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It doesn’t look like much now, but this is the future sight of Cora’s Playground.

I know some of you were expecting a park with grass and trees.  This is it.  It seems small, but Hutton Construction and the guys at Kompan have plans to turn this into an amazing playground space.  They have donated so much time and energy to this project.  We are so thankful for their talents and willingness to help!
The playground is attached to our church nursery.  All the equipment was picked specifically for the little ones (ages 2-5).  Just right for all of Cora’s sweet friends.
New flooring and a shade structure are part of the plan too.  Everything is going to be so bright and cheery.

We were hoping to help improve this playground a little.  Who new that because of the Cora’s Playground project it would get a whole “playground makeover”.  We are humbled and amazed by the overwhelming response to this project.  This playground will serve as a remembering stone to our family of our precious Cora and all the lives she continues to touch.  We can’t say thank you enough!

Oh, do you want to see some of the equipment we chose?  I will work on that for the next post…

  • Angie - I can’t wait to see the finished playground. I’m sure that it is going to be amazing. We have never met and most likely never will but I think of you often and continue to pray for you as you grieve for your precious daughter. I’m looking forward to your next post to see the equipment you chose!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - It looks like a perfect spot to me! I can’t wait to see finished pictures. What an amazing Angel you have. We have never met but you and your family have deeply touched me.ReplyCancel

  • Kristi REDISKE - This is so exciting! I know it is bittersweet for your family but it will touch so many lives all because of your sweet baby Cora and the testimony you have had through this. It will be nice to see this all come about and since I am from Newton originally and come back to visit some I am planning on driving by and seeing it for myself. Thanks for your faithfulness even though it is so hard for you all. Love in ChristReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from PICU - Hello,

    How are you? I have been thinking of you both lots these past weeks. I can’t wait to see the equipment that you have picked out! I bet Cora is smiling from heaven and saying way to go mom and dad! We had a a “memorial” time at our school to remember those we lost and loved. We let balloons go and watched them go to heaven. Of course I had to be there and let them fly high for both You two and Cora. They didn’t have pink but I picked a pretty purple for her. My eyes were filled with tears as we got to share who our balloons were for. We attatched a message to them. I will send pictures of them to you! I just want you to know that you are NEVER far from our hearts and prayers! We miss you lots!

    Love you,


  • Melissa Abby - How exciting and what a great place to remember your beautiful daughter by!ReplyCancel

  • Karina - It is going to be a great play space!

    Sending you hugs always…ReplyCancel

  • Elle's Mom - Wow, it’s going to be incredible! This is going to be the most special playground there ever was! Would love to be able to visit it one day.ReplyCancel

  • purejoy - i absolutely can’t wait to see how this all progresses!! who knew a playground could be so depressing? (ie the current one) even with the colorful equipment, it has a chernobyl look to it. i hope they can add some vegetation of some sort! a little cheer from nature!!
    what a little spot for a sweet cora playground. i’m so excited for you, and i pray for you often!ReplyCancel

  • Misty Rice - I think its the perfect spot, perfect space and its going to be beautiful. SO beautiful.

    Can’t wait.ReplyCancel

  • Polka Dot Moon - A perfect spot. A lovely tribute to your beautiful Cora!

    Can’t wait to see the end result!

  • The Snyders - I am excited to see the new playground. We are talking about visiting that area in the fall and talked about stopping by the playground, will it be open for non-church members to visit and use?
    You and your family are still in my prayers.


  • sarahross - So sweet. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t wait to see the transformation. That playground is going to bring a lot of joy…ReplyCancel

  • Kristi - I know it is going to be such a fun safe spot!! I am excited for you guys.ReplyCancel

  • Robin in Benton - Looking forward to seeing pictures of the equipment and of the transformation as it happens. I think it is a lovely tribute to Cora and I hope you will smile in the future when you see children playing there. I know she will be!ReplyCancel

  • Erica - can’t wait to see what you chose! it’s gonna be wonderful, i’m sure of it! so many kids will be blessed because of sweet cora!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Gosh darnit, everytime I read your posts it brings me to tears. I just get this pit in my stomach thinking how much you must miss you beautiful, sweet Cora. I just hate she had to go. I’m grateful however for the amazing gift you are giving to other children. A safe place where they can play outside, have fun, feel the sunshine on their faces, and Sweet Cora can look down on them and feel JOY. I have no words other than I pray one day all will be known to you as to why she had to leave you so early. I pray that our Father in Heaven continues to wrap his loving arms around you carrying you on the very long journey called grief. I pray everyday for you. My girls pray for Sweet Baby Cora to be happy in Heaven. Oh how your sweet little girl has touched my soul. She will never be forgotten.ReplyCancel

  • Holly - I know it will be wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Becca - It will be beautiful! I would love to see everything that you have picked out. Cora will be smiling down from Heaven when it is all finished, happily watching her friends play. xoxoReplyCancel

  • The Carrolls - It looks WONDERFUL! I cannot imagine how many lives Cora has touched. A precious baby for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Looks perfect to me…with time and talent it will be beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I can’t wait to see the playground. Is it something the community can visit, or is it for church families only? Either way I’m sure it will be absoultly amazing. Our son’s memorial also went to a preschool playground at our church and it is a wonderful way to remember Dylan.
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

  • PamperingBeki - It’s perfect.

    And you are such a beautiful and inspiring lady.ReplyCancel

  • Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - How unbelievably AWESOME!!! God works in GREAT ways! Can you imagine how big that spot looks to those 2-5 year olds that will enjoy it….I bet it look HUGE! There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you and Joel and not a day goes by without saying a little prayer for the two of you! You have touched my life along with Cora and I have not even met you! Congrats on the wonderful playground project!ReplyCancel

  • TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - Jess and Joel,
    I’m so excited for you guys, and all of the kiddos who will get to enjoy this playground. I can’t wait to see it coming together. So glad you guys have something good to focus on.
    Continuing to think of and pray for you.

  • John & Elisa Seaba - How exciting! Can’t wait to see what you’ve picked and see the playground take shape!ReplyCancel

  • Lori Danelle Wilson - Can’t wait for it to be completed! Then I’ll bring my two little girls back home and we’ll all play on it (and I’ll probably cry).


  • jennifer rogers - that is so exciting! I can’t wait to see the equipment you have chosen!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Can’t wait to see what you picked out with your sweet Cora in mind…You and Joel are remarkable…My family too plans on a visit from Alabama to see Cora’s playground finished!
    You, Mom, continue to be in my thoughts, heart and prayers..


  • Whimsical Creations - hI! I can’t wait to see what you picked out! It is going to be amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Cristy - It is going to be a wonderful trbute to a beautiful life Jess! I can’t wait to go to church and see Cora’s playground.

    Still thinking and praying for you both….


  • Trasie Bressler - The playground that LOVE built!

    Many Many Many Blessing to you!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - Can’t wait to see the playground finished and up and running. It’s amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - I have been following for awhile…not sure how I “found” you..I think via Etsy…
    Anyway, I can already HEAR the children giggling and laughing on the equipment…
    I wish I lived near your church, because I would LOVE to paint a mural on the wall…
    Maybe you can add that as a finishing touch…ReplyCancel

  • Rich and Carolyn Dewey - Looking forward to watching the progress! It will be a wonderful space – and so much more attractive as we park in the nearby lot each Sunday! It will be alive with children, color, and fun!

    Hugs to both of you!ReplyCancel

  • Annie - Praise God for his faithfulness and for those people who served and will serve as HIS hands and feet for such a project. What a special way to remember your sweet girl and to make sure others always do, too. We have similar plans as a memorial for our son… we’re going to re-do our church’s nursery. Very fitting since that was his class… We also prayed that God would give us a brother or sister to get to enjoy the nursery project in Cooper’s memory…. (our daughter was born December 9th!) And I am praying FAITHFULLY that God blesses you again soon with a brother or sister for Cora that will, along with her church friends, enjoy her playground!!! Keep trusting and believing God, grief is a long road (we’re only going on 18 months) but HE will bring you through it, just like he is doing for you and continues to do for my family….ReplyCancel

  • mommaof4wife2r - it is going to be amazing…and i can’t wait to see how many people are touched in so many different ways with this playground.ReplyCancel

  • Bambi - It’s going to be wonderful and such a beautiful tribute to sweet Cora. Looking forward to more pictures as it progresses.ReplyCancel

  • Christina - This somehow is totally uplifting and devastating at the same time! It is a beautiful thing, though, to think of the potential that something has, or someone, that seems small or insignificant…but in God’s plan is so full of meaning and purpose. I said this in a previous comment, my daughter asked if we could visit Cora’s Playground one day…I’ll have to share the progress with her and maybe one day we can see it. It would be such an honor.ReplyCancel

  • Toni :O) - I am so proud of my cute little hand made tote I got from Polka Dot Market that helped Cora’s Playground. Makes me SO happy to carry it and I pray for you and Joel daily. We all miss Cora’s sweet face but we know the playground couldn’t be a more perfect tribute to her. What a beautiful place it will be making children happy!ReplyCancel

  • mandi @ it's come to this - You & your husband are so wonderful to think of this awesome way to honor your daughter. What a wonderful thing to do!! I can’t wait to see the finished project!!ReplyCancel

  • Marsha - What a wonderful place this playground will be……built with love. I look forward to seeing more pictures. Continuing to uplift you in prayer.

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

  • Christine - How exciting! I can’t wait to see the progess and, in time, the finished playground!ReplyCancel

  • kimberlysayre - How exciting! I can’t wait to see progress pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Almost evey one of your posts leaves me in tears. What a wonderful way to remember Cora and honor her. Your communicy is lucky to have you there to care for all the children and families. Truly what God meant when he commanded we love one another.I can’t wait to see the equipment and the finished product.ReplyCancel

  • Kelli - So excited for you project to begin. Still praying!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Wow! I too am amazed at how people can pull together and bring something bright to help those they love or complete strangers they care about who are in the midst of tragedy and grief. God is good! I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Thinking of you and praying for you daily.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie and April - How exciting:) Thanks for the update!


  • gwswenson - Yay for Cora’s Playground! Thinking of all the sunshine and smiles it will bring to the children of your community!ReplyCancel

  • texasinafrica - Can’t wait to see it! I know it will be a beautiful place for children to play for years to come.ReplyCancel

  • writing4612 - It’s off to a great start! Can’t wait to see more.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Still thinking of and praying for Cora’s AWESOME Mom and Dad!Always