Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What is Happening in Our CRAZY World

I know, I know...several folks have told me that miss me updating about what Daddy is doing & how things are going.  The summer has actually been therapy, therapy & more therapy.  Therapy was supposed to stop a couple of different times, but Daddy would show progress so they would extend it a few more weeks.  He is finished w/ OT & PT, but continuing speech the rest of this month.  We are thrilled with that b/c he has really seemed to be saying a few more words or at least understandable ones the last week or so.  The rule with therapy is that you have to be making progress for it to continue so that is good that he has gone this long.  We like therapy b/c that means there is improvement!!!

His PT is in the process of getting him a special splint for his paralyzed hand & arm so we are hoping that will be a good thing for him to have.  We bought him a new recliner a few weeks ago & he LOVES it!!!  After Daniel got it set up, he sat down & said AHHHH!!!  Much better than the wheelchair for sure!

We had an exciting Labor Day weekend (not necessarily fun, but exciting)!  Saturday night about 10:30, Mom found Daddy in his recliner with all limbs board stiff & straight, moaning & shaking.  She immediately called 911.  Once we got to the hospital, everyone concluded that he had a TIA (mini-stroke) b/c his CT didn't show any new stroke damage & TIA's only show on a MRI.  He was back to normal by the time he arrived at the hospital, but they admitted him then did more tests on Sunday morning. 

A friend had gone with me so I wasn't alone & she decided to come on back home once we knew nothing was life threatening.  I told her to call me as soon as she got home since it was between 1-2 am.  She called & I immediately said are you home...her response was no I hit a deer!!  I was horrified that she was injured.  She promised she was fine but she was worried about my van!  I reassured her that was the least of my worries as long as she was ok.  The van is at the repair shop & we are waiting on word regarding the damage.  Again, I am just so thankful that she is ok.  Those deer can really cause terrible injuries! I finally made it home about 4 so I slept for a few hours then headed to church.  The kids & I came home ate a quick bite then crashed for a few hours before heading to the hospital while Daniel worked.

Sunday afternoon, we found out that Daddy's episode was actually a seizure which they were able to begin meds for to help prevent them in the furture.  For the next 2 weeks, he cannot be left alone which he had been doing while Mom was at school.  He likes his alone time & does well so it is good for both of them to have a little time on their own.  Anyway, he is going to be my sidekick for the next few days while she is teaching preschool until he is cleared to be alone again.  The doc wants to make sure the med is working so that if he does have another seizure he can be protected from being hurt.

That was probably the scarest thing Mom has ever seen!!!  Needless to say that we were thrilled for the episode to be somethign that can be managed by meds instead of the TIAs where you never know when they will happen & they cause additional brain damage.

That pretty much recaps the Labor Day weekend!  Please pray that while he is adjusting to the meds that he doesn't have any more seizures!  Also that his speech will continue to show progress & that his therapist would keep extending time!!  What a blessing!

I can't stop without a couple of pictures of Shawn & Anna Kate...you know he would be showing them off & talking about them non-stop to you so I'll do it for him :-)

After a stressful night in the hospital, we decided to take the kids to do something fun.  We went to Marketplace in Conway for dinner with the intention of enjoying a Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mess for dessert!  I need a serious chocolate fix & that was the cure!

AK thoroughly enjoyed it don't you think?!?! We all did for the record!!
That's a happy chocolate face!!!
Shawn had his 1st day of 4th grade at a new school!  Shawn started at Arkansas Baptist this year.  We are very excited about this for him & it has been a good transition.  He is playing tackle football...not sure how I feel about that, but he has made some good friends & has enjoyed it!

AK actually had her 1st day of Preschool today!!!  She has been so excited to go to school!  She was the snack leader today which made it even better!
(These pics aren't great b/c they're from my phone.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

On the Go!!!

We have had a busy last couple of days. On Friday, we headed to LR to help Mom work on getting the apartment in order plus Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Judi were coming down for a visit. Daddy had therapy Friday Am so our goal was to get some things done while he was there. Mom had already run some errands when we got there so we met up & ran to Target to look for some baskets or storage containers for the kids' toys (there's lots of them). By the time we finished our trip, it was pick up time.

Funny story...Mom sent me inside to bring Daddy out so I went down to wait. I had been down there about there about 15 minutes & he never came out. I started to sort of panic & of course I didn't have my phone to call to Mom. I finally found someone & she asked who I was looking for. I said Phil Harvey & she said oh I saw him today. She said I parked him right here. Then she said "he can't go anywhere by himself can he?!?" I just laughed at her!! My thought...oh great I can't even pick up from therapy without loosing him!! Haha! I really started to panic then. About that time, Mom got off the elevator & said he was upstairs. He was going up when I was going down so he hadn't been down there the whole time. Whew!!! I was sweating that one.

We had decided we would drive thru to grab some lunch then head back to work. Daddy started pointing his finer & saying something but we didn't know what. He was very emphatic about where he wanted to go & finally we approached Bowman Curve shopping center when he pointed over to Crazy Mike's. That's what he wanted!!! This is HUGE bc he hasn't been out to eat. He has been somewhat embarrassed about being in the chair so we knew it would come but didn't know it would be right then! Ha!

Needless to say, Mom was a bit stressed by the thought of getting inside, finding a place to sit w/ the chair, add in 2 kids, etc. I told her we had to go though...had to make it happen! We made & don't have any battle scars from it.

We finally made it back for Daddy's nap time then it was time for Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Judi to be there. I did get the shelf we bought put together...one task accomplished!

We had a great visit with them while they were here. It was really good for Daddy to see them!!! We all sat around & talked while Shawn fished for crawdads in the creek & Anna Kate played babies on the porch!! Grant was even there for a few minutes before having to head to work. Uncle Ronnie & Aunt Judi headed back to NWA this am but stopped back by to visit for a little bit more. I'm so glad they came!!!! (And not just bc they brought fresh blueberries!)

To end an already BIG Friday, as my crew was preparing to leave, I asked Daddy if he was hungry & he shook his head yes. He started gesturing & trying really hard to tell us something. I asked him if he wanted us to bring him dinner. He shook his head yes so I started asking what. When I mentioned Macaroni Grill, he pointed at me & smiled so I told him I would go get it. That's when he pointed at each of us & then to the door...he wanted to GO eat again!! So what did we do?!? We went!

We had a wonderful evening out & it was so nice for all of us to go out. I know what you're thinking...we went out at lunch, but it was all of us like old times.

The night got really interesting when Shawn was convinced that he saw Guy Fieri at the bar. There was much "discussion" about whether it was really him or not. Daniel bribed him to go ask. Daniel told him he would take him for frozen yogurt if he went to ask. Yes, he went & the guy laughed it off telling him no. At this point, Mom & I were ready to hide under the table. Well, he then called Shawn back over & gave him a piece of paper with his signature on it. You be the judge...although if you can't tell from the smile, he's certain!!!

That pretty much sums up the beginning of the weekend. The weekend continued to a good one since Mom & Dad made it to church for the first time since April 3!!! They were both very glad to be there! I'll share about Sunday very soon. Til then...

Much love to all of you & thank you for your continued prayers, love, support & encouragement.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let's Roll!!!

When we were able to move Mom & Daddy downstairs, there was still one major issue that had to be tackled...a ramp. Even though their apartment is on the first level, there were still some steps to navigate. The issue became a little more pressing when plans quickly changed for Daddy to come instead going to another rehab facility.

Well, as usual, some wonderful men stepped up & took on this project as a personal ministry for Daddy.

With this being a long weekend, a couple of guys went yesterday to measure & purchase supplies then headed back to Terry's shop to begin building. Terry & Mark build the frame pieces in the shop then loaded them up & transported them today to put together at the apartment.

They worked for a few hours this afternoon & completed the project for very 2 very appreciative & thankful people! Mom & Daddy can now easily come & go from the apartment...just in time for therapy to begin Wednesday!

Daddy spent some out watching the work & I think enjoying the process. Mom said there were a couple of discussions about some things & hat Daddy seemed to get tickled listening & watching them figure it out. I'm sure he was fit to be tie not being able to tell them how & what to do ;-)

And....the finished product....

We cannot begin to express our thankfulness & gratitude for these men. They took time away from their families this Memorial Day weekend to bless Mom & Daddy in an amazing way! This has been a huge burden for Mom & I'm so grateful for their gifts, servant hearts & work ethic. Thank you beyond words to Terry, Mark, Doug, Matt & Dave!

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus...Philippians 2.3-5

Saturday, May 21, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Mom & Grant got Daddy home Friday afternoon even in the craziness of the storms. (Daniel, kids & I are in St. Louis. We had planned this little trip before we knew the plans were going to change on leaving BRI.) When everything changed, Mom said she still wanted us to go to get away & relax a little. We have had a fantastic time so far! It's been wonderful for the kids to have our undivided attention.

Anyway, other than the rain, I think the transition has been pretty smooth. Daddy gave Mom "that look" when they got home since there were still some boxes around from the move. She said don't worry I have plenty of time to work on those. They were able to maneuver the couple of down steps getting to the apartment, but we have some amazing friends who are planning & working on building a ramp. The apartment has marked mom 2 parking places to be reserved for her under the awning so that she can get Daddy out of the car & into his chair which will be nice on days like yesterday.

I'm anxious to hear how their first night home went, but Mom is really trying to not call so that we can have some family time...she is so sweet!!!! She wants all of us to have time together, have fun & relax. We are sending her a few pictures so she can share w/ Grandpa ;-) Some pics we've sent...have to throw these cute faces in somehow!

Out-patient therapy begins Thursday @ BRI so we are all ready to get that going. Daddy has already met his speech therapist (I think she filled in for his regular therapist one day maybe). His therapists he's had have promised to come check in on his though & I'm sure he will go down to visit. Some amazing friends are in the planning & process of building a ramp for Daddy @ the apartment. Parking places have already been reserved for them so that Mom can get Daddy out of the car into wheelchair then inside. We are so very thankful & grateful for the wonderful people that God has put in our lives!!!

I'm anxious to hear how the first night went, but I'm sure it was fine. He was probably completely worn out from therapy yesterday morning then actually getting home. Please continue to pray for his speech, but also now that they are home pray that he will not make too many impulsive decisions (common w/ stroke)! That's why Matt his PT wouldn't send him home w/ a walker & even reminded him again not to be overly confident!!! Now that he is home he may feel like he can do more, but still has limitations. We are hoping being home will motivate him, but he still has to remember to be careful. For Mom, pray that she has the strength, endurance, grace & peace to do what needs to be done.

A little side note that Mom will not want to forget, but don't think she could if she tried...Thursday morning we stopped by to say hi/bye & give loves. Mom walked us down to the van when we were leaving bc we had brought them some Chick-fil-a for breakfast ;-) In the meantime, the medical equipment guy shows up in Daddy's room w/ all this stuff. When Mom gets back upstairs, the guy is explaining how everything works & what you do to Daddy...very helpful (can you hear the sarcasm?!?). So Mom jumps in & takes over. While she is signing papers she hears a crash behind her...yep, Daddy on the floor!!! (He is fine & was thoroughly checked out.) Apparently, he decided to get up or into bed, not really sure, but none the less he feel between the bed & the nightstand. He didn't hit is head, but I'm sure he's sore! Remember, the very helpful medical equipment guy?!? He turned around & walked out of the room w/ Daddy laying on the floor!!! Seriously?!? Watch out single ladies bc there's a real winner out there somewhere!!! Essie, his nurse, & other staff rushed in to get him up. They got him up, checked him out & had the doctor come by also. Everyone said he was fine. Mom was so thankful he didn't hit his head on the nightstand!!! I know that most of you now have a streak of fear thinking what will he do if that happen @ home?!? Well, like Essie had just told her while we were there that she could always call 911 if she needed them. We are praying that doesn't happen!!!!

So I think that pretty well sums everything up...that I know. Have a wonderful weekend & I'll update in a few days about how things are going! Thank you all once again for your many, many prayers! We are so grateful & thankful for the blessing of relationships that God has given us!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This is another week of change & transition...I typed this post last night but fell asleep before I got it posted. How sad is that?!? Ha!

We transferred Mom & Dad into the downstairs apartment this weekend which we couldn't have accomplished without those who pitched in to pack, move boxes & unpack. It's not quite there yet, but it is getting there.

Sunday afternoon, we all headed to BRI for a few minutes of visiting. Daddy was actually asleep when we got there but that didn't last long since Shawn & Anna Kate were in tow!! Ha! He was laying in bed & we were talking when all of sudden AK started "doing therapy."

She had found a rubberband in the room & told Grandpa it was time to do some therapy. She slipped the rubberband over his foot up onto his leg. She kept telling him now do this or move your foot this way. It was hilarious bc she has seen him in therapy enough to know a few things that they do as well as being a therapy veteran herself.

After she had done a little PT, she decided it was time for some speech! She pulled out his alphabet chart & start saying the ABCs w/ him.

Shawn joined for the speech session to work on counting & numbers.

They both love working w/ him on his letters & numbers. When we were in the process of saying good-byes, the kids had hugged & kissed when Daddy pulled himself to a sitting position using his left arm & the bedrail. Then he slipped his legs off the bed & just sat on the side of the bed! I was completely impressed @ that point but then he just stood up!!!! He braced himself w/ his left hand on the bedrail but he got up easier than he has ever gotten off my couch!! Ha!

Of course, Mom started telling him that he couldn't walk or he would fall...he of course gave her "the look." It was amazing!!!! We got his wheelchair & he pivoted himself a bit & sat down in his chair. Mom & I were there but didn't really do anything!! This was a BIG deal!!!

Another BIG deal was this after non when he finished PT w/ Matt, he was leaving & Mom said you better tell matt "thank you" & he DID!!!!!! He said "Thank You" to Matt! Our friend, Lisa (a PT), was standing there also & so they ALl heard it!!!! We are very excited & anxious about what might be next! He has been making huge strides (at least to us)!!

I was @ Heart hospital today checking on someone & when I left the room walking past the nurse's station I saw one of Daddy's nurses (Kathy) that he had during his week @ Heart. She said that she has had Mom & Dad on her heart & mind the past few days. That is just one example of how we know that God is impressing upon people how to love us then you are obedient so we are so grateful!!!! I asked Kathy to share how things were going w/ the other nurses

Thank you once again to all of you for your prayers, calls, texts & visits. We are so appreciative for each & every one! Please continue your prayers & encouragement especially as we were faced w/ some different news than expected on Tuesday am. Mom was told this am that there was significant pay increase in the rehab facility since it was out of network...only problem is that there are no facilities in LR proper in network. So long story short..,Daddy goes HOME on Friday! This has caught us off guard, but we do feel ok w/ this situation if we can get some things done @ the new place to be ready for him. I know none of this has caught God by surprise so we continue to trust even when we don't understand or feel like we are fighting an up-hill battle! We know that Daddy wouldn't be where he is now if it wasn't for God's care & provision which he will continue to provide! Please be prying for all of us as we make this huge transition!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Walking Laps

AK & I had to go to LR today for her one year check-up w/ her ENT, Dr. Ritcher, at Arkansas Children's Hospital. We LOVE Dr. Ritcher & he has been wonderful to us over the past 2 years as we have dealt w/ AK's ear issues. He gave her a clean bill of health today & said that we don't need to come see him again unless we have problems. Great news!!! But we will miss seeing him!

Since we had time this morning after her appointment, we headed to BRI to surprise Daddy & do some therapy w/ him. He was very surprised to see us, but very glad! We got there just in time for PT & OT. He had PT w/ Matt first so he got the walker ready for Daddy to walk some laps around the gym.

He started walking & didn't want to stop. Matt would make him take breaks between laps, but Daddy would look at him & point to let him know he was ready to go again. He walked 3 laps. The longest lap was 162 feet!!!! The others weren't quite that long but each were well over 100 feet!

During PT, Matt also helped Daddy work on transferring from the chair to the bench & also standing from sitting. Each therapy is about 45 minutes so that's lots of walking & standing!

AK brought Grandpa his favorite cookies (Keebler Fudge Stripes) that she gave him as a treat for doing so well in therapy!

After PT, it was time for OT w/ Cheryl. Daddy started w/ a computer game where he worked his right hand manipulating a joystick to move a basket & catch dropping balls. They use an ace bandage to keep his hand attached to the stick then he works the movement of his arm back & forth. After some computer time, he worked on movement & range of motion w/ a stick/pole that I don't know the name for :-/ They asked AK to help hold the pole while he slid his hand back & forth.

She loved helping w/ Grandpa's therapy. He moves a smaller pipe piece up & down the pole to work his muscles as well as range of motion. As he was working his arm, they used a stimulator on his upper arm & he started hurting really bad. He has muscle spasms quite often from all the intense exercises. They stopped working his arm then & iced it down...he didn't really enjoy that too much either.

When he was finished w/ morning therapy, we all went to McBride's for lunch. Daddy had not been there yet so we thought that would be a good treat. We had a wonderful lunch & I'm pretty sure flat wore him out!!!

We all went back to the room to give loves & kisses before heading home. Another wife of a patient brought Mom a "pear" yesterday but she realized something wasn't quite right...it was too hard. Turns out it was chocolate...really good chocolate!!! Anyway, AK started chomping into it! Haha!

It was a great time together & I'm so proud of how hard Daddy is working in therapy. I can't even imagine how exhausting, frustrating & grueling all that must be. It's all those things just to watch! So glad & thankful we had some special time together!
Keep praying for Daddy's progress & for all the steps required to get him moved into the rehab facility.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...mostly

Anna Kate has been practicing her Speech Therapy skills learned from Ms. Leigh Ann, Ms. Charity & Ms. Missy!!

Practicing mouth positions in the mirror.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Well, this morning was staff meeting, but we still are in somewhat of a limbo. Mom visited with Dr. Kiser this am & they talked about what needs/should happen next. Dr. Kiser was pleased with his walking yesterday so she wasn't sure what would come from the meeting.

Daddy walked yesterday without the harness suspension & simply walked with a heavy duty brace...similar to a walker. Mom said he did much better with that than the harness so that was great! She said he moved his leg better & more with this one also.

They have staffed already this morning & they are in agreement that they would like for him to actually stay @ BRI til next Wednesday (if insurance will allow him to stay). Rebecca (social worker) will be talking to his insurance during the day today. She told Mom that we should know a definite plan by this afternoon. Mom would be thrilled if he could stay a few days longer there then transition, but we know that God is in control so we are trusting him to make the path clear & straight.

Thank you for praying for our family today (and over the last month) as we anticipated hearing what our part of the journey would be. We are not loosing heart & standing strong in the truth of God's Word!

I will update when we know more, but for now you can pray that God's will is done & that we have the grace & peace to accept what He puts before us.

Mom just called & Rebecca received the approval for Daddy to stay one more week @ BRI!!! We are excited & Mom is very happy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sufficient Grace

From the moment I woke up Friday until I went to bed, I felt God's grace in an amazing way. I told Mom that there were so many praying for us...those who knew what the day would hold & those that didn't have any idea but God laid our family on their hearts so they were obedient to intercede on our behalf. Mom even said once we were back at BRI after lunch that she knew it sounded strange to say that she felt good about what was happening & I said that's God's grace & peace from everyone praying!

We only went to tour 2 facilities yesterday...Good Shepherd & Chenal Heights. (FYI...We have NOT begun this conversation w/ Daddy yet, but will this week. I'll share more about that another time.) We were very pleased with both & didn't feel that we needed to go any further since we had a peace about both. Again, God's provision!

We have chosen Chenal Heights & Rebecca, the BRI social worker, is beginning the process of making that happen when the discharge date is definite. Dr. Kiser told Mom yesterday am that May 12 was tentative but they would staff again this Tuesday then we will have a more definite transition date.

When we got back to see Daddy, it was time for afternoon therapy time. First up was Recreation where they decided a friendly game of UNO was in order. Grant & AK got to play also...guess who won?!? Anna Kate! She was SO proud that she was part of the game & that she won!!! Of course, I'm not sure why she would enjoy that so much since no one made a big deal out of it. Ha!

After Rec, it was time for Language group, Speech, OT & PT so AK & I headed back to pick up Shawn from school. AK was upset when we said bye to Nana bc she wanted to come straight back instead of running an errand first. I finally convinced her that we were coming back to have a special dinner w/ Grandpa. She still would remind me occasionally that she was ready to go see Grandpa. So sweet!!!!

Mom sent us a pic of Daddy during PT walking using the harness but w/out the shopping cart!!! He had used the cart that morning so he walked twice which completely wore him out!!! Mom told him that we were bringing him a special dinner (Macaroni Grill) since he had worked so hard in therapy.

We picked up his favorite...Alfredo w/ chicken & shrimp! Mom & Dad met us...you guessed...in the garden for a little evening picnic! It was a nice afternoon & made even better when Olan & Kathy stopped by. We all sat around & talked for a few minutes. Olan reminded Daddy that he needed to better so he could get back to ushering at church. Haha! Daddy just gave him "the" look ;-) What a wonderful day that will be though when be can be back at his door & Shawn w/ him...I can't wait!!!

We went back up to the room for a few minutes but didn't stay too long bc Daddy started having what we think were back or leg spasms from all the hard work. He wiggled around in his chair a bit & seemed to get some relief, but was ready for bed! When the nurse came to help him transfer, I was impressed bc he did even better than just a few days before when I saw him do it. He did more himself w/ less help from the aide. That's what we like to see!! We did manage to get a couple of pics before left & I was able to get one of Mom.

Thank you for all the sweet prayers, calls, texts & visits. We are continually overwhelmed by your gracious generosity!!! We are blessed beyond measure!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Next Chapter

Sorry it's been a few days since I updated, but there just hasn't much new info to report. The last couple of days have brought new things but Mom & I both have been very emotional so I refrained from writing b/c I truly couldn't put two words together that made sense. We had not received any bad news or anything like that, but the exhaustion & emotion of the past four weeks had finally caught up with us.

Mom met w/ Rebecca, the BRI case manager, yesterday to discuss Daddy's discharge plan. Dr. Kiser & the therapists were talking to Mom about her learning to help transfer him, etc. After meeting yesterday though, we are thinking the best decision at this point will probably be to find a Skilled Nursing Facility or rehab center where he can get the most therapy (not quite as much as he's getting now but more than just a couple of days a week). Trust me...this is a very difficult decision since we had so hoped Daddy would have progressed enough to go straight home. However, we want the best for him & as of now that seems to be what will provide him the best therapy options as well as offering him more therapy options once he does come home. The joys of putting the insurance puzzle together so that it works best!

God has continued to bless us beyond measure & one way He has done that is through His people! We have a very dear friend whose sister worked in insurance case management for years & she has offered to walk through all of this technical stuff w/ us. Marty joined Mom & Rebecca in their meeting yesterday. Mom said that Marty was & is invaluable!!! It was so good to have someone who knows the ins & outs of how things work as well as all the medical stuff that goes along with making these decisions. Marty has offered to help us in any way possible so I'm sure we will be calling on her expertise again very soon.

Mom, Grant & I will be going to visit some of the rehab facilities on Friday & then we are getting together Friday along w/ Daniel to discuss everything & make some definite plans as well as make sure we are all on the same page. Please be praying for all of us this weekend as we will be making some very important decisions. We know that God has brought us this far in our journey & He has every plan to see us through each step. He is faithful!!!!

In therapy news, Anna Kate was talking to Daddy this morning on the phone & he said "hi sweet pea." It was somewhat drawn out (well, we do live in Arkansas...haha) but his voice was loud & strong!! We were very excited to say the least!!!! I had the phone on speaker so was able to hear it as well & Mom immediately started telling AK to give me the phone so she could tell me not realizing that I was already listening. He was trying really hard to talk to AK & Shawn when we tree Tuesday, but we couldn't make anything out. He was trying to sing his ABCs ;-) Daniel stopped by tonight on his way home & said that Daddy was combining "Amazing Grace" with "ABCs." We will take whatever we can get though!!! AK talked to Mom either yesterday or this am & said "that therapy is hard work." Haha! Pretty funny & ironic seeing as she has had all those therapies. Must make her an expert & she knows how exhausting those sessions can be ;-) It was so sweet!!

Daddy worked on standing & walking in the harness again today while pushing the shopping cart. I'm adding a picture & sorry it's sideways, but I just didn't have the opportunity to work on it today to get it fixed.

Well, my eyes are beginning to cross & roll into my head so I'm taking that as a sign that it's bedtime!!! Thanks to each of you for your prayers & acts of kindred & generosity. God has blessed us beyond measure w/ tremendous family, friends & church family!!! Even Daddy's PT noticed when a couple from church came to see & said that we must have a wonderful church bc everyone is so nice! Mom let him know that yes we definitely had a fantastic church family. God's tangible way to demonstrate His love & grace.

Thank you in advance for your prayers & acts of kindness/generosity. We have only made it this far by His grace Whig He will continue to supply new mercies every morning! Thank you also for keeping up w/ us through the blog & reaching out to love us in so many tangible ways. Have a wonderful weekend & blessings to each of you!!!

We will take more pictures this weekend! Promise!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

60 years & counting

As I mentioned before, Wednesday was Daddy's birthday. He turned 60!!! Not exactly how we thought we might celebrate, but we were thankful to be together & that's all that really matters!

Our staff was in LR for Administrative Assistants Lunch so when we finished, Frances & I went to see Mom & Daddy. I took Daddy his card. Our gift to him was a small CD player so Frances & Dave gave him a couple of CDs to enjoy...James Taylor, Frank Sinatra & Jim Croce. He loves those guys so I know he will enjoy listening to their music since even though he can't play a guitar & sing (yet)! We had a good visit & then it was time for therapy so spent some time w/ Mom then headed back to Benton.

The kids & I left church early so we could head to the hospital to have some special birthday time w/ Daddy, Mom & Uncle Grant (Daniel had to work). For the first time, I tried my hand for the first time at Banana Pudding. This is one of Daddy's 2 favorites...the other is Coconut Cream Pie. He gave me a thumbs up when I told him what I made & he gave the nod of approval as he was eating so I guess I passed! Before he could eat, AK said we had to song "Happy Birthday!" We all sang (no candles since i didn't want us to be the cause of setting off the fire alarm...haha!

AK decided that Grandpa needed a little help eating so she crawled up in the bed w/ him & started feeding him. She was cracking me up bc every time she would give him a bite she would stick her tongue out...that's lots of work to get the spoon to the mouth ;-) Shawn suggested that they make their own cards instead of buying one so that's what we did. They were SO proud of their artwork & those pictures are now decorating Grandpa's room!

We had a great time together & at AK's commanded us in singing "Happy Birthday" probably 5 times! She's all about birthdays! When we would sing, Daddy would point his finger & wave it in the air like he was directing. It was so sweet!!!

Over the past few weeks when I've taken my camera out Daddy would shake his head or give me a look letting me know he didn't want his picture made. Well, he's gotten better in the past couple of days so we were able to get some actual birthday pictures. He & Grant even laughed a little about having to take birthday pictures. It's so nice to do some normal stuff like drive each other crazy bc Mom cuts everyone's head off taking a picture...haha! I decided not to include that one though ;-)

Well, it was a good day for him! Thanks for all the birthday wishes from everyone on Facebook, word of mouth & cards! That made the day so special!!! Prayers are being answered every day so please continue! We love you all & are so grateful for such a wonderful extended family!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Mom talked to Matt, Daddy's physical therapist, this morning after their staff meeting & Daddy will be staying at BRI until May 12!!!  Matt said that he pulled really hard to keep him b/c of the progress that he is making physically so we are thrilled!

Thank you for your prayers & once again God has provided.  He is faithful all the time.  I have to share a quick story about Anna Kate this am.  We were sitting in the van listening to the radio this am while I was putting on my makeup & a song that has really ministered to me came on the radio "I Will Lift My Hands" by Christ Tomlin).  It's an incredible song of hope & assurance of God's faithfulness.  This song & another of Tomlin's songs have become my theme songs in the last few weeks.  

Anyway, she & I were singing along with the radio just having a good time. There is a part of the song that says "I lift my hands to believe" & she raised her hands up in the air.  It was amazing!  I know she doesn't understand what it means to lift hands in praise to the Lord, but I want her to know.  I want her to not be ashamed to praise her Creator in any place or at any time.  I am so thankful for her praising even in the midst of storms or trails.

Thank you again for being our prayer warriors as we make our way this season of life.  We are so grateful for brothers & sisters in Christ who go before the Throne on our behalf.  All glory, praise & honor to the ONE TRUE GOD!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Prayer Warriors Needed

Dr. Kiser & all of Daddy's therapists will have staff meeting in the morning to discuss his progress. Please pray that they agree he is progressing & benefitting from the aggressive therapy he is receiving. We really want him to stay as long as he needs so that he can get the best therapy & help available, but we also know that God is in control.

Today, Daddy was in the easy stand chair pushing a shopping cart!! Mom said her phone battery died when she got ready to take a picture, but she said they will do it tomorrow also & she promised a picture ;-)

Thank you so much for your continued prayers & your faithfulness in reading the blog posts. As I've said so many times, our words cannot begin to express our gratitude for your thoughts & prayers. God is faithful...every day in every situation.

(I downloaded a new photo gadget for my phone & thought I would share a couple of pictures. I've used these photos before but they have a different look.)