About Us

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Shawn, originally New Yorker, transported to Tennessee for a few years, chased the love of his life in Iowa, only to move her back to Tennessee. Rachael, small town Iowa girl that traveled the globe to find her love in Tennessee. Little did we know how much our lives would change when Little Miss Magdalyn Joy entered the world. Join our journey through the unknown of Maggie's medical issues, known truths of God, and the nuts and bolts of life.


Missions Accomplished!!

Overall everything went wonderfully.  (Minus my few unnecessary freak outs at Shawn). 
On Monday we ventured around Summit County with our cousins.  Eric and Beth were wonderful hosts.  We had a great time just hanging with them.  Shawn and Eric could have talked Jeeps and off-roading rigs all day!  What a beautiful area!  Definitely ski country, but lots of bike trails around as well.

Tuesday morning bright and early we went to got Momma's CO Driver's License and Maggie's ID.  Glad we got there right at 8, because it was a busy place, and we were even out in Frisco, not the city.  They only give temp IDs until the photo cards come in.  It'll be interesting to see Maggie's picture.  The lady was trying to get her to look at the camera, and I was like "good luck".  Finally Shawn had to tell the lady that Maggie can't really see. I think she opened her eyes just before the camera flashed, so we'll see.  Sure it will be cute regardless!

From there we went straight to Denver Seminary for a tour.  Walking onto campus felt so natural and comfortable.  We were fortunate enough to catch their first chapel of the semester.  While we were singing praises to God, I had to hold back the tears.  Tears of joy and excitement for this new endeavor for our family.  I'm so proud of Shawn for this big step he is taking.  I anxiously look forward to how God will be using us and the way He has been preparing the way for us.
Shawn will be pursuing a Master of Arts of Leadership, with a concentration in Worship.  He is considering a few other concentrations as well, but Worship is a definite.  The program should take about 2 1/2 years.  This option is less intensive than an M.Div, leaving out the languages, and allowing for a shorter program.  Since Shawn doesn't forsee himself being a senior pastor, the Professional MA is just the right fit!  Last week, we were talking about it and we both agreed that we don't know exactly what God is calling him into, but we could really see It being some sort of outside the box type of ministry.  Though we don't know what that is, we are confident He will reveal it to us as needed.  Until then, we just need to be obedient in following where He is leading.  Everything just felt so comfortable and at home.  To be honest, I'm quite jealous.  I would love to be able to get my Master's there as well, but that might be a bit too much to bite off at the time.  We'll see how the first semester goes for Shawn.

The housing was quite nice and based on the other places we looked at, it is decently priced.  We will have to sacrifice quite a bit though.  The dogs won't be able to come with us, so they will have to go to Grandma Camp to live.  We know they will love being with my mom, but we will miss having our babies around, no matter how ornery they are.  We keep downsizing from our Swisher house when we first got married.  We don't plan on bringing much with us initially.  Shawn's extra time will be devoted to studying, and Maggie and her therapy will be keeping me occupied.  There will be some benefits to living on campus.  We can save $ on fuel and Shawn can come home for lunch.  Plus, this way he'll be more likely to meet up with others for study groups.  The campus also has a great family atmosphere.  Maggie already met another little tyke.
For the stressful part, it is not guaranteed at this point and we most likely won't be able to move directly in when we get out there this fall.  The housing situation has been the most stressful component, by far.  (Thus, my freak outs) I would have liked to have a 2nd and 3rd option lined up before we left, but we are really hoping this will work fine. We may just be living out of an extended stay hotel for a while when we first get out there.

Tuesday night we also got to go see a sweet new baby!  One of my good friends happened to have her baby while we were out there.  While we both were still in Iowa, Jenn taught 1st grade and I taught pre-k at the same school.  We love the VanOtterloos and are excited to have the opportunity to hang out with them again!

Yesterday was appointment day.  We spent some time in the morning getting her medical records a little more organized.  We also drove around some more to navigate the area.  We had to go to 2 different doctors.  Minors have to have two doctors sign off to get the MMJ card.  I'm not going to lie, when we walked into the first appointment, I did wonder what we had gotten ourselves into.  It felt a little sketchy, but the doctors both were very nice.  And, having a letter from our current neurologist helped to expedite the procress.  Dr. Gedde, our second doctor, was wonderful and will be following us along this process. The notaries on staff helped go over all the paperwork and make sure everything was filled out precisely right.  In one spot, I had messed up writing a Y just a little bit.  You could tell it was a Y, but the notary pointed it out, and we all decided that taking the time to refill out that sheet would be better than getting her application rejected.  This is serious stuff!
By the time our second appointment was over, the postoffices were already closed, but the application had to be sent certified mail from Colorado.  So, we drove east a couple of hours, got a hotel, and tracked down a post office early this morning.  Sending it off was a little nerve racking, but also prompted a deep sigh of relief!

Legally, for 35 days with the application and receipt, we could purchase medical marijuana from any dispensary, while we wait for the card. However, the Realm oil is all organically grown and tested multiple times throughout the process.  It's worth the wait for it to be coming from a trusted source.  The process from here...the Realm is planning to be able to take 50 kids off the waiting list with the October harvest.  The marijuana will have to cure for a couple of weeks, and then after control testing, they will prepare the oil in small batches, gradually working their way down the waiting list.  Maggie was around #39 at one point.  Now that we have submitted everything, we are waiting to hear where we sits.  We should be able to get Maggie started some time in November.  The Stanley brothers will be growing her specific plants (she is alloted 24) and they should be ready at the March harvest.  This is all connected with the Realm of Caring.  The Stanley brothers and the Realm of Caring are the ones in various videos we have posted. (Side note...though we didn't get to meet any of the brothers, we did get to meet their mom last weekend.  She is super sweet and I look forward to getting to know her better).
As for now, we have stopped at my mom's on our way back to TN.  There is lots to get done in the next couple of months.


  1. Love you guys and praying for you, too.

  2. Your family is always in our prayers. I know God has amazing opportunities for you and I'm so excited for all of you. Please know just because there will be miles between us, we will never stop praying and thinking of you and your sweet family.~Russ and Tami Northey

  3. Dr Geddes office workers are thee absolute BEST, aren't they! So happy to hear you have the paperwork all sent in, and things are going well. Don't worry about the little freak outs. It's a big move, and there are bound to be a few here and there. Troy and myself had our share during packing up and coming across the country. Many (((hugs))) and prayers as you all settle in. Hope to see you again at the next support group!

  4. You will LOVE Den Sem! And you will be so grateful to live on campus. Our time there was a treasure. Praying for your sweet family and hoping for miracles for your Maggie girl. (We could recommend a few GREAT churches if you are interested!)

    Cheering you on!
    The Weavers