Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year to Ya!

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR....BRING ON 2014!!!

You may be wondering the EXACT same thing I am...like where in the world did all those peaceful holiday mornings go? You know...the ones where you envision sitting on the couch...fireplace on...thinking of all the wonderful family and friends you will "hand-deliver" amazing cookie platters to.....Mmm..... HOURS to blog all the festive events Jacoby, and our 40 family members would load up to enjoy; seems like a "sane" expectation, right? ABSOLUTELY..................NOT! 
Reality looked more like this....if you were the "bright" one to get up early with attempts to get some "alone" time, you were also the proud winner of lifeguarding the first 10 "minions" up to swim in the hot tub; you don't make the same mistake twice! Reality looked more like this...forget the cookie platters, let's just be thankful we sent out Christmas cards. Perspective....it's all about perspective, folks!
 Ah yes... I do like a peaceful, reflective "moment" every now and then, but I wouldn't trade my "Controlled Chaos Christmas" this year for THE WORLD... its what we know, it's what we do best, it's where we find our joy.  This year,  Jacoby was home and our entire extended family was here to share it with us; that's priceless! What could be better than sitting around the living room watching "National Lampoon's Christmas" together for the 10th time; sorry, but Uncle Eddie never gets old. This was a Christmas to remember!
 Ok, so we all know Jacoby has always played the role of the "realist". In fact, it is Jacoby I have to thank for telling me it probably would be a better idea to wait until next year to do the Christmas play at church. As you can see, Jacoby is STILL "that girl" and continues to make noticeable progress each and every day.
Physically, she continues to gain muscle mass and impresses us with new exercises that would have been IMPOSSIBLE a year ago or even a few months ago to perform. We are still waiting for hand and leg movement, but work them in exercises just the same; patience and hard work is the name of the game. She still has therapy 3 times a week with Vertical Therapy and our family has adopted two new members....Chris and Jerry! (Jacoby's therapists) They have been thrown into our "controlled chaos" life and seem to be adjusting well. 
Socially, Jacoby is still loving being a full-time sophomore at Rogers High School and "sporting" the blue!(Go Rams!) She also looks forward to her "gym time"... visiting her gym buds and helping with the younger levels; competition season starts this Friday...she will be there to cheer them on. (GO ROACH GYMNASTICS!!!) And how could we possibly forget  her church youth group?!!  Jacoby has a blast with this "crazy" group...they have SO much fun...makes me want to go myself!(Its all those trips to Dairy Queen.....)
Emotionally and mentally, Jacoby continues to remain strong. Her "realist" personality really comes in handy; it keeps her from devastation when her expectations are delayed. But most importantly, it's her faith in Jesus Christ that mentally keeps her stable and full of hope. She believes....no, she KNOWS...the best is yet to come!  
 So, as we plunge "head-first" into 2014, we set our goals and mission.. 

"Lord, I'm Yours. Whatever the cost may be, may Your will be done in my life. I realize I'm not here on earth to do my own thing, or to seek my own fulfillment or glory. I'm not here to indulge my desires, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I'm someone important, or to promote myself. I'm not here even to be relevant, or successful by human standards.  I'm here to please you."--Ruth Myers

That's it...that's our mission...to live for the one who gives us hope.....ought to keep us busy ALL year!

2014.....BRING IT ON!!!! 



Monday, November 4, 2013

Leaving a Trail......

They say a picture can say a thousand words; so it can!

It had been one of "those nights"; sport practices for almost every child, book reports due, children needed baths and that was only the TIP of the ol iceberg. We did what any SANE parents would do...told the kids we were heading out to the trail behind our house and would be back in 15 minutes. We grabbed our jackets and ran out the front door like two highschoolers....AT LAST, AT LAST...WE ARE FREE AT LAST! We were laughing at how excited we were just to get away for 15 min and then we saw them.....Jacoby's wheelchair tracks in the grass. We both stopped talking and stood in silence... almost in reverence of what these tracks symbolized. This "picture" of her well-trodden tracks was shouting her personality and her story. Jacoby is steady, reliable, and disciplined. The tracks showed she followed the same trail outline every day; it had been tested, and would lead her safely to the concrete walking trail.
 Jason and I stood in respect of those precious trails because she taught us something that night. The foundation...the disciplines...the beliefs that made Jacoby who she was NEVER changed, even though her circumstances changed drastically. It evoked both Jason and I to ask ourselves.....do we leave trails? Would people know what we stood for by OUR well-beaten trails? Once again, God used our precious daughter's accident to sharpen us; always a student....the learning continues.
October 19th was the "1st Annual Jacoby Miles Classic" Gymnastics Meet at Roach Gymnastics; what an HONOR it was to come back and see you were supported and not forgotton. Jacoby was awarded "The Most Inspirational Gymnast" by USA Gymnastics. ( By this point it was hard not to make a scene.)
We cant even begin to express how THANKFUL we were/are to Melanie and Dan Roach, all of the people, parents, teams, gymnasts, coaches and judges that made it happen. The emotions ran high that day as Jacoby and I watched the gymnasts compete....just one short year ago she was competing herself. Ahhh...the sovereignty of God!
Life changes...people change...circumstances change, but God is ALWAYS the same! We THRIVE on the belief the best is yet to come.....





Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jacoby's Journey Slideshow



 ALMOST AT OUR 1 YEAR MARKER......NOBODY IS COUNTING HERE....REALLY!!! LOL

Actually saw a miracle unfold while watching Jacoby in her therepy 5 days ago. You see, I normally don't sit in on the sessions.  Even though I know how much every 16 year old wants their mom breathing down their neck, I try to give her some space and let her work.  This day was different; she and her trainer had invited me in to come and see the progress. So there I was.... ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY! She was doing exercises that only 6 months earlier would have been impossible for her to perform. Jacoby's "core" was NOTICEABLY stronger; she was completing reps that would have knocked her out 3 months ago. I sat and watched in awe... as a parent does when they see their 1st child take "the first steps".  How could I go from being so proud when seeing her do giants on the high bar, double rotations in the air, to being EQUALLY proud of her leaning from side to side while sitting on her bed?!! How.....PERSPECTIVE!!! Perspective changes how we view everything in life....spouse, children, finances, home...etc. Perspective is THE gift that reminds me everyday that our precious Jacoby is STILL alive, she has her mind, she is STILL the same girl. And even if that had changed....perspective would give us the ability to find the good in it. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of perspective.

I added a slideshow Jacoby put together with pictures from her phone. Several of them are from her younger years; I think she likes remembering there was a day everything "worked"! Enjoy the "rawness" of her creation! lol

Always Believing.......... 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Back to School.....

 Leaves are falling, pumpkin is back on the menu, and Jacoby is a full-time Roger's High sophomore! (I know...it doesn't seem possible to this old mom, either) Jacoby was given the option to move at a slower pace, but she declined that as quickly as it was suggested. (Surprise, surprise...)

So here we are... one celebration after the next for our family this fall, starting with our awesome victory over the  Emerald Ridge Football team at the annual "King of the Hill" game. GO RAMS! It was one of those high school memories we will never forget. (And yes...Jacoby was there in the traditional blue tutu...don't you worry!)

Being a soccer family, the fall never disappoints! Like many of you out there, living at the soccer fields doesn't seem strange at all. The week consists of daily practices to be followed by weekend games normally spent under the Washington Premiere umbrellas. (unless you're Jacoby, then you get to watch from the comfort of the car) Come rain or shine.....the games will go on! Absolutely nothing better for this family and many others. �� We have learned there is more to life than sports, but a little healthy competition keeps the heart pumping and keeps our children humble. We are still trying to talk Jacoby into playing in the handicap soccer league; not quite there yet!�� (Too bad gymnastics doesn't have a league like that..)

Finally, the most important celebration has been Jacoby and Kaleb's "SWEET 16" BIRTHDAY"! Every time I say or write that...something in my heart aches. I'm not ready for them to be 16, not even close.  Somehow, it seems like the years go by faster and faster. We really do have such a small window of time with our children; LETS MAKE IT COUNT....INVEST THE TIME!
Jacoby and Kaleb both just wanted to have a party at home, so we did! The party was a great time just hanging out with family and friends, soccer and hot tubbin for the boys, "chatty chat" time for the girls, and all you could eat ribs. WHAT MORE COULD ANY 16 YEAR OLD WANT?! Jacoby mentioned to me she would have liked to have been walking by her 16th birthday, but the Good Lord must have something better planned...that we know for sure!

We continue to keep believing....no matter what! God is good...ALL THE TIME!

"Who can list all the miracles of the LORD...Who can praise Him enough?" Psalm 106:2

1st Day of High School!

Rogers RAMS vs. Emerald Ridge JAGUARS
"King of the Hill Game"
 

Lol... I told the boys to pose....this is what they came up with...I LOVE BOYS!

16TH BIRTHDAY POSE! Kaleb, Jacoby, Parker and Jon!

"Male Bonding"?

Jacoby and her adopted sister, Londyn!


Jacoby and Kaleb on their 16th Birthday!

Jacoby's Gals on her birthday! Mya, Mary, Alex, Jane, Julie and Erica!

RIBS!

Friday, September 13, 2013

LESSONS LEARNED!

San Diego was a trip of laughter, chaos and lessons learned!

Call us crazy....but we were up for the challenge of sticking the ENTIRE family (8 people)in the family minivan --destination SAN DIEGO! (Heading for "Surf Cup")
For those of you who have traveled cross country in close quarters...and I mean close....you understand the term "love/hate relationships"�� With Jacoby strapped into the middle of the minivan, she took a beating; however, it was like she never missed a day of therapy. If you know Jacoby...she was using her arms and core to turn and give commands to her restless and unruly siblings the ENTIRE trip!
1st rule learned--ALWAYS MAKE HOTEL RESERVATIONS IN THE SUMMER WHEN TRAVELING!!! Jason and I failed to realize that in the summer months many events are taking place, even in small towns. So the first night after being on the road all day, and close to "hurting" all the loved ones around us, we pulled off into a small town that SURELY would have a vacancy in one of the hotels/motels. Well, after stopping at several, we found one with a SINGLE room left; Thank the Lord....WE WILL TAKE IT! However, we failed to notice there was NO ELEVATOR for Jacoby and her wheelchair! Jason ended up carrying her up and down 3flights of stairs so she could get into our room--LESSONS LEARNED!
2nd and final rule learned--BEWARE--WILD TURKEYS LIKE WHEELCHAIRS! Ok... this one makes me laugh every single time I even think of it! We were in the Redwoods and had just arrived at the "Drive-Thru Redwood Tree".  There was a place you could park and either walk and explore Redwoods or an open prairie area with a lake. We decided to start bopping a volleyball around until Jason and the boys got back from their "explore expedition". Meanwhile, Jacoby started driving her chair away from us just to get a little time to herself in a beautiful setting. No sooner did she pull away, when the two wild turkeys by the lake started following her. We were laughing at how funny it looked, but thought they would lose interest...WE WERE WRONG! The faster she drove....the faster they ran toward her! Actually, I think they really liked the shiny wheels. We sent JJ to go "save" her; he took this as permission to stone the poor turkeys to death! (yes...we have some red neck blood in our veins) This kept us laughing the rest of the night; this girl just can't get a brake. 

San Diego ROCKED! So thankful God gave us the opportunity to go....so thankful for family....so thankful for lessons learned!

at the redwoods!

visiting Hearst Castle

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Schools Out...TIME FOR SUMMER NIGHTS!

TALK ABOUT CLOSING OUT HER FRESHMAN YEAR WITH A BANG!!!
 Jacoby's twin brother, Kaleb and a few of his buddies...Parker Elliot and Collin Mayes made her 9th grade dance a night to be remembered! With the help of  Mr. Halfaday and several other AMAZING people...she was taken out on a private yacht for dinner -and then entered the dance with a "red carpet" entry.  She talked about the dance for days and I couldn't help but to praise God that He had planted so many loving people around her,  to fill in the "gaps" that we couldn't fill! And so...we "closed out her freshman year with a TRULEY  magical night. Thank you, Mr. Halfaday, thank you, Ballou.........for EVERYTHING!

BRING ON THE SUMMER DAYS AND NIGHTS.........
 It's her 1st summer since the injury, so we are having to switch things up... Switch things out...plan ahead   in ways we never had to before. We visited Ocean Shores the other day, and as soon as her wheels touched the hard sand, her wheechair began to sink. It was devastating for her already to not be able to run out into the waves with her siblings and cousins, but now, not even to be able to get out of the van.
 (Since that day, a friend has shared a solution to that problem...WOOHOO...another problem solved.) Without fail, it's on her hardest days she is MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY strengthened the most; days that she resolves to NEVER GIVE UP.....NEVER LOSE HOPE.....ALWAYS EXPECT A MIRACLE!
Jacoby's faith continues to be her strength. She knows He has her best interest in mind; she trusts Him. One of her favorite verses continues to be....
" I can do ALL things through CHRIST, who STRENGTHENS me!" --Philipians 4:13
Jacoby is still helping at Roach Gymnastics and LOVES being back at the gym. The little "chalky" hand-prints are STILL PRICELESS!
At this very moment, our WHOLE family is heading down to San Diego for "SURF CUP 2013" to watch her younger sister (Morgan) play soccer! Nothing beats putting 8 people together in a minivan for several days together...lol... GOOD TIMES!!! We will keep u posted!:-)
As far as any changes in movement, Jacoby has started having increased sensory awareness in her bladder/bowel, but still no motor movement at this time. AND YES...,WE R THRILLED! Baby steps......