Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time sure flies when you're having fun...

Boys @ the Zoo during Day with Daddy!

This is my "CHEESE" boy!

So serious, a rare moment because he's usually laughing

Future fireman?

Two future firemen? Watch out ladies!

Kadin's first meal out - @ Red Robin

The whole family got to eat :0)

Dad was golfing, so I entertained them on the deck with popsicles on a warm (70+) night.

Isn'r he so adorable? I'm smitten!

Again, my CHEESE - "Mom, take my picture!"

This can't last forever, so I'm snapping away while I can.

I love feelings charts! Maybe it's that counselor in me ;0)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

As I approach my 18 month mark in recovery, I am filled with emotions. I am overjoyed I've come so far. I am nervous that I've plateaued in recovery and this is it. I am determined to keep working at my recovery. I am sad at the reality, I won't be 100% again. I am thankful for the journey and how I've been blessed so far. I am overwhelmed at the entire journey. I have been blessed beyond words at the gestures of love that have been showered upon me these last 18 months. From pedicures with my Dad, gift cards to McDonalds, food gifts, hugs, cards & notes of encouragement, I have used those kind acts to push me forward. I thank each one of you for being part of my recovery.I have included some pictures of the past few days.

At the beginning of my recovery, I wasn't sure of what my future held. It isn't exactly as I always pictured it, but it's bright, beautiful, and blessed never less.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whoever made famous the saying: when it rains, it pours, forgot something. I'm revamping it to; when it rains, it pours, but I'm looking forward to the rainbow!

This week has been tough emotionally. I found out a friend that had a brain cyst, is struggling with headaches & facial spasms. She has a MRI coming up, please remember her in prayer. I cannot imagine what she is going through, but I know if it were me, I'd be imagining every scenario possible. I also found out that a person I've become very close to during my recovery, just found out her father-in-law has inoperable brain cancer. I also ask for prayer for this family. Then I found out a relative of mine has had some negative medical test results and she's worried she may have cervical cancer. Please also lift her and her family up too. Then if that wasn't enough, I came home from the gym this morning to a very sick little guy. In May, he battled Pneumonia and now he has bronchiolitis. After his early trip to the ER and a nebulizer treatment, I'd thought he'd rebound quickly, but no such luck. After being home 3 hours, he again became a sick did. Darren too him to the pediatrician office. They did another nebulizer treatment, shot to control the lungs inflammation, and an observation period, he was released with good luck. He feel asleep on the way home & took a short nap in his crib. He woke up and sounded & looked terrible. We gave him another nebulizer treatment, which was a chore, but he seemed much better after that, he even ate a good lunch and drank a good amount of juice/water mix. After that, I put him down for his nap and he took a good nap. Please also pray for him. Ive learned it's really hard to hand your child over to someone for care, hoping & trusting they will do what will help & heal them. This has been a hard pill for me to swallow. I find that I much more sensitive to this now than I was.

Kadin at the doctor's office, after his trip to the ER, getting a second nebulizer treatment. Isn't medicine great, he looks deceivingly happy.

Kadin doing his nebulizer treatments at home with his dino mask.

Side note: I got to go to Sesame Street's Live Elmo's Healthy Heroes with Zach & my Mom since Darren had to stay home with Kadin. It was a good show despite no handrails for me to go down the concrete steps, Zach spilling his soda, rude people & Zach wanting to leave before the intermission. He ate an entire popcorn by himself, which I was impressed by, but wanted to leave shortly after. After some discussion & sitting on my lap, and a bribe of cotton candy (yes, I do bribe sometimes), he decided we could stay. On the way home he proclaimed the show was Awesome (unsolicited). He told his Dad later in the day that he wanted to go again. Aren't kids funny?

Zach's popcorn ~ he ate it all even though he was suppose to share with Grandma.

My Mom thought that the kids shouldn't have all the fun with souvenirs. I scored a pimp Elmo hat. Don't I look fabulous? This may become my new favorite hat!

Cheese! Zach wouldn't take a picture at the show, but when we got home he posed with his Elmo light spinner. These things rock! Why didn't they have them when I was little?

Even though he didn't go, Kadin still loved his Big Bird toy!

Just chillin' with the bird after a fun afternoon outside

Taking a break for some juice on a hot day after bike riding with Dad.

Bike riding while Kadin takes a nap. Is there anything better?

After the Sesame Street show and Kadin's nap/Zach's bike riding and playing, we all headed to the back yard for some sun, water, and fun. I could have missed this, but I'm so Thankful the God spared me and allows me to truly enjoy this time with my family!

There was fun to be had and we enjoyed it all, even Lucky!

Zach playing in the sprinkler before Dad hooked the hose to the inside faucet (warm water).

Kadin enjoying the sprinkler despite being sick.

Climber #2 has arrived. Kadin learning to be a big boy by climbing up & into the tree fort. Big Brother right behind him encouraging him.

Last summer, I could barely come down the stairs, get to a close chair and sit down while the boys played in the yard and someone else watched them. This year, I got to play in the sprinkler with my boys, play fetch with Lucky, push Zach around the yard in the fun ball, spot Kadin on the tree fort & slide, and visit my garden & strawberry boxes without assistance.

Isn't God SO GOOD!

Bedtime tonight after all the excitement. Made it through his book but passing out during prayer time. Even though that happens from time to time, I am confident it is sinking in because of what Zach said to me yesterday. When Kadin returned from the ER and Doctor's office and was finally down for a nap, Zach said, "are we gonna pray for Kadin?" I answered him with, "yes, we can pray for him tonight during prayer time ... but you know you can pray any time you want to." He stopped, looked at both Darren and I, closed his eyes and started praying out loud saying, "Dear Lord, please watch over Kadin cause he is sick, bless him and help him to get some rest, Amen." I was so touched in this moment! What an incredible little boy I have.

My Head Shot - I told you I LOVE THIS HAT! Thanks Mom!

Tomorrow we head to my Mom's house for Turkey dinner. I plan to be stuffed just like the bird, with stuffing ;0) Since were doing Thanksgiving, I'd just like to say Thank You for all your support, encouragement, love, and especially your prayers!

Note of Praise: My entire time in the hospital and until this week, I craved a gigantic Dr. Pepper. I even convinced my Neurosurgeon to write an order to have the nurses put it down my tube. It was the first one he's written and the first they'd seen. One of my Mom's friends even found a giant Dr. Pepper chapstick for me. I made deals with others over Dr. Pepper. Let's just say, I was obsessed! This week after an early morning trip to the gym, I stopped by the nearby convenience store and bought a 44oz. Dr. Pepper for myself. It was cold, crisp, sweet, refreshing, and rewarding. I enjoyed every last sip. I think that for my year and a half in recovery, I may splurge and buy myself the mega 64oz. Who knows!

Stuff I learned about rainbows :

Sermon on rainbows - the colors and what they mean

The Colors of the Rainbow
Submitted by Sue Barthel

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:16 (NIV) A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Revelation 4:3b (NIV)

Did you know that a Rainbow is a Promise?

Did you know The Bible begins with a rainbow and ends with a rainbow:

• In the Book of Genesis it says: The Rainbow of God's Promise shines across the world.

• In the Book of Revelation it says: The Emerald Rainbow shines around the Throne of God in heaven.

A very long time ago, God could find only one honorable person, Noah. So God asked him to build a large boat and to load it with his family and pairs of every kind of bird and animal on earth. Then God sent rain for forty days and nights until the earth was covered with water in a great flood, and all the people and animals outside drowned - even the birds.
After the water dried up, Noah build an altar and worshiped God, and God spoke to Noah and his sons. God promised that the earth and everything living on it would never again be destroyed by a flood.

We see this story as evidence one more time of the grace and goodness of a God who makes solemn promises. And God gave us something to remind us of that solemn promise.

A rainbow is an arch of light exhibiting a wide range of colors. It is caused by drops of water falling through the air. It is usually seen in the sky at the end of a rain shower. Because of this, God said every time we see a rainbow it would remind us of His promise never to flood the whole world again and remind us of His love for us.

Do you know what each color in the rainbow means? I found something that explains it:

Red represents the blood Jesus shed for us

Yellow is for God’s perfect light, the sun so bright

Orange is coming from night into life with thru Jesus.

Green reminds us that God created the earth and trees. Like the grass in spring, it represents the new life we have in Jesus.

Blue represents the color of water. God created the oceans & seas, this reminds us of the baptism that identifies us with Jesus.

Black represents our sins and God’s darkest day.

Purple is for Jesus’ hours of sorrow, so we can gain the crown of life.

Pink is for our new tomorrows.

White represents God’s purity and the cleansing of our sins thru God’s grace.

Rainbows appear after mighty storms, when things look their worst. Just when the sky is darkest, out of heaven a rainbow appears. God 1st sent the rainbow to Noah, as a sign that his word is true.

The rainbows message still speaks to me and you. The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise, that he will guide us thru any storm. When you feel battered by life’s storms and you are filled with doubt. Just remember God’s rainbow is coming and He’ll be there for you.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Another year older and.....

My new favorite picture of me and my two little men

Zach hoping someone would let him drive the boat

Birthday Boy!

Ti and Kakum (Aunt Jaime & Uncle Kyle) - THE BEST AUNT & UNCLE! They have helped us out so much. I cannot THANK them enough! Love you two tons!

Me, Aimee & Mady - Boat Ride

Jaime & Ryan getting ready for a boat ride

Kadin dislikes his life jacket - a lot!

Aimee & Mady - getting ready for the boat ride

Rolo Ice Cream Pie

Can you find your true love at 3 1/2 & 2 1/2?

Ice Cream Pie

Dinomite Dinner - Homemade chili, hot dogs & dino corn bread muffins

Birthday Boy Dinner

This past weekend was Darren's birthday. We headed up to our friend's Aimee & Ryan's cabin on Big Lake. This was our second day trip up this summer. We always have a great time, I think it's because the group of people. Getting to the cabin isn't easy, but I enjoy it and of course watching my three guys enjoy it, makes it even better. When you have balance issues such as me, it isn't easy to participate fully. Thankfully, my friends are gracious and always lending a hand to get me in/out of the boat, up/down the stairs, and children wrangling. This time Darren got on the water ski's and the three person inner-tube. It was fun to watch from my seat in the boat. Even if I were 'normal' I don't think I'd be doing that. I'm a big weenie! Halfway through the water adventures, the sun came out and it was so pleasant. We ate good food and I had made a Rolo ice cream cake to share for Darren's birthday. We had fun chatting, laughing, and teasing each other. Such great friends!

I noticed three things this weekend that I count as signs of continued healing:

I ate two loaded burritos at dinner and didn't take much longer than the others eating.

I can drink out of a wide mouth Nalgene bottle without choking.

I don't remember the last time I woke up in the middle of the night, struggling to breathe.

Wow! When I think back, I can definitely see all God's handiwork! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!

Yesterday, even though Darren's birthday had passed, I still made the birthday dinner he requested: homemade chili, hot dogs, and corn bread. I of course had to put a spin on the corn bread by baking it in my dinosaur pan. I also made an ice cream pie that mimicked his favorite Coldstone creation, strawberry blonde. Overall, it was a great weekend. I hope Darren enjoyed his birthday. I remember asking him right after I came home from the hospital, what he wanted for my recovery and among the list was to do fun things as a family like others do. I would say that based on that, this weekend was a success!


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Picture Update

It started out like this....

Fun Ball

Wearing his hand made "Camping with Kakum" (what Zach 1st called Uncle Kyle) shirt

Long weekend!

Aunt Wendy (my sister) and Zach

When Zach locked everyone out of the cabin ;0)

Morgan (my niece) 4 wheelin' with Darren with Noel (my brother in law) in the background

Brittany (my niece) eating beef jerky surrounded by 2 of the 3 dogs

Hanging out by the fire - Wendy (my sister), Niels (my cousin), Kyle (my brother in law) & Jaime (my sister)

Zach & Dad

Kadin & Dad (1st ride ever)

I don't have much to say, but I wanted to share some pictures from camping in Kasilof for the weekend of the 4th and some from the other night where we got out the fun ball. I will just note that the fun ball was not all fun, there was work involved! It took forever to blow up and I did physical therapy pushing it around the yard with Zach in it. Regardless, enjoy.