4/30/07 12:15 a.m. (really 5/1/ but again, hey, who's counting?)

This is Shelly's mom filling you in on the latest details. I just got home from the hospital, where I left Shelly. She is again (still) in pre-term labor. This time in the hospital they were not able to fully stop the contractions so they wanted her to stay, at least overnight. They gave her something to help her sleep through the night, hoping rest plus the meds they had given her would stop the labor by morning. They also gave her the first of two shots to help Ephram's little lungs develop in case he does make an early appearance. Shelly will be 34 weeks on Sunday. At that point her doctor thinks Ephram will be developed enough to let him be born. Before then efforts will continue to keep him where he belongs.  

Arrangements have been made and schedules adjusted so that Josh as well as the kids have the care they need. Please continue to pray for our family as these emotional times of adjustment and learning and change continue. We believe that God knows what he's doing, even though it seems at times like life is out of control. We continue to put our trust in him. And we thank you all for your support in prayer. 

4/29/07 12:30 a.m. (really 4/30 but hey, who's counting?)

Just a quick update before I head to sleep. Josh had a much better day emotionally today and enjoyed being able to hang out with his parents and the kids today. The Lord has this uncanny way of knowing when we are going to need some extra help, hee hee. I was pretty uncomfortable today with Ephram making himself known all day and had a chance to relax and take a nap. We spent most of the day watching the kids play outside in the beautiful weather and sitting on the front porch like a bunch of old-timers. It was very nice to have no agenda. I enjoy days like today where we really don't get a lot done but everyone seems pretty content and able to face reality. Most days are not like this- at least not lately!

We heard over and over how the first month home was so hard emotionally and we have definitely been experiencing this. Every day there are so many new things we realize that Josh can no longer do or participate how he used to. Yet through this all, we know we have a God we can rely on who will supply all our needs.  

We had some greeters from the neighborhood come and welcome us to the neighborhood today. They were so friendly and made us feel so welcome (they also brought along some killer caramel banana muffins along and another nice gift). With us moving away from Eastown, it has been hard to feel so far removed from our normal neighborhood. This was an encouragement to us and made me feel like we are in the right place for right now.

Tomorrow we will be making some contacts on land on a street called Maryland. It is only about a mile from our house and less than that from the church. Please pray that God makes his will loud and clear to us about where to go from here. The land is a reasonable price but all land is expensive. We want to make the wisest decision and be in the center of God's will for our lives. Please be praying for us as we take this next step.

Prayer Requests:


-Wise decisions regarding land purchases

-Josh's fingers and triceps!!!!!!!

4/28/07 11:30 p.m.

Yesterday and today both went okay. There were ups and downs to both days. We had therapy yesterday and it went well. We got some great news that Josh's wheelchair (the one we have been so anxious to receive) will either be here next Friday or the following Monday. This would be at least a week early which is encouraging. Kristy worked on Josh's power chair yesterday and got it a little more situated for him and we have had no problems today- praise God!

Josh went to a program today called Bikes for the Rest of Us. It is an organization of some sort that works at getting people with disabilities into a bike. Josh did not really want to go but I really encouraged him to check it out. He got a few ideas but he is still not sure what he is wanting. He did like these hand guards that hold his hands onto the handlebars and he doesn't have to have them Aced on like before. The problem was that he did not try a bike that leaned back far enough and he kept falling forward. Once again, he was frustrated. We did find out that it would be wise for him to wait until he is sure of what he wants before we look into ordering one. This organization would assist in purchasing a bike one time and we surely do not want to buy the wrong one.

The Syswerda clan had a baby shower for me and it was very nice. We got some nice gifts and some adorable clothes. It was nice to get away, if only for a few hours. We did run into some problems this morning before we left when we realized a very minor detail that had been forgotten (really I had forgotten). I had a babysitter for the kids today while I was going to be gone. I also had something set up for Josh to be brought to MFB for the bikes program that fell through. I then realized that I did not only need to get Josh a ride to the program but also someone who could be with him until I got home. This whole time I never thought about the fact that if I am not going to be home, I need 2 different caregivers. A little overwhelming. Our lives have changed so much over the last 3 and a half months and my brain cannot keep up. It's like I keep remembering all these things that need to be done but somehow I can't seem to get it all done. I'm sure we will continue to get to a more regular schedule but right now, it's a bit nuts.

Josh continues to be a bit cold, but not as bad as it has been. His spasms are still pretty rough but a bit better. We continue to push the water so that we can flush whatever infection seems to be happening. He did finally admit today that he seems to be fighting something. For Josh, this is quite an accomplishment!

As I said we have had numerous ups and downs over the past 2 days. Realizing how much has changed, how little control I have over everything that seems to be happening and all the help we need is very humbling. To know without a doubt that I could never do this without God and without the help of others is... I don't know, just hard. When you are calling everyone on your cell phone to see if someone can come and sit with your husband so that you can leave is just not how you imagine your life going.  Please continue to pray for us as we try to adjust to our new life here at home, especially on the tough days! We appreciate you all more than words can say!!!!!!!

Prayer Requests:


-Emotional, physical, and mental stability in this time of getting used to our new life

-Josh's triceps and fingers

4/26/07 10:00 p.m.

Praise God, Josh is starting to feel better! He is drinking crazy amounts of fluid in case he is starting to get an infection of some sort. He took a long nap and got warm with a heater we now have in our room. I am shocked that it can be hot in our room and he is still chattering cold! As of now at 10:00, he is feeling a little better and acting like he felt fine yesterday. Such a guy! :-)

Today was very uneventful with no big plans. My mom and sister came over and helped get ready for Ephram to arrive sometime in the next month and a half. We are getting excited to have a baby around again, and both Noah and Zoe keep asking how many sleeps til' Ephram comes home?

We spent some time today trying to problem shoot Josh's power chair he is using right now. He has been having issues with it, not feeling like he is in it right and today, if he did not have his seatbelt on, he would have fallen out the side. We are a little concerned about the safety factor. We will have a chance to have Kristy look at it tomorrow to give us any hints with it. It's very frustrating for Josh to feel like the chair he has to get around in is not working well for him.  Please be praying for this situation tomorrow as we try to figure out what we can do about it.

The four of us were home for a few hours, all alone, tonight. The kids were very well-behaved and it was nice to have that time together. It is exhausting to try and keep up with everyone and everything but we had a nice time. We had pizza together and the four of us watched "Jakers" on PBS. Both kids had fun.

We have a busy week coming up. Josh and I are going through the plans and deciding what is necessary and what is not. We want to conserve the energy he has and not wear him out on unnecessary activities, even if it sounds okay at the time.  Josh has a tendency to think we can do a lot until the time gets close and then gets a bit overwhelmed. That's what we are trying to avoid. We don't want him to get overworked too fast, I'm sure that will come with time! :-)

Please continue to pray for us as a family. Everything is a lot of extra work right now as we get used to new chairs, new beds, new lifts and slings etc. It is already starting to get a bit easier and know that practice will definitely help the situation. Pray that my patience level is adequate for what we are experiencing. There are times when I get so tired I am not fair to all around me. The kids need a mommy who is understanding and loving, not short and frustrated. Josh needs a wife who is willing to do all the things he needs help with. He also needs me to be the wife he married, not just his caregiver. We are trying to find that happy medium.

That's all for tonight. Hopefully we are heading off to bed soon. :-) This momma is tired!

Prayer Requests:


-Stability in our home

-Josh's wheelchair

4/25/07 9:00 p.m.

Please start praying for Josh. He has been in bed since about 7:30 tonight, not feeling good. The last day and a half have been a struggle for him because he is so cold. One of the side effects of a spinal cord injury is your internal temperature control does not work right, or maybe it's your brain that doesn't perceive it right. Either way, he has had temperature issues the last day and a half. It does not seem to matter how warm his body feels to me or how warm the room is, his teeth continue to chatter. Because he feels so cold, his muscles keep tensing up which makes for some very sore muscles. It is difficult to maneuver his body because his muscles keep spasming and acting up. It has gotten pretty frustrating for Josh.  He has been difficult to comfort tonight and easily getting upset. We are almost hoping that he is getting sick or something of the sort so that there is a reason for  what is going on. He really needs pray for both the physical issues but also for the emotional struggles.

On another note, we went back to MFB today for therapy. Josh worked on trying to push a completely manual wheelchair. This is the type of chair that a paraplegic would normally use, not Josh with a quadriplegic injury. He pushed it about 300 feet and was able to turn some corners which is much more difficult than pushing in a straight line. We also worked on using a slide board to slide around while sitting up on the edge of a mat table.  It is very hard work but it is nice for him to feel challenged. For occupational therapy, Josh worked at picking up different objects using his tinodisis. That's where he uses his wrist flexors to bring his thumb and forefinger together. He was being timed on how many small wooden blocks he could move in one minute. They would then try and different brace on his hand and find if he could beat the last score. Josh is always up for a little competition, even if it is just with himself!

I know it's short, but I have a chance to get a few minutes of shut-eye before we start getting Josh ready for bed. I'm just hoping he's willing to stay in bed for the rest of the night and not wanting to get back up for a while. Please be praying that the sleep I do get is quality and that the Lord helps the sleep I get to be enough to get us all through the day! He is able.

Prayer Requests:


-Josh to feel better

-more stable home life for us all

4/23/07 10:30 p.m.

Today was our first weekday home. I think it will turn out to be a typical day here at the Buck household. We woke up a few minutes before the nurse came to get Josh ready. I even had enough time to have a cup of coffee and read my Bible. Seemed like a miracle in itself. The kids got up and went straight outside in their pj's and I didn't even try and stop them. They played for a while before breakfast. Josh was ready for the day a few minutes past 9:30 which seems reasonable considering how long it takes to get him ready! We all had some toast and eggs and did a few chores around the house.

We then had a small lunch (considering breakfast was so late) and PT Kristy came over to do some problem-solving at the house. She showed me how to turn him in bed with a bit more ease and we worked on putting the sling under him while in the chair.

OT Jim was next to come and help with some more daily living difficulties. He made the refrigerator accessible to Josh which is very nice. He put some material on the remote for the lift so Josh can push the buttons while we push his body back in his wheelchair. We have to do this to get his behind (is this okay to write?) to the back of the chair so he doesn't slouch and fall out of his chair! We also worked at adding some splinting material to some glasses at home so he can try and drink on his own. It takes two hands to do this but it's possible.

My mom, sister and I spent a lot of time trying to get organized before the baby arrives. Because Zach and Rachel are living with us until August, we had to make some changes. It felt good to do a little nesting with lots of breaks in between tasks. We got quite a bit done and still have quite a bit to go.

Another thing we've been thinking about. Josh has had very poor eyesight since his was young. He has always been a contact lens wearer but has been unable to since the accident. He is stuck in his glasses that he is unable to put on by himself, clean or adjust with any ease. Most of the time when he tries to push them on his face, he smudges them so badly someone else needs to take them off and clean them. He has grown very tired of the glasses and me putting in his contacts is quite a joke. We have decided it may be worth it to pursue lasik. We did get one recommendation but maybe some of you have some suggestions of your own. My uncle referred me to his doctor, but he has not had the surgery performed yet. I would like to get a recommendation from someone who has already had the procedure done. If this is you or you know of someone, we would really appreciate the info!

Josh had, what I would consider to be, a good day. He has not had any major bouts of sadness today or major frustration. Days like today are encouraging when his spirits are level and he has the emotional energy to face the day. Please pray for continued days like this.

I am going to sign off with what was a huge encouragement to me this morning. I happened upon Romans 8 where it is talking about life through the spirit. Verses 10 and 11 state "But if Christ in in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."  These verses speak to the core of where we are at right now. The promises in these verses are more real than ever...

Prayer Requests:


-Josh's fingers and triceps

-Emotional and physical stability as we get used to our new life right now

4/22/07 11:00 p.m.

Today started bright and early, around 6:20.  We had a lot to accomplish before 8:30 when we had to leave to go to Daybreak.  We found someone to help on Sunday mornings when we need help getting Josh ready so this morning was easier than we were anticipating.

We got to Daybreak around 9 o'clock and Josh had a chance to share from his heart for the first time with people other than from our church. They did an interview with him on stage after showing a video they had created. We were both very happy with how the video turned out and how the service went. I also went on stage with Josh and I had a chance to feel so proud of him and how he handled the tough questions and how evident his faith is. Not to even suggest that it's not tough all the time, but his attitude encourages me a lot of the time.

We went out for Sunday dinner with some people from the church and had a nice time.  It's hard to go out to eat with people that have not seen us much since the accident. I'm sure the difference is stark and drastic. And then, I go and start forgetting to feed him. I got into a conversation with someone next to me and after a few minutes he whispers to me "Hey, will you keep feeding me? I'm kinda hungry." He was really sweet about it and grinned at me like he knew I would feel bad, but that's probably something I should work on. :-)

We came home around 3 o'clock and the kids were still with Zach and Rachel (the couple living with us until August). Josh talked about getting into bed for a few minutes so we had to place the lift sling under him to lift him up. This was the first time I have tried to do this on my own with this new sling. To say the least, I had a wrestling match with the sling for over a half hour and was near tears I was so frustrated. Thankfully, Josh and I both held it together at that point. After the sling incident, the time was pretty limited so we realized a nap was a little out of the question and he wanted to go out to the backyard to sit in the sun. Should have been easy, but it wasn't. The slider came off the track and, for the life of me, I could not get the door open. When I finally got the door open, I was ready to scream. At that point, I realized I had to get myself back together so that I could be ready to face the rest of the day. 

Josh had a bit of a harder evening after church, needing help to do so much and realizing his limits. Those times are hard and come often. I hate that there is nothing I can do to fix it but to listen to him and pray with him when he hurts. Even in these times of hardship, God has been a comfort when we feel like giving up.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we enter the first week of being home together and starting a new schedule. Any change right now is hard on Josh and so many people have talked about how difficult the first month back home is. We pray that God brings us joy, comfort and patience as we start this new life together.

Prayer Requests:


-Josh's fingers and triceps

-transitioning to our new life at home

4/21/07 10:30 p.m.

Well, it's official. We're home. It's been quite the process but we're here. We had a full day of PT and OT yesterday. Josh tried a new therapy called the stand-up table. It's a table where you start out laying on your back and strapped to it. The table is then slowly moved into the upright position and he is standing.  He talked about how odd it felt to have weight placed on his feet. At one point, he did get a little light-headed, but not too much. He was up for close to half an hour. This is good for getting blood flow to all the lower extremities and a few other things I can't seem to remember right now. :-)

We packed up Josh's stuff and it looked like moving day. He had collected quite a bit over the last 3 months. We left MFB around 4:00 and made it home about 4:30. Both of the kids were waiting for us, there were about 100 pink flamingoes in the front yard, and the kids had made a big "Welcome Home Daddy" banner that was hung up in the house. It was a nice homecoming. We spent the evening hanging out with the kids, eating dinner together as a family (the kids fighting to get down the whole time) and sitting outside watching them swing. We let them stay up late because they were being so good.

After the kids went to bed, Josh relaxed in front of the TV and I spent a decent amount of time unpacking and trying to organize the massive amount of medical supplies. Josh started getting tired a little after midnight and we started to get him ready for bed. Right now everything takes a long time because we don't know where anything is. We finally got him ready and the lights went out around 1:00. It was so amazing to have him in the same room as me. A few minutes after the lights went out, he said something and it really took me by surprise to hear someone else in the room with me. It was great!!! It is so nice to finally have my husband home even if we're not in the same bed yet. The overnight stay was interesting and I realized I still have a lot to learn.  To prevent pressure sores, he needs to be turned every 3 hours. We can work up to a little more time if his skin looks good, but as of right now he's too nervous to go much longer.  It will definitely take some getting used to, but it was manageable.

This morning, Jerry, Josh's home health care aide, came at 9:00 to get him ready for the day. There were lots of little things we realized that needed to be addressed so that this morning routine goes smoothly. We are going to try and find some solutions when OT and PT come over on Monday for therapy. We will normally be going back to MFB on these days, but they are coming over to see what issues we have faced and try to problem-solve with us. This will be very helpful for us.

The ministry that was formed in relation to Josh's accident, a.k.a. 311 Ministries, had a meeting in Marion, Indiana today. It was long and many issues were addressed. We got a long run-down of the meeting and are so blessed to have so many people who are willing to use their time and brain power to help us out.  So many decisions have already been made so that we are in the best situation possible. It is nice to have smart people talking about the best way to handle tax issues, Medicaid issues, budgets, medical costs, and how to best allow Josh to use this situation for God's glory.

The kids went away for a good portion of late morning and afternoon which was nice for Josh and me. We had numerous groups of visitors today who stopped by to welcome us home. We enjoyed seeing people and also enjoyed having no agenda. This is extremely out of the norm when every hour of your daytime has been scheduled for the last 3 months and you have little say in it. To just sit around, unpack some, talk, and eat together was very nice.

The kids came home, Brad and Sarah and their kids came over, and we had a nice evening of ordering out pizza and just hanging out. Noah rode his bike all night and Zoe was thoroughly entertained by having a friend over. We are heading to Daybreak Community in Hudsonville tomorrow morning and Josh will be interviewed by the pastor as part of the message. Please pray that God uses Josh in a mighty way and that he feels encouraged to be able to share what he has been learning. He so desperately wants to make sense of this situation and knows that may be impossible. But to know that God is using it for others to know him more makes the sense of loss more bearable.

Please remember us in your prayers as we try and learn each others routines, how to best move him around, take care of his needs, take care of the kids and little Ephram inside my tummy, and all the other changes we are experiencing. Pray that we continue to treat each other with patience when the other is frustrated or unsure of how to handle a new situation. Pray that I get good and fast at doing all the work that he needs to have done for him so that we have time for other things (such as sleep).  We love you all and so appreciate your faithfulness in praying for us as we continue on this journey...

Prayer Requests:


-Patience as we learn how to work and live together as a family

-For God to use Josh in a way we never dreamed before this 

4/19/07 11:00 p.m.

 Today was a bit of a rougher day for Josh. As the move date draws ever closer, nerves seem to be coming in to play (even if Josh won't admit it). We had another bout of dysreflexia and we talked at length with the nursing staff about how to handle it at home. I'm feeling a bit more confident about the whole situation but it still kind of stinks.

We started taking the room apart tonight in preparation for Josh's discharge tomorrow. It felt kind of weird, I even felt a little nostalgic in some sort of sick way, getting ready to leave. After being at MFB for almost 3 months, we have made some great friends and people we will miss greatly. Josh is definitely ready to leave but still wants to put in a full day of therapy tomorrow.

Today we spent time in the power wheelchair a.k.a. the I-BOT today. He was trying it out in some rough terrain, going off of curbs with it in a high speed and generally seeing what it can do for him that other chairs cannot. My mom was there and was very impressed and was convinced it was a definite go-ahead and well worth the additional dollars.

We did have a disappointing bit of info come our way. Josh is always in his power-assist chair and was hoping it would be ready in the next week or week and a half. The goal was to have it by the time he was discharged or the week after he leaves. We found out today that somehow there was a miscommunication and it was not ordered. It will now be a while before the chair is ready and Josh will have to depend on a power chair that he does not like. It is not the end of the world, but Josh was really upset. When he gets "angry upset" I feel like I can handle it, but today he got "quiet upset" and those situations are much harder to deal with. By tonight he was doing better but still very frustrated.

He spent some time in a 3-wheeled bike today that is hand controlled. It did NOT work so well. His hands kept falling off the handles, his knees kept hitting the bars, and he kept falling forward. He did not act too bothered by it so I thought he was fine. Later tonight he talked about how embarrassing it is in those situations but figured laughing was better than crying. It's amazing how, even after 3 months of watching him deal with this situation, I still cannot always read him correctly. It's hard to hear your husband talk of being embarrassed about situations he has no control over.

He did have the honor of holding a baby this morning. One of the therapists brought in her 7 week old little boy to show off to all her coworkers. Kristy (PT) brought both the mom and baby upstairs to give Josh a chance to hold little Jorgan. Josh said he felt decently comfortable and the baby was adorable. He said that Jorgan laid there so quietly after a few minutes and gave him some huge smiles. I think it made him feel like he may be capable of holding Ephram and definitely got him more excited for his arrival.

Tomorrow will be a big day for us. Please be praying that everything goes smoothly and that Josh feels like he is ready to leave. It will be a huge transition over the next few months and we are excited but nervous. We know God has us in the middle of his plan and we have peace knowing that. We continue to beg God for Josh's body to be healed, but we also are dealing with the realities we have to face on a day to day basis.

Prayer Requests:


-the move tomorrow

-Josh's fingers and triceps

4/18/07 11:20 p.m.

Sorry about the lack of posting last night. Baby Ephram was trying to come and see the world a little too early and we ended up in the hospital for just a few hours. We did not have to spend the night but got home and was exhausted. They pumped some drugs in to stop the contractions and a few other things not appropriate to talk about, but mommy and baby are doing better tonight.

Josh started yesterday with his Tuesday trip to the YMCA. He is getting more at ease every time he goes and they continue to trouble shoot while they are there. He had a typical afternoon of therapy and lots of hard work. Last night he had a chance to go to core team. This is a weekly meeting at our house where we discuss where the church is going, what needs to be done, and what is not going so well. The group consists of about 15 people who are the leaders in the church. He got to go this week because now that we are at the new house, he can get inside! Pretty exciting stuff!

Last night we also met with some of the pastors from Daybreak Community in Hudsonville to discuss Josh being a part of the service Sunday. We are excited to go and share what God has been doing in our lives over the last 3 months. This is the first opportunity, outside of our own church, where Josh will be able to really speak from his heart. This is a great encouragement to him and we are looking forward to it. It will be interesting needing to be somewhere at 9:00 a.m. and us being responsible to get him there, looking somewhat put together, and me being the responsible party. We have hired someone 6 days a week but he is wanting to go to church with his own family on Sunday mornings so we are in the process of looking for that one special someone who can do Sundays weekly.

Today was a busy day of trying out a new exercise "bike" with Josh.  He was laid on his back and his arms and legs were strapped in above his body. He uses his arms to get the bike moving which also moves his legs. There is a computer screen over his head where he can see the progress he is making and also got to watch Dave Matthews on DVD which helped him along! :-) He really enjoyed this. Having his legs over his heart also allowed for some of the swelling in his ankles to diminish.  We both have "cankles" right now so we're two peas in a pod!

A videographer from Daybreak came today to do some taping of Josh in action so they could do a little blurb to run before Josh gets up to talk. They are hoping that the video will turn out well enough where we can bring it to other places where Josh speaks and will serve as a quick synopsis of our life. Pretty cool!

Tonight, Josh went on the MFB bus along with two other patients to have one last outing before he goes home. He chose to go and see "Blades of Glory" and some of his guy friends met him there. They said the movie was hilarious, but I did not want to lower my IQ by going and seeing this movie. I did some computer work and ran a few errands. I then met him at the mall and we ate in the food court and then ran to a few stores for about a half hour. He had some good practice trying to get through small spaces and having to ask for help to reach stuff. That was really the point of the trip so he succeeded.

When we got back to MFB we loaded up the shower chair and massive lift into the Hoopty, gotta love the lift, and brought it all back to our new house. It makes it feel like he's really coming home in less than 48 hours. Noah and Zoe made a big sign that says "Welcome Home Daddy" to hang up on the wall when he gets home. Tonight, she prayed that the sign would help daddy remember to come home in "two more sleeps."  She judges days by the number of "sleeps" she has to have. Noah is just all together excited and wants daddy to watch him swing. We're all glad that is something Josh is still able to do.

I'm feeling pretty encouraged tonight, getting excited for Josh to come home. I know it will be very overwhelming and we have a ton of adjusting to do, but I am thankful for the days where I feel like we are going to survive. Lots of little things need to come together before Friday so please remember us in prayer this next few days.

One other thing, a few of you asked about getting Josh's message on the web. There is a link to it on the front page if you're interested...

Prayer Requests:


-Josh's fingers and triceps

-the transition about to take place as we move home together as a fami

4/16/07 9:30 p.m.

I'm so tired all I want to do is go to bed. So this will be short and sweet. Josh had a very busy day today. He spent about 3 hours in a power chair called the I-bot. The I-bot climbs stairs, can roll around on 2 wheels, is 4-wheel drive, and is your typical man's man power wheel chair. It's more expensive than a typical power chair, but allows for a lot more freedom for Josh, which is important when taking the kids to the beach or on a wooded trail...things that aren't possible with a regular chair. Right now we're more concerned with the loss of freedom than the extra dollars such a chair might cost.

Josh helped make dinner tonight in the apartment kitchen in MFB--basic things like stirring, cutting (with a very very interesting looking knife), etc.  It was a good experience but it makes him realize again how difficult "normal" things are for him to do.

Tonight Josh's blood pressure went up, which is know in spinal cord injuries as disreflexia. It happens when something is going on in his body that he can't feel and deal with normally. He got extremely flushed and we figured something was wrong. We figured out what the problem was and by the time I left tonight it was going down.

The visit with the kids tonight was approximately 2 minutes--no exaggeration--because of the problem. But they seemed OK anyway.

Everyone is now going to bed early, including me! Nighty-night. 

Prayer Requests:


--Smooth transition when Josh comes home--in four days!

--Better understanding of disreflexia and its causes and that it doesn't happen often!

4/15/07 11:30 a.m.

Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday. We will not have internet hook up until Tuesday at the new house. The move went amazingly well. Over 50 people showed up to help, there was enough yummy food for an army, Two Men and a Truck guys never stopped running, and everything is put away in the house. Can you believe it? We were amazed, excited and so blessed.

The morning started at 8:30 when the movers showed up at the house and had a heck of a time figuring out how to manage our steep driveway on our narrow road. This was one of the major concerns with bringing our new van up the driveway- not wanting it to bottom out. Anyway, 9:00 and people started showing up. It sounds like about 30 people showed up at the old house to help pack up the truck. Around 11:00ish they were off to the new house and emptying the truck. There was so much help people had to wait to get boxes to bring inside! Nice problem to have huh? Josh and I showed up around 1:00 and the truck was empty. Josh was sitting here at MFB wanting everyone to know how grateful we were for all the help so he thought it would be a good thing to show up. When we got there, their was a huge group of people in the front yard and I sorta' wanted to hide. :-) We talked to a ton of people, gave a few directions (mostly directed people to my mom so I didn't have to deal with it), and tried to get used to the new place. By about 5:30, everything was unpacked, put into it's place, and most of the people were gone. We want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who came and helped in any way.

Josh and I left back to MFB around 5:30, got Josh changed into some jeans, and we headed back to the house to wait for the kids. They showed up about 7:45 with some friends from Kalamazoo and the kids were soooo excited. They came flying into the house, Zoe's specific words were "It looks the same!", and Noah went straight for the swing. They loved their new bunk beds and the new toys a few people had brought for them. They both especially liked the playroom. Noah's drums are in there (yes, we're crazy but Josh loves to watch Noah so the basement wasn't an option) and he showed daddy all his new skills. Josh was on Cloud 9. He was able to help put the kids to bed, prayed with them, and just had a chance to do normal daddy stuff.

The rest of the evening consisted of talking with friends from church who were still there after all the stuff was put away and just hanging out. All in all, it could not have gone better. Josh feels like he has enough room to move around, I feel like we can contain the kids and lead a decently normal life there. Please be praying for us as we adjust to the move and to daddy coming home. Zoe did not sleep too well last night. She kept waking up being scared and mommy and Zoe do not fit into a twin sized bed very well together! It was her first night so I can't really blame her for being scared.

Everyone woke up around 8 and hit the floor running. Both kids wanted to play with all the toys, ride their scooters in the basement, bounce on their bouncy balls and play outside. Zoe spent a long time with a new Crayola coloring book that she saw on TV that someone bought her. On the commercial it shows kids coloring with markers on the floor because the ink does not show up except on this specific paper. She was convinced she too had to color on the floor! She's such a honey! Noah has already spent a decent amount of time on his swing set and is excited to have a TV in his playroom.

We are now relaxing at the hospital and Josh is getting ready to teach tonight at church. Thank you for all your love and prayers over this move. We were truly blessed!

Prayer Requests:


-Josh's fingers and tricpeps

-stability as we get used to our new house and daddy coming home!

4/13/07 11:45 p.m.

Tomorrow is moving day! The house is pretty much ready to go and when 9 a.m. rolls around tomorrow morning, there will be lots of activity around here. I'm excited, anxious, nervous, and a whole lot of other emotions all rolled into one. Josh never got a chance to really say goodbye to the house so we figure he'd better start walking again so we can move back home! :-)

Josh had a good day. He spent time in numerous power chairs, narrowing down the options and getting closer to deciding what he wants in this chair. He also saw our new van for the first time today. I was at the dentist and missed it! I was disappointed but he gave me a pretty complete rundown and was soooo excited. He said it's beautiful, shiny, and going to be a great form of transportation. The interior is khaki which I was very happy about. We did not get to pick that out because the base of the van was completed when it was purchased so I was not sure what color the interior would be. I know, it's a small thing, but I was excited. The conversion van company brought the van over to measure out Josh's chair and see where the locks need to be placed. Only one disappointment and it has nothing to do with the van itself. The chair that Josh has picked as his primary chair cannot be automatically locked down. When he starts to drive he will not be able to buckle the chair to the floor so he has a system called EZ Lock that automatically locks his chair in. We are unsure what we are going to do but it looks like Josh will need another chair when he drives. It seems asinine to need another chair but nobody seems to act like this is a huge deal, just another cost we have to come up with! :-) Please be praying that God helps us make the best decision for the situation and not let it get Josh down too much. He was pretty disappointed about this and I would love an easy answer.  Those easy answers can be hard to come by.

We spent time with friends tonight up in Josh's hospital room. We had some serious church talking and lots of light hearted laughing. Jason was staying to help Josh get in to bed and learn a few things about the bedtime routine he was unfamiliar with. This will be great for him to know so that if he and Josh come home late at night, after I'm asleep, Jason will be able to put Josh to bed. This will be a big help to me and I'm sure I wouldn't be in the best of  moods at 1 a.m. after I've been asleep for 2 hours. Help, like this, from our friends and family, will be a huge help. Josh still wants to be able to go out at night with the boys and not have to be home by 10:00 pm. so I can put him to bed.

Please be in prayer for all the work to be accomplished tomorrow. Although moving is always hard, all the prayers and volunteers will make it much easier to handle. Thank you to all of you who have been such a part of our lives the past three months. You are loved!

Prayer Requests:


-The move tomorrow!!!! Please be praying for us and come by if you can! We'd love to see your pretty face!

-Josh's fingers and triceps

4/12/07 11:00 p.m.

Today was a pretty uneventful day for Josh. We like these days where we feel like nothing major happened or that one of us had a nervous breakdown! Josh spent time using the slide board from one chair to the table. Some guys from church came up this afternoon to learn this method of transferring Josh. It seemed to go quite well. One of Josh's friends came up from the Ft. Wayne area to visit Josh and took him out for dinner. He was excited to spend time with him and have some "guy time". Josh really misses this type of interaction. Being at MFB he has an early curfew (8 p.m.) and it does not leave lots of time to hang out. He does not usually end up back this early, but it's always in the back of your head. It will be nice when we get home and he can go back to having time to hang out with the guys. Josh has always been quite the social butterfly and likes little more than just sitting somewhere talking with friends. It's not quite the same sitting in a hospital room talking.

While Josh went out tonight, my sister and I spent a leisurely dinner at On The Border (yes, they know me there!), just the two of us. It was nice to just sit and not be in a rush to head off somewhere else. We then headed to meet some girls at Target and do some shopping for the new house. I never imagined buying tools for myself, but I found myself in the tool aisle at Target. Josh has always been our handyman around the house, but this is not an option right now. His tools are always spread all over the house and garage, but he always seems to know where everything is. I decided I needed some order so I got some big packaged set with most anything I could ever need to fix stuff around the house. Thankfully I will still have him around to teach me verbally how to do the stuff I will need to do. I don't want to have to call my dad every time something goes wrong around the house. I figure I'm a woman of the 21st Century and better start acting like it!

A group of men from Crossroads Bible came up to pray with Josh at lunch today. They were extremely encouraging to us and prayed the fire down! These men are incredible men of God and we know when they say they are praying for us, we know it really means something. We all gathered around Josh and had the opportunity to pray for healing over Josh. I find it such a breath of fresh air to be with people who so firmly believe in the power of God to heal Josh. When I am feeling doubtful or like my faith is waning, God always seems to bring someone to us to remind of he is able. We serve an amazing God who will be glorified- we just plead that it is by way of Josh's healing.

The big move is only about 36 hours away! Please remember us in prayer as this marathon day will be taxing on all involved! There will be free food to feed the hungry so if you're available, your help would be GREATLY appreciated. I am praying that God keeps my spirit calm as the day grows closer. I know that the task will be completed whether I start stressing or not. It is hard for me to know that I need to back off and allow others to help us. It is my job to keep little Ephram safe and sound, not to try and be superwoman and control the whole situation (if you know me personally you know this is a struggle).  Please remember all of us in prayer as the big day draws near.

Prayer Requests:


-Josh's fingers and triceps

-the big move on Saturday!

4/11/07 9:45 p.m.

Josh had 3 hours of PT today!  PT is his favorite so he had no complaints. He did have some complaints about the activities expected of him. Because he is done ordering his power-assisted manual chair (it looks like a manual chair) he is now on to ordering his power chair. The power chair he test drove today was huge and bulky. He said it made him feel more handicapped than he does otherwise. One thing to be thankful for is the fact that he is not going to be needing a full-powered wheelchair all the time. Lots of people with Josh's level of injury never get out of a power chair. This is a huge blessing! So anyway, he did have some complaints about having to test drive some power chairs. Kristy knows he does not like this, but he needs to.  We are hoping to get the chair ordered before we leave MFB so that we do not need to take away therapy time once we start outpatient therapy.

Today was an easier day for Josh. He was excited to have he technology rehabilitation session today where a report will now be written as to what Josh will be needing to make the computer accessible to him. It's amazing how fast prayer works when we were worried yesterday that this was not done. It also helps that we talked to the therapists that work with Josh all the time and really stressed our concerns (sometimes I get a little overbearing and may need to back off a little).  It is encouraging to know that the next step is now accomplished and we are one step closer to getting Josh back to being the techno nerd he really is! :-)

A lot of things are falling into place. Every time I talk to my mom she is telling me something else that is taken care of, someone who is doing something specifically to help us, or buying something we need for the new house. It makes me appreciate people so much. Before this happened to our family, I had a tendency to doubt other people's goodness or just the basic goodness of humans as a whole. I am awed at how amazing people have been to us. Thank you to each and every one of you who have been a blessing to us by praying, praying, praying, helping in every way, and assisting us financially in this situation. This is no place I would ever wish to be nor wish on anyone else, but you do get a new perspective. I am thankful for that.

Prayer Requests:


-Details and help for the big move on Saturday!

-Josh's triceps and fingers

4/10/07 11:00 p.m.

Today was one of those not so fun days. Josh was down emotionally most of the day and it makes for a very challenging day. He started out at the YMCA- maybe it's the YMCA that makes him sad. He had a rough day last Tuesday too... hmmmm...  He and Kristy and a few other people came up with some ideas to make Josh working out there easier. They have some ideas for splints for his hands and one for his elbows to assist in holding his hands and arms correctly so he could work out himself. Hopefully something comes of it.

As the date of discharge looms ever near, we are thinking of many things that need to be done before we leave. One major thing for Josh is to get some assistance with the computer so that he is able to peruse the internet, write e-mails, type a message for church or just about anything on the computer. Before the accident, Josh was always on the computer and now that he will be home so much more, he will need stuff to keep him busy. He is very concerned about going stir-crazy and having nothing to occupy his time. We are working hard and fast to try and get this solved before he goes home next Friday. We know the adaptive equipment he needs, we just need to have it approved by the right people and then ordered. I'm sure this usually takes longer than 10 days so pray that the process is speedy.  Josh is a big reader and right now he is not really able to turn pages without tons of effort so any sort of reading also needs to be done on the internet. Just an afterthought...

We met a man who is interested in helping Josh get ready 6 mornings a week. He seemed very nice, like he and Josh would get along well. He also talked about being reliable which is something we need right now. We both felt like it would be a good fit. We are going to pray about it and hopefully it would work out. We know he is interested so it now lies with us. Please pray that we make a good decision for both Josh and our family.

An old friend from the first church Josh pastored at came by tonight. You could tell it really lifted Josh's spirits. He didn't want to overstay his welcome and Josh kept encouraging him to stay longer! :-) It was nice for him to have someone like this to talk to, especially on a night like tonight when he was tired and discouraged. He talked about how the God he is experiencing right now is a sovereign God. The God he experienced in Miami was almost a palpable God. He is no less God but right now it's not as easy for him. He feels like now that the situation is not so desperate, he has a different perception. Please be praying that this God is just as real to him as Miami. He is need of comfort right now as he is getting very anxious for all the changes coming. We know God is able.

We are gearing up for the big day on Saturday. We are getting excited to have a place that Josh can come home to. We pray that it becomes "home" very quickly and that all the transitions go smoothly.

Prayer Requests:


-Calmness of spirit as we move to a new home and having daddy home with us again

-Josh's fingers and tricpes!