Nov. 2012

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Beginnings

Last week marked new beginnings for our family.

Kyle competed in his first triathlon on Saturday morning. I also did the triathlon, which was my second. Kyle did a great job! He worked really hard for 2 months training. i started about 9 min ahead of him in a different wave. He passed me about 1.5 miles into the run (last leg of race). My biggest goal was to not walk during the run and I was able to accomplish that. We're hoping to both do another one before the end of the season in early October.

Prema started school again on Tuesday. She is now in 3rd grade and thus has new teachers and classmates. She spends the morning with her Language Arts teacher and the afternoon with her math, science and social studies teacher. Her first week with the change she did very well. Both teachers have been extremely accommodating and are really trying hard to keep her time structured and consistent with home so that she feels safe. Hopefully the trend continues. We were very worried she would spiral down hill with all the changes.

Isaac started school this week as well. We are doing a homeschool curriculum this year. We meet once a week with other Classical Conversation families at a church about 5 minutes from our house for 3 hours. During that time a tutor goes over each week's new material for both students and moms, so I stay in the room with Isaac learning myself. Classical education believes in training your brain to memorize during the early years of schooling so Isaac is working on memorizing History (from creation to present), Latin, scripture verses, English grammar, science vocabulary, geography, and math facts. I am responsible for teaching him reading, writing and math on my own time.

Eli has started going to kid's church during mass and went to Tot's class during Isaac's first school day. Eli doesn't jump into new things too quickly. He tends to sit back and observe before he exposes his animated and rough personality. He definitely prefers being home so most of the time he will probably be with Grandma Cullum when Isaac is in school instead of being at the Tot's class. At home Eli is potty training which means most of the time he is naked. He has also started to love playing the ukulele and compose new songs singing about his life and life around him. The naked ukulele player/singer is often performing for the family.

here are some random photos of the family. I'm not up to date yet on uploading so these are a little old.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Triathlon for Kate Clark

August 2, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

On May 29th 2009 I received some sad news from my family. My cousin Kate had been involved in a freak accident resulting in a severe spinal cord injury. That Friday Kate was volunteering at her son’s school supervising kids during recess. As she passed under the slide a boy jumped off the slide and landed on Kate’s head. After arriving at the hospital the doctors diagnosed a severe spinal cord injury at C4, the very same injury of Christopher Reeves. Kate was paralyzed. That same night Kate endured 5 hours of surgery. Immediately following her surgery doctors could not fully determine Kate’s prognosis. Only time would tell how much mobility and function Kate would regain.

Kate’s story is unfolding as a miracle. I myself am in awe of God’s faithfulness in this situation. The very next day after surgery Kate experienced a “heavy sensation” in all four of her limbs. She was also able to sit and stand twice with assistance from her physical therapists. Kate was progressing so well that she was moved to a rehab hospital one week after the accident (a week sooner than expected). Through the power of prayer, determination on Kate’s part and wonderful therapy, Kate is now able to walk unassisted after only 1 month! Kate still has many small and gross motor skills she is working diligently to regain. Her spirit and faith is strong.

I write asking for you to become a part of Kate’s story. Kate is married with 2 young children. Due to Kate’s injury her family does not have her income to help with family expenses. On July 14th Kate was discharged from the rehab hospital because insurance would no longer cover her stay. Kate’s doctors and therapist have said she will require about one more year of outpatient therapy. Her insurance does not cover outpatient therapy or the medicine she needs to keep the nerve pain under control.

Since Kate’s accident I have offered each time I run, bike and swim as an intercessory for Kate; praying that she too will one day again enjoy those same activities with her family. Now I would like to take one more step in helping Kate. I will be competing in my second triathlon on August 22nd to raise money on Kate’s behalf . I hope that you will be a part of Kate’s journey toward healing by sponsoring me. If you would like to sponsor me please send checks to Kate’s church. Her church has set up a foundation for Kate to receive tax-deductible donations to help cover her medical costs.

Please send checks with “Triathlon for Kate Clark” in the memo portion to:

Church of the Servant

3835 Burton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546

In Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness,
Michelle Cullum