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Philippians 1:6

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's hoping you have a blessed Christmas and that Jesus will be the song of your life...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alli update week before Christmas

Wow! Christmas is so close. And I must say I have received gifts early this year. Although I may be feeling stressed and a bit overwhelmed by Christmas to-do's, intermingled with Dr. appts and bills, I was reminded last night in conversation with our oldest, that these things simply are not my problem. The Christmas to-do are panning out, just like they always do. The doctor's appts come & go, just like they always do (although at today's we sat in the waiting room for 1 solid hour before our name was ever called). And the bills, well, the bills are the result of the "earth shaking" God allowed to come into our lives. He knew before the formation of me in my mother's womb, that my own daughter would travel this difficult road. He knew the details of that heart breaking night before I ever selected a name for her. And he knew all the doctor visits that would follow, and had already aligned godly men and women, into whom He had given knowledge of His great Creation, to aid in her care taking and recovery. So the bills? Well they're His to worry about, not mine. I will trust Him to provide, just as He always has, and will trust Him to use my fishes and loaves to feed the five thousand. I have seen Him make order of the chaos. I've seen Him turn my mourning into laughter. And I will dance in the splendor of His holiness, for great things He hath done for, in, and through me.

So as I've said, I've already received great Christmas gifts this year. Today, Alli is my walking miracle who sings her Jesus songs and writes her name. Today Alli is 3 weeks, 2 days without a seizure. Today, we celebrated the birthday of the King of Kings with our little friends at school who love us and gird us in prayer. Today, I heard all four of my girls say, "I love you". Today, I received encouragement from 3 different friends. Today I received a Christmas card from someone I thought was lost forever that said "we love you guys". Today I had opportunity to encourage a friend. Today, my Savior loves, my Savior lives, my Savior is there for me. Today, I thanked God for you who have prayed for us and lifted us up during this time in our lives.
For those of you who have my #, call it and listen to my voice mail. And rejoice with me at what you hear...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Praise Report (Alli update)

This evening marks 2 weeks without a seizure! We are very encouraged and praying that there will be no more. Please continue to lift Alli up in your prayers in her recovery. We know it is by God's grace alone that she is still here and that she is recovering so beautifully.
This Christmas feels very different for me. The magnitude of what God gave for us really strikes me this year. The preciousness of the small Child who grew into Man who would ultimately give His very life for people who didn't deserve His love. Knowing that on the cross, He saw me and knew how much I'd need Him .
Sometimes I just sit and marvel and quite honestly get tickled at the things of God. How every event in our lives lead us up to this very moment, knowing we would be right here going through these very things we now endure. And I realize we should never "dream" of going back and doing things differently. God knew where we'd be each day, and He used every little thing (good and bad) that we've gone through to mold us into who we are today. And it's in our trials, tribulations, and struggles that God heats the fire, sifts us of our impurities and, if we'll just submit to Him, molds us to reflect more of His image, developing and nurturing our spirits so that we can be more fit for the tasks ahead. He will use our heartaches to reach others if we continue to Glorify His Name and allow His Spirit to flow through us and reach others. When others see us, they should see Christ shining through us, unable to be hidden by grief or despair. For if they don't see Christ, who then will they see?
Take my life, and let me be, a living prayer, my God to thee.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prayer Needed

A gentleman in our former church fell from a ladder today and was air lifted up state. He suffered severe head trauma and has been pronounced brain dead. This is such a sweet and precious family who dedicated their lives to helping others. Please pray for his precious wife as she deals with this horrible tragedy.
How I'm still haunted of how easily this could have been us. I don't know why God spares one and takes another, but I know God is to be God, and we His children. He is an ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

No news is good news (Alli update)

Alli has gone one week and 2 days without a seizure and we are very encouraged. She did, however, have a lovely fit Tue when having to leave her best friend to go home and then again this morning because her best bud is under the weather and not at school (Feel better K, we need you!). Our big Mrs. Alli said, "Yep, little Alli's back!" And we all had a good laugh.
I just wanted to let you all know how well Alli has done over the past week and thank you for continuing to pray for her. We pray that she will have no more seizures and that God will receive Glory for her healing. I also need to ask you to continue to pray for the healing that needs to take place in her skull to avoid surgery. The last testing back in early November showed the skull fractures still separated. We're praying that they will start to heal towards each other properly and that Alli will not have to undergo surgery. We'll have another CT scan sometime this month to check on her progress.
Thanks for remembering me in my embarrassing tumble. I'm feeling much better and am able to maintain myself with a bit of Tylenol.
Also please pray for some friends of mine who are going through trials. Pray for comfort, peace, and wisdom as they seek God's guidance for their lives. Pray they will feel the love of God's people around them and more importantly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit upon their lives. And pray for their protection that angels would encompass round about them.
Thank you for being faithful in your prayers. As this Christmas season is upon us, reflect on your Blessings, for they are many. Forget not the greatest Gift of all, and neglect not the gift that lie within you. Use the ability God has placed within you to be a light for Christ. And spend time with the people you love, for each day truly is a priceless gift.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Alli update (and me too, I guess)

Alli had a good appt with the neurologist today. No new news, just trying to offer tips to help us manage seizure activity. If the seizures increase, worsen, or are still lingering after 6 months, then we'll start on a seizure med that's also used for migranes. But at this point, we're going to try to avoid it because of the side affects that come along with the medication. We've made it one full week today without an episode (praise the Lord!)
For anyone who missed "America's stupidest moments", I fell at the ginhouse and I am so sore I don't want to move. I unknowingly stepped on a coke flat tray with sheet metal under it, and went skating across the floor and ultimately crashed between 2 saws. I think I must have hit the table saw because my head hurt terribly, and now my shoulders and neck muscles are really giving me a fit. I have a knot on my left leg and my left arm between the wrist and elbow hurts like when you've hit the volley ball wrong. The muscles are tender and hurt doing things like driving or trying to carry something. At the time, my pride was hurt worse than anything, now I just hurt (forget the pride).
Sorry this is so short but I'm going to try to lay very still now...Please keep praying for us as insult seems to add to injury around here these days.
By the way, Happy December everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update on Alli

Sorry we haven't updated in a few days, but no news has been good news. Alli made it almost one full week without a seizure, but yesterday afternoon had another episode after a very busy day at school. I was fortunate to get to converse directly with the pediatric neurologist today about Alli and her testing. No "classic" seizures were picked up, but an interesting episode of pain that turned violent followed by the classic seizure stares and sleep. At this point they're thinking that Alli's episodes may be induced by a sudden onset of pain from her head injury. The good news is, no seizure meds nor expected long term condition. The bad news is, the only treatment really is pain meds but you don't know to give until the episode starts, and by the time the meds hit her system good, the episode is over. So basically, she'll just have to suffer with them until her head heals at which point we pray they will have stopped. Because her skull fractures have shown no signs of healing yet, another CT scan will be done in Dec. There's still a chance that if they don't heal towards each other, some intervention could be required. They say she's on a "see-saw" age of wanting to do surgery or it being able to heal on it's own. The big factor is whether the fractures will heal towards each other or continue to separate.
To encourage us all though, most of the time, you see the same ole sweet Alli. Unfortunately for us though, there have been times of hitting, biting, screaming, downright defiance, and of course the episodes we've been talking about. None of this was normal behavior of Alli before and is assumed to all be stemming from head pain and "not normal" feelings and signals her body is currently giving her.
Well Happy Thanksgiving to all you, especially my Nashville'd nephew!
My daughter #2 was instrumental in starting a family tradition where we pass around the fall-adorned Thanksgiving spoon just before meal prayer and each vocalize what we're thankful for this year. Mine may be a little long this year...
I could not be more thankful than I am this particular Thanksgiving. God has been so gracious to us through this new path for us. Thank you Lord for seeing fit to spare my little one's life.
I'm especially thankful to my LE folks who have loved on me constantly. You guys are so precious and dear to us and I can't begin to express my gratitude for what you did this past weekend. You guys are awesome. I love you, and really do consider you part of my family.
To my J in Fl, we still love you, still miss you, and still pray for you often (Bug wouldn't dare let us forget!) I am so thankful for your friendship!
To my sweet friend E, you and your family are an answer to many prayers for our family. Our friendship bloomed in a time where I really needed a friend, and it was just perks that you had girls and a ministry minded husband to compliment my own herd. We are so blessed by your friendship and hope to be old folks sitting around the card table with you one day!
To my family, friends, & people who just tolerate me...I can't say thank you to God enough for the honor to be in your lives. You each have touched my heart in countless ways, many I have named here over the past month. I have prayer warriors, crying partners, laughing buddies, old faithfuls, new made friends for life and encouraging words all around me. You guys are all such a blessing to me, really.
So truly, a Blessed Thanksgiving to you all, and I pray that one day I'll be able to be a part of heaping Blessings upon you for all you have done for us during this time. God Bless, Jesus lead, and Holy Spirit whisper. I'll talk with you all again after I've reached my limit on mom's dressing and gravy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home again (Alli update Tue)

This round of testing is complete, so we've returned home. Alli's blood work showed her CRP level has dropped to 9, so give God Glory. Her hematocrit level is also coming back up, another praise. We've settled in back home, best we could, and so far so good for Alli.
As before, God has been good to us. The EEG tech was awesome with Alli, and so caring. These 24 hr. EEGs usually take upwards of 2 wks to get back results, but he said he'd go ahead and read it today. I couldn't believe he was taking time out of his schedule like that for us. He seemed to really take a liking to Alli. He also has 4 children, so maybe it was just mercy as a fellow parent! Lord thank You for M.J.E. and the role you use him in to reach families for You.
Sadly, we did return home to find our oldest has been running fever. She's in one of "mom's homemade sick beds" on our couch feeling puney. Please pray this would not float throughout our family, kicking us while we're down.
I know I've said it before, but we so very much have appreciated each prayer and concern lifted up on our behalf. I know God hears. I see it in action each day. As much of a uncertain and sometimes frightening time as this has been, God has remained constant and has shown Himself to us each day of this asperity. As I've said before, I've seen "God things" from the very moment she fell. And they've continued each day since, sometimes in ways that only I would know it was a love note from God. The ones most recent? Something as simple as meatloaf and mashed potatoes I had planned to make shortly after the accident, but have not had time to. What did the hospital volunteer drop by my room yesterday? A plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes! From who? You know my answer. And I could sit here endlessly naming ways God has shown up or slipped love notes to us while on this darkened journey. Many times a little love note just to say, yep, I'm still here, and yep, I'm paying attention. Like my hubby's associate newsletter that simply said, "Emmanuel, God with us. That is the message that we must keep alive during these difficult times." Wow. Or a very special blessing from my dear friends the T's, that just might obliviate a recent prayer request I had not even been able to find the words for.
God hears our prayers. And He truly hears the grownings of our hearts when we are without words. I must say I feel so incredibly unworthy of the Love pouring over me during this time. And I am forever humbled by this touch from the Master's Hand. And you all have been such a big part of this miracle in our lives through your prayers and support. God Bless you, and God return to you, in a mighty way, the love you have shown to us during this time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Testing, testing, testing...(Alli update)

They're repeating CPC and CRP blood tests later today. Alli is resting right now. She had an episode after lunch today where she became violent. I've never seen that before. Afterward she went into the blank stare, then climbed into my lap and went to sleep and has been sleeping for hours now. So I wonder if she may have had a seizure. Whatever it was, I didn't like it!
As usual, the staff here is wonderful. Hubby had to return to work, so mom is here with me. She's fairing well! Crocheting of course.
The EEG tech told us we'd be here overnight and based on what the readouts look like in the morning, he may decide to leave it hooked up another 24. But we won't know that until probably lunch time tomorrow.
As always, thanks for your prayers and support. The sleep deprivation was tough, but God has been gracious. My blessed aunt who lives in the area brought us lunch today (love you dear!) and then I took a nap while mom hovered over Alli for me.
I wonder if they'll let me have a copy of the tape for memorabilia? No scrap booking that one J!
Plug to E, thanks for caring for my girls! Kiss them or spank them, or whatever it is they need for me and tell them I love them and miss them.
Love to everyone! Continue to pray. With her sleeping so hard now, this may turn into an UP night.

Friday, November 14, 2008

We interrupt this hospitalization...

for a golf game? Bridge anyone?
They've decided to send us home for the weekend and report back on Monday morning for the 24 hr. EEG. Some of the staff needed for testing won't be here over the weekend, so they have decided to let us go home for a "breather" and come back bright and early Monday morning to resume testing. We'll be sleep depriving on Sun. in preparation for the tests, so keep us in your prayers. Although this will be a lot of travel for us going home and then back here Monday, we are excited about going home to see our girls for a few days.

More testing (Alli Friday AM update)

Testing today may keep us from using our cell phones. The last EEG, we had to power off our phones, so that may be the case today as well. Not sure though.
On another note, her bloodwork from yesterday is back. Her CRP level is 126, and it's supposed to be less than 4. So there's definitely something hiding out in her body. Infectious disease should be coming around to decide how to find what's hiding out in there that initial blood work, urinalysis, Xray, MRI, and spinal tap have not seen.
Keep praying as this should be a long day. We'll update as soon as we're allowed to use our devices again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alli update Thur night

More blood work was done today. No fever since lunch time so that's a great improvement. Alli had a real "touch me not" episode around supper time which was hard for the hubby and I.
Tomorrow morning she'll be rewired (like the last picture post) for a 24 hr. EEG to run in hopes of catching one of her episodes. It will run all tomorrow and then through the night with some sleep depriving again. There are a few variables that are a down side with this test. One is that we can't leave the room for 24 hrs. because of the video system that will be in place to record her behavior along with the EEG graphing. Another con is that by being in the room all that time, her activity level will be limited, and all of her episodes have followed a period of physical activity. Because of this, we still may not catch one of them and go home on assumptions. If that's the case, then we're supposed to carry around a video camera, recording her, trying to catch the next one so the neurologist can see one for himself. This really makes us hope the 24 hr EEG will catch one so we can have their data to confirm what we've been experiencing. We had some medical personnel witness last night's episode, but not the neurologist. He says there is a chance that this isn't seizures, but an onset of pain from the injury that she can't handle and then goes into a temp. shutdown, looking like a seizure. It was called a vega response, I think (I may not be remembering that term correctly). Anyway, that's why he really wants to catch her on video and EEG together to try to prove which is causing the seizure behavior, whether it be actual seizure or intense pain that her brain can't handle. Quite honestly, they don't sound much different to me.
Anyway, I was reminded tonight by the neurosurgeon (notice we have a neurologist and a neurosurgeon, and they are quite different) that if the EEG doesn't show a seizure, that only means that she's not having a seizure during the test. Proving it isn't necessarily our purpose here. That would just present proof of what we already knew, but what we as Christians have to remember that our answers come from God. All this testing may not give us any concrete evidence to go on because of all the variables. But God will give us answers, in His timing, and the only variable is our faith-our hope and trust in Him.
Good night and God Bless. Pray that we all handle being confined to this room all day okay, especially Alli who's gotten used to going to see the fishies each day since we've been here. Also, her sleep tonight has been quite restless. Hubby on the other hand is snoozing just like at home- in the chair, feet propped up, computer in lap, head back, mouth open. I'll probably receive some kind of punking for saying that later! Too bad I didn't have a picture...

Alli update Thurs noon

Alli's EEG did not show any immediate malfunctioning in the brain. However, Alli did not fall into a deep sleep as they anticipated so results were from awake and dosing screenings. Last night she had another seizure while the nurse was in the room. Today the doctor said they may order a video EEG which would have her hooked to a monitor for 24 hrs and a video on her to compare her behavior to the readouts. Her episodes are always late afternoon/early evening after activity, so this is another reason to want to do a 24 hr monitor. Her fever broke around 4 this morning, but she is starting to show signs of creeping back up. They want her fever free for 24 hrs. before discharging and are concerned at how it spikes, goes away, spikes, goes away. They are considering calling in the infectious disease group because initial testings aren't picking up anything and they think there's a possibility that a bacteria could be hiding out somewhere in the body.
Alli is well occupied with fun by the child life program here and their playroom. She does not have a good appetite right now though, and we're having to pretty much make her eat what she does take in. The hubby and I are entertained by their pool table (and our lack of skill!) but now have to go out for food because their food voucher program has stopped and they don't do courtesy trays like back home. Usually the hubby goes out & grabs something for us while I hang out with Alli. The staff here is wonderful and has offered many times to sit with Alli while we "take a break", but you know me, I can't make myself leave her. I know some of you are wanting to visit, but it is advised against until this fever source is tracked down.
Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. God is still good and carries as during this time. I must admit, just being away and getting to sit down and watch tv or play a game with my hubby has been a very welcomed return. Most of you know that kind of time has been very little since the start of ginhouse. So see, God sends little treats amongst our trials, and He knows our hearts desires and sends us little love notes amidst our tribulations to lift our spirits and show us that He is near. I love God's tact!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alli update 11-12-2008

Alli had her EEG this morning. Keeping her up during the night wasn't nearly as hard as you may think. And believe it our not, she has been so wired today. She just went to sleep for the first time at 6 pm. She's continued with fever and has had vomiting today. Before uploading this message, at 7 pm she had another seizure while the nurse was in the room. I was very glad that a medical personnel finally witnessed what we have seen.
We should have results from the EEG tomorrow and further testing as well as our tenure should be discussed then. Hopefully we can get some sleep tonight because we are exhausted. I'll be honest and say I haven't answered every phone call today, some we couldn't due to testing. But I assure you, we're reading every email, every blog posting, and listening to messages on my cell. Thank you so much for your prayers and continue to lift our family up before the Lord.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, I'm back again...(Alli update)

For anyone who doesn't already know, we're back in the Children's Hospital. Alli has been struggling with seizures, 4 in the last 2 weeks. She's to stay up all night tonight and have an EEG in the morning. Then the rest of our tenure will be determined based on the outcome of those tests. Alli is also running some fever that tests have not shown an answer for yet.
We have the laptop with us and welcome your comments, prayers, and emails. Please continue to pray for us that Alli's care and diagnosis would go in accordance with God's will and plan for our lives.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How yesterday unfolded (Alli update)

Continue to pray. You can probably guess how yesterday turned out. Yep, back to ER with a 105 temp. First they repeated all the tests from Thur., plus an xray, and all of those looked fine. So then it was on to something a bit more scary, a spinal tap. They started to use one med in sedation, then found out they couldn't use it with her head injury because that med raised the pressure in the head. So instead, they used one they were less fond of because there was a respiratory risk. So they hooked her up to all sorts of monitors and oxygen and proceeded. Then we had a scare. We were back out in the waiting room and the security guard called out her name. "They need you back in 6, just the parents." My heart sank, all of our crowd in the waiting room looked shaken and back we walked to her room. The worse was racing through our minds, but thankfully, it just turned out not to be the most personable security guy in the world. The doctor met us in the hallway and said it had been a perfect tap, not one problem in the procedure, and they were finished. Whew! So then we settled in the room after kissing and crying over her a minute, and waited for results. To God's Glory, everything came back fine. They couldn't find anything causing the fever, but had ruled out the alarming things, so they sent her home to rest. The fever had broken.
I'm feeling like, just keep her please, until every test is ran, and we know where we stand. But hospitals don't do that anymore. So I guess we'll continue with the back and forth.
The EEG is still scheduled for Thur. I'm home with her, hovering like a mother hen, wondering what will happen next. Just a reminder, my name is not Job. But you know, I might want to check the family tree...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pray on this the Lord's day (Alli update)

Last night Alli started running fever. It was 103.2. She slept quite restlessly although the ibuprofen brought her temp down. Wondering what might be happening, I sat up until 5 am watching her sleep. We got back up to see she had 102.5 at 9:45am, more ibuprofen. She's acting fine, but in light of all that's going on right now, I'm considering if I should call the doctors. It's just before 1 pm now, and it's 102.8, just 3 hrs after Ibuprofen. Alright all my medical buds out there, I want your advice. I don't want to be the mom who worries the doctor to death, but I don't dare want to miss something important either. Should we call?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Attn Prayer Warriors (Alli update 11-07 Fri)

Calling all prayer warriors. Yesterday afternoon while grocery shopping, Alli had another episode, but this time it was much worse. It again started out with a little fussiness. Then set in the head grabbing and screaming "stop it, stop it". Then she began thrashing about and suddenly became very still. I started calling, "Alli, Alli, look at Mommy", and turned her face toward mine. She seemed to be looking through me. I waved my hands in front of her face, no response, not even a blink. I must confess I put my hand on her chest at that moment to be sure she was still with me. She was, so needless to say, we rushed out of the store, cell phone in ear trying to contact the doctors. They told me to take her straight to ER. After testing and lots of talking between ER and her out of town doctors, they told us her episodes were seizures. The MRI showed no hemorrhaging in the brain and blood tests did not indicate any internal bleeding. In a few days our doctors up state will be doing an EEG which is like an EKG of the heart, but instead it's of the brain. Hopefully this will tell them more about why she's having these and what we need to do in response to them. We would have had the testing today, but ER put her to sleep last night for their testing, and she must be sleep deprived for this upcoming test for the most accurate results. So now we're waiting on this med to work its way out of her system and in a few days will have the EEG testing unless she has another seizure before then, in which case we're to go ahead and travel up state to be admitted right away.
Each seizure has been more in severity, and yesterday, by far was the worst we had seen, really shaking me up for a bit. But now that we have a name for what's happening, I feel more at peace. We had a crash course in seizures last night that really opened my eyes to the different types and triggers of them. I had no idea there were such different levels of seizures, and such differing triggers for those who have them. I had always thought a seizure was a seizure and that was it. Now I feel better equipped with this new found knowledge and find peace in being educated on what to expect.
Depriving her of sleep the night before the test shouldn't be too difficult with her, but could prove interesting for us with such a long drive up the next morning. Pray for God's provision over us as we travel. Also, this means more time away from work for both of us. Please pray that both of our jobs will run smoothly while we have to be away, and especially for my hubby that there won't be a technology issues while he's out, plaguing him with calls and emails. He wants so badly to be there for Alli, but is pulled in so many directions between work and the ginhouse.
Amidst this difficult time, I was blessed to minister to another in need. I received an email asking me to pray for a man who fell about 20 ft. while building himself a "man cave". I must say I was so honored to pray over someone who is journeying on a path that I can pray for from the heart of one still in that valley. If for no other reason, I can say "thank you God" that I could pray with such an earnest heart for this family who is where I am, and that their tears could be my tears, that my prayers could be their prayers, knowing that God holds us in the shelter of His arms.
I can't tell you how many songs from days past have filled my heart over this past month. And how awesome to know that God knew way back when I heard them for the first time, that today I would draw strength and comfort from them. I cry at the drop of a hat these days, but not always of fear or sadness, but many times out of awe and wonder at how God could love us so much, and how we are precious in His sight. I have done nothing. Not one thing have I done that makes me worthy of what He's given us. My only worth, my amazing worth, is because the blood of Jesus, it cleanses me, it covers my wounds, and by His wounds, we are healed. And I can bow down before the Creator of all life and talk to Him, and Trust Him to hear from His Holy place, knowing that He's prepared the answer before I have even asked.
Yesterday before the seizure, we had went to look at handbags (this has a whole story of it's own where my bags are usually bigger than I am and I've made a commitment to my friend to consolidate the huge load I carry around). Anyway, I had in my mind I wanted to look for something with a Scripture on it so that I would not only carry my prized possessions on the inside, but also on the outside-His Holy Word. Of course, Satan's no fan of witnessing, and immediately plagued me with, "no that's not the Word I was thinking" or "wow, that's one loud bag". But as I searched thinking I was searching for Philippians 4:7, my all time favorite, another verse kept racing through my head so much to the point that I couldn't recall the words of the one I was searching for. But over and over, Proverbs 3:5 raced through my head..."Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." I couldn't find it, but over and over it raced through my head. Little did I know what would soon take place and that I would once again, be using His Words to carry me when I could not walk. So if anyone ever sees a handbag with that verse on it, I don't care how loud the colors, call me! I will be on it like cream on corn! I never want to forget how strongly I have felt the Lord's presence since Oct 9, and I pray that my life will be a living prayer. For it's in these times of trials, we can truly see how good God is, how mighty His hand, how merciful His love, how tender His touch. And though you may pass by me and think that just I have walked past, oh no, for there is One who walks every step with me, and carries me when I have not the strength to stand.
Through trials, troubles, and cares
I know that Jesus, my Savior is there
Giving me Faith in darkest days
Keeping me on the narrow way
Jesus, Savior, help me each day
Fill me with hope, fill me with Faith
And darkness retreats at the touch of Your Hand
Jesus, Savior, help me to stand
(Courtesy of another great Alison with just one L, whose voice for the Lord played a big part in choosing our Alli's name.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alli update for M, T, W

(FYI: this sight plays music. Have your speakers on!)
Boy, I'm slacking, aren't I! Well, this is one of those times, when no news is good news, I guess. Monday Alli became upset when it was time to leave a visit to her aunt's house. Unfortunately, her resistance led to head pain. So we medicated her, she began starring, and in about 15-20 min., she was out. That was about 5:30. She didn't wake up until 8 am the next morning! And sadly, sitting at breakfast, she began crying of her head hurting, so we medicated again. After that, her Tuesday went quite well. She proudly walked in to help mommy vote, got her "I voted" sticker and skittles (our precinct is so sweet) and then told everyone she saw after that how she voted the fire trucks. A little off, we voted at the fire station where there are trucks. Heh, heh, vote for fire trucks! Sure, why not.
Today was our first day at school without the helmet, and sure enough, someone's shoe made contact with her forehead. I'm seriously considering reinstituting the helmet. I know the dr. said she should be fine at school without it, but preschool can be a rough place! I'll have to think on this one, and just maybe pull mommy rank.
I won't drone on about my feelings on the outcome of the election, but I will say this. Regardless of who man deems power to, rest assured, God is still on His Throne, and His will, in His way, will be carried out regardless of how we might try to interfere. We may not understand these recent events, and some may even frighten us, but as I have said before...Everything that comes to us has already gone before the Father. He knew this day before we were made. He knew we would be here today. And He has a plan, and a promise, to never leave nor forsake His people. So my friends, there was no perfect candidate, because the Name of Jesus Christ was not on the ballot. Now we must step forward, as a united people, and walk in the Truth. If we do that, we have no reason to fear what tomorrow may hold. Rest assured, God already knows what lies ahead, and His Name must be Glorified. If we keep our voices silent, then will the very rocks cry out. Praise His Name, for this is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! For God is still God!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Making progress (Alli update for Fri & Sat)

This has been a long, but enjoyable two days. While I know people have very differing views of this weekend and what it's all about, none can doubt that it usually intels some great family time. Whether you do the fall festival or carnival thing, church supper, or trick or treating, almost everyone has great memories to share from this time of year. And after all, it's truly what you make of it, and how you build up one another and Christ through the fellowship of this fun time.
So now on to the question I've been getting lots of calls and emails about. How was Alli's appt? Well, there were some good things, and a few areas of concern. The first that will excite most, is that Alli doesn't have to wear her helmet. And man, I was all ready to dress her up as a football player last night! But alas, instead, she was a Clemson cheerleader (sorry, my girls were brain washed as early as my oldest daughter's beginning by their aunt T and uncle M, and they've loved it!)
She's to continue avoiding anything that would raise her blood pressure or heart rate because they feel there are still some issues that need to be pinpointed, and over activity could prolong her recovery, not knowing the extent of what may still have to be done in aiding her recovery. They discussed her skull fractures and separation being on the brink of worry/no worry. If she were a year older, they'd feel confident of it growing back together and healing over nicely. If she were a year younger, they'd be leaning more toward it growing apart instead of together. So over the next year, she'll be watched closely to monitor which direction it goes in. Next month we'll have another CT, not expecting healing yet, but just hoping to find it has not went the other direction.
Aside from the helmet, here's the run down. After going over all the quirks I've mentioned to you all here since the accident, and doing his evaluation, we together discovered some things and some testing that needs to follow.
The fever and hurting she was having? It wasn't a chest infection or ear infection. The bleeding that had occurred in her head during the accident had leaked into her spinal cord causing inflammation and pain. Our doctors here didn't have the benefit of that info because they had not received the hospital reports at that time, so they did the best they could, and still ultimately took the right course of action with antibiotics.
As far as the speech, walking, mood swings, and indecisiveness go, they're going to wait for the 6 week mark for "the dust to settle" and see how she's rebounding at that time. Some of this could be post concussive syndrome, and would start to show signs of panning itself out by that time.
But one thing of concern is that when you put all her symptoms together, it seems to point to injury further into the right ear being very near where the fractures occurred and separated. If so, this could explain many of her symptoms causing her pain, speech, walking, loss of appetite, nausea spells, and moodiness. Testing is in the works of being set up sometime between now and next month to check her hearing, fluid, and injury to that area internally. Depending on these findings, an MRI may be done, as well as a therapy evaluation.
The scary episode she had Monday alarmed the doctor, and if it happens again, wants an EEG ordered right away (I'm not sure what that is, but I'm sure one of our Dr. buddies will explain it soon. I do know that they would be looking for bleeding, swelling, and further injury to the brain). This isn't thought to be very likely at this point, only if that episode happens again.
Alli continues to have trouble resting at night, although her spirits during the day are improving. She went on her first small crowd outing today, going to the Fall Festival at my home church where most of my family still is. Small country church, but lots of love. We all enjoyed ourselves, and on the Rhino led hayride, I saw beaming from Alli that I haven't seen in almost a month. If I had been carrying my camera, I would have snapped a million pictures of that ride down the old dirt road. I promise you this though, it's image is preserved in my mind and in my heart. And Bless her, she fell asleep on the way home and is still in the bed. 8:30 my friends! Shall we all rise for the Hallelujah chorus?
We haven't been back to our church yet. It's on the large side, and quite honestly, I feared her catching something from the crowd of well wishers that will be around her. But we may try going tomorrow, just depending on how she's feeling. It's been a long weekend for her, so we'll have to play it by ear.
Our first week back at school went surprisingly well, although we could tell once back home, it had usually exhausted her. But being back into some type of normalcy was nice, and I was especially glad to be back with my sweet friends (also known as co-workers). That is one precious group of people.
Okay, that's about it for tonight. Remember to "Fall Back" your clocks tonight or you'll be chilly in the morning waiting for someone to open up the church doors! Also, please remember to vote Christ's morals on Tuesday. Ooh...I wonder if that was just a separation of church and state faux pas?
Love you guys! Keep praying!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Alli update Thur

Good day today. Alli's beginning to be silly again. The neurosurgeon called and wants to see her tomorrow for an evaluation. Be praying that it will be thorough and that she'll be provided with God ordained care. Please pray I'll remember all the comments and questions I wanted to bring before them. And pray for safety as we travel (it's out of town).
Pray for my sweet E as she'll be helping me with the girls!
And tonight I am burdened with a need a dear friend has. Please remember my friend who is going through heartache with an attempted adoption. Lift up this sweet family in your prayers tonight to give this family comfort in their time of uncertainty and peace in knowing God has a perfect plan for this precious child's life who's caught in this struggle.
No child is brought into this world by mistake, regardless of what some irresponsible people may think. And children are not punishment, but a precious Blessing. God intended for each one to be here, and has a special plan for their lives. And God has special people in this world He has ordained to be their parents. And as much as we love them and want to protect them from the world, a sweet friend reminded me, they're only a loaner to us. Our children are not our own, they are His. And He created us a family, to help one another on our journey towards Him- our birth families, our extended families, our friend families, our church families...His family. How wonderful to be adopted into the family of Christ!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alli update Wed 10-29

Sorry I'm posting so late tonight. It's been a busy day.
Alli has had another good day. She kept making this noise we didn't recognize and when my husband finally asked her what it was, she happily replied that it was a birdie (that's right mom, not some verbal twitch!)
As you can imagine, I study everything she does now. Trying to catch anything that might be out of kilter. Not trying to find something, but just being sure I don't miss anything. Even though things are improving, I am still very much exhausted. I'm staying up late trying to cram more hours in the day which many of you know is not out of the ordinary for me. But the kicker is that now I have trouble sleeping. I stare at Alli for awhile, and evidently at some point fall asleep, because later I usually wake up with a gasp (and sometimes it really hurts!) and race for water trying to catch my breath. I don't know if I'm having nightmares that I don't remember, or just what. My sweet hubby had a nightmare about Alli. When he told me about it, I actually felt sick on my stomach.
You see, even though Alli is getting better, the reality of what happened, and what almost happened is really starting to hit us. For everyone else it's returned to business as normal, but as well as we try, and even appear to be back in the swing of things, we very much are not. Our world has been shaken, but our foundation is firm.
Man marvels that our sweet baby survived, and even more that she shows no signs of brain damage. Hearing the stories of others and how other children (and adults) have been left, shutters my being. Realizing how my world almost changed forever, or how easily Alli may have never been the Alli we know again. Sometimes I just sit and watch her, teary eyed, marveling at how unworthy I am to be so Blessed to still have her. Isn't God amazing? How can He love me that much? I assure you I have not earned it. No one can. He loves us "just because". Hmm, I've heard my own children use that answer as well, and be completely content in "just because".
Isn't it awesome to have a Savior who loves us "just because". And that He loves us so much, He wasn't willing to live out in eternity without us. That He gave His very life, just so that we could be with Him in the end. And that He didn't stop there. But that the Holy Spirit is here, right here, for every moment until we get There. To know that each moment, each moment of our lives has gone before the Father before it's ever reached us and that He has it all worked out ahead of time, and He's there just waiting for us to give it to Him, and to Trust Him to take care of it. I am reminded that as He hung on the cross, He could see my little girl lying on that floor, and His Love for us held Him to that cross, so that she might know Him as her Lord and that each of us may know...
He held my sweet baby in His arms when I couldn't. He protected her when I couldn't. He has brought her sweet comfort. And she is comforted by Him. Just ask her. She's told me every day since the accident. She tells you who Jesus is. Why? Because she's living proof of Christ in action.
Have a Blessed night all. He is who He says He is, and that's all we need. His Grace is Sufficient.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A brighter day (Alli update 10-28-08)

I just wanted to let you all know how amazing it is when you pray. Last night, Alli was sleeping soundly before midnight for the first time in weeks. Mind you, it was 11:30, but I was completely thrilled. Surprisingly, she was very sleepy this morning. We even got her ready for school in her sleep, and were already at school preparing for class when she finally came to. And believe it or not, she's actually taking a nap right now, something else she had given up since coming home from the hospital.

Also in praise, I'd like to tell you that the "spell" we had yesterday did not happen when we got home today. I am interested to see how she'll be when she awakens from her nap...

It's been so great seeing everyone at school again. I actually had one parent squeal at me today. It makes you feel so honored to know that the parents of your students miss you and appreciate you. And even my students today kept hugging me and telling me they loved me. My students are so precious. And the school staff I work with is amazing. They all hold such a dear place in my heart (yes even you guys who left us this year!). I really love the people I work with and the families I am able to work with and hopefully minister to. I want so much to share with folks just how real Jesus has been to me and my family these past weeks. I've walked with the Lord for many years, but it's been during this time when I have been so broken that He has had to carry me, that I've felt the most loved. Mainly because He didn't have to carry me- He chose to.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First day of school, again. (Alli update 10-27-08)

Good Monday to you! Well, today was our first day back at school. Things seemed to go well. Alli had someone shadow her to keep her from injury, of course we had her helmet on, and the fact that she has a teacher she loves (our sweet E) I think was very helpful.
But when we returned home, things headed south in a hurry. I had just sat Alli on the couch when she began screaming and thrashing about. She kept yelling, "stop it, stop it!" though no one was bothering her. It took a while to settle her but when she did, I asked her, "What, what was that? What is the matter?" Her response was that her K (her best buddy) was yelling and that sister #2 was pushing her. I told Alli that K wasn't there and that R wasn't even in the room. She then wanted to know where Daddy was. I told her, at work. She responds, "Is Daddy with Uncle J?" No Alli, Daddy is at work. "I wish Daddy would stop by and visit us." What? Honey, Daddy lives here, he's just at work right now. You know that. Then she had a funny look. I said, "Alli, do you hurt?" She said her chest hurt. Then she said, "I'm gonna frow up." We of course begin to scurry about trying to get her up to the bathroom. She kind of flops around, not being too compliant, and then lays in my lap and begins to draw on a sheet of paper quietly. Then nothing. It was over. She was fine. Me? Not so fine. What just happened to my baby?
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. I felt so dumb. I didn't know if I should call the doctor. Would they even be able to tell me anything since she wasn't doing it now? Was this the over stimulation? I don't know. In a nut shell, we don't know. Since she's acting fine now, we decided to go back to school again tomorrow and see if it happens again. If it does, we're going back to the doctor.
On another note, her speech troubles and walking thing aren't constant now. They kind of come and go. I guess that's improvement.
Going back to school today, I had the opportunity for short little mini talks with several people. If I seem in a hurry when you try to talk to me, I'm just either about to cry or distracted by something I'm needing to do in care for Alli. I promise I do want to talk and love on you! But this time is still hard for me right now. Everything makes me cry.
I did learn that many people have felt touched and witnessed to by these updates. I think that is so cool. I had no idea that would be the case. My whole goal was just to get as many people praying as I could, and I wanted you to know my heart so you would know what God has been doing in and through us during this storm in our lives. Praise God that His Name is being manifest, and Holy is being cried to His Name for the great things He hath done. To Dr. K, I think this truly has been a pruning time for us. And we commit to remain in Him, trusting that we will bear His fruit in season, for without Him, we can do nothing.
What's sweet Alli's tune today? "My Savior, He can move a mountain. My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save. Forever, author of salvation. He rose and conquered the grave, yes Jesus conquered the grave...Shine a light and let the whole world see... "
She is such a walking testimony. To have the Faith of a child...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alli update Sun. 10-26-2008

Believe it or not, I did not even look at a computer yesterday. Well, technically I did peak over hubby's shoulder once looking at a range hood for the ginhouse. But I didn't inhale!
So this isn't really my Sunday update, more my Saturday.
Alli had a very good Saturday. She went back into the ginhouse for the first time and did quite well. She went right on in, down the hall to her new room, and right into playing. The only issue was getting her to keep her helmet on. Speech and walking still are off, but anyone who doesn't know her well probably wouldn't know that's not her norm. The coughing is getting better. Bedtime still wound up at 1 am though. I wonder if the meds are affecting her sleep? She's went back to sleep now ( it's lunch time), and that's out of the ordinary for her.
I, on the other hand, had to go through a process in getting back into the groove at the ginhouse. I went in, stood where we found her, looked up, went upstairs, walked around thinking through the events of the night, went over to the balcony, stood there looking down for a few moments, cried, and made my way back down the stairs. My husband looked at me and said, "What in the world are you doing?" He must have thought I was nuts. My reply was, "I'm going through a process. I had to do this before I could return to business as usual. I'll be okay in a minute." But I wasn't. Every song on the radio made me cry for reminders of that night, or what we've been going through, or how God has held us. Everything I saw her do made me cry tears of hapiness that she could do them again. I kept finding myself crying at the least little thing. I finally told my hubby I was sorry, but my emotions were on my sleeve. His great idea was to rough-house with me and "put them back inside where they belong". He's so funny and sweet (you know, in that drives you so nuts you have to laugh sort of way).
This morning we tried to go back to church for the first time. It was unsuccessful. It really took a long time getting ready, and then once we were all ready, I realized I hadn't medicated Alli yet this morning. By that time worship service had already started. Fortunately, our church has a radio broadcast, so we loaded up anyway, and went for a drive while listening to the service.
We're supposed to try school tomorrow. Now I'm trying to figure out just how early we're going to need to start getting ready to make it there should probably pray now about that one!
Thanks again for everyone's prayers and well wishes. Here's praying that Allicat has another good day today!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Alli update Fri 10-24-2008

Hello friends! I've been trying hard to get a pic of Alli on for you to show you how she's doing, but they're still having trouble with importing photos.
Alli has had a pretty good day. Last night she did not cough throughout the night, but she was up until past 2:30 (it gets a little gray after that & I'm not sure when we finally settled in). I don't know if the meds causing sleeplessness or the trauma.
Alli has eaten much better today, though her appetite has still been a bit up and down.
The rest of us are okay, but very tired. The house was looking so much nicer, but with a little more energy now, my darling has nipped that in the bud.
Our follow up has been rescheduled. And at their request, we're going to try school this week as a bit of an evaluation of how she's able to interact with others at this point. I know she'll be fine with her teacher because E has become like a part of the family. We're just not sure how she'll interact with the other kids. That hasn't gone so well times that she's been around anyone other than family, and sometimes it's happened even with family. What happens is that she introverts, the drs think from overstimulation, or at times just fear.
Well, that's all for tonight. Please pray that she'll settle down for the night before midnight!
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
And wasn't the rain such a sweet symbol of the mercy drops that He has poured around our family these 2 weeks. And have you ever noticed how the air smells after a rain, how crisp and clean the air looks, how refreshed the sky and earth appear. This too will hold true for our family. We've been pruned a bit in this storm, washed over with His Spirit, and the time is coming when we'll stand refreshed, crisp, and able to shine more brightly for Him.
All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. He has a plan for us, a reason that this happened, and a perfect will for our lives. Our destination is secured, now it's about the journey.

Alli update Thur 10-23-08

I've had a little trouble with the site tonight, so I hope this gets out. I had a picture for you tongith, but am having trouble getting it to loaad.
It's just after midnight. Just wanted to let you know how good God has been today. Alli has been the same, but God has shown Himself to us in amazing ways today. It started when I got in my truck to run a few errands. Every song that came on the radio touched my Spirit and I must confess and say my hands were not at 10 & 2 because one was raised high praising the Lord for How Great He is. I've been blubbering so much today, I may have lost a few pounds! But anybody who knows me would probably now fear I might blow away with the next gust of wind :)
God used someone (who insists on remaining anonymous) to Bless my Spirit today with an extra special card. And then someone Blessed my Spirit again on a sheet of paper I get weekly from school. And then an extra special someone brought me to tears in the grocery store. God has been surrounding us constantly with His people. It seems that every word said to us in voice, or email, or card has been ordained directly by God. And it's not just me being sappy. God has made Himself known in a place many would think He had not been present. Too many people want to get angry with God, or blame God, or question God...But I have to say that from the very moment this horrible accident happened, I have seen God in the midst. He has been more real to me these 2 weeks, than ever before in my life. I have felt His arms hold me, and I have felt His Spirit wash over me.
Now as a baptist, I have a certain friend who tickled me when she said I had become a "baptist with revivalistic tendancies". But friend, I have had moments these 2 wks where I have been so filled by the Lord's prescence that I could not sit quietly. Peace has washed over me in a way that can only be explained by God when the ER nurse commanded my spirit to "rise up and Bless the Lord". As long as I live, I will never forget that moment, or that precious servant of God. My prayers have been cried aloud, and my hands have raised towards the heavens in humbled awe of His goodness.
His love is amazing. His name is worth praising. Jesus is the only perfect one. And I'm so glad I know that He lives, and I want the whole world to know who Jesus is.
This is a song from VBS that my precious baby has been walking around the house singing. How sweetly He sings through His children who are content just to know who He says He is. She needs no proof. Her life is proof for she herself has said, "Mommy, Jesus kept me safe. And Jesus will make me all the way better soon."
That's good enough for me. I'll have a cup of that Faith. By the way, for those of you who don't know, that is Alli's name. How fitting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alli update 10-22-2008

Here we are mid yawn hoping we'll stay awake long enough to update you all with minimal typos. Please forgive any stumbling of words.
Alli coughed pretty badly all through the night again last night. She also bumped her head on the headboard, and you can imagine the serenade that followed. She slept in pretty late this morning(I must admit I laid back down myself for a bit after seeing hubby off to work). Right away, I thought this might be an interesting day for us. Alli started something I had not noticed since the accident. She is walking oddly today, almost robotically. It's like her knees kick back with each step. I studied her all day and every single time she walked, she walked this way. She's also tumbled down quite a few times today. Not sure at this point what that's all about or what it might mean. Hopefully some answers will come on Mon. when we go back to the neurosurgeon.
For those of you who love Alli's "personality" so, you'll be happy to know that the fall did not take away the "concentration hummmmm". I must say it moved me to tears the first time she did it after the accident. It just reinforced to me that my sweet girl was still inside there.
We have noticed that Alli is dealing with some fear issues. She's constantly telling her sisters, "you might get hurt" and constantly warning people "be careful with my head & my side". She developed a fear of going into rooms alone, and when quetioned says, "It's scary to be by myself." The doctors say all of this is expected and should get better over time.
And now, I'm off to help "aisle 2" with some math woes before bed. Pray for us, with Alli's recovery, with maintaining our home, with progress on the ginhouse, with finances in my being out of work for so long, with time management, with homeschooling, with sleep schedules, with socialization, and I guess, with everything. This time is hard, but it is also sweet. We haven't had this kind of family time in a very long time. I'll miss that when things return to its normal fast pace. My family is so precious, and it's at times like these, I'm reminded how truly Blessed we are.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On and off's (Alli update 10-21-2008)

Today has been all about "on and offs". One minute she's clingy. The next she doesn't want me. One minute she hurting her sisters' feelings, the next she's over-loving them. She's "starving", and then she doesn't touch it, but if you put it up, "Hey I want my food!"
So you see today is all about indecisiveness. They told us it would be this way, but wow. Alli didn't sleep well last night. Actually, scratch that. I didn't sleep well last night. Alli coughed all through the night, and though it didn't seem to disturb her any, I was constantly up checking on her because it sounded awful.
Right now we're trying to get everyone in the bed and it is not going well. I think everyone but EG has been called down. And I am so tired, it's hard to be pleasant about it at this point. That whole "redirect behavior" thing becomes malarkey at this time of night. There's no way to say nicely, "Get in your bed, stay in your bed, and don't get up unless something is really, really wrong." 2 Seconds later, they'll send in Bug and it will definitely be something really, really, important like the latest discovery of adjusting their Energizer Head Lights to see the value of the latest thing dropped down the vent. Or like the serenade I'm currently receiving of the theme song from the Heffalump movie.
Since I'm so ornery, I think I'll go to bed myself. But I leave with a thought to linger on today. No matter how hard this curve in the path might be for us right now, we are truly Blessed because we do not walk this journey alone.
Love you guys!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alli update 10-20-2008

Well, it turns out Alli's difficult weekend was well fueled. We went back to the doctor today and discovered she had some infection starting. So two more meds were added to what we were already administering, which brings us up to five. Alli's ran some fever today and her appetite has went down as well.
Her doctor is such a neat (though some might say cookey) guy and said he was going to write up an Rx, but that his best Rx would be prayer, and led us in prayer before leaving. How many doctors do you know that aren't in a fired up hurry to get out of the room, but instead want to be sure they minister to you, and join you before the Throne in prayer and supplication before the Lord. Awesome, huh?
You know, sometimes God just tickles me. Yesterday I was on the phone with my FL friend, and I was telling her how much an ER nurse the night of the accident meant to me. How she spoke directly to my Spirit in prayer. How I felt the Holy Spirit wash over me and create an unexplainable spirit of peace and strength as she spoke. God used her that night in a mighty way. I was telling my FL friend that I'd love to see all the people from that night again so I could thank them for what they allowed God to do through them and to update them on Alli now. Well this is where God tickles me. After going to the doctor and pharmacy today, we went by the store to pick up a few things before heading home. The store closest to where I was is closing and doesn't really have anything left, so we had to go to another store that was a little out of the way. As we walked through the door, lo and behold coming in the other door was the ER nurse. And to tickle me more, she said she had just been trying to find out how we were today. So I brought her up to speed on all that had happened since leaving ER, and she immediately took us to the side, placed her hands on Alli's head, and began to pray. Y'all, this lady is so awesome in prayer. I know that is a gift of the Spirit that has been placed within her. And I assure you, we will never forget the part she has played in this miracle life of our sweet baby.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just another Sunday in the South (Alli update 10-19-08)

That's an old country song that just popped into my mind. Sundays in our family growing up(both mine and my husband's) were always a no brainer. You got up, you had breakfast, you listened to the Top Country Countdown with Casey Casem while you got ready for Sunday School. Then after church was always the official big Sunday dinner. I'm fortunate to still have all of my side of the family still in town (except for one nephew away at college right now) and so the traditional Sunday dinner is still, well, a Sunday tradition. And you know there's great comfort in that. Something you can count on, something dependable, something constant in your life. And as wild as the last week or two has been for us, I needed to go visit that haven. So today we strapped on Alli's helmet and headed over, though we were a little late. And you know I could have just cried when I walked into the kitchen and saw that "always able to count on" macaroni pie of my mom's. I needed that. It's a Sunday staple, and there are some upset babies if there's no macaroni pie. The only thing that's ever changed about it is the size as the family's gotten bigger.
It's funny how traditions play such a role in our life. And there's something to be said for them. God can use them as such a sweet haven when our lives are spinning out of control. That place where you can just relax and be you, where the week's stresses can't find you, where you can sit around the table and laugh with your family, or sit and watch the pond or the cows, or just simply sit quietly and enjoy that dependable ole macaroni pie that you know will be there as long as the sun rises and sets on the ole homeplace.
It's been a hard 2 weeks. And I so needed that time today. Many of you don't know that the night before Alli's accident, we had a tornado down our way. The meteorologists said it was on the ground right in our neighborhood. My hubby drove in it and experienced a surreal moment where the speedometer said 60, but it felt as though they were not moving and could see things blowing around him in a circular motion. His windshield was busted and we had some trees to come down. And it was Alli, our sweet baby, who while we were rushing around in the excitement of the moment said, "It's okay Mommy. Jesus is with us. He'll take care of us." How could I have known then that the very next night I would be calling those very same words back to her in desperation, reminding her of the Faith she had just the night before? Begging her to hold on, begging God to keep His promise to not leave us nor forsake us. Friend, we've walked a nightmare this past week and I just kept thinking that surely I would wake up any moment and it would have just been a bad dream. But that's not the case. It was real. And as strong as we've had to be to get through to where we are now, with her recovering now, the reality of what we've been through is starting to settle in.
Today is October 19Th. One year ago this very week I lost my grandmother and my pastor within 48 hours. That Dec. my Bug had a horrible burn on her hand that required much painful tending to and then was miraculously healed just when the Dr's were preparing to send her to the Burn Center. Then when 2008 rolled in, I began to experience some health problems that only recently subsided. I also lost a cousin tragically, and his mother, and another cousin within 1 week's time. One of my dearest friends moved far away and I felt so broken. Then as some of you know we had trouble with our new house. And then we arrive here with the tornado and then the accident. I will very honestly tell you that sometimes I feel like wearing a sign that says, "No my name is not Job." And sometimes I really have to wonder just how much one family has to go through before God will allow them to rise up out of the valley onto a higher plain to prosper and flourish, and have a time where it doesn't hurt so much just trying to survive.
But I do know my God is real. And nothing can change how I feel. I give Him my worship, and I always will because I know that God is real. I have seen Him do great things. I have seen His Merciful Hand do things that man cannot explain. And I know that the only reason I still stand here today, that my baby is alive today, is because He lives. And I know that I can face these uncertain days because He lives. I can walk in the valley, and I can be okay with that, because the view in the valley is breath taking. For it's in the valley that you can see the beauty and majesty of the hills.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A day's end (alli update #2 10-18-08)

Well, sadly today was not a great day after all. Alli just was not herself today. She was very fussy and irritable all day. She hit, she pushed, she whined, she changed her mind a million times, and she even made her oldest sister cry. And Alli's usually the one making everyone love her. This was so not her. The neurologist had told us to expect times like this as she recovers. He said he's even had precious children from christian homes curse like a sailor after this type of head injury. So I guess we should be thankful it's not worse. Grammy cooked supper, so we strapped on Alli's helmet and headed over. (Her Daddy thinks she looks so cute in it! I agree.)

She was very clingy to me, kept covering her eyes, and asking me to take her away from the others. Then she would play with her daddy with her helmet and even gave Papa a kiss. Then she also repeatedly told me she was scared. (This is a brief example of the indecisiveness I mentioned.)
She's sounding more chugged up today too. I think the rib is bothering her. A doctor friend of ours says the chugged up sound is normal with a fractured rib and not to worry unless she runs fever. So that's good, except that later I started thinking that we might not know she's running fever because of the meds controlling her pain.
So when we came home I decided we needed to really quiet things and try to make things as calm as possible. I bathed her and washed her hair in lavender baby bath (they promise it's calming). I got her favorite movie out (an old VHS of Cinderella from when I was little. The tracking is horrible now but she doesn't seem to mind). I fetched a soft pillow and silky blanket and tucked her in to Daddy's chair for the movie. She was out before you could say, "Bippity Boppity Boo". Maybe a good night's rest will produce a better day tomorrow.
Continue to pray. Love and Blessings to you!

Off to a great start (Alli update 10-18-2008)

This day is off to a great start. Breakfast was smooth. Saturday morning cleanup is under way and Bug hasn't had her feelings hurt at all today. But any minute now Alli's going to wake up, and we'll need your prayers for grouchiness, headaches, constant mind-changing, accidental feeling hurting, and mess control! HAHAHAHA! Sorry, but we've got to keep it light around here!
No really though, things have been getting better every day.
I thought I'd share a few pictures along this difficult path we've been on:
This was 2 days after the accident at the Children's Hospital

This was 3 days after the accident w/ Daddy & Mommy
This was 4 days after the accident. Getting ready to go home!
And here's our sweets at home last night.
So how is everyone else? Well, Bug has regained her silliness:

And the older two?
Well, they're exhausted!
Thanks again for all your prayers! Please continue to pray for us physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and for time management.
Oh! By the way, those of you following the ginhouse project:
The dormers are finished, painted and stunning. I'll try to get a pic today or tomorrow for you. Remember all of those still working on the ginhouse.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our first outing (Alli update 10-17-2008)

Tomorrow is our sweet E's birthday and her hubby was hard at work on the "husband of the year award". He planned a surprise party for her right after school today, and when he contacted me, I just couldn't resist getting in on the fun. So yesterday we baked a "spicy chocolate cake" (it's called that because of the cinnamon) and prepared Alli for her first outing today. This morning we strapped her helmet on, got a pillow & blanket to take in case she needed it, and piled in the truck to go surprise our sweet friend (who's also her teacher). I was going to call my mom to watch her, but Alli insisted that she take Mrs. E her "birfeeday cake". It was just the staff, so I gave in and took her & Bug with me.
Everything went well. Alli just sat quietly in my lap eating her cake & ice cream. We offered a brief moment with her K. It went a little better than last time, but they were still both apprehensive. That's okay though, it's a bit scary for them both.
I decided to go down to my room and set it up for next week while Alli sat and played in my room, E's room, back to my get the idea. She started to get a little upset, so I figured we'd evidently reached enough stimulation and needed to go home. She sacked out before we ever got home and is now snuggled sweetly in her bed.
Bug was my hawk while we were at the school and followed after Alli like a mother hen. It was so sweet. She held her hand when she walked, and tried to explain the helmet & how to handle her to her friend. So precious.
So now to think about next week. I need to go back to work. I used up my one week vacation this week, so I need to head back to get paid. However, I don't think Alli's ready to be surrounded by that many people and activities yet. I really didn't want either of us to go back until she's had her follow up appt. If I get a sitter, I know I'll be worried about her all day, asking for bathroom breaks just so I can call her. I do miss school, but I'd miss Alli more. Just pray that I'd make the right decision about when to return to work and handling the financial realm that surrounds us at this time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

1 week (Alli update 10-16-2008)

Well, it's been one week today since the accident. Life feels a lot different than it did a week ago...
Alli had a good day today, although she sounds a little chugged up. She'a on allergy medicine right now because they don' t want her to sneeze or blow her nose because of the pressure it would cause in her head. So I'm a little puzzled about the coughing and throat clearing today. I hope there's nothing going on with that fractured rib. She has complained of her side some.
We have noticed Alli's stuttering a bit, which she didn't do before. She also keeps talking about things that haven't happened and is so insistent that it did. She's also been talking about things from the summer like they happened a few minutes ago. Bless her, she loves to talk (I can't imagine where she gets that from!)
She misses school, and her "K". She's asked me to take her and when I said we can't go to school until the dr. says it's okay, she asked me to go run outside with her. Bless her, it's not easy for her to take it easy. If you know Alli, you can imagine what it's like trying to keep her settled all day. With the meds in her, she feels like doing more than she really should at this point.
So here's to making it through week one! A lot of prayers went in to getting us this far. And I sincerely thank you all for all you have done through prayer and supplication before the Lord. Thank you for loving our family and thank you for loving on us during this time. Keep praying us through recovery, and hopefully we'll be able to visit with some of you soon.
2 Samuel 22:7 "In my distress I called upon the Lord, Yes I cried to my God; And from His temple He heard my voice, And my cry for help came into His ears."
For I have seen the Hand of the Lord move upon His people in a Mighty way. And I will forever Glorify His Name for the things He hath done. People want to ask why...why? This accident caused people from NY to FL to humbly come before His Throne in one accord, and today we in one accord Rejoice in His Name for the showers of Blessings He has poured upon this precious little one in saving her life. God received Glory. That's enough reason for me...This is my story...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Settling in... (Alli update 10-15-08)

I suppose one could say we're settling in...the hair washing yesterday went quite lovely (pretend you hear sarcasm in my voice). Really, it did go as well as could be expected. The fact that I was in tears didn't help her any. But once Alli's hair was all wet and stuck to her head, you could really get a good visual of the injury. So much bruising, and that whole right side of her head is larger than the left. But we perservered and made it out okay.

Alli kind of burned out around six last night. That was when the pain set in, so we medicated her and she went right off to sleep (after a little protesting) for the rest of the night.

Today went better. I sent everyone else back to school (thanks D for the transport!) in efforts to have a more settled morning. And it was. We tried to do quiet things today like coloring and she watched as I rearranged in order to fit Alli's bed in our room for a while.

My sweet E brought the girls home and Alli kept scaring us both as she was happy to see everyone and had a little burst of energy. It's 6 now, and she's starting to settle in Daddy's chair with a blanket. I expect she'll be out for the count any minute now.

We've watched the clock more closely today to not allow a lapse in meds, hoping this will help her pain. So far, it seems to have helped.

Thanks again for everyone's prayers, calls, emails, and fun things sent home with my girls. You all are so precious and we are so Blessed to be surrounded by such prayer warriors. Please continue to pray as we recover here at home. Now our challenge is keeping her from over doing it because the meds make her feel like doing more than she should.

I think I'm driving everyone nuts with my "watch out"s, "careful"s, "ooh baby"s, etc. I'm considering just wrapping the family in bubble wrap!

Love and Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The quiet game (Alli update 10-14-2008)

Well, we're back! Getting back to town felt so good. When we picked up our older girls on the way in, our sweet baby wouldn't be satisfied until she got out for a minute to hug her sisters and go into E's house. So we strapped her helmet on, and went in to say hi and potty. She was delighted. But on the way home, it became evident that she had been overstimulated, and so started the pain and crying. Thankfully, it didn't last too long after getting some meds in her. Last night she rested well, in my arms.
This morning she slept in late(10:40)and because she felt so well, I had to keep reminding her to be settled, and reminding everyone else not to be loud. If she gets too excited, it will raise her blood pressure and could cause her bleeding to return. Also, if she's overstimulated, it could cause her to regress. But knowing her, I'm sure there's no interest in the quiet game.
Alli enjoyed doing markers and a movie with her sisters until about 1:50 when her head pain returned. So lunch was spent in my arms. She's been a bit moody, as we anticipated, but it's not easy for Bug to deal with. She doesn't understand that Alli's not meaning to be difficult.
We're about to go try the first bath and hairwash. Please pray for me, that I'll do it correctly without causing any pain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home James! (Alli update 10-13-2008)

Well, as expected, Alli kind of "crashed and burned" after her energy spurt yesterday. She got a little off balance, bumped into something and then cried for a really long time.
This morning things are looking good, and the plan is to go home shortly. They're going to look at her ears before they let us go (she's complained of them bothering her this morning). Just a bit ago, she complained of her side for the first time (remember she has a fractured rib).
So now we're cuddled on what "they" call a couch, watching Clifford and eating grapes. The servants with the fans should be showing up any minute now! (If you don't get tht joke, think ancient Egypt)
So as long as the "ear interview" doesn't show anything, we'll be heading back to clean air today.
Forgive all my corny jokes, but I'm just bubbling over with Praise to My Father for this Glorious work He has done in our sweet baby to save her life.
Love you guys! Keep praying for a full recovery!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

On this the Lord's Day (Alli update 10-12-08)

Alli had a hard night. There was an episode where they were trying to make her walk which ended in an hour's worth of crying and head pain afterwards. She did not rest well last night. We were walking the halls at 2:30 this morning and finally settled her by the fish tank. The surgeons came by and let us know she could not go home today because there was still some ground to cover with eating, mobility, etc. to be sure we'd be okay at home.
This morning about the time you all were getting settled in at church, God heard the prayers you all lifted up in your churches from NY to FL and began an amazing work in Alli. She sat up in the bed, asked for Bug, then said we needed to get to church (I had not even told her it was Sunday yet). She then let us know she was hungry (praise the Lord!). This was followed by the words we had been waiting to hear since Thur.- I love you! Yes! Yes! Her speech was returning!
Well folks, that was the beginning of a beautiful Lord's day. Alli has literally tallked our ears off all day long. I almost worried that her play button was stuck!
The nurses (quick plug for Charmain who sat by her bedside talking with us last night whose granddaughter walked this same road)arranged for Alli to have our traditional Sunday morning breakfast- grits (although we were missing Daddy's biscuits). Alli ate so well and has kept everything down. This has been our first full day without vomitting. We've walked around our floor a little and she even played a computer game in the children's room here.
Since Thur, the longest she had been awake was 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. Today she's been up since church time and is still up, in my my lap singing VBS songs (no nap).
So as you can see, today has been nothing short of God's Grace abounding on one of His children.
We hope to go home tomorrow to finish recovery. She'll have to wear a helmet if we're outside or on concrete floors for a little while, and the head pain is expected to last for a while too as her fractures begin to heal. They'll continue to follow up with her until they're sure the fractures are healing in the right direction.
Socially, we'll have some baby steps to take as she introverts whenever it's anyone other than me & her Daddy. The drs have asked us to only have a few people around her at a time for very short visits because she could regress if over stimulated. He's also asked that we avoid anything that could raise her blood pressure until her follow up. This may get interesting if she continues with this energy spurt she's had today.
Please pray for us that we'd do everything right when we go home and not sustain any further injury. Also please pray for God's providence as it looks like I'll be out of work for a while. Pray for my students as they adjust to their sub and pray blessings for my sub (thank you C!) as she takes the reigns for a while.
Continue to remember my 3 older girls while we're away. They have truly been heroes in this situation. I am so blessed.
Also, one last prayer request. My husband and I have been talking about how hard it's going to be going back into the ginhouse and picking back up our work to finish the house without being haunted by those images and living in fear of someone getting hurt again. This will especially be a real struggle for me. As much love as I have for that house and the precious memories created up until Thur., right now I don't even want to see it.
Pray for Joshua and I to have strength to walk forward and grace to go as slow as Alli needs without frustration.
I love you guys! We'll update again tomorrow.
P.S. At supper Alli wanted to pray for Nanny. How precious is that for her to think of others during her pain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

God things (Alli update 10-11-08)

For anyone who doesn't know, our sweet little girl was in an accident Thur night. She fell from the 2nd story balcony and landed about 10 feet below. She was not awake when we got to her and we thought the worst. My husband cradled her limp body and blew into her mouth and a soft cry came from within her. We realized we had a chance and raced for the truck. The 9-1-1 operator instructed us to drive toward ER and the ambulance would meet us enroute.
Our 9-1-1 operator, Kim, whose name I will never forget, was blessed from above with each word she spoke. She prayed us through the horror we were living and now holds a special place in my heart forever. Our ambulance guys inserted her IV and she screamed. I shouted, "Thank you God, thank you she can feel it!" They may or may not have thought I was nuts.
ER was very emotional. We very quickly had so many praying people surrounding us that they got us a family room. The first report, vitals good. The second, one fractured rib. Still, not as bad as I expected. Next report, fractured skull...scary. They decided to send us to the Children's Hospital.
That drive seemed longer than it ever has to that area, but it gave me a good opportunity to talk to God, and my husband about what we'd just lived through. I was immediately filled with tons of God Moments from the night. I want to share some with you so we together can Glorify God.
  • Hannah saw Alli fall and immediately got help.
  • Hannah didn't panic and fall after her.
  • None of us fell rushing to her.
  • We heard her voice.
  • We didn't wreck driving to meet the ambulance.
  • Alli called my name.
  • Alli could feel them stick her.
  • Alli's vitals were good.

And so we arrived at the Children's Hospital. Another God Moment. They had removed the braces because her tests showed no spinal cord damage. So we settled in the room as best we could. She had been given a bit of morphine and did not rest well from the pain.

Friday she was either asleep, awake crying of pain, or vomitting. It took a while to get that under control, and at times now it can still be tough. We had more tests that showed she actual had a double skull fracture in a T formation and had separated some. She also had a hemotoma at that site. Friday evening they allowed me to hold her for the first time. What a blessed experience that was. That night she had a time where she was awake for about 2 hrs. and talked with us some. She seemed okay, but some of her speech was a little off. Then she rested well for the first time.

Today has been busy. More testing, a first out of bed to potty. She walked a few steps but was not happy about it at all. She cried for a very long time afterwards. We had some visitors, which was a little overwhelming for her. However, she very much enjoyed the sentiments of love they left behind.

Then this afternnon we received Blessed news. Recent testing showed the hemotoma had shrank so small they couldn't really tell where it was. There had been no more cranial separation. Provided she could perk up and keep something solid down, she may get to travel home tomorrow to continue recovery there.

We've kept down a popsickle, 2 hershey kisses, a Sprite, and some apple juice. And what fun, she's currently lathering her lips in her much loved "lip care" cuddled beside me as I type this update.

I haven't given every detail, like the prayers I could specifically feel pouring over us, like Leah in ER who spoke to my Spirit, like Tim the chaplain who nursed our whole family in ER, like Evie our nurse here who's much like an old friend of mine I don't get to see anymore, like the goodies from L.E. that have kept my sugar from dropping, or the cards from little children at my school who gathered together and called out her name in prayer, like my nephews who instead of sleeping were on their knees calling out on our behalf, like my sweet Fl friend who called just to say I love you (then we had to hang up b/c our sobbing prevented us from saying much else), like our parents, siblings, and my dear E who are caring for our other girls, like the swarm of calls and emails from church and "the chicken people".

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing My God cannot do.

My Saviour lives, and because of Him, so does my baby. This is my valley, but just like the view from the hospital windows, the mountains I can see. And the God of the mountain is still God in the valley. When things go wrong, He'll make it right. And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times. The God of the day, is still God in the night. (Courtesy of the McKammeys)

I'll continue to update daily as we continue here and also when we get home and continue to recover there. They say her headaches will probably continue for some time, as well as the trouble with noise, lights, and over stimulating. But we can handle any trial because I am His and He is mine.

Update you tomorrow! We love you all more than you'd ever know! Keep praying! (Forgive any typos, we're pretty tired)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fond Fridays

Yes, Fond Fridays.

One of my sweeties is a part of weekly blog fun like Try It Tuesdays, Works for me Wed, and (something I can't remember) Thursdays. Well, now I'm all inspired, forgive the swelled head.
Today marks our first Fond Fridays. I'm a teacher, and there's always something said along the way each week that really ingraves itself in my brain. So Fond Fridays are all about recalling those blooper moments that are forever ingraved on your brain. What's yours?
Before I begin, we'll notice our Fond Fridays pic, used without permission (haha. hey, my camera, my picture.) You'll notice the blunder if you're from the South. Despite the Lutheran influence that was amongst us, we were NOT at a bar. Someone please remember this so that when I'm gone and our grandchildren find this picture, my reputation won't be mared. And if it is, blame my lutheran friend! (You know I love you and have to give you grief!)
But anyway, on to Fond Fridays. Recalling those moments forever ingraved in your brain- funny, sad, happy, joyous, or just odd- but for one reason or another, forever ingraved.
My sweet friend who I now teach beside is great for me. We both love your one liners. Here's a fine true example from just a few weeks ago. "Welcome to The Rock." More must follow. "Here at The Rock, we only have 3 rules. Rule #1, obey all rules!" Now for those of you (who I'll pray for for missing this joy) who aren't Andy Griffith Show fans...this was a hilarious episode where Barney was head swelled because he had actual prisoners. So anywho (and yes I know I say who instead of how), it was one of those moments where it came into conversation. E started it. Really. But I did join in and together I think we did the rest of that scene! We're bursting into laughter and look over to find the other teachers looking on in bewilderment. Poor things. How sad to not know the real Barney.
One moment I recall in particular was the first few days of school and the kids were a bit rowdy, for lack of a better word. I let in on the whistle around my neck. I love my whistle. Everyone stops and stares as I call out, "Guys, guys! We are tooooo loud. Drop the decibles a bit." And then there was the ingraving moment. This sweet little hand slips up in the air quite calmly. "Yes dear, what is it?" Sweet little voice, "Mrs. Teacher, I'm a girl."

And just when you think you've heard all the lingo...#4 puts her hand up to her mouth and giggled into her hand. "What's so funny?" I asked. #4's response? "My hiney burped!"
So there's some of my most ingraved moments for Fond Fridays. And there'll be lots more. Come on over with your comments as we explore my ingravings, if you dare...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Too Blessed to be Stressed!!!

Have you ever heard that little saying? I've heard it said. I've seen it on car tags, t-shirts, you name it. But how many of us really live it? It is true. We are too blessed. And we shouldn't be so stressed.

But if you're like me, you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off, feeling like the bunny in Alice in Wonderland who's "late for an important date", rushing from one task to the next, school, work, church, meetings,never feeling like you've done your best at anything because you had too much to do to do any of it well, working 'round the clock to pay bills, trying to figure out how you'll pay for your family's medical needs, college, weddings, LIFE, not eating right because you don't have the time, never relaxing because you'd feel guilty that you're not busy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah! Clean house anyone? AHHH!
Woe! Woe is the man who doesn't make time to count his blessings. Count your Blessings.
Psalm 107:31

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, See what God hath done!

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, See what God hath done!

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, See what God hath done!

So amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, See what God hath done!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Punch for the Southern...

Okay guys! I need your help!

I grew up not enjoying punch. Really. We didn't even have it at our winter time wedding. Yup, we sat around sipping down lemonade in the dead of winter. Yes friends, you have officially arrived in the South. Any questions?
Now over the past few years, I've learned to appreciate the kick punch brings (must be that influence from my lutheran friend), and the fact that it's filled with things great for fending off a cold (per my mother-in-law). Well now, I've got a scrathy throat starting. So off I marched and bought ginger ale, pineapple juice, hawaiin punch , and frozen orange juice. Now I know that at least some of these ingredients go together to make a tasty sipping treat. But I have no idea which ones or how much of what.
So here's your good deed for the day. Click comments below and send me some great punch recipes, but no cranberries please. And hurry, before my hubby drinks all the pineapple juice!
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