Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mother Letter

If you could give a letter of encouragement for a mother, what would you say? Well, here is your opportunity...

In pursuit of a "free Christmas", this husband and father is collecting such letters at the Mother letter blog.

I'm working on mine, and will post it when I'm done...I hope you'll write one too, whether your a mom or not. Or at least visit the blog, and read the submitted ones in the comment section--they're a fun read! (though a bit of a tear least to a post partum mom!)

My Visa commercial

Hospital bill for me: $6200
Hospital bill for Hope: $2100
Doctor bill for me: $2400

Having Hope: priceless.

(Insurance doesn't hurt either...though I already see some of it billed incorrectly. Too bad I don't have better insurance...)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Heather at The Mouth behind the Moose is hosting "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving"--a chance to do what Abraham Lincoln originally intended Thanksgiving to be: "I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

We have tons to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. One of the most amazing ways God has provided for us this year is financially. For example, we got a large, very unexpected tax bill...and the next day, got a check for almost the exact same amount. That happened again about two weeks ago (though this time it was property taxes). It was an act of faith for Patrick to step down from a regular, salaried job, but God made it very clear that it was what he was supposed to do, and He has been very faithful in providing for us.

I am also incredibly thankful for answered prayer and new life. For quite a while, both myself and a small army were praying that God would either take away my desire for another baby, or for a successful pregnancy. Seriously, three days after I finally felt at peace with only having two children, I found out I was pregnant. God definitely has a sense of humor...and of surrender. When I had given up, there were still faithful friends praying for me and our family. It is amazingly obvious Who is really in charge, and the answer is definitely not me.

Paul said it well in his letter to the Ephesians:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Thankful Thursday, kid versions

I asked the kids for their thankful lists tonight--I was encouraging them to come up with ten...and they both came up with more than 20! Here they are:

Henry's list:

My sister, Hope
Star Wars videos
Music videos on the computer
Great Great grandma
Aunt Sharon
Ali (our cat)
Coloring and crayons
My teacher, Mrs. Hensley
The number 1,005 (??)
the letter H
going to the gym with Brandon
My class
Aden and Jacob living upstairs this summer
the colors brown and red
The tub (??)

Harmony's list: ("I'm thanksful for" )
my new baby, Hope
my friend Emi
feast at school
the water park in Columbus
Water park in Lafayette
the pool
the slippery slide at Mammaw and Pappaw's house
roasting seeds
my cat Ali
Strawberry festival
Miss Jennifer being our teacher
Henry comes to school after rest time
Miss Sophie and Miss Anna are my dance teachers
We went on a plane to San Diego
Playing with a girl on the beach
We get to help Pappaw set up the tree tomorrow
Going hiking
Pumpkin pie
My fluffy jammies (the footed ones)

Works for Me Wednesday--not losing baby socks

This is what I give new moms--a zippered lingerie bag. They wonder what it's for: the answer? Preventing the washer and dryer from eating baby socks. Works like a charm!

Now I need to take my own advice and get one...

For more great ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday: Quick bathroom re-do

We have a very small bathroom off of the dining room. When we originally chose the paint color, it was off white. But when we got it on the walls, it looked pink...very pink. Here's the before:

So on Sunday, before we went to the hospital to have Hope, we were walking Walmart (the only remaining place to shop for housewares in town), we talked about going with brown bathmats and towels. Patrick picked some up last Saturday, and he and Harmony "redid" the bathroom yesterday. Amazing what a difference some new towels and a bath mat make!

Christmas giveaways

Christmas Giveaway Gifts 240x240

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting some great Christmas give aways! Henry eould be over the moon happy if we won the PS2 with Batman legos (since I'm sure that's not on our shopping list for several years!)
Check it out at This site.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Melodic Monday-- High Hopes

I find myself singing this every time I say, "Hi, Hope"...

Next time you're found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can't
Move a rubber tree plant

But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time you're gettin' low
'stead of lettin' go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

When troubles call, and your back's to the wall
There a lot to be learned, that wall could fall

Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he'd punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin' that dam

but he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time you're feelin' bad
'stead of feelin' sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam

All problems just a toy balloon
They'll be bursted soon
They're just bound to go pop

Oops there goes another problem kerplop
Oops, there goes another problem kerplop
Oops, there goes another problem kerplop

Writer(s): Cahn/Van Heusen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Newborn babies and milk

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." 1 Peter 2:2-3

I'm not sure how Peter came up with this analogy, seeing as he probably never nursed a newborn. But having a newborn definitely sheds some light on this passage!

First, Hope is happiest if she eats every two hours...sometimes more. She's pretty funny when she's hungry--there is a distinct "boob lean" (open mouth, leaning to the side) that she (and Henry and Harmony) has. Sometimes she ends up sucking on my arm or her hand--not quite sure what the real source of milk is. And sometiems she gets so excited she has a hard time latching on.

With all three kids, I've had a pretty copious milk supply--Henry used to "yeep" when he was eating, while Harmony and Hope either choked on it or pulled off before choking. Sometimes Hope wants more, even when her tummy is full (leading to lots of spit-up).

So are you eating from the Word frequently? Do you get excited about what you're reading? What's your strategy when it is pretty intense?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday funny--Henry's dilemma

On Mondays, Henry does a "weekend report"--a picture with invented spelling description of the weekend's highlight. He had a hard time deciding whether he should write about seeing the principal at Walmart, going to Chuck E. Cheese with grandma, or his baby sister, Hope, arriving. Hope won, but it was a tough decision!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful Thursday--Hope!

Our major praise for the week is the safe arrival of Hope Eileen! She is a definite blessing. I'm also thankful that Henry and Harmony are gentle and interested big siblings, and that we're surrounded by friends that are just amazing, lifting us up in prayer and providing for our needs.

For more Thankfulness, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hope has arrived!

Hope Eileen arrived Sunday, November 16th at 5:58 pm. She weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Everyone is doing very well. We'll be going home tonight.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2b-5

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eviction Notice

Dear Baby,

Tenant must vacate the premises by November 18, 2008 or be forcibly removed. The terms of the lease have been completed. Expansions only to the front of the house, within reasonable limits, were previously discussed by tenant and management. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but unapproved additions to the back of the house were also made. Remodeling and gutting of the home was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure.

You must act immediately or be forcefully removed. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.


I'm still pregnant

...and not much else to say.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Which Hogwarts House would you be in?

Which Hogwarts House Would You Be In?

You would be in Gryffindor. You are bold, passionate, and brave. You have a highly-defined sense of right and wrong, and you are not afraid to speak your mind or fight for what you want.

Find Your Character @

Pregnant with expectation

Still pregnant. Three trips to L&D--I think they should give me a punch card or something. They haven't been "recreational", either--we've gone after 4-6 hrs of contractions a minute or two long and 3-4 minutes apart, well within the parameters of "real" labor. After trip #2, I said I wasn't going in until my water broke or I was in transition, but we ended up there last night--the contractions were wrapping around my back and shooting down my legs, to the point of feeling like I was going to collapse. (They're still happening, but now I know they're not doing anything towards resulting in a baby)...

I know I'm not going to be pregnant forever--it's not physiologically possible. But it is very frustrating and tiring--there is nothing left on our to do list that I can accomplish in the 1 minute between one contraction ending and the next arriving.

So I think today I'm going to pretend I'm not pregnant anymore. Just really fat.

Sometimes I think the church (and especially some denominations) are like me. They've forgotten that we're pregnant--Jesus IS coming back someday. We just don't know what the gestation period on a savior is. Even Jesus doesn't know: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36).

And other congregations are also like me--wondering if every "twinge" is a labor pain, and wondering if today is the day. Matthew 24 gives a pretty clear description of what "labor" for Jesus returning looks like. But he also makes it clear that EVERYONE will know when he's really back.

Thanks, Lord, that you are coming back someday, someday soon. Help us not grow weary of watching for you, nor read too much into events around us. Give us your perspective.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So my due date has come and gone, with no baby! (at least not on the outside) But there is still lots to be thankful for...

We are blessed with awesome friends! H&H have had two "slumber parties" this week, while we've been at the hospital (making no progress). They've made us dinners, prayed for us, given hugs, and generally been awesomely supportive.

I've actually gotten everything on my "to do" list done, including meeting all of the candidates for our job openings.

Access to good medical care. At least I know the baby is fine, even if s/he doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon!

For this pregnancy--what an answer to so many prayers, including Harmony's.

Time to have some "bonus" one on one time with my kids and husband.

That soon we'll get to meet this new little one--one way or another, I won't be pregnant forever!

So what are you thankful for this week? Share it at Grace Alone with Iris!

Works for Me Wednesday--Simple rules

The school I teach at has a grand total of one rule. While our household isn't quite that simple, we have gone with a few basic rules, like:

--People are more important than stuff.
--Don't distract the driver.
--Love one another.

It's a fairly short list, but it covers many different things. It also means we don't need a rule for every possible infraction--they're covered by these larger, overarching principles. So for example, when Henry was blowing a whistle in the car, it was easy to tell him to please stop because that is distracting to the driver. We didn't need a specific rule about "no blowing whistles in the car"; it was covered by the bigger principle.

And by stating things in the positive, we hope that they'll be ingrained as the kids grow older. So perhaps when they start driving, they will understand that their main focus when driving should be the road, not their cell phone, the radio, or other occupants in the car (we can hope, can't we?)

So what works for you this week? Please visit Shannon to share yours!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No 11/11 baby...

Henry has dibs on the 12th :)

My "I" key sn't working...

t takes three or four strokes to get an I to emerge from my computer. Can't help but wonder f God is sending me a message...less of me, more of Him!

John 3:30: 3He must become greater; I must become less.

Top ten reasons today would be a good day to have a baby

10. It's my due date, according to both ultrasounds.
9. 11/11 has nice symmetry.
8. It's Veteran's Day.
7. It's Armistice Day.
6. Because of #'s 7 and 8, the post office is closed.
5. Because of #6, one of our best friend's doesn't have to work.
4. I have a doctor's appointment at 2 pm, so if nothng has started by then, she might be willing to send me to the hospital and induce me.
3. Patrick has an open schedule after Monday night.
2. The kids have nothing "extra" on their schedule either.
1. It's my grandmother's birthday, and that would be a great thing for this LO to share.

(I'm actually writing this on Monday, and there is no internet at the hospital...if nothing happens by 12;01 on the 12th, I'll post an update...)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Melodic Monday--Be Patient

No baby yet, though we were at the hospital for a while on Thurs night...

Be patient, be patient, don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you only start to worry
Remember, remember, that God is patient too
And think of all the times when others had to wait for you

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The answer: green beans

This afternoon Henry and Harmony went to play at a nearby gym with some very generous neighbors. An hour and a half later, Harmony came back happy as a clam...and Henry was definitely in a "mood".

I was afraid of that before they left--Henry didn't really care for lunch. I did give them a big-ish snack before they left--they each had a kiwi and half a pear, plus something from the "treat box" (Henry had a pack of Teddy Grahams, Harmony had a Rice Crispie bar). When he is hungry, it definitely shows in his behavior--and add losing a game, and he was a crying mess.

The answer? Adding green beans to the menu for dinner. We were having left overs--the lunch he didn't like, the roasted sausage, white beans and tomato dish he likes less, and spaghetti. We needed a veggie, so I added a can of green beans, his favorite. Henry did eat a serving of spaghetti, a piece of bread, and a serving of beans...and the entire rest of the can of beans!

And the rest of the evening? Happy Henry. Amazing what a can of green beans will do.

Take home parenting message: sometimes it's ok to play a "favorite" can solve more than one problem!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Critical Battery

The battery on my computer is dying--it's gone from having about two hours of capacity to about 20 minutes. The most annoying thing is that the "Critical battery: switch now to outlet power or lose what you're working on" message comes on when I reboot, after my computer has died.

Sometimes I feel like my computer--my spiritual "battery" runs out before I get the warning that I might be in trouble soon. Guess the answer is staying better connected to my power source!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful Thursday: Tomorrow

I really need to get my hair cut soon, and it would be more convenient to do it before the baby comes. I'm hesitant to make an appointment, though, since I'm 39 weeks, two days pregnant...who knows if I'll be "available" or not!

But what I'm thankful for this week that this tension is biblical! James 4:13-15 says: Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

So I'm thankful that God's plans are bigger than mine.

I'm also thankful that I don't need to worry about tomorrow: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34).

I've seen lots of reactions (by Christians) to the election outcome, from elation to anxiety/depression. I don't know that either of these extremes is good. Why not? They're forgetting who really holds the future--God does.

It's no surprise to Him that Obama won. And it'll be no surprise how the next four years unfold. The question is whether we're willing to trust God with the future.

So I'm thankful that we can trust God, not only with today, but with tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the next decade...

Catching up

Last night I worked on getting the kids' journals caught up--I did October 2007-Jan 2008. (I gotta do better about writing more regularly!) Obviously, I can't rely on my memory for that time period, so I used a combination of the calendar (where I jot things down), pictures, and my blog.

It was interesting to read my posts from that time period--what a difference a year makes! I had my second miscarriage, and was feeling pretty dark. But I did have some pretty insightful posts, including "When God says no," "The rest of the story," and "Changing Seasons".

Time gives a little perspective on these things. I think what God showed me last night was the "why" I was searching for. Look at the women of the Bible who waited (and waited and waited) for babies--Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth. What was the story with these "fall" babies? Why did God say "no" for so long?

Well, look at their children--Issac, Samuel, John the Baptist. God had special purposes for those men, definitely not ones their mothers would have chosen for them. But because they waited, they knew whose babies they really were--not theirs, but God's. They willingly gave their sons to God for his purposes.

God, this child is yours--whatever purpose you have for him/her. Maybe it's missions, but maybe it's a disability or even death. But I know this child is yours.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Top Ten things I should get done before having this baby

10. Get some lab samples in the freezer.
9. Write exam questions for one of my classes.
8. Grade incoming papers for the other class.
7. Meet and interview four candidates (which would require not having this baby for another 10 days).
6. Write letters for Faculty Development Committee.
5. Figure out what labs we're going to do in Biochem next semester...and write them.
4. Submit prep sheet for biodiesel lab next week.
3. Get people to fill out biochem program matrix.
2. Get the kids' journals up to date.
1. Write out detailed directions about kids' morning and bedtime routines.

Top Ten things I got done today!
10. Mailed thank yous to visitors to my class.
9. Cleaned up the half of the lab where the new hire would go.
8. Graded a bunch of reading summaries and movie reports.
7. Graded Gen Chem homework.
6. Got grade book printout to person taking over my labs.
5. Had a lunch date with Patrick.
4. Got the good deals for the week at CVS and Walgreens.
3. Was Parent Helper in Henry's class.
2. Saw Harmony do a cartwheel at dance lessons.
1. Voted!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Drugstore game

Harmony and I hit both CVS and Walgreens tonight...

Coke 4/$13 12 pks
minus 4 $1/1 coupons from coke rewards (hint: the coupons "cost" 35 pts, and you can print 2 by hitting the back button, true for all Bricks coupons)
minus $3 ECB earned

4/$6 12 packs of Coke! That's $0.125 can, cheaper than generic :)


Brach's carmels 75% off $1.00 (for MYO Take5 candies for Christmas)
2 M&Ms $2.50 each (for Winter chex mix)
Almay Mascara 6.99 (Xmas gift for niece)
Almay eyeshadow 7.49 (Xmas gift for niece)
2 pks Walgreens diapers (40 ct) 8.99 (B1G1F)

Minus coupons:
$6 register rewards from previously
2x$1 off Almay
6.99 B1G1F Almay products

Minus rebates:
-2.50 M&Ms (I bought 2 packs earlier; it's $5 off of 4 pks)
-6.99 Almay mascara

So I earned $1.50 on the Almay products (and scored part of a Christmas present), stocked up on candy for Christmas gifts, and got diapers for $0.11 each. Not bad!

Melodic Monday--Yahweh by U2

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist no
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it pray

Sunday, November 2, 2008

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

More pumpkin carving thoughts...

The light shines through the holes, not through the solid parts of our lives. Sometimes God has to carve these out.

What the pattern is sometimes isn't obvious until the light shines through.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Putting out fires

A couple of weeks ago, I literally put out four fires while teaching lab. It was ridiculous--I don't know when the last time was when I had to extinguish something like that, let alone four times in one three hour block.

Most of the students' reaction to their sample catching fire was "deer in the headlights"--watch it burn and not do anything. Which meant I had to run from across the room to put it out.

So the next day in lab, I asked the students (a different group) what to do if their stuff caught fire, and their answer was "run". Not the answer I was looking for... The next answer was the fire extinguisher, and my answer was, only if you want to be cleaning the lab for another three hours.

So what do you do when stuff catches fire?

My answer was a 600 mL beaker turned upside down. As long as the fire fits inside it, all you have to do is turn it over, on top of the flame, and the fire goes out. It runs out of oxygen and extinguishes itself.

If THAT doesn't work, then the fire extinguisher...and if that doesn't work, then exit the building.

That made me think...are there "fires" in my life that I'm just staring at, instead of snuffing? Or are there "spirit fires" I'm quenching when I should be feeding?