Monday, October 26, 2009

Brae speaks at Skyball vii

I had to post this as I had NO pictures of Brae speaking. Only a video. Thanks to Missy Hedad who was so sweet to send me this picture. More info on this event below for your viewing pleasure.
How fortunate are we that Braelyn got ANOTHER speaking oppurtunity? Mike Hogg let us know about a month or 2 ago that the Snowball Express would like for Braelyn to represent them at Skyball, a fundraising Gala that raises money for Military Initiatives. It was AWESOME! On Friday, Braelyn and I got gussied up, with much fuss over what to wear,LOL! They had sort of a Skyball pre-party for all the volunteers of both Snowball and Skyball. It was an AMAZING party.There were awesome bands, great food, and even Tony Orlando was there. Steve Amerson, America's Tenor performed a couple beautiful numbers as well! I also got a chance to meet lots of new faces.

{ Steve Amerson takes the stage. His voice is like butta. That's why, when you GOOGLE America's tenor, his name is the one you find! }

{While at the party there were times we felt like little bitty fish in a massive ocean, as we knew only a couple people there. BUT THEN... Braelyn found Natalie and Savannah a mom and daughter whom she met at Disneyland 2 years ago, who are also Snowball Families. }

{I have to be honest. This is my first encounter with someone who has faced the brutality of war} It hits you for a second and then you have to remind yourself...}

THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM LOOKS LIKE. This is what freedom costs. Legs. Somebody's legs.

How lucky were we to get out of our "EVERYTHING IS FINE" shells and get a picture with reality?

{ Me, B, and Mr. Tie-A-Yellow-Ribbon-Round-The-Old-Oak-Tree. }

Tony Orlando was so sweet. He does a lot for soldiers. He went to Iraq and performed for the soldiers as well as helped the children of Iraq get school supplies and new shoes. Awesome!

Couldn't pass up another hero photo oppurtunity.

While I waited in line for a drink,

I overheard these guys swappping stories about recent deployments.


Brae and I called it a night around 10:30,

so she could get plenty of rest before her speech the next day.
The next morning Luke and I decided to surprise Daddy and Sissy with breakfast.

Okay, so Daddy and Sissy did end up helping with breakfast.Helps if you wake up early when you wanna surprise people. We had fun. Jas is a breakfast master. We also had pumpkin pancakes but I forgot to get a picture of them before they were inhaled! It was all very yummy.

After breakfast, Brae and I got cleaned up and headed to rehearsal. She got an oppurtunity to check out the place she would be speaking at. We hitched a ride on a cart from our car to bay 4 at the hanger. When we rolled in, we were floored! Table after table were decorated beautifully!The hanger doors were open letting in a slice of the beautiful day we were having on each side of the room. Brae's word was WOW. As soon as we located Jim Palmershine, Brae hopped on stage and began reading through her notes on the podium.

{ Here the stage manager told her to speak loud into the mic.}

Captain Steve Blankenship, also in charge of Skyball, gave Brae a very special pep talk. He showed Brae pictures of his grown girls telling her how proud he is of each of them. He said each of them are very special inside and out. As he proceeded to go through the pictures, I was reminded that Brian will never be able to go through his pictures and do the same. Brian will never get to say, "Look world. This is my daughter. I am so proud of her. She is a doctor. She is a mother. She and her husband do this or that. "

Captain Blankenship told Brae she too was a special girl inside and out.To rely on the Lord for strength and let him say what He needs to say through her. Her experience is unique and could provide healing for so many in a similar situation. I appreciated him so much! We had been praying that the Lord WOULD speak through her, so it was nice that he was praying the same thing.

This is the view from the podium. Pretty cool, huh?

{300 tables, 3000 chairs}

{What? Me? Nervous? Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.

After rehearsal, we decided on a manicure.

{Pretty Flowers}

On to the Big Show!

They rolled out the red carpet for the guests. We were greeted by friendly American Airlines employees who were volunteering their time to make this event SUPERB!

Braelyn with Micki and Bob Sander. Also, in the Cowboy Hats, a hero and his bride.

As we got seated, we were told they would be parking a plane in the hanger so we all needed to clear the building.

We stepped out to a lovely clear evening complete with beautiful sunset amidst historical planes and current American Airlines jets.

{Julie Hanley and Brae stop for a pic}

We all mingled and soaked in the beauty and splendor that was in the air. This in itself was enough to send me home fufilled.

{Taking turns posing with the old AA plane.}

{Jim Palmershine leading in the plane in a penguin suit! LOVE IT!}

{ Brae got to meet John Ratzenberger, Cliff the Postman, from Cheers}

Julie posing with the band, whose music added just the right amount of glamour and dazzle to the wait outside.


The moment we have all been waiting for....

Gary Senise and Tony Orlando (who is not Geraldo Rivera.)

One of the cool things about Snowball are the volunteers. Shirley Evatt, a flight attendant for American met Braelyn and Jocelyn on their first trip to Disney and remembered Brae!! As soon as Brae sat down this lovely lady followed us with her eyes back to our seats and gave Brae a HUGE hug!! She is one reason why Snowball Express makes a difference in children's lives. She made Braelyn feel soo valued, that I heard about her as soon as Brae got off the plane.

Gary Senise. What more can I say. Most may not realize but that name symbolizes so much patriotism. He and Tony Orlando greeted every soldier after he got off the plane with a handshake. He has started OIC, Operation International Children. They collect school supplies and needs for children in Iraq and abroad. He also founded the Lt. Dan Band, a patriotic Band that has played at both of the Snowball Events Brae has attended. Soldiers can rest knowing that someone is always routing for them.

{Brae and I with a member of the Historic Plane Museum.}

{Buck Kern, one of the first people I met at the Dallas City Hall Press Conference, recieved an award for his help with the Snowball Express.}

{Bob and Micki Sander also won an award for their help with this fantastic organization. She introduced Brae at Dallas City Hall.}

Braelyn and Santa. This Santa will be greeting kids at the airport as he has for years.}

{Brae and Mike Hogg, who was so sweet to give Braelyn this INCREDIBLE oppurtunity.}


All in all it was a GLORIOUS Evening. A wonderful way to celebrate the eve of Brae's Daddy's 37th Birthday!