Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Trip To The PA Renaissance Faire 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Makayla Update:

Update to this update:

Well Makayla has been officially moved from critical to STABLE! Praise The Lord!!! Our prayers are working! Please keep it up! Had a great report from the dr's and they are weaning her from the last iv medicine today!!! All meds are now going through the feeding tube. Should be moving her out of ICU in the next day or too. wooooo hoopooo!! Thank you all so much, what a mighty God we serve!!

Makayla Update:

From now on all updates I post will be gotten from Jeannette, since I am heading home right now. Last I heard, Makayla is doing pretty good. She still has the breathing tube out and is breathing great on her own, so it looks like she won't need it back in at all! Also, they are already talking about moving her to the acute care floor, and then soon (don't know exact time frame), moving her to Seattle Children's Hospital. She is more alert today, moving spontaneously and in response to stimuli like getting pinched. She is making attempts at grabbing her feeding tube.

Now, its hard for people to understand. She is not responsive at all to commands like "Squeeze my hand." She is not talking or even making noise. She is barely conscious, not really responding to anything around her. She will from time to time focus on your eyes and some times on the TV. She has some very basic purposeful movements like reaching for her
feeding tube. It's hard to imagine, but she is not, right now, any where near the "normal" Makayla. She has a very long road ahead of her. And in all truth, (I don't personally believe this but it is possible), this may be all that she recovers.

I'm not trying to pessimistic or negative; just trying to paint as real of a picture as possible for those that can't see her. I may post a short video I did yesterday with my iPhone so people can see more what I'm talking about. She will be recovering for months to a year or more.

Now, she has made miraculous recovery since she's been here! Don't get me wrong. The doctors didn't even really think she would make this good of an improvement, so we praise God for the miracle He was continuing to work! Even some of her nurses and doctors are referring to her as a miracle child! I just know some people have asked if she is walking and talking, etc, yet. She is nowhere near that stage of recovery.

The movements she is having right now are completely spontaneous and called myoclonic movements. It is a result of her brain "rewiring" around the damaged parts and trying to figure out how to work everything again. She will more than likely have to relearn everything. She may have memory problems both long and short term. She is not sitting up or anything like that either. They may try putting her in a type of wheel chair in the next day or two and wheeling her around to see how she does. She has made tons of baby-step improvements. And right now, those tiny improvements are in many ways huge!

I want to thank everyone again who have prayed, sent messages, letters, cards, and given money and other things to us! You all have been a huge blessing through all of this and it is everyone's prayers that have, and will continue to get us through! My updates may not be as regular as they have been since I have to get back to "real" life. But I will try and update everyone as often as I can.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Birthday In Heaven ~ Father Edmund Regensburger

Father Regensburger, noted
catechist, dies at 89
Father Edmund Regensburger, widely
known in Puerto Rico both for the
catechism classes he taught and the
doctrine program he televised,
died Jan. 23 in New Smyrna Beach, FL
A native of
Philadelphia, Father
Regensburger was
born October 21,
1919, to Charles
and Florence Fox
Regensburger of St.
Boniface Parish.
Ordained in 1946, his assignments were:
Puerto Rico, Tampa, FL, Opa Locka, FL,
and Wachula, FL.
He was a long-time minister to Spanish speaking
people in Florida who came
from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Central
and South America. At 85, he was still
driving himself to celebrate Mass each
Sunday at a chapel 50 miles away.

Baptizing my granddaughter Maggie(His Great Niece)

During a family visit to New Smyrna Beach

Feeding Maggie

"There are those who will lead us
Protect us each step of the way
From beginning to end
For each moment forever each day
Such a gift has been given
It can never be taken away"
 John Denver

Happy Birthday In Heaven "Uncle" Father Ed!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mr. Boogedy (1986) A Fun Kid Friendly Halloween Movie

This movie was one of my daughters favorite Halloween movies from their childhood:

Fun Fact the actress Katherine Kelly Lang who plays the lady ghost Widow Marian now plays Brooke on The Bold And The Beautiful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Daughter Jen's Pumpkin Art

Jen made this for her friend Heather
So, so, cute!

Inspiring the neighbor boy to create

Makayla's Updates

Makayla Update 10/20/2012:

There's not a lot to update about Makayla today. Yesterday, they tried taking her breathing tube out. For 3 hours, she labored to breath. The doctors decided it wasn't good for her to labor so much, and would be detrimental to her improvement, so they put the tube back in. Many factors played into her struggle; the pneumoni
a, her vocal cords and throat was swollen from the tube, and she has had a machine breathing for her for almost 3 weeks. For Jeannette and I, it was a setback. And a discouraging one at that. I know several thoughts have crossed my mind in the last 36 hours. I'm pretty sure much of the same have crossed her mind.

Today, she has pretty much rested. They took her off some meds they had her on to prepare her for extubation. She was more awake and alert. One nurse even recognized how Makayla recognized my mom at one point. It is quite the feeling when you see and know that she recognizes you. She is still not moving much with purpose, or in response to you telling her to do something. She has a lot of spontaneous movement though, which is good at this point. I do know that whenever she is awake and I am holding her hand, she squeezes it constantly; sometimes quite hard! LOL I prefer to think of that as purposeful and in recognition of me and not just spontaneous.

They may try to extubate her again on Monday or Tuesday of this coming week. Lord willing, she'll be able to breathe stronger on her own and the other factors will be improved. While it is discouraging, we also know that it is in the Lord's timing. He knows when it will be best to remove the tube. We are just praying that they don't try again until that time.

The hardest part for me right now is that I will likely be leaving this next week to go home. As much as I want to stay here until she is all better, we do have 3 kids at home who very much need mom and dad as well. They have done awesome through all of this. And we are blessed to have such wonderful family, friends and church family who have taken care of them and been there for them during this time. But I really feel it is time I head home for a little while.

I cannot express how difficult this is. Not only do I have to leave Makayla, but I have to leave Jeannette here by herself. Not that she can't handle it. I firmly know and believe she can; she is an incredibly strong woman who continually blows my mind! But it is still hard. I have found myself fretting and worrying a bit more over the last couple of days. But the thing that is constantly running through my hear and mind is that same verse, "Be still and know that I am God."

It is so incredibly difficult to be still; to be quiet, cease from striving, to let go and put your hands down. Worry, questions, and fears are constantly bombarding us. Even more so now as I prepare to leave. I was always intrigued by the wording of a verse in Hebrews chapter 4. In verse 11, it says, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest..." Now let me say right off the bat, this has NOTHING to do with one's salvation. But there is a rest we have in Christ. A rest that consists of the peace of God which passeth all understanding. Yet, we have to labour to enter into that rest. We have to labor to be still.

When I read this passage, I often think of Martha and Mary. Martha was cumbered with much service. She was like many of us; running around incessantly, always doing something, never taking a moment to "stop and smell the roses." Then there is Mary; quietly sitting at the feet of Jesus. What did Martha miss by all her service and fussing? Could she have missed a tremendous blessing because she refused to be still?

Jeannette and I may not be cumbered with service exactly. We are cumbered with cares, worries, and fears. Yes, we try to give them to the Lord every moment of every day. Yes, we try to be still. But what blessings could we miss by not being still? What is the Lord trying to tell us that we can't hear because we are not still? When Elijah was fearing for his life, he was placed in a hard place and all he heard was the still small voice of God. How often do we miss this still small voice because we refuse to be still?

Many of you understand how difficult it is to let go and be still. You have been through difficulties and trials that have bogged your heart and mind down with fears and worries. Yet, if we are not careful to be, and remain still, we might miss what the Lord is doing. If we're too busy, we may not hear His voice; we may not feel His touch; we may not see Him and how He is working in and through us. Lord, help us to be still and know that you are God! Calm our hearts and minds. Enable us through the Holy Spirit to let go of whatever it is and put our hands down. Give us the peace of God to cease from striving.

Makayla Update 10/17/2012
Tonight was a pretty neat night in some ways. I got to spend a lot of time with Makayla awake for most of the night. I'm not sure why, but she just wouldn't go to sleep. One of the neat things is that she actually was looking at me! I could tell she wasn't just staring blankly, like she had been, but was engaged and focused on my eyes. She wasn't quite able to move her eyes to follow me. She did a few times; but for the most part wasn't able to. But not only could she see me, but I could definitely tell she recognized me. For me, and I'm sure Jeannette feels the same way, that is awesome!

I am standing in awe of what the Lord is doing in and through Makayla! Earlier yesterday, she was supposed to have surgery to repair and stabilize her fractured pelvis. The surgeon did some tests before the surgery and found she did not need the surgery! The Lord had healed her to the point her pelvis was completely stable!

(I forgot to post this on Caring Bridge, but the doctors are going to take and the breathing tube and see how she does breathing completely on her own. All night, she has been on the absolute lowest amount of support the ventilator can give. She has done great, and is ready for the tube to come out. Please pray that she continues to breath on her own and that they don't have to put the tube back in!)

Not only was she able to see and recognize me tonight, but she was quite the wiggle worm. She moved both her arms and both of her legs; small movements, but movement nonetheless! In fact, at one point, she picked up her left arm about 6 inches above the pillow it was resting on, and moved it from her side to her belly. It was almost like she was trying to reach out to me as I sat next to her right side holding her right hand. Then, several times, I would be holding her hand, and tell her I needed to let go to do something. Seemingly in response, she would squeeze my hand tighter. It was as if she didn't want me to leave her side for any reason. It is so awesome to see the Lord healing her day-by-day! And there is no feeling like your daughter being able to recognize you and squeeze your hand!

Maybe it's just my imagination, but it really seemed to me that she didn't want me to leave her side. I spent most of the night right next to her, holding her hand. It was as if she longed for me to be there next to her. What is amazing, is how much she is teaching me about my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Her seeming to want me never to leave her side during the night made me think about if that's the way I feel about the Lord. Do I long for the Lord to be always near? Do I desire His constant presence each and every moment of each and every day?

Now, the Lord never leaves my side. He said He will never leave me nor forsake me. If there is at any time distance between me and the Lord, it is not Him that moved away. But, I have to wonder, why do I allow myself to move away? David wrote in Psalm 42:1-2a: As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:

Do I thirst after the living God? Is my desire that there is never any distance between me and Him? I never left Makayla's room; I may have a couple of times, sat across the room for a little while. But that wasn't enough for her. She wanted me to be right next to her. And that is more than fine with me! Is that, though, how I feel about God? It shouldn't be enough to just know that He is near. Jesus said that we are to abide in him; not near him. James 4:8 says, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."

Will I continue to draw nigh to Him? I know that I have never been closer to Him than I have through this trial. But what happens when the trial is over? Will I continue to draw nigh to Him and depend on Him like never before? Will I want Him always, right by my side, all the time? I pray that I will; and that I will never allow any distance between my Saviour and I.

Monday, October 15, 2012

He Will Never Fosake You...

The following is a Facebook post written by a friend of my friend's daughter(a lifelong friend and former neighbor from Alpha).  His daughter Makayla was severely injured when she was hit by a car in Montana September 29th.  She was flown to a hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Please keep them in your prayers and read his amazing message.

Receiving an award
The EEG came off today. They feel her brain activity is normal enough that they are no longer terribly concerned about seizure activity. They will just keep a close eye on her for any movements that are indicative of seizures. There haven't been a lot of changes or improvements today, well, yesterday throughout the day. They are still trying to get her heart rate and temperature to lower.

In about an hour and a half, she goes into surgery to fix and stabilize her pelvis. It's pretty major surgery from what we've been told. But praise the Lord, she is stable enough to go through it. However, it is a very uncertain time. She will be gone for a few hours at least. One never knows what can go wrong during surgery. Yet, there is God, still saying, "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

Every morning, at some point, I go for a walk outside. I always end up at the same place; a viewing platform behind the hospital that over looks I-5, downtown Seattle, Pudget Sound, Century Link Stadium, and Safeco Field. It over looks much of the outlying area to the south as well. It is by no means quiet; traffic on the interstate, even at 2 or 3 am is busier than any interstate anywhere in Montana at any time of the day. But yet, I find solace there. I find a quietness that allows me to visit with the Lord. I love going there every morning. Something about all that darkness broken by little pieces of light here and there. I don't really know, but it has become "my spot." I get to do a lot of thinking there.
Before the injury

It has been amazing to see all the improvements that Makayla has made. She still has so long to go, but she has come so far! I love that her eyes are open more now. Every so often, she'll open her eyes throughout the night. She just lays there, staring blankly ahead. But it's something amazing. When she first wakes up, and opens her eyes, there always seems to be this uncertainty on her face, almost a fear, that she's alone. Maybe I imagine this. But I always will go up to her, take her hand, and tell her Daddy is still here. But honestly, it seems to calm her down. Its like when she wakes up, she feels alone, as if no one is there. But when she hears my voice, and feels my touch, she calms down and relaxes, and goes back to sleep. I'm sure its the same way when Jeannette is here during the day.

Now, I don't think she can see anything right now. At least, she doesn't lock her focus on anything as far as we can tell. She hears my voice, feels my presence, and knows that I am there. And that calms her down; it gives her peace. Even though she can't see me; yet she knows I am there and it calms her down.

Funny thing is, that is the way I have often felt throughout the last two weeks. I wish so much I could see God. I have talked with Him more than I probably ever have. I have cried out to Him time and time again. Yet I can't see Him.

When God says to be still and know that He is God, the Hebrew word for "know" means: "to know (or ascertain by seeing)" and can also mean to recognize, observe, as well as many other things. But I don't have to physically see to know. Just like with Makayla right now, the Lord shows Himself to us in ways we can know; ways we can feel His presence.

Like I said yesterday, last week was a week of uncertainty, fear, and doubt. Not so with this week. Although there are a ton of unanswered questions. We still have no idea how much more she'll recover, or even if, she'll recover any more than she already has. Yet, I don't feel that doubt. I don't have that fear any longer. And when those things try to creep in, the Lord "steps" up to me, takes my hand, and tells me He is right here; that He is not going anywhere. Just like I do with Makayla. And, just like Makayla, it calms me down and gives me peace.

The Lord tells us in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

The word for "careful" means to be anxious. God is telling us not to be anxious about anything. We can just go to Him any time, bring Him all of our cares and concerns. But we need to remember to do it with thanksgiving. Jeannette and I are learning what it means to give thanks in everything. People may be shocked, but I do thank God for what has happened. I thank Him because of how He is working in our lives. And not in Jeannette's and mine only, but in so many other lives.

I cannot number how many people have told me that they have never been closer to the Lord than they are now. To me, that is something to be thankful for. There are lives being touched by Makayla that may never have been touched any other way. People whose relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is that much closer because of the tragedy and hardship we have gone through. I told one of my daughters that even if only one person came to place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and His death on the cross as payment for their sin, this all would be worth it all!

I don't know what hardships any one else is going through right now. Some people I do; most I don't. But just be still, and know that He is God. And that even if you can't see Him, He is there, with you through it all, and will never leave nor forsake you at any time!
Update since this morning: 
Makayla Update:

Another miracle today! The surgeon did some tests and found that Makayla's pelvis, whole fractured, is stable and congruous. Point being, it is fine and no surgery is actually needed!!! They weren't able to test it earlier because of her brain injury. So God heals and does yet another miracle!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bud's Bread Recipe

Anyone who knew my dad William Dunwell aka Bud, knew that he was a fantastic baker!  He was a tool and die maker by trade, an entrepreneur, and very creative.  He was also a simple man raised during the depression.  

Dad would experiment with recipes and come up with his own recipes.  Aside from his famous cream puffs, he was also known for his wonderful bread! Here is what I found when looking for Dad's bread recipe: 

This recipe was handwritten by my dad most likely in the late 1970s.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lilyanna's Sleepover With Grammy

Crafting A Halloween Wreath

My granddaughter Lily and I created this Halloween Wreath by using strips of cheap material from Walmart. We tied them around a circular frame, best to use a metal coat hanger only we didn't have one, so I used a Maple branch from our tree, bent it round and fastened it with tape. We then tied the strips side by side all the way around until the wreath was full. Then I added an orange ribbon to the top. She was so proud to give it to her mother as a gift made with her own little hands. 

Lilyanna's mommy, my daughter Jennifer so loved her wreath that she decided to start making them to sell.  She purchased a box of wire coat hangers and several bundles of material from a second hand shop and started making some wreaths.  Here is the first one  that she made while watching a movie on Netflix: 

 Baking An Apple Pie

Lilyanna loves to cook and bake.  She decided she wanted to have apples on her apple pie instead of fall leaves.  We thoroughly washed one of my apple sun catchers and she used that to cut out the apples.  She then painted them and even came up with the idea to shade the apple to make it look more realistic.  I taught her how to use parchment to roll out the dough.  I so love using parchment paper when baking.  It makes it easier and much cleaner!

The pie was delicious! 

The yellow flowers in the background were a gift from the birdies! They must have planted them in my yard next to the garage!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thank A Teacher Day ~ The Late Miss Mary Riggio~ Alpha Public School

Miss Riggio not only taught us to write, but she inspired a love of great literature! Who doesn't remember how she had us all memorize the Prelude to Evangeline by Longfellow?  

This is the forest primeval.  The murmuring pines

and hemlocks,

Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct

in the twilight,

Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and pro-


Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their


Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neigh-

boring ocean

Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail

of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts

that beneath it

Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland

the voice of the huntsman?

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Aca-

dian farmers,

Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the


Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image

of heaven?

Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for-

ever departed!

Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts

of October

Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them

far o’er the ocean.

Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village

of Grand-Pré

Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures

and is patient,

Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s


List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines

of the forest;

List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

She took her dedication to a higher level with me. She took me under her wing, and gave me self confidence! She chose me to speak at our 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony and practiced diction with me on a regular basis.  On Graduation night she hugged me and made me feel very special!

We all memorized this song.


Many who read this will be shocked because Miss Riggio did not show her soft side very often. She was a stern disciplinarian, and a perfectionist!   Everyone got a protractor in the beginning of the year, and we all used them to make sure that every word was properly spaced on the papers we turned in.  If it wasn't perfect it was handed back to you and you promptly fixed it before turning it in again! She wanted us to do our very best!

Monday, October 1, 2012


༺♥༻ Wishing ༺♥༻
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do.
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true.
Rid your mind of selfish motives,
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.

Do you wish the world were wiser?
Well, suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart;
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it, ere you give.

Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
As you pass along the way,
For the pleasures of the many
May be ofttimes traced to one.
As the hand that plants an acorn
Shelters armies from the sun.