Tori’s Baby Dedication

We had always intended to do a formal dedication of Tori at our church, but it became quickly forgotten in the midst of all that has happened in the past eight months.

A baby dedication is different from infant baptism: it is a public promise of the parents (and the congregation) to raise the child according to God’s Word, to teach them about God and His love.

Most parents who dedicate their child to the Lord do it assuming that they will be raising their children to adulthood, but ours had a slightly different meaning.

Today, Brennan and I stood before God, family, and friends and committed publicly that Tori is God’s. Tori belongs to Him, and we will be thankful for whatever length of time He chooses to bless us with her earthly presence.

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As our pastor said, Tori will have an impact greater than we can even begin to imagine, and we may not fully see that impact until Heaven. Her story is not tragic because we have the hope and assurance of eternal life, and we know that she is here for a purpose – a godly purpose.

Our pastor did a fantastic job and it was a very moving time. We are so thankful for our friendship with him and his family, as well as the solid teaching and discipleship he brings to our church.

If you would like to watch the video of the dedication, you can see it here.

Many thanks to our cousin, Sarah, for coming to take professional photos of the event for us. It was so important to us to have it captured well. Thank you, also, to our friend, Micah, for coming to video it so that the footage can be included in the documentary he is creating about Tori and about Krabbe.

And thank you to the family and friends who were able to join us today! We know not everyone could make it, but you can see the entire dedication here!

How You Can Help

We are asked several times a week how people can help us practically and tangibly, and we usually don’t have an answer. God is taking amazing care of us and we are so thankful!

We are doing fine financially thus far, thanks to Brennan’s hard work and his excellent job and benefits. We do not take this for granted and continue to live on a strict budget.

Your prayers and notes of encouragement are an amazing blessing to us – we keep them all!

We have been told that some want to do more to help us, and we don’t want to say no to others’ desire to help. We, too, love to tangibly help others whenever possible, so we understand the desire to “do more” when possible.

So, Brennan and I have come up with a few things that would be helpful IF you wanted to support us in this way, but it is in NO way expected. 

  • Jimmy John’s gift cards (they deliver and Lesa orders lunch from them when Tori has rough days because it is fast and easy).
  • Donations toward a monthly housecleaning service (we had it done in June by a wonderful local woman and it was an amazing help to us; she charges $60).
  • Panera gift cards are a great healthy dinner help.
  • Dream Dinners gift cards so we can have meals in the freezer for easy dinner prep.
  • Coffee is pretty great, but Lesa just received a huge box of K-Cups and still has a lot of Starbucks gift cards 😄 So she is set for a while!
  • iTunes gift cards would allow us to buy some new worship music…
  • Amazon and grocery gift cards are always useful.
  • Anything that reminds us to take care of ourselves is great too – like getting new clothes (Old Navy, Gap, Kohl’s, JCPenney, etc.), pedicures :), or haircuts.

Our mailing address is:
Team Tori
P.O. Box 126425
Harrisburg, PA 17112

The biggest thing you can do to help is to continue to spread the word, write to legislators, and fight for Newborn Screening for Krabbe!

We can’t think of anything else, so hopefully this is helpful if you are one of those who have asked us how you can help! ❤️

You have all blessed us more than we could ever repay – thank you for bringing such joy to our lives during this challenging season.

My First Dream Dinners Experience

From start to finish, my experience this morning with Dream Dinners was just that – a dream. Every step of the process is so well thought-out and it was such a blessing!

I posted about this previously, after I signed up for my first session, and I am excited to share with you a little about the experience today.

When I walked in, I was warmly welcomed by an employee who guided me through the process and made everything easy to understand.

I put my purse and paperwork in a drawer with my name on it, grabbed an apron, washed my hands, and got to work!

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There are many stations with specific recipes and the required ingredients for each. Because you can make either 3 or 6 serving meals, they make it easy to identify the necessary measuring amount by color coding the handle of the spoon for each dry ingredient. That color corresponds to the ingredient list so that you don’t have to waste time trying to find the correct tool!

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All of the ingredients, bags, and labels are right there at each station. You assemble the meals according to the directions and it takes about 5 minutes to assemble each meal. Easy!

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You choose a section in the cooler for your meals and you place them in the cooler as you complete them, to ensure that they remain cold/frozen while you work.

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They also have a freezer with some pre-made meals, sides, and desserts, and I picked up a few of each of those items to accompany our meals.


I came home with 10 dinners (some with sides already in the bag), three extra sides, and two desserts. We hope to make each meal last for two meals by adding vegetables and other side dishes, so it should be 20 meals!

They have an introductory offer of 18 servings (6 different meals if you choose the 3 serving option) for only $74.95, which makes it $4.16 a serving! If we can stretch each meal into two meals, it will make it an even better deal.

You also earn points for every meal you make (and other things like sharing about Dream Dinners), and every 500 points gives you $10 off! By signing up today for September’s meals I earned double points!

Could you do it for less on your own? Sure, but I just don’t have the time or energy right now to do the prep work, honestly. I’d rather devote my time to caring for Tori.

If this sounds like something that would interest you, check out their location list today! It saves time, energy, preparation, and can even save you a little money along the way.

Please use me as your referral!

When you tell them who referred you at the time of sign-up, that person earns points toward free meals, and that would help us out.

There will be a place to enter the email address of the person who referred you – mine is my first name.last name at gmail.com (not directly mentioned to avoid spam).

An added blessing came our way as I was checking out at the end of my session. Someone left a gift card for me there! I was able to apply it to next month’s session, greatly reducing the cost!

To whoever left the generous gift card, THANK YOU. Your unexpected kindness means more than you know!

Check out Dream Dinners and let me know what you think!

Tori’s Bucket List: Harrisburg Senators Game

I’m not sure I can adequately express how amazing today was!

After a six hour break at home, we headed to City Island as a guest of the Senators. They heard about Tori’s bucket list and, they not only sent us tickets (and got us amazing seats!), but they also arranged for us to have a tour of the stadium with the president of the ball club!

Tori did so well and was in her stroller, content, through the fourth inning. The weather was perfect and we think she really enjoyed being outside. There were lots of things to look at, new sounds, and a new environment, so she was definitely stimulated.

She got a little fussy when it was time for the tour because she was tired. Because of that, we held her instead of pushing her in her stroller as we walked around with Mr. Kevin Kulp, the president of the Harrisburg Senators ball club.

He took us to the locker room and showed us around the stadium, and it was fascinating. He talked about the effects of Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and what they have done to try to prevent water from getting into the stadium in the future. He was so knowledgeable!

After the tour, he took us to the team store and told us to pick out whatever we wanted as a gift from him to us! We were blown away!

We picked out a onesie and a hat for Tori, a shirt for me, and then he insisted that Brennan pick out a jersey and a hat! His generosity with his time and with these gifts was amazing, and we feel so blessed.

On top of that, we entered the 50/50 drawing because it was going to a worthy cause, and WE WON. We never win anything like that! The money will go into Tori’s account for future adventures or whatever comes our way.

We also were recognized by two Team Tori members – one was even wearing her Team Tori shirt! We are so humbled that people follow Tori’s (and our) journey closely enough that they recognize us in public.

Because of Team Tori members sending us vouchers for games, we were able to take friends of ours with us, AND we will get to go to another game in the next couple of weeks! We can wear our new gear!

Our hearts are so full tonight after all of these adventures, and we are so thankful for all who have made this possible. In the midst of the toughest season of our lives, the blessings continue to pour in and we are so filled with joy as we live life to the fullest with Tori because of so many of YOU and your love.

Thank you SO much, Harrisburg Senators – and especially Mr. Kulp – for hosting us tonight! And thank you Kim Albert (and family) and Jen Gould for the vouchers! They are so appreciated!

Tori’s first baseball game was a success! Lots of photos below :)

Tori’s Bucket List: Floating Down the River

When we were putting the list of adventures together, we wanted to take Tori to a local water park to float down the river. We knew it would be peaceful and she would enjoy it.

So, Hersheypark made special accommodations for Tori (normally hand-held infants are not allowed) and arranged for us to come into the park early and have time on the river by ourselves! It was wonderful!

We also took her over to the wave pool and she liked it after a while. She likes water as long as it is warm!

Special thanks to Aunt Kelly and other Hersheypark employees who made this possible!

Tori’s Bucket List: Feeding the Ducks

One of my favorite childhood memories is of feeding the ducks by the river in my hometown. Most children love it, so we wanted Tori to experience it!

Aunt Kelly picked the perfect spot to feed them, and Tori did a great job! It was a beautiful day to be outside and Tori seemed to really enjoy it.

A Life Well-Lived

All of us hope that there is a magnificent purpose for our lives, that there is meaning in our existence.

We all want to have an impact on the world and we spend our lives working toward that goal in one way or another, in ways big and small.

As parents, we want our children to change the world, to make a tremendous impact on everyone they encounter. We want them to live fulfilling lives that are meaningful.

As Christian parents, we want our children to know and love God and to tell others about His goodness, His love, His sacrifice for us so that we can live with Him in Heaven forever. We want them to experience His love, peace, grace, and mercy, and then show others the same.

As we ponder why God has allowed Tori to have Krabbe, it has become apparent to us that Tori has already made such an impact during her short time on this earth thus far and she hasn’t even tried to do so. 

She has changed perspectives – and even hearts and lives – just by existing. By being such a courageous warrior.

She has changed us in numerous ways, and she has saved the lives of her future siblings (and possibly strangers) in a courageous way. 💙

What more could a parent ask for in the life of their child?

If God chooses to heal her here on earth, what a testimony she – and we – will have! God’s power and mercy will be evident to all and lives will be changed.

But, if God chooses to heal her in Heaven, we will still have a strong testimony of His grace, His love, His peace, His goodness…because we know that He is the only one who can help us get through any of this.

Victoria Ruth Brackbill is a world changer, and we can’t wait to see how God will continue to use our precious baby, even if it isn’t the way we want her story to be written.

Tori’s story has spread around the world this year!