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  • 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!

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« Audrey here... 2 | Main | Emma's Visit »


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Rachel B

Thumbs up and silly grin. Boy I hope these count as a Hallelujah.


I don't know Joanne, I'd never read her post until I saw the "pray for Joanne" on another blog that I read from time to time. Since then I have been hooked and reading daily to see the progress. I have prayed for Joanne and today I was in tears reading what a miracle her progress is becoming (as a nurse, I sometimes forget that God can do anything, and just focus on the reality of the situation). Thank you for giving me such a sweet view into your lives during this difficult time. It has challenged me and made me think about my faith, family and what really is most important in my life.

northern girl

Excellent news.
Praying for her body to fight the infection and to breathe more easily with the capped trach.

Debbi T

Wow! I'm in tears even though I don't know Joanne. Been reading and praying since a couple days after the stroke. We serve a BIG BiG God!

Kristen McWilliams

What an incredible God we serve!!!! Loved reading this post!! It is so obvious how God is working in and through your circumstances! What a testimony you will all have on the other side of this...what an adventure to share with a hurting world. God will be glorified through you, Joanne, your family and your daughters...a legacy of faith, grace, hope and God's tremendous goodness! Keep up the good fight! (:


I am so blessed to read this update. Following Joanne's story since she had her stroke and praying fervently for her it is wonderful to hear and see God's answer's to so many prayers. I am so happy for Joanne and her entire family, Praise be to our God!!


AHHHH! Amazing!!!! So excited to hear this news!!! =)

Praise, praise, praise is SO right! =)

Sycamore, OH


AMEN!!! Fabulous news!

Dina kiser

Oh my word the tears are flowing down my face. I actually have no words except praises to our God! Just yesterday Audrey is wanting to hear from her mom and today her mom wrote her and told her she loved her. Just so many things in this post and yet all praise goes to our wonderful God!!! WOW!!! Joanne we are all rooting for you and so incredibly proud of you. Bless you all!

Melana Cummings

Sittin' here in my little home office clapping my hands...with just a few tears running down the face!!!


You GO, GOD!!

Kimberly in California

PRAISE GOD!!! THANK YOU JESUS! I totally cried when I read this post, and then cried again every time I told friends about it. God is so good! Thank you for sharing this wonderful news!


WAY TO GO JOANNE!!! Again such amazing news Toben. YOu all must be so happy. Praising Jesus for all his miracles!

Margie Smallman

Can hardly see to type!! Praise the Lord!

Vicky Farrow

I read this post at work with tears streaming down my face. I am so glad that there has been a breakthrough. Vicky in australia


Praise God!!
This is simply amazing and shall stand as a testament of who He is.
Continued prayer heading your way!


I am bawling. I feel like we are witnessing a miracle. Praise the Lord.


Oh Praise the Lord! This is the best news we have had! She is in there! The can communicate and she can share herself with you all again!
Thank you God!
Blessings to all!!!!

Lee Ann Lee

Tears of joy! Our God is an Awesome God! LOVE LOVE LOVE that she told Audrey she loves her and that is exactly what Audrey was needing. LOVE LOVE LOVE that our God doesn't miss a single detail. CANNOT wait to see what Joanne has to say tomorrow!!!!!

Ann Monken

So amazed. Our god is so big. I love the phrase Pray Big

Sharon Brumfield

You know I should not be amazed...but I am. Someone once said that the reason the angels have stood for eternity around the throne crying..Holy, Holy, Holy..non stop.. is that God is constantly revealing new things about Himself to these beautiful creatures.
So with the angels I cry....Holy, Holy Holy....our God is simply amazing!
Thank you God for the evidence of your hand on this family.
Still praying in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.


Oh, Toben!! You don't know me, but I'm in Lititz, PA and have been praying for all of you. I followed your link (early on)from one of my friend's blog and have been checking in with you guys almost every day. My eyes were filled with joyful tears as I read your latest post. PRAISE GOD that Joanne can "talk" to you. Your hearts must be overflowing. Warmly, Susan


That is absolutely the best news I have heard all day!!!!! Praise God! Praise God! Praise Jesus! Thank you so much, Jesus! So full of joy that Joanne is able to communicate now!!! God is so good! I am still praying!

Kristy Beckendorf

Oh my goodness! I laughed out loud I am so excited! I had to read it to my daughter, as my whole family has been kept up on her progress. Wow!!!! I am so happy for the girls, especially after Audrey's last post. They SO needed this, you too Toben! Can't wait to hear about all the things she has to say!!!!!

mary beth

I am blown away just thinking about Joanne must have felt when this all happened and she was really able to communicate with you all beyond yes and no. What a barrier that came tumbling down in that little moment! What joy and release in her sweet spirit to have that breakthrough! What an awesome God we serve! she will sleep well tonight and you will too. The part about the gun belt is still cracking me up! Prayers in Kansas for complete healing!


Woo Hoo! This is extremely wonderful news. This is so exciting! God is so good. Keep it up Joanne! You're doing great!


So happy happy happy.... God is good!
Love and hugs and hallelujah high-fives!


becky m

WHHOOOOO HHHOOOO, that is like just so awesome. i am glad she was able to speak to you guys. that must have felt so great. i bet Emma will be so happy her mom wrote her a note,maybe it will make it easier for her to come visit her. Audrey i am sure will love her note too, especially after the dreams she has been having.
so cool!
too exciting.
hope things keep going well.


Although we probably will never meet, your story has touched my life, inspired me, re-excited me about the true love of our father in heaven. He is restoring you, blessing you, using you to reach others in ways you may never have been able to be used without this great trial. God really does love to use those who are just willing! Thank you for continuing to share with the world so that His light can shine!

Becky K.

Praying BIG continues. Can't wait to see the next chapter of this miracle in process!


Oh my gosh this is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC news!!!!! I am so happy for all of you that you will now be able to communicate better with Joanne. I understand how much this must bring you so much peace to know that she has these abilities. I'm so grateful for the joy this must bring to you

Sandy in Texas

Rejoicing with you all! Praising the Lord for this wonderful news! Thanking Him for answering prayers, meeting needs and showing His greatness to all of us today!!!
Just blesses my socks off! How great is our God....

Kathleen Bensi

I can't wait to meet Joanne! I am praising God with you!


wow!!!! that's all I can say!!! God Is GOOD!!!!!!!!


Praise God!! Wonderful news!

Carrie Rogers

Amazing! Celebrating day by day with you! Oh the ways God is teaching me through your story! Thank you for letting us see God at work in your precious family!


This is my first time commenting, but I have been keeping up with your posts since Joanne's stroke. Virtual strangers - but your story has touched me beyond comprehension. I will keep on praying for healing and strength and courage. I am just so thrilled for all of you - and I am thanking God for this miracle!


Thank you Lord!!!!!!!! :) Yea!!!!!!!

Patti in Craig

Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing
Power and Majesty, Praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
at the sound of Your name. I sing for joy at the work of Your hands, forever I'll love You forever I'll stand, Nothing compares to the Promise I have in YOU!

Julie in Australia

Amazing! Crying and praising here in Australia.

Julie in Australia


I have just started following your story and have just read a few posts. I am a speech pathologist and am thrilled to read of the progress in communication. I just wanted to make sure you know you can turn the ipad into a communication device. It might be a good option with verbal output. Just a thought!!!!!


Just read this post to my husband and we are both in awe and praise of such an amazing report! I can't wait to hear more! I also can't help but think of Audrey's post just yesterday, saying how much she just wished her Mommy would tell her she loves her!! Thank you Jesus for the miracles of this day, especially for the blessings it brought Audrey & Emma! So cool!


Praise, praise, praise.

Thank you for sharing this news.


Smiling ear to ear fo rthis sweet family I do not knowbut have grown to care for so deeply. GOd's name be wonderful this day has been.


I continue to be blown away by God's goodness. So much to praise Him for. Tell Joanne I can't wait to read something that she has written :)
Sheree (Sydney Australia)


I'm so glad you guys have an IPad for keeping track of those notes. My husbands mother was in the ICU with a Trach for more than a month a few years back. She had a notebook to write notes to us. It's nice to have those notes to remember...


Face down with Thanksgiving ! God has something HUGE in store for Joanne! We DO serve a MIGHTY GOD ! I continue to share your blogs with a friend and praying that she SEES GOD through your testimony ! Our God still does MIRACLES ! Praying BIG !!

Julie Reese

I have major goose bumps!! We are witnessing a miracle--not just a common everyday occurrence but a true miracle from our Father. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy to us.
You, Toben, the girls, and your parents and Kristen are always in my thoughts and prayers. I'll continue to pray.

Susan Moher

Just 'DITTO" to all the above posts! AWESOME!! OUR GOD IS ABLE...C=
Thanks always for sharing and allowing us to share in this "MIRACLE IN THE MAKING"!!!
Love and rejoicing with you all!

Jennifer M

Best News! Praise our God! Rejoicing with you and yours!


Wow! Tears in my eyes! PRAISE YOU GOD! Thank You Father God so much for such a blessing! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Praising God with you all! Yah!!!!
Devanee Cogburn


Praising God and praying for Emma to be ready to share a frosty!

Mike Bernard

We have such an Awesome God!

Blessings from Oregon.

Mike & Stacy

Beth Whitney

WOW!!! I don't even know what else to say! God is AMAZING!!


I can't find my socks!!!!! They are so blown away!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!
Still praying for more BIG MIRACLES!!!!
Our God Is a Mighty God!!!
Soooooooo happy for ALL of you!!!


This is awesome!! Indeed, praise, praise, praise. Hoping that Joanne can fight this infection and you and the other visitors don't have to walk around like Easter Peeps.
Love to hear, read, about her reaction when she finds out how many followers she has on her blog.
I'm so happy things are going well for you and your girls.

Marla Taviano

I can't believe this. YES I CAN! Our God is sooooo awesome!! I love you, Joanne!! My heart is LEAPING for you!!!!


Amazing, amazing... Praise God!!


A friend of mine posted a prayer request for Joanne in her facebook status right after her stroke and have been following closely to her recovery through your blog daily. I am moved by the mighty powerful force of your faith as family and am praying for all of you daily. I do not know your family, but believe in the power of prayer with all my being. When she writes her future book about this experience and her complete recovery, I will be standing in line to have her autograph my copy. I was thrilled beyond words to read this post today. I will continue, along with the thousands of others, to lift all of you up in prayer.


I have never commented, Toben, but just wanted to say how happy I am for you guys about this. What an awesome leap!

Your family remains in our family's prayers.



Overwhelmed by God's care and healing and so happy for Joann and you and your entire family! Praising God and continuing to pray for all of you.

Julie M ~ The Little Red Shop

Excellent! God is sooo good!!! : )

Dawnette Thomas


Perfecting Pru

I have tears and a smile on my face! Who knew an ipad could be so handy! Congratulations on this breakthrough. Sending your family my love.

Rayleine Chagoya

Praise Him.He is the Mighty Healer.This is wonderful news.


It's mind-blowing and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to hear that news. If you are able, do tell her that prayers are being said for her in France too. More evidence that prayer really works.


Tears of pure JOY!! What an AWESOME GOD we serve. Continuing to pray BIG!

heidi carrico

woah...that is just happy, joyful news!! I can only imagine how you are feeling, finally being able to communicate with her. That is huge!!!!
Such a blessing for the girls as well... my goodness, that ipad is... Heavensent!!
Hey, Toben, thanks for all the updates, I check on her like...10 times a day. I never knew her or your family until I saw Kelly posted about her, and since then... she has a special place in my heart!

Alrighty... we will continue praying and smiling from head to toes with the awesome news!!!!!!

Blessings from Indiana,


WOW. I think my goosebumps will disappear sometime later today!! So very greatful for these moments that you are sharing as a family. How far you have all come in the past few days in recovery. Not only is Joanne making such wonderful gains in her recovery, so are the rest of you, knowing that seeing so tangibly how our God is the ultimate healer. Continuing to pray big. And still saying WOW!!! Enjoy these days. They will only get better!!
grace and peace,


Glory! Glory! This is wonderful!!

When Mama started communicating after her stroke she was still quite foggy. She kept telling me that the yellow octopuses would get in the bed w/ her. We realized it was the therapists in their yellow gowns - there would be 2-4 of them moving her around so all those yellow arms in her bed made her quite nervous - too funny! I'm glad Joanne is clear-headed & knows what's happening - that's just incredible news!! Praise God!


WOW! God is GREAT!


We serve an amazing God!!


AMAZING! Thank GOD for the IPad & her ability to communicate! I just added this blog to my sidebar & will continue to be praying!

Tatia Cook

Praise "unto him that is able to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE all that we ask or think..." (Eph 3:20 KJV) I've got Holy Spirit goosebumps!!! Woo-Hoo - you go, God!! Been praying for Him to show Himself in such a way that the enemy can't get within a mile of that place! Love it when He answers our big prayers in the way that only He can :-)


Wow! Wow! Wow! Praise God! : )!!!! That is awesome news that totally brings a smile to my face! : ) You know, a dear friend of mine had an auto accident that almost destroyed her. She wasn't wearing her seatbelt and her head went outside the car and hit a tree, shattering her skull. A lot of her journey is similar to Jo's. She had the swelling in the brain, etc. and one of her first steps to recovery was being able to communicate with others since she couldn't use her voice. The iPad hadn't come out yet, so she had a paper keyboard that she used to point to and spell things out. Her body was damaged, but her mind was fully and totally there. I remember feeling that same joy and excitement--it is such an amazing and wonderful feeling! : ) Congratulations! Wishing you guys many blessings with this new breakthrough! Praise God for technology, huh? ; ) Thank God for His protective vigil over your wife and His continued healing hand. : )


Have tears of joy right now! I love, love, love what Joanne has chosen to write so far. Shows her sense of humor and I sense that her mood is light. And I love that she got a good laugh at your gowns! It is also great, as you said, that she can communicate about how she can be more comfortable. So glad you sensed she had something to say and that you have the iPad to allow her to "speak" right now. And thrilled beyond belief that she is all there. God is so good! Praying that Emma will be able to see Joanne, if she hasn't yet.

Aunt T

This is from Gabe's Aunt T. All I can say is Praise HIS NAME! We are rejoicing in this and will continue to pray for JoAnne! Thanks for the updates through Marla.


Yea God!!! Answered prayers!! I prayed like crazy that Audrey would know how much her mom loved her- who would have thought God would have used an Ipad to do it! :-) Get that girl as many orange popsicles as she wants!

Ruth Brown

Thank You so much, Jesus. I love You. I love that You heal our crippled brains, hearts, minds, souls and bodies. Thank You so much.


again tears in my eyes! Your family's story is just amazing! I can just imagine the excitement and emotion beaming from you and your family!


AWESOME news! God is good ALL the time, and ALL the time God is good! He IS answering the prayers of His people! Such exciting news for your family!


Fantastic news!! As I was reading this post a tune started playing in my head... "Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below..."


This is so AWESOME! I giggled, I teared up, I praised God for Joanne and your family! Yay!


Awesome update.Continuing to pray.

kim (doo-dah)

I have read Joanne's blog for over a year now and cannot remember if I have commented before or not, am a siesta from LPM. Anyway, have been praying for Joanne and family since her stroke. PRAISING THE LORD WITH YOU!!!!


Praise God! Tears of joy are rolling down my face. Such an amazing answer to prayer! Please tell Joanne that we're rejoicing and continuing to pray for her.

yanna westmoreland

I am sobbing so hard I can't hardly see to type! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I love you Joanne and am praying prayers of thanksgiving and praise that God is bringing you Complete Healing and hearing our prayers! On my knees and jumping with joy from Bryan, TX

Leah C

Wow...what incredible news! So, so happy for all of you; tears of joy:) Still praying & praising...

Debra Anderson

This is such great news, Toben. I have been praying for Joanne every day. In fact, in the days after her stroke I was moved to write this column for the homeschooling website I contribute to. I just thought I'd share it. Chip and I look forward to finally have your family over for dinner when she's had a good recovery. :-)


I can't say that I know you or Joanne, but had heard about your blog thru the wonder of blogland a couple of weeks after Joanne had her stroke. I have been entranced by you updates as you, the kids & the family struggle thru this ordeal. The amount of love, commitment & compassion that you all share with us thru this blog is absolutely amazing. I have been reading your updates, shed tears and offered up prayers for your family as I've read along. This latest update is truly amazing news! I will continue to pray for you & your family!

Prayers from Indiana

Erin L.

Giddy with joy! What an amazing God we serve... love it!


Praise be to God, from whom ALL blessings flow! If this doesn't strengthen one's faith, I'm not sure anything could. Truly, completely AMAZED at God's GREATNESS! Still praying in Arkansas.


I have been reading your blog since Joanne's stroke. This is just another amazing God thing! Thank you God for this wonderful step forward. I'm praying for you all.

Ruthy :o)

With tears streaming down my cheeks I read your blog... GOD is AMAZING... when our Prayers are answered we are amazed! HE is so AWESOME in POWER and So WORTHY of our PRAISE....I just keep crying and THANKING JESUS...

Lots of Love n Hugs

Vondora Moss

My God is so BIG so STRONG & so MIGHTY there's NOTHING my God can not do!!! Praise Him! Praise Him!! Praise Him!!! I feel an Awesome testimony coming on :) Thank You Jesus...



Wonderful wonderful!

Joyce Black

TEARS OF JOY!!!! What a blessing and a miracle! Seeing God work though Joanne is huge to so many of us! His glory is revealed!!! Praise God! And you are a smart husband! xoxo

Mrs. Claus

Down here in Magnolia, AR I have goosebumps after reading this post! Praise the Lord!! Praise the Lord!!


Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. Praise Jesus!!


I have tears of JOY!! God is SO good! Now I love my I-pad even more, knowing how it is helping Joanne communicate. Praises and petitions to our mighty God will continue. Love you tons even though we haven't met.

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