot on my mind since the premiere and wanted to post what I wrote while on the here goes.

As I'm on the plane right now I can't sleep because I have so much on my mind. The word "HERO" keeps coming to mind. This guy came up to me at the premiere and started crying saying I was a hero to him. This humbled me to a point that is hard to describe. I am no hero, I have accomplished nothing, I don't live a life worthy of those to look up to, but this young manyr eally got me thinking because I sat back and thought of those heroes to me. My Mom first of all, she lived a life worthy of praise and through her journey with cancer, she was a living testimony. She always had an eternal perspective and even with this film, she only wanted it done because she wanted God to be glorified and it to bless others. My MOM is my hero. Also, our Savior Jesus Christ. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for US, sinners. He conquered death and reigns in heaven. What's so "eye-opening" to me is the fact that both Jesus and my Mom were willing to die for others to "save" them. When my Mom was diagnosed she said to me, "Danielle, maybe God has to take me to save your Dad, is it worth it?" It WAS to my Mom, my Dad's salvation meant more to her than her life on earth. That in my eyes is heroic. So back to my main point...What that guy said to me hit me so hard because it almost made me feel guilty. I want to live a life worthy of being considered a hero, but I'm not. I'm not sure I'd be willing to die for others and I don't think there are others who look at my life and see Christ radiating. I'm so very weak and only by the grace of God have I gotten through this already. But it is my goal to become more like my heroes in my life and I encourage you all to examine your lives and think of your heroes. Ultimately think of Christ, how do we measure up?

(As soon as I get pictures from the premiere I'll be posting about that!)

It's Danielle's Birthday!!

So how about everybody leave a comment and tell her that you hope her day is SUPER!! :) AND I think you might be interested in seeing my blog post that I did for her. Check it out here. :)

Happy 20th Birthday Danielle! Love you!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's going on....

Well, I haven't given a general update for quite some time now, so this is going to be one of those quick posts just to let you all know what's going on. :) Mandy and I are packing our bags now to leave for CALIFORNIA tonight! The premiere for ILLEGAL HOPE is this Saturday, in Orange County, so David Ingrassano is flying us out so we will be able to attend. As you probably know we are very excited, although it's a bitter sweet ocassion for us. We know there will be many tears, but also incredibly happy that the movie is finished and my Mom's story is out there. Praise God!

Anyway, we leave tonight and then fly home on Sunday late at night. Then on Wednesday we are leaving again for Chicago. Mandy and I were trying to figure out what to do for my birthday and well, we kept thinking Six Flags, here in St. Louis. Well it turned out there was a homeschool day at the six flags in Chicago. A group of friends of ours are all going and so we decided to jump in and join them! We've never been to Chicago so I'm pretty excited about that as well! We were going to take a train, but we went to get our tickets too late so looks like we'll be driving up there...pray for us!! :S We'll be there 'till Friday and then back to normal life again.
So if my blog seems desolate, you'll know why, but for sure I'll be doing a post on the movie premiere and MIGHT have a little video to show you from there too! (just maybe) Keep checking back and see! Also, if you haven't seen my photo blog there are more pictures on there. Lots more of Luke and some just general pictures. :)

Oh, side news...Mandy and I also got our hair cut! Mandy's is just super cute! :) She got it all chopped off, but she looks really cute and much older in my opinion. Maybe I'll post a picture! ;) Oh, and I just got bangs and many more layers and some off the length! :)

Well, there ya go! That's the scoop on me! :) Not TOO much going on.... :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


August 14th, 2006...just a normal day I'm sure for most of you. Some at school or work, some of you on vacation, some of you at home just going about normal things, but not me. That was the day I heard the news that has changed my life forever. We were at St. Joseph's Hospital when the doctor walked in and confirmed that the masses in my Mom's brain were cancerous and that she had only one year left to live. I can't even begin to write to explain the reaction that came to hearing this. I was sitting on the hospital bed with my Mom and immediately she started to cry and I started to scream. I felt like I was in a movie, it didn't seem real to me. How could MY Mom have cancer and die? That night is pretty much a blur to me, except I remember screaming, "You can't die, you can't leave me!" And then leaving to go home that night about killed me. Although I knew she'd be okay, it almost felt like I was losing her then. I went home after that and journaled right away, knowing this would be one of the hardest days of my life.
Here are a few entries from before being diagnosed to the day she was.

August 9th
Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the day you gave me. It was pretty much a day of rest. Thank you mostly for giving me joy. God, please heal Mom of her headaches. Let her never have another one and I will tell her it was from prayers. Please God, give me many more years with my Mom. Help her to be in healthy condition. Thank you for blessing me with a great family.

Love, Danielle

August 12th

Dear God,

Thank you for this day and for introducing us to the Crains. Please God, help Mrs. Crain, give her wisdom to know how to make wise decision with her family. Thank you for having Rebecca talk to us. She is such a sweet girl. Bless her also. Help the rest of the Crain children to cope with their father's loss. Please God, help Mom with her communication problems. Please don't let anything be wrong. I dcouldn't make it without her, well, it would be very hard. Help her to not feel stupid when it happens and help her to have no pain. Give her peace.
Love, Danielle

August 13th
Dear Lord,

Oh what a day I've had. I didn't even imagine it would be this hard to find out about Mom. Please God, watch over Mom and protect her. Heal her of the mass in her brain. Make a miracle happen God. Help me to stay strong through all of this and be an example to Mandy. Give Mom, David and all of us good rest tonight. Thank you for all my family. For us all being able to pull together and be with Mom through this time. You know God how much I love her. Maybe this is a result for me asking you to help me trust fully in you. Help me to honor you through all of this.
Love, Danielle

August 14th
Dear God,
I think this is the second hardest day of my life. The hardest will be when Mom's day comes. Please Lord, work a miracle. Heal her of the cancer. Oh please God, give me strength Lord to be strong through this and to totally trust you for every breath. Please God, heal my Mom, let her live a long time. Give us all peace about this and continue to give my Mom peace. God, help me to be the Mom that Mom is. Let me live up to be in her shoes Have mercy on my Mom. Thank you for my family and for bringing us all together. Heal all of our pain and rescue us from this turmoil. Please give my Mom longer. I need her, we all need her. Give us all good rest tonight and bless the rest of the time I have with my Mom. Make every moment honoring to you.
Love, Danielle

Well now being two years since Mom was diagnosed, so SO much has changed. I live somewhere new, have jobs, new friends, new brother, new interests, new standards. Part of that scares me, because I feel like life should have stayed the same, it was the way it was when she was here, it was familiar...but it needed to change. Not too long ago I was scared and worried that my Mom would be displeased with how my life is now and since then the Lord has really been drawing my heart completely to Him. I know that I wont ever be able to mimic the relationship that my Mom had with jesus, but I pray that my heart is a little closer than it was to being like hers...fully devoted to Him. My Mom is my role model and always will be. No one in this world will ever seem to compare, I just wish so much she was back here with me. It feels like she was the only one to truly love me, and I miss that, complete unconditional, genuine love. I took that for granted before August 14th, 2006, but now I realize it. And as bad as I want my Mom back, I KNOW she's in a better place. She lived her life in hopes of "going home"soon. She looked to that reward daily and just couldn't wait to see Jesus in glory! So it's not that I cry because of her, but for me...I'm selfish, I want her, I NEED HER! But God is in control of everything and since He took her home, I can only believe it was His plan, His timing, and HIS WILL and that he has reasons. Reason I may not understand, but reasons nonetheless.

Last year on this day I wrote a blog post all about my "well" Mom, since you may not have seen it, I'll post some of it here. Maybe you'll get a glimpse at how amazing she was!

"Growing up, my Mom had to raise us 4 kids, pretty much on her own. She did it so selflessly too. She spent her time going to school and working to provide us with an education and life that she thought would please us. We weren't the richest, or most organized, but we were definitely a family and I loved it! Not until recently did I realize how much she did for us...and how much she gave up for us...for us to be happy and to be like the other kids...even when our checkbook didn't want to permit it!

Then my Mom had the greatest joy of her life...or so she told me....she married David and got to stay home with Mandy and me and
home school us! She taught me something that was so valuable...She did more college than most people and had SO many different jobs but her true joy and contentment came from being home with her kids and being a loving wife. Right before my Mom got sick...I was struggling with wanting to go to college...I cried almost everyday, finding myself, longing to go away to school...when I expressed this to my Mom, her heart went out...she couldn't stress to me enough, that this world has nothing to offer us. My flesh wants to go away, but was that what God wanted for me? She went that route and found her joy coming from being home. I'll tell you the first it was hard for me, but now I can say 100% that I have NO desire to go to school...I have the desire my Mom had...and I know that my contentment will come through that. This was one major lesson my Mom taught me.
When we were being interviewed for our movie, the reporter was asking what my Mom was like, and what she liked to do...the question stumped was quite embarrassing...I'm not sure if we were caught off guard or just at loss for words...but now I can come up with plenty! My Mom was a joy to be around. She would light up a room wherever she went. She was open and honest with everyone...she shared her heart and hoped others would be encouraged with what she had to say. She was smart, talented, beautiful, loving, caring, and funny! When we would go grocery shopping she would dance down the aisles sometimes...she knew it embarrassed me SO much...but she knew it would get me to laugh also. :) She had a way of getting me out of my rotten moods...I miss that...I miss everything about her. Also, my Mom had a heart for the Lord that was like no matter what the cost...she served the Lord. Oh....I can barely even write this...Umm... it amazed me how she could submit so easily and change if she knew that was what God wanted..and I know it must not have been easy, but she knew she had to make it look easy, for us to follow...she was our role model, and if she behaved that way, we had a better chance of doing that... My Mom's faith was great too...after she got diagnosed, maybe 3 days later, we were sitting in her hospital room and I had been pretty upset...and she looked at me and said, "Danielle, what if God has to take me, to save your Dad? Is it worth it?" I couldn't bare it...I said No! I wanted her! My Dad could be saved some other way....I know it was selfish and wrong of me, but my Mom was EVERYTHING to me, my life. But she loved the Lord so much and trusted Him, she knew He had a plan, if he were to take her. She did know that much........ I could go on and on I'm sure about my Mom, but I think it's just getting me more and more upset...maybe I shouldn't have done this....I pray that through this post you will be encouraged by my Mom's testimony. The life she lived was one for Jesus and now she is living with Him. It breaks my heart knowing that, but also I can rejoice because soon I'll be there with day! And I'm sorry for all of you who never knew my Mom, I wish you could have and I pray that through this blog you will learn a little about her and see her love for the Lord!"

Oh, I miss you So much Mom and I will love you forever!

Love, Danielle

Friday, August 08, 2008

More Coming Soon...

HE IS HERE!!!!!!! My NEW baby brother Luke was born yesterday at 2:38 am. He is more cute than I can explain, so you'll just have to go look at my other blog to see some pictures. I'll be posting them here as well, but I have no time right now. I'll explain more about the day later also!

Hope you like the pictures!!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Please don't forget her...

I am really having a hard time tonight. I can't exactly explain what triggered this, but I'll tell you this much, it's VERY hard for me. It seems like everyone can just replace my Mom. If she was your friend, you can get a new friend, if she was just another lady at church, there will be MORE ladies at church, if she was a teacher, you can get a new teacher, if she was a wife, you can get a new wife, but......if she was YOUR MOM, you can't get a new one. ;( I wish it was that easy where I could just go get someone that could fill in, or be just like her, but it's impossible. I'm at the point tonight that I am just wishing I could not be alive, so I could be with my Mom. I just want to see her, hug her, talk to her, tell her everything. My Dad asked me this morning if I thought she could see us from Heaven, and I really just don't know. I sure hope so, I wish she knew how much I missed her, how much I love her, how I long to be with her again, but a part of me can't believe that she knows that.

Someone asked me recently if I had pictures of my Mom when she wasn't sick. And the answer is yes, but I am not sure where they are at. I'm on a laptop right now and was looking through some pictures, but they are all from her being sick. Looking at them is hard for me, but I'm going to post some. I know you all see the same ones, and you probably get bored seeing them over and over, but I cherish these pictures so much, they are my last memories of her..... ;(