Friday, December 31, 2010

Here Goes...2011

What good is chance, not taken
What good is life, not living
What good is love, not given

Here goes nothing, here goes everything...

Take a breath, take a step,
What comes next God only knows.

I think this is my 'theme' song for 2011. I cannot wait to see what God is going to do!!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

1,000 miles

These shoes traveled almost 1,000 miles on runs I took over the past year. (For anyone that's a runner reading this, yes I know I'm supposed to replace shoes every 500 miles. They cost so much!!) That is a crazy amount of pavement, gravel, grass, snow, ice, and puddles that my feet have traversed.

It is also a lot of time that I have been able to spend praying, worshipping and listening to God. Running for me is so much more than the exercise. That is really just a bonus to why I love to run (because then I can have that bowl of ice cream and not feel overly guilty!!)  When I head out the door, it's just the road, God, my music and me.  

I would have to say that over this past year one of my favorite songs to listen to while running was Our God by Chris Tomlin. I normally don't sing out loud when running, but I am quite sure on several occasions you could hear me singing this one.

For Christmas I got his new CD with this version and I LOVE it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

Oh the joys of having a big family that loves to share their germs. The week leading up to Christmas we had everything from 103 degree fevers to barf, to hacking coughs and noses that ran like leaky faucets. None of us were spared from this round and it really bummed us out. We have missed Christmas parties, didn't get to bake any Christmas cookies, go look at Christmas lights. Traditions that the boys (and I must admit, their Mom even more) had been looking forward to with great excitement.

I think mom (me) was just ultra bummed that we (I) missed out on the fun and fellowship with friends and family. I don't get a chance to get out a whole lot and have adult interaction (sorry but talking to the cashier at the grocery store doesn't count). I was excited to be able to dress up in something other than sweatshirts and share in all the goodness that Christmas time brings.

I am thankful that we were all healthy enough to make it to the Christmas Eve service at Church. Oh what a blessing that was to my soul.  I am also very thankful that we were able to enjoy a nice day together as a family. We were able to focus on the birth of Jesus. We had some awesome conversations about his Birthday and what it means for us as God's children. 

We have a hope~in all things. BIG and small because of what took place 2000 Decembers ago. Thank you God for sending your one and only son, to change my life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Update from Trenton's Carepage

Latest updates are at the top~older updates as you scroll down
Tuesday 1/11
Trenton is having another good day, not much else new to report on his progress. Blood work was done yesterday (he did not care much for getting poked and let us know) and everything is pretty much normal again. The doc is also cutting back his BP medications and hopes to take him completely off this as well. We met with his Doc and all the many different people involved with his care this morning and they are very pleased with his progress and think he is done really well. They are predicting 6-8 more weeks of therapy at Mary Free Bed before he will be able to go home. We were a little disappointed in this estimate as he is doing so well and did not think that it would take this long, but it is just an estimate and they will reevaluate again in 2 weeks. Although we are anxious to get him home, we also want him to get completely better and this would best be done by staying there rather than driving back in each day. The therapist do such an awesome job with him and he actually enjoys his time with them. We are so thankful for all their hard work and dedication to helping him heal. Again, we thank God for each day and each little amount of progress that he makes, we continue to trust that He will restore him to full health and strength. I probably will not post updates everyday as I have been trying but will try to do it every 2-3 days just so you can keep up on his progress. But please continue to pray daily for him, Kurt and Carisa.

Monday 1/10
I posted some new pictures of Trenton playing and even fast asleep with his legos still in his hands. As you can see he is more playful and looking better each day. He was pulling his eyelids open one day and thought it was pretty funny. He feels that he can not see because he is in a wheelchair, we try to explain this to him but am not sure he understands. Trenton says he "wants one of those wheelchairs with big wheels where... then he makes a pushing motion with his hands." He wants to be able to push himself. His therapy is going great, he is able to get on his hands and knees while he plays on the mat. Yesterday he even attempted to get out of bed while i was sitting in the chair next to the bed. He sat up on his own and scooted to the side of the bed and shoved off so his feet hit the floor. By that time I was there and able to sturdy him but he did it by himself and said he wanted to get in his chair. Tomorrow we meet with the team and are looking forward to this as well. We'll let you know how this goes, take care, Kurt and Carissa.

Sunday 1/9
Trenton is doing very well today. He seems to be gaining more energy each day and is definately improving daily. He was able to eat 14 small bites of lunch today including chewing up some grahm crackers-- by far his best yet. Hopefully this afternoon he will eat some pudding. The eye doc stopped yesterday and was very encouaraged that his eyes and facail muscles would return to normal with time, he said he would stop back in 4-6 weeks and thought that by that time he would have a lot of improvement. We think that he is seeing better and able to see more and more objects and recognize things quicker each day. His double vision is still bad, but they continue to work on exercises with his eyes during his therapy. We look forward to tuesday morning where they will have a group meeting with us to give us their thoughts/goals and predictions on how long his recovery will take. God is truly blessing Trenton each day and he is recovering so well, and we are just so thankful. Thanks again, Kurt, Carissa and Hayden.

Friday 1/7
Trenton's rehab at MFB continues to go well, it is slow but sure. They try to set goals for him and they say that he is meeting all the goals for the week. One of his new goals is to get a new wheel chair today that he is able to push himself in and to hopefully he can transition to this by sometime next week so that he can start to wheel himself around. He is doing standing exercises 2-3 times a day and by next week they want him to be able to stand by himself for a longer period of time (5-10 minutes). Once he is able to do this he can work on waking as the next goal. His speech therapist works with him and will begin exercising his tongue to help him begin to swallow better so that he can start to eat more. The occupational therapist is working on fine motor skill and has been playing with him although now he seems to be a little preoccupied by star wars lego so that is all he wants to do even when he is working on other things. He even woke this morning at 600 am and was calling me and when and when I asked "what" he asked "where is my darth vador"? A little obsessed I would say. We continue to pray that his eyesight would be restored and that his eyelids would start to open up more. The Doc states that the facial muscles not working is part of the damage to the cranial nerves, his whole face seems to be a little droopy now and especially his eye lids. They are hopeful that this will heal but really aren't sure as the doc said she does not have a lot of experience with injuries of this particular part of the brain. Overall though he continues to make good progress. We are so appreciative of all the prayers and support that we have received through this all and will continue to update with more good news as it comes.

Wednesday 1/5
Trenton had another good day all though the therapy seemed to catch up to him today and he tired out pretty quick, I am sure he will sleep good tonight. He seems to be quite irritable at times today and although he enjoys his "classes" as we say, at other times he does not like to be messed with. We believe he may have a headache and seems to perk up with tylenol. His aunt came and cut his hair tonight so he will look a little nicer than with his mop that you see in the few new pics I posted tonight. A couple of these are of his therapy sessions today and another one of him waiving. Thanks again for the continued prayers, Kurt and Carissa

Tuesday 1/4
Many people have been asking for specifics of where he is at in his progress as usually I just put what has changed. So, physically he is gaining strength, he is able to hold and support his head up quite well for most of the day now when he sits in his wheelchair. When he sits on the side of the bed he is very wobbly and needs some support or he will fall over, he was able to support himself for the therapist for 10-15 seconds on his own. He has full range of motion with his arms and his strength is quite well there. He still does not have much strenth in his legs and the therapist said that it could take a month until he walks again just because he was completely immobile for so long that his leg muscles wasted in his legs. They want to develope his upper body strength well before they work too much with walking. He still has the feeding tube in his nose going into his intestine and they have decided to hold off placing the tube in his abdomen. He was able to take and swallow 4-5 bites of pudding and mashed potatos today and they will continue to work on this until he is able to get all the calories that he needs by eating and then they will pull the tube out of his nose. I would think that this could take a couple of weeks until he is able to eat all the calories that he needs. Neurologically he is much more alert throughout the day and was awake from 8 am until 9 pm today with only a couple hours of naps during the day. He is talking quite a bit, mainly when talked to he will answer questions and it is quite understandable. He still says things that do not make sense and sometimes needs some prompting but his memory is quite good. His pupils remain dilated and he does not track movement with his eyes but will turn his head to look at things. He says things are blury and his eyelids can only open halfway so we are pretty sure his vision is poor but able to see and recognize objects if he looks hard. A few have asked if children may visit and we asked and they said that it might be best to wait a week or so as he realizes that he is sick and is self conscience that he is not able to see and play and has expressed that he gets sad that he can not play and see. So maybe once he is able to do more he would appreciate other kids better. Anyway, I hope this helps give you an idea of where he is at and to continue to pray that his eyesight and strength would return.

Monday 1/3
Trenton just moved to Mary Free Bed this afternoon. He will start to receive therapy tomorrow morning starting at 800 and will have sessions off and on until 430. They do request that visitors only come between 6-8 pm as to not interupt his therapy and visitors are certianly welcome now. I know many have wanted to come see him and we thank you for waiting until he was well enough to have visitors. We can't promise that he will be awake as I'm sure he will be very tired from long days of hard work for him.They are telling us to park in the parking ramp off of Lafeyette and go to level 3 and they take the shywalk on north end across the street and it goes right into his floor and he is in room 344. You can also park in the lot on wealthy st and go in the front enrtance as well. He was very lively this morning and talking alot. He remembers his classmates and teachers names without us even helping. Some of the things he says does not make sense, but much of it does. We look forward to therapy starting tomorrow and will let you know how he is doing. Please pray for continued progress here at Mary Free Bed.

Sunday 1/2
Trenton is becoming more and more alert as time goes on. As he becomes more awake he seems to be more confused and saying things that do not make sense. He is more and more restless as well. We are told that this can be due to his brain injury and the healing process that is going on. As Carissa and I were about to leave this afternoon for a while and let my Dad stay with him he started to tear up and said he did not want us to leave, so Carissa stayed with him. We did not think that he would care that much, but obviously he is a little scared as well. We look forward to hearing from Mary Free Bed tomorrow morning as to when we will be able to go over there and will let you know tomorrow what the plan is.
Saturday 1/1
hope the New Year is finding everyone well. It certainly was not the New Year celebration we were used to, but all the same we still feel just as blessed to be entering it together as a family. Trenton really had a great day today, he was very alert today. He is often nodding yes or no to questions and doing motions with his hands to tell us stuff. He will put up fingers to answer how old he is and shrug his shoulder if he does not know. He gets a little irritated with everyone in his face asking him questions and then seems to just quit cooperating. He was awake much of the day today and am sure he will sleep well tonight. Hayden gave him a big kiss today and trenton reached out and gave him a hug, they really miss each other and we look so forward to having him back home again, but we know that he has a long ways to go and continue to pray for patience for us and healing for him. Thanks for all your continued prayers, we'll write again tomorrow. Kurt and Carissa.

Friday 12/31 afternoon update
Trenton continues to heal day by day. We are so thankful for each new day to see what new progress will happen. Although not a lot has happened since yesterday, he does show more signs of his strength and alertness. He has only tried to say one word today even when his cousins whom he adores were here to see him. We sat him up in his chair this afternoon and he was definitely more alert with holding his head up and even smiling several times when people would try to make him laugh. He will shake his head yes or no sometimes in answer to questions and when he was awake this morning spent most of his time wiggling his loose tooth with his fingers, so he really has pretty good fine motor skills with his fingers. Right now he is napping, but we will get him up again later. Unless something changes, I will post again tomorrow, Happy New Years everyone and may God bless each of you as you enter into 2011! Kurt, Carrissa, Trenton, and Hayden

Thursday 12/30 7:30pm
We can hardly believe that after nearly 16 days in the PICU that Trenton was released again to the floor that he originally started on. He is back on 9 center. We are forever grateful for the care he received in the PICU and we will certainly miss his nurses and Docs who cared for him like their own child, but they felt that he was well enough to move on and we were ever so happy. I know just yesterday that I wrote that he would remain in the PICU for a while but with his incredible process that he has made they called Mary Freebed and asked them what they wanted to do about the feeding tube and they felt that with the progress he has made to just hold off for a week and see what happens, so I am not for sure but I think we will go there in the next couple of days, it just depends on the holiday weekend. To update you after my original post this morning, not much changed his few comments that he made this morning tired him out, so he did not say anything else but was able to nod that he had a headache, which they gave him some tylenol and it seemed to help him be less agitated. We were able to get him up 3 times today, but he was certainly the most alert this morning. We look forward to what progress he will make tomorrow and will let you know. We praise God for watching, healing and protecting him so far and continue to place our hope and trust in him, thank you as well for all your prayers. Please continue to pray that he will continue to wake up and that he will be able to have his eyesight restored as right now we are not sure that he is able to see anything as his pupils are still dilated and not do not track movement. We will update you again tomorrow.

Thursday 12/30 11:30am
Trenton is trying to talk this morning. He put togethor several sentences it was just hard to understand what he was saying. We think he said that he wanted to stay in bed. We asked him how old he was and he clearly said "I'm five". When Carissa came in this morning she woke him up and he said "hi momma" and smiled and then I asked if he could say hi dad and he shook his head no while trying to smile-- same old trenton!!!! The Docs and nurses are all amazed at his progress. He is still very tired and wants to sleep, but when he wakes up it is so good to see him.
Wednesday 12/29 10pm
Trenton is doing well, sleeping sound from a hard day of work. He sat up in his chair 3 times today and it really tired him out. His breathing has improved so much and his lungs are clearing up now too. Now he just needs to gain strength through rehab and pray that his injured brain will heal in time as well. We already look forward to what tomorrow will bring and will let you know.

Wednesday 12/29 11am
I know so many of you are waiting for more good news today and I'm happy to report that he is continuing to do well this morning. After 2 very long weeks with such slow progress it was great to see everyone rejoice with us yesterday about his progress. We realize that he still has a long ways to go, but feel that he is certianly on the right road now. We again got him up right away this morning which was great to see and he did so well. He would rather stay in bed and clearly is unhappy getting out but has one of his Doc's said "You know what, I get upset if he is not getting upset". How true this is, recovery is never easy. Anyway, Trenton is clearly trying to open his eyes when his is awake, it is a struggle for him though. When he was sitting up he definately supported his head on his own more this morning and needed far less support to hold it up. He still is moaning about his disapproval of being forced to do things he doesn't want to do, and when we put him back in bed he passed out and hasn't moved a muscle now for an hour as we seemed to have tired the poor kid out. Today he is going to go downstairs for an upper GI study to make sure that his anatomy is correct prior to getting a feeding tube place. And they say now that he will get this done early next week, then remain in the ICU still for a couple of days then hopefully off to Mary Freebed. So likely he will remain in the ICU for another week to week and a half even though he needs less care they still want to watch him closely. Thanks again for all your prayers, for all your comments, kind gestures, and for all your support through this difficult time, they have carried us through and they really mean so much to us and to Trenton. Kurt and Carissa.

Tuesday 12/28 Afternoon
Check out the photos int he gallery of Trenton this morning. They felt that his breathing had improved enough to get him out of bed and oh how awesome it was to see him out of bed on his 14th day in that bed. They were able to sit him on the side of the bed while holding him up and he even supported his head, he looked a little like a newborn trying to hold his head up, but he did it. He definitely new they were working with him, his face would get mad when he didn't like it and a couple of times he even made some whining noises. We are so happy to see him on the road to recovery and so happy that he is going to be able to breathe without the trach. Once again, God has reminded us of his faithfulness and goodness. He will need to continue to remain in the ICU for a few days yet and they will have to also evaluate his feeding tube, but at this time we are just so happy to see him doing better. I know so many of you have wanted to come see Trenton so I was eager to post some nice pictures for you all to see of him. We will keep you up to date, so please keep on praying!

Tuesday 12/28 Morning
Well, he made it through the night and seems to be slowly progressing. We are hopeful that he is past the most difficult now with his breathing. He is still getting continious helium in his non rebreather which I am very unfamiliar with, but if it is helping I am all for it.he still has a croupy cough, but that is improving slowly as well. He rested well last night, his Grandpa and I stayed up throughout the night with him just to make sure was doing O.K., and he did. I am not sure what the plan is for today, probably just to monitor him to make sure his breathing returns back to normal. I believe today is his last day on continious antibiotics, so we eagerly await these to be discontinued. I will let you know if anything changes, otherwise i will try to post again this afternoon of evening.

Monday 12/27 Evening
Trenton continues to breathe on his own tonight. He is still riding that line of whether or not to be trached tomorrow as he still has so much swelling in his throat. If you have ever heard a kid with croupe and that barking noise, this is what he sounds like. The docs are hopeful that he will improve throughout the night though. Please pray that he will get some rest tonight and improve enough by tomorrow, we are so thankful he has made is this far on his own and hope so much that he can have continued improvement in his breathing.

Monday 12/27 Afternoon
I'm sorry i haven't updated earlier today, as some of you might have read from someone elses comment that he did have his tube pulled this morning and was doing excellent for about 2 hours when i was about to post a update and all of the sudden he started breathing really hard and gasping for breathe. For about the next 1-2 hours we were extremely close to reintubated him and then he started to improve. Right now he is holding his own, not to great, but also not to bad. They are going to keep trying to get him over that hump and hopefully still avoid the trach. We have cancelled his OR time for today and rescheduled for tomorrow if needed. Please pray that he will improve throughout the day and also for Carissa as she can not even come in the room for more than a couple of minutes as it is to hard for her to see him struggle to breathe. I will let you know again tonight how he is doing.

Sunday 12/26 Evening update
It's hard to beleive tomorrow will be 13 days that Trenton has been here. We continue to keep our hope and trust in God that he will heal him. It is very hard to be patient as we wait at his bedside. Although his progress is slow, he continues to show improvement be it ever so small each day. He is still scheduled tomorrow in the late afternoon to get his trach. We waited all afternoon to talk with the ENT doc that will put it in, but apparently he was tied up elsewhere so he will come by in the morning to talk with us. There still remains some discussion whether or not to trial him without his tube to see if he can manage on his own again or to just go ahead and place the trach without a trial. If they do not feel that he has enough chance to breathe without it on his own they will just take him to the OR and place the trach. If they feel that he might have a good chance at breathing on his own this time they will pull it an watch him for a while and then if he does not do well put in the trach. Logically you would think that the trial is better, however if he does not do well he is more at risk for inhaling his own saliva or vomit into his lungs which places him at risk for things like pneumonia and he certianly does not need any more illness. So this is the dillema we face, please pray for discernement for all involved with this decision. We let you know what is decided when we know. Thanks again.

Saturday 12/25 6:30pm
Thank you all for keeping Trenton in your prayers today as you gathered with family's on this Christmas day. Trenton had a good day today. Although he still sleeps the majority of the day he is definately moving his arms around more and more. We can tell that he does not like it when the nurses mess with him, he does not like his BP taken as he always will bring his other arm towards the BP cuff. He is not able to pull it off, but can sense it on his arm and goes towards it. He seems to also be coughing on his tube in this throat more, but they do not feel that he has a gag reflex when they probe the back of his throat yet. So right now we are still scheduled to get a trach on monday afternoon. We still pray that he will show enough improvement to avoid this, but realize that if he has not, then it is the best for him to go ahead and get this. We continue to keep hope up that he will make good recovery. He has an Indian Doc who shared with us some of the awful cases of meningitis that he has seen in his practice in India and other 3rd world countries of children who he did not think would ever recover and they did, so he encouraged us to keep up hope. We know that God has spared him from the initial infection that he had, where He certianly could not have, so he can also give him a full recovery. Please continue to pray for him and us as it is hard to be patient in this time of uncertianty!

Friday 12/24 11:30am
Trenton's progress remains slow. He is still having purposeful movement toward things that make him uncormfortable such as reaching towards his BP cuff when it goes off and and once and a while reaching up towards his breathing tube, however for the most part he lies still through the day. They will slowly start to cut back the vent settings again to try to get him back to where he was a before they pulled his tube and he appears to be doing well with this. We have decided to go ahead and schedule him to have a trach placed on monday sometime and then a feeding tube in his abdomen some time after that. He will need to remain in the ICU for 7 days after getting the trach for closer monitoring than he could receive on a regular floor. The doc was able to show and explain the MRI to us and show us where he had areas of injury. The bacteria caused swelling and from doing this puts pressure on blood vessels supplying blood to nerves and his brain. So there are areas of ischemia or stroke in his brain that they can visualize and these cells will continue to die. As with anyone that has a stroke, it is very difficult to tell what type of recovery they will have so they are not predicting this except to tell us that it will be very slow as his brain heals. I don't see much changing by tomorrow but I will post again at some point tomorrow just to let you know how he is doing. Have a great Christmas everyone! Kurt, Carissa, Trenton and Hayden

Thursday 12/23 10:30pm
The MRI results are back and once again are disapointing. We were hoping for more swelling but they feel that it is more injury than swelling. This does not mean that he will not be able to heal, it just means that it might take longer and that it is in God's hands as it has been all along. I feel as though we continue to post disappointing news and apologize for it but I know you need to know what to pray for. Lord willing we can post some positive news tomorrow. We think we are going to schedule him to have a trach placed monday, but as you can imagine this is a very difficult decision and are having a very hard time with it because it is making us face reality when we would rather just wake up from this bad dream. We remain thankful for all the wonderful care that he receives and that his vital signs remain stable as well and for all the healing that has already taken place. Blessing to all, and Merry Christmas!

Thursday 12/23 11:30am
Trenton remains the same today, his vitals have normalized again afer all the events of yesterday. His neurologic function remains the same. At 1:30 this afternoon he will go for a repeat MRI to compare it to the one 8 days ago. They are hoping to get a better idea from this how his brain stem his healing as this is the part of the brain that controls his cranial nerves such as his breathing, swallowing, eyes etc. This will give them a better idea of how long to wait to try to see if he can breathe on his own. If it looks like it is healed well already then they will not expect a lot of new progress, but if it looks like he still has swelling in his brian stem then we might just need to wait a couple of days. Either way taking his tube in and out is not something they just want to trial as it will just set him back more by doing this, so we want the timing to be right as the next step is a trach, and we pray that we can avoid this but also understand that it is a real possibility. The doc explained that even though his hands and feet seem to be showing some movement and progress that this is not necessarily related to the progress of his breathing as these are controled by 2 different parts of the brain.

Wednesday 12/22 3:30pm
Trenton's breathing tube is now back in place. This was really tough knowing that after 7 days he still is not able to breathe on his own. Please pray that he will show some impovement over the next couple of days as the Doctors have talked over some tough decisions that they want us to be thinking about. Our next option would be to place a tracheostomy tube (surgically placed tube in his neck) and a long term feeding tube through his abdominal wall to replace the tube going through his nose. They are not rushing us by any means but with the slow progress that he is making these are choices that will have to be made before he can start rehab. His brain is also telling his body to get rid of his sodium so they are having to replace this as well. This is a metabolic complication from the injury to his brain. Hopefully he will progress better in the next day or two. We can not tell you enough how much your prayers mean to us, please continue with them, I will repost again tomorrow unless something changes before then.

Wednesday 12/22 12:30pm
Trenton is really struggling to breath on his own, shortly after pulling his breathing tube they had to place him on CPAP which is a mask that assist him to breath. They wanted to do this for a while and see how he did, but I'm afraid that he will probably need to be re tubed, it is not for sure but a strong possibility. This is very discouraging as we had such high hopes for today. I will update again later as I know you are all so concerned as well.

Wednesday 12/22 9:00am~~day 7
It's hard to beleive it has been a week already. Trenton is officially breathing on his own again, Praise God! The Docs were just in and pulled his breathing tube, it was hard to watch as he struggled to catch his breath through the coughing and phlegm in his throat. He seems to be handling it well although he now no longer looks so peaceful as he lies there, he looks very uncomfortable, but he is no longer getting any sedation. They will check his blood gasses in a little while to make sure he is breathing well enough on his own. I will update again in a few hours to let you know how he is doing.

Tuesday 12/21 9:20am
This morning Trenton was making purposeful movements. When the Doctor was messing around in his mouth he lifted his hand almost all the way to his mouth as if he didn't like what he was doing. When he shines a flashlight in his eyes he seems to squirm and move his hands and feet more and even opened his right eye a little. Once we stop moving him he rests again peacefully. His pupils are definately more reactive and smaller than they have been, but not quite back to normal yet. I think they are doing a good job controlling his headache though. They just discontinued his dilantin (one of his 2 siezure medications) as they were not able to acheive the levels they desired anyway because one of his antiobiotics seemed to be conteracting the way his body used it. We are so thankful for the progress we see today as yesterday was discouraging, once again reminding us it is God's timing, not ours. We do not anticipate any more huge progress today but are just content with what we have seen. He has another CT scheduled at noon and will let you know what they are seeing on that tonight. God bles you all, Kurt, Carissa and Hayden

Monday 12/20 10:30pm
Trenon finally had his BM, I wasn't here to see it, but from what I understand he would have been proud! Another CT is schedule for tomorrow to check on the swelling in his brain, this should happen sometime in the afternoon. He continues to be monitored very close, the EEG is still running, he is still having his breathing assisted by the ventilator, although he is mostly breathing on his own and just having the machine assist. He still remains unresponsive and has about the same reflexes that he has been having. They feel that the antibiotics have definitely stopped the bacteria from spreading and it is now just waiting to see long it takes his body to heal. We are thankful for the healing that has taken place continue to pray that there will be minimul damage to his brain. I will update again tomorrow. Thanks again for all your support and prayers.

FYI...If anyone is interested in learning some of the basics about meningitis, the CDC is good website to look at, he has a strep pneumonia, or pneumococcal meningitis.

Monday 12/20 12:30pm
Sorry to report no new progress at this time, the neurogist stopped in and examined him and the EEG. He was not able to see any progress from his exam, but he also didn't say that he backslid either, so we will just wait today. They are going to start replacing his sodium through his IV, his levels came back low this morning. Sodium is one of those electrolytes controled in his brain, so the docs are not sure what this means yet. We are hoping for a BM today as he has not had one since before he came in last week, sounds silly-- but still important. His breathing and vitals remains stable. They slightly increased the dose on his antiobiotics (Vanco) this morning and are also increasing his siezure medications even more. There is talk of another MRI but that could be several more days, they want to make sure the timing is right. They are very vague as to how they feel he is progressing as to not give false hope, so we continue to keep our hope in the Lord, as he is the only one that knows when Trenton will get better.

Sunday 12/19 10:00pm
Trenton's condition remains the same. Although he still remains unresponsive, there seems to be some signs that the inection is clearing up in his brain as evidenced by his pupils becoming smaller and reacting to light now. They continue to monitor his brain waves on the EEG for signs of siezures and there does not appear to be any. He is still on around the clock antioboitics and mild sedation. There continued to be no new growth of bacteria from the spinal fluid culture after 2 days . I am amazed that they can put so many medications into one small body, but I know they each have their own purpose and are helping him get better. Once again his care has been amazing, his nurses continually monitor and fuss with him to make sure everything is just right. Your prayers and comments are so uplifting to read, thank you so much. We pray for more good news tommorrow and will be sure to update you with the slightest improvements.

Sunday 12/19 8:15am
The Neuroloist was watching Trenton's EEG from home last night and has some mild concern that he might be having small siezures. Today he has instructed us that we need to leave him completely still and quiet without touching him or talking to him at all (we have been very low stimulus, but now even more). They are increasing his siezure meds as well. The good news is that he is not certian they are siezures, so if they are they are very small, but would still be harmful at this point so we will be cautious anyway. His Vitals look really good, and his pupils are definately smaller today and more reactive which to me is the best sign yet that he is recovering. He also is using the ventilator less to breath than he was yesterday, or breathing more on his own and using the machine less (the ventilator can sense how much it is needed) Thanks be to God!

Saturday 12/18 9:45pm
Trenton's condition remains the same. Some good news-- his EEG is not showing any siezure activity, however they will continue the EEG just to make sure and review it tommorow. The culture from the second spinal tap has not grown any new bacteria in the 1st 24 hours, they will check it agian tommorow to see if any new has grown in 48 hours, so at least it seems as though the antiobiotics now just need to continue to kill the old bacteria that were already there, and pray that no more new starts to grow in the specimen they took yesterday. He has been receiving sedation now, so hopefully he is comfortable. The Docs will be by in the morning to exam him again and let us the plan for the day. Thank you again for all the prays and especially for those who met at the pray group this afternoon. We know God has heard each and every prayer offered. Your kindness and love continues to overwhelm our family in difficult time.
Love always,
Kurt,Carissa and Hayden.

Saturday 12/18 11:30am
They are hooking him up to the EEG to monitor his brain waves for more siezure activity. They are doing this due to his increased blood pressure. Their other idea as to why it is increased is that if he were to have an inrease level of consciousness you can only imagine the headache that he would be having with all the infection/inflamation in his brain, it would stand to reason that anyones BP would elevate with that type of headache. So... once the neurologist reviews the EEG and clears him of siezure activity the next step would be to start sedating him this afternoon. But, with sedation it is harder to measure neurologic progress which is what we all want to know, but the best thing for Trenton is to keep him comfortable and let the healing continue.

Saturday 12/18 7:00am
Trenton is resting so peaceful this morning, sleeping has always
been one of his favorite activities (second to Super MarioBros)!

Friday 12/17 10:45pm
Trenton remains in the same condition. It would be so nice to say that he is moving or opened his eyes, but at this point we are just happy to report that he is still hangin in there. There have been some positive things from today. He had another CT done and it concluded the swelling in his brain has not worsened. He had another spinal tap done and there were some signs that the infection in his spinal fluid might be decreasing and that the antiobiotics are working, it is just a slow process. Please pray that the new antiobiotics started today will have some positve effects. Over the past several hours his blood pressure has been creeping up and they are trying to get it down with medications. It is tought to say but this could be a sign that his body is becoming more aware of his surroundings and is agitaded. His care so far has been nothing short of amazing, he has 24 hour one on one care and the Physicians continully are reviewing his progress. We are thankful for all their hard work. Thanks again for all your support and prayers, I have no doubt that Trenton is part of God's greater plan to bring his people to him in prayer, and His will has been done.

Update from Trenton's Carepage 12/17 10:00am
Trenton remains the same today, last night he started to retain fluids they were able to pull those off again so he is looking less puffy again this morning. The Doctors rounded this morning and feel that he needs to have another lumbar punture to determine if they are killing the organism. His white count was elevating throughout the night but they feel that this is normal process. The sensetivity of the organism was determined and it seems to be resistant to the rocephin that he was getting, however it seems to be sensitive to the vancomycin. So they are going to now add in rifampin instead of the rocephin. There is talk of another CT scan to determine how much swelling is in his brain. The neurogist should be by at some point to see if he is progressing, we continue to pray for even a little progress. We want everyone to know it is almost overwhelming to think of all the people praying for him and thinking of him. We have been reading all you comments and are so thankful. Kurt and Carissa.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

URGENT Prayer Request*update 12/16 pm*link to Trenton's carepage added

To my blog readers, please pray for my cousin's little boy.  He is 5 years old and has just been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.  He is on a ventilator and is extremely critical. 

I know this is a FAST way to get the word out to begin uplifting this little boy and his family in your prayers.  Thank you so much for joining with me petitioning God for a miracle.

The meningitis is affecting 3 areas of Trenton's brain, the most critical is his brain stem.  Please continue to uplift this precious little boy and his family in your prayers.

*****UPDATE***** Thursday Dec. 16th @ 9:30am
This is the latest information I have, thank you so much for ALL of the prayers on behalf of this little boy and his family.  Keep them coming!!!

Trenton did spike a fever in the night (I don't know how high)
Praise that his heart rate and blood pressure are down from where they were at yesterday
He is moving his hands and his feet (involuntarily)

*****UPDATE*****Thursday Dec. 16th @9:30pm
There has been very little change today except for his heart rate and blood pressure are continuing to come down. He is moving some (involuntary movement) and when he is deep suctioned he does have a gag reflex.

Trenton is still critical and is in need of a multitude of prayers. Hundreds of people are praying for him and his family!! Please continue to join with me and petition God for a miracle for my cousin's son.

Trenton's family has created a carepage. To follow his journey click here.  (Note, you have to become a member to be able to see the page). If you don't want to do this I will try to post updates on my blog as soon as I get them.

When God's people pray,
And take the pains of earth to the doors of heaven.
When God's people pray,
There is hope reborn, there is sin forgiven.
And miracles you can't explain await.
When God's people pray...

*When God's People Pray~Wayne Watson

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Way Beyond The Blue

I am sitting here thinking, wrestling, questioning,  praying to God the same prayer that's been on my heart for many weeks. Then in a split second  God puts a song in my head, one that I haven't heard in a very long time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If You're Tired Enough

If you're tired enough I guess when you're a baby you can sleep just about anywhere and in any position.When I went to get Caleb this morning I found him sitting up, sleeping in the corner of his crib.  Oh, my sweet little boy how I love you so!

Some days when I feel like I'm in over my head in the drama of raising a family of 5 boys all I have to do is remind myself that soon these precious moments will all but be a memory. Some day the crib will be gone, the rooms in my house will be silent. I am so thankful for the life God has allowed me to live. It isn't always easy, but it is always rewarding and I am constantly being challenged and shaped to live my life as a Godly wife and mom.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


One of my all time favorite Christmas songs...

Winter Is Here

Lots and LOTS of time outside the past
 two days enjoying the first
snow of the season!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What We've Been Up To

I have been so, so busy I haven't had time to update my blog to share with you all that has been happening in our family.  We had conferences last week for the three older boys and those went very well.  They are all doing an excellent job!  Jackson got his progress report and that was great as well!  He has come a long way since those first few days of preschool when he screamed and screamed that he didn't want to go.

I have had a big answer to prayer regarding a health issue I've been dealing with.  Hopefully, in the upcoming weeks I'll have time to elaborate more on this.

We are now in the midst of the Christmas Season and our house is ready!!  We are ALL so very excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus and all that the Christmas Season means.

Standing in front of our Christmas Tree

Chad cutting the tree

In a few hours this tree will be standing in the living room looking

The boys hanging the ornaments

YES~we are THAT goofy of a family!!!  =)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Million Things

If I were to begin a list of all the things I am thankful for it would never get finished ~ I have been so richly blessed!

Thanksgiving is one day a year when many of us stop and reflect on all that we are thankful for. What happens the other 364 days of the year? No matter what is going on in life~even during the hardest times there is always something to be thankful for.  Always.

God has blessed me with an amazing husband. The best years of my life have been the 12 that I've spent being married to him! Together we have 5 beautiful boys that are a treasure each and every single day. We live in a cozy house with hot & cold running water that is clean. We have clothes in abundance and when we run out we have the ability to walk to the other side of the house and do a load of laundry. We have cupboards full of food. We have 2 vehicles to get us where we need to go. We have Dr's that take care of us when we're sick or hurt.  We have an incredible Church where we get to praise God in freedom!!

Oh Lord, the amount of blessings you heap upon my head every single day is something I do not want to take for granted.  12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days a year I am so grateful Lord for all you give.

We are blessed and for every single thing you give and take away Lord, we say thank you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Fun and Fabulous Find

We have been searching for a table to fit our BIG family for awhile now. We cannot afford the $2,000 it would cost for new and even on craigslist on the rare occasion a table big enough to fit our family shows up they still want close to $1,000.

 How cool is it that we paid $129.00 for a table and 10 chairs.  We had to give it a good scrubbing, recover the cushions and live with the fact that it isn't perfect.  However, we LOVE it and it completely fits our needs. (Did I mention how I love the fact that we all finally have matching chairs??)   

Thank You!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trust In Me

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7***The Message***

Sometimes this seems so much easier said than done. I am so thankful that our God is so much greater, and higher than ANY other.  God you are HEALER and so AWESOME in POWER.

If you are for me, then who can be against me?  I am putting my hope, faith and trust in you and you alone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stepping Into The Water

 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.  About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

**Matthew 14: 24-36 NLT**

Friday, November 12, 2010

While I'm Waiting

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
 * Psalm 27:14*


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

Do you sense a reoccurring theme here? From Marvelous Monday to now a Wonderful Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow could be a terrific Thursday and then fantastic Friday!! Really, I'm just too tired to come up with a clever title! No matter what the day may bring, even if it's a tough day there is always something to be thankful for.  There is always something to give God praise for.

Another beautiful sky God painted this morning!

I love it that I got to begin today looking out at this!

This afternoon was well, let's just say intense! I had to pick up the 3 big boys from school with the 2 little ones in tow so we could head out to the Orthopedic Doctor for Lucas and his broken finger.  Thankfully I packed along a bag of stuff to do to keep the boys entertained while I filled out all sorts of fun paperwork and then proceeded to wait another 40 minutes for the Doctor to enter the exam room. 

Lucas has a break that went all the way through the bone. It's a clean break so no pins will be needed (Praise God). He now has a soft cast on and is not able to do anything remotely active. No ramming around, no gym at school, so basically nothing fun for the next few weeks. The Doctor was in and out of the room so fast I completely forgot to ask him how long this is going to take to heal.  We have another appointment next week. X-rays will be taken to check the healing process.

We are praying for rapid healing and for Lucas to deal as good as he can with the pain and the frustrations he is having with his finger. He cannot get his hand through his coat sleeve as well as many of his shirts. Also praying for some good friends to help him out with things at school (like tying shoes, opening packages at lunchtime). Thankfully he can still write as the broken finger is on his left he can't get out of schoolwork! =)

He still has that sweet Lucas smile!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Marvelous Monday

The broken finger (pinkie)


No showers for Lucas!!!
My BIG 8 1/2 year old taking a bath because we cannot
get his splint wet. He takes up the WHOLE tub!!

My yummy 17 month old, all clean and warm....I just want to SNUGGLE him!!!
Lucas got hit on the side of his pinkie finger last night with a basketball at AWANA. Poor kid~he wasn't even playing, just standing there in the gym talking to his buddy.  So now we get to deal with a broken finger for the next 4 weeks or so. We meet with an orthopedic Doctor on Wednesday to see if they want to splint it differently and just to make sure it is going to heal properly. 

Never, ever a dull moment in this house.  Praise God for that!!!  I wouldn't want it any other way, even on the days when I do not think I have another ounce of anything left to give~God gives me more. HE is the reason I can function each and every day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Break

A few pictures from our camping trip to Ludington State Park....slide show with the rest of the pictures is in the works.  We had a really, really good time. Weather could have been better, but it could have also been worse. I stayed up 3 nights in a row until midnight or later (one night it was 1:30am) hanging out with friends around the campfire.  If you know anything about me at all you know that I am not a late night person. I think everyone was impressed I wasn't in bed at 10:00!  ;-)  I can't believe the camping season is done for the year, glad it ended on a good note unlike a few of our other trips this past Summer.

Cold enough for sleet

Bundled up on our walk

Caleb LOVED the leaves!!

Out for a hike

So much fun with friends

Great times!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Turning 36

I came home this morning to find a very sweet birthday card
and this necklace tucked in my front door.
 I have been blessed with some very
incredible friends!!

Chad got me my favorite cake...mmmm  lemon filling!!

....and pretty flowers

The best way to spend my birthday...with my 5 boys
 and an incredible hubby.I am so, so blessed.
 Sometimes it's almost too much to comprehend,
 so I will just give all the praise to the ONE who deserves it.
Thank you God for the multitudes upon multitudes
 of blessings you heap upon me
 every single day.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

What A Beautiful Weekend!

We started the weekend off with great friends. Pizza & a campfire with good conversation and the kids all having an absolute blast together.

Saturday we spent the afternoon at Klackle Orchard's in Greenville.  I had the camera but forgot to take the SD card out of my computer and put it back in the camera. Oops! We all had a really good time and are enjoying lots of yummy apples that we got to pick.

Sunday we had an awesome outdoor service at Church. The boys spent the afternoon playing outside, Chad watched the Lions finally win a game and I went for a 10 mile run!!! We even were able to eat dinner outside on the deck one last time.

At least I still was able to smile after my 10 mile run...although I
may not be able to get up out of bed tomorrow!!

Daddy and Caleb having fun w/the hose

Who would have thought on October 10 we'd be playing in the pool!!

One last time for dinner on the deck....

Friday, October 8, 2010

God Speaking

I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that if God needs you to hear something He is going to make sure you hear it. So, when I heard this song twice on the radio today and then one of my friends posted it on his facebook page tonight I knew God was trying to get my attention.

I am not alone (even when I feel like I am). I am not unloved (even though by some I am). I am not unimportant, or uncared for. Even if I am those things to people that I thought were suppose to love and care about me, I am not forgotten by my Saviour. Because of that I can have hope. Because of that I can have peace.

You're Not Alone~Downhere

You feel the isolation, slowly take a toll
This season of waiting, is starting to get old
Looking for acceptance, and aching for a home
So tired of trying to make it out on your own

There's no easy answer, but one thing you should know
You're not alone, anywhere you go
You're not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
A promise you can always hold:
You're not alone, no

You're stuck in a dive and you've almost had enough
Because of what you've been through, it's difficult to trust
You're still barely hanging on, trying hard to fight
If anybody's listening, you want to know tonight
There's no easy answer, but one thing you should know

You're not alone, anywhere you go
You're not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
A promise you can always hold:
You're not alone, no

You're not alone
You're not alone

Reach out, don't reach within
I'm at the door, if you just let me in
Reach out for what you need
What you won't find in yourself, you will find in me

You're not alone, hear the voice whisper to your soul
I'll never leave or let you go

You're not alone, I'm with you to the end
You're not alone, I'm closer than a friend
You're not alone, and I'm with you to the end
You're not alone, closer than a friend

You're not alone

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh The Art...

WOW!  What amazing talent we saw tonight. We only caught a small glimpse of the many, many projects that were displayed around Grand Rapids.

I am in awe of how so many people can display art in amazing, unique and mysterious ways. I cannot imagine the time that has to go into some of these art pieces. The thought process alone must be HUGE!  I wish we would have had more time as we did not get to see some of the exhibits we really wanted to. We all enjoyed walking around downtown, the boys loved the fountain at the Ford Museum almost as much as seeing the art!

We LOVED it and I'm sure it will be the talk around the house for the next several days!

The GIANT penny....made out of


Wesley calls this the "hand of God" (sorry can't remember the actual name)
 He says it looks like God's hand and when we're standing in the middle God is holding us up.

This was made out of 250,000 + beads~amazing!!!

How about this for a greeting card??!!

The fountain outside of the Gerald R Ford Museum
The boys thought this was AWESOME!

Watching the water