Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweet Baby Coos

I am currently in the hospital looking upon the sweet face of my second baby.
I'm in love.
She looks just like her older sister when she was born so I know she'll be just as beautiful. But most importantly is that she's here, her and I are both safe, and we are both bonding and falling more and more in love.
Baby V was born at 3:47 this am on Christmas Eve. After I struggled with the really bad make you wanna cry and scream contractions for a couple hours, after already dealing with contractions since the night before, I got an epidural while 5 cm dilated.
Thank the good Lord I did.
I was able to rest and relax letting my body become complete within only a couple hours. I was ready to push by about 3am. As with A, baby V's heartrate kept dropping, but after a I pushed with a contraction she had me move from side to side to get her heartrate back up.
By the time I hit my final push, the Doc had to do an episiotomy on myself and use the suction once on baby V. But I pushed with all I had and out came her head, then her body. It was almost surreal.
She had a BM in the womb so they had to take her right away to the warming table but I got her pretty quickly, getting to hold her skin-to-skin while the Doc stitched and cleaned me up.
7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long. Light brown hair and dark dark blue eyes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I can see why more women are having home births

I had my 40 week check-up today and since my doctor is on Christmas vacation I had to see another dr. A female dr. Don't get me wrong, I have a female family doctor that I see regularly who I actually really like and have been seeing for 8 years.
But my ob is a male doctor (Dr. B). I saw him when I was pregnant with A, continue to see him as my yearly ob, and see him now for this babe. He even delivered A so you can see why I prefer him over seeing another ob.
When I was 40 weeks with A, Dr. B was on call at the birthing center so I had to see someone else. I saw a female dr. She was rough, uncompassionate, and it kinda felt like she could care less especially when I told her that I just wasn't feeling right that day. It turned out I was actually in early labor but she dismissed it since I wasn't dilated past 1 centimeter. I cried and cried after my appointment with her.
Today was basically the same thing. Dr. B is out for Christmas so I had to see another female dr. I knew I wouldn't be dilated any more than 1 cm so I didn't plan on having her check me. I didn't need the stress or the pressure, let alone risking infection or something else for no reason.
So when the nurse gave me the thinned cotton sheet to cover myself I asked her if it was really necessary. I informed her that I knew I won't dilate until I go into labor so there was really no point. She said that since I'm 40 weeks that it's routine.
The dr. comes in, measures me and checks the babes heartbeat,meverything looks good. She confirms that I had a c-section before and am hoping for a vbac this time around, I told her yes. She then checks me to see if I'm dilated. It hurts. Like a son of a gun, mother of pearl, piece of firecracker. (And it seems like only the women hurt like this. I think she was trying to count my baby's toes!)
And, guess what. I'm not passed 1cm.
She then proceeds to tell me that they "generally don't like the moms to go pass 41 weeks" and Dr. B will probably talk to me about "a repeat c-section at next week's appointment but if things are looking good he may let me go another week with a series of stress tests that they'd like to perform blah blah blah..."
What the heck? Whatever happened to letting moms go 42 weeks before becoming concerned? Why the series of stress tests if me and my baby are looking good and fine? Why the casual talk of a repeat c-section especially if it's not necessary but for the fact that I may not go into labor when you want me to??
I don't need this stress and I don't need the pressure. I just want to carry my baby until God decides its time for her to come out. So unless I'm going to die or my baby is going to die I don't want to discuss a repeat c-section. I want to have my baby naturally and in our own time and I don't want to be forced to do something I don't want to do.

*steps off soapbox*

Friday, December 09, 2011

A new stage of life coming right up

Less than two weeks until my due date. Really? That's all? I mean, I realize that number isn't set and this babe could come earlier or cook for a while longer, it's just that it's crazy to think that I have tentatively two weeks left. Craziness.
I honestly think that I've kinda hurried this pregnancy along. Anxious for one milestone, then another, then another. And I've been so busy with A that I haven't just sat and focused on the reality that a new babe is really coming to join our family.
Life as we know it is nearing an end and a wonderful new chapter will be soon beginning. So scary. But I remember feeling this way before A arrived. Something new, different and exciting was gonna happen to our life as a couple and that was scary. Now we have a flow with the three of us and it's about to change.
Also, the reality of the birth is setting in. After an emergency c-section with A, I knew I really wanted a vbac if at all possible. It's hard to not feel disappointed in yourself for a c-section even if you did all you knew to do to get it right.
I don't know why I have the strong desire to have a vaginal birth other than that it's in my genetic makeup. But now that it's drawing near I'm becoming nervous. Nervous for all the what if's: uterine rupture and possibly dying or my baby dying, needing a repeat c-section and all the recovery that goes along with it, not being strong enough to do a vbac at all.
So insert September- Worrier Queen of all things to worry about, big or small, silly, or even non-existent.
I know this worry is legit, albeit small, and I also know there's nothing I can do about it but trust in God and go with the flow.
So with all the chaos throughout this pregnancy of life in general with a 3 year old, I took the time to stop and talk with the Babe last night. I won't say all that I discussed with her but I did tell her that I love her and that I'm ready and excited for her whenever she (and ultimately God) decides to come and greet us.
I'm sure it'll be a different but very good transition from a family of three to a family of four... Plus it'll be nice to finally reveal her name!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

My gramma is cooler than your grandma.

Welp, I failed at the November blogging but I was out of town all of thanksgiving weekend and then my gramma was here to deep clean my house. And oh my word does it look amazing!! It seriously hasn't been this clean in 5 months ever since I started becoming more and more tired from being pregnant. Did you know that a pregnant woman does the same work as a mountain climber? At least that's what I heard but I sure wouldn't doubt it.
But anyway, my gramma (who's awesome aside from cleaning my whole house) offered to come up here to help get ready for the new Babe. She L O V E S to clean and clean she did. So when we left for home after thanksgiving we brought my gramma home with us. And in five days my house was as spotless as though no one lived here! It seriously would have taken me 2 weeks to get it as clean as she did.
We also decided to rearrange the house (again) for the girls. Since we had moved A upstairs a few months ago it just hadn't worked out and she was back downstairs in her old nursery turned office. The room is tiny enough but add two desks and a toddlers bed and it's cramped!
Well, gramma made it happen. Aside from a few too heavy boxes and my desk, her room is back to a bedroom and is almost set for both girls. A's at least set up and we'll soon have the new Babe set up but we won't have to worry about it for a while.
And since she made the bedroom happen that also means she made the upstairs back into a work space/play area/hang out room. She deep cleaned every room except our bedroom (didn't have time for that one), having swept, mopped, shined, scrubbed, wiped, vacuumed, and dusted. I think we're ready!
I had been telling Bryan that I really needed two of me. Well, she was it! She's that energetic, selfless, second set of hands that I desperately needed. so, even though I know she won't See this:
Thank you Gramma!! You are such a blessing to me and my little family!!

Someday I hope to be closer to all of them. I miss them so I think that would just be glorious.

Oh, and this is how cute and in love my grandparents are.. When we met my grampa half way, he was outside of the car (in the rain) anxiously awaiting her. He had a huge grin on his face and flowers in the car. Hehe. He even called 2-3 times a day while she was here just to say hi! Oh my word. Too sweet.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A much needed break

With my hormones all over the place, my sweet three year old can be much at times.  Sometimes she's a little booger (just like any other three year old) but other times she really doesn't mean anything and I still stress out.  It can be all the little Why? questions or wanting me to play with her all day long.  Little things that she means nothing by but I still get stressed.
Because I'm a reproducing bag of raging hormones.
Before I got pregnant with Babe #2 I could keep the house clean, get my errands done, make supper, juggle 14 balls and ride a unicycle, all while getting to play with A and get my time in just to spend with her.  Now, I can barely pick things up off the floor without getting tired.
And sometimes I swear there is three of her.  I mean really, how can my tiny little girl make such a mess in such a massive amount of time?? There's gotta be three.
And where there really are three kiddos running around I'll be reminiscing of the days when there was only one to pick up after.  Ha!  Isn't that the way it always is?
Well, last week A and I hung out with my bro-in-law's wife, Alyssa.  A just loves her and wanted to go home with her for the night.  Alyssa said that this week she would be happy to take A for a night.
So last night Brent and Alyssa came and got her for the evening.  I'm sure she had a grand ol' time even though I haven't checked.  (Oops.)  Then this morning they dropped her off at Bryan's parents for the day. We have a youth event to attend tonight and needed someone to watch her so we figured: What's better than a grandparent to take her for the evening?  A grandparent to take her for the entire day!
Bryan and I slept in this morning (without being woken up by a 3 year old at 5 in the morning), went out to eat for a late breakfast (without a 3 year old dancing around the table instead of eating her pancakes), then I took a nap and he played the wii (no barbies involved).
Re. Lax. Ing.
I do love these little things that she does and I'll be happy to have her back but it's nice to have a day that we're just US so we can appreciate being US with a sweet little 3 year old.

...That is until she says something sassy.  But it's all made up for with her sweet hugs and kisses.  And when she does the Robot.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What to blog.. what to blog...

I can't believe how ready for this baby I am at only (and just about) 35 weeks.  I know once I hit 36 weeks I will be ready at any point to have this baby but until then I'm just anxiously awaiting that week.
However, with that being said, I know that I could very well go into the new year still pregnant.  I'm okay with that too, even if I am cranky and uncomfortable.  I want to go into labor naturally as I did with A so I will wait for this baby to be ready.  Whenever that may be.

On another note...

May I just say that the 3's are the hardest age yet?  Because they sure are.  We have found that A is at that age where she wants to do everything for herself even if she can't, or struggles with it, or gets frustrated because she's having trouble accomplishing it.  It's hard to just back off because we know we can just do it faster.  But then it's not even that we want to do it faster, it's the attitude she'll give us for asking if she needs help because she's already frustrated.
The attitude, oh the attitude!
She gets it honest, that's for sure, from the both of us even!, but the attitude is sometimes by far too much.  Every now and again all we can do is laugh because it's cute or funny.  But that's only when we know she's not giving us the attitude and is just doing it to be cute.  But that one's rare.
Anyway, it's hard but I can see why God made it so we love them so much because it keeps us keepin' on.

Well, I can't even think tonight.  We have an overtired girl who won't give in and go to sleep, a worn out and sore daddy from sleeping in a tent with our kiddo last night, and a pregnant momma who's hormones are raging.  I think it's best we all just call it a night.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catch up from yesterday

Yeah, so I'm not doing so well at keeping up with this everyday but I'm trying and I've certainly blogged more than I have in a long while. Probably last November!

Well anyway. Yesterday was a good day albeit busy. The Pastor and his wife have started a couples Bible study at church and Bryan and I are trying to attend it. Yesterday was the second Sunday of the study. We really like it so far but now I just have to pin my husband down to do the homework. (P.S. thank you Kathy for doing the nursery while that goes on!)
Then last night, we had a leadership meeting. Elected and non, so Bryan and I went. He for the music ministry and myself for the nursery. Since getting pregnant back in March, I really haven't don't anything with the nursery since I (with the help of JoAnna {thank you again}) finished the nursing mother's room. But I did get to talk about any plans I have for the nursery in the future. Plans that will have to wait until Spring but I'm sure it's all in God's good timing.

Today, A and I were suppose to go to the play group that meets every Monday but A decided she didn't want to go AFTER I skipped a (needed) shower and got dressed so I could get us out the door. The booger. And of course she told me around 3 in the afternoon that she wanted to go. Too late, little sweetheart.
I got a little cleaning done but wore myself out quite quickly so was done cleaning for the rest of the day by 11. Awesome. But I did manage to make lasagna soup for supper. Bryan loved it. I thought it wasn't too bad.
I also felt that A has been watching entirely too much tv lately so I said that today was a no tv day. It worked fairly well but by 4, when I started to make supper, she was making me nuts. She wasn't being naughty by any means, it was the Why? questions and the Look At Me's and the let-me-be-all-up-in-your-face-with-no-space neediness. I don't mind it when it's not all day but when it is, even during my nap, then I do mind and just need some quiet time. So I put on Beauty and the Beast.
Thank you Belle for entertaining my kiddo long enough for me to make this soup!
So to end the night, I escaped to the movies for some much needed adult quiet time and watched The Help with Miss Jolene. It was a very good movie and had you rooting for those sweet ladies! I really enjoyed it. So go see it if you haven't. Or rent it when it comes out to DVD. But one way or another it needs to be on your Need To Watch list.

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our day o'fun

It's a good thing that I've already failed once at blogging through out November because last night we lost our internet connection and there was no blogging for me.  As it turned out, a lot of people had lost their connection so it wasn't just us, but still, it was a bummer.

So anyway, today I took my best friend's eldest daughter M out for her birthday.  I am 11 days late with her gift but it was the first day I could do it.  However, I don't think she minded once I picked her up to get started on her birthday day o'fun.
Since this sweet girl is a fun mix of races, she has the beautiful, thick, curly, blackish brownish hair.  It's beautiful curly and it's beautiful straight.  But I figured that since she does like to do it straight now and again I would take her to a salon to have them do it for her.
Seeing as she's only 11, she's just starting on doing her hair and it's not easy for her to straighten her hair to perfection.  I'm sure I wouldn't be able to either.  Heck, I have a hard time not missing pieces on my fine wavy hair.  M at least has an excuse at the thickness and tight curls.
First we went out to eat.  I let her choose the place but I was afraid we'd be eating appetizers at one, entrees at another, and dessert at a third since she couldn't seem to decide.  She finally did and Red Lobster we went.  It was good but I was sad we were too full for dessert.
She brought up the feathers in girls hair so I asked if she wanted to get that done for her own.  She wasn't sure since it is normally curly but I told her that I thought it would look beautiful in her hair no matter how she wore it.
So off we went to the salon.
I had the lady wash, dry, straighten, and trim M's hair.  It took her an hour and a half to get it all done.  At one point when the lady was 3/4 of the way done, with a smirk on my face I told M that she looked a little to grown up and suggested the lady rewash her hair and just leave it curly. M only looked at me like I was crazy then said, "uh.. no." with a smile on hers.
I asked M if she still wanted the feathers so she took a look at them.  There was only two long ones, one was brown with an orange and the other was two red ones.  I really liked the red ones but M wasn't convinced.  The lady was nice and sent us over to the other salon knowing they'd have more of a selection.
So off we went to the other salon.
M and my favorite hairdresser was there (whoop) and she pulled out the feathers as soon as we let her know that's what we were there for.  Immediately I saw a purple one and I knew that's what M would want.  M obviously saw the purple one too.  At the first salon she could not make up her mind but here it was "Purple, yes, please and thank you".
She loved it.  Got it in her hair and she looks rockin.
Such a pretty and sweet girl.  I just love her but her parents are in trouble.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A new day

I did not blog yesterday. Yesterday was a hard day. And by the end of it, I just wanted to go to bed.
I woke up not feeling like being a mom for the day. That's not a good start. But it was fine all the way up to my doctor's appointment and on my way home.

The appointment went good although quick. 10 minutes total. I asked about Thanksgiving and if I was able to go four hours away. He asked if there was a hospital nearby (there is, albeit small and not where I'd want to have my kid just in case).
Then figured out I'd have my next appointment right on thanksgiving if we were to go the exact two weeks. I have to have the strep B test done so he said he'd check my dilation. If I'm only 1cm then I can go but not if I'm like 4cm. Makes sense. So we'll just have to wait and see.
I trust my doc so I'll do as he says.
P.S. I'm 34+ weeks and everything is looking good. :)

After I got done with my appointment, I called my mom to fill her in. Got home and came inside.
My kiddo has been so dramatic lately and I can't figure out why. Where did this sassiness come from? The eye rolling, getting so frustrated when we can't understand her right away, saying "forget it". Where did she learn Forget It?? And lately, if she's talking to one parent and the other one answers she'll respond with a "I taking to mom." (if I was the one she was talking to) with sass and attitude in her voice.
She responds pretty quick if we say we're going to put her in time-out. Thank the good Lord for that. She really is a good, sweet, funny kid the majority of the time. But when she's sassy, my goodness, she's all sass.
But yesterday I was at my breaking point. Pregnant, tired, my house is a mess, and we're home more often than we should be, so I decided to take her to the mall to play for a bit. They had to close the play area for 30 minutes to clean it so I said we could stay longer so she could play longer than 20 minutes. We did, and it was fine until I said it was time to go. She gave me attitude about leaving, then about her shoes, then her coat. I was done. And stressed so I was getting lots of hot flashes and Braxton Hicks.
I had to carry her out while she was crying and throwing a fit. I stopped and had a talk with her and it seemed to work. We continued walking out of the mall when she spotted a lone mall cart. She wanted to ride in it but it was time to go. Again with the not listening. I had to spank her and carry her again.
I was so frustrated and angry that she was doing this to me so I asked her why she was being mean. She laughed and said, "'Cause I'm being mean". That broke my heart. She had never acted like that before. She continued to laugh and act like it was just a game as I told her that this wasn't funny and when we got home she'd be getting a time-out.
We got in the car and I broke down crying to Bryan on the phone. I was so angry and so hurt that she had acted the way she did. And Bryan was very upet with her now as well. We got home, she got a time-out, a talking from daddy, then her and I had a talk.
She was better the rest of the day, still a 3 year old, but nothing like she was.

Here's hoping today goes better. All I can do is keep my attitude happy and loving and then hope it rubs off on her.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

*Warning* Gross Topic Ahead

I am trying everything to get my 3 year old to poop in the potty.  I don't think she likes to do it so I think she tends to hold it in, then it hurts, so she holds it in more.  Vicious cycle.  Then it turns into a huge battle between her and her bowels, ending in her pooping in her underwear.
Is this all too much?  I'm sorry, I've just got to fill you in so if you have advice then you can be well informed.
So anyway, to try to encourage her to poop in the potty I promised her a Ken doll.  She has a lot of Barbies but no Ken and after watching Toy Story she felt she needed a Ken doll as well.  Can't blame her, what's a bunch of Barbies without a Ken to go with them?
She would have a small movement here and there and would do it then and again in the potty but the big ones just seemed to end up being a big mess in her undies.  Even after she would mess her undies she would know what she did was wrong and would say she's sorry.
We'd have a talk about how it was gross to poo in her undies and that it was gross for momma to have to clean it out.  That she was a big girl now and big girls don't poo in their big girl undies.  She seemed to get it but then the next time it would happen again and we'd have another talk.  It was just never ending.
So I promised her a Ken doll for pooping in the big potty and today she finally did!  A big poo and we had a celebration.  A mini one in the bathroom that contained whooping and hollering but a celebration nonetheless.
I took her to Target and showed her two of the only three Kens that were available.  One was a surfer dude, so that was out cause her other Barbies don't have swimsuits so no need to go there.  And the other two were in tuxes.  One was a groom and the other one was a Charm School prep in a nice suit.  She chose the Charm school.  Sounds good.
Now, let's hope that she'll continue pooping in the potty.  Does anyone have any advice on how to keep it up?  Any advice is welcome because I'm tired of shaking poo out of teeny tiny undies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Wordless evening

I really don't have anything to say today. So I will just say that I am very thankful for my loving husband, sweet sweet girl, and the precious babe growing inside of me.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Baby hiccups!!

They are the funniest feeling things in utero. At first it freaked me out because I didn't know what they were. I was worried it was a slowed heartbeat or something else that was wrong so I googled it. Hiccups!
I also love feeling her squirm and stretch, kick, and move her face. Even as low as her face is, it's still so cool. As hard as being pregnant can be (especially now that I have a three year old who's rough and rowdy) it is such a wonderful experience.
However, I'm exhausted! Someone want to come over and clean my house?

Some of the things I'm feeling (not to complain but to document so I can look back on it):
.my middle to lower back aches. Sometimes starts midday but generally starts in the late evening.
.I get chest pains around bedtime that'll shoot through my back into knots that are next to my shoulder blades.
.I'm exhausted by bedtime but then can't fall asleep right away and will usually toss and turn for half an hour or so until I get up, walk around, and stretch.
.my feet fall asleep if I sit on the floor too long.
.very low pressure.

There was a Monday play group this morning. I'm trying to do more with A with other kids. But I've heard that your child will respond to new situations with people her age the same way you respond to new situations with people your own age. Today I realized it's true. Its hard going into a new situation where all the adults seem to know each other and you're the newbie.
A reacted the same way with the other kids. And it's funny how no one really talked to me until we were all packing up to leave. But they were all very nice. I think it's just that they all new each other and the whole comfort thing. It's all good. We'll go back.

I like the daylight savings change. Before we couldn't get A to go to bed until 9:30. Tonight, she was out by 8:30. Yes, please and thank you, and Good Night.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

My mom's here! and Babe updates

Last weekend my mom, middle sister, and grandma went three hours south to visit my baby sister, the Courtster.  I was jealous because I couldn't go.  By the time I got there it would have been a 6 hour car ride for me.  Too long of a drive for this pregnant momma. So they went without me.  Boo.  But yay for them.  I know they were really missing the Courtster and vis versa but I was sad that I couldn't have gone too.
So since I couldn't go and I hadn't seen my mom since the beginning of October, she so graciously came up this weekend to see me!  I love her.  It's hard on her to drive the four hours so I know she missed us too.
It's so nice having her around.  She's fun and funny and I just love her so!
Plus, as a bonus, she's been cleaning a bit for me too!  With me being so tired I just haven't had the energy.  And what little energy I do have, my 3 year old has drained from me with all her playing and sassiness.
Oh! And she's been taking over the playing business while being here.  So nice to have a break from Barbies and dolls. I'm not a girly girl but I do try for my kiddo that is. However, my mom is the girly girl and that's where my babe gets it from.  Diamonds, pearls, lace gloves and pouffy dresses. Things that sparkle and are fancy.  That's my mom and my girl.
I wonder what this next babe will be like.  I feel she'll be more like the side of me that's easy going and quiet.  A has a lot of qualities that are like me so I wonder if Baby will be more like Bryan.  The book worm who's smart and a thinker.  Yikes! To have two of those in the house... oh my.  What a brain fest that'll be!
So speaking of the Babe, I am 33 weeks last Thursday.  I've been told multiple times that I may not make it to December.  I've also been told a couple times now that they think she's dropped.  I think she has too.  Not significantly but enough where I can feel she's down lower.  Especially when she gets the hiccups.  That was interesting.
But this Thursday I have another doctor appointment with my OB and I'll ask him what he thinks.  I will also have to ask about Thanksgiving and if I'll be able to travel.
Thanksgiving day I'll be 36 weeks and that weekend is my family's Thanksgiving dinner.  In the middle of nowhere.  Well, there's hospitals but not very good ones.  I wouldn't want to be stuck out there to deliver my Babe while trying to do a vbac.  I just don't feel that's safe.
So be praying for us if you think about it.  About the vbac (which I really want to do but am terrified of the risks), traveling, comfort with how much longer I'm suppose to go, missing my family.  I'm getting ready for this Babe to come.  Outwardly and inwardly.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Belle Notte... infused with lots of laughter

Tonight we had our Sweetheart Dinner at church.  Bryan and I hadn't planned on going except that we were asked to sing so we figured we should probably actually go to it as well.  Uh.. duh.
It was really sweet.  They had a couple that had been married for 65 years go up front and tell some ways of how they made it.  It was so cute to hear the words of wisdom they had, just how sweet they are on each other.
We also had a excellent meal accompanied by a string band that played wonderfully.  At one point they had us all get up and dance with our spouse. I think it was the first time Bryan and I had really danced since our wedding.  Maybe not, but it's the last time I actually remember.
However, I think my favorite part of the evening was sitting next to our best friends, Keith and Emily.  It's not a wonder why we all get along so well.  Emily is so much so Bryan's twin and Keith and I are so much alike which is why Emily and I get along so well as do the men.  We all get along swimmingly.
I love it.
I hadn't laughed so much in too long.  The comments that were made, the booty shaking that ensued, oh my goodness it was too much.  In fact, if there are any volunteers to babysit our kids once a week only to be paid in hugs and kisses (and maybe from the kids too) we will gladly accept applications.  Or just come and get them... well, as long as we know you :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Play Group Etiquette

I'm totally lame and didn't blog yesterday. Three days into November and I blew it! I'm ashamed. Ok, not really. I mean, I'm building a baby here! And as one lady put it, I'm doing the work of a mountain climber. And boy do I feel like it. I get tired getting dressed anymore! Hehe
Last night I went to my sister-in-law-in-law's (did you follow that ;) Norwex party. I've only ever heard great things about it but hadn't yet experienced it for myself. Pretty rockin' stuff but I didn't buy anything. I do plan on it, but with Christmas coming, I have to manage our money wisely.
At the beginning of the year I had planned on putting $30 from each paycheck into our savings to have for Christmas shopping. But then our missions trip to Ecuador happened, and that drained us. After that, I just couldn't get caught back up. Things kept coming up and more money went out. However, we're not hurting, not in the slightest. God has provided each of our needs. As He will continue.
First, new glasses for Bryan, new tires for the car, then Christmas, then the baby. It's all very good and exciting, just one thing at a time.

Today we were able to go to a sensory playgroup that only happens on the first Friday of every month. Since I had learned about it we managed to be gone or busy every time. But we weren't today, so I figured we better take advantage of it. It was very busy and crazy. Lots of kids, and each one with a parent, in a fairly small room. It was fun, though and I think A enjoyed it as well.
She was out of her element and stuck closely to me. I wasn't too concerned because she did get into the activities, just not so much the kids. However, there was one little girl that was around A's age who she interacted with a bit with the blocks.
The only problem that her and I have is when other little kids try to come over and take the things she's playing with. I don't want to offend another mother by asking her child to stop or saying "no,no". But at the same time I don't want to baby my child by constantly protecting her, so I do try to stay out of it a bit and tell her what she needs to do to handle the situation. It's slowly coming along, mostly because she doesn't interact with other children on a daily basis. Gotta love all the learning she and I must do as a parent and a child.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I promise. You did not ruin Christmas.

I was super excited for Christmas for the fact that I was going to get something awesome for Bryan. Don't get me wrong, this is not my whole or only reason to get excited for Christmas but if you know my husband then you know it is seriously hard to find something seriously awesome for him.
I love Christmas: celebrating Christ's birth, fun and time with family and friends, giving gifts, Christmas music, and cookies, snow, and hot cocoa under a warm blanket. Not to mention our baby #2 will be here around then. excIting! But when it comes to finding a rockin' gift for my sweet hubby who doesn't ask for much but what he does ask for costs a very pretty penny, well, it's tough.
But with my gifts he's very sweet and tries very hard to buy me something that I'll really like. It usually is not cheap and he gives it a lot of thought.
So this year, I had it. I knew what to get him. I was going to buy him a brand new flatscreen HD TV.
We've only had one TV our entire marriage. We bought it brand new right after we got married and it is now pushing 8 years old. It's had a few glitches here and there within the last 6 months. At one point we thought it was a goner but it's held on. So we've had it in our minds to get a new TV soon anyway. Here was just the perfect opportunity.
Well, a couple of weeks ago Bryan had his five year anniversary at his job (totally awesome babe!). And with his review he got a very nice gift card to one of the Geek stores (that I really appreciate but it's totally not my thing) to buy whatever he wanted. He wasn't quite sure what to get so I suggested some new things for his computer but he didn't need anything.
Then, THEN, he came excitedly to me one day saying that {this Geek store} sold flatscreen TV's. I knew that this is what he wanted and there really wasGn't anything else he would want to get. So I broke the news to him. I told him that that is what I was planning on getting him for Christmas. He said he felt like a heel but I told him not to feel that way because it was a difference of paying full price for a new TV OR paying the $80 of what the gift card wouldn't.
I'll take the TV for $80, please, Alex.
So, Bryan ordered the new TV, it showed up on Halloween, and he set it up yesterday. Our house is a disaster but it's nice (and fun!) watching television shows and movies in HD on such a wide screen. Ok, it's awesome.
However, now I'm back to square one of what to get Bryan. Any ideas of something awesome, let me know, please, because I am at a loss.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Here we go!...

November is National Blog Month and as of late, I am terrible at blogging. For one, I don't have my own computer and two, I am a mom of a three year old and 8+ months pregnant with babe #2. So I am tired and find myself with no time. But I'm going to try my darndest.

Last night being Halloween we took A out with our friends to go Trunk-or-Treating at a local church. She had so much fun going from trunk to trunk that she would skip. Her and her friend C would giggle with excitement and squeal.
A made it about 2/3 the way through the trunk line before tearing into a bag of m&m's. Which isn't bad considering all the candy she was getting and we kept asking her to wait.

Did I mention what A was for Halloween? Belle from Beauty and the Beast. No one would've seen that coming at all since she has been wearing that costume nearly everyday since her birthday mid-September.

After ToT we stopped at our friends parents house. More candy in the bag and by this time A had eaten all three of her allotted pieces. There was no holding her back.
Then to our friend's bosses house. She's such a nice lady, I can see why Emily likes her so much. A wanted to go inside since we had at her parents house, especially since the Boss Lady had a dog.
We stuck around the neighborhood for a bit going door to door. At first A tried going into people's houses (I think she thought that's just what we did). Then after a few houses she had a We Are The Champion going on. She would yell "I'm coming!!" as she ran after her three friends. Then she would whoop and holler after she received her candy, holding it high above her head like she had just won Halloween. It was thee funniest thing ever. Made my entire week.
After about 10 houses we decided it was getting cold and late so we headed over to another friends house as our last stop. They had candy just for our kiddos because they're getting ready to move this week and I'm sure they didn't want to deal with a bunch of trick-or-treaters. More candy for us! Or at least our kiddos.
And before we left Miss Linda made me quote Juno because that's what I looked like. Totally not on purpose. All I was missing was a skirt to go over my jeans and a jug of Sunny D.
Once we got home A crashed. Too much excitement and sugar I suppose. And, well, she was running around like a crazed woman at a 70% off shoe sale.
I would have no idea what that's like. (ahem)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have nearly missed October completely!

My goodness, I'm failing at blogging as of late.  You must give me a break seeing as how I don't have a computer of my own and the TWO that we have my husband uses for his at home job.  I do use the ipad occasionally but that's not easy to write a whole blog on.  So again, please forgive me.  All two of you that read this :)
So I last left off with the dreaded glucose test.  Turned out that they messed the test up so they asked me to go back in to redo it.  My doctor even called me herself to apologize for the mess up, said they would only do the one hour (no charge), and sent me a $10 gift card to Casey's.  Fair enough.
So two tuesdays ago, I went in to get the glucose liquid, wednesday morning I went back in and got my blood drawn, and then thursday I had my final baby check-up with my family doctor.  It was crazy, especially since my doc is 20 minutes away in another town.  It's all good.  My blood test came back good.
The first time they checked my blood they did find that my hemoglobin was low so I've been trying to be really good and eat salads everyday.  It doesn't always happen but I'm trying.  And if I can't get a salad in then I try to drink a naked juice.  I'll get the Green Machine which has what I really need in it.  I'll take that over carrots ;)
As of last thursday I am 31 weeks.  I can't believe I only have a little less than 9 weeks to go.  Kind of insane to me.  I'm excited but definitely nervous.  If one kid takes so much attention, then how will I do with two?? I may as well not sleep :)
My baby appointments will now be every 2 weeks starting this thursday.  First with my history appointment and then onto seeing my OB.  I really like my OB.  He's such a nice guy.  I was even lucky enough to have him deliver A back in 2008.
I'm starting to have Braxton Hicks.  I've been having hot flashes throughout the end of my second trimester and with the third.  And now they've slowly turned into BH.  It's exciting but nerve racking at the same time.  It's getting close! Well, closer   :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Third Trimester: Comin' right up!

I am 27 weeks today!  Woot! I had a dr.'s appointment today and with it was my glucose test.  Fun stuff right there.  It just tasted like overly sweetened flat sprite.  Not terrible but nothing to do a dance over either.
When I was pregnant with A, I only had to wait an hour to do blood work but this time it was 2 hours!  I wanted to fall asleep in the waiting room.  I was tired from fasting and the sugary drink.  I just hope I pass it so I don't have to do the three hour one.
My doc checked baby out.  She's doing really well.  She's diagonal which doesn't surprise me with where she's kicking and hitting. Heartbeat sounded great and we're both right on track.  And! I've only gained 8 pounds with this pregnancy.  I'll take it :)
With the last days of the summer heat I was noticing some swelling in my hands so I took off my wedding ring and bought a simple band.  I miss my ring though so maybe with the cooler weather I'll be able to put it back on.

A is potty trained! Only one accident last Tuesday because she got to playing and didn't pay attention but other than that she goes in the potty like a champ! Even when we're at a store she'll let me know and we'll run to the bathroom.  She's even using the big potty on occasion instead of her training potty.  Such a big girl and I'm proud of her.

Tuesday and Wednesday were extremely stressful but I was able to get a massage before youth group Wednesday night.  I want to say it helped with the stress but it sure didn't.  Believe it or not, I felt less stressed after having to sit in the waiting room for two hours at the doc's this morning!  I think it was just being able to not have anyone need anything from me and the quiet time.

Poor A is coming off of a cold and Bryan has gained it.  I'm hoping I don't get whatever it is that they have.  Bryan has fishing this weekend with his dad and brother and I have an overnighter girls youth event.  I don't really have time to be sick.  The stuffy nose and getting kicked in the bladder is bad enough.  I think pregnant women should be immuned to getting sick just because we have so much other stuff to deal with.  Yes.  That's how I think it should be.

Anyway, off to bed.  I really need a good night's rest.  We'll see if it happens.

Friday, September 16, 2011

To my Big Girl on her Third Birthday

My sweet girl,
Today you are three.  Three! How have the last three years gone so quickly?

Six months ago you started your terrible two's.  Although we still see them now and again they have seemed to have gone.  Thank the good Lord :)

You have thee greatest laugh.  Even your fake laugh is funny.  But what gets me is your mischievous laugh.  I think you might have gotten that from me.
And you love to be tickled.  Especially on your side or by your collar bone. You and daddy will get into tickle fights and the only way he'll stop is if you say the magic word: I love you Daddy!!

You also have this cute new little phrase that, although is a little naughty since you're not doing what you're told, is a little too funny.  You like to respond with a "Nopey nopey nope." Ha! My girl.
And! when you sneeze I'll say Bless you and daddy will say Gesundheit but you'll say to daddy, "No. Bless you."  Hehe

You're so tall! Whenever people would find out your birthday was only days away they would guess you were turning four or five.  Nope, my big three year old.  Your tall, thin, and have no bum.  Makes for dressing you interesting.

I love the way you talk.  It's not always clear but it's so cute.
You ask Why? for everything.  It would drive me crazy at times but I think I've finally figured out how to answer you putting a stop to the Why? questions.  Just keep answering you ridiculously until you stop.

I know you're my daughter because sometimes things are so dramatic for you. You can run hot and cold in the same breath.  It's crazy.  How your Gramma handled me I will never know... Oh wait, your Great Grandpa!
You are such a good girl.  You're sweet and polite, you use your manners and you share... most of the time.  But you're getting better every day.
You are growing up into such a beautiful little girl.  Not only physically with your curly hair, big gray eyes, and pouty lips (which I'm totally jealous of, btw) but inside, your heart is so lovely.  You're so caring, making sure your friends have tissues, asking if people are okay if they get hurt, saying "Bless you" if someone sneezes.  I love it.  Please keep your heart of gold.  Beauty fades, my little love, but your heart of gold is what will last forever, making and leaving impressions on people their entire lives.  

The other day you were playing with one of your friends, Isaac.  As you were playing I noticed that you would evoke the Damsel in Distress by reaching out your hand and saying "Help, help" and Isaac would quickly come to your rescue.  Even though you were just sitting on the third step up in the church or on the stairs at the playground and were clearly in no danger or harms way.
Right now your best friend is usually Jamie.  He's four years older than you but he'll gladly play with you since he's known you all your life.  He's such a good boy.  A couple of weeks ago I asked you what you wanted to be for Halloween.  You said you wanted to be a princess and Jamie a King.  When I asked if that's what you said you responded with a "Yes, because I love him." And you sure do!  You get so excited whenever you know he may be around.
You also really enjoy Emily.  She always has to come out of her shell every time you see her but she usually and eventually warms up to you and you have a good time.  You sure don't give up on her.

Your favorite new toy is Barbie.  I tried to put it off as long as possible but there was no keeping you away from it (thank you Gramma Jager).  So, for your birthday your daddy and I got you the pink Barbie car and a Pet Vet Barbie.  There are so many new ones out there that are too scandalous with the way they're dressed.  I don't want you to grow up thinking you have to wear clothes like Barbie to be beautiful.  It's such a misinterpretation of beauty and I don't want you to have that thinking.  So, when I went out to buy you a Barbie, I searched for one that was still beautiful but was also smart looking and had some decent clothes on.  The only other Barbies you had before this one was Disney Barbies- Belle and Snow White.  Both with their lovely flowy dresses from the movies. Grandma and Grandpa Forbes added to your collection and got you Cinderella.  You love that doll especially since she's a birthday addition and sings Happy Birthday to you when you press the bow on her chest.  However, Belle is still your favorite of all time.  (She was mine too ;)
Your favorite color is purple then pink.  You'll choose purple whatever over almost anything else.  For your party I took you to the store to buy a princess dress.  I held up a Belle dress and a purple Tangled dress.  You almost chose Tangled until you realized I held Belle's dress in the other hand.
Your favorite breakfast is cereal.  Doesn't matter what kind.  Just cereal.  You can thank me for that.  It's mine too.
At night you still like your dinosaur books.  I think they're so familiar to you that nothing else seems to quite match.  However, I will sneak in the book You Are Special by Max Lucado.  Such a sweet book and I want you to know that you are loved just the way you are by not only me and your daddy but your Creator who made you just as He wanted you.

You're doing pretty good with the idea of a new baby on the way.  You don't seem to quite get it as by you jumping on me or playing too rough but every now and again you'll touch my belly and say "Oh! She kicked me!" even when she didn't.  But every time I do try to get you to feel her kicking, you won't.  Cause you're a turkey.  We still can't come up with a name but you tell us we should call her "Princess." Remember that for when you two are fighting in the years to come.

Last Saturday, Daddy wanted to take you out to buy big girl panties to help you with potty training.  After seeing your friend Darci that Thursday just potty trained, Daddy thought you needed to be too.  So out you two went to Target and bought a pack of Dora panties and a pack of Princess Panties.  We waited until Monday to start since Sunday was so busy but it seemed to be the perfect day.  I didn't think you were gonna do it and threatened to put you back into diapers to try the panties at a later time but once I did that you were off to the bathroom to sit on the potty.  Lo and behold, you peed.  I whooped and hollered and yelled and hugged.  You had the biggest smile on your face.  I tell ya, I was (and am) so proud of you.  You did it again before nap time, earning your second star and m&m but after nap time it went kinda down hill.  I think I got you to go in the potty one more time before bed but we went ahead and put you in a diaper for the night.
You woke up dry the next morning and had a few accidents. in your panties but you quickly figured it out by the afternoon and you were going on the potty like a champ.  The only stopper to it all was when you had a #2.  You refused the potty and instead went in your underwear.  Daddy cleaned you up and had a talk with you about it so that later that night when you had to #2 again.  I saw you on the potty with that look of concentration so I left you alone.  When you were done I heard the big potty shut and flush so I went in to check on you.  You had dumped your potty and took care of it all yourself. I was so stinkin' proud!!  You got another star and, this time, TWO m&ms!
On Wednesday you were going on your own.  Running to the bathroom when you needed to.  Only once, right before bed, did you pee a little in your undies but you finished in the potty!  And since you had earned 5 star stickers for going pee I was going to take you to the store to buy a new Barbie dress.  However, you managed to earn another 5 bef ore we went so you got TWO Barbie dresses.  Only 4 more stickers on the poop side and you get a new Barbie.
So I think I can officially say that a day before your third birthday you were potty trained.  I couldn't be more proud of you!

My sweet girl, I love you so much.  I think you are truly awesome, funny, clever, smart, beautiful inside and out.  I love you cute... even when you make me smell your stinky feet and won't take a bath when I ask you to.  Because you're still awesome.
Your momma

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Last day of being 26

Tomorrow morning, at 6 am, I will be 27.  Oh my.  Where are my twenties going?? And how does time go so much faster each year?  The older you get, the years must feel like weeks.
My mom is here for the weekend along with my middle sister to celebrate my birthday.  Having them here for the Labor Day weekend has been enjoyable.  And an extra day is especially nice.  Lounging and crafting and just hanging out.  I'll take it.
Tomorrow I'm gonna celebrate.  I have no idea what I'll be doing but I'm gonna have a grand ol' day.  Maybe we'll even go out and buy a larger bed.  A full doesn't really cut it when you're married and have a kid. And are pregnant.  And it's hot.  We'll see if we go through with buying one or not.  But with a Labor Day sale you probably can't go wrong.

I'm also officially 6 months last Thursday.  Whoop!  Only three more months to go!  We had to sit down and plan out our schedule of getting together for the next two months since I won't be able to travel after Thanksgiving.  So crazy, but it's exciting.
And this baby is a mover!  She is jumping up and down and around and on my bladder.  It's enjoyable to feel her moving about, kicking and stretching and poking and punching.  I'm going to love it because I know soon enough I will be pushing against her little foot to keep her from poking through my side.

And speaking of my baby, my big baby will be three here in 11 days.  How is she already turning three??  Like I said, it goes too fast.  I'm throwing her a little princess party.  We've invited all the girls 10 and under from church to come and celebrate.  They're to dress up in their fanciest princess dress and to come have a good time.  I'm excited for her.

Anyway, my birthday!  It's tomorrow.  I'm very excited :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And after all of that...

A few months ago we decided to switch things around in our house. The upstairs, the "Master Bedroom" (which is not so much and you'll soon see why), was home to the office, the play area, and my craft area. It was hardly ever used. Bryan preferred to be downstairs with us, A never went upstairs because no one else was up there, and I never got the time to go up there to do any crafts. Because, well, by the time I got up there and got started on something, A would need me and I'd have to come all the way back down. So it was never really fully utilized.
We do have two bedrooms downstairs, Bryan and I have one room and A had the other. So, to fully use the entire house I figured we could move A upstairs, with her toys already up there, and there'd be plenty of room for the next kiddo. Then we'd change A's room downstairs into the office/craft area so Bryan and I would both have a work space nearby.
It worked! Ta-da!
That is, until I felt like A was too far away from us. And she, nor I, liked it. She wasn't sleeping well at night, she'd crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night. It just wasn't working.
So after much deliberation, Bryan and I decided to move our bed upstairs. We'd section off the room a little bit, she'd have her space, we'd have ours, it was perfect.
Until yesterday.
That's when we tried to move our Full size mattress up the stairwell. Our house is old. The stairwell is small. It wasn't meant for anything larger than a Twin to be moved up those stairs.
So now we're stuck.
I'm disappointed and frustrated. And, now what? Her old room has been transformed. We can't move up to her new room. A Queen size bed and co-sleeping? Buy a new house? Tear down some walls??
I'm bummed. And stuck. And out of ideas...

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Change

After however many years here on blogger, with the same simple white template, I've decided to change it up a little and give it a new look.

What do you think?
I sure like it :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Anniversary Weekend

On Friday afternoon, Bryan and I took off for Des Moines to celebrate our 7th anniversary.  We left our kiddo at Gramma and Pocka's house and away we went.  Bryan had a work thing, so I hung out at the hotel for the evening.  
Got myself some hotel food: personal pizza, chips and salsa, and a very large piece of blueberry lemon bar -$20.  Yeah.  But it was worth it.  Sorta.  Bryan took off about 20 til 7 and I hopped in the shower.  
I was wanting to take a long leisurely bath but we got the last room in the hotel which happened to be the handicap accessible room.  Still, very nice.  And a huge room! I'm pretty sure it was almost the size of our first apartment.  
So after my 40 minute, uninterrupted, quiet shower, I got out, put some pajama's on and crawled into our very comfy king size bed.  It. Was. Awesome.  And then I proceeded to watch whatever the heck I wanted on the tv for the next three hours.  And none of it included Yo Gabba Gabba or The Pink Panther.  
I fell asleep way before Bryan returned but I figured that would happen.  It was all good. 
On Saturday morning, we slept until 9.  NINE O'CLOCK!  AM!!   We casually got up to get breakfast, ate slowly, chatted and just enjoyed each other's company.  Then we proceeded to just hang out in the hotel room and watched TV until we had to check out at noon.  
Since Gramma and Pocka were wanting to watch A for the whole weekend, we took advantage and our time in DM.  Lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, hung out at the mall (Bryan got to "shop" around at the Apple store), got some Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, then got caught by a lady selling flat irons.  
She had me sit down and proceeded to do my hair.  She was very nice but I kept waiting for her to only do half of my hair.  I figured she would offer to do the other half if I would buy a flat iron, but she finished it off (curling it with the flat iron to show its diversity) and it looked very nice.  She kept asking, "Do you like it or do you love it??" It's a professional flat iron by Herstyler so it's about $200 but it was on sale for $165 and today it was even more so for $139.  I still wasn't sold. She kept making me a deal and going lower and lower (can you say PRESSURE!), also throwing in a free conditioner.  She went down to $89 (pressurepressurepressurepressure) knowing that I was seriously a hard sale.  So, I got it, well Bryan did, for my birthday (I straightened it this morning and it looks phenomenal, just sayin').
Leaving the mall, we decided to head on home.  But it was such a nice, relaxing drive home.  Bryan and I got to talk the entire way without any interruptions.  And we had grown-up talk!!  It was awesome.  
When we got home we decided to watch a movie.  Not being able to decide between two we watched them both!  Because we could!!  
Awesome anniversary but I am glad to have A back at home.  I love that girl.  Thank you Gramma and Pocka!!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

We decided to find out after all.

We went round and round about finding out or not, and although I like the idea of not finding out, Bryan and I just felt so at ease with knowing. So, here's hoping the ultrasound tech guessed correctly...
It's a Girl!!
So, even though we found out the gender AND announced it, we will be keeping the name a secret until she is born. DUH duh dummmmmmm.
The suspense!
Anyway, she's good and healthy, a wiggle worm, healthy, squirmy as all get out, on target, and healthy. Because really, that's all I'm really concerned about.
And now, we prepare. We're doing the Bradley method this time around. I'm already enjoying it. I think I'll even fully enjoy the class to prepare even more. But I want to be ready. If I have to have another c-section, then I'm okay with it, but if I can do a vbac with me and the baby safe and healthy, I want to do it.
So, here's to another healthy 20 more weeks before we meet our baby girl #2!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

20 weeks tomorrow!

Before I do part three of Ecuador, I thought I'd give an update on baby #2.

Things are going well, so far so good. I started feeling baby move around a couple weeks ago. At first it was kind of here and there, and kind of like a "oh! I think that was the baby..." but now there is no doubt. This kiddo is a squirmer but that doesn't surprise me since A was as well. In truth, most babies in utero probably are but I'm glad this kiddo is one of them. Bryan almost got to feel baby the other night! But as soon as he came over, this kiddo stopped, even after wiggling for 10 minutes straight. A goober already.
Tomorrow we have an ultrasound. We have been going back and forth about whether to find out the gender or not. It sounds fun not to know but it's fun to know as well. So, no idea. I guess we'll find out if we'll find out.

(And today, Bryan and I celebrate 7 years of marriage! It's been a wonderful ride thus far. Thank you for making me your wife, Bryan. I love you!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Their Joy easily became my Joy

Wednesday morning the first thing we decided to do was provide for the children at Ramar.  Our group piled into the tight van and drove to the location where we’d find a stove.  At a discount, because we paid in cash, we got a 5 propane burner, cast iron, 15 year warranted stove.  Bryan and another one of our guides/interpreters stayed behind to pay for and go with the stove and a driver back to Ramar while the rest of the group went on ahead to the mall. 
Yes, the mall.  Here we bought out the store’s $2 pillows, $1 pillowcases, and 35 bottles of lice shampoo.  All that we needed was five dollars to provide each child with one of each plus a bottle of shampoo per two children. 
Bryan had said that when him and our interpreter arrived with the new stove, Beatrice was so happy and grateful.  When she saw the new hose for the stove she said to the other volunteer, “Now we don’t have to worry about blowing up.”  Beatrice and the other workers were wrapping a wet washcloth around the cracked and broken old hose every time they needed to use the stove.
The rest of our group arrived with the new pillows, cases and shampoo and before the children came out to receive their brand new pillow we went ahead and put the cases on for them, leaving the plastic wrap on the pillows themselves to help deter the lice.  When they girls came out to receive the pillows, they were so grateful, hugging and clutching onto their new treasure.  The boys, of course, started pillow fighting.  All in all, they were so happy.  The children even learned and told us thank you in English.
After the pillows, the men brought in and hooked up the new stove.  The workers were delighted when they turned a burner on and it worked.  The looks on their faces were pure joy. 
Later that day we stopped at another orphanage to revisit from the last trip.  When they previous group came down before they saw the need for more space so the lady who ran the place could keep it open.  We saw a before picture of the empty unused space and the results of their work- a new covered porch for the children to play inside. 
We didn’t stay long because this orphanage was on the list to visit and provide for the next time the Dandor Amor group came to Ecuador. However, we left the children with coloring books, crayons, and fun colored and shaped sunglasses.

Thursday we walked and visited two Catholic orphanages.  One orphanage was for only boys and another for both genders as well as a nursing home type place for older people.
In the first orphanage for boys, we met two feisty nuns whom you wouldn’t want to get on their bad side.  Dogs are like vermin in Ecuador, and so one of the nuns was saying that she would walk with the children outside the orphanage, and when encountered by barking and vicious dogs would turn to them saying, “I am on a mission from God.  You will stop your barking and leave these children.”  And with that they dogs would turn tail and run.  She would also do this to the snakes in the jungle when she was doing work out there. 
This was also the home of boy who has since been adopted and now living with a family here in America.  They keep his photo as a testimony that God does work for good in the lives of these children.  And while not all are adopted out, a lot are, but they are all taken care of and given a chance at survival when it’s time to leave the home. 
The second Catholic orphanage was the one for boys and girls as well as the older people who could no longer live on their own.  While most of our group went on to take a tour of this location, a couple people went with the main people who run the place to discuss things for the orphanage. 
When all was said and done, the rest of us learned that a girl who was about to leave the orphanage was going to have schooling, books, and whatever else she needed provided for to become a doctor.  We saw her tear stained face show so much gratitude, so overcome by the love that she had just been shown, and grateful for the wonderful path that has been placed before her. 
Before we left, a young woman had run up to the locked gates to see Rex.  We learned that she was once an orphan, caused by her father killing her mother and almost killing her.  Rex was the father she never had, so when she heard about him being in town, she left work and ran to where we were just to see him.  She now has a good job, a wonderful husband, and beautiful new baby.
From here we flew out on Thursday night and back into our first city for a night of rest and two more orphanage the next day.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The beginnings of what touched my heart in Ecuador

On Monday morning, half of our group went to pay a second visit to one of the orphanages. Having visited them the day before they saw some needs and decided to fulfill them.
As they walked in with new flip-flops for each child and one thousand pounds of rice, the nuns began to exclaim. “See! I told you God would provide,” the first nun said to the second.
Just that morning the orphanage ran out of rice. With no funds to get more all they could do was pray and ask God to provide. The nuns never mentioned the rice to the group, and the group didn’t know the orphanage needed it. God’s hand was truly at work.
The other half of our group, including Bryan and myself, went to take a shift at another orphanage. These children were just the first of the beautiful faces we’d grow to love in such a short amount of time. This was a Catholic orphanage, which meant it was well funded so every child was well cared for, played with and loved.
Something we noticed right away, however, was that the children were not to be held by the volunteers. This was to deter favoritism. This also meant that the babies were not held. Although well cared for, they were not getting the physical contact that they desperately needed.
Later that evening we visited a location that helps to provide for some of the nearby orphanages. They would take in the well-behaved girls to make homemade, recycled cards out of recycled paper and flower petals. This location also had fields of vegetables to be sold, guinea pigs (or “Qui” as they call them) to be sold to markets as a specialty, and hogs. They even had their own room to dry the tealeaves they grew and sell it for profit.
That night we experienced some of the culture at nighttime. We ate at a popular restaurant for supper that was located on the top of one of the highest hills. On our way back down we kept hitting detours and dead-ends. For a moment a few of us Americans panicked but we had one of the city’s best drivers.

Tuesday morning, we had a flight out of our first city to the second where we would visit most of the orphanages on our trip. The first place we visited was an orphanage called Ramar.
This group was renting a building that used to be a strip club. Since prostitution is very legal there, they had a building for the girls to dance and a building for the men to take the girl of the choice to. The boys of Ramar slept in the old building the men would take the dancing girls to have their way with. Each child had a fairly new bed from another time the Dando Amor group visited, so the boys were in good shape comparatively.
The girls of Ramar slept in the once dance club where the stage is still set, the roof leaks, the walls are cracked, and the mold hits you like a brick wall the moment you step into the room.
We asked the main volunteer who runs the place, Beatrice, about the moldy roof and the cracked walls when it rains. The roof is just a simple tin roof with no insulation, since it’s not needed with their weather, and a simple fabric covering on the inside. The fabric is molded, coming down, saggy from the water and reeks to high heaven.
The building was set into the side of a hill, so the crack at the top of the hill would get all the water that would run down the hill when it rained. And since there’s no word for “leaks,” Beatrice said that when it rains it doesn’t drip, it floods.
However, all the children had new mattresses and sheets from the last time the Dando Amor group visited. With the mattresses still in very good condition, the thing they needed now was a new pillow for each child. All the children had to use were cut up sheets sewn into pillowcases and stuffed with shredded old clothes.
After we saw where the children slept, we heard about their stove. The stove only had two of the four burners working. Beatrice had said that to feed the 70 children and the volunteers she would wake at five in the morning to start breakfast. After breakfast they would clean up and start lunch, then after lunch they would start supper, clean up, and start again the next day. Without question our group of fourteen knew exactly what we needed to do to provide for these children.
After Beatrice’s Ramar, we went to visit an orphanage that is run by one of our guides/interpreters, Rex. Rex’s orphanage cares for the mentally and physically handicapped as well as a few children who are healthy and capable. He doesn’t turn away a child he can care for but his main focus is those handicapped children.
He began by saying that sometimes he’s almost embarrassed for others to see his orphanage simply because it is so nice. But he quickly went on to say that his embarrassment quickly subsides knowing that it’s an example of how the orphanages in Ecuador can and should be run.
His facility is in existence because of a family here in the states. They saw what Rex was trying to do and knew it needed to be done so they donated 1.5 million dollars to construct a building that can fully facilitate the needs of the children. The rooms are large and roomy to accommodate the children in wheelchairs. The bedrooms are fully equipped with a large “crib” for each child to sleep three or four children per room.
The handicapped children we met we all very happy in spite of their condition. Some of the children were with a genetic deterioration, others who are crippled both mentally and physically, others with cerebral palsy, and some simply with autism. There were a few who had a minor handicap but were otherwise very healthy. A little girl with downs syndrome and a boy who was practically blind.
There were other children who were healthy in every way. There was a baby boy who was abandoned by the river under a bush only to be discovered by a fisherman. Another little girl was simply stuck in the orphanage because her mom has decided she wants the girl back while her two older brothers enjoy a new life in America.
We left this orphanage feeling hopeful with all that we saw.  Of how an orphanage should be ran, the children should be cared for, and that it can be done.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today is the day

We are leaving for Ecuador in less than four hours. Technically we're heading for Chicago first. Then we'll fly to Houston. Enjoy a nine hour layover, then fly to panama. Sit for another enjoyable 8 hour layover then finally fly to Quito (somewhere in) Ecuador.
I'm not nervous to fly. What I am nervous about is leaving my sweet 2 year old. She'll be in good hands with her grandma and grandpa, it's just the fact of being separated from her for more than a weekend. Then it's only 1 full day of not seeing her, this time 7 full days. I'm gonna cry. I know I'll be homesick for her.
I've been doing a lot of praying this week trying to prepare both our hearts. For her, that she'll stay busy, have lots and lots of fun, and stay safe. For me, that I'll stay focused on the project at hand, and enjoy myself with my hubby and good friends.

So please keep us in your prayers. I'm sure I'll have lots of stories and faces to share once we return.

Much love.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Busy next few days.

Wow. God is good. We are only $300 from our entire goal for our trip to Ecuador!!

Tomorrow I have my 2nd doctor's appointment for the new babe.

I was suppose to get my tooth fixed aft the doc but I decided to put it off until after we get back because it'll be fragile. And I don't want to break it in another country. That would stink.

Tomorrow night we finalize our itinerary for our trip.

Friday is cleaning. Then showing our house sitter around the house.

Saturday we pack, A gets picked up by her grandparents, I bawl like a baby, then we leave to catch a plane.

...I'm nervous.
Please be praying for us.

*Edit* just checked on my girl and she's running a temp. Please be in prayers for her because I don't want to go on a trip with her at home sick :(

Friday, June 10, 2011

I hope to not see those people again. No offense.

Yesterday morning I needed to go back into the dentist. On Tuesday I noticed that my tooth had turned a slight gray especially near the gum line. Made me a little nervous so on our way to the pool I called the office. They asked that I came in right away to look at it just to make sure it was alright.
Sweet A was such a sport. Although she was so excited to go swimming, she was good to let me go to the dentist right quick. She even wanted to sit in the chair and have the nurse look at her teeth too! Guess it's passed time to get her in to see one.
So, yesterday I went back in unsure of what they were going to do exactly, nervous I'd have to go through those shots again. Turns out I did. My dentist wanted to go back into it and make sure there was nothing causing the graying.
They left the topical cream on longer to try to help numb my gum a little better. It did help. No tears this time. The dentist reopened it, took out all the filling and cleaned my tooth a little better. She rechecked it and didn't find anything which is good.
She refilled it, closed it up, and the nurse took an x-ray. It turns out she did a better job this time in filling it so it's a good thing I went back in. I guess ;)
Now, in a year we'll know the results. Praying for good results. Then, if it's all good, I'll get a crown on my tooth and it'll look all pretty. But for now I'll settle for a brand new, nicer and more matching filling.


A week from Friday we leave for Ecuador. We are still $700 short of being able to go on the trip and another $1000 to give to the orphanages. We're all a little behind on our goals, unfortunately.

Please be praying that we reach our goal. My heart really wants to go visit these children.

Monday, June 06, 2011

All caught up.

So we've announced our pregnancy and we are 11.5 weeks, 12 on Thursday. Time is going faster than I thought it would. I guess it's because I wanted to get to the second trimester quickly. Don't get me wrong, this time around the first trimester has been way easier than it was with A. With her, i was nauseated for the first four months until Bryan and I had a bout of food poisoning. Then that was that.

This last weekend we went down to the farm. It always feels like home when we're there. I'd love to be closer to them and the slow calmness of it all. Maybe someday.
Poor A and I were suffering from allergies the entire time. What a way to spend the weekend! But she had so much fun with her aunts and gramma and great grandparents.
Great grampa took A for lots of rides on the four wheeler and re hen the lawn mower. She LOVED that. Her aunts and gramma took her out to see the horses and walked around. and great gramma took her out to see the baby chickens. Her daddy and I try to relax when we're there so we're thankful for family who loves our baby.

Today I had a root canal on my front tooth. When I was about 8 or 9 I slipped and fell face first on some ice and broke a good chunk of of it. A couple months ago I had to get the other top wisdom tooth pulled and when I did the dentist asked about my tooth. I told him about it, he took an x-ray and said I needed a root canal. Then after I fit the root canal he could put a brand new filling on it to make it look much nicer. Woot!
Scheduled appointment with the dentist two weeks later, I missed it. I rescheduled. Two weeks later I met the dentist. She took a look at it and decided it was worth a try but the outcome was uncertain. Scheduled for two weeks later, I found out we're pregnant so we have to push it back another 4 weeks so that I'm closer to the second trimester. Then today being thee day.
I tell you what, those shots hurt like a of a gun. Worst part ever. But I made it through with minimal tears. The canal had died at such young age that the canal was left huge so the end wasn't tapered like a normal tooth. They had to do a lot to fill it AND the filling went past my tooth and int my gums. I sure felt that.
After they were all done they took an x-ray to make sure it all looked good. The doc saw that my tooth looked like it fractured when I first initially broke it. She said that when that happened it should have split and caused an abcess and more than likely just fallen out. But what did happen is that it fractured but didn't separate so it simply healed. Thank you Jesus.
She was afraid the filling might have leaked through the fracture and if that happened then the chances were slim of saving the tooth. But the x-ray came back great. Woot! So now I've scheduled an appointment to have the filling fixed a week from this Thursday. Woo-hoo! Only 18 years after I initially broke it but there's a reason for everything and God is good.
So even though my tooth is throbbing I seem to be doing pretty well. Now we just hope and pray that the root canal takes then all will be well!

Monday, May 23

Today I had my first ob appointment. I've been waiting nearly three weeks for this because I'm anxious for more confirmation and for all the baby stuff to start.
It does seem that I am right on target at 9.5 weeks and will be due Dec 22. This poor child will be a Christmas baby. That's all right. My uncle Jon survived and now so will this one. Except for birthday parties. Darn. Oh well, we'll figure it out. :)
My doc did search for the heartbeat today but she said it would be unlikely since I'm only 9 weeks. She was right but we'll try again in another 4 weeks.
I also had to do the dreaded blood work. 5 viles worth. When I was pregnant with A I got really sick when they did this. I even had the trash can on my lap because I really thought I was going to get sick. However this time the needles just hurt. She tried my left arm and couldn't get the blood to flow so then she had to do my right. Owie. And she's normally so good too!
After my appointment was all said and done I headed on back to my mom-n-law's. I dropped A off before my app so I needed to go get her ;) Plus she wanted to work on her dad's photo album using Snapfish. However, after deciding that we should wait for everyone's pictures, we decided to go and eat instead. Good idea! I was starving :)

And then tonight I had my d-group. We decided Red Robin would be a good way to end our meetings for the summer. I did suggest we meet once a month just to hang out and catch up and they all liked that idea. I do too. I'll be sad not to see those girls up to 3x a week but once.
I had been debating telling my girls (not thinking tonight was really the last night of our meetings) but then Holly asked if anyone had any exciting news. She was a little hyped up on her coke (she had 2 before our food even got there) and said she didn't care what just anything exciting. So I said, "Well, I'm pregnant" and they all became very excited and started asking all the questions people always ask when they here someone's pregnant. They were all so darling.

So now that those closest to us know first, I think we're gonna start announcing it to everyone. Now, how will we do it is the question...
After dinner they all wanted to go to Best Buy to take pictures of themselves on the computers. Since we has a bit of time I agreed. They were all so goofy. I just love those girls.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Friday, May 13

Yesterday morning I finally got to my TMM group! I was dying to tell them the first morning I found out and then had group. Then again each time I saw them, which is quite frequent since we all go to church together including Wednesday night. But I wasn't going to tell them with everyone else around!
So I waited.
We got together, watched our video, did the questions, then started prayer requests. And of course I'm last. Ha. Started out with requests like our new dog. Oh yes, did I mention we got a new dog? Yes, we're crazy. New dog and new baby. I'm still deciding on what I think about the former. She's sweet and all, it's just all the changes and.. Uh. I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see.
Anyway, so after my requests I said that I do have a praise, that new baby (our last name) should be here in December. From them I got screams and laughter!
I do find it strange how people react differently to the second baby than they did to the first. So many questions with the first and not so much with the second. I guess it's because it's all new to the new mom and people want to know what she thinks, feels, worries, is deciding, etc. With the second, it's not as new although still exciting.

So, how am I feeling? Well, bloated, morning sickness in the evening, the headaches have finally subsided, but I am still tired. I've been so bleh lately that I haven't gotten much of anything done but today I did manage to fold the huge amount of laundry that's been laying around AND make lunch and supper! Go me!
I believe I'm 8 weeks along yesterday. Still waiting to have my first doctor appointment. I'm hoping they'll schedule an ultrasound just so we can be sure of the exact date but we won't know that until the 23rd.

Anyway, few more people to tell before we announce it to everyone. Who's next...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tuesday, May 10

Last weekend I got to tell my family about the new baby that's on their way. This time I told them all differently as apposed to the first time when I was pregnant with A. Then, it was my Gramma's birthday, so I wrapped up my pee stick. She screamed a very loud, albeit, happy scream. It was fun. But this time, being mother's day, I figured I'd just tell them each.
I started with my sisters on Friday(?) night. I still had the picture on my phone of the digital Pregnant, so I told them that I wanted them to look at some pictures. I did have some cute ones of A running and playing with bubbles so I had them start with that and work backward. When they got to the picture of the test, they had to do a double take. They seemed pretty excited.
Saturday, my mom, sister, A and I got together with my aunt Kimmy and my gramma for Spaghetti Works. my mom was giving me the look to tell them then so I figured why not. I guess Kimmy wasn't paying attention as I was starting the whole "We have a problem with Christmas plans" so my mom was like, "Kim! September's trying to tell you something!" with a huge grin on her face. So, I barely get into it and both of them figure it out. They ask me, "Why?? Because you're pregnant!?!" as they can't control their grins. So much for surprising them, haha.
On Sunday I had my grampa and uncle Jon left. After church I hugged my grampa multiple times and told him to guess what. He guessed once about something else and when I said no, he had a twinkle in his eye that he knew but he wasn't going to take the surprise from me so he let me tell him. He was elated!
Then last but not least was my uncle Jon. I gave him a big hug and told him I had an early birthday surprise for him. He said, with a twinkle in his eye,, "It's not a photography package that I'll never use, is it?" Haha, no! I said, it'll come it the form of a 7 ounce... He got it right away with an Ah-ha!! Poopr guy, his birthday is Dec 22, right next to Christmas, and we think that's when this kiddo's due date is. So another December baby in the family.

So, now that all my family knows we can start telling friends. Since our besties already know the next up is my Thursday Morning Momma's group...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Monday, May 2

So first of all, I'm pregnant with baby #2!! We can finally share it with the world.
(I am starting to type this all out way before we do actually share it but I don't want to forget anything :)
We found out (officially with a pee test) on Thursday, April 28th. I had a good feeling something was up but wasn't quite ready to take the test. Not that I wasn't ready for a positive but that I wasn't ready for a negative. Then I'd have to wonder what the heck was up with my body if I wasn't pregnant after all?
So wednesday night, after feeling super weird (insert Pregnant here) I grabbed a pee test and placed it by the toilet for the next morning.
I slept oddly all night because, and I'm sure, of the anticipation for the next morning. I think I woke at 6 but wouldn't let myself get out of bed yet knowing that if it really was a positive I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep and would have to wait forever for Bryan to wake so I could let him know.
I slept until 7 and just couldn't wait anymore. I got up, did the test, and kept glancing at the test. It went quick and before I knew it there was a digital Positive staring at me from the screen that was sticking out of the wrapper.
I was beyond excited. Oh my word. I tried to get ready but kept anxiously glancing at Bryan to see if he was awake yet. I was just going to let him wander into the bathroom and find the pee stick on his own but realized after a while that he'd never see it.
Then God gave me an idea. Knowing that the first two things he does when he wakes is he grabs his glasses and then his iphone. I grabbed his iphone and snapped a photo of the digital Positive and set it to his lock screen. This way he wouldn't miss it. And sure enough he didn't.
I saw him look at his phone. Then a double take. Then study his phone. He finally looked at me with a smirk and a Really? Well, yeah! I wouldn't make up a positive you goober, haha.
I finished getting ready and then A and I headed off to Thursday Morning Momma's. Bryan and I weren't going to say anything at this point so I just had to keep my mouth shut. But boy was it hard. I was nauseous and had a headache but couldn't say why.
After TMM, we headed home and I made an appointment for a blood test to confirm our at home test. This is just what I did when I found out I was pregnant with A. Then, I found out the next day but this time I had to wait until monday. So I did. It was hard, let me tell you.

Friday we decided we wanted to at least tell our parents. So Bryan called his mom and I called mine. This Christmas is my family's turn so I started off with that. I said that we may need to switch Christmas plans around because that's when my due date is. I said it so casually that she had to do a double. She was like Wait? What?? That's when she started hollering in excitement that I could hold my phone from my ear and still hear her!

Then that night we went to an open house for a friend's grand opening of her new studio. As it turned out, Bryan's sis-in-law, Alyssa, knows our friend's brother, so she was there too.
At this point we weren't going to tell family members but Bryan basically gave it away so I told him to go ahead since he practically already did! It was nice to finally be able to talk about it to someone else! We told her not to tell anyone, especially her hubby (my hubby's brother) because we wanted to be able to do it.
That night when we left I felt a bug coming on. At first I thought it was just allergies because it hit me all of a sudden. It was really strange.
So Saturday Alyssa asked if Bryan and I would like to join her and Brent for a hockey game if I was feeling up to it. I had been super nauseated and then with the bug I was feeling pretty yucky. I was still hoping it was allergies at this point but was starting to wonder if I could be wrong. We felt bad but ended up opting out and instead made a more definitive plan for two weeks from now.

Sunday, I felt bloated and like I was barely hiding anything. Luckily I still have some tummy left over from my pregnancy with A so I just blamed it on that ;) Especially when an older lady in the church decided to ask me if I was pregnant! I couldn't believe it. Of course I was but I sure wasn't going to announce it right then and there!

And then this morning I just couldn't wait for the results any longer. I had to call. I already knew what the answer was but I wanted one more solidifier. So when I got the nurse on the phone and she told me I was most definitely pregnant, I cried because I was so happy.

I finally went and told Emily and she was so excited to hugged me three times. The goober, every time I would say to her "Guess what?" She would respond with a "You're pregnant!?" Well, this time she received a "Yup!" and she was stunned and then she squealed. It was fun.

I'm already noticing my change in appetite. Food doesn't sound appealing and then when it does it doesn't taste as good as I know it really does. It's all a big let down. And cheese! Cheese is a gag this time around and I like cheese! At least I'm pretty sure that I do, but every time I try to remember if I like it or not the thought of it just makes me want to Gag.

It still seems a bit unreal. We were planning to get pregnant, we just didn't think it would happen so quickly. With A, it took a year. With this one, first time around. We're happy but nervous. So now we wait anxiously for an ultrasound to determine how far along we are as well as the doctor appointments. But first I have to tell my family!! This weekend I sure will :)

Praying for our new baby!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Survivorman is a yearly thing that our youth pastor puts on in the spring for all the guys in our youth group to attend with their dads. It's a right of passage into manhood- they go and rough it in the woods, living off the land and learn how to survive.
Last year there were some girls who spoke up about wanting to go, and since I was jealous of Bryan every year prior, I was definitely in as one of the leaders. I'd be a surrogate mom since my kiddo is too young but I knew I would be.

We headed out on Friday, us girls joining the boys. We had 6(?) boys and only two girls but it was a start! Especially considering it was the first year. It was starting to lightly rain on us before we even got out to the sight. But once we got there we found that the rain missed it completely and we were able to set up camp before any rain got to us.
The boys were learning chivalry this weekend so they came to help us learn how to start a fire with a fire starter (after our first two failed attempts) as well as learn how to set up our sleeping area with tarps. Then the girls learned what stick to use to roast and we ate our one hotdog with bun. Dry. But it wasn't bad considering.
After we did our lesson on becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman we called it a night. At 9:30pm. We're lame, haha! Then we all slept miserably. I swear I woke every hour thinking it was morning. Once it finally was, we all got up and started getting ready. Then we learned it was 10 til 6! Guess we were all anxious to get going.
So then we had to wait on the boys. They took forever to get up and around but I guess they stayed up late playing flashlight tag. Soon we had our first challenge to earn our breakfast. The youth had to learn to use a compass and read the instructions to find the ammo boxes. As soon as they did we earned our eggs. The girls did awesome and were the first ones done. Jon was nice enough and brought us extra eggs (shh). We also got cheese and fully cooked turkey sausage. Then we made our eggs in a bag. It was yummy.

Second challenge was for our lunch. Everyone had to make survival bracelets. Very cool things. They took rope and cobra knotted them. Then they had rope in case of emergency, they only had to take out the knots. And, actually, those hemp bracelets that you see in the summer, that I've been making since Jr. High, it's the exact same thing but with rope! So it was fun helping everyone get the hang of it.
So after our challenge we all had free time and with it we all decided to go fishing. I think everyone but one person caught at least one fish. I had a bass but lost it. However I still managed to catch two croppies(?). I even took them off the line and unhooked them thanks to Pastor Phil and his handy gloves.
We took our catches and went back to the boys camp. We had exotic fruit (I.e. Mango, papaya and coconut) and we cleaned and cooked the fish. One fish had a title head/neck in it's gut (gross) and another was a female full of eggs. Yum.. We all tried the fish but us girls didn't care for it. We thanked the men, however, for making it for us and headed off to do our next lesson.

For our third challenge we got to shoot rifles. This time it was for our supper and if they hit the farthest target they got a whole Cornish game hen. Everyone hit it, even me! I went last and Jon talked me through it and i hit the first target on the first try. The second target, the farthest, took me three times but I got it!
Keith had his pistol and offered that for everyone to shoot. I passed because of how loud and how major the kick was. But Jon had his of a smaller caliber and let me try that one. Too much fun. I hit my target 5 out of 8 times. First three I missed because I was getting used to it but it was such a cool thing.
We went back to the boys camp to cook our hens. Keith had some rub that made it really good but I was so sick of meat at this point that I couldn't finish it :-/ We again thanked the guys and headed off to our camp to finish up our lessons. Since there were only two girls it made it easy to get personal with them.

Soon Keith came by to start the ceremony. He asked that the girls follow suit with the guys and remained in silence until we started the ceremony. Us adults got together to pray and to chart out our positions. As soon as it was dark, Keith had the youth start out one by one with a five minute gap in between each youth. I was the third stop so I had a bit to wait. Besides, the kids had to find us, in the dark, with no light, only our tiki torches to guide their way.
For the guys I talked to them about chivalry from a woman's perspective. How we're sensitive, and carry things with us for our lives, that we're not always right but we always want to be heard, and how everything they do affects us for good or bad, and if it's bad, someone else will have to pay for it. I cried a few times.
With the girls I talked about beauty and how we need Christ before we can ever have a relationship with a guy. This time they cried. I love these kids.
We had started at 9 and ended at 11. We all crashed and this time I was so tired that I slept right through all the storms that hit us that night. I still woke up at 7:30 but this time I was ready to be home instead of my next challenge. Not that there was any, just food and cleaning up to leave.

All in all it was an awesome weekend. I had a blast and I know the other female leader and the two girls did. The boys were awesome in welcoming us into their yearly passage (thanks guys!!). And I will absolutely do it again. I hope other girls will want to as well. Even when sleeping on wooden planks, it was so worth it.

(Hope this helps, Haley!!)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Announcement for anyone who doesn't already know:

We're going to Ecuador! We've been invited to join a missions trip at the end of this June to travel to Ecuador, visiting orphanages and caring for their needs.
Bryan and I are so excited, a little nervous, and praying a lot that God will provide. We're waiting on his passport and my info to go get my passport. We'll have to expedite it so we're praying God steps in.
We also need to raise $5500 to go. $2000 of the money we raise will go into a larger pot with everyone else's and we'll decide together what to do for each orphanage we visit. On previous trips they have bought brand new mattresses for the kids because they were sleeping on practically nothing. Another time, $1000 in food. Another time they fixed a leaky roof above the computer room and another hired a tutor for a year to teach the kids English.
Because the children are left with very little chance of hope of surviving in the world after leaving the orphanage, their chances increase dramatically if they have computer skills and/or can speak English. This organization helps those children have a better chance of succeeding and survival when they have to leave the orphanage.
If you would like to donate to our trip and help send us to help these sweet kiddos, please contact me through the comments, or if you know me personally you can contact me via phone, email, or in person!
We need all the financial and prayer support we can get.