31 May 2010

Packing it in

For our second weekend in the mountains the rest of our family joined us. Having all of us in a trailer was quite a fun experience and Shawn and I didn't sleep the entire time they were visiting. My 6' 1" husband, myself and sometimes Liam in a full size bed was not an easy task. One night we had a severe storm come through and we lost power for hours. We didn't have anything for light and it was really dark. We had to borrow light up toys from Laura to be able to see!

We did get to spend the entire day on Sunday hiking and taking photos:

The Lump Overlook

Cascades Waterfall

Hiking the Linn Cove Viaduct trail.

Flat Rock Trail

Mystery Hill

Found the house and land we want to buy.

Pure exhaustion.

Can you believe we did all of that in one day!?

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28 May 2010

The future is surreal.

We are home! It's so good to be back. And so weird to walk into your home after being gone for almost a month. It's surreal. The house doesn't look like my own. The walls don't look like the same color I remember them. The carpet seems a lighter beige than I thought. It always takes a bit for me to get used to being back. But I am thankful all the same for the opportunity we have had to take Liam to get oxygen treatments.

Liam has done great so far. I can't believe he is giving out high fives now. That is surreal to be sure. We have dreams of what Liam will do one day and watching anything play out is amazing.

It's amazing to watch him think it through and watch him work out how he's supposed to get his arm up to hit my hand. It's neat to watch him process things. It's a big deal for him. He now knows he actually does have control over his arms. Even though his control is limited, he is started to grasp concepts of purposeful movements.

This week started our "intensive" therapy. He now will be getting therapy for 4 hours a week. The most we've ever had was three so I'm excited we are getting an extra hour. We do have to drive 45 minutes for him to get there but I'm just thankful he's getting it so regularly now.

Liam also started speech therapy (this time it's one on one). We are working on teaching him bubbles and pop along with the motions to pop the bubbles. He really likes to watch them and I'm hoping after this last round of oxygen treatments the barriers in Liam's brain will start to fall away so he can start to make sounds.

Liam is getting to a good place where he would benefit from intensive physical therapy at a center that would work with him for hours a day for weeks on end. We are still in the research stage because when you shell out 12-16 grand on a center, you want to make sure it's the right one for you. We got the go ahead from out PT today and she said that within the next 12 months would a be a great time...especially after Liam doing oxygen treatments. She said if God made things fall into place and we could raise the money and get in sooner then by all means we should go now.


We are praying about it. And we are trying to figure out how to raise that kind of money. God is able to break down the barriers to make it happen if it's truly what Liam needs. We are excited for what God is going to do in the very near future.

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22 May 2010


Judy (Bob's wife) brought her pet bird, Jazzy, over to visit with the kids yesterday at the chamber. He was a big hit. I wouldn't want to own one but it sure was cute when someone else was taking care of it. It said 'Hello' and 'I'm Jazzy'. Liam really enjoyed petting it.
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19 May 2010


A few weeks ago I was researching my family tree a little more in depth when I came across some exciting facts. On my mom's dad's side, leaves were popping up (I use ancestry.com) and for the first time I was able to take a male parental family line and follow it for generations, eventually all the way back to the 1500's into Scotland!

I found out that on my grandpa's lineage, his great grandparents, were major players in the founding of Burke County in NC. They owned thousands of acres, 34 slaves and he was a sheriff and coroner. Because he was so rich and influential and because a town out in western NC is named after them, there was numerous articles about the Greenlee family online. One of the articles stated that a cemetery near here had many of my ancestors buried there. Since it wasn't far from Miracle Mountain I knew I wanted to go see the cemetery when we got out here.

When I got to researching where it was located I found information stating that the cemetery was listed on the national register of historical places and was now closed to traffic. I called the number listed for the society and asked if we could come see it. She said sure and said she'd keep it unlocked so we could go through the gate and to just lock it when we left.

I was excited. A cemetery all to ourselves!

This is the entrance.

The cemetery is at the very top of a large hill on a large chunk of land that had been in the family. You can see the slant of the ground in the photo below. Once you get to the edge of the markers, the ground slopes steeply and on the north side is the Catawba River. It's amazing to think back to the 1700's and how they had to carry their dead up to the top of this hill, to a beautiful spot, for their final resting place.

It's probably creepy but I love cemeteries. I love looking at the lives that have gone and I think, wondering about who they were and what their life was like. And to go to a cemetery with ancestors of mine from the 1700's was incredibly fascinating. There were several babies. The baby/children markers always get me. I feel like I have a connection to the emotions that that family experienced and I think of how that tragedy was dealt with in that time and place. Did they talk about them. Did they honor them on birthdays? What did they do?

We had the cemetery to ourselves and after looking at all the markers we sat down for a relaxing lunch in the shadow of family.

For the most part the markers were in decent shape. A few had been broken and the stones eroded of all words, but if you do enough online research you can find the surveys done of cemeteries showing the information that you can't find on the markers anymore.

After lingering for a while and taking pictures we decided to head out.

It was definitely a neat stop for our first Sunday off.

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13 May 2010

Miracle Mountain Families

Tonight all of the families currently diving here at Miracle Mountain were treated out to a free dinner at Shatley Springs Inn. We received a family buffet with all the fixin's: ham, fried chicken, potatoes, corn, green beans, cabbage, stewed tomatoes, beans, rolls and cobbler with ice cream for dessert. It was delicious and my stomach is full of displeasure with the amount I ate!

After eating, Bonnie, Laura and I headed to the back of the Inn to the curative spring water. Laura and I thought it would be funny to dunk Liam and Jon in the water. Bonnie wanted to see that because she thought it would be hilarious but we thought better of it after seeing it and just filled up our one gallon jugs. And at the very least, the water tastes really good.

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12 May 2010

Signs of encouragement

When you come somewhere with the hopes that a treatment might have the key to unlocking something for your child, you might look a little too closely for some positive sign that changes are taking place.

Which is what I really try NOT to do.

But sometimes you just can't help it. Any sign of anything is a big deal.

And I don't want to ever stop believing that God is able.

So, what's new with Liam?

He is regularly giving me and Rylie a "high five"! It's his version, not exactly an open hand high five, but what's so awesome is that he is trying to do it. And for the most part, when he tries, he's getting our hand.

He actually clapped his hands once this week when I asked him too. He knows what it means to clap his hands, he just can't physically do it but he is finally loosening up some in his shoulders and chest to get his arms in front of him and when I asked him to clap he did it. We are working on trying to get him to do it more often.


I was talking to Shawn today and as always when Liam saw the phone he wanted to hear his dad talk to him. I leaned down to give him the phone and I got distracted talking to Shawn again. As I was talking to him Liam started to whine and then cry (which HE never does) because he wanted to talk on the phone! As soon as I bent down and gave him the phone he started to get excited and was smiling from ear to ear.

That's huge!

Know why?

Liam was communicating!!

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06 May 2010

8 dives down

Liam has adapted quickly to his dives. The first two-three dives he cried going down but he's been doing wonderful every since. We are slowly getting into a new feeding and nap routine and he's starting to nap during the second dive.

The group we are in consists of Bonnie and her son Ben (on the spectrum and mild cp) Laura and Jonathon and us. That's it!

I've known Laura online since we were both preggo with our twin boys. We were on a message support group for twin pregnancies and both of our stories ended eerily similar. And now both of our boys are effected by CP. Although they are effected a bit differently they are affected the same in that they have arm issues and no head control. It's been so good to finally meet them both. We have so much in common.

Last night Bonnie and I took our kids out to a Mexican restaurant and had a great time eating and talking. Ben has taken to Rylie and sits with her and grabs her hand when she is around. Yesterday he took her cell phone from her lap and said, "Thank you for sharing!" Then he gave her his gorilla in return.

Yesterday Liam woke up with a high fever of 102. He's still adapting to the air and since it's still cool at night and we no longer have the humidity we are used to, his sinuses have taken a beating. He even has a dry cough right now. Thank God his fever disappeared before our first dive (only two hours later) because we wouldn't have been able to dive if he had had it!

Liam has been exhausted at the end of the day. Where normally he would take a while to fall asleep (he always falls asleep on my chest) he is asleep the moment I lay him down as of late. The other night I laid him on the bed, went around to the other side of the room to adjust the A/C and walked right back to his side of the bed where he was conked out. Last night, he sat perfectly still when I put him in my lap (sucking on his lip as you can see it in this pic) and then was out within seconds.

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04 May 2010

Back in the tank again.

Sorry for the post delay. It's been over a week since my last post which is highly unusual for me!


Liam and I arrived at Miracle Mountain on Sunday to start our next round of hbot. And we brought Rylie with us this time!

From May 2nd to May 25th we will be here in the mountains of NC again. Liam completed his first two dives yesterday. We only have 38 more to go. =)

This trip is somewhat bittersweet as we have been informed that MM might not be running any longer. Issues with staffing and the owners being in their twilight years means the hassles are outweighing the benefits. Of course, they know how much this place means to a lot of people and are considering running it for a few months out of the year instead of the 8-9 months that they have previously done.

Bob, the owner has had a very rough year. His dad, his daughter, and a good friend all passed away within months of each other and his wife's sister suffered a major stroke yesterday that it does not appear she will recover from. Yet, they still can smile and trust Jesus through it all.

Liam is doing well so far. Please keep us in your prayers for healing with the oxygen and that he would stay healthy in order to complete all the dives. His smile is cracking everyone up here..he's always so happy. He has a light that shines wherever he goes.

Yesterday Bob (affectionately known as Uncle Bob to all the kids) came up to Liam while I was holding him. Liam was looking the other way when Bob's booming voice said "Hey Buddy!" Liam startled and then turned his head toward Bob. Bob then asked Liam for a high five and Liam grinned his big grin and shot his hand up in the air to give Bob a high five.

It was absolutely adorable.

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