Thursday, February 28, 2013

What happens in 7E does not stay on 7E!

I have a boat load of pictures to share! Sorry for the delayed update...it really has been busy around here. I also find myself at the end of the night just turning off. Before while inpatient, posting on the blog was my way to get everything out and clear my head, but now it shuts off all by itself! ;) 

Rewinding a few weeks...


A couple that we know who also has brain injury in the midst of their life came to 7E for a little over a week to have a couple things checked. It wasn't their first time here and all though they may not have enjoyed coming back...I liked having them here! One night Sunny and I went for dinner and this was our men stuck on the unit! 


Now this...this is a true Red Wings fan. Just saying. 
...just for the record, those are NOT my feet! 


SURPRISE!!! 

On February 10th we celebrated Cale's 3 year alive day. We're in the hospital for it, but I am so thankful for this man and ALL that he's brought to my life! I'd rather be in a hospital with crazy hats than not have him with me. That's for sure! 






It was an Angry Bird Bash! We had a TON of food and Bingo! 

The nurses helped with everything and made it an extra special day along with the other families here!


We had so many beautiful days in a row...


The family that now has Basil in their family posted a sweet note on Facebook one day...it was perfect. Miss that dog! 


Valentine's Day was amazing! I've shared my thoughts on v-day before so I won't go back over it again, but I don't see anything wrong with a day set a part to make the person you love feel extra special. It doesn't have to cost anything either! Cale (with the staff helping) created a beautiful morning and the day just kept getting better. Started with a note telling me to follow the trail of hearts that led to his room. His door was covered in cute little cards he made. Inside was more hearts and cards everywhere along with a really big one he made! Later a guy came up to the unit playing the guitar and Cale asked me to dance! So...we did! The first song was more upbeat and fun and the second one we danced to was "My Girl" 

In the morning right after walking into 7E with hearts and music playing, we get in his room and I see everything and give him the little something I had for him. After a couple minutes I grabbed my chapstick and started to put it on. Cale asked why which confused me so I asked why he was asking why and told him I had something to put in the fridge, to which he replied, "It's make-out time. Don't you see all the hearts?"

I felt spoiled and loved. Spending the day with him is always a treat, but sometimes...the extra things keep the heart soft! :)






The day after I left on a trip. It wasn't easy to decide to go and then follow through with it, but it needed to happen. While I was gone the staff kept Cale super busy! He was spoiled with all the attention they gave him to help the week go a little smoother. He did awesome as well! 

He went out to eat, went to a movie, played with dogs, stayed crazy and fun, and did Facetime with me! I showed him how our Christmas tree is still up and waiting for him to return home. Yep, we'll be the family having Christmas in March. At that point do we just keep it up all year?! Haha! 


My first stop was to a weekend conference with ladies from Hope for the Homefront. We're about to start virtual bible studies with us leaders being all over the US and able to include women from all over the US. It's going to take me a little bit to get used to doing it online using webcam but I think it'll end up being something really amazing. Our first book we're going to read through together is Wounded Warrior Wounded Home by Marshele Carter Waddell and Kelly K. Orr. If you have a husband who is a wounded warrior and or struggles with PTSD and would like to join a group email me and I'll get you connected! They're being led at a few different times...so maybe one will work for you! 

The conference was a time for all the leaders to come together and after months of us only having a virtual relationship, it finally became personal-so cool. I was so blessed to spend the weekend with these women that are all running after the Lord, focused, and willing to serve. We also spent one of the days listening to Sheila Walsh, Lisa Turquist and Lisa Harper. 




After my two days in CO I finally walked into our finished home! Wow! It was...uh...kind of amazing. As I walked from room to room being led by Mama, the tears came. I feel so overwhelming blessed. So much so, that I can't describe in words what was running through my heart. I spent the next week decorating and organizing! I can't wait to go back with my man and create our home together living life! We're so very blessed. With or without such a nice house...we're incredibly blessed. 


Do you remember this little purple creature Cale painted?! Well, he now has a home and flowers! :)


While home I also was able to ship all the soccer balls!!!! 
Final count-
soccer balls: 37
pumps: 5
cones: 6

Thank you to each of you that were willing to send a ball (or two) and bless little kiddos in Kenya! I know they're going to be used and loved! 

Here's a little note from Carla-

Soccer, or futball, as they call it here in Kenya, is the most popular sport in the country! Almost every Kenyan boy dreams of being a professional soccer player when they grow up!
Many kids have to resort to making their own soccer balls out of plastic bags and twine! It's actually pretty impressive! When they have a chance to play soccer with a real ball, it is a happy day!
Here at In Step Children's Home, our kids are no different than the ones I've described. They love to play soccer! Even the little toddlers like to kick a ball all around the playground!
Recently, money was donated in memory of a soccer coach in Washington State, to build a soccer field on the site of our new primary school. We plan on utilizing this field not only for the enjoyment of our own kids, but also as a way to reach out to the kids of our community! The gift of soccer balls to go with the new field, is like the icing on the cake!
Thanks, Darling Project! Be blessed! GIGATT! Mama Carla

and here's the link to learn more about where all the balls, pumps, and cones are headed!


Also, I apologize for not doing a better job at updating each week on who the veteran is that we're sending cards to. Tomorrow I'll post the last couple and we'll just ask that you join and bless each of them with an encouraging card...and it won't matter that it's not their week! 


To finish my week at home, I ran my first half marathon. This was supposed to be a lot sooner, but plans changed and we have been on the east coast for too long! Rachel and her husband Mike ran as well! Here's the girls all smiles before the race started! 




We all did great! Mike finished first with a crazy good time...he busted out some speed! Rachel finished next and then not too far after I came in. We had friends that drove to different spots and cheered us on which helped so much! We all three felt awesome (and exhausted!) after it was over and went out for a big meat-filled dinner at Famous Daves. Yum! 






It was so hard to leave Cale. I knew he would be fine, but I still missed him. I also hated that I'm the one that brought him here, and then was also the one going home when that's all he wanted to do...felt like a pretty big jerk. 

BUT, I knew it needed to happen, and again, I knew he would be just fine. When I arrived back at the hospital, the nurses (AGAIN!) helped Cale put together something that of course made me cry! Especially when I was then told how hard he worked on it! 

Beautiful.

It was this large collage of pictures of the two of us, quotes, and little things Cale wrote himself. they even added my picture from the race! Aside from that they had also made a count down calendar that was completely awesome. Love that man. 



It's been a busy week, but we've settled back into our hospital-life routine. Tonight Cale put his pants on his head and after me saying he looked like an elephant with the two big ears he proceeded to act like one ;) The first picture is him showing his trunk.

A few more randoms...

The day that Lent started, the Rec therapist was playing cards with Cale and began talking about what she was giving up. After a little bit, Cale declared, "I'm giving up vegetables!" Ha!

I've been noticing a few very distinct changes in Cale over the last several weeks. I think my heart starts to beat faster when I think about it...kind of funny huh?

He has started asking what words mean when people are talking. Normally, if he was even following a conversation, he may seem like he's understanding but most of the time, he had no clue. Although that is still true, he's now trying to understand and not being shy about it. He'll raise his hand until you're finished talking and then ask about whatever the word meant.

He also has started looking things up that he doesn't know! This started yesterday and happened again today. He grabs his iPad and makes his way too Google and then types it in. WHAT?! Yesterday there was a group gathered around the table during one of the meals and the conversation landed on, wondering if rabbits make noise. None of us knew, so Cale looked it up! Today he didn't know what a reptile was so he looked that up also! I'm completely amazed that he's doing this. I feel like it's a really big deal. And for those of you that didn't know him before his injury, this is something he would do before just in a different way. He loved researching and learning. 

We have a new discharge date! This one is pretty solid because we leave for an event the next day! It's a few weeks from now which is ok...the end is in sight. I know I make the Lord laugh! I clearly can picture Him motioning me to come to Him to calm me as I have my clipboard in hand with my pen and my glasses at the brim of my nose as I all too enthusiastically explain to Him, "Lord, I have the plan. I've got it all figured out..." My words slipping from my mouth too quickly all the while He's shaking His head saying, "Kathleen, that job doesn't suit you." Which it doesn't! He didn't create me to be the one in charge making all the plans. I'm not supposed to have it all figured out. Thankfully. 

If you had talked to me before we came, I bet I told you we'd be home for the holidays...

Ha! 

We've had Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, my birthday, Valentine's Day, and now our anniversary here! 

In His perfect timing...

ALSO, I've been getting lots of spam comments. Do any of you know how to block this from happening? I don't know blogger too well...and I have to do something to stop it from happening!

I've used way too much of your time on this update! Thank you for reading and caring! 








10 comments:

  1. ♥♥♥ to you both! I just love that first picture. They think they're soooo funny ♥♥♥

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  2. My Dear Friend (I was going to say girl---but that's Cale's endearment for you), I can't tell you how excited you have been able to see your new home. Having Christmas when you get home is a GRAND idea. No, I don't think that means you will have the tree up all year, though that does sound pretty.
    You did your race---good for you. I am proud of you. No wonder you can eat chocolate and be so slim. I look at chocolate and----well, am not so slim.
    Will Cale be able to get a service dog, like you had hoped?
    I do remember the little purple guy. How fun that he holds such pretty flowers.
    What a wonderful staff. Cale is in a good place. You know, I am not surprised Father is restoring Cale's thirst for knowledge. If he studied the black hole for fun, it stands to reason Father would give back a measure of that desire for knowledge. I love you, and I rejoice with you in all that Father is bringing your way. WILL you be there for Easter, or will you get to be home---celebrating Christmas and Easter together would be kind of cool. With a hug, Marion

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  3. Does not take too much of my time to read your updates Kathleen. I enjoy reading them and knowing how it all is going. As far as the spam, I don't know blogger well either maybe try changing the password if there is one, or ask Cale he can look it up for you... :) God Bless and safe travels as you both continue on your journey.

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  4. Wow...Kathleen...loved the update and the photos!! I almost cried over the Valentine stuff...so precious. How kind the staff there helps him with that stuff. It is wonderful! (I thought it was so funny about him asking about the Chapstick and then later saying it was make-out time because of all the Valentines. Maybe he thought if you were going to be doing a lot of kissing you didn't need that Chapstick right then!! LOL!) What a sweet thing about the collages and stuff and counting down when you would be back from your trip. All that was so precious. I am thrilled you got to see your new home. Good job with the marathon!! (More power to you, girl! That is not for me!) Anyway, thank you so much for the update! It was fun! Also loved the two photos at the top of the guys at the doors!! :o)
    Love in Christ,
    Emily
    Sorry about the spam...looks like there might be an anonymous one up above right now. ?

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  5. Thank you for the sweet reminders of all God is doing and waiting on His timing. How applicable to each of our lives! Praising God with you!

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  6. I can say that the tree is most definitely coming down as soon as Christmas is celebrated in this house. I have been looking at it since December and kept it for Cale, so I guess if Cale wants it to stay.......

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    1. Haahhh...that is funny! Mama doesn't want the tree up all year I believe! Mama might be sick of the tree now. ;o} She's so great! What a blessing she is!
      Emily

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  7. Cale & Kathleen, I wanted to Thank you brother, Carlos for sharing your beautiful story with Valentines for Veterans and the story of Gunnery Sgt. Chris Ovanek, the other hero that day with your brother that helped during the accident. I have had the blessing of reading through this entire website & wanted you to know how touched I am of your story & will be a faithful follower from now on! Your story is beautifully amazing, you all are truly angels brought together for a reason! Thank you for sharing our Veterans we Showcase on Valentines for Veterans, that is again so thoughtful & I am truly touched to be able to include your story this week as part of the Showcase as you each are truly Heroes yourself! God Bless you & Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful, inspirational story with all! Andrea, Valentines for Veterans

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