Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What did I do today?


I make green bean casserole w/o canned green beans OR French's fried onions.

Therefore I made french fried onions.
A bunch.

I made 4 skillets of cornbread for cornbread stuffing.

I made two pumpkin pies and one pecan pie. (Crust from scratch!)

I hard boiled 15 eggs for deviled eggs and for the stuffing.
Oh, and this is the rosemary and sage that we buy here for the dressing.

Anyway, Brandon is brining the turkey tonight, I will be making the stuffing and baking my green beans in the afternoon. I will be baking some yeast rolls and finishing the deviled eggs. Brandon will cook the turkey in the morning, and I think we will be ready! We have 32 confirmed people.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

BabyM's Birth

I don't think I ever told the world about the birth of BabyM. I mean, everyone (at least everyone who reads this blog) knows that she was birthed, but I wanted to recount the story of "how."

Don't worry, I wont get "too" graphic. If you don't like this kind of thing, then don't keep reading. It is a wonderful memory for me!

Well, b/c of our finances and lack of decent insurance at the time, we had decided to have her at my mom's house instead of a hospital.

We found these two midwives in Midland (about 2 hours away from my mom's house going the speed limit). We did prenatal visits in their clinic, had all of our questions answered, and on the third day past my due date after walking and walking and walking all around Lubbock, my water broke at about 12:30 in the morning. The breaking was much less violent than it sounds, and so I wasn't entirely sure that it had broken and I didn't want to wake everybody up over a false alarm.

Finally, after some Internet research, at 2:00am, I woke up Brandon to call the midwives. Now, if you didn't know, my labor with Deacon was like 5 hours long, it had already been 1.5 hours and the midwives were 2 hours away. They told Brandon to time the contractions and call back when they were 5 minutes apart. Well, they never were consistently 5 minutes apart. Well, we called back at like 3am and they said they would come. They fell back asleep.

They showed up at 6:30am and BabyM had not yet showed up. About that time I got into the bath hoping to ease some of my pain. My contractions were all over the place. Some lasted 60 seconds, and my longest lasted over 3 minutes. 3 minutes can be a very long time.

Anyway, a little while later I got out of the bath and after a check, found out I was dilated to a 9 and had transitioned in the tub. I HIGHLY recommend that. Transition with BoyD was so hard that I didn't think I would make it through, but this was totally doable!

It took a long time to go from a 9 to a 10 b/c for me at least, moving made the pain worse, and the midwives were very laid back. All that to say, finally, they got me on the floor on my knees to move it along.

It worked. I dilated the rest of the way in about 10 minutes. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life, but then it was finally time to push. I pushed through 3 contractions before the midwife said "ok...stop pushing NOW" to which I said "I CAN'T" (b/c stopping pushing when you feel the urge to push is really impossible) and she said "you can and you will."

Turns out that it appeared that BabyM's umbilical cord was around her neck and one of her hands was coming out with her head. Those can both be problematic.

Well, it all turned out ok, and she was born at 9:56am. Having her at home ended up being such a blessing. After she was born, I got her on in my arms for like an hour! They did the after birth check with her there with me and it was so calm and wonderful. She didn't scream and she nursed so well right away. The midwives stayed and checked us all our for a couple of hours, and then they left us to our selves! Brandon did all of the post birth checks like temperature, pulse, respirations, mushing my mushy belly, etc.

Oh, at about 7:30am when BoyD woke up, I was in the bath tub and my brother came to get him and he hung out at their house until after lunch when he came back to my mom's house to meet the baby, see me, and take his afternoon nap.

All in all, it was beautiful! Here are some photos.

The extra people in the photos are first my mom, and then the two midwives.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Please Pray for My Friend

Final update: PRAISE GOD!! Well, right now Larry is in surgery ICU. The doctors have said that it is a miracle. He is doing so much better than he should be doing. He is recovering well. Thanks be to God. I know that He is not obligated to heal, nor does he always do it. I have seen first hand (as have all of us) when God doesn't not give us the answer that we desire. And I want to praise Him in these circumstances as well. is SO FUN to see him say 'yes' sometimes. Thank you for those of you that prayed. I don't understand it, but the "prayers of a righteous man avails much."

As of the middle of the night, the surgery went well, the half of the heart that had died was starting to "come back to life" a bit b/c it was getting blood flow. He has scoliosis and so his chest cavity was very strange so they had trouble with that, but last word is that the surgery corrected everything and they were just waiting for his blood to clot so that they could sew him up.

Thank you for praying. I thank you on behalf of the family, too.

Original Post: I am going to ask you to pray. The husband of one of my dearest friends went to the hospital today with a heart attack. Two of the three arteries leading to the heart are totally 100% blocked and the third is open by a string. He has been on blood thinners since he entered the emergency room but he must have surgery if he has any chance of survival. So...he will have a very bloody, very dangerous surgery where he might die. And then, even if he makes it through, he will have a long, very long recovery. This is what the doctors are saying, and my friend is at the hospital, waiting to know if her husband of over 30 years will be alive in the morning.

Now, I have seen many prayer requests on blogs, and I know that it is very easy to read them and think "oh, how terrible, I need to remember to pray for them"

Please stop right now. Please just offer up at least one petition for my friend, Robin, and her husband, Larry.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Harvesting Corn

We harvested corn!
We were Guatemaltecos for a morning. It was really fun.

We told a friend of ours that has a bunch of land with corn that needed to be harvested that we would love to come and help one morning if we could. She said that she would talk to her family and told us the day.

The next day she called to tell us that we couldn't come, b/c her family said that we were too "special" to do that kind of work. It is dirty, difficult, tiring work. We protested for several days in order for them to extend the invitation to come. They were very worried about it.

The reality of it is, is that it wasn't any harder than working in the garden on a hot May day. It was dirty and there were quite a few bugs (including one that looked like a crab but the size of a fire ant) and dust but it wasn't that hard to do and Brandon and I had a good time chatting and trying to keep up with the Guatemalans.

BoyD and our Spanish teacher had fun exploring! All of kids just hung out together in the grass and dirt. BabyM had fun too! She was in a sling of one of the Guatemalans for quite a while.

After we finished, Patty's grandfather had lunch prepared for us. It was amazing! The whole morning turned into a really fun time.

That was also the day that BabyM started to eat a little again! For those of you who didn't know, BabyM is very underweight and her doctor here (as well as her pedi in the states) had said that she really needs to gain some weight. We started feeding her more and I tried to nurse her more, but we were having to force feed her and she basically stopped nursing for like 3 days. We were very worried, but all is well. God is good and answers prayers and her appetite just spontaneously picked up! She is now nursing again, eating more, and she gained 10 ounces in 6 days! PRAISE GOD!

Anyway, thank you for all of you that prayed for our little princess. If we can keep this up, she may get back on the charts by the time she turns one. We are under orders from Grandpa to fatten her up with ice-cream and french fries. Here's to you, Grandpa!

FYI...for those of you who are health conscious, this was her first sampling of fries, and she only ate 2. The box of fries was for effect!

The Retreat:
Here are also a few photos from the camp that we went to on our couple's retreat. We left early b/c BabyM wasn't eating. It wasn't an american style couple's retreat. The men and women slept separately and there was mandatory 6:30am devotions. I think it would have been fun, but I was so incredibly stressed out about her not eating.
The kids with BoyD were his babysitters for the weekend. They were fantastic and really loved on him and BabyM.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas in November?

Christmas comes to Guatemala a little earlier than in the states. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so about the middle of November (the beginning for the very enthusiastic) they all start decorating. I wanted to share a little about our decorating evening.

We don't have that many decorations so it really didn't take that long, and we bought our dinky little fake tree at the Hiper Paiz, with "Wal-mart Guatemala" stamped on the box.

I need to get a Christmas tree scented candle to make me think that my tree is real. BabyM helped daddy spread apart those plastic and metal branches.

BoyD got the honor of putting the star on the top.

BabyM kept herself busy with her biter biscuit and watched the festivities.

When we explained to BoyD the diffence between stockings and a bean stalk, he wanted to experince the stockings first hand.

BoyD got to eat a candy cane off of the tree, and when I told him to "hold up your candy cane" he took me very seriously.

The almost finished product. (we have since added some shiny globes to fill in the holes so you can't see the metal "innards" of the tree.

After the kids went to bed, Brandon made us a fire and a little pallet on the upstairs balcony in the chiminea. We sat out there and enjoyed the fire and drank some decaf coffee flavored with French vanilla creamer and had a wonderful time. Here are some photos of what we experienced.

All in all, it was a wonderful, festive, evening.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Woman's Bible Study

Well...we started today. We had our first women's Bible study in our home this afternoon. We had 7 women (myself included) and I think it went wonderfully. We have decided to meet every 2 weeks and we are just reading through Ephesians.

We first had lunch at 1pm, and then by 1:35 or so we just started reading. We discussed and questioned and got through like 6 verses. At 2pm we gave prayer requests and prayed for each other.

I really enjoyed it. I hope they did as well. One woman was very quiet. I am wondering what is going on in her head, as she is a wonderful woman, a christian woman, but doesn't believe in "religion" or "church." When asked for prayer requests, she replied "God knows my requests." She is totally right, I just wonder if she enjoyed it or not. I guess that is really the Lord's business.

It was very good for me to not "teach," and just let the Bible speak for itself. I think we will have at least 2 more next time assuming that all 6 of these women come back. I hope they do. I liked their input. I like them.

Please pray for us. Pray that this will continue to grow and that we will continue to grow. Pray that I can be available and godly, and represent our Christ well. Pray that God will bring in unbelievers and that these women can find their own place to minister.

The women's names are (for those who like to pray for specific people):
Patty, Hortencia, Gladys, Lety, and Edna.

Next time we might have Margarita, Nelly, and 2 Carlas. We'll see.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

While I was out.

Ok...I went to the movies this afternoon with a girlfriend and Brandon graciously stayed home to watch the kids. I left while BabyM was still napping. When the movie was over, I called home to let Brandon know and I hear this story.

I am putting the link to a you tube video of the mess that was made, and if you are into that sort of thing, you can click on it to see it, but be warned: It is totally gross.

BabyM had apparently taken off her diaper during the nap (we do velcro cloth) and then at some point pooped. We don't know exactly what happened, but the aftermath was poop all over her. On her legs, her hands, her arms, her dress (clean bottom!), her pacifier, her mouth, her face. There was poop prints all over her bed, her bumper pad, and she had practiced standing b/c there was poop prints on the railings of the crib, as well as the ledge and the floor. She even managed to fling a chunk onto the heater that was on the floor next to her crib. Her diaper was dry and clean on the floor next to her crib.

We aren't sure how much poop she ate, but she had it all over her paci and mouth. We'll see how that turns out. Brandon got her all bathed and cleaned up. He gets the dad of the year award! I know of some dad's that shy away from even changing a contained poopy diaper, and Brandon was in the trenches. I am so proud of him. You know you love your baby when...

To end on a cleaner note: Here is a little picture of our little man as we were leaving to go to church. He looked so precious!

And how old do you think this kid looks?

Ok..please pray. I am going to try to start my women's Bible study this week if I can get it all together. Oh, and in a town not far from us, there have been 20 abandoned newborns in the last year. We are trying to get some information about the possibility of fostering one of these babies. Please pray for that as well: That the Lord would go before us and make His plan for these children very clear.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's been a while!

Well, I've typed two blogs over the last few weeks that never got published. I would save the post in order to add photos from our other computer and then by the time I got to adding them, they were out of date. Oh, well.

The first photo is one of my mom and my daughter, hand in hand. We were driving from Dallas to Lubbock on our last trip back in the states, and BabyM kept reaching up and patting and holding my mom's hand. It was so precious, and I am so glad that we got to take a picture of it.

Well, the orphanage work is going really well. I just feel like there's not enough time to do all that I want to do. I would love to go every day and work with all of the children, but b/c I have other responsibilities right now, (aka boyD and BabyM) and my babysitter (my sweet husband) has another job, I can only go once a week for two hours and can only work with 20-30 kids each week out of 113. Anyone want to come and volunteer? I will write the curriculum for you! :)

Ok...I have to comment on the election: We'll see. That is really all I have to say.

Madeline is "talking" but no words yet. She turns 10 months in 2 days. She is trying to walk. She walks for a bit holding on to one hand, but she really prefers to crawl. She is super fast. AND she has 6 teeth!

We had lunch over at some friends' house for "Dia de los Muertes." Here they serve a typical food called fiambre. It is a salad of sorts with almost every veggie and meat that they have here. It is really red b/c of all the beets that they use. The dressing is just plain vinegar. Here are a few photos:

For dessert, we got squash boiled in it's shell with some ginger and brown sugar. The taste was really similar to pumpkin pie, although the texture was different.

We had a really good time. From there we had a really interesting political discussion. They were of course hoping Obama would win. They are Latinos, and they are coming from an international perspective. It was enlightening.

We are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving here with some friends. Our guest list is at 40 so far (including us) so we will be having a pot luck. If we can find the 20 extra seats, it will really be fun!

Well, I have the opportunity to go to bed reasonably early tonight for the first time in many moons. So...good night, and it is good to be back

Wait...If you have the time, please click on the link below to see a really cute video of Deacon singing the story of the three little bears. It is too big to post here.

And then let me know what you think.