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...... 











Friday, June 14, 2013

Never a Dull Moment.....

LOOK OUT IDAHO......HERE SHE COMES!!! The fact we were able to keep Jacoby out of Idaho for 6 months was a MIRACLE in itself. She spent half of her childhood in the "potato state" ...nothing in the world makes her happier than making the trek home to both Grandma's homes. We NEEDED to go because we had high school graduations we just COULDN'T miss. Overall, she had an amazing time with family...the tears flowed as we pulled out of town, but she knew there were things she needed to "get rolling" back in the Great Northwest! 

One of those things she wanted to "get rolling" included heading back to her gym to help out. As every gymnast knows, the girls you sweat with day in and day out....year in and year out....attach you for life to each other. Jacoby had been missing the daily conversations with her gym buddies more than ANYTHING else.
She has been back at Roach Gymnastics helping out in any way she can, for the past two weeks. Nothing touches this ol' mom's heart more than coming to pick her up and finding her absolutely COVERED in chalk...from the top of her shirt, to the wheels on her wheelchair; she had BEEN LOVED the last 3 hours! Roach Gymnastics is her "home away from home" and we LOVE THEM....
Jacoby has also been diving into her studies that had fallen behind due to the injury. She is in school everyday for part of the day; the other half is given to rehabilitation. The other classes she has now started on-line, are Algebra and Science. Good thing her twin brother, Kaleb and Dad are good at Math because it seems I can't remember my math concepts TO SAVE MY LIFE! She will finish both of these classes by the end of the summer, which will catch her completely up with her class. (Most importantly, KALEB! LOL)
Finally, Ballou Jr. High's 9th grade Awards Assembly was held earlier this week.  It was so moving to see pictures of Jacoby standing in the choir before her injury. (I was trying my best to not to cry...didn't work out)It touched our hearts to see students from the school singing Christmas carols outside of Safeway  in FREEZING weather to raise money for her. AMAZING..... Jacoby received the Presidential Academic  Award along with the PRIDE BALLOU AWARD. (Persistance, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Excellence) It was a pretty emotional night for all of us, so we ended the evening the best way we knew how....DAIRY QUEEN.

ps. NO NEW MOVEMENT...HOWEVER, she grows in strength and muscle mass everyday. We are ALWAYS hopeful and will continue to trust in the LORD for His will.

 



 
 






Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Popsicles and Oreos!

Almost to our 6 month marker....
For all of you waiting for Jacoby to eat her 1st food item BY HERSELF....wait no longer! Jacoby ate a popsicle with "flying colors".  It brought tears to my eyes to realize she was doing something that months ago would have seemed impossible. (she placed it in the brace) Yes, we probably could have made this happen awhile ago, but we have found that having her younger brothers and sisters feeding her makes them feel apart and is a GREAT way to teach them sacrifice as well.
 
Jacoby's physical training is showing positive results. Chris, her trainer, just took measurements of her muscle and found she had gained a 1/4 to 1/2 inch in all her major muscle groups in her legs. But, before Jacoby tries ANY exercise equipment, little Vincie tries it out FIRST...just to make sure its safe! ( Just like his Papa Frank) 

Her friends and family continue to be her inspiration. Her gym buddies, youth group friends and neighborhood clan continually keep her hope alive with their presence and sense of humor! Jacoby has a social life that puts ANYONE to shame...thanks to Instagram, texting and Facebook!(she makes ME look anti-social) If you would like to know all the crazy places and people she hangs out with, follow her @ jsmchampion. 

 Finally, PLEASE KEEP PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE! We serve a God who is fully able to heal, yet knows what is ultimatley best for her. Our hearts are best expressed in the new song by Sidewalk Prophets, "Help Me Find It". (look it up..it's awesome!)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understandings...in all your ways acknowledge Him, He will make your paths  straight."--Proverbs 3:5&6  
 

ps.  Jacoby wants to wish her friends Mary and Morgan "good luck" at Nationals this weekend.  GO ROACH AND GO EMERALD CITY GYMNASTICS!!! DO A FLIP FOR JACOBY!





 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thanks for Ballou!

We are now back in the swing of school again; Jacoby is absolutely loving the idea of "ditching" her parents for part of the day. (I don't blame her at all) She has an amazing aide, Kelly, that takes her notes, gives her drinks..waits for her arrival each day;we love her! Ballou Junior High has made Jacoby feel completely welcome again....We can never thank you enough for the extra effort. GO BRUINS!

One step closer........

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Patience is a Virtue"

To All of the People Who Follow Jacoby's Recovery.... " Patience is TRULY a Virtue." 
 My "hat is off"  to all of you who have experienced an injury that leaves you waiting for the moment when the tiniest bit of change occurs; this is enough to make the toughest person lose their mind! 
In addition, "thank you" to all of you who have waited and waited AND WAITED for Jacoby's mother to write another blog. You see, it's not that easy; change happens slowly and the days are compiled of events "only a mother" could find value in...or not? Recently, I was urged to not just write when a "big change/event" happens, but even the dumb stuff. Therefore, I assume no responsibility when it comes to the excitement level of Jacoby's blogs; your wish is my command!
Since our last blog, here are some "new happenings" for Jacoby and our family:

1.  Palm Sunday was our FIRST WEEK BACK AT CHURCH since the accident...it was an emotional reunion. We were so happy to be back....to be home!

2.  Jacoby has started intense physical therapy with "Vertical Therapy". Her trainer, Chris Hegge, comes to our home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 2 hr sessions.  She has been working out on the stim bike and is working on rebuilding muscle. She has had no new movement since her left wrist, but she grows in strength daily. We remain hopeful!

3.  Jacoby goes back to school TOMORROW!!!! She will go Monday-Friday,  for the last two classes of the day. She will be able to finish out her 9th grade year with her class AND her twin brother. (this was IMPORTANT..lol) GO BRUINS!!!

4.  Jacoby went back to Roach Gymnastics for the first time last Friday.  She had a GREAT time with her buds.  She was SO PROUD of her teammates....THEY ROCKED THE HOUSE that day!

FINALLY...THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT....THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING WITH US FOR A MIRACLE..WE LOVE YOU!

"AND THE GOD OF ALL GRACE,WHO CALLED YOU TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY IN CHRIST, AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE WHILE, WILL HIMSELF RESTORE YOU AND MAKE YOU STRONG, FIRM AND STEADFAST."--1 PETER 5:10



www.goteamjacoby.com
Jacoby is now on instagram: jsmchampion

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Braces are off! Yay!

     Jacoby is excited to finally have the braces off her teeth!  Seems like she had braces or spacers for the last 6 or 7 years.  
     Her left wrist continues to get stronger and she is no longer wearing the brace on that hand during the day.  It's still pretty weak as only one muscle is really firing.  After it first came back and would fatigue after lifting it a couple times, Jacoby asked, "is EVERY muscle going to be like this?!".  Man, it's very hard and patient work, but she is doing well.
    Jacoby has laid low the last few weeks trying not to get sick to give the transplanted cells the best shot of surviving and hopefully help her with more healing.  She'll be ramping up the rehab next week with outpatient therapy and some visits to Pushing Boundaries up in Redmond.   
    Thanks again to everyone for your continued prayers on her behalf as we know her future truly lies in the Lords hands. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11





Monday, March 11, 2013

WRIST EXTENSION!

We've been waiting for this day since the night of the accident...NEW MOVEMENT OF ANY KIND! 
Jacoby has regained some wrist extension in her left arm....excuse our excitement, but THIS IS HUGE!!!  So far, it's just one new muscle firing, but WE'LL TAKE IT....

Jacoby has been spending a great amount of time reading on her kindle fire and has pretty much mastered it's touchscreen.  So much so, that we decided to upgrade her cell phone to an i-phone.  Talk about one excited girl!  Little smaller screen, but she is figuring it out as well.

Thanks again to all of you that continue to lift her recovery in prayer and for continued encouragement.

PS...PRAISE THE LORD!



 


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our Stem Cell Journey...

Some trips are forever "etched" into our memory...this was one of those trips. Stem cell treatment.....here we come!
After community, state, and national financial efforts were made on our Jacoby's behalf, we boarded a plane to California on February 12, 2013. We stayed the first night in San Diego, California. The following morning, we made the amazingly quick trip into Tiajuana, Mexico where we began our stem cell treatment. We continued the treatment in California--putting the trip at 19 days total. California was wonderful in many ways, but as Dorthy says to Toto......"there's no place like home." 
During the trip, there were many inspirational moments....the following are a few we wanted to share with all of you:

1. Jacoby's First Plane Ride in a Wheelchair--We were so proud of Jacoby as she boarded the plane.  Of course, "all eyes" were on her and as they were placing her in her seat they accidentely let her slip down in front of her seat. Jacoby took it like a champ and gained the respect of everyone sitting by her.
2. Huntington Beach and "Ruby's"-- Jacoby loved going to the beach and watching all the surfers.  We have many family memories from the past at Huntington Beach; playing in the ocean, playing Ultimate Frisbee in the sand, and drinking milk-shakes from Ruby's, of course!
3. The Hobbit! We were so excited to go see The Hobbit. It felt like we had waited forever. It made it all worth it when the theater workers gave us the best seats in the house. 
4. Meeting Jacoby's doctors-- The doctors working with Jacoby were brilliant and gave us a new sense of hope for her recovery.
5. GOOFY-- Yes... we said "Goofy." We knew our trip would have to include Disneyland, and Goofy won our hearts this trip! While we were waiting for Morgan to get through the long Goofy line, Goofy looked over and saw Jacoby off to the side. He motioned to the other children to wait for him and came over and hugged Jacoby. Our new favorite Disney character FOR LIFE.   

That pretty much wraps it up......

Philippians 4:13

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me"

  


   
  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yes! The Neck Brace Is Officially Off!!!

Nice to have that "pain in the neck" gone!  Jacoby is starting to gain a lot of strength and mobility back in her neck now and it makes sleeping, etc. much more comfortable.  She continues to ping pong between good days and bad days as far as her back pain goes.  Hopefully, the pain will stop for good one of these days!




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shower Day...

We just want to give a huge thank you once again to everyone that helped with and donated for the house remodel!  We would have made it work, but showering Jacoby today reminded us how blessed we are to have such an amazing group of people surrounding us.  The accessible shower is so nice!



Sunday, February 3, 2013

continued progress...

ok... so Jacoby has gotten stronger in her arms over the last week.  She can reach her ear and nose every few tries.  She is able to sit up and balance by herself for several minutes at a time.  We are going to persue some stem cell therapy over the next couple of weeks out of the country, so please pray for that... we continue to trust God as we seek His leading...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thanks for praying...

The prayers worked!  Thanks everyone.  Jacoby felt much better today, the back pain subsided, and she had a good therapy session.

Matthew 18:19-20

  “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rough Day...

Honestly, today was a bit of a rough day for Jacoby.  She was constantly plagued by some false senses of burning on her back.  This is fairly common for those that have spinal cord injuries, but was especially bad today...  The feelings started to subside just before bedtime, but please pray that these feelings totally subside and that she will continue to have mental strength.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Outing to UW gymnastics meet...

Jacoby made it on her first outing last night without having to cancel due to illness, etc.!   We attended the home opener of the UW women's gymnastics team.  Way to go on a great team win!  The team was very hospitable and did some fundraising for her as well.  I think they officially won us over as new UW fans!  Thanks to the UW team and staff and to all of Jacoby's teammates that went to help out as well.