Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Instead of joyful and jolly many folks are just plain sad, they are in need of your prayers today

Finally it has stopped snowing. We here in Western Washington are not used to getting a lot of snow, but this past week or so we've had up to 8 inches and it has still not melted away. I'm so happy to report that we are once again a healthy family, I'm praying that we stay that way. Thank you for your prayers.

We are getting ready to go visit my sister Lori and her husband Lonnie for Christmas. It will be the first Christmas that we are going away in 21 years. We originally wanted to head over to her side of the state because she almost always has a white Christmas and we thought it would be fun for a change and of course we wanted to spend time with her family as we don't see them often. Never in a million years did we think that we too would have a white Christmas at our home. It is always a huge amount of work getting ready to go anywhere, especially when we go spend the night but I know it will be worth it all.

This time of the year should be Joyful and Jolly, but for many families this year it is extremely hard. Please be praying for Lauren's family, she passed away a few weeks ago, also for Hadley's family she passed away last week. Sadie has been in the hospital for a few weeks now with some major problems, her family is hoping to go home tomorrow, please pray that this will for sure happen. Also be praying for Abbie, she broke both of her femurs last week and is once again in a cast she needs a touch from Jesus to take away all her pain and her mom needs to be encouraged by a Loving Healing God. Also remember Maddie's family as I'm sure this is a hard Christmas this year, their first one without their precious Maddi. Will you pray for Jessica, her blog site is to the right called Joy in the Morning, she went in last week for an emergency open heart surgery, follow along on her journey of recovery and please be praying for a speedy recover for her today. The Lockwood family is also in need of prayer right now, Jaynee is having some major problems with her current pregnancy, please pray that mom and baby will stay safe. So many needs, such a HUGE GOD!

This is our first Christmas without Amy, she is spending it in Denmark with my brother and his wife. While we really miss Amy I'm so glad that she has this opportunity to spend some time over there. She will be home in two weeks, YAHOO!

We decided not to do a family picture until Amy comes home, so this year we are doing Valentine Day pictures. I will do my best to post some pictures soon. I hope and pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Luke is about 80% better

Just wanted to let you know that Luke is doing a bit better today. I would say that he is about 80% better. When I put him to bed last night his numbers were perfect and they stayed that way most of the night. He tolerated his feedings without throwing up again. His heart rate is still elevated today but he is not running a fever and he is not currently needing extra oxygen.

Today I am going out to finish my Christmas shopping. I'm hoping and praying that Luke will stay well enough for me to be gone most of the day. Thank you for your prayers they are helping him to get better, would you please continue to pray for him to be 100%?

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Monday, December 15, 2008

We found out this morning why Luke was crying most of yesterday. HE IS VERY SICK!

Yesterday was a very challenging day to say the least. While Luke was at Sunday school, his leg was twisted the wrong way and he began to cry. I heard him crying and went to see what was wrong, it was the first time in a long time that he cried and cried, I couldn't console him. It was very hard to hear him crying like that, though at the same time it was a first as I mentioned. He continued to complain and cry through out the day, we looked at his leg and foot and couldn't see anything wrong with it, therefore we just didn't know what was the matter with him.

Then we realized this morning as we woke up to alarms that he is very sick. He has been running a high fever all day and has needed oxygen for the most part of the day. Not a huge amount but some none the less. Would you please pray that he will make a speedy recovery? I'm bummed because tonight is Isaiah and Ezekiel's choir concert, I won't be able to go as I need to stay home with Luke of course.

I hope and pray that you are all enjoying this most wonderful time of the year.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Friday, December 05, 2008

We got Luke's food made yesterday. Want to see our mess?

Before I begin sharing with you how we make Luke's food, I thought you might like to see a few pictures of Luke. Here is he on the floor in the living room playing cards with Zeke. It started out that Zeke and Isaiah were building card houses in front of Luke, then he began to blow them down. That was so much fun Zeke decided that Luke needed to become part of his card house. Lukie so loves being part of his brother's games and I'm so thankful that they include him as much as possible.

Here is a picture of Luke at the YMCA during his PE class. Luke really enjoyed himself on Thursday, I took him out of his chair for awhile and "helped" him jump and step through some little squares on the floor. The kids are really warming up to Luke and don't seem to shy away from him like they used to. In fact they are always suggesting ways that Luke can be involved. Of course the questions are always there, "why can't he walk?" "does he ever talk?" "what happened to him?" Kids can be brutally honest at times, I don't mind their questions, they are just curious. It was our last day of this session, we don't start back at the Y again until after New Years, which will be a great break. One last piece of news, I won my first racquetball game today in years. I have really been enjoying exercising lately and have been making it a huge priority in my life. YAHOO.

I thought you might enjoy seeing just exactly how our kitchen looks while we are in the HUGE process of making Luke's food. I begin by going shopping at Costco and Trader Joe's for all the healthy high calorie food I can find. I did that on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning before we began making the food. Though I guess I really began making his food on Tuesday night when I boiled the chicken thighs and juiced a 5 pound bad of organic carrots.

I then used our Vita mix to completely turn the chicken and broccoli into liquid using the broth from the chicken and the carrot juice to make it a thinner consistency. I put that in the fridge until the next day when we would mix it into our huge bowls with all the other many ingredients that we add to make his food. All his food has to be strained through a very small screen so that we are sure to not have any big lumps, that would for sure clog his feeding tube. This is very tiring and can make you have very strong muscles in the wrist.

Natalie and I are very thankful for Tessa's help with Amy gone it really does take three people to get the job done more quickly, even with the three of us it still took us close to 4 hours to complete the whole project.

We then measure out enough food to last for two days at a time, carry the Ziploc bags down to our freezer in our garage. We have to be careful how we stack them or they will end up freezing "wrong" the bag will then break as they are thawing and we will lose a lot of the food. We sometimes refer to Luke's food as liquid gold, as it is not cheap to make and very time consuming, any lost is to waste or spillage is very sad.

We try to clean as we go, but there are always lots of dishes to wash when we are done, the pans, bowls, measuring cups, etc.

Last night our wonderful friends, Yoli and Juan, who just happens to be home on leave from Kuwait right now blessed us. We thought it would be fun to go out for dinner at Maggiano's, the food was amazing, the laughter was so much fun and then to top off a perfect evening they insisted on paying the bill. In tears I thanked them, both Gordy and I felt so blessed. Sometimes we have to receive a gift even though we are sure we would rather be the ones giving. I hope and pray that God will open many doors during this Christmas Season to bless those around us. As you bless others, the blessing you recieve is so amazing. Try it I'm sure you will like it!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

PS Please keep Lauren's family in your prayers today, her blog site is posted under Prayer links. Lauren is not doing so well these days and they are in the process of saying good bye to her, I'm sure it is a very sad time in their home right now. I have been very touched by this wonderful family's journey these past few years. Both Lauren and Luke's journey began in August 2004. It has been a very emotional time for me this week they have been in my prayers often.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Emotions emerging everyday!

Luke has been doing great lately, despite the few rough nights he's had, which are probably rougher on Mom and Dad than on him. He has been so much more limber lately, his OT is going to have his current wrist orthodics fixed so that it gives him more of stretch. We've also been talking about doing knee orthodics once again, I'm not sure where that one will end up though.

Something really exciting happened yesterday during his OT sessions. His OT was letting him play with hitting a switch pad to make cars go around a car track. All Luke has to do is barely touch the pad and it will go. Needless to say Luke was touching it and then letting it go, sometimes on command and then he began to get loud, Eric his OT said that he thought Luke was frustrated because his hands weren't working quick enough for him. This is the first time I've seen Luke get upset like this because he was unable to do something. On the one hand it's heartbreaking to see your child cry because they are unable to do what they want, on the other hand it is a huge breakthrough for Luke's emotions. God continues to move and we continue to wait for His completion in Luke's healing process.

I've been thinking a lot lately about all I have to be thankful for since Thanksgiving is this week. I'm am so blessed! God has given me such a wonderful husband who faithfully goes to work each day to provide for his family's needs, who also loves me so much and loves his children. For each of my children, when most people hear how many kids I have they usually say wow, it's good it's you and not me. I tell them I'm so blessed to have such wonderful kids and I really mean it, God has blessed me beyond my wildest expectations in my children. I'm so thankful to have such wonderful parents who faithfully pray for our family, they also deliver fresh milk to our home once a week and are always willing to lend a helping hand around the house. For my sisters, brother, sisters in law and brothers in law, though I don't get to see some of them often, I'm sure thankful that God has blessed me with such wonderful siblings. For amazing friends who encourage me in my walk with Christ. For a comfortable home, for heat and running water, which I always appreciate more after coming home from Mexico. The list could go on and on and on and on and on, you get the picture. What are you thankful for today?

Thank you faithful blog followers your prayers are wonderful to have,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Friday, November 21, 2008

I need to find Balance in my life and stop "beating" myself up

Yesterday was a challenging day. I was doing a pretty good job of beating myself up. You see sometimes I feel that my other children, you know the ones that are not "Luke" get gypped out of so much at times. Finding a way to balance my life is so tricky and while I try so hard to lean on God and have Him guide me through each day, sometimes I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job.

You see Lily my sweet little girl was completely and totally potty trained until about few months ago, I would get upset and wonder what had happened to have her regress. Finally I took her to the Dr. yesterday after so many people told me that she might have something wrong, sure enough she has a bladder infection. None of my children or myself for that matter have ever had one of these so I didn't know the symptoms. Does that make me feel better, NO! I should of been on top of Lily's care better, I should of taken her to the Dr. a few months ago when all her "potty accident's" began. But alas I didn't in the name of "being to busy," it's so easy to get into that trap and I have found myself entangled in the too busy trap for too long.

I hope you don't read this and judge me, I promise to once again with God's help find balance in my life. Balance to schedule my life better, balance to get more sleep, balance to find time to help all my children equally with their needs, balance to make more time for my husband, balance to spend more time in prayer and bible reading, balance to not rely so much on my older daughters, balance to find time to exercise and lose all those pounds I need to lose. I know that you get the picture. Will you please pray that God will help me find that much needed balance in my life? I find myself feeling selfish just asking you all for your prayers, but I realize that your prayers have gotten me through the last 4 years of my and they are powerful, therefore I will thank you in advance for lifting me up.

Love in Christ,
One humbled Mommy, Suzi

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A week full of appointments!

Here's Luke and I at one of his many appointments this past two weeks. I don't know why I fill up our calendar with so many appointments in a week. I guess sometimes I think that if I get them all out of the way one week maybe I can have a week off, but it just doesn't seem to work that way most of the time. We were at the Gastronologist in the picture above, after waiting 1 1/2 hours we finally saw the Dr. for 5 minutes for him to tell us that he is pleased with his weight gain of 4 pounds since our last visit, that he is looking good and that he doesn't need to see Luke again for a year. It's really amazing that I have a smile on my face since I was extremely frustrated after sitting in Dr.'s offices for 3 hours that day.

I took all the kids to the dentist this past week, including myself for our bi-annual teeth cleaning day. Good news the only one to have 2 cavities was Ezekiel, it was his first ones and hopefully his last. The Dentist said that Luke's teeth look great, he had a bit of tartar but nothing more than the usual amount. I was so thankful as I know so many children like Luke that have major problems with their teeth. It was very challenging to say the least to get his teeth cleaned, I had to hold his mouth open the entire time the Dentist was working, I also had to suction him as needed. I'm so thankful for a dentist that is willing to work with him, I know many Dentists will just send kids like Luke to see a specialist.

Our week wasn't all appointments though. Here are the kids looking a book that their wonderful Auntie Cindy is reading to them. Can you tell they are all enjoying it? I'm so thankful that I'm finally getting a good schedule going with homeschooling the boys this year. We have been trying to get started by 9:00 each day, they do work at home and then also go to Auntie Cindy for 1/2 hour each of reading. One of the most wonderful things about this past week is that Natalie and I are working out everyday, it has been a goal of mine for so long and I'm finally doing it.

We went for a walk last Saturday evening at Grandpa and Grandma's "trail", they live on a great trail that goes for 15 miles long. Luke was smiling the whole way, he loves his new chair and getting out in the open air. Another nice thing about his new chair is that Lily is able to stand on the side of it when she gets tired walking.

We sure do miss Amy, but are glad that she is able to enjoy her time in Denmark. She's already been gone for almost 4 weeks, only 7 weeks to go. Natalie and I are finding a new "normal" with her gone. I've actually been cooking again and can say that I'm enjoying it. I hope all is going well with all of you out there in blogland, it would be so wonderful to hear from you, even if it's only a few words to say that you are still out there.

Be blessed our dear friends,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Friday, November 07, 2008

Is anything to hard for the LORD?

Is anything to hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14)

This is God’s loving challenge to you and me each day. He wants us think of the deepest, highest and worthiest desires and longings of our heart. He wants us to think of those things that perhaps were desires for ourselves or someone dear to us, yet have gone unfulfilled for so long that we now see them as simply lost desires. And God urges us to think of even the one thing that we once saw as possible but have given up all hope of seeing fulfilled in this life.
That very thing, as long as it aligns with what we know to be His expressed will-as a son was to Abraham and Sarah-God intends to do for us. Yes, if we will let Him, God will do that very thing, even if we know it is such an utter impossibility that we would simply laugh at the absurdity of anyone ever suggesting it could come to pass.
“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” No, nothing is too difficult when we believe in Him enough to go forward, doing His will and letting Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God’s plan if they had continued to disbelieve.
The only thing “too hard for the LORD” is our deliberate and continual disbelief in His love and power, and our ultimate rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is impossible for Jehovah to do for those who trust Him. From Messages for the Morning Watch

I read this tonight in my Streams in the Desert devotional and all I can say is WOW! Thank you Lord for your sweet reminder to me that nothing is too difficult for you, healing Luke is so easy and I really do believe that you will do it in your time. What about you? What have you given up on? I ask you this one last time, “Is anything to hard for the Lord?”

Love in Christ,
Luke’s Mommy Suzi

Monday, November 03, 2008

Luke is doing much better, thank you for your prayers

This morning when I got up Luke had taken a huge turn for the better, he had no fever and his oxygen numbers where great. He's had a pretty good day, except for the fact that he is a little more tense than normal. He's doing great tonight, I'm ready for a much needed good night sleep.

I found this quote the other day in my Streams in the Desert devotional book:

When all our hopes are gone,

It is best our hands keep toiling on
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache.

Wow, all I can say is that if all of us would take our eyes off our problems and begin to look for ways to bless others, we would all be blessed.

Thought I would share some pictures with you all of this past weekend fun times, ENJOY!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Come along with me as I share what its like to spend the night by Luke's bedside. Please pray that he will get better soon.

Here I am it's about 1:45 a.m. I was getting ready to go to bed this evening when I noticed that Luke was struggling with his breathing. He is on 1 liter of oxygen, which is not a huge amount, but I'm getting ready to turn it up to 2 liters if his number don't come up soon. I'm extremely tired after a very busy day. I was up most of the night last night with Zeke, who wasn't feeling too good, then got up early this morning to cook Zeke a special Birthday breakfast of Bacon and French toast. Zeke was feeling better so we all got ready to go to church and we were only 10 minutes late, not bad for our family.

After church I put the casseroles that Natalie and I made last night into the oven to bake, then made up a Ceasar Salad for lunch, we only ended up having 22 for lunch. Zeke had a nice birthday, which I'm very thankful. It was nice to have Amy call us on Skype, even though she is in Denmark she was able to visit with us, face to face and be a part of Zeke Birthday celebration. If you don't have Skype you should check into it, it is a wonderful invention.

I am pleased to say that we finally got Luke and Lily's room put back together last night. My sweet sister Jill came over to help us sort, toss and organize their closet. Natalie went through a basket of papers that were put in the closet 4 years ago right after getting home from Luke's first Hospital stay. It was wonderful to throw away all the massive amounts of information on Trache care, machines that we no longer have and all the old paperwork and discharge papers we no longer need. I hope to put together a scrap book of all the cards and memories from that time in Luke's life to remember all the love and prayers so many poured out on our family during the darkest time in our lives.

"Opps" you'd think I'd know better, instead of just turning up his oxygen tank, I should of been checking to see if it had any oxgen left in it, silly me. After going back to his room for the 6th time in the last few minutes I finally got smart and changed his tank. I'm hoping that will help him and I will finally be on way to bed here in a few minutes. It's a little after 2:00 a.m. and I'm feeling pretty confident that I finally fixed Luke's oxygen problems, I'm off to bed for a quick sleep before all the kids get up in the morning.

I thought I was off to bed, it's 2:30 a.m. and Luke's heart rate is going up so I think he might be coming down with a fever, he sounds horrible and he's struggling to catch a breath, though he's still only needing 1 liter of oxygen. It's nights like these that I have to really depend on God to keep fear from creeping into my heart and the lies spoken into my head, "if he doesn't get better you might have to take him into the Dr. tomorrow" or "who knows if it will turn into pneumonia again and he will end up in the Hospital." I have to rely on that verse in the Bible that says "to take every thought under the obedience of Christ".

Well it's 3:00 a.m. and Luke definitely has a fever, I just checked it and it 102.3, his heart rate now is steady in the 160's, he just threw up and he is up to 2 liters of oxygen. I gave him some Ibuprofen, praying he will keep it down. Here's hoping I will be off to bed soon, but not feeling as optimistic as I was a little while ago. As long as he is alarming I know that it is useless to go to bed since I don't always hear his alarms going off at night anymore.

Now it's 3:40 a.m. and I'm sitting in Luke's room because I'm tired of getting up every few minutes to go back there. His oxygen is doing a bit better, but his heart rate is not coming down, praying that God will reach down right now and touch my precious Lukie.

It's close to 5:00 a.m. and Luke seems to finally being doing a little better. He has not alarmed in about 25 minutes and his heart rate is finally coming down to the 140's. He definitely sounds a little better, not struggling to get every breath, he is on 1/2 liter of oxygen. Praying I can finally get some much needed sleep and of course for Luke to wake up feeling better, nothing is impossible with GOD.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

PS Do you have any prayer requests?? I hope you know by now I love praying for all of you out there in blog land, it's exciting to see God answer prayers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why oh why, do I think I am able to do HUGE projects??

This past week has been challenging to say the least. I've have been needing to clean out Luke and Lily's closet forever and finally I decided since this was a break week at the YMCA I would tackle the job. Monday I asked my wonderful friend, Yoli if she would be willing to trade kids for a day. I would take her two on Wednesday if she would take my 4 on Tuesday, doesn't sound fair, but she agreed thankfully.

Monday afternoon my WONDERFUL daughter Natalie began the task of emptying out Luke and Lily's room and closet. But that wasn't enough we decided since the closet organizer was breaking we should completely take it apart. It ended up being in the living room and all the stuff from their room except for their beds ended up in the boys room. Because they were unable to walk in their room let alone sleep in their beds they ended up sleeping down stairs on the Hideaway bed for two nights. That was something that they been wanting to do for a long time so it was kind of fun for them thankfully.

Tuesday after getting done with school and picking up the house a bit, the kids went to Yoli's home and Natalie and I began painting Luke and Lily's room. We finished up at 7:00 that night. We were able to get Luke's bed cleaned off so that he was able to sleep in his room that night.

Wednesday began early, Natalie took Isaiah with her to the Dentist to get their teeth cleaned. Karlos was brought over at about 8:30 to play at my home for the day. Our morning was crazy, not only did I have to feed all the kids, get Luke and Lily bathed and feed Luke by myself, I also had to get school going for Ezekiel and watch Lily and Karlos. I didn't do such a great job, they ended up destroying a 1000 piece puzzle that Natalie had been working on all week, she was about 3/4 of the way done. I knew this would really upset her so I was nervous about her finding out, I was right she was very upset. Not a great way to begin a day. Things did get better after that though. It was an especially hard day because Natalie sorted through all the toys in Luke and Lily's room then I went through them to decide what to give away, what to keep and what to put away for my grand kids someday. As I looked at so many of the toys it saddened me to think that I would buy so many toys for Luke, things that I thought he would enjoy only to be disappointed because he really never played with any of them. It was also hard to go through some of the things that we found in his closet it brought back many memories of his time spent in the Hospital.

Today we had to take time off from finishing up the project that never seems to end because Gordy needs to fix the closet organizer before we can complete this project. He did get the parts today so I'm hoping that tomorrow morning he can finish putting it together so that we can fill it back up with all the stuff that needs to be put away. This will be a challenging day for me because I will need to sort through all his medical supplies, deciding what we really need to keep and what we can get rid of. Please be praying for me as this won't be easy, some memories are so difficult to live through.

Saturday we plan to take a few of Zeke's friends with our family skating for his birthday which is on Sunday. After church on Sunday we will have our family over for dinner which will be huge since having them all over ends up being about 25 people. It's hard to believe that Zeke is going to be 8 years old, time really seems to fly, especially when you are so busy.

Be blessed my friends,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A little bit of this and that to report today

I came back from Mexico feeling extremely blessed! My family all stayed healthy while I was gone and though they missed me they all did rather well. I knew that this week would be very busy and I was not surprised by just how busy it was. Monday was Amy's 21st birthday, Daniel came up from Chehalis, Gordy took a much needed day off from work and we all went to the Olive Garden for lunch, that night some of us went to Spencer's football game and enjoyed the fact that our weather is still very pleasant for watching football games.

Tuesday I took the kids up to Seattle so that they could be greeters and helpers at the annual Starlight Fundraiser luncheon. We all had a wonderful time until the ride home when we realized that Lily was sick, I had no idea that she was feeling poorly or would not of taken her of course. She ended up sleeping most of the day and then at night decided that she needed to not only throw up in her room, but in the hallway and our room also. Not a fun night. She had a very high fever until Thursday when she seemed to be getting better, but then today she has once again been running a fever and sleeping a lot. If she is not better by tomorrow I will take her into the Dr. to be sure that she doesn't just have the flu.

Wednesday was a busy day for myself, but the kids all stayed home. I went up to do some "free" shopping at the Starlight warehouse, I was able to get most of Zeke's birthday presents and have pretty much finished most of my Christmas shopping for the children. After that I went to the Homeschool store to buy the boys some new Math and Spelling books, stopped by and did some shopping at Costco on the way home. That night everyone but Luke, Lily and myself headed off to church, I sat by Luke holding Lily the whole night until the rest of the family got home.

Thursday Amy and I decided to run over to Eastern WA so that Amy could say good bye to her cousin Janell. You see Amy leaves on Monday to go stay with my brother and his wife for 10 weeks in Denmark. We had a wonderful time together, just some Mom and daughter time together totally enjoying the scenery on the trip over, since all the tree's are turning beautiful colors this time of the year. We didn't get home until very late that night.

Friday I took my sister Cindy with me to some appointments for Luke, you see my back went out while I was in Mexico and all week long I have been dealing with horrible pain, so bad in fact I have not been able to carry Luke or Lily all week long. People have to put them on my lap for me, Isaiah had to help me carry Luke to bed on Friday night while Gordy went to the football game with Amy and Natalie. It's so nice to have the boys getting older they are able to help out so much more these days.

Today was a busy get caught up on laundry day, Gordy and the boys raked the front yard, the girls and I along with a few of their friends made lagsna for Amy's Birthday/Going away party tomorrow. She had requested home made lagsna for her party so that meant we had to make a triple batch of homemade sauce and then let it cook a few hours before putting together enough lagsna to feed 30 people tomorrow after church and having two extra lagsna's to put in freezer for another day.

I was hoping to put up a few pictures to go along with this posting, but decided that I will sit down and share with you all the wonderful blessings from our recent missions trip to Mexico very soon and post some pictures at the same time.

Please keep Luke and Lily in your prayers as they have both been running fevers off and on all day. Also for my back as mentioned above it has been very bad this week and since Luke needs constant care it drives me crazy not to be able bathe him, pick him up, move him, etc. . .

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Luke got his new chair today!

I went to pick up Luke's new chair today. I absolutely love it! It fits him so great, what a blessing from the Lord, especially since we did not have to pay a penny for it. I was almost in tears a few times as the man at the shop was showing it to me, it is even better than I thought it would be. The picture above is him in it at the YMCA today, as you can see we are playing soccer right now. It's perfect because I can trap a soccer ball underneath it and then push it into the goal for him. The kids seem to be warming up to him. A little boy actually picked him for his partner today. I helped Luke throw the ball and then Caleb kicked it back to us. I could tell by the smile on Luke's face he was having a great time seeing his old Mama run him around the gym.

I leave tomorrow night for Mexico. Please keep our family in your prayers, especially that Luke and all the kids will stay healthy while I'm gone. Would you also be willing to pray for the team? Here are the names of those going: Sue, Natalie, Josh, Yoli, Russ, Russell, John, Jeremy, Tessa, Hoshanna and Norm. We will be gone until Sunday the 12th. Thank you and God bless y'all.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Monday, September 29, 2008

Trusting GOD to get us through another day!

Often I wonder how to start my posts; should I start with the good news? Or the upsetting news? Or the encouraging news? Do I start on a happy note and end on a sad one or just the opposite? Usually I'm a pretty upbeat kind of person, some days that is easier done than others, I'm thankful that I can ALWAYS trust Jesus to lift me up when I feeling down and discouraged!

So here we go with some good news, as mentioned in my last post Luke had his blood work done to check his iron level. I was so happy with the results, for the first time ever all his blood work came back normal, nothing was high or low. It reminded me of the dream my Mom had a few years ago about Luke being healed from the inside out. Even though we can not see a seed growing under the ground, we have the faith to believe that sooner or later it will poke up out of the ground and grow to be delicious food, just like Luke will become whole one day.

Here's some more good news. I took Luke back to the Osteopathic Dr. he told me the changes he felt in Luke the last time continued to stay with him. He also said that Luke is responding very well to his adjustments. It was very interesting to see Luke as the Dr. worked with him, Luke stayed very alert to all his movements and responded often with noises letting the Dr. know what he did not like.

Both Luke's PT and Rolfer Massage Therapist were very encouraged at his muscle tone feeling better. Then to top it all off I took him into to see his rehab Dr. and he too felt that Luke was a bit looser than before, we discussed cutting down his muscle relaxant because it puts Luke to sleep for hours every time he takes it. That is fine for night but not for the morning time, we'll see how it goes before we decide whether to wean him completely off it.

Tonight was challenging! We took Luke to Horse therapy, all day I kept telling Luke he was going to get to ride a horse, he would smile each time I mentioned it. But when the Therapist saw his legs she said that because his legs don't bend it would be dangerous to put him on a horse. She wondered why no one will work with his legs, I told her that people are too afraid of breaking them, except for his rolfer. She is going to try to find a PT that is willing to work with his legs, what a relief to find someone who does not see Luke as impossible to work with. I left there with mixed emotions, wondering why I have never been able to get help for his legs, discouraged but at the same time encouraged to perhaps finally find someone willing to look into getting him the help he so desperately needs.

Gordy and I discussed on the ride home from the Horse barn, how easy it would be to be depressed with the way things are today. The economy is horrible, Luke's legs "never" seem to improve, if only we would of known right after Luke's accident what we know today, would we have been able to help keep his legs bending if we would of worked with him daily?? So many questions, we realize we can not beat ourselves up, but it would be easy to do. We both came to the conclusion that Jesus is the only answer, we either trust him to completely take care of all area's of our life or we don't. We both decided to TRUST HIM in all circumstances, therefore I go to bed now with His peace knowing that He will not let us down! I hope you all can learn to trust him in your impossible circumstances, He's waiting for you to turn it all over to Him today.

Be blessed today our friends,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some days are just easier than others!

I have been working very hard to get a good homeschool schedule going for the boys. My mornings are crazy needless to say. On Monday I let Amy and Natalie sleep in since they had been gone to a retreat as counselors over the weekend. I jumped out of bed at 7:30, literally jumped since Luke was alarming and gagging, suctioned him and he was then doing OK. Lily and Ezekiel my early risers were up by then and ready for the day to begin, I made scrambled eggs and then woke up Isaiah to eat, the kids and I ate while I was preparing Luke's first feeding of the day. Sent the boys off to get dressed, gave Lily a quick bath and got her dressed, put Luke in the tub, bathed him, got him dressed. Started the boys school work, began Luke's first feeding of the day and helped Lily get her school books out. Woke up the girls they took over for a little while, I got into the shower finally, helped the boys with some more school, got Luke ready to go to PT, left with Luke and Ezekiel to go to PT, got home just in time to feed Luke before we left to go to Spencer's football game. Went to the game, ate out on the way home, got home put the kids to bed, wrote up a scavenger hunt for Nicoles Birthday party, ran it over to her party explained it, went back home for a little while, returned to the party announced the winners, went back home, got Luke his nightly meds, filled up the dishwasher, started another load of laundry and went to bed. Believe it or not that day was much easier than today.

Today began about the same only the girls were up to help and what wonderful help they are! After lunch we went to the YMCA for our homeschool PE program. Today was Luke's first time to go. I decided that I would be his legs and arms this year so that he could participate in the program. It was harder than I thought, not physically but emotionally. Just watching all those 5 and 6 years running around and talking up a storm made me realize what Luke should be doing at this age. The kids seemed to be almost scarred of Luke and it didn't help matters the fact that he was a bit congested and coughing or yelling quite a bit during class. I hope as they get used to him that they might say "hi" to him or acknowledge his presence in the class. Luke's teacher Miss Stephanie does an excellent job with the class. Please be praying that I have the strength to continue to take him, it is not easy.

Please pray for my friend Nancy and her husband Mark, they lost a little boy last week. She was 7 months pregnant when they realized he had died in the womb. They knew he had some complications but were praying for a miracle touch from Jesus. The funeral for their baby is tomorrow afternoon. My heart has been so grieved today. Will you also keep little Parker and Hadley and their families in your prayers, their prayer links are over to the side and they are both in need of much prayer right now. Thank you.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Persistence in Prayer Pleases God!

I've been wanting to share a few amazing stories with you all for awhile, but have just not had the time to sit down and blog. First of all let me begin by saying that Luke is doing good. He was very sick on Friday night, another all nighter for Gordy and myself, Saturday was still not so great, but today he is doing good once again.

I am amazed, though I know I should not be by God's continued faithfulness during this journey that we've been on for the last four years. I briefly mentioned in my last post about how this year's "anniversary date" of Luke's accident was by far the easiest one we've had so far. While we were in Newport we found a church to attend on Sunday morning. That morning was kind of difficult as Ezekiel was still not fully recovered from his bike fall and Luke was a bit congested that morning, I'm so glad we didn't take the easy road and stay home that morning. During church I had to go out often because Luke was being too noisy with his breathing so I stayed in the back and listened to the message, wondering to myself "why" we had attended at all. But God in His faithfulness had something wonderful for me after the service.

We had just walked out of the sanctuary when a lady approached me, she asked me if she could share something with me, of course I said yes. She than proceeded to tell me that while she was praying that morning in church she saw a picture of a little boy and this little boy looked just like my little boy, Luke. She said in this picture she saw Luke walking with ski poles. I told her with tears in my eyes that I truly believe that Luke will walk again one day, then she continued to say least I be confused that the little boy she saw was not using the ski poles for crutches, rather he was playing with them and walking, almost running with them in his hands. I began to shed a few tears, she then asked me to pray, we joined hands together and asked God to let this happen soon. As I got in the van that morning I still had tears in my eye's marveling at God's faithfulness, the boys asked me why I was crying and I told them they were happy tears, not sad tears.

God knew that I once again needed to be reminded of His promise to me that Luke will fully recover one day. It would be so easy to stop believing in this miracle, to just accept Luke like he is today, but I know better. My faith is unmovable; I can not and will not stop believing for God to finish what He started on August 30, 2004, when he brought Luke back to life after being dead for so long. I often remind myself that "Persistence in prayer pleases God" God's word says we are to pray without ceasing, that is exactly what I'm doing. Not just for Luke's miracle but also for so many other children and people that need a touch from my Heavenly Father.

I know this post is too long already, but I have to share one more answer to prayer. A few days before we got home from vacation I received a call saying that we were finally accepted to receive a grant from the NOCK Corporation, to get a new wheelchair stroller for Luke. After hearing that we are getting the chair with all the added accessories I asked how much we owe and they told us "NOTHING". What a huge answer to prayer. I realize that most of you will not understand what I'm about to say, but I'm going to share it anyway, because as you all know I often share with you the good, the bad and the ugly of my thoughts. I was rejoicing that we did not have to buy Luke a wheelchair, this is something that I never wanted to do and as God is such a generous God, He answered my prayer.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, I want to let you all know and I realize that once again you will think I'm crazy, I'm taking a team down to Mexico on October 3rd to paint a church. God begin to birth a vision for me to take this team awhile back, but I had to wait for His perfect timing and now it is here. I along with Natalie and 9 other people will be down in Mexico for 6 days painting and serving Jesus anyway He wants to use us. I'm very excited but at the same time, thinking to myself that I must be insane wanting to add planning this trip, putting together all the details, into my already very full schedule, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is God led. Therefore I quote often my favorite scripture that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" realizing that He will give me the strength and wisdom to pull this off for His glory.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SOW SEED INTO THIS MINISTRY?? I need all the prayers that I can get, of course not only for myself but for my family I leave behind. I'm so thankful that God has been bringing in money for this trip, our $900 of gas has already been paid for along with many other donations by the faithful people of our church. I would love to bless the amazing ministry they have down there at their Rehab center for men. This rehab center runs completely on faith, they take in men off the streets that want to change their lives, they help them to detox from the drugs and alcohol in their system and then they pray with them and teach them God's word daily to help them stay clean. They teach them a vocation so that when they leave they have experience to get a job. These men are often reunited with their families and are able to hold down a job when they leave. The last time we were there they served us a dinner on very old and often chipped plates and cups, I would like to bless them with new dishes, towels, clothes, food and other items. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP?? If so please e-mail me and I will let you know the address of our church where you could send money to sow into this ministry. I don't think that I've asked for money before, but I really believe that some of you will be led by the Lord to bless this ministry and I want to say thank you in advance.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Finally, a long over due quick update

Sorry for the wait for an update. I wanted to get some pictures up before I blogged, but I finally decided I better let you know that we are still alive and thriving. We just got back Monday from a wonderful camping trip to Oregon. It was one of the best vacations we've had in a long time, completely stress free, except for Zeke's fall off his bike and a few days of Luke being sick. The weather was wonderful, the beach was grand, the family time was great and it was so relaxing.

This was the easiest year I've had so far "celebrating" Luke's anniversary date for his near drowning accident. I know many people were praying and I want to say thank you, they were definitely felt. Luke did absolutely wonderful on our vacation except for a few days of being sick. He was full of constant smiles, alert and fun to be with.

I promise once I finally get caught up with all the: laundry, doing a deep cleaning on the trailer, getting the children registered for the YMCA and homeschooling with the district, making Luke's food, doing deep clean job in my kitchen, taking Luke to some appointments, cleaning out a few of our closets, just to name a few of the much needed things that I need to accomplish this week before beginning our 14th year homeschooling, I will sit down and post some pictures and fill you in on all the good things happening in Luke's life.

Love in Christ,
Luke's mommy Suzi

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It's August again, this year is flying by!

Where has this year gone? It is flying by so fast, my friend Yoli, whose sweet hubbie Juan is in Kuwait, reminds me that this year and the next will fly by because she is praying for it to go by quickly so Juan will be able to come home again. Please keep the Rodriguez family in your prayers as it is difficult for them to be separated for so long.

Want to hear some shocking news?? Gordy called to order some new Complete Pediatric, which is the formula we use for Luke when we go out of town or run out of our home made food, the price for a case of food tripled because their company was bought out by Nestle. Nestle thought that $40 a case is not enough money to charge parents for food that their children need to survive, instead Nestle knowing that it is a necessity for so many children has tripled the price to $153 a case. Our insurance has never paid a penny of this because they say it is not a medical necessity, even though Luke is incapable of surviving without it. A case is 24 cans and we would need 5 cans a day, which equals out to about 4 1/2 days of food. That means we would need about 5 cases a month at now $153 a case equals to be about $918 a month just for his food. Thankfully we are not dependent on this company to feed our child. Just a side note we did find another source for his food on Amazon for only $53 a case, we are hopeful that this site will work out, but won't know until his food arrives.

We've continued to have some busy weeks of appointments. Today I had to take Luke into his Gastronologist, you see the last time we saw him about 5 months ago he changed the size of his mickey button, which is where we hook up his food for feeding him. Anyway I knew when he changed the size of the button it was too big, but instead of calling right away I used all the old ones we had, but recently we ran out of his old ones and had to order a new one. When I put it in on Sunday I knew that it was too big and could get caught on things easily, so after calling the nurse to let her know she told me I would need to bring him in. Needless to say the nurse and Dr. both agreed to go back to his old size. Want to take a guess at how much the Dr. charges for changing a little button that only takes about 2 minutes? If you guess about $200 you would need to triple that and add another $25, yep $625 for a quick change. Unbelievable, since Gordy, myself and the girls have done this on numerous occasions, never having a bit of complication. It almost makes me want to vote for Medical reform in this wonderful country that I live in, that said I realize that other countries that have Government Medical programs are not all perfect, in fact I've heard that the old and handicapped often get less treatment then those that are young and healthy.

I'm thankful to God who provides all that we need to keep up with Luke's medical needs, but there are days that I get sad about all the money we spend on him, money that could be spent so many other places. Enough said.

Please keep us in your prayers as we go camping with Gordy's sister's family this weekend. Then on Sunday Amy and Natalie are going to our church high school camp as counselors, while I take Isaiah, Ezekiel, Luke and Lily, along with my parents and sister Cindy to go visit my sister Lori and her husband in Eastern WA for a few days. Gordy will stay at home to get caught up at work, he has been very busy there lately and hopefully find some time to put together our computer which crashed last week, of course the one with all our family photo's on it. I hope to put a little video showing Luke driving a little car at his OT appointment last week as soon as I learn how to put that up on his blog. Also some pictures of our completed tree house which is taller than the deck on our second story home, Gordy, Josh and the boys finished last Sunday afternoon.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

PS Would love to hear from you all, please leave us a comment and let us know what is new in your part of the world.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Praise God, I have passed another test!

As mentioned in my last post Gordy and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided to get away for a relaxing weekend at the ocean, I'm happy to say that it began that way, but sadly didn't stay that way the entire time. When we left Thursday night everyone was healthy and happy and I was hoping it would stay that way the entire time.

When I called home Saturday morning to see how things went Friday night I found out that Luke was sick, he was up through out the night with lots of congestion and oxygen problems. I was so disappointed to hear that he had a very high heart rate and was on 2 liters of oxygen. Natalie was feeling confident that she had things under control, I gave her a few suggestions and let her know I would be calling often to keep in close contact with how things were going. I immediately told Gordy the bad news and we joined hands and prayed. I wish I could say that God answered our prayers immediately but that was not the case, instead it would be a day full of prayers and waiting on God for His perfect timing to heal Luke. Sound familiar?

As the day progressed Luke just didn't seem to be getting better, but I still did not have peace about going home, I kept feeling like the Lord was saying "do you trust me Sue?" I remember calling at one time and one of my relatives answered the phone sounding extremely concerned saying that Luke was doing horrible and wondered if we should come home. Once again I asked Natalie if she wanted us to come and she said that she had it under control, I prayed and didn't feel like we should go home yet. Long story short I told Natalie to put Luke into his bed around 7:45 and begin his food very slowly with his food pump, because he really hadn't kept anything down all day, I also told her to give him his muscle relaxant medication right away to help get his heart rate down. Praise God I can say that within a short amount of time his heart rate was down to normal and he was on much less oxygen. I went to bed that night with peace in my heart knowing that he had made a turn around.

The next morning I got up and told Gordy I wanted to take one last walk on the beach, but before I left for my walk, I called home to hear that Luke was doing amazingly better, he was on no oxygen and his heart rate was back to normal. I had a great time walking and singing praises to God feeling confident that I had passed the test that God had set before me, was it easy NO WAY, was it worth it DEFINITELY YES!

I had not taken my Desert in Stream devotional with me, but read July 26 the Saturday posting when I got home and how appropriate it was to my day, here it is:
By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. Galatians 5:5
There are times when everything looks very dark to me-so dark that I have to wait before I have hope. Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. When we see no hint of success yet refuse to despair, when we see nothing but the darkness of night through our window yet keep the shutters open because stars may appear in the sky, and when we have an empty place in our heart yet will not allow it to be filled with anything less than God's best-that is the greatest kind of patience in the universe. It is the story of Job in the midst of the storm, Abraham on the road to Moriah, Moses in the desert of Midian, and the Son of Man in the Garden of Gethsemane. And there is no patience as strong as that which endures because we see "him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27). It is the kind of patience that waits for hope.
Dear Lord, You have made waiting beautiful and patience divine. You have taught us that Your will should be accepted, simply because it is Your will. You have revealed to us that a person may see nothing but sorrow in his cup yet still be willing to drink it because of conviction that your eyes see further than his own.
Father, Give me Your divine power-the power of Gethsemane. Give me the strength to wait for hope-to look through the window when there are not stars. Even when my joy is gone give me the strength to stand victoriously in the darkest night and say, "To my heavenly Father, the sun still shines."
I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope. George Matheson
Strive to be one of the few who walk this earth with the ever present realization-every morning, noon and night-that the unknown that people call heaven is directly behind those things that are visible.

I hope and pray that you will allow God to teach you how to trust Him during your darkest days, the rewards of trusting Jesus are amazing!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Suzi

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thunderbird, Thunderbird and more Thunderbirds!

We are giving thanks to God for an amazing week! We went camping last week at a place called Thunderbird Resort up north of us in Monroe, right next to the beautiful Skykomish River. Did I say it was beautiful? Luke had a great week, he has been so healthy lately and smiling all the time. Here are some pictures from the campground.

On Wednesday we had the opportunity to go up even farther north to Mount Vernon to meet some friends at the park, you can check out her blog at Chris and Jenni. The kids had so much fun playing together and Jenni and I had a great time of just visiting together. That evening we were treated to a free dinner at Red Robin thanks to Starlight Starbright. Here are a few pictures from the park. One great discovery that was made that day is Luke actually likes to swing and does a good job of holding up his head for very short periods of time.

On Friday we had the great opportunity, thanks to Starlight Starbright to go and see the Thunderbird Jets fly and meet some of the pilots. It was amazing to see the tricks they do and at times hear how very loud they can get. I was so impressed with the pilots, many of them came right down to say hi to Luke and shake his hand. After meeting the pilots we went onto a huge cargo plane, you can see the kids up in the cock pit. Lily cried as we got off, she wanted to go for a ride. Can you see her flying that plane someday?

This week is a busy one with Vacation Bible School everyday for the kids. It's been a challenge getting out of the door each morning by 9:00, but so worth it, the kids are having a great time. Gordy and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary on Tuesday, it's hard to believe that we've been married that long. God has truly blessed us with a good marriage and we look forward to the next 25 years together. We will be getting away for a long weekend at the beach. Will you keep our children in your prayers as we leave them behind. Especially for Luke to stay very healthy. They will be spending the first night at Tia Yoli's on Thursday and then back home on Friday, my sister Lori and her husband Lonnie will be here for the weekend, so with their help along with Auntie Cindy, Natalie will be watching the children for the weekend. Thursday night on our way out of town we will be taking Daniel out for his 23rd birthday dinner, where does the time fly? Praise God he is doing great, he has a wonderful place to live and a great job. Amy is coming home on Saturday after spending two weeks at camp as a counselor, I talked to her tonight for awhile and she has been having a wonderful time, God is doing great things in her life and through her testimony of what God has done in her life.

Be blessed our friends,
Luke's Mommy Suzi