Tuesday, December 30, 2008
She's a doll with some brown hair and a beautiful round head, smooth baby skin... I love it! She's been very alert and so sweet. Her weight was 9lbs 8oz and she was 20 1/2 inches long. She's nursing well, pooping well, and sleeping well. All siblings were pleased as punch to meet her. Mia got to witness her grand entrance as she woke up and said she heard me and it rhymed with her dream so she knew Eliza was coming. All the pictures were taken off my mom's camera so it will take another day to get them. I know you're anxious, I'll hurry.
Praise the Lord! Thank you for Eliza Bella Marie and a wonderful homebirth experience. I'll write up the details later.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
It would've been a great weekend to have a baby. Oh well, the wait continues.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Hold on, this could be a fun ride! I'm no techy.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It's especially fun watching the alpacas reaction to the sledding. They're already not sure about us and alpacas are so skitterish and uptight, yet slightly curious. It cracks me up.We had tried for a 1/2 hour or more to feed them alfalfa pellets by hand. Finally we got a nibble but we had all tired from the trying and it had lost its thrill. Then we threw them all off by sledding from the fence where we had been feeding them. When I say "we" I obviously mean just the kids!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share seven random and/or weird book facts about yourself.
3. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
#1 On my side of the bed you'll find these books, "Boundaries", "Boundaries in Marriage", "Boundaries with Kids", and "Sister Freaks" a book compiled by Rebecca St. James containing short stories about women who gave up everything to serve the Lord. On Andrew's side of the bed you'll find these books, "Everything You Need to Know About Chickens" and "Goats".
#2 For fun I like to read Francine Rivers' historical fiction novels. Entertaining and educational!
#3 I like to keep books, they are like a treasure to me. I might share them with other people but, unless I have multiple copies, I don't give them away. The funny thing is I've never had a bookcase for them until this house. Previously they were stored in boxes. Now I have them all out and can realize which ones I actually never read!
#4 I did not read Beatrix Potter as a child, well maybe Peter Rabbit, but I love reading them now with the kids. I believe it was all the Aunts on Andrew's side who first gave me our little books set when Josiah was born. Now I have two sets, the Complete Tales, and a study guide.
#5 If you read "Good Night Gorilla" did you notice the balloon working it's way up to the moon throughout the whole book? Or the people in the window watching the zookeeper go back and forth (starts with one, then two, then three nosey neighbors).
#6 I would love to write a devotional book but when I was asked to be a contributor to a local book being compiled I found I could not keep it to the minimum wordage. Hmmm, what a surprise.
#7 The book that first ignited my love of reading I can't even remember the name of but it was a biography about Helen Keller's teacher Annie Sullivan. I still love stories about peoples lives!
OK. Time to Tag...
Cheryl: Davis Family Chronicles
Beth: Finding Joy in the Journey
Alyssa: Best of the Worst
Maria: Living in Korea
Sherry: Spice Mama
Melanie: Please Don't Ride the Kitty
Krista: Fields of the Harvest
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Sugar Brown and Stormy with the girls on a beautiful winter day!
and the holiday season busyness...
Here's the kids' tree, set up in the school room.
...we're still expecting a baby.
All I told Josiah was to make sure you could see all my belly. I guess I should have mentioned to get my head in there, too!
Pregnancy wise, I'm doing well, anxious, of course, to meet this little one. If anyone ever doubted that there could be equal amounts of enthusiasm for subsequent children, once they've had their first, well, let me tell you... it actually seems to grow. Not only am I excited to meet Eliza, I'm excited to see her with each of her siblings. Since I have a few kids now, I'm fully aware of how different each child is. Who will Eliza be? Her entrance will add new dimensions to us. She will change our family. Wow!
Visiting the huge, decorated Willamette University trees.It seems odd that at this late in the game I've been receiving a lot of questions over our choice to have this baby at home. I'm not the best at debating or convincing people - not that others need to be convinced about my choices but I guess that's a whole other conversation!! Anyway, I came across a posting on another blog that hit the nail on the head of what I've been dealing with in regard to other people and their fears or opinions. I can't wait to tell you about my experience in hindsight but for right now I'm just full of great expectation and peace.
The other night I had 3 hours of contractions and thought, "This could be it." It was so nice to distract myself with dishes and laundry and to just be myself through it all. This of course was only a taste of what is coming but I love how empowered I feel.The practice labor was also enough to prompt Andrew to test run the birthing tub... without water of course but we needed to see how it would fit in the room.Men really have no clue about labor.I don't think many "homebirthers" share about their choice because of the automatic negative/shocked response that you get so frequently. The sad thing is, I'm sure I did the same thing. (Ditto on the cloth diapers... yes, we're doing that, too! It seems so much easier these days.)
As I've asked around I've been able to hear some wonderful homebirth stories and I've also seen such a difference in the experiences I had in my hospital deliveries and the ones I
found looking online at homebirthing videos and blogs. Gentle, peaceful, loving... No nurses manhandling the little ones, moving them around like little inconvenient footballs. And, rather than being checked every hour or so during labor, my midwife and assistant will be with me the whole time, constantly monitoring the baby and I. I feel very good about that.
Well, anyway, there are some of my thoughts going into
this. Hopefully it will be soon when I can tell more about it.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Our little chicks were really coming along this morning. We had one little guy completely out of his shell but his umbilical cord still stuck to the shell and he toted it around with him all over the incubator. We named him Trailer since he looked like he had a trailer. The chick who had started cracking open his shell first was still working away at it and getting closer and closer to emerging. There were also two other chicks making progress on their shells. Then there were three left that we weren't sure what would happen with. Technically not "due" until tomorrow we were optimistic that maybe even they would still hatch. I was aware that 100% hatch rate is very rare but thought at least this would be a good, tiny lesson in life and death for the kids if they didn't make it.
Sadly, through human error, the incubators temperature was accidentally turned up. By the time we got back from AWANA it had reached 110*. It needs to be kept at or very close to 101*. The scene we found was hard to see after all the joy we experienced in watching the effort each chick made, celebrating the success when one came out, and anticipating the others arrival. The chick who had been working the longest to get out never made it. Despite the fact that another chick got out of the shell, he did not make it either, and was lying along the side of the incubator, lifeless. There was another chick who'd made just enough progress to poke his beak out but he was dead, too. The other eggs showed no sign of life but we're leaving them another day just to make sure. Amazingly, Trailer was still walking around, cheeping and he had finally lost his shell, though we knew it was him because of the drying umbilical cord hanging from behind (his hitch as it were). Josiah thought we should rename him Survivor. We're still not sure if he's out of the woods or if his health has been so adversely affected that it's only a matter of time. I have to say, he looked better than ever and I am optimistic. Andrew is putting together the brooder for him. He'll be lonely for a few days but we have more chicks expected next week.
We took the three chick's little bodies and buried them between some trees in the side yard. We'll add a little cross tomorrow. It's hard knowing they were so close to life and, by a mistake we made, their life was snuffed out. The kids are all taking it differently. It's interesting how they grieve with their different personalities and ages. I did have a chance to pray with them and remind them that God knows how painful death is. We can go to him and know he understands the depth of our pain. I was also thankful that I had experience with death because I felt like I was able to lead them through this in healthy ways. Still... it's hard.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
It's also hard to allow other people to make their own choices and allow them the experience their own consequences, too. In theory I'm completely on board with that but in reality... well, it's hard to see people in pain or struggling. I think it's a natural compulsion to try to relieve other people's pain. I had to force myself to experience some of that this morning as one of our little chicks is starting to hatch. We were expecting them Thursday but I guess this little guy was ready. (Yes, I'm sure you're thinking what I was thinking, "Why does the egg get to hatch early but Christy doesn't get to go into labor early?)
He started last night with a little, teensy crack at the top of the shell and an occasional rocking of the egg. This morning we could see a tiny hole and sometimes even see his little beak poke around.
Here's the video I took of the kids discovering the hatching action... once again it's in sideways mode. I realized it halfway through but thought changing over would make people sick. Sorry! Towards the end, if you're aware, there is one little "cheep" you can hear.
By this evening he already has a tiny section cracked off, he can poke just the tip of his beak out and he's cheeping. It's been such a long, tedious process and now that he's cheeping that pitiful cheep it's become harder and harder to keep my hands off of him. I just want to rip that shell off and free him from his bondage. I know the deadly consequences of interfering though. He needs this struggle to give him life... but he's calling for me, soon he'll be able to see me and still the best thing I can do for him is to let him work his way out on his own. So, I'm keeping the end result in mind: a strong healthy chick who has overcome the biggest obstacle in his short life. Imagine the pride in doing it himself! How could I even consider taking that away from him?
An interesting thing about a chick is that the face that he first sees when hatching is embedded in his mind as being his mother, not as some evil, selfish, non-helpful bystander. Who knows what goes on in the mind of the chick to make that happen. Perhaps in the midst of his struggle he's actually cursing me for not helping him out but with time and perspective he'll appreciate the fact that he can stand and walk and he cannot help but love the one who chose to allow him those gifts rather than interfering with a short term solution that would have resulted in long term failure.
Fascinating. So many applications to life!!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Cripple a man, and you have Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that doctors say he'll never walk again, and you have Glenn Cunningham, who set the world record in 1934 by running a mile in four minutes and six seconds. Call him a slow learner, retarded, write him off as unable to be educated, and you have Albert Einstein. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, and Martin Luther King.
The strongest world changers did not live comfortable, easy lives. They were strengthen by their adversities and therefore prepared to conquer many other challenges.
So I praise God for leading me through some rough terrain and for giving me times of respite, too. One stage breaks me down and creates a greater dependence on God, allowing me to grow as He intends. The other is an opportunity to put that growth into action.
Now, I leave you with some Thanksgiving quotes to kick off your day:
"On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence." --William Jennings Bryan
"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." --H.U. Hestermayer
"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." --E.P. Powell
"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" --Erma Bombeck
5 Things on My To-Do List:
- Grocery shopping
- Food & egg delivery
- Make pies
- Meet with midwife
- Make beds (ya! Grandma is spending the night to help out with Thanksgiving prep)
5 Things I Like to Snack On (remember I'm pregnant!):
- Popcorn & cheese
- Starbucks!! oops, does that count as a snack?
- Ice cream
- Crackers & hummus
5 Things I Would Do if I Was a Millionaire:
- Pay off debt
- College Funds for the kids - maybe even wedding funds.
- Go to Mongolia, India and Ecuador to visit friends and see how we can help
- Buy the house
- Buy Andrew a tractor
5 Places I Have Lived:
- Oregon, Oregon, Oregon, Oregon, Oregon!
5 Jobs I have Held:
- Human Services Assistant
- Summer Sports Coordinator
So, I now I need to tag 5 more people...
Leslie, of What Goes Around
Beth, of Finding Joy in the Journey
Cheryl, of Davis Family Chronicles
Sherry, of Spice Mama
And finally, all you lurkers who I'd love to hear from! :)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
They have discovered that John has a rare blood infection. In order to
monitor his heart, his blood and his vitals more closely they took him to
surgery to place a pulmonary artery catheter. That pulmonary artery catheter was
successfully placed and they are now trying to calibrate it. They are treating
the blood infection with antibiotics.The most urgent prayer request is that John
is dehydrated and his sodium levels are low. While they have been pumping him
full of fluids, his blood has not been absorbing those fluids. Instead the
fluids have been filling other places in his body making him swollen (think
Michelin man) and even seeping fluid. So, he is full of fluids but he is
dehydrated. They are now switching to a different type of fluid to work on that
As we ended the prayer service pastor Steve Fowler mentioned that God is our Shepherd. That image stuck with me as I remembered that He walks before us in this trial. He knows what lies ahead and is leading us along the best path. He's not sitting back somewhere watching us try our best to find our way. If we look, we can see him leading not just giving us direction, and we have the choice to follow or to venture off on our own. I crave safety, so for me, at least initially, it's an easy choice. Following when things don't look so great makes me question all I believe about my Leader. Each time though, I've found him to be faithful and worthy of my following. I guess that part gets easier with time and experience. The path doesn't get easier but the response time when questions arise gets shorter.
During worship I had a vision of powerful thunder surrounding me. I felt that I was in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. I was humbled to the core. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, I was prostrate before God, acknowledging him for who he is. Physically I was still in my seat as I didn't want to cause a distraction but had I been at home I would have allowed that vision to consume me completely. It was powerful. The only other time in my life where I had a vision like this was in high school while I was attending a retreat. It was a very real and vulnerable time, we were witnessing to people at the mall and learning about stepping out in our faith not just giving lip service to it. I clearly heard satan weeping, all alone in a pit below us and as I looked up I heard the angels in heaven rejoicing louder than any crowd at an arena. Again, it was very powerful and my simple words just can't do it justice.
It's not just pastor John that I'm dependent on the Lord for. It seems like so many people I know are getting hit with major stuff these days: breast cancer, stroke, major marriage issues, infertility, a baby the doctors say won't live, undiagnosed illnesses, chronic pain, major financial issues... It is a privilege and responsibility to be in prayer for all these critical situations. Right now, in this moment, I feel overwhelmed with the needs. I'm reminded and encouraged that God's shoulders are big enough to bear all these burdens. He doesn't need my perfectly phrased prayers to bless and heal these needs. He does want my heart dependent on him for the answers to them though.
I'm also struck by the stage I'm in right now. After years of struggle and some painful experiences I feel like we're in a respite time. I want to truly and fully enjoy this time of blessing. I don't know what tomorrow holds but I know that right now my burden is lighter. I can praise him for that, I can also praise him for all that those trials taught me. I love the song "Gratitude" by Nicole Nordeman, it's on the playlist if you want to listen. That's where I want my heart to be.
#1 Unconcsious as of this morning, being termed life or death at this point... undiagnosed illness has left him with no muscle power and is thought that enzymes are somehow attacking his immune system.
#2 Stablized but in critical condition. Spitting up blood, may have a blood clot in his lungs. Legs are blue, may have a blood clot in his legs. Seems to be a blood infection so now doctors have a direction to go in treating him. Again, pray for healing, but also pray for satan to be bound. There is so much to these circumstances that drives me to pray in this way. May God's power be unleashed and his people rejoice!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
So needless to say, when I left for my weekend getaway we had just finished collecting our first dozen large eggs and a half dozen bantam eggs which we plan to incubate. When I got out of the barn that afternoon I already had 8 eggs in my basket and we found more that night. Our flock is now up to 81 chickens!