Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Update Tuesday evening 12/20

Merry Christmas to all of you!  We are excitedly preparing for the upcoming holiday.......actually, that's not true.  We are enjoying doing pretty much nothing during our break from school with all its joys and not-so-joyous moments (otherwise known as tests).  This extreme laziness rather irritates my husband who believes that a minute not spent engaged in an activity that is wholesome, educational, or at least chore-related is a minute wasted.  I, on the other hand, am what I like to call efficient---which means I work fast and furiously to accomplish my chores as quickly as possible so that I may laze around the rest of the day doing as I please, usually reading or napping.  I am productive in spurts; my house is not eligible for a Mr. Clean commercial but neither is it going to be on the next "Hoarders" episode.  I use the "I have five children" excuse to explain any and all messes, piles of laundry, unwashed dishes, and the war zones that are, in actuality, my children's bedrooms.  Our house has that "lived-in" look that some people call homey.  It's really just the result of six (sometimes seven, if Chad forgets to take his shoes upstairs) people dropping things in the most convenient spot.  I'm not as bad as the kids are about this, but I do contribute.

So, today, since we all had a day off (girls---from school, and Dale---from therapy), we were out of real reasons not to clean and we spent a good deal of time straightening up and wading through the stuffed animals (we really could start a zoo), trying to decide what to get rid of since we know they'll get more when they open their presents.  (Who started the whole stuffed animal idea anyway?  Chad and I will sign the petition to have their name removed from history.)  Please pray for the structural integrity of our house; it may not stand the strain of all the toys bulging its walls much longer!

(On a side note, Dale has been saying that what he wants for Christmas is more Legos.  Since he doesn't remember all the boxes of Legos he received in the hospital after his accident, can we just wrap those up and stick them under the tree?  They'll be just like new---to him, at least!  Would that be unethical?  Just wondering..........)

At PT yesterday, Dale's therapist said something interesting that I have repeated to Dale off and on since then.  Dale's confidence level has been alot lower since his last seizure, and he is unwilling to walk on his own.  He asks for one of us to hold his hand at all times, even into the bathroom.  He's told us that he is afraid he will fall.  I was relaying this to his therapist who turned to Dale and said, "Dale, if you stumble, what's the worst that could happen?"  He replied, "I might fall."  She said, "Right!  That's the worst that could happen---you might fall.  That's all."  She was trying to get him to see that, even if he did fall, he could get back up and keep going.  I've reminded Dale of this a couple of times, talking it through with him, wanting him to realize that falls are a part of life and all he has to do is get up again.  Hopefully this will eventually sink in and he will be more willing to walk on his own, but for now we give him that added support.

Also at PT yesterday, his therapist brought her own small cotton candy machine, and she and Dale made cotton candy together.  I'd never seen a cotton candy machine that small; I've only seen the big ones like at the fair.  She and Dale had fun making and eating cotton candy.  While waiting for the machine to warm up, Dale did some exercises:  the treadmill (it's easy for him), the rebounder (he throws a ball at a propped-up trampoline and catches it on the rebound), and the stationary bike.  Dale almost fell trying to catch the rebounded ball once; after he regained his balance, he simply asked, "Could you get that (the ball) for me?"  This was a good step for him, not focusing on the near-fall but instead on what to do to keep working.  His PT therapist is so good at making Dale enjoy physical exercise and feeling like a success at whatever exercise he chooses to do.  I thank God for her!

(You know I'm just kidding about the Legos.......right?)  :-)

After PT, Dale went on to SP.  The SP department is located inside the Tacoma Mall Office Building.  When we reached the mall parking lot for Dale's 2:00 p.m. appointment, I was tempted to turn around and go home.  That place was packed!  We literally circled the building's parking lot (which is adjacent to the mall parking lot) four times trying to find a place to park.  We finally headed to the side of the building where, frankly, the lot is not as smooth in order to find a spot.  I parked the van on the outside edge of the side lot; the pavement was cracked and full of bumps where nearby trees had spread their roots a bit too far.  This gave Dale a bit of a challenge walking, but he did fine.

SP went great.  She had Dale working extra on listening to a story, answering questions about the plot, and repeating the story with all the main details.  He really did well the first time (repeating the story after having just heard it).  She went on to something else for about ten minutes and then returned to the previous story.  Dale repeated the story again with all ten main details.  If you had sat in SP a few weeks before during the testing and heard how hard it was for Dale to repeat a story at all (and how impossible it was for him to remember it ten minutes later!), you'd realize what an incredible improvement he has made in such a short time!  THANK YOU, JESUS!!!  His SP therapist is helping Dale improve his short-term memory and learning attention span, while at the same time showing him again how to listen and study for quizzes and tests.  Yes!

Then came the challenge of getting out of the mall parking lot.  I'm telling you---I am not one of those people who thrive on big crowds and elbow-to-elbow contact and fighting for parking spaces.  I heaved a sigh of relief just exiting the parking lot!  Not thirty seconds after we pulled onto the main street, Dale and I heard an announcement over the radio of a car accident on the freeway just outside the Tacoma Mall.  Yeah, we were glad to be headed home.

To answer someone's question:  Katie's headaches come and go.  She is not suffering constantly with them as some people do, and we are learning what causes them so that she can be prepared for and possibly prevent their occurence.  Thank you for your kind concern.

Do you know what Dale said to me yesterday on the way home?  He said, "I'm glad I'm a boy."  I asked him, "Why?"  He told me, "Because Jesus was a boy."  I, being a girl, had never thought of something like that.  I'm glad to know my son is thinking about his Saviour and wanting to be like Him---even though it seems like he has an unfair advantage already!

God bless you all during this holiday season and all throughout this next year.  As full as our hearts are with the love and prayers you all have offered, we wish for more......we wish you to know our Saviour more fully this coming year than you have ever before.  God is faithful; God is true; and He always keeps His promises.  Christmas is a promise kept.  God bless you!

Luke 2:11  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."


  1. Thank you for the update on Katie. I will continue praying specifically for her headaches. Here is a riddle for Dale. "What do you get in December that you don't get in other months?" "The letter 'D."
    For my birthday, I received a Lego 1962 Volkswagen Camper Van (my kids know I like VW vans). While I assembled it, I thought of Dale and of his love for Legos. I hope he has fun with them this Christmas.

  2. Kirsten, I'm glad that you posted tonight; I was thinking about replying myself, and saw the update just as I got on the blog. My heart is filled with joy at this time of ear, and seeing any family getting ready to celebrate the birth of our saviour is a wonderful event. But when I see you and your family rejoicing and living life the way any normal family would (although, if anyone can truly define the wonderful chaos of family life as 'normal', please call me lol) it brings me a blessing beyond belief. It shows that the power of prayer is real and beyond incredible. I am so thankful to have your family to pray for, and I am rejoicing at the progress Dale is making each and everyday. I will continue to thank you for all of these updates, I don't know how you are able to do all of this writing on top of raising your family, some day you need to show us everything you do in a 24 hour period lol. Thanks again, and best wishes for this incredibly joyous season. All my best, Eric

  3. Kirsten another thing you may want to remind Dale of about his falling is that when he was a baby and beginning to stand and walk he fell often, had a little cry, and got right back up. He may find some peace knowing he has fallen a LOT while growing and that he came out just right because of it. You may also want to tell him that the more he relies on you guys to be his crutch the longer it will take for him to get physically in shape again, and the longer it takes the more likely he is to keep falling! I am happy to hear about Katie. Me and my grandma (rest her soul) both suffer from miraines. Hers were often caused by certain foods. Like Strawberries. Because your not at all busy maybe keeping tabs on what katie ate, and relativly how much and when she has a migraine, you will be able to see if it is food or drink that brings them on. Just a thought! Merry Christmas! I pray in the new year that Dale is healed completely and that I will have one last good cry :D God bless you all!!