Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday evening 7/30

It is nearly 7:00 p.m. Monday evening, and we can finally see our living room floor!  Plus, we discovered about an hour ago that we do, indeed, have a surface on our dining room table.  Let me explain........

Saturday afternoon our family took a trip to Port Orchard where Ron and his sister Susan were waiting to gift our family with all sorts of treasures.  Their father recently died, and they wanted to share some of his clothes and goods with us first before donating to neighborhood yard sales and such.  We went, expecting to come home with an armful of shirts, some shoes that may or may not fit Dale, and a couple of music boxes for the girls.  We came home with much, MUCH more!

Ron met us in the driveway with five peacock feathers for our kids.  Genuine peacock feathers!  He said they have a couple of peacocks that just showed up a few years back, and every Fourth of July his peacocks begin shedding.  I wonder why?.........  Anyway, our children were ecstatic over those feathers!!!  Then, he invited us into the house where we met his sister, Susan---very nice lady.  Ron and Susan told us to take anything we wanted, but you know how that sounds.  I interpreted it to mean, "Just take a few things."  No, they really meant, "Take anything you want!"  They would have given us the dining table and chairs if we had needed them.  Ron took my husband back into a bedroom; Chad emerged a short while later with, I think, three armfuls of shirts, two nice jackets, and some six pairs of shoes---all Dale's size.  In fact, we had Dale sit down (dining room chair) and try on a pair of shoes to make sure, and they fit beautifully.  Dale didn't take them off the rest of the day!

Meanwhile, Susan asked me, "Do you like books?"  This was like asking a philatelist if he likes stamps.  When I responded, "Yes!", Susan waved me toward the bookshelves where I found several books by favorite authors and some real treasures like Lloyd C. Douglas' The Robe and The Silver Chalice.  I read these books during my senior year of high school; guess who snatched them up to read now?  Amanda, who is entering her senior year of high school this fall.  Great minds think alike, right? I brought home probably a dozen books, plus some great CDs.  I told Susan, "Please let me know if we're taking too much," and she replied, "Oh, no, please take what you like."  She and Ron were gracious, generous, and thoughtful the whole visit.

Then, Ron said, "Oh, there are some stuffed animals the kids might like to go through."  So my five trailed after him with glee.  Next thing I know, they are returning, huge smiles lighting up their faces, followed by a giant black garbage bag full of stuffed animals!  I still can't believe Chad let them bring all those home.  We told them, "You have to clean out your toy boxes in order to keep all those!"  They got some really cute new cuddly friends, from six-year-old Emily all the way up to seventeen-year-old Amanda.  Do you ever outgrow stuffed animals?  Maybe guys do, but we girls are special.  Or childish.  I even got some new teddy bears to add to my collection---and I mean collection!  I must have forty bears now, some just for fun and some more pricey.  Chad didn't bring any special new animals home---no surprise!

Ron gave each of our kids a music box, plus a couple of extras.  There's this really great commemorative statue of the firefighters at the base of the Twin Towers on 9/11; it plays our national anthem.  Some of the boxes are wooden with the music box in the base, and some are more elaborate.  Emily got a clown that plays "You are my Sunshine."  Dale got a small pillow embroidered with fish on a line that plays "The Impossible Dream."  (Catch the irony of that one?)  Each one is special and appreciated............although there have been several threats of instant and painful repercussions if "you don't stop playing that right now!"

We picked up some helpful kitchen items and some nice decorative pieces, one of which is a beautiful lamp.  As I told Susan, we had a lovely touch lamp which recently died.  It simply refused to come on when you touched it.  You could screw in and unscrew the bulb to get it to light, but that was difficult and sometimes painful.  We tried different bulbs with no success.  So the new lamp is as much a necessity as a decorative touch.  (Pun!)  By the time we all piled in our overloaded van, there were clothes hanging everywhere, boxes of stuff stacked in the back, and something on almost everyone's lap.  We had brought our cooler because Ron said he was trying to get rid of some frozen items; we came home with several bags of veggies, TV dinners, and lots of hamburger patties.  Dale was holding a box of books, Katie had some odd package on her lap, Amanda had clothes piled on her legs, and Ashley was wearing the lampshade!  Should have taken a picture of that!  What fun!

Then, after we waved goodbye to Ron and Susan, Chad drove into Port Orchard itself, all the way down to the waterfront.  We parked and walked up and down that street, enjoying looking in the little shops and commenting on which ones looked like fun.  Chad motioned to an empty storefront and mentioned that it would be kind of neat to run a small shop like that.  Katie had just said the same thing to me, and we were in agreement on that.  We stopped in a bakery and bought some day-old donuts that were still absolutely delicious.  I wound up wrapping four half-eaten donuts and storing them in my purse for the trip home---yuck!  The things a mother has to do!  We walked down to the water and along the sidewalk there, just taking in the sights and sounds.  This was good for the whole family---not just to be together, which it seems we rarely get to do, but also to be near a large body of water without feeling threatened. Amanda, Ashley, Emily, Chad, and I are not as affected by being near water as much as Katie and Dale are.  Dale, though he doesn't really remember drowning, is unwilling to put himself in that position again, understandably.  Katie doesn't want to relive that day any more than she has to, and being near water can bring on the memories.  But Dale walked along with us just fine, not plagued by problems, and Katie said that this body of water didn't trigger any bad memories.  In all, we had a pleasant family outing Saturday.  I mean, going to see Ron and Susan was like walking into an upscale thrift store and being told we didn't have to pay for anything!  And the stroll along the shopping district and the waterfront was relaxing.  Praise the Lord for family fun times.

Dale and I were back to school again today.  He has had three days in a row now where he has done the math assigned without allowing himself to get distracted, where he worked steadily to get the problems done, and where he did fairly well on each problem.  This is such an improvement from just three weeks ago when he couldn't get through six problems in an hour.  Please, Lord, let this trend continue so that Dale is better prepared for eighth grade---in four weeks!

His steadiness in walking comes and goes.  Some days, he can't go three steps without falling; some days he walks ten or twelve steps just fine.  But he keeps trying!  He and I talked about what his goals are, and he said he wants to get back to doing what he used to be able to:  walking easily, running, playing basketball.  I remind him of this when he wants to use excuses for not trying to walk on his own.  Of course, we hold his hand now whenever we are outside so that he will not scrape his face on the sidewalk again, but I tell him not to depend on me to walk for him or hold him up.  He has to work at maintaining his own balance and catching himself if he starts to fall, and he will probably have to work at this for some time.  But look how far he's come!  Praise the Lord!

I have to go..........I think my husband wants the computer.  Thank you for all your prayers and love sent our way this past year.  Isn't it amazing what our God can do?

Titus 3: 5 - 6  "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday afternoon 7/26

Life for us is moving along as usual.  Dale's face is healing from all the scrapes he sustained last week.  I'm glad---he doesn't even seem to be forming any scars.  If that had happened to me, I'd bear the marks forever!  Chad's job keeps him busy; unfortunately, it requires him to travel in circles, literally.  He works in the gravel pit or delivers rock to various company pits or goes round and round from point A to point B to point C.  When he gets off work each day, he is happy to come home and just sit for a while.  The girls were nearly thrown into fits of depression when I pointed out that there is only a month left before school starts.  Today's date is July 26th; school resumes on August 28th.  This last month before school starts is going to be filled with events, some of which are annual and planned in advance like VBS and some of which are hastily put together because "summer is almost over!" like get-togethers with friends and such.  I have the feeling that we will be running madly to cram as much fun into the last month of summer vacation as possible before the slave drivers (otherwise known as teachers) take over.  Please pray for my sanity!  :0

Frequently, while Dale and I are out walking (PT), friendly neighbors will comment on his progress and cheer him on.  We exchange waves and small talk whenever possible.  One man is often seen sitting on the porch steps next door, talking on his cell phone or just enjoying the nice weather we've had lately.  Yesterday, he was outside when I took the older girls to teen soul winning; when I got back, he made a point to stop me and talk.  He said he was excited to see how well Dale has been doing lately, especially because he's seen Dale on his bad days when he can only take three steps at a time.  He then went on to relate events of last summer that, frankly, I had heard about but had not been able to do anything about since we were so wrapped up with Dale in the hospital.  He said that his good friend's (our next-door neighbor's) son had died the same day that Dale drowned.  The young man had not been feeling well and had gone to lie down and simply never woke up.  This obviously hit the family hard, and the man I spoke to felt the impact as well all the way in New York where he lived at the time.  His own son and our neighbor's son had been born a day apart and had grown up together, basically as brothers.  I remember someone (my father or my mother-in-law or somebody) telling me that they had seen a lot of cars outside the house next door and had stopped someone to ask what happened.  Upon hearing the explanation, they shared what was going on with Dale at that time.  Imagine---two families side-by-side experiencing similar tragedies at the same time.  This man I spoke with yesterday said my husband had gone over at the time and spoken with our neighbor, expressing our condolences and sympathy.  Knowing Chad, he probably also asked if there was anything we could do for them and also probably looked for a way to ask if they knew if the young man was in Heaven.  We've seen various family members and friends over there more recently than the past several months, so I'm hoping they will have the support they need to face the next couple of weeks leading up to the one-year mark of their son's death.  Please pray for this still-grieving family.

We've already begun our own process of "this time last year......" remarks.  I'm thankful that August 5th of this year is on a Sunday so that we will get to celebrate God's goodness with those who started this prayer journey.  The teenagers on the beach that day were the "first responders"; they were the ones to get God's attention and start the miracle in progress that we see today, and they were the ones who affected the paramedics' decision to not give up, to keep trying to restore life to Dale's body.  We're trying to plan a trip down to Doernbecher to visit the people who were so helpful to our whole family for the two-and-a-half weeks that Dale was there; I don't know if we will be able to see any or all of them.........the physical therapist who first helped Dale walk, the SP doctor who began the process to help Dale relearn to swallow, the PICU docs and nurses who kept Dale alive and exhibited such patience with us for continuing to hope in the face of certain death, the social worker who was so kind and helpful to our younger daughters and who also pulled together information for our youth pastor to help the youth group heal from this trauma, even the cafeteria workers who always asked how our son was doing.  God put so many people in place to ease us through the difficulties of those first days and weeks; we can never say thank you enough to them or to our Heavenly Father.  God is good.

Isn't it amazing?  What we consider miraculous is simply God being.........God.  He is all-powerful, almighty.  We pray sometimes hesitantly, as if what we ask is too much for Him to handle.  There is an old song written by Dr. John R. Rice which says, "Is there anything too hard for God to do; is there aught beyond His power?"  We sing these words, but do we understand them?  We hear preaching on the mighty hand of God, but do we really believe He can do anything?  We read of the miracles in the Bible but assume that those kinds of things couldn't possibly happen nowadays.  Why do we limit God?  Why do we not pray for what we need and/or want?  Why do we not take advantage of this most powerful tool?  I speak not just of prayer but of God's unlimited power to answer.  Why is prayer just a formality with most Christians?  "Our Father, blah, blah, blah."  And then we go about our lives, wishing for things we can't have, wondering why things are so hard, and never realizing that WE HAVE A BIG GOD!!!  He can do ANYTHING, and He will if only we ask.  Please, pray today.  Sincerely pray; talk to your Heavenly Father without any of the formalities or pious phrases that we so often think have to be a part of any speech made heavenward.  You know what I mean:  "Our most gracious Heavenly Father...." or "we come before You today....." or stuff like that.  Do we talk to our earthly fathers like that?  "My most gracious Dad, I wish if it be your will to have a matter settled concerning money."  Really?  We just call up our dad and say, "Hey, Dad, I've got this (fill-in-the-blank) that I want to get, but I'm a little short.  Could you loan me a few bucks?"  Why don't we realize that God is our Father, too, and talk to Him like a real person?  I bet He gets tired of hearing all the correct phrases and wishes someone would talk to Him with real words and questions.........real conversation.

All right, I'll climb down off my soap box now!  ;-)  As my pastor says, "I thank God that the Bible says that His mercies are renewed every morning.  I use them up each day!"  God loves us so much, and, from a human point of view, I have no idea why.  I, certainly, am not worthy of His love, much less His attention.  Yet the Bible says that not one hair falls from our heads without His knowing it.  God really does love us no matter what.  Thank You, Lord, for loving the unlovely.  I love You, Father.

I John 4: 10 - 11  "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday evening 7/20

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the community in Aurora, Colorado, who have had their lives torn apart by the violence early this morning.  It seems like this tragedy is touching lives and hearts all across our nation, from those whose friends or loved ones were injured or killed to those---like me---who are horrified that this terror was committed by one of us, an American.  We pray that these families will draw closer to God because of this and that justice will be served.  I hope that we will continue to see the people of this city pull together to help each other move through the shock and pain of this deep hurt.  I also hope that, in their efforts to cover this story and explain the shooter's motives, the media will be careful of the victims' families' feelings and will temper their words with compassion.  God be with each of them and you as well.  Kirsten

Isaiah 25: 8a  "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces."  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday afternoon 7/19

It's official.  No doubt about it.  The jury is no longer out.  The facts have been weighed, and conclusions have been drawn.  All that's left to be done is to make the final announcement:  Dale is scarred for life.

Literally---his whole face.  Let me explain........

Sunday morning (I think), Dale was sitting on his bed, changing his socks.  (This was done at the urgent behest of his parents and immediate family who spent many hours training him to wear fresh socks each day---and many more hours smelling his feet!)  This did not seem to be an insurmountable task; in fact, Dale had accomplished this particular feat (pun!) numerous times in the past.  This day, however, the ability to pull off his sock while maintaining his balance was beyond him.  Dale tugged furiously at the toe of his sock, not realizing that dislodging the heel portion of the sock from his actual heel would greatly aid his progress.  Instead, the effort he put into pulling off his sock led to his downfall---and I mean downfall.  He lost his balance, fell forward, and caught himself with his face.  On the carpet.  This resulted in a skinned area on his forehead, under his eye, and on his chin.  To be honest, Dale didn't look that bad.  He just had a couple of simple scrapes.  He took some razzing at church but seemed on the path to recovery.

Until Monday.  Dale again, not having learned his lesson the first time, decided to attempt round two.  He wrestled with his sock mightily and falling face-first on the floor.  This time, he was even more off-balance and landed even harder on the carpet, barely missing the pile of Legos he and his sisters had been playing with the day before.  Dale did, however, manage to produce an even uglier-looking scrape to replace the healing ones already on his face.  In fact, he acquired two new abrasions, both on his nose and both taking their time seeping before finally scabbing over.  The biggest scrape was on the bridge of his nose; it was the biggest because that part of his nose bore the brunt of his impact with the floor.  This also caused Dale's nose to bleed some, scraped his lip a bit, and created quite a pity party on Dale's part.  This lasted only for a few seconds as I was unwilling to stand there and listen.  I showed Dale a better way to remove his sock each morning (something to do with hooking one thumb in the sock and pulling it off his heel while using the other hand to tug it off his toes) and even had him practice this new technique to make sure he understood fully how to AVOID ANY MORE SCRAPES.  Then, leaving Dale's pity party to hiccup to an end, I walked out of his bedroom.

This sounds like Dale is a sniveling, whimpering crybaby.  He really isn't, but, frankly, his emotional maturity level has not yet caught up to the "I'm a thirteen year old young man who doesn't cry anymore" stage.  Part of that is due to the accident; part of that is due to his age and hormone levels; and part of that is due to the medication he takes twice daily.  When he first started taking the meds, I was shocked at how emotional he got so easily.  We are working with Dale to "toughen up" a bit, as junior-high students probably will not be as tolerant of his tears as his mother is---and even I keep telling him to be tough, be strong.  But, when he gets angry (sisters) or hurt (falls and scrapes), he still cries.

If this were the end of the scrapes story..........well, I wouldn't be writing this, would I?  There's more.

Today, while we were out for his daily walk, Dale fell twice.  The first time wasn't too bad:  he fell into a neighbor's yard where the grass was nice and soft.  This particular neighbor likes to keep his yard free from weeds and rocks, trimmed carefully, and well-seeded.  As a result, Dale sustained minimal damage from his contact with Mother Earth.  (NO, I don't really believe she is our mother, blah, blah, blah!)  The second time Dale stumbled, he took a doozy of a fall.  We were on our way back to the house, walking along the cement sidewalk as usual.  Dale scuffed his foot or couldn't pick up his leg or something and---BAM!---down he went.  It was like watching a tree being felled.  I was following from behind as he walked; since he fell forward, there was no chance for me to grab him.  This time, there was no soft grass to cushion his impact; there was the cement sidewalk and rocks lining the roadway.  Dale says he tried to get one hand up to brace himself, and the scrapes on that hand show he may have partially succeeded.  But, again, his face took the hardest hit.  I got him sitting up and took one look at his face before sending Ashley home to get Katie.  (I failed to mention that Ashley and Emily were out on the walk with us.  Ashley had Peanut on a leash, and Emily was pushing her plush monkey in the baby stroller.)  Ashley dropped Peanut's leash and raced for home.  I just wanted someone else old enough to be responsible nearby in case I needed them.  (That sounds like Ashely isn't responsible; she is, but I wanted Katie too!)

I was only getting a partial view of the actual injuries to Dale's face due to his crying and the sun's glare.  By the time Katie and Ashley came running back, Dale was on his feet.......but only for a short time.  I had grabbed Peanut's leash to keep her from wandering off; she decided to try to walk between Dale and me, managing to trip Dale in the process.  Down he went again, this time with me holding his hand and breaking his fall.  This fall so soon after "the big one" and being avoidable made Dale even more upset.  He yelled at the dog and called her a few names, none of which were her real name but all of which made him feel better for having said them.  (No curse words unless you count "stupid" and such as cursing!)  Katie took the leash, pointed Emily in the direction of home, and told Ashley to go and bring back the phone.  We didn't need it (I had my cell phone on me), but it was good thinking.  I kept hold of Dale's hand all the way back to the house, trying unsuccessfully to get Dale to calm down while still trying to assess the damage to his poor face.

Once inside, I had Dale sit at the table while I cleaned him up.  I used a warm washcloth and started at his forehead, working my way down to the obvious abrasions.  He was very brave, holding still while I cleaned even though his new scrapes stung quite a bit. Bottom line:  Dale now has a long scrape starting at the outside corner of his right eye and extending laterally across his cheek to end below his nose.  The middle of his upper lip and underlying gums took a hit, resulting in a swollen upper lip and sore gums.  No teeth seem to be threatened.  Dale's chin is scraped clean.  He now has a healing patch about one inch square on his chin; it's still seeping but should eventually begin to scab over.  See what I mean about being scarred for life?  The only injury I am concerned about is one that was not readily visible at first.  When I had Dale tilt his head way back for me to get a good look at his upper teeth, Dale cried out in pain, saying his neck hurt to do that.  I had Dale sit up straight and rotate his head and neck in different directions to ascertain the extent of the pain and soreness.  He can move his head to look sideways both directions and down with no trouble; it's only when he tries to put his chin in the air that the pain occurs.  I honestly think his poor neck has taken such a beating after three hard falls in one week that the muscles are stretched and complaining.  Little wonder, huh?  Once Dale was doctored up and I had administered some ibuprofen, I had him lie down on the couch half-reclined so that his neck could rest on a pillow.  I slipped an ice pack behind his neck---Emily's idea!---to help ease the soreness in those muscles.

Poor guy.  I mean, he survives drowning only to endure this?!  If it were me, I don't know how willing I would be to keep getting up and trying again.  But we have yet to see Dale quit.  He's slumped a couple of times, but he's never given up.  I don't think it's in his nature........too stubborn!  God made Dale with a desire to succeed, and succeed he will though the cost be great.  Praise to our Lord for His wonderful works in our bodies and our lives!

By the way, Chad and I decided that someone should hold Dale's hand during walks from now on.  There are some days where Dale is doing great and showing his independence, but on the days where Dale is unsure or unsteady, he will feel more confident walking if he's holding someone's hand and knowing they are there to help him if he falls.  No sense in inviting further injury just because we want Dale to be able to walk on his own.  He'll get there when he's ready.  :-)

As always, God is good.  We are blessed to serve a risen Saviour, a loving Father, a comforting and convicting Spirit.  Amen.

Acts 5: 41 - 42  "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday afternoon 7/17

Ever feel like yelling, "Stop the world; I want to get off!"?  Yeah, that happens here, too---more frequently than I care to admit.  I am blessed with two older daughters who are able to step in and take over when I have these "I'm gonna melt down" moments, two younger daughters who have learned compassion and how to pamper their stressed-out mom, and a wonderful husband who simply listens when I go crazy and then offers practical suggestions on how to avoid going nuts in the first place.  And then there's Dale..........the at-the-moment cause for my stress!

He and I have been going round and round about school this summer.  He has fallen into some bad habits with his work:  he'll take as long as possible about it while protesting that he's doing the best he can; he'll try to do math problems in his head instead of showing me his work, get the wrong answer, and then expect me to figure out where he messed up; and he somehow thinks that he'll get credit for getting close with his answers.  I tried to explain that "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," but I goofed the saying and only made Dale laugh at me.  Amanda finally sat down with him and explained that, to me, his mistakes and failures to find the right answers are a direct result of my teaching.  She was able to get Dale to understand that he needs to strive for a perfect "10" performance each day, not just once a week.  In other words, doing really great one day and then slacking off the next don't balance each other out.  I think he realized what she was saying because he really tried to pay good attention the rest of today.  I don't want Dale to think, "It's all right if I can't keep up with the class next year in school.  My mom will just tutor me again."  I will do that if he needs me to, but I don't want him to use that as his fall-back plan.  I think (and hope) that being in an actual classroom with a (different) teacher who expects Dale to sit up, pay attention, and learn will be so good for him.  He will, hopefully, shed these bad habits he's acquired and work towards being the best student he can be.

Good news!  After the struggle last week Dale had with walking, he is doing better already this week.  On Friday and again yesterday, in lieu of a walk in our neighborhood, I took Dale out to the trampoline in our backyard.  He had not been on it since his accident, and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  You should have seen him!  I stood by giving hints and support while he threw one leg over the side, pushed off the ground with the other foot, and rolled over onto the trampoline.  I made sure he stayed toward the center for the exercises I wanted him to try.  First, Dale had to get on all fours and bounce up and down twenty times; this required his hands and arms to work with his legs to accomplish the task.  Then, Dale had to rise to a tall kneeling position and bounce twenty times; he was allowed to use his arms for good balance.  Then, I had Dale sit with his legs outstretched, his knees straight (not bent), and his toes pointing upward for the next twenty bounces; this was good exercise for his trunk muscles.  Next, Dale had to stand up.  This is not easy to do on a trampoline!  Once he had achieved his balance, I asked him to walk in place for twenty steps.  He didn't have much trouble with this, although he could only take a few steps in a row without pausing to regain his balance.  He got all the way to nineteen before falling!  I made him get back up and finish that last step.  Finally, Dale got to practice falling:  he had to fall backward and to the side a few times while remembering to protect his head and to try to control the fall.  Katie (who helped Dale yesterday) and I have a mantra about that:  Protect your head; try to sit; catch yourself.  Maybe eventually Dale will remember these things when he starts to, maybe when he's thirty-nine!

To my mind, having Dale exercise on the trampoline is good practice---kind of like the Olympian runners who practiced racing on the beach.  The sand made running difficult, causing them to have to dig harder to push their way through their workouts.  Then, when they had to run on the hard track for the actual race, their feet almost flew.  I feel like, the more Dale practices maneuvers on the trampoline where it's difficult to retain balance, the easier it will be for him to walk on a smooth surface.  Maybe that's just wishful thinking......but it seems to be working!  Anyway, our walk today was great although Dale fell once.  On the way out the door to the library, Dale fell again but almost remembered to protect his head.  He got his arms up by his ears just about the same time as his bottom landed on the sidewalk.  In this case, the thought doesn't count for much!  At the library, however, Dale was walking really well, and that's such a wonderful sight.  We just keep plugging along, reminding ourselves to be thankful for what God has done and asking God for more every day.

Side note:  Ron, my husband and I will be able to come to Port Orchard on Saturday, July 28th.  We have a family get-together this weekend and will be unable to come before next week.  Is that too late?  If this does not fit into your schedule, just let us know and we'll try something else.  Thanks!

Amanda, our oldest, has been hobbling around the house for a few days now.  Sunday night after church, she was attempting to take a short cut over the back of the couch on her way to the kitchen (don't ask me why).  What she didn't realize was that someone had left their shoes or something directly behind the couch.  When she put her foot down and tried to stand, the shoe shifted underneath her foot, causing her ankle to roll painfully.  At least, that's what we think happened.  She's injured her ankle before, so we have a good idea what to expect from the injury---swelling around the outside ankle bone, discoloration, tenderness.  This time, her ankle didn't swell that much and the swelling was spread across her foot more, there has been little bruising, and the pain from putting weight on it has been felt differently.  Chad and I had to force her to stay off of it yesterday to give it a chance to heal; the discomfort is easing some, so Amanda wants to walk around on it more today. This is still not a good idea, but she can be stubborn  determined sometimes!  Still, I hope she gives it enough time to fully heal so as not to cause further damage.  She was supposed to go work with a lady today out in her yard, but that lady had to cancel; that worked out well since there was no way Mandie could have possibly walked around all day, working in the garden and such.  A friend had lent Mandie a pair of crutches several months ago from the last time she injured her ankle; they were never returned and are coming in handy once again.  Maybe if we had given them back, this wouldn't have happened, you think?  :-)

Time to go.........I appreciate your prayers and comments.  Just today, I received a little card from a lady down in Texas.  She sent her prayers and best wishes for all of us, and I was touched by her thoughtfulness.  So many people have sent prayers, letters, cards, money, and love our way since Dale's accident that we feel blessed each day to be part of God's wonderful family.  God bless each of you folks.  Be sure to take time to tell Him thank you for His blessings toward you as well.  See you here, there, or in the air!

Revelation 1: 4 - 6  "John to the seven churches which are in Asia:  Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne;  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday afternoon 7/12

To Ron and his family, thank you for your generosity in sharing some of your father's things with Dale and us.  (You said originally "a few of Dad's shirts" and now the total is how many???  ;-D  Wow, what a blessing!)  My husband and I want to express our gratitude for your thoughtfulness; we truly appreciate this kindness.  Now, the logistics of delivery/pick-up..........we're still working on that.  Could you give us a few days to figure out if we will be able to get out to your area any time soon?  I'll let you know.

Well, this past week has been interesting and monotonous by times.  Some days Dale and I feel chained to the dining table---designated "summer school worktable"---while trying to get Dale caught up in his seventh grade books.  There are times I (and I'm sure he) feel discouraged, like it will never happen.  This is, honestly, an example of how Dale's now-healed but still adjusting brain is still affected by his drowning last August.  There are days when he is "on" and is able to learn and cipher and read and think just fine---we're blazing through textbooks!  Then, there is the rest of the story..........  Sometimes, it's like Dale's brain is turned to pudding with all the academic and learning capabilities thereof.  I feel like strangling him when he sits there with a blank look on his face after I just spent a good amount of time thoroughly explaining some passage!  He insists, "No, Mom, I got it!," but the practice problems suggest otherwise.  Still, overall, Dale is doing fairly well in his catch-up work.  Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and science are on track.  Math is slow; it takes Dale quite some time to figure out a given problem, so we're behind in that.  I've put history on the back burner for now; not that it's not important, but rather, it's not a subject in which he needs a seventh grade  foundation in order to understand eighth grade history---they are two separate historical focuses.  Understand that last bit?  If so, please tell me what I meant!!!  So, we are taking one day at a time with Dale's schooling and waiting with bated breath to see how he does in eighth grade.  It's a good thing the seventh and eighth grade years are not as vital to Dale's academic record as ninth through twelfth grades.  We have these two years (now approaching one) in which to allow Dale to regroup and relearn before throwing him into high school.  And, of course, we will continually evaluate his progress and adjust his academics as necessary.

Next, Dale's "PT" at home---our daily walks---have become eventful (I say so rather tongue-in-cheek).  Last week, he was walking great; he didn't need anyone holding his hand, and he had good control over his balance and foot placement.  This week......different story!  Again, someone switched his feet in the night, making walking difficult and falls constant.  His feet get tangled up; his legs are wobbly; and his confidence absolutely shot.  I asked him today after watching him shuffle down the sidewalk, "Dale, where is your confidence?"  He replied, "It must be around here somewhere!"  We looked, but we couldn't find it.  Today he fell multiple times, scraping his elbow and his thumb and causing his already shattered confidence level to plummet worse than the stock market of recent months.  He literally couldn't walk and talk at the same time.  And this was with me holding his hand!  It's been like this all week, making his daily PT a real challenge.  I know the logical solution would be to continue to practice that which is giving him trouble (i.e., walking), but I am sorely tempted to go with the emotional solution---abandon all hope, assume a fetal position, and give up.  No, I won't......but I want to several times a day!  And I won't let Dale give up either.  We will continue to take daily walks and do anything else that will give Dale good exercise and good confidence.

Ready for my sob story?  Yesterday on our walk, Dale was exhibiting the above-mentioned lack of control when he stumbled. I was holding his right hand; he lurched sideways, firmly planting his right foot on the edge of my left foot and twisting his way down to a seated position.  In the process, he took my left pinky toenail with him!  I had had a small hole in the top of my left tennis shoe, and the pinky toenail was, as a result, exposed.  The force of his weight combined with the twisting motion of Dale falling wrenched that toenail right off.  OUCH!!!  I would have danced around in pain, but I couldn't move.  I tightened my grip on Dale's hand which I had somehow retained during his fall and whimpered, literally begging God to ease the pain.  In a short time, the pain tapered off enough to allow me to help Dale to his feet.  After all, we still had to get back to the house!  With him lurching unsteadily and me limping, we made it home again.  I got my shoe off and only then realized the nail was gone.  Amazingly, there was no blood, so I don't think the entire nail came free.  I still had Buttons and Bows to go to that afternoon and then church last night, so I had to endure shoes for most of the rest of the day even though my toe was throbbing.  If I was the flip-flop wearing type, I could have worn those and avoided any pressure on my little toe; however, if I was the flip-flop wearing type, I would have probably lost my entire toe!  Yikes!

Katie took Dale for a walk (sounds like a pet, doesn't he?) on Tuesday while I took the two youngest to the library.  We are participating in the Summer Reading Program, and they wanted to get their first prizes.  When we got back, Katie and Dale were excited because they had found something really cool.  There, on the sidewalk in front of them, obviously baked from the blazing sun, was a tiny salamander.  It had died from the heat and just lay there on the sidewalk.  Katie brought it home to show everyone; it was pretty neat to see.  It's not every day you see a toasted salamander.  (If this offends any animal lovers, please know I did not wish the poor thing any harm.  I simply made an observation on its deceased condition.)  She placed it on the top of her cell phone so as not to break it in pieces; it was so small that it only took up about half the length of her phone.  I guess it was about three inches long.  And, anyway, Chad made us throw it away.  So, the circle of life continues.........

Yesterday, Buttons and Bows (a fun church club for girls in grades two through six) had our annual water fight.  And, boy, did we get wet and sunburnt!  I usually take a big water cooler up to church along with one of our water hoses, attach the hose to one of the outside faucets near the parking lot, and begin filling up the cooler.  The girls bring their own water guns, giant cups, and useful objects to scoop water out of the cooler and douse each other---and me!  Within a few minutes we were all soaked.  The girls were running around the parking lot, screaming and throwing water on each other while the adults (me and my cohort, Mrs. Johnson) supervised.  We all dress in dark-colored clothing for modesty's sake; this prevents any "oops!" from occurring.  There were only a handful of girls there, and it was wonderful to see each one getting involved and having fun.  Even my little Emily (who technically shouldn't be in Bows yet) was enjoying getting drenched.  Mrs. Johnson's youngest, Lilleigh, got upset a few times but still had a good time.  Our Bows meetings usually last an hour, so we turned off the water after about 45 minutes and let everyone drip-dry for a few minutes.  The girls enjoyed some chips and bottled water before it was time to go home, get changed, have dinner, and go back to church for the evening service.  The weather was great this year:  sunny and warm.  Last year, we had sun but little warmth so that, by the end of the water fight, we were all very cold.  This year, we only had to worry about sunburns.  I have fair skin:  I don't tan; I burn and then it sinks into a tan.  My girls have just enough of their father's more olive complexion that they don't burn as easily, although we still harp on them about using sunscreen.  Here in Washington state, we are usually so excited to actually see the sun that we forget about the dangerous UV rays.  (That is the correct term, right?)  Anyway, the water fight was a huge success; now we get to look forward to next month's meeting, our tea party.

And, last but not least, Dale decided that the hole in the wall downstairs was he made a companion for it.  This morning, he was walking down the stairs.  He made it to the small landing between stairs and was attempting to pivot around to the second flight when he completely lost control of his movements and fell backward.  His bottom landed on the floor with his back flush against the wall; the impact forced his back through the wall itself.  He did sustain a small bruise and scrape to the back of his neck.......but you should've seen the other guy, uh, wall.  There is a nice-sized hole in the wall now, slightly larger than the one downstairs, but that's what we get for encouraging our children to always do better, right?  We believe Dale has now improved his technique sufficiently so that he does not need any more practice putting holes in walls.  Maybe he'll grow up to be a demolition expert.........

Life is certainly never dull around the Ostrander house.  Just now, Ashley and Emily were horsing around and laughing so hard that Ashley got sick.  Of course, it was inevitable that she failed to get to the bathroom and had to throw up all over the carpet, meaning I had to stop what I was doing (updating this blog) and go clean up the mess.  I informed her that (1) she needed to settle down sooner next time and (2) she needed to chew her food better!  That, at least, produced a small smile which was quickly erased by the rest of my tirade against the silliness which induced the gagging which led to the vomiting, the inability of anyone to find me a large enough spoon to scoop up the offensive-smelling gunk, the lack of disposable gloves which forced me to have to make contact with the nasty stuff as I scrubbed the carpet, and my discontent with my lot at that moment.  In other words, I was ticked.  This whole thing could have been avoided had the girls not gone wild with hilarity.  Of course, asking my family not to laugh is like asking a baby not to cry or the sun not to rise or the ocean not to..........wait, better not bring up the ocean!  ;-)

Praise the Lord for everything!  From birth to drowning to playtime to illness to laughter to sadness---God is wonderful.  We thank Him for life and the chance to live for Him.  Praise ye the Lord!

Psalm 117  "O praise the LORD, all ye nations:  praise Him, all ye people.  For His merciful kindness is great toward us:  and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.  Praise ye the LORD."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday evening 7/5

I've been re-reading a series of books lately by one of my favorite authors, Dee Henderson.  One particular book, The Guardian, centers on a man who, as a young child, lost his mom to pneumonia and, as a result, decided God was not worth talking to.  He had prayed desperately day and night for his mom to get better, and she had died.  So he stopped praying and stopped believing.  Decades later, in his job as U.S. Marshal, he meets a lady whose father and brother were shot by the same man who shot a judge.  Her brother made it through surgery, but her father died a day or so later.  Her faith remained strong through this, even though she struggled with the age-old question of "Why, God?"  She is instrumental in helping the marshal regain his faith and trust in an all-powerful, all-loving God Who hears each prayer we utter.

She makes the argument that, for some, prayer means telling God, "Whatever You decide is what I'll accept," and she had for a long time thought she was supposed to have only that kind of faith in prayer.  She felt guilty and sinful when she was passionate in her prayers, asking God for what she specifically wanted---like her father's life---while still accepting that He is in control at all times.  She realized guessed it.........prayer and reading God's Word that God does not expect us to simply lie down and be carpet under His almighty feet.  God wants us to ask for what we desire when we pray and trust Him to provide what is best.  But to do that, we must have a previously established relationship with Him, one founded on His Word, a knowledge of His character, and a firm belief that God is good and right no matter the circumstances, be they good or bad.  And we must always keep in the front of our minds the conviction that He loves us and knows what is best and what we can handle.  If we do not have this solid relationship with Him, we won't be able to trust Him through dark days.  We will have the tendency to praise God when it's sunny and life is comfortable and bitterly question Him when things go awry or disappointment comes.  And, unfortunately, we may even turn our backs on Him when tragedy strikes, believing Him to be unfair, uncaring, and capricious.

I read an interesting bit of Scripture this morning in Luke 4: 25 - 27.  Jesus is talking to a multitude in Nazareth who, having heard of great signs and wonders being done in Capernaum, wanted Jesus to perform miracles there too.  Jesus tells them in verses 25 - 26, "But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias (Elijah), when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta (Zarephath), a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow."  Remember this?  Ahab was wicked, had married a wicked woman (Jezebel), and had caused all Israel to do wickedly.  So God sent a drought---no rain for three years and six months!  God then sent Elijah to a certain widow who, when the prophet showed up, was literally preparing to die.  She was gathering two sticks to build a tiny fire to bake one last cake of the last of her meal so that she and her son could each have a few bites; after that, they would just starve to death.  Elijah, in what would seem great callousness of heart, said, "Go ahead, but bake me a cake first."  I'm sure her face must have shown absolute astonishment until he explained that God would not allow the barrel of meal to waste (go empty) or the cruse of oil to fail (run dry) until the day the Lord sent rain upon the earth.  Why didn't God send Elijah to every widow in Israel?  Why didn't God save every starving widow?  I don't know; I'm not God.  But I know God's character.  He is love; He is love; He is love.  He cares more deeply for each of us than we with our limited vocabulary and finite minds could express.  His choices may not always be comprehendible to us, approved by us, or appreciated by us.......but they are always loving, wise, and right.  We can rest in that.

Then, in verse 27, Jesus reminds them, "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus (Elisha) the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian."  How come God didn't heal all lepers?  How come God chose to let Elisha help Naaman, who wasn't even a Jew?  Again, I don't have the answer to that.  I cannot claim to understand God's reasonings in my own life, much less that of someone else's.  But "I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" (II Timothy 1:12).  God is good and true and just and merciful and right and loving and listening and understanding and pure and holy..........and God.  If we are going to believe at all, we may as well believe all the way.

Does this sound like I'm preaching?  I don't mean it to!  I've just been thinking a lot on this subject lately and have come to the conclusion that God's conclusions are far beyond me.  It is my lot simply to trust; I'll leave the hard decisions to His infinite wisdom. I have peace that way, leaning on Him throughout every day, choosing to trust Him no matter what before the trials come.  That way, I don't have to try to make that decision in the midst of tragedy or hardship when my heart is pounding and my brain is in a whirl and I can't see up from down.  He is God, and I trust Him.

If you were concerned that all this was leading up to a bad report, I'm sorry to have worried you.  We are all fine, though somewhat tired from having stayed up too long watching fireworks and stuffed with multiple hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, and watermelon.  Chad decided to grill the corn this time, and, I have to admit, it turned out pretty good.  He then wanted to douse it in butter and Parmesan cheese "like they have at the Fair."  (This is a reference to our super-fun Puyallup Fair each September.)  I tried some with those two condiments but didn't care for it much, so I used my old standbys:  butter and salt.  The grill gave the corn a slight popcorn flavor which was interesting.  We had our main meal around 2:30 p.m.; this left us full enough to last through church that night!  When we got home after the service, we enjoyed watermelon and some fun fireworks in our backyard.  Those "snakes" are just plain creepy!  The smoke bombs were a big hit (no pun intended!) but made breathing difficult for a while. Eventually, Dad and Dale went inside to go to bed; Dad had to get up for work in the morning, and Dale had just had a late night the night before when we went to Eatonville to see their big fireworks display.  I told the girls they could stay up until midnight, then sent them to their beds.  I stayed up reading before turning in around 1:30 a.m.  Just before I headed up the stairs, some numb-skull set off what sounded like a cherry bomb.  It's kind of hard to sleep when you're wondering if you'll be jolted out of slumber by the apparent end of the world!  But, it's only once.......or twice.......or more.......times a year, and it's in celebration of our Independence Day, so I guess it's worth it!  :-)

Dale was walking great today.  We strolled down to the front entrance of our neighborhood and back to our house for Dale's exercise; today, this took about twenty minutes.  Dale started out well but kept pausing after five steps, then seven steps, then nine.  He eventually hit a record of 22 steps in a row without pausing!  When we got back to the house, we climbed in the van for a quick trip to the neighborhood park.  (I know; I know!  We could have walked, but neither Dale nor I wanted to walk anymore in the heat.)  Once there, Katie and Ashley began a sort of obstacle course challenge with the equipment.  Dale wanted to get on the bouncer, so I told him to go ahead.  He walked, hesitantly at first on the beauty bark covering the playground but gaining confidence as he went along, to the bouncer and stepped up with little trouble. He enjoyed bouncing for a few minutes; then I challenged him to try the slide.  It's not very big---just the right size for a challenge.  Dale stepped up the ladder easily (I was behind him), adjusted himself to sit down at the top without falling back down the ladder, and slid down the short slope!  Katie and I were at the bottom to catch him just in case, but he didn't need our help.  He then asked to go on the swings.  This required walking across the uneven surface to the far side of the playground to reach the swing set, carefully backing up to the swing, and even lifting up on his tiptoes a bit in order to get his bottom in the seat properly.  Dale did this like a pro, not needing my help at all!  His rhythm while swinging was beautiful to see.  Alison (PT) had been working with him on this, but Dale's swinging today was the best I've seen him do yet.  When it was time to get off, I expected Dale to stop the swing, carefully put his feet on the ground, and gingerly stand up.  Nothing doing!  Dale casually slid out of the swing after allowing the swing to slow slightly.  (Wow!  That last sentence is a tongue-twister!!!)  When I expressed surprise at his dismount, he had the gall to say, "Well, Mom, I've done this a lot before."  I retorted, "You've been walking a lot before, too, but it still causes you trouble!"  He had to acknowledge my point.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!  We have a wonderful God, a loving Saviour, a constant companion in the Holy Spirit, and an abundant life.  Amen!

I John 4: 10  "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Update Sunday afternoon 7/1

I am sitting here wincing in pain as I just stubbed my toe on a leg of my computer desk.........while sitting down!  How did I manage to do that?!  You'd think, after forty (well, more) years,  I would know just how much room I have to maneuver my feet when sitting.  Apparently, that's not the case!  >:-<  Now I know somewhat how Dale feels when he rams his leg or foot into something that he should have been able to avoid.  Thank God for life lessons---I guess!

I have good news, and then I have great news.  First, the good news:  Dale is doing so well with just everyday life therapy that not being able to attend quite as many PT and SP sessions each week due to Medicaid dropping Group Health is not going to be a problem.  Lisa (SP) has been working on helping Dale's attention span and memory; Alison in PT has really just been helping Dale with challenges like sliding back and forth on a balancer, jumping in place, and walking around the PT gym on his own without either of us even nearby.  She did this on Wednesday, allowing Dale to walk into the small office to get a reward sticker and back out by himself.  It was SO GOOD to see Dale confidently walking on his own away from us---as we firmly held our seats so as not to rush after him!  Giving him this independence not only shows us that he can do stuff like that; it also shows him we believe his is capable of doing it.  Just in the last week or so, Dale has been walking around much more on his own and not just at home.  He has displayed more confidence in his ability to walk around church, at PT, at SP, and elsewhere.  I'll give you three examples.

(1)  Wednesday night, Dale and I were walking into the church building before the service.  There is a small step up onto the sidewalk from the parking lot.  Usually Dale will stop and deliberately step up before proceeding into the church.  This time, he had a good gait going and just continued right up the step onto the sidewalk!  I couldn't help but draw my breath in when I saw he wasn't going to stop before stepping up, but Dale didn't even give me time to say anything.  By the time I had gasped, he was already up on the sidewalk and steady.  Praise the Lord!

(2)  Saturday morning, Chad had to work (overtime!), so it was up to me to drive the girls up to bus meeting.  Dale was awake when I left, so I laid out his clothes and told him to go ahead and get dressed while I was gone.  When I got home (less than half an hour later), I heard the TV on.  I could see Dale wasn't downstairs anywhere, so I headed upstairs to see what was going on.  I found him in my bedroom, sitting on my bed, watching cartoons.  He had finished dressing, gotten bored, and decided to walk down the hall to my room, find the remote (wherever Chad left it), and turn on the TV.  You see?  That's what I mean when I say independence.  Of course, he bypassed the bathroom and brushing his teeth to watch TV, and he entered my bedroom without permission, but do you think I reprimanded him?  ;-D

(3)  Saturday night, I put Dale to bed around nine o'clock.  (I say that like he's a little kid.  He walked up the stairs on his own, brushed his teeth, got his pajamas on, etc.  I just tucked him in with a hug and kiss---I can still do that!)  I went back downstairs, only to hear muffled thumps coming from upstairs.  I ignored it, hoping it was only Chad's TV or Dale adjusting to get comfortable.  Then, I heard Dale calling me.  I walked to the bottom of the stairs and asked, "What?"  He said, "What time is it?"  I told him and then asked why.  He said his clock had come unplugged.  Of course, I thought that meant that I had go plug it back in for easy feat as the outlet was behind the bed and rather difficult to reach.  When I got upstairs, I found Dale's light on and Dale sitting on his bed, setting his clock.  I asked, "Did you plug it back in yourself?"  He replied casually, "Yes."  I picked up some laundry on the floor, folded it, and put it away as I talked.  "Did you turn your light on yourself?"  "Yes," he answered.  Then he said, "Sorry about the clothes on the floor.  I was just setting them out for tomorrow."  I was astounded!  "Do you mean that you can get out your own clothes without any help?"  Dale grinned sheepishly and said, "Yes, ma'am."  At that, I sat down on the bed with him.  "Dale," I said, "we need to have a talk."  He looked a bit scared, so I assured him he wasn't in trouble.  I asked him, "Do I baby you?"  His grin grew wider as he admitted, laughing, "Yes, you do!"  We chuckled together before I said, "Well, you know what this means, don't you?"  He shook his head.  "This means you're on your own, bud.  You will get yourself dressed each morning without my help, without me laying out your clothes, nothing."  He mock groaned but nodded his head.  I told him if he needed help with items in the closet, I would help, but everything else he could access on his own.  He seemed fine with that.  (And, the next morning, he did get out all his own clothes and get dressed.  Whoo-hoo!)


That's when I noticed the bed was pulled away from the wall about six inches or so.  I asked him, "Dale, did you pull your bed out?"  He again nodded and told me that he had to in order to plug the clock back in.  I asked how he did it, and he told me that he stood up, walked to the end of the bed, and tugged on the bed frame until the bed was scooted out enough for him to reach the outlet.  I was again floored!  Dale kept looking at me as if to say, "What's so incredible about that?"  So I told him, "Dale, two months ago, if you had tried that, you would have shaken like a leaf and fallen to the floor."  Dale said, "Well, I did shake some but not badly."  Again, praise the Lord!!!  Dale's balance and steadiness improves daily, as well as his confidence and willingness to try new things even if it means a fall.  He gets in and out of the van by himself now (I stand by just in case, but he does all the work himself); he can take a bath fully by himself now (he just needs me nearby when he gets in and out), and it only takes about forty minutes start to finish (it used to take an hour or more); he walks where he wants to and doesn't even think about it.  What a miracle God has done!

One more thing.........I think Dale is starting to remember.  He told me last night during our talk that he remembers coming home from the hospital.  Just pieces of memory, but he remembers us walking out of the building, getting into the van, and coming home.  A few days ago, Dale said he thinks he remembers being at the beach that day.  I asked him what he meant, and he said he just remembers being there, playing.  He can't talk about it yet without crying; I think he's afraid to remember too much.  I've tried to gently help him see that God would not grant him a memory that he couldn't handle.  I don't want him to fight remembering any more than I want him to fight to remember.  Dale said he thinks he remembers being in the water.  When I questioned him further, he said, "I think I remember the girl."  This conversation just took place on Friday, and I am deliberately not pushing him to talk unless he wants to.  God will give Dale exactly what he needs to remember; my job is to remind Dale to trust Him no matter what.  But to regain his memory, even of just normal everyday events leading up to and after his accident---that would be wonderful for Dale.  In God's time, only in God's time.

We have a big God, don't we?  "A great, big, wonderful God" as the song says.  He is all-loving, all-powerful, all-wise.  I am so blessed to call Him my Father.  I love You, Father.  I thank You for my life, my son's life, my family, my home, my church, my friends, my companions in Christ, my unknown but dearly held prayer partners.  I love You, Father.

Have a happy Independence Day and be safe!

II Chronicles 7: 12 - 15  "And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for an house of sacrifice.  If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people;  If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Now Mine eyes shall be open, and Mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place."