Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Challenge 2014"

Teenagers and duffel bags were piled high like sardines in our cars; we were finally headed for "Challenge"...Kansas City, here we come!  For those of you wondering what in the world "Challenge" is... it is a church youth convention that gathers youth together from all over the United States. This convention always includes special speakers, concerts, group time with your own youth group and community service projects....ON VERY LITTLE SLEEP. So long story short...THIS TRIP IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!
So off we went...promising our kids we would be as 
"hip and cool" as we could possibly be at the age of 38! 
When it comes to traveling with drama, we do aim to please. Let me set the stage....we (our entire family and the entire youth group) started our trip with a "red-eye" lay-over flight from Portland to Detroit....arriving in Detroit around 6:30AM... YES, AM... WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. Lets just say, our 4th of July was not starting off with fireworks! We still had to catch another flight shortly after landing, which would take us to Kansas City.  One thing was for sure.. traveling with cranky young children is a piece of cake compared to traveling with a "high tech" wheelchair! NO JOKE....
Lesson #1: No red-eye flights with young children!
Lesson #2: $150 saved because of 1 layover is not worth it with YOUNG CHILDREN AND A CHILD IN A WHEELCHAIR... I would have paid $200 and my left leg THAT NIGHT to stay on a plane going STRAIGHT to Kansas City!
We are getting ready to catch our last leg to Kansas City. Jacoby had been transferred into the plane chair (not an easy feet, as many of you know) and her own wheelchair had been broken down to the smallest size it would go....and then we waited....and waited....and waited. Everyone had been seated for quite awhile when the airline stewardess came on the intercom and told us they were having trouble loading a "precious piece of cargo". We looked out the window and saw several men trying to load Jacoby's wheelchair into the small loading chamber. Before we knew what was happening, we were de-boarding the plane because her chair had scratched the engine while being loaded and the plane was not to be flown. R WE HAVING FUN YET?! Not to mention the sweet comments coming out of people's mouths about the "stupid cargo" that made them have to deboard and get on a new plane. It was here that I wished I wasn't traveling with the youth. I really wanted to say a few "choice words" to these people, but I was supposed to be a good I did the right thing and put my "momma claws" back in their paws. 
Delta Airlines was awesome had another plane waiting to accommodate everyone; there was only one was the exact same model we had just deboarded. We said goodbye to the youth group and half of our children and Jason, I, Jacoby , JJ and Vincie waited to catch the next available flight out. Lord, WE NEED A JUMBO JET! 
As always, God knows EXACTLY what He's doing; His ways are higher, His thoughts are higher. They weren't able to get us to Kansas City that day, but they did put us on the 1st flight out the next day... IN FIRST CLASS...WITH $2,000 IN FLYING VOUCHERS! And to be completely honest, that wasn't even the best part. We ended up sitting right next to Rick Sutcliffe on the plane. We had no idea he was a an ESPN announcer who had played as a successful major league pitcher for 18 years. He DID know who Jacoby was because his buddy, Jaime Moyer (also a major league pitcher for the Mariners) had told him about us. We had sat by the Moyer family on the way to stem cell treatment for Jacoby. Rick told us they were praying for Jacoby and then took some time to personally talk with her. He knelt in front of her and said
 "Jacoby, I understand the mind of an athlete. I know to play in the big leagues you have to be gifted from the neck down....but to be SUCCESSFUL, you have to be gifted from the neck ARE, Jacoby. Don't be afraid to speak of your story; I know public speaking isn't your favorite thing to do, but God will give u the strength you need." 
He had no idea that the Challenge board had asked her to be willing to share her story for a video clipping when she arrived in Kansas City. Let's just say when we arrived in Kansas City, she was ready to share her story and CONFIDENT she had flown in right on time.

We provided the video clip on the link below...

" Now to Him Who is able to do IMMEASURABLY  more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory......" Ephesians 3:20 

                                                       Jacoby's Instagram

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2nd Annual Gift For Jacoby 5K video...

Huge thanks from our family to Kayla Reynolds and Alex Mikel for creating this video for Jacoby's 5K.

watch the video on youtube here

or on google docs here

                                                       Jacoby's Instagram

Monday, June 23, 2014

Alive and Kickin'!

 Those were the best words I had heard all month.  The last day of school would be Thursday, June 19th; the "light at the end of the tunnel" was here, the Miles Family was going to celebrate! (As you are celebrating now because you are reading the first update on Jacoby in 5 Forgive us, we are much better at making memories than writing them down!)
Of course, the celebrating began...end-of-year parties, pizza, sleepovers etc. We started reminiscing  about all the fun things we did and accomplished during the year. One thing is for sure, we have some "blog catching up" to do!
Jacoby is Jacoby...and pushed through her Sophomore year with flying colors.  She managed to tie her twin brother, Kaleb with a 4.0 GPA. She wasn't about to let him pass her by... some thing's just never change. 
And now the question everyone wants to know...ANY NEW MOVEMENT? Technically, no; however, Jacoby is continually getting stronger, creating new movements, and gaining the ability to balance herself and hold the position on her own.  Her flexibility has also been maintained at the same level since the injury; her flexibility is amazing! Vertical Therapy continues to be our source of rehabilitation for Jacoby; we couldn't ask for a better "therapy" family!

Since January, Jacoby has experienced more fun "first time" events... like her first blood clot, pressure sore and extended time away from her parents; we left for a week to Mexico. (Every teenager's nightmare, I'm sure... lol) Each of these issues seem small and yet HUGE at the same time; they are "milestones" on our journey through this challenge. 

Jacoby continues to absolutely love her time volunteering at the gym, Roach Gymnastics Center. The young gymnasts bring a smile to her face and serve as a constant reminder of her love for gymnastics.
In May, we made the trip home to Idaho for her beloved Uncle Barak's college graduation; my little brother is pretty amazing. The joy Jacoby gets from going to visit family in Idaho makes me think she could leap right out of her chair; Its worth every mile! 
June has been rewarding for so many reasons. As a family, we have enjoyed every minute of summer break, FIFA World Cup (GO USA!), going to the Mariner vs. Yankee series, soccer tournaments and more! Jacoby was able to help present an award to one of her classmates, Taylor Desmet who is fighting cancer; Jacoby and so many others have been inspired by Taylor. We are all rooting for this amazing girl!  We also had the privilege of watching our Uncle Jon become an "official" firefighter for the Kent fire station; what an amazing night for the entire extended family!

Last but not least, Jacoby was selected as 1 of 40 students in the state to attend  Washington State's 13th Annual Youth Leadership Forum for High School Students with Disabilities. Jacoby realizes it is an honor to have the privilege of representing other students with many of her same struggles. This forum is designed to equip these students to be a leader in their schools and communities; they will learn to be a voice for the disabled community.   She knows this will be a major milestone for her; a milestone for us... a milestone we are all ready to make. 
We continue to be humbled BEYOND WORDS by your concern and support for Jacoby. We TRULY love all of you and don't know what in the world we would do without you! She remains strong and positive because of all of you: her friends, family, school, church and community. Most importantly, she knows her God is Able...    


                                                       Jacoby's Instagram

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year to Ya!


You may be wondering the EXACT same thing I where in the world did all those peaceful holiday mornings go? You know...the ones where you envision sitting on the couch...fireplace on...thinking of all the wonderful family and friends you will "hand-deliver" amazing cookie platters to.....Mmm..... HOURS to blog all the festive events Jacoby, and our 40 family members would load up to enjoy; seems like a "sane" expectation, right? ABSOLUTELY..................NOT! 
Reality looked more like this....if you were the "bright" one to get up early with attempts to get some "alone" time, you were also the proud winner of lifeguarding the first 10 "minions" up to swim in the hot tub; you don't make the same mistake twice! Reality looked more like this...forget the cookie platters, let's just be thankful we sent out Christmas cards.'s all about perspective, folks!
 Ah yes... I do like a peaceful, reflective "moment" every now and then, but I wouldn't trade my "Controlled Chaos Christmas" this year for THE WORLD... its what we know, it's what we do best, it's where we find our joy.  This year,  Jacoby was home and our entire extended family was here to share it with us; that's priceless! What could be better than sitting around the living room watching "National Lampoon's Christmas" together for the 10th time; sorry, but Uncle Eddie never gets old. This was a Christmas to remember!
 Ok, so we all know Jacoby has always played the role of the "realist". In fact, it is Jacoby I have to thank for telling me it probably would be a better idea to wait until next year to do the Christmas play at church. As you can see, Jacoby is STILL "that girl" and continues to make noticeable progress each and every day.
Physically, she continues to gain muscle mass and impresses us with new exercises that would have been IMPOSSIBLE a year ago or even a few months ago to perform. We are still waiting for hand and leg movement, but work them in exercises just the same; patience and hard work is the name of the game. She still has therapy 3 times a week with Vertical Therapy and our family has adopted two new members....Chris and Jerry! (Jacoby's therapists) They have been thrown into our "controlled chaos" life and seem to be adjusting well. 
Socially, Jacoby is still loving being a full-time sophomore at Rogers High School and "sporting" the blue!(Go Rams!) She also looks forward to her "gym time"... visiting her gym buds and helping with the younger levels; competition season starts this Friday...she will be there to cheer them on. (GO ROACH GYMNASTICS!!!) And how could we possibly forget  her church youth group?!!  Jacoby has a blast with this "crazy" group...they have SO much fun...makes me want to go myself!(Its all those trips to Dairy Queen.....)
Emotionally and mentally, Jacoby continues to remain strong. Her "realist" personality really comes in handy; it keeps her from devastation when her expectations are delayed. But most importantly, it's her faith in Jesus Christ that mentally keeps her stable and full of hope. She, she KNOWS...the best is yet to come!  
 So, as we plunge "head-first" into 2014, we set our goals and mission.. 

"Lord, I'm Yours. Whatever the cost may be, may Your will be done in my life. I realize I'm not here on earth to do my own thing, or to seek my own fulfillment or glory. I'm not here to indulge my desires, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I'm someone important, or to promote myself. I'm not here even to be relevant, or successful by human standards.  I'm here to please you."--Ruth Myers

That's it...that's our live for the one who gives us hope.....ought to keep us busy ALL year!

2014.....BRING IT ON!!!! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Leaving a Trail......

They say a picture can say a thousand words; so it can!

It had been one of "those nights"; sport practices for almost every child, book reports due, children needed baths and that was only the TIP of the ol iceberg. We did what any SANE parents would do...told the kids we were heading out to the trail behind our house and would be back in 15 minutes. We grabbed our jackets and ran out the front door like two highschoolers....AT LAST, AT LAST...WE ARE FREE AT LAST! We were laughing at how excited we were just to get away for 15 min and then we saw them.....Jacoby's wheelchair tracks in the grass. We both stopped talking and stood in silence... almost in reverence of what these tracks symbolized. This "picture" of her well-trodden tracks was shouting her personality and her story. Jacoby is steady, reliable, and disciplined. The tracks showed she followed the same trail outline every day; it had been tested, and would lead her safely to the concrete walking trail.
 Jason and I stood in respect of those precious trails because she taught us something that night. The foundation...the disciplines...the beliefs that made Jacoby who she was NEVER changed, even though her circumstances changed drastically. It evoked both Jason and I to ask we leave trails? Would people know what we stood for by OUR well-beaten trails? Once again, God used our precious daughter's accident to sharpen us; always a student....the learning continues.
October 19th was the "1st Annual Jacoby Miles Classic" Gymnastics Meet at Roach Gymnastics; what an HONOR it was to come back and see you were supported and not forgotton. Jacoby was awarded "The Most Inspirational Gymnast" by USA Gymnastics. ( By this point it was hard not to make a scene.)
We cant even begin to express how THANKFUL we were/are to Melanie and Dan Roach, all of the people, parents, teams, gymnasts, coaches and judges that made it happen. The emotions ran high that day as Jacoby and I watched the gymnasts compete....just one short year ago she was competing herself. Ahhh...the sovereignty of God!
Life changes...people change...circumstances change, but God is ALWAYS the same! We THRIVE on the belief the best is yet to come.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jacoby's Journey Slideshow


Actually saw a miracle unfold while watching Jacoby in her therepy 5 days ago. You see, I normally don't sit in on the sessions.  Even though I know how much every 16 year old wants their mom breathing down their neck, I try to give her some space and let her work.  This day was different; she and her trainer had invited me in to come and see the progress. So there I was.... ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY! She was doing exercises that only 6 months earlier would have been impossible for her to perform. Jacoby's "core" was NOTICEABLY stronger; she was completing reps that would have knocked her out 3 months ago. I sat and watched in awe... as a parent does when they see their 1st child take "the first steps".  How could I go from being so proud when seeing her do giants on the high bar, double rotations in the air, to being EQUALLY proud of her leaning from side to side while sitting on her bed?!! How.....PERSPECTIVE!!! Perspective changes how we view everything in life....spouse, children, finances, home...etc. Perspective is THE gift that reminds me everyday that our precious Jacoby is STILL alive, she has her mind, she is STILL the same girl. And even if that had changed....perspective would give us the ability to find the good in it. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of perspective.

I added a slideshow Jacoby put together with pictures from her phone. Several of them are from her younger years; I think she likes remembering there was a day everything "worked"! Enjoy the "rawness" of her creation! lol

Always Believing..........