Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Week of First's for Luke and Myself

This week is a week of firsts for both Luke and myself. For the first time, Luke went to Sunday School and made it through the entire service without his number going up for assistance. We are blessed that Amy is his Sunday School teacher. On Tuesday I taught my first swimming class in about 8 years, Amy was sick so I subbed for her. For the first time, today Luke went into the YMCA nursery during the home school PE hour, I taught Amy's class again because she went to a Children's Ministry Leaders Conference down in OR with my sister Cindy. Luke did great in the nursery, he loves being around kids his age. Then tonight we were blessed to go to Chuck E. Cheese thanks to Starlight Starbright and Luke had a great time, it was his first time going there where he did not get sick or stressed out.

We leave tomorrow morning for CA and then on to AZ. As I mentioned before this will be the first time Gordy, Amy, Natalie and myself have left the area all together since Luke's accident. Luke and Lily will be staying at home tomorrow night with Tessa and Nicole some wonderful young ladies who have babysat them on numerous occasions. Then on Saturday morning Tia Yoli and Tio Juan will pick them up to stay at what we've been calling Rodriguezland, instead of Disneyland. I've explained to both Luke and Lily that they are staying home while we all go and they seem to be fine with that, especially since they get to go to the Rodriguez home, they both love going there. Then on Tuesday morning Auntie Cindy will pick up Luke and Lily and take them out to the Gig Harbor Library where she tutors my nephew in math. I'm sure that Luke and Lily will enjoy going to the Library. She will watch them until Gordy gets home that night.

We will be driving down to Anaheim, spending two days at Disneyland, this is the first time we've ever splurged like this on a fun vacation. On Tuesday afternoon Amy and I will drop off everyone at the airport and then go spend that night with Yoli's wonderful sister Becky and her husband Abe, we've stayed at their home numerous times and have been blessed by their hospitality. Wednesday morning Amy and I will get up early to go to the Grand Canyon for a few hours of picture taking and then we've been invited to spend the night at my cousin Brian and his wife Maureen's home in Flagstaff. The next morning we will head out for Tucson, AZ where we will be picking up the furniture for my parent's which is the whole reason we are going on this trip. Amy and I will then plan to be home on Sunday evening.

Here are a list of things that I would really appreciate prayers for:
  • Luke and Lily to stay healthy and to have a wonderful time at home and that everything will go smoothly for Tessa, Nicole, Yoli, Juan and Cindy
  • For our family to have a safe trip, free from bad weather and roads. Also for those that are flying to be safe on their flights
  • That this will be a time of healing for our family as we have not been to Disneyland since just before Luke's accident, therefore it is bittersweet going back
  • I have not been feeling well for a few days, that I will wake up tomorrow feeling wonderful and that no one else in the family will get sick
Thank you once again for your prayers they are what keep us going!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No Cavities, Great Oxygen Levels and Humongous Smiles!

I took Luke to the Dentist today. We had scheduled to have his teeth cleaned 3 times before but he was not healthy enough to go. The Dental hygienist and Dentist both said his teeth look great, no cavities, just a little plaque and little bit of swollen gums. I'm very diligent about brushing his teeth every day, I'm thankful that he had such a great report. His front two top teeth are loose so he may be losing them before too long.

Luke has been doing so amazingly well these last few days. He has been smiling like crazy, his oxygen levels have been great. We finally finished up his antibiotics today, so we will not have to worry about his crazy medicine schedule anymore that is a huge relief.

Amy, Natalie and I spent about 5 hours yesterday making Luke's food. I decided to type out all the ingredients since Luke goes to the Gastronologist and Dietitian next month, it took a full two column page to list all the ingredients we put into his food. I've said this many times before but it bears repeating he is for sure the healthiest eater in our family. I leaned down to tell him as we were washing all the bowls and pans, how much we love him and that we will continue to make his food until he is sitting at the table eating with the family again. This batch of food will last about a month, we freeze it in Ziploc bags and take out a bag of new food every two days.

Streams in Desert today: But the dove could find no place to set its feet. . . so it returned to Noah in the ark . . . He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening , there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Gen. 8:9-11
God knows exactly when to withhold or to grant us any visible sign of encouragement. How wonderful it is when we will trust Him in either case! Yet it is better when all visible evidence that He is remembering us is withheld. He wants us to realize that His Word - His promise of remembering us - is more real and dependable than any evidence our senses may reveal. It is even more after we have trusted Him without it. And those who are most inclined to trust God without any evidence except His Word always received the greatest account of visible evidence of His love. Charles Gallaudet Trumbull

Delayed answers to prayers are not refusals. Many prayers are received and recorded, yet underneath are the words, "My time has not yet come." God has a fixed time and an ordained purpose, and He who controls and limits of our lives also determines the time of our deliverance.

I continue to trust God in knowing that He has the perfect day to complete Luke's healing progress. Some days I am totally at rest in trusting Him in His timing and other days I struggle in my level of trust. I often wonder if I would go back and change the day of Luke's accident of course I would never wish any of my family to go through the suffering Luke and our family have experienced, but I do know that we have all grown in our walk with Christ. I've grown closer to God and have learned a whole new level of trust in my walk I have with Jesus. My prayer for each person that follows along on Luke's journey, is that they too will learn to trust Jesus in every area of their lives.


Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Friday, January 18, 2008

Luke is doing Great once again

Hallelujah! Luke is finally doing better. He is currently at 98 percent oxygen and his heart rate is back to normal for night time. I took him to see Matt the Rolfer today and he seemed to respond wonderfully to his massage. Have I told you how vocal Luke is getting lately. He actually will whine until we get him out of his bed in the morning. I told Amy and Natalie what a joy it is to hear him tell us he wants to get up in the morning.

Recently we decided to go to Arizona to pick up a table, chairs and dresser for my Dad and Mom. My Grandparents lived in Tucson and they passed on quite awhile go, but the furniture was still in their home. Recently the home had been bought and my Dad mentioned that he would love to have this table and chairs, so I thought it would be a huge blessing to go pick it up for him. Needless to say I thought it would be fun if we as a family could go down to CA together to spend a day at Disneyland, the last time we were there was right before Luke's accident.

Gordy, myself, Daniel, Amy, Natalie, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Kristin and Joshua leave on February 1st to go on down to CA. We are not taking Luke and Lily. It was so difficult this past week to see Luke so sick and wonder if we had made the right decision to leave him behind. This will be the first time that all of us leave him at home, there is always either Gordy, myself, Amy or Natalie here. Though we all work together on taking care of the constant needs of Luke, it can be draining at times, don't get me wrong we don't be grudge Luke's care, we just know that we need a break. We will all be together until Tuesday night when Amy and I drop off the family to fly home, on free award airline tickets. We then will go on to AZ and will not get home until February 10th.

God has blessed us recently in some very unusual ways. We received a very unexpected check for $1200 and then today my generous brother gave us $800 for gas to go pick up the furniture for my Dad. I was jumping up and down all morning for joy at God's amazing blessings. You see I really wanted to go down to CA this past Christmas, but we did not have the money at that time, so now not only will I get the desire of my heart, but my parents will also receive a desire they have.

Here are some thoughts from a mom who has a severely handicapped child: We really shouldn't be spending the money on this trip, because we could be using it for HBOT treatments for Luke, we should not leave him behind, he would enjoy himself on this trip also, what if he gets pneumonia again while we are gone and ends up back in the Hospital, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I can hear so many of you say but Sue, that is a bunch of bologna, you can't live your life in fear of what is to come. I know that I'm just being open and honest with you all once again.

I would really appreciate your prayers that Luke and Lily will be completely healthy the whole time we are gone. That Tessa and Nicole will be fine staying the night with them on Friday night. For Yoli and Juan who are taking care of them from Saturday to Tuesday morning to have the strength and be blessed amazingly by God and that Auntie Cindy will have a wonderful day Tuesday as she watches them for us that last day before Gordy gets home. For our family to have a safe journey and that we will blessed with wonderful memories of this trip. The last time we were in Disneyland was just two weeks before Luke's accident, so it can bring back some happy/sad moments for all of us.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

PS Please continue to remember the Lester family in your prayers, Dave, Cindy, Anna and Sam as they mourn the death of Maddie.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Madeline went home to be with Jesus today

It is with a very heavy heart that I come to you all tonight. Madeline Lester went to be with Jesus today. Will you please join me in praying for her parents Dave and Cindy and her siblings, Anna and Sam, that they will find peace and comfort during this time of grieving.

Today was a hard day before I even found out about Maddie. Luke had an appointment at 2:00 with the Respirational Therapist to try on a special vest that will help keep his lungs cleared. Then we meet with his Rehab Dr. and we decided it was time to put Luke on to Baclofen, which is a muscle relaxant. We are starting out with just a little twice a day to see if it puts him to sleep, the Dr. is going to be working closely with us so that we don't lose any of Luke's cognitive levels. After that we went to his Pediatrician for his post Hospital visit. To say that he was having a rough day would be putting it mildly, I had him on 2 - 3 liters of oxygen and he was still struggling. That said he is definitely improving which is good news.

May God bless you and make His face to shine upon you today!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Home Sweet Home

It's so nice to be home again and to sleep in my own bed. I realize that we were only in the Hospital for 2 nights, but Luke and I had been sleeping out in the living room previously to Hospital stay. I usually like to sleep close to him when he is struggling so that I can be there quickly if he has a problem or if his alarms go off.

This was by far the least stressful time that we've ever had in the Hospital. Luke really did well and made a quick recovery. I think the hardest thing about being there was the fact that they put him in the same Emergency room that he originally went to after his accident. The memories that come back from that horrible day can almost choke both Gordy and I at times. I was so thankful that the Dr. that admitted him into the Hospital allowed me to continue Luke on a few of his supplements. Usually when someone goes into the Hospital the only thing you are allowed to give the patient is what the Dr. prescribed. I shared with the Dr. how important it is for Luke to get him digestive supplements each time he eats and she allowed them to be put on the list of meds that he got while he was there and I also wanted him to get his probiotic and she approved that as well.

Today was a busy day for me as I had to take Lily and Isaiah into the the Dr. Lily has been having a horrible cough for almost two weeks and I thought we should make sure that it wasn't pneumonia and Isaiah had been complaining that his ear was hurting. Sure enough they both had horrible ear infections, thankfully Lily's lungs sounded fine. This is the first ear infection either one of them has had in years. So we now have three children on antibiotics. After the Dr. appointment I took Isaiah to the Dentist. We then ran to Costco and out to our Medical supplier to get some more little oxygen tanks for Luke. I finished the day with a massage, after sleeping on the hospital "bed" my back has been giving me some grief.

Tomorrow I will be taking Luke back to see his rehabilitation Dr. I have been seriously thinking about trying a baclafen pump out. Luke's muscle tone has been horrible, especially this past week with him being sick. It continues to get harder to bend him to put him into his car seat and it almost impossible to get any bend in his knees. We just don't have the money to continue with HBOT treatments and that is the only thing that keeps him limber. Please pray for God to give Gordy and I wisdom in knowing what would be best for Luke. He also has a follow up appointment with his Pediatrician tomorrow so it will be another busy day for me. Thursday I'm hoping not to leave the house at all.

THANK YOU once again for your prayers while Luke was in the Hospital, I know that is the reason he was able to get out so quickly. I could really sense a wonderful Godly peace about being there this time, which I know had to come from God.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good News!

Good News! Luke was able to come home late this afternoon. Both Luke and Sue are tired and are resting. Thank you for praying. Continue to praying for Luke to get well.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Luke is still in the Hospital, BUT he is doing a bit better

Luke is doing a little better. He down from 5 liters of oxygen to 1 1/2 which a huge difference. The Dr. is still not comfortable about sending him home, so I think we will be here one more night. Please continue to pray for the pneumonia to go away and for his oxygen needs to vanish.

Two others really need your prayers today, they are both listed in the prayer links to the side. Madeline is in serious condition once again and Lauren had surgery last week and is having huge complications. Please visit their sites if you have a minute and say a prayer for them.

Thank you once again for your prayers they always make a huge difference!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Quick update

Luke was admitted to the hospital tonight with a bad case of Pneumonia. The main concern is getting it under control and his oxygen levels. Sue is staying at the hospital with Luke.

It is always tough having Mom at the hospital, especially for the younger ones. Tonight when Ezekiel was going to bed he began to cry and said I don't like it when Mommy stays at the hospital. I told him that hopefully Mommy would be home soon.

I will let you know more tomorrow, hopefully it will be good news.

Take care, Gordy

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Hey again,
So I just heard from my Mom. I guess Luke has a bad case of Pneumonia. They are sending him to the hospital. Please pray he recovers quickly.

Sister Amy


Hi Everyone,
Would everyone PLEASE PRAY! My mom is taking Luke to the after hours clinic right now. She asked if you could pray that the doctors find out what is wrong quickly and that he gets to come right home. Thank you so much for your prayers. I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed we are to have people out there praying for us. May the Lord Bless you all.
In Christ,
Luke's Sister: Amy

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Down and Up and Down and Up and Down, but praying we are on the way up again!

Luke is still in desperate need of prayer. I took him into the Dr. yesterday and left there with nothing. The Doc listened to his lungs and said it doesn't sound like pneumonia, praise God. I wish that was the end of the story. Last evening was hard!! Luke was on lots and lots of oxygen. But as the night went by he seemed to get better. This morning he was doing a little better, then as the day went by the fever has gotten higher, along with his need for oxygen. I just talked to his Dr. asking him if perhaps he needs an antibiotic since he is now coughing up dark yellow, almost green gunk. He suggested we bring him into Urgent Care, but the weather is horrible right now and I would rather not take him out if not necessary. He did prescribe an antibiotic and Gordy is on his way to pick it up right now. I'm praying that our prayers, combined with the antibiotic will do the trick.

One other urgent prayer request is for Madeline. She went into cardiac arrest last night, they were able to revive her once again, but she is in serious trouble. I just got an alert that they are once again putting her on the ECMO machine, which is a huge step backwards. They think that she is suffering from a blood infection, therefore have taken her name off the Heart donor list for now. Please pray for her parents, Dave and Cindy, they are drained of all their strength and need us Christians to lift up their hands for them right now.

for your prayers, they do make a difference!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but simply taking God at His word.

Luke is sick! I kept praying that he would not catch what Lily or Daniel had last week, but alas it seems he has indeed caught their sickness. Last night I was up late filling out forms for the insurance claims for the accident I was in last month. It's unbelievable all the information they want when you have a medical claim. I had to give them an account of every medical visit I've had for the last 5 years. Needless to say I heard Luke start alarming, he was getting real congested and breathing very hard. His heart rate was going up slowly and his oxygen levels were coming down. I ended up trying to get a few minutes of sleep on his floor as I knew I would be in his room all night anyway.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness Lamentations 3:22-23

Today he has been running very high fever, his heart rate has been in the 180's to 190's, his oxygen levels have not been horrible he is only on 1/2 liter of oxygen right now. Would you please stop whatever you are doing right now and send up a prayer for him to get better? I am praying like crazy it doesn't last like Lily's sickness did for 4 days of fever and coughing. I was getting ready to take her into Urgent Care on Sunday when her fever finally broke.

Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning: for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee. Psalm 143:7-8

I'm not surprised that this sickness is happening in our home. Don't you know when I announced that this would be a year full of miracles the battle would begin. Of course I'm not expecting hard times or hoping for them but, nothing wonderful in this life ever comes easy. I will not be defeated, I will continue to pray for miracles. I will continue to pray this is the year that Luke will be completely healed. I will continue to pray for Madeline, Josiah, Lauren, Parker, Izzy, Abbie, Brett Jr., Corbin, Caleb, Justine, Madison, Sadie Belle, Nolan, Melissa, Collin, Samuel, Tori, just to name a few who desperately need a miracle.

Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but simply taking God at His word. Christmas Evans

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Mueller

You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us His promises in a quiet hour, seals our covenants with great and gracious words, and then steps back, waiting to see how much we believe. He then allows the Tempter to come, and the ensuing test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. This is when faith wins its crown. This is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors declare, "I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me" Acts 27:25
January 4th Streams in the Desert Devotional

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Friday, January 04, 2008

Guess who passed his swallow study today?

If you guessed Luke Jeremiah Searles you would be correct. Our first miracle of 2008! To say I was a bit apprehensive about going to the Hospital for the test today would be putting it mildly. But I knew that I could do ALL things through Christ who strenthens me (Phil. 4:13) I also knew that I was to Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, would guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6 & 7) Quite often I will paraphrase scriptures for my benefit, as you can see above.

Luke was not at all comfortable in the chair they put him in, but I'm thankful that he stayed awake and alert. It used to be whenever he got uncomfortable around people he didn't know, he would just fall asleep. I brought his favorite food from home, peanut butter, strawberry and pear granola and blueberry baby food. They put in a huge amount of barium in the food, he did not like it so he kept spitting it out, I began to panic a bit praying that he would swallow some for them to see his swallow. I could tell the Dr. was getting impatient, but the Speech therapist wisely gave him a break and when I fed him again he had two good swallows. She said that he definitely protected his airway, I wanted to shout Hallelujah! She said that we could start feeding him everyday.

I mentioned to a friend of mine today that of all the stages my children went through, feeding them was the one that I didn't enjoy at all. I was fine when I could nurse them or give them a bottle, but when they would take so long eating, I would be anxious for them to be able to feed themselves. Here I am back to feeding one of my children and though I'm very thankful for the fact that he is eating through his mouth again, I'm not at all looking forward to the massive amount of time it will take to feed him each day. Once again I'm probably being too honest with you all.

One other huge answer to prayer today is the fact that Madeline was able to be extubated this afternoon. After having a tube down her throat for 6 weeks she can finally talk again. How exciting it will be for all to hear her sweet voice again. If you haven't had a chance to check out her website you really should, she is a miracle story, it is She still needs a new heart and lots of prayers to get out of the hospital. One other little girl that needs our prayers is Sadie Belle, she is currently waiting to have brain surgery again. Her website is

Thank you so much for your prayers today, I felt them and so did Luke. Please continue to pray for Luke's muscle tone issues. After today's miracle I'm just looking so forward to the day that Lukie becomes limber again, it's coming soon!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year 2008 the year of New Beginnings!

Life is finally slowing down a little, only to get going faster again next week when we start back to school, the YMCA, choir, piano lessons, voice lessons, Luke's therapy appointments. . . I've been trying to get all kinds of things caught up during these last few days before school starts again. Poor Daniel caught the flu, please pray that he will fell better and the flu bug doesn't spread to others in our family.

Luke has been doing pretty good lately. His nose has been running a bit, but it's not so bad. I made an appointment with Luke's Rehab Doc today. His muscles have been getting very tense these last few weeks since we've not done any HBOT treatments or Rolfing appointments recently. Would you pray with me that God will give us wisdom in knowing what to do for his high muscle tone. I don't know if we should put him on baclafen a muscle relaxant, which can cause him to zone out when it's in his system. I know so many people either getting or talking about getting a baclafen pump lately and I've been wondering if this is something Luke needs. A pump would go straight into his cerebral fluid of his back, therefore not causing drowsiness.

One other prayer request for Luke is I have scheduled another swallow study this Friday. To be honest as I usually am, I do not want to go for this. You have to wait in the ER waiting room before you are taken back. This is not a place I like going at all, for one thing all the sickness and germs cause me great distress and then that place always brings backs horrible memories. I have canceled four of these appointments over the past year and feel I need to keep this one. Please be praying that Luke passes this swallow study with flying colors and has the o.k. to start eating by mouth.

As you can tell by our new family picture on the side of the post, we finally got our picture taken on Saturday. I was surprised to get a call from Costco asking if I could sign a form stating that we weren't printing a copyrighted picture from a studio. Amy was excited to hear that they thought our photo was done by a professional. I'm just about finished with our letter all I have to do is address the envelopes. To help jog my memory about the past year I went and read all of the posts in Luke's blog. I was amazed to see how often I'm asking for prayer for Luke and then a couple day's later mentioning that our prayers had been answered because he was doing better. I'm looking forward to this year, knowing that I'm going to be praying for miracles, believing that God is able to do abundantly above all that I ask or think.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue