Tag Archive | Life

Sabbatical

Sabbatical is defined as taking a rest from two months to a year. Therefore, I saw it fitting to use as the answer to “Where have you been?” That seems to be the question I’ve been asked lately by sweet people who love me. My responce, other than sabbatical, is, home. I’ve been home. I’ve been soaking in each minute with my babies and my loving husband. I’ve been focusing on time with Carter. I’ve been praying through some issues in my heart. I’ve been reevaluating priorities.

I knew at the beginning of the year the Lord was telling me to slow down. And, I listened. I needed lots of quiet time at home. Alone with my precious ones and the Lord. It’s been the sweetest three months. That’s not to say I’ve put locks on my door and did not socialize; untrue. I just went about it differently. More thoughtfully. More purposeful.

To some this will make perfect sense. To others, it’ll sound odd. Phrases like, “spending time with the Lord”, will make someone who doesn’t believe in Christ think the other is a little off kilter. But, I spend time with God because I love Him and have a relationship with the Creator who made you and me. So just as I spend time with my husband and close friends because we have a relationship. I, too, spend time with the Lord.

Then my best friend called and gave me a loving lecture. “It’s time to write again,” she said. She knows how much I love to write. I have a few outlets and this is one. Amidst having a blog, I can be very, very private. She encouraged me to be all God has made me to be regardless of criticism or fear of what some one person may think. I’m taking her advice like taking a bull by the horns! Love you, T!

Making a volcano!

Tot Time – Learning colors, Carter’s way.

Helping Mommy cook!

My Loves 

Perfection: Made by God.

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William’s condition, Home Sweet Home

I’ve never loved being home more than I do right now. So simple and peaceful with the ones I love. What a beautiful gift the Lord gave us.

Day 1 of being home has gone well. We’re both exhausted so please pray for us that we get enough rest this week. Will’s antibiotic treatment has us busy all day long. The last one finishes at midnight and the first starting at 5:30am. So, I’m taking this as prep for baby #2!

Learning how to administer his medication had me completely worried. Anything medically related is not my comfort zone. In fact, it usually sends chills up my spine. Home health care came to teach us and after completely screwing up my first test (pulling out the entire syringe as to make it pour on the floor…to which, me, Will, Tracy, & Katie just bursted laughing over. The nurse didn’t quite see the humor as we did. Well, thank the Lord, it was only sodium chloride.) After that, I got the hang of it pretty well. It’s been going great!!

Home in and of itself is theraputic. I feel our spirits already lighter just being here. Home health care came again today to draw Will’s blood just to ensure he’s being given the correct dosage of vancomycin. Will’s been walking around really well; even without the walker. Taking life a little bit slower; but so sweet!! We’ve both become slightly paranoid (in a good way), taking his fever every couple hours and double checking everything we do.

I must say while we were gone, there were angels that came in and cleaned our home. They flowed in like a domino effect and we almost didn’t recognize this place; it was spectacular! Thank you so much! Our neighbors kept the lawn, garden, and plants looking great. And, we even came home to baby grapes on the grapevine!

Thanks to everyone for helping us getting settled back in. We could not have done it without your love and support! Wow, have we really seen what the “body” of Christ actually looks like when people rally around you in love.

William’s condition, update 7 … HOMEBOUND!!!

We are going home tomorrow!!!! Thanks, Lord!!!

The recovery process will start again on a different level. One week after being admitted to the ER where the doctors didn’t think my husband would survive, he will be WALKING out…WOW!! (albeit with a walker, but still!)

William will come home with his pic line and continue the antibiotic treatment for another week. Once the medication has finished we’ll visit with the infectious disease doctor to make sure Will’s looking good. He’s still going to have to take life very slow, which I know will be a challenge for him, but a necessary one that he can’t fight right now. Then, we’ll visit with the ENT specialist to see if there’s any work that needs to be done on his sinuses. All of our doctors are fully confident in Will’s recovery and sending him home; they’re still shocked at his progress. Still shocked…I’m finding that still shocking.

Will’s been walking with energy around the floor on & off just about all day. He’s starting to wear me out 🙂  yeah!!! He doesn’t need any sort of therapy!!!! We’ll just continue to pray for his ongoing recovery, headaches, eyesight, equilibrium, and patience in healing. I’m so excited he’ll be home with us! And we get to spend peaceful time at home, relaxing, and enjoying Carter & Colton again!!! Thanks Lord for our richly blessed life!!

I think I’m going to hang a price tag on him that reads “priceless.” The truth is Will is worth any amount to me!! (And thank the Lord for catastrophic coverage!!) After visiting with the insurance department today, I actually am praising the Lord that we were able to pay for our deductible and out of pocket costs…another blessing! They were shocked I was ready and willing to pay our bill, which shocked me that people don’t pay their hospital bills. We practice who we want to ultimately be, and this is part of the integrity we want to live by. We have to answer to Jesus, not bill collectors!

I’m so glad the picture of Will & Cartie pleased so many of you. They’re both so handsome! We’ll try to take a family picture tomorrow as we say goodbye to the wonderful care given to us by Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. I’ll post it tomorrow!

Thank you for all your support, love and prayers. We have needed you this week, and you were more than there…you stepped in like a champion!

William’s condition, update 5

Hi friends and family – So sorry for not giving an update last night. Sleep was definitely needed. Yesterday, (Friday), was our first day in his recovery room. Did you read that? Recovery Room! What a most beautiful 2 worded fragment!

The exhaustion is setting in with lots of moments of not being able to sleep, due to so many factors; meds wearing off and meds in the system, excitement, uncomfortable hospital bed, constant checking from nurses and docs, etc. One thing he continues to look forward to is YOU! He loves his 5 minute visits with you and he’s been asking me to read the comments you’re leaving on our blog and all the cards we’ve received. Every one of them brings us both to tears as we read them together and continue to realize that God didn’t have to save his life; but he did save my husband, because God is way to good to us! The depth of love that YOU have poured out to us during this crisis is indescribable. As I sit and watch him sleep and type this, we both  know we’ll never be able to say “thank you” enough. You’ll probably never know the depth that you have touched our lives and hearts because of your love. Praise the Lord that he first showed us how to love by dying for us.

So, yesterday was good!

  • William passed his speech therapy test which means we do not need speech therapy! We’re not sure yet on occupation and physical therapy.
  • He took 4 steps forward and back yesterday.
  • Got up 4 times.
  • As we worked the occupation therapy yesterday, it’s very plain to see that William has his physical strength as if nothing ever happened. But his mobility is another issue that we’re trying to teach him again. (by “we”, I mean the OT and him. I just watch as I’m learning.)
  • His taste buds and totally off which makes eating not very exciting.
  • He is seeing double vision, different colors, and shapes, like circles, on everything around him.
  • The ENT specialist came to visit yesterday and we will have a consult with him to see if further surgery is needed to correct his nasal passages. Since William has had a constant runny nose for years now; Dr. Kelsh is beginning to believe, another issue in this matter is that his brain was leaking fluid through his nose. (wow…crazy!) We will see him after being discharged which I’m still confused by so I must continue to ask the right questions.
  • All tests (spinal tap, CT scan, White Blood Cell’s, blood results) are all coming back with flying colors!!!
  • WBC was 8,000 yesterday and we are getting closer to where we need to be. (Thank you Jesus!!)
  • Spinal tap fluid is totally clear and the WBC in there is great.
  • No bacteria is showing up in his blood.
  • CT scan showing no swelling in his brain.
  • Glucose levels are looking great.
  • So, now it’s all about letting the medication continue to work and working on therapy.
  • Oh!! One more thing…William got up to eat his breakfast today and sat in a chair. We’re going to try to eat every meal in a chair. (in other words, out of the bed.)
  • He walked all the way to the shower and back! YIPEE!!

Getting back to real life is like getting closer by one inch every day. Like I’ve said, it’s a long road ahead. But we’re so encouraged right now. Sure, there’s ups and downs, every day, but I couldn’t ask for anything better from where I’m sitting. The Lord is good.

Prayer needs:

  • Sleep…please continue to pray that William can get in to a deep sleep.
  • Please pray his eyes continue to self-correct as that is what the doctors believe will happen and his vision will be restored.
  • His body is so achy; please pray that everyday that passes we get a little closer to him feeling good and gaining mobility.
  • Pray for the possible brain leaking and what direction we need to go with this.
Will’s got such a great attitude right now. For those of you who have been able to sit with him, you can see he’s just William. Just what I and you were praying for; Lord, please give us William back. And He did!! Will doesn’t seem to be angry or upset by any of this; he’s taking it all very well; just hoping his body gets moving and it will with time. (I don’t know about you; but if that were me; I don’t think I’d have such a joyful attitude.) I’m so proud of him.
As I fed him dinner last night, he was joking and saying how nice it was to just get food shoveled in his mouth 🙂  All joking aside later he told me, “it’s just so tiring to even chew!” Oh wow, what an eye opener this has been for us and you, I’m sure, on so many levels. It’s amazing how God constructed every single little piece of our body to work and then to realize the work it takes to get back there. Makes us again realize, God is the healer. And so, we pray.

A couple final things:

  • Carter got more time with Daddy last night! I know Cartie-cakes gets confused by all of this so please pray that when they do get time together, it’s just sweet. He’s also not feeling too well, so pray Cart gets to feeling good quickly. It’s hard to take care of someone else’s baby all day everyday; but even harder when they don’t feel good. We couldn’t be more grateful to my adopted family for giving Carter consistency and love all week long.
  • I know some of you are worried about me. Thank you for your concern. Please do not be worried. I’m getting sleep at night knowing Will is now is such a wonderful place. I get to spend time with Cart in the mornings, sometimes in the afternoon, and evenings. I want you to know I am exactly where I need to be in this room with my husband and there’s no where else in the world I’d rather sit. I am resonating with joy as I get to give him such sweet love by being available for all of his needs.
  • Lastly, I’m going to share something very personal. (as if I haven’t already, right?!) …
  • We have been saving money to buy a car for our family as it’ll be my main vehicle of transportation. (we want to buy in cash as not to live in debt.) We also decided to choose a high deductible insurance plan when purchasing private insurance as we are self-employed. Monday night as I was trying to sleep I realized our deductible and the money we were planning to purchase a car with were the same amount. There are lots of sacrafices we choose to make with money and live below our means so we can afford to stay home and raise our children. We’re choosing what we believe is most important for our family.
  • My prayer request is that I am becoming increasingly worried about how I’m bring my husband home from the hospital and how I’ll be taking 2 children around plus my husband in two and a half months from now. Currently we have his work truck and his high school vehicle (1983 Jeep) and it’s as rustic as it sounds. Not very safe for a family at all. Nor can 2 adults and 2 babies fit in it.
  • I’ve been praying and seeking every possible way in how to remedy this situation and continue to come up to dead ends.
  • This week, the Lord asked me to put my husband at the alter and I didn’t know if he was going to live or not. The Lord allowed me by his grace to have my husband again. He allowed you to have William back; but he didn’t have to. God did it because of His goodness; not because you or I deserve his blessings. I’m finding again this week the Lord is asking me to put this car situation at the alter so He can work through it instead of me trying to control. I’m finding it very hard and I’m not even sure if I explained it correctly. Please join me in praying for my mind to rest and knowing that God will take care of this need. I mean, come on Jenet, the Lord brought your husband back to life.
Love,
William’s Wife

Summer 2010

As every teacher does. In the beginning of the school year, I would lead the discussion of “what did you do this summer?” I loved hearing what my kiddos did. It gave me insight to what home life looks for them! Some traveled non-stop, some stayed home and watched tv, some got dropped at a friends, grandma’s, or the mall. Either way, I always made a big deal about how their summer was pretty cool no matter how filled or lonely it was!

So, as fall approaches (or so I hope), I thought it best to record some of my favorite events from this summer. (Actually, this list only includes events that I have pictures from. Without those, I wouldn’t remember what I did!)

We said goodbye to our front yard palm tree.

 

Celebrated my first Mothers Day!

Carter went to the zoo a few times and adventurously went fishing with Daddy.

 

 

 

 Worked in the yard and cooled off in the ducky pool! Experienced the fun of irrigation!

 

Learned how to mow the lawn.

Sat in a bucket. Learned how to clap.

 

 

 

 

 

Went to the Berger family reunion in St. Louis, MO.

 

 

 

 

We took a 22 hour road trip in 2 days to Lewiston, ID.

https://wjsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/idaho/

I so honored and excited to give a baby shower for my best friend, Tracy S with my adopted mom, Tracy G. Expecting her second child, a girl! We are so excited to meet the little sweetheart. The sad part of it was that I had to say goodbye that day since they’ve moved to Texas. I miss you Tracy. God used Tracy while she was in Phoenix to impact the lives of so many young girls. She’s been such a dedicated friend to many of us. The shower was just like her: meaningful, personal, & heart-felt. Of course, it was so much fun to watch her open gifts of tutu’s & bows!

Celebrated Carter’s First Birthday!

https://wjsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/1-year-old/

https://wjsimmons.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/carters-1st-party/

It was so hot, we often read books, played with doggy, and hung out with friends! We got to spend some great time with our cousins!

Carter wanted to look just like Daddy so we tried on his shoes. After being disobedient, Carter continued to taste the dog food only to find out…Mommy was right.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Helpers

I love the french doors in our home. I despise cleaning those very same doors. Enter, Windex Outdoor All-In-One. The theory of this cleaner is to spray the outdoor windows with water, wipe the Windex on, and spray again. Sounds easy. It’s suppossed to leave a “streak-free shine.” Sounds great! I tried it and it really does work true to it’s promise. I was so excited about the ease of the product and how beautiful the windows looked! Plus, who doesn’t love to spray water. Feels like being a kid again!

Often I ask Will if we can hire a housekeeper. Actually, I’ve even narrowed the job responsibility of this housekeeper down to a priority list.

  1. Mop
  2. Bathrooms
  3. Windows (which I can now remove from my list.)

Often, William rejects the idea. boo hoo.

I don’t like mopping because it’s so strenuous! All the times you have to go back to the mop bucket, then nobody can walk around until it’s dry…blah, blah!

Enter, another new, favorite, cleaning helper! Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop. This product promised to save me money because you don’t have to buy another pad. Simply wash the microfiber pad it comes with and reuse! Next, you don’t have to buy their fancy solution. Use whatever solution you like. So, mommies who have little ones that play on the ground can use their own safe solution. Here’s the part that I like…the solution container is attached to the mop. So as you’re going, you spray and mop. No need to have to go back the bucket to re-wet the pad! WOOOHOOO!

This may sound silly to most of you who aren’t obsessed with cleaning.

Lastly, for my favorite helper: Trader Joe’s, I love you. Everything about you is perfect. Don’t ever change.

Joy In The Jumble

Dave Ramsey, financial guru, says its good to be the ugly house on the street. Well Dave, we’ve taken your words of wisdom to a whole new level.

I’m actually enjoying the process of rebuilding the front of our house. I’ve enjoyed sitting under the tree and reading a book while watching William work diligently, Carter play in the dirt, and Colton run around crazy. I’ve enjoyed making runs for iced tea in between William breaking apart 50-year old concrete slabs. I’ve even enjoyed hosing thick layers of mud off Cartie, naked, in the front yard.

I say to Will, ” It’s moments like this, I think we should be living on a farm.”

I’ve come to love our pink home and will miss its sweet color. By no means will I miss it enough to want to paint it pink again. No, no…the pink house reminds me of simplicity. Simple, memorable times like beginning my life with my newlywed husband. Bringing home our baby from the hospital. And, my own struggle, of looking past its ugly exterior to see what’s inside the home. Inside our home is joy.

Don’t get me wrong. I can’t pretend like the outside of the house never bothered me. I’ll be honest in saying, it bothered me a whole bunch. Maybe that’s the effect living in Scottsdale has had on me. But, that’s my own struggle in wanting to things to look a certain way. So, how interesting that the man I chose to spend my life with, looks at this same scenario most opposite. He challenges my thoughts on wanting things to look a certain way. “Don’t get caught in the rat race, J.” That line, I heard close to 1,000 times now. Much to his wise advice, I chose joy in the jumble of my own internal struggle of wanting “it” to look like “this.” (apply that to any part of life.) I believe that was the key in having peace…choosing joy.

A dear friend came to visit yesterday and on her way over, I realized that I didn’t prep her on the outward appearance of our home ahead of time. I was truly proud of myself. I know that may sound silly. But, if I allow myself to become completely enamored in how my life looks, I’m just always pretending and that’s not something I can respect myself for. I think since being married and having a child and seeing myself at my worst have I been able to laugh more at myself. I guess I’ve come to that realization that I don’t care how things look anymore or how a person looks. I care what’s on the inside. Inside of the home, inside the person.