Sunday, July 31, 2011

we're home...

Hey y'all...yes, we were back in the south and that word came out of my mouth a few times! We got in late last night and this morning Ben was snoring so loud and so long that I was forced to remove myself from the bed! He doesn't usually do this so he must be tired! Today we plan on resting all day because Monday we are back in the swing of things. On the way home Ben said he was ready to get back because he "missed his therapist and wanted to start working hard again!" What an amazing spirit of motivation the Lord has given him! This past week has been filled with alot of "firsts" since the accident! It is bitter sweet coming home to WA. Being back in GA brought back alot of memories of Ben and my time together there...some good and some not so not. GA is the last place where we called home so I really feel like apart of my heart is there still...we plan to visit again for sure! I cannot wait to share with y'all about our time!

I leave you with this sneak peak...

...I have about 400 photos so don't worry, you will see more!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

truck, sorry and floating island...

Thank you for all of your kind words and prayers for our family! They are felt and appreciated. My cousins memorial is this Tuesday and I am super sad that we will not be able to attend. If I could cancel our trip and be there we would.

The last few days have been fun and Ben got to do some of his favorite things for the first time in almost two years! Remember I said his babies were his boat, truck and quad?? Well, so far we have quad marked off the list but the other two have been in limbo. He did wash the boat but it wasn't getting in the boat on the water, so that is yet to come!
Well, yesterday it was his truck! My dad was going to borrow it to move a few things and we were going to my parents house for dinner. I asked my dad if when he came to the house to get the truck and on the way to their house if he could help me get Ben in his truck! Of course my dad said yes. Well, geez louise, I didn't even need him! Ben walked out the house with his walker, walked right up to his truck, grabbed the handle inside and lifted himself right up into his truck all by himself. I tried to assist him but just ended up getting my arm stuck behind his back! While he was getting up and in he had a smile on his face that wouldn't go away! Of course he wanted to drive but that wasn't go to happen! We drove over to my parents (yes I had my dad drive the mini van and me the truck) and when we got there we had to wait for my dad to get there with Ben's walker because it was in the van. I kept checking on Ben as I was doing stuff inside as he sat in the front seat and then my dad walked in. I went out to get the walker and found Ben with the truck door open, seat belt off and his buns half-way down out of the truck. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "your dad was in sight so I am getting out of my truck!" Ha, I guess having someone in sight in case anything went wrong was just fine with Ben! Stinker!

We had dinner and then bust out the game Sorry! My mom started playing it with Ben a few weeks ago when she stayed with him for a bit and then I played him a few times! He does well with this game because he doesn't have to hold cards and is able to move the pieces around the board. Oh, and he so remembers the rules and all about "bopping" even when we try and sneak things by him!

Today after packing up some things for our trip and getting things organized we headed back to my parents because my lil brother Ben wanted to take us out on this big floaty island thing! This was not getting out on Ben's boat but it was one step closer to the water! Anything that involves water Ben goes gung ho for! He got in the island thing fairly well and then sat right down! We went out a bit and then Ben started rocking backwards. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to flip himself into the water! I told him that if he kept doing it harder he was going to fall right in. Ben said, "if I fall in, I fall in. I don't care because I want to get in!" Of course today was not the day to do that because I didn't have the man power to help me get him out! Getting in was easy! I splashed him a bit which I think surprised him. After I did he said, "what do you think you are doing?" I laughed it off! A few minutes later when my lil bro and I were talking two feet started quickly splashing me...hard! He got me back big time and I should have known that was going to happen!

Like I said, it has been a fun few days and for as much as Ben has changed I had him back for these times and I loved it, he loved it!

Tomorrow we take of bright (well it will be dark) and early! I think I will be getting up about 0230...I don't think I even want to see myself that early!
Please pray that our trip goes smoothly! Pray that check-in, boarding, sitting, goes smoothly and that Ben doesn't get sick or have accidents. Pray for peace and calmness for both of us! I am thankful that my brother will be there to help. I am sure everything will go well but my nerves get the best of me! Once we get there I am sure things will be just fine but the whole plane thing gets me anxious! I am sure I will ask Ben a million times if he is ok and if he needs anything like I usually do and he will say no. Actually today I asked him if the window was ok and not to cold on him and he asked me to not ask him so many questions! Well, la, ti, da!

I don't know how much updating I will do while we are gone but if you like "Prayers for Ben" on facebook I will be putting updates on there!
Off to bed I go!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

heavy hearts...

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Today has been a sad day for us. My dad let me know that my cousin had passed away last night. We kind of knew it was coming so it was not a sudden thing but that didn't take the pain away from losing a cousin. I had not see J in quite some time but the memories are there! I will always remember her for her amazing smile and a laugh that was contagious! I rememeber high heels were broken at her wedding, play times at my grandparents house, road trips to see my aunt and uncle and my cousin was there at times and so many other things! She was an amazing lady and like I said could light up the room with her spunk, smile and laugh! She will be missed and life ended to early for her but we know she is with her Jesus. We celebrate J's life and all she was and the life she lived. She truly was a blessing and a ray of life!
Please be praying for my aunt, uncle, her brother, sister and 4 children as they walk through this difficult journey. Please also pray for the rest of our family as well.

We were able to celebrate life in a different way today. My friends had their baby Z about 10 days ago. I was able to sneak over to the hospital the day after she was born but Ben really wanted to see her! We went over there today and had a great time! I asked Ben on the way if he was going to hold her and he said he would. He never had been an infant guy (he has always said he will be fine with our babies) so it surprised me that he said yes. When it came time our friend A asked if he wanted to hold her and Ben said, "no, because I don't want to hurt her!" After Ben was reassured that he would not hurt her he agreed! He LOVED it and kept staring at her! I think he got so cozy that it looked like he would fall asleep himself!

Monday, July 18, 2011


{this just made me want to run to the store asap and get some!}

Ok so I didn't do any more sewing last night but I did finish up a few things today! I have had the pattern for for this project for some time now (about a year) and also some fabric that has been hanging around! I have just not had my sewing machine around and then the thing hit the dumps and had to be replaced!
I started on this "gumdrop" pillow yesterday and ended up having to modify the pattern a bit on my own because the pattern was hard to follow. Today while Ben was in ST I ran to Joann's to get the stuffing and some regular needles. When I got back Ben was just finishing up and I waited so that he could help me stuff it! He did a great job! Maybe (but not so much) if we ever take orders for pillows at least I know I will have a great stuffer!! :)

Next project on the list, finish my first project, make another gumdrop pillow, find some more stuff to work long as it doesn't keep me up to the weeee hours of the night!
Oh wait, next project is getting ready for our trip to Georgia!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

mowing, parades and upcoming travels...

{lakefair 2011}

Friday Ben had a new challange before him! He got to get behind the lawn mower and mow a strip of lawn. He was not able to go for a long time but he did great on what he did! Ben was not able to use the self-propelled part of it because it went to fast so it was manual pushing and walking for him! I on the other hand use the self-propelled and get it done as fast as I can! By the end of this summer I expect Ben to be mowing the whole lawn by himself! :)

On Saturday I was able to meet up with my girl Kim whom I met through blogging and was able to meet for the first time in March! She lives on the eastern side of the state but was going to be on our side so we met up for coffee and pedicures! It was fun to see her again and spend time with her! We were going to try and participate in the warrior dash together but I was unable to this year we will slap on our viking horns and complete that sucka of a mud puddle together!!
We didn't get any photos this time but here is from out last time...

Saturday afternoon we took off to go to a city parade...and it was pouring down room!
We put up a pop-up tent and right as we did it stopped raining and didn't rain a drop again the rest of the night! Go figure! A few of my sisters were there with their families, some friends and my lil bro! It was alot of fun!

Today we lounged in the morning and it was nice! We have been going, going for the past few days that we just wanted to chill! Ben watched a movie and I was going gung hoe on my new sewing machine! I am working on a few projects and now that I have a sewing machine back I don't want to stop! It is bad though becuase it keeps me up at night and then my man's wake-up calls are not so pleasant for me in the mornings! Anyways, I did some sewing on a new gumdrop pillow I'm working on. I have had the pattern for awhile and it was time to get I just need the batting to fill it!
We were able to go to some friends house for dinner and that was fun! The guys had worked together as Rangers and it had been some time since we had seen them. Right as we were walking out of their house (I have Ben walk to the mini van swagger wagon now and don't let him use his wheel chair) it started POURING! Not just a lil sprinkle but the rain was coming down and hard! Well, as you all know Ben doesn't run yet and so we got soaked! It was hilarious because I was asking him to go fast when usually I am asking him to slow down his steps and make them steady! He did well though and we made it to the car in one piece but very wet!
All in all it was a very good day! No sewing tonight, just blogging and bed!

Ben and I will be heading down to Ft. Benning, GA this next Sunday! The reason we are going is for Ranger Rendezvous 2011! This event only happens every other year and this year we get to participate! It is where past and present Rangers gather together for a few days of fun! We will get to see all of the events that are going to take place, go to ceremonies and Ben will get to see all of his Ranger buddies! He is super excited and knows what he is in for!! My little (big) brother is going to join us and help us along the way for which I am grateful! There will also be some other injured Rangers there that we will be able to meet!
We are super excited to be apart of this event and will for sure be posting updates when we get home!! Please pray for traceling mercies and that things will go smoothly for all of us! I should be posting before we go but wanted to share it with y'all!
In preparations to going we have been getting Ben's uniform and all the things to go with it ready to go! Thank you to a few Ranger men Ben's uniform has been inspected and is ready to go! Ben also got a new beret (his old was missing but then found with a hole in it) so he wanted to put it on and try it out! I think he is one handsome man with his beret on but then again I can be biased...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

bed hog alert...

So, remember I have mentioned the fact that Ben will wake me up as early as 5am, 6am and 7am?? It is still engrained in his head to get up early and go to bed early! Darn it, I thought I would get some time to sleep in but that is not the case around these parts!
Also, remember me mentioning Ben trying to get out of bed under my sleepfull eye?? He will get my attention, tell me he is ready to get up (at 5am) and want me to get him up so he can get breakfast and watch some History channel! When I tell him gently, in my sleepy, hoarse voice, to please just go back to sleep he starts moving around and then drifts back to sleep. Well, every time he wakes up and drifts back to sleep he moves more!
This morning has been the worst yet but at the same time hilarious! I had to laugh and tell him not to move so I could capture this! I also have to document it so later in life when he says he has never hogged the bed I will have proof!
It was a good laugh for me and it totally made my day!

Here's to hoping what it will look like tomorrow morning...side note...i loathe pink and purple and I really do look like this in the morning minus the smile...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

boat washing...

{yes, this is my studly man and i pray he can do this again!}

Ok, so on Friday I think Ben was in heaven on earth! That morning my brother zipped over to help me pull Ben's boat out of the garage so he could wash it. Ben and his OT had been waiting for a nice, non-rainy day to get it out and wash it! The boat has been winterized since we brought it up to WA over a year ago but it never got washed from the road trip from GA to WA before putting it in a storage unit! Needless to say it was dirty! Later that afternoon Ben and his OT got straight to work! Ben got the hose and started spraying and the dirt started washing away!

After they washed the boat they did ALOT of walking all around the back yard! I was at Joann's rearching sewing machines because mine went kaput! When I got home they were finishing up. I think they went for about 2.5 hours between the boat and walking! Ben wanted to chill for a bit so he sat in his lazy boy for a bit and I did a few things around the house. I came to see if he needed anything and this is what I found... tuckered out man!

Saturday was a lazy morning for both of us. It was super nice to sleep in (well if 0715 compared to 0630 is sleeping in) and not have to hurry to get ready for anything. It was to be a nice day so in the mid morning we went to Joann's to return the machine I had bought the day before (long story) and then we went downtown to the Farmers Market. It has been years since I had been to this Farmers Market so I thought today would be a good day. The item on Ben's mind to buy was a donut and he was for sure on the lookout. He has never been a donut man but recently that is the only thing on his mind food wise! If he could walk and eat donuts he would be just great! Anyways, when we first got there right smack in front of us were puppies for sale! They were so cute and so Ben got to hold one for a bit. I had to beg him to put the puppy back! This is another thing he has been longing for! One day we will get our Diesel! One day! When we finally got into the market Ben found some carrots, cherries and an amazing looking raspberry croissant! Those are the 3 things he wanted and of course he got them! We took the items down to the water and shared the croissant! Yes, I made him was delicious!!

Today we went to a new church to check it out and see some friends that we have not seen in a long while!! Although there was a situation that was totally humiliating we lived through it and the service was good. The pastor was starting on a series about relationships. I really didn't want to hear about it but today I think God wanted me to. Sometimes I want to cancel my facebook account and get rid of my internet so that I can stay away from someone talking about another date, another marriage, another vacation with their man, another picture of the flowers they were bought, a romantic get the picture! Don't get me wrong, I love that people have this but at the same time it is so hard to read because Ben and I cannot have it right now.
One thing that I have asked and struggled with for awhile is how do I as a wife keep this marriage and love alive while my man is working so hard to get back to who he is. We don't have the same marriage that we used to because we cannot do the same things. This DOES NOT mean that we do not love each other because that love is very much there. It is hard when the love towards me cannot always be in the ways that I need it.
The pastor brought up an interesting point for mainly those that were waiting to find the love of their life or those waiting for their spouses to love them in the way that needed to be. What I got from it was in the times of waiting I need to work on me. 1 Corinthians 13 was brought up. "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." Why not work on these things in my own life while Ben is working so hard, even if it is in the physical. Work on my kindness towards my man and those around me, don't envy what others have but look at what God has put in my life here and now, make sure that God gets my honor and that it doesn't go to myself, never give up on God or Ben, treat my man with respect and love...
We were at this service for a reason and it was to teach me a lesson on love and where we are today! I am still learning and sometimes they are hard lessons, teachable lessons, love lessons, humbling lessons and hilarious lessons!! I thought I had learned them all on this journey but I guess God isn't done with me yet! Darn it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

leaving it to God...

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." 2 Chron. 20.12

An Isrealite named Uzzah lost his life because he "reached out and took hold of the ark of God." (2 Sam 6.6) He placed his hands on it with the best of intentions-to steady it, "because the oxen stumbled." But nevertheless, he had overstepped his bounds by touching the Lord's work, and "therefore God struck him down."

Living a life of faith often requires us to leave things alone.

If we have completely entrusted something to God, we must keep our hands off of it. He can guard it better then we can, and He does not need our help! "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." Ps. 37.7
Things in our lives may seem to be going all wrong, but God knows our circumstances better then we do. And He will work at the perfect moment, if we will completely trust Him to work in His own way and in His own time. Often there is nothing as godly as inactivity on our part, or nothing as harmful as restless working,

Being perplexed, I say
"Lord, make it right!
Night is as day to You, darkness as light.
I am afraid to touch things that involve to much;
My trembling hand may shake, my skilless hand may break;
Yours can make no mistake!"

Being in doubt I say,
"Lord make it plain; which is the true, safe way?
Which would be gain"
I am not wise to know, nor sure of foot to go; what is so clear to Thee,
Lord, make it clear to me!

It is such a comfort to drop the entanglements and perplexities of life into God's hands and leave them there!

{Streams In the Desert-July 6}

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

first sounds and words...

"And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, You are my people!" Is. 51.16

"Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth and said, "Look, I have put my words in your mouth!" Jer 1.9

Today marks a year since Ben has uttered his first sounds and a few slight words! An evening I will never forget!! It was pretty funny because yesterday I was telling him NO (in our goofy childish way) when he asked to get up and he said, "what?" I told him agian in the same matter and he again said, "what?" Once again I said it and Ben responded, "you're going to have to speak more clearly!"...and he said that loud and clearly! So, at the year mark of him speaking he is correcting me and making sure I am speaking clearly too!
I was with Ben that evening and we were just hanging out together. I had tried a few times (ok, masses of times) to get him just to follow me and utter a sound on his own and not just non-voluntary! I was laying beside him and I asked him to say HMMMMM. I paused and waited and then I heard the slightest HMMM! Again Ben, say HMMMM! Ben did it again! I tried his name and a few other words as well and he did them. It was quite and very short but Ben did it! We tried a few more sounds and words in a very monotone and straight voice. He continued to do it and follow my lead! It was very quite and Ben got out of breath very easily with one word!

Here are a few videos of him first making noises and saying a few words. One is July 6th, 2010 and then other a few days later on July 9, 2010...

In Ben's last ST session he was able to speak a little message to you all! He came up with all of the words and sentances on his own and then put them all together! He was super proud of his work when I played it back for him!

{off video ben's voice is actually alot more clear at times}

"Hi everybody, I want to tell you that I am doing great and that rehab is good.
I am getting better and I thank you for your prayers.
I love you all!"

Ben has gotten where he is today because of God's healing hand, his hard work and determination and ALL OF YOUR PRAYERS!! We are truly blessed by each and every one of you who continue to faithfully pray for us all the time! Like our blog name, Our Hope Endures, it does and it is by the grace of God and all of you amazing people!

**Top 2 prayer requests...please pray for Ben's walking (HE REALLY WANTS TOO)
and his continence!!**

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th...

The photo above was taken last night about 9:30pm....yes PM! My sister called to remind us of the city fireworks and when Ben heard about it he said, "we are going!" Well, ok then! Ben had taken a nap so I thought it would be ok. I asked him if he was going to be ok and not to tired since we probably wouldn't get home until about 11! He was fine with it. So, we left the house a little after 8pm (so weird because Ben is usually in bed at this time) but I was excited!! We had a great time and Ben had a blast! There were alot of ooooo's and awwwww's and alot of that's my favorite color! One of my nephews tried to warm his cold ears on my face! People it was 60 degrees when we left but it was super fun!!

I was taking a trip down memory lane the other day and thinking of where we were and what Ben was up to last 4th of July!
I can tell you one thing for sure...he was not talking! Little did I know that he was a few days from FINALLY making a few sounds after I would say them!
Ben was starting to walk with the massive rolling walker that gave him alot of support but he was by no means doing any of it on his own...even with the steps he needed help!
We were in CA still, had been there a few months at this point! I loved the weather and had a pretty decent tan going on unlike this year in WA! Ben did as well and actually put the other patients and staff to shame! :) I think they were jealous that he tanned so well and got to spend time outside!

Here are a few photos that were about this time last year...

Next year I pray that Ben will be fully talking, walking all over the place, running around the kids and lighting his own fireworks! I see how far the Lord has brought us and am expecting more and more healing and restoration to come! To God be the Glory!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

weight lovin...

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33: 14

Thank you for all of your love, support, encouragement and comments! It was just one of those nights where I was full of emotion and it just came out. It was not a bad thing but emotional. I can say that some days all I really know what to do is just love God and love Ben. Those two things I do know how to do and the others...well, I deal with them as they come to step at a time...sometimes one moment at a time! I am gently reminded that I do still have Ben with me and that to me is the biggest blessing of it all!
Again, thank you!!

This past (not even a week) has been busy and so good!
Last Saturday one of my besties came up from CA to see us for a few days! We had a lot of fun but we are for sure not as young as we thought! Wanting to head home around 8:30pm and just resting can testify to that! While she was here we went to one of my nephews 2nd birthday party and my friends couple's baby shower! Both were fun and enjoying!

Us ladies also built a fire in our lil fire pit...yes, the ladies did! We had alot of fun and I got Ben close enough roast his own! The photo of us girls was taken by Ben himself...first one that he has taken since the accident!

After my friend left on Monday morning Ben had a mandatory appointment on post so we took off for that. It didn't last to long but then had to get Ben an xray and a short visit to his battalion doc due to some issues from last week. That ended and we went home to gear up for Ben's brother and his family to come into town. We had alot of fun with then amd Ben got to spend some quality time with his brother! The night that they arrived some of both brothers buddies from high school came down from Seattle to see them. I think it has been about 11 years since they had seen Ben or his brother. It was fun to meet them and hang out.

On to Ben's workouts and therapies! He is doing fantastic!! He tells everyone he is working hard and he so is! Ben amazes me! He always has had a determination about him that has gotten him far! I have not met alot of people like that but Ben is one and I have to say he is the greatest!

He walked with OT today for 30 minutes all around the yard with standing breaks only! AMAZING! His therapist said he was just barely touching him! He also worked on bed transfers and walked along his boat to see what needed to be cleaned without his walker...just grabbing on to different places on the boat!
Ben has been going to the Y and a few of you have seen him there! Thank you for saying HI to him and that you are praying for him. Things they have been working on there is stretching, weights, walking, biking and a few more things. Ben really likes it there and says that, "I feel like a man" while he is there.

**sorry so blurry...taken on my phone when i was at gym working out too**

Please continue to pray for Ben's coordination and walking! He SO wants to walk and it is super frustrating to him that he knows what to do but his body will not work with him. He usually says he wants to get out of this "situation" and get better now. Tonight as he watched my neice and nephew run around and play in the backyard he said, "I hate this situation!" I asked him why he was saying this and he said he just wanted to walk/run around with the kids. He feels left out at times when he cannot move around like he would like to! Please keep praying for his mobility!

Have you never heard? Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. Is. 40:28-31