Monday, July 30, 2007

Power of prayer

The chorus "God Is So Good" continues to play through in my mind over the past couple of weeks. I see God at work and I want to share it with you.

Over a month ago I had asked you to pray for Jean who was diagnosed with lung/bone cancer which was progressing quickly. I want to give you a quick update. The past weeks have been a tremendous trial for her family and our church family as well as a member of our body is hurting. We have dedicated ourselves to ceaseless prayer on Jean's behalf and begged for God to heal her as we know He can do anything. It came to the point where they thought they were going to lose her for the second time and our church body just held each other and cried at the thought of life without Jean but we began to pray that God would take her quickly so she would no longer suffer. It seems that God brought us to the end of ourselves where we completely gave her over to Him instead of dwelling on ourselves and how we wanted her here.

o God be the Glory! Great things HE has done! My Mom and I visited Jean in the hospital yesterday and saw a walking miracle. The doctors and nurses are amazed that she could survive all that she endured and now be preparing to go home possibly this week! We stand in awe and are so grateful to God for bringing her back to us. While the road ahead may be long in treating the cancer we trust that God is not finished with His work in her life and He will carry her through. God is so good!

God has been at work in the lives of my friends as well.

  • One friend who is pregnant with their 4th child had an ultrasound and it seemed that their child would have downs syndrome and also a heart problem. A few weeks later the ultrasound now shows a perfectly formed little baby. The hole in the heart has closed and there are no longer signs of any downs. God is so Good!

  • Another pregnant friend (with their 9th baby) was diagnosed with placenta previa with a high probability of strict bedrest and a c-section. She had a second ultrasound this morning and the placenta has moved up! God is so Good!

As I type I sit with a smile that cannot be wiped away because I see so clearly the goodness of God. Thank You to those of you who prayed for Jean!

Birthday Celebration!

After much preparation the celebration for George was so nice!.His birthday meal was putzy but it was his selection. The menu consisted of kabobs, a pasta salad, fruit kabobs (which I had nixed because of the extra work but my sister graciously volunteered to make them -- thank you!), veggies & dip, and corn on the cob. A yummy summertime meal!

George had gone through a favorite cake website to pick out his birthday cake and selected a monster truck theme which was quite simple. The flavor of the cake was a favorite of mine (George and I have very similar tastes as far as food) which is chocolate mint, of course from scratch.

Earlier in the day I had talked with George about thankfulness and reminded him that when he receives a gift he needs to look at the person who gave it to him and say "thank you". I was very proud of him when after opening each present he got up to thank and hug the giver. I was a bit shocked as that is a little out of character for him. He doesn't mind being hugged but doesn't often go out of his way to give them. I also found it interesting that when he talked about the gifts with his brothers he said "look at what WE got!" I guess little by little they are indeed learning how to share.

I had wanted to make the day more special by having everyone tell George what was special to them about him or talk about something he had accomplished this year. My idea didn't fly with him. He begged me not to do that as he would be embarrassed. Such is the age I guess. Instead his brothers each made a card for him and I helped them write what they enjoyed doing with George. My husband and I also wrote in a card the things about George that are special to us.

When the children were finally settled for the night my husband and I were able to unwind and talk through the day while I had my "birthday cry" on his shoulder. Will growing up ever get easier for this Mommy? I don't suppose so.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to my first-born!

Oh, where does the time go?!? Today is our oldest son's 8th birthday. While he is not very old yet, I still can see how he has grown over the past year. For some reason when my first child reaches certain milestones or accomplishes something new I get more nostalgic about it and it doesn't take long for tears to come to my eyes.

The day George was born was one of the hottest of the summer and I walked our fields trying to get things to progress. I had felt heavy with pressure for days and finally the time was here.  I was a little nervous seeing as my doctor was out of town and I had no idea who my doctor would be or what to expect. While I went into labor at 5 a.m. I did not go to the hospital until 10 p.m. that night and was 5 cm at that point. I was able to use a whirlpool to relax and try to ease the pain (sure). It did help me to almost fully dialate and how I would have loved to stay right there and deliver but they didn't do water births. Around 2 a.m. (I cannot remember the exact time at this moment) our first child was born -- "a boy, a BIG boy!" were the first words out of the doctor's mouth. Now, we had thought along with many people that it was a girl so I was surprised at first to hear that I had a boy seeing as I didn't know a thing about boys. That mattered little when I held that precious bundle in my arms. George was perfect and we were now embarking on a new journey as parents. My parents and sister had been waiting out in the hall and were able to meet their first grandson and nephew. It was such a time of joy.

Early this morning George turned 8 and I reflect on what a special little man he has become. He is such a help to me that when he isn't around I wonder how I can get anything done without him. I can always count on him to watch the little ones when they are outside playing. George adores his little sister and will even willingly change a diaper or get her dressed if need be. He is a hands-on kind of boy and enjoys working on art projects (that he creates), going hiking, baking, and learning about Daddy's racecar and helping out when he can, to name a few. Unfortunately for me he is not as cuddly as he once was but lately will be the first one to say "I Love You Mommy" at bedtime.

George has been looking forward to his birthday for months now and as soon as the calendar flipped to the month of July his countdown began. He knew how many days left the minute anyone asked. George is a planner and so has been getting details ready for his party tonight. He picked out his birthday meal a month ago and has had his eye on a certain cake for me to make. This week he spent time starting to arrange a seating area outside next to our new landscaping and things like this get him in the "cleaning mode".

I look forward to seeing what God has in store for my little man. But today, I'll enjoy watching him revel in the attention showered on him and thank the Lord for blessing me with this special boy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Science with Monarchs

We live in the most wonderful place for outdoor science projects! Right out our door are fields of things to explore. As we see the first monarchs return we know it is time to begin searching the milkweed to look for any monarch caterpillars. This year we found a tiny caterpillar and documented his growth. Our little caterpillar started at 1 cm and we cleaned his jar and give him fresh milkweed leaves every morning.



Three days later we found that he had molted and was now 2 cm. A few days later we found he had grown again and his shed skin was at the bottom of the jar. (They actually molt 4 times). Our last measurement at 8 days was almost 2 inches!

I knew it was getting close for the caterpillar to climb to the top in search of a place to hang so I covered the jar for the night with an empty plant container (the most convenient item as we typically cover it with netting). The next morning he was crawling around on top looking for the right place for his chrysalis (pupa).



For the next day the caterpillar stayed still attaching itself to the top with silk. After that we found the caterpillar in a "J" formation and that same day he shed his skin for the last time to reveal the chrysalis beneath (a process I have only been able to catch once). It hardens into such a vibrant green with perfect gold embellishments.




It takes 9 - 14 days before the butterfly emerges and so we watched and waited each day for it to make it's appearance. On the 12th day the chrysalis began to get darker in color which means it is close as the darkness is the black of it's wings and the chrysalis is becoming transparent.



Day 13 we watched knowing today was the day for the buttefly to emerge. We missed it though and after running an errand found the butterfly hanging onto the shell of it's chrysalis drying. It stayed that way for an hour or so.



It then climbed out of the jar and continued to dry it's wings.



Testing it's wings we now see it is a female based on the thick lines of the veins. It is ready for flight but seeing as it is early in the season will only live 2 - 5 weeks. Butterflies that emerge in later summer will survive over the winter by migrating.


I think I get more excited about the whole process than the boys but it always amazes me that God created this little caterpillar and the detailed process He designed to turn it into a beautiful butterfly. It also is a wonderful picture of how when we surrender our life to Christ we become a new creation.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17


Friday, July 6, 2007


"I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" -- Psalm 139:14 


Here is the first picture of our little one taken a few weeks ago. My favorite thing to see on ultrasound pictures are the perfectly formed tiny hands! I am always fascinated at the developing life within me and so the children and I have been tracking the progress of the growing baby with a development chart I found on Answers in Genesis. Now that the major development is complete we also watch the ticker above for weekly progress.

We decided not to find out if it is a boy or a girl this time as we are prepared for either. I also wanted the excitement of a surprise again. George is disappointed as he wants another girl and would really like to know now.

I am putting together a long list of names that even remotely strike my fancy as my husband seems to toss out many that I like. As in the past I assume we won't have the final names until near the end. I may be too particular in that if I like a name but I don't like the meaning than forget it. For example, we both like the name Cameron but did you know the meaning is "crooked nose"? We did not agree on the name for Tank but in the end I decided that if my husband really liked the name I would be okay with that and it grew on me and now I cannot imagine him with any other name.

So, if you have any suggestions for baby names please pass them my way! Our boys all have biblical first names with a middle name after a family member and our daughter has a more classical one. I am not too crazy about trendy names or overly popular. Thanks for your help!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Strawberry picking tradition


Each summer I look forward to strawberry season. It is here and gone so quickly but freshly picked berries have such a sweet juicy taste. What a good gift God gives us in such wonderful fruits to enjoy! This past weekend the boys and I kept with tradition and went strawberry picking with my Dad. We have been going since George was just a toddler so he has come a long way in his picking ability. This year I decided that Tank was old enough to come along as it always seems I hold him back longer than I would his brothers. The boys always enjoy the tractor ride out to the fields but their favorite part is eating the berries as they pick.  George is an old pro now and knows which strawberries to pick without a problem. I decided to follow the other boys to make sure they were picking the ripe berries. Tank had more on his face than in his bucket for awhile. We enjoyed the morning with Grandpa and now comes the task of processing the berries to freeze for smoothies and milkshakes and making strawberry jam.



Race weekend #2

I am finally getting back to our race weekend but will keep it short and sweet. We always enjoy the race at Crandon as it is very close to my husband's parents house and so we spend the weekend with them rather than camping out in our motorhome. This is my favorite racetrack as it has the most beautiful setting with the trees in the northwoods as a backdrop in total contrast to the dirt and grime from all of the cars and trucks racing out there. Saturday's race was looking good. My husband got a good start and soon passed into 2nd and then 3rd place. One lap later he moved into 1st place and we were so excited! Unfortunately, on the last lap his left-rear wheel broke off and he landed after a jump unable to go anywhere. It was a big disappointment for him coming so close to a win in addition to that he would not be able to repair the car in time for the next day's race. He was able to enjoy the next day however as we worshipped with an area church and then spent time as a family relaxing at the beach.

Being towed (you can see the hook on the left side) and pulled into the trailer (left-rear wheel missing).


Enjoying the beautiful day at the beach with RePete




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