Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Please Help Dad with His Recovery

Dad has communicated that he would love to have some visitors come and see him at the hospital. Since our post a few days ago, we have only had a couple people call to schedule a time to come and see him. I know that many of you are probably trying to wait so there is not a huge rush. Let me put your mind to rest, there has not been any rush. In fact, we are requesting that more people call to setup a visit.

Rachael is ready to receive your phone calls and schedule you to make a visit. Depending on the volume of calls, your visit may be several days from the day you call. However, we do not mind scheduling you in advance. In fact, we are asking you to come visit because this is a way you can help Dad in his recovery.

We would like to ask for your help in Dad’s recovery in the following ways:

1.) So many of you have been such prayer warriors for our family during this time. We have been asked over and over again how your can help. Coming for a short visit would be helpful at this time. The therapists want Dad to have visitors for this next step in recovery and transition back into “real life”. It will be easier for him to greet you a few at a time rather than be bombarded the first time he comes to church or another social event.

2.) The time slot we set up for Dad was from 3-5pm. I know this can create a problem for many of you with work schedules. So Dad asked if we could let you know he will also receive visitors from 6-8pm. We are not setting up very many visits each day, but hopefully the extended times will help fit your schedule better.

3.) Don’t tell yourself He doesn’t want to see you…because he DOES want to see YOU. (And if he doesn’t it is only 15 minutes, so for therapy sake he can deal with it anyways)   :)

4.) Not only is this therapy, Dad really wants to see people. So what are you waiting for? If you want to see him give Rachael a call!

We appreciate all you have done for us during this time! Rachael’s number is 405-517-2099 and her email is Rachael@characterfocus.com. You can also get in touch with her through facebook.

Dad looks forward to seeing you soon! Thanks for serving our family by helping with this next stage of therapy and recovery.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dad is Ready for Visitors!

Dad told me today that he is ready to see you and allow you to come and pray for him! He is excited about the upcoming events at church and is looking forward to getting involved once again. Obviously there is still a lot of healing that needs to take place -- Dad just started using his legs again, and he is scheduled for two surgeries within the next year. However, we are optomistic that Dad will make a full recovery and be able to get back involved in some church projects in the near future.

So here is how this visitation thing is going to work:
Rachael is going to be the contact for visitors who would like to come see and pray for Dad. Her phone number is 405-517-2099. All visits must be cleared through Rachael. If you desire to visit Dad, please call Rachael and setup an appointment (you can also use facebook or email rachael@characterfocus.com to set an appointment).

Dad is prepared to receive visitors on weekdays between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. Dad still has some difficulty with extended visitors or to much stimulation, so we are requesting that visitors limit their visit to 15min. When you call Rachael, she will discuss with you an exact time based on Dad's schedule (i.e. 4:15pm-4:30pm). The family has requested that all visits be approved through Rachael; thank you for honoring this request.

Rachael plans to schedule visits on a first come first serve basis. She is going to keep a calendar and stay in touch with Mom and Grandma who spend many hours at the hospital. If Dad has a hard day or a change in schedule on the day you are scheduled to visit, Rachael may call you and reschedule your appointment. Thanks in advance for your flexibility and consideration.

Today was a good day at Western Hills Church. Attendance was high and you could sense excitment about The Mission events coming next week (see http://www.westernhillschurch.com/ for details). Pastor Wells played a short video of Dad that went along with the message. We have posted that video to this blog... hope it is a blessing to you! Thank you for continuing to pray for our family. I know Jesus is enough, but I am sure glad He has blessed us with friends and family like you. We love you all!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yummy Cakes and Such

Last night Britt and Lauren had an informational fundraiser dessert event. They are going to be joining the staff at the BSU at OU. Anyways, as a part of my contribution I jumped on the opportunity to make some dessert. I enjoy making dessert but don’t always do it because with the size our family I would, well, eat the large majority of the luscious dessert item, whatever it may be. It would certainly be the vast majority if it included chocolate. :) One of the desserts I made was a Chocolate Fudge Cake. Yum! My favorite part of this recipe was learning how simple it is to make chocolate curls.

My children never complain when I ask them to help me clean!

For Justin’s Birthday I wanted to try out a new circle cake pan I got. It is perfect for making all sorts of sports ball cakes. I didn’t know when the cake was going to be used until the morning of, so, I decided that instead of making my icing I would buy some canned. Unfortunately I bought whipped instead of regular and therefore the icing was very difficult to pipe on the cake and was indeed dripping off the bottom. The pan worked perfectly though! I’m still not exactly sure how they put icing on the underneath side of those cakes though. Guess I will have to try again sometime. Recently I have been struggling a bit with my cake decorating hobby. It takes a lot of time and patience. (Why I even picked up the hobby I’m not sure because the previously listed attributes don't describe me.) It is definitely not something to rush. Much more enjoyable when you have friends present.

Lizzy and I made this cake for Papa on his birthday but he wasn’t feeling well that day. Lizzy was convinced papa would share so we kept the cake at home. We thought about how much we loved papa and then we enjoyed his chocolate cake for him. (Why yes,yes, I did eat the vast majority of the cake. Did you really feel the need to point that out?)

Over the course of our summer events I brought out a childhood recipe that I LOVED growing up. Granny (my great grandmother) always made this for me every birthday! Of course her crust was made from scratch and her strawberries from the garden. I have taken the short cuts but the pie tastes great anyways. Something was special about Granny’s pie though. Maybe it was just her touch. It is my honor to take on the responsibility of keeping this recipe alive and past onto others in order to enhance their lives in some small way. Without further ado (don't questions my spelling abilities- I googled it!) I present the yummy recipe to...

Granny’s Strawberry Alaskan Pie
1 3oz. package Jello-Strawberry (or same flavor as fruit)
2/3C. Boiling Water
1C. Vanilla Ice Cream
1C. Fresh Strawberries (I use frozen sometimes)
3C. Cool Whip
Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Stir in ice cream until melted and smooth, add strawberries. Stir in cool whip. Pour into a graham cracker crust and chill for several hours.
Granny always made this in either a strawberry(my favorite) or peach version. I think it would be fun to play around with different jello/fruit combinations.

Your taste buds can than me later. :)

Enjoy the simple things in life, like rainbows and chocolate!
This was out my back door the other day

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time With Family

This past weekend I was able to spend time with some family on both sides of our family. It started on Saturday when Elizabeth and I sent special time together for the family tea. We were able to visit with some family that lives out of state that had come in to visit. It was a lot of fun!

Cousin Nikki and her sisters looked very pretty and were being very lady like.

Then on Sunday we had our family Sunday lunch with Dad. Our church family has been so amazing to us during this difficult time. They have groups of ladies that make us lunch each Sunday so we can have lunch together. The Sunday lunches have been such a blessing for all of us! Normally we have lunch in the eating area at Jim Thorpe, but not this week. This Sunday we had lunch at home, Mom and Dad’s home, with dad there! He got a day pass for Saturday day and Sunday day and so we had lunch at home! I’m not sure when he will get another day pass. The therapists gave specific instructions to keep the house pretty quite with dad there. Dad is not home for good and the therapists still don’t want him having visitors at home or at the hospital. He continues to work hard in therapy and continues to improve. Please to continue to pray.

Katie-Kate says "thank you for the dessert!"

Mom and Maw-Maw

And the above picture reminds me...may I just take a minute to say how amazing Kim Werner is! She has done such an amazing job during this whole ordeal and keeps on just loving others more than herself. Now, I know mom would be the first to tell you it is only through Jesus Christ she has been able to keep it all together and I would agree, but Christ is always there in each of our sistuations and it is your choice to rely on Him. Thank you mom for setting such an awesome example! I do believe the grandkids are mom’s form of therapy. :) Much less painful than dad’s therapy and she welcomes her therapy. Each “session”!

Justin no longer is wearing the boot and has even started mowing lawns again and all other summer activities. He still has screws in his ankle. Mom is getting council from a few doctors before deciding if Justin is going to have the screws removed or leave them in.

Actuall x-ray of Justin's ankle.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Update on Greg

Greg had a doctors appointment yesterday and it went really well. He is now able to be weight bearing on his legs! Praise the Lord!!! This last week he has been able to get in the pool and work his legs. He has enjoyed it but it has been painful and difficult. Does that make since? Enjoying somthing painful and difficult. I think it does if you have been in a bed or chair for the past three months.

Dad is doing a great job and working so hard. Glory Seals you would be so proud! Even when it hurts and is hard the Lord is his strength, he keeps his eyes in the goal, and he presses on!

Keep up the great work dad! We love you so much! Today in difficult times dwell on this verse – 2 Corinthians 12:6 My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Please keep the prayers coming! The physical therapy is hard and painful. His grace is sufficient!


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

“Our family needs a vacation!” Brandon declared Monday late afternoon about 4:00PM. This comment had been made several times throughout the previous weeks but after practically looking at the situation, with little ones, it didn’t seem worth the money. Tradition had been for many years past to go on summer vacation with our families. This has been the case long before our marriage. But we like the tradition to continue on because, well, we like our families. :) This year things just didn’t work. Normally the families all share in the expense so that helps quite a bit. Brandon and I weren’t sure what we were going to do, if anything. So, back to sentence one...

“Our family needs a vacation!” Brandon declared Monday late afternoon about 4:00PM. “What would you think about us getting away tonight for a couple of days?”
“I think its a little late notice for tonight” I, being the rational one said.

I won’t give you conversational details but it concluded with a bunch of irrational spontaneous comments (Brandon) and rational “are you kidding me” comments (Rachael). Then he did it. He pulled the veto card! Now, here I have two plays. 1.) Have an attitude because I didn’t get my way and because he is being unreasonable or 2.) Go with it and just have a good ole time. I wish the good little girl in me would always choose play number two buuuut this is not always the case my friends. (I know, and you thought I was perfect.) So, on Monday night it is slightly possible I started out with play number one and then switched over to play number two half way through the first quarter. After Brandon purchased the hotel rooms I knew this was more than just talk. We were really headed “out of town” a.s.a.p (As soon as packed)! Who cares if it doesn’t make since to pay for a hotel room 10 miles from home. This Werner family was going on vacation and we were going to like it!

So what did we do for fun and entertainment? We went to Norman, Oklahoma! The girls did great in the car. (Always a concern on vacations.) We stayed at a hotel with a swimming pool, which we took advantage of, shopped and played at the Sooner Fashion Mall, ate a several great restaurants, had late night wings and edemame, watched a movie in the dollar theater, and laughed and had a good time as a family!

Please prepare yourself for the following statement…I Rachael, admit that my mature rational thinking would have been boring and normal and that Brandon made the right, irrational spontaneous call on this one. If I had it to do over again I would pay for the hotel room 10 miles from home so we could have a family vacation right here!!! I am glad he played the veto and I was wrong, he was right. There, I said it. Whew!

It really was so much fun and Brandon was right, we needed a vacation! Thank you Brandon for balancing out this boring, rational wife of yours with a veto and a little spontaneity every once in a while! But, please don’t get too carried away. :)


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mission Week 2010 - The Mission Won't Stop

What satan has meant for evil, God means for good! No matter what happens our famiily is resolved; we will follow Christ by leading people to Jesus. Another opportunity to lead people to Jesus is taking place this
July 27- August 5...

Mission Week 2010 at Western Hills Church is just around the corner! This is a ministry that is close to our family's heart... especially Dad. Last year the Lord used Mission Week to spark a vision that has turned into The Mission at Western Hills Church. There were forty-seven registered salvation decisions at Mission Week last year. Since that week, there has been an additional 174 salvation decisions and 80 baptisms through The Mission projects at Western Hills! That equals well over 200 salvation decisions in less than one year! God is moving in the hearts of the people at Western Hills and using us to lead people to a personal relationship with Him.

Mission Week’s Mission Statement:
Reaching the community surrounding Western Hills Church with the gospel of Jesus Christ through acts of service, ministry to youth and children, and serving public officials.

These videos recap the events that happened during Mission Week 2009. I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and watch these videos so you can become more familiar with The Mission at Western Hills.

Mission Week 2009 – Week 1 Video

This video is a recap of Mission Week 2009's week one activities. The video includes sharing the gospel, work projects, back-to-school bash, the beginning of the Palma house project, and a weather miracle.

Mission Week 2009 – Week 2 Video

This video continues recaping Mission Week 2009 events. Video includes basketball camps, prayer meetings, school supply give-a-way, medical clinics, and finishing the Palma home.

Mission Week 2010 is open to anyone who is interested in reaching the lost and loving them to Jesus. There are several events taking place this year. Click here to view several PDF documents containing details on Mission Week 2010. To print volunteer registration forms for this event, please visit http://www.westernhillschurch.com/. You can also look for Mission Week 2010 as an event on facebook.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Dad. We will give another update in the near future. Most of all, thank you for praying for this event as we continue The Mission to reach the lost. We hope you will join us; whether by joining Western Hills or by simply reaching your neighbor who needs Jesus.

Who will you win in 2010?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Evil Serpent Now Where it Belongs!

While weed eating Thursday night Brandon accidentally chopped a snake that was UNDER OUR HOUSE!!! Ok, you have to understand, I am a country girl. I love good hard outdoor work. Killing bugs and spiders doesn’t bother me. Dirt? Bring it on. But snakes? Put me near a snake and I will squeel like a little girl and might even end up in a fetal position in a safe place.

(ok, fine. this is just how my imagination saw the snake but still...)

Actually, correction, I would try to find a safe place but it would be pointless because with snakes there is no safe place! So, now I must walk around with my eyes on guard searching for the nasty creatures. And I can’t just look down either. No, no, no my experience has found snakes to also be lurking above me. I walk with heavy feet hoping to scare the things before I see them. Now that I think about it that might not be the best idea. Cuz if I see one and then it disappears before it is killed…pandemonium. This happened once when I was a little girl. Early one morning mom walked in the bathroom to find a snake on the floor. Dad was already gone and no one else was up so she quickly went to get the phone to call 911. No just kidding, but help was needed! Papa Tuter was the one who got the blessed call. Besides where we lived Papa’s response time was much faster than 911’s even with him still being asleep upon the incoming of the call. By this time I was awake but the trouble had only begun. Mom, when calling for help, let that blasted snake out of her sight for just a moment, but that is all it took. I think the snake probably felt the hostility toward him and capitalized on mom’s error. That’s all it takes with snakes. One tiny error in judgment and boom you are now the preyed not the predator. Dad was already at work that morning but mom insisted he come home and find that snake! Mom and I bonded in a special way that morning while we huddled up on the kitchen table, feet and all, waiting for dad to save us. After the thirty minute drive home from the city dad patiently coaxed us down from our perch. Dad didn’t go back to work that day but instead went through who knows how many bottles of caulk sealing every hole in our house just to mom’s likings. Problem was dad did his job well. (Mom made sure of it!) But that snack hadn’t made a dash toward nature. Oh, no he went behind enemy lines! And now he had no way back out. One month later. Yes, ONE MONTH. I was going to pick up some toys that were on the floor in mom’s room but right before I did a slight movement caught her eye. The snack was underneath a night stand in her room. This time there was no error in judgment. Fortunately dad was home so I ran to get him. To the rescue he came. The snake would not see another sunrise.

I feel better after getting this out. I think it has helped in my coping process as you can clearly see I have been scarred by such snake experiences. I don’t wonder for a minute why in the garden of Eden the devil became the serpent. The creatures are just that..devilish.

And don’t give me that “it isn’t poisonous” or “it will eat bugs and mice”. It doesn’t help. (Refer to paragraph one.)

Sleep Tight but with one eye open!

(actual snake)


Random Thought: What if that was the momma and there are babies under our house? OR what if that was the baby and now there is a really mad momma?!! AHHHH!!!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Let's get up to date! by Rachael

Dad, let’s get you up to date! :)

April 9th (before the accident) you helped us lay do some lawn work including laying sod. You should be pleased to know we managed, with the help of others who watered for us a few times after the accident, to keep the sod alive and well! The girls love having a place to play! Thanks for the help!

The day of the accident more than 200 people came through the waiting area to give us their prayers love and support.. We hosted a prayer meeting in the chapel and we waited. Friends brought dinner for us. The Ruckel’s kept the girls so I didn’t have to worry about anything. It’s good to have friends. In the days that followed, we had more food than we could eat, more love than we deserved, and more willing ready hands to help in any way we needed. I am glad to be a part of the body of Christ!

April 22nd was Elizabeth’s 3rd birthday! I know, I can hardly believe it too! I feel like she is 5 not 3. She acts so grown up. All of our hearts were at the hospital and none of us really wanted to venture out. For Elizabeth a party isn’t the location it is the people, presents, cake and ice cream and we had it all. Visiting hours were closed from 6:30-8:00 each morning and evening so we had the party during that time. It worked out great. Originally I had found a place outside on the OU grounds to host the party but the chances of rain were too high and it was really windy so Grandma found a quite secluded lobby. It was perfect and Lizzy had a great time! Amanda Sauer made the cake for me. We like decorating cakes together and I figured cake making was one thing I could take off my to do list. Of course, Amanda was more than willing and she did a FANTASTIC job making Elizabeth a Dora cake! I couldn't tell her thank you enough times! Lizzy still talks about it! Her bithday was good for us. It was good to have a reason to find our happy.

One week to the day after the accident we had a big training for all of the Character Focus Conferences. It went really well and then conference season swept us up. And just as fast as it had come it was over. The Lord did some awesome things! Brandon really stepped up dad… you would have been proud to see it. I think he is keeping something from us because he can mulit-task. (GASP!) Certainly it wasn’t all him though. Many people filled in the gaps and together with the Lord blessing the conferences were a success. The Ruckel’s volunteered and worked so many hard hours and long nights. They really, really helped; as did many others.

In May we celebrated Mother’s day. Justin got the Chicken Pox so we waited until a later date to celebrate. We all went to eat at Outback Steakhouse…you bought. :) Thank You, it was very good.

Lauren’s Birthday was also in May as well as Britt and Lauren’s 1st wedding anniversary! We didn’t do anything together as a family but her and Britt went to Dallas for a little get-a-way.

Oh, yeah guess what!?! They blew up the old cowboy’s stadium! I know! Look up ‘Texas Stadium Implosion’ on youtube and you can see it. Go Cowboys! I’m glad we can watch football together again this year. Elizabeth sees anything with OU on it and she says “look mom, Boomer Sooner!”. However, we need to make sure to get the OU message through loud and clear. There are people that I trusted with my children who taught them “Go Pokes”!!! At the breakfast table randomly Elizabeth says “look mom, this is how we do ‘Go Pokes’”. I look over and she has both hands in the gun position. “Do you want to do it?” she asks “No, Elizabeth I don’t want to do it! Boomer Sooner!” I replied. Even Katherine does it! I trust you and Brandon will fix this problem.

The summer has come and we are in full summer activity mode. Lots of swimming! I always make sure Katherine has her life jacket on before we even get to the back yard because I’m pretty sure she would just go straight in. By the end of the summer she will know how to get to the top of the water and to the side by herself because if not the odds of her drowning are way to high. Elizabeth on the other hand is very cautious. She stands in the “I’m getting ready to jump in from the side” pose for what seems like forever. The other day Brandon worked with her for over an hour before she finally overcame her fear and jumped to him. Since then though everyday she says she wants to swim and although you can see her reservations she will trust Brandon and jump to him. Her main concern is that she doesn’t wasn’t to go under. Katherine does not share that concern…at all.
It takes Liz a long time to work up the courage to jump to daddy but each time we swim she gets better!

Katherine just chillin'!

And of course since the accident Mom has been driving your truck. She painted it pink and got a zebra print cover for the steering wheel. No, just kidding. We would never mess with your truck! You have taught us well. I even got to drive your truck for a while because we did the Garage Sale and I needed to haul stuff. I had it for about a week. I liked driving your truck. I could hear your voice in the truck when I was getting on the highway…”move over chicken lips, I am bigger than you are.” Hehe.

I’m glad you are reading this dad. We are all really grateful you are still here. What a testimony of the goodness of the Lord we all have. I have never seen the righteous forsaken. In death or life we will say blessed be the name of the Lord. I pray often for all those who have read the blog throughout this accident. Life is short and you may not have tomorrow to get to know Jesus. Get to know Him today! Don’t wait!