Friday, April 29, 2011


"Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil." 2 Thessalonians 3:3

"God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:9

First things first...
You know that voting that was taking place for the Milbloggie award??? Well, I just got word tonight by Goodnight Moon that we WON!! We also won the USAA award and will be spotlighted on their website! Thank you all for voting! I am humbled and so blessed by you all and this award!

A few visitors stopped by yesterday from the family! One of my brothers and a sister! The kids were excited to see their Uncle Ben and bring him some McDonalds! They loved every minute of it! After lunch the younger ones took off or got on Ben's bed to watch some cartoons! The older boys set Ben up with a book to find different things in it. Ben loved it! It was easy for Ben and the boys and then it got difficult but it was so good for all of them and they had tons of fun and lots of laughs!

Ben has been doing well in his therapies! He is getting almost 2 hours of ST a day, 1hour of each PT and OT and sometimes a little bit more. He of course continues to work hard and hold fast to the goal of "beating this brain injury!"

Tomorrow brings alot of excitement and alot of work! We get to move all of our belongings (that have been in storage for over a year) into our rental house!! It is the second part to get Ben home! First was just getting him here to WA! I have some buff men coming to help and some ladies to help me clean and unpack! The accident happened just before our 2 year wedding anniversary so our stuff is still fairly new...which is good! I am realizing stuff that we don't have and the lists are being formed! Ben will have therapy tomorrow so he will be staying busy but I wish he could be there to see all of the happenings! Soon though he will be home and able to enjoy a house all comfy for him!

I may not be able to blog for a few days! As my friend out it I should just say I am taking a "spring break" from posting! Who knows though, I may pop on here and give some quick updates! Bare with me!!

Sayings of Ben...
My lil brother told Ben before he was leaving not to let me give him any crap. Ben looked over at me and said, "did you hear that? listen to him!"

While watching some highlights of the royal wedding tonight I told Ben that Kate's dress was really pretty. He turned his head and looked at me and said, "I loved yours. You looked beautiful in it!" Melt my heart oh man of mine!

Just in case you are interested our royal titles would be...
Baron Benjamin Astrup Ryeskitt of Olympiaford
Baroness Katie Calthorpe Ryeham of Olympiaham

...and on a side note Kate and I share the same full first and middle name!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

easter and words from an honorable man...

I forgot to include this photo on one of our last posts! These are a few of Ben's buddies and bosses that came up from GA on their way to West Point to send us off! Ben was excited to see them all and we had a good time and chat with them all!

Oh my gooodness what a whirlwind the last few days have been! Between being with Ben and getting things done I have been a busy lady!
I posted that I was going to be able to take Ben to my parents house for Easter and we did have a family gathering but the locations changed! We changed to my sisters house that could house more people about an hour before we were all to meet. It gave us a bit more room and allowed more space for Ben! I picked Ben up about 1215 from the hospital and he was sooooo ready! We got there before the rest of the family so I was able to get Ben into a comfy, leather recliner chair! My bro-in-law was gracious enough to let Ben borrow it for the afternoon! Men and their chairs! Ben was able to sit there and sit up, lay back, move his legs and get lots of attention from the neices and nephews!
I was in the kitchen and when I turned around this is what I found...

{my niece Kyla reading her frog book to Ben after my nephews loaded him up with a bowl of goldfish crackers...his fav!}

Ben ate in that chair, napped in the chair and even got to snuggle with baby Larsen again! He met Larsen when he was about 3 months old when my sister and bro-in-law came to see us in CA. Ben was able to hold him and get some good snuggles there too! Ben and Larsen must have remembered their time because when Larsen was put in Ben's lap this time the both relaxed and sat there...

...and then about 10 minutes later Larsen tried to escape but Ben wasn't having it..

We were able to stay at my sisters house for about 6 hours on Easter! It was so good for Ben to see everyone and I really believe that being here will be a huge part or Ben's recovery process! God still has amazing things in store for Ben and I look forward to see what is in our future and that starts tomorrow!

I was sad to find out today that an amazing man of God passed away today in a tragic car accident. Rev. David Wilkerson was the founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, author of the well-known book The Cross and the Switchblade and very involved in the program Teen Challange. He posted a blog this morning and the title was, "When All Means Fail" and I leave you with his words that have impacted me and where I am at in life and on our journey now...

"To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world."

Monday, April 25, 2011

guest post and VOTE...

Today is a special post by another fellow blogger who also is a military wife! She has been kind enough to post about us on her blog and now today she is guest posting on ours! She was very generous to do the following post and nomination!

I came across Ben & Katie’s blog last year by happen chance. My husband was currently deployed at the time, and I was laying in bed unable to fall asleep as usual, so I was surfing my Iphone as it glowed in the dark, for other fellow military bloggers. That night, I cried as I read that Katie wrote, from start to finish. Both Ben and Katie not only touched my heart that night, they left an imprint on it. They have such an incredible love story, am I right? Both are fighters and are such a determined couple.
Every time Katie would update us on Ben’s progress, it would touch my heart more and more each time. Katie is a true example of what a wife’s role is. She has stayed completely committed to her wedding vows, and her love for Ben has grown even more. She is an amazing woman. I mean, can you imagine what her days are like? They are 110% dedicated to Ben.

But I don’t need to tell you how amazing Katie is, you already that!
That brings me to why Katie asked me to write a guest blog post for her…..
There’s this thing called, the Milblogging Conference that is held every year in DC. This year is the 6th annual conference. It’s kinda a big deal; okay it’s more like, a huge deal! Last week, they opened up the votes to nominate your favorite military blogger. There was no question in my mind, who I wanted to nominate; I of course had to nominate Katie.

Soooooo…….since I’m sure that you also think that Katie is an unbelievably amazing military spouse, please go cast your vote by going HERE, so Katie can get your vote for being the “Best Military Spouses Blog”. Voting is only open until Thursday, April 28th at 7pm est.

What are you waiting for? Go VOTE for Ben and Katie’s blog! I will actually be attending the milblogging conference myself being a fellow military blogger,

Thank you Katie for being such an inspiration to all of us! Ben is one lucky man to have you by his side every step of the way. Goodnight Moon

Saturday, April 23, 2011

a man and his truck...

{looking forward to seeing more of these}

Today as I walked outside to drive to Ben I soaked in some fresh air and the smell of freshly cut grass filled my head! I loved it! It made me think of soon being in our home and being able to open the windows for fresh air or sit out on the porch and drink a hot cup of coffee! Oh, it was lovely!
The past few days have been good different. Not anything bad, just different! We were at Kessler for about 5 months and got used to being there and the the way things happened. Here is a whole nother way of doing things and therapists. It is hard to keep my mouth shut when the therapists are working with Ben and not doing things how we would do them or how we have been trained. I know everyone has their ways of doing things and I just have to be patient with them all. I have to understand that this place is short term and that when we move into our house that we can do the things that work best for Ben and I. We are certainly open to change if it is for the better to Ben!
Yesterday I had a dentist appointment and got some not good news. Need an oral surgeon next week to take care of a tooth...just another thing to add to my list! Oh well, it is good to take care of all this now that we are back in town and I am back to my regular docs!
Ben had some excitement yesterday! He kept telling me that I was teasing him by driving his truck here! Yesterday after his therapies I took him out to go and see it! As we were walking I told him to look for it in the parking lot! From a distance he saw it and said, "there's my truck right over there!" We got close to it and he asked how it was running, did he need to fix anything and so on! He then proceeded to ask me if he could get inside and I told him that today was not the day for that because I couldn't do that on my own and would need my muscly brothers for that! Ben then said, "well if I cannot get in it can I touch it?" I told him of course and got him close to it! Ben was in heaven!! Happiest man on earth at that point!

Today was another day full of therapies! Ben will get 3 hours of therapy on Saturdays as well! While we were eating lunch my parents and lil bro stopped by to say hi! After the left I snuck out, on this AMAZING sunny day, to get a pedi! After that is was back to Ben and we had some more visitors! My other lil brother brought his 2 kids by to say hi and hang for a bit! We all went outside for some much needed fresh air and sun shine!

Tomorrow we have a pass to take him to my parents house for Easter! It will be alot of fun for both of us since this will be the first time Ben will get to be out of the hospital to be with family and in a home! We are looking forward to it! We still don't have our van (it got shipped out later then we wanted) so it will be getting Ben into the front seat of a car which we have not done in a long time! I will bring along a few guys to help but Ben is so much stronger then the last time we did it that I think we will be ok! I hope to also take Ben on a car ride past our new rental house so he can see where we will be living soon!!

This next week will be crazy busy with going to dentist, and getting everything ready to move into our new house!! There is painting to be done, house things to buy, moving boxes from my sisters house, waiting for our van to come and so many other things!! I will try and keep y'all updated for sure!! Look forward to sharing more of our journey with you!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the countdown is over...

Well, we made it back to WA! We are one step closer to being in our home but we are on WA soil and it feels so good!
Our adventure started early Wednesday morning. I got up, finished up my packing and checked out of the hotel. I never thought I would be happy to check out of a hotel but that morning I was happy to do so! 5 months was long enough! I must say we earned alot of Marriot points though! Right before I left the hotel I got a phone call from the ambulance plane company saying that there was a "warning" button that was going on in the plane and that they needed to check things out. They had no idea what was going to happen next or what time they would be coming to get us. I made my way to Ben who was eating breakfast in the dining room and told him that our flight was delayed. We waited, and waited and waited! We were to go at about 9am but we finally got picked up about 12! It was alot of waiting but to have a "healthy" plane made it worth it!
When we got in the air Ben got some nausea medication because of what happened on our last flght. I should have given in and taken the shot too but instead my stomach was in my throat for a few hours. We had about a 3 hour flight and landed in South Dakota for gas and food! Up and away we went again for another 3 hour leg! Ben was awake the first and slep almost the whole last one. He did great!
We landed at the Olympia airport and some of my family was there waiting for us as we arrived! All my neices and nephews were jumping around and waving their arms! They got to see us unload from the plane and lots of hugs and kisses were given out! It was quite amazing and so fun to see everyone that was there!
Off to the rehab facility we went! I got Ben settled with some dinner and in bed and he was exausted! We were still on east coast time and so by the time we got to the rehab center it was after 9pm our time! After I got him settled I took off and finally got my first real meal of the day. I think I went to bed after 1am east coast time! I was pooped for sure!

Of course I was up at like 0645 this am because of the time change and I tried to rest a bit before rolling out of bed. I am staying with one of my sisters until we move into our rental house so I went down stairs for coffee and to hang with the kiddos. It is so fun to be close to them again!
I headed over to Ben who was already in an OT session. She was helping him shower and get dressed to see how he did it. Ben at one point said, "this is not how Rich and Ilana do it!" I had to laugh to myself because these were 2 of Ben's main therapists! To him, this new therapist was doing it all wrong! He continued on though! He had a break and then PT came in to work with him. After that was lunch followed by some chill time and visitors and then ST. While in ST she went over a few general questions and then some more challanging ones. Ben has had these before and I was able to hear his answers then and now! This time he did SO MUCH BETTER!! A few of them he needed to be asked, "are you sure?" and then he would think about it and change his answer to the new one! He did awesome!!
For the rest of the afternoon we chilled and rested. Ben was getting pretty tired at this time so we just took it easy. Please pray for him as this is a hard transition. He REALLY wants to be at home and just keeps asking me when we can go home. He said this new place is just like the last one and that he doesn't want to be there! He actually said that he would like to go back to Kessler to work with his old therapists! I explain to him that this is very short term and that we just have to be patient! He says, "ok." Poor guy is just so tired of being in a hospital and I cannot blame him. He also kept saying that it is not fair that I can just go anywhere I want to at any time (told him I had to go to Target to get meds.) Ben said he doesn't like that and wants his feedom back and to be "normal" again! Please continue to lift him up in your prayers!
Prayers for me as well! This facility is new to me and it is hard not to jump in and tell them how we have been doing things for the last 5 months. I know Ben better then anyone but I also know that I need to be open to what other people might have to offer because it might be better! Also pray that these next few weeks go smoothly not only with setting up our rental house but also with being there for Ben in his frustration! It is alot to bear sometimes and keep everything going smoothly!

Thank you all for your sweet comments, prayers and encouragement! It has truly helped ana has been a huge blessing! I will try and get another update soon! Just know it will be a bit busy around these parts!

{our plane}

{boarding up}

{not alot of room even though it looks big!}

Monday, April 18, 2011

manic monday workout....

First things first! 2 days until we are on WA soil again! Wednesday morning we are on a plane and headed home! We both cannot wait!! It has been a long time in coming!

This weekend was great! Saturday it was just hanging around the hospital and Ben had therapy in the afternoon. He had his regular PT so he got worked really good!
Sunday we hung out until about 4:30pm and then we were off to meet up with the fire fighters for dinner! We went to a steak house and it was such a fun time!! Ben was in heaven because he ordered a 18oz filet mignon and almost ate the WHOLE thing! Ben did really great and it was a fun time with our buddies and we will miss these guys!

{holy batman filet mignon!}

Today was back to full therapy, workout mode to work off that steak and chocolate mousse cake!! I guess they want to work Ben as hard as they can before they let him leave! They are working him over and Ben is LOVING it!

First Ben had PT. They did stretching, bike, walking with dowels and then stairs! Best part is that they took Ben outside to walk on all different surfaces...pavers, grass and mulch stuff!
Ben did great!

Ben got lunch after PT and a short break but they it was off to the treadmill. He didn't get much time in last week on it so I guess they wanted to make up for it today! Ben did awesome and gave it his all! They started him off slow but they sped it up quickly to a 4.0!!! Ben was practically running, or rather a fast jog! He was sweating buckets from his workout! Through it all he kept his head high and was controlling his breathing as well! When he was finished his legs were a bit wobbly but his vitals were good! He put away a whole water bottle and a thing of organic chocolate milk!

Ben had OT right after the treadmill and when he got to his therapist Ben was a hot, sweaty mess and not much energy! She ended up doing alot of stretching and arm workouts....just to even out the body a bit! Ben also was able to lay down and sit up all by himself! Amazing!

Praise Report...
not long ago I asked for y'all to pray for Ben as far as feeding himself! In the past 1.5 weeks something has clicked in him and he has been doing awesome!! As long as I can get the food close to him and organized he goes to town! There are still a few things that he has issues with and at times we make a lil mess but he has been doing AMAZING!! Thank you for your prayers!!

Please pray for us these next few days! They will be busy but I am praying that they will be peaceful! The Lord is going before us for sure!

Sayings from Ben...
I asked an elderly patient the other if I batted my eyes could i have his pie? he said maybe, maybe! Ben was wheeling away from the dinner table, looked him in the eyes and said to him, "you better not say another word...she is mine!"

I told Ben tonight that I was so proud to be his wife! Ben replied, "thank you, I will keep working hard, I won't fail you!"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

4 days...

"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle."

Ben looked so cozy this morning when I came in that I didn't want to disturb him! What I wanted to do was trade places by kicking off my shoes and getting under those warmy blankets! So, I didn't make him go through the crazy photo session (although he loved doing yesterdays) and just rested the number on him...he didn't have to move a lick!

"Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener!" Unknown

"A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences."

"Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you say. After marriage, he'll fall asleep before you finish..."

"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."

Friday, April 15, 2011

5 days...

...and in our waiting we bust out the webcam photos!!

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing:God alone suffices.”

**yes, i know the 5 is backwards but didn't think about it until after the photos were taken...***

Thursday, April 14, 2011

6 days...

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."
H. Keller

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

not much happening...

{aug 2006...a few weeks after we started dating...miss that smile} these neck of the woods! it has actually been quite peaceful around here in the midst of knowing the craziness of what to come!
this past weekend was relaxing and just full of chilling. saturday morning was hanging out and then in the afternoon ben had a therapy session. after that we went outside because the weather was somewhat decent! we walked up and down the parking lot and then sat in the parking lot and chatted!
sunday i slept in a bit and then off to be with ben! again more down time during the day and then later afternoon we headed down to the fire station and had "macaronis" with the boys! it was alot of fun and the food was SO GOOD! of course i ate way to much and by the end of the night i was in a pasta coma! de.lic.ious!
monday was back to the grind of things! ben was back in his full therapy schedule and me, well i was looking online at target, ikea and a few other stores and looking for what we would need to get when we get home. the lists have begun! i am excited to have a home again and be under the same roof as my man! yesterday was beautiful though! it was 82 degrees here and ben and i were in heaven! today brings clouds and rain...booooo!!

the pieces of moving back are all pretty much taken care of. the plans still are in the works for next wednesday...8 days! ben asks every day how many days and i have him look at the calendar and figure it out! he cannot wait! all he talks about is seeing his boat, truck and quad...his babies! i cannot wait for him to get back to all those things and then soon in or on them all!

ben did art therapy again this morning! he went outside with the therapist and gathered different items to use as "painting objects" that nature produced. ben picked pine needles, flowers, bark and other items to use! this is what he made with those items...

although it is only tuesday i feel like it is thursday or even saturday...emotions are still up and down but i think i know what it is coming from. i have been lacking in my spiritual life. i have chosen to ignore the promptings to be in the word, worship and just spend time with Jesus. no, i am not going to put myself down for it but i do realize that i need it and miss it! even if it doesn't bring immediate happiness, joy and fulfillment it brings peace and calmness in the midst of the storm! so, that is going to be my focus! i need that time with Jesus so He can minister to my spirit, soul and heart!

onward and upward!

Friday, April 8, 2011

a few new things...

"I am ready to perform My Word." Jer 1:12
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things..." Jer 33:3

First of all thank you all so much for the love, encouragement, prayers and comments on my last blog post. I have to be real because our journey is real! As the week has moved forward it has gotten better and for that I am grateful. It just takes time to get through these thoughts and emotions and just as I do another one peeps its head around the corner! Gotta love it!

Ben has been trialing a new wheelchair that is almost 50lbs lighter, smaller in size, folds up and so many more wonderful things! The biggest thing is that Ben can self move the whole thing. He was able to do it with his other one but it was really heavy and harder to move! He was trying to propel a 90lb wheelchair and his 190 body with 2 weaker arms! Lets just say that it was slow moving! This new wheelchair has opened up a whole new door if independence for Ben! He is doing REALLY well with it and is moving much faster! I tell him to get himself to the gym and he starts moving! I walk behind him and he gets himself there with no directional help. If we are sitting at a meal and he is done and I am still visiting he takes off! Ha, he doesn't want to stay for that...not unusual! Since it is lighter it is also easier for Ben to steer! As his arms continue to get stronger and his coordination gets better Ben will continue to move this new chair better and better! Benefits for is lighter to push when I need to, folds up so it will be good for traveling, did I mention lighter and now that it is lighter I should start sitting on his lap for him to wheel me around too!

Another thing Ben was introduced to this week was the leg press! Yes, he has used one before but it of course was before the accident. His PT came to the room and asked if I had a sec to come check Ben out! I scurried to the gym and found Ben leg pressing 60lbs!! WOW BEN! He was loving it and of course saying, "I am crushing this!" His PT told Ben that he is not able to get many of his patients on the leg press because they are not strong enough! Ben's face lit up and said, "really? I am good!" That's right, you are Ben!!

PT has also been working with Ben from getting from the floor to a chair. Reason for this is if Ben falls! Eeeekkkk! They have been working on it all week and his PT said that Ben has been doing really well and next week they will have me come in and work with Ben on it since it will be me trying to get Ben up in the future! Praying against any falls but want to be prepared!

A huge thing we tried this week is walking Ben around the hospital with no dowels, walker or anything but people! It was his PT on Ben's left and me on the right. We Linked our arms around Bens waist, Ben held our hands and we took off! Ben kept saying he wanted to keep going so we made 4 HUGE loops around! Probably next week it will be Ben, I and another therapist and I have to instruct them on how to do it just as if I was instructing a family member to help me! The motivation that Ben has these days has been awesome to see!

And one more new HUGE thing! Ben is down to one stimulant medication. His doc thought it was time again to look at all of Ben's meds and wean him off the ones that he doesn't really need. Well, a stimulant was one of them! Ben has been tapered off of it and now completely off! We kept an eye on his cognition and fatigue issues and there were no decreases in it so off he goes! This is another massive step in his recovery. As of now Ben is on one stimulant, 2 seizure meds and vitamin! Not to shabby! Praise the Lord!

All these things in just one week! The Lord has been shining Himself through in my weakest moments and reminding me of His faithfulness and how He is still and always with us!

The plans to come home are still in the works!! We are so close and I am super excited. Might have a few hiccups to deal with if the government shuts down but we should be ok! Keep that in your prayers as it effects many, many people along with all of our military both stateside and overseas! We also depend on this paycheck!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

peek into my heart-just being real...

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Ex 14:14

The last few weeks have been hard for me and emotional at times. I don’t like being emotional but I cannot help it! Even though I am super excited about going home to WA thoughts and emotions fill my head and heart! I find it hard to go to bed at night because it is another night that I don’t get to sleep next to my man. It is another night of being alone. Another night of not being able to talk to him before we kiss each other and then roll over and go to sleep. Another morning of waking up without him there or him waking me up to say goodbye and he is going to work! I don’t like where we are at in life right now! There are days when I don’t want to do this anymore! I want and will be with my man but I want to pack us up, move to HI and forget about everything! I just don’t want to do it! I don’t like the words baby, wedding, bed time, date, running, vacations, shopping and so many other words. I struggle with jealousy, pain, remorse, fear, guilt. Where we are at is very much far away from where we ever thought we would be. I am ok with this but it seems like it has gone on forever and I am just ready to have things go smoothly and normal again! It feels like we are just stuck in a rut, in the mud and not moving forward. We are (because we are going home) but it doesn’t seem to be fast enough! Another big struggle is that Ben works SO hard every single day and in his recovery makes tiny lil gains. It’s as if he is in the thick mud just trudging through…this kills me! If you saw the determination in his eyes when he is in his therapies and his will to get better you would understand. To see my man have this heart and not get what he wants it just tears me apart! There are times when I look in the mirror and wonder, “who am I?” “Who have I become?” “What is really going on with me?” “Have a changed?” I have changed, because that is what we do in life! If I think I can be the same as I was the day before I am wrong! Things have changed, circumstances have changed, Ben has changed but God has not and He has changed us! I cried to Ben this morning and said how sorry I was that this happened to him and that I don’t know why and that he didn’t deserve it. He said he will love me forever and will work hard at getting even better! Love those words and his determination but also at the same time I needed him to give me a hug and let me know it was going to be ok! I told him that I am trying to be strong for both of us and that I am trying to make the right decisions, follow the right path and seek the Lord….

I have heard a song (No Matter What) a few times and although it is not my favorite tune I have loved the words….
I'm running back to your promises one more time,
Lord that's all I can hold on to, I gotta say this has taken me by surprise,
But nothing surprises you. Before heartache can ever touch my life,
It has to go through Your hands, and even though I keep asking why,
I keep asking why,

No matter what, I'm gonna love You,
No matter what I'm gonna need You,
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not,
I'll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

When I'm stuck and there's nothing else by myself,
I'm just sitting in silence, there's no way I can make it without Your help,
I won’t even try it. I know You have Your reasons for everything,
So I will keep believing, whatever I might be feeling,
God you are my hope, and you will be my strength,

No matter what, I'm gonna love You,
No matter what I'm gonna need You,
I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not,
I'll trust you, no matter what, no matter what.

Anything I don't have You can give it to me,
But it's ok if You don't, I'm not here for those things,
The touch of Your love is enough on its own,
No matter what I still love You and I'm gonna need You

The words of this song kind of nail my emotions right on the head! When I get in these places all I can do is hold on to His promises for us! He loves us, He will never leave us or forsake us, He has a future and a HOPE for us, He is in control, He will comfort, He will provide….the list goes on! Nothing surprises the Lord and all heartache has to go through His hands for Him to sift through it and gently hand it to us but at the same time be right there with us. In amongst all these feeling and emotions the only thing I know how to do is run right back to Jesus. Sometimes I just wallow in my emotions, questions and fears and even if it is not my first step I always find myself running back to Him. I have to believe that this is not the end. This is not where Jesus will leave us. It is not all that He has for us. We want/need so much more! When I find myself there I do find myself saying, No matter what, I'm gonna love You, no matter what I'm gonna need You, I know You can find a way to keep me from the pain but if not, I'll trust you, no matter what.

A few scriptures that have helped me though this “phase.” (I will keep them handy because I am sure I will be back here and need them again…

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." Deut.7:9
" I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
" And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1,2

Sayings of Ben –
While watching TV the other afternoon Ben said, “hey, do you need some of that?” M-“need some of what babes?” B-“some of that shampoo on TV, they say it is good because they said it has protein in it!” Little did he know I had not washed my hair that day!

Last night we were watching Wheel of Fortune and another commercial came on but this time for Aveeno face lotion that firms the face! Ben nudged me and he said, “do you need some of that?” I told him, “no, I use Oil of Olay!” B-“oh, k, good!”
Seriously what is he thinking??!! I had to laugh, he is just making sure I have the right products!

{after 20 min on the treadmill at a 2.8 he came back dripping sweat and this was his tired face!}

{our new trick to help keep ben's mouth closed-tongue blade!}

Saturday, April 2, 2011

my heart is happy...

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”
“He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home”
“Home is home, be it ever so humble”
“Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest”

Get where I am going with this....???
After 20 MONTHS, of being in a hospital/hotel/one-bedroom/living out of suitcases/boxes...
it is time to go home!!
Plans are being made, flight being scheduled, house being rented, therapies being planned, family (all my family will be about 10 min away from us) and friends getting excited and Ben has begun his count down!! This has been a process to get here and we are so close!
We should be leaving good ole NJ and flying to WA the week of April 18th!! No firm date yet but that should be the week! We will fly back to WA together and Ben will go into an impatient therapy facility at a local hospital until I get the house set up. After the house is set up Ben will do all of his therapies outpatient. The outpatient therapies Ben will recieve is a program called Rehab W/O Walls! They get the patients out of the house and doing things they love. This means they can take Ben to the gym, pool, trails, on his boat (Ben has been talking non-stop about his boat the last few weeks) and so many other things! I am excited to see how Ben is going to respond to our new adventure! It will be so nice to be under one roof and in the same house for once! It has been way to long! I really believe that Ben needed this
impatient therapy time and he has done so well!
This will be all new to us! Once Ben comes home I will be taking care of Ben all by myself. No more nurses to care for him, no leaving at night knowing he is being cared for, no sudden runs to Target or the mall, no more king bed to myself (this I don't mind) and so many other things! It will be ALOT of work and I am already scared, nervous, happy, shakin in my boots and going crazy! You know what??? I don't care because
I will finally after 20 months be in a HOME with my very own MAN!!

So, speaking of houses these are some different options we have been looking at...

what's your pick?? I was really liking the little cottage one wedged
up in between the two other ones!!

More details to come but just wanted to break our big news to you all! Please keep us in your prayers, like you always do, because we will need them!!

**If you were planning on sending things to Ben and I please do not send anything to the hospital address because it might not get to us! I have posted the new address on the side bar where the old one was listed!!**

Friday, April 1, 2011

the commanders back in town...

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14

Ben's old commander, who has been to see Ben a few times, was able to come up and see us again! I was actually able to go to his wedding this past August! Ben was so happy to see him and he responded so well to Major Molica being here! Today in fact Ben's ST came into Ben's room when Ben was in OT and said, "I don't know what you did or said to Ben today but it was our best session yet! Ben was iniating, asking questions, speaking more clearly and doing so well!" Awesome!! Good to hear!!

So Ben's schedule yesterday...
1030-1200 - (I walked Ben to PT. From there he did 10 min on the new bike where he did some sprinting, walked, did 45 push-ups (3 sets of 15), set of stairs and walked 3 times around the hospital floor with the dowlings.)

1200-1300 - lunch break
1300-1330 - rest
1330-1400 - art

1400-1430 - speech therapy
1430-1500 - rest
1500-1600 - occupational therapy (standing, posture, sit-ups and more standing...)

1600-1730 - visits from fire men and marine league
1730-1830 - dinner

and his schedule today...
1030-1200 - (I walked Ben to PT. From there it was more push-ups, walking with dowels, stretching, stairs...)

1200-1300 - lunch break
1300-1400 - treadmill! Ben walked at a speed of 3.3!!!! highest he has gone ever was a speed of 1!!!!!!

1400-1430 - rest
1430-1500 - speech therapy (best session ever!!)
1500-1600 - occupational therapy (lots of stretching, standing, and posture work)
1630-1800 - dinner at Five Guys! actually Ben lost his breakfast and lunch on the way (bumpy) to dinner but he scarfed down a big ole burger as I did as well! So good!

2000- bed....

It has been a full past few days but it has been super good! Ben's schedule has been very FULL and tiring but he has pushed forward! After getting off the treadmill we told Ben how fast he was going and he said, "I crushed that treadmill!!" Yes He Did! By the end of tonight Ben was pooped out! Literally he could barely keep his eyes open! I am sure he will sleep in tomorrow morning which means I might get to as well!

Big Prayer Request...
In the pictures I have posted I am sure you have noticed, and I have mentioned before, that Ben's neck and shoulders are VERY out of wack! His right side muscles have shortened and his left ones have elongated! His neck and shoulders are VERY tight and so that makes it hard for Ben to control them and also control his body. Where his head goes, his body goes as well! His chin also has been pushed forward. They have tried massage, botox, bracing and many more remedies that seem to help short term but not long term!! Ben works so hard to control it but most times it is just so tight that he cannot control it! He has put up with it for soooo long! Please pray that this go back to normal, his muscles to loosen, his chin to be tucked and that it be healed 100%! I believe that this can happen and I will continue to pray over Ben in this area!