I've been trying to figure out how to share a recap of the first annual Hee Haw for Health. Honestly, I can't find the words...so I'm sharing what everyone else had to say about it. Because this wasn't about us anyway.
It was about the incredible health practitioners, doctors, and researchers who gave their knowledge, time, and hearts to our children...for free, for one day, at a Donkey Dairy in Oklahoma.
“This weekend was so special.💖 I flew back to Oklahoma to the @oklahomadonkeydairy for the most beautiful health event for children and families suffering from PANS/PANDAS, autism, RA and other similar conditions.✨ I was graciously chosen to speak to the 350 attendees on how proper nutrition can improve their lives. 🍎🥦🍑🥬 I had a jam packed schedule of complementary individual consults. These families received the info I was offering with open arms. 🙌🏼 💚
These families were some of the nicest people I have ever met and the kids were beyond precious. 🥰 Having the opportunity to improve people’s lives through natural health is my mission, so my cup is overflowing right now! 💗”
-Krystal Hammet, Functional Nutritionist @alternativewellnesssolutions
“More pictures from the Hee Haw for Health event we attended this past Saturday. They created a magical place! There were so many wonderful practitioners gathered together in one place to educate and support families with special needs children. We are excited for next year’s event!”
-Dr. Ben & Jessica Ray @radiantlifeokc
(Dr. Ray's tent was designed by Kasey Wood, another friend and volunteer.)
Mind Blowingly Amazing. And Free. Did I mention that? These doctors, researchers, and health practitioners all came, from around the world, and gave, from their hearts, for our kids.
"The practitioners were fantastic! They were extremely kind to our children, they listened, I mean REALLY LISTENED! And as we all know, that's what we are lacking in the medical community. They were talented. They purposeful in using their time wisely. Although, the time was minimal, I feel like we made more progress there than we have in the last 2 years amongst dozens of doctors! The time spent outdoors as a family was priceless, even though our PANDA was having a really rough day, we were in it together. Seeing all the families there, getting help, getting educated, knowing we are not alone in daily battle was overwhelming in so many ways. I felt healing taking place all around me and within our family. I am ever so thankful for all the volunteers, the time and effort it took to pull of this exceptional event that has and will continue to help families like ours. And I cannot thank you and your family enough. You all are the unsung heroes of this whole thing. From starting a donkey farm to helping hundreds of families. God has given you a vision and a voice. I pray you continue to use it for His glory and never allow doubters to bring you down. You have the highest calling, to help children and that calling only comes from one place, God himself. I love you sweet friend and I am forever thankful for everything you have done for our family!❤”---A PANDAS warrior mom
Oh yeah, did I mention the incredible presentations from Doctors, Health Practitioners, Researchers, and Speakers from around the world? At one point I was thinking "Ummm, this is cutting edge research that should be presented at a big International Symposium, and it's being shared in Oklahoma...at a Donkey Dairy."
Like Dr. Duarte, and his incredible research on donkey milk and the immune system. He and Marcos and Rute Couto came all the way from the Azores to Oklahoma...As in, the Azores Islands, as in the middle of the Atlantic, as in Portugal, as in Spain. For those that are awesome at world Geography, like me, that's part of Europe. Not South America. Not anywhere near Oklahoma. And that organic, beautiful place, is where our freeze dried donkey milk comes from. Just sayin.' ;)
Dr. Ross Solis. Another Okie with a big brain, and a bigger heart. I missed this presentation. Thankfully, we got it on video...thanks to Mark Chambers, our (yes) volunteer videographer and servant hearted friend.
Dr. Audra Fox. One of the brave MD's who's doing whatever it takes for our children to be well, in spite of the naysayers and serious persecution she gets for going against the grain, even if she gets a few splinters in the process.
Our Veterinarian, Dr. Schick, who adopted our farm, and in the process, adopted all of the families who drink our milk. He and his incredible wife designed and built those amazing benches around the fire pit, and have given countless hours to our farm, our donkeys, our family, and all our kids. He choked up in his presentation. Which made it my favorite, because it showed his heart for our little ones. And his heart for these big babies with long ears and quirky personalities. And all the sacrifices he has made for each of them.
(There were more incredible presentations, but somehow I didn't take a single picture that day...post pics in comments if you have them! I'll be sharing the videos of some of their speeches soon.)
April Bowen, a classical homeopath, came all the way from California to give these families her knowledge and skill. And Interior Designer Kelly Rhinehart decked out her tent, like the pro she is. I kind of want to live there.
Then there were the families that came for their children. Their words and their gratitude...from the mom who drove all the way from Minnesota, through a blizzard, passing semis in ditches and wrecks all over, to get to Oklahoma for one day of hope...and then thanked me with tears in her eyes.....to the mom and her son from Connecticut...and Texas...and Kansas...
To the mom of the little girl who spoke at the Oklahoma Capitol about PANDAS disease. The little girl who wasn't scared to tell everyone there that Donkey Milk and Colloidal Silver were the answer to their prayers.
So many people thanked us...but I tried to tell them, this wasn’t us. (Honestly, we never ever could have done this without a huge, God appointed army. Seriously. It would have been impossible.)
Incredible volunteers, donors, prayer warriors...making this happen. I could never thank all of them, or adequately express what each of them means to us. From balloons to planning to praying. They did it all.
Anne-Marie, who gives and gives and gives...from brushing donkeys to scooping poop, to dosing homeopathic remedies to our hard case donkeys. She sacrifices on a regular basis to make this farm go, to decorating tents for practitioners. She's one Amazing-ing Momma bear, and friend. And Wendy Mutz and her hubby, who made the amazing Hee Haw signs, and those incredible ribbon spinners that the kids loved so much...and who fosters donkeys for us and spoils them rotten.
So many, many friends, family, and strangers who became friends. They stepped up to make signs, and paint donkeys, and craft chair-deliers, and pick up sticks (so many, many sticks), and cut branches, and chain saw, and sweat, and laugh. They spent their Saturdays tearing down old, rusty grain bins, and putting them back together again on our farm...and somehow making them look like cool gazebos, instead of like old, rusty, grain bins.
Who knew that ribbons hanging from a tree could be so much fun?
(Pro photos in this post by Chris Baker Photography.org who also volunteered her time and talents for our kiddos. @ChrisBakerPhotography www.ChrisBakerPhotography.org )
And even our peeps from @PlentyMercantile came out to support us! On a Saturday, their busy day at the store!! Precious.
Oh, and the giant, artist built chair from Miranda and Todd Harlin...beatiful, and sturdy (so many kids thought this was a giant jungle gym and climbed it like monkeys! Mine included.)
And a legit Saint Nic...who volunteered his time, for free, and so sweet and thoughtful...He called to ask me ahead of time if candy canes were ok, or if stickers and coins would be better for these kiddos. No to the candy canes...because, artificial dye and sugar and inflammation. Yes, to the stickers and coins. Precious, big hearted man. I never believed in Santa Claus, until I met @SantaOklahoma.
Kramer, the giant mammoth donkey, being good. Thank goodness. (And those skirts my girls were wearing! My sweet momma made them. In case you thought I was sewing skirts in my spare time...I wasn't. That's all Grandma Eileen.)
That moment before Santa scared the pants off of me.
And I forgave him. Because, he's Santa.
The man behind the donkey milk. He works tirelessly for our children, braving the elements to get milk for kiddos who need it. My hubby, the hard working half of this duo.
My girls and Saint Nic, and the giant chair.
In Germany, and now apparently in Oklahoma, Saint Nic has a donkey.
Reindeer are so overrated.
Making pool noodle stick donkeys.
The best donkeys ever, made out of pool noodles, socks, tape, and old fashioned ingenuity, for the kids to create and take home. (Nana Annette, the tireless donkey making volunteer. She may not have any socks left after this shindig.)
Someone even made a Zonkey!
And my girls...who have given up so much Mommy and Daddy time for this day to happen. They've sacrificed a lot. More than a lot. And they've learned how to love, and how to give. And how to make a pretty sweet tepee out of logs, a lot of yarn, and bunch of volunteer kiddo teamwork.
Oh, did I mention the incredible healthy Food Truck? The one that came all the way from Arkansas,Itz Gud Food. And it was good. More than good. It was healthy. Gluten Free. And this incredible, generous family donated it, all of it, for the families at the event. Anyone who wanted could donate back, and that amazing blessing will help provide donkey milk for kids this year. Kiddos who couldn't afford the milk without your help. Absolutely more than we could have asked for or imagined.
Mindy the mammoth donkey made her appearance...another miracle.
Rachel, our right hand girl, with Saint Nic (@santaoklahoma), and Mindy. Mindy was the mammoth donkey with EPM that you all prayed for. She made it. And she was strong enough to make her appearance at the event. She didn't even wobble. Much. (Read her story @dulcededonke.)
And there were the gorgeous, handmade donkeys crafted by volunteers (Nana and Bobbi & Co.) for the kiddos to play with and ride. Also made by volunteers....see the theme here?
And the farm animal bowling game made of milk jugs (thank you Pam Hilliard!).
And the games and sensory tent and music from We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym and their amazing team.
Honestly, I didn't even know we had music until I saw these pictures. Because, I was in the big tent all day!! I looked at the pictures and thought, "Wow. What a fun day."
And Michelle Jenkins...who brought her knowledge of healthy habits and her toys for kids.
Next year, we're getting an MC for this thing. I want to sit by the fire and play checkers all day.
See those sweet farm animal pillows? My talented, amazing mom made those too.
And can I just say, I'm so glad someone actually played checkers? Painting that board was a bugger. And yes, I know it's opposite colors of a real checkerboard. Not fixing it. Ever.
The stick donkeys, on the right, made by Nana.
And you can thank my Dad Kenny, and John & Jonah Tiefel, Kenny McDonald, John King, Ed Hilliard, David Rowe, Jeff Traywick, Chad Coulter, and the teen boys from Kansas for helping deconstruct and build those grain bins. They were languishing in fields around the country until a few months ago.
The incredible hand crafted benches that made for some great conversations around the fire, made by Dr. Schick (our adopted / recruited / drafted Veterinarian) and his sweet wife Anna.
The sweet families who gave to sponsor tents, and grain bins...so we weren't all just sitting in the woods under a canopy of leaves.
The author, Rachel Anne Ridge, who wrote and published amazing books about her own experiences with donkeys, and brought her books all the way from Dallas to share.
She's definitely on Santa's "Nice" list. Pretty sure there are a bunch of kiddos who will be getting her children's books about donkeys for Christmas this year. (Hint, Hint.)
And the artist, @foxhollowstudios, Tabitha Paige, who painted and donated the print of Belle, and the baby donkey print in the silent auction...go follow her work, incredible stuff.
And Walt's brother, Jeff Traywick. Who worked behind the scenes for days, helping us get all the last minute stuff done. And ya'all, this may have looked like it was all ready and done months ago...but, we pushed it to the last second. Literally. Minutes before you got there, still working. And with a smile.
And Kenny McDonald...who jumped in and helped with anything and everything we might need done. He's on the "nice" list too.
All the wonderful folks who made this day happen. My mom, making coffee all day behind the scenes. And that coffee! Donated by my dear childhood friend Julia and her husband Ashley, from their organic coffee farm (Legacy Farms Coffee). All my aunts, bringing apples and apple cider and helping at registration, and supporting and loving us in this crazy journey. The Clemishire family who drove from Tulsa to give hours and hours and laugh and share life with us, while picking up sticks. The mom who stayed up late and got up early (Sheila Duffy) to put together name badges and books and binders and begged for samples and goodies from Natural Grocers and all the best healthy snack makers, and put together those incredible swag bags for everyone who came.
And for all of you who prayed. Thank you. I can't believe no one even needed a band-aid. All day. Protected is an understatement. We must have had a legion of angels surrounding our farm that day.
This is just part one, of my bookishly long, grateful post. But my kids are hungry, and hungry quickly turns to hangry, so...to be continued.
Thank you. Humbled and amazed to get to be a part of this magical, miracle day.
Because these families are the reason for all of this...and the only reason we can love, is because He first loved us.
We just get to reflect the light, a little bit at a time, and do our best not to let our shadow get in the way.
For the photos, go to https://chrisbakerphotography.pixieset.com/heehawforhealth/
And contact us for the pin # to download your pics if you were at the event.
If you choose to post these photos online, please tag the photographer, Chris Baker, at www.facebook.com/