Friday, July 25, 2008

Sandbags...

Photo taken by: Kassie Kemp Cobabe

A few weeks ago, Julie, our sweet relief society teacher gave a lesson that really stuck with me. For me, principles seems to sink in much better when they are taught in metaphors...so when Julie used this metaphor in her lesson I was soaking it in....

She began by relating our lives to little pickup trucks heading down the road of life's happenings. As we're driving along, sand bags (challenges) get thrown into the beds of our trucks. More and more seem to get thrown our way, some big, some little. These bags weigh us down and can become burdensome. They make it difficult at times to continue...

She then went on to tell us... As we are trudging along in our little pickup trucks weighed down by the heavy challenges of sandbags, the road becomes slippery and steep, we soon realize we are climbing a mountain....with most pickup trucks this size, it would be impossible to make it up this mountain without sliding off, yet here we are, climbing...how? by the aid of sandbags. Eventually...with great effort our rickety little pickup trucks make it to the top safely. If those "sand bags" were not in the beds of our pick up trucks...we would have not had enough weight on the back tires to grip the ground and continue. The result could have been tragic. Yet because of the sandbags, which were challenges before, worked for our own good...and were the key in ascending the mountain.

I was so excited when I heard this concept...and since then I haven't been able to get it out of my head. It was so cool...We can do this! So thank you for letting me share it! Hopefully I didn't retell it so badly that it didn't make any sense. I know that our life's challenges seem unexpected and make it difficult to continue...it sometimes feels down right impossible...but I know that Heavenly Father has so much love for his children and is helping us in our every step... And I know this challenge is another "sandbag" in the bed of our little pickup truck...and while it weighs us down, somehow, it will aid us in giving our "back tires" a good "grip" while climbing life's "slippery mountains."

Thank you Julie for helping me understand this principle.

Update:

It's been a week now that Mike has been going to Neuroworx and boy they don't mess around...he was thrown right in to the saddle. It's going to take some work for him to get used to...but he's lov'n every minute of it! The staff at Neuroworx are awesome...they're like one big family up there! The place specializes in spinal chord injuries (SCI) so we've been able to meet people who have the same level of injury as Mike as well as other amazing people with lower and higher levels of injuries. It's really been able to put things into perspective!

So far the three new muscles are still the latest news...which is fantastic!

Here's a little of what Mike's been doing up there...I tried to get music on it...but as many of you know...when uploading movies...you can't have everything.




video

Thank you Mike for being so patient with me pulling the camera out every time you did something amazing! Love you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Little Miracles...

A friend of mine reminded me that it usually gets really hard just before something great is supposed to happen. We have been trying our darnedest to get Mike to rehab...yet it seems like everything has been against us...first the shell....then insurance...then the doctors prescription...and we thought we finally had all the kinks worked out...until Mike came down with a fever and nausea on Sunday. This meant if he wasn't better by Monday...yesterday...we would have to reschedule yet again. Monday morning came around and Mike was still not quite up to par...but as the hours drew nearer for his appointment his sickness began to fade. By the time 1:30 rolled around he was feeling great. We hopped in the car and cruised to Neuroworx. There we checked in...and everything began to run smoothly...prescription arrived...insurance was correct...and Mike was feeling great (a little miracle). They then began their evaluation...checking every muscle of his body...to see what he could and couldn't do. They eventually came to his right leg...and we told them that there was one muscle that worked. She moved that leg left then right...up then down. She had him flex each of the different directions..."you have three muscles working" she said. You should have seen Mike's face. "WHAT?" He said..."Are you sure?" He was shocked...but really excited (Little Miracles)! She went on to explain that there was the one muscle on the inside of his upper leg....that we already knew about...but she also felt his quadriceps and hamstrings working! This is huge! Just a few months ago during the last few days of his inpatient therapy the therapists were feeling just a twinge ever so slightly in his right leg...and now there are three muscles firing...things are happening...and we're going to do all we can to keep it going! Little miracles...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Humbled...

I love this picture...because it's so telling of Mike's mom...Elaine...she does nothing but love and serve. We could never have made it this far without her...she is truly priceless! Love you Elaine

Today I am truly humbled by the love of so many people! It's already been so long since everything has happened...yet people still stop us and ask...truly...how we are doing....how we're handling things...and what they can do to ease things...It's with the most sincerity of their hearts. But when asked...it's like being touched by an angel...just the mere fact that people care so much...it makes those days when I truly feel like this is impossible...it's possible...and we're not alone!



Thank you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Little Answers...

He was SOOOO excited!

It's funny how your prayers are answered through other people. It's been proven time and time again. Right after Mike's accident everything was so overwhelming...embarassing to say...the thought of buying diapers for Jocelyn was enough to send me into an anxiety attack. But I am here to say from March 5th (the day of Mike's accident) to this day July 16th...we have had to buy only one small package of diapers. Besides that she has not had to go a day without. Whether it's been someone dropping by with a package ...just cuzz...or a package showing up anonymously at our door ... Jocelyn has been diapered...thanks to all of you and aiding in the answering of our prayers...thank you!

The other day we received a phone call from Michael's Aunt Pam in Chicago. She was asking what size Brody is and what he needs for next year. Before we knew it a HUGE box in the mail arrived at our door step with clothes and clothes for Brody! She had found a yard sale where a woman was selling all her boys clothes...so Pam found the most adorable outfits and shipped them out. It must have taken so much time sorting and packing all the clothes...and then the money to buy and ship them. We are just amazed at the goodness of others!

With all the gratitude in our hearts....THANK YOU!

Love,

Mike, Michelle, Brody and Jocelyn


The picture doesn't do it justice...she packed that box the the max...and the clothes couldn't be cuter!

Thank you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

30 Years...


Who would have thought that a trip to the dentist would have begun an eternity of love!

Just moments after arriving home from a two year mission Jon Bratt stopped in at the dentist to surprise his sisters (dental hygienists) of his homecoming. It was there that he met his first and only love Debie Ryan. Sparks flew as he shook the hand of the young beautiful brunette. It was hard for Jon to believe he had found his first love so soon! But two years later...they were sealed for time and all eternity at the Provo LDS Temple exactly 30 years ago today!


Did you know...

My parents have had a date nearly every Friday night since they were married!
They dated for a year and were engaged for a year before married!
They didn't kiss until over the alter (unbelievable but true) They've made up for it ever since!
They have seven children (of which I am their favorite j/k) and five and a half grandchildren!
They can really rock it out on the dance floor!
The Year They Were Married...1978...


Prices:

House $64,370.00 (Their first home was $24,500.00)
Car $4,645.00
Milk $1.44
Gas $.65
Bread $.33
Postage Stamp $.15
Average Income $10,671.00

President: Jimmy Carter
Vice President Walter Mondale


Fads:

Dorothy Hamill haircuts
Disco
Bell bottoms
CB radios
LARGE collars
Earth shoes

Fridto Bandito
Polyester shirts

Religion:

Spencer W. Kimball was president of the LDS church
All worthy males regardless of race in the LDS church received the Aaronic priesthood


Media:

The hit film "Grease" made it's debut
Sony introduces the Walkman, the first portable stereo
Grammy was awarded to The Eagles for their hit single "Hotel California"

Love:

July 13, 1978

A love of all time and eternity was created and sealed!
We Love you Mom and Dad...Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Side Step...


So this week hasn't been exactly all that we had hoped for...but it's definitely been patience building. Don't get me wrong...we have had some really great days with family and friends...but as far as what we had been planning on...we've had to take a sort of "side step."
As mentioned earlier, we have been really looking forward to going to Neuroworx (the physical rehab center we'd chosen), but apparently it's too soon. Monday we made it up to South Jordan for his first visit! Once there, we found out the prescription that we asked his neurosurgeon for a week previous had not been faxed to the center. This meant without that prescription the therapists couldn't even touch Mike. On top of that, we found out we were still not on the right insurance program. I don't know why it frustrated me so much, but it did. We had busted our tails gathering medical records, filling out long applications, and running a ton of errands to get on the right insurance. There was some kind of confusion with the insurance workers...and what we thought he was supposed to be on. Anyway, we rescheduled for Wednesday and thought we got all the kinks worked out...insurance and prescription! But by Wednesday morning there was still no prescription faxed from the doctors office. That afternoon we were informed that we are still on the wrong insurance! The doctor had to run out on an emergency trip and will be back Tuesday...and hopefully then we can get the prescription....and in the mean time we'll be making phone calls and possibly filling out more applications to switch the insurance again (fourth time)! I'm so confused! But I guess in the grand scheme of things a few extra days of waiting really isn't that big of a deal! I'm just impatient! Mike is handling the delays really well...he knows that everything takes longer then anticipated. When we got back in the car after the first rehab cancellation he said "That's OK...I didn't want to walk that soon anyway!" Gosh I love you Mike! Thank you for handeling these "side steps" so well!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another Step in the Right Direction...



So tomorrow is another big day! Since Mike has come home from the hospital hasn't been able to do much rehab due to his brace being on for nearly four months and insurance confusion. Well we have finally been able to defuse both issues and tomorrow afternoon we'll be meeting with Neuroworx for his first rehab visit! This is a rather large step in the right direction and we are both anxious for the progress! Wish us luck!






video


On the fourth, between family get-togethers, we stopped off at the house for a break...and the kids had a hay day with the fan!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Life Without the Shell...

Jocelyn cuddles with her "shelless" daddy!

Wow, life without Mike's "turtle shell" has been awesome! When the doctor first took the shell off he said he'd want it back on as soon as he returned home. He said it would be a sort of "weaning" process and eventually he'd be able to get along entirely without it. Well...since that day in the doctor's office...the shell has not touched Michael!!! He was DONE! Quite "cold turkey!" And I don't blame him.! It's definitely worked plenty of muscles that he wasn't able to work before...and so he's been quite sore and leery of trying different things...but he's getting along great!


Here are a few pictures our most recent crazy times (I think I went way too long without posting...)
We had to fix the tires on our corolla so we made a family outing of it! Brody LOVED looking at all the wheels!



Last week we went for a family stroll down Locust! It was really fun to get out as a family in the fresh air! Mike did really good...it was a bit hard to keep up with him. I hope we can make these strolls a more common thing!


On Friday my brother Riley and Mike's brother Richard took Mike to an indoor shooting range...it was Mikes first time at an indoor range...he loved it!

For the fourth we had a great time with water, fireworks and family! Jocelyn was sleeping for this picture...we didn't lose her!