Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Birthday Boy

We have a one year old in the house again! Andrew turned a year old yesterday.
Wow! I can't believe it has already been a year. How I wish life came with a pause button.
Here he is one year ago...

And now just yesterday...

Got something for me to fix, Mom?

It was a day full of thankfulness for this little blessing and the delight he has been to our family.
Praise God for His good gifts!

Bri turned ten (double digits!!!!) on the 12th, things were kind of messed up around then, as you all know, but she was really sweet about it. Andrew's birthday was yesterday, it was so much fun to decorate in blue for a birthday this year! Tonight we traded in the blue decorations for pink and we will celebrate Tori turning six tomorrow!!! After that life should calm down for a little while.

I want to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement during this time. It has been greatly, greatly appreciated. I am still dealing with some of the physical aspects of the miscarriage, which is a hard reminder to live with, but I'm doing a bit better emotionally. I will update more on that later, but right now I wanted to be sure to share this joyful celebration of Andrew's birthday with you all before time got away from me again and he turned two ;)!

Have a blessed day, my friends!

The Cake

This is Bethani "helping" Mommy decorate Andrew's birthday cake...

Lee had the idea to decorate it as a little drum :)...

Andrew was mesmerized by the candle ;)...

Now for the fun...

I think he liked it :)...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Please Pardon Our Mess...

Site under construction.
Husband going crazy.
The Husband

If you see a problem please let me know.
I think I have fixed everything but I am not sure.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blessed Be the Name of the LORD. ~Job 1:21

Just wanted to let everyone know that my last blood draw showed that my
numbers were dropping pretty dramatically. Our baby has died and our family
has a new little tie to the heavenly kingdom, where all of God's children's
citizenship truly lies. I look forward to meeting our tiny treasure one day.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers, we can still greatly use your
prayer support. I'll update more later but right now I'm going to go curl up
on the couch with my remaining treasure of children.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Praise and a Prayer Request

I was hoping to wait and share our happy news after all of this "stuff" was over but I am really feeling in need of prayer right now.
With a heart full of gratitude to our heavenly Father, I feel honored to announce that we have been blessed with Baby Blessing #5!
Unfortunately there have been some complications :(. Here is the short version, as of tonight I have been bleeding for twelve days with no end in sight and my hcg numbers have only risen 60% in the last 48 hours (which I have read in my research can be normal). I am ecstatic that they have risen at all! I had been preparing myself to find that I had miscarried. Between the bleeding and the lower rise in my hcg numbers the doctor is wanting me to come in for another quant count tomorrow and if he isn't pleased with the rise he wants to treat it as an ectopic pregnancy. This seems to be a bit premature to us as most resources are saying that you can't really even diagnose an ectopic pregnancy until an hcg of about 1500 and we are only at about 250.
If you feel so led, can you please join us in prayer for a very good rise in numbers when we go in tomorrow and for the bleeding to stop. Also, we need prayers for wisdom in how to handle this doctor if he continues to be so aggressive. Please pray that God would pour out His peace on our whole family, this has really been quite the roller coaster ride for all of us! And lastly, I would appreciate prayers, on the off chance that it is ectopic, that God would supernaturally intervene and move baby where he/she needs to go, nothing is impossible with our God. The same God who cares for the sparrows is watching out for our baby who has more value than many sparrows.
Thank you so very much!

For with God nothing shall be impossible.~Luke 1:37


Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

~Matthew 10:29-31

Monday, September 3, 2007


...this post where I listed three possible reasons to move?
Well, Lee caught #4 running down the hallway earlier this evening...

We are considering driving up to North Dakota during our trip in the Spring to show the girls where I lived as a child. My hope is that Lee falls in love with the area and decides to move up there and start a sunflower farm...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

More Vacation Tidbits and Pictures...

If you haven't seen the first post of our recent trip to Savannah, Georgia you will want to start here.
The first couple of days Tori would ask every couple of hours, "Are we going back to the Inn yet?". Just staying in the hotel was great fun as far as the girls were concerned. I'm not entirely sure why, they do this at home all of the time ;)...


We took our new "Moody Family books", a series written by Sarah Maxwell, to start while Lee was in his meeting (As an aside, these books are great!). The plan was to spend the day relaxing and recouping in the room and having nearly nothing to do all day but read aloud. At least that was the plan until everyone woke up and I realized that the jumbo package of diapers was still in the van, thirty minutes away! After the initial feeling of panic I thought, "OK, no big deal. We'll just walk over to the gas station right next to us and pay way too much for a very small package of diapers. Now remember, Savannah didn't appear to be too keen on children ;). Had I thought of that before we left I would have figured that this would be the first gas station I have ever been to that didn't carry diapers. Still not panicing too badly I remembered seeing a CVS *just* down the road so we started out. Everyone was hot, barely awake and we hadn't even had breakfast yet because I had thought we were just running over to the gas station. We finally get all the way down to the CVS only to find that they weren't in just built, looked completely functional, but apparently it wasn't quite yet. Now, I panic ;). Frustratingly enough, there are other gas stations in view but I wasn't quite desperate enough to drag all four little people across the interstate. The only thing to do was to go back to the room without the coveted diapers and try to figure something out. We stopped back in the gas station on the way back by and I got everyone a chocolate milk and myself a cappuccino because, trust me, we needed it. Upon arriving back at the room I surveyed our meager belongings keeping an eye out for anything that could be fashioned into a "nappie" and my eyes fell upon the flannel blankets. Remembering this post from Tammy of Tammy's Recipes I thought what a great chance to try it out ;). Worked great by the way, even without diaper covers and safety pins, the little sewing kit in my purse came in mighty handy though ;) I now have a whole new appreciation for my diaper pins! I may even start a little collection of old blankets to make diapers out of. We were down to one more blanket when Lee got back to the room. As soon as he arrived I double stocked the diaper bag and even put a couple in my purse ;)... Then we headed back to the beach to redeem the day. As we trudged through the sand we discussed the necessity of being sure that..."On Christ the solid rock I stand", because, "all other ground is sinking sand...". Lee got some precious pictures of the little ones while we were there but they are all on his camera so I have to wait to share. Lee took the girls out into the water, skirts and all ;) was the first time being out in the water for Tori and Bethi and Bri was too little last time to remember. We really need to look into more efficient and modest swim wear. You should have seen Bri's face later that night when Lee reminded her that there are sharks in the ocean ;). When he mentioned it to Tori she said, "I know.". When he asked how she knew she said, "Mommy told me they live in salty water and I tasted the salty.". Eeew. A couple of the shells we picked up were still occupied, oops. We named them Pearl and Oceanus ;). 
Among other things during our time there, we saw the church that the writer of Jingle Bells was employed at as the music minister when he wrote the well known carol, we saw the church President George Washington went to when he went to Savannah and cannons that he gifted Chatham county with after the Revolutionary War. We saw a lot that John Wesley preached in and walked for a while in the path of Sherman and his troops during his famous "March to the Sea". On the last day we took a picnic lunch to Forsyth Park and Lee and Bethani chased the girls around with Spanish Moss ;). 

I had told them this story behind the saying, "Good night neighbor, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!", so they were doing their best to stay away from the stuff ;).
Andrew is becoming such a little boy :)! He kept running off to go play in the dirt...

and he was trying so hard to come to his big sister's rescue ;)...

While strolling through the park I pointed out to the girls that we were pushing our baby though a park that has seen generation after generation of mothers pushing babies in strollers (or "prams"). That struck me as neat.
Just before we left for home we stopped at Old Fort Jackson, the oldest standing brick fort in Georgia that was in use from 1808 to 1865.


I would greatly recommend you make this a stop if you are ever in Savannah! They are just now really trying to build up this piece of history so in a few years it may become more tourist centered but when we were there we were able to amble around at our own pace. If we hadn't known better we could have reached right out and touched many of the artifacts! It was just wonderful. There is an ironclad ship sunk just off of the banks (the Confederates sunk it on purpose to keep it out of the hands of the Union soldiers) and several of the exhibits in the museum were artifacts brought back up from the ship. There were plaques hanging in many places and they took quotes out of letters written by soldiers who had been stationed there during the Civil War. One plaque that was hanging on a bunk in the holding cell said that the baker had been incarcerated for selling liquor. A quote from a letter written a few days later mentioned that the baker had been let go because they just "couldn't get along without him" in the kitchen. Sooo funny! The moral of that story? If you want to get away with anything, be the cook ;). After a quick peek in the gift shop where we picked up really neat realistic looking copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States, we hopped in the car and headed home. The children and I slept most of the way ;).
The whole next day we were all kind of dragging...

And I think we are still in recovery mode. I finally caught up the laundry last night and we'll be back to school tomorrow. It was such a sweet blessed time of togetherness and memory making. Lee and I celebrated our birthdays last Sunday and this trip was a great birthday present :). 
Thank you Sweetheart :)!!! We love you!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We're Back...

   We just got back into town late Thursday night after several fun-filled, educational, memory making days in Savannah, Georgia. Lee had a business meeting to go to so we all went down together a few days before his meeting and stayed later. This was the first "real" vacation we have had in a few years! We are planning another vacation for next spring so we used this one as a "practice run" before then. Everyone did really well even though we wore them out nearly every day trudging in the heat from one end of historic Savannah to another, up and down beaches and on the search for diapers...but I get ahead of myself ;).
A lot of our pictures are on Lee's camera, the old fashioned kind that stretches you in the area of patience because you must (gasp!) wait for them to be developed, but which also takes much better pictures. I do have some to share though.
We got there pretty late in the afternoon on the first day but we wasted little time in dropping our things off at the hotel and driving on to the beach. We were kind of unsure about the sort of company we might find at the beach so we were prepared to leave if need be but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was really very quiet and for long stretches there would be no one at all. It was so beautiful! We've been to Charleston several times since we've been married but the beaches there are nothing like in Savannah! I went to Florida once as a teenager and they had the most beautiful beaches there and this beach was very, very similar! Light colored sand, beautiful colors in the shells, just gorgeous! I am extremely uncomfortable around large bodies of water but even I can greatly appreciate the creativity of God in the beauty of the oceans. This was Andrew's first time at the beach and he seemed to enjoy it at first but by the time we left he had had enough. He would run any time he saw approaching waves, he was complaining about the sand on his little hands and feet, and he much preferred to just be held. 


 The rest of us greatly enjoyed it though!!!


 The beach we went to was at Tybee Island. Did I mention that I am extremely uncomfortable around large bodies of water? Thankfully I wasn't aware that we were on an island, let alone an island off of an island until after we left for the last time. Yes, I realize this makes me look extremely unobservant but I don't like bridges either and there are bridges everywhere down there so I paid as little attention as possible when we were hovering over any amount of water... Anyway, Lee took a beautiful picture of the lighthouse with the sun peeking through the clouds over it that I will share sometime. It was a beautiful illustration to me of the smallness of man and the omnipotence of our great God and Creator.
During one bit of excitement Bethani fell while we were wading at the edge of the water and Bri threw all of the shoes she was carrying...into the ocean...and ran for Bethani. Lee and I ran for Bethani as well, looking longingly after our shoes ;). When Lee saw I was going to get to her first he went after the shoes and happily he was able to retrieve them all. I am thankful that Bri thought more about her sister than about our shoes. I am also greatful that we didn't have to go shopping for shoes "shoeless" ;). Bethani talked about it all the way to the car when we left, "I felled in the waters and Daddy came to get me and Mother came to get me and I got wet...."
On the way back to the hotel that evening, or the Inn as Tori referred to it, Bethani revealed her whiny side. Now, Bethani has a bit of a temper but all in all she is a really sweet little girl and she never complains. Well, apparently she has been saving it all up for that one trip back to the hotel. "I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm wet, I felled in the waters..." over and over again. It was so hard not to go into fits of giggles because it was so completely out of character for her :)! Lee stopped on the way back to the hotel and picked up some pizzas for our supper so that perked her up a little bit, sort of.
While down there we toured the Andrew Low House. Coincidentally this was also the married home of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Scouts, but that isn't why we went. I was a Scout growing up but scouts have gotten a bit too "girl power" in recent years. It was a beautiful house and it was sooo funny to watch Andrew look the tour guide over every time she said his name as if she shouldn't be privy to such information. We saw huge books that weighed 50 pounds each, a brooch that was a gift from Robert E. Lee and his wife to Andrew Low's second wife at their marriage, a set of amethyst jewels that had belonged to Napoleon's wife (I think it was?) and much more of interest. The tour guide was very sweet and truly enjoyed what she was doing. Here is a picture of the children on the steps at the Andrew Low house...

Much of what we did while we were down there cost little or nothing. Well, we seemed to have to pay for parking everywhere. We walked River Street and went into River Street Sweets where we got to watch them making the candies, watching the machine pulling the taffy could become mesmerizing! Lee treated us to a bowl of ice cream there and some pralines and taffy to take back to the hotel. I've already tried to recreate the pralines here at home because Lee loved them but they weren't quite right, I think I'll have to try another recipe. We also stopped in a little country gift shop and found a cute little pansy pull chain for our living room fan (you may remember from this post that our living room is decorated in pansies). We didn't stay long at River Street though because it just wasn't very "family friendly". In fact, Savannah itself didn't come across as overly family friendly. We saw just a handful of children the entire time we were there. At Cracker Barrel the second evening our children made up more than 50% of the children for the entire time we were there! I felt very self conscious as Andrew is our loudest baby yet even, and maybe especially, when he's happy and he was really happy that evening ;). About half-way through our meal though a couple came over and commented on our "sweet and well-behaved children". I wonder if the people who stayed next to us in the hotel would second that ;). Later on Bri made the observation that nobody seemed to have children but everyone seemed to have a dog.
We could have spent days and days just roaming the squares and looking at the houses. We went to Forsyth park where we saw a fountain that is over 150 years old...


 We went to Colonial Park Cemetery and one grave that seemed particularly meaningful to us was one of a physician who lost his life by tending to others during the first yellow fever epidemic. The grave mentions his burial as a tribute of the love of his sister and while many stones seem neglected this one had a plaque placed on it by a descendant in 2000 that "translated" what the faded etching on the stone once said. Perhaps the influence of a sister's love is what gave this physician the strength to give his life for others and perhaps that same influence is working through the descendants of this same family as seems to be suggested by the care taken to preserve the memory of their ancestors. It's a beautiful thought. In this same cemetery we also saw a memorial to Button Gwinnett, one of the Georgian signers of the Declaration of Independence. Button Gwinnett was killed in a duel (held at his request) by Lachlan McIntosh, McIntosh is buried just across the way in this same cemetery. Interesting, I thought.