Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking to 2010

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,

In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;

Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.


Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;

Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father let it be

On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.



The end of a year is, for me, a time to look back. What has the Lord done for you this year? Did He answer a long time prayer? Did He bring you through a trail, temptation or valley? Maybe you saw a loved one saved this year.

As I reflect upon the year we started the year out in great joy. We had to wait about a year from a miscarriage until we were blessed with conception in the latter part of '08. We were so happy to be expecting another baby! We saw some new additions to the youth department and continue to see Christian maturity bloom in many of our teens. The Lord is heavily dealing with John's heart for salvation and is beginning to nudge Ethan's heart. We marked one year of using natural medicine. We saw the Lord answer prayer by showing us why I've always had to have c-section births. We were blessed with the birth of Josiah. We saw the Lord bring him through a week-long hospitalization at 7 weeks old. My baby brother moved away from home *sniff* and we're all learning what it is to have a long distance family. And tons and tons more.

Do you want to be more for the Lord in 2010? We all do, of course. What would you like the Lord to do for your family? for you? for your church?

There are many things that I want to see happen in the upcoming year. It's not going to happen by chance. If we want to see God to do great things in 2010 we must ask Him for those things. By "things," I'm not necessarily meaning the tangible or material.

I'm not really a goal setter. I have learned that setting goals make a tremendous difference in how quickly and efficiently things are accomplished. This year I decided to make a 2010 goal list. You may think it's silly or even a bit corny. But here's my reasoning behind it: Year after year I have good intentions to do _________. Stick in that blank nearly anything. But in just a matter a weeks I find myself saying, "Oh yeah, I was going to do _________ this year." By keeping track of what you'd like the Lord to do, your goals won't become an after thought. Accomplishing more for the Lord in 2010 won't happen by happenstance.

Just a few of my 2010 goals are these:

  • See my children saved.
  • More fully devote myself to diligent, structured, Bible study and prayer
  • Work with my grocery budget to be able to afford more organic meat and animal products.
  • Prepare a daily home schedule and stick with it.
  • Set a reasonable time limit for computer and/or blogging. Then carefully monitor time spent on the computer and cumulative time spent on the computer to be sure that I am making the most of each day.
  • Pray more for my husband as he meets the daily stresses of being a small business owner, husband, father and youth director.
  • Use my blog to further uplift the name of Christ and to uplift the believer, and especially to edify the keeper at home.
These are a very very few of the goals I have listed. Under these goals I have how to go about seeing these things accomplished. For example "See my children saved." Under that, I have listed "Spend purposeful and earnest time in prayer for the children," "Be sure that God is at the center of everything that is done at home, school or play," "Provide a spiritual and Christ-centered environment," "Encourage the kids to pray and read their Bibles" and more. Yes, these are things that we already do, but to have them down on paper gives a sense of direction.

Maybe this wouldn't work for you. We're all made differently. I'm hoping that with a more focused sense of direction I'll be able to look back at 2010 and say it was the best year yet!

Happy 2010 to everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December

Well, I didn't post much about home stuff throughout the month of December. It's just such a busy time of the year. So here is a photo walk through of our month.


Here are our teens who participated in our youth Christmas skit...minus one who wouldn't let anyone see him in his costume.


And here they are again letting their true colors show. They're going to KILL me for posting this photo!


We usually do some sort of cookies or other baking project this time of year. This year we made Jesus a birthday cake!


We took the kids to Bellingrath gardens for their lights display. It was very pretty. We wanting to go earlier in the season so that we missed the crowd. We also hoped to go on a Monday (remember, our family's weekend is Sunday and Monday) so that we had less crowd. With the incredible amount of rain we've had we didn't get to go until the 21st. We were still so blessed though because we just beat crowd. As we got in line the line grew by many, many yards. I was so relieved!


Some of the better pictures I took.


The lake behind the Bellingrath home.


Here's a great photo. This is a picture of a proud hunter who killed his first little spike. Yes, HE killed the deer by himself. He'll be good dinner. The deer, that is. Not John. ;-)


Yup, his first kill.

Christmas Eve, spent at my husband's parents' house.


My little cowboys


And my princess.


A princess, of course, needs cowgirl boots.


My bundled up bundle of joy.


Ride on, buddy!


Roller skating...or attempting it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sushi!

So, I've been on this quest to make miso soup. It is a difficult task since the nearest Asian market is about 50 miles away. I went to Publix and hoped that they would have some of the things I needed there. Alas, all they had was tofu. They did have a pack of stuff labeled "sushi seaweed," which is sort of vague. I thought maybe it'll work for the kombu I need to make dashi. Well, it of course wouldn't. Now I have a pack of nori in my pantry and I'm thinking "what am I going to do with this?!" Well, I also have about 3 cups of rice in my fridge and you guessed it!


Unfortunately it's a tiny picture. I took it with my cell phone since my hubby-wubby took the camera to work today. I looked around the house to try to find something to go in my sushi. All I could find was carrot and salmon. The vinegar I used was white balsamic...an Italian vinegar. So it's Italian-American sushi, I guess. It tastes pretty good. I tried to get the roll good and tight, but that's hard. Maybe if I had a makisu it could be easier. Anyway, thought I'd share my yummies with everyone!

And perhaps this endeavor was partly inspired by Mrs. Happy Hermit! ;-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Button

Photobucket

I wanted to draw your attention to a new button I've added. Here you will be able to read the story of a little girl that has always been dear to my heart, Olivia. Her mother is a friend of mine who is always an encouragement in the Lord. I'll let you read the story yourself, but please remember to pray for this little blessing.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily Funnies

You know you're living rural when...

... you see a loose donkey at the end of the driveway!

And then you see him get escorted home by police.


If you click to enlarge, you'll see the donkey being led by the driver of the utility truck and a police squad car following behind.

I had the greatest laugh out of this. Want another laugh?

Last night we had our church ladies go out Christmas caroling. As we got out at a house here was a man walking down the street. He was listening to some sort of English-speaking music on a radio (you'll understand in a minute) He was obviously not of Hispanic descent, but when I cheerfully told him, "Hi! How are you?" He stuttered back, "Uhh... Err... No, uhh, no ah-blow Es-pan-yole ... uhh ... Een-glase. (As in a really bad Spanish accent: No hablo Español ... Inglés) So, I didn't miss a beat and replied, "Ah, lo siento, Señior! Buenas noches!" Then he looked at me almost scared and picked up the pace of his walking. I have no idea what it was all about, but he very obviously fake Spanish accent was so absolutely hilarious to me that I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Pictures









Saturday, December 5, 2009

Science Project

As we have been learning about the senses that God gave us to learn about our world, I thought this would make a great science project:

"Chemical" Apple Pie

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 25 buttery round crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (225 degrees C).
  2. Roll out pastry and set aside. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  3. In a small bowl mix together sugar and cream of tartar. Add mixture to boiling water. Stir, then add crackers, one at a time. Boil for 3 minutes, but do not stir.
  4. Pour cracker mixture into pastry-lined pie pan. Sprinkle crackers with cinnamon and dot with butter or margarine. Cover with top pastry. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. May need to cover top pastry partway through baking to prevent overbrowning.
Which is a strange name if you think about it. My brother, a chemist, would quickly inform everyone that every apple pie is a chemical apple pie because everything is chemicals. B ut whatever. The pie has no apples, but it tastes like apple pie. Okay, not the best apple pie, but it's close. Recipe is taken from allrecipes.com.

Looks like apple pie...


Still looks like apple pie...


But how does it taste?


Well, we did have one fan of it.

Hooray for homeschool!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Cold!

But these should help me to warm up...

Apple cinnamon muffin and chamomile lemongrass tea!

I was going to get brave and show before and after pictures of my project yesterday: cleaning the oven and microwave. But the before was really bad, embarrassing even, so I chickened out! ;o) I can't stand either of the two jobs. My pastor's wife told me a great trick for the microwave though. Many of you probably already know this one, because she thought I was nuts for not doing this already. Take a big, very microwave safe bowl and fill it about 3/4 full with water. Turn the microwave on high for about 5 minutes. If your microwave is only mildly dirty, at this point you can just wipe out the yuckies. If your microwave is like mine, then let the hot water stand in the microwave for 10 minutes and repeat. Keep this up until the yuckies wipe off. The steam will loosen the splattered on food!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've made a post about home stuff. Like Kimberly said, "It's the most busiest time of the year!" Well, if you've been a long time reader of my blog, and you have a great memory, you may remember our "classroom pet" we got last year. Well, he kicked the bucket Sunday. It was really bad. You could tell he was dying. If you've ever seen a fish die, you know what I mean. I couldn't stand it and Jeremy gave him a proper fish funeral. There was only a toilet-bowl side service. :-P

So, John noticed first that the fish was gone and asked, "Hey, where is the fish?" Dad replied, "He died." So John looked thoughtful for a bit and asked, "Did he have X's over his eyes?"

What else is going on...hmm. We had some pretty nasty weather last night. That's not exactly exciting news, but was actually worse than Ida was a few weeks ago. Check out what happened to my beautiful Bradford Pear tree!!

After the rain leaves, it's supposed to actually be cold. Shocker...like, just under freezing. I may have to get out my long sleeves!

I showed Ethan the tree this morning and he said, "Mom! It blowded over!" When I showed Lydia, she says, "It's okay Mom. It duss needs some tape awound it."

I still have a great bunch of helpers with Josiah. I don't feel too comfortable with Ethan carrying him around, but he's great at holding him, as you can see.


On the other hand, John is very confident with him. He loves babies. He would sit and entertain Josiah all day long if he could. It would not surprise me if he had a whole slew of children. He tells me, "I want to have as many kids as the Duggars!"


Josiah had such a pile of hair, but after his hospital stay, it all fell out. Guess that was one of the side effects of his antibiotics. I don't think I mentioned that we've been battling eczema since his hospitalization too. We started him on Body Balance, as Ethan does for his eczema. But whereas Ethan's eczema is from allergies, Josiah's is from medicine. Trace minerals are always good, especially since his were probably wiped out. Body Balance is great for trace minerals. We also put him on a pro-biotic since antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. Also, we've been using a omega 3-6-9 blend. His skin looks very much better, although it still flares up. I think we're on the road to recovery with it. My pediatrician asked about the eczema and offered a prescription of Aclovate, which a quickly declined. She did not at all discourage me from using natural medicine. I love her to pieces!

Oh and a tea tree shampoo has cleared up his ugly cradle cap!


My little toddler is quickly coming to the 3 year old mark. She is such a joy. I would love to have another girl, but we will see. People have been asking me how many children are we going to have. I had an exceptionally difficult time recovering from Josiah's surgery. I asked my doctor about it and she said that it was probably from scar tissue, which is expected with 4 c-sections. The Lord knows my heart and that I would love to have a whole house full of children, but we'll have to see how my body holds up.


My sweet husband brought me home a couple of presents last week. I got him to model this one for me. Yes, that is a pink chainsaw on the front. What did you expect from a guy that sells small engine products? Last time he ordered from Stihl, he saw these ladies' shirts and ordered me this one and another one. You might think it's funny, but I really like them.

The community Christmas parade is this weekend. The church is entering a float as we did last year. We actually took first place last year. I really would love to go, but the high that day is only supposed to be 56 with blustery winds, and I don't see getting a little one out in that chill.

How about this for good news:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: -Philippians 1:6

How wonderful the grace of God that we can even have confidence in the fact that we do not have to perform good works on our own. I've tried to "do good" all on my own and failed. Instead, God will just do all the work by performing a good work on the inside first. Then, of course, what ever is inside will come out all by itself. Just thought I'd share my encouragement for today.

Guess that is enough catching up for now!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Oh, I bought a can of pumpkin to make a pumpkin roll. I only needed about 2/3 cup, and had tons left over. I searched out my recipe book and found these beauties!


Pumpkin Oat Muffins

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c old fashion oats
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/3 c apple juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp old fashion oats, as garnish
Grease or line 12 muffin cups. Combine flour, 1/2 c oats, nuts, spices, leaveners, and salt in large mixing bowl. In medium mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, honey, juice, eggs and oil. Add to flour mixture and mix until just blended. Do not overmix. It's okay to have small dry spots. Evenly divide among the muffin cups and garnish with remaining oats. Bake at 375 for 23-27 minutes. I always use whole spices when possible (and if I can afford them!) so for pumpkin pie spice you can use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground clove or allspice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Or, if you're like me, go heavy on the nutmeg.

They are so good...and did you notice they are sugar free?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giveaway Winner

I woke up this morning very excited that I would get to give away this book today. I used random.org to determine the winner. I really, truly wanted everyone to win, but I asked the Lord to allow the one He wanted to win to do so. So who is that winner?

Lisa at Little Is Much When God Is in It!

Congratulations to Lisa. Lisa, you can find my email address under my complete profile to send my shipping info, or you can leave your email address in a comment. Congrats again!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Celebrating Post #200 with Giveaway!

And to celebrate I'm going to endeavor to do something I've never done before and rarely participated in ... a giveaway. To participate, just leave a comment saying you want to participate. If you would like to make a post or tell others, I would appreciate it, but you certainly don't have to. I'm not doing this giveaway to get traffic on my blog or anything. I have 2 copies of a book and so why not? So, what shall we give away? How about this?



Like I said I have a copy already, which I'm working on. I'm not done with it yet, but thus far it is fantastic. Will I ship it overseas? Sure, why not. Fun for everyone! We'll do a random drawing November 30th. I know it's a little ways off, but then we can all get through Thanksgiving. So here goes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's in Your Purse?

As I was plugging around at different blogs, I came across this post which asked this question: "What's in your purse?" Please read the post, but here are a few excerpts for those of us short on time:

In my purse you may not find make-up, nail files, or mirrors. You may not find lotions or jewelry. There is nothing wrong with having those things, but right now in this part of my life you might find more in my purse that belongs to someone else than belongs to me!

My purse says that I am a Mommy. I may not have much room for my stuff in there, but it is still full, just like my heart!

Okay, so I'll go and get my purse ... Here goes!

  • a receipt for 4 fruit and yogurt parfaits from McDonalds...a treat today for good behavior at the doctor's office.
  • Ethan's EpiPen
  • a toy ring with a teddy bear adorning it
  • a pack of Fun Dip
  • a hospital band from Josiah's birth! wow, that even surprised me!
  • a Pixy Stix
  • tons of candy wrappers. Do they think this is the local trash can!? =)
  • natural beeswax based chap stick for me and the non-peppermint extract kind which the kids prefer
  • a spork (from the last youth outing. Thank you teenagers ... who did that anyway? Erin, did you?)
  • thank you card for people who helped our family while Josiah was hospitalized
  • matchbox cars and airplanes
  • Germ-X in a durable, easily refillable, high volume, and quite ugly squeeze bottle
Things that are not in my purse that are typical purse dwellers.
  • makeup
  • nail file
  • compact or other mirror
  • Tylenol, Motrin, etc ... not my cup of tea
  • lotion
  • hairspray
  • perfume
Things that are actually mine that are in there.
  • wallet
  • cell phone
  • iPod
  • brush ... which is used on all of us if need be
  • my super cool purple iridescent pocket knife
  • keys to the church
  • tracts
  • gum ... I say it's mine, but how many pieces of it do I share??
So what's in your purse?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kenny Baldwin sermons

My husband has uploaded those Kenny Baldwin sermons from Monday and Tuesday's church services posted. The link to our church's sermon archive is on my side bar, but just in case, here it is also. The first one is entitled Holy Heartburn! out of Luke 24 and features Bro. Kenny singing "When Answers Aren't Enough" and "Were It Not for Grace." Be sure that you have enough time to listen to the whole thing. You won't want to turn it off, and it's exactly one hour long. There were not so many people there since he preached as Ida was making landfall, but Tuesday night we had people everywhere.

Tuesday night's sermon is entitled Behold, the Dreamer Cometh out of Genesis 37. Both messages were really great. This message was sort of more for the youth, but it really spoke to me and I could relate to it on many different levels. We had an absolute full house that night! Then, Bro. Kenny sings two more songs which are also on there. I was disappointed that the teenagers didn't get recorded. *sniff*

My cyber-friend, Kimberly, asked how we fared through Ida. Well, we didn't get it nearly as bad the Atlantic coast. The footage I've seen on The Weather Channel was pretty nasty. Here it was just like a blustery rainstorm. We got about 5" of rain at our house. It knocked a lot of leaves out of the trees, but I didn't even see one limb down ... not even a dead and rotten limb. We're pretty hurricane resilient around here. I don't even worry about hurricane supplies until I see a cat 2! But it was really strange to see a hurricane in mid-November, I'll admit.

Giveaway

At Street Preacher's Wife's blog! A $25 gift certificate to keepersofthefaith.com. Check out her post for details.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Homemade Hamburger Helper

If you're like me then you're always looking for another way to make your husband's income stretch. Just as strongly as I feel that a woman's place is in the home, I feel it's also her responsibility to manage her home as effectively as possible. So here's yet another money saving tip I plan to put into practice soon.

Our Wednesday night meal is usually one of these: tacos, spaghetti, hamburger helper, or lima beans and cornbread. One box of hamburger helper is not really enough to feed our family, but 2 boxes would be way too much. Well, I'm probably going to try some of these homemade hamburger helper recipes from one of my favorite websites, ThriftyFun, and see what sort of success I have!

There are a ton of great thrifty ideas on this site!

The Kenny Baldwin messages will be done today. I'll post again when Honey-bunny says they're ready.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hurricane Ida *grumble*

So, this little hurricane Ida has it's eyes set on my front door. It's really not going to be that big of a deal. I've been through some really bad hurricanes and this one is going to be more like a very long lasting thunderstorm. Remember me posting that Bro. Baldwin was coming in to preach for a youth meeting. Well, we should be starting to get the effects from Ida not too long after his plane lands. I think that our teens are pretty much planning to come, but the youth groups we have invited may be a little gun shy to travel in possibly treacherous weather conditions.

Speaking of youth, I am glad to share that we are up to 12 teens who want a part in the Christmas skit. They all seem pretty enthusiastic still. If our youth meeting goes through, our youth group is planning on singing. They're pretty nervous about though, since we plan on having in about 250-300 youth. They're used to singing for our bunch, which runs about 100 usually.

John's Sunday school class is planning on going to see the Blue Angels this weekend. Since we live near where the Blue's are stationed, we get 2 air shows a year. Their last show of the year is in Pensacola and is this weekend. He is pretty excited as he has never been to see them. Hopefully this hurricane won't interfere. I wouldn't think it would.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - November 6, 2009

For today ... November 6, 2009

Outside my window ...
it was a cool 41 last night, but the temperature is supposed to get up to near 80 today with nice clear skies.

I am thinking ...
of how glad I am that the Lord provided a nice second-hand swing for us at a great price. The motor burned out on the swing we bought when John was a baby. I'm also thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and hoping that everything works out for us to spend time with both my and my husband's family.

I am thankful for ...
the Holy Spirit of God and how He will guide me into all truth. I'm also extremely thankful that the boys will be beginning piano lessons in January. An answer to prayer. I'm thankful for a great group of teenagers!!

From the learning rooms ...
plugging along in our studies. We are significantly behind with the baby's birth and our hospital stay, but it will eventually get done.

From the kitchen ...
chicken pot pie for tonight. Perhaps some collard greens, also. I just walked out to the garden and the lowest leaves are really getting big.

I am wearing ...
a new red, long-sleeved shirt from JCPenney's. I got a "save $10 on a purchase of $10 or more" coupon. That sounds like free stuff to me, so I hopped on the offer! It's paired up with a denim skirt, socks and tennis shoes. The hair needs a ponytail or something.

I am creating ...
I'm still working on the game day dress I mentioned for Lydia. The trouble has been finding time to sew. I did, however, make her a jumper to wear out in the deer woods.

I am going ...
perhaps nowhere. The children asked to go to the park today, but it depends on how quickly their schoolwork is completed. Yesterday we had "vanschool," so we have some catchup to do.

I am reading ...
Still working on Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. It's a time issue, as it is with the sewing. I'm also reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which has thus far been pretty good.

I am hoping (praying) ...
for Josiah to sleep through the night and for me to be patient with him until he does. I'm also praying that we had a good number of our youth turn out for putt-putt Saturday. I'm praying for God's blessings on and good, enthusiastic participation in the youth's Christmas skit.

I am hearing ...
very loud playing from Ethan and Lydia. The other two are quiet, as Josiah is sleeping and John is getting dressed.

Around the house ...
most things on the homefront are still very topsy-turvy. Since Josiah's discharge from the hospital, we have had a revival meeting nearly every night. I will be glad once things get back to normal, but I think it will not return to such until after the first of the year.

One of my favorite things ...
fellowship with Christian ladies. I was blessed to enjoy such a time yesterday at homeschool fellowship group.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...
not too much for the rest of this week. We're planning a youth outing for Saturday and church, of course, Sunday. Monday and Tuesday we are having in Bro. Kenny Baldwin to preach, which I'm pretty excited about.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Daddy has decided that the boys are big enough to learn to drive the lawn mower, which completely gave me a heart attack!


Bed head. :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quality Conservative Christian Music for Download

Not for free, but for download. Where you ask? You'll be surprised when I tell you on iTunes! When you go to the iTunes store (first you have to install iTunes, but you knew that, right?) search for Champion Baptist College. I was totally shocked to see that Champion Baptist College, under the earthly leadership of Dr. Eric Capaci, has music on iTunes. It is truly conservative, Scriptural, and uplifting. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Happened Anyway?

I'm going to try to sum up exactly what happened last week.

Tuesday 10/13 - Ethan starts running fever about 101.5. The fever passes in about 18 hours.

Wednesday 10/14 - I start running fever which peaked out at 103.5. Kicked it in 18 hours.

Thursday 10/15 - Josiah starts running fever around 101.5. I'm thinking he's going to kick it in 18 hours or so too. I called the doctor to ask about keeping little man hydrated, since he is 100% breastfed. The doctor is insisting that he be seen. He's acting just like himself and I'm thinking this is just silly. But I do trust our pediatrician. She also respects our homeopathic slant. I bring him in and she is not too worried about him, but gives him a shot of Rocephin just in case he makes a turn for the worst. He has a CBC and urine culture at a local lab. Both are normal relatively normal. The CBC shows slightly elevated platelets and a bit of blood in his urine.

Friday 10/16 - Josiah is still running fever and had been over 24 hours. I can't get it down. Not with Tylenol, not with homeopathy. He is a bit lethargic. Dr. Page spends about 5 minutes with him and calls the hospital to get him a bed. The doctor orders many blood tests and VRP. He is also put on IV drip of 10 mL per hour to keep hydrated. He is also given Rocephin every 12 hours.

Saturday 10/17 - Josiah's fever stays around 102 to 102.5. He acts very feverish and more lethargic than he was Friday. His appetite begins to wane. The fever is unresponsive to Tylenol. To get it to break they increase his Tylenol to 120 mg and administer it by suppository. The recommended oral dose for his age is 40 mg. His dosage brings his temp down to the uppers 100's, but still doesn't break it. All tests come back normal.

Sunday 10/18 - The same routine with the Tylenol, but we start to see breaks in the fever. But he still has fever spikes. That morning the tech comes in to take his vitals and he shows a normal temp. Just ten minutes later the nurse comes in to check on him and he is looking extremely limp and lethargic. In that short time his temp jumped to 103.9! This is where he really takes a bad turn. They get the temp down. But it really takes a toll on him. He is completely limp. He is constantly sleeping, not even waking up to eat. I try and he won't even open his eyes. I mean, he's more limp than a premature baby. He won't even pick up his hands. They repeat the tests. When they draw blood he doesn't even flinch. He doesn't run any more fever after this evening. He's kicked it, but it's taken every ounce of his strength. They take him off the breast and give him expressed breastmilk in order to see how much he'll take. He takes between 1/4 and 1/2 oz in 20 minutes and is exhausted. Normal for a 7 week old is 4 oz. He has lost a whole pound and his IV fluids are increased to 16 mL per hour.

Monday 10/19 - Same as the day before. They begin tests for meningitis and neurological disorders. The pediatrician consults a neurologist for his opinion about a CT scan. He is still just as limp. His eyes do not dilate nor do they respond to light. The doctor orders an NG tube through the nose in the afternoon since he won't eat. After he has just 2 feeds he begins to open his eyes a bit.

Tuesday 10/20 to Thursday 10/22 - he becomes steadily stronger, but is still very weak. Tuesday and Wednesday he is getting some of his feeds down completely by mouth, but sometimes still needs the help of the NG tube. Very early Thursday morning he manages to pull his NG tube out, which was really funny. I had grabbed his hands over and over to be sure he doesn't pull it out. I turn my back to grab a diaper and there it went. Dr. Page was ecstatic.

Friday 10/23 - Dr. Page discharges Josiah. She admits that he is still pretty limp, but thinks the best thing for him is to finish recovering at home. When we asked her what was exactly wrong, she says that she thinks he had the flu and got it from me and Ethan. She thinks that the VRP's, which test for flu, gave false negatives every time.

To everyone who prayed for my little man and me and my family, from the bottom of my heart...thank you!!! It was a very difficult time for us. Not just because of the sickness but here's why. I've heard preaching before and read before about trusting God when you can't really see what He's doing. And about trusting him when you don't really feel His guiding hand. When we lost our baby last year, it was really hard. The hardest thing I had been through. But I felt God's peace and his love. He really took me through it. He let me know that I was in His hands. He gave assurance. This past week I felt more like the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15. I was crying out and it felt like God was not saying anything. I have never felt so lonely. It was a real test, I think. As Josiah got better God began to reassure me, but while we were in the thick of it, maybe God was trying to see if I'd trust him no matter what. Hopefully that makes sense. I'm not always great at explaining stuff. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Celebrating five wonderful years with Ethan! He wanted an Alabama football cake. I think he was trying to impress his Daddy, who is the biggest Alabama fan I know.
I completely adore his cake. Our new "cake lady" really goes the extra mile. She ordered Bear Bryant style hounds tooth to go around the edges.


Yes, he's five. Where has time gone? To the left is Miss Lydia who constantly said, "I just want a little taste" with pointer finger extended toward the cake. ha!


Here is a disposable stethoscope we brought home from the hospital. The kids think it's the coolest thing ever.


Josiah is on the mend, as you can see, he's still a bit pale and weak. Here he is happy, but he has been a BEAR since he's been home. I'd imagine that after a week of super-strength Rocephin, an antibiotic, his nutrient levels are badly out of whack. When Ethan was on pharmaceuticals, he was always cranky. But since Josiah's diet is still 100% baby super food (mother's milk), he should be back in balance relatively soon. Just have to deal with lots of crying and whining in the meanwhile.

Speaking of super food, I'll mention this season's garden quickly: collards, rutabagas, carrots, onions, mustard, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Yum!

Ooh, and I have to talk about my thrift store finds, too! I don't usually have great luck when I go. I nearly always get just 1 or 2 items and can't find anything else. The Lord really blessed this trip: Lydia got 2 or 3 (I forget) long-sleeved tops for play, a school uniform style jumper and matching shirt suitable for church or play and a really cute hoodie. I found a great long sleeved collared blouse and a jean skirt that is super comfortable. It does need some repair work. It looks like the previous owner took out the hem perhaps to lengthen it. Not very smart. The hem has been in place for so long you can't even iron the folds out. Someone wasn't thinking on that one! Then I also found a black pinstripe skirt. Great churchwear. Nothing for the boys this time, unfortunately. I don't usually have much luck finding the boys stuff. They're just so rough on clothes. Grand total? 9 items for $15. Store bought that denim skirt would have easily cost double that alone.

P.S. My love emails me all of my little typos after reading this post. Guess I'm tired or something. Anyway, I thought it was funny and the errors have been corrected. :-P

Friday, October 23, 2009

Coming Home!!!!!!

Jeremy stayed with Josiah last night. Once the doctor said he'd probably be coming home today, I consented to leaving the hospital. He is much improved, but still fairly weak. His "tone," as is the medical word for it, isn't exactly where it needs to be. No more fevers since Sunday. It was so nice to actually sleep after a week at the hospital. Jeremy called about 2 hours ago and said that Dr. Page was writing his DISCHARGE PAPERS!!!! She also said that she was being a little lenient on his tone, but (1) when she makes her rounds at 7:30 it is a sleepy time for him. It's the time that we're trying to get school really started and I've been working on training him to nap at this time and (2) it's just going to take a while to get him built back up. The poor tiger lost over a whole pound (he was only 11 lbs to start with!) in just a few days, so that's just going to take a while to recover from. How would I feel if I lost 10% of my body mass in just 4 days? I'll post exactly what happened later, but for now I have to make preparations for little man and hubby-wubby's coming home!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who prayed for Josiah, me and our family during this ordeal. He still has a bit to go before he's at 100%.

On the way home I was listening to Pensacola Christian's radio station which features periodic news casts. I have been completely away from everything for a week. I get to hear about the "hate crimes" bill and a seven year old girls body found in a landfill. Welcome back to the world... *sarcasm*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Still at the Hospital

Every day has new challenges. We're still here. Josiah is not well enough to even start to think about coming home. He's very weak. He's had to have a feeding tube, but his appitite is very gradually coming back. He's much improved, but has a long way to go. Doctor thinks that it was that ugly virus Ethan and I had. God is teaching me much during these long and worrisome days.
My prayer is that we are home by Friday if God would allow Josiah to be well enough by then. I miss my other three kids something terrible. Can't wait for life to get back to normal!!!!! We're hanging on there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Updates

Just updating everyone that we're still at the hospital. Josiah's fever is much better than it was. He's seeing long periods that are fever-free. When he is running fever it's not much over 100. Today's biggest challenge is Josiah's lack of appitite. He has ZERO appitite. I'm offering it to him every two hours, but he is only nursing for 10 minutes. And in those ten minutes he is not eagerly nursing.
Never does he even come close to emptying a breast. He's very lethargic and sleeps for hours and hours. When I got here, it was easy to be encouraged. It's a bit harder now. I have my Bible here and have been getting lots of encouragement from the Psalms. We've been here since Friday...maybe tomorrow will be our day to go home. If his demeanor is not better, we probably won't, but we'll see. Please keep Josiah in your prayers. He acts like such a sick little boy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prayer Request Update

Here we sit. It's not quiet at all for a tired, fussy and sick man-baby. The pediatrician spent just a few minutes with Josiah (did I already mention we saw her at 11 today?) and was not pleased. He has been extremely fussy and just not himself. I'll be be brief because it's really hard to type on my iPod touch, but we got to the hospital at about 1 this afternoon. I'll give more details once I have a keyboard, but they're thinking maybe flu. If that's the case, they can't "treat" it because he's too little for Tamiflu, which makes me very happy. I would not want him to have it anyway. More later. I am so blessed to have you ladies praying for us!

Very Ugrent Prayer Request

We've had this fever virus at home that seems to last about 18-20 hours. No, not the flu. Just a fever. Well, Josiah has a fever now, but it's lasted more than 24 hours. I took him to the doctor yesterday. I called just to ask about keeping little man hydrated through the fever. She was very concerned. Apparently a fever in a baby less than 8 weeks is a big deal. You can still learn something new about children's sicknesses, even when you've had 4 kids! Well, she ordered blood work, which came back good. She tested his urine there at her office which showed a little blood in it. She took the rest of the urine to a lab in town to have it checked for urinary tract infection.

I am not one who is a worrier. I never ever ever call my doctor unless something is really wrong. I'm not to the point of really worrying, but I guess you could say I think it's time we got some serious prayer on this little man. The best case scenario would be that his fever broke and it was just the same virus we all had. But if not, hopefully we can find out what's been wrong with him.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thoughtfulness


You may think it's nothing. Just a six year old boy at play with his hammer and nails. But when he proudly gave this gift to Mommy I asked him to tell me about it and was very pleased with the sheer thoughtfulness.


"See Mom, it's a Bible holder! It's for when you're feeding Josiah you can still read your Bible!" It really warmed my heart. He thought of it all himself. Daddy did have to give a little advice on how to build it.


Friday we went to Turtle Point. We brought them bread, which didn't go over too well. The ducks have been fed way too much and can be sort of aggressive. I was hands-free since I had Josiah in my homemade baby carrier, but it was still a challenge, to be sure. The above picture captures everything in the pond: ducks, turtle, ducklings and, if you look closely, fish. After we left, I treated the kids to Icees.


A better picture of the fish.


The ducks are always bullying the turtles and everyone else.


They all wanted cuddle time, so Jeremy took the opportunity to snap a picture.


Josiah is such a hungry baby. Lydia was content with mother's milk for a very long time, but I thought we'd try something more solid to try to help Josiah sleep longer at night. Here's his first spoon-fed meal.


By time we got done there was plenty all over his face.