Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Amish Way of Life

This was orignially going to be a comment back to Julia on this post but it turned into a post of it's own.

That is SO funny. (about us sounding Amish) We are SO NOT Amish but I have an affinity for that way of life. I wish I could truly be happy living that way (except for some of the doctrinal problems I would have). In my healthy imagination I really am Amish. I developed my romantic involvement with the Amish when reading my first Beverly Lewis book way back when. Since then I have read every one of her books except the ones for children and I wait with bated breath for each new one.

One of my favorite quotes is: "Free yourself of things or you will spend your entire life tidying up." Boy did that one hit home with me. I put my book down and started throwing out junk!

I think one of the aspects that attracts me most about the Amish is their sense of community and extended family. I so often feel stranded in my little life. It must come from living too far from my family to really share in their lives and to feel like they share in mine. I like the idea of a "work frolic" where friends and family (your neighbors) all come together and help each other out. For instance, everybody goes to Annie's house and cans a million jars of applesauce. A few days later they all go to Rachel's house and can her million jars. In the end it's all the same amount of work but they do it together for each other. I could use that in my world.

In my world, I'm hard pressed to find anyone on a given day who isn't totally up to their eyeballs in their own "stuff". Admittedly, that is also true of me a lot of the time. I just wish it wasn't so. Usually I AM available when someone from church calls and needs a babysitter, but I almost never know who to call if I am in need, particularly during the daytime hours. I always feel like I'm imposing because I already know how much so-and-so has on their plate. I think about it a lot especially right know when I have a baby coming and I have other children to think about. I wonder how this will turn out if I go into labor in the middle of the day. The middle of the night I have covered (most people ARE home then) but in the middle of the day? I don't know anyone who doesn't have a job or aren't already busy with something. This would be a really good time to consider a home birth if I were so inclined. My hubby isn't so thrilled with that notion and I've had such good hospital experiences that I don't want to change anything anyway.

Now I'm rambling. Sorry. Basically, I just thought it was funny that Julia said we sounded Amish and she didn't even know all this that I think about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Slave Labor

I wish you could see 23-month-old BonusBoy putting wood into the wheelbarrow. Oh, wait, you can! See there. Isn't he sweet?? No one even asked him to do that!! :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

In Which I Use Too Many Exclamation Points!!!

I think this baby is trying to learn to crawl while still inside of me! I'm getting poked and prodded in more places at the same time than I think should be allowed. My belly is starting to look like something from Alien! It creeps Jim out to have his hand on my belly while it's contorting. I say, lucky him! He can pull his hand away if it too creepy. On the other hand, I'm stuck!! It'll be nice to be able to relax and feel comfortable in my own skin again. Soon, and very soon!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Three Things Thursday ~ Vol. 1 No. 11


1.) I refuse to decorate for Christmas or play Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. I will, however, do Christmas shopping. Especially when I'm due to have a baby on Dec. 16th. I'd like to have the presents all gathered together BEFORE the baby comes!

2.) I prefer dark meat and tolerate white meat. Not so healthy, I know.

3.) I prefer the Thanksgiving leftovers to the original meal. Love to nibble!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How to shorten my life

Having never before heard of a febrile seizure let alone witnessed one, I had about four years shaved off of my life span last Saturday. BonusBoy, my 23-month old, had a barely-noticable-to-the-touch, low-grade fever on Saturday morning. Jim had taken BonusBoy with him to do an errand and although BonusBoy was acting sleepy when they returned, he was acting normally. It was noon.

Jim sat down with him in the rocking chair and BonusBoy seemed to be going to sleep. I came into the room having just finished a call to my sister and sat down on the couch to talk with Jim. Then BonusBoy started acting "funny". He raised his head up off of Jim's shoulder as if to lay his head down on his other cheek but he didn't put his head back down. he just stared. Then he started trembling slightly. Jim and I looked at each other thinking that this was looking really weird. I went over and sat down on the ottoman in front of the rocking chair and tried to get BonusBoy to respond to me. He wouldn't. He just stared with glassy, unseeing eyes.

I asked Jim to please take him to the hospital. I was thinking, initially, that I couldn't go since I hadn't even gotten dressed or brushed my teeth or hair yet. But while Jim was hollering for the big kids to come in the house, I threw on clothes and then took BonusBoy. We sent the kids over to the neighbors house (without even finding out if that was going to be o.k. ... it was, in the end) and raced away to the E.R.

We only live about 3-4 miles from the hospital but we performed about 5 moving violations on the way there. This whole time, I'm holding BonusBoy and shaking him every so often to try to elicit a response from him. I'm talking loudly to him, saying, "BonusBoy, BonusBoy!" I'm also wondering (since I have NO CLUE what is going on) if I've seen the last of my son as I know him. I'm wondering about brain damage and if he will ever be the same again. Utterly frightening!

We pulled up the the hospital and a nurse meets me with a wheelchair. I plop down in the chair with my STILL unresponsive son balanced on my 36-weeks pregnant belly. She whiskes me down the hall and through a back door into the E.R. and hollers for the docs. It was nice that we got to bypass the main entry area and go straight to an E.R bed. When Jim got in there they didn't know who he was asking for because they didn't have our names yet. It all went very fast!!

The doctor immediately said it looked like a febrile seizure but I still didn't know what that was so was not feeling any measure of relief yet. BonusBoy's rectal temperature was 103. something and he was still unresponsive at this point which was a blessing on one hand because he didn't care about the IV that it took 1/2 hour to insert. The seizure makes the veins in the extremities constrict so it's hard to get in an IV.

In the end, BonusBoy was just fine. About 20-25 minutes after it started, he came out of the seizure. He was pretty subdued the rest of the time in the E.R. He fell asleep at one point but woke up screaming when the nurse had to take his temperature again. He also cried a lot when they took off all the tape and removed the IV. The screaming and crying I can take. It's WAY BETTER than unresponsive!

We were instructed to keep him medicated to keep the fever under control and watch him. He's been normal ever since (albeit tired). Since he has now had a febrile seizure he will be more prone to having one again. If this happens again, I won't like it, but I certainly won't be as terrified as I was last Saturday.

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone

Friday, November 18, 2005

OB Appointment #9

November 18, 2005 - 4:00 p.m. - Julie Stevens, Nurse Practitioner
36 Weeks - 0 Days

Weight: -8 ½ lbs. / + 7 ½ lbs. overall (I didn't really believe that 7 pound weight gain last time! This kind of evens it out)
Blood Pressure: 104/64
Baby's Heartrate: Easy to pick up and it was strong and LOUD.
Height of Fundus: 37 cm.
Blood Test: None. The results of the last one were fine, so I don't have to have another.

The nurse practitioner felt around on my belly to try to get an idea of how the baby was positioned but she said she really couldn't tell unless she "checked" me. She asked if I had a problem with her doing a cervical exam and I said I did. I just didn't feel up to it. Today I'm not curious enough to know and I'm having enough contractions today that I didn't want to bring on MORE by having an exam. Yikes! Maybe next time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Beware the Bewildering Rant

Ya know, I love the Uncle Remus story of “The Wonderful Tar Baby”. My kids crack up every time I read it and that’s part of the fun even tho’ I’ve loved that story since even before I knew my kids!

However, right now I feel a bit like foolish Brer Rabbit. I’ve punched that stupid tar baby with both hands and probably a foot by now. But I quit. I’m not gonna kick with the one foot I still have free. I’m going to hop away and take a hot turpentine shower and melt this ridiculous tar baby off of me!

The more I try to work on and extricate myself from my un-named “tar baby”, the more embroiled I become and the less is getting straighted out. Phooey!

"`Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'. She des hilt on, en den Brer Rabbit lose de use er his foots in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im loose he butt 'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' dez ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's mockin'-birds. "`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled on de groun', en laft en laft twel he couldn't laff no mo'.
-From The Favorite Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

Three Things Thursday ~ Vol. 1 No. 10

1.) For some reason I think it's kind of cool that I was born in the 60's (albeit just barely!).

2.) I'm older than my husband by 2½ years. (He was born in the 70's!)

3.) I had my first child at the same age that my mom had her last child (27).

Monday, November 14, 2005


I just sat here for at least 5 seconds (which was MUCH too long) trying to figure out how to put the xD-picture memory card back into my cell phone... Five seconds was too long to take to figure out that it belonged NOT in the phone!!!

Who knew...

...that he would bury his face in the little bowl of sour cream!?!?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Three Things Thursday ~ Vol. 1 No. 9

1.) I am the oldest of four children.

2.) I graduated from high-school in a class of 7 students.

3.) I had the privilege of knowing all of my grandparents and even a great-grandpa.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Psalm 25:16-31

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.
19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in Thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for Thee.

Please Be Patient...

...God Isn’t Finished With (any of us) Yet!

James 3:1 - Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

I remember my high school teacher preaching on this verse more than once in a chapel service at school. He told us that as our teacher that he was accountable to God for the training we were receiving. He told us how God was judging him more strictly because of the role that he had.

Lately, I’ve been seeing this verse from another angle. I’m seeing that not only does a teacher/leader incur a stricter judgement from God, but they also receive a much stricter judgement from the people around them. We are SO hard on our leaders. And when I say we, I really mean I.

It’s hard getting older and having more and more of the leaders around me being closer and closer to my own age. It’s weird. I am now the age that my friends’ parents were when I thought they were so old, settled, and had it together! I had certain expectations of adults that I’ve come to realize are a bit high now that I AM one! The same goes for leaders. I’ve had certain childish expectations of leaders that are a bit out of line now that I assess them from an adult perspective. Maybe part of that comes from having an absolutely ‘perfect’ dad who is also a leader in the church. Becoming an adult throws a bit of needed clarity on that delusion.

I have the luxury of doing my spiritual growing and learning in relative privacy. Not many people see me make my mistakes, fail, and generally, um… SIN! No so for the leaders around us. Especially those in the public eye. We seem to expect them to have already achieved a certain level of perfection and don’t have the mercy for them that we expect for ourselves. That’s quite a burden to place on the ones who have taken on the ministry of shepherding and leading God’s people. As if the job isn’t hard enough!

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t hold leaders accountable and shouldn’t ever point out a problem, but goodness gracious, let’s show some patience, grace, and mercy for those around us… not just the leaders either!

And earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice.
Portia - "Merchant of Venice" Act Four, Scene One (IV,i) by William Shakespeare

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Puzzle Ball of Death!

(Click to enlarge so you can read the instructions!)

I just had to share the instructions for putting together this puzzle ball that my daughter bought for a quarter in a vending machine. Those of you who know me and my (sometimes) nit-picky way with language and grammar should appreciate this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

OB Appointment #8

November 3, 2005 - 4:00 p.m. - Dr. Harmony Schroeder
33 Weeks - 6 Days

Weight: + 7 lbs. / + 16 lbs. overall (I knew this would catch up with me eventually!)
Blood Pressure: 118/76
Baby's Heartrate: ? - sounded fine to the dr.
Height of Fundus: 35 cm.
Blood Test: Antibody titer test...last one.

Had a good conversation with my doctor. I told her that I had hired a doula and I gave her my Birth Plan. She looked it over and discussed several parts with me. It was a great discussion starter. I like this doctor so much better than my last one! It's nice to have a doctor who has figured out how to deal with me J. Plus, she makes me laugh!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Three Things Thursday ~ Vol. 1 No. 8

1.) I don't like coffee

2.) I love hot chocolate... WITH marshmallows

3.) I usually only drink tea if I'm sick, trying to induce sleep naturally, or feeling homey and old-fashioned! :-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What are the odds...

...that I'd run into two different ex-boyfriends two nights in a row? I must say it was pretty weird. Halloween night, at a church harvest party I ran into T, a guy that I briefly dated while in Bible college. That really wasn't so bad. It was just unexpected and a little strange. I haven't seen T since Bible college which makes it 15 years ago or so (whoa!). I also saw his wife who was a roommate of mine my first semester. That was a fun/strange flashback to another life.


The next night...

Arrrgh! My family and I are out to dinner and we are talking when all of a sudden, over my husband's right shoulder at about 10 o'clock (directionally), I notice H, another ex-boyfriend that I SO don't want to actually run into. The only person that would be worse to run into would be Jim's ex-wife. I about had a heart attack. All thoughts immediately escaped my brain. Padawan had asked me a question and I was in the middle of responding when I had total brain meltdown. Jim looked across the table at me with this look on his face that said "what in the world is wrong with you?" I kept muttering, "unbelievable, what are the odds, of all places, etc."

I recovered fairly quickly and I don't think that the kids noticed, but Jim did and thought I was just weird. He went to get more food from the buffet and I said, "Don't leave me here by myself for long!" Since Jim was gone he was no longer blocking me from H's view. I tried to keep myself very inconspicuous. Hard to do with three kids. H was there with a very large group of family so he was pretty occupied with that and I don't think inclined to notice anyone else in the restaurant. Thank goodness! At one point, I said to Jim that, wasn't he curious enough to even look over his shoulder? He said, "They're still there?", I said, "Yes." When next Jim returned from getting a refill, he took notice and sat down at our table with a goofy look on his face that said that he had seen who I had seen. (We all had worked at Pizza Hut together 11 years ago or so)

When it was time for us to leave, I was aware that H had left his table to refill his plate and I didn't want to leave just yet and risk running into him while he was returning to his table. So I just kept telling Jim that we can't leave just yet... Hang on... When H got back to his table, then I stood up turned around to get my coat on and got the heck out of Dodge! That was SO unsettling. Definitely an unwelcome flashback to a previous life that I wish didn't exist!

I should have gotten up in the middle of the night and posted this. Maybe I would have slept better. What a night!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The End Of Me

When I was at this point in my last pregnancy I didn't feel as good as I feel now. In fact, I felt very overwhelmed, very tired, and very uncomfortable. I played and sang the song below A LOT. It was the theme song for that pregnancy. I was playing it again today, still seeing the relevance in my current situation, but also thankful that I'm feeling a bit better this time around!!


He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

CHORUS:His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

It's only when I get to the end of ME that I can begin to receive HIM.

Halloween 2005