Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bethany's Recovery

My little girl absolutely amazes me. She is recovery beautifully from the surgery. She is up and moving all over the place with her walker. Yesterday, she sat up at the dining room table and played Monopoly for 2 hours w/ me and her bros. We also played "war" and had numerous battles on the Wii. Tonight will be her first trip out as Stacey is meeting some of her blogger friends for the first time.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Family Pictures

In late November (Thanksgiving Weekend), we went to the church to get photos taken for the church directory. We were not too thrilled to go because we have never really had luck with pictures. The company and individuals taking the pictures were really good though and the photo shoot was actually fun to do. Below are some of the photos and I am also actually using them as my sidebar pics. I am looking forward to the church directory and seeing everyone else pictures.




All Three Kids

Family Hug

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

We, as individuals, really need to allow individuals to be themselves and love them for who they are. It comes back down to unconditional love. Yet, we try to alter/mold people into something that they are not.

just something that I was thinking of. I am also there is another side of the concern to this thought.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dying Church Making A Difference

I have heard about the church before and them deciding to possibly make a "splash" in their community but I had not followed it. in the last two weeks, I have seen it reference 3x and i want to share the story and the link to it at the bottom.

The story through the lens of Living Lutheran:

The church building was old, and worship attendance had been declining for years. But members of Renton Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Renton, Wash., still had a deep desire to serve their community.

They met with other Lutherans in the area, staff of social service agencies and even city officials.

From these meetings, the congregation came to some important conclusions.

It was decided that their church building should be torn down and that the property be used to serve the community in some way.

Members of Renton went through with their decisions, and a new ministry called Luther’s Table was born. The completion of a new community center on the congregation’s former property was completed in the fall, which includes transitional housing for veterans.

“We planned for a future that we might or might not be part of,” says Martha Myers, pastor of the former Renton Lutheran Church. She served the congregation for more than 23 years.

“We wanted more flexibility, and we want to live toward a new future. There were a ton of things we could do for the community,” Martha says.

A vision emerged to provide affordable housing and education on the site. With help from the Compass Housing Alliance, a housing plan for homeless veterans took shape, along with a coffeehouse and café.

Federal, state and county agencies, along with the community, also took part with financial support. On Oct. 8 the Compass Veterans Center-Renton was dedicated.

The Center includes 38 transitional housing units for single veterans and 20 units of transitional housing for veterans with families. There are also a variety of social services, Martha says.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in town, developed the coffeehouse and café, calling it Luther’s Table. Some of the materials salvaged from Renton Lutheran Church’s old building, such as pews and stained glass, are being used at Luther’s Table. The new building also has space for other business tenants.

Terri Bowen was council president in 2006 when Renton Lutheran Church closed. She says community support was essential for the plan.

“Every time we made a step forward there was a resounding ‘yes,’ ” Terri says. “It was as if God was leading us. Everything seemed to fall into place.”

Members of the former Renton transitioned into four area ELCA congregations.

And as they pass by the Compass Center, former members say they are reminded of the congregation’s vision that led to the housing ministry and businesses on the site of their former congregation.

“Every time I drive by, I think about how we fulfilled our dream,” says Dean Thompson, a member of Renton.

the article

I absolutely love this story and I wonder what would happen when/if dying/thriving churches seen their communities through this lens ?

Living Lutheran

I am really looking forward to spending more time on Living Lutheran. It will be a great place to connect and to hear stories about what is happening in our denomination.

The Surgery

Yesterday, Bethany came from the hospital after her surgery and 5 days of recovery. The 5-days was a very long journey and definitely could not be captured in a paragraph or two. But, I will place a quick summary here. Of course, if you are a "friend" on facebook, you know the story since I gave numerous updates a day.

The surgery last about 4 hours and all reports were that the surgery went excellent. Not long after the surgery and visiting her, I went home to be w/ the boys and Stacey and her mom stayed at the hospital on Thursday night. I received a phone call during the middle of night from Stacey and things were not going too well (high pain) and there seemed to be a lack of communication between hospital/surgeon/those taking care of her. On Friday morning, correction on meds and pain management became involved and her attitude went up and her pain levels went down.

Later on in the day, we found out that it was a protocol issue that occurred because the surgeon was new to Riley and how "orders" are done is slightly different. It was a nightmare of 14 hours and Bee should have not had to go through it. We fell through a crack. But, she was now having all the care needed and the hospital was putting plans into place that this would never happen again.

Throughout this though the nurses on her floor and who took care of her were top-notched and ROCKED and took super-good care of her.

On Saturday, she began her physical therapy,. We also learned that during the surgery, the surgeon was not only able to put the rods in and secure them correctly; he was also able to move the curvature of her spine during this surgery. The % was going to happen later down the road. So, she was in a little more pain because of that, but this will make her future recovery so much better.

The next two days was her practicing walking and for her to go from IV meds to oral meds. She did great. We brought her home yesterday and she did great. She sat up in the chair for awhile. She then set up in a wheel chair to play Wii. The wheel chair is for longer excursions (museum and zoo trips). She moved around the house with the walker with no problems.

The one thing that she is happy about; she grew two inches so she is closer to getting out of her booster :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bethany -------- Surgery

Tomorrow morning, we are waking up early in the morning and taking Bethany down to the hospital for major surgery. She is having spine surgery for her scoliosis. The surgical procedure should take about 4 hours. The doctor wants to get her up and moving as soon as possible but she will have a "recovery" of 9-12 months before she can resume regular activities.

Last night was a little rough on me as I did a "normal" activity with her. I "potato'd sacked" her to bed. After the surgery, I will not be able to do that. We will have to come up with something different after the surgery.

Also, I really am struggling inside at times because of the fact that she is having to have this surgery due to her having NF. I am the one that passed it on to her. I know many people say that I can and should not blame my self, but it is hard.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Email Came ....

Jeff ..great news everything has been completed and your license has been approved.

We are now approved for fostering and adopting. We are looking forward to the journey ahead of us and we will know a lot more about that journey in about 6 weeks. If you are out there reading this, I ask you to pray for us during this process and see where "we land".

Friday, December 10, 2010

Paper Work

We think that our caseworker from Indiana came over and picked up the last piece of paper work that she needed to get our foster license and adoption papers processed. If this is the case, we would be able to open our home to foster care or adopt children who are looking forward to forever-homes.

It has been quite a journey with re-arranging schedules to make classes and to get all the i's dotted and t's crossed. For a few weeks, we thought that everything was turned in and just sitting on the desk.

Someday, I will have to share more about the process, but today is definitely not the day or time to go into it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Time At The Shelter

On Monday afternoon, I picked up two of our high school guys from church and went downtown Indy to help serve dinner at one of the men's shelter. It was very nice to be down there and serving with the guys. With how the shelter is set up, we did not have many opportunities to interact with them. However, we had a "heads up" that this would probably occur; so we were "mentally" prepared.

Even though we did not get to have a relational aspect with the men that we were serving; it was great that we were able to go down to the shelter and help serve the meal and then help in kitchen prep for their next meal.

We are going to be partnering with them once a month. Thus, we look forward to doing ministry with them and I look forward to getting to know some of our guys better while serving.