Friday, August 31, 2012

Love Arrived in the Mail

 Today the mailman rang our doorbell & all I hear where little boy squeals of "mom come here fast!". I came into our living room to find Jeremy hugging this box on our couch. We had been waiting since last week for the arrival of this special box. Just like we had been watching for months as every single cross-stitched quilt square from around the country came to our quilter Cottie.

We had seen past quilt recipients pictures on-line and knew they where special quilts . But I had no idea how truly special until I opened the box. I was stunned into silence as all four boys ewwwed & ahhhed over the beautiful quilt. It was much larger then I ever expected & will easily fit on Jeremy's full size bed. Every square contains a different dog that was sent from as far away as Japan. It's so soft , fluffy, & amazing. Words & pictures just can not do this quilt justice.

They even made a beautiful little throw pillow to go on the bed. I was so scared to even let Banyan or Jeremy near the quilt at first. Then I remembered the first email I received that said the quilts where made to be used and help soothe. I let Jeremy spread it out and Banyan plopped right down with out us asking. I think he knew it was his quilt to & he was after all the inspiration.

If you have a child with severe medical needs please take the time to head over to Love Quilts and fill out their application. They can't except every child's application so I didn't even tell Jeremy about the process until we got the email saying he had been picked. These quilts take months to make and the squares are just so breath taking. Thank you doesn't seem like enough to say to everyone who helped put such a huge smile on Jeremy's face. We are switching his bedding out tonight and I'll sneak in for a picture of him asleep later. Thank you for making my son feel so loved & so extra special. We will never forget your kindness.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lovely Mt. Rainer

Jacob & I headed to Mt. Rainer today for a hike with friends. Paul was suppose to spend the day with me hiking to Camp Muir we had planned it for months. But of course the Army had other plans so my sweet little guy volunteered. He knew I really wanted to go see the pretty wildflowers & hike. We ended up having an amazing hike up the mountain.

We woke to crystal clear blue skies & nice cool weather with sunshine. We started at 9AM up the mountain at times laughing and at times huffing along. Jacob loved every minute , the smile never left his face. He made it .2 miles from Pebble Creek- he was the only child that age we saw up that high. All the other hikers on the trail told him how good he was doing & how impressed they where. Of course he said more then once "that's because I'm hard core mom!". I laughed and we enjoyed our day. Even on the hike down after we left our group so they could continue up to Muir. We stopped posed for pictures and saw amazing views. It will be one of my fondest memories when I look back later when he is grown. 

After we finished and where at the car he announced he needed a hamburger. I knew just the spot and off we went to Copper Creek Inn & restaurant. I let him get the most delicious old fashioned vanilla shake to eat with his hamburger. We continued to chat and laugh while we ate the delectable food. I knew that not many more of these days would come. Soon he will be like his teenager brothers and prefer to stay home with friends. But for one perfect sunny Saturday he was my sweet baby boy who I enjoyed a special day on Mt. Rainer with- perfection.

We came home to lay around & relax watching movies enjoying the rest of our day. Hunter ran off to a friends house Paul is out- so now it's just me & my little guys. A nice ending to a wonderful day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fundraiser, Auctions & Friends

Yesterday was a crazy busy day with the phone ringing and computer beeping at me all day. I couldn't even complain because it was all people with either ideas on how to raise money or friends offering to host fundraiser for Banyan's trip to Colorado. I have to say everytime we have ever prayed about the next move to make concerning Banyan, God has flung open the windows . Not just a little crack open either a huge gaping picture window open-haha.

We now have three separate fundraisers going on to help cover our expenses to Colorado in mid-October. We still have the very beautiful Quillow that is valued at $175.00 up for bid. The current high bid is $75.00 and you have until September 15th to place the final bids.

Remember to BID on the Quillow simply leave a comment below if you don't have a Facebook account. I'll copy& paste to Jeremy's Facebook Page  
or go to the Facebook page & "like" then comment in the live auction in the NOTES section. You can't miss it! 

Now my workout partner and friend Ashley has her own cake decorating business from her home. Say it With Cake is her buisness name where she whips up some of the most delicious cakes I've ever eaten. We've ordered three cakes from her now and have a fourth soon. She can even do Gluten free cakes that taste Yummy! She surprised me by creating a 50% Give back promotion yesterday.

She  already has 4 custom cake orders placed & our family will receive a portion of her profits. Super sweet of her to do for us and we are truly touched. Go check her out on Facebook  to see all the Awesomeness she can create. If you live in the Olympia, Lacey Dupont or JBLM area she does deliver for a small fee. If your in Yelm it's FREE delivery!

After posting Ashley's cake offer on our local Yelm Outreach Facebook page someone I've never met offered to host an on-line Auction from her home based business as well. I was humbled and so grateful. I know it could be us trying to pay for the airline tickets and hotel cost alone out of pocket. I would have made it happen but generous friends & community people helping makes it easier to not wonder how it would happen. Jackie started up not one but two on-line auctions that anyone anywhere can place bids. Here is one link to the auction at Spot's Corner & here is the second auction as Spot's Corner both for Diaper covers. I had no idea Diaper Covers where so huge right now! The combined total for those two auctions with 100% of the sales going to us is already $127.00-YIPPIE!!

With all this we now have enough money to purchase one of the airline tickets at no out of pocket expense. I am so grateful and we are so blessed. We have amazing support behind our efforts to get Banyan the best training possible. I mentioned to my friend Ashley how I always feel like we are fundraising for Banyan and asking for help. She was amazing when she responded that you reap what you sow and I help out a lot in anyway I can. I sure hope I help enough because no amount of volunteering by me could ever say thank you enough to everyone over the past 8 months who have stepped up to help us along our journey. God has truly humbled me with his constant presence  & reminders to lay my problem at his feet. He will show us the direction in his time that we are suppose to take.

We haven't forgotten those friends who early on in the process helped us get Banyan home & pay for his needs for the first few months. Thank you to the whole Yelm community as well as Army family. With out each and everyone of you we would  not be as far along as we are in our journey. 

Most of the fundraisers go until September so please share them with anyone you think might be interested. The Quillow would make a great Christmas gift and is so beautiful. 

Our family is still raising money for The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation & their Epilepsy walk on September 23rd. If you would like to make a donation to us for their cause in raising awareness about SUDEP please follow this LINK  
to our donation page. All proceeds go to other deserving families who need Service dogs. We've raised $430.00 of our $800 goal- no amount is to small to make a difference.

There is a place in you where there is perfect peace.
There is a place in you where nothing is impossible.
There is a place in you where the strength of God abides you need only ask * then listen for his reply. ~ Author unknown

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving Forward

I never imagined last October when we started down this path to get Jeremy a Service Dog all the twist & turns we would have along the way.  Days of pure joy, days of non-stop tears not knowing how we where going to  manage. But so far God has answered every prayer that I have laid before him when I lay in bed at night asking the question "what now, how do I get this done?". We love Oregon Assistance Dogs for matching us with our super handsome smart Banyan. They did an amazing job with him for the first 7 months of his life and I am so grateful. Then we where blessed with All American Dogs here at JBLM who stepped in and said here is a local trainer at No Cost to keep moving forward. With out Jean & Ursula - Banyan would not be as well behaved and super smart as he is today. I know I can take him anywhere in public with out worry. That would not have happened with out the hours spent with Lead Me On training & All American Dogs.

Then we hit a crossroads back in May where AAD needed to find a trainer to meet Banyan's specific needs to help Jeremy in the future. They did their best to find someone local but at this time life has happened and we need to move forward as Banyan is getting older everyday. Thankfully a friend as well as The Hutchison Foundation recommended that we call in Colorado. I sent out an email at 3AM because sleeping was not happening as I worried over how we would pay whomever did have the trainer we needed. As well as I knew in my heart we had to move away from AAD whom we have grown to love. Tina the owner of Noelle's called back immediately this morning & said how can we help? How do we make this work so Jeremy can have the best Service dog available to you all? We talked in length about the needs Jeremy had she even brought up training I never thought we could obtain that she can get for Banyan.

Then I asked about cost.....I actually shed a few tears when I learned I just needed to pay for the plane tickets to get Banyan, Jeremy & I out to Colorado in mid-October to meet her staff as well as the trainer .  Paying for two plane tickets verses the thousand's of dollars I had been quoted was such a relief the tears came.
They will work with the Hutchison Foundation and use only our Grant money to finish Banyan's training, nothing more. He will live with them for five months which will be sad for us but exactly what he needs to be the best for Jeremy. Which has always been our goal from the beginning.

He will learn Search & Water Rescue since we live on a lake ( I never even thought of this as an option)

Splitting & Blocking since Jeremy can't see out of his right eye should someone approach from that side.

Seizure Alert specifics

Scent tracking in case Jeremy decided to wonder off- which has happened on occasion.

Mobility should Jeremy have a stroke from a seizure and be unable to walk by himself.

He will be CGC & ADI certified when we get to his graduation in hopefully January. I am beyond words with how relieved I am at this moment. We are excited to use the next 6 weeks to so his refresher course at Lead Me On with Ursula as well as a couple new exercises they would like him to learn before he goes to Colorado. We have some work to do but we are more then happy to put in the time to get the best dog possible for Jeremy. Thank you to all our friends who keep helping us along the way. I am sure you get tired of my constant chatting about this- but it consumes my daily life & will until Banyan is back home with us in the new year.

Now we will put up the Service Dog Quillow that is done in Americana Style Handmade by Jeremy's Grammy as an Auction here on Facebook. ALL MONEY raised will go towards our airfare to Colorado. Any of our Fur-Friends who would SHARE our Quillow Auction on their page we would be forever grateful. We know we ask a lot sometimes but we do hope you hang in there a few more weeks of fundraising then we will be all done! What a glorious thought to know we will be done with paying for expenses for Banyan's training. I can barely believe it!

I know that some of our BLOGGY friends aren't on our Facebook Page in order to BID on the Quillow you have to "LIKE" Jeremy & Banyan " Our Journey"  on Facebook. Then place your BID in the Comment sections under the note Titled " Moving Along in a GREAT Direction" . If you have no Facebook account but would like to place an Auction BID I can do that for you if you leave a Comment on THIS Blog Post. I will COPY & PASTE it into the Facebook page with your BLOGGY username. 

Here are the pictures of the Quillow which has Golden Retriever Pups hand sewn all over. It took Grammy over an hour on each pup! We sure love her <3 Please know that we would love any help spreading the word about our Auction. You can share this BLOG Post or you can go to our Facebook Page   and share the note with all the details.

Philippians 4:13 :" I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hot Days

Well summer finally arrived to the PNW & we seemed to be melting at temperatures in the mid 90's all last week. I was trying not to complain when the inside of my home was 88 degrees by 8PM. I knew that all to soon this sunny weather would disappear as fast as it arrived. Sure enough today it was gone just like that! I must admit to being grateful for a cool day of 72 degrees after all the heat. But I will be sad if we don't get any more warm hot days before Fall arrives.

With all the heat we stayed busy at the pool, lake & today another Sounders game.  We are enjoying the last two weeks of summer before the boys start back to school. Here are a few pictures to show what we have been up to around these parts. This week finds me super busy with school orientations for some of the kids. Have a great weekend everyone.

We visited Post so dad came to see us on his lunch break.

Staying cool at the splash park on post

Heading to the Sounders FC game

Having fun with my boys at the game

Jeremy was all smiles at the game

Earlier in the week after a hard work out- felt like puking!

Banyan with Jeremy after an evening walk.

We have been at the lake a lot as well I just didn't take the camera. Hopefully we have a lot more fun to capture in the next two weeks.

Also don't forget we are still raising money for The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation Walk on September 23rd. We would love you to go take a look & help us out if you can with a small donation. All the money goes to help other deserving children or adults receive grants to train their Service Dogs like Banyan. Just click on this LINK  and go make your donation. Jeremy, Banyan, & I will walk 2 miles on September 23rd to help raise awareness about Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. Something we live with everyday but thanks to the Hutchison Foundation we can have Banyan get the training he needs to help us know if Jeremy has a seizure.


Friday, August 10, 2012

All Over the Place

This week found Paul signing in from Block Leave BOOOOOO!! We did enjoy his month off in July but boy did it seem to just fly by to fast. We are now waiting to see what his training schedule will be like for this up coming year. We tried to get back into some sort of routine then gave up. I told the boys they could have until August 15th to have a super crazy summer time then we would be back to school schedule. If we don't go back to school bed times & wake ups- it'll make for a rough September for sure.
I took Jeremy & Jacob to a fun new park on Tuesday to explore with Banyan. They had fun on our outing and here are a couple pictures.

We also went to the pool a couple times this week and the lake. We are enjoying the sunshine as much as possible before it disappears again. Banyan started back with his regular field trips into town. He is doing well but has a few moments of not wanting to work just play. I blame myself as we where pretty slack in his training in June & July. His trainers where gone & dad came home so yeah my fault. Now I am trying to get him out and about again as much as possible.

I received the phone call from the High School about parent & student orientation later this month. I can hardly believe my oldest will be a sophomore & turning sixteen in September. The time sure has flown by so quickly. I have to get him out driving more. Ever since he finished his driver's ed he has had no interest in going driving, so strange to me.  But hopefully moving up to the high school and older kids he will get more motivated  to try again.

We entered Banyan in a Seattle cutest puppy contest as well. I let Jeremy pick the picture you see below.

You can go click on VOTE for his picture to help us win a $200 Amazon Gift Card. We will take $100 of the money to purchase dog supplies for our local animal rescue/shelter. We are way behind but Jeremy wanted to try so here we go- hopefully with some help from family & friends we can WIN!

I started my workouts back in earnest training with one of my running partners . OUCH is what I have to say! My right should is achy from all the hanging pull ups I have done this week.Boy can I tell I have not done my hard training in awhile. I did 3 days in a row & by day three I was feeling it bad.

My self portrait after a really hard workout. I really thought I might puke!
Anyway we are ready to enjoy our Friday . It is suppose to be sunny so I am sure the pool is in our future again.  Saturday morning has our monthly Wear Blue Run to Remember in town lead by yours truly. Then I am not sure what we will do with the rest of our time. But I am so glad we still have one more week of laziness before I have to crack the whip and get back to school schedule. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend out there & stay safe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Doggy Bling

I was trying to decide how Banyan could look as handsome as Jeremy will look on September 23rd for our 2 mile walk for the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation. It came to me over an early morning cup of coffee ( most of my ideas require coffee). Anyway I googled purple dog print bandanas and found a super cute one to order for Banyan. It just so happened they only had  two left in stock so I bought both. We are now giving away this wonderful bandana to the next AMAZING Human who donates $20 or more in their pups name to our cause Team Jeremy & Banyan to walk 2 miles to raise awareness for Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy.

 If you have been following along then you already know our family will walk 2 miles to help the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation continue to carry on their efforts to provide grants for other families to receive a Service Dog or Emfit monitor. Both are tools used to help parents keep their precious children alive should a seizure occur at night during their sleep. Both alert to seizures that could lead to death. It is something our family has lived with since Jeremy had his first seizure at four months of age. But now thanks to Banyan we sleep a little better knowing he could alert us should Jeremy have a seizure at night. He has already alerted us when he was moaning in his sleep & coughing really hard due to a cold. He has a grant waiting for him to finish up his training thanks to this wonderful foundation. Our walking in September & spreading the word is the least we can do for such wonderful people.
 Please take the time to go at least read the information on their website to better understand about SUDEP. Then if your moved to make a Donation make sure to leave a comment below- because if your the first then you WIN this pretty bandana!

If you don't have a pup who can wear the bandana we can still mail it to you or you can give it away to the next lucky person who makes a donation. Jeremy set his goal as $800 thanks to our wonderful friends & family we are at $305.00 as of last night. We hope we can continue right up until September 23rd raising more money. Can you be the next to help us out?

 "Detours are not roadblocks. What we see as obstacles, God may choose to use as a bridge to bring us closer to where He wants us, next to him."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

Today found me waking up at 4AM to begin getting ready for the Run for Your Lives 5k in Onalaska, WA. I was so excited for this fun run as my team had signed up to volunteer first as Zombies on the course. We arrived at 6:45AM & headed to the make-up tent. Since we where some of the first zombies the make-up artists where excited to get their hands on us,  they had a blast! They did an amazing job transforming us into brain chomping zombies.

Here I am all medical zombie girl

 Our whole team the Brain Chomppers

We had a great spot on the course that came as the runners came down a hill into a nice shady area. We where suppose to be stumblers but a few times we got excited when some of the runners where a little mean to a fellow Zombie. Yeah those people got chased & their flags taken! I was shocked at how depressed and frustrated most of the runners where on this course as they came by our station. We of course where having a blast! One runner was guarding his flag & in the process elbowed poor Ashley in her jaw. It hurt so bad she got a headache & needed a minute to recover. Another runner slapped her arm so hard we heard the pop but at least he stopped to apologize.  I think some of the runners it was really natural instinct to scream and slap at people grabbing you. Others where just down right mean & nasty.

Here I am laying at my section on the course. The runners thought since I was on the ground they where safe. Little did they know if they stopped by me I would reach up & grab their flags! It was so fun! We volunteered for three hours and by the end of our shift we where exhausted! We actually didn't care when the last of the runners came by because the heat had wiped us out. Today it was 89 degrees on the course. Way hot for WA! We where hungry & feeling a little dehydrated by this point. We headed to the line to sign out, drink some water, eat a snack , and run the course.

We soon learned why the runners looked so sad & upset by the time they reached our section of the course. The course was on a BMX bike track so there was a ton of hills with huge crevices. Running was almost impossible. We witnessed several rolled ankles & hurt arms as people tumbled down. We decided then & there to walk most of the course I knew I had to many more runs to get hurt.. We ran the sections that where safe but it was so hot with the sun we really felt awful. My head was pounding from lack of water & food. I do believe we should have sat down in the shade & ate for awhile before we ran. Lesson noted for next year. A lot of the zombies we found weren't following the rules & where grabbing more then one flag at a time from the runners. I think this is why a lot of the runners where upset as well . 

All in all my morning was a blast!! I loved the make-up & capturing flags with my team. The run was a 4 on a scale of 10- with 10 being the best. If you are going to just be a runner I'm afraid you will be disappointed at least in the PNW. I say volunteer to be a zombie & do it in the very early group! If I do this run next year it will be because I loved the volunteer time on the course the best. I am glad they cut our registration fee in half for volunteering. We met a lot of fun zombies along the way . Here are a few more fun picture.

 Our lost zombie nurse 

  A really creepy clown who was super nice! 

Finished OCR #9 as Zombie Wonder Woman


Oh and I have to add that my make-up artist was so excited with my "perfect" bone structure for being a zombie-LOL Not sure if under normal circumstances that would be a compliment ?? But for today it ROCKED!