September 28, 2008

Your prayers are working!

I went to the hospital on Saturday. Christian continues to make good progress, though it looks like he will stay there another week because he needs a little more skin grafting, but is doing so well that he probably won't need to go to the rehab facility after all. He will have outpatient rehab instead. That will make it much easier for him to visit Stephanie. Hooray!

Stephanie's skin grafts seem to be doing pretty well. Thanks for all of your prayers! I know they are working!!! Her mom and sisters are here this weekend, which I know makes such a difference for her. They are so strong and amazing.

Saturday evening was the world-wide Relief Society meeting. I watched the broadcast at our stake center with my mom and 3 of my sisters. It was so good to be with them, along with my sisters in the gospel. The meeting was fantastic. If you missed it, you can watch it here. I know that Stephanie would have loved to have been there. I'm sure she will be anxious to watch it as soon as she can. I particularly loved Sister Beck's talk, and President Uchtdorf's talk. I thought the choir did a fantastic job too; not bad for a bunch of amateurs! :)

District

Friday night Jay and I had dinner at District, the restaurant at the new Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The hotel and restaurant don't open to the public until Tuesday, but this was Jay's project so we were invited to have dinner there as part of a simulation... basically practice for the real thing. We ate with Jerry (a friend of Jay's from work) and his girlfriend.

We had a lovely meal, including starters, entrees and dessert, with excellent service, and since it was just "practice" we didn't have to pay! Sweet! (This also meant we sort of had to order whatever was highlighted on our menu because they were trying to have everyone get different things and have a chance to practice on all of the menu items.)

The menu is sort of normal, but kind of unusual. I would describe it as "fancy comfort food." For example, my meal was short ribs with cheddar jalapeno grits (I don't think I've ever eaten grits before), and carrots... not something I normally would have ordered, but it was delicious! The presentations were all excellent as well. Jay had scallops with mushrooms, peppers and grilled Italian sausage, and fried calamari as a starter (with 2 different... and excellent... sauces; chimichurri and spicy garlic).

Some of the other entrees are things like fancy versions of other comfort foods, like fried chicken, fish and chips, chicken pot pie, cheese burgers, Memphis BBQ pork with apple sauce and mac & cheese, and even a casserole... Pumpkin Curry Casserole with wild rice and marinated tofu, so not your typical casserole. Other things, like the seared scallops, roasted salmon, and grilled ribeye, seem a bit more typical of this kind of restaurant.

My starter was a fabulous tomato soup with garlic croutons and fontina cheese on top, baked kind of like a french onion soup. It was absolutely fantastic! I would go back there just to have that (though I want to go back anyway to try more things... I hear the salmon is heavenly). For dessert, a fresh raspberry cobbler with pecan sandies. Delish! (Jay and I shared because we were so full by then.)

The bread was unusual too... sort of a combination of a dinner roll and cornbread, with chilis and whole black beans inside (it sounds odd, but it was really good), served with butter dizzled with guava nectar.

So, if you have a special occasion, or if you just want to have a nice meal in downtown Phoenix, check it out, and let me know what you think.

And if you like it, tell me what you had so I can order it next time.

September 26, 2008

Things Mary Loves....

Mary brought this home from Primary on Sunday. I thought it was cute.

A Day at Home

My foot is feeling much better today. Thanks for all your well-wishes. It seems so silly in comparison to everything else that has happened.... kind of embarrassing.

I have felt a little guilty.... well not really guilty because I know I'm doing a good thing... but kind of sad that I haven't spent as much time with Jack lately because I have been spending a good amount of time at the hospital. He loves to play at his friends' houses (thank you all for helping!), so it isn't really a big deal to him, but I have been missing him.

So, today was "Jack-and-Mommy-Stay-At-Home Day." (Besides, I needed to take it a bit easy on my foot.) Here is what we did:


Memory/Matching Game: Jack is pretty good


We put together a SpiderMan puzzle.Jack needed some guidance, but did a lot of it himself.So proud when it was complete.


Jack insisted on playing Scrabble, but since he can't read yet, he's not so good at that. But he enjoyed making patterns with the letters.


We finished the book I have been reading to him at night. (This one is better as a adult-real-aloud so you can leave at the swear words!)



video
We also played a game of Dominos, so of course we had to do this afterward.

You asked for it.... here it is

Per your request, here is the recipe for the yummy pumpkin muffins I took Christian. By the way, this recipe comes from my sister (thanks, Helena!). These are my kids' favorite. Enjoy!

WHOLE WHEAT PUMPKIN MUFFINS
4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 c. brown sugar (loosely packed)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted *
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining and mix just until combined. Bake in muffin tins for 15 minutes. (8-10 minutes for mini-muffins) Makes about 3 dozen regular muffins. (Freeze some for after-school snacks.)

*I use 1/4 c. canola oil instead. I can't tell the difference.

September 25, 2008

Pain is Relative

I went to the hospital yesterday and today. I came bearing gifts.... of food. (Hospital food is disgusting!) I brought Christian Jamba Juice and a peanut butter sandwich (with all-natural PB and fresh wholewheat bread I had made that morning), and he seemed to like that.

Today I brought him wholewheat pumpkin muffins I had made for breakfast. He gobbled them up, along with the other food I brought....peaches, string cheese, and hummus with crackers. It is so great to see him getting his appetite back.

He is getting stronger. Both days he walked from his room down the hall to Stephanie's room, using a walker. He goes into the OR tomorrow for a minor procedure, and will most likely be transferred to rehab on Monday.

Stephanie also goes to surgery tomorrow for grafting on her face. Please pray that those grafts will be successful!

P.S. I twisted my foot wrong as I stepped onto the curb at the hospital today. I thought it would go away when I walked it off. But it didn't. I limped around the hospital in pain all day.... I didn't want to complain... it seemed so petty in comparison. Finally, later this afternoon I was in so much pain that I asked Christian's physical therapist if he would look at it (actually, he's the OT so his focus is hands, but good enough!). It was pretty swollen by then. He said it is probably sprained and he wrapped it for me. I iced it and took Advil when I got home and I'm feeling much better tonight. I'm hoping it will be better in the morning.

September 23, 2008

Weekend Visits to the Hospital

Jay and I went the hospital Saturday night. Christian was a sleep when we arrived. He woke up briefly, off and on, but we didn't get to talk to him much because he was having a hard time staying awake... probably because he hasn't been sleeping well at night.

We only got to poke our heads in Stephanie's room for a minute because she had several other visitors. Her sister Page was talking to her and Stephanie was very animated, even lifting her arms.

I went back on Sunday after church and spent about 5 hours with Christian. My mom was home taking a break, and my dad was taking Steph's dad and sister to the airport. I helped Christian eat the piece of LGO pizza that Mark and Sarah had left the night before... he gobbled it up (along with lots of ice chips and sips of vitamin water) and really enjoyed it! He is slowly getting his appetite back, which is good. He worked really hard to feed himself, even though it was slow-going.

I got the internet connection working on my mom's laptop she had left in Christian's room, and so I turned on Elder Holland's CES message which I referred to here. I also read to him sections 121, 122, and 123 from the Doctrine & Covenants that Elder Holland asked listeners to read. My dad was there for part of that time. And I told Christian about a talk in sacrament meeting that day, where the speaker told a version of this story, and related it to the struggles we have in life that make us stronger.

Then it was finally time to get Christian and up, and off to visit Stephanie. He was so positive and encouraging to her, which I know she needed.

I wish I could give you more news about Stephanie. But the recovery process for her is going to be very gradual. There will be lots and lots of waiting. But perhaps we can take that as "no news is good news."

I will be going back to the hospital tomorrow.... I will let you know how it goes.



P.S. Please know that I share with you everything that I feel is appropriate to share in such a public forum. Your love and concern are very touching, and I don't want to make this blog private or disallow comments, so please keep comments appropriate.

September 21, 2008

On a lighter note....

On Friday, Collin gave his speech for Student Council elections. He did very well, though he forgot to bring his prop with him (giant plastic ears... he was supposed to put them on toward the end... watch the video and maybe you will get it... it has to do with being a good listener) so he had to drop one of the jokes and adapt on the fly, which he did well. I think he did a great job!

He didn't win the election, but it was a great experience for him, and we are proud of him for doing his best and being a good sport.


video

September 20, 2008

Friday's visit with Christian

When I arrived at the hospital yesterday, my mom was with Christian. He had been feeling lonely, but we fixed that. At one point there were 6 family members in the room at one time (which kind of goes against their 2-visitors-at-a-time rule, but no one said anything).

I had brought 2 CD's I made... both are all hymns, but one is instrumental and the other is choir. I left one in Christian's room and the other in Stephanie's. Christian was very appreciative.

While we talked, telling him about the "Hope Concert" again (because he didn't remember hearing about it the first time), the special fast and prayer, and other fundraisers and stuff going on, I did a little occupational therapy on him... moving and stretching his fingers... and I even clipped his finger nails (which were pretty dang long since they hadn't been cut for a month).

He hadn't eaten anything (lack of appetite, not to mention that hospital food is disgusting) so I went out to find the nearest Jamba Juice. I brought back a large "Orange Dream Machine" (per Christian's request) with a double dose of protein, which he needs lots of. He ate it all and felt much better.

Jay arrived and he and Christian talked lots about "work" kind of stuff, which was great to keep Christian's mind occupied. Good ol' Jay also made Christian laugh several times, which was great to see!!!!

Peter and Darin (my older brother and his wife) arrived with a piece of coconut cream pie, but Christian was too full of Jamba Juice to eat it. They were happy to enjoy it for him, but promised they would bring him some more another day. Peter said he would work on getting a webcam set up in Christian's room so he could talk with the kids, and he thought that would be good.

My dad and sister showed up just before they were getting ready to do a dressing change and we got kicked out. (But I turned on the CD before I left.) Christian was anxious to get his new back-brace so he could get out of bed and go see Stephanie.

All the while we talked, Christian was constantly expressing his gratitude for everyone, for the prayers and all the love... and he was so gracious about thanking every member of the hospital staff who came in. His voice is much stronger, and it is so nice to have him back!

September 18, 2008

An Eventful Day at the Hospital

Christian got to visit Stephanie in her room today and express his love for her. It was very touching. Stephanie is still sedated, but she was incredibly responsive while Christian was talking to her! Christian said he would like to have a family prayer, and said he would offer it. He gave a beautiful prayer of gratitude and hope.

Afterward he needed to rest, but my mom and I went back later. He was awake and was glad to see us. After just a few minutes he asked me to sing again, which I did. He is always very peaceful when I sing, which in turns brings me a lot of peace.

I was so sad when I finally had to leave. I just wanted to stay, but I needed to get home to my family. Christian and Stephanie are both amazing people and I love them very much!

Christian said he feels all of your prayers. Thank you so much!

Hope vs. Worry vs. Faith

I love this quote given to my parents by a friend of the family:

Hope is the anticipation that the outcome will be good.

Worry is the anticipation that the outcome will be bad.

Faith is the anticipation that whatever the outcome, it will be for our good.

My youngest brother is in Germany serving for 2 years as a missionary for our church. He gets home on October 1st! It has been difficult for him to not be here while all of this is going on in our family, but he is staying strong. Here is a quote from his letter of yesterday:

"This past week has been interesting for me. In my personal prayers, I think I only prayed once for myself. I found myself exerting all my efforts praying for Christian and Stephanie. I see now that not only have my and your prayers been answered, but I have been also blessed with greater peace and greater faith. I know with all my heart that our Father in Heaven hears and answers our prayers."

I'm off to the hospital later. I will tell you all about it.

September 16, 2008

White Teeth and Jamba Juice

Mom and I went the hospital again last night. (My dad is out of town and she didn't want to go by herself... and shouldn't at night because the hospital is not in a great part of town.) She wanted to go back because Christian was so loopy during the afternoon, and he was expected to be more lucid that night. He was, though he can still only just whisper.

I was quite pleased that we were allowed to give him small sips of water via a swap/sponge. You could just see the relief on his face! I told him his teeth were looking exceptionally white. He said, "Well, yeah, I haven't eaten anything for several weeks." I had to laugh. I know he is anxious to eat. He told my mom that the first thing he wanted to eat was "Mixed-berry Jamba Juice with extra protein." The doctors thought that was funny, and agreed that was probably a good place for him to start.... when the time comes.

Christian asked me to sing again. I asked if he had any requests, and he said, "Just hymns. I only want hymns." I sang for a while again, and had a request from one of the nurses, "My Redeemer Lives." I'm not sure exactly which song she was thinking of, but I sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives."

After we said goodnight to Christian, we visited Stephanie again and I sang some more. I hope she knew we were there and could feel our love. We love her very much! She is in surgery right now getting her cultured skin. Please keep those prayers coming!

September 15, 2008

Monday's Update

I went to the hospital with my mom today. Christian looks really good. He was extubated so he can talk, but barely a whisper. He was on a lot of medication because they were getting ready to do a dressing change (they drug him up just before to manage the pain) but then got called away for an emergency. That was a blessing in disguise, because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to see him because he would have been in the middle of a dressing change, which takes about 2 hours.

My mom asked Christian if he wanted me to sing. He nodded "yes." I asked, "Do you have any requests?" Without hesitating, he whispered, "Nearer, My God, To Thee." I obliged, and then sang the rest of my favorites too. He whispered a few times, but mostly that he wanted water (which he can't have yet because his swallowing isn't up to par). But he did say that he wanted more singing.

Stephanie was in surgery when we arrived (prepping her for her "lab-grown" skin grafts tomorrow) so I didn't think we would get to see her. But she was back in her room by the time we finished visiting with Christian, so we went in. She is stable (better than last week) and tolerated the surgery well today. We are praying for the same tomorrow. My mom suggested that I sing to her as well. I began with "Nearer, My God, To Thee" and sang some of the others that I sang for Christian, but not as many. The nurse had to kick us out while she did some stuff, but we had been there a while anyway.

We were also able to get a good update from the doctor, and he sounded really positive. Tomorrow we will all be fasting again for successful skin grafting for Stephanie. You are welcome to join us.

September 13, 2008

Afternoon Downtown

Yesterday Jay and I met at the hospital again. Once again, we did not get to see Stephanie... they had just started a procedure on her that was expected to take 3 hours.

Christian was looking pretty good. They had started weaning him off the sedation medications, moving toward extubating him in the next few days. He was still pretty sedated though. We told him about the concert, and I sang about 10 hymns to him... until my voice was too tired. The nurse said his skin grafts look really good.

After our visit, we went to lunch downtown, and then walked over to "Jay's Hotel" (otherwise known as "Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel"). We had a private tour of the nearly completed hotel that opens in just a few weeks. It is beautiful, and it was so fun to see the finished product of something that Jay put so much time and effort into. The reception area outside the junior ballroom
Outside the grand ballroom
The spa pool
A cool chandelier representing rain
The restaurant bar
A standard room

We did get a tour of the governor's suite, but didn't get a photo, and I'm afraid we probably won't ever stay in it. It was still kind of "under construction" because they were making some changes to the decor. It was very impressive though.

Concert Video

Here is a short video about the "Hope Concert" the other night.

September 11, 2008

The Campaign

Collin is running for school Historian (the only office that 4th graders can hold). Here is the campaign poster he made.Now comes the hard part... writing a speech.

Hospital, Hope, and Thunderstorms

I visited the hospital yesterday. Jay met me there. We didn't get to see Stephanie because she had just gone into surgery. I took that as a good sign.... that she was stable enough for surgery. Christian had surgery the day before, so he was pretty "out-of-it" with medication. Though he opened his eyes and few times and seemed to be paying attention while we told him about Elder Holland's talk, and he even nodded a couple of times. I didn't sing to him this time because my voice is still croaky.

We visited again today. He was completely sedated this time; they don't want him agitated and moving around like he has been doing. But we still talked to him. Stephanie's brother and his wife were with her; they just arrived yesterday with their 2-week-old baby! I'm glad they could come.

Please pray specifically that Christian's skin grafts will heal successfully, and that Stephanie's health will increase so that her skin grafts will also be successful.

Last night was the big "Hope Concert." The place was packed; it was so wonderful to see all the support from so many people. The performers were great, and there were lots of nice items donated for the silent auction. During the show we got hit with a monsoon storm. I thought that was appropriate since Stephanie loves those storms.

September 10, 2008

Elder Holland

This past Sunday, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who was the president of BYU while I was studying there, and is now an apostle, spoke at a fireside at BYU. Stephanie's family, who live in Provo, were able to attend, along with my sister and her husband who happened to be in town visiting. I wish I could have been there.

It was a beautiful talk. It was as if he was speaking directly to our family. In fact, he invited the Clarks and my sister and brother-in-law to meet with him afterward. They all said it was a very special experience.

You can watch the video of his talk here. (My sister and her husband appear briefly in the video.)

Elder Holland is much more impressive than Matt Lauer. Besides, he reminds me of my dad.

Donation Information

People have been so generous with their donations for Christian and Stephanie's recovery. It is amazing. There has been some confusion about how to donate because there are two different bank accounts, so hopefully this will clear things up.

Please make checks payable to:
"Christian & Stephanie Nielson Rehab Fund"

You can either deposit it at any Bank of America branch, OR address as above and mail to:

P.O. Box 8850
Mesa, AZ 85214

If you prefer, you may also donate using the PayPal link at the right. (This goes to a Wells Fargo account listed as "Stephanie Nielson Fund" set up by her family in Utah.)

PLEASE beware of any other "funds" claiming to be in their behalf... they are likely to be fraudulent.

Custom Card

Love this card. Check it out here.

September 09, 2008

More links

Yet another article (a column actually, so a slightly different angle) that appeared in the Arizona Republic yesterday (read here).

The author of the above article wrote this about Stephanie back in November. I thought it would be fun to let you know about some of the "NieNie sitings" from before the accident.

- Bluelines (blog from the short-lived "Martha" mag "Blueprint.")

- Cookie magazine blog.

- Design Mom

Another video

Watch the 12 News video here.

Isn't my mom cute?

Another news interview

This afternoon a reporter for channel 12 news (KPNX) came to my parents' house for an interview. My mom convinced me to come over. The interviewer only wanted 3 people on camera and since my older brother was there (and because my voice is all weird and croaky because I'm getting over a cold) I sat out. It was interesting to watch the interview though. But 30 minutes of interviewing will be boiled down into 1 minute on the 6:00 news tonight.

Watch for mom and dad and Peter.

In the news....

Here is a link to the segment from the Today Show this morning. I cried. My kids were so pleased to see their cousins, Claire, Jane, Ollie and Gigs on TV... just a still photo, but still cool. We sure miss those kids!!!!

And here is an article that appeared in the East Valley Tribune today.

September 08, 2008

Tune in Tomorrow

Here is the scoop:

The Today Show interview will be tomorrow, Tuesday, September 9th. It will be live on the east coast at 7:00 a.m. (4:00 a.m. here in AZ... good thing my parents are early-risers), but it will be broadcast at 7:00 local time (where ever you are) so tune in.

UPDATE: Looks like my parents wiggled their way out of this one, and now just the Clarks (Stephanie's family) are going to do it. :)

September 07, 2008

Beware of Telemarketers... or whatever

We had just walked in the house this afternoon after arriving home from church. I headed to the bedroom to change my clothes (so I could make rolls for Sunday dinner at my parents' house) when the phone rang. I looked at the caller-ID in the bedroom... it said, "NATIONAL BROADC" and a long-distance phone number. I immediately thought, "Stupid telemarketers" and let it ring.

Little did I know that in the kitchen, Jay saw it and thought, "Political pollster!" He answered it.

A minute later, Jay walked into the bedroom with the phone to his ear saying, "I think you should probably talk to my wife. Just a minute." I'm thinking, "Are you kidding? I don't want to talk to a stupid telemarketer or whatever!" I looked at him like he was crazy, but he held out the phone to me and whispered, "It's a producer from The Today Show."

I dropped the hand-mirror I was about to put away.... it shattered on the bathroom floor.

It clicked in my head: NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY = NBC.

I'm still unclear how they tracked me down (I guess these guys have lots of connections and huge databases of info, but still). My parents' phone is unlisted, and my number is listed... and under my name (not Jay's), so I suppose it wasn't too hard.

Bottom line: someone scouting stories for the show came across this New York Times article about Christian and Stephanie, and they want to do a segment this week. Naturally, I was caught off guard. I listened to her go on, and then asked her to give me her contact information, told her my family was getting together for dinner this evening, and that we would discuss it and someone would get back to her.

Well, I guess my parents (and Stephanie's parents) are going to be on the Today Show sometime this week. My parents had a small taste of this from a local TV news station (see video here). I promise you they are not thrilled about being on national television (Steph's parents are both in politics, so being in the limelight is old hat for them), but the story has spread like wildfire, and because of the NY Times article it's already national news, and they figure it's good publicity for strong families, and maybe even for the church.

I think poor Jay was disappointed that he didn't get to participate in a political poll.

September 04, 2008

It Begins

Long before he met me, Jay walked into a pawn shop one day out of boredom and noticed a half-size cello. He had become fascinated with the instrument recently, and since he was young and single, gainfully employed, and the cello could be had for very little, he bought it.

When we began dating seriously, I was surprised to learn that he owned a cello.... but didn't know how to play it and had never had a lesson in his life. He said he would like to learn someday. Well, I don't think that someday will ever come, but now that Collin is old enough (and reading music well, thanks to piano lessons) we can finally put it to use.

Collin had his first cello lesson yesterday, from Jeremy, a high school senior who lives down the street and plays in the school orchestra. He has a really fun personality, and Collin is having a blast already. I think Jeremy will be a good teacher (and the price is right... and he comes to our house!). So, we will see if Collin decides to stick with it.

Hope Concert



September 03, 2008

Prayer Works

My brother Peter and his wife Darin visited Christian yesterday. I enjoyed this report from them:

Christian was cinched up in his new back brace and strapped into a fancy chair when Peter and I saw him yesterday. He was in a sitting position after 17 days at "30 degree maximum" as he put it. (That's the most incline he is allowed in the bed.) It was so fun to hear his voice, though it's not quite his yet. He was laboring to talk and to stay alert, but he had his humor and was coherent.
As we were saying goodbye, he swelled with thanks for our visiting him and then he spoke so beautifully about prayer that I wrote it down after we left so I wouldn't forget. He said, "Thank you for the prayers. I feel them. I feel them. I've needed them more this past week (17 days, but who's counting :) than I ever have in my life. And there have been times in here when I needed them so badly, and I could feel them. Keep them coming."

Thank you all SO much for your prayers. Please "keep them coming!"

September 01, 2008

Labor Day

After a big family Labor Day bash at my sister's house, Jay and I went to the hospital this evening. Christian was extubated today (I think that is the correct term... had the tubes removed from this mouth), so that means he can talk! He is not very lucid because of all the medication (they assured us it would wear off), but it's just so good to hear his voice and know that he is going to be OK.

It's kind of funny because he is so "out-of-it." It is sort of like he is drunk (which he never has been in his life)... his speech of kind of slurred (not to mention the fact that this lips and mouth are extremely dry which only makes it harder to talk) and the things that come out of his mouth are quite funny.

A couple of times he talked to an imaginary "Officer Hall" and thanked him for this service to his country. (The nurse said that just before we arrived Christian had been accusing everyone of stealing his dishwasher.) He said he needed to borrow someone's cell phone. I told him my battery was dead, but maybe tomorrow. Later he said he had some keys and he needed me to lock up some things for him. I pretended to take the keys and lock something, and he thanked me. I wanted to, but I didn't laugh.

It reminded me of when Christian was a little boy. He was a sleep-walker.... and talker! He would walk around the house and say strange things, and try to go outside. We would just laugh and my dad would lead him back to bed. Tonight was like that.

In between the goofy-ness, he asked us several times to take him to Mom's house. When we gently told him that we would do that soon, but not just yet, he asked to go to our house, and then he would say, "OK, let's go! I'm ready! Let's go!" and he would try to get up. When I assured him we would go there later, he said, "I need a safe place to go." I finally said, "OK, let's go," and pretended that we were going, and then said, "OK. Here we are, it's nice and safe here and these people are going to take good care of you." He asked me not to leave and I said I would stay.

A couple of times he asked Jay if he had anything to say. Jay mentioned sports and the party we had just come from, which seemed to kind of get a laugh from Christian.

When he got really agitated, I asked Christian if he would like me to sing him a song. He nodded vigorously, so I asked him if he would like to choose a song, but he didn't respond. Jay suggested a Def Leppard song, but since I don't know any (:P) I sang him a couple of hymns. I didn't know what his favorites are, so I sang two of my favorites.... "I Need Thee Every Hour," and "I Stand All Amazed." He was calm and seemed to appreciate it.

Finally, I told him it was time to go to sleep and that we were going to leave, but that Jay would be stopping by to visit him during his lunch hour tomorrow since his office is just a few minutes away. He seemed very appreciative and kept saying, "Oh, thank you so much." I was about to say, "I love you Christian," when he beat me to the punch. That didn't stop me from saying it though. It made me sad to think that I don't ever remember telling him that to his face before in my life.

I am going to make sure I say it more often to all of my siblings.