Wednesday, June 29, 2011

all i know...

"The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." Ex 15.2

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Ps. 46.1

Just a quick post tonight and a longer one to follow soon! my friend and Ben's bro and fam were in town over the weekend and last few days and it has been busy but so fun!
Tonight Ben was in bed coughing a bit so I went in to check on him and after asking him if he was ok I found myself in tears and just saying I was sorry this happened to him (and me), it wasn't fair and that I was trying to be strong! Trying, Trying, Trying. Ben said he loved me and agreed with me that yes, it wasn't fair. It is just plain HARD and really it just plain SUCKS!
All I could do while I was scrunched next to him and crying was to tell him that all I knew how to do was love him. I said this over and over again...all I know how to do is love you!
I go back to that email that was sent to me by a friend about a month ago..."what choice do you have, right? This is your life right now, and you're living it!"
This is our life right now and we are living it but it is hard and it sucks! Why we are still living it, at most times I don't know!? What more is there to learn...def not patience and flexability because I have that down pat! Not how much I love my man because I have that down too!
I just miss my man, I want him back 100% and I want him back NOW! I don’t pretend to be happy but some days I feel like I have to. I want normal back even if this is our new normal. Jesus, please!
This journey that God has chosen for us is not what I would have chosen at all but we are here and this is life. I choose to follow Jesus' pplan even if I don't agree with it or the timing of it all. By being obedient it doesn't take away the pain, sorrow, grieving, lonliness, uncantering hardness and so many other things that I am to tired to list!
One thing is for sure is that I know how to love my man Ben! I love him with my whole heart, mind and body!

All I know how to do is love you.
All I know how to do is love you.
All I know how to do is love you...Benjamin Rye!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

our rental-inside part II...

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Is 42.2

So you got a taste of the outside! I must say that we have added and planted a ton more flowers, got a campfire pit, a few chairs and more flowers! It has been fun!

Now for the inside! I took these photos a few weeks ago so some stuff has been added, taken away, rearranged and so on. I have a few more pictures to hang, a Ranger wall to put together and a few more touches!

Here goes...


{living room/ben's stetch room...hence no furniture!}

{dining room}

{spare bathroom}

{family room}

{guest bedroom}

{random junk/office...that i never sit in}

{our room}

{how could i resist this man?}

{master bath/ben's shower room}

I just realized that I don't have any of the kitchen! Nothing to special there as far as the decor and ancient jenair stove (at least as old as the house) go! There is some tile on the floor with some grand, mustard yellow counter do you decorate with that color on your counters?!? The best things in my kitchen is my kitchen aid, coffee maker and espresso machine...all I cannot live without!

It has been a long but good week...and there is still one more day! I have been recovering from my tooth stuff which has not been to bad. I am trying to get some good sleep at night but like always Ben continues to wake me up at 0 dark thirty...aka 0530 then 0630 then 0700...yes, in that order and all in the same morning! That is one part of his brain that has not changed! I started working out again. Wed I did 20 interval on the treadmill (lil over 2 miles) and then 20 min (12 miles) on the spin bike. Today I started on the spin bike thinking I would run after but much to my enjoyment they were going to have a 45 min spin class while I was spinning. I ended up going for 60 min and 30 miles...we shall see if I will be moving in the morning to get Ben up or if I will just call my brother down the street to help us both get out of bed! Who knows, maybe I will be fine...ha...gotta start somewhere right?!

We were able to go to two of my neices soccer game last night! Ben was really paying attention, keeping track of where the girls were on the field and then cheering and saying whoohoo when they got a goal!

{starting to play ball with hans and larsen}

{larsen was sad when uncle ben told him, "don't pull on my pee tube!"
poor lil man!}

{hallie, uncle ben, macy}

This weekend and into next week are going to be BUSY! My bestie is coming for a few days from Cali, it's one of my nephews b-day parties and Ben's brother and his family are coming into town! Should be full of fun times!!

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Is 41.10

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

our rental part I...

We took off this past weekend for Moses Lake, WA! One of my brothers, sisters and their families and my parents all headed over for some camping. Ben and I are not able to camp right now tent wise (we don't have a trailer) so we hoteled it for a few nights! We had alot of fun and just enjoyed some down time and a change of scenery! The weather was nice the day we got there, cold the next and of course the day we were to drive home beautiful! We did however go to the local water park before going home! Ben got some rays and then we got him in the water! He was in heaven! Me and my bro just walked him from the edge (it was slanted in for the lil ones and then got deeper) to about waist deep. He stood up against the wall and then after a bit we went to a more shallow area and he sat on the bottom and leaned up against me! It was alot of fun! Of course he wanted to swim away but I wasn't ready for that yet! There was another guy in a wheelchair that I pointed out to Ben and that made Ben feel so much better that he wasn't the only one that couldn't swim!

{bro-in-law, Ben, bro}

Monday was spent with another appointment on post. No such an important one and I almost forgot about it! The rest of the day was spent resting and me organizing one of the spare bedrooms.

Today Ben had PT and they went to the YMCA followed by speech. I was not there for any of it because I had an appointment with the oral surgeon. I was to get it done earlier but it never worked out with the schedule until now. I had local anestesia and was not put under so I got the honor of hearing the crunching, grinding and so on...the pressure was the worst! I survived and bought myself a milkshake on the way home! :)
Today has been a beautiful day so after I got home I got Ben some lunch and then we headed outside! I sat in the sun and him in the shade! He got bored after a bit so I gave him his drawing/writing board. He loved it! After about another hour he got bored and tired again so he wanted to go inside and chill!

Ok, so many of you have asked for photos of our house here in WA! I took these a bit ago, of course right after I mowed the lawn so it would look all purdy and such!
This place is perfect for us right now! Our dream is still to own a house on the lake but that will come later! The yard is perfect, the location is stellar and overall it is just a great place for us! We are blessed!

The inside is yet to come! I have the photos but it's a matter of getting them on here!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

bad to the bone...

So, I was organizing the "office" slash" "dump" room today as Ben rested. It is full of office stuff, all Ben's exra supplies, boxes of medical records, pictures to be hung, goodwill piles and so many other random pieces of junk! I had to go through alot of Ben's Army stuff and found some things that really meant alot to him and I.
I also found another box of cards that people had sent us early on after the accident! I will have you know that I have saved every card that has been sent to Ben and I as get well soon, encouragements, hopes, healings and so on! They almost have filled a huge storage container. It was good to read the older cards because it reminded me of how far Ben and I have come! God is Good!

I found a notebook with some information for Ranger families before deployments how we can be prepared for our men to deploy. I was pulling the info out because it was dated and landed upon an amazing short story that was placed in there! I almost missed it and I am glad that I didn't! I don't want to gloat or be all high and mighty but as Ben would say about his Ranger wife, "you are bad to the bone!" I would have to say this about more then just me! There are alot of other military wives that I have met that meet this same standard! I almost teared up as I read it because I knew that it was something that Ben would share with me! So, here's to ALL the amazing wives that I know and the ones I don't...

The Ranger Wife...
The good Lord was creating a model for the Rangers wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when as angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's wrong with the standard model?"

The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or 40 with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she mush have six pairs of hands!"

The angel shook her head. "Six pairs of hands, no way!"

The Lord continued, "Don't worry, we will make the other Ranger wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually stong heart so it can swell with pride in her husbands achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say, "I understand," when she doesn't and say, "I love you," regardless!

"Lord," said the angel, touching His arm gently, "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow."

"I can't stop now," said the Lord! "I am so close to creating something unique! Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a pier, a runway or a depot, and understand why it is important to he leave."

The angel circled the model of the Ranger wife, she looked at it closely and sighed, "it looks fine, but it's soft."

"She might look soft," replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure!"

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheeck of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak." she said. "It's a tear."

"A tear? What is it there for?" asked the angel.

The Lord replied, "It is for the joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, lonliness, pride, and a dedication to all of the values that she and her husband hold dear."

"You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

prayers answered...

***warning, I use the word urine, sample and other medical words that may not sit well with some! :) ***

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and comments!
I took Ben up to the battalion aid station yesterday because I was trying to avoid the post ER and urgent care! They let me bring him up and I was super our Ranger family!
We got there and they said they wanted to start out with a urine sample. I had text our case manager (you are the best by they way) the day before the something with Ben was wonky and I thought it was a UTI so could we get a UA. Thankful that they did it there on the spot. A medic helped me get Ben standing in the bathroom while our case manager stood watch outside the door...all men's bathrooms! I must say that it was not the easiest to get...we waited, and waited, and waited! We all stepped out eventually to give Ben some space and I told Ben to call me when he started to go! We waited, and waited and waited! The case manager and I got alot of things talked about things that needed to be taken care of! Then I heard a, "KATIE!" I rushed in there and got about 2 tablespoons...drat...not enough! We gave him a bit more time while one of the battalion docs went to the ER to get a catheter to get a catch if Ben couldn't quite get it. Well, just a few minutes before he got back Ben said he had to go again so I took the sample cup to get some more. Nothing. I went to go and set the sample cup on the counter and my hand set the automatic sink off and it filled the sample cup with water! NOOOOO!! Well, there goes that sample.
This water flow came after I had already set it off a few times and got water everywhere and then dumped all the paper towels on the floor! No room for frustration...just laughter!
So, we ended up having to get the sample the hard way for Ben. Before they even officially sent the sample to the lab they did a quick test on it and yup, lots of you got it, UTI. I thought it was this but just didn't know for sure. Antibiotics are being taken and now I know what to look for next time! Today it was confirmed by the lab that it was for sure positive! Ben was a champ and it went really well. I spoiled him with a burger and fries on the way home...again thank you to our case manager for bringing it up!
Ben continues to get sleepy bouts but he is feeling much better and is getting back to his baseline! Again, thank you for your prayers! I am grateful that this is all it is!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

not 100%...

"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
Isaiah 41.10

So that last few days have not been my favorite but we are making it. Ben's been fighting something and I cannot put a finger on it! It started on Saturday when Ben was complaining of back pain. He NEVER complains of pain so this caught my attention and I kept my eye on Ben. We are at dinner at the time he aaid it and he kept readjusting in his chair. Earlier that day I noticed little changes and he was just more weak and not as full of energy.
Sunday we took the day off. We watched church online and the message was AMAZING and so for us! Pastor Jon talked about from mountain tops to with the ...'s that the Lord gives us. I encourage you to listen to it if you get a chance. You can watch it HERE!
Ben ended up taking two naps, which he never takes anymore these days, and just rested. Later that evening one of my sisters and her family came over to break in our new patio camp fire pit! Of course I prepared the grand meal of hot dogs and s"mores...who could resist!?! Have you ever put peanut butter on your s'smores...if not they are delic and a must try! 3 of my nieces spent the night becaust we had planned it a few days before. Ben was out of it so he went to bed early.

{we found some of ben's old army hats and had to take some tough face photos!}
Monday he woke up and had decent energy. He didn't sleep to well which meant I didn't either. He did have a dream though that he was walking and then running with our nieces ane he said he was doing it all on his own! He was doing some heavy breathing too! Ben perked up a bit after b-fast and then after awhile we went outside with the ladies and they helped me organized the garage! I love the help and we were all working off chocolate chip pancakes! After lunch Ben had OT. They started out by walking all over the backyard. I was out mowing the front lawn and I saw Ben and his OT coming towards me out of the corner of my eye. I turned off the mower and asked him what he was up to and he said, "we just came over to get in your way!" I should have made him start mowing then and there! I finished mowing the front (back is for a later day) and started weeding a bit. His OT came out and said they had worked on a few more things and that now Ben was on his recliner and pooped!
He was kind of out of it the rest of the day. Transfers were hard for him and another bad night of sleep with rapid breathing and half body sweats! I am still keeping my eye on him at this point.
Tuesday was a full morning for Ben. PT started at 0900...Ben started out tired and came home pooped! He actually almost fell off his walker seat but I was able to (all 190lbs of him) help him get in his chair. He did 1000 feet on the newstep and then 2 miles on the bike. He did amazing of course and worked up a sweat. I was signing us up at the Y when they were working out and now since I am a member I will be getting in gear too! I also stopped in to get a coffee...haven't started the workouts yet so I thought I would indulge! 3 shots for me to make up for 3 sleepless nights! Anyways, Ben came back exausted and he had his ST waiting for him. Not much work was done for Ben in the speech department but his ST was able to submit some information to get Ben's Ipad for free through a military program! She had to submit all his info regarding his condition and why he could use it. What a blessing that will be! After his therapists left for the day Ben actually apologized to me for letting them down and not working that hard! He said they came to help him and he couldn't perform like he should have! We had a talk about this and the fact that he has not been feeling well so it was going to be harder but not by any means did he not give his all!
After Ben's ST left Ben had some lunch and slept for almost 2 hours...i snuck a rest in too! He woke up to visit with my sis-in-law who came over with her kids for a bit. After that he again fell asleep for almost two hours!

I had to wake him up to eat and then shower before bed. He was actually quite alert during this time and was walking well so that made my heart happy.
While I was helping him shower tonight I had Pandora on. It started playing a song that really stuck out to me and I love it now!! I love how God can speak to us through song...

After his shower the praise music was still on and so we just stood holding each other and sang. I love being that close to my man and Ben just holding me! It cannot go on for long because his legs were tired but in those moments I soak it in for sure! As I was tucking him in I started crying (I know, again) and just told him that we were going to make it, God was going to see us through and we were going to get there. I also told him that I am trying to be strong for him, I am honored to be his wife, I love him so much and I am glad that he chose me to be his wife! He had some amazing words back and thanked me for being with him...special moments!

Anyways, so Ben is still not feeling 100%...there is something going on and I just cannot pin point it. Besides his back hurting on Sat he also complained of a throbbing head ache in the middle of his head, being tired and not feeling right. Thankfully he has no fever and it is not horrid but something is off kilter. I am going to take him on post to the aid station today to have him checked out. I will probably ask for a chest x-ray, labs and a UA. We shall see. Please be praying for us as we go. Be also be praying for rest. We both need some good sleep and because I not only have to worry about Ben but I also have to keep up with everything else in life (house, yard, cars, appointments, calls and all of life's other tasks!)

sayings of Ben...
Ben said before falling asleep last night, "i love you honey bunny!" He hasn't said this since the accident happened (it was a nickname for me) and it sounded amazing! Love that he still remembers and I am so grateful!

Monday, June 13, 2011

the winner...

The winner of the giveaway in CAROLINE!!

I used Random Picker to randomly select the winner and because I am so not tech savy I don't know how to post their winning results to my page!

This is the info that I could post...
Prize ID Winner ID Public Info Random Sorting ID
1: Necklace 8 Caroline cba77cd3-8f4d-46ff-bc5c-02b28baa4aaf

I was super excited when I saw this name pop up as the winner! This lady has been through alot this year! She lost a baby and a brother-in-law to war all in less then a year! But today, the day that I did the random picking thing, she delivered a beautiful baby boy, Finley Daren! He has wonderful parents and a big brother watching him from heaven! Thank you for your prayers!!

Congratulations Caroline for not only being the winner of this giveaway but also on your lil man Finn...such a gift and miracle from God!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

pirates, cinnamon rolls, and visitors...

"I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him." Ps 40:1-3

Ok, well I have been lacking in the photo taking
department but we have been doing some fun stuff!
Thursday after Ben's ST Ben rested and then we took off to the movie theatre for some pirate action! We have seen both Pirates of the Caribbean movies and so we had to see the 3rd! My lil bro and his wife met us there for a double date! This was the first movie Ben had seen in the theatre in about a year! The last one we went to was Karate Kid in CA and he was awake for a whole 15 minutes! This time we had the whole theatre to ourselves so Ben got out of his chair and with the help of my brother Ben walked up the few stairs and sat right behind the bar! First thing he did was lift his legs up and put his feet on the bar! He had a great time and sat next to my brother and of course they were picking on each other the whole movie! Following the movie we went next door to a pizza place called the Rock! If you have never gone there you might have to check it out! They have the best brown sugar cheese bread ever! I could eat the whole basket...I shared though! We had a fun time!

Friday, my sister text me in the morning that she had just made a big batch on cinnamon rolls and 2 of them had our names on them. She said she would deliver but she had extra kids and couldn't get out so if we wanted them we would have to come to her! Ummm, did I even have to think twice about this...NO! I asked Ben and he said, "let's go!" Instead of dragging the whole wheelchair out to the van (Ben wasn't in it anyways) I had him walk with the new walker to the van and then transfer into the front seat! He did great! When we got to my sisters house he got out to the van and sat in a chair outside where all of the kids were playing! It felt a little more free not toting that whole big piece of metal around...Ben loved it too! Later Friday afternoon Ben had OT. They worked on alot of things and I went grocery shopping! His OT is super close to letting Ben just walk out on the grass himself and seeing how he does. He asked Ben what would happen if he fell and Ben replied, "I would fall!" We shall see how that goes in future...and I for sure want to be there for that!

Saturday was cleaning for me and chilling for Ben. I did however have Ben do some squats, small lundges and stretching at the counter. He did really well and actually said it felt good! We were expecting company that afternoon and knew that it was going to be fun! Cale and Kathleen (we met them at the VA in CA) were coming for a visit. Cale also had a TBI from a car accident and has been in Seattle for a few weeks for some special treatment. When they got here we caught up for a bit and then headed out to a few stores. Cale pushed Ben around and did really well. I did notice that Ben started tucking his feet in because Cale was hitting a few things! :)
We should have never drove past Red Robin because instead of coming home to make dinner we went there instead! See why I need to work out again...brown sugar bread, burgers, fries...the list goes on! It was delic! While at Red Robin Ben kept saying that his back hurt. This was weird because he never complains about pain and he looked so uncomfortable! He kept trying to readust his bottom and body in his chair but it was not working. Cale was getting agitated by the noise and so after eating we came back home. We hung out for a bit and Ben was starting to fall asleep on the couch! Cale and Kathleen took off to go back to Seattle and Ben headed to bed. I peeked in on him about 15 min later and he was out that his blankets were still over his shoulders and this is never the case!
It was a good visit for both of us. It was hard though because like Kathleen mentioned in her blog last night Ben is doing better in the cognitive but Cale is doing better in the physical. We both wish we could have more of the other! Funny how that works with the brain. You cannot compare brain injuries at all. People may have been injured in the same area or have the same diagnosis but be completely different. Cale required brain surgery and Ben didn't. Ben is further along in memory, following direction, and such but Cale can walk, dress, shower, and so weird!

Today (Sunday) I asked Ben how it was seeing Cale and he said it was good because they are the same...they are soldiers! I asked him if there was anything else and he said, "I feel cheated." I asked him why and he said, "I feel cheated out of walking. Cale gets to walk and I don't!" He also went on to say, with no promptings from me, "that his heart was crying (he won't cry outwardly because he said he wasn't a girl) because this brain injury has stolen time from him. I want to give you and me a baby but I cannot, because this accident has stolen that from me too." How do you respond to this! Wow! That he was/is even thinking this deeply is amazing! Ben is in a desperate desire to walk more then ever! He sees people around and tells me, "I am jealous!" Why? "Because all of these people get to walk...I am trying so hard to walk!" Ben says all the time he wants to burn his wheelchair, doesn't like it and that it is stupid!
I love that fact that he even knows that his body and mind are not the same as they were. This is huge because some with TBI's have no clue. They think everything is fine even if they are walking or in a wheelchair. When Ben is talking about it I just have to tell him that if he keeps his determination up and his additude to succeed he will get there! The waiting game is no fun especially to a very active man! I truly believe that once Ben can get around safely he will just make HUGE leaps and bounds in his recovery. I don't like how he has to fight his body to get things done!
Today Ben hasn't been feeling 100% since he started saying his back hurt his energy level has dropped. I let him walk a bit this morning but he got tired and so he is now enjoying his lazy boy. It is hard for me to manage a 190lb man so I am trying to relax today too!

PLEASE continue to pray for Ben and his complete healing! He has come so far and we are blessed and THANKFUL! Ben does have a long ways to go still and I know he can get there! Please be praying for his walking, coordination, neck, shoulders and strength! He needs the prayers and the continued encouragement!

On a side note...we paid of Ben's truck!!! We got it payed off about 1.5 years early!
Now just have the boat and the loans are done and over with!
This made mine and Ben's heart very happy this week!!

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
I Thess 5:18

"I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His rightness and justice, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High."
Ps 7:17

***Prayer Request - please be keeping a friend of mine and her husband in your prayers tomorrow. Last year around this time she deliverd an angel baby boy. He was term but stillborn. He made a big impact on my life and many others. Tomorrow she will delivering a rainbow baby boy! This little man will be loved just like his big brother is! She listed on her blog a few days ago the emotions she was going through as she anticipates this day....excitement, fear, sadness, bitterness, happiness, anger and hope. Pray that the Lord's peace will be around them in that hospital room and that this new lil blessing will be a safe delivery!

***Last day to enter this giveaway is today!! Get your entries in!
Winner will be announced soon!!