Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finally a post about our PONDS in the Pines Mom's retreat

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to share with you about the Mom's retreat. It far exceeded my expectations, many of the mom's have shared with me that the weekend really had a huge impact in their lives. We all got along great and had a wonderful time of sharing our stories, there was much more laughter happening during the weekend than tears. I'm so thankful to so many of you that made this retreat happen. I was blessed by the generous out pouring of money, food, volunteers to pick up ladies from the airport, donations for the gift bags, the use of vehicles, Amy & Yoli for being there all weekend cooking and cleaning up after us mom's and most importantly those that spent many hours in prayer that all would go smoothly and that lives would be touched and changed.

We had a wonderful day in Seattle and thanks to the generous out pouring of precious people we were able to cover the entire day. We began by eating lunch at Ivar's down on the waterfront. My wonderful husband came and brought the kids to enjoy lunch with us that day, so all the ladies got to meet Luke. I have never, ever seen Luke smile so much, it as like he just knew that he was meeting mom's that have spent many hours praying for him and following his journey for these past 6 years.

After we ate at Ivar's we headed up to Pike's Place Market, only a few of the ladies had ever been to Seattle before so everything was so exciting and new for them. One of the mom's mentioned to me that she is never able to get out and just enjoy a day of fun, so I know that the time spent in Seattle was so amazingly special for the moms.

After spending a few hours at Pike's Place Market we headed up to the Space Needle. The day was cloudy and gray but it was still spectacular to see the sights from up top the Space Needle.


We then caught the Monorail downtown where we went straight to Starbucks, thanks to a very generous donor I was able to bless all the ladies with a hot drink and snack. After refreshing ourselves with a drink we did a little shopping and walking around the down town area of Seattle. Some of the ladies had a blast going into a hat shop, laughing and having a great time being silly and trying on hats and glasses.
We then ended our day in Seattle at the Cheesecake Factory, it was so nice to be able to sit down and enjoy a meal that we didn't have to pay for or prepare. The food was delicious and the cheesecake was a special treat. We headed on home over the pass after dinner and got home quite late that evening, but some us just didn't want the day to end so we sat laughing and talking some more in the hot tub.

The next morning some of the ladies got up and went to church in Cle Elum. I actually slept in a little, I was going on very little sleep and a lot adrenal all week prior to the weekend and then not getting any sleep during the weekend I knew I needed to get a few hours so that I could get through our last full day together.


After church we all walked over to the Lodge, it was a brisk, windy day but we all enjoyed the walk immensely. Some of the mom's then headed over to the Suncadia Winery, while a few of us walked back to the house. The ones that went to the Winery enjoyed a nice lunch and and quiet time of enjoying the beautiful setting and scenery, while a few of us decided to walk back to the house. On the way back to the house we saw a herd of deer, we walked right by them, it was the closest that I've ever been to that many deer. We also got a bit silly and a few of the mom's decided to roll down one of the little hills on the golf course, they just barely missed rolling into deer poop, needless to say we were all laughing hysterically during our walk back. We sat down as a group right before dinner and all went around sharing with each other therapies that we have tried for our kids. It was a time of learning and hearing what has worked for some and what has not worked for other kids, it was also sobering to realize that while some of the mom's have tried so many things and others that have not tried anything that many of our children are so very different that it's hard to know for sure what will work for our child even if it's worked for another child. We then ate a delicious dinner. We played a very loud game of BUNCO, some mom's had never played this before and we all laughed and had so much fun.

After playing BUNCO we had a wonderful time of prayer. We went downstairs and invited any of the ladies that wanted to join us to come on down, we then all shared prayer requests with each other, Tiffany read some wonderful scriptures from the Bible and then we prayed, it was so powerful and exciting to see God move in our midst. While I was praying Annie had a vision that she shared with us after the prayer. She said that she saw our children all playing together, laughing and sharing their toys with each other. It was so powerful she didn't want to open her eyes because she said it was so real. I'm believing that her vision will come to pass, that one day our children will all play together and be made whole and I will even go farther to say that I believe it will happen here on earth, not just in Heaven.

Monday we got up early packed up our stuff and all the food left overs and headed back over the pass to catch flights home. Before we left we all said that we want to do this again next year, I'm already beginning to get some idea's put together in my mind about our next retreat.

I know for a matter of a fact that none of us will ever be the same, we came to realize during that wonderful weekend that even though most of us live in different states around America and even though we come from different backgrounds, we all share a common bond that most of our friends and even a lot of our families will never be able to share with us, we are all mom's that have children that have suffered beyond what any of us could of thought would be possible. We all share a journey that none of us chose to go on, but all of us are on. We came away knowing that we are special, our children are special, our families are special, but we also realize we are just like YOU, we are normal in our own special way. I was sharing with a few of my friends today about the retreat and showed them some of the pictures and one of my friends said to me, "Sue they look just like our group of friends" I think it was a HUGE revelation for her to realize that we are all just mom's, that she could of been in that picture if one of her children suffered a near drowning accident, it was as if a light went on in her head, she became sober knowing that none of us mom's chose this journey, that any MOM anywhere at anytime could be in that picture with us, we just happened to be the ones that were there.

Once again thank you so much for your kindness and support! I realize the only reason why this weekend was so successful was because of the generous givers and the prayers from those that follow along on Luke's journey. I am blessed beyond belief!!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

PS To read more about the weekend you can go on over to read Julie's posting about the retreat at http://www.josephslifejourney.com/2010/11/normal.html, or
Tiffany's post at http://www.prayforabby.com/ or
Annie's post at http://mylifeasannie.com/ or
Erin's post at http://prayforaidan.blogspot.com/ or
Lindsey's post at http://www.prayforsantana.org/?p=1914 or
Sabine's post at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lovemichael/journal or
Joanna's post at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethanbarona


Mother Of Near Drownings Retreat

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's been a very trying week

I realize that I said I was going to post about the amazing mom's retreat, but I've had a very hard week and I'm sure after reading this post you will understand why I haven't given that update yet. It all begin the night I got home from the retreat, I was soooo exhausted but I thought I would get a few things done before going to bed when all of the sudden our electricity went out. It stayed off for 12 hours, what a stressful night it was not being able to monitor Luke's numbers, I finally had to go to bed trusting God to take care of him while I got a few hours of sleep. The next day I woke up to a cold dark house knowing that I needed to get the laundry done it was overflowing. The power finally came on around 10:30 am I worked my rear off all day long doing laundry, getting things put away from the weekend, picking up the house, etc . . . That night I wasn't feeling so hot when I went to bed and the next day I woke up sick, I ended up staying in bed all day long, I've only done that about 3 times in the past 10 years.

On Thursday I had to get up and get busy so I ignored the horrible cough and headache, because Luke had 3 appointments that day beginning with his rehab Doc, we decided to try Diazapam to help relax his muscles and do the Baclafen trial again. By the time I got home that night I was feeling miserable, but as y'all know life just doesn't slow down.

Friday I had to take my sister and her husband to the airport then do some grocery shopping for the family. Saturday I got up early I'm in a Leadership Advocacy Training class for our counties Disabilities community that meets once a month, I went straight from there to a financial class I had to make up for being gone the Sunday before, at our church very, very long day. That night Luke had another horrible night, we either had to suction him or reposition him all night long to keep his alarm from going off all night long.

Sunday I went to church barely able to speak from my throat being so raw from all the coughing I had been doing for so many days. I went straight from church to meet my parents for lunch and then back to the church for a financial class we are taking. I dragged myself to bed that night exhausted, feeling horrible. I finally woke up Monday morning realizing that I needed to get to the Doc for my horrible cough, she listened to my lungs and told me I had acute bronchitis, bordering on pneumonia. She was going to write me a note for my employer asking him to give me two days off from work, I jokingly said perhaps she could write it to those at my home instead.

We had a snow storm that night and once again we lost power, which was even harder that night because the temperatures were only in the teens and Luke was on his oxygen concentrator, along with his nasal cannula barely keeping his oxygen numbers in the 90's. I was so tired and not feeling well that I decided I just couldn't handle the stress of life anymore I went to bed crying out to God to keep Luke in his arms knowing that I couldn't do anything more for him. Praise God we woke up to power in the morning and Luke was doing a tiny bit better. After suctioning him and finding thick yellow gunk I decided I should take him into the Doc. The Dr. said that he doesn't have pneumonia, perhaps bronchitis, he gave me an antibiotic to give him if he get's worse today. He also had me take him for an x-ray and it was confirmed that Luke's atalectis is getting better, not completely gone but definitely improving. I got home from that appointment feeling like all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and eventually I did just that. I slept for about 3 hours, which I desperately needed as I was on Luke duty the rest of the night.

I was woke up today by a sweet call from Sabine, one of the mom's that was on the retreat last weekend, telling me she was praying for me, what a huge blessing it was to realize that she was there praying for me as I realize others have been this week. Sometimes I want to be so strong and especially after meeting all the amazing strong mom's I met at the retreat, but then I realize that I too am human and I have my weak moments, as y'all have witnessed if you've read this blog for any amount of time. Today I want to get my house cleaned really good, get the laundry caught up, run some errands and get stuff pulled together for going to Thanksgiving at Pam and Hal's in Seattle tomorrow. I'm going to try to post a blog very soon about the amazing retreat, just be patient with me, thank you.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's finally here the day I've waited for, for so long, I'm off to the retreat!!

I getting ready to leave for the retreat, I'm so excited to be meeting so many friends, though I've never meet most of these ladies face to face, I feel like we are definitely kindred spirits. We've all been on the most grueling and challenging journey that most people can not even begin to imagine. After praying for so many of them and interceding for their children the bond we share is so strong.

Please be praying for all of our families to stay healthy while we are gone especially for our "special kids". Also be praying that we will all get along fine and have a great time laughing together, I know that there will be many tears, but my hope and prayer is that the laughter will over ride the tears.

Once again I list the names of the children and their mom's so that you can have them fresh in your mind to be praying for them all weekend long:

Seth, son to Jill
Abbie, daughter to Tiffany
Izzy, daughter to Annie
Luke, son to Sue
Samuel, son to Teresa
Santana, son to Lindsey
Caleb, son to Kehau
Joey, son to Julie
Aidan, son to Erin
Ethan, son to Joanna
Michael, son to Sabine


Thank you for your prayers, you have all been so faithful for so many years and I appreciate each and everyone of you!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Luke is Super "Junky" today, please pray for his congestion to clear up quickly

Luke began to get super junky again last night, it's one of those days where I could probably hold him and pound on his back all day long, but that just can't happen today. Please pray that whatever is causing this congestion it will go away quickly. Also for me to stay focused to get all the last minute details done for this upcoming weekend, just when I think I have everything just about done, I remember a few more things I still need to do, I guess that's why it's good to live by my TO DO list today.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here is the list of ladies coming in two days for the retreat, PLEASE keep them and their children in your prayers

I am going to list the mom's coming, with their prayer requests once again. People keep asking me if there is anything they can do to help get things ready for this weekend and I've been telling them JUST PRAY, it's all that we really need, unless our children are healthy this weekend won't happen!

Jill Hostetler
from California, she has two beautiful children, Autumn and Seth. Seth had his near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on September 15, 2002 to read more about Seth you can go to www.prayforseth.hugs4ndc.com. Seth has been very sick the last few weeks and they are finally getting him stabilized, please be praying that Jill will still be able to come even though Seth has been having such a hard time.

Peggy Hostetler from California, who is married to Gene, she is Jill's mom, grandma to Seth and many other children and grandchildren. Her husband Gene is the Founder of the Hugs Foundation which is for near drowning children who suffer neurological damage to the brain after the accident occurs. Through the HUGS foundation they have raised a lot of money to help support the families of near drowning children, for more information about HUGS go to www.hugs4ndc.com.

Tiffany Vara from Hawaii, who is married to Ray, they are blessed with 5 amazing children, Caleb, Kyle, Chase, RJ and Abbie. Abbie had her near drowning accident when she was 2 years old on May 3, 2004 to read more about Abbie's journey just go to www.prayforabby.com. Tiffany has graciously allowed us to use their vacation home in Eastern Washington, of which we are all so thankful. I know that Abbie is having ear tubes put in Thursday morning, please pray all goes smoothly with that procedure and for her to stay healthy while Tiffany is gone.

Annie Pettigrew from Oklahoma, who is married to Matt, they are blessed with 4 beautiful children, Amanda, Bailey, Emelia, and Isabelle. Isabelle had her near drowning accident when she was 21 month's old on May 16, 2004, to read more about her journey just go to prayforizzy.blogspot.com. Annie woke up yesterday to a bad back, please pray it will feel better today. Also be praying that all will go smoothly with feeding Izzy while Annie's gone, Izzy takes her food best from her mama.

Sue Searles from Washington, who is married to Gordy, they have 7 amazing children, a son in law and daughter in law, Daniel (Sarah), Amy, Natalie (Josh), Isaiah, Ezekiel, Luke and Lily. Luke had his near drowning accident when he was 17 month's old on August 30, 2004 to read more about Luke's journey go to howsluke.blogspot.com. Praise God Luke is doing so much better, please continue to pray that he will stay healthy while Sue is gone and that he will sleep good so that Gordy will be able to get through the weekend with some sleep.

Teresa Jewkes from Utah, who is married to Tom, they have 5 wonderful boys Tanner, Wesley, Ben, Samuel and Nathan. Samuel had his near drowning accident when he was 2 years old on July 19, 2005 to read more about his journey go to samuelsmiracle.com. Please pray for Teresa to get everything done that needs to be done before she takes off, she's had a extremely busy few weeks.

Lindsey Black from Arizona, who is married to James, they have 3 busy sons Jett, Santana and Tyree. Santana had his near drowning accident when he was 22 months old on December 16, 2006 to read more about his journey you can go to www.prayforsantana.org. Lindsey has not been feeling well for quite awhile she is very dizzy often and has been dealing with some horrible headaches, I know that Santana has also been very congested lately and her 3 year old son Tyree was knocked down by one of their very large dogs and broke his Clavicle bone yesterday, this family is in desperate needs of some prayers right now.

Julie Stafford from California, who is married to Jeremy, she has Jessica, Jack and Joey. Joey had a near drowning accident when he was 18 month's old on January 16, 2007 to read more about Joey's journey you go to www.josephslifejourney.com. Please be praying that everyone in her family stay healthy while she is gone.

Kehau Egdamin
from Hawaii, who is married to Brandon have two precious sons Caleb and Micaiah. Caleb had a near drowning accident when he was 3 years old on March 6, 2007 to read more about Caleb's journey go to prayforcaleb.blogspot.com. Kehau wasn't sure she would be able to come to the retreat because she is pregnant but her Dr. told her that she would be fine, what great news. Please be praying that she will have the strength to get everything done that she needs to do before leaving, also for her family to all stay healthy.

Erin McSwain Wright from North Carolina, who is married to Russell, they have 3 sweet children Aidan, Evan and Graceyn. Aidan had a near drowning accident just 5 days short of his 2nd Birthday on February 16, 2008 you can read more about his journey at www.prayforaidan.com. Please pray that Erin will get everything that needs to be done before she leaves completed and that all will go smoothly as she leaves her family, especially leaving her little baby girl.

Joanna Barona from Georgia, who is married to Guillo Barona, they have Ethan. Ethan had a near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on May 12, 2008, you can read more about his journey at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethanbarona. Please keep them in your prayers that they will all stay healthy while Joanna is in Washington.

Sabine Summerville from Texas, who is married to Bill they have been blessed with 8 children, Samantha, Grace, Audrey, Evan, Jacob, Lauri Anne, Michael & Joseph. Michael had his near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on October 15, 2008, you can read more about his journey at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lovemichael. As you can see by the date above Michael just passed his 2 year anniversary of the day he nearly drowned, I know this can be a hard time of the year as all the memories of that day and time around the accident can overwhelm you with grief, please be praying for Sabine as she gets through this time.\

I would love to share with the ladies coming just how many of you are praying for our weekend. Would you be willing to leave a comment to let me know that you are praying? I'm so thankful for all you who faithfully keep Luke and our family in your prayers, they are what keep us going:-]

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thank you once again for your prayers, they are so POWERFUL!!!

I just wanted y'all know that your prayers are so powerful, Luke is doing so much better, I wouldn't say he is 100% better, but close to it. Today he did a lot of yelling, like for hours upon hours and he was not easy to bend at all his tone was kicking into high gear, but I could tell he was so much better.

God answered my prayer quickly, after I posted what I did about sure wishing I had a nurse for Luke, my sweet wonderful daughter Natalie told me that she would skip our class and come and watch Luke for me. I'm soooo blessed to have such wonderful daughters!

I was able to get a full night sleep last night, it was extremely needed as I was so very tired after not getting hardly any sleep the night before. It kind of scares me when I wake up in the morning and Gordy says to me didn't you hear Luke alarming at all last night? Nope I didn't I guess God knew that if I didn't get some sleep I would of fallen over with exhaustion. Needless to say Gordy went to bed by 9 tonight it's his turn to get some much needed sleep.

I'm so excited that in5 short days all the mom's for the retreat will be flying in. After dreaming about, praying about and hoping to do something like this for so many years the realization that it is finally going to happen is so HUGE and wonderful. Please continue to lift up the mom's (Jill, Peggy, Tiffany, Annie, Teresa, Kehau, Lindsey, Julie, Joanna, Erin, Sabine), coming I know that many of them having been dealing with some huge obstacles this week, getting here for them is going to be monumental. God is so good, the last minute details for the weekend are falling into place, God's provision for this weekend has been HUGE. I'm so thankful for so many of the wonderful blog readers that donated money for this weekend, you will always hold a dear place in my heart for your generosity.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Today is one of those days that I wish I had nursing help

After a long day of Luke doing better, than not so good, than better, than not so good, than better, yep another long ROLLER COASTER ride, one that I would rather not be on! I decided not to take him in yesterday to Urgent Care because I thought we are just dealing with a bad cold and there is probably nothing they could do for him. Then last night I was once again kicking myself for not getting him in, it was another nightmare night. Luke basically was either, coughing, gagging, yelling or alarming all night, I pulled another all nighter, didn't get to bed until 5 am. Of course there was no sleeping in for me today, had to get up to get the kids ready to go to church, yep I'm officially tired.

Well I finally decided to call the consulting nurse and ask her whether we should take Luke into the Urgent Care today, after telling her that Luke is not on any extra oxygen today, that he has not been running a high fever only a low grade one and that he doesn't sound like it's in his chest she said that she thought he has a bad cold and I would agree with that assessment. She said to only take him in if he gets worse through out the day. BUT I along with the rest of our church are praying for a healing touch from Jesus upon Luke today, would you please join us today, our prayers are powerful, they WORK.

Gordy and I got some free tickets through Starlight to go to the Seahawks game today, but I decided that I could not leave Luke the way he is today, so he took Zeke with him. I'm glad they are having this father/son day, I'm praying it will be a super fun time for them. Amy told me that she and Lance wanted to take Lily and Isaiah to the Zoo today, so they are taking off after church. That leaves me home with Mr. Lukerman, I was just sitting here thinking that today would be a great day for a nurse to come in to help with Luke since all the people that would be comfortable with him the way that he is right now are taking the Financial Peace class at our church this afternoon. The same class that I really want to go to today. Oh well, enough of my pity party, I just have to cling tightly to the joy of the Lord being my strength today.

Only 5 more days until the mom's retreat, please keep praying for all the mom's and their children to be healthy this week so that they will all be able to come.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Luke could use some prayers today

Luke is sick, he has been struggling for the last few hours. He's on 1 liter of oxygen and his heart rate is soaring. Please be praying that he get's better quickly, also be praying that I will have wisdom about whether I should take him into the Urgent Care today or if I should wait it out a day and see how he's doing tomorrow before I decide.

It seems that when ever I step out to do something big for GOD, Luke get's really sick, you would think that I would be used to it by now. But it never, ever seems to get any easier to see my precious boy struggling to breath. I know that God has put this dream in my heart to plan this Mom's retreat, I now that it will bring healing to our hearts to sit together and talk about our lives and our children. I've been praying that God would do a work in all our lives and bring healing to our hurting hearts. Please pray like you've never prayed before that God will quickly touch Luke and that He will continue to strengthen me to bring together the last details for this retreat.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Friday, November 05, 2010

The PONDS in the Pines Retreat for Mom's with near drown children is in 7 days, here's a list of all the mom's coming along with some prayer requests

I'm so excited!! It's only 7 more days until the PONDS in the Pines Retreat. To say that I'm excited about meeting all the mom's that are coming is a huge understatement. The mom's are all flying in on Friday beginning at 6 am and ending that day at 11:30 pm, I am so blessed to have some friends that are helping with Airport pick up's and drop off's. As mentioned in a previous posting we have been blessed by the out pouring of money, gifts and food that is being given for the retreat. We have close to $2,000 that has been given, we will be able to bless the mom's with their entire day in Seattle paid for along with giving each of them a bag full of wonderful surprises and some spending money for the weekend.

I know that many of the mom's that are coming are dealing with some huge obstacles right now and desperately need some prayers going their way. I would like to ask you that have been so faithful in praying for Luke and our family for so many years to take time today to pray for these sweet mom's and their families. Here is a list of everyone that is coming along with some prayer requests for each of them:

Jill Hostetler from California, she has two beautiful children, Autumn and Seth. Seth had his near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on September 15, 2002 to read more about Seth you can go to www.prayforseth.hugs4ndc.com. Seth could really use your prayers right now he was almost admitted into the Hospital yesterday with what they thought was pneumonia, but thankfully he was released with what they think is a viral infection, he is doing a little better, but still really needs some prayers. Of course Jill could also use some prayers, times like this are so stressful on mom's too.

Peggy Hostetler from California, who is married to Gene, she is Jill's mom, grandma to Seth and many other children and grandchildren. Her husband Gene is the Founder of the Hugs Foundation which is for near drowning children who suffer neurological damage to the brain after the accident occurs. Through the HUGS foundation they have raised a lot of money to help support the families of near drowning children, for more information about HUGS go to www.hugs4ndc.com.

Tiffany Vara from Hawaii, who is married to Ray, they are blessed with 5 amazing children, Caleb, Kyle, Chase, RJ and Abbie. Abbie had her near drowning accident when she was 2 years old on May 3, 2004 to read more about Abbie's journey just go to www.prayforabby.com. Tiffany has graciously allowed us to use their vacation home in Eastern Washington, of which we are all so thankful. I know that Tiffany's dad could really use your prayers right now, he was taken to the Hospital earlier this week with some internal bleeding, when I last spoke with Tiffany she told me he was still in the ICU and they had given him 7 units of blood, please be praying for his recovery and of course for Tiffany as she is so far away, they live in Oregon. Also please keep Abbie in your prayers that she will stay healthy, along with the rest of the family while Tiffany is gone.

Annie Pettigrew from Oklahoma, who is married to Matt, they are blessed with 4 beautiful children, Amanda, Bailey, Emelia, and Isabelle. Isabelle had her near drowning accident when she was 21 month's old on May 16, 2004, to read more about her journey just go to prayforizzy.blogspot.com. Annie has been sick the last few days, she could use your prayers to feel better. Also be praying that all will go smoothly with feeding Izzy while Annie's gone, Izzy takes her food best from her mama.

Sue Searles from Washington, who is married to Gordy, they have 7 amazing children, a son in law and daughter in law, Daniel (Sarah), Amy, Natalie (Josh), Isaiah, Ezekiel, Luke and Lily. Luke had his near drowning accident when he was 17 month's old on August 30, 2004 to read more about Luke's journey go to howsluke.blogspot.com. The Searles family has been dealing with some colds lately, Amy, Isaiah & Ezekiel have all been sick this week, please pray for them to all feel better. Luke has been having hard nights lately needing lots of extra suctioning and repositioning, therefore Sue has not had much sleep, please pray for some sleep before the retreat.

Teresa Jewkes from Utah, who is married to Tom, they have 5 wonderful boys Tanner, Wesley, Ben, Samuel and Nathan. Samuel had his near drowning accident when he was 2 years old on July 19, 2005 to read more about his journey go to samuelsmiracle.com. The Jewkes oldest son Tanner is going on a missions trip to Sao Paulo, East Brazil with the LDS church, please be praying for his safety while he is gone for 2 years. They have been very busy getting him ready to go, he leaves on November 9th. Their family is currently in CA doing ABR therapy for Samuel, so needless to say Teresa is extremely busy with all she has going on right now, I'm just thankful she's taking the time to come to the retreat.

Lindsey Black from Arizona, who is married to James, they have 3 busy sons Jett, Santana and Tyree. Santana had his near drowning accident when he was 22 months old on December 16, 2006 to read more about his journey you can go to www.prayforsantana.org. Lindsey has not been feeling well for quite awhile she is very dizzy often and has been dealing with some horrible headaches, I know that Santana has also been very congested lately and her 3 year old son Tyree was knocked down by one of their very large dogs and broke his Clavicle bone yesterday, this family is in desperate needs of some prayers right now.

Julie Stafford from California, who is married to Jeremy, she has Jessica, Jack and Joey. Joey had a near drowning accident when he was 18 month's old on January 16, 2007 to read more about Joey's journey you go to www.josephslifejourney.com. I know that Julie has been sick all week long, spending a lot of the time in bed, please pray for her to feel better soon, also be praying that none of her family come down with what she's been dealing with.

Kehau Egdamin
from Hawaii, who is married to Brandon have two precious sons Caleb and Micaiah. Caleb had a near drowning accident when he was 3 years old on March 6, 2007 to read more about Caleb's journey go to prayforcaleb.blogspot.com. Kehau wasn't sure she would be able to come to the retreat because she is pregnant but her Dr. told her that she would be fine, what great news. Please be praying that she will have the strength to get everything done that she needs to do before leaving, also for her family to all stay healthy.

Erin McSwain Wright from North Carolina, who is married to Russell, they have 3 sweet children Aidan, Evan and Graceyn. Aidan had a near drowning accident just 5 days short of his 2nd Birthday on February 16, 2008 you can read more about his journey at www.prayforaidan.com. Aidan has been very sick this week, though he is doing a little better, please be praying for Aidan along with the rest of his family to stay healthy and for Erin to have the extra strength that she needs to get everything done soon so that she can come to the retreat ready to relax and have fun.

Joanna Barona from Georgia, who is married to Guillo Barona, they have Ethan. Ethan had a near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on May 12, 2008, you can read more about his journey at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethanbarona. Please keep them in your prayers that they will all stay healthy while Joanna is in Washington.

Sabine Summerville from Texas, who is married to Bill they have been blessed with 8 children, Samantha, Grace, Audrey, Evan, Jacob, Lauri Anne, Michael & Joseph. Michael had his near drowning accident when he was 21 months old on October 15, 2008, you can read more about his journey at www.caringbridge.org/visit/lovemichael. As you can see by the date above Michael just passed his 2 year anniversary of the day he nearly drowned, I know this can be a hard time of the year as all the memories of that day and time around the accident can overwhelm you with grief, please be praying for Sabine as she gets through this time.

Please keep all the moms and their families in your prayers, that they will all stay healthy, for the mom's to have the strength they need to pull together all the details before they leave, for peace to know that all will be fine while they are gone and for them all to be safe while traveling. Thank you in advance for all your prayers, I know that soon I will be able to post a huge list of praise reports from all the answers to prayers we are going to be hearing about.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some Weeks Are Just Hard PERIOD.

This past week began with a gift from God, some of my dear friends called me last week saying that they would like to invite me to the beach for a mom's get away weekend. Gordy gave me his blessing and I took off Friday evening for Seaside, OR. When I got down there it was a beautiful night on the beach, no wind at all. I had a wonderful moonlit walk on the beach, it was a precious time of prayer and singing praises to God. The weekend was very relaxing and fun, just what I needed before coming home to a very hard week.

Gordy told me that Luke had been junky all weekend, he was up most of Saturday night suctioning him and repositioning him to get him to breath better. I decided after getting home Sunday evening that I would give him the night off, that ended up being a nightmare night, full of constant suctioning, praying and alarming. I didn't get to bed until around 4:30 a.m. The next morning I was not able to sleep in so needless to say I only got a few hours of sleep. That night I was once again up until about 3:30 a.m. The next morning I had to be up early to get ready to go speak to my Aunt and Uncle's senior group at their church, of course I was speaking on my journey with Luke, I spoke about God renewing my hope and faith, of how God continually renews my strength, about my motto in life being I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. . . That night I would be tested to see if I still believed those things at 3 a.m. when I was up again suctioning and repositioning Luke.

Wednesday morning I decided I should take Luke into the Dr. to see if he had any suggestions on ways to get Luke's congestion cleared up. The Dr. basically told me once again that Luke's lungs sounded fine, in fact he told me that he heard really good air exchange and told me that his atalectis has definitely cleared up, that was good news indeed! He told me to try giving Luke some breathing treatments and some decongestant. It has been helping somewhat though tonight once again he's alarming off and on about every 15 minutes. That's why I'm sitting here at 3:55 a.m. blogging this post.

I will blog again within the next few days to give you all the names of the 12 ladies coming to the retreat for Mom's of near drown children. The details are coming together nicely, though there have been a few times this week I've thought to myself, have I bit off more than I can handle with all the many details to bring together. Then I remind myself that God is the one directing me and guiding to give me the wisdom and strength to get everything taken care of, I know it's going to be a wonderful weekend.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blessed Beyond Belief

I am blessed by the out pouring of notes and money that is coming my way for the Mom's of near drown children retreat. It so exciting to see that so many people are wanting to make this weekend a very special one for the Mom's that are coming. I got a call today from one more mom today asking, if we still had room for her to come. She said that her sister called her yesterday to say that she would like to bless her by buying her a plane ticket to come, I was so excited to say that we do have room. She e-mailed me within the hour of her call with her flight information. So we currently have 11 Mom's coming, that's including me. I've been working on bringing together all the details for the weekend and I'm happy to say that things are coming together quite nicely!

This past week has been extremely busy for me, God has been opening doors for me to speak to different groups and this last week I actually spoke at two different MOPS groups on, The Lost Art of Hospitality or the KISS (Keep It Spontaneously Simple) method of Hospitality. It was so exciting to share with these mom's tips on ways to make hospitality a easier possibility in their homes. I was also asked to be a part of a Pierce County Leadership Developmental Disabilities Training, which is an great opportunity on ways to become a better advocate for Luke and others in the Developmentally Disabled community. This class meets one Saturday a month and of course it was this past Saturday, which made my week even more crazy busy.

Wouldn't you know it at the beginning of the last week Luke got very sick, sicker than he has been all summer long, it began on Sunday the day I was having all my children over for dinner to celebrate Amy's Birthday, by that night Luke was doing horrible, his oxygen needs were high, his heart rate was high, his fever was high, he basically was alarming pretty much all night long, I didn't get to bed until 5:30 a.m. when Gordy took over for me. Of course that Monday was the day that we had to make Luke' s formula, he only had one day left from his last batch, so I was running on little sleep, but with God's amazing strength I was able to get through the day, Luke seemed to be doing a little better that day so we decided not to take him into his Dr., but that night when his fever hit a high of 104.2, I was kicking myself for not taking him in earlier that day. We prayed and after a few hours of crying out to God, along with some ibuprofen his temp went down along with his need for extra oxygen. Tuesday morning I decided I better take him in to the Dr. after the Dr. listened to his lungs he said that he actually sounded pretty good, no pneumonia Praise God, but he did think he had bronchitis, this is a first for Luke, so he put him on a antibiotic and he has been doing great ever since.

Please continue to pray for all the details to continue to come together for the Mom's of near drown children retreat, especially be praying for all their children to stay healthy so that they will all be able to come knowing that their children will be safe while they are gone. Once again thank you for your faithful prayers and for all of you that have given money to make our retreat be amazingly special.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

ONE of the BIGGEST DREAMS I've ever had is FINALLY coming true!

The good news I wanted to share with you, is that one of the dreams that I've had for so many years is finally coming true. I've prayed about, hoped and have wanted to plan a retreat for moms with children that have suffered from near drowning accidents. With the generosity of the Vara Family's vacation home in Suncadia, it is finally coming true. As of right now we have 9 women flying in from all the over the USA to come to WA for our retreat November 12th - 15th. We have room for 12, so as of right now we have a place for 2 more people.

The realization that many of these mom's have never ever left their child's side since their accidents is HUGE and I really mean HUGE. I have one mom coming from Oklahoma and she has never had anyone but herself feed her daughter every single day, for the last 6 1/2 years. When she first heard about this retreat she thought there would be no way she could leave her daughter to come and then the comment from her husband about the fact that she couldn't leave didn't help matters. But after praying about it silently, her husband actually told her that he thinks she needs to come and has volunteered to learn how to feed their sweet little girl.

I have mom's coming that need this break, a time away from the stresses of taking care of their children 24/7 days a week, it takes a toll on them. If you've read this blog for long you know the stresses that I live with on a daily basis, they are anything from "little, HUGE" stresses like:
  • the constant care of bathing a child who is 45 pounds, that is pure weight as he can not help hold himself up, therefore my back goes out on me at times,
  • the constant suctioning, just to keep his airway open,
  • the constant appointments with doctors, therapists, hospital visits,
  • the constant nights of no sleep,
  • the constant worries of wondering if your child could die tonight because he is on so much oxygen and you are at your wits end to figure out what else you can do for him,
  • the constant balancing act of trying to keep a healthy marriage while you are constantly having to care for all the family along with the child that takes most of your time,
  • the constant wondering if you are doing a good job with your other children being sure that they have enough of your attention and time,
  • the constant feeling like there is always and I mean always more that you should be doing for this child,
  • the constant time spent in prayer and crying out to God to give you the strength and joy to get through just one more day,
  • the constant grieving of the child that you used to have, wishing and hoping that one day you will hear your child say "mama" again,
  • the constant wiping away the tears because it feels like nothing you ever do is enough,
  • the constant feedings and medication schedules,
  • the constant feeling like you are ALWAYS being stared at when you take your child anywhere because he breathes to loud or yells at the wrong time,
  • the constant feeling like you didn't want this life but now that it's been given to you, you have to find a way to keep going,
  • the constant hearing people say, "I don't know how you handle all you do" and thinking to themselves I sure couldn't do it,
  • the constant . . . . . . . You get the picture.
In all the years that we've had this blog I don't believe I've ever asked for any kind of financial help or donations, God has so blessed our family and though we have some rough times, God has always and I mean always provided all that we've needed and more. I'm actually hoping and praying that some of you will find it in your hearts to help make this weekend a time that these mom's will always be able to look back on with such amazing memories. As mentioned we have a place free of charge at a beautiful resort in Eastern Washington, this was a huge answer to prayer. I've told all the ladies the only expense they will have for this weekend is getting here, their airline tickets and spending money for our day in Seattle. Wouldn't it be wonderful for them to get here and find out that all the expenses for the day in Seattle are covered??

OKAY, so here's what I'm hoping some of you will be able to help with:
  • I would love to treat these ladies to lunch down at the waterfront $120
  • I would love to take them up in the Space Needle so they can get a beautiful view of the city $180
  • I would love to treat them with a bag filled with goodies and souvenirs as a reminder of their time spent at the retreat $100
  • I would love to treat them to a great dinner out that night $300
  • I would love to give each of them some money to buy themselves something, as I know that these mom's sacrifice on a daily basis to keep their children healthy and alive $250
  • BUNCO prizes $50
  • I'm hoping to get all the food donated for the weekend, along with some friends to come help with the preparations and clean up.
  • I'm asking people to help pick up mom's from the airport and take them back there again.
I figure it all adds up to about $1,000, I don't want anyone to feel pressured to think that you have to do this, I hope I don't offend anyone by asking. But I do know that unless you ask sometimes, there is no way for people to know the need. It is a bit overwhelming to think of all the details, but I know that with God's help it will all come together. Would you be willing to help out?? We are not a non-profit so there would be no tax deductions available, just the joy of knowing that you are helping make a special weekend for these mom's who are overworked, overstressed and who quite often feel hopeless. Just to let you know any money sent will be used for this weekend, I will distribute it equally among the mom's. If you would like to help out you can e-mail me at howslukedoing@yahoo.com and I will give you my home address to send your donations to.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

PS Thank you so much for your prayers, I'm feeling sooooo much better. I know it had to be a touch from God, because the amount of pain I was experiencing just doesn't go away so quickly without a touch from Jesus. My mom had her back surgery today and she is already feeling relief from the horrible pain that she has been living with for so many months. Please continue to pray for her to have a speedy recovery and that she will regain her strength, she's been bedridden for so long and she is not very strong right now, thank you.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I Am In Desperate Need Of Your Prayers Right Now

I'm calling all you of you powerful prayer warriors to do some praying for me today. On Wednesday when I went to pick up Luke my back went out. Luke is now 44 pounds and normally it's not a problem to pick him up, but there are times that my back, which has been bad for many years goes out. I was totally bummed when it went out as I have been faithfully walking and exercising lately and that threw off my exercise pattern. Along with my back going out I've been experiencing some severely painful muscle spasms in my upper leg/hip, for the last month, so when my leg would spasm, my back then would spasm, to say I've been in pain is an extreme understatement.

I finally decided to go to the Dr. yesterday and she told me that she thinks I have bursitis in my hip along with a bad disk in my lower back. She said to take it easy for a few days, she offered me some Vicaden, but I turned it down, what a big mistake that was, she also said I need to get into some physical therapy ASAP to help me to learn some exercise to help get me better. She also gave me a shot of Tordal in the hip and that did help. This morning when I woke up I felt a lot better, so stupid me I folded all the clothes that had been stacking up for the last few days and then helped direct the cleaning of the garage for a few minutes. I then took a shower and when I was getting out of the shower the pain hit me so bad that I could not move without screaming out in pain. Gordy got me to take 4 Ibuprofen which didn't really help that much and got me into bed the pain was not going away and I was so wishing I had taken that prescription from the Dr. I was able to get some stronger meds. in me and get out of bed, but am still in lots of pain. Needless to say I am desperate for a touch from Jesus today!!

My mom could also use your prayers right, ironically she has been suffering with extreme back pain. It all started after she was in that horrible accident back in May. She is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday, we are praying once she has that surgery she will begin to get back to her normal self. She has basically been home bound for the last month, constantly either lying in her bed or on the couch. Please be praying for her as she goes into surgery on Tuesday, that she will be free from her pain and that the surgery will fix her disks once and for all.

I'm soooo very thankful that Luke has been healthy lately. Ever since May when the Dr. basically said that there was nothing else the medical community could do for Luke's lungs he has been better. I know that GOD reached down with His Healing Hand and touched Luke's lungs, he has been pneumonia free and hasn't had any major breathing problems since May, THIS IS A HUGE ANSWER TO PRAYER!! I also know that it would be so easy for God to reach down and heal my and my mom's back with the same Healing Hand and that's what I'm hoping you will agree with me in prayer.

As I said in my last post I have some exciting news to share with y'all and very soon I'm going to sit down and tell y'all about it!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our family vacation in pictures

What a great summer!! Luke has been so healthy lately, which has truly been a gift from God. It's hard to believe that summer is just about over, it flew by so quickly. We were extremely blessed to have a wonderful vacation, Luke did great except for the van ride, he doesn't like sitting in his car seat anymore, we are going to have to start thinking about ways to help him be more comfortable in the van.


This Tatoosh Island which is just off the tip of Washington

We went to Cape Flattery which is just about the most beautiful place on this planet, it is the farthest point NW that you can go on the Continental of the United States
Here is one of the humongous tree's on the trail leading out to Cape Flattery

We were blessed to have Gordy's sister Pam and her husband Hal join us for the first part of our vacation. Here they are on our way out to Cape Flattery.

Here's Luke sitting by Sequim Bay, it was so beautiful there.The kids down at Sequim Bay Campground
Here we are setting up camp at Ft. Flagler, the sunset was so beautiful
We were so blessed to wake up to beautiful weather on August 30th, the 6th anniversary of Luke's near drowning accident. We spent about 4 hours exploring Fort Flagler, all the kids and Gordy rode their bikes and Luke and I walked the entire time, I figure I walked over 3 miles that day. It was one of the easiest anniversary day's that we've had by far, Praise GOD!
Here's Lily taking a little break from her long bike ride.
Ft. Flagler is so much fun to visit and it is beautiful too, we had a great time going through the little museum there on the grounds.
We went up to Hurricane Ridge just outside of Port Angeles on Sunday, the weather really wasn't great that day, but every once awhile we would get a beautiful glimpse of the Olympic Mountain range, it is so glorious up there.

Amy blessed us by watching the kids one of the nights that we were staying at Seaside, Gordy and I went out to dinner at Mo's, which happens to be by the Tolovana Hotel one of the places that we stayed on our Honeymoon, 27 years ago. After dinner we went on a short walk during which time we saw the most beautiful sunset we've ever seen in our lives.

The sunset was so beautiful, I found myself with tears in my eyes as I stood in awe of God's amazing handiwork. I had a wonderful prayer and praise time on the beach that night.

A few days later we took the whole family out to lunch at Mo's right by the Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.
After lunch we went down to the beach. The kids had the best time diverting this little creek into their very own pool, they spent hours of fun making this muddy little whole.Luke had a great time at the beach also, here he is enjoying the beach while eating his lunch.The tide was down so far we were able to walk out to Haystack Rock. By that time though it was getting cold, that is why Lily looks so funny in this picture.

Lily ended up hitching a ride on either mine or Gordy's shoulders the whole walk back to our car.

I realize this picture is blurry but it is the only picture I have of my yearly beach picture of my kids. My family is growing! We were so blessed to have Josh and Natalie come down and visit us for a few nights and then Daniel and Sarah came down for one night.

Here are a bunch of goofball kids pretending to be in jail, in one of the many bunkers at Ft. Stevens. We went exploring at the old bunkers in Ft. Stevens, with Yoli and her kids, they joined us while we were camping at Ft. Flagler. The older kids played hide and seek in the huge bunkers while Yoli and I took the little ones for a long walk around the grounds.

We also had Nicole and Lance join us for a few nights while we camped at Fort Stevens, here is a picture of all the kids minus Luke, who stayed back at the trailer with dad that day.


Our last day at Fort Stevens was rainy and cold so we took a trip down the Oregon Coast to the Tillamook cheese factory. We all had such a great time eating a delicious Ice Cream cone while watching the factory workers below us.
Here is Amy with her new Beau, Lance at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
After we got back from the cheese factory we took one last walk to the beach to see the Peter Iredale, which is a ship that went a ground at Ft. Stevens Park many years ago.

The week after we got home from our vacation I took Natalie, Isaiah and Lance up for a 5 and 1/2 mile hike at Mt. Rainier. It was one of the most beautiful, awe inspiring, challenging hikes, I've ever taken.

Here is one of the many Reflection Lakes that we saw on our hike.
Here we are at the end of our hike. It was so hard, but so worth it!

I hope you enjoyed viewing our "slide show" of our vacation. Now we are back to real life, Luke has an appointment with his Gastronologist tomorrow afternoon, and he is back to having appointments with his OT again. I will not lie and say getting back to appointments was a easy thing for me it is not. I so enjoyed our break from appointments this summer and am thankful for God's gift of giving me that break.

I have some big news to share with y'all about exciting things coming up soon, but that will have to wait for the next posting as this one is already way to long!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here are a few wedding photo's taken with my phone, I'm sure better ones will follow.





What a beautiful wedding! The Lord cleared off the clouds during the ceremony, no rain, Praise God, it had been forecasted to rain all week long. Everyone looked so beautiful, the park was beautiful, we had a very blessed day. The only thing I would of changed is it to be a little warmer, the wind was very cold at times.

Here is the last photo I have of Sarah Larson before she becomes Mrs. Searles
Here is Sarah walking down with her Dad

There were a few funny momentsSuch a beautiful couple
It was a beautiful day, at the beautiful Scenic Beach Park

The first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. Searles

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Searles
The Reception area was just so old fashion, matching the house it was in.

Here's Luke trying to stay warm
Here is a picture of the Emel House where the reception was held

Our newest family photo with our whole family, we are so blessed!!
Rehearsal Dinner at Black Bear Diner
Dad holding Luke at the Rehearsal dinner

The only stressful part of the day is when we got there and realized that we had left Luke's wheelchair stroller in the back of our little van, we had taken our larger van so that we could get everything transported out to the park. Yoli saved the day, she went to our house, out to our shed in the back and got out a old wheelchair stroller, it ended up working out okay, but did give me a few minutes of extreme stress.

I promise to post some more pictures when I get some of the professional ones back.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

PS Just wanted to let people know that I do post pictures and give more up to date details on my life on my facebook page, if you want to become my friend just ask, be sure to tell me you are a blog follower so that way I will allow you to be my friend.