moving in

Since Josh and Shelly still don't have internet connections, I thought I'd quickly let you all know that moving day went well. Actually, it was fabulous. Wonderful. Excellent. Amazing. Lots of strong arms from Greenhouse showed up to help. Plus two kind men and their big truck. Plus two of my old friends (old as in they've been friends a long time!) with delicious food for everyone. Everything was out of the old rental house and into the new house by around 4 or 5. By 7 p.m. all beds were made and the kitchen was pretty much unpacked. I'll let Shelly fill in the details of the kids' reactions and all the other feelings, but those are the bare details of a very wonderful day.

I've been at Shelly's every day since helping to get everything in its place. I watched on Saturday as she stood in her new kitchen making sandwiches, a very ordinary but  very special sight. A friend called it claiming her territory in her new home. We're slowly making it feel like home, especially as we get out favorite items that have been packed away since the last move to the rental house. I'm so grateful to all those who have shown the love of God that lives in them by loving on our kids. What a gift of happiness in the midst of so much difficulty!

Jean (Shelly's mom)

the big day!!!

Tomorrow is the big day!!! As of 12 hours from now, we will officially be moving!!!!!!!! (How many more exclamation points can I post?) People are arriving around 9:00 a.m. and we will officially be underway. It will be a huge job, but we have many willing hands! Last night, a group of prayer-warriors did a prayer "walk-through." They prayed in every room, and for every family member. We are so blessed. They also gave us a gift called a mezuzah. It is a ceramic plaque, about 2 inches by about 6 inches. In the back of it is a small opening to put a piece of paper with the scripture of Deuteronomy 6:4. "Hear, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One." You place this mezuzah in your doorway and touch it on your way in. The significance of this gift is so touching. We have received many wonderful gifts for our new home but this one will always hold a special place. I will post a picture of it after we place it at our door. The last few days have been full of packing, organizing, and planning. I don't always work so well under this type of pressure. It stresses me out. Josh said sarcastically, "Yeah, we've endured a lot. Paralysis and all... but it was moving day that was the end of us!" Giggle giggle. The kids are excited about the move. Noah can't wait for the swing in his new room and Zoe wants to see the rainbow painted on her wall. Ephram just sits around grinning. We will be trained tomorrow in the use of all the features of the house that will make Josh's life easier. Because we have not been trained, we have not been able to see them in action. So starting tomorrow, Josh will have a ceiling lift, an elevator, doors that open by remote, sinks and stoves he can pull under...the list goes on. The blessing of this house is beyond comprehension. For some reason, God chose to place us on the heart of a spiritual leader who felt it was his job to get something started. The "something" is a beautiful home for our family. Thank you to all of you who have prayed so diligently through this process. The people we have worked with have been wonderful. Everyone has been so generous and genuine. We have made great friends in the process. We are grateful. So grateful. The dream is becoming a reality.

happy birthday part 2

Josh got so many birthday wishes I couldn't figure out how to post them all. I gave up and decided to post.

32 years ago, around 8:00 in the evening if I remember correctly, Josh entered this world. He has brought so much joy to my life. He continues to make me laugh, encourage me, and lift me up to our heavenly Father. He continues to be a dedicated father and husband, and makes me proud almost every minute of the day. He continues to handle this hurdle in his life with dignity and poise which is only God given.  

We are moving in on Friday if all goes as planned. The lower level will be finished in the beginning of September, but the upper level is very livable.  I can't believe this if finally happening.  I cannot wait for people to come in and see the house that God's people built. Pretty incredible. 

I took the two older kids to Target this morning to buy daddy some presents.  Each picked him out a DVD about Earthy produced by PBS and we all watched it together this afternoon.  Zoe was the wrapping master and wrote out cards to Daddy (even filling out the one from me, signing it from "Shelly") and was beyond proud of herself!  We went out to Carrabba's for dinner with my mom and dad and Holly and Jay.  It was very nice.  We then went on to meet a large group of friends later at a restaurant and had cake shaped like a bear (long story, don't ask!). 

I am heading off to sleep. I have plenty to do to keep me busy before Friday so this little momma is hitting the hay!

happy birthday

Happy birthday, Josh! Wish Josh a happy 32nd birthday today!


Today was amazing.  

Really amazing. :-)

Yesterday evening, Josh and I headed down to Marion, IN to be a part of a golf scramble to benefit our ministry and family. It was an uneventful night (this is saying a lot considering we stayed at a hotel- not easy for us newbies in the area of quadriplegia) and did not run in to any major difficulties. We arrived at the golf outing around 10:00 a.m. and were greeted by many family members and friends. The feeling of love was overwhelming to us both at times. For Josh, to return to his hometown, see so many familiar faces, many of whom he has not seen in years, and feel such a strong support system was amazing. He had a perpetual grin on his face. I love to see him glowing!

The outing was a complete success, with many friends and family putting in countless hours of hard work. We know how much people have sacrificed to make this outing a success. We say thank you from the bottom of our heart. 

Josh had a chance to share from his heart during the lunch portion of the scramble. To hear how God continues to work in his life makes me a proud wife. :-)  We have many dreams and are praying for God to put some clarity to the plan. We both know that God wants us to use this for his glory, we are just unsure how this will take place.  Please be in prayer for us as we attempt to finish up our 501(c)3 status and have to have a clear, concise synopsis of what we are attempting to do. You know any form of a "synopsis" is difficult for me. I tend to run on and on and on... you get the picture.

We move in to our new home two weeks from today. The sod was laid yesterday and it looks absolutely amazing. The garage door is laid out in the garage, ready to be installed. I never thought I'd be so excited over either, but I am! Josh's lift system is ready to go, able to get him in and out of bed with ease, into the bathtub if he so chooses, and onto different workout equipment.  The blessings just keep on coming. 

Some friends are throwing us a housewarming party on Sunday (much undeserved but greatly appreciated) and we are getting excited. We just heard that the boys are invited so we are even more excited. Yes, Josh does care about the color of the towels, the light fixtures and most everything in between. He may not be your typical male, but that's what makes him who he is and why I like him so much!

Thank you to all of you who continue to follow us, pray for us, support us, and continually check up on us. We are truly blessed!

August 1st

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." TNIV This verse has been very close to my heart over the last few days. I had a conversation with my mother-in-law last weekend that really solidified this verse for me. First, some previous information thay may be helpful. Three years ago today our daugther, Ava Nicole, left this world to live with her heavenly Father. The past three years have been a major uphill battle but the Lord has been near to us through it all. After we lost Ava, the mental pictures of that day were nearly controlling my mind. I began to ask for prayer, specifically that the Lord would take these pictures from my mind and replace them with memories and peace. Fast forward three years and to my conversation last weekend. We were talking about Ava and how we have come so far since her death. We talked about how three years ago, before Ava's death, we were different people than we are now. Yes, it has been hard, but the growth that takes place is immeasurable. We went on to talk about how we remember her. The only word I could think of to describe that point in my life and the memory of Ava is "bittersweet." My memories are no longer of that horrible day and the pictures that went along with that. God granted many peoples prayers. Today, I remember her sweet little face. I remember taking her to the zoo and how contented she was all day in her car seat. I remember the day she was born and I was so drugged that I kept falling asleep right after she was born. The doctors thought it would be a few hours and it turned out to be only a few minutes. :-) I remember how we felt our family was complete. The day we brought Ava home I was sad that our birthing days were over. My memories also include the time after her death. We spent about a week at the lake a few days after she died, just to get away. I remember thinking that if my heart could crush my body, it would. I thought I would never take a bite of food with enjoyment ever again. Swallowing past the lump in my throat was difficult for months. I remember standing at Zoe's and Noah's cribs every evening and thanking God for getting us through another day. But the funny thing is, the pictures of that day and that hour of wondering if she would survive or not no longer have control over my mind. God granted the prayers of many and relieved me of carrying that burden. I don't think I would be the person I am today if I had to carry those pictures around in my head. Through this all, my God has given my many things. He gave me a closer relationship with those around me, he gave me another wonderful son, he saved my husband when he should have died, but most of all, he have me Himself.