30 September 2008

baby update #3~

This afternoon I went for another routine ultrasound to check baby's growth and the size of the hemorrhage. Good news! The baby is growing great, and the hemorrhage is "significantly smaller." The placenta is also completely reattached. This means I can resume "light activities" which means no lifting (including Haven) and no strenuous housework.

Thank you, Father!

We also found out some fun news. Well...maybe. She was getting some good shots of the baby from lots of different angles (we saw the baby sucking its thumb, very cute), and she asked if we like to find out the sex. My OCD self said of course. Dumb question :o)

She said of course it's pretty early, and she can't be 100% positive, but she is pretty sure it's a girl! She showed me a very good "bottom shot" and pointed what looked to be some specific girl parts, and said if it were a boy, even at this point, she'd would probably be seeing more there. I'm not sure how much stock to put in this, but this is the nurse practitioner at my backup OB's office that I've seen for years. She does early pregnancy scans all the time, and she told us that Ethan was a boy right at 11 weeks. The way she acted was that all of a sudden, she could tell and wanted to know if I wanted to know.

So I'm not buying any pink yet....but this would totally fit in with my "girl every five years" and "girl, boy, boy, girl, boy, boy pattern", which totally feeds my ocd tendencies :o)

Any of you find out this early via ultrasound? And more importantly, were they right?

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27 September 2008

celiac question answered~

You said I could ask a question and since I'm new to your blog......is your husband a celiac? I've done a lot of research into it over the past two years. My son and I both suffer from intestinal disorders which I believe are related to wheat/gluten. One time we went off gluten for two weeks and life was grand (except we were so hungry). What prompted you to go gluten free?


Let's see. Yes, my husband is a Celiac. So is my oldest daughter. None of our other children really have any symptoms or problems, so they've not been tested. We did find out that Anna is a double-gened Celiac, meaning she got a gene from each of us, so we do plan to have our other children tested in the coming months as that greatly increases the likelihood that they could have gluten issues in the future. **update 12.2008** We found out our third son, Ethan, is also a Celiac. You can read about why we chose to have him tested next and how it all came about here.

For a little history on how we came to learn that he was a Celiac, you can read a pretty thorough description of how his symptoms started and how we learned it was Celiac here:

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days...Guaranteed!

The way his symptoms started was pretty sudden, and through a lot of research I've learned that Celiac can almost lie dormant or at least asymptomatic for years until it is triggered by something. I sincerely believe that at first Glen did have giardia (a parasite) that triggered the onset of the Celiac. He went along for 31 years being pretty much fine, other than having a weak stomach, and then all of a sudden, he got scary sick and literally lost over thirty pounds in a couple of months. He became violentlly ill. It was bad. We had some initial trouble finding a doctor that would investigate and didn't want to just treat his syptoms, but once we saw an actual GI doctor, he immediately ordered a colonoscopy (which was fine, Celiac affects the small intestine, not large), and a bronchoscopy. He immediately suspected Celiac, and it was furthur confirmed via blood testing within a week. Since Glen went off gluten, he has felt fine.

Glen and I also believe it was the Lord's mercy that allowed us to discover that Anna also has it. She has always suffered with stomach problems, but nothing nearly as violent or pronounced as Glen became. She was also always a big bread lover :o) Once she heard that Dad was going off gluten, she immediately thought maybe it would help her as well, and on her own, she went cold turkey. She also immediately felt better.

This was a big flag to Glen and me that something was up with her as well, as how many nine year olds do you know that will voluntarily give up homemade rolls, pizza, and a host of other wheat containing foods that she loves? She struggled through it a little, but as she felt so much better, she stuck it out. A few months later we had her tested via an online testing facility (that involved a sample collection I won't go into detail about, but didn't involve blood - haha. We also had her genetically tested which involved a cheek swab.) It was really a relief for her results to be positive as it gave an explanation as to why her stomach had been bothering her for so long.

As far as the hunger thing, it was and is an adjustment. Thankfully, there are a few factors that have made it quite a bit easier.

First of all, my husband is very easy to please. His Dad died when he was seven, leaving his mom with very little life insurance, and four children to raise. He grew up just thankful for food in general. He is not picky, and he doesn't complain. In all honesty, I've not heard him complain one time about anything he cannot enjoy anymore. Not once. He's a trooper :o)

Secondly, we live in an area that has a very big natural foods/organic community. Gluten free items are found in not only our specialty stores (Whole Foods, we're getting Trader Joe's, etc.), but there's a fairly good selection in many regular grocery stores. While it can definitely get pricey, it is available. I've also found that Amazon has excellent prices on the gluten free items we use most often. I've also found that Pamela's Baking Mix (I buy it in bulk through Amazon) can be substituted in almost any recipe for flour and the result has been great every time. This has allowed us to enjoy pancakes, biscuits, cookies, cakes, etc. that are virtually indistinguishable from their gluten-laden counterparts.

In addition, I am so thankful I live when information is available in seconds. The internet community has been a lifesaver. There are an abundance of gluten free cooking blogs and information sites.

The hardest things have been eating out and parties. Glen can manage just fine anywhere, but I have to remember to pack Anna her own snack for special things at church, friends' houses, etc.

I know that technically, when one is a Celiac, it is supposedly very, very important that one is 100% gluten free, and that some Celiacs can get seriously ill from literally a crumb of gluten. Thankfully, that is not the case with Glen or Anna, so it allows us a little flexibility. Our entire house is not gluten free. Our other children, as well as myself, do eat sandwiches, and regular gluten containing foods (pizza, macaroni, other treats on occasion) as they are cheaper, and then I only have to make/buy the gluten free treats for Glen and Anna. I have to weigh cost vs. convenience since I'm feeding a family of eight here. For some things, like main meals and baked goods, I make completely gluten free as it's too time consuming to make two kinds of spaghetti, two kinds of casseroles, two batches of cookies, etc. But for some treats (bagels, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts, pretty much anything that is "premade") I buy separate as the premade things are very pricey. I guess basically, if it's something I can make, I make it all gluten free, but if it's something I have to buy premade, then I usually buy the regular and gluten free varities.

The transition to making gluten free meals was actually much easier than I anticipated. Much easier. If you can really tell a difference in how you feel when off gluten, I would highly encourage you to find a few recipes online that sound good, make a grocery list, and try it for a few weeks. You will also find that most of your regular recipes can be pretty easily adapted. I'm glad to help you in any way I can. Most of our staple meals around here that formerly contained gluten (casseroles, pasta dishes, pizza, etc.) were VERY easily adapted to be gluten free. And on a more serious note, if you truly are Celiac, and not just gluten sensitive or intolerant, as I'm sure you've learned from your research, it is important that you remove gluten from your diet as it can lead to a huge variety of health problems, including cancer.

And you know, since you asked and everything (ha ha) my current number one gluten free concern is that I really hope by the time Anna gets married, bakeries will be skilled in making gluten free wedding cakes :o) That is most definitely not on my list of talents!

Well, I've answered your question and a lot of other ones you didn't ask :o) I told you all I was bored. This kind of stuff has been really helpful for me in our transition to a gluten free lifestyle, so I kind of wanted to put it out there for anyone else who might benefit.

So there you have it....everything you ever wanted to know about our Celiac adventure....and then some.

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26 September 2008

the princess turns five~

Isn't she beautiful?
How time flies.

It is one of my greatest thrills and privileges in life to be your mother.
To wake up to your mischievous smile and to
be enamored daily by your fun personality and infectious, giggly laughter
brings all of us joy every day.
You are so much fun and a blessing and delight to each of us.
We love you and are so glad God decided to make you and put your in our family!

Happy Birthday, Princess!
We love you.

And Happy Birthday to your Daddy, too :o)

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25 September 2008

faith vs. science~

Okay, so I'm not an all or nothing kind of girl. I believe God is our Healer, whether that healing comes through the miraculous, or through the blessing of advanced medical science. But these last few days of prescribed bed rest has gotten me thinking. Where is the line? Is there a line? How do we make the decision between trusting man and trusting God? I don't think there is a black and white answer. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's not. But how does one figure it out?

I have asthma. One time, eight years ago or so, Glen and I were deciding whether or not to join Samaritan Ministries. It is a marvelous ministry, one we have been blessed to be a part of for eight years now. The only real factor in deciding whether or not to join was that my asthma would not be covered as it was pre-existing. During the course of praying about what to do, I felt like the Lord was telling me if we trusted Him and joined, that He would heal my asthma. Okay, cool. So we joined. I packed up all my asthma meds and put them in the attic. Guess what. I was fine. I went from using my rescue inhaler almost daily to not at all. For months. Then bam, one night, I woke up, couldn't breathe, and dragged my panicky, wheezy body up the attic stairs.

What was that about?

I should add that I have never needed our Samaritan Ministries coverage for anything asthma related, so the Lord really has been faithful in taking care of me. Even my pneumonia last year was not "asthma related" so it was covered. But still. Did my faith run out? Was it a fluke? Obviously, I was wrong or I misunderstood, or even better, my healing is coming, but regardless, I didn't hear God as accurately as I had thought.

It's not a huge deal, I rarely think about it, but for someone that goes to a church that very much believes in healing and has seen blow your mind kind of miracles, my faith in the miraculous healing department is pretty weak. I guess I usually fall in the camp of that kind of healing is for other people, not for me. At least in the "miraculous department." I have plenty of faith for regular, every day healing, the kind that often comes through medicine and doctors, but when it comes to miracles, I believe in them, I thank God for them, and I just have to trust that He's God and what He does is best.

Then there's also the side that we live in a fallen world and sickness and disease came along with sin. And frankly, I don't know how it all ties together and if there really is a one size fits all kind of explanation for why and how God does things. But I know he loves me, so I'm okay.

So anyway, what I've been thinking about. The whole bedrest thing.

I should back up and say, first of all, I really believe God gave me those verses for a reason. I hope, and believe, that I am understanding the application and interpretation correctly. I do know it was a God thing.

Secondly, if any of you have ever heard Vange Johnson's Tiveria Testimony, it is powerful. She is a good friend of mine, and to witness the whole thing in person was memorable. It was one of the first things I thought of when I started bleeding, and when I received the diagnosis. Her hemorrhage was enormous, and she was completely healed. Another friend at church had a similar diagnosis, Vange prayed for her, and she was instantly healed.

So I've just been thinking about it. I've never asked her specifically, but from hearing her talk about it, and knowing that it went on for several months, and mainly, just knowing Vange, I seriously doubt she did much resting. I've been meaning to listen to the story again as that's a detail I didn't have much reason to pay attention to before, and not that it would tell me what "I" should do, but it's just given me pause.

I believe that God is Sovereign.


1. One that exercises supreme, permanent authority

I believe He is the Creator and Sustainer of Life. I believe the days of this little one were written in His book before one of them came to be. So who am I to think that a doctor, or even myself, could do one thing to change God's Sovereign plan?

On the other hand, I believe it is my job to protect my children. I don't let them play in the street or drink poison and expect them to be fine. So where is the line?

I know I've talked some about how helpful my family is and how impressed I've been at the abilities of my children, and it's all true. But it is hard. It's not very much fun. Sure, it's great to have an excuse to lie in bed and read all day, napping when wanted, and have someone else taking care of every. single. thing. anyone. needs. but it's taking its toll on all parties. I also have a lot of guilt because I suspect that the people helping us out, which do so graciously, with a smile and nary a complaint, have secret thoughts that my body is worn out. That I shouldn't get pregnant so often. That each pregnancy has been a little harder and I've needed more help.

Again, no one says anything, but I feel guilty. I feel like my decision to "trust God" is creating hardship for others. That they are living with the consequences of my choices.


So I believe God is Sovereign, and has a plan for this little life. If I decided to fold some laundry, could my decision change God's plan? Did I hemorrhage because I decided to mow the week before? If I wanted to make Glen a birthday dinner so he didn't have to find food to throw together for everyone and make a cake for Moriah could I be circumventing God's plan?

Where is the line? Did God give me those verses so I could trust that everything would be fine and I could go about daily life and not worry about anything, or should I be thankful that there is so much knowledge in this time and listen to my doctor, considering it my duty to treasure and guard life?

What if I'm wrong?

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24 September 2008

baby update~

I'm just going to give a quick update. I am still wiped out from getting out to go to the doctor yesterday.

The good news is that the baby is growing great. Since the placenta is not attached as well as it should be, this is an area of concern. The baby actually measured a full week bigger than the first date they gave me, so this is wonderful news!

The not so good news is that the placental detachment is still very evident, and the hemorrhage is still there. The doctor said it was slightly smaller, but hesitated to even give me that. She said mostly it had just changed shape. This means I am on very strict bedrest for another week. She actually impressed upon me even more strongly the advice to do nothing.

If you look at the ultrasound, you can see the baby's head on the right. Directly behind it you see a thick-ish white membrane. Then right behind that, you can see kind of another black area. This is the hemorrhage. It needs to be significantly smaller before I can resume light activities. So prayer for the placenta to reattach and the hemorrhage to dissolve and heal, not to mention prayer for my great husband and family would be much appreciated :o)

~And just in case, this isn't actually my ultrasound photo, I found it on google. But it looks just exactly like mine. You know, since I'm sure everyone was just really hoping I'd put one up :o)

So here I sit, um, I mean lie, lay, whatever.

**Oh yeah, and my friend Wendy said she had thought about asking me a couple of questions just to give me some SOMETHING TO DO blogging material, which I thought was a great idea. Not that I claim to know everything, but you know, I can always share what works for me. Or you could ask me totally random, pointless questions. So if you have anything you've ever wanted to ask me, now is the time :o)

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23 September 2008

tales from the couch~

You know, it's interesting to observe life from only two vantage points. The bed and the couch. My bed only allows for me to hear strange noises that are usually a cause for concern, so I've been spending the majority of my time on the couch. It's right in the middle of everything. I can observe, see, and direct traffic. Thankfully, my children are quite helpful and obedient, so as long as they don't figure out they could easily take over the house and eat cookies all day long and there's not a lot I will actually do about it, then we're doing pretty well.

Overheard from the couch...

Caleb~ "I'm the man of the house."

Anna~ "No you are not!"

Caleb~ "Well, when Dad's not here I am."

Anna~ "Well then, that makes me the Mom."

Anna~ "Have you noticed since Mom's been sick, we haven't gotten any spankings?"

Caleb~ "Yeah, you're right."

Anna~ "I hope she stays sick for awhile. Well...I mean, not, but....well, you know what I mean."

Let me just say here, that I don't feel like I actually spank that often. It does happen though. I thought this was a funny observation. And it's not that they've needed any spankings. I cannot say enough about how impressed I have been with ALL my children the last week.

First of all, it was sweet beyond words to see how concerned they have been for me and the baby. Several of them were in tears that first night, and since then, I have gotten more spontaneous hugs, kisses, and flowers than I can count. They have been helpful beyond their years, and 99% of the time it has been with a cheerful attitude.

And they have been doing a LOT. Especially the older ones. Anna and Caleb have graduated to cleaning the entire kitchen together. Ethan and Moriah have taken over their previous job of clearing and wiping the table and chairs as well as sweeping the floor. Anna has been doing the laundry, washing, drying, folding, and sorting all on her own. I have heard not one complaint. Unfortunately, the harshest words spoken around here have been from me when their attempts at helping haven't met up with my perfectionist standards. I've had to do a lot of apologizing. Well, not tons, but I wish I was always full of sweetness and encouraging words. That is a skill it is taking me huge amounts of effort to learn :o(

So the main parts of my house are liveable, we won't talk about what my desk looks like, and I don't want to even imagine what the upstairs looks like. Actually, yes, I do want to imagine. I want to imagine the upstairs is in perfect, Pottery Barn-like condition with children playing happily on the carpet with ONE game that they will promptly store in the appropriate color coordinated, personalized bin as soon as they are done playing.

A girl can dream....

I am most definitely in a season of life where I am learning (yet again) what is important, and that my children's smiles are more important and valuable than perfectly arranged bookshelves. (sigh.)

Observations from the couch...

**It's amazing how quickly cookie ingredients and a table appear before me when I offer to make cookies if Dad will handle the oven part.

**Children learn very quickly that if they stand directly on the side of the refrigerator, Mom cannot actually see them sneaking cookies.

**Children also learn very quickly that when Mom is "sick," she doesn't care that much if we sneak cookies, within reason of course.

**Pizza is a very easy dinner. (glad to have stocked up in gluten free pizza crusts!)

**Cereal is even easier.

**Meals in the freezer are great in theory, but when you can't actually go to the basement, thaw one and prepare it, they're not actually that helpful.

**Boys (and girls) can wear the same shirt four, five days in a row. No problem. I'm choosing to not ask about the underwear.

**My kids really like reading Proverbs. (Not quite sure how to explain the adultery chapters, though.)

**The skunk must live in our bushes and likes to eat the cat food every night. He doesn't even run off when we go out anymore, just slowly saunters off. You know, he seems friendly enough, maybe I could invite him in to lick clean my floor.

**When one spends all her time on the couch, she can't see or feel the sticky spots on the floor. Out of sight, out of mind :o)

**My husband is actually pretty good at grocery shopping. And since the advent of his gluten free days, he no longer comes home with extras.

**There is always an excuse to take a bubble bath. Sometimes two.

**Not washing one's hair for a week, in assocation with leaving it pulled up constantly and sleeping/laying on it 24/7 leads to early formation of dreadlocks.

**Facebook is lots of fun. Lots. Probably too much.

**My husband doesn't care nearly as much as I do if the sippy cup lid actually matches the cup.

**All of my kids are still small enough to nestle in beside me on the couch.

**Noah likes ER.

**Elliott Moose has got to be the dumbest show I have ever seen.

**Don't send your husband to the video store when he's in a hurry.

**Eight year old boys do not notice pillows on the floor.

**I think all my kids now know when arranging couch cusions that the zippers go on the bottom.

**Fried bologna sandwiches make excellent breakfasts. (I know, you're all cringing now. At least I buy beef bologna!)

**Haven loves the Signing Time DVD, but he loves pushing the tv buttons even more. Noah doesn't like this so much.

**My husband is amazing.

**It is not fun to wean cold turkey. Even if one was only nursing once or twice a day.

**It looks like it is going to be a beautiful fall. Well, that's what it looks like from the couch anyway. Hopefully, I can experience it in person soon.

**Why is it that I can fall asleep in two minutes flat during the day, but at night, it takes two hours?

**It's okay if the canned fruits and vegetables are not stacked in order with the labels facing forward. Really. It is.

**One's backside can only take so much sitting and lying down.

**Why doesn't it bother anyone else that Moriah's panties have been in the little bathroom for days now?

**Haven's socks from last year just aren't cutting it.

**I don't like to talk on the phone. Email me anytime, but if you call me, it will take an act of God to actually get me to return your phone call. Nothing personal, I am just not a phone person. I'm working on this, though.

**I'm getting Christmas catalogs in the mail. Christmas, people! Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? Hello?

**My aunt thinks it's great fun to show up right before naptime with four Route 44 sweet teas from Sonic.

**My extended family is awesome.

**God is faithful. Always.

Just a little taste of life here in sweetie land. I go back to the doctor this afternoon and since I've had no bleeding for a full week now, I am hoping everything is A-OK and that I can resume some light activities. We're doing pretty well, and again, I am so impressed with how my kids have all pitched in to help out. Not to mention Glen. He is awesome, and I thank God for blessing me beyond measure. I love that guy.

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17 September 2008

sweet baby update~

Thanks so much for your prayers. I have good news, an interesting story, and a request for continued prayer.

The good news is that I went to my back-up OB yesterday. The baby looks great and there is a strong heartbeat, thank you, Father!

I am bleeding due to a sub-chorionic (sp?) hemorrhage. The doctor said it's 50/50 as to what will happen, and I'm under orders to stay in bed as much as possible. I am believing for life! Thankfully, the bleeding had mostly tapered off during the early morning yesterday, and even with going out to the doctor, has not picked up back up.

If you all could pray that it would heal and be repaired completely and quickly, and that I can be up and able to care for my family as quickly as possible, that would be great. As some of you know, my littlest guy isn't so little, and I hate to not be able to pick him up. I'm also needing to wean Noah cold turkey. I had gotten him down to once or twice a day, but last night and this morning I had to tell him no, and his sweet little voice and his head nestled in my arm asking for "milk, please, mama!" is hard for me. He' my only one I've nursed for so long, and it has been such a sweet thing. I am sad to have to end it like this, but am obviously totally willing to. I am to go for weekly ultrasounds to monitor the hemorrhage. I can't imagine being in bed for the entire next week, not to mention on an indefinite basis, so I am praying for QUICK healing. Just since yesterday, I have learned of four friends who have been healed from this!

The interesting story. My sister, Kristen, who I am very close to, is very involved in our life, and keeps my kids often, has been having weird, disturbing dreams about our family for probably about a month. The scary dying/kidnapping kind. She had talked to me about it some, but obviously didn't want to freak me out, so hadn't said a whole lot. They were becoming so frequent and bothering her so much, that she actually went forward for prayer about it. She was advised that maybe the Lord was really speaking to her about her need to pray for life and protection for our family in general, but she didn't really know any specifics. So she began praying in earnest. When she heard about my bleeding last night, she told me she immediately knew that it was for this situation.

Second part of the story...the other night when we got home from church, I was completely exhausted, and went to lay down while Glen put the kids in bed. I had a very strong urge to read the Bible, so I picked it up, and turned to Psalm 68:19-20. The verses immediately stuck in my mind, I had them completely memorized straight away, and memorizing Scripture like that is not something that usually comes easily to me. I was drifting in and out of sleep, repeating them over and over, I could sense very strongly the Holy Spirit was impressing them on my heart for a reason. I was saying them over and over, putting inflection on different words to emphasize different parts, and the whole time, part of my brain was very aware it was a kind of supernatural experience. So much so, that the following day I told Glen about it. That first night, while I was working through all the different emotions I was having, the Lord brought them to mind and I remembered them and believe they were for this time.

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who DAILY bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves. From the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death."

That night I read them the first time, I was so moved by the Father choosing to DAILY bear my burdens. Sure, I know He bears my burdens, but the concept of him taking on my burdens DAILY just stood out to me so strongly! And as I was repeating the words over and over, I could hear myself saying, "*OUR* God is a God that saves," as opposed to false gods that people may pray and cry out to, but have no power to save. Our's does! I will admit, the escape from death part, at the time, was something that I didn't want to dwell on too much, but it stuck in my ,mind and I was impressed to pray that as well and put my trust fully in Him.

So that's where I am. I am praying that daily He will bear up this little one, andI gladly entrust the burden of sustaining his or her life, as well as the daily care of my family in His hands. He has already told me that daily bearing my burdens is something He does, so I am praying and trusting Him for that. I am trusting Him to save this little one's life, and provide escape from death. As I was coming home from the doctor thinking about how all this had come together, I thought wow! What a calling on this baby's life already! What warfare and destiny is surrounding this little one. I will be excited to learn the name the Father has for him or her, and see the mighty hand of God in his or her life.

My good friend, Tara, who just recently found out she is expecting, is due just a couple of days apart from me. She went for an ultrasound last week and was told they could not see a baby. They are hoping she just isn't as far along as she believed, and will go back on Friday. She has been feeling much like I have in that this whole thing feels very much like an attack from the enemy over these precious little ones' lives, so she and I are praying and believing together for life and health and perfect growth and development, and that these little ones would be held safely and securely in the hand of the Father. She shared with me a verse she is holding onto during this time, and I think it goes perfectly with the ones I felt the Father gave me.

"Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised." (Rom 4: 20-21)

Again, thanks so much for your prayers, emails, and comments. They are so appreciated.

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15 September 2008

urgent prayer request~

Will you guys please pray for me, and our baby. I have been feeling really sick (which is a good sign) and had an ultrasound with a heartbeat last Wednesday, but as I stood up from dinner tonight, I had a huge gush of blood. I wouldn't say I'm cramping, but do feel slightly crampy now. I am still bleeding. I've never miscarried before, and never had any real bleeding during pregnancy, so I'm not sure what to think. Do I call the doctor? Is there something I can or should do other than lie down?

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a conclusion...for now~

I haven't responded yet to the other thoughts I've been having regarding the post. There are several reasons, the least of which is not the awful yuckiness I am currently feeling. Thankfully, I have never actually gotten sick with any of my pregnancies, but if it would bring some relief and then I could be done with it, that might be preferable to the constant extreme fatigue and nauseousness I've been having. I am feeling far worse with this pregnancy than with any of my other ones. I know, I know, I asked for it, so I just need to buck up and take it like a man woman. Boy am I thankful I made all those meals. Now, if I can just remember before 4pm that my family would appreciate dinner and drag myself down to the basement to actually retrive one we'll be good.

The other reasons are many. We've been running around to the doctor, and on the days when we haven't, I'm trying to feel good and accomplish things that are core values around here, food, laundry, school :o) But mainly, the reason why, is that I've been doing a lot of thinking. Serious thinking. There are a few more things I want to respond to, but I will do that through the comment section of that post, as I don't feel this would be the proper place.

There are, however, a few things I do want to mention and some things I've been thinking about. Let me say, first, that I have felt I should apologize for the comments I made regarding Obama's brother and his wife's comments regarding the surplus checks. They were kind of below the belt, and I'm sorry. I don't know the real story behind either, and even though I commented on them in sort of a sarcastic way, I ought not have. I apologize.

Secondly, I've been questioning myself on why I blog. There are several reasons. One, that I mention often, is just I guess you would say for posterity. I've always had good intentions of journaling my children's childhoods, but after ten years of never actually doing it, blogging has been an excellent way for me to not only record life, but also photos :o)

Another reason that I blog is that I have a heart to encourage moms. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Life was very difficult for me when I was a young -er mom, and I often prayed for friends and older women to come alongside me. I know the Father has shown me He had reasons for keeping me in such a solitary and sheltered place during that time of my life, mainly so I could grow intimate with Him, and learn from Him, but it was a very difficult season of life, and I have a heart to encourage moms that whatever they are doing for the least of these, they are doing for Him. That it is valuable. I want moms (and dads) to get a multi-generational view of raising and discipling children. I am still very much a work in progress myself, so I'm finding my place in that and learning what that is to look like.

Another reason is that I am increasingly finding myself alone in my beliefs. Beliefs that I believe, if the Church would grab hold of, could effect the nation profoundly, in just one generation. Not just have a lot of kids kind of change, but a return to the Church functioning in society as she was created to. I can find plenty of like-minded people online (such a love/hate relationship I have with my laptop,) but in real life, I am quickly learning that my convictions and beliefs are not so much the same as my friends around me. These are not easy, nor are they lightly held beliefs. They are the ones that fly in the face of our culture, our life decisions, and comfort levels. They are the ones that challenge me daily, and offend many. I'm not sure where to go with those. I don't want to offend, I don't want to lose friends, and I want to, as much as it depends on me, keep peace. But I believe the Church has become entirely too wishy-washy and non-confrontational, and we, as Christians, are called to speak the truth in love. We are called to be salt and light. Salt does not feel good in a wound, but it does heal if you choose to allow it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not claiming to have the truth in all things and everyone else is wrong, but there are strongly held convictions that I have come to have gradually over the last few years, and had I been exposed to them earlier, would have consciously held them sooner. I've had my mind and my heart opened to ideas and beliefs that I was previously in ignorance of. Long ago I told God I wanted His way, and wanted to know His Truth, regardless of the personal cost to me. I think often we have to be willing to let God into those places, those sacred cows that we all have, and we have to open the door to Him. He doesn't barge in and knock it down. I still have some of those places that I hold onto, that are a constant fight to surrender. I often give them up, only to take them back minutes later. So please, don't think that I think I'm perfect. I am painfully aware of my failings and sin, and often I'm preaching to myself.

With that said, I believe the Church needs to be challenged, that we need to examine Scripture for ourselves, and there are some ancient paths we need to return to. How much of that has a place here, on this blog, and now, is something I'm still pondering and praying about. I am really good at hunting down and passing on information, but articulating my own beliefs is quite a bit harder for me. I am also guilty of relying too much on what I think, or what I've read, without actually examining it in light of Scripture. That is one of the things I feel the Lord has really been challenging me on lately. He's been telling me to put down all of my parenting books, home schooling books, blogging friends' advice, and return to that place of learning from Him. I often fill up my mind so much with what other people say, that there is no room for me to hear what He is saying.

Anyway, I'll probably bring up some things, others I might not. I did enjoy the discussion type forum that the other post took on, sort of, but most of you are my friends in real life, and I don't like disagreement and I didn't like the way a lot of my time was taken up with obsessing over everyone's comments.

Now that I've taken up all my time writing this, I'll have to find another time to write my final thoughts over in the comments.

Finding my place...

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11 September 2008

boy am i glad i don't have to drive a covered wagon~

After a looong day out running around to three different doctors, we are finally home. All is well, and other than some prescribed ice and "just be careful," that's all she needed.

This photo is from tonight. She looks much better. This morning, it was huge, completely purple, sensitive to light, and she couldn't open it at all.

After arranging for my aunt to come out (yet again), three doctors managed to fit us in today. First we had to go to the regular doctor, who took one look at her, went on and on about all the different disastrous things that could be wrong, and said we needed to get to the eye doctor..., well, "thirty minutes ago would have been nice," he said. He thought it was potentially that serious. The eye doctor managed to fit us in, and after poking around and looking through various important looking instruments, pronounced everything A-OK. He did advise staying completely away from any potentially hazardous activities, such as tae kwon do, gymnastics, brothers, green bean bowling, etc.

Parenting Tip # 9

Consider investing in football helmets, mouth guards, safety goggles, knee pads, elbow pads, and even possibly full body armor for little girls with four brothers.

Since we were out, I went ahead and took Anna back to the Orthopedic Doctor (she's been receiving treatment for tendonitis for about a month and wearing one of those fabulous black boots.) It's not healing the way it should, so we went back and now have the privilege of going for an MRI on Saturday afternoon. (It was either that or Friday night at 7pm?!)

For someone that rarely goes to the doctor, I think we've gone more in the past month than in the last ten years combined. Seriously. Anna and I are going to the chiropractor weekly (from the little car accident that packed a surprising punch), and she's been having weekly orthopedic appointments. Yesterday I had a visit with my backup OB and the chiropractor. And then three today. MRI on Saturday, and back to the ortho and chiro next week, the same the following, plus Moriah's follow up eye appointment. Whew. Thank God for Samaritan Ministries.

Oh yeah. The OB visit. I am only 8 weeks. Eight! I thought I was going to be ten tomorrow. I must have found out super early. I knew things were a little off and my dates were iffy due to the whole nursing thing, but two weeks off. How disappointing. Here I am, feeling exhausted and yucky, thinking I should be on the upswing here soon, and here I am with a two week setback. Yuck. Oh well, at least if I go over again, I won't be facing a looming induction as early as I would otherwise.

And speaking of pregnancy. The other night, I woke up in the middle of the night faintly smelling a skunk. We live in the country, but I've never smelled a skunk inside before. It didn't smell like a skunk had sprayed nearby, just that there was a skunk nearby. I attributed it to a heightened sense of smell, and went back to sleep. So last night, as I'm getting home, there is a skunk on the porch eating the cat food. As I walked up, it ran off. Just now, Caleb looked out the door, and it's back! Gracie, the cat, is sitting there, giving it this look of "that's my food, but I'm not sure if I want to do anything about it," all the kids are pressed against the door watching it, and it's just standing there calmly eating. Homer Price, anyone?

So we're home, I'm exhausted. Piles of laundry, dishes, schoolwork to check. Hmmm....I choose D. Sleep.

Thanks for praying :o)

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my secret plan to increase my stats~

**added 8:15 am**

*Would you guys please pray for Moriah? Last week, she and Ethan ran into each other at the park, giving her a major black eye. Since then, it has gotten better daily, and yesterday it was close to being completely well, but for some reason (four year old clumsiness?) she keeps bumping it on things, and Noah has accidentally hit it a couple of times (not related to the green bean bowling incident, by the way: read below). Then, last night before bed, she knocked it really hard on the desk, cried for awhile, and fell asleep with an ice pack on it. Well, she just woke up this morning and can't open it at all, so I guess my plans have to changed to include a doctor visit. Hopefully my aunt can come out again, definitely not looking forward to dragging a pile of kids to the doctor! But yeah, if you could pray that she hasn't really damaged her eye, that would be great.*


Well, I'm just kidding (not about Moriah's eye, I wrote this earlier, had to edit,) but wow! Nothing like a little politics to stir up conversation.

I just wanted to let everyone know that first of all, I appreciate the discussion, and I really appreciate keeping it nice. Hopefully, there haven't been too many not-nice comments regarding these conversations floating around anyone's houses, either :o)

Anyway, I was out of the house all day yesterday, and today (when I can drag myself out of a horizontal position, that is) I've got to reclaim my house from the destruction that happens when I leave everyone here with my aunt (read: fun babysitter, not so much the let's keep things clean type, but that's okay), not to mention school. So, while I am planning on responding to a few more comments, it's kind of low on the priority list right now. Hopefully this afternoon or tonight.

Just didn't want anyone to think I'd chickened out :o)

Presently my younger children have taken up bowling with cans of green beans, and seeing as how they seem to have particularly good aim toward one another's heads, I've gotta run crawl.

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09 September 2008

journal: august 2008
a brief step onto my soapbox~

**This post was originally titled Journal: August 2008,

but obviously, I had to change it. I hope everyone will still be my friend :o)

Well, I feel like I haven't really written much of anything substantial lately, just your run of of the mill "this is what is going on with us" kind of posts. I have lots floating around in my head (a lot of it political, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go there here) but I'm really running in survival mode at this point, so it will just have to wait.

On the political note, though, have any of you been following the Sarah Palin "controversy" going on among namely Christian conservative women? Wow! My MOMYS group has been having a field day with it.

I have conflicted feelings both ways. God using her for such a time as this vs. her place should be as her husband's helpmeet and God appointed men to be in civic leadership. The only Biblical exception to this that I know of was Deborah, and the Bible says she was allowed to judge as no man was willing. (Judges 5:2 and 6-7). The glory of the battle went to a woman, and this was considered shameful (Judges 4:9 and 9:54.)

I will say, in my hormonal state, the photo of her on the campaign bus holding her newest little guy did cause me to tear up, not to mention that McCain has six children, she has five, so that speaks volumes to the nation about the value of children. Also McCain's comment at the Saddleback Civil Forum that his greatest moral failure was the failure of his first marriage, and his apparent sincerity in that statement, says something as well.

But. To be particularly blunt, and this is so where I probably shouldn't go, but here goes anyway, I do believe her place should be in the home (have I lost my whole 3 readers now?), but I will most likely be voting for McCain/Palin as I am absolutely terrified of what could happen should Obama become President. You know, I have been seriously considering getting a teaching degree through some kind of online/home program as I fear our country is headed in a way that is going to seriously restrict our freedom to homeschool. (At this point, I'm thinking I need to change the title of my post.) I know there is the whole other side to voting one's values, and not fear voting, and if I was REALLY trusting God, I should vote for someone entirely different, but I do feel this would be giving a vote to Obama, which at this point, I am not willing to do. It does seem like a "lesser of two evils" kind of thing, but for me, McCain is our best realistic hope of preserving freedoms that I dearly value, and Obama's evil is in a whole other category than McCain. I will say, all this discussion has been causing me to pause, so I am going to be thinking and praying about it.

"As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths." Isaiah 3:12

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. I Timothy 5:14

Titus 2:3-5 3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2: 3-5

If you're interested in reading some more of this side of it, here are a few links: Even if you don't agree, it is a very eye opening side of this discussion.

Generation Cedar (you'll have to scroll down to her late August/early September posts, there were several)

Life In A Shoe #1 (click through to read Doug Phillips' take as well)

Life In A Shoe #2 (I should add that I've not fully investigated some of what she says)

Vaughnshire Farm (they have several posts as well, but I think they are all still on the main page)

Voddie Baucham Ministries

I'm sure I've firmly labeled myself as one of those right-wing conservatives that closes my ears and eyes and sticks my head in the sand, that doesn't care about the poor or the environment, not to mention someone who wants women chained to the kitchen, but I'm not. I will admit freely, though, that I am pretty much a one issue voter. Abortion. In my opinion, the way a leader values (or doesn't value) life says more about character than any other issue, and the working out of this core value in every other area of life would determine economic policy, foreign policy, treatment of the poor (google Obama's brother for a very interesting story! Not sure how much of a gimmick this is, I'm just saying.), even taxes and environmental issues. Obama supports abortion. Abortion regardless of stage of pregnancy, regardless of reason. Not only that, he voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Do you know what this is??!! He is not only okay with , but supports infants that survive abortion attempts being left to die. (If you're brave, watch the YouTube Video.) They literally put these precious babies in closets, crying, cold, and hungry, and leave them to die. Only 15 House members voted against the act, and the Senate passed the act unanimously. Even NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) did not oppose this bill. I Will Not Vote For Him. God help us if this man is chosen to lead and represent our nation.

Anyway, in a perfect world, we would have a perfect candidate, but hey, in a perfect world, we wouldn't need an earthly ruler, so for now, I'm going with the person that has a shot at winning and wouldn't walk away from a living baby (or his own brother. I'm telling you, google it.) Not to mention all the socialistic policies he would love to implement, but that's a whole other topic.

I also realize there is the whole topic of the war, but frankly (I'm all about frank and blunt right now, I'm kind of in a mood this week.), I think the war has saved lives. You know, the whole break the bonds of oppression, free the captives, etc. The cost to us vs the benefit to the Iraqi people is a non issue for me. And to be even more blunt, I think it makes God happy too. If I lived in a country where my daughters would be beaten, tortured, raped, etc. because I disagreed with the government, and another big country had the ability to come in and bring freedom, you can bet I'd be questioning their God if they didn't do it. But that's just my opinion. You're entitled to your's. And another side note, (shhh. In the primaries, we voted for Ron Paul. Not sure if we'd do it again, but we're all about smaller government, lower taxes, a return to the Constitution, etc. Although we didn't agree with him on the war, we agreed with him on principle.)

That's all I have energy for right now. I've resisted going all political on you until now, and I don't really have plans to make it a regular topic, but it amazes me how many Christians I know (sorry if you're in this camp, it's my blog, and it's just what I think about it) that will even consider voting for him. I have no delusions of Bush being perfect, and certainly not McCain, but save a true intervention from God, either McCain or Obama is going to be our next President, and I am not going to be party to bringing a culture of death and restriction of freedom to this nation.

I put up a poll. I would LOVE IT if you would vote. Even if you live another country, I'm curious to know what you think. Also, comments are welcome, as long as they're nice. You don't have to agree, just be nice. You can even comment anonymously :o) I would really, really love to hear your opinions if you have differing views, namely, which ones and why. I realize I'm not perfect, and am under no delusions that what I think about things is always correct. So I'm up for discussion. No one ever comments when I ask you to, but PLEASE consider it, and again, anonymous is totally okay :o)

One last thing, I have a few friends that completely remove themselves from the political process, not voting, and just basically ignoring the whole thing. These are some very good friends, and I love them dearly, although I do not understand this at all. But life and friendship isn't all politics, eh? If any of you fall in this camp, I would also really, really like it if you would explain your side.

I'm done now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming...uh, blogging. I'm off to have a baked potato and orange juice for lunch.

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08 September 2008

i think i may have done this before~

My friend, Rachel W., tagged me to write six weird things about myself. I think I may have done this awhile back, but I can't resist
talking about myself
a friend's request, so I thought I'd oblige...

1. I have two metal Herrington Rods and nine screws in my back from when I had scoliosis surgery at the age of ten. I also have a little card I carry with me explaining this situation in the event I am ever mistaken as a terrorist at the airport.

2. My weirdest pregnancy craving ever was the two week period when I was pregnant with Anna that I craved cheese balls and chocolate milk for breakfast every morning. That actually sounds pretty good right about now, too.

3. Both of my parents names are Terry. This made for some teasing in elementary school. Then, my Mom decided to go by Te-ri', to avoid confusion, I think, but it sounds like "tree" said with an extreme southern accent, so this didn't really help me out so much.

4. My parents are four years, five months, and 27 days apart in age. Glen and I are four years, five months, and 25 days apart in age. I'm a numbers person, so I always thought that was kind of weird.

5. I LOVE organizing. (Probably comes with the OCD thing.) Like, I love it in a way that anytime I hear of a professional organizer, I get all mad and frustrated because I'm thinking I could do that and would be way better than them and get this super weird competitive thing going on that is absolutely ridiculous. Especially because I probably wouldn't be so great at the people part of that job as my organization method involves living in extreme simplicity, so my main modus operandi would be to get rid of pretty much everything. I have no patience for clutter. It makes me super angry. This is definitely tied to growing up in a home that could, in all seriousness, be on one of those "Help, I'm a Hoarder" shows. I see those commercials for under the bed organizers and vaccum seal closet things and want to scream, "YOU HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF!!! You don't need to shrink wrap it, you need to give it away!!" This might be a Sozo area, but it actually keeps my house under control, so I don't worry about it too much :o)

6. I could have been a hermit, no problem. I love being alone. Just me, my brain, and God. Well, and my ipod. Kind weird for someone coming up on seven children, but nevertheless, I do.

Let' see, I nominate Rachel N., Heather, and Valerie...three friends that would be fun to know more about...but only if you feel like it :o) No pressure.

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01 September 2008

labor day fun~

Call me silly, but I love a good meme. Pair that with being a woman who has also given birth, I also love a good birth story. Therefore, I had to participate in the labor day meme being hosted by Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

The topic, of course, is labor. Answer the following questions for each of your children, and go over and leave at link at Rocks In My Dryer :o)

Here goes...

1. How long were your labors?

A~ about 8 hours from first pitocin drip to last push

C~ technically, 30ish hours, but only if you count that my water broke 24 hours before the first contraction. from the time contractions started, only about 3 hours

E~ again, about 3 hours

M~ about 4 hours, but I was pretty much keeping my legs closed the last 1 1/2 hours to keep her from coming before Glen got home :o) (she was my surprise 15 day early baby, born on her Daddy's birthday)

N~ again, about 4 hours

H~ 18 hours. posterior. ugh.

2. How did you know you were in labor?

A~ I was induced. Once they started that pitocin, there was no mistaking what was happening.

C~ Like I said before, my water had broken, but no labor for over 24 hours. By that point I was in the hospital under threat of induction if things didn't happen by early morning. Finally, around 3am, I had this sudden realization that I was having contractions that I was having to concentrate to get through.

E~ Another induction. Wish I had known more then.

M~ Woke up during the night realizing I was having regular contractions.

N~ Was rocking an intensely sick Anna, and realized I was having regular contractions.

H~ Woke up during the night again.

3. Where did you deliver?

ACE~ hospital

MNH~ home

4. Drugs?

A~ yep. First baby, induction. Those of you that can do it without drugs, you win an award.

C~ yep, even though I really wanted to not and if I'd only held out for another hour I would've made it.

E~ first natural birth. Even though I was induced, I was b/t 5-6cm going in and it was questionable whether or not I was already going into labor.

M~ nope. no drugs at home.

N~ nope. But his was my only natural birth during which I though I was absolutely crazy and next time I was definitely going to the hospital.

H~ nope. Obviously I got past Noah's birth.

5. C-Section?

No, thankfully.

6. Who delivered?

A~ Dr. Trabue. If you live around here and are going the ob route, I cannot recommend anyone more highly. He is the only that actually referred me to my midwife and graciously agrees to be my backup during my home births.

C~ Dr. Swan. Dr. Trabue missed it by a half hour coming back from vacation and I have regretted it ever since.

E~ Dr. Trabue

M~ a midwife who I didn't care for so much. A lot of people I know absolutely love her, but our personalities just didn't match very well. Plus she absconded on my sister in law during her 4th of July labor in order to go back home for a party. For a few hours. Uh uh. Not such a good idea. Plus that baby had a prolapsed cord. Although she did save that baby's life, what would have happened if he had decided to come quickly while she was gone??

N~ Susie Meeks, my favorite midwife ever and her awesome assistant, Cindy

H~ same as Noah

7. Favorite birth? (I added this one.)

Moriah. Even though I didn't get along with the midwife so much, the labor was fast and sooo easy. I was at 7cm when the midwife arrived, sat down and chatted easily b/t contractions while waiting for Glen to get home, when he got home, I got up off the chair, laid down on the bed, and pushed her out in just a few pushes. Can't ask for more :o)

That's it! Leave me a comment if you decide to participate so I can check it out :o)

Happy Labor Day!

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"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November