Archive for the ‘Family Time’ Category

Giving Birth in NY

It was 2006.  An extremely rainy day in upstate NY.  She was my third child.  Being induced even a week early, she would be my heaviest baby yet.  It was my first experience with an epidural.  Make that two doses.  The first started to wear off, as did the second.  The epidural was an awful experience.  Not what I was hoping or expecting.  Labor was all day.  After pushing for about  2 hours, she would have to be assisted out with tongs.  Sort of like the kind you cook with, except bigger.  Not pleasant.  It took some time for the epidural to wear off, so I was confined to the bed during that time.  Just as well.  I did just give birth.  You won’t find me eager to jump out of bed after such an event.

The nurses told me to buzz the remote for help.  The time came to empty the ol’ bladder.  I needed help off the bed.   The nurse that came to see what help I needed was disappointed to learn that I “just” needed help out of bed to visit the toilet.  I had just given birth to an 8lb. 10 oz. baby.  I’m only 5’2″.  I was a bit sore.

Some nurses are not meant for this field.  I understand there may be occasions when people overreact to injuries.  I’d be the first to say “shake it off” if I were a nurse or doctor and someone came in with a scrape on the knee.  But you must love to serve and help others no matter how trivial you might think their injury is.  In my case, birth is a big deal.  Not like just some splinter removal.  Trying to expel a baby out of a hole the size of your fist is not some little feat.  It is labor!  It involves pain!  And recovery isn’t instant.  You can’t possibly understand until you’ve tried it.

I understand every state has its own laws and they differ, generally.  Well, I wanted to video record the birth but a friend told us that that wasn’t allowed.  I should have checked the law, just to be sure.  I told him to try until someone told him he couldn’t.  Technically, we weren’t told by anyone in the hospital that we couldn’t.  But I told my husband what my friend had told me.  Being the law-abiding citizen that he is, he did not record when I asked him to.  Rats!  Know your laws!

In the same day, when one of the nurses came to check on me, I heard a hard-crying baby.  I said, “that’s not my baby, is it?”  She casually said, “yes.”  I asked how long my baby’s been crying.  She says, “a while.”  What the heck??!  I asked if maybe she was hungry or something.  She responds, “probably.”  So I asked her to bring her to me so I can nurse her.  She says she can’t because it’s protocol to keep the baby under supervision for 4 hours after birth and the babies have to stay in the nursery that whole time.  But, she could feed her a bottle, if I wanted.  What the heck, again??!!  They didn’t tell me that.  They didn’t tell me that when they took her away, I wouldn’t be able to see her for a while.  I thought they were just going to do the usual clean and basic check and bring her back.   So, I couldn’t nurse her, couldn’t see her.  I even wasn’t told I could go see her in there.  I wasn’t given much info at all.  My baby is wailing and nobody bothers to tell me.  That’s awful service.

I was thankful to have one dear lady from our church there as a nurse before she retired.  It’s always nice to have a familiar, friendly face to support and care for you in such a blessed, life-changing moment.  And that’s what it feels like after- a moment.  That moment of pain we call “labor”  cannot/does not compare to the future blessing of ups (and downs) and privilege to care for the little lives we now call sons and daughters.

So, if you find yourself in the honor of serving someone through labor and delivery, remember that this is a big deal, an extraordinary moment is about to occur and you get to be a part of it.   That woman needs your care.  Serve her with kindness.  Be proactive.  Better to be alert and helpful than passive and miss an opportunity.  Especially for new, first time moms.  And the baby.  don’t forget the baby.  And especially you, Christian.  Give God glory.  She may blog about you one day.


k, 6/20/13

inspired by vbs music, “my God is so big”, she said, “i know somethings God cannot do…

1)  be around sin

2)  be imperfect

then after some discussion, she says, “it’s like he’s allergic to sin”

i love this girl.

Serve Your Home First

Do you ever find yourself having more fun helping other people do things in their home rather than yours?  I have, and I’ve thought that there may be a sign of the sin of covetousness.  Of all the opportunities that arise to “help” or serve others, our hearts should first yearn for the love of and in our own homes- our family.   Opportunites to serve in our home are endless, as a wife, mother, woman, man, brother, sister, son, daughter…  Your first order of business is to your home.  Cultivate your home and those who live with you with love, grace, order, compassion, truth, honor, joy … the list goes on.  Our service to the outside world should spill out of our service inside our homes.  When we have our priorities straight, we teach our family the same.  Live what you believe and preach.  I preach this to my kids and I pray that I might be a living example of what I preach.  Caring for my home and all that is within is not a burden, but a blessing.   I have much to care for and I shall be thankful that I have anything at all to care for.  Sure, everyone gets tired and needs a break.  Afterall, God did create a day of sabbath rest.

Every time I wash dishes, I have to remind myself how blessed I am that I had dishes to dirty.  Those dishes were full of food, of which filled my belly that I do not hunger.  Every time I wash clothes, I must realize I’m blessed that I have covering to keep me warm and the machinery and all the necessary supplies to clean clothes so easily; not to mention the accessibility to water and electricity that flows through to make it all possible.  Even if I may not get the sleep I need or want, when I’m awakened by my kids, I need to be thankful that I have the great responsibility and honor of caring for their precious lives and the joys they bring.  As much as I have to do in a day, my motivation and thoughts have to be upward, focusing on the rewards of being diligent in my responsibilities, the rich rewards of working unto the Lord.

We are complainers, sinners by nature.  But scripture tells us not to complain.  It’s a tough line for sure.  Where is the line between complaining and just plain sharing your burdens with one another so that we ought to be able to care for each other?  May the Spirit give us all wisdom in that.  But let us be all the more diligent in guarding our hearts and minds so that we might offer ourselves as a holy, living sacrifice, worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called.  It’s an all-encompassing task and no doubt, takes great strength and perseverance that only the good LOrd can provide.  Fight the fight.  Run the race well, good and faithful servant.  In all things, glorify your father in heaven.

sand crab digging, 9/7/2012

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

carlsbad beach, ca.  we spent time digging for sand crabs, all of us (even husband), with the intent of bringing them home  to fry and feast.  we had a kid’s sized beach pail full even after throwing the littlest ones back, enough to fulfill everyone’s tummy of this would-be deliciously fried appetizer, only to my husband’s disapproval.  he was paranoid that they would have  fatal toxins after searching the net about them.  people eat fish, crab and other sea edibles off the california coast, why not sand crabs?  i found a guy who said they’re a delicacy in thailand, the land where they’d eat just about anything and have been thriving just fine, my sister country.  sometimes it’s just people’s paranoia and finickiness that deters them from trying different foods and some make excuses to avoid anything.  that’s what i think is the issue with sand crabs.  who would have ever thought sushi was safe?  there are many people who would never even think of trying it no matter how much you tried to convince them it was okay.  i tried to convince him that frying them would kill it all.  so after all the preparations of batter and heating oil, i ended up throwing them out.  i did taste a small one when no one was looking and it was good!  just like soft shell crab, which i totally salivate for.  oh well.  it was fun digging for them anyway, even if i did hurt a finger for nothing.  the kids were disappointed too.

KB found a clam digging in the sand but i accidentally threw it away with all the sand crabs.

Categories: Family Time

The Miraculous News & Mystery Message Hunt

August 13, 2012 1 comment

So…the big deal is… I’M PREGNANT.  And we couldn’t be happier.  It’s been a roller coaster on so many levels, to say the least.  With the loss of our 4th child 2 years ago, I’ve been a bag of mixed emotions.  In short, I had some health issues.  I’m down to one tube and it’s a gracious & amazing miracle that life lives in me now.

2 lines = (+) !!! AND (+) = pregnant !! (juuust in case)

Anyway, instead of just outright telling our children, I decided I wanted to do something different this time.  They have been wanting another sibling for a while now and it was a special newsworthy announcement  (not that my other kids weren’t) of some big deal introduction.  God  is good and hears our prayers.  So, what I did was put together a scavenger hunt, of sorts.  I set up 3 clues.

We decided to do this before church because for several reasons.  1)  I didn’t have it done in time Saturday night before bedtime.  2) A friend is having a baby shower next Sunday so I didn’t want my pregnancy announcement to interfere.  3)  That would mean we’d have to wait another 2 weeks before we could tell our kids, then the church, since I would not have wanted to announce it before our children knew.  So it was now or suffer 2 more weeks!  And I am neurotically anxious like that.

On to the hunt.  I set up some clues.  The first clue…

you wear me all day. You change me daily. Sometimes I need to be washed. What am I?

This was supposed to lead them to the huge pile of unfolded laundry laying on my bedroom floor.  #1 would be accomplished.

Clue #2…

I am green. I make oxygen for you to breathe. I like sun and water. What am I?

This led them to one of the plants in the house.  #2 down.

Clue #3…

I sleep in THIS because I am baby. Sometimes I get rocked to soothe the baby. What am I?

This led the kids to a baby cradle the girls have in their room filled with baby dolls.  #3, check.

Clue #4…

Take a baby and find the place where YOU were sheltered before you came into this world. There you will find the mystery answer!!

This led them to me, my belly to be exact.  But the process was such a hoot to watch and listen too.  When they got the last clue, at first KB- said, “the bible!  go get a bible!”  Then she said, “wait, no!  it’s mommy!  it’s mommy’s tummy!  that’s where we were sheltered before we came into this world.”  As they bolted down the hall, KB- paused, confused and said, “wait, mommy?”  That was probably the best part.  So she came to me, lifted my shirt to find the poem I wrote, tucked into my waistband, to tell them the news.  They were all a little confused and surprised.  It took a minute but finally, the realization set in and they were so surprised.  We have been praying and God was faithful.  We also know and give thanks for the many special friends who have been supportive and praying for us and with us.  Praise God for faithful people.

Dearest children;
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
The bible says in psalm 127:3.
What a joy and a blessing,
You three have been to we.
We are excited to add,
To our family tree;
Once we were five,
Six we will be.
God’s grace abide with us still,
Though trials they may test us.
A faithful father is He;
His love always we shall trust.
We are so excited to share,
Our great news with you today.
Kids, our prayers have been answered,
We’re going to have a baby!!!

I don’t know if you can see or make out what it says but I believe the Holy Spirit gave me the words.  I could not have concocted these things so quickly.  I started putting this together last night, really late, as I was simultaneously putting together a volunteer schedule for church.  We are so humbled by God’s gracious hand.  We have been trying for another child for 4 years now and with my health issues, I seriously thought maybe God’s will was we have just 3.  As hard as it would have been, I resolved to be content with it.  His ways are above our ways and His will is good.  For now, we are beyond joyous; especially for me, even in the midst of all my whack emotions.

KB- was leading the pack.  LG- figured out one of the clues (the cradle) and found 1 clue with after they dispersed with instructions.  It was so great.  CG was just along for the ride.  The kids said the hunt was so fun.  I’m so thankful.  I was bummed when I realized I should have recorded them on video.  It would have been such a great video to watch again and again but the I think the memory will live in our memory and minds forever.  The kids are at a point where they understand the loss of our 4th child and the process of praying and patience for another.  They are so thankful and still in disbelief, but happy.  They are excited and I’m excited that they are excited!  Can you tell we’re excited!?

So, afterwards I told them it’s time to get ready for church.  They were so excited the promptly obeyed.  Then I later asked all of them to do something and they cheerfully and promptly obeyed.  Not that they don’t obey normally, but this time it was with an explicable joy.   In obeying what I asked her to do, KB said, “we will do whatever you need to help you out mom since you’re the pregnant one now!”  I love the things kids say (sometimes).   I already feel fat and loving it (well, kinda).  I can let my jelly belly hang.  LG- asked me, “So what are you going to do with your belly fat?”  I replied with a laugh, “it’s going to help cushion the baby.”

I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.  -Psalm 139:14

(this post may be a little grammatically incorrect. i’m tired and trying to get it all in somewhat understandable manner. i apologize in advance. i’ll look at it again when i’m not so blurry.)


Meeting Judge Andrew Napolitano

We were privileged to attend the Idaho Freedom Foundation‘s banquet last night with guest speaker Judge Andrew Napolitano.   It was those once in a lifetime deals and we are very thankful to our special, beloved friend for sponsoring us.  He’s pretty much what you see on t.v.- your stereotypical funny, loud Italian who can tell good stories and does it well.  He didn’t have body guards.  He was walking around the place like your average down-to-earth guy, which was really cool.  I snagged him while he was taking a sitting break (to my husband’s anxious fret) to get this picture.  We got to take professional pictures too that came with the invitation to the banquet.   As we sat down to take the picture with him, he told my husband that he was a lucky guy.  Ahem…((blushed)).   I’d have to admit, it was one of my (rare) better nights (last night) but the Judge doesn’t have to live with me.  I was actually in heels!  He’s pretty much right on with his political views too.  Ha!  It was a great night with great food.  And I just hit a “chip in” birdie in Wii golf against my husband as I blog this very post.  I feel like I’m on a roll.  Da hah!


Ron Paul is the true freedom candidate and from what I’ve seen and heard from The Judge, I think he thinks so too.

Second Hands

So, for my girls’ birthday this year I let them have a (semi) shopping spree at one of our local “second-hand/thrift store”.   I say ‘semi’ because 1) I had to approve and 2) it had to be within a certain “frugal” price range of which I will keep a mystery.  I love the fact that my kids don’t care that it’s been “passed down” or previously used and they know this.  I have told them so.  They will never (at least until they’re older teenage or adults) know the overrated name brands of clothing. I think it’s sad and somewhat pathetic when kids and their parents complain that they won’t wear anything but certain brands.  I am thankful that I was never that child or teen.  Marketing has done its job, and well.  Sure, there are brands that are great quality but I won’t live and die by them like some people.  For too many, it’s part of their identity.

We shopped before their actual birthdays.  They both got an armful of stuff.  I had them hold some of it to feel the weight of what they were getting.  I was tickled when one of my youngest daughter’s pick was this shirt…

and she really wanted to wear it on her birth date.  When she found it, she was ecstatic.  I mean, it was too so cute.   I just had to get it for her.  It helped that it was only $1.50.  Not as cheap as I could get such a shirt like that, like at a yard sale but all relative.

Now I’m not a zealous tree hugger but I do [recycle] to [reduce] waste if I can and [reuse] & repurpose what I can to [restore] things to the best of my imagination.  I wish the city would [respect] my best efforts and not charge me for doing a good civic duty.  Yes!- they charge to recycle whether you do or not.  I should just quit this business but I can’t because my conscience won’t let me.  And of all things, they won’t recycle glass because of some nonsense about “hazardous”.  Whatever.

I think it’s important to teach children to be thankful and to make the most of their situation.  It’s so much about perspective.  Of course it’s easier said when you have but that’s why God calls us to be content in whatever situation.  It’s His strength in which we rely.  Have faith if ye of little.  We have never been rich according to the world’s standard but God has been so faithful and has provided us abundantly with the things we’ve needed.  We’ve eaten well; have been sheltered under pretty solid, clean & great living spaces; clothed; loved by family and friends.  That’s more than basic necessity to me.  That’s being rich in God’s goodness, even beside giving the life of His only Son so that we may live.   We are rich indeed.