Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cleaning out the Drafty folder

Yeah, so Blogger thinks my "most recent" post has gone 3 months old. Wait til I finish up the one from April that has been languishing in the "Drafts" folder since the now almost 1 year old was a mere 3 months old, LOL. Gotta get that folder empty before the new year; or that's the goal anyway.

I have things that need thinking about and mulling over and working through (like grace and parenting, and their intersection in my sanctification--nothing too heavy), and I desperately need to get the old thoughts out first. My poor tired brain cells need room to smolder, LOL.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” -- Matthew 2:1-2

Who were these “wise men from the east?” They were most likely advisors to the Persian royalty, but why did they travel all the way to Jerusalem to worship the recently born “King of the Jews?” The answer may lie in events that occurred over 600 years prior to Christ’s birth. The book of Daniel, and the second chapter in particular, records the tragic captivity in “the east” of many Jews including Daniel. During his time there, Daniel prophesied of Christ’s advent and was promoted to the chief “wise man.” It is virtually certain that most of the Jews viewed their captivity as a catastrophe, but God may have used Daniel and others during those difficult times to plant the seeds of the Gospel “in the east.” All we know for sure is that six centuries later these “wise men” (and there were likely many more than three despite the Christmas tradition) appreciated a fact about the newborn King that we sometimes fail to recognize: He is more than King of the Jews. Why else did they risk life and limb to worship Him?

So as we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we also hope that one of your joys in this season will be reflecting on who the manger-born King is and what your relationship with Him is. If you are uncertain and would like to talk more about these matters, then please feel free to visit, call, or write. It would be one of the joys of our Christmas season or the New Year to get together with you.

Although we have had a somewhat difficult year (as we know some of you have had as well), God has displayed His faithfulness throughout the year. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He blessed us with Daniel Earle on January 9th. Daniel continues to grow and develop along side Kenneth and Hannah. My employment with the insurance company was a trial for much of the year as I struggled to sell enough policies to make ends meet. Additionally, I was repeatedly applying for either a second job or for new full-time employment. Although the economy did not do us any favors on either account, God provided through gifts from many of you and others, too.

Autumn found Melinda taking on her first quilt. Learning how to quilt while finishing a project that someone else had started was a tall order, but by God’s grace she completed the work by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I interviewed for three different positions at SC’s Dept. of Juvenile Justice and was hired in mid-November as a probation officer. So both Melinda and I are learning new tricks this year. Although my mother was not able to make her annual trek to our home for Thanksgiving, we did enjoy the day with some friends on their parents’ farm in GA. The kids enjoyed a tour of the farm which included cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, cats, and German shepherds.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, our thoughts and prayers turn to each of you who have enriched our lives over the years. Thank you very much for your love and fellowship. May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year.


Written by Sheep Dog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She "gets" it . . . Grace!

Have been reading lately on the SGMSurvivors site. SGM being SoverignGraceMinistries, headed up by CJ Mahaney. As a group they publish a lot of music that's popular with the "new" or "former" Fundamentalist guys I went to grad school with. And of course there's the church plants. Supposedly they're a grace-drenched group of churches (but NOT a denomination, ROFL); but when so many of the survivors stories on this site, and on others like it, sound just like the stories told by our friends fleeing Fundamentalism . . . I have to wonder. But anyway, Kris-one of the SGMS moderators-wrote a great post a few weeks back, trying to explain the divergence between what's *said* and what's *practiced*--or at least what seems to be the take-away message from SGM teachings. This comment is incredible. The post is here. Check out comment #283. About getting preached at to "not try so hard" yet the focus is all about trying harder.  She gets it!! :-) This is how grace is presented at our church too. :-S All about submitting to God, humbling yourself so you can get more grace from God. It's insidious!! 
Merry Christmas everybody!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I should have asked Mike

Do be in prayer for the family and friends of Mike "Metochoi" Mahurin. He's Home for Christmas. A brilliant mind for logic, a deep love for people, a soundly Biblical hermeneutic, and unswerving in his pursuit of Truth. He will be missed.

I always meant to ask him his views on the connection between grace, sanctification, and parenting philosophies. I'm assuming there is a connection of course, I just wonder what he would have said. He'd been in the pastorate (and a parent) long enough to have thought it through. And he loved logic. And he dismantled Gothard's eisegesis & God's will-as-bull's-eye theology every chance he got. I wish I had gotten the chance to know him better. *sigh*

I should have asked...

ETA: Mike's obituary

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

Traditions abound!

Pancake breakfasts and family pictures are two biggies around here. So in honor of Christmas traditions fulfilled, here's the newly minted Eggnog pancake recipe and the end result of our family's Christmas picture adventure. Enjoy!!

Eggnog Pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. powdered milk

Stir together thoroughly. In separate mixing bowl combine

1 1/2 cups eggnog
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup oil
plus enough milk to equal 2 1/2 cups liquid total.

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, low-fat eggnog does *not* taste as good as the regular. Just sayin'.... 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.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

I have it easy. All I have to do is sit and watch Christmas come into living color. Putting up the tree and decorating it is hubby's area of expertise. Don't worry--I have a job too. My job will be re-packing all the ornaments in their little boxes just so. I love it, and it's better for our marriage this way. Repacking ornaments and putting that 300 ct. string of lights back on their little holder thingie is my concession to my OCD tendencies, LOL.

When he was all done (before it was attacked too many times by the baby), the tree looked something like this:

Not to be left out of the decorating fun, the kids requested lights for their room:

But lights for their room weren't enough. Noooooooooooooooooooooo.......... they wanted pretty Christmas lights OUTSIDE too, just like Ms. A next door. *eye roll*

Since Hubby and I have always talked about decorating with lights outside anyway, we decided to let the kids think they'd won. 2 trips to Lowe's and Hobby Lobby later (2 trips each, I might add), the house now looks like this:

So the outside of the house is "looking very Christmasey" according to BD#1. Yeah! But not 30 minutes after "the lighting" outside, Ms. A called. Remember her? The one whose lights the kids liked so much they bugged us into decorating outside too?? Apparently we've started a war. :-D

Ms. A said she's in trouble with her mom (who lives on the other side of us) because for years her mom has been the only one on our street to decorate outside for Christmas. But now....

As hubby said, this is a war we can't afford to fight. There's too much time between now and Christmas!! LOL

(And for the record, Ms. A's mom was kidding. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors--on either side! I still can't believe when we were looking at all those houses, we completely forgot to pray about our future neighbors. The Lord sure blessed in spite of us!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"No" news *is* good news

Related to the previous post on sovereignty, this is the announcement I wound up sending out:

God is Good.
Late Friday afternoon, we got word that DH had not been selected for the ISO position with ___. For anyone tempted to say "Of course he didn't get it, there were people already inside the dept. going for it. They always hire the internal applicants!" I have a question. Why are we so quick to say "yeah!! God did it!" when we like the outcome, but so slow to say "Yeah!! God did it!" when we don't like the outcome??  The God in question is the same God--a good, truly all-powerful God--our kind, loving, heavenly Father who *does* have our good (for His glory) at heart.... So why do we so quickly dismiss the direct answer to specific prayer that we don't like as though God missed something, or messed up, or wasn't powerful enough to work the answer we wanted??  God *could* have given DH the job with ___ but He didn't. Therefore... we're OK with it. *smiles*
In other news... DH has an initial interview on Wednesday (the 15th) for a different position with ___. We would appreciate your continued prayers for the Lord's will to be worked in our lives. Thank you all!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Well this sucks! (On Sovereignty)

I'm trying to balance giving information (he didn't get the job) with affecting people's response to that info.  It's all too easy to say "yeah, of course he didn't get the job, they never hire outsiders if someone is looking to transfer inside the company," which is generally true; but that's not the whole story.  If DH *had* gotten the job, we would all quickly say "Yep, God worked!"  But did He work any less in this situation?? He superintended in affairs & DH didn't get the job.  God was no less at work in his not being selected than He would have been if DH had been selected.
So (in trying to frame a notification to interested parties e-mail) I'm trying to convey that (God's sovereign & that we're OK with it). Because a number of people responded "so he'll probably not get it because there are people inside going for it too" right off the bat after that e-mail went out. And I was thinking... but... *splutters* ....but that's not the point.  The point is God can do what He pleases... I mean, God knows what's best for us and for His glory... if he's to get the job he'll get it no matter who else is going for the job.  As we found out late Friday afternoon though, DH's employment in this position is not part of that.

And if you think I've been rambling so far... keep reading. ;-)  The "assistant to the Pastor" has been doing a series on doctrine Sunday nights.  A couple of weeks ago, his big theme was the sovereignty of God. And how sometimes it's hard for us to reconcile the "bad things happen" with an "all-powerful  (therefore could have done something about it) God." DH says to me afterwards, "you know, I think he missed a good opportunity."  I'm like whaaa??? What did I miss? LOL.  He's like, "what a comfort it is that even when "evil" happens, God is GOOD. Which is a heck of a lot better alternative than "crap keeps happening AND God (who might otherwise act benevolently on my behalf) is a corrupt evil bully too."  Now that would be depressing! *chuckles* But God IS good, and there is tremendous comfort in that. Even when we don't get the answers we think we want. :-)
And that ramble is the background for my question above--why are we so quick to say "yeah!! God did it!" when we like the outcome, but so slow to say "Yeah!! God did it!" when we don't like the outcome??  The God in question is the same God--a good, truly all-powerful God--our kind, loving, heavenly Father who *does* have our good (for His glory) at heart... So why do we so quickly dismiss the direct answer to specific prayer that we don't like as though God missed something, or messed up, or wasn't powerful enough to work the answer we wanted??  God *could* have gotten DH that particular job but He didn't. Therefore... we're OK with it. *smiles*
God IS Good.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

On Cleaning Up Messes

Fall must be my favorite time of year to clean. Between the crisp cool(er) air blowing in windows (causing curtains to dust for me), the crunch of leaves on the ground (reminding me of the distinctive "crunch" of my kitchen floor), the smell of fireplaces and wood stoves starting up again... if I ever really "get" the cleaning bug, it's in the fall. But sometimes (like today), I stop and sit and read other's thoughts and find an uncanny resemblance to my own thoughts mirrored by almost all of my favorite writers. So here are a few links on "cleaning" of various types for your consideration and meditation.

Molly's: Pacify Me: Dealing with Big Emotions Vs. Stuffing/Burying/Masking

Amy's: Having it All Together

and Lisa's: Not Exactly Home and Gardens

All well worth the down-time from fall cleaning to read. Enjoy!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E, pt. 2

Still can't think of any gracious words, so I'll stick with posting the full (original) lyrics. These are from the song's writers, so they're accurate, LOL.

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily.
Action is the key, do it immediately. Joy you will receive.
Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.

We want to live pure, we want to live clean, we want to do our best.
Sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest.
Walking in the light, keeping our attitude right, on the narrow way.
For if we believe the Word we receive, we always will obey.
– Mike and Ruth Greene

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Wow. The kids' Sunday School song... "Obedience." I've heard my Reformed-leaning friends rail against the song before, but this comment from StuffFundiesLike just sums the argument so well. Basically, we're teaching our kids works-based sanctification. "Do this and this and this and *then* God will be happy with you." What bondage!!

Unfortunately, when a seven year old sings this song, he or she gets the impression that obedience is the best way to show that you believe. Thousands of Muslims show obedience and do not believe at all, because they are under the law. Most unsaved children interpret Sunday School lessons and songs as rules to keep. This has no saving effect whatsoever. Whoever is under the law and is obedient to law is cursed, because the scriptures say, Cursed is every one who continues not to do every thing written in the law. For the unsaved seven year old, obedience does not show that he believes. It only shows that something motivates him to obey, whether it be the Holy Spirit or the law of Moses. When a child gets stars for attending Sunday School every week, the impression that God is pleased with performance based Christianity begins to enter into every concept the child has about God. This is essentially keeping the law. The child is then being groomed to believe that carrying a Bible to church, wearing a suit, and perfect church attendance equals God's satisfaction. Scary! There is nothing saving about keeping manmade expectations of showing obedience. So the best way to show that you believe is just simply believe God and believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him! (Alan's comment on SFL's post on O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E).

ETA: And when I say bondage, I do mean bondage. Think about the words of the song.

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe,
Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily,
Action is the key, do it immediately, joy you will receive,
Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe

We want to live pure, we want to live clean. We want to do our best.
Sweetly submitting to authority. Leaving to God the rest.
Walking in the Light, keeping our attitude right, on the narrow way...

eh, I forget the rest and probably didn't get that last line right either. But do you see it? Can you see what's lacking? It's all about doing... ME doing something. It's not about Him at all. I've nothing against kids doing the things sung about here, but why are they doing them?? Why do we as believers do what we do?? What's our motivation?? God doesn't need me to *do* for Him, or for Him to be happy with me. I am accepted in the Beloved. Period.

There's more that should be said here, but I'm searching for gracious words, LOL.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Nothing says Happy Birthday like getting to make your own birthday cake. Seriously--it's been tradition in our house since I was a little girl that I got to make my own birthday cake (or at least decorate it). I used to pick those gaudy hard sugar decorations in a pack that you had to soak off the paper... then mom let me make my own cakes. Now I get to do the whole shebang from start to finish. This year?? Cheesecake!! Yum!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

22 chocolate creme filled cookies, crushed
8 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup peanuts, chopped fine

Mix together cookie crumbs and nuts, toss with melted butter. Lightly press into bottom of spring-form pan. Refrigerate until time to bake.

24 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup sour cream
5 eggs
2 tsp Godiva chocolate liquor (or vanilla ;) )
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup peanuts, finely chopped

Cream together cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and corn starch until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in flavoring and whipping cream. Divide batter into two bowls. Melt chocolate chips and stir into one half, set aside. Stir peanut butter and chopped peanuts into remaining cream cheese batter.

Spread half of the peanut butter mixture over the crust. Pour half of chocolate mixture over peanut butter mix. Spoon in remaining peanut butter batter and top with last of chocolate mixture. Swirl with a knife blade to marble, being careful not to disturb the crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 215 degrees and bake for an additional 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until center of cheesecake no longer looks wet (not necessarily until firm though). Turn off oven and remove cheesecake, run knife around inside of pan, return cheesecake to oven for 30 minutes. Chill, uncovered, overnight.

Adapted from Cheesecake Extraordinaire's Chocolate Peanut Butter cheesecake (pg. 42), and Peanut Butter Chocolate cheesecake (pg. 87).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Ravens, part 2

1 Kings 17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

6 pack chicken Ramen noodles
Tub old-fashioned oatmeal
2 lbs carrots
3 lbs apples
5 lb. pack of ground beef
1 whole chicken
family pack spare ribs
2 lb. margarine
2 blocks cheese
2 dzn eggs
jar mayo
jar peanut butter
shake cheese
bottle mustard
boxed brownie mix
bottle canola oil
2- 5lb. bags all purpose flour
5 lb bag sugar
bottle pancake syrup
2- 4pks toilet paper
box vanilla wafers
2 lb. elbow macaroni
2 gal milk
bunch of bananas
qt bag each of okra, limas, blueberries
gallon bag green beans


4 pk Danactive yogurt drink

This showed up on a day DH was home sick from work with food poisoning-like symptoms.   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!! Ps. 103:2

Friday, June 26, 2009

On Men and Marriage for Father's Day weekend

From Father's Day, a great post on gentlemen and being gentlemanly here.

As a resident of SC, I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't mention the current debacle in state government. Of course the governor's trip to the "Appalachian Trail" has been done to death in the media, late night talk shows, etc., etc. But just in case you aren't completely burned out on all things Mark Sanford, give this comment a read, from this article in the NYT.

Comment 104.



June 24th, 2009

3:28 pm

Convervatives, and religious conservatives in particular, have built up extramarital sex to mean everything. It affects their positions on abortion, on constitutional amendments against gay marriage, on birth control, on foreign aid for birth control, on sex education in public schools, on abstinence, on AIDS, on ordaining ministers, on funding Public Health departments, and even on the Supreme Court for goodness sakes. This is why an affair, while a deeply sad but relatively common event results in resignations and press frenzies like the one we just witnessed. As a liberal, I take no joy in watching someone's marriage, and now career, fail. I only hope that the focus is on the bigger picture the Republicans paint as a party, and why their base obsession with sex makes every one of those policy positions fasle, hollow, and hypocritical. Today's conference was a real man living in the real world honestly unburdening himself from an unsustainable weight of lies, both private and public.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unity: Priceless

Movable chairs in the sanctuary are NOT one step away from drums on the stage, really!!

So our church's annual meeting is this coming Sunday. The building program will be on the table again. My take on the issue is simple. Why spend $500,000 more to accommodate bad theology??

We're pursuing building a bigger building primarily because we need more space for fellowships times/shared meals, etc. Times when the entire church body needs to be sitting around tables (and eating, LOL). But why can't we make better use of the space we already have? We do have fellowship hall space already (classrooms with folding walls that we rearrange for dinner each Sunday afternoon over ht summer), it's just not quite big enough for our current attendance levels.

Last summer someone asked if we could run a couple extra tables up the center aisle of the sanctuary to relieve the space crunch inside (in air-conditioning--we do also set up some tables outside, but when it's in the 90's and the humidity is 70% and higher, it's just nasty out there). "But why would we want to ruin the carpet in the sanctuary too?" was the immediate question raised (by a teenager, no less). In a sense I understand the concern, (especially since their family is a major part of our church's janitorial service, (although the tone wasn't a self-serving one), we ought to take the best care we can of the facilities we have. But really, that's just bad theology.

People are the body of Christ. The building is just a tool. If the purpose of the church is to edify and equip the saints, how does having a dedicated "holy" sanctuary help accomplish that end?? We're looking at spending half a million dollars to prop up your bad theology? Really??

We *could* solve our space issues for a lot less money by ripping out the pews and getting those wicked cool chairs instead. Make our current sanctuary space more multi-purpose. But I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. Too many of the "old-guard" (though not necessarily old in years) still view the sanctuary as that "special place" where voices may not be raised, little feet may not run, and food shall absolutely never be consumed (other than the elements of the Lord's table, of course, LOL).

Several years ago we were looking at a similar building project. I happened across a great little book titled "When NOT to Build" written by an architect. He included his testimony in the beginning of the book--since it seems kinda odd for an architect to be advising against building, LOL. His opening point was that too often we jump to building bigger buildings (and spend the Lord's money) before we need to, before we've made effective use of the space we already have (good stewardship anyone?). He goes on to outline how churches in that uncomfortable "almost too full but not quite" stage of growth could make more efficient use of their existing space until the need for building is real, not just perceived. :-) Great little book, highly recommended reading.

So... what to do?? Spend WAY more $$ than we need to to prop up bad theology? Maybe we should. What price can you put on unity??


So we had our annual business meeting before I could get this posted, LOL. After a fair amount of discussion, we voted to table the "chairs instead of pews" discussion for exactly a month. Give folks who heard the proposal for the first time today to get their theology up to speed, LOL. Most cogent dissent? "Might there be a change in spirit with a (slightly) less formal setting?" and "Could we have a bit of time to think and pray about this?" ('Not necessarily' and 'yes' being the answers.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy little dragons

Yep, she likes him! Want proof?? Incredibly enough, this picture wasn't posed.

BD#2 had been snuggled in the recliner with the baby and I (since I had the audacity to refuse to give her the "big rocking chair" all to herself, LOL). I had to vacate the room for a second, so I asked BD#2 if I could leave BD#3 beside her "just for a minute." When I came back, this is what I found. :-)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Slugs, slugs, and more slugs

It started with one slug being held captive til the kids got to see a house-less snail. Then there were two slugs. Then there were six. By the time I finished collecting slugs (all out of our kitchen mind you), I had developed a regular slug condo--two tenants per unit. I should go into real estate, ROFL. *not*

Today (finally, it's Friday!) we decided to practice our catch and release skills. One last look at those slug "housing units" before the older kids helped evict the slugs.

Free at last, free at last. Here are two of our (former) tenants.

(And yes, we *did* wash our hands when we got back inside, thankyouverymuch!)

Thus ends our week-in-review.

Jay, Jon, and Jerry-rigging--Installment 2

To continue from where we left off in the recap of this very long week…

Thursday was a good news/bad news kind of day. Bad news: need to tear up the kitchen so dw guy can get to the motor on the dishwasher. Good news: Kitchen is easy to tear up, LOL. Bad news... oh, it's just too funny to tell in bullets, so I'm switching to paragraphs. Go get your coffee... ;-)

See, when we bought this house, the guy who sold it to us left us very explicit instructions about the eventuality of the dishwasher needing servicing. "Don't let anyone tell you the counter needs to be cut up to get to the dishwasher for servicing it," he said. "You can pull it straight out. All you have to do is 1) Unscrew that piece of floor moulding. 2) Pull back the linoleum--it's the flexible kind. 3) Pull up the piece of plywood directly in front of the dishwasher--it's only held in by one screw right in the middle." Sounds easy enough, right? I should be able to do this while the kids take their afternoon naps, right??

One flat-head screwdriver, 2 Phillips-head screwdrivers, a hammer, a box-cutter, a chisel, a putty knife, and almost two hours later... the dishwasher was fully accessible. No, really! It went something like this:

Move the microwave stand so you can move the stove (with a boiling pot of soup on it) so you can get more room to work in front of the dishwasher. (Besides, the second screw in the moulding was just behind the edge of the stove, so the stove had to move anyway.)

Pry off said moulding.
Start pulling up the linoleum.
Realize there's not enough space open to pull back the flooring far enough to clear that plywood that had to come out.
Move the stove further over.
Pull up the flooring the rest of the way.
See one screw head, kinda filled with spackling.
Get the box cutter out to clean out the Phillips-head screw head.
Get the screw head clean enough for the screwdriver to get a grip.
Plywood pops up a bit in that corner when the screw comes out... so far so good.

Spend next 20 minutes or so breaking up the spackling that had been driven into the cracks around that piece of plywood. The spackling on the plywood was a nice idea--smoother foundation for the flooring--but it pretty effectively sealed up things that I needed NOT sealed.

Chisel and putty knife came in handy--got all the borders of the plywood free of spackling but the board still wasn't interested in coming out. Hmmm... How was I supposed to get out a 1/2" thick sheet of plywood so tightly wedged in that a putty knife wouldn't fit between it and the sub-flooring next to it (much less anything sturdy enough to lever up the board with)?!? The one spot where I could get a hold on the board was under the face of the cabinet with only about 1" clearance--not enough to really get a good hold, LOL.

Spent another 30 minutes or so messing around with the claw-hammer, flat-head screwdriver, and the chisel trying to pry up the board. FINALLY got enough leverage in the right spots to slip the chisel under one side of the board. Alternating between the putty knife & the chisel, worked down one side of that board til almost one whole side was raised, but *still* couldn't get it to come out. Seemed like the board might have been glued down. He *did* say ONE screw, right?? Got to wondering (since that one screw head had spackling in it), what if there are more screws I can't see?? ..... ...... .....

There wasn't one screw in that piece of plywood, there were FOUR!!! And the last 3 had been so thoroughly spackled over that I didn't know they were there for the first 50 minutes I was working on it. *Smiles rather sarcastically*

Got out the last 3 screws 15 minutes before the dw guy was to show up. Yeah--there was a point to this exercise, and it wasn't supposed to be just to tear up the kitchen, LOL. Had a good laugh with DH and the dw guy about the lengths it took to get access to the dishwasher, then wandered off to let the dw guy work in peace.

An hour and a half later the dishwasher was up and running again. Jay says "so does it sound any quieter to you?" Me (thinking it still sounds like a freight train but not wanting to insult him since he'd been working for almost 2 hours & hadn't been planning to charge any labor): "Um... are you... kidding?" Jay:"Well, sort of. I had to put the old motor back in it." Apparently Whirlpool did some major reconfiguration of the innards of our dishwasher... and the slightly used motor would NOT go in our dishwasher--no way, no how. There wasn't even any way to co-mingle parts from both motors to make a new one--he tried. Nothing, NOTHING was interchangeable. Bless his heart, all that work...

So we're almost back to square one. At least the dishwasher is running again, albeit loudly as ever. And I now know there are 4 screws, not just one, LOL.

So yeah........ it's been a week. And it's not over yet. The slugs are still at it... but that's another post for another day--or at least after a couple hours of sleep! ;-)

Word of the day: Jerry-rigging. I've always loved that phrase. :-) Are you allowed to call one hyphenated word a phrase?? Anyway, having grown up in rental properties built by that man named Jack while riding in cars held together with baling wire (think duck tape on steroids), I learned early how to jerry-rig things. (It was the sections on gears and mechanics that garnered my high score on the ASVAB in high school, not that girly secretarial stuff, LOL.) Watching the ending of Foley's War on PBS Sunday night got me thinking about the entomology of the term Jerry-rigging, since the Brits called the Germans "Jerrys" during WWII, and wondering if there was any correlation. Did the term jerry-rig come about because the Germans (Jerrys) rigged up booby-traps?? Good old Wiki to the rescue... I love the Internet. I want my big computer back.

Jay, Jon, and Jerry-rigging--Installment 1

It's been a loooooooooooooooooooooooong week!!!


Sunday we all stayed home because DH had what appeared to be a sudden-onset sinus infection and had gotten maybe 3 hours of sleep Saturday night. I had been up late (early) too, and was just too tired to handle the logistics of two pre-schoolers and a nursing baby on "summer schedule" at church by myself. 10am to 2pm in one stretch is too long when I'd be outnumbered 3 to 1, LOL. Watched one of the last episodes of Foley's War on PBS (more on that later).

Monday the kids (BD#'s 1&2) killed our big computer. Just a simple thing--poking the on/off button to watch all the pretty red and green lights flash & the fans whirr... but they cycled it just right and scrambled something that ought not be scrambled apparently, b/c the computer just would NOT load Windows after that. *sigh*

Tuesday morning started with the dishwasher on the blink again. Probably just a blown fuse in the instrument panel, so I called our dishwasher guy. (Yes, we have a dishwasher guy!) He said he'd come check on it after work. Figured I ought to mention to him that it's been making a horrible noise these last few months. Not the "hard food in the grinder" noise, but the "motor starting to seize" noise. He said he'd check it out. Bless his heart.

Tuesday afternoon found out that the big computer might be *really* dead. Apparently cycling the on/off button like the kids had been doing can actually cause hard drive failure. I do hope not!! Per our computer guy's instruction (yeah, we have a computer guy too!), tried starting it in Safe Mode... but it hung on the driver for the motherboard. I'm getting a mother of a head-ache.

Tuesday night the dishwasher guy came by, took it all apart... nothing caught in the drain to explain the noise. Bypassed the fuse (this is the second time it's blown for no reason), ran the machine. Yep--that's the motor going. Good news is the dishwasher still runs & may for a good while yet. Bad news, it really does sound like a freight train in the kitchen. SO he offered to look for a (slightly) used replacement motor for it. (Bless him again.)

Wednesday the computer got dropped off at our computer guy's house for triage and the dishwasher guy called to say he'd found a replacement motor we could have installed for $50 (new ones for our model run around $170). Did I mention we like our dishwasher guy?? :-)

Thursday was a good news/bad news kind of day. Good news: the computer is up and running, just a couple of corrupted FAT files. Bad news: need to tear up the kitchen so dw guy can get to the motor. Good news: Kitchen is easy to tear up, LOL. Bad news... oh, it's just too funny to tell in bullets, so it's gonna take a while....

(to be continued here)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Of Slugs and Smiles

No, no one got slugged and smiled about it, LOL.

We now have house pets, 4 to be precise. Slugs! Found one last night crawling up the front of the dishwasher. Put it in a little plastic tub to show the kids when they got up this morning. Busy day today, forgot to show them the slug til this afternoon, apparently during it's nap. Momma forgot that slugs are semi-nocturnal. Oh well.

Power went out about 30 minutes after we let the slug out to play and stayed off, so back into it's little plastic prison the slug went. We went out for supper (left-overs don't re-heat well with no electricity) and a Wal-Mart run, and when we came back found 3 more slugs in the kitchen! These ones were behind the stove and on the floor between the stove and the dishwasher. *Insert eye roll here!* Got out another little lidded plastic tub, added one slug to the first tub and dropped the 3rd and 4th ones into the second tub. Now we have a slug condo on our dining room table, and the kids are thrilled that they don't have to share, LOL

On a cuter (but no less slimy) note, BD#3 cut his first tooth Wednesday. Since when do 5 month olds weigh 18 lbs and cut teeth?? He's as happy as ever. Sleeping about 9 hours at night on average, and charming everyone he meets. The older two get the biggest kick out of making him giggle. One day (when I figure out posting videos to YouTube or some such video hosting service) I'll let you hear him. But for now, knowing it's been forever and a day since I last posted, here are a few pictures. Enjoy!!

How's that for a drool string??

The tooth behind all the excess drool. (No, the slugs had nothing to do with his drool, LOL.) See that little sliver of white?? It's sharp!

Just because you needed a smile today! :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Worth Reading

Nope, still haven't answered that e-mail yet. Been doing some reading though, and have a couple recommendations for you.

Pathological Spirituality
BlogLords and Ham
On Separation

Hard to believe it's been 65 years this weekend since D-Day...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

ST vs BT & children

In relation to both the Vipers in Diapers, and Is God Love? posts (and tangentially Ezzo pt 1&2)... I'm wondering....

Where ST is systematic theology (looking at everything the Scriptures have to say on a particular topic) and where BT is biblical theology (looking more at the over-arching themes and framework of Scripture)...

Are we so hung up on our ST of "man born as a sinner" that we miss the bigger over-arching BT of man created in God's image, children called blessings, and little ones *never* denigrated in Scriptures? Is our emphasis not wrong? When in fact God uses the pictures of a woman nursing a child to describe His love for Israel (Can a woman forget her suckling child?--By implication NO, Of course not! Don't be silly!!).

Yes, we are born with a sinful nature, but to make that the focus of our "relationship" with our infants and toddlers..... speaks more to our need for control and self-vindication than it does to our children's need of a Savior.

Hence the growing interest in Reformed theology.. or at least in a more covenantal view of family/children. Thinking... and getting more disturbed with the teaching of some popular "godly parenting" gurus out there.
*coughs* Ezzo *coughs*

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is God love?


Does the "love chapter" of 1 Cor 13 apply to God? If He is love (and He is), can't these characteristics of love described there also be applied to God?? He is patient, kind, long-suffering, keeps no account of wrongs.... keeps no account of wrongs. When I come to Him today, confessing that same old sin that I confessed yesterday, does He really say "What sin?" In the words of that song "What sin? What sin? Well that's as far away as the east is from the west. What sin? What sin? It was gone the very minute you confessed, buried in the sea of forgetfulness..."

If God loves us (and He does) and if He doesn't hold our sins against us (and He doesn't), then why do we hold on so tightly to those little annoying "sins against us" that our kids do? Why do we keep score? If God doesn't keep a record of our wrongs (and He doesn't), who are we to hold our children to a standard that God doesn't hold us to?? Why do we insist on instant obedience through fear of reprisals? Perfect love casts out fear... or so 1 John 4:18 says.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good reading

In the process of avoiding answering an e-mail that's fast becoming an elephant in the corner (with our associate pastor about grace & it's definition), I've come across several really good and timely blog posts. Enjoy!! :-)

KatieKind with a reprint on parenting
TulipGirl with a quote on resting
Camille on Sola Gracia
and Wendy with more thoughts on grace

There's a not-so-subtle theme linking these....... LOL.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Irony of Ezzo and AP, Part 2

While we were expecting BD#2, I ran across EzzoInfo online. The volume and diversity of information on that website was simply overwhelming. Read a bit, rolled my eyes. [How could a parent be so lacking in common sense as to follow Ezzo's suggestions for feeding schedule so rigidly that they wound up with a baby failing to thrive? How?!?!]

Read some more, more eye rolls. [These horror stories of Ezzo parents gone overboard must have been what BD#1's nurse was thinking of when she strongly suggested we NOT try to schedule-feed our newborn. Never mind that he was less than two days old--I wasn't trying to schedule anything that early--Honest!! She must've known (knowing our educational and theological background as she did) that Ezzo would have been on our radar so she attempted a preemptive strike.]

The irony that I found EzzoInfo while looking for the source of an aberrant definition of *grace* is just HUGE to me now; but when I first found EzzoInfo I was mentally consumed with the grace question, so I didn't give the Ezzo issue much thought beyond a couple nights worth of heavy reading. But I tucked away a few questions, and they kept coming up for air. You know how it is when you're pregnant... you get insomnia, your mind wanders, you wonder about things.

So when BD#2 came along and *shock and horrors* did NOT want to sleep by herself, I was at least primed to consider other (non-Ezzo approved) options. :-D Nothing so radical as becoming a full-fledged AP mom mind you ;-) but... more nights than not she fell asleep next to me in bed. She simply would NOT fall asleep by herself. And you know what?? It wasn't that big of a deal. I quickly figured out the only way to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep was to bring her to bed with me for the first part of her night. That way she fell asleep happy that she had her momma, and *we* were happy that she was sleeping (and yes, therefore quiet so we could sleep too, LOL). "Co-sleeping" worked. Definitely not in line with Babywise mandates but we . were . getting . sleep . ALL of us!! :-) Once she was soundly sleeping, I could easily move her to that dreaded bassinet where she slept just fine until time to eat again. No need to keep her in bed with us all night--just til she was asleep. And I thought to myself--is this what Ezzo was railing against?? This???

And so my questions about Ezzo's ideals grew. See, one of the other things I'd read about Ezzo and his child-rearing methodology was how it sets parents up for an adversarial relationship with their young children. [What if the baby doesn't want to go to sleep my herself? Make her do it anyway! Don't parent on emotion and instinct!!] Um... yeah! Add to that the basic selfishness of putting my needs above those of my newborn. Ezzo teaches that the relationship between mom and dad is the most important one, so the children must not be allowed to interfere with it. Good idea in principle. How to play that out in practical terms with a helpless newborn in arms is another story. :-)

Yes, they are helpless. Yes, they do have needs. No, their crying is NOT a form of "manipulation." They're trying to communicate their needs to you. (And if you had half an ounce of common sense you'd realize that denying the baby's need (for comfort) is a really really baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad idea.)

So Ezzo's BabyWise didn't come off the bookshelf after BD#2's arrival... [well, maybe to check a couple of things from EzzoInfo--make sure they weren't misrepresenting what they said about his "methods"--(they weren't).] And I have to say, I think those early weeks of our relationship with BD#2 were the better for it.

To be continued...

But first, once again, here are a few links from others if you're interested in more information on Ezzo...

From the horses mouth:
Growing Kids God's Way

From those who jumped off the wagon:
Jenn's story
TulipGirl's files
ChewyMom's files
KatieKind's files
Camille's adventures becoming an attachment mom and her research on Ezzo.

Deconstructing the wagon:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Music for the soul

Had the privilege of hearing Chanticleer again Thursday night at The Porter Center of Brevard College. Nice foggy trip over the mountains to get there... kinda like that 13 mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway the night before our wedding, LOL.

Their program this time was titled Wondrous Free and (understatement alert) "demonstrates the diversity of song in America." Though most of the pieces in the program were in English, spanning several hundred years brought in quite a range of styles--from spirituals and fuging tunes to madrigals by P.D.Q. Bach. Most interesting modern piece was The Homecoming, a poem written by John Stirling Walker in 2003 and set to music by David Conte. Haunting, though-provoking... Program notes can be found on-line here and include the text of The Homecoming.

For those of you who haven't heard Chanticleer before, following is their rendition of Shenandoah. This video doesn't do hold a candle to hearing it live, front -n- center in the third row as we did Thursday night, but it'll have to do. ;-)

Chanticleer is currently on a brief tour up and down the Eastern seaboard. If you're anywhere near New Canaan CT, Richmond VA, Morrow GA, Huntsville AL..... Get tickets and GO HEAR THEM!!!

From their most recent CD...

Absolutely incredible. Breath-taking live. Especially from the third row. Did I mention that we were dead-center in the 3rd row?? :-D I really need to track down the gal from the Porter Center's box office & hug her.

I am a happy woman. Nothing like beautiful music performed with excellence to lift the spirits!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Of Copperheads, Crayfish, and Creosote

Yeah, it was an interesting day!! :-)

The cat brought us a small (freshly-killed) snake with "suspicious" markings. It looks like the same kind of snake we had around last fall that my neighbor said was a baby copperhead, so I've done some research (gotta love the Internet)! It's actually a brown snake. Non-poisonous. Yeah for that!!

In the midst of researching what kind of snake we had, found out juvenile copperheads have bright lemon yellow tails for the first years of their lives--easy to spot & tell-tail (pun intended, sorry!) sign that they're dangerous. This snake is the size of a juvenile copper, but is actually full grown. No snakes in this area bear young so early in the season anyway. Should've known it couldn't have been a juv. copperhead, but now at least I have proof. :-)

Went down to get the mail today and heard something rustling in the leaves in the ditch. Something red... moving... probably just a big beetle. Hmmm... Having never seen a beetle big enough to make *that* much noise, decided to track the sound. What the...??? It looks like a baby lobster!! OK, so I know there are crayfish native to SC, but I've sure as heck never seen one in the wild! But there it was.

I wish like anything I had had my camera with me, but who carries their camera to the mailbox every day just in case they see a cray-fish?? LOL I'd have gone up to the house, gotten the camera and come back for a picture--if for no other reason than to reassure myself that I wasn't hallucinating--but our mail box is kinda precariously perched on the side of the road above the ditch... and the baby was howling... and the older two were up to no good when I got back to the house, so I have no photographic proof to offer. But I swear... it was a baby lobster, LOL.

And just in case the day wasn't weird enough...

Our neighbors like burning things. Today it was a pyre of creosote soaked railroad ties with kindling of Styrofoam... oh, and a good dousing of lighter fluid for good measure. Glad none of the kids are asthmatic!! Sheesh!

The neighbors are feuding. Boy and girl grow up across the street from each other. Get married, have kids. Things go sour--really sour. They separate. BUT both sets of in-laws still live across the street from each other. (We live next door to the nice ones.) The other in-laws (kitty-corner across the street from us) are the ones who like to burn things in their yard.... But only on really dry, really windy days. Like "no rain in the forecast for a week and the flag flies straight out" dry and windy days. And only when said wind is blowing toward us (and their son's ex-in-laws) across the street. *Eye roll*

Now in fairness, I wouldn't burn when the wind were blowing toward my house either, and usually they burn a lot closer to their house. (As they're on a couple of cleared acres, it's not like they don't have the room.) But come on! Today's pyre got built right in the corner of their property nearest to the ex-laws. *sigh*

It would be laughable if it didn't smell so bad! ;-) I can't tell you how many days these past 2 summers I've had the lines full of clothes & had to go bring them in lest they smell like burning...whatever the neighbors decide to burn that day. At least the road will make a natural fire-break...

Saturday, March 7, 2009


The youngest baby dragon gave me his first smile right after his one month check-up last month. Probably he was just expressing graitude that he didn't have to get shots, LOL. But since then he's been getting better at returning smiles, and finally this week will hold one long enough for the camera to catch him in the act. Not bad for 8 weeks & 13 lbs!!!

Cute eh?? :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vipers in Diapers?

I used to say I'm lucky, but I really don't think it's luck. Babies are hard-wired to communicate their needs. Specifically. Like BD#1's cry changing tone and timbre during those diaper changes right before the middle-of-the-night feedings. First it was his "Momma, I'm dirty" cry. Once that diaper was fresh & dry though--even before you could get his PJ's snapped back up--it was very clearly "Momma, I'm HUNGRY--FEED ME NOW!" LOL.

What has me ranting about babies and their God-given ability of communicating their needs??

Just a recent comment made from the pulpit about children, and how utterly sinful they are. (Yes, I know, we're all born with a sinful nature, and a bent toward "our own way" as Isaiah put it.) But the comment was (1.) made by a young guy with no children (2.) in that tone that implied "children are bent on destroying everything good around them and controlling/manipulating everyone/everything they can--don't let them!!!" or what I like to call the children are merely "vipers in diapers" attitude. And it bugs me, badly. Made me want to ask him if he'd been reading up in Ezzo's Babywise already. 'Cause BabyWise does that a LOT. Implying there's a need to differentiate between a baby crying to present a need and some OTHER kind of crying--to manipulate their authorities or demand attention? Who looks at infants that way??

As KatieKind put it in her comment on parenting toddlers--equally applicable to parents of the very young as well--"If they could simply tell you, "Don't listen to me, I know I'm being irrational about this, I'm totally exhausted and not thinking straight" like a girlfriend would, things would be different." But they can't. And I'm afraid this attitude... this assumption that babies are hell-bent on manipulation and control of their parents from their very youngest days... is doing great damage to relationships between parents and children in the Church.

Where in Scripture are children EVER referred to in such a denigrating way? From Isaiah's "can a woman forget her nursing child?" to Jesus' "suffer the little children and forbid them not," I'm not finding a Biblical defense for this prevalent attitude toward children--anybodys children--but especially not children of believers. If the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing (I Cor. 7:14), how much more their children?

And don't get me started on the Pearl's. From the introduction of Pearl's To Train Up A Child: These truths are not new, deep insights from the professional world of research, but rather, the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules, the same technique God uses to train His children. Um... really?? God trains us like the Amish train their mules? Really?? My Bible says He knows our frame and remembers that we are but dust. And the verses before and after that?? Psalm 103:8-18...

The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep [his anger] for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [are] dust. [As for] man, his days [are] as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
In short, God doesn't view us as "vipers in diapers" so why should we allow our children to be viewed this way?

What do we do with vipers? Off with their heads!!
What ought we to do with our children? Love, train, nurture. Even when they cry. :-)

In the words of Barbara Curtis (found here): "Why ... worry so much about parents being ruled by their babies? Why even choose that framework? When I cry out and God meets my needs, is He being ruled by me?" Worth thinking on, yes?

And a fantastic series on grace in parenting by ThatMom, the latest installment of which is found here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Irony of Ezzo and AP, Part 1

Back before we had BD#1, a few of the young mothers at church read Gary Ezzo's On Becoming Babywise. I think someones friend gave one gal a copy & she mentioned it to a couple others of us. It was a casual mention--definitely not a church-sponsored Growing Kids God's Way class or anything like that. I know at least one mom or two of the moms used the ideas from Ezzo's book with reasonable success. I was intrigued enough with their comments about BabyWise that sometime during my pregnancy with BD#1, I picked up a copy of Ezzo's book & skimmed it.

His presentation was straight-forward enough, though perhaps a bit over-bearing (to the point of obnoxious) and derisive of anyone who didn't see things his way. Obviously there was no love lost for those poor deluded attachment parents with their constantly interrupted sleep and chaotic child-centered child-dominated lives. But his presentation of his own ideas sounded reasonable enough... We're all happier with predictability and routines, right?! Therefore:
  • Work the baby into your schedule instead of rearranging your entire life around the baby--baby will feel more secure that way.

  • Get baby into an eating schedule as soon as you can (starting 2 weeks after birth)

  • Be aware of (and take steps to promote) baby getting full sleep cycles rather than cat-naps

  • Feeding baby at regularly spaced intervals will help regulate baby's metabolic processes which in turn help baby sleep through the night sooner than demand fed babies (because your baby will get full meals instead of snacking, therefore less waking during the night from hunger.

  • Eat-play-sleep routines (rather than play-eat-sleep) will lessen the likelihood of baby being nursed to sleep which in turn cuts out the lay-sleeping-baby-down and tip-toe out of the room with-fingers-crossed exercise.

  • Put baby down to bed while awake--teaches baby to fall asleep alone rather than with "sleep aids" and eliminates that dreaded tip-toe routine.

Having done my fair share of baby-sitting as a teenager, I was a bit too familiar with the rock-baby-to-sleep and lay baby down only to have him or her wake up howling to be held again. As annoying as that was to me as a teen-aged baby-sitter, I couldn't imagine having to go through that routine every night for a year or so with each kid we might have. No thanks!! Plus, the concept of attachment parenting, co-sleeping, etc., was one I was NOT interested in. No way, no how. My bed is MINE thankyouverymuch!

Ezzo's ideas all sounded reasonable enough to this order-loving first-timer, but we had child-birth classes to take and furniture to re-arrange so I didn't put too much more thought into the book or Ezzo's ideas until after BD#1's arrival. Once BD#1 was in arms instead of in vitro I had no mental energy to re-read anything. All I could remember was Ezzo's claim that an eat-play-sleep routine would be best for all of us, so off we went. And it worked. Really. It worked.

A bit too well, in fact. He slept so well on is own early on that he never learned the art of falling asleep outside of his crib. So when Memere came to visit, snuggling baby to sleep was a no-go. (Partly because I was a new momma and insisted on trying to keep baby on his "routine" (bag over head--Sorry Mom!!!) But once he aged past that wonderful snuggly newborn phase (hastened I'm sure by my insistence that he sleep in his crib at all naps & nighttime), he absolutely would NOT fall asleep anywhere outside of his crib.

SO... word of warning to those who think not rocking a baby to sleep every night will bring you freedom--it won't!! You'll have to be home by the baby's bedtime--every time, 'cause he won't fall asleep anywhere else. And to this day (almost 4 years later) it's still true. Bed ='s sleep. Therefore, no bed ='s no sleep.

To be continued...

Couple of links from others if you're interested in more information on Ezzo...

From the horses mouth:
Growing Kids God's Way

From those who jumped off the wagon:
Jenn's story
TulipGirl's files
ChewyMom's files
KatieKind's files
Camille's adventures becoming an attachment mom and her research on Ezzo.

Deconstructing the wagon:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're here..., really! We're here. Sorry for the lack of posts. Good thing I don't have a regular readership to miss me, eh?! We really are doing well. It's just that when I have brain power to think there are no hands free and something is WAY over-due to be done. (As in, it would be nice to sit down to supper before 8pm on any given weeknight.) By the time I have time and hands free at the same time to blog, I'd rather sleep. But since I'm here, I'll update. :-)

All is well. BD#3 is fitting into life here quite nicely. Up almost 4 lbs in his first 6 weeks--can you say good eater?! The older two are adjusting nicely to the newest dragon. Hopefully he doesn't mind being "petted" on the head, LOL.

The transition from 2 to 3 children has definitely been easier than from 1 to 2. Don't know why, it just has. Yeah for that! The fact that he's sleeping at least one 6 hour block at night (with an occasional 7-9 hour night tossed in for fun) has been a HUGE help. I think I'm getting more sleep now than I have in recent years.

Speaking of sleep..... Bye!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Merry Christmas '08

OK, so this year's "Christmas" letter was a little late going out. Blame me--waiting to get a picture of the new baby to send. Not my fault the little stinker waited til January to make his appearance! LOL Anyway...

Dear Family & Friends,

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” -- Luke 2:7-11

“Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.” – Charles Wesley

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May the good news sung by angels more than two millennia ago bring joy and peace to your hearts today. For though Christ did lay His glory by to be born in a manger, He is nevertheless the Prince of Peace and the Son of Righteousness. And though more than twenty centuries have passed since the very first Christmas, He still brings light and life and still gives men the second birth (John 3). So as we enjoy the Christmas season this year may we consider afresh and anew Christ the Savior: the snow might remind us of His sinless purity, Christmas lights might bring to mind that He is the Light victorious over all darkness, Christmas trees might cause us to consider His sacrifice on the cruel tree on Calvary, and exchanging gifts might muster our thoughts to ponder His gift of eternal life. Do our traditions magnify the Reason for the season, or do they insulate our celebrations from Him?

Our family has much to celebrate and thank our Lord for as we reflect on 2008 and the beginning of 2009. Also, it is with our deepest gratitude that we wish to express our thanks to each of you. Whether through prayers or by generous gifts or in offering encouraging words, your love and help have been vital to us throughout the most trying year our family has ever faced. Yet, by God’s grace, we look forward to 2009 having grown in our walk with Him and having grown as a family. We rejoice to introduce to you Daniel Earle, who was born on January 9th at 11:56pm. He weighed in at an even 9 lbs. and was 22 inches long at birth. Although Daniel’s birth was not at all as we planned, we thank the Lord that He blessed us with our third child safely and soundly.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quick update, then sleep... maybe!

Thanks for all of your prayers. The Lord certainly answered! Wound up at the hospital for an induction Friday evening. Then:

Daniel Earle (after his grandpas); 11:56pm on Friday, January 9th; 9 lbs. even; 22" long.

*Completely* uneventful--well, OK, uneventful other than that unplanned water birth (which was against hospital policy, LOL)-- 4 & 1/2 hour labor & delivery (breaking my water did the trick). Baby did beautifully!! Scored 9 & 9 on his Apgars. We're (rather jokingly) talking of calling him "the niner."

Were able to escape for home with him Saturday afternoon. Here's a quick picture of his older siblings checking him out. :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Going for an induction!!! Yeah Rah!! /end sarcasm

Had the bio-physical profile ultrasound done this morning. Scored a 4 of 8 or 6 of 8 depending... Of course the baby was napping through the entire procedure and so refused to "practice breathing" or give any "large-motor" movements (which were two of the strikes against the score). And (to add insult to injury) naturally my blood sugar was crashing during the ultrasound; that didn't help baby's inclination to be active. *rolls eyes* Estimated fetal weight is around 10 1/2 lbs--I'll believe that when we see it, LOL. *My* biggest concern is the report of low amniotic fluid---especially since I've been drinking like a fish for the last couple of days. Oh well. :-)

So... off to the hospital we go. Dr is going to try breaking my water first, then waiting a couple hours at least to see if we can get labor going without going the pit. route. One of my midwives is coming along for the ride, bless her heart. I'm thinking gravity feed will work on this little one, as I've never been able to sustain any kind of contractions once I lay down.....

We would appreciate your prayers for the Lord's wisdom and direction for us and protection for the baby. Will keep y'all posted.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update... no baby though!

Realizing I should have put this up yesterday, Sorry! We wound up with the bio-physical profile (ultrasound) being scheduled for Friday morning (tomorrow) after all. Apparently the office is open half-days or something. So "we" have another day to persuade baby to come, ROFL. This child is my child--beyond persuasion. But in the Lord's good timing.... we WILL have this baby. In the mean time, I am tanking up on fluids before that ultrasound tomorrow. :-)

I suppose I should clarify why we're done with flipping out over the baby being "so far" post-dates. The baby isn't really way post dates. :-) I had two due dates. Dec 13th by traditional LMP dating methods, and Dec 30th--adjusted for a number of reasons. Sat down with my midwife and ran through all those reasons again on Tuesday--just to reassure ourselves that we're not nuts to continue waiting on this little one to make an appearance.

1. I run LONG cycles... almost twice "normal" length. Run the figures by my "normal" and you get Dec. 30th. Not that my OB is necessarily convinced, LOL.

2. We did NOT get fetal heart tones at 11 weeks (typically you would have no problem getting them by 10 weeks---if your dates are right, therefore see #1).

3. We did get fetal heart tones at my 15 week appt--with my regular OB--but fundal height was only 7!! Kinda low for "15 weeks," eh?! (Again, see #1.)

Toss in a couple other things like that (when I started feeling the baby regularly, etc.) and we've got pretty unassailable evidence that this little one was just NOT due mid-December.

So there, quit worrying!! The wee one is just more stubborn than we are, and is determined to stay "in" until we've given up on him, LOL. (Generic him, not gender-specific him, BTW). We will get a post up when we do finally have anything to report about the baby dragon's arrival.

Until then (since everything baby-prep home-birthing related has been done for a month now) I may just have to finish the rant I started here. About child-birth classes & fun controversial stuff like that. And maybe a birth story or two. Have to give the older two their time in print too, right?? :-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Prayers appreciated...

Nope, no baby news yet. But I do have a prayer request for you all along those lines. :-)

We're currently working on scheduling an ultrasound for Thursday (because my favorite fetal-maternal specialist doesn't do appts. on Fridays--The nerve!). There's nothing going on symptomatically that gives me any cause for concern, we just want to make sure things are still in good order with the baby. We had good reason to adjust my due date to the 30th of December, I'd just like to have the baby HERE NOW, or make sure there's nothing going on that shouldn't be.

Now.... I would be thrilled if the baby should come before that ultrasound. SO, if you feel so led, I would greatly appreciate your prayers that if this home birth be the Lord's will, the baby will come before Thursday. If however, there is something we need to know (that the ultrasound could actually tell us!) regarding this baby; well then, we'd rather the Lord keeps the baby waiting. :-)

And we'll not get into what will likely be running through my head if the baby isn't here by that appointment!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Prayer Request

Nope, no baby news yet. But I do have a prayer request for you all along those lines. :-)

We're currently working on scheduling an ultrasound for Thursday (because my favorite fetal-maternal specialist doesn't do appts. on Fridays--The nerve!). There's nothing going on symptomatically that gives me any cause for concern, we just want to make sure things are still in good order with the baby.

Now.... I would be thrilled if the baby should come before that ultrasound. SO, if you feel so led, I would greatly appreciate your prayers that if this home birth be the Lord's will, the baby will come before Thursday. If however, there is something we need to know (that the ultrasound could actually tell us!) regarding this baby; well then, we'd rather the Lord keeps the baby waiting. :-)

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support!!