My Photo

Nice to meet you

  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

Subscribe to my blog

  • Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

Powered by Rollyo

« iPads and Popsicles | Main | What Stress Does »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


We will keep praying for sweet Emma. It is an honor to lift you all to the Father.



GOOD news again!!

I am sure it was hard; but now that the hurdle has been jumped it will get easier for Emma.

Still continued prayers and blessings...


I prayed for Emma specifically about this. Nothing is too big or small for GOD! Praise Him! He loves all of you and cares about all the details. Hugs to Emma! You girls are sweet and what a Godly daddy you have. We are still standing in the gap for you and your mom.


While I have been sharing Joanne's story with my family over the past month, tonight we all (myself, my husband and 3 little girls) sat in front of the computer and poured over the latest photos on Kristen's blog...what a blessing of a day. We are sharing in your joy Toben and just loving you. Thanking Jesus for the miracle of answered prayers.

Gina Roberts

We are rejoicing with you all tonight over Emma's visit! Emma just remember Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I will be praying that tomorrows visit will be a very special time for Emma and her Mom.

What an awesome God we serve! Continuing to lift up BIG prayers for Joanne.


Wow, this was a big step for Emma. Holding you all up in prayer, and will be praying for a special family visit tomorrow.


Thank you Lord! Once again, you show i=us how much you love us all, and how your timing is perfect!

Catalina Booth

I found your story through Marla Taviano and now look forward to reading updates every night. And praying. So excited to hear about Joanne's ability to communicate. I am going to share the blog with my sister in law who does research into the effects of stroke on language and speech.

Helen at A Work of Heart

That is just so amazing! I am so proud of Emma and so proud of you all. You are in such one accord (and not the car) that it is a beautiful thing to "see".


I am so glad for you all.
Toben-Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated on all the progress.
Joanne-I miss you so much! I smiled at the store yesterday when I saw the box of otter pops. Wondered if there were any orange ones. Not sure how well they'd mail.
Kay-Miss you and thinking of you as well!
Kristen-Thanks for sharing through your words and pictures as well.


I know that must have been so hard for Emma, but no doubt it also eased some of her fears for her mommy. She was very brave, and I know Joanne knows that.

Praying for all those things!

Linda Stubbs Prairie Flower

I have prayed......but never have written a comment until tonight. I had shared about Joanne when everything first started on my blog. Tonight reading your post blessed my heart. It is so wonderful that Emma was able to finally see her Momma. Praying that God will use this in her life some day to bring much glory to Himself. Sorry you are all walking this, but as you already know it will not be wasted!

One day in Heaven......when we are standing around before our Father.........we will see all the people that came to Christ because of your faithfulness to your wife. People are watching..........commitment is a wonderful thing! Specially in todays world. Thank you from our family!

Blessings, Linda

Sandi in MN

I cried when I read the last two blog posts. So good Emma went to see her momma. Much needed for both! Praise God! He hears our prayers! Will be lifting them both up tomorrow!

Melana Cummings

Please tell Emma that I am proud of her for being so brave and doing this thing for her momma. I am glad this happened like it did, making it about Joanne. You're a good dad.


Another yey! Joanne is always on my mind, and I'm continuing to lift her and all of you up to God. May He continue to do His marvelous work!

Marla Taviano

Oh, Toben. What a huge sigh of relief for all of you. Gabe and I just had a 30-minute stand-off with our own #2 daughter. Tears, meltdown, yelling, the works. I took a break at Gabe's insistence :) and went in the other room and checked my google reader and saw this post. Cried some tears, hugged my girl, feel completely worn out. Praying for Emma and Joanne right now. So, so thankful for this first step. I know God will heal the tension and make their relationship even better than before. Love you all.


I am so glad Emma was able to make that difficult first step. Now that she knows what to expect it will get much easier for her. Continue to follow you on twitter and here as your family is in my heart and prayers everyday.

Still Praying in Hurst, TX.


Honestly, I was with two friends tonight, and we were asking each other whether or not Emma had seen her mom yet. We don't know you all--we've just all three been praying for you so much that we talk about you like you're family. I'm so happy to come home and see this wonderful update. Continued wisdom and blessings and healing for all!


Thanks for keeping everyone up to date on what is happening. God uses your blog and updates to keep Joanne in the forefront of my mind to remember to be in prayer for the needs. The progress has been amazing and encouraging to us to keep praying BIG. I had never heard of Joanne or the family until I read a prayer request on another web page. I have been especially touched by Emma's situation. I praise the Lord that she has taken that first step. Will keep praying.


It is easy as an adult to know what we are responsible for, what we can control and what we are powerless over. Children can feel very much responsible for events and can create fantasies about what they did to cause tragedy and then internalize a lot of guilt, blame and shame. Emma needs a lot of reassurance that she did not cause Joanne to have the stroke, over and over she needs to be told it is not her fault. It is hard for logical adults to understand this complexity of a child's spirit. Hopefully the iPad notes and now seeing Joanne will help a bit to heal this sorrow.

Continuing praise and prayer.

Tara Barnett

Yeah Emma! This is a huge step. I pray that this will be a turning point for her and some healing can begin for her. Tell her that we are all praying for her and are very proud of her!


Thanks for sharing this! It touched my heart. We will continue to pray that as Emma sees her Momma getting stronger her heart will be able to heal.


Continuing in prayer.



Janet Wermel

through an interesting set of circumstances I found Joanne's blog about i week ago through a quilter's blog. Then,an old teacher from CSCS (Colorado Springs Christian Schools) asked me at church last Sunday if I knew of Joanne ( she graduated much earlier than my kids did) and her situation. What a coincidence! I am praying for your whole family!


Yes!!! Emma, your family is so proud of you. You did great! I will be praying for you tomorrow as you CELEBRATE with your momma her being awake and the GOODNESS of God. :)

Melissa, your photos speak volumes. What a tremendous gift to be able to share with your beloved sister in days to come. So glad your little man's surgery went well. You are amazing.

Audrey, the weekend has come! You made it through another week of school. Now you truly get to spend some special time with your entire family. Think of the drawings and words shared back and forth with your momma. And...maybe even some orange otter pops!

Toben, you are doing wonderful things for your family. Thank you for also blessing the readers with your snapshot word imagery. You are a talented writer that brings words to life. Joanne will really cherish that in the days to come. Her desire to curl up with a good book will be fulfilled. :0)

Continuing to pray that the antibiotics will work quickly, and Joanne will be refreshed. Press on Joanne! God has awesome and mighty plans for you.


Psalm 91:1-2 NIV84

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

I was so glad to hear that Audrey and Emma had memorized these verses with their momma. Take hold of these verses knowing you all are in the Almighty's loving grasp. Trust in Him even when it is difficult to SEE what road lies ahead. Know that God is there.

Pam Houston

So thankful for this awesome breakthrough for Emma! PTL for Kristen's wisdom in paving the way by showing Emma pic's of her Mommy. Joining everyone in praying that tomorrow Joanne will be more alert and able to engage more fully with Emma during a wake period. It's so wonderful to see God's love in action through your entire family. AMazing grace...Continuing to "Pray BIG" in So. Cal.


You hang in there Emma! God, your dad and family have got your back. your momma needs to see your sweet face. All us moms out here are SUPER proud of you and your willingness to do the hard thing. Trust God and take the next step. We r all praying for you
Love the Longorias in Chicago

Theresa Roach

I am thankful that Emma went to see her Mom and that Joanne got to see Emma:) I continue to keep you all in my prayers! Praise God for blessings flowing all around you and your Family! Hugs from Georgia

Kim Feth

See if the hospital has a Child Life Specialist who can work with both of the girls, but specifically Emma, on dealing with Joanne's medical issues. That's their specialty.
Continuing to life all of the family in prayer and praying BIG for Joanne to have a complete recovery that is so astounding that it can only come from GOD.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

yanna westmoreland

Joanne is a mom. She would miss her "baby" and her first note to Emma suggesting they share a frosty after school is priceless. Joanne knew Emma was hurting, and knew what she would need to hear. I was finally able to figure out Kristen's blog and the photos of Joanne are beautiful. God is moving in a powerful way in so many avenues of Complete Healing for Joanne. I will pray for the infection, yet without it, there would have been no yellow gown moment. The infection will go away and I just already hear how that becomes a life sermon...a little "infection" goes a long way to bringing out the good when we keep the faith. My faith, my prayers, and my prayers are directed Upward from Bryan, Tx. Have a blessed day filled with joy!

yanna westmoreland

Meant to type my faith, prayers and PRAISE! Are directed Upward. If you read this Toben before Valentine time for the kids gift to their dad I had them open their arms wide and with a piece of calculator paper (something else could be used) meaured the spance of their arm hand to hand. Then we glued a heart to each end and on the paper wrote "I love you this much" might be fun for Joanne to make a valentine for Emma and Audrey. :)


So thankful for answered prayers! I am SO glad Emma has seen her Mother and will pray for this to be easier for her each time she goes. Prayerfully the visit goes even better for Emma and Joanne today.
Blessings and prayers for your entire family,
Matthew 21:22
Psalm 46:10


I came over from Bring the Rain. My father suffered a stroke at 48 when I was 11, so I know what it feels like to be that child. Then, two years ago this month, my sister had heart surgery. In the process, they damaged her leg. In rehab she fell and incurred a brain injury, so the rest of your story was our story too. She isn't nearly as healthy as Joanne, so your's is already a brighter story and I believe will have a happy ending.
Anyway, through the hospital and rehab experiences, we encountered those infections of which you speak, over and over again. I encouraged my brother-in-law to speak to someone about using some good probiotics. It really made all the difference. Might be something you want to ask about.
Continuing to pray and wish all the best for each one of you. It is a long hard road.


YAY! Emma!! Soooo happy you saw your Mom!! I am praying ALL of you have another BIG day!
Still praying Those BIG prayers for our BIG GOD to perform more of HIS awesome Miracles today and each day to come!!!
Thank you so much Lord!!


What a brave girls you have in Emma and Audrey, and how lucky they are to have such wonderful family support to help them through these days! So proud of Emma for taking this step. I will be praying today that the next visit goes as well as it can, for all of you, and that this infection gets gone! Thanks again for the positive updates! I think it is just amazing that you are so good to take the time to update us all.
Barb from CNY


what a sign of maturity that Emma was able to put aside her own fears to do something amazing for her mom. Each visit will get easier. So proud of her.

Rachel B

Good job Emma. That was tough, but you and Jesus did it together. Keep loving your mom,OK? And whenever you need to, run to Jesus. He's got strong arms.


Living in Tucson, following Joanne's progress gives insight on Cong. Giffords challenges. So happy to hear all the good news. I have granddaughters similar ages and can only imagine how hard this all is. Blessings to all.


So much good news in last two days it is hard to take it all in -- and I only know you guys from the blog! I'm so thankful and so full of gratitude to the Lord for the progress made and the encouragement you receive from our notes and from each other.

Praise God for His ongoing presence and generosity and everlasting LOVE.

anne elhajoui

Awesome news! I've really felt burdened for the last week or so that Joanne would be missing Emma (and be worried about her too). As a mom, I know how I would feel. And I felt God imprint on my heart that seeing Emma wouldl help Joanne heal. In response, I've been praying that Emma would have the courage to see her. So it was amazing that Joanne wrote her iPad request to see Emma after I'd been feeling it and praying over it so intensely all week. I'm sure I was not alone on that. I love the way God puts specific prayers in people's hearts! Anne

leith name is leith mchugh...we met years ago through sara grage...i have followed your story this past month & am part of your cheer squad...from afar...good job! well done!
i wanted to pass along our "story"...i dont know if you remember our Hadley Rae? she was born without part of her brain? anyways, she went to be with our King 2 weeks is our story...hope it encourages you...feel free to post it, pass it on, share it as you wish. again, im on your cheer team!! love to you and yours.


Emma - I am so happy that you were able to see your Mom. I think it had to mean so much for your Mom to see you. My thoughts and prayers have been with all of you, since I read about your Mom. I am so happy that your Mom has made such tremendous progress in getting better. I bet that with you being able to be come see her, that will bring her so much joy and help her be stronger everyday. I am so glad that she is able to communicate - through the signs - 'thumbs up', 'I Love You' and now with the iPad, which is great. I am sure she will have so much to share with you, your sister, your dad and everyone else.
God Bless to your Mom and her beautiful family!

Shannon Primicerio

What great news! I'm praying Emma can have a nice longer visit with Joanne today. These improvements with reading and writing on the i-Pad sound amazing! Praise God!

Linda Schaich

Thank you, Jesus for answered Prayers!!


That is such great news! Y'all continue to be in my prayers!

Robin Melkus

Just wanted to mention that Yahoo News has an article re: stroke recovery on their main page today.


Emma- Good job girlie! While I don't personally know you, I am so incredibly proud of you! That was a great first step to make and I know your mom was so happy to see you!!! WAY TO GO!!

Audrey- I have to tell you how much your bravery makes me smile. You're doing an AMAZING JOB! Every time I read your dad's writing and it mentions how well you're doing with all the changes in your life I can't help but say, "GO AUDREY GO!"

I'm in college here in Texas taking a lot of classes and working at the same time, but I ALWAYS make time to see what y'all are up to and how your mom is doing. I'm still praying and I know God will continue to knock our socks off!

Love, Mere


Joanne's progress is stunning...and your faithfulness to keep us all posted is amazing. Thank you. Prayers continue for all of you.

Becky K.

Whew! It is a good thing I didn't have my makeup on yet when I read this one. I'd definitely be doing it all over again if I had!

Anyway...I am struck that it was not just for Joanne. Dear Emma needed this too. God knew when the timing was right...

Praying as you settle into the long mileage part of this marathon. Our own experience taught us that while our loved one was never exactly the same as he had been before...the changed man was every bit as lovable and dear to us. I honestly believe that it drew us even closer than we would have been otherwise.

Praying for Audrey as she processes everything. I am glad you are keeping a close eye on her lack of appetite.

Toben, you are such a great Dad and husband.
You are making your family proud, I am very sure. I'll pray that your time back at work is productive and that you have peace while you are there that all is well.

Lori Powell

Can't stop the tears as I read this post... So very glad for Emma & Joanne that they got to see each other again. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Adopt a Compassion child

  • Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

Visit my Amazon bookshop