Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Still Here!

Goodness, this week is CRAZY!!! I have so many posts with tons of pics ready to load up (Christmas tree hunting, Brayden playing soccer, some amazingly fun dog pics.....), but no time to do it all.

Tomorrow, I have potentially 30 people (the number that have RSVP'd) walking through the door of my home to an "Open House" I'm hosting for the college students during Dead Week at the UofO. I have a ton of craft items I've purchased for them to make their own "gift bags". I have all sorts of frostings and icings (and tools to use them) to decorate sugar cookies. And, of course, there's the food - that I've spent all day making.

And, that leaves me with no time to clean....which is where my favorite person of the day comes in - Lisa. She volunteered last week to come "really clean" my house today while I bake....and boy did she do that. I told her that she was totally speaking (more like shouting!) my love language....I'm telling you, that girl can clean- and oh how happy that makes me.

Anyhow - that's where I'm at, by tomorrow, I'll have even more to write and post pictures about - but, at least you know I'm still alive - and living the crazy, happy life that comes this time of year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just Jumping Along

More pictures demonstrating what the "non-shoppers" of the family did over Thanksgiving weekend....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Moon

These are the smiles on our faces after coming out of the theater from seeing the "Twilight" sequel, "New Moon". I felt like the movie stayed ultra-true to the book - and while, in the big picture, I'm definitely a pro-Edward person (they are meant to be), I felt like there couldn't be a better Jacob than Taylor Lautner. I think he's just the sweetest thing - may he and Taylor Swift fall in love and live happily ever after........

Dog Days

Over the course of all of our time shopping - that left a lot of time for the kids to be at home hanging with our guys. John and Michael were doing some serious male bonding - perfectly content to catch the football games on tv.

I was still around when this shot was taken - the Schilling kids sure know how to sleep in - Traig didn't wake up until 1pm on Saturday....(made for easy childcare for the guys!)

I was not around during this time of entertainment - apparently, on accident, they discovered Baxter could leap the coffee table. So, they worked on re-enacting it to catch it on film.

A little owner-pet bonding......

Finally, this shot was taken by Brayden - so sweet!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in Picture Review

We're currently watching the Boise State game on Friday night - with the Whites and the whole Schilling Family - all rooting for Nevada... It's all so super-cozy - kind of a pre-cursor to Sunriver. Except, in Sunriver, there's a little bit more room for 5 kids to run around and three dogs to play..... =)

I got a bit of a nap after returning from shopping/organizing presents around 4:30(pm). Yes, a very LLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG day! But, I'm feeling revived enough to enjoy the moments happening now - and to chronicle a bit of the great Thanksgiving we had.

The morning started early with Mikayla helping me to slice the "Cinnabon Copycat" cinnamon rolls. They turned out good enough to attempt time I'll work on improving my "bread-rising" techniques (I don't have a bread maker and have limited experience working with yeast) - and I'll probably head over to World Market to get some really amazing cinnamon to use next time.

This is the front view of the family - all eating cinnamon rolls, watching the Macy's Day parade.

And, a view from the back - Michael ended up winning the Macy's Day Parade Bingo game - who knew that if you paid close attention to the opening credits of the show - when they preview what's to come - you can manage to fill in a whole lot of slots.....

Around 10:30, after a stop at Dutch Brothers for Mom, we made it out to Mom and Dad's. While Michele and Mom worked on things in the kitchen (and I returned home for about 5 things I forgot - [Man, there's a lot of organization required for these holiday events- and I just wasn't on my "A game".....]) - the guys hung out in the living room and Michael tutored Dad on the PC.

As this occurred, the kids were enamored with "Sly Cooper" on the PS2........

John used some of his photography skills right before we sat down for dinner. Unfortunately, the pic he took of Mom, Michele, and I (to prove Mom was there!) did not turn out. However the pic of some of my favorite kids, favorite Thanksgiving offerings, and Ellie's favorite meal time pastimes totally turned out.

Baxter was such a cutie on Thanksgiving night - cuddling with both Mom and I a ton. He was especially interested in my pumpkin pie - I shot this as he had his chin on my knees with my cell phone.

As a final concluding comment - the common consensus in this community (how about that alliteration!) is thank God today is just Friday.....and tomorrow is a sleep-in day!

It's 3:27am, and We're Off to Go......

Sears, then Target, then Best Buy - oh, but Best Buy will depend on how successful Sears is.....from there Home Depot - or is it Fred Meyer. By that time, we might be seeing dawn on the horizon and a caffeine infusion from Starbucks will be in order.....and we will all three be so punch-drunk!

That's why I love this day - not for the satisfaction of all of the sales - but, for the way it redefines the "abundant life". I mean, getting up this early and fighting angry shoppers is not the typical way one would consider life bursting from the seams full of joy......but doing it with my mom and Michele - and the MEMORIES - oh, the memories -- oh yeah. This is a good day.

Now, if I can just convince my riotous stomach of's still very unhappy with me from yesterday.........hmmm, will Russian Tea be just the remedy?

Happy Black Friday Everyone!

Picture taken at 4:30am while waiting in line outside of Target:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bring It On!

Traditionally, today has been one of my favorite days of the year. Why? Because I'm an anticipation/expectation person - and with tomorrow being the official launch off of my favorite season of the year. Yippeeeeeee!

Michele and the kiddos are down already (they have "No school/conferences" the week of Thanksgiving) and today will be errand-running, pie-making and goodie-making.

In addition, we'll be visiting Amy!! (Please be in prayer for her mother-in-law - she is in ICU and could pass away at any time - her heart is prepared, but they are hopeful her journey to Heaven does not coincide with Amy's daughter, Christina's birthday (on Thanksgiving this year) - as Christina would probably internalize it and struggle....)(Amy looked so good today - and was in great spirits - the pain she is still experiencing can largely be attributed to the 12mm she gained in height from the surgery - and how much that affects the nerves in her back and the muscles- understandably).

Tomorrow we head out to Mom and Dad's - after doing the Macy's Day Bingo game at home. We'll have a grand feast out there and play our every-other-year "Arena Football" - literally taking place in my mom's sand outdoor riding arena. =) If it rains so hard the rest of the family chooses not to play, Brayden will be crushed......

Here is a picture that Mikayla drew for school of what she considers "November":

Around 6:30 tomorrow night- John and Travis will take off for the Woodburn Outlet Malls, while we plan our strategies with Mom for Black Friday.....perhaps a little watching of "Four Christmases" will take place and then if we're smart we'll get to bed super early, but 3am will come early no matter when we go to bed, let's face it.....

All's to say - I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Up on the Rooftop"

That's where you'd find John and Brayden today - and those white little dots on the skylight - yes, that is hail. Fortunately, it was very short-lived. Most of the day was quite cold, but rather dry. Not the ideal day to put up Christmas lights, but I'm so happy those boys of mine got it done.

Meanwhile, Julie and I hung out in the house with Mikayla. Julie sacrificed some of her study time to re-do Mikayla's Upcoming Events sign that hangs in her bedroom. Ever since I asked Kara to design the board last spring, I've been quite unhappy with my own efforts. Julie was sweet enough to fill in for her - and make me very happy whenever I walk into Mikayla's room.

When Sydney wasn't pacing the hallway by the patio door to "go see what the guys' were up to without her", she found a cozy place next to Julie to relax.

All in all- a great weekend! It was so "full" - it feels like a week has gone by since we went to the movies - but that's what made it so great.

What a Huge Football Weekend!

Whew...what a weekend so far! And it is just the beginning of Sunday - we still have a full day to go.

I already chronicled about Friday night's football movie - "The Blind Side". Just excellent.....

Then, yesterday, at 12:30, Brayden's football team got the opportunity to play at Autzen Stadium (where the Ducks play, to you non-Eugenians) for the Pop Warner championships. His team was in contention for 2nd place. They did not win (which was kind of expected, the other team had only one loss all season - in the play-offs) - but still, to play at Autzen - to run out on the field, to have your name broadcast on the loudspeaker and face on the Jumbotron. Wow, what a thrill.

Brayden played a lot - it was so wonderful to have Mom, Dad, Leona, Uncle Jeff, the Quigley family, Travis and Steph, and Julie (on the sideline helping John photograph) all there to support our little man - Brayden "Ocho" Riley. Many, many pictures to come, but I'm so proud of that kid. He had a couple shout outs by the announcer - one for a killer block, and another for a tackle which he was not responsible for - at least he wasn't the one that made the stop - he kind of jumped on the pile after the play and got credit for it. We all laughed at that. =)

And, then, last night. Ducks vs. Arizona at Tuscon. Another Duck game captured by ESPN's GameDay. Another game in which Lee Corso donned the Duck Head..... The Rose Bowl contention on the line -

The Ducks are the only team in the Pac 10 that control their own destiny. If we had lost last night, we still could have potentially gone to Pasadena had Arizona lost one of their two remaining games. But, if we wanted to retain sole control of our own destiny, we had to win. We came out strong, took a two touchdown lead and then, in the second quarter, Arizona gained momentum. It wasn't looking good by the 4th quarter and I was doing all I could to stay semi-distracted so I wouldn't go insane with the tension level. I've said this before, but getting attached to team and their success can be such a double-edged sword. It is so marvelous when we win, but the loss let-down can be so devastating. I was trying to guard my heart for the worst......but, when we tied it up - and headed to overtime - oh, the emotion level in our living room was monumental! Travis, Steph, Dennis, John, and I were alternating standing, crouching, jumping, groaning, cheering - and then, we DID IT! On the second overtime, Masoli ran it in for the TD....and we took the win. All those Arizona students had swarmed the field at the end of the fourth quarter - oh, the disappointment for them to lose.

So, now, it sets up for the biggest civil war game we've ever been a part of. Whoever wins the Civil War (Thursday, December 3rd)- whether it be Oregon State or Oregon will play at the Rose Bowl. As per tradition, I gave up my ticket to Michael so he can go to the game at Autzen with John, (Michele gives up her OSU ticket to John when the Civil War is in OSU's home turf) while I stay home and watch with Michele and the kids. If we were playing at Corvallis, I think I'd say OSU would take the win this year - but with home-field advantage, the Ducks can be very formidable. It will be a showdown like none other, that's for sure. Let's hope the family relations can survive the battle! =)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"The Blind Side"

Last night we went to the movies. No, it wasn't to see "New Moon" - though I'll admit I'll probably be seeing that with Stephie and Michele on Thanksgiving weekend. (You should have seen the lines.....). We took the whole family to see "The Blind Side" instead.

I remember the first "drama" that my parents took me to see. Just like us last night, it was easier to take Mikayla than it was to find someone to watch her. I figured she'd fall asleep on my lap if the movie was that boring. But, instead - just like me and "On Golden Pond", Mikayla got sucked right in. She told me just now, "I really liked 'The Blind Side'". So did we, sweetheart!

We went to see it the night it came out because I really didn't want to hear how good it was from everyone else, or how sad, or any significant parts of the movie. As it was, I was starting to turn my head on tv previews of it because I wanted the movie to be a surprise. So, I won't give anything away.

If you are taking kids, yes, there's adult content - a significant scene towards the end that is scary - and a few "conversation pieces" that you hope fly right over their heads. However, it was all placed in the movie to make the story complete - it was exceptional.

So, there you go - my review. It is not a "Facing the Giants" movie- it's a true story. And pretty extraordinary at that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like......

Christmas. Yes, I said it - and yes, I did it. Gone are the orange and brown leaves, the pumpkins and gourds. In is the red and green, the holly and pinecones - and I couldn't be happier.

Neither could the kids or John, which is why I offer no apologies for decorating the week before Thanksgiving. It brings us great joy. So did having the "Traditions on XM" music playing all day. Joy, joy, joy!!!

For many, the music gets old. Certainly, there's a few Christmas songs I could do without, but perhaps I am one of the few who mourns the day after Christmas when our "yesterday's hits, today's favorites" radio station converts back from the holiday music they've been playing since at least Monday. I miss it. Because, right now, I love it.

I wrote on Facebook this morning that I wish there was some way to bottle these happy feelings and spread them out through the rest of the year, because, during this season I have an extra spring in my step. Hopes are high, anticipation for the fun yet to come may even be higher. Life is very, very good.


On a separate note - I wanted to update you all on Amy (especially since Sara asked and is praying for her!). She is having a good day today, after heading back to the hospital with concerns yesterday. They determined the reason for her headaches and nausea (that had nothing to do with her neck) and it appears that the prescription they got for her is doing the trick as Nancy reported upon dropping the meal today that she is feeling much better. So, long story short - she is getting better. This last week was spent doing a lot of sleeping, which I think is so crucial for her. I think my big prayer will be that even though we already know that this has already done wonders in reviving feeling to her limbs, that it will also be determined that this neck issue was indeed the culprit to much of her pain over these last years - and therefore will be eliminated. That - and getting Amy to figure out how to pace herself and create new habits in the routine of her life that will cause less strain on her neck.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mixin' It Up with the Mixer

Thirteen and a half years.....that's how long I've been married. It's also how long I've been making cookies for the folks that John works with each year during the holidays - or baking goodies in general. However, in all that time, I've never felt myself "worthy" of investing in a real "Kitchenaid". "The hand mixer works just fine, it'll do....."

But, lately, I've had a hankering. A longing, perhaps. So, when we walked upstairs at Macy's last week and Mikayla and I cast our sights on this baby - well, I asked John and Brayden to meet me up there, and it took negative .2 seconds for John to say, "let's do it". (Gotta love that man!).

We vascilated between the lesser expensive stainless steel bowl, or this - the 90th anniversary edition with the glass bowl. Of course, I said, "the cheaper one is fine", but after a discussion with the salesman, John had me quickly swayed to go for the one with the glass bowl. I'm SO GLAD I did as it is a huge "happy feature" for me. My mom has a Kitchenaid from when she first got married that still works wonderfully - it has a glass bowl and is what I grew up baking with. I'm hoping already Brayden and Mikayla are connecting this Kitchenaid with fun and coziness in the kitchen......just as I do with Mom's.


My mom's:

And, I ought to post a picture of the first cookies made with it. This is Kimmie, aka "Phoenix" from Camp Harlow. She was a HUGE HIT for the girls - they loved her so much, so as she came through town on a weekend break from my Western Oregon University alma mater, she blessed us with her presence. We made amazing chocolate chip cookies and had all sorts of "me too!" moments as the three of us (Michele included) shared our lives.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's the Weekend!

It's here. No new news about Amy, in case you were wondering. I'm assuming she's cocooned up in her room hoping for these next couple of weeks to pass by quickly until the swelling goes down and she starts to feel semi-normal again.

Around here, we are soaking in the transition from fall into holiday season. I'm busy on this day with an evening home football game preparing Thanksgiving menus, ordering Christmas pictures, and concocting Countdown Calendar activities. It's my kind of day, made sweeter by Traig, Nati, and Ellie being here - as well as Travis and Stephanie. (Michael and Michele will soon be returning from their OSU game just in time to take over the "kid watching" so we can set off for our UO game).

Last night, I was one of the last to tucker out (which is rare). I snapped this shot of the rest of the family, minus Brayden who was still hanging on with the PS2.

And this one was taken Friday night, prior to those two falling asleep - perhaps at about the same time.....

Talk about win-win. The girls had a desire to rake the leaves, so John MADE THEIR DAY by bringing out the leaf blower. It's a job I knew needed to be done, but had been dreading, and there they were having the time of their life wrangling those leaves to the curbside.

Meanwhile, this little guy kept me company on the beanbag next to the fire. He is such a sweetheart when he gets tired, he pulls over his blankie and starts kneading it - and then falls asleep. SO precious.

I haven't forgotten about the follow-up accident post, it's just that that topic would require some actual thought-process that I'm not really into devoting to right now. I think we all understand how that goes now and then in the blogging world.

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tossed with the Tide

That's what I've been feeling like lately- just kind of catching the surf and going in its control and not mine. And, every now and then I "lose it" end up underwater and emerge thinking, which direction am I even facing?

It feels silly and terribly selfish to even focus on my lack of compass when my friend, Amy, is so uncomfortable right now trying to get through these first couple of weeks of intense recovery. Talk about a body feeling like its taken a pounding.

But, yesterday, as Lisa and the kids were visiting Michele and I, I found myself so cranky - (you know its bad when I'm shoving Baxter away from me) - I thought, what's my problem? There have been a number of moments this week that have been so memorable, so special - and yes, some moments I've had when it's been "all about me" (shopping at Kohls with Michele - wow, did we score!). But, I think it's all of these different direction shifts that have been so discombobulating. One minute I think Brayden's game is a certain time, the next minute I find out it has changed. I changed my time to deliver a meal, so I felt the need to get it ready yesterday. The kids need me, Michele needs me (to do something I'd asked her to do, so it wasn't her fault at all). The phone is ringing, "dates" with people need changed - and oh yeah, technically this Veterans' Day off is a school night, so let's make sure the kids are ready for school.

Once again, none of this stuff is a trial in and of itself, but by 4pm, I'd already shifted from the Thermacare patch on my neck (that is such a GREAT product, btw!) and found myself securing an icepack on my neck with my scarf. When we've gotten to the point of's not going to get better until I sleep. And, that's why, after delivering my meal to Amy (and feeling like a wimp registering my own measly pain in comparison) - John told me I really should choose to stay home and skip his game. Thankfully, they won, so it wasn't the last game of the season that I missed seeing.

So, on the docket for today......alone time. Time to get my bearings (as well as my house cleaned) - and orient myself to what lies ahead, with enough left over so that when the next tide hits I'm firmly grounded.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Final Surgery-Day Update

This is what I sent out to the 28 folks on my "Friends of Amy" email group.....

The picture shows Steph, Michele and I visiting Amy tonight (the day of her surgery). She explained that the pain she is feeling is different from what she's experienced in her neck - more in her back, which gives me a great deal of encouragement that the surgery did what it was supposed to and the pain she is feeling is a result of the invasion on her body and not a continuation of the same old discomfort/pain she's had for so long. In fact, she was pleased to report that her grip strength is already stronger - and as we touched her feet - she now is more ticklish again - an area she had obviously lost sensation as time had gone on. Not that one rejoices in being more ticklish - but I'd say that is a VERY good thing!

She was in outstanding spirits - and feels a tremendous amount of hope now. She knows the next 6 weeks will be a trial - as swallowing is indeed an issue right now - and will be until the swelling subsides - but the anxiety over the surgery itself is gone and that is very big.

Once again, can't thank you all enough. This show of support is so profound, I feel honored to be a part of it all.

Still Waiting....(Updated 5pm)

Because the "plates" that are used to the surgery for Amy's neck were delivered to the wrong hospital, poor Amy has been waiting around for 3 hours longer than anticipated. It's resulted in some party time in the hospital room.

As Amy is mildly sedated (on an IV) - she's been a little loopy. That's a fun thing. However, it hasn't completely kept her from being irritable at the fact that she hasn't had food since 6:30 last night and is craving (with intensity) a Diet Coke fountain pop. (Hence the picture taken with my closed Diet Coke can).

They are just starting to get things moving as I'm setting this up to post. Keep praying (and that pic of the ladies praying was sent to my phone by Christy - the girls were busy doing that in the hospital cafeteria, which I got to opt out of as I happened to walk into just the right entrance of the hospital to be able to see Mark (Amy's hubby) - and then get escorted right in to hang with my buddy....) Because of the delay, some of those ladies got to later visit with Amy and participate in the pre-surgery party....

Just to let you know, I just spoke to Mark and he reported that Amy is up and currently working with her Physical Therapist. (Who happens to be Stephanie White's sister-in-law!) She did state that she had quite a bit of pain after coming out of surgery, but I don't think that's entirely unexpected. They gave her pain medications so I think that's helping. When she emerged from surgery she already had the neck collar on - so at least she didn't have to go through the anxiety of the prodding it would take to get that on, but I know it will take a lot of adjustment for her to deal with such a constraining device around her neck. However, she is already swallowing water and had a chocolate!

Hopefully, I'll get more details later - but I thought you'd all appreciate knowing that she's awake, walking, and able to move all of her digits!!!! =)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Prayers for Amy

What follows is a very detailed account of the accident I was involved in 5 years ago that is the reason why one of my best friends, Amy, is having surgery tomorrow. If it’s all more than you want to read right now, I’d like to ask you to drop to the end of this post and consider lifting up a prayer for my dear Amy for some of the concerns listed there.

The date was August 5th, 2004. It was supposed to be a day of fun – Michele and I showing our new friend, Amy, what a beach trip “Michele & Stephanie Style” looked like. I let Michele ride with Amy because they’d had less time together getting to know each other given Michele lived in Dallas, while Amy and I both lived in Eugene. So, splitting the 8 kids as evenly as we could, we set off.

By the time we were ten minutes from Lincoln City, cars were no longer moving forward. Apparently, there had been some kind of accident that had halted progress completely. So after wasting about 30 minutes trying to decide if we should keep waiting in the non-moving traffic line-up, Michele made the decision for us to U-turn and head east again to trackback to a route that would take us to a different part of the coast.

I was directly behind Michele and was approaching a stop behind her as she awaited oncoming traffic from a stationary position to take the left turn to get us back to the coast. I was alerted to trouble when I heard the telltale crunching of metal behind me and snapped my attention to the rearview mirror just in time to brace myself for collision.

It would be a while before I realized what exactly happened – but I can now report that a truck with a recreational 5th wheeler attached lost control of their brakes as they came down the slight decline hill prior to where we were stopped to turn left. In between me and the 5th Wheeler was a Nissan Sentra. The 5th Wheeler literally “mounted” the Sentra, leaving one of the two daughters in their back seat brain dead. (She has probably passed on by this time). The other daughter suffered significant injuries as well. These pictures do not show our vehicles - we were able to proceed forward a bit to park our vans in safer locations following the accident.

The force of their collision into my van propelled me into the back of Michele’s van. The resulting force of our collision caused both Michele and Amy’s seats to fall backwards (a defective car seat issue of Chrysler vehicles, resulting in a major lawsuit settlement involving a lot of anxiety and grief for Amy’s family). Because the seat propelled backwards, Amy’s head struck the back of Ellie’s rear-facing carseat.

This is a picture of Michele, Amy, and myself the night of the accident after Amy (and myself) had been discharged from Lincoln City's ER. The extent of her injuries were unrecognized at the time.

It’s been over five years since Amy’s experienced a day without pain. But, she will say the pain is not the worst issue – it’s the “sensations” that feel like ants crawling along inside her head. Either that or the fatigue that’s never-ending. She might also tell you that the loss of short-term memory, or cognitive limitations would be the worst. Head injuries are terrible that way. So many different symptoms and issues that arise from it. And, let’s not even consider the emotional strain of such an occurrence – the depression, the anxiety over the trauma that happened…..coping with the limitations that life has now handed you – and realizing as each day goes by that it’s not going away, not getting better, and that hope for recovery is ebbing…..

The year following the accident, because of the lawsuit; extensive appointments, tests, and scans were conducted to try to get to the bottom of Amy’s scenario. A definitive diagnosis was sought (brain injury), but unfortunately, less than ideal time was spent trying to find answers to her problems. After the lawsuit was over, Amy was so tired of it all, she took an extensive break from all of the poking and prodding and did her best to just get by.

However, earlier this year, Amy realized it was time to try again – to give alternative doctors and therapies a try, to reawaken hope that life for her could get better. She visited a neurologist that she felt a great connection with. He listened to her issues, made it clear that it wasn’t “all in her head” (well, actually it is, but you know what I mean!) – and after MRI’s were conducted, gave her the bittersweet reassurance that neurologically speaking, there were no major concerns. This was a bit heartbreaking for Amy as it meant there was nothing “to fix”. However, after about another month, it was decided to re-examine her neck area with these scans. The results showed that most certainly there were issues of concern – and need for repair. In fact, after seeing a “conservative” neurosurgeon, surgery was not only recommended, but deemed necessary – ASAP in fact.

Almost as if Amy needed verification of the need “to go under the knife” – the pain from her neck in the last month has become nearly excruciating. Of course, in typical “Amy fashion” – any person who doesn’t know her would never guess. But, I do know her and am aware of the fact that she’s losing feeling in the fingers of her left hand – a result of the nerves being infringed upon on her spinal cord from the C4 and C5 vertebrae. She’s admitted recently that she feels like “just holding her head up” requires great effort – and I’m not talking figuratively.

Tomorrow, she goes in for surgery. They will go in through the front of the neck and repair those vertebrae using bone from her hip. She could be released as early as Wednesday – which speaks highly of how successful and efficient these surgeries are. I’ve heard from two different physical therapists who work with patients who have undergone this surgery that the change can be dramatic as soon as the patient emerges from anesthesia. (Which makes sense, if the nerves are no longer being infringed upon). However, the recovery can also be daunting as it is necessary for the patient to wear a “collar” band around their neck for six weeks– and due to the front entry, swallowing can even be an issue. Some have described the first parts of recovery at times feeling like you are suffocating. Amy doesn’t have an easy time with turtlenecks – so a constricting collar will certainly be an issue for her.

On the positive side, Amy’s parents will be staying for at least a month with her family – and in demonstration of just how many people love this lady and her family – within 48 hours we were able to secure 33 meals to be scheduled for delivery over the timespan of her recovery. Amy is renowned for looking out for the needs of everyone around her – and now it is finally time for those others to be able to assist and support her.

So, from you, dear bloggy-friends, I’d like to ask for you to lift up one of my dearest friends in prayer. Please pray for peace for her going into the surgery (as you can imagine, she has considerable fear that she’d awake and not be able to feel her legs – or not even awake at all and leave her children without a mom and husband without a wife). Please pray for wisdom and extraordinary capabilities from the surgeon and his team. And, pray for her recovery – that it would be rapid and complete – and as pain and anxiety free as possible. And, finally, I’m praying – and hope you would join me – for results from this surgery to bring back her “life”. Not the old life before the accident – because Amy would testify she’d “do it all again” because of the life lessons it has taught her and opportunity to witness through this story – but for a “new life” without constant physical pain, fatigue, and emotional weariness.

It’s all a tall order, but with God, nothing is impossible.

Thank you, my friends – I will keep you posted after the surgery takes place – and will also follow up later this week with some of the other details about the accident that took place 5 years ago that testify of how God is still in the business of miracles......