Monday, April 23, 2012

Update Monday afternoon 4/23

We survived the auction!  Everyone connected with our annual school auction breathed a hefty sigh of relief when we were able to turn out the lights and go home Friday night.  We got there around 3:00 p.m. and didn't leave until about 9:45 p.m.  Some folks were there longer---some even all day.  I was in the Bed Babies nursery with another worker; we only had six children to care for, most of whom were contented for the evening.  We had two newborns who were soooo sweet and cuddly and soft!  The next nursery up from us had ten children and three workers.  I think they had a couple of unhappy kids for a while until they settled down.  The K4-K5-1st Grade Room had sixteen kids in it.  The couple in charge of them did a fantastic job of keeping them occupied, fed, and uninjured!  My youngest, Emily, was in that class and seemed to have a great time.  My two middle children, Ashley and Dale, were in the 5th and 6th Grade game room.  (The husband of the couple in charge there was Dale's teacher last year, so he didn't mind Dale being in there; plus, some of Dale's classmates were in there as "helpers".)  Dale spent the night playing board games and video games and having a great time.  Ashley had fun, as well, hanging out with her friends and playing games.  My two oldest girls, Amanda and Katie, were serving the meal and waiting tables in the gym all night.  A wonderful family in our church had offered to roast a pig (in a hole in the ground, real style!) in accordance with our luau theme.  Then, not to be outdone, a local pastor and good friend of our church (some of his church members and family attend our school) said he would cook a pig in a roaster (American style); then, everyone could taste the two and vote which one was better.  Of course, our man won.........after all, he's from Bethel!  :-D  (Amanda said she thought the other pig actually tasted better but that they were both good.)  By the end of the evening, Mandie and Katie were both hot, tired, and exhausted; their feet ached, their ears were ringing (it was an auction, after all), and they wanted nothing more than to collapse!  Even the next day, their feet were sore from standing for several hours while serving.  I talked to one of the main coordinators on Saturday, and she said we brought in about what we did last year ($15,000.00).  Praise the Lord!  Our school has suffered this year from a drop in enrollment due to the economy, so these extra funds will help us greatly.

A bonus on Friday---there was no school in order to prepare and decorate for the auction.  We all got to sleep in (some of us more than others!) which meant Dale felt more rested as he began his day.  Good thing, too, as he didn't get to bed Friday night until 10:30 p.m. (blame the auction again!).  He seemed a good bit steadier Friday than he had the entire past week, so that was an extra blessing.  We went to SP in the morning where he was met with a brand-new challenge.  Last week, Lisa had played a recording where a man read a string of numbers aloud.  Dale needed to press the button in his hand whenever he heard the number "2".  His biggest problem that day was holding the button still with one hand while pressing down each time he heard the number "2" because his hands were so shaky.  This past Friday, Lisa stepped things up a couple of notches.  This time, the man announced that Dale needed to press the button each time he heard a number that was three greater than the number before.  Like "3......6"---Dale would press the button, but not "3......7"---get it?  This meant that Dale had numerous things to think about all at the same time:  he had to listen for the original number, add three, listen for the next number, press the button if it was the number he had come up with when adding, resist the impulse to press the button if it was not, hear the new number, add three to it, and so on.  Lisa told him before they started that this was a hard thing to do.  She said she had tried it, and it was definitely tricky!  Dale did pretty well, although he did better when she slowed things down a bit.  Lisa would allow the man's voice to announce the new number; then she would pause the recording and remind Dale to add three; then she allowed the recording to play until the next number was announced and checked to see if Dale pressed the button accordingly; then she reminded Dale to add three to this new number, etc.  They only worked on this for ten minutes, but you should have seen how utterly exhausted Dale looked afterwards!  His brain had worked hard for that short time, and it required great effort for him to pull himself together in readiness for the next task---which was alot easier.  Lisa suggested we continue this therapy at home/school to help Dale re-learn how to multi-task; it is also hoped that Dale will begin to multi-task for longer periods of time.

These past few days have been gorgeous weather-wise!  We've hit 70 degrees each day including today, and I hope we get to keep the sun for a couple more days.  Each spring and summer here in Washington State, we have to teach our children over again what the giant glowing orb in the sky is......we see it so rarely!  My husband's joke:  What do we call two sunny days in a row in Washington State?  Summer!  :-D

Dale's steadiness has remained at a medium level since Friday.  He had PT today and would have absolutely received an A+ if there were grades being given.  Alison helped him regain confidence on the stairs by suggesting Dale step down, straighten that leg, then bring the other leg down.  When we went into the PT gym, Dale practiced jumping (while holding onto the bars of the treadmill).  His top record has been 14 jumps (feet completely off the floor) in 30 seconds.  Today, he topped that!  He jumped 19 times in 30 seconds!!!  Next, Alison wanted Dale to work on the "wobble board"---a wooden platform nailed onto a (kind of) half-sphere; you can imagine how it would help with balance.  While she was hunting this down, Dale took the opportunity to get in about 20 more jumps!  Seeing this, Alison said, "Dale, you're ready for some independence, aren't you?"  I couldn't help but agree---Dale so badly wants to be free of these shakes and jerks and unsteadiness, which is why he works so hard in PT each time.  Some glorious day...........!  His balance on the wobble board was incredible.  Sure, his legs buckled a few times, but Dale soon learned how to correct his own balance and was willing to let go of the steadying bars in order to test his abilities.  Alison was very pleased with how well he did.

Please pray for Alison's young son.  He will undergo surgery on Wednesday to correct a problem.  She and her husband feel good about the surgery, but it's still a scary process.  I guess her son is taking the news well, telling his mom, "It's necessary!"  She is a special lady who has done so much for Dale, and we want to show her child the same love and concern she has for ours.

Time to get off the computer!  To all of you fabulous people:  You have our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the love and support you have shown our family.  God has greatly enriched our lives by allowing us to touch yours.  Have a blessed day!  Kirsten

II Samuel 22: 50 - 51  "Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Thy name.  He is the tower of salvation for His king:  and sheweth mercy to His anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore."


  1. Kirsten, your family too has enriched and touched our lives, it is a joy and a blessing to be able to pray for healing. Not only Dale's, but the healing from the stress, fear and emotional upheaval that your whole family has gone through. It has been a long journey, but one that has shown God's grace and love all along the way. He truly is great. I got a chuckle over hearing your weather today, only because I woke to upper 40s today, with an chance of upper 30s tonight. Not bad you say, but I live on the Florida Gulf Coast lol. This weather has truly been one for the books. I'm glad that the auction went well, I love the one we do at our church each year. With all of the cutbacks everywhere, the proceeds are a huge help in our ministries, and it's loads of fun to put on. But I agree, the day after is just for recuperation lol. As always Kirsten, thank you so much for sharing your lives with us, and I continue to hold you all in my prayers. All my best, Eric

  2. You are correct about the weather. It almost felt like summer the last two days. I am hopeful that this weekend is a harbinger of things to come this summer.
    In my prayers for Dale and your family, I had a thought that I wish I had to share with your earlier. Should Dale have a future meltdown and say things to you that he shouldn't, here is a suggested reply. "Dale, remember when you asked how God could love us even when we sin. (Assuming he answers in the affirmative) When you say and do things like you just did, your words and actions hurt me - they hurt me deeply and they hurt me very much. But I want you to understand, no matter what you say, not matter what you do, not matter how much you might hurt me, you cannot make me love you any less. I have always loved you, love you now and will love you in the future. That love, which will never falter, is not based on your actions. My love for you does not waiver. I will never, never never, never love you any less, not matter what. I love you, and that son, is just a small taste of how God can love you even while you are a sinner." Maybe a response like that might help.
    Here is a joke for Dale:
    "Why did the one armed gorilla cross the road? To get to the second hand store."