Sunday, December 6, 2015


Wow. Most recent post is our family Christmas letter from 2 years ago. Wow. Ouch.

Even most of my sidebars need serious updating. Looks like I've found *another* project with which to occupy myself while the kids are on Christmas break from school.

I'll be back!! (Where's a Terminator .gif when you need one?)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Dear Family & Friends,

          Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

The context of this familiar Christmas verse is fascinating & can be found in chapter 7 of Isaiah.  It is a tale of a faithless king, a looming threat of war, & a good news / bad news message from “the” prophet of his day accompanied by his son Shearjashub, which means a remnant shall return.  Ironically, it was because of King Ahaz’s unbelief that God inspired Isaiah to publish the famous prophecy of the Savior’s advent.  May the grace & peace of Christ richly fill your heart this Christmas season & in the new year.

          2013 has certainly been a good news / bad news year for us.  It began with our youngest child, Frederick, being admitted to the hospital in the PICU with RSV.  However, we were comforted by support from many family members & long-time friends but especially by many new friends at Covenant Presbyterian Church.  At work I was excited &thankful to be given the opportunity for promotion to supervisor but then disappointed by being passed over for 3 positions that were filled by seemingly less qualified candidates.  As the year closes I am deeply saddened to learn that my mother was diagnosed with 3 kinds of cancer.  However, I am thankful for many family & friends who have rallied together to support her as well as the conversations she & I have shared as a result.  In the words of my friend Jack (who recently lost his father to cancer), “Cancer sucks, but God is good.”  Amen to that.

          Whether your year has been one of trials or one of peace, please know that the Lord Jesus Christ is gracious & faithful.  From the time of Isaiah to the time of Christ some 800 years passed (What were your ancestors doing in 1213?), but the Son was born just as God promised – Immanuel, which means God with us.  And, indeed, He is.

                                                       Love in Christ,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fertility Wars Hurt

Look out. I'm processing. Or venting. Or getting a cheap therapy session at the expense of your eyes. Feel free to quit reading now. LOL

So there is a little "secret girls club" that I'm in on FaceBook. I left. Tonight. If I could have made a fool of myself by slamming the door on the way out, I probably would have. :-D Massively pissed and desperately trying not to cry, but that's mostly just hormones talking, LOL.

There's a mommies board that I've been part of for a number of years, great bunch of gals that I've enjoyed cyber-hanging out with. Their overall emphasis on graceful (non-punitive) parenting is one that I sorely need. :shifty  Anyway, there's a kind-of spin off group on FB with a number of members in common, so a lot of parenting stuff gets discussed on the mommies board and a lot of "other" stuff gets discussed on FB. And a lot of venting goes on in both places, especially since not all the people/personalities overlap. I'm in both groups (and a bunch of other gals I like hanging out with on-line are as well).
That's ^^^ the background, LOL. 

One of the FB gals posted yesterday something to the effect of "I get totally annoyed with and jealous of those gals who say they've 'never felt better' than when they're pregnant, have an easy time of the 9 months, look all adorable pregnant, and then the baby practically walks itself out at home when it's over."  And of course about a third of the group "liked" it, and the first comment (left by another gal in the group who's currently pregnant) says "They're lying"--in reference to those who say pregnancy isn't absolutely awful for them. Annnnd . . . . That's all. LOL. 

Clearly that's worth leaving a very cozy "safe space" group on FB over, right?? (Not!) I *know* this is just a perfect storm of mostly unrelated things. Really. I know that. And I'm fine. Really.

1. My post-partum hormones (think PMS on high-alert) have been really bad the last 2 or 3 days. Just feeling overly sensitive about everything, weepy, whiny, ect. The whole messy 9 yards that makes men thankful we don't have constant PMS, LOL. (Definitely the largest factor here.) 
2. One of the gals in our FB group just miscarried. She was "only" at 8 weeks, but far enough along to have delivered a tiny whole baby. Heart-breaking.
3. Then there's the gal who made the original comment: a young mom who *can't* have a second child because her first delivery did almost kill her. Literally. Absolutely HORRIFIC childbirth story. The stuff PTSD is made of. :-(
4. The gal who made the "they're all lying" comment is also pregnant. And has bad morning sickness, and a couple of other young kids under foot. And that sucks. It really does.
5. Probably about half of the FB group *does* have awful pregnancies/L&Ds. Morning sickness through the 6th month (it usually stops after the 3rd), hyperemesis gravidarum (the morning sickness from hell that leaves you so dehydrated that hospitalization is required), awful birth stories, pregnancy and birth traumas of just about every kind imaginable. So yes, for a lot of the group "happy happy pregnant people" are anomalous to their experience. Seriously divergent actually. (And I'll be the first to agree that "happy happy" people are annoying--no matter *what* they're happy about, LOL.)
6. The post in question was NOT aimed at me specifically. Obviously I'm not "adorable" while pregnant. ROFL. I do happen to fit ALL the other criteria, but the post was "I hate this TYPE of person" if you know what I mean. It wasn't personal. I know that.

But comments like that are still (even acknowledging all that^^^) painful right now. Painful isn't the right word. But my reaction is such a mix of pissed & wanting to take it personally, curl up and sob that I think it'll just settle for hurtful and vent on Blogger. :-)

I HATE being called a liar. Hate it. Just because YOU have hard pregnancies doesn't mean I (or anyone else) am lying when I say I have an easy time of it. Grrr... :hissyfit

And I try *really* hard not to talk much when I'm pregnant. Because for some stupid reason, women hate other women who don't hate pregnancy. *shrugs* And I don't like feeling like I'm rubbing in the fact that I don't struggle with being pregnant (even though I don't). So in a group with an unusually high concentration of members who *have* had hard pregnancies, I said nothing about me being pregnant. The entire 9 months. (Of course, we found out in April & didn't announce til August, so yeah. There's that, lol.) I'm not interested in rubbing salt in anybodies' wounds & I hate sympathy anyway!! If I'm whining, (*make note of this please*) I'd much prefer to be told to suck it up & shut up than to get the "oh you poor dear . . . you have it so hard . . . blah, blah, reflect feelings, blah blah." (Which the FB group is REALLY good at doing--which is another reason I don't say much about me, LOL. I get the validity of reflecting feelings. I do. But some days it feels like a patronizing pat on the head.)

I tend to be an intensely private person (or think of myself as such anyway-ha!). I don't like having people all up in my business ever, but especially not when I'm pregnant. Yet the "we hate you because your experience doesn't validate ours, so go away" message hurts. Which is totally unreasonable because it was NOT aimed at me. And it didn't even say go away. It only said "We hate you." LOL And even if I knew what to say in response (while I walked out the door) I wouldn't say anything out of respect for those in the group for whom childbearing is an *incredibly* painful topic.

And there's also my own personal 7 years of wanting a kid & not getting pregnant baggage in play here. :-S I might look like the proverbial "Fertile Myrtle" now, but it hasn't always been that way. And those hurts don't leave quickly (tho they sure pop up quickly when there are PP hormones around)!  Even "all these kids" later, I still can't stand "those women" who whine and complain about every . little . thing . the . entire . time . they're . pregnant. Especially when the pregnancy is preceded by whining every month they "TTC" and aren't "successful." CanNOT stand it. Try just being thankful that you CAN get pregnant when you do! So there's that playing into this as well, LOL. "They" hate "women like me" who have easy pregnancies and I can't stand "women like them" who bitch and moan about being pregnant. Cuts both ways, these mommy wars!!! >.< 
(Yet another reason to be careful when mouthing off about potentially sensitive topics.)

::steps off soapbox

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Dear Family & Friends,

            “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)  These good tidings of great joy still resound today more than 20 centuries after the very first Christmas.  And although this is an exceptionally long time to remember a birthday, it was also a long expected day.  Matthew 1:17 records, “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.”  Considering the long years anticipating Christ’s advent and God’s silence during the four hundred directly preceding the day, Christ’s question in Luke 18:8b seems appropriate, “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

            But thanks be to God that He is faithful and that “…when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4 & 5)  We rejoice in the Savior, who redeemed and adopted us.  He has blessed our family with growth in many ways during this year.  First of all, Frederick Leo was born on December 11th!  Also, Hannah began school as a kindergartener and is doing well.  Kenneth advanced to the second grade and is enjoying his exploration of a widening world.  Peter turned two and is doing his best to keep up with his older siblings.  Last but not least, Daniel is adjusting to being the “older” brother when Kenneth & Hannah are at school.

            Melinda is recovering from delivering Frederick, but she spent much of autumn helping make a quilt for my Dad’s milestone birthday.  During the summer we enjoyed traveling north for a couple of weeks, visiting some of our family & friends, and attending Melinda’s high school reunion.  In October Melinda & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  I continue my employment as an intensive supervision officer with the Dept. of Juvenile Justice.  Although I did interview for two management positions, I was not the candidate selected for either one.  Also, I am continuing a second job co-leading Family Solutions groups from time to time.

            On the church front, at about this time last year we first visited Covenant Presbyterian Church.  They were without a senior pastor at that time, but we were favorably impressed nonetheless.  However, we continued to visit several different churches until July.  Since then we have been regularly “visiting” Covenant and trying to get to know the people there.  Melinda participated in a weekly ladies bible study, Kenneth joined the Boys Brigade, Hannah joined the Pioneer Girls, and I participated in weekly officer preparation classes in order to learn more about the church & its leadership.  That’s about all the highlights for now.

                                                                                    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eggnog Pancakes

One of our favorite Saturday morning traditions, made ready for Christmas.

Stir together thoroughly:
3 cups flour
3 Tbsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2->1 tsp. nutmeg

In separate mixing bowl combine
1 c. powdered milk, dissolved in a bit of water
1 1/2 cups eggnog
3 egg yolks
plus enough milk to equal 3 cups liquid total, then add
1/4 cup oil

Mix with dry ingredients until just combined, scrape bowl & beat for 30-45 seconds. Cook on hot griddle. Eat!

Chef's notes: Batter will be a bit thick so they cook slow, but they brown faster than regular pancakes. Also, adding the powdered milk to the wet ingredients (allowing it to dissolve before mixing into the flour) will do wonders for the texture of the pancakes--soft and fluffy.

Adjusting batch size: Just remember, for every 1 cup of flour add 1 T baking powder, and mix with 1 egg yolk & 1 cup of milk, plus 1/2 c egg nog. (Plus a bit of salt, extra sugar & spices) It's a pretty straight-forward 1 to 1 ratio. :-)

(This recipe is a tweak on the one I put out here in '09.)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Three Little Brothers

This picture reminds me of another one from a couple of years ago (Brother Love). But now there are 3 little boys. :-)

The little guy in the middle was the baby 2 years ago. How time flies!! :-)