Sunday, July 31, 2011

The weekend.

I have been totally and completely spoiled this weekend!

I was able to hang out with Rachel-always love.

I found even more tasty Farmer’s Market finds-yum.

After finally realizing that as much as I desire it; I do not have long thick luscious hair. I chopped it off-not too short though.

I had some much needed relaxing time with Mama-needed.

Did some more writing for the book-oh man.

I had a movie night with Cale (even though he played with the ipad and Basil through the whole thing…)-Yay for cuddling!

Awesome church service this morning-Praise God for all that He’s doing!

Successful Costco trip-woot.

More relaxing; including reading another magazine-I’m enjoying this “relaxing” stuff.

Found this video on Youtube of one of the songs we sang at church this morning-My heart was singing every word this morning to the Lord. Love this song-I really encourage you to listen to all the words.



In bed early and gonna cuddle right up to my husband–always, always, ALWAYS good.

Friday, July 29, 2011

You. don't. want. to. miss. this...!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t possibly back up and write about yesterday BEFORE writing about today.

Seriously.

Ahhhhh!!!!! Oh my gooooooodness!! Eeeeeek!!!

For OT, Teresa took us to an open parking lot and had Cale-get-in-the-drivers-seat…Yes! HE DROVE!!!!


Rain…that’s the only way I can think to describe the miracles that have been happening! I feel like all the clouds that have been hanging over us have opened up and now miracles are coming like a drenching rain.

And we’re dancing in it.

Did I ever think this day would come again? Honestly?

I had prayed, hoped, dreamed about-but actually seeing it? Living it?
Not sure I can say a confident “YES!”

When Teresa mentioned it this morning, a very loud squeal found its way (yet again) from my mouth. My heart started beating so fast and even now as I type, my hearts pounding again! I’m even a little shaky! Oh my stinkin’ goodness.

When we arrived at the parking lot, there were cars parked and it wasn’t as uh, “open” as I was picturing. We were in her car, and I wasn’t ready to see a fender bender. She seemed very confident as she settled in the passenger seat. I felt as though I may just bust right through the roof with all of my excitement and well, Cale didn’t seem nervous at all. There were a few scares (more on my part) and he had a bit of adjusting with the gas petal and break, but HE DID GREAT!!!!



It went way better than I had imagined it going. I finally had to get myself outside of the car for a bit to let some of my bottled up noises out. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to contain them for much longer and the few that got out, I was afraid I was going to make things go south.



He drove for 25 minutes; did very well following directions, and reminded me of when I was 15 and behind the wheel…although he might have done better.

Still shocked from what happened this morning, I’m going to continue on about yesterday and the rest of today :)

Speaking of miracles…I’m seeing some changes in Cale and I KNOW it’s all these little things that add up and can so clearly be seen by the full package of a miracle.

His shower yesterday morning was very different. I can’t quite pin what made it seem that way though. Maybe it was his confidence? Or the way that he seemed to be able to sequence everything a little smoother? Maybe even just the way that he was talking and getting out more, I’m just not sure. I was impressed and feeling good about how the day was going to go.

His first therapy of the day was speech. As I’ve said before, this most times is always the hardest for Cale and has been that way even in the beginning. It takes so much out of him and is where he struggles the most. Before Doreen left after the session she said, “Cale, I’d say this was your best session yet!” He did awesome! I’ve been seeing a noticeable difference with his word finding. They also worked more using the ipad and started a memory game. It’s very geared towards adults and then just set at an easier level. It was a dramatic change from our Palo Alto days at playing memory in OT! Monica would be so proud! Awesome stuff.

Cale has been really expressing his thoughts more and getting out longer sentences while doing it. It’s so encouraging to watch this new transformation with his speech. Doreen went over a few things that I can be doing with him, so last night while lying in bed I started with some of it…sneaky. I know. He of course has no idea that it’s therapeutic!

I asked him to name four restaurants and out of ALL of the places he could have chosen, his four were, “McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, and Wendy’s” Haha! Uh, you can tell what he likes to eat! Oh dear. What do I do with him? Haha.

Before the driving (beyond craziness!) this morning, we tried to do Geocache again. The OT did some changes to the little gps, so we thought it might be easier for Cale. He seemed to enjoy it more today and had a good time looking through all the treasures!

The spot we had to treasure hunt was beautiful!


Later this afternoon, a man from church came to have some much needed guy time with Cale. He just happens to be our Pastors dad. He brought a long a younger guy from church and the three of them painted the railings in the back and waxed his motorcycle. Cale wasn’t too gung ho at first about the whole idea, but he ended up really having a good time. He had a huge smile when I talked to him quickly right after Matt left.



Tonight Cale went to a baseball game with our Pastor and his family. I’m here writing and must say that it feels strange being home for the evening and not having him here. It hasn’t happened yet! I know he’s having a blast and I can’t wait to see how much he remembers! Normally, I would automatically think he’s not even going to remember that he went, but tonight as I write, I’m believing that he’s going to remember and have things to share! This is a big night DAY for him!

I’ve written a little about my trip to Malawi a couple years ago and have something else to share. When my friend Melissa and I arrived, we were each handed a baby, and were suddenly mothers. They slept with us (was there ever sleep?!), we fed them, bathed them, washed their clothes-the whole ppackage! My baby’s name was Blessings. I was 19 and not a mother, but that moment was the beginning of a beautiful thing. My heart was captured by this little baby and other than loving my husband the best that I could while he was deployed and I was in the foreign land, this little guy was getting every bit of love that I could squeeze out of me.

A relationship and emotion that I had never experienced before had started. I sent Cale several emails about how I wanted to bring this baby home and have us raise him, but that wasn’t what God had in store for him-or us.

I can’t say that there have been too many days that have gone by that I haven’t thought of his sweet face and what he would be like now. I have wept because I miss him; all of the kids at Tiyamike so much. Well, a lady that I had met there and still stay in contact with has gone back several times and will send a picture of him. Yesterday I was able to see a video!! He’s not a 2 month old baby like when I first held him or 8 months when I said good bye. He’s a little boy!

Wanted to share with you also! :)

Untitled from kerstin Obermann on Vimeo.



Here's him as a baby!


How do you like the new blog look? The lady that did it was amazing and so great to work with! She asked what kinds of things I like, and with the list I gave her she made something that I think is exactly me! I didn’t even know what to expect and love it way more than anything I could have imagined! I had even sent her a handful of pictures to have her choose which to use. I just love it all! Thanks Molly!!!! I wrote a little note to all of you, if you click at the top where it says "Click to read Our Story" :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Treasure Hunt and Water Fun

Yesterday-

Have you heard of Geocache? I had never heard of it! In OT yesterday we went on a treasure hunt…of some kind. I thought it was great fun, but Cale wasn’t too thrilled with all of it. We went on a search to three different locations and two were successful! At one point I said, “The GPS says we need to go a little more south.” Cale very quickly replied, “and I say, I don’t care.” Haha! Uh…

The first one we found was just a little tube that had a paper rolled up inside to write name and date. Before Cale wrote his initials, we looked through all the other names. Crazy how many there are! I had no idea about this whole thing!


The second we found actually had a bunch of stuff for Cale to look through. Random things, but still fun to find! It was kept in an ammo box and Cale was able to open it right up! His OT and I were both really impressed!



After we finished OT, we headed straight to Yakima because our military ID’s were about to expire. It’s about 1.5 hours which is a lot nicer than all our drives to Seattle which are 4 hours! All morning Cale had been really grumpy, but our drive there and the time back he seemed to be doing better. At first after getting home he was fine, but it didn’t take long for his tiredness to overcome and then the grumpy bug bit him again. It was a hard night, but we made it through!

Today-

Cale slept in this morning and then my nephew came over to sit with him for a bit while Mama and I went to the Farmers Market. After we got back and the food was taken care of, the three of us played Crazy 8’s for over an hour straight! Finally I called for a break.

About 30 minutes before his speech therapist came I could see Cale getting really tired. Oh no! I was going to visit our neighbors during the session and very nervous about how it was going to go. I got back towards the end and she had a great report for me! He did great!!! When she was finishing up his whole body dropped in this slouch. He was done.

Rachel came right after for a quick visit and then while she was still here, his PT showed up! Again, nervous, but interested to see how he was going to do.

HE DID GREAT!!!

We went to his mom’s house and worked in the pool. Carly has been suggesting this for a while, but we just haven’t made it over there. His mom had gotten a solar cover on it since the last time we had gone for a dip, so the water was so much warmer…nice.


Here’s a short clip of some of what he worked on….



Here’s his motivation to get to the other side of the pool with just him and the floatie :)


Basil has been waking me up at 5am every morning. Now, I do realize this may not be early for some-but for me it is. If I let myself go back to sleep then I can’t wake up again! I decided just to embrace the life of having a crazy dog, and enjoy being up super early and getting to accomplish lots, and that’s just what I did! :)

Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts when today’s is set before you! Receive today’s gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me. –Jesus (from Jesus Calling)

Monday, July 25, 2011

A sweet surprise visitor!

My first youth pastor was an awesome man who took me deeper with the Lord and was a huge part of the women that I’ve turned out to be. He helped me learn things like just sitting and listening to God. As a child, that was not something that I had ever been taught. What a powerful discipline it’s turned out to be all these years later!

Well, his very sweet wife was in town and took the time to visit us! I loved getting to spend time with her and visit! We also had her come along for PT…go-karts!


We tried go-karts again with Cale to work on getting in and out. Last time it was a bit…um…well, it took a lot of us, but tonight he did great! Carly his PT cleared him to go without her, so we’re going to be making it a fairly routine thing! Cale absolutely loves it and last time we went, it was the first time since the accident that Cale actually loved something and didn’t feel less of himself for it. It's important for him to have that in his life right now. Tonight he wasn’t as aggressive and fast as last time, but he still had fun!


I opened our bedroom door and found our cat just hanging out :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Politics and Priorities

Today’s sermon was titled, “Politics and Priorities.” Dustin our Pastor spent the time during the sermon talking about the government and what the Bible has to say about it. I’m so thankful for the area which is so often a “touchy subject” that Dustin was bold enough to speak on it. Too often in churches the stuff that no one likes to hear is never talked about!

As I listened, even though it was about government, my heart was captured and convicted in a whole different area.

He spoke on the selfishness that we have inside and how as far as disobeying the law (including speeding while driving), so many times it will boil down to what we think, what we want, or what right we think we have.

Then, he proceeded to talk about not loving anything before God (including this country and the American flag). I thought about how that is such a basic level thought, but so quickly bull dozed by our lives and everything that we cram into them.

Later he talked about the wickedness of Pilot in the situation where he had an opportunity to rightly stand up for and honor the good, but rather, even with his gut feeling, he went against it and had the “good” thrown to the wolves (crucifiers) and murdered. He ended that thought with talking about how even amongst the wicked; God was in control. He used the wicked for our good.

As all these words were spoken, I began to put it all together in a different kind of way. You’ve read before as I have (I think) expressed how this whole thing that we’re going through; this new way of life, is not about me. It’s about what God is doing through our situation and how He’s still in control. Well, all too often, I still struggle with the selfishness that sits so heavily in my heart (uninvited) and the daggers come flying out in my thoughts (thank goodness God can handle anything I could throw at Him!).

It becomes a “this is what I want…”, “This is what I think we need…”, and “this is what I deserve…” for Cale being healed and restored.

God, I should have my husband back. I should have a different life. I should be holding our baby right now! Why am I taking care of my husband and not our baby?! Why can’t I be a part of that? Why am I missing out on everything? Why can’t I be a part of that ministry? Why can’t I go on that mission trip? What in the world is any of this for?

These thoughts are so quickly in and out of my mind when I least expect them. Thankfully I’m able to control and take hold of them because I know that I can head myself right into prayer and God is already fighting the battle for me.
BUT, in the midst of all these thoughts during the sermon and putting everything together, God so clearly was saying, “Kathleen, love me more than the idea of Caleb’s healing. It’s not about him getting better.”

Wow.

I walked my little self to the alter to pray and all I could say was, “Jesus I love you.”

Did anyone read what Cale prayed for last night?!

Because as I even typed it out last night, the thought was “I sure do!”
But then today, I was confronted with my heart and am I really loving Him first? Do I really? Is Cale’s recovery and getting his life back more on my thoughts and take more of my energy than that of God?

I’m not saying that I’m terrible and have been having the wrong way through all of this, because my heart really is to love God and to allow this life that he has so blessed me with shine bright of His glory-whichever way this life is going, but a few things needed to be confronted and tackled.

After service I was able to give a hug to and talk quickly with the wife of the Pastor before Dustin. It was Pastor Richard who did our first ceremony and who I also traveled to Ukraine with at 14 years old. Vickie hugged me and talked with me about how God doesn’t always give us what we had planned and what we wanted, but reminded me that every time I take care of Cale, I’m loving God and that He is using me.

She knew nothing of what my brain had just been tied up in, but her words were exactly what I needed to hear.

God is so good.

We finished the day with Crazy 8’s and then we went to our church’s BBQ Bible study…and then after we came home to play more Crazy 8’s!

I have a few pictures I wanted to share from yesterday…

Isn’t he just so darn adorable?!


Cale took a picture of me and Basil, which at this point he was still vertical…


By the time Cale got to him, he was done. He stayed sprawled out on the deck for a good while!


We have some wonderful men in our church that put up railing in the back so Cale won’t have another dive! I’m so thankful that they did this for us! Cale has also gotten a lot better at stairs the last couple of weeks and can now go up and down these independently! Well, just about! ;)


Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lazy kind of a day...good.

What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every GOD-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it. Psalm 18:30 (The Message)

Thank goodness for Saturdays! Right?!

We didn’t have anything planned for today…so we were lazy! We haven’t had one of those days in so long…way too long.

I did go to the Farmers Market with Cale’s mom this morning while Cale stayed with Dennis. Her and I never do anything just the two of us, because usually one of us is staying with Cale. It was a nice treat and a successful trip! We are loaded up on fruit and Cale loves fruit!

After Dennis and Kathy left, the whole day was open in front of us. I started to think about all the things we could go do, but my husband made it clear what he wanted to do-nap. So, we cuddled in bed and watched a movie. He ended up falling asleep and after a little bit, I got up and had some time with just me and the Lord. I was also able to sit outside and do nothing; just bask in the sun!

This evening we took Basil on a walk around the block. By the end of it Cale was really worn out and said that he wished he could teleport, but he did make it! Scratch our cat joined us for the whole walk! Haha! He followed right along. :)



Tonight Cale and I prayed together and one of the things he brought up and chose to pray for was loving Jesus. He prayed, “Dear God, we love you so much. I pray this for us, for me and Kathleen and everyone we know. Yes, so much. “

I just can’t get over how sweet his prayers are. They aren’t full of words just to make it sound pretty. They’re not all loaded up without desire. They are simple and straight from his heart-just the way prayers should be; from the heart.

I was interested to see what was going on last year today. I always enjoy going back and being reminded of how far Cale has come. I read this that I had written last July 23rd and was encouraged…and um, in total agreement still!

I'm not only thankful for how far Cale has come and how great he's doing. If I would have lost him the night of the accident, God would still be great. If Cale would have had to go to the nursing home and stay that way for life, God would still be a great God. With all of me I am very thankful that it hasn't happened that way, but today I was focused on how thankful I am that my life has gone the way it has. The accident could have shattered my life. I could have turned my back on God, I could have let myself go, and walked away from my marriage. God rescued me because before my mother held me for the first time as an infant, God loved me and He's never stopped. He has shown me His faithful, unconditional, constant love for me over and over again, and He opened His arms that night and held me, even when my husband wasn't able to. Oh what love the Father has for His children!

Here’s a picture from last year today…crazy huh? He’s doing SOOOO good!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another great day? I think so!

I was sitting on the couch this morning cuddling with Basil and at 6:30am out walks my husband! Oh my! He was very awake and ready for the day, while I was still trying to wake up. Cale is normally a night owl and still is even though he stops being able to function between 8-9pm. He’ll make himself stay awake. This gave this morning a turn in a different direction than I was expecting, but it didn’t stop it from being great!

We first chilled for a bit and then decided to get ready for the day. Right now I give Cale a shower every other day and he showered yesterday. This meant I was going to have to shower and figure out something for him to do…ipad! Score! He played Solitaire while I washed up and then needed help towards the end. It helped me so much!

About 9:30 he started to shut down so I had him lay down for an hour before speech. He at first refused, but finally let me walk him to the bedroom and get everything set up for him. I love when Cale is tired and just waking up…it’s one of my favorite moments. I’ve always loved his face all scrunched as he’s trying to figure out what’s going on. He’s always incredibly sweet and gives this sweet smile when he knows it’s me. Well, I just love it. Today when I went into wake him, because of my camera on the nightstand, I was able to capture a really sweet moment with him.

Love these moments like Cale loves Mt. Dew!


With the nap out of the way, Cale was recharged and ready to go for speech. I stayed in the spare room and worked on a few things while they were at the table. Towards the end I joined in and was told by the therapist that he worked so hard! Yes! Cale even asked me to play the word game they had been playing. He, at that point, was already really tired and worn out so we just started it and then gave him a break!

On to the second nap of the day!

Confession: I feel very guilty when I read a magazine or watch a movie. I didn’t so much when Cale was inpatient in the beginning because I had more time to just sit. At nights I was alone so I would watch movies or read then, but once we were in CA, life just got really busy! It was busy in NC too, but I had more time on my own. Once in CA, Cale was suddenly more aware if I was in the room or not-and he didn’t like when not! Suddenly, I was dealing with even more paper work, calls, Cale, meetings, and tons more! I was getting up between 6-6:30am almost every morning and not getting to sleep until after 12am! A lot of the day was non-stop. Well, since we’ve been home, the business hasn’t really slowed down, it’s just a different busy. Cale still needs so much of my attention when he’s not in therapy and there’s a lot more “stuff” to get done like, going through all the paperwork that has sat for the last year and daily house chores.

So even now, if I have free time, I automatically go to all the stuff that still needs done: thank you cards written, phone calls to make, cleaning, filing…the list keeps going! With all that still needs my attention, I feel like it’s wasteful to sit and watch a whole movie without working on something at the same time or to read a magazine. When Cale was resting for the second time of the day, I knew there were things that needed to get done, but for part of the time I sat on the deck and soaked up some vitamin D and read a magazine. I read about 6 new things to do with an ice cube and which jeans are for what fit of body-and I enjoyed it so much! I didn’t stay there long, not because I didn’t want to, but because this white girl was going to be a lobster.

Anyways…not trying to make that sound like I was complaining, just letting all of you know I sat and relaxed! :)

When Cale woke up, it was time for therapy and tonight we went bowling! If you don’t remember the last time we went bowling CLICK HERE This time was a complete turnaround from the last! In fact, I would say it was AMAZING! It started with us first getting there. His therapist was talking with the lady behind the counter and then Cale turns to me and asks, “What size of shoes do I wear?” Oh my goodness! The fact that he was able to put together that we were going to need shoes and that he was going to need to know his size, AND ask me because he doesn’t know the information. Man! So then, we go to bowl. I had already told Jamie I wasn’t sure how it would go because of last time, but you know what? He did awesome! At first we had some trouble finding a ball because the 8 pounder had too small of finger holes and the 9 pounder was too heavy. Finally we found an 8 pounder that would work! He tried to be as independent as he could, and when he launched his first ball and sent it spiraling down the lane-I was shocked. Thankfully this time when the tears threatened, I was able to hold them back and not make such a scene…well, we all cheered pretty loudly! :)



We did have the bumpers up to help and I think because we didn’t make a big deal about them, Cale didn’t really notice. About the 4th frame, he started getting really tired and not able to do as well. His arm was shaking and he had a hard time keeping his eyes open. We took a break and filled him with dinner and then by the time he was done eating, we offered to leave, but Cale said we needed to finish the game! He finished and even got a strike!



I’m not sure there is a way to fully grasp and describe all the changes that have been taking place in him. He had such a great attitude during the game, cheered for all of us even when he didn’t do so well on his turn, told me I did a good job and that I “had it.” He has been coming up with so many more things on his own! It’s unbelievable! And, he did crazy good with the physical side of tonight. He was able to go down the stairs without me touching him at all and just used the railing, he carried his own ball even when I offered several times to do it for him, and he walked with the ball and sometimes without holding my hand! He also had really good control over the ball when he would release it…even though it freaked me out every time! Haha!


I prayed this morning specifically for “this can only be God” miracles today. I specifically asked the Lord to make today a day that when people hear about it, they can see the power of God…

Friends, the way he bowled today was nothing short of the hand of God.

No joke.

I’m simply amazed.

Here’s two videos of Mr. Strike himself! This was early on in the game…do you see how he’s moving?! Do you see him with that ball?! Aaaahhh!





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good...uh, GREAT day!


Oh my jujubes!

Today has been full-FULL of good stuff! Kind of feels like a Thanksgiving dinner…loaded! :)

Before therapy today, I was playing Crazy 8’s with Cale as we waited for the therapists to get to the house. Everything was going good until all of a sudden Cale’s face changed and he seemed sad. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, “I’m not sick.” Hmm…”You’re right, you aren’t sick. What do you mean by that?” Cale said, “I’m treated badly.” When I asked again what he meant by that, he said, “I’m not sick” again. I was able to talk to him about how he is healthy, but his brain is hurt and how we’re not trying to make him feel dumb.

He was really having a hard time with it though. It was such a HUGE deal that while we were playing cards, he was able to have that deep of a thought process at the same time and was able to express himself!! We had a good talk and although he doesn’t remember it, I know that it was such a good sign to see it happen!

I’ve been really struggling with something that I want to share. It’s really hard not to compare with others situations in something like this, but it’s also not a good thing to do. Every TBI is different and every person is going to heal differently (I think this is something in general that we as people struggle with, right? Comparing ourselves; bodies, possessions, fame, etc.). One of the common things I hear of stories with people recovering from brain injury and gaining some kind of life back is the knowledge that something is not right and there is something to work towards.

As of now with Cale, there still isn’t that. For him, he doesn’t realize that he has been injured, his memories are all mixed up (still healing), and he doesn’t see anything to work towards. There is no reasoning with him, like there is with so many of the stories that I know or have heard of. This gets me in a stuck mind-set and I’m continually going to the Lord asking for this. Today in therapy, we had a conference call with the whole team to make sure we’re all on the same page and to check in to see how/if Cale is meeting goals.

During the conversations, the words “fabulous” and “amazing” were used! We were able to all talk about how Cale is making progress and how fantastic it is! Also, after therapy I had time to talk with his OT and Speech therapist and again we talked about how great he is doing!!! They pointed out a few things that is so encouraging for his recovery, like how he still has his sense of humor and how that intact is such a good sign. There were a few other things that were pointed out as well. Man! This was exactly what I needed to hear today! I love that there is so much going on inside of Cale’s brain that no one can see except for the Lord and steadily I’m able to witness daily miracles!

Speech has still been working with Cale on the ipad and left one for us to mess around with overnight. It’s a bit confusing for me, but so far Cale enjoys it! I think he still needs help quite a bit, but he did play part of a game of solitaire while I made him dinner.

In OT he made sandwiches and the first one he made was for him. His OT said he had a lot of trouble and needed help with each step and what to do for each step, but when he made the second one, she said it came so much easier and he was able to make it with few cues! Praise God! My nephew came over again today and had a snack out of both of them! :) Before he made them, he asked what I would like on one. I asked him what the choices were that he had bought yesterday and for the meats he needed help to remember, but when I asked what kind of cheese he said, “Provolone or cheddar?” He was able to remember without any help which two cheeses there were!!!!!! So exciting!

Sonny is our Worship leader at church and also our neighbor. He was the brave man that took on the weekend in Seattle with Cale while I flew to NYC. He’s a crazy blessing to us for that and for always mowing our lawn. He does it without being asked…every time! This evening, he also started teaching Cale the drums! This is going to be hard for Cale because he has to start at the very basics and it’s causing him to have to use both hands together and get them to do what his brain is telling them to do. He struggles in this area a lot, so this is gonna be some good work! I’m excited to see what comes out of it! Maybe one day he’ll be drumming at church! He just doesn’t love it yet…YET!


Some MORE really exciting news…

I’ve been waiting on a phone call for several weeks and waiting to find something out for even longer. I received the phone call tonight and was told that we are approved to go to San Diego in September for a Sports Clinic for Cale!!! They pay his way and are going to be paying for our hotel. I do need to pay for my flight and food for me while we’re there, but other than that it’s a green light to go!!! Eeeek! I’m so excited! After the phone call, I ran to the table where Cale was sitting and bounced on him! Hooray! This clinic is designed for all kinds of different summer sports which include surfing and cycling that are adaptive to what Cale needs. I feel so blessed and can’t stop smiling! Praying for big things during that time and from now until then as far as Cale’s strength abilities, balance, and tolerance!

A few other new things:

In the shower since Cale’s first post-accident shower, he has been extremely sensitive to water. He has hated every shower because of how it feels on his skin. I always have to get the water fairly cold for him to stand it, but then he’s freezing, so miserable. He wasn’t too keen on the idea of taking a bath either. Well, the last two showers I’ve given him, he hasn’t said anything about the water! He gets right in!

Also, today was the second time he was able to put his scrubbie away by himself!

This evening when he called his mom, he said, “Hi mom. How are you?” Aaaahhhh!!! Usually he only says “hi mom.” This is another HUGE deal! He initiated conversation without any cues!!!! Man oh man! The day just kept getting better!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

While I was praying this morning for Cale, I began to pray that God would drench him in faith, hope, and love. I prayed that he would be drenched in faith that God is carrying us, holding us, and with us. He’s getting us through this every day. I prayed that Cale would be drenched in Hope that there is another side. Right now we’re in the midst of the weeds and stickers, but there is a beautiful garden that is covered in wild flowers and green grass (that was more a mental picture for me, as Cale doesn’t really care if there are wild flowers…)! And, I prayed that Cale would be drenched in his Father’s love. A love that reaches into the very depths of his being that he can only experience from God. It’s a love that not even I can supply for him.

I'm praying and expecting for some big things to come!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

...human beings that you care for them?


When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4

Last night when Cale and I were cuddled in bed, and trying to fall asleep, we started talking about our home at Fort Drum. It’s hard to know what he remembers and what he is just agreeing on, but after talking for a while, I could tell that he was remembering some of it. I brought up about how happy we were then, and then Cale asked, “Where did all the happiness go?” I felt my heart plummet to what felt like the bottom of the ocean. I replied by talking to him about how we’re still happy, but we’re facing a lot and going through a really tough time. Cale’s response was, “Eh, yeah.” and then he squeezed me really tight and just held me.

It is so hard to day after day watch my husband be so confused, hurt so much, and be so miserable. All I can do is be here-be his wife and love him, but what I’m really wanting to do is fix everything and make it all better like when we were in NY and so happy. I want to take all of this away from him and give him his life back. That’s not my job though…God is the One to restore to Cale what has been lost, not Kathleen; and this is very hard for me to swallow.

I had a good prayer time this morning, which was desperately needed after the last week being so crazy and not taking much time to sit before the Lord. When I take small bites and really chew and taste the flavors, things like Psalm 8:3-4 stand out to me like a flashing billboard. Those sweet and savory moments when it’s as if a revelation has happened, I’m so very grateful that I know Jesus. When I can honestly say that God cares for Caleb; He cares for me. Every day is so designed for our benefit and for His glory and we just need to continue to press in to Him-walk with Him, talk with Him, and learn to see things through His eyes and His heart.

As much fun as I still have with Cale and as much as I love him like crazy, days are still hard along with good. Amazing things happen and miracles continue, but life is still living with brain injury. I often feel like I’m swimming against the current. I can still look around and see the beauty, I’m still swimming, but it’s hard-really hard and takes a lot of work. What I do know and what I can rest in is that God isn’t going to let me drown. He’s not going to let Cale drown either!

Cale had OT and PT today. He was quite unhappy when OT first started, but when he left the house and she got him busy with the task at hand, she said he did great! His OT took him to the grocery store and bought lunch stuff so in his session tomorrow he can make it. She also had him show her the go-karts and said that from the parking lot at the mall, Cale was able to get them back home without the gps! He also took her a different way than I normally go, so it’s that memory kickin’ in! Praise God!

PT didn’t go as smoothly once started, but he did do some. He was not in the mood tonight in the slightest. We started with trying out the Kinect again, but after a couple tries he said it was dumb. I think it’s still a little too complicated for now. After that he was done and wouldn’t budge, but after some begging from his wife, he was willing to do the elliptical. He really didn’t want to, but not only did he do it, but he made a record!!!! He did 17 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome! He was very tired and asked to get off around that point. When I was bragging about how hard he worked a little later he said, “it was easy!” :) To finish PT, we took a short walk around the block with Basil. Cale was tired and not too end to it, but it was so nice outside! I at least enjoyed it!



Some of you may remember me asking for prayer for my nephew a while ago. Thank you so much for those of you that did! He’s been home and doing good. I’m really proud of him! His attitude that comes sometimes is annoying, but he’s 18 and thinks he knows it all…uh, anyone else know about that?! Haha! Since he’s been home, he’s gotten a job and has stayed out of trouble. He’s really trying and today he sent me a text that said he was bored, so I told him to come over. This was huge! He sent his aunt (we were raised more as brother sister) a text when he was bored, rather than go hang out with old friends and get in trouble. This was such a praise and blessing! He just didn’t know that he was going to end up doing PT with Cale… ;) Heehee!

Last night I was making a mess in the kitchen while I was supposed to be cleaning. I mumbled to myself and then from the dining room Cale yelled out wondering what I said. “Just saying how your wife is a goofball!” to which he responded all too quickly, “eh, what’s new?”

That stinker!



Laura had come up with the idea to use this trunk and the path in our pictures to resemble our journey that we’ve been on…so sweet and such a special idea!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a real amazing wonderful miracle!

Yesterday was full of fun! Cale was having a hard morning/afternoon, I think just tired from such a crazy long fun-filled weekend. We were in the bedroom together and I had told him to come out when all his grumpiness went away and then I walked to the kitchen. He must have thought this hilarious and a good opportunity to turn me completely red…

All of a sudden Crystal burst out laughing and then everyone followed. I was a bit confused and as I stepped around the corner-there was my husband walking down the hall…wearing my bra over his clothing. Oh my goodness.

I darted right back in the kitchen; stood for a minute shocked, and then turned Cale around and we headed for the bedroom! Haha...uh…

It’s never boring around here-no joke.

After all the laughing and our late breakfast of pancakes we headed to the park to feed the ducks. Cale had a huge smile when he first started and even tried quacking at them! :) Ciera my youngest niece also loved it! Once all the bread was gone and we were getting ready to all head to the car, a bird pooped on my head and all over my arm. Like I said, it’s never boring around here!


My brother surrounded!


About the time that we were ready to go swimming and have some water fun, Cale was tired. We grabbed some lunch and then they dropped Cale and me off at the house so he could rest and they headed to the water park. That gave me a little bit of time to do some research on a few things and get Cale refueled for all the evening fun!!

Once everyone was home again, it was time for PT and want to know what we did?! We rode Go-Karts!!!! Not just the family-but CALE too!!!!! This was something that Cale loved doing before the accident. He always loved racing and used to watch Nascar a lot. Once Cale was all seated and ready to go, they gave him a few laps by himself to see how he was going to do. I cried…like, blubbered like a baby!! Once he took off, more tears came! After his first lap, I watched him whip around the turns and it looked just like Cale before the accident. He had no disability suddenly; rather, he was right in his element!

Before our helmets...


My nephew Mark getting Cale all buckled up!


My niece Caitlin already to go!


He's Going!


While we were trying to get set up to go and join him, he had already done several laps and then pauses and shrugs at us pointing to the track, wondering if we were going to join him! Haha! Once all 8 of us were on the track, we all had a BLAST!! It was um…can’t think of a good enough word to describe the feeling of racing with him…amazing!!!! :)!!!!!!!!



I was super impressed with him and how great he did! We will for sure be doing more of that! Might need to do a car wash for it though! Haha!

It was such a fun last day with our family, but we very much wish we didn’t have to say good bye to them! This morning really early, we took them to the airport and had a time of hugs and tears. Missing them a ton.

My niece had to have these flip flops because she said it made her look 6 years old ;)


With so many of us in the house and going every which way this last week, the house is slightly messy and unorganized. We also desperately needed to do some grocery shopping! Mama and I were gung-ho about getting everything together today, but were also extremely tired. We started out good, and managed to get groceries while Cale was in therapy, but then we fizzled a wee bit and both of us ended up lying around the TV with a movie marathon!

Tomorrow is another day for that!

Isn’t it crazy that he was go-karting?! Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

When we were telling his therapist today, he was so excited all over again. Love it! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

You will never believe it...

Big news coming soon...like, tomorrow when I can keep my eyes open :)

a peek from the day~



awesome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where There Is Love...

The reunion was so good! It was wonderful getting to see family that I haven’t seen in a couple years. It was Cale’s first time meeting that side of the family. Our reunion is always on this big lake and there’s always lots of food and talking. I wasn’t sure how it would go with him and how long he would be able to tolerate, but he was able to handle about 4.5 hours!!! On the 4th, it was the same type of atmosphere and he was only able to do a fraction of that! My brother had him in round after round of Crazy 8’s which helped a ton! My aunt also had a kitten that we played with for a while and then the raffle drawing we do every year and Cale won two prizes! This is one that he picked out for me…


We don’t have a glamorous family and it’s not any kind of a high-end ordeal, but we sure do have a good time! Cale was sitting by my grandma for a while and at one point he pointed to her legs; when she asked him what he was pointing at he said, “white.” Haha! Uh…she was very sweet and thought it hilarious that he said she has white legs…and she agreed with him! :)

That is one thing about Cale, he is very honest! If he doesn’t like the food-he says it. If he’s not having fun-he says it. If he is mad at you-he says it. If he thinks you’re being dumb-he says it. cracks. me. up.

After getting back to the hotel, Cale was tired. We let him rest while everyone else went to the pool. My brother came up and took over hanging with Cale so I could go down and relax with everyone. I love spending time with everyone and having our family together. We’re missing one brother, but maybe he’ll be able to join us next time.

Last night Cale watched the Spanish channel for a fairly long time. He had seen a dog on it and stopped to watch and then just kept watching! He had no idea it was in Spanish! With most things he watches on TV, he has no idea what it’s about and only gets a few words here and there because he just can’t process the words-so, I guess it doesn’t matter it’s not in English! Haha!

One thing that has been awesome to watch is this really special bond between Cale and my brother. I know that Cale doesn’t remember the accident or any of the time right after, but somehow I feel like there is something there because of it and my brother being right there with him. Not quite sure how to explain it, but as this trip continues, I’m seeing it more and more. It’s something Cale doesn’t realize, but it’s so awesome to be on the outside and getting to witness this sweet miracle.



My nephew CJ showed me two really neat card tricks last night. I was fascinated with how they turned out and had him show me more than once. He showed me how to do one of them, which when I tried to do it to Cale, I failed the first two times! One of them I decided I didn’t want to learn how-I just wanted to think it was the coolest thing, but the other he showed me the trick…so, I feel special! :) We both tried to do them with Cale, but I found out card tricks and Cale don’t do so well. With CJ’s he had to pick a card at the beginning and follow through the trick, but he wasn’t able to remember his card and then with the one I did with him, he got the cards all mixed up and couldn’t remember the ones I had him choose. It was pretty funny because with CJ since he wasn’t able to follow the trick, he wasn’t too impressed and then with mine, he thought I did it all wrong!

We're now home and Cale is snoring next to me...I'm about to join him. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Memory, Butterflies, and the Road!

Wednesday morning…
K: Who is here visiting?
C: Your brother
K: Yep! Well, actually, he and the boys went to Seattle.
C: Oh sad. I wanted to see them.
K: They’re only gone for the day, they’ll be back tonight.
C: Yay!

A few minutes later…
C: Who is here?
K: You tell me
C: Your brother and sister?
K: Yep!
C: What are their names?
K: You tell me
C: Uh…Juan and Crystal?
K: Good job! And, what about the kids?
C: Hmm…Cameron and uh…Ciera
K: Nice, and who else?
C: a girl…Tiffany?
K: There is CJ, Cameron, Caitlin-
C: Yeah Caitlin!
K: and Ciera

Yahooo!! This may seem like a very simple conversation and no big deal, but it’s HUGE! Cale’s memory is getting so much better! Now sometimes he can eat a meal and 10 minutes later not remember that he ate or I can tell him a funny story and we can laugh really hard and 5 minutes later when I bring it back up about how funny it was, he’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. But with lots of repetition things are starting to stick. When I had asked him who was here, he had just woken up and remembered who was here. He’s starting to lay down new memory-slowly, but it’s happening! That is a miracle! Not to mention, that’s a lot of new names that he’s hearing!

About 15 minutes later…
Cale was getting dressed and had buttoned his pants while lying on the bed. They were way down on him so his boxers were sticking out; I told him he needed to pull his pants up and he told me they were. K: "What are you now, gangsta?" C: "Yeah, What up dog?" Haha! He cracks me up! I laughed so hard at the way he had said that…so of course we had to go show everyone else in the living room. Cale went out to them and said, “Yo, what up dog?” After all the laughter…the pants were fixed! ;) I love that Cale still has the ability to be his crazy silly self and very easily cause a whole room full of people to smile and laugh…some things never go away. :)

The guys decided to spend Wednesday in Seattle because my nephew is a huge Seattle Seahawks fan. Cale had to stay back because of therapy which was a bummer and the ladies had fun getting our toes all pretty (kind of sounds funny being put that way). We also had time to browse a second hand store, which I love doing. My niece found a gigantic pair of sunglasses that we all had many laughs over! I was searching for a few things for a new project and two guys passed the aisle I was on. I didn’t see their faces, but one of the guys sounded like Cale. Instantly my tummy was full of little butterflies! It brought back time after time that I would constantly have the butterflies from hearing Cale’s voice, a tender kiss he would give, or a way that he would look at me making me feel like I was the only woman for his eyes. It was one of those moments that I will tuck away in a little treasure box in my heart and pull out in the moments that are rough and bumpy and will be reminded of the sweet precious kind of love we share.

While we were all out having fun, poor Cale was feeling yuckier by the minute. He wasn’t able to participate in therapy because of how he was feeling and ended up sleeping a good chunk of the day. He had a low grade fever and some extremely disgusting discharge from his nose. He was so tired and just really didn’t feel good. I wasn’t able to get a hold of the doctor, but finally yesterday I was able to speak with his doctor’s nurse and she helped with ideas for what to do right now. If he’s still not great Monday we’ll make an appointment. He seems to be doing better, so we’re just gonna pray it stays that way!

Wednesday night we had a BBQ with the whole family. The kiddos were in the yard playing with a ball and at one point brought the ball to me and said it touched poop. Aunt Leena had to save the day and do some scoopin’ around the yard. I stopped while on the back side of the deck and just watched and listened-beautiful. I think the Lord allowed some of the challenging times when I longed for and for brief moments get lost in day dreams about life at home while Cale was in the hospital because when they come now, I’m overflowing with thankfulness! That was one of those moments. Thank you sweet Jesus for the blessings!

On Thursday we were hanging out and having a pretty chill day. Caitlin and I had something really fun planned (that will have to wait) and we had been thinking so hard of something that Cale could go do with the guys. The thing is it is very hard to find things for Cale to do that he enjoys and that he can do. He’s mobile, but not mobile enough. He’s aware and can follow conversation, but not well enough. He can join in on the fun and tolerate activity but he can’t tolerate enough. I’m not saying this to complain or say that Cale isn’t doing great-because he is, but just to say that there are so many limitations still that I don’t even think about sometimes. This makes it hard to have people over to visit, to watch a movie, to relax, to go out on the town. It just does. It’s a reality that I’m daily praying will change and begin to open up so many things that he can actually enjoy and not just for 15 minutes. Praying! My brother did finally come up with an idea to get a remote controlled car. We bought a cheap one which wasn’t the best for what we had in mind outside, but it works well for being in the house. He still can’t tolerate it for long periods, but it’s something new.

By the time this gets posted, we’ll be in CA! Our family reunion is this weekend and for the first time, Cale gets to go! The first one after we were married, he was in AIT and then the second one that I was able to go to after we were married he was deployed. We’re driving down I5 as a convoy and having many adventures! Family is fun! Part of our fun includes walkie talkies…!

This is my second time typing out this post because when I was just about done on the last one, my computer decided to turn off and do an update…lost it all…bugger.

All done now! I’m sure we’ll have a whole bucket full of more stories to tell after we’re done with this trip! :)

Ok…so, I ended up getting this awesome video of Cale dancing and singing. He’s holding a walkie talkie because each car had one and then we gave him the spare to have fun with. He loved getting to hold one and for parts of the drive, he just held it by his ear. He was so tired, but couldn’t sleep in the car so his eyes stayed closed and he was at a point that he was about to shut down and this song recharged him! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wonderfulness!

My brother and two nephews headed to Seattle for the day...


...and the Gals had pedicures done! :)



I love my crazy goofball of a husband so much! :)He's a blast!


Out and about-


Smores after dinner...of course! Cale didn't love it tonight though.


These some crazy women!




Please pray for Cale! We think he has a sinus infection and after leaving three different messages for the doctor, I've heard nothing back! Very different than being inpatient with a doctor available all the time! He hasn't been feeling well the last several days... :(