Anna and Abby’s Yard

 

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 Anna and Abby’s Yard is a playground designed to serve all families; providing a universal play space and accessible picnic area. The playground is intended to be a  place to reflect, to remember and celebrate Love and Joy. 

Words can’t begin to express our gratitude for those who have sent cards, given hugs, said prayers, brought over food, worked at our house, taken care of our neighbors, set up fundraisers, honored our girls at events and given to the Memorial Fund. We know that God is using people in our lives to wrap his arms around us and we truly feel his love through all of you.

The Anna and Abby Memorial Fund will only be used to memorialize the girls.

Thank you all so much for everything you’ve done in honor of our girls


Update 3/2014: We are working hard on the plans for the new playground/park behind the District Office. Here is a post that talks about our playground meetings with Anna and Abigail’s friends.

Update 7/2014: Plans are drawn for the new play structure and we are now beginning the next phase, raising funds. We are in the process of developing a kickstarter campaign that will hopefully go live in the next month. We are working on an informational video, layout of rewards for the campaign and also working with a landscape architect on getting all of our ideas into a drawing. We are excited and can see our vision for this space slowly taking shape. There are smiles in Heaven I’m sure.

Update 10/2014: We started an Anna and Abby’s Yard Facebook page that will be updated with fundraisers, plans and eventually will let everyone know when we will be opening the park (smiling). Head here to get more frequent updates ~ Anna and Abby’s Yard Facebook Page.

Update 3/2015: It’s happening ~ slowly but surely!

Update 5/2015: The design for the playground is finally done. We are now working with the District Office and working out specifics with them. Fundraising is in full force with our first Annual Love Rocks Run happening on June 27th with the proceeds to this years run going to Anna and Abby’s Yard. Grants are being written and we will be doing a crowd funding campaign mid summer. We are excited and looking forward to the home stretch.

Update 6/2015: Tom and I just asked the City Council of Forest Grove to except a donation in the form of Anna and Abby’s Yard to be place at Rogers Park. We decided to change the location because we felt that making the donation to the city was a better fit for our family. We are very excited about this change and are still moving forward. To date we have raised just over $100,000. ❤

Update 12/2015: As we approach the end of the year we are so grateful to all of those who have given in some way or another to Anna and Abby’s Yard. In Nov. we met with Game Time and Forest Grove Recreation and are very excited about the new location of Anna and Abby’s Yard at Rogers Park. We also opened a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/annaandabbysyard as a place to accept donations and spread awareness of what we are trying to do to honor our daughters. As of Jan. we will have a new little on in our family and we are very excited that Anna and Abby’s Yard will be a place that she will go to feel the love of not only our community but also feel the love and joy of her sisters.UpdateUpdate 3/2017:  I’m learning the process of building a playground is a very slow one. There is so much that goes into it and after 3 years of fundraising and dreaming I am happy to say that it is looking like we are on the final stretch. With that said, I have no idea how long that stretch will take but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. To date there has been $140,000.00 donated to this project by so many kind and generous people from all over the country. The past three years I have received many bags of change (allowance money) from kids in our community and I am always so touched when I take those to the bank to deposit…this playground will truly be built by the kindness and generosity of this community and those that have been touched by Anna and Abby’s lives.

Last week I sat down with the city of Forest Grove’s park department and with MIG (the landscaping design firm working on this project) to talk about the overall design and to brainstorm more ideas for Anna and Abby’s Yard and how it will fit into the larger scope of Rogers Park. I will say that I walked away with so much happiness in my heart and a vision of a truly magical place that will celebrate the lives of my daughters. The overall design of Anna and Abby’s Yard has changed since our original drawings/video but we are confident that the new plans that are in the works are something this community will love. We will be incorporating pieces of our old design from GameTime and weaving that with a more natural play space that will truly set Anna and Abby’s Yard apart from your typical playground. Our goal is to have a place were families can explore nature, play, experience life together and feel love and joy in one of Forest Grove’s beloved parks.

As for a timeline ~ we are in the final stretch and I have no idea how long that will take 🙂 I will let you know when I know.

If you are interested in volunteering with fundraising, pulling together of resources or building please send  a message to alovedrenchedlife@gmail.com.

If you are interested in making a donation make check out to Forest Grove Community Foundation ~ Anna and Abby’s Yard and send it to Anna and Abby’s Yard c/o Forest Grove Foundation, 2417 Pacific Ave. Forest Grove, OR 97116. Upon receiving your donation we will send you a receipt for tax purposes. All money donated will be used in funding the development and building of their park.

We feel so blessed by how this is all coming together and can’t thank those enough for their time, donations and prayers. We can’t wait to build a space for our community to gather, play and celebrate the lives of Anna and Abby!

Playround Meeting

Abby and Anna’s Yard

 

19 thoughts on “Anna and Abby’s Yard

  1. You have admirable courage and faith and I’m sure that will make the path to Your Rainbows Abby and Anna shorter every day,
    I read your story tonight, while looking for answers after my very dear friend died. Your blog has reminded me of the answers: “fill your gaps with trust”, “acceptance of what you can’t change”. Thank you very much. Love and Peace to you and your family.

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  2. Hi Susan,
    I just want to say you are a very strong Mom, I have been following Love Rocks on FB. I know how hard it is to lose a child, but what I don’t understand is the loss of two beautiful babies. My heart goes out to you and your family. I lost my daughter Emma when she was 27 months, this February will mark the fifth year we have been without her sweet smile and cuddly little hugs. We will never quit understand why things happen and all we can do now is keep their sweet memories alive. I too am building a playground in memory of Emma. And Martha is also helping me. I would absolutely love to help you with any fundraising ideas you need. I just hosted my first of many fundraisers and we had a wonderful turnout and now are on our way to Emma’s Place Park. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you move forward.

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  3. I am so sorry about your losses, I lost my baby girl at age 39. She was sleep walking on Jan 3, 2013 in the middle of the night and fell asleep by a tree and went to heaven before they (police) could find her. I have spent the last year in grief, only 75 yards down a hill from the door she left by dressed only in pj’s. The police didn’t even tell us she was missing until she was found. I need to channel my grief as you have into something with meaning as an honor to her. I love your idea of love rocks. God Bless you and your husband. I truly understand your pain. Hugs from Texas.

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  4. I am truly sorry for your loss… Your precious girls story broke my heart… But I so Love this Love Rocks idea… What a Wonderful way to keep the Love alive. God Bless You and Your Family.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this story and inspiring me to use this as a way to remember my parents. In 2009 I lost my father to brain cancer and last month I lost my mother to colon cancer. Their love was like no other and anyone who came in contact with them felt it. They knew of no stranger and treated everyone like family. My parents saved for retirement and travels… A day that never came. In doing “LoVe RoCkS” I hope that their love continues and their rocks travel just as they would have done hand in hand.

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  6. I heard your story first on Klove and they spoke of your faith and ability to forgive. I am now able to share the love rock idea with a dear friend of mines children. She died in a freak accident a few weeks ago. I pray that this will help them heal in some way! Praying for you and your family!

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      • Hi there I’m so inspired by the wonderful things you are doing, but I don’t mean to be so forward but what happened to your beautiful little girls?

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      • Hi Sarah ~ my daughters were involved in a hit and run in front of my house last Fall. They went to Heaven on Oct. 20th.

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  7. Hi, I live in Rocky River and am a friend of your brother Bill. He sells me all my running shoes! I just want you to know that I have been praying for you, your girls and extended family. You sound like such a loving and strong woman with a great support system and I will continue to pray for you throughout the year.
    Sincerely,
    Cindy

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  8. I was talking to a friend who had the idea of a permanent bench right where the memorial is. I immediately envisioned Eric Cannon making one with faeries playing all over it. A place for everyone to sit and pray.

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