Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hit and Run

We had an interesting little event happen to us today. We went to church at 11:00. As we were leaving we pulled up the street past the church parking lot. A black Jaguar was pulling out of the parking lot as we were coming up the street. I saw that he was rolling out like he didn't see me there. I said to Josie that he wasn't stopping. All of a sudden he hit the gas to pull out into the street and I sped up. Luckily he didn't completely t bone me but did smash us pretty hard in the right back side. He hit us hard enough to push our car, make a loud sound and made us stop before we could drive again. Josie and I were both ok, but here is the worst part of the story....After we got hit I made a u-turn to talk to the person who hit us. All of a sudden I realized that he wasn't stopping. He ran the yellow light at the signal and kept going. I tried to catch up but by then the light was red and the oncoming traffic was going. I couldn't believe we were hit and run by a fellow church member that we were just in church with.

I had to call the sheriff to file a report in case I need my insurance fix my car. The nice police women said that is one was up there in her "can't believe this happened" book...granted La Canada is not the most happening place for the police. But still. She did point out to me that we weren't hurt and the person who hit us has bigger problems if they are going to hit and run at a church. Bet your bottom dollar that we will be cruising the parking lot next week at all 3 masses!! Mercy on the poor soul who did this. Josie and I are ok and that is all that matters. Cars are just tin and rubber. Night, Jenny and Josie

Great Walking Update

Josie has been actively walking this week. Today after we got back from Orange County, I put her on her canes. She had just been in the car for an hour and sitting this morning at my meeting. This scenario usually means stiffness and long warm ups to get into walking mode. However, since we have started using the dynamic stander to get her around everywhere outside of the house, it has seemed to really increase her strength and balance. Anyhow, she walked today like a champ. 3 rounds and I only had to catch her once. We are using the hallway to simulate the runway for the fashion show in March. A few minutes after she walked, I grabbed the camera. I told her I had to tape this for Przemek, Sylwia and Liz. It was so steady and solid. Here is how it went...set up canes, positioned camera on the stand, did a test run with the record button, reset it, pushed record, ran over to get Josie up, and as she started to walk it was like she had never been on her own 2 feet before and the canes were a foreign object, try to get her back to the great rhythm and walking, absolutely no luck, put Josie down, run and turn off camera, shake my head and take her back into the other room. How can you lose the ability so quickly? 15 minutes later I can't believe what has just transpired. Here is how it went next...make sure to put camera in other room far, far away from Josie, get canes set up way down the hallway, bring Josie to the canes, listen to her ask 3 times why she has to walk again and where is the camera?, set her on her canes and off she goes like Wonder Woman..........WHY CAN'T YOU DO THAT FOR THE CAMERA???!!! OK, at least you can do it. We even started a new saying to get her to pick up her canes faster. P and I were using 1,2,3,4 to get her into a rhythm which worked well. Tonight we started saying step, fast cane, step, fast cane. It seemed to prompt the quicker pick up and placement of the cane. I will try this again tomorrow and then with Liz on Monday. When we reached the end of the hall she was actually smiling feeling very proud of herself, which is rare with walking. She liked the quickness that the new rhythm helps with. I made her say, "My walking was great". She never compliments herself or feels that accomplished with her walking. I text back and forth with Liz after the escapades. Funny!! Well Przemek and Sylwia, I will try to sneak the camera in tomorrow. I would like you to see her. She may have regressed some, but overall I think you will be proud of where she is. We'll call you tomorrow too.

Thanks all for checking in. We appreciate all your support always. Jenny and Josie

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend at the Amigleo's

This picture is hysterical of Josie walking the Hopa the dog or better yet Hopa walking Josie. I had to run after her because Hopa was acting like a sled dog. Yikes!

Josie's crew helping push her back up the street. Thanks Boys!!

If you click on this picture you can see the coyote on the hillside. He was not afraid of all the people by the pool and came down very low on the hill. This is unusual for them. They are usually out at night and very afraid of people. Not a good thing to have him milling around the neighborhood in brood daylight.

Swimming in January at the beach...awesome.

We got to spend a few days in San Clemente at the Amigleo's last weekend. They live down in San Clemente just above the beach. It was such an unusually hot weekend that it was great to sleep with the windows open and feel the ocean breeze. We spent the next day totally outside...playing in the street (they live on a cul-de-sac which is perfect for the hundreds of kids that live there). Josie loved the freedom of just playing with the kids. The kids swam for a couple of hours while Anne-Marie and I tried to get some work done by the pool. Not easy to work when it feels like summer. After we swam, Tony and the other guys on the street made a barbecue in the street. Again kids everywhere playing. Love to see the kids outside enjoying the simplicities of tv, no video games just real playing. Thanks Amigleo's for having us once again. This is becoming our other home away from home. Jenny and Josie

Ice skating with Mending Kids

We are really on the ice skating roll this week...3 times. Josie is loving it and so are the people skating with her. I love to watch her engage with "normal" activities and that she isn't limited by her abilities.

The PCY girl gang

Josie and Mark Urata. Mark is the doctor that separated Josie. He did all her reconstruction and continues to be her lead doctor. Fun to be with he and his darling family that day.

Mending Kids had a terrific ice skating day at Santa Monica Beach on Sunday. It was quite a trip to be skating on frozen ice when it was 81 degrees at the beach that day. The poor guys trying to manage the ice had a heck of a time trying to clear the water off the rink. We had a ball pretending we were staking in a pool. Fun to be with all our MKI friends new and old. Mark Urata and family were there. I always feel more comfortable doing any kind of activity when Josie's lead doctor is present!! Good thing he lives down the block. Sorry for you Mark. After skating we went to 3rd and Promenade with the Drummond Family. Josie brought her good buddy Audrey with us so Cole and the girls enjoyed dinner. Thanks for taking us out Drummonds. Great to have time to catch up with you all.

OK Michigan family and friends...I realize that we still don't get the idea of winter sports, but it is hard when it is so hot out. Come visit us!! Miss you all so much. Jenny and Josie

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brownies on Ice

Today I took our Brownie troop ice skating. We had so much fun. A very special thanks to Brad Lew for helping out. I realized very quickly yesterday that there was no way for me alone to get all those skates on and laced up in time for our lesson. A nice man named Tau did our lesson for us. He was helpful since a majority of the girls have never been on ice skates. It was fun to watch them progress in such a short time but most of all to see their smiles and hear the giggles. We have such an adorable troop that has been together since kindergarten. Josie thought she was skating like them. She would hold her body they way they were instructed. I love that she can have "normal" experiences in her life. Her life is so far from normal.

Tonight we went to dinner at Steph's house. Michele, Brian and boys were back up in La Canada. The cousins all have such a great time together. Luke and Matt play so well with Josie. Fun they are older to actually play together. The babies are getting so much older and more interactive. Trent is just about to take off walking. Amazing to watch the precess. As I have learned, it is a huge process and amazing that anyone can walk when you really dissect what it takes. I know an enormous brain injury doesn't help. Beating the odds is what we are trying to do best. Night, Jenny and Josie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Skating

Josie has wanted to go ice skating for a really long time now. I just couldn't quite figure out how exactly to make that work. After school we went to the Pasadena ice rink to give it a try. I brought the Crocodile walker thinking that would be the best idea. After I got her skates on (after 2 pairs) I put her in the walker and onto the ice. Immediately the feet went out in front of her. After realizing that there was no good or safe way to make this work, I put her back in her blue cadillac. Bingo it totally worked. We skated for an hour and she couldn't have been happier. She was moving her arms all over like a professional skater. She would spin in circles> most importantly she was having a ball and was really safe. Tomorrow I am taking the whole Brownie troop there so we wanted to check it out first. Tomorrow I am going to use the blue Cadillac again but remove the blue foot plate so she can put skates on, feel the feeling of the ice under her feet and still be extremely safe on the ice. Loved hearing her laughter on the ice. Don't tell us know, just let me figure it out and it will be done.

At school today she got %100 on her purple words spelling test. She was so proud of all her hard work and accomplishment. We are moving onto the blue words tonight. She is doing really well in school. I am so proud of her. Thanks for checking in. Jenny and Josie

Monday, January 10, 2011

Went to the pet store for rabbit food today...

And guess what jumped into our basket...

Josie and I just couldn't resist and the man at the store didn't make it any easier. What's 3 when you already have two. Speaking of 2, we picked up our old male bunny from the neighbors who so kindly bunnysat it while we were in Michigan. I would love to return it to the neighbors but Josie won't hear of it. George (what the neighbors named him since they didn't like the name Fatty da Tatty (Josie named of course) if happily hopping in the back yard. He didn't forget a thing being gone 6 months. I walked out tonight to put him away and he hoped right over to the cage, got in and waited for his food. I didn't realize before having these bunnies that they were so smart.

The keeper of the kingdom, Lolly, isn't warming up too quickly to the new bunny. Every time the bunny goes into the little castle thing, Lolly flops herself at the entrance so the bunny can't get out. They are also separated right now because Lolly is chasing her like a crazy lady around the pen. Speaking of crazy ladies, my suspicion now is that they didn't sex Lolly right at the pet shop and that she may actually be a boy. Acting that way if you know what I mean. I'll have to sun her to the vet for a second opinion.

Keeper of the Kingdom...Miss Loly blocking in the new bunny

Liz, you shouldn't give us days off. We run ourselves into all kinds of trouble!!

Not much more happening in our world. Tomorrow we are going to measure out the run way measurements for the fashion show in March. We have to start timing these practices so we can get them under 5 minutes. 5 minutes with an audience is going to be the trick!! Perfect practice makes perfect...we just have to practice. Night from bunnyland, Jenny and Josie

PS. IF Lolly turns out to be a boy, you all can have first pick of the litter!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend in the OC

Josie and I headed down to Orange County right after school on Friday for a couple of meetings I had to attend. Josie is so amazing during these meetings. There are very few 9 year old that can sit quiet and patiently during something that is so boring to them. It was cute today when we were asked to got around the room and introduce ourselves. When we came to Josie she spoke right up and said, "Hi I am Josie Hull. I got into this business with my mom. I sell Fusion for her and I take Omega." She was adorable and probably more poised than most of the adults that were in the room. After our meeting ended yesterday, she asked to make a quick announcement and told everyone that she was selling Girl Scout cookies. Let me tell you how many orders she took!! She is my little entrepreneur. I love my business and I love even more how open and welcoming everyone is to her.

When we weren't in meetings we were at the Amigleo's house in San Clemente. Josie absolutely loves being with Tony and Anne Marie's 4 kids. The kids are 11, 10, 9 and 4 so they all play together well. We are thankful to have them and are able to stay with them. Thanks Amigleos.

Hope all of you are having a great weekend. Love, Jenny and Josie

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I know what you are all thinking because I posted a number. I wish you were right in thinking she stood independently for 300 seconds, but unfortunately that isn't it. 300 represents the number of posts to date. Who knew I had so much to say..oh with me of course I had so much to say.

So let's take a quick recap of what has transpired over 300 posts which includes 1 and a half years. Here is the bottom number 1 she couldn't walk, post number 300 she can walk. I hope and pray by post 600 that she is walking without canes or anything. I think it is in the realm of possibility. There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us. I need to reeve the engines back up in me. I feel a tad burnt out but can't let down after all this time. Josie isn't burnt out and that is what matters most.

Thank you to all of you who check in on us. Knowing we have your support makes the journey worthwhile. Thank you to our friends and especially family who have been so supportive and caring. We could not have gotten this far without you. Stay tuned more exciting things to come. Jenny and Josie

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Darling Sister, Stephanie

It is Steph's birthday and we had a nice celebration at our parent's house tonight. Brian and Michelle and the boys came down today from Tahoe. Gary and Carol Richards (Mike's parents) got to join us. Grams and Gramps were there. The kids loved helping blow out candles and open presents. Happy birthday my sweet Stephanie!!

Cute Josie is loving school so much. I think the social part is the true draw even though I would like to believe it was the academics...haha. Every Monday she has to leave school during lunch time to get to therapy on time. She doesn't like leaving early in fear that she will miss some big event at school. Last year she was leaving 2 and 3 days early so she lucked out this year. Anyway, just before we got in the car this morning, she asked if she could stay at school until night time and that it was more fun there. Stab to the heart in one sense and overjoyed that she likes it so much in another. I don't blame her for wanting to stay. After school she either has to go to therapy for hours or do her walking and workout with me at home with homework. I must not be the fun mom to her since I am always making her work. I do try to keep life fun for her. Oh well.

Before the party she did a good job with an hour and a half of homework. The page that I thought she would struggle with she actually totally understood. She amazes me daily. She also had to do a lot of cane walking today since we have slacked off on it this past few days...sorry P and S!! I will pick it up again I promise.

Speaking of P and S, aren't you guys impressed that I am posting for the 3rd day in a row!! I apologise to my main subscribers for the lack of posting happening lately. So great to Skype with you guys last night. Josie was still talking about it today. Hugs to the big Max Man for us.

Over and out. Will check in again tomorrow. Jen and Jos

Monday, January 3, 2011

Snow in Santa Clarita

It snowed in Santa Clarita yesterday and the snow actually stuck. It has been 22 years since that has happened. There was even snow on the ground when we went to Liz's today at 1:00 PM. Liz sent some of these pictures that she took yesterday at her house. You would think from the looks of it that we were still in Michigan..but no it happened 34 miles away from the center of Los Angeles. Fun.

Happy Teresa
The girls get to go to therapy together on Monday. Teresa is there for the first hour that Josie is there. Teresa works with Cindy and Josie obviously with Liz. It is a bit distracting for Josie but the girls love to be together. I think somewhere it motivates Teresa. Today she really showed it. Usually when Cindy puts her in standing she complains and cries until she gets out. Today she was smiling and "talking" the whole time. Maybe she made a new New Years resolution...stand more and don't complain. Boy I love that little girl. She has every right to complain. She is tough as nails. It is great to see her doing so well. It can be touchy but today was great.

Teresa standing, smiling and working hard

...and Josie is busy putting Liz's hair in a rubber band!!

Sweet sisters holding hands

Miss Cindy and Liz who we need to thank daily for helping our darling little girls.

Josie was spent tonight with going back to school and therapy. Good for her to work hard again. Tonight I jumped on the computer and randomly Skped Przemek and Sylwia. Low and behold I got ahold of them. I ran in the other room to get Josie so she could see them too. When she saw Przemek she just started squeeling and laughing like crazy. She couldn't believe it was him. Then Slywia popped into the picture and the laughing and squealing began all over again. Then there was Max..I think you get the picture...yes she definitely misses them. We got the great pleasure of seeing and meeting Sylwia's lovely sister, her husband and 2 adorable kids. We spend so much time together and get to learn about each others families it will be a treat to be in the same room someday, but for today it was fabulous to see them on Skype.

Off to see the wizard before tomorrow comes around. I am still trying to move back into our house. Hopefully I will be done tomorrow...minus the 15 boxes in the garage.. those are for another time and place. Night, Jenny and Josie

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolution 362....

New Year's Resolution more often on blog when home in California. I have been awful about this and I apologize. Everyone has been so supportive of Josie and her journey and I need to resolve to do this more often.

Having said that, we have been extremely busy with the greatness that comes this time of year. We bask in the glory of the Lord's birth and are blessed to have shared this time with our wonderful family and friends. So here goes some pictures of many fabulous holiday moments...

The beautiful creche at St. Bede's Church. It is such a magnificent scene on Christmas Eve. Josie loves when they bring down Baby Jesus and puts him in the manger. She always says, "Now he is born."

The double rainbow that was outside the Mending Kids office. It had rained here for days but here is what we got to see at the end of the storm. May double rainbows appear over every child we (MKI) helps this year. Off to a good start with the completion of our Ethiopia heart mission. You can read some very touching stories of the mission at Click on the blog section.

Josie and I on Christmas Eve. We have a great celebration every year at Steph and Mike's.

Josie seeing her baby bunny for the first time. Grandpa let little Lolly hop out from under the tree. Josie had absolutely no idea that she was getting a new bunny. Her favorite bunny, Gabriella, died while we were in Michigan. We now only have one rabbit left. I like having more than one so they have someone (or some bunny) to be with all day. As you can see here, she has absolutely jumped off the couch and actually stood for a few seconds herself...Przemek, Sylwia and Liz, we should try this tactic!!

Josie holding her new bunny

Meet Lolly, the Holland, dwarf, lopped eared bunny

All the cousins on Christmas day. They are such great buddies.

Carson and Trent playing together.

Josie and her ROLLING suitcase. All she wanted was her own rolling suitcase so when we travel she can take her own suitcase by herself. Why didn't I think of this the past 4 years while we moved our lives back and forth across the country?! Better late than never.

These next pictures are fun for us. Gramps, Grams and I love the horse races. We go a few times a year to the Santa Anita track and bet the big 3 together every year starting with the Kentucky Derby. For Christmas this year, I got a table for opening day at Santa Anita that happens to be December 26th. We all had such a great time. Josie picked the winning horse that day off a hunch.

The Noonan family on opening day.

Watching the races

The Noonan Family Table

Josie's horse, Sydney's Candy, that won. Her is the ironic part, Sydney's Candy is owned by Jenny Craig the diet guru. Funny part is everyone of her horses have been named after candy or chocolate. I guess she gets rich and pays for her horses because we Americans consume to much of these things.

Handicapping the horses...Gramps is really good at this

Sunbathing in Palm Desert with Lolly

Carson and Jack Mitchell (our second cousin) playing today at the Hull side Christmas party

Josie and Luke having a great tea party

Busy and great times. Thanks for checking in. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!! Cheers to 2011. Jenny and Josie