Friday, May 29, 2015

Cal Walks

Today is Friday and literally the first time I've sat at my computer since my post last Thursday.  I feel like I have quite a bit to share, but so little time to do it!  I'll try next week to update you on a few things with Elena.  For now, I have about five minutes...

Cal is a full-time walker!  Last Friday, he was really working up the courage to venture out onto our hardwood floors and by Saturday, he was walking everywhere.  Since then, he hasn't crawled anywhere.  To say he's proud of himself is an understatement.  He beams his biggest cheesy grin when you ooh and awww over him.  In a week's time, he's pretty steady.  No major falls yet.

In our house, walking is a privilege.  It isn't something to dread (though he is much quicker!) or to fear.  It always stings a bit when you hear someone say with warning or sarcasm, "oh just wait until he/she's walking".  Don't they know even though it can make things a bit wilder and more hectic, that it is a pure honor to get to see your child walk for the first time?  It doesn't stop there either.  Lots of things Cal is able to do are privileges.  Ones that can be gone in an instant.  I still watch in amazement when he gulps down his milk or he looks straight into my eyes.  Cal is often our little reminder of the miracle of life and of all the things we should never take for granted.

Now excuse me, I have a little one to chase! :)

Surprisingly I don't have very many videos of him walking!  But this makes us laugh.  He carries his milk or water around like this everywhere...quite the little problem solver, he is!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


We have been so humbled by you guys.  Wow.  We received a total of $4600 in contributions for the Jackson Center in Elena's name!  This is more than double what we raised last year.  What a huge blessing you all have given us and this very special place that gives us hope.

Knowing what an amazing support system our family has is everything to us.  It's moments like these where we are reminded how many of you out there are behind us, praying for us, loving us and encouraging us.  Let me tell you, this world of ours can be an awfully isolating place.  You can feel alone and like no one understands what you're dealing with.  But having your support and seeing your love for Elena, reminds us otherwise.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!

**This is Elena and her best buddy from the Jackson Center, Ben.  They've been in class together for almost two years, always talking to each other, giggling and have even been known to reach out to each other and "hold hands".  He's the sweetest little guy!  We're thankful for Elena to have little friends who are like her and make us smile!

Monday, May 11, 2015

One Week to GO!

THANK YOU!!!  To all who have donated to the Jackson Center on Elena's behalf!  Oh my goodness have we been overwhelmed at your generosity and love for her.  We have raised well beyond what we did last year and are excited to see the donations continue to pour in!

We have less than a week to go, but there is still time to donate if you'd like.  You can mail a check directly to The Jackson Center (802 N. Samuel Moore Pkwy. Mooresville, IN 46158) and put Elena's name in the Notes/Memo section of the check.

Or you can donate directly online by clicking HERE.
Just be sure to select "Individual Walker", scroll down and select "Hinton, Elena".  Otherwise, your donation won't be credited to her.

Remember, you don't have to do the walk to donate and you don't have to donate to walk!  We so appreciate you supporting our beloved Elena and the Jackson Center.  Your prayers, love and support really mean the world to us.

I'll leave you with a funny video we took yesterday of Elena & her Uncle Evan competing to be the noisiest!  I'm not sure who won, but it sure got us all laughing!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Laney Lately

I don't feel like I've given an update in awhile on how/what Elena has been up to.  I've been busy in the last couple weeks getting organized for summer schedules.  Oh, schedules.  I always have a laugh when people say to me, "just wait until your kid is in sports, dance, etc".  I think to myself, ummmm...we've been running all over this town nearly every week day for 3.5 years, little league schedules have nothing on the Hinton family.  I always anticipate things to slow up a bit for Elena in the summer, but that's obviously crazy because her schedule this summer is busier than ever.

Elena will be going to the Jackson Center two FULL days this summer.  She'll get a half day of therapy and a half day of education (preschool) class.  I'm so excited for her to have this opportunity.  Consistency is key for her and spending all day with her friends, working hard in therapy and school is going to be good for her.  Plus, they'll do weekly field trips with the whole Jackson Center crew.  She's going to love it (and be totally exhausted!).  This is also more convenient for Cal and me, as I won't have to chase a toddler around in a confined and toy limited space for three hours.  Hooray for all!

In addition to the JC, Elena will continue to receive therapy services a few hours a week from her school.  She will get to do swim therapy with her amazing PT and OT once a week, and have weekly visits from her speech therapist, vision teacher and preschool teacher.  Then somehow we will manage to sneak in an hour of OT in clinic and Speech Therapy in clinic.  I mean it's exhausting typing all of that.  I can't wait to see how many miles I'm going to log shuttling her everywhere!

Schedules aside, we're super encouraged about the progress we've seen in Elena the last few months.  She's moving in an awesome direction and it's giving us new hope on a daily basis.  She is working so hard in all of her therapies, which is nothing new, but it's nice to get good feedback from her.  We've really begun to see how much Elena is really "in there" and just bursting to get out.  She's easily the most admired kid in her class at school.  Her teacher is always telling us hilarious stories of what her peers say and try to do for her.  At the JC, it's the same.  She "talks" the whole time to her friends Ben, Kutter and Lilliana.  She has so much personality just bursting to get out!

We've really begun to focus on helping her get that sweet personality out.  She's going to be seeing an adaptive communication device specialist over the summer to help us hone in on what is going to be Elena's best form of communication.  We're so excited at the thought of Elena being able to communicate with us.  It's obvious she has so much in there that her poor broken body holds her back from. As of now, we're pretty uncertain which form will be the easiest for Elena to communicate, so we're praying that this therapist can help us determine that.  I will keep you posted as we know more!

As I've mentioned before, with kids like Elena, the future is an often scary place for our minds to go, but lately my heart has been bursting with so much hope for our girl.  I'm certainly realistic about her prognosis, but as I watch her in therapy, as I have every day for 3.5 years, I just see so much inside her.  I'm encouraged about what she may achieve in the next few years.  It's definitely not easy, for her or for us.  And it most definitely isn't always rosy.  But hope and encouragement are EVERYTHING in our situation and it's a really big blessing when they're not hard to grasp.  If there's one thing that is a constant in all this it is that God doesn't necessarily always answer the exact prayer that WE want, but gosh, if you don't see the work He has done in our family, in our Elena, you're missing something really beautiful.