Tuesday, December 27, 2011

therapy video alert...

{photo out-take...can you spot what's wrong}

I am back after some good Christmas fun! I will post on that later in the week (haha hopefully) but while I was in the mood of downloading photos and videos I had to keep going with it before I got to tired and just couldn't continue!

Since this blog is supposed to be about Ben and his progression/therapies/improvement I thought that I would finally post some updates on what he is doing in his therapy sessions. I don't have any on speech but plenty on his PT and OT. The only ones that I don't have video clips on is his swimming. For some reason my phone only likes to send videos that are about 30 sec and the ones I got are to long. Ben should be going back to the pool on Friday morning so I will hopefully get some then!

As you will see in the videos Ben continues to work so super hard! You can hear him grunting, speaking and just plain old giving his best! Ben never ceases to amaze me with what he does! He is such a hard worker who never gives up! Rock star if you ask me!

Ball work...

Sit-ups...this session he told his therpist that he was going to do 3 sets of 10! He did them all and his therapist had to do them as well!

Punching bag...this is a fairly new workout for Ben. He loves it! It helps him with his standing balance, eye coordination, head control and the use of both arms.

Push-ups...just like the sit-ups Ben said he would do 3 sets of 10 and of course he made his therapist do it too!

Wrestling moves...yesterday this is the first time that Ben's therapist asked him if he remembered any wrestling moves from high school. Ben named a few and then he ended up doing the one below...I don't remember the name! Ha! It took 4 videos but then ending his hilarious! Just pretend your watching wrestling in slow motion!

I hope to get many more photos and videos of more endevors on Ben's part! His main goal is to WALK! He doesn't want to walk with anyone or anything but all by himself. He is SOOOO close but seems to be in a slump. This gets to him and he gets so frustrated with it all. Ben also feels that it holds him back from participating in ALL things and not being able to do the things he loves...he misses it! Please continue to pray for his ability to walk...we both desire it so much! My heart yearns for Ben to have this! I believe he will get there but if it could just be sped up a bit we would be grateful!!

Birtday Giveaway Winner....Jenny B! Please send me your contact info! If I don't get it by this Friday we will have to select a new winner! Thank you!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"benz lightyear"...

I received an e-mail the other day that I just had to share! It was such a great analogy of where Ben's body is right now from a 9 year old! His mind was so creative in the way that Ben's physical body is working and responding now. He also shared where Ben is going to be which I thought was awesome! If you also have kids praying for Ben this is an awesome way to explain at least how his body is doing and what is taking place...

"Hi Katie,
I found your blog through someone else's, but I don't really know where. It was one of those point & click "accidents". (A good one!) Our family has been following along for a while now, and we pray for you and Ben every night.

I have three children - ages 9, 3½, & 2½. In the past few weeks, my two little ones have been asking for more information about Ben, wondering why we pray for you guys. I have shown them pictures on your blog, and they love when y'all make silly faces. :)

With all of the toddlers questions tonight, my oldest said, "Mom - I can show them what is going on with Ben." So my husband and I allowed him to do that, not knowing what was in store...

He went to their room and pulled out two toys - a flimsy, stuffed animal Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh) doll, and Buzz Lightyear. He came back with them both, and started telling his brother and sister that Ben was in an accident. He says, "Ben is like Tigger right now. He tries his best, but his muscles don't let him do the things he used to do in the same way. See guys, he is not so strong right now...just like this Tigger. That is why we are praying."
Then he takes Buzz out and with a big grin, and an animated voice says, "Buzz is strong! We want Ben to get stronger again, like Buzz. We want him to have his tough shell and be a space ranger so he can fly to infinity & beyond."
My middle son then says, "To infinity & beyond, BENZ Lightyear!"

I cried a river seeing the three of them interact, and hearing my son explain
everything through his 9-year old eyes.

I cannot tell you how grateful I was for Ben tonight. As odd as it seems, he really brought all of us a soothing comfort. It is because of him that my children love praying for others.
So from now on, we will pray for our "Benz Lightyear" because I have total faith that Ben will one day be a Buzz again.
We will continue to pray that things get better daily for him.
We will pray that He continues to give you the strength to be the wonderful wife that you are."

We are so blessed and encouraged by all of you who continue to pray for us. It really does mean alot and it is a main reason how Ben and I can get through each day.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Monday, December 19, 2011

random, randy, randomness...

It's time to unload my phone pics from the past week and post them all on here from our events and doings! Also at the end of this blog we will announce the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway!

Ok, so here goes!

We were invited to a Christmas party that involved ugly sweaters and Christmas outfits! Ben didn't go...he doesn't like large crowds to begin with so he opted to sit this one out! Well, earlier in the week I took myself to the Goodwill and came up with this lil number! I chopped it in half, sewed it onto either side and then added the embellishments to change it from horse to reindeer! Guess who brought home a prize too...yours truly!

We have switched from football to basketball with my lil bro...ok he's 6'5"! Unfortunetly he broke his hand last week during a game (and continued to play the whole game without saying anything) and cannot play until the beginning of Jan! :(

Ben got in the pool last Monday (and again today) for the first time in over a YEAR! He just wanted to swim, swim and swim! He was in the pool for over an hour and loved it! I will post more on this and some of this other therapies in another post....

We finally got to meet our friends sweet baby Asher...

My sisters and I took my mom out for pedis and lunch (poor Ben was in therapy) for her birthday...

and almost a year later Ben got another round of Botox to his neck. Sadly there again were no leftovers!

Ben put in 30 sit-ups...3 sets of 10 per his request!

and the same amount of push-ups...

This face is half of what it usually is when he says, "whoopsy, don't know where that came from!"

and Diesel is getting to big for Ben's lap and taking over!

In trying to be healthy between holidays I made these yummy, healthy quiches!

and then had to make these Reeses brownie bites...for a party!

Ben's favorite college team are the Nebraska Cornhuskers adn he was sent this awesome book by the athletic director!

Just for fun...what my hair looks like when I go to bed with it wet...frizz ball...hence no photos of the front!

My lil bro was over last night so I snuck out for a craft night! I made this lovely wreathe made out of book pages! The first row is sheet music and other layer is from a book. I have yet to decide what to put in the center but whatever it is I will switch it out with the seasons! I hung it on my door for now...

We had a lil photo session a few weeks ago. My SIL did awesome and we had fun! The one on the top of the blog was from our time...I will post our Christmas card later but here's a sneak peek!!

And now for the winner of the Shabby Apple dress!!!
My random picker was not working so we went old school and Ben was my random picker! I wrote out all your names (the amount of comments you submitted was the amount of times your name was written down), cut them up, put them in a bowl and then Ben picked one out!!

and the WINNER is....JENNY B!! Please email me your contact information so that I can send it along to Shappy Apple! Congrats!!

One last thing...I posted a few days ago about a local couple here who were soon to have their sweet Anna Joy whom they knew was going to be born with 2 major heart issues. Baby Anna was born December 8 but sadly she passed away this evening at 6:45 in her mama and daddy's arms. My heart is sad for them. If you could say a prayer for them during this difficult time I know they would be blessed! Another friend of mine lost her baby this past week too...they are for sure in our hearts and prayers tonight as lil Anna Joy and baby E got their angel wings way to early but now they are resting in the arms of Jesus!

I will try and get a post out this week about some things Ben has been working on in his therapies. It takes awhile to download the videos and pics so I will see what I can do!! Thank you for being patient with us!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

twas the night...

some of ben's buddies have just returned from the "sand box" and some have left. four soldiers were just killed monday night in a helo crash at ft. lewis...
just about 30 min from our home.
many loved ones are lonely.
many families are broken.
many wives are now single.
many children fatherless.
many hearts yearning...

please continue to pray for all of our soldiers both here and far. pray for their families that are near them and far from them. pray especially for peace during the christmas season...where it is so hard to be alone during this season!

{four fallen but not forgotten}

when ben was having a rough day this past week a friend of mine from a few years back sent me something that reminded him of ben...

I wanted to pass it along to you all as you remember to pray for every man and woman who serves our country...

twas the night...
Twas the night before Christmas, and he lived in a crowd, In a 40 man tent, with warriors so loud. I had come into the tent with presents to give, And to see just who in this rack did live. I looked all about, and a strange sight I did see, No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stockings were hung, j...ust boots close at hand, On the locker hung pictures of far distant lands. He had medals a...nd badges and awards of all kind, And a sobering thought came into my mind. For this place was different, it was so dark and dreary, I had found the home of a Soldier, this I could see clearly. The Soldier lay sleeping, silent and alone, Curled up in his rack, dreaming of home. The face was so gentle, the barracks in such good order, But not how I pictured a United States Soldier. Was this the hero whom I saw on TV? Defending his country so we all could be free? I realized the families that I've seen this night, Owed their lives to these Soldiers who were willing to fight. Soon round the world, the children would play, And grownups would celebrate a new Christmas Day. They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, Because of the Soldiers, like the one lying here. I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone, On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home. The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry. The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, "Santa, don't cry, for this life is my choice." "Defend my country this day, the peace do I keep." The soldier then rolled over and drifted to sleep, I couldn't control it, I continued to weep. I kept watch for hours so silent, so still, And we both shivered from the night's cold chill. I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night, This guardian of honor so willing to fight. Then the Soldier rolled over and with a voice soft and pure, Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas. All is Secure."

Monday, December 12, 2011

birthday giveaway...

Ok, so it is time for that birthday giveaway that I posted about last week! The giveaway is sponsered by Shabby Apple! Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique selling women’s dresses, casual dresses, skirts, women’s apparel and a few other fancy finds! They also devote a certain percentage of our net proceeds to charitable causes serving women and children. I have looked at pretty much every item they have and there are several that I could have picked to fill my closet!

The dress I got from Shabby Apple to review {above photo} is called, "Aintree" from the Side Saddle collection! I am in love! The fabric is super soft, length good for my heigth and the pleats and lil opening in the back make the dress! I cannot wait to pair it with some boots and until the sun comes out again a lil cardigan!

So, for the giveaway item! If I could enter I would because I want this one too! It is super cute! It is the "Gondola" dress from the Roamin Holidays collection! So cute, classy and comfortable!

Quick, get your entries in!

To enter this giveway you must:
"like" Shabby Apple on Facebook

For additional entries you can:
~tell us what you would order on your own
~"like" Prayers for Ben
~post a link to this giveaway on Facebook or your own blog!

Giveaway entries must be submitted by December 18, 2011 and the winner will be randomly selected through a online random picker!
Good luck!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

keep calm...

I am sure many of you have seen the quotes and signs that say, "keep calm and carry on." Well, I came across a new one and it has been what I have been hanging on to for the past few days and Ben added himself to it tonight...

I must say that I had a lovely birthday and an amazing time with my family. I can also so that it was very emotional for me thoughout the whole day. I missed Ben that day. He was with me all day but I just missed him. I missed the fact that he couldn't celebrate with me like he wanted to. I missed the fact that he couldn't go shopping for me on his own, even if it was online like in the past (not that I needed the gift) I missed my Ben being able to participate with everyone and just move around and do what he wanted to do. Ben mentioned it throughout the day. He was bummed, I was bummed.

Birthdays and holiday are SO hard. We are so happy to be home but it doesn't take away the pain that is still there, the worry, the realness of our situation, the devestation that we have lived through, the tears...it is SO hard.

Ben and I were sitting on the couch earlier tonight and out of the blue he said, "I don't know how much longer I can do this...I just want to walk on my own with no assistance!" It broke my heart just a lil more then what it already was. I asked him what he was going to do about it and his response was, "just keep going..." We were able to talk about it a bit. I couldn't help but think about the times when I have been in his place many many days/months...just didn't know how much more I could go. I have been able to verbalize it to Ben but not once has Ben said it aloud to me.

It's about trusting and continuing to put one foot in front of the other even if it feels like were trudging through the mud! With the Lord and each other we will get there and through this. It takes me back to the saying, "keep calm and the Lord will fight for you!" There is so much truth in this but sometimes it is hard to believe when we haven't seen what we want done. But am I trusting the miracle or the Miracle Worker? Is my trust in the healing or the Healer? Do I really believe that the Lord will fight for me if I just remain calm in His presence. I do, but I have to do my part and remain calm! That is the hard part and I fight that because I want to be in control. The big "I" gets in the way....darn me. This doesn't mean that I don't stop beind Ben's wife, lover, advocate and caregiver but it does mean that I have to take the back seat to the HEALER and calm my heart and mind. He is in control, not me. Hard yes, but I will keep trying and trusting in the fact that God will fight for Ben and I.

Please pray that Ben be encouraged. He is so frustrated in the fact that he cannot function and most of all not walk. He doesn't want to walk with any kind of assistance...he wants to walk on his own! I have asked him what he wants for Christmas and he says, "I don't want anything, I just want to be healed and be able to walk!" This is his Christmas dream/wish! It isn't a matter of his mind or brain, it is the physical aspect that he is yearning for...he so desperately needs it and wants it. Please continue to pray for him.

I will say that even though Ben doesn't really ever talk about his mind/cognitive issues I have seen great changes! His response time to questions, hellos, jokes, teasing and such is so much faster. Even tonight when a friend came over he kept piping in on our conversation. When I asked him about it while we were talking he said, "what, I was just listening to you guys talk." He has done it minimally before but not to this degree at all. Ususally we have to ask him questions to get him to join in but tonight he was the chatter man! I loved this so much and it warmed my heart! It showed me that there God was, still fighting for us whether we remained calm or not! Thank you Jesus!

On a lighter note...Christmas decor is up...or as much as is going to go up!
Monday Ben's therapies all got switched around so instead of having two therapies that day he didn't have any. He got a break and I got to deep clean!
One room needed it most and that was our dump room, that's what I call it anyways! I think I did a pretty good job...for now!

I also finished up some Christmas deoor and I am done...I think!

{thank you marian for our new ornaments! we love them!}

As you remember to pray for Ben I have another prayer request for all you diligent prayer warriors. There is a family here in our town that is in need of prayer for their unborn baby girl. I don't know that family but alot of my facebook friends do and have posted their blog link and news link on FB. Their lil Anna Joy is to be induced tomorrow and she has been diagnosed with 2 very serious heart defects. They do not know how long or if she will make it. Please be praying for the whole family as they walk through this trying journey. If you would like to catch up on their story you can go to their blog HERE! They just updated their blog with specific prayer requests for their whole family and sweet baby!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

oh glorious day...

yes, it is that time of the year again...my burfday!
have you ever googled who else was born on the same day as you?
well i did and found some interesting people...
1443 - Pope Julius II, patron of Michelangelo, Bramante, Raphael
1584 - John Cotton, Puritan clergyman in Mass Bay colony
1711 - Barbara of Portugal, queen of Spain
1803 - Augustus Zerega diZerega, Martinique, ship owner
1865 - Edith Louisa Cavell, England, nurse
1912 - Pappy Boyington, American pilot
1935 - Fred Rumsey, England, cricket lefty pace bowler
1948 - Roberta Lynn Bondar, Ontario, astronaut
1961 - Frank Reich, NFL quarterback (Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers)
1973 - Tyra Banks, model/actress
1984 - Brooke Adams, American model

...the last two names are the only ones that I really recognized on the whole huge list! it was fun to look up though!

i don't want or need anything for my birthday but i do wish and hope for things. i wish and hope for more healing for ben...that at this point is all that i am thinking about. after that there will be more things to come. if i could trade all of my past birthday gifts or wishes in for his healing i would!

i ask that as you read this post that you say a prayer for ben...for complete healing, restoration, functionality, courage, strength. he needs it so bad! ben realizes where he is at and to him he is "stuck" and wants to get out. please on my birthday pray for him!

there is a giveaway coming that i wanted to do today but it is going to have to wait a bit until i can do the review and giveaway on the same day! to give you a sneak peek of what you can expect! it is going to be fun! i am in love with the item we have picked and i will have to let it go into the hands of a blessed winner! if you go over to Shabby Apple and see what they have going on...great finds...pretty items! be looking for a future post on this giveaway...maybe you could win yourself a birthday dress!!

happy birthday to me!