family & friends


Through His People

I have heard the voice of God,
I have seen his face.
I have felt the strength of his hands
and known his warm embrace
I have experienced God’s presence and now I understand,  That he loves me through his children, for they are his voice and hands

Poem by Frank Carpenter

We are so thankful for the many friends and family members that are on this ALS journey with us. We have felt so loved, supported and cared for by so many of you. Your prayers, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, gifts, cards, meals, donations, trips, conversations and visits have all blessed our entire family.

We have been keeping a “Blessing and Miracle” book where we are writing the many ways you have blessed us and God has provided miracles. Here are a few of those blessings and miracles.

Sept/Oct/Nov 2012

  • Meals are prepared in love and delivered to our home 3x a week.
  • The gift of housekeeping 1x a week.
  • Lots and lots of prayer.
  • Living expense donations Sept, Oct and Nov,
  • Yard and garden care provided.
  • Halloween dinner and fellowship provided.
  • Van transportation provided.
  • Visits from friends and family.
  • Andrea still able to work at Mariners Church Bookstore
  • The Elders came and prayed with us.
  • Peter was able to celebrate Ryans 30th birthday with him.
  • A friend provided a 1- year anniversary getaway for Rob and Chelsea.
  • Peter is still able to smile despite weak facial muscles.
  • We are still enjoying time together in the sunshine in our backyard garden( it was planted by friends for Peter’s birthday.)



July/August 2012

  • Meals are prepared in love and delivered to our home 3x a week.
  • We are having a peaceful summer at home surrounded by family and friends.
  • Even though Peter is struggling with breathing we are keeping him comfortable and resting.
  • Andrea’s sisters came to help me care for Peter for a week while our caregiver John was on vacation. It was so helpful and we also managed to have some fun sister time too.
  • The yard and garden work is being taken care of by friends.
  • The Garden of love birthday surprise for Peter was more than we could have ever planned or imagined. See the post and pictures on this day.
  • Peter and I celebrated our 33 wedding anniversary with a backyard candlelight dinner. My sisters served the dinner and Peter and I reminisced on our years together. It was a lovely date.
  • Birthday dinner for our entire family was prepared and delivered by Tina Drake, it was delicious. We made a toast to Peter and affirmed him for what we love about it. There were some tears but mostly joy over Peter and his life and legacy.
  • John our caregiver and Hospice are helping Andrea with Peter’s care giving. We are so thankful for them and their compassionate hearts.
  • We have received donations for our living expenses for this these months, what a blessing.
  • Andrea is now able to work from home to be with Peter more at this time.

April/May 2012

  • Meals are prepared in love and delivered to our home 3x a week.
  • We are sleeping very well at night, thank you for your prayers
  • The diet changes are helping Peters digestive system.
  • We are having peaceful days together, much spent in the backyard.
  • Peter is having good visiting time with the kids, it makes his heart so happy.
  • We had special visitors from Washington state, Andrea’s Mom and sisters, Patti, and Jeff Busch.
  • Our help from hospice is working our well, we appreciate them.
  • The yard and garden are being taken care of.
  • We are receiving donations towards our living expenses each month.
  • Andrea is still able to work at the bookstore and care for Peter.
  • We listen to encouraging emails from friends and family on Peter’s Dynavox.
  • The gift of housecleaning…. this is such a help
  • Friends are stopping by to encourage Peter and visit with him.

Feb/March 2012

  • Meals are prepared in love and delivered to our home 3x a week.
  • The yard and garden are being taken care of.
  • The Share the Care group had a Superbowl party for Peter, it was a wonderful time to reconnect with about 75 people attending. It was held at Geoff and Luci Moores.
  • Our neighbor has been replenishing groceries as needed.
  • We have had friends come over to visit with us. Peter loves this.
  • We saw an amazing sunset in front of our house with our neighbors.
  • The kids are stopping by to visit on a regular basis. It is so great to be with them.
  • We are receiving donations towards our living expenses each month.
  • We have had sunny saturday mornings in our backyard, so peaceful.
  • Andrea is still able to work at the bookstore and care for Peter.
  • We listen to encouraging emails from friends and family on Peter’s Dynavox.
  • Special visitor dinners are wonderful, we get to visit with friends and Andrea has someone to eat with.
  • The gift of housecleaning…. this is such a help
  • The men from Peter’s bible study came for a visit and brown bag lunch.
  • A friend repaired and cleaned our duvet cover after it was torn by the wheelchair.
  • Hospice team seems really great and we are adjusting to them.
  • John continues to take great care of Peter with love and kindness.

November 2011

On November 4th we had a wedding for our daughter Chelsea and her fiance Rob. It was a wedding of miracles, and people helping to make it happen. We never could have done it without their help. We are so thankful. Here are just some of the of the blessings and miracles:

  • Overall organization of wedding details, schedules,setup, cleanup,errands and million other things…Leslie Ammerman
  • Flowers for the entire wedding, chapel and reception and decorations…Tina Drake, Wendy, Turney, Jackie Chinn, Sherry,Mae Wheeler, Terry Lawson, Kathy Artz and others.
  • Hagen Das Ice Cream cakes…Wayne and Cathy Heck
  • Brides/bridesmaid lunches, name tags, table squares…Lisa Jones and Jeanne Curtis
  • Chalk board art…Bruce Covenington
  • Olive trees for the chapel…Mike at Village Nurseries
  • Music for the ceremony…Rocky and Stacey Robbins
  • Sweet and Salty table, after BBQ…Andrea’s sisters, Mom and Andrew and Julie
  • Father/daughter dance video…Casi Smith
  • Wedding cake…Grandma Betty
  • Help with Peter’s caregiving during the wedding…John
  • Photography…Doreen Nash and Luci Jewess
  • Ceremony…Pastor Bucky Dennis
  • setup/cleanup…Leslie Casserly, The Cunninghans,and others.
  • Wedding coordinator…Yoli Brogger.
  • Limo for the wedding party…Bob and Connie Donegan
  • Reception venue…wonderful friends

We are so grateful to these people and the others not listed here for their giving hearts and helpful hands…thank you

October 2011

  • Our son Ryan turned 29 and we had a wonderful time with him and the family.
  • We took walks around Balboa and above Crystal Cove
  • Peter’s guy friends came over to play cards with him
  • Peter is still smiling and shining God’s love through it. His smile is his ministry of joy to others in the midst of a storm.
  • The yard and garden  is being taken care of by the Rhodes, thank you Terry and Gene.
  • Housekeeping and meals 2x weekly are such a gift to us.
  • We received some donations towards our living expenses

September 2011

  • Peter is still smiling and shining God’s love through it. His smile is his ministry of joy to others in the midst of a storm.
  • The yard and garden  is being taken care of by the Rhodes, thank you Terry and Gene.
  • Housekeeping and meals 2x weekly are such a gift to us.
  • We received some donations towards our living expenses.
  • Andrea is still able to work at Mariners and keep her schedule flexible enough to be with Peter.
  • John is taking excellent care of Peter while Andrea is at work. He also a big help to Andrea with household stuff.
  • Peter is able to use his eyegaze system and now his iphone apps to communicate. Thank you to Troy for developing the iphone as another communication device controlled by the eyes.
  • We are able get out and go to church and take walks above Crystal cove because of the van. Thank you to the Vance’s and the Moore’s. Every time we get in the van we are so grateful for your gift.

August 2011

  • Peter is still smiling and shining God’s love through it.
  • The kids and I got to celebrate Peter’s 54th birthday with him.
  • Housekeeping and meals 2x weekly are such a gift to us.
  • Peter and I celebrated our 32 anniversary at a beautiful outdoor setting, overlooking a lake. It was so peaceful.Thank you to Leslie and Doug Ammerman.
  • We received some donations towards our living expenses.
  • Peter still has some strength in his legs which makes it easier to transfer him.
  • Andrea is still able to work at Mariners and keep her schedule flexible enough to be with Peter.
  • John is taking excellent care of Peter while Andrea is at work. He also a big help to Andrea with household stuff.
  • Birthday dinner and table setting was delivered to the house by Tina, Merliee and Kim. It was wonderful and Peter was able to eat too (through his G-tube).
  • Our Rooted group came over to wish Peter a Happy Birthday, they brought cake, ice cream, and hugs.
  • Friends and family came over to wish Peter a Happy Birthday. He appreciates your visits to our home, ALS an be a very isolating disease.

July 2011

  • Summer evening visits by friends in our backyard.
  • Our daughter Chelsea is engaged to a wonderful young man, Rob.
  • Yard work, flower planting, sprinkler fixing by friends to spruce up the yard.
  • We received some donations to help supplement our income.
  • House cleaning and meals prepared in love are brought to the house.
  • God’s faithfulness to care for our family.
  • Peter still has his great smile.
  • Mark, Mary and family from Washington came for a nice visit.
  • We had a great year at the bookstore and we have an awesome staff.
  • John, Peter’s caregiver is taking excellent care of Peter when Andrea is at work.

June 2011

  • Meals, housecleaning and yardwork are taken care of by many of our special friends and the share the care group.
  • We were given a conversion van to transport Peter and his power wheel chair. We can now takes walks around Balboa and get out and about.
  • We received some helpful donations towards our living expenses.
  • Our daughter Chelsea is now engaged to be married to Rob.
  • We have been receiving many uplifting and encouraging emails on Peter eyegaze system.
  • Andrea is still able to work at the bookstore, she has scaled back her hours.
  • Peter’s caregiver John continues to be a blessing and great help to us.
  • We had uplifting visits with the Rhodes, Drakes, the Dennis’s, the Arnolds and our life group this month.
  • Peter’s guy friends came over for the once a month card game…he loves it.
  • We had an awesome and affirming Father’s day for Peter. The kids made Peter a touching video with music.
  • Susie left market fresh strawberries on our front porch.

May 2011

  • Dinners are delivered to the house 2x weekly.
  • John Cooke and his bible study helped us by having a work day at our home, cleaning, repairing, changing light bulbs and touching up paint.
  • The Rhodes continue to care for our yard and garden.
  • Peter’s smile is still intact even with weakening facial muscles. A blessing.
  • Girl friends continue to help with house work. Thank you !!
  • Surprise visit from ATO Brothers John and Jeff
  • Luci,( Andrea’s sister) Jay and family come to visit us for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Jenny(Peter’s sister) and kids come from Alaska for a visit.

April 2011

  • Cathy Heck delievered Peter’s favorite Haagen daz ice cream.
  • Tina and Merliee planted new spring flowers in our front yard flower beds.
  • The Cunninghams visited and brought Easter cookies.
  • We had Easter dinner provided for our entire family by Deanna, she also brought us beautiful tulips.
  • Our friend Bev gave us a Vitamix machine so we can blend real foods to go in Peter’s G-tube.
  • Dave and Kandi brought over their exercise machine for Andrea to use since she is not able to leave Peter to take her walks.
  • Chelsea got a full time job as a creative designer at Mariners Church, she works in the youth ministries area.
  • Peter has learned how to use his eye gaze system to speak. He is getting really good at it.
  • Tapps came over and sang worship songs to us right when we needed our spirits lifted.
  • We continue to get meals delievered to the house 2x a week.
  • The Rhodes continue to take care of our yard and pool.
  • The girls are still coming over 2x a month to help clean the house.
  • The girls took Andrea out on a duffy bay cruise for her birthday.
  • Sister Linda, Tracy  and then Patti came from Washington for a nice visit.
  • Jack, Cody and Joy came for a visit with Peter. They are long time friends and mentors of Peter from his Nordstom days.

March 2011

  • Our yard/pool continue to be taken care of by Gene and Terri Rhodes
  • Dinners are being prepared with love delivered 2x per week which really helpful on the days Andrea works.
  • We were treated to the play Wicked by our friend Beverly Trupp.
  • Our home is being cleaned 2x a month thanks to some “domestic divas” and David and Yvonne Riley.
  • Bucky Dennis and Charlie Spicer are visiting Peter at home and having prayer time with him.
  • We got a power wheel chair for Peter.
  • God continues to go before us and provide what is needed for the day. He is faithful everyday.
  • Jim and Ines Franklin are going to modify our home entries and doors so Peter can use his wheelchair in our home.
  • We are so thankful for the many prayers that are prayed on our behalf…thank you.

February 2011

  • Peter is able to attend a Breakfast club meeting with old friends.
  • Sitting at the beach with the sun on our faces.
  • Wonderful meals continue to be delivered by friends.
  • The Mckays provide a duffy ride and dinner to celebrate birthdays.
  • Andrea’s sister Mary and nieces come to visit.
  • People continue to pray for us and God is faithful each day.

January 2011

  • Meals being brought to the house continue (amazing meals)
  • Friends keep coming over to visit Peter and me
  • Peter has his feeding tube inserted, to continue getting 95% of his nourishment without choking.
  • Incredible comments keep coming up on the web site, which keeps Peter encouraged.
  • New Years is celebrated with close friends in Laguna.
  • Donations continue throughout the month, fulfilling every need.
  • Prayers are answered when Julie gets a new job.
  • Peter got to putt a few holes with Ryan.
  • John, a caregiver for Peter, is at the house while Andrea is at work.
  • The bookstore staff is doing a wonderful job when Andrea cannot be there.
  • God’s faithfulness everyday.
  • The guys have a card playing night with Peter.
  • A donation for an adjustable bed for Peter.
  • House cleaning from some domestic divas.
  • Yard and garden maintence.
  • Cards and letters of encouragement.
  • A matching grant is offered for donations.
  • Donations from friends and family.

December 2010

  • Our bedroom/bathroom remodel is finished and is beautiful. We are so thankful for this gift.
  • Tina  and Jean decorate our house and plant our front yard for Christmas.
  • The Scott and Mercedes delivered a beautiful live noble Christmas tree to our home.
  • Bev delivered a Christmas feast for our family gathering.
  • Peter’s Mom and Dad come visit for Christmas.
  • Helen cooked and delivered a Christmas eve dinner for our family.
  • The Share the Care group continues to spoil us by bringing dinners, house cleaning and helping with chores.
  • We recieved donations to help with our living expenses.
  • Frank sends us postcards with encouragement and poems.
  • Ryan and Julie put up our Christmas lights.
  • Our yard and pool are maintained through a donation from a family.
  • And so many more…thank you

November 2010

  • Share the Care group is formed and 75 people join together to help.
  • Meals prepared in love are delievered 3x a week to our house.
  • Friends install a new door so our garage stays dry.
  • Our house is cleaned weekly by friends.
  • Our yard and pool are cleaned up and maintained by a family,
  • Our bedroom and bathroom are being remodeled by a family.
  • We have been given finanical gifts.
  • Andrea’s Mom comes for a visit from Washington.

October 2010

  • A friend comes over and brings us lunch and a great time of prayer.
  • Fall is delivered to our house by friends; pumpkins are put on the doorstep and butternut squash soup and pumpkin dessert are put in the refrigerator.
  • Our friends from Arizona drive to our home to visit with us; they bring dinner, help us with backyard chores and we have a wonderful time of fellowship.

Prior Months

  • Meals are organized and brought to the house once a week.
  • A reunion of Peter’s ATO brothers was planned and 24 attended…They remembered good, old college days and renewed their friendships with Peter.
  • Insurance approved a Dynavox speaking machine.
  • Our family was treated to a trip to Cabo San Lucas with friends.
  • Peter’s positive spirit daily…even with all the physical challenges he is facing.
  • Friends and family from Washington State and Alaska came to spend time with us.
  • Our families help us with finances in times of need.
  • Friends have invited us to dinner at their homes and prayed with us.
  • Peter’s mind is not affected from the ALS, but remains sharp and alert.
  • Our CPA reduced our tax preparation fees.
  • ATO fraternity brothers planned a surprise trip to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia for Peter…which was a lifelong dream of his.
  • Peter was asked to caddy at the Masters Par Three Contest in Augusta… How cool was that?
  • God’s protection during our family travels this past year.
  • Our family was invited to spend the weekend in Napa with friends. We had an amazing healing prayer time with them.
  • The kindness and flexibility Andrea is offered with her job at Mariners Church.
  • The gentle and tender way God is caring for us through others.
  • Peter’s friends organize and play a monthly card game with him.
  • Peter received the gift of portable speech…an iPad from friends and family.
  • A medical insurance agent offers her time to help us wade through the mess of health care and Medicare issues.
  • Peter’s legs are still strong and we can still take short walks around Balboa Island.
  • Our extended families give our family a trip to Peter’s favorite city Florence, Italy.
  • My brother Andrew uses his airline miles to get send the entire family to Florence
  • A friend uses her connections with hotels to get us rooms in Florence.
  • Friends provide family get-a-ways to Sun Valley, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Priest Lake.
  • Andrea’s family provided a summer reunion that was fun for all.
  • Friends organized and helped with a birthday party for Peter. We had a time of affirmations for Peter.
  • A friend offers her time to clean Peter’s teeth as he needs it more often now.
  • Our friends make sure Peter has enough Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream in the freezer.
  • Ryan planned and took Peter on a fly fishing trip to Bishop. How happy was Peter?…Fly fishing with his son…Wonderful!
  • The miracle of the warm and healing sun on our faces when we sit in our backyard.
  • A group of men offer their advice and wisdom for our fund raising needs.
  • Another group of men came to the house to pray for healing for Peter.
  • Friends came over and played Scrabble and brought dinner for Peter while I was away.
  • We have had offers from friends to use their vacation home at the beach and in the mountains for family time…Spending time together as a family is so healing.
  • A friend repaired our doors to the backyard and made them easier for Peter to open.
  • An electrician repaired our kitchen outlets and didn’t charge us for his work.
  • A co-worker and friend prepared 3 soft dinner recipes for Peter and brought them to the house.
  • Peter’s ATO brothers purchased and pay monthly service fees for a personal emergency device for Peter to carry with him.

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