Wednesday, May 30

Go Hawks...and ISU!

This week I've been a the Higher Education Case Managers conference that is held at Iowa State.  I love mascots, so I was so excited to see the ISU mascot this morning.  I had to get my picture taken with it.  I told him after the picture I was from The University of Iowa and it pointed its feathers down like a thumbs down.  I'm sure he was just kidding, ha! The host staff at ISU have made us all feel so at home and their campus is beautiful!!
 Notice I am sporting my black and gold--go Hawks!

Tuesday, May 29

Thankful for the day

We woke up Friday morning and learned that Ryan's best friend from high school Wade had passed away Thursday evening suddenly.  Wade was the minister that married Ryan and me 11 years ago.  I've never met a more funny and genuine person who loves God and others without hesitation.  Here is Wade leaving the wedding ceremony with my mom and grandma.
These pictures are blurry, because we didn't have digital photos back in 2001--but I was able to find these prints of Wade.  He worked on a college campus.  Please pray for his family, friends and campus community as they grieve the loss of Wade. The Ozark Christian College president wrote a heartfelt letter on Friday about Wade and beautifully captured his life.
Dear Ozark family
It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that Wade Lowrey, the Residence Director in Strong ...Hall at Ozark Christian College, has passed away. His family has been notified, and we want to give you the most accurate information we have as soon as possible. Wade was found Thursday evening, May 24, in his chair in his dorm apartment, and while we are still waiting for the coroner's official results, the initial cause of death appears to be natural causes, possibly a heart attack. We do not know the exact time of his death, but we do know that his last Facebook post was Tuesday evening, May 22. 

Wade's passing at the age of 34 is certainly a shock to all of us, and we will grieve his absence in the Ozark family. As you know, Wade was much loved for his firm faith, his wise and mentoring leadership, his wit and humor, his joyful smile and his genuine love for people. Please be in prayer for his parents, his two sisters and their families as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

Pray for the Center Point Christian Church in Carthage, Missouri where Wade preached as they mourn the loss of their minister. Pray also for the Ozark Christian College family as we mourn the loss of a beloved coworker, and especially for the men of Strong Hall as they mourn the loss of their leader. As soon as funeral arrangements are made, we will be sure to communicate those. 
We grieve greatly, but the wonderful promise of Scripture is that we do not grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thess 4:13). Wade had his hope firmly placed in Christ, and for that we rejoice.

Wade was an avid Facebooker, and while he could not have known that his two Facebook posts on Tuesday evening would be his last, they seem especially fitting as a benediction to this difficult news. 
On Tuesday, May 22, Wade participated in the memorial service in Joplin's Cunningham Park on the one-year anniversary of the Joplin tornado, and when those gathered observed a moment of silence at 5:41 p.m. (the time the tornado struck), Wade posted from his phone to Facebook these words: "It's important to remember. Psalm 121:2, 'My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.'" His very last entry, posted at 7:55 on Tuesday evening, was simply one sentence long: "Thankful for the day!"

Matt Proctor
Ozark Christian College

Everyday I want to be "Thankful for the day" everyday...especially when I wake this little one up in the morning and begin my day!
Normally she is waking us up, but occasionally I get up before Ainsley and can soak in the cuteness and be Thankful for the Day ahead.  You are a good man Wade Lowery, you will be deeply missed!

Monday, May 28

Memorial Day

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
-Lee Greenwood
We are thankful to all of the men and women who have served and who our currently serving our country.  We pray that the Lord will protect them as they work to protect us and others around the world.
Our little miss is at her Grandma and Grandpa Cohenour's house this week since I have a conference and Ryan is busy, busy with work.
I think I've went in her room 20 times since she has been gone, just to tidy up and make sure everything is ready when she gets back.  My heart misses her but I know she is having fun!  
Ryan talked with his mom last night and little miss had got a new stuffed puppy and had some DQ ice cream.  Yes, I think little miss will be just fine this week at G & G Cohenours!
Ryan and I have noticed lately that Ainsley likes everything to be in order.  She was putting rocks back in the rock pile that were in the grass... 
If we leave our i phones out on the coffee table, she will bring them to us, she does the same with shoes that aren't in the shoe basket.  I swear she is my mini me!

Tuesday, May 22

Puppy love

We stopped by the pet store tonight to see the puppies and birds!  Little miss and I fell in love with one of the puppies, but life is too crazy right now to add a puppy so we just visited with her!

She was so sweet and gentle--I could have fit her in my purse she was so small...or my purse is so big...
Ainsley was excited to pet her!
And touch her nose!
The puppy was a great sport to let Ainsley play with her for a bit!

Monday, May 21


Today we stopped to get donuts on our way to work....because Monday came to early this week!  Ainsley seemed to like our decision!
Ainsley and Ryan came to pick me up at work today--it was such a nice surprise to see them at the end of a busy day!
Today over lunch I was walking with Ryan to grab lunch and I called over to the hospital prostethics department to get an appointment for Ainsley.  The scheduler shared she could get Ainsley in in early June and it would then take three weeks to get her custom fit inserts back for her shoes. 
I knew this was the reality--a 5 week total turn around time, but it is painful to watch Ainsley struggle to walk.  I signed us up for the early June appointment and then I said "could you call us if you have a cancelation this week?  We live locally and we'd be happy to run over there anytime for an appointment".  The scheduler was nice but said she didn't normally do that, but she would be happy to give us a call if an appointment came open!  I was SO thankful. 
I then said "Thank You"! I explained that Ainsley's feet are turning in so much her ankle bone is almost to the ground without shoes and she said..."can you be here tomorrow at 8 am?"  I said "YES, thank you"!  I had to get off of the phone quick because I was tearing up!  I was SO thankful to her for squeezing us in.  I think she heard the desperation in my voice :)!
So little miss will be fitted for her custom shoe inserts bright and early tomorrow morning.  We are SO thankful that in three weeks she will be up and running!!
"You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."
--Psalm 139:5

Sunday, May 20

Weekend fun

Saturday morning we went out for pancakes!  The waitress brought Ainsley crayons and toys to play with.  She kept saying "ah" and putting the airplane in the air just like her hearing and speech teachers, Kim & Karalee, taught her!  

This morning Ryan and I worked in the nursery at church.    We had 12 little ones in the nursery..we were busy, busy, busy!
We got there early, so Ainsley had some time to explore and play!

Saturday, May 19

Shower & Bubbles

This morning we had a shower for Nicole who is expecting her third son in early June!  Nicole (middle) was admitted to the hospital this past week with complications.  She is thankfully doing well now and we can't wait to meet her new little guy in a couple of weeks!
There were eight of us in the hospital room to celebrate--thankfully she had a big room :)!
Three of the eight women there are expecting!  The beautiful mamas:  Jackie, Brea, and Nicole--our faith family group will have lots of new little ones this fall!
Ainsley woke up from her nap and kept saying "bubbles" we went outside to blow some bubbles.  It was so windy, Ainsley was bombarded with bubbles!

Friday, May 18

TGIF & Welcome to Blog Land Dad!

Ainsley was happy it was Friday!  We went to Applebees for dinner to celebrate! Tonight I helped my dad create a blog!  He just bought some new cows and was going to send my sister and I pictures through snail mail and we talked him into creating a blog.  It will be a neat way to stay up-dated on the happenings on the ranch.  Welcome to blog land dad!  Check out my dad's new blog (News from the Prairie) it's linked on my sidebar!

Tuesday, May 15

CDD Up-date

We took Ainsley for her follow-up visit at the Center for Disabilities and Development today.  She was evaluated on April 10th and they wanted to see her in one month to check her walking progress since she was a late walker (17 months).   
We met with her developmental doctor and physical therapy.  They said her upper body strength is strong—which is great news and she had gained weight since her last visit!  Both very positive!  This is Ainsley pointing to her Elmo bandaid this morning--she got her first skinned knee yesterday. 
Ainsley had a lot of fun exploring the PT room.  Her sweet physical therapist let her run all over!  This was the waiting area--lots of fun things to play with!
It was apparent to them that Ainsley still had a wide gait/stance when she walks and has low muscle tone in her hips, upper thighs and feet. They noticed that when she walks she bends her knees to compensate for her weak hips so she can keep moving forward. They thought her feet had actually gotten worse since they last saw her.  
Without shoes they noticed Ainsley’s feet turn in so much her anklebone almost touches the ground.
We didn’t get a clear answer on if she will grow out of this, or if she’ll be dealing with this for quite some time…guess we won't start worrying about that just yet.
The plan—inserts for her shoes that will be custom designed for Ainsley so she won’t walk on the insides of her feet and physical therapy once a week.  They said she was eager to explore, but always looked out for her safety and grabbed our hands when she wanted to try something new.
I was discouraged after hearing this news today because I feel horrible that Ainsley has been walking on the insides of her feet trying to compensate for her weak legs/hips and that it will take a good month to get the referral for the inserts and get them made.   The physical therapist was pointing out the large motor developmental things that other kids her age are doing and Ainsley wasn't doing many of them because she is just trying to battle walking.  She wasn't doing this to make us worry, but just to show us what we should be working toward....  
But then my calm and wise husband reminded me—we have so much to be thankful for…Ainsley is spunky, happy and full of life.  She is not in pain with this (from what we can tell) and she will tackle this new challenge like all of the other challenges she has had. 
After I had a diet coke and a milky way bar (this may have been a little bit of emotional eating—but I only ate half of the candy bar :)  I realized we are ready for this next challenge.  Watch out world, once Ainsley gets those shoe inserts she will probably be running like all of the other kids in her class and unstoppable!