Saturday, December 25, 2004

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish all of you wonderful people out there following our story a very Merry Christmas. We hope that you had a wonderful day with family and friends. I wish that I had more time in my day to keep you up to date on all that is happening with Luke and the family. First of all thank you for your prayers concerning the healthy delivery of Lily Joy. I always say that delivering a baby is not an easy experience, but this time it was very quick and uncomplicated. God is so good to bless us once again with a healthy baby!

Luke had a wonderful time Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When he heard Isaiah and Ezekiel talking about opening presents he would get an excited face. He really seemed to tear the paper on the presents. I would hold his hand and put it under the paper and he would release his muscles in his arm and I would help him pull it. The little boys got a small drum set, a desire of Isaiah's for a couple of years now, and I took Lukes hand and had him help play the drums he seemed so excited about that. Someone recently asked if Luke's hand are more relaxed and the answer is, yes. His arms and hands are really a lot more relaxed and when he is sleeping quite often they are down by his side, it never used to be this way. He is also able to hold up his head so much better and when we tell him to put his head back after falling forward he is able to do it. Little by little he gets better everyday, as I say often if you would of seen Luke in the Hospital and you see him now you would be amazed at his recovery, but if you'd never seen him before you would probably feel sorry for Luke and our family, some days his recovery seems to take to so long and other days we rejoice at what we are seeing. We are seeing more emotion and even some smiles quite often, when he held Lily on my lap for the first time I know that we saw a smile on his face.

People often say I don't know how you do all that you do Sue and I have to reply it's only by the grace of God that I'm able to go on some days. I praise the Lord that I'm feeling so well after the delivery of Lily and that I actually am feeling better now that I have her out. Though nights like last night where I'm only able to get a few hours of sleep are very hard I do feel more energetic each day. We are hoping to get our yearly family picture done tomorrow in front of the tree in the living room and hope to get out a Happy New Year Letter and Card out next week. We will post a copy of it on the Blog for all of you faithful followers.

Things to be praying about:
Luke's legs are still very hard to bend and we don't want to work with them to hard because there is always a chance of breaking a bone if we are not careful.
Luke's feedings are still going very slow, most times it takes us up to 45 minutes to get a tablespoon or two of food into his stomach, he continues to stay on the feeding machine in his J-tube to get the bulk of his food, someone asked how his gastronologist appt went and I'm glad to say it went well he had lost one pound which was good considering that we are only able to get in a few tablespoons of food 3 times a day before he start to spit it out.
Once again I continue to ask that he will start to swallow more then he does, it's a mystery why somedays he swallows so much better than others.
Last but not least continue to pray that he will sleep all night, some nights go so well and others are still very difficult.

We continue to thank you in advance for your prayers it's only because of your prayers that we are able to continue on this slow marathon that we continue each day. May God richly bless you and your family.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A few more dives in a new type of chamber.

Luke was able to go on 3 dives this week in a Sechrist HyperBaric chamber in Yelm. Amy went into the chamber with Luke to keep an eye on him. I have blogged a few photos below.

In the first photo, you will notice the chamber is a long cylinder type, as opposed to the more sub looking chamber in Canada. There is a TV that they can watch to pass the time while diving.

In the last photo, you will notice there is not a lot of room. You may have notice the blue band on Amy's wrist, it is an antistatic wristband, that grounds her to the machine. This is to prevent a static spark and reduce the risk of fire. Also, one major difference with the chamber in Canada is they pressurize the chamber with 100% oxygen, therefore Luke doesn't need to where a mask over his trach. In Canada they pressurized the chamber with normal air, then to deliver the oxygen, they use a hose with a mask that went over Luke's trach. The other major difference is price. It is almost 3 times the cost to dive here then it was in Canada.

I know Luke appreciates his big sister Amy going in the chamber with him. Thank You Amy.

A Sechrist HyperBaric chamber with Luke and Amy inside.

The technician is watching Amy and Luke as the chamber pressurizes. Notice the TV that Amy and Luke can watch to pass the time.

A closeup of Amy watching Luke inside the Sechrist HyperBaric chamber.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mama, I really like her, can we keep her?

Can someone help me look under this tree for a present with my name on it? I can't read yet.

Big brother Daniel tells Lily that she is part of a wonderful family.

Grandma gets to hold her precious little Lily for the first time.

Natalie cheerfully turns over the role of baby girl after 15 years to Lily.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

She's Here!!!

Our newest baby girl, Lily Joy Searles arrived Monday night at 8:14pm. She weighs 7 lbs 4 oz and measures 20 inches long. Mom is doing great and glad it is over. To say that there is "Joy" in there Searles' house now has even more meaning. The kids are happy to finally see their baby sister. Ezekiel says "She's Cute" and I happen to agree. I will post some more photos after she has her first bath, so stay tuned.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A Busy Week to Report About

Wow! What a busy week we've had. On Monday the girls and Isaiah had there Christmas Homeschool Choir Concert, so we took Luke for the second time since his accident out at night. He seemed to really enjoy the music and so many people were so blessed to see him and the progress that he has made. I'm continually amazed that the amount of people that come up to me and tell me how Luke has really had a impact on their lives. I'm thankful that God has chosen him and our family to bless those with his story.

Luke had a few rough nights this week, it is a mystery why some nights he sleeps so wonderfully and other nights he is awake for hours. We are praying that God will reveal to us what is going on so that we can all enjoy full nights of sleep again. On Tuesday Natalie and I went through all the baby clothing we have and it took quite a few hours of sorting and repacking to get through it all, it feels so good to have that job done. We found a few sleepers that we could use for the new baby girl. We have been blessed by one of our family members Tim and Selena, who happens to have a beautiful daughter Alyssa who passed on all of her darling little clothes for the baby. We have more than we could possible need. We are feeling more prepared all the time for the baby to come, which according to my midwife could be anytime now. But you all know that man doesn't have a clue about the mystery of child birth, so we will just have to leave it up to God's timing, which is the best way possible to have it.

On Friday we decided to take the kids to Gordy's Winter Christmas party at REI. So many people once again were excited to see the progress that Luke has made and we were blessed by how many people came up to share how they keep up to date on his progress. Friday night Gordy, myself and the girls went to a fundraiser BUNCO party, which was a blast, while Isaiah and Zeke got to go spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's home. Lukie stayed home with Glenda one of our nurses. Saturday night Gordy and I went to the Adult Christmas party at the church and had a great time. Then to top off our busy week Daniel was in a play on Sunday night, we took quite a few friends and family with us and all had a great time. Daniel did an awesome job with his part!

So there you are one very busy week for the Searles Family, I know that more of you would like to hear more often from us but we truly are doing our best to keep you up to date on what is happening.

People often ask how is Luke doing and what can we be praying about, so here are some specific prayer requests: *Please pray that Luke will start swallowing better and not have to be suctioned so much out of his trach, * Please pray that he will be able to tolerate his feeding in his G tube better and won't throw up any of his food, we have an appt on Wednesday with the gastronologist that I'm hoping well help us figure out what is going on, *Please be praying that this little one that can come at anytime will be right on time and that it will be a quick and easy delivery and that she will be a very healthy baby girl.

Once again thank you for your continued support and prayers, they are what get us through the days that are sometimes very difficult. May God richly bless you.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Praise the Lord, we are back home!

We are thankful for the time spent in Canada, but all of us are so happy to be back home. We decided to come back a day early on Friday and are so glad we did. I almost cried as I came into my quiet, clean home, that had been beautifully decorated for Christmas by Amy, Natalie and the Jacob girls. I am so blessed to have such wonderful daughters, they did an awesome job!

People are asking, "do you see any difference in Luke," the answer is just a little bit, which is great considering they usually tell you, you won't see much change before at least 20 to 40 dives and we only took 10 dives this trip. We are noticing that he seems to be much more alert and his arms are becoming more limber. At church today he was looking at people and not jumping as much when people would try to touch him. As we've said all along, this is a slow marathon we are running with Luke and continue to stay thankful for each step along the way.

Continue to pray that Luke will limber up in his legs and that his trach secretions will lessen, this would make him so much more comfortable and make our lives a little easier. I hope and pray that you are able to enjoy this joyous season of Christmas and please don't forget in all the hustle and bustle of this busy time, the real reason for the season is JESUS. We hope you enjoy the new pictures posted below.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Here are the kids on the deck just outside our hotel room in Victoria BC. Left to Right Amy, Luke, Ezekiel, Natalie, Daniel, Isaiah

Hmmm...Dad, how long will we be in here and how many dives does this make?

Here is one of the two HyperBaric chambers, it looks a bit like a small sub, both on the outside as well as on the inside.

Sue, what time is it? And how much longer do we have in this fish bowl?

Dad, thanks for taking me diving.