Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ways to Pray!

Matt's two and a half hour therapy (PT, OT, and Speech) sessions started today.  They sent him home with homework and exercises!  His leg brace was fitted really poorly and we will go to get a new one on Friday.  So starts the hard work of relearning how to talk and move normally.  You can pray for endurance--this is definitely a marathon not a sprint.  You can pray that the clot continues to dissolve and that his speech continues to return at this rapid pace.  Finally you can pray for patience with himself and us.

We are always appreciative of your prayers!

Monday, January 27, 2014

So Encouraged!

As we have settled in, life has become more challenging!  I am barely keeping up with insurance claims, bills, numerous phone calls, thank yous, three children, a muy loco basset puppy, and keeping Matt busy.  But, today we received a lovely card from Greenwood Christian Academy (students) with a check from a fundraiser, some very practical help from Mr. Boyer with our insurance (he spent at least 45 minutes with me out of his busy day!), and a gift from Oakland Christian Church.  God knows what we need and provides it--not only physical needs but also emotional.

Thank you to all of you who helped us out today!  Thanks for "breathing" life into me.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Good Day!

Matt glued hundreds of envelopes at Shepherd this morning.  We volunteered with another young man and helped to get donation receipts ready to go.  We also went to the grocery store which was a lot of walking for Matt.  He did well.  I'm so proud of how hard he works and how helpful he is.  He is even starting to do the evening dishes again!  Have a great start to your weekend!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Doing Well!

Matt is doing well!  He had his outpatient evaluations and will be going to therapy twice a week.  With some help, we are starting to get some of the insurance/hospital bills sorted out!
Now if we could just get the extreme cold and snow to cooperate!  I've only been able to work two days this week--the kids are enjoying the late starts.

We're very thankful for ALL OF YOU that let us know you are praying--you make our day brighter!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Saw This Today...

as I entered Matt's room.  Tomorrow he is free!  He also got a t-shirt at his graduation :)

I took him to the surgeon and we found out that they got all the bad blood vessels.  The brain appears to have redirected the blood flow properly--so NO MORE SURGERY needed.  The last time the surgeon saw him there was no speech and no movement on the right side--so the progress looked good to him.  (Matt really moved his thumb a lot today--more than I've ever see it move.) This scan did not show how much the clot has dissolved, BUT I don't think we need any more radiation going into his brain :)

Yeah!  I like happy days.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Matt's Home Visit

The weekend before you're scheduled to be the rehab. hospital lets you go home for a couple of hours.  You practice all the hard stuff--like going up stairs, getting into your bathtub, not getting knocked down by an enthusiastic puppy, and walking farther than you're used to.  Matt did really well and even strolled all the way back into the hospital!  We're so thankful that this trial run was so positive.

We headed back home in the snow and saw four major wrecks.  But  made it home safely and hunkered down for the rest of the afternoon.

We have an appointment with the surgeon on Monday so that he can confirm all the malformed blood vessels were removed during surgery.

Thanks for your prayers!

In honor of MLK day:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Like This Quote...

When in South America (Ecuador) I saw ladies carrying enormous bundles of sticks solely using a strap on their forehead.  In India I saw ladies carry huge baskets of dirt on their head much like the lady below.
There are "best" ways of carrying heavy things.  I'm under a pretty heavy load right now myself.  One thing I've been asking is, "Do I need to carry all these worries/concerns/problems around?" NO!!! If your stress level is super high--give it to God.  If you need to be in three places at once--ask for wisdom.  If you have problems you don't have the solutions to--wait on Him.  

Its kind of like that old hymn that says...
Turn your eyes upon Jesus and ...

Have a Marvelous Day!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Good News!

China was accepted at Paramount School of Excellence and can start tomorrow.  There are a couple of good thing about this school.  1.  It is super close to our house! (.4 miles)  2.  They have a great ESL program which China still needs.  3.  Free breakfast starts at 7:30--which gives me time to get to work.  4.  It will be a good introduction to African American culture for China.

Pray for him as he adjusts.  We thank God for providing in little and BIG ways!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Today I got to go be "trained" and watch Matt's physical therapy.  He is doing really well on the walking.  He did 400 ft with the cane, stairs, and then around 200 ft. walking without a cane! (The Physical Therapist made it clear that she expects him to eventually walk unaided.)
 His right leg keeps getting stronger.  It's very clear that your prayers are being heard and answered.  Keep it up!

On a side note...the speech therapist works on other cognitive functions like memory.  She asked me for some verses that Matt could work on (as she knew they were important to Matt).  I promptly gave her the Roman Road and other basic verses (that Matt would remember well.)  You never know what opportunities God will place right in your lap!  Use them and find joy.  In the most difficult of situations God has plans and purposes.

Friday, January 10, 2014

At the Rehab Hospital...

you see people from all over the state.  One young man was in a car crash and had severe head trauma.  There are older folks who've had strokes.  There are middle aged that have had tumors removed.  All are striving to get back to normal.
Today as I watched my husband (and others) strain to move their finger or foot or arm, I realized how blessed I was to have use of all my body.  Be thankful that your knees move (even if they ache!!)  Rejoice in the little things.

On that note...we're grateful to see more movement in Matt's arm. He has to work (and have some stimulation) to get it to go, but there is definite improvement.  I'm encouraged by all the men and women in the hospital--I've never seen a group of people putting so much effort into anything.  Hard work and a positive spirit pays off in the end!

Happy Friday!

So glad today that God is with us in the midst of pain (and having three kids home from school for an extra week!!!). Have a joy filled weekend!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Want to Say a Big Thank You to...

Pastor David Noe of Shepherd Community.  He came and plowed out my alley (my elderly neighbor was very happy too!) so that we could go to the grocery!  I have been humbled by the many people (who don't even really know me) that have been so helpful.  Being a very independent person, it has been a big lesson to me to accept help AND a challenge to BE a helper!

The Date Is Set

We heard today that the hospital set Matt's release date at Jan. 21st.  (This is only if the insurance continues to pay for that long!!!  The date could be sooner.)  I have to go have some training next Monday and Tuesday.  Matt will also have a weekend pass which allows him to come home for a few hours.  (This serves as a trial and lets you know if you need bars/rails in places you hadn't thought of.)

Please continue to pray that things go smoothly and that Matt's astounding progress continues!

On a side note I watched a TED talk the other night.  It was a brain scientist that had a stroke.  She talked about her symptoms (loss of speech, loss of movement on right side, etc.) and how it affected her life and then she showed her CAT scan---Her clot was so small in comparison to Matt's.  It really is MIRACULOUS that he has retained so much AND is making such quick progress.  Praise be to God! 

What Do You Do...

 when there is no school?  Paint the kitchen!  Fair well mint green!  Hello warm brown.  (I hope to stencil an accent wall.)
It included some patching which turned out pretty well--but not perfect.  It's an old house--oh well!

Meanwhile Matt is sitting all alone.  We call him two or three times a day and keep him updated on how mom is keeping the kids busy--we've painted, cleaned the basement, shoveled neighbor's snow, and organized our rooms.  I'm running out of things to do.  Please let there be school tomorrow!

Monday, January 6, 2014

It Sure Is Pretty, BUT

 When it started snowing on Sunday we already had at least six inches (15.24 cm).  Today they are officially saying that we got 11.54 inches (29 cm) more!  China and I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled.  It snowed for nine consecutive hours!
 It's so pretty today, but I'm wondering if I can get my car out of the garage or if I should even try.  With the wind chill it is -35 F (-37 C).  We went out and shoveled briefly and my fingers went numb (with two pairs of gloves on!)  This also means we can't go see Matt and I'm at home with kids I really wish were in school!


 Ana and China went up to the grandparents with Aunt Kim and Uncle Jack on Saturday.  They had a fun time--Ana especially liked it when Aunt Kim fell off the back!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mei Mei's Nemesis

Sorry for the poor picture quality!  This is taken through our kitchen window!  This squirrel TEASES Mei Mei mercilessly.  It will get just out of reach and chatter at her--sometimes coming down the tree to make its point!  I'm sure it is hard on Mei Mei's honor, but it sure makes me laugh!  

Physical Therapy Update

Matt is really trying to get out of the hospital as fast as possible.  He can now walk over 300 ft. with a smaller cane.  He can do 8-10 stairs at a time and each day he regains more movement in his right leg.  I have even noticed more movement in his upper right arm.  We worked on some speech homework with him today.  This is really going to be his challenge area!

Fortunately there is a outpatient, rehab. center (that specializes in brain injury) not far from our house.  They can keep up the great therapy he is receiving now.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ana's Christmas

 In July we bought this doll house kit from Hobby Lobby at 60% off.  After moving into our house we had so many projects, that we didn't get around to doing much on it EXCEPT painting.  The day Matt had his stroke he had planned on starting on it.  Uncle Jack and Aunt Kim graciously stepped in and spent days putting it together.  Not only does it look great, BUT it has really kept her busy!  She's loves arranging things, cooking dinner, and putting her misc. dolls/creatures inside.
We have a lot of decorating to do, but I'm looking forward to that!  She's already picked out colors for three of the rooms.  My dad added wheels so that it can be moved--super heavy!  We'll update with pictures as we complete rooms!  Thanks to everyone who contributed furniture!

Satisfied and Thankful!

I listened to this sermon on satisfaction by Bill Hybels.  Near the end he talks a lot about people who are seriously ill.  No matter how successful they were did their family and friends surround them or did the people they considered their friends stay away?  We're very thankful for all your notes, e-mails, and visits.  They show how richly God has blessed us with TRUE friends and family!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow in the Forecast!

(male and female cardinal on our back bush)
The weather said 1-2 inches.  We have at least four, maybe five!  AND it's still coming down.  (My parents left just in time!)  On Sunday night they are predicting 8-11 inches--so we'll probably get 1!  I'm so ready for school to start--I'm hoping for less!