Proud Mama

I’m going to apologize in advance for this update. It involves lots of – what we call – potty talk… But it is exciting! At least to Eric and me :-)

Anne – after months of only having a bowel movement with the help of harsh, medicated suppositories – had a breakthrough today. It started when – just as we were walking out the door – she said, “Mommy, I need to go poopy.”

“Really? Are you sure Anne, cause you say this alot, and then you don’t really have to go.”

“No, mommy, I REALLY have to go. Really, really, REALLY have to go. I promise.”

So, knowing we were going to be late, but thinking this might be THE time that she really has to go, I put her on the potty.

And yes, she went! We were so excited. I was cheering. Canon was cheering. Kate was clapping. It must of really made an impression on Anne because later, when this sweet, older lady asked how she was doing, Anne said, “Great! I went poopsters in the potty!” Life is full of adventure with Anne :-)

Proudly, kathryn

Holdin’ On

We received a good report from Anne’s neurosurgeon yesterday. Her CT scan showed many positive indicators including the decrease of fluid on her brain. The bad news is that Anne’s injury has caused significant atrophy on the right side of her brain (which is a loss of neurons and the connections between them.) We’ll just have to pray that Anne learns to compensate!

Dr. Reisner is such a kind and compassionate man. He genuinely cares for Anne and will probably follow her for a long time. But for now, she is stable from a neurosurgerical view and only has to see Dr. Reisner yearly.

Neurologically, however, we are just getting started. Anne will visit her neurologist on Monday. He will address her seizures (which are still present) and eventually her attention/impulsivity issues. I’m sure we’ll become well acquainted with the neurologist’s office :-)

I’ll share a glimpse of our morning with you all… After breakfast, as I was sweeping up crumbs and mopping up spills, we were listening to Toby Mac’s Holding On – very loudly:-) I dropped my mop and picked up Anne. Canon and Kate danced around me as I was spinning with little Anne. She was squealing with delight. Then the doorbell rang. Yup, the Orkin Man. So he just joins in the fun. He takes Anne and dances with her. I pick up Kate. Canon is in the middle doing his 8-yr-old boy dance (use your imagination). The Jacksons and the Orkin Man dancing to Toby Mac. Good times. Great song…

We’re holding on over here ;-) kathryn

A deposit… of things to come

I was just outside playing basketball against Canon and Kate. I was guarding Canon, and Canon yells, “Down low, Kate – go low.” Canon and I turn around to see Kate kneeling down “low” to the ground. We both burst out laughing. For you basketball newbies, “Go low” means go toward the goal and be ready for the ball. We were playing while Eric was inside putting Anne to bed. (And now Eric is playing basketball with Canon while I stay inside with Anne…)

This is just one example of how the dynamics have changed within our family. Because Anne gets so tired in the evenings AND because of her disability… Canon and Kate are together alot.

In the beginning, this was difficult because Canon projected his grief onto Kate. There was lots of bickering. Now that Canon understands the true source of his grief, he has prayed for his relationship with Kate to improve – (which is AMAZING. My jaw almost hit the floor when I heard him praying for that!)

The other day Canon said, “God has changed my heart towards Kate. I really like playing with her now.” It’s true. They have so much fun together!

Even though their relationship is wonderful, and brings me much joy… lately I’ve been more aware of Anne’s absence in their play – which has made me sad.

Last night, Anne had an extra boost of energy, so she was able to stay up later with Canon and Kate. Instead of two kids playing, it was three. They were all wrestling and tickling each other on the living room floor. There were lots of squeals and laughter.

As I watched the THREE of them playing, I felt especially aware that this was God’s gift to me – a deposit, if you will – of things to come.

It is so hard to accept this new life God has given us. I’m tired of feeling sad. I just want to submit and accept and move on. I still feel like God’s hand is pressing me down into grief – like I have more work to do – more wrestling. It WILL end, and God will help us to submit and rest – all in His timing.

We covet your prayers…

  1.  for comfort and rest for Anne – that she would know God’s love for her
  2. for perseverance for Anne – and for all of us :-)
  3. that we could find joy in her current recovery and trust God for her future (instead of worrying about it).
  4. And for God to continue His healing work in Anne!

THANK YOU! -kathryn

She’s doing well…

Anne continues to improve little bit by little bit. She’s come so far since she was released in the hospital last June.

She’s doing so well during her hippotherapy (horse therapy) sessions. This past Thursday she rode frontwards, backwards and sideways. Watching her ride sideways with her feet dangling over one side of the horse and her torso moving in rhythm with the horse ALL WHILE KEEPING HER BALANCE – reminded me of how she could barely sit up by herself when she first came home from the hospital. That’s good progress :-)

Considering the severity of her injury, she has some amazing cognitive strengths – including her memory, language and reasoning skills. It’s a good base for her to build upon.

The past month or so I’ve been wrestling with God’s goodness. I’m finally in a better place – closer to surrender and trust in His plan for Anne. I’ve been reading a book by Nancy Guthrie called, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow. Great book…

I’ve moved to a place where I am less concerned with Anne’s physical well being than with her spiritual well being. Don’t misunderstand, I’m still praying for her continued healing! I just pray more fervently for her to love Jesus and trust Him in the midst of her tragedy. I pray that for all of us… Canon, Kate, Me and Eric – to move into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Christ.

Anne brings us so much joy! We are so grateful to God for her life!

Thank you for your continued prayers :-)

“Terrific Kid”

Award Day at school

Anne received an award at school today! She was recognized as a “Terrific Kid” who demostrates “a positive attitude, good character and responsible citizenship.”

Canon is a proud big brother

Anne’s teacher was very kind to give this award to Anne as a means of encouragement to her and to us, her family! We were all present and watched as Anne received her award in front of the PreK, K and 1st graders.

Anne went to her third hippotherapy session today. She LOVES riding and is showing improvement each week :-)

Thank you for your continued prayers.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Eph. 3:20-21.

Good progress…

Anne has made good progress since starting school in January.

She has her own walker that she uses with the PT at school. Anne started at the beginning of the month walking 75 ft. and has increased her distance to 150ft.

Anne has had problems keeping her legs straight when she walks. She “scissors” her legs – or crosses them over each other as she walks. Lately, her scissoring has decreased, and she is walking with a more normal gait.

Anne couldn’t count very well when she started school, but now she can easily count to 20.

Her oral fixation is improving slightly. A few weekends ago, our family was eating at a restaurant with close friends. At this restaurant, they give the kids a huge bucket of crayons and paper. I sat, waiting for Anne to pick up a fistful of crayons and drop them on the floor or throw them across the table, and then eat the rest of them! But she didn’t. She picked up one crayon, held it with the correct tripod grasp, scribbled and placed the crayon back in the bucket. She colored with lots of different crayons, always putting them back in the bucket, and only one crayon went in her mouth! We were thrilled!

She’s slowly getting better at tracing her letters with her right index finger. She can trace T, L and E easily and is starting to do well at A, N and W.

Anne is continuing to gain more self awareness. She is often angry and frustrated, especially at night. She talks about how she is angry at God for letting the car crash happen. She also gets angry at me when I have to dress her, brush her hair or help her go to the bathroom.

She has been kinder to Kate lately, showing her affection and telling her, “I love you Kate!”. She continues to play well with canon. Their imaginary worlds and games are getting more complicated as Anne makes more cognitive gains.

Her language skills continue to improve. Her sentence structure is excellent, and she corrects our grammar at every opportunity. Her memory for song lyrics is unusually astute. Today she said to me while I was singing, “No mommy. It’s ‘took’ not ‘takes.'” Seriously?!

Her private OT sessions are very challenging for Anne. They are working her left hand very hard. It takes so much effort for her to even try to move her left arm or squeeze her left hand. She usually leaves those sessions exhausted…

In the hospital, I would tell her that God was helping her to get better every day. Anne would always ask, “even today?” And I would respond, “Yes, Anne. Even today.”

I still tell her that God is helping her to get better and better every day. And she still asks, “even today?” And I say… “Yes Anne. Especially today.”

Trying to trust God with my little girl… -kathryn


I feel like that word describes most of my life right now.

Will Anne ever walk again? Unknown
Will Anne ever NOT need diapers? Unknown
Will Anne ever progress past Kindergarten material? Unknown
Where will Canon and Kate go to school next year? Unknown
Will Anne grow out of her temper-tantrum phase? Unknown
How will God provide for all of our needs? Unknown

I could go on and on and on. I’ve never felt so out of control in my whole life.

From a wide angle perspective, that’s a good place to be… broken and dependent on God’s perfect provision. But from a narrow, nitty-gritty perspective – well, lots of colorful adjectives come to mind, but I’ll just say… it’s hard.

Bottomline… I’m struggling with trust. Sweet Canon was weeping over Anne the other day, and I go into my speech about how we are in a dark tunnel, and it’s a hard place to be, but the tunnel WILL END, and God is with us in the tunnel. And Canon just cried, “But I don’t feel Him in the tunnel. Where is He?” And I just held him tight and said nothing, because I’ve been feeling the same way.

Truth vs. feelings… Do we trust in the staff of God’s word? I will never leave you or forsake you… I am with you always. I delight over you. Have I not commanded you…be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? I lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from You, maker of heaven and earth.

Thank you to everyone I see that tells me that you follow us on Caring Bridge. It’s a reminder to me that we are not alone on this journey, but we have myriads of God’s people praying for us.

Would you please pray for the following:

  1. That there would be an end to diapers. That Anne would learn to use the potty again.
  2. That Anne would gain endurance and not get SO tired and difficult in the evenings.
  3. That Anne’s attention and impulsivity would continue to improve.
  4. That Anne’s desire to break the rules would wane, and her desire to obey and do what is best would improve.
  5. That Anne would sense God’s presence and know His love for her
  6. That God would give us wisdom for Canon & Kate’s schooling.

Finally, Anne has been talking alot about what she wants to be when she grows up. Amazingly, her list of professions is the same as it was before the accident. She either wants to be a “cooker” or a “teacher.” Cooking and playing school were her favorite activities this time last year. In fact, the morning of the accident, Anne had taken over the entire kitchen creating one of her crazy concoctions. It was almost time to pick up Kate from pre-school, and I said, “Anne, we have to leave soon. Please clean up EVERYTHING…now.” And she obeyed immediately, with no complaints. Sweet, precious Anne. I’ve been praying lately, that she would grow up to be a teacher. I would love it, if others prayed that for Anne too :-)

Thank you! -kathryn

Glimmer of relief

We have struggled a little more lately with the amount of service required to raise little Anne. Sometimes we have just felt tired. We pray that Anne continues to grow and learn and sharpen because we want what is best for her. But selfishly we also ask God for some relief.

Then a tiny glimmer of relief comes in an unusual way to
me. The scene in our Honda van traveling around town: everyone singing loudly to Christian radio, with Kathryn teaching us to insert a few lyrics of our own to some well known songs. . . . Anne grinning ear to ear:

Brandon Heath’s “Wait and See”

There is hope for Anne yet
Because God won’t forget
All the plans He has for “me”
I have to wait and see …He’s not finished with Anne yet

Chris Tomlin’s “God of this city”

For greater things are yet to come,
And greater things are still to be done in our Annie-B
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in our Annie-B

I get a giant lump in my throat when I sing that Chris
Tomlin song with Annie-B inserted. God is so personal and close to give us these songs, to give us Kathryn who can ‘see’
to change these songs for Anne, to give little Anne back to us, and to give us the chance to wrestle with him as a family through this difficulty which molds our character a little more to His likeness.




Anne had her first hippotherapy session today. (Hippo is greek for horse.)

Hippotherapy will help Anne’s balance, coordination and her ability to know where she is in space. When the horse moves, Anne has to use BOTH sides of her body to balance. I’m very thankful to have a hippotherapy clinic so close to our home.

I didn’t know how Anne would react to being on the horse… but she did GREAT! She wasn’t afraid and was genuinely excited. The therapy session definitely challenged her – especially when they turned Anne around so she was riding backwards on the horse. I look forward to seeing how she responds to more therapy sessions!

A child’s grief

Anne has started showing more signs of self awareness, and she’s also asking some difficult questions…

“I’m sad that i have a brain injury, dada.”
“Mama, I’m sad that i can’t walk.”
“Daddy, why did God let me get hurt in the accident?”

And Canon has begun to process his grief….

Weeping, Canon said, “I cant imagine Anne ever getting better. I can’t imagine her ever walking. I just want things to go back to the way they were before the accident. I want to go back to that day and tell you to go a different way, mommy.”

There are no easy answers for our 6 and 8 year old children. They reflect my own questions and grief. God in his goodness has met us in our grief and uncertainty. And he will continue to walk us through this tunnel to the end.

Please pray for us as we seek wisdom and comfort.
Thank you :-) -kathryn