Monday, October 31, 2011


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I'm not sure I can remember the last time I posted something on the day after we did it!  But I'm determined this year that it won't take me months to post our Halloween pictures!:)  So yesterday after church and lunch and nap time we carved our pumpkins.  I thought for sure that Eli would just love pulling out and playing with the pumpkin guts, but it took him a while to warm up to the idea (he just kept staring at it, then putting the lid back on, then pointing at me to do it, etc...).  Eventually, after he watched me do it for a bit, he went for it- but in the most controlled, and unusual fashion for Eli, he pulled out one pumpkin seed at a time!  Lily,on the other hand, just went for it and did a great job gutting her pumpkin!  And she even picked out her own design.  We really tried to get her to do something more simple, but she had her heart set on the raccoon.  So she helped punch the holes for the pattern and then I cut out the design.  I have to admit that I'm a little shocked that it actually looks like a raccoon.  I believe she named it something like "Scamper Halloween Raccoon."  And once his pumpkin was gutted (with a little help) Eli loved pounding the nail/gems into his pumpkin.  For some reason the light isn't showing through the purple ones so the bat looks a little funny, but it still looks generally like a bat!  We are looking forward to lighting them up outside tonight!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take Note Dad!

Take note Dad...this is one of our LAST candles!!!!
Please, please, please make some candles so that I don't (gasp) have to buy them from the store!:)
P.S. For those that don't know, my dad makes candles...or at least he used to!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Conference 2011

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We had a great fall conference this year.  There was a good turnout of students, our friend John from Virginia was the speaker, and the Lifelines team put on a great program on evangelism that really got the students thinking.  For our family though there were a few rough moments- mostly when Eli woke up at 4:15a.m. in the morning and refused to go back to sleep (we were all crammed into a little trailer)!  With the possibility of another repeat performance by Eli the kids and I decided to head home the 2nd night after dinner and enjoy a peaceful night snuggled into our own beds.  It's just that stage of life I guess.  But before we left the kids and I enjoyed a little exploring around camp, collecting nature, and had great fun throwing pine cones and pine needles into the little steam we found (I swear that Eli could be entertained for hours given a pile of rocks or pinecones and a body of water to throw them into)!:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Traditions

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I LOVE fall!  Sunny, cool, crisp perfect!
And along with fall comes some of my favorite family traditions...
The Common Ground Fair (pounding nails, hay jumping, delicious food, and a visit to the llama farm)...
And of course apple picking and pumpkins!
Fall...with the return of my chai lattes, my Green Bay Packers (undeafed, by the way), sweatshirts, and leaf piles!  I love fall and all of the traditions that come with it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Shoes

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The were, quite literally, walking in my shoes!:)
One afternoon I was in the kitchen and Eli randomly walked in with a rain boot on each of his arms (that's him behind Lily in the first picture)!  I didn't get a good shot of that, but they proceeded to try on a variety of shoes on their feet, hands, and even head!:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

67 Days with Jude

Thank you so much for all of you who have been praying for our friends Brandon and Mandy and their sweet baby boy Jude.  God has answered those prayers, just not in the way we were hoping.  Yesterday Jude went to be with the Lord.  As they said in their blog, Brandon and Mandy were able to spend 67 beautiful days with Jude.  Now he has gone on to spend the rest of eternity with the one who gave him life.  Would you please continue to pray for Mandy and Brandon- I have only the very slightest idea of what they are experiencing, but I wouldn't wish that pain or sorrow on anyone.  Please pray that God would make His presence known to them in a strong and powerful way over the next days and weeks and months.  It is only our God that can give parents peace through a time like this and we can trust God to take care of Mandy and Brandon because he has been where they are, he has experienced the loss of his own son.  Pray that God would comfort them and give them rest.  My heart is just absolutely broken for them today and I have shed many tears today for my friends.  I find comfort for them in knowing that this is only the beginning of their journey with their son- knowing that one day they will be reunited.  I have also been finding it incredible to think this morning that maybe Jude and Joy have met each other.  Maybe they have found each other- somehow knowing that they were lifted up to the Lord in prayer by each other's families. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Close Enough...

For the last couple months I have been having my blood tested every 10-14 days. It's the same routine...I have my blood drawn, hope and pray for that "magical" number zero, and wait for my doctor to call with the pathology reports the next day. They are testing and monitoring my HCG hormone levels. Once my levels get to zero and stay there then we can be sure that there is no more abnormal tissue growing and I'll be given the "all clear." With every pathology report my numbers have gone down fairly significantly. And then the last couple of weeks things have slowed a bit. I went from 100 to 40 and then to 13. I was sure after 40 that I would hear that number zero so I admit that I was a bit disappointed when the nurse said 13. I allowed myself to be bummed about it for a bit and then I made a choice to view it with an eternal perspective...knowing that in light of eternity (and all the wonders that await me there...including my baby girl) the few extra weeks of testing is such a small thing. I know I won't get to heaven someday and complain (or even think about) having to wait a few more weeks and get poked with a needle a few more times!

But I still prayed that this next time my levels would be zero (and REALLY expected they would). I was tested on Monday and my results came back yesterday...SIX... uggghhh....really? But before I even had time to remind myself to have an eternal perspective I was told that basically this number is close enough. It's not zero, but close enough for now. So...what this means is that I now just have to have my blood tested once a month for the next 6 months. If my numbers stay down (and don't increase at all) during the next 6 months then I'm in the clear... here's to six months from now and whatever it is that God has planned for us!