Tuesday, March 29, 2011

lil of this, lil of that...

Just a few things that happened the past few days...

~We had some fun making this...

~Ben used the word "uncooperative" because he said he was giving his OT a hard time and was messing with her...she agreed to this! :)
~Ben stood up with his hands on a table for 5 minutes with nobody holding on to him! last time it was 90 seconds! umm, hello!
~Ben said to all of the girl therapists he was working with that boys are funnier then girls!
~Ben made a painting that he had to hit the target with paint, he labeled it "target practice"...when asked whose face was the target he said, "Rich" with a huge smirk on his face...Rich aka Ben's PT!

~Today he walked with the dowlings all over the hospital floor today and also many walkings with his walker followed by the new bike in which he didn't want to get off of! At the end of his session I walked Ben to lunch!
~Ben had ants in his pants and legs yesterday and he did the positions below to get comfortable...

~We got a surprise small HUGE box of tasty chocolate fudge in the mail!! Oh my goodness! To the person who sent these THANK YOU! 3 different kinds and plenty to eat share! Just the night before I was scouring my hotel for just one piece of chocolate and couldn't even find one....well, were we blessed yesterday!!

Also we got a card in the mail from my parents for Ben and I...

~I bought some fabric (and i'm sure i will find more) for pillow and bed runner making and also a pattern to make some funky floor pillows...

~after making multiple returns yestday and doing so well at not buying anything back this lil guy caught my attention, how could I resist his sweet face! He will go great with the grey in our bedding...

~we talked about not settling for where we both are physically, spiritually and emotionally! Taking full advantage of where we are RIGHT NOW! Not looking to the future but soaking in the moments now! I don't want Ben to settle for where he is now but to keep moving forward and working hard even if he knows we are leaving soon!

~we have been eating alot of these items...

~ben has been asking to watch this alot (one of his fav shows)...

~i have been dreaming of this (prob won't be there anytime soon)...

~in reality we are to get more of this over the weekend...ummm, it's 3 days shy of April (and yes this is how I feel about it)...

~I continue to realize how in love with this man I am...

~Ben told me that I am beautiful not matter what I look like or how big I am! I told Ben he is amazing, strong, handsome, sexy and super proud of him BEFORE and AFTER the brain injury!

~We have been trying to live by this verse, "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be strong and courageous! Yes, wait patiently for the Lord!" Ps. 27:14

Sunday, March 27, 2011

special lady and dirt puddin...

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:16-18

One of the highlights of going home was getting to meet a very special lady for the first time! Her name is Kim and she has been huge in my life since the accident occured. She started commenting on our blog and then sending notes, trinkets, and goodies for Ben and I! One that stood out was a sweet looking little frog and in the card she said not to forget to FROG...fully rely on God! I loved that! We started swapping emails and then it went to text messaging and then finally meeting in real life! She lives in Eastern Washington and happened to be in the area after her little bro graduated. Kim and her sister came to one of the services I was talking at and then I got to meet her for the first time! Hugs and smiles were what we gave each other! So fun to FINALLY meet Kim! They were both able to go out to lunch with my family and some of our pastors so we got a bit more time in!! What a day that was!
Thank you Kim for being such a blessing, inspiration and encouragement to me and Ben! You are one in a million!!

Well, Friday afternoon brought abother segment of Ben in the kitchen! I have to remind him that it is not "cooking class" yet "cooking group" because if I say it is a cooking class he will say he doesn't want to go because he already knows how to cook! This week it was dirt pudding...minus the worms because they were out! Booo!
Ben had a great time though and he ate the whole cup that night for dinner. I didn't get photos of the finished product and by the time I thought if it Ben had already eaten the whole cup!

I think I posted it on one of my last blogs but we got an order from Ben's doc that we could now walk anywhere we wanted in teh hospital! We were not just limited to Ben's room! The last few days we have been practicing and have been doing really well! Ben of course does most of the work and I am just there to guide him and make sure he doesn't hit the ground! Ben gets anxious if there are alot of people or items around so instead of using his walker to stabilize himself he stands there and picks up his walker! Oh boy, this is something that we have been working on! The last thing I need is a man who weighs 190lb and 5'11" on top of me....well, it being Ben I guess that would not be to bad! :) Moving on...today we were able to go to the hotel and just chill. Instead of wheeling Ben to the bed and letting him stand I kept him in the living area and had him use the walker. I wanted to try him on the carpet and see how he did. Oh my goodness, it was as if Ben had been doing it the whole time! He stood on his own and took off! No stumbling, no tripping, no nothing but walking right to the bed and sitting down! It was amazing and Ben did soooo well! So proud of this man!
It was a relaxing weekend for both of us. Just what we needed after coming off of a super busy week! It also brought some deep questions from Ben that I was not expecting! I had to search my heart for the right answers. I was grateful that he was even thinking of it and thinking so deeply! God is still working His miracle in Ben!

Sayings from Ben...
I put my feet on Bens lap and he told me to take them off! I said "what?" and he said, "when i say something you say yes my king!" I laughed and then said "please rub my feet"...and he did!
Ha, the queen won!

Ben continually asks me when we are going home and now even more since I have been back from WA. He asked me the other day and I told him, "5000 days!" He looked at me and said, "that is not what you said before!" Well, he was remembering things so I said, "well, what did I say before?" Ben's response, "less then a month!"
He is right and many more blog posts to come on that!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a few stairs closer...

It has been amazing to see how Ben is doing these past few days since I have been back! His therapists said that while I was gone he was initiating alot more, asking people how they are doing without them asking him, and just over all doing really well. I have noticed alot of those things too! Amazing!

Ben and I had some big accomplishments today! While in PT this am Ben's therapist asked if I wanted to stay and have family training. Of course I was up to it! Ben and I took a walk around the hospital floor and I was surprised as to how well Ben was doing! It has been almost 2 weeks since I have walked with him and have noticed a big difference. He was not leaning to the left like he normally would do, he was keeping his heels down, his head was up better, he slowed down around corners and when the hallways became congested and his balance was much better. We did have a few hiccups but Ben did really well! We went two times with Ben's therapist looking on and then the next time he said, "alright, you both are on your own! I am going to stay in the gym and I will see you when you get back!" EEEEKKK!!! Inside I was freaking out a bit but on the outside I had to be composed for Ben! It went really well and Ben did great! Ok, I did too! We passed the test!! We can now walk together and with Ben's walker outside of his room with no one helping us!! That means instead of using his wheelchair to go eat or to therapies Ben can walk there! We are getting to the point of less chair time!! This is huge and a big accomplishment!!

Later on in the same PT session Ben attempted the stairs! He doesn't do it that often so today was another time to try it! Before the accident Ben loved climbing any mountain that he could get close to. He loved climbing Mt. Rainier in WA whenever he got home from a deployment or whenever he got a chance. He also loved taking people with him and still owes a few people a trip! Working on the stairs today took me back to those moments! Yes, there were only four stairs but that is four steps closer to getting back on his mountains!
Here is a 3 part video of Ben climbing away...

and one on a mountain with a few of his buddies...

Praise the Lord for His continued healing in Ben! He is still in the business of miracles!!

Sayings from Ben...
I asked Ben to sit up in bed because it was time for more therapy. He attempted to sit up a tad and then laid back down while saying in a whining voice and sarcastic smirk, "i just can't do it!" I told him that he could do it and that I didn't need to help him. He said back, "Rangers really need their wives to help them!" I said back that yes this is true and offered his my hands. He reached half way up for them and again in the same tone of voice said, "i just cannot do it, i need your help!" It turned into a laughing fit from me, a continuing sarcastic smile from Ben and both of us working on getting him out of bed but me makine
Ben do alot of it! Stinker, milkin it for all its worth!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

speed biker...

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,And with my song I will praise Him."
Psalm 28:7

I hope you enjoyed the A-Z's on us! It was something fun that I could easily post while I was gone! If I come across more that are the "get to know you" type I will post them...and try and get all the answers from Ben!

I am back in Jersey where it snowed yesterday, was in the mid 50's today and snow to come tomorrow! Seriously this spring is a little wonky! I wear my Uggs one day, flips the next, rubber boots to follow and then back to Uggs! Cannot figure itself out!

I was so giddy to see Ben this morning! He was in Art Therapy and I went over to him! He had just finished making a picture for me and when he looked over to his left I was there and then came a HUGE smile from his face! He was talking and all giddy, so was I! It was so good to see him after being gone over a week! We had about 30 min to spend
together before Ben had to go to PT.
While he was in PT I stayed in his room to rest (went to bed at 4am and up at 9am) and catch up on a few things. One of the therapist assistants came in and told me that Ben was on a new bike and he wanted to show me. Oh exciting!! I got to the gym and this is what I found...

WOW is what I said when I walked in and saw Ben!
A few things that I noticed about this new bike...
{1} Ben was out of his wheelchair! (the other bike keeps him in his chair)
{2} The seat he is sitting on is much smaller then his wheelchair seat!
{3} Ben was FLYING!! Look at those legs move!
{4} He was able to smile, talk and pedal at the same time!
{5} Ben's only stability was from his backrest, otherwise he had to balance himself
{6} He was panting, out of breath, and saying he was loving it because he was getting a good workout and wasn't in his chair!!

More therapies later for Ben and a really good time with him tonight in the Word, singing and praying. I love his prayers at night. Ben is using more words, praying what is on his heart and he prays for me which is so special!

I had a great week back in WA. It was busy, fun, emotional, full of meetings, speaking and eating! I gained alot of information that I needed regarding our next step on this adventure which I needed. Also the speaking at our home church was really good for me. It was stretching but the Lord was with me the whole way and I felt it! I really believe that the Lord used our story to speak to the hearts of God's people and share Him! If it touches just one person or brings one person closer or to the Lord is worth this journey! Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and kindness as I was gone and away from Ben! We felt your prayers!

Short and sweet post but this girl is tired and needs to catch some zzzz's to keep up with my speedy gonzalaes man tomorrow!

Sayings from Ben...
~Alot of my friends and family told me to go back and give Ben alot of hugs and kisses from them. I told this to Ben this morning and he said, "where are they?" I thought he was talking about the people so I told him that they are in WA. To that responded, "no, where are all my hugs and kisses?" I got right on that!
~I usually ask Ben "where is your head" when it is down or he needs to reposition it. I asked him about it today and his response was. "on my shoulders'" M-"why thank you captain obvious!" And to that Ben said, "well, you asked!"...and that was said ever so sarcastically!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Series on Hope...

This weekend I have the honor and priviledge of speaking, with one of our pastors and his wife, at our home church The Church of Living Water in WA. Last weekend they started a series on Hope and it continues to this week with Ben and my journey of Hope
through what we thought could be a hopeless situation!

The services can be watched live online at the
following Pacific Standard times:

Saturday, March 19 @ 5pm
Sunday, March 20 @ 9am and 11am

If you go HERE you will link up to Living Water's online service site!

To catch last weekends amazing service on Hope you can find it HERE

Friday, March 18, 2011

A to Z on Katie...





E. Essential start to your day: COFFEE AND KISSES FROM THE MAN


G. Gold or silver: SILVER

H. Height: 5' 8”

I. Instruments you play(ed): PLUNKED ON THE PIANO




M. Mom’s name: EDE


O. Overnight hospital stays: 10 DAYS AFTER THE ACCIDENT




T. Time you wake up: 0730-0800

U. Underwear: I WEAR THEM…

V. Vegetables you don’t like: PEAS




Z. Zoo animal favorites: GIRAFFS

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A to Z on Ben...

A To Z on Ben…


B. Bed size: KING

C. Chore you dislike: DOING DISHES (he always left a pile)


E. Essential start to your day: BATHROOM

F. Favorite color: BLUE

G. Gold or silver: HIS RING IS SILVER

H. Height: 5' 11”

I. Instruments you play(ed): NADA

J. Job title: ARMY RANGER FOR 11.5 YEARS

K. Kids: NOPE.


M. Mom’s name: JAN


O. Overnight hospital stays: 1.5 YEARS STILL IN ONE…


Q. Quote from a movie: “STRENGTH AND HONOR!”


T. Time you wake up: 7ISH

U. Underwear: NO COMMENT

V. Vegetables you don’t like: PEPPERS…THEY BE LIKE EWWWW!

W. What makes you run late: KATIE

X. X-rays you’ve had: THE LIST IS ENDLESS

Y. Yummy food you make: STEAK, PANCAKES

Z. Zoo animal favorites: MONKEYS

...stay tuned for mine!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a week trip...

{my family i will get to see...plus a few more nieces/nephs that have been added!
i have 14, going on 15!!}

Well, tomorrow I am off to Washington state for a week! I am heading back to have meetings with more military personel, rehab companies/short term facility and looking for a house to rent until we get settled. Those are big reasons to go back but the biggest reason for going back is that our home church there asked me to speak at the monthly women's bible study about our "Love Story" and also a bit at the weekend services on our journey of "Hope."
This is an honor for me to do!
It will be one busy week full of emotions regarding our future, coming home, seeing family, speaking in front of hundreds when I don't like being in front of that many, and making big decisions for Ben and I. I am also leaving my man behind for a whole week! This is the longest I have left him and it is super hard! A huge blessing in it all though is that Ben's bosses had two of Ben's buddies come and stay with him the whole time I am gone! They came this morning so that I could give them some instructions about Ben and what his week would look like. At lunch time they jumped right in and already started to help...it was awesome!
Huge thanks to the Ranger Regiment for blessing us with this!
It puts my heart at ease and it will make me feel so much better about leaving my man!
Today I was reminding/quizzing Ben about where and what I was doing and told him that I didn't want to go because I didn't want to leave him. Ben said, "you have to go!" I asked him why and he said, "you need to make plans for us to go home and tell people about what God has done for us." Ok Ben, I will go...even though it will be hard, I will go!

Please be praying for both of us!
Pray for Ben that he will be at peace while I am gone. Also that his week will go smoothly and nothing will go wrong but everything will go right...with more healing!
Pray for me that I will have courage while I am speaking, wisdom on making decisions, that I will be open to where God is leading us, and peace in my heart that Ben is ok!
If you don't see posts during this coming week you know why!
I will be back before you know it!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

walking together...

"Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough? Ps 106:1,2

Well, we are not holding hands and walking side by side but Ben and I are walking together! Rather it is me walking behind Ben with at times my hands under his arms! I have longed for these days and they are upon us! We have done this a few times before but this is the first time that it is getting documented by photo! Since this walk I have been walking Ben to PT and then when he is done going back to get him and walking him to lunch. His therapists keep an "eye" on us but sometimes he just says, "I am going to go to the gym and I will meet you there!" Eeeekkkk! My nerves have settled but when we first started doing this I wanted to shout, "No, come back!" the only hiccup to our walking is if someone says something to crack Ben up...last time it was, "breaking wind!" You all know that when you work out more or get moving more your system speeds up. Well, Ben just happens to do this when I am walking behind him! Stinker! His PT asked him about it the other day and Ben was stumbling all over the place, lost control over his walking and had a huge smirk on his face! Our hiccup, don't make Ben crack up while walking because he gets all wobbly! I of course had to laugh right along with both of them! If you notice his head and neck, well it still needs work! Please continue to pray that it will straighten, loosen and be positioned where it is to be!

Up and at em kid...here we go!!

One day, and I pray it is soon we will be doing this...

**Thank you to one of our fire fighter buds my compter has been healed! Virus be gone! These guys have been awesome to us and help us with anything! So grateful!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Viruses are not my friend...

This is not a bodily virus but a computer virus! It's driving me up the wall because I cannot fix it! It's only a year old and the battery is completely dead and stinky viruses! That means no long updates since I am typing from my iPod! Computer with virus=very cranky Katie! So, until it gets fixed or I throw it out the window and I replace it you will just get short blurps!

I will leave you with sayings from Ben...when Ben has his head down I ask him "Ben, where is your head?" Ben said, "it's on my shoulders!" I said back to him, "well aren't you being Mr. Sarcastic?!" to which Ben replied in a very sarcastic tone, "well you asked!" Holy batman funny! I about lost it and Ben of course had a huge smirk on his face!

Monday, March 7, 2011

payback has hit...

It was one of those lazy Sundays where it was pouring almost all day long! Ben was in his chair again watching the History Channel and I was sitting in my usual corner chair. I tool my feet and rested them on Ben's leg! Next thing I know Ben is lifting his hands and going straight to my feet! He grabbed them and started tickling them! Oh my goodness, he knows my weakness all to well! Thing is he was just starting his payback session for all the times when I have tickled his feet, underarms, neck and knees! He hates it but a girl will do anything to get her man to laugh again! I guess I cannot complain or ask him to stop because he is truly paying me back! Although it was hard to endure the tickling I couldn't help but let him do it because Ben initiated it, he remembered what bugs me and he knows how much I have gotten him at times! I think there will be more payback sessions in the future that include more than feet!

The weekend was good and busy! Saturday Ben had to morning off and then after lunch it started getting busy. Ben was asked by his Art Therapist if he could interview Ben for his thesis that he is writing. Ben agreed and so he came in on Sat afternoon. He started out by asking Ben some questions and then asked Ben to make a piece of art that showed how he was feeling or how the brain injury has affected him. First he drew some stick people of whom he told us they were me and him and then another set was him and his buddy C. Ben couldn't think of anything else at the time so the art therapist then gave him a malet type thing in which he dipped in paint and pounded on his paper! Ben was going for it and hitting it so hard! It was a mess and paint drops were flying and landing on the floor, walls, sheets, my clothes and the windows! I truly think that it was very theraputic for Ben and he created how he was feeling and what he might be experiencing!

Sunday like mentioned above was just a lazy rainy day. We were going to go to the hotel but Ben actually said he wanted to just stay and snuggle in his room because that weather was to bad! So, chill and snuggle we did! It was nice just to chill and be together with not to may interuptions!

Today was a whole day of first for Ben and to that I was thrilled! They may seem small and what not but for Ben it was huge! These are things that we thought we may never see or be able to experience! It started out we me getting to Ben at my usual time and asked him how he was and all my usual questions. I told him that I had a decent sleep and that I got up and worked out. Ben said, "good!" But he didn't stop there! He went on to ask me how it was and what I did! Usually it stops at "good" but it didn't! He kept asking questions! Ben went off to PT and I started working on a writing project. He came back after many walks, stacking things and balancing and we headed off to lunch. When I got back to the dining room I saw that his ST was with him and he told me he came up to Ben and Ben looked at him and said, "Hi Fred! How are you?" !!!!!!!! Do you know how long Fred has been trying to get Ben to do this!! It was a joyous moment for all of us!

In OT today it was not alot of Ben doing the work but him trying things out! It was bathroom adaptive trialing day! It was Bens job to get into several pieces of equiptment! This was something that we needed to do to get prepared to go home. It was fun yet serious at the same time!

After we got back from OT I asked Ben if he had a good day and he said, "yes, it was a good day!" I asked him why it was a good day and his response, "I am excited!" (back to that) Me-"why are you excited?" B-"because I got to try out those things for the bathroom which means I get to go home soon!" Oh my stinking goodness! He had me at EXCITED! I didn't care why Ben said it but it was so good hear! Ben has not said that word or anything in that catergory since the accident! Yes, he was excited about trying out toilet chairs, shower chairs, tub benches and going home but the fact that he said excited blew me away! I was excited for his excitement!!
The rest of the afternoon and evening went well and we enjoyed our time together!!

Looking forward to more miracles to come Ben's way and see the Lord work in him!! To God be the GLORY!

God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

why the hard work...

I got to Ben at my usual time Thursday morning and Ben was just getting done with ST. I asked Ben how he was doing and he said, "good, because you are here now!" I sat on his lap to get close! This is always funny because he is in his chair with the armrests but I fit just fine thank you! I have to sit sideways so I can get close! We chatted for a bit and I told Ben that he is doing so well and working so hard! Ben responded, "I am?" I told him that he has been working so hard since day 1! I then went on to ask him why he is working so hard and these were his answers:
1. I want to go home with you
2. I don't give up
3. I want to make kids
4. I want to see my Ranger buddies again
5. I want to get home to my boat and truck (haha such a man)
6. I am working hard to be with you all the time
7. Because I love you

I would say that those are pretty good reasons to work hard! You can tell he has really been thinking about it and that his answers just didn't come out of no where!

Another question that I asked Ben is what the Lord is teaching him through all of this and these were his answers:
1. It takes patience
2. He saves lives
3. It takes time-not on our time but on Gods
4. How to pray for the guy who hit us
5. We have family that love us and come see us

Lastly I asked Ben what he wanted to tell all the people that read our blog and pray for us all the time:
"thank you!" "Tell them I love them, even the ones I don't know!" "Keep praying for healing, to go home, Katie, and the people that hit us." "Even though I cannot see them I know they are there!"...that is all of you!

Do you remember on the bottom of this post this post to pray for initiation of conversation for Ben?? Well keep up those prayers because I see improvement from him almost every day! He is asking alot more questions, responding to greetings at a faster time and even his therapists have noticed that Ben is conversing and initiating more! Ben has never been a big talker but def more then this! Keep those prayers coming because they reach the ears of the Lord and he is answering!

{this was ben at 4:30pm...he must have been tired because he has not fallen asleep this early in months!}

Fridays is always cooking class day and usually Ben is up to going! I told Ben that in cooking class they were going to be making nachos and asked if he wanted to go. Ben gave me an adamit NO! When I asked him why he said, "I don't need a cooking class, I already know how to cook!" I told Ben that they were not going to tell him how to cook but that he got to make it! He quickly then said he would go! He did great and loved every minute of it!

A lovely lady who has been following our blog debut us on her last post! She has a wonderful ministry called A Meal In The Mail! She goes by Big Fat Mama and has left some amazingly, encouraging comments for Ben and I! This was her blessing to us and wanted me to share he post with all of you! You can find her