Monday, June 30, 2008

Ahem, still waiting :(

My sweet husband has worked and worked to figure out whythe new modem and new ethernet card won't work. Our computer recognizes that they're in place, but won't connect to the net. If you've heard the cries of frustration, it was Shane.

Meanwhile, I've been able to get a lot done. Here's a little summary:
*I've eaten about a dozen hamburgers in the last 1.5 weeks...I've never craved hamburgers (not the McDonald's kind-the real, thick meat kind) before, but hey, it's better than soap, right Summer?
*Shane joined a gym and has lost 8 lbs.
*I've not had sugar in 3 weeks today.
*We started a new small group with new friends from church.
*Softball ended (whew, just in time, not sure I could do one more game in this heat!). Hope's team won 1st place!
*Shane and I talked about moving to New Zealand (seriously-and from a man who doesn't even fly).
*We looked at a house 30 miles away...but not as seriously as we've talked about moving Down Under.
*Oh, and Shane informed me he'd like to raise bats once we move to the land...not sure about that one.
*We've made some career/financial decisions that should result in more time at home and paying down/off a credit card very soon.
*We're seriously planning our move to our land-I started the loan application process today! If you work in law enforcement or education and live in the Lone Star State, check out this grant program for Texas Heroes. Edit: Only check into this if you're patient. Turns out they've not funded it for 2008...
*I've watched 3 movies (Amazing Grace, The Ultimate Gift, and Bucket List-first two were good, skip the last one), finished a book and restarted a sewing project. I've also decluttered the living room including books & toys. 2 BIG decluttering projects are in the wings...

However, of all the things we've accomplished there's one that's still undone...finding a name for this baby girl! Everyone but Shane calls her Audrey, and Beth even calls her Audrey Braiden (after a boy in her SS class) yet Daddy won't give it...yet.

Hope to be back full time soon-miss you all!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still waiting

I'm sure we're almost there-we have a modem, but something isn't right since it won't work. Shane's just wrapped up his 2 double shifts of the week, so maybe in the next day or two he can figure out what's wrong. I hope to be back soon. You won't believe the blog posts piling up in my head, lol. The saying is true, though: A clean house is a sign of a broken computer. I've been able to get a lot done the last week. On top of that, we've made some cool decisions I can't wait to share about. It helps that softball is over, too, so we have more free time than ever (well, it's not so free when you're using it to catch up, is it?).

See you all soon-miss you! Smooches!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Out of touch

Glad you are all so happy about the girl, we are too. I'm not so happy about the storm this morning that left us without power for a couple of hours. All the girls ended up in my bed around 6am and the AT&T phonebook rep called & woke me up after I finally feel back to sleep.

The lightening stuck our phone line. It actually blew the cover off the phone jack and charred the inside! At this moment we're without our land line and DSL. Not sure what it will take to get it all back going, but just thought I'd let you know in case you started to miss me :)

I think I'll enjoy the break and bask in the thoughts of having another girl.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!!

There is nothing else to say except that I love her! She's beautiful and she's exactly who God wants in our family. We can't wait to meet her!

What's inside?

Bethany says, "I wuv you Mommy, and your baby, too. I wuv it if it a dirl baby or a boy baby." She really wants a girl but thinks it's a boy...

Hope says, "If it's a boy, I hope it isn't a Mexican." Shocked at this I ask her why she would say that. She said, "Because James' mom said he's part Mexican and he's mean!" Daddy replied, "Me and you, and the mailman too!" She also said if it's a boy we can just send him to public school. That way I don't have to change my email address or blog title.

Ash says, "I need this to be boy so there will be someone in this house who doesn't just want to play Barbies and Polly Pockets all the time!" Never mind that she'll be driving before he wants to play much of anything!

Dad says, "I don't know if I really want a boy (like everyone assumes he's pining for), I love my girls so much..."

Mom says, "I'll cry either way." However, I remember well the night (of the Gala) we found out Jaybird was a girl after I had a feeling she was a boy (I never guess these things well). We just laughed-all of us-just laughed because of the craziness of it all. Everyone we told had a good chuckle as well.

Well, about 3 1/2 more hours and we should know. By the way, I voted "boy".

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This is my porch today. How will it be decorated tomorrow afternoon? Pink? Blue? Yellow again?

Monday, June 16, 2008


I know that I must not understand Jesus' words when he said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I think it must be about salvation, pointing to the fact that salvation is not based on works...

It can't point to the Christian life. I read on the blog about baby Audrey Caroline that we all can take a little of a hurting sister or brother's pain and carry it for them through prayer. I didn't know what I thought about that line at first, but that was right before little Libby's heart surgery. When you watch your friends allow their infant baby to go under the knife, have her heart stopped so it can be patched and stitched, there is some carrying of the burden going on for sure.

I'm sure this post is just therapy for me today. I had a great morning-I went for a walk, had a great time in the Word and I prayed through my prayer journal. Maybe that's where the ache started. I've been praying for salvation for a long list of people-some for years. I've yet to see fruit (but I'm still trusting!). Our family is praying for Donna who's in one hospital while her non-responding mom is in another in ICU. Baby Harlee is doing well, but when you're born at 26 weeks, well is relative. Aaron has been seeking the Lord for a coaching job for months...there's our own confusion over moving out to our land to pray about...and what about the homeschooling mom (my age) at church who suddenly became a widow on Thursday while her family was on vacation?

If my heart wasn't throbbing with pain after that, it sure was as I sat next to my husband as he poured out his heart. He's lacking direction. He's exhausted. He has a wife who's nesting and has such an obsession with moving to a house adequate for her expanding family.

Oh, it hurts to see others need a solution, a miracle, an answer. It hurts to feel helpless in helping them. It's an honor to pray for others who need the Lord's touch, but it's a heart investment. When you pray for people, your care for them increases and you find yourself picking up a little more of their burden. It's all good-it's great! But it's still hard work. Heart breaking work.

I don't have a great witty ending for this post. I don't know my point. My word of the week is conflicted. I've felt conflicted over several issues lately and it's not going away. How do we feel happy about finding out what our unborn baby's gender is on Wednesday (!) while feeling incredibly sad for a mourning sister while feeling frustrated about our little housing budget in a crazy economy while feeling helpless to help our hurting husband? How does that reconcile?

Hmm, is it a coincidence that my iTunes played Natalie Grant's Held while I was typing out this post?

Friday, June 13, 2008

I was about to wash dishes (a lot of them-it's been a while...) and thought I'd make the chore a little more fun by listening to something from I get over there, click on Family Life Today and find this article about hospitality, messy houses and friendship.

You know, for those of you who struggle with a slightly lived in look...or the perfectionism that makes the messy days bad days.

I've been thinking about perfectionism a lot in the last year or so and truly believe it is bondage (although I've worn the perfectionist badge with pride in the past--ahhh, that's probably why God's given me a gaggle of children--I do believe it's impossible to be a sane perfectionist mommy of many!).

Oh, and just so you know, a determined toddler is fully capable of opening a watermelon. Did you know a watermelon will split in half with only a 3.5 foot fall from the kitchen counter? So, I'll be washing dishes and mopping the floor!

Precious Kids

Sonflower Camp for Handicapped Kids has been a part of our lives for several years now. It gets crazy taking the kids to and from camp for three days (it's half an hour away), but it's so worth it. They are exposed to children and adults with all kinds of needs and I hope by spending time with them at camp each year, that they'll always value all people no matter what they're mental ability or mode of transportation (legs or wheels!). Here are some pictures from the last day of camp-with a western theme, of course! I would have more but my little buddy Jaybird (everyone is assigned a buddy to help with) was a bubble fanatic and we only left the bubbles to chase a goat or two, then quickly had to get back to bubble blowing!

This is one of my favorite moments at camp. I love seeing teens interact whole heartedly with their buddy.
Here's another one that made my heart smile. Jake really had his buddy's attention with those bubbles!

This little guy was just chasing goats...

Here's some of my crew on a hayride! Ash rotated buddies throughout the three days. Beth ended up with her on the 2nd & 3rd day because Beth's sweet Buddy Jessica was out. Jessica & BB have been together for a couple years, but BB isn't old enough to remember her from year to year. Our family does though, and we adore her.
Jessica-a helper who takes her job very seriously.

Hope was assigned to her little cousin, Adri. Hope proved herself a hard worker and was very on top of her job. She changed diapers willingly and was quite selfless in her care of her buddy.

Oh, and here's my bubble blowing buddy! I have a dozen pictures of her blowing bubbles! I needed a park bench by the bubbles, I camped there all morning!

This is one of the best grandmas I know! She brings her grandbabies to church often--doesn't she look happy with her Hank!? I want to be this kind of grandma someday.

Eli-one of my bestest friend's son. He's the oldest...

Then close behind is Judah...

Then Caleb...

And after three boys comes Lydia-who can hold her own with her big brothers! Hmmm maybe we'll get a boy at the end of our train of girls!

Oh wait, these aren't kids-it's Tracy & Chris!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pregnancy Update

Well, we're still yellow ballooning it, at least until next week when we'll go back for a 20 week sonogram. One of my favorite sonographers is now working for my OB, so that'll be fun. She was working with our "other" Pregnancy Resource Center (the one I used to work at, not the one where I currently work) when we went medical. She did the big sono demo at the Gala and then called me behind stage afterwards to peak at our baby-that's when we found out Jaybird was a girl. That was a fun night-a surprise sonogram while wearing an evening dress!

I thought I'd give a little run down of the pregnancy thus far:

Pounds gained: 6
Been feeling movement for how many weeks: 2
Claims rejected by Aetna: 1
Bellyrubs by non-immediate family members: 7
"Boy or Girl" question asked: 351 (give or take a few)

So, next week-do I announce the gender with balloons again or try something new?
It's a rare moment in our's late afternoon and all my girls (even the borrowed one, Adri) are asleep.

Yesterday after church, we went to a friend's lake house for a cookout and boating/swimming thing. We had so much fun-and Jaybird thoroughly enjoyed this hot dog (in addition to about 2 more). We didn't get home until about 10pm, but it was worth it.

Big sis and baby sis...aren't they can tell Jay would rather be down playing with all those cool toys!

Like this one...although it's not her style to let someone else drive!
Little Bitty Bethy had to be on the boat every chance she got. Did she want to be in the back watching her sister 'tube? No way. The front is the only place for her-where she can see the waves!
This is our new friend, Shannon. She got to know Ash real well while Ash 'tubed for the first time. At least the sound of Ash's scream will probably be etched in Shannon's brain. Forever.

I kept thinking last night that this is the life...maybe even the abundant life Jesus promised. But then I thought how "American" that sounded. Do tribal people in Africa not get the abundant life because they don't water ski, eat hot dogs, or camp out? That's when I refined my thoughts a's not the activities we were doing that made life feel so good yesterday, it was the sharing of what we had (believe me, that wasn't our boat or 'tube!), sharing a meal, enjoying the enthusiasm of children playing with their friends while enjoying good fellowship--all while experiencing God's creation together. It's comfortable friendships, good hospitalitity and good conversation...that's the good stuff!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Interesting things about today

Today was a long day. Our little friend, Libby, had her heart healed today. God chose to let the great doctors at CookChildren's do it, and they did a fantastic job. Thank you Lord for gifting those doctors with such skill and for letting Libby be born in a time when this procedure is so routinely done.

I was surprised to see the surgeon surprised at the full waiting room, all of them waiting to hear about Libby. Libby has lots of family and friends, so why wouldn't there be a big crowd?

We got lost getting out of CookChildrens (like out of the building!)...Shane lost his wallet & phone but thankfully although we were all lost, we've been found :)

There was a woman we kept seeing around the hospital who thought the shirt she bought was a dress. I kept thinking shorts would stick out from under the hip length top, but nope, nothin', nodda. Not sure about that one...

I made Shane buy some shorts today. They're plaid and I think they're cool. Ross is great, but not when you don't have time to really search out what you want. We also went to the mall to exchange some maternity pants. Shane was looking for comic book character shirts and went into Spencers--and, oh my did we turn around fast!

The end of our day involved getting stuck in traffic which caused Hope to miss her game, and totally being late to Ash's game because I looked at the calendar wrong and thought Hope was the only one playing tonight. The wind was so high, the game was miserable and the girls lost. We're eating leftovers and Beth has another mystery fever--but God is good anyway!

God is good all the time, all the time, God is good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Day

Do you ever feel like a bird would feel if it came in for a drink in my birdbath? Today I felt like Satan was lying in wait for me just like this cat is awaiting its prey. Yesterday was full of disappointments. Many of them were little-like not being able to find any maternity pants at my favorite thrift store. It was no small deal though when Shane went to work 4 hours early only to be told the schedule was changed and they forgot to tell him. Ash's team lost their game and it was simply a long, hard day.

So today is our 13th anniversary. We both had to work, Ash had another game, and I was still exhausted. I cried a lot this morning. We didn't do school and I didn't even shower until right before work. I tried to be happy, but my heart and mind were just too tired and stressed. I sat on the porch, enjoying the morning shade and noticed this neat spider web. Do you think the heart shape was a gift from God to us on our anniversary?

I tried to count my blessings (even this one, lol!). I thought about my friends going through other, bigger ordeals this week. There is a lot of struggling going on in the lives of those around me and I know I'm blessed beyond measure. But I was still worn out, emotionally, physically...and I wanted to feel like today was special, but it just felt like any other day. I wanted to go to work and escape in the work on my desk.

But my husband and friends had other plans--secret plans. I did go to work, but instead of hiding behind my desk, I was drawn into the staff work room where romantic delicacies awaited...chocolate covered cherries, strawberries, grapes, and cheesecake! Shane had conspired with Melissa (in the dots with her own baby belly!) to gift me with all these goodies. Thanks Melissa!

Shane had these beautiful flowers delivered then he showed up (I'm sure just for the cheesecake!) with wedding pictures to share with my friends. Boy, we've changed in 13 years. What I'm most proud of is our deep affection for each other. I am still madly in love with him and it only gets deeper. I could have never imagined love this strong and deep.

Here's a close up of the flowers. He researched the meanings behind each one and planned it all out. He tried to secure a bed and breakfast but all the ones he was interested in were booked. We plan to try to sneak away Friday night and then maybe book the B&B in September, as a last getaway before the baby comes.

I'm still tired and can't wait to crawl in bed, but my heart is full. Today was special because my man did a great job making me feel like his queen.

Guess what I got him? Yellow balloons :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

And the Baby is...

Well, it's a baby! The baby has a beautiful spine and rib cage, a sweet profile, great legs...but that's all we know...well, except that he/she has the natural modesty of his/her oldest sister. We got some great shots of the baby all reclined, with one hand behind it's head and a leg hiked up like it's lounging beside the pool...yet nothing else could be revealed.

At first, we all thought we saw boy parts but in the next instant, the baby shifted (she/he did that a lot) and it looked like girl parts. The 3 lines of girl parts could have been the umbilical cord...but we just couldn't secure a good look.

I go to my regular doctor's appt in a week and from there will have the official sonogram scheduled, so maybe we'll know in a couple of weeks.

I've never been more anxious to find out than this pregnancy. It doesn't really matter to me either way, but each scenario brings such a different family dynamic. I was nervously giddy on the way and am pretty bummed that we don't know. I am thankful that we know the baby looks good and is on schedule developmentally.