Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007!!

2006 has been a great year in our house. After a sad middle to 2005 we found out that we were expecting our little boy just before Christmas last about a Christmas miracle. Our youngest arrived on August 18th kicking, screaming and peeing and has been a joy to have with us. Our oldest started school a week later. We had a great vacation to San Diego! Common Grounds has reached out to so many people in need of a warm place to get out of the elements and get a bite to eat. Jim's job is going well and he'll begin a new focus after the first of the year.

Tonight it's low key in our house. Our oldest is recovering from a bout with the stomach flu and now has a bit of a cold. I'm sniffling and sneezing along with him. Our baby is still trying hard to break those teeth through his little gums and he and daddy are asleep on the recliner. This new years will be rung in with a hug and goodnight. A little different than years past, but I wouldn't have it any other way. What are you doing or have you done to ring in the New Year?

Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2007 be filled with blessings, safety, peace and love!

Christmas Tradition Number 10

One of our last Christmas traditions is a call or visit from Santa Claus. Two or three years ago Santa called us on the phone and chatted with our oldest. Last year, Santa took time out of his very busy night to come and see us and bring our son a gift. This year that tradition continued with Santa bringing gifts for both of the boys. Our five year old got a pirate that he really wanted Santa to bring, and our youngest got a teether that Santa just knew he needed (he's only 4 and a half months old and working on teeth already).

We took advantage of the situation with Santa and took a lot of pictures.

All of these traditions are something that I hope continue. I couldn't pick one tradition I like over others. I enjoy sharing the shows I grew up on with the guys and hope that these will become favorites for them throughout the years. Baking is something that I really enjoy and with help to decorate the cookies especially for Santa is a fun, fun thing to do. Decorating the tree and remembering times past and places we have visited makes me happy. And visits from Santa are really, really cool.

All of these things are family things we can do together and help us to build lasting memories. All make the holidays a very special time!

Christmas Tradition Number 9

Christmas tradition number 9 is one of my FOOD! There are several items that fit into this category. Our "traditional" Christmas Eve dinner consists of Heavenly Ham, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and some type of pie. I LOVE Heavenly Ham because it's pre-cooked so you don't have to worry about getting it done just right...and it's oh so good and sweet. (Their macaroni salad is wonderful too!) And it really makes good left overs for the next day and a few days to follow.

Christmas morning it has been our recent tradition to have a rendition of Barbara Smith's (Michael W. Smith's mother) breakfast casserole. It has eggs, sausage, cheese, bread and milk in's very good. I make it the night before and bake it while we open presents. It makes a great finale to the present filled morning.

Then there's the sweets...I LOVE sweets...this year our five year old and I made gingerbread cookies...with the help of Pillsbury, that is...we got the cookie cutters out and made a lot of cookies. He then decorated them with icing and sprinkles and set them out for Santa. We had a cookie exchange at work this year...5 dozen cookies for each of us...they were/are yummy!! I didn't get one of my favorite cookies this year and have kinda missed it...I love date pinwheels. Usually my mom makes some but I forgot to ask for them this year.

Then there are the drinks. I love hot chocolate and hot cider...but the weather here has been way too hot to enjoy those drinks. Last year I thought I had missed out on egg nog because I was pregnant. I got some this year just wanting to taste that thick creamy goodness. My tastes must have changed, it just wasn't very good at all...maybe too nutmeggy. So, I stuck with Coke and sweet tea this year.

Christmas Tradition Number 8

Another Christmas Eve tradition is watching of A Christmas Story. This has been a Christmas traidition for us especially since TBS has had it on for the 24 hours of Christmas over the past few years. If you don't catch it all between Christmas Eve dinner and the several church services we have, you might catch it while wrapping the last several presents or on Christmas Day when the hype has kinda settled down.

The story never gets too old or tiresome for me or our soon to be six year old son. Who could tire of hearing, "You'll shoot your eye out," over and over and over and over again?

Christmas would not be the same without it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Tradition Number 7

Every Christmas Eve we spend time in church. One of my favorite things about Christmas Eve is the candlelight service. I love how peaceful the sanctuary gets when the candles are lit and Silent Night is sung. I preached this year for our morning service and added candlelighting as a part of that too. This was because we didn't have a children's service and our congregation is aging so many of them don't like to travel after dark. It went well even though the sanctuary wasn't completely dark for it. It was cool!

Another tradition that I just love which didn't happen this year was during the Christmas Eve service I LOVE to hear the song O Holy Night sung. It gives me chills when it is sung well and at the evening service. I really missed that this year.

Christmas Tradition Number 6

Somewhere in the midst of the holiday season, we saw two of my favorite Christmas specials...ones that I hope the boys will continue to love even when they have children.

The first is Year without a Santa Claus...I LOVE the heat miser and cold miser...

There is also How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon one, not Jim Carey), Rudolph, Christmas Vacation and several others that we love to watch. I remember these shows from when I was little and am thankful that I can share them with my kids. Thanks to the Family Channel many of them were seen this season.

Christmas Tradition Number 5

Each year we get pictures with Santa. This year we did it a little later than normal because the crowds were so big and the lines were so long. This year both boys sat on Santa's lap for the pose.

I continued this tradition even when I was in college. I hope the boys find it as much fun as I did.

Christmas Tradition Number 4

After our oldest got his tree up, it was time for the family tree to be put up and decorated. We've had artificial and real trees in the past. I always had artificial trees growing up and Jim always had real ones. Real trees are nice but quite a bit of work...and I get tired of cleaning up needles all the time even way after Christmas. This year we got an artificial just cut tree that is prelit. It's gorgeous and does look a little real.

We always put lots of decorations on some people too many (my mother at Christmas commented that we had way too many decorations) but I disagree. There's still lots of green showing all of the decorations on the tree have some sort of sentimental meaning to them. We have decorations we bought on our various trips...our honeymoon, Tampa, SanDiego, other places that I can't think of right now. When the boys were born we bought baby's first Christmas ornaments...our oldest has a train built with each year up to five. We have some of the Christmas glass bulbs that we had our first year of marriage. We have ornaments made by our oldest during school and preschool, ornaments given to me when I used to teach, and others made or given to us by family and friends. I have a few ornament that I enjoyed as a child. Each of these ornaments mean something to us...and cause us to smile as we adorn the tree. At the top of the tree is one of my favorite angels (I collect them) that lights up and holds some decorations herself.

Too many ornaments? I don't think fact there could be a lot more.

Christmas Tradition Number 3

This year our oldest got to do something that I loved doing when I was his age...he got his own tree. Our friend Betsy's dad has a shop where he sells some really neat stuff...a part of the cool things are Christmas trees. J got his very own table top tree and got decorations for it. There's a soccer angel; 2 stars, one of which is a Marshall star; Star Wars characters including Darth, C3PO, R2D2, and Yoda; Jeff Gordon decorations (his favorite NASCAR driver); a birdhouse; a teddy bear; Anakin and Obi Won action decoration; Santa; a gingerbread man; and a string of M&M's. He wrapped it with colored lights before putting the decorations on it.

He then put the gingerbread house underneath the tree. Quite a neat tree, I think.

Christmas Tradition Number 2

I looked at my last 2 posts and realize that I haven't posted for quite some time. We have had many continued traditions that we have done this Christmas season. I will do them as separate posts so I can put pictures with them.

This year our oldest got to make a gingerbread house again. Two years ago he made a real one that was the manger complete with straw (shredded wheat) and the baby Jesus. Last year we made a foam gingerbread house that we can keep for years to come. He's got that one sitting underneath tradition number 3 (see next post). And again this year, I think he was inspired by our stadium cake, we made a real gingerbread house.

Jake had a lot of fun decorating the gingerbread (premade) with the icing and candies...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tomorrow's the Big Day

A while ago I posted about not being able to go to the big premiere because the ticket prices began at $250. Well, that was before we found out that the Marquee Cinemas in town were offering tickets for that same night at $25. We are going tomorrow to see the new We Are Marshall movie and our tickets allow us entrance into the green carpet to potentially see the stars.

I'm VERY excited and can't wait to see this movie. Every time they show the preview I get chills. I wonder if we'll be able to see us in "our scene". It's the retro scene where they 're having a board meeting to discuss cancelling the football program.

The town is again a buzz...this is exciting...I can't wait to see the movie.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's Officially Christmas Season - Tradition One

OK, usually I announce that it's officially holiday season after the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz, my favorite all time movie ever. But we were out of town when that movie was shown on TNT (I think that was the station). My oldest and I both missed one of our favorite films...sigh.

Anyway, tonight on ABC another one of my all time favorite shows was on. And this one means that Christmas is REALLY on the way....when I was little I had this show on an LP...and had about all the words memorized...

I had my boys watch it with me and they seemed to enjoy it.

A Charlie Brown there's a classic....and that poor cool was that?!

Their Aunt Sissy will be so proud.

Thank you, Charles Schulz for a family classic!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Our Very Own Stadium

Yesterday, Jim got this very cool stadium bunt pan. We got a butter yellow cake mix and away we went. The "field" is gingerbread and the stadium is all cake.

Today my oldest helped to guide where the "people" went and how the field should be decorated. It was a fun and unique way to celebrate this annual battle of Michigan and Ohio State.

The back drop is this very awesome watercolor that Jim got cool is that?!

Even though the Wolverines didn't win, at least we got to eat some pretty good cake.

You Have to Admit It Was a Good Game

Well, it's over...three lousy points and it's over. You never know exactly what's going to happen when the Buckeyes and Wolverines step onto the turf. It was a great game...just as I'd hope it would be. There were a few of coulda woulda shoulda calls that Michigan made but at least they held OSU to only 3 points.

I'm exhausted now...going to cheer for Cal and Rutgers and see how that's not gone well....

I Have No Nails Left!!

OK...this is a great game, but I have no nails left...3 point game, less than 2 minutes to go.



Well, it's half time at the Horseshoe and Michigan is behind by 2 touchdowns. It's getting hard to watch...U of M gets a break then they go backwards. Come on guys, let's get back in this. Let's go!!!

Go Blue!

It's Go Time

Let's Go Blue!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Goodbye Bo

Today we heard some sad news in the life of Michigan football general. Bo Schembechler, U of M icon, passed away today at the age of 77 after taping a show about tomorrow's big game where the Wolverines travel to the Horseshoe to take on the Buckeyes. Bo was the greatest coach in Big Blue football. How sad it was to think of this great loss especially on this weekend where the national championship would very well be the reward.

Bo bled the maize and blue...and was filled with the Wolverine spirit. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to his family and friends.

So the focus is on the top two teams playing tomorrow at the Horseshoe. I am excited and nervous about the game. Will the Big Blue show up in force and squash those Buckeyes? Or will their hearts be somewhere else? Hopefully the battle will be hard fought and the Wolverines will come out on top.

Come on, guys, let's win this one for Bo!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Good Bye Audio A

Last week the group Audio Adrenaline played one of its last concerts in Charleston. After 15 years, the group is going their separate ways. And to end their time together are doing a type of farewell tour. Charleston was one of their last stops to say goodbye.

This news was a little saddening to me as Audio Adrenaline was the first concert that Jim and I went to when we were dating. They played in my hometown of Celina, Ohio which is something unusual in and of itself, but Will McGinniss' (guitar player) twin sister had set it up.The Lutheran church in town was having a youth rally and Audio A was just getting its big start after their hit Big House. It was an outdoor concert and it was really, really fun.

A few years later, when I was in seminary, I saw them again in Columbus and got to talk to them. I thanked them for coming to Celina...they not only remembered the concert but said it was one of the most fun concerts they had ever played.

If you've never heard them I encourage you to listen to a couple of my favorites...Big House, Hands and Feet, If You're Happy and You Know It (watch yourself on the head banging part), Don't Censor Me, and Never Going to Be As Big as Jesus. Their other songs are good too, but those are my favorites.

Farewell to a great band who carried the Gospel message to so many people.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fun in the Leaves

1. Getting Ready

2. The Big Leap

3. A Soft Landing

My Favorite Season

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love football, cooler weather, the fall food and the fall smells. A couple of evenings ago I opened the back door and the crisp cool air hit my face. There was a faint smell of burning wood in the air too. These are the smells that I just love!!

I love everything about this season except raking the leaves in our yard. Our yard is great in the's huge and shady thanks to our pin oak in the back. It's the same tree that I hate this time of year as the leaves continue to fall.....and fall....and fall.....and fall.

To raise funds, our youth group volunteered of their time to help rake yards this year. So, Jim and our oldest had some help with the yard this year. J had his little rake and was helping to gather some of the leaves together so they could be mulched or bagged.

I think he had a lot of fun in the leaves once they got raked. He ran and jumped in them. He even posed with his little

The days are getting shorter, but the chill is in the air, the colors have changed into bright oranges, reds and yellows. The smells of the fall are in the air...the crunch of leave are under our feet.

Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We Are Marshall Movie Poster Released

Today the new movie poster for the We are Marshall movie was released. It is so cool looking...Matthew McConaughey looking over Huntington. Now to just figure out how to sometime get a copy of the poster for the boys' room. They have the We are Marshall game poster that's been around town.

The time for the movie is swiftly approaching. It's getting more and more exciting. I can't wait to watch it to see if you can pick us out in the crowd.

The clock is ticking...and the excitement is growing.

Below is an alternate movie poster that the Herald Dispatch blog had...the picture is from the Green and White game...maybe we're in that...we'll have to look.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

May the Force Be With You This Halloween!!

Halloween is a special time at our house. Every year our oldest picks out what he wants to be and it becomes the theme for us. Each year at church, we have an event called Trunk or Treat. The kids from our children's choir dress up along with some of the children from the neighborhood. Sometimes the youth join in by dressing up and having a party for the kids too.

The past couple of years I haven't been able to dress up because I've taught Bible studies and had worship team rehearsal. One year when our oldest was about two, he went as Mickey Mouse, I went as Minnie and Jim went as Goofy.

This year, since I'm still on maternity leave, I was able again to dress up with my guys. Our theme this year was Star Wars. Our oldest went as Anakin Skywalker; our youngest was Yoda; Mitchie, our dog was Darth Vader; Jim was Obi Juan Kenobi, and I was Leia.

Later tonight is Trick or Treat...and barring rain we'll be out in force (or out in "The Force") again.

Happy Halloween!!

PS And when you're Trick or Treating, our oldest says you need to say,

"Trick or Treat,
Smell my feet,
Give me something good to eat.
If you don't,
I don't care,
I'll pull down my underwear."
He continued, "Mom, those girls got it wrong...they said:
'Trick or Treat,
Smell my feet,
Give me something good to eat.
If you don't,
I don't care,
I'll pull down your underwear.'
That's just's MY underwear, not YOUR underwear...they don't have it right at all."
Here's wishing you lots of treats and no tricks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Say Hello to Scarecrow Jake

When we were on our way home from our Ohio trip a couple of weeks ago, we saw that this one farm had a build your own scarecrow part. By the time we got there, however, the things had all been put away. I was sad cuz we couldn't make that cool memory together.

But when we were on the way home, the guys decided that we could make a scarecrow at home instead. So, Thursday night they put together this little guy. Complete with his smiling face, jeans, shirt and Braves hat.

We hung it on the sign on our front porch. Jake's so proud of his new little friend. I hope he hangs around for a long time.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What Has Happened to the Bears?!

The season started pretty good...they were nationally ranked 9th. We knew that the big game would be against Mt. Union who once again was nationally ranked 1st. But we had beaten them last year and stopped their record breaking winning streak. I was excited, even ESPN mentioned the game on their pre-game show. I thought another upset might be at hand, but they beat us 49 - 7. Our rating fell to like 12th.

It was with that loss that the Polar Bears seemed to lose their steam big time. The next week was homecoming. The Bears hosted number 4 Capital. It was a good game, but the Bears came up short losing 10 - 17...thus dropping to 20th place nationally.

This week ONU traveled to Marietta. It seems that the losses from the past 2 weeks still have their hold. Marietta won 16 - 6. We've dropped to 3 - 3 for the Ohio Atheletic Conference...this game was for 4th place in our conference.

The numbers are there for the possessions and the yardage, but it seems as though no matter how far we get, we just can't score.

Next week we play Baldwin Wallace there. Come on guys, lets get back in the game and finish the season with some passion and wins.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Shots Stink!!

Yesterday our youngest had another well baby appointment. This is one of the doctor visits that I just hate. He had to receive 3 shots and an immunization by mouth. I hate when the boys receive shots. When our oldest was a baby I wasn't prepared for the shock of listening him scream and cry when the shots were given. My husband held him down while I started to tear up.

Then there was the time he fell and cracked open his chin at Universal Studios on our vacation to Florida. He had to get a shot in his chin before it could be sown up. I know all of these shots are for their own good, but it makes me sad to hear them in pain and scared. I can't even watch them get the shots because it upsets me.

I hated shots when I was their age, but think it's harder when it's your children that are on the receiving end of the needle. It's hard to take when your child is in pain.

I wonder if that's the way God feels when we are hurting or scared. I wonder if it makes him upset to see us cry. I imagine that he wants so much to comfort us and hold us close. All of this out of God's great love for us. After all, God is our ultimate parent and isn't that what parents do?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More ONU Pics

The Pass, Punt and Kick contest

Enjoying the Pony Rides.

Not a Great Game, But a Good Day

This past weekend we made our first road trip with the little one. We went back to my old stompin' grounds for Ohio Northern's homecoming. This year's theme was Gone Country. It was a nice day...a little chilly, but if you know anything about Ada, Ohio and the tundra of ONU, you understand completely how chilly it can get. It was sunny and no snow in sight.

There were rides for the kids, big and small. Our oldest rode rides upon rides. He started out on the pony rides then moved on to the canoe rides. He was excited that all the food in the carnival area was free...including caramel apples and cotton candy. There was a lot of cool free stuff...banners and a cowbell.

After a lunch of hotdogs and hamburgers at the tailgate party, we headed over to Dial Roberson Stadium for the game. We even got to see Klondike and get a picture with him. I wish I could say it was a great was good, exciting at times, but unfortunately we lost. That was disappointing.

Anyway after the game, our oldest went down to the field to participate in the pass, punt and kick contest. He won first place for the 5 year old division. We were so proud.

Even though the bears lost, we had a great time. And I think everyone had fun.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sigh, I Guess I Won't Be Going

Today the prices were released for the world premiere of the We Are Marshall movie. I had known the tickets would not be cheap and I was right. The cheapest seats are $250 which are probably in the balcony. Then there are the $500 tickets where you can be closer to the stars...probably on the floor. There are the $1000 tickets where you can be in the front with the stars and attend a gala reception with the stars too...and there are premiere sponsor tickets for $10,000 - $500,000. Now the proceeds from these tickets go to good causes...Marshall University and the Keith Albee restoration fund, but come on. I guess you have to be rich to associate with the rich and famous.

We're talking about going to the red carpet with camera in hand to see the stars and be a little a part of the big event. On the news tonight they said that there might be another showing of the movie with tickets going for $25 a piece. That's a little more of what I might pay to see it during the big hoopla.

Oh well...maybe there will be some kind of the movie and sit with the stars stuff. That'd be cool...yeah, I'll hope for that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What Do You Mean No Pie?!

Over the weekend we went to the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival. We haven't been there for a few years...I think our oldest was a baby the last time we were there. It has really grown since then. The ground was muddy from the week's rains but the atmosphere was great. There was the exhibit of large pumpkins including one that was over 900 pounds, there were arts and crafts, and there were some pretty cool concessions.

You could get about anything you wanted pumpkin. Pumpkin clothes for yourself, your children, your pet, your lawn animals; pumpkin candles; pumpkin cutouts; pumpkin coffee; pumpkin chips; pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread and pumpkin doughnuts.

Now with all of these selections you would think they'd have plenty of my favorite fall treats...pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie especially if it's warm with a lot of whipped cream. While the boys and I stood in line to get hot dogs, Jim went to get food and dessert. But when he got to the pie stand they were out. OK it was the I thought they just were really busy...but they had run out at like 10 AM that day...they said they'd have more the next day, but you had to get there by 9 or 10. Are you kidding me?!

The Pumpkin Festival with no pumpkin pie...unless you want it for breakfast. Just disappointing. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery and the guys got me a pumpkin pie. And boy is it good!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amazing Grace

Over the past several days I have been shocked and saddened as well as amazed and awed by what has been happening in the news. The most troubling to me was the shootings in the Amish country in Pennsylvania. It made me so sad to hear of what had happened. Any time children are harmed by people, my heart aches. I think of how I would feel if someone hurt my boys or if someone had hurt "my kids" when I was teaching.

The Amish are a unique people. They pride themselves as being in the world but not of the world. They seek to live their lives in peace with those around them. They are known for not fighting...but rather for turning the other cheek when it comes to conflict.

This senseless act of violence was especially sad because there were mostly young children and young adults in the schoolhouse.

But through this terrible tragedy there has come a wonderful example of grace. Those who had been effected by this horrible event the most have begun the process of healing and forgiveness. They have forgiven the man who took loved ones from them. And through this have become an example to us all.

I don't know if I could be that grace filled this early in the grieving process. I would hope to show God's presence, God's grace and God's love, but if someone hurt my boys I think that grace would not be the first thing in my mind. Through this awful incident we have the opportunity to see God's presence and God's grace.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What Have We Learned - 5 Years Later

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since the terror attacks. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had a pastor's meeting in the morning, Jim was getting ready for work. We were waiting for the sitter to come be with our then 8 month old son. When she got to our house she told us that something terrible had happened. We turned on the TV just as the second plane hit. I thought it was so terrible it must be some kind of horror movie trailer that they were showing. But we soon learned that it was all too true.

That day was surreal for me. The downtown ministers went ahead and met...searching for some way we could be strong for each other as we sought to be strong for those who would come seeking some kind of answers...some kind of reason for this unthinkable act of violence. Many of us were on the phone with loved of which was scheduled to leave that morning for London.

People walked around in a daze...not knowing exactly what would come next...what would happen next. Many were glued to the television and radio listening and watching for some explanation, some kind of guidance, some source of hope.

As we look back, there are many things we learned in the past five years. Here are three of those lessons...

1. We should never take things for granted. Each day spent with those we love should be lived to the fullest so that those we care about know how much they mean to us and so that we suck the marrow out of each moment that we live.

2. No matter what might divide us from each other, when others are in need, we all can come together to help in whatever way we can. Things changed for a while after that day. People let down their guards to be kind and courteous to each other.

3. There are those among us who will offer up their time, talent and their vary lives to rescue those who are in danger or those in need. There were many that day and even the days, weeks and months to follow who offered of themselves so that others might be saved or comforted.

There are many other things we have learned since then...but these are the ones that really stick out in my mind. May we continue to learn new things about ourselves and our faith.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Favorite Season

Even though Fall has not officially started, the feel is in the air. Since I haven't been out of the house a whole lot, I have been under the impression that the heat wave continued. But when I stepped out of the house to hang our Marshall University flag out, I realized that fall has arrived. There is a little chill in the air...boy, it feels like football weather.

And so today's real beginning of the Saturday college football season seems so appropriate. The good news is that Michigan won...but so did Ohio State. Then there was the Marshall vs. WVU game which WVU won.

Our little one was disappointed that Marshall lost...he had worn his We Are...Marshall onesie in hopes that the Herd would be victorious. Hopefully they'll do better last week.

The Ohio Northern Polar Bears take the field next week. Good luck to all of our favorite teams.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Big Day at Our House

Today was a big day in our house. Our oldest son started his first full day of school today. He is excited for this new step in his life. Yesterday he only went for a few hours. It was so neat to see him so big and starting big school. But there was a part inside of me that ached to see him starting this next chapter. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. With the arrival of our newest child I have been thinking of the day we brought his brother home from the hospital. How small, fragile and innocent he was. Now he's going to school...meeting new friends and learning new things.

We also took the baby to the doctor for his first check up today. He has gained weight and continues to thrive. He's so small and fragile. I'm enjoying every minute of him...yes, and even trying to enjoy the early morning/late night feedings. I know how quick the time goes and I don't want to take a second of it for granted.

Wow what a big and wonderful day in our house.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Room in My Heart

Bringing Jonah home has been a wonderful and kinda scary thing. Will we remember what to do? How did we do this before? How will things go?

There were many questions in my mind as to the adjustment of one child to two would go. So far, it's been exciting to get Jonah home and continue to watch him grow. I read that many second time parents have questions like this when they bring their newborn home. One big question is will I be able to love this little guy as much as our first. I didn't really struggle with that because of the fact that I had felt so lucky to have this little life growing inside of me.

I began to think of what happens to our hearts when a new person, especially a child, comes into our lives. It seems like our hearts grow a size bigger each and every time that a new person comes into our lives that we care about.

Sometimes I have wondered how God has love for so many of us, who are his creation. God is ultimately our parent and is totally responsible for our creation. Perhaps our love as parents for our children or our love for those who are close to us is modeled after the love that God has for each of us. God's heart must continue to grow a size bigger each and every time a new person comes into the world. How cool is that?!

That's how the love of a parent for a child goes and grows. Thank you God, for continuing to teach me more and more about your love every day.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Welcome to the World

Friday, at 8:39 am, Jonah Dean came into the world literally kicking and screaming. He weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. We are so blessed to have two beautiful boys in our family.

We stayed in the hospital until early this afternoon when we brought him home. It is so wonderful to have a new baby at home again. I'd forgotten what it's like. In some ways it's scary because I want to make sure we do everything right for this little guy who's totally dependent upon us. We have been so richly blessed and trusted by God to take care of this little person.

Jake's a proud big brother. He's going to pre-school to share pictures of his new little brother along with "It's a Boy" suckers. He's looking forward to sharing stories with Jonah and teaching him all kinds of neat stuff.

Thank you all for your thoughts, well wishes and prayers...we really appreciate them!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

OK...Here We Go

Well it's the night before D-day. I'm nervous and anxious and trying not to think of everything that will happen to me and my body tomorrow. I can't believe that the time is really here that we'll really be holding this little guy who's been pummeling my body for some time. Please remember us in your prayers as we prepare for this new chapter in our lives and the first chapter in this little guy's life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where Did the Time Go?

We have three more days until the newest addition to our family arrives. I can't believe how fast the time has gone lately. We go to the doctor for one last time tomorrow just to be sure everything is set for this newest arrival to our family.

God has graciously blessed our family throughout these past several years...and I'm so thankful that God has continued to bless us with this new little guy.

We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Belly Bumps

As many of you know we have just over 2 weeks before the newest addition to our family is to arrive. We have been trying to get Jake to bond with him before he's born. We keep telling Jake that his little brother will recognize his voice and most likely smile at him first, which really makes Jake smile.

Jake has, off and on, been fascinated by the moving around in my belly. Sometimes he just stares as an arm or leg goes brushing past. At other times he says, "That's just weird mommy."

Last night was the coolest. I'm sitting in the recliner trying to cool off and relax and Jake wants to sit on my lap. He comes up by me then slides back down half on the floor half on me so that his head is on my belly. He begins to talk to my belly, "Hi little's me....Hi baby." To which this little guy begins to hit and/or kick. Jake began to giggle..."he's kicking me in the head mommy."

We keep doing this for a while, he talks and the baby kicks, "he's kicking me in the head, daddy." Jakes eyes just twinkled as he "played" with his baby brother. I so look forward to the time when they can really play and laugh.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Getting Tired of the Heat

I can't believe how hot it has been this past month plus. We were watching the news tonight and I told Jim I hadn't seen heat this bad since the year we met...back in '95. That year a friend of mine and I went to visit a friend from college who lived in Chicago. It was sweltering...many people got sick and even died from the intense heat.

That summer was also the summer I got heat exhaustion...which I have not fully gotten over. I am really sensitive to the heat. Being nine months pregnant doesn't help a whole lot either. My feet are beginning to look like they belong to Fred Flintstone...and the air conditioners at home and work don't really feel like they're working any more.

Hopefully we'll get relief this weekend. Until then I'm pounding water, popsicles, staying inside and keeping my feet up.

I can't wait til fall and winter!

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Year Later

It happened August 1st, a day that would feel like the longest most painful day of my life. I will never forget the pain I felt that day a year ago. They told me it was for the best. They told me I could try again. They told me it'll be ok. There's seldom a day that goes by that I don't think of that child that I once carried. There isn't a day that I don't thank God for the little boy growing inside of me this day.

Last year I thought that all of life was pretty much over. How would I continue to go on? This year I look back. Yeah, it still pretty much sucks to lose a child. But in the midst of this all I do see new hope. I remember the midwife telling us that everyday she thanks God for her daughter that wouldn't be here if her first pregnancy would have continued without issue. I am thinking that same way about this little guy who's pushing, prodding and poking me from time to time. I am grateful for the life inside of me that we will be meeting face to face in just a few weeks. I thank God for his presence, his strength and his support.

I am thankful, too, for all those, especially the women, who came up to me afterward and shared personal stories of loss, pain and suffering. Their stories seemed to bring them strength as they sought to support me in my grief. They are proof that I am not alone...that others have walked this seemingly lonely road.

As August begins, I have mixed feelings. I'm excited, nervous and scared about the newest addition that will come into our family. There's a feeling of fear as I don't want anything bad to happen. There's this underlying feeling of sadness of the child that will never be here on this earth. Yes, August 1st will never be the same for me again...but perhaps it can be the sign of new life. It certainly has taught me how precious life truly is.

Boy, I can't wait to see this little guy and continue to praise God for his life and his presence in my life.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Stork is Coming in Less Than Three Weeks!!

We went to the doctor on Friday and found out when the newest McKay will join our family. When we talked to the doctor we decided on the day of August 18th. We were fine because, after all, that's not until next month and it's after the middle of the month anyway.

We were fine, that is until she said, "So, let's schedule your next week you'll meet with one of the midwives and the following week you'll meet with me just to be sure we have everything all set for the following week. And three weeks from now we'll bring this little guy into the world."


She had to tell Jim to breathe...and it quite frankly, freaked me out too. So, now it's less than three weeks and counting...nineteen days actually. Wow...let phase three of nesting begin...aka getting EVERYTHING ready for baby.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Christmas in July

Tonight at Common Grounds we celebrated Christmas in July and it was quite awesome. We sang Christmas carols, we talked about the birth of Jesus. We served around 90 people dinner. The social hall was so packed there were very few seats left. Often times some of our people leave before the service really starts, but this evening there were about 60 people who stayed for that.

It's amazing what God has done with this service that originally began as an outreach to college students at Marshall University. However, we now serve a different congregation...the homeless and those who are struggling to get back on their feet.

We seek to minister to those who gather with us on Thursday nights through food, fellowship, love, music and the reflection. There have been relationships made that I know would not have been made if this service did not exist. I'm grateful for God's vision that took a while for us to realize, but has now become our vision...providing a loving environment where folks can come together, be fed both physically and spiritually; providing a cool place in the summer and warm place in the winter for folks to get out of the elements; providing a place where all people can truly belong.

I hope this is what we have started doing with our Common Grounds has been a blessing to get to know these people that otherwise I would have missed out on.

Thanks God!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Nesting Phase II

Today began the next step in nesting. We brought down some of the old clothes from the closet upstairs. Now I just have to wash them up and get them ready for the little guy to wear sometime in the next month or so.

We still have yet to find the bassinet sheets and any extra crib sheets that Jake hasn't worn out. Organization is the name of the game...trying to get everything set to where we know where they are. Now just to find the bassinet and we'll be good to go at least for the first month or so. And it's fun to show our oldest what he had played with and worn when he was just a little one. He has graciously agreed to share his clothes, toys and other items with his little brother.

Time keeps ticking...but at least we're getting more ready. I can't believe it...4 weeks or so to go. WOW!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Less than Five Weeks and Counting

I can't believe we have less than five weeks until this little guy is born. The time in the beginning went so fast. I remember thinking I just needed to get to Valentine's Day and the stress time would be over. It seems like I woke up one day and suddenly it was mid June. There's so much to do and I'm starting to get nervous that it all won't get done.

I can't remember what our timeline was with's been a while and my memory/brain is being slowly drained by this little one. I am hoping to get the stuff out of the closet this week and get it washed...things like the bassinet, clothes and sheet stuff. We have a potential name but that won't be revealed until later. I can't believe it's getting this close...we will have to be ready but are we really? I'm excited, nervous and a little scared...all of which I remember from over 5 years ago.

As far as we know we will find out Friday the date when he'll probably come into the world. Then the true countdown will start. Let the next level of nesting begin.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Craving Ice Cream

In this intense summer heat, I've been staying inside to stay cool. With five weeks to go, I'm trying to do whatever I can to stay cool. One thing that the baby seems to be doing is craving cool things to eat...last night I had I don't know how many popsicles...and today the craving of the day is ice cream. Jim just went to DQ for some cool treats. Thank goodness for airconditioning...I don't know what I'd do without it.

Mmmmm....Pecan Mudslide.

Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Locusts are Singing

When I was little I remember every year around this time I'd hear the locusts begin singing. There eeee-rrrrrr-eeeee-rrrrr sounds would ring through the trees at night. The days would begin to get just a little cooler and nights would begin to come just a little sooner. We were beginning to enter fall.

I remember my mom telling me that when we heard the locusts sing it meant there were six weeks until school started. When I was little that used to thrill me...I missed many of my friends and seeing them occasionally over the summer at the pool or somewhere else just wasn't like seeing them every day. A new school year meant excitement, maybe new friends, new adventures. As I grew older that excitement stayed too...especially when I went to college.

The locusts singing meant that there were about 8 weeks until I traveled back to Ada and got to see my good friends that were separated from me by miles and various duties during the summer.

When I graduated and began teaching school, the locusts brought this feeling of sadness and a little anxiousness. Who would be in my classes this year? Would the classes be well behaved or would I have to play the role of disciplinarian more than instructor?

This year the locusts songs mean something new and exciting to me again. This fall will begin a new chapter in each of our lives...the baby will be here in less than 6 weeks...Jake starts school in about 7 weeks or so. So many different things are going to happen.

I thought back to my time as a child...the song of the locusts meant change and excitement...what would the future hold? This year that wonder and awe enters my heart again as I look forward to seeing this little one who I've carried since just before Christmas.

I have shared with Jake what the singing of the locusts means...fall is on its way. School is getting ready to is just around the corner.

I picture myself years from now telling our youngest..."You hear those sounds? It's the singing of the locusts...they mean that soon it'll be your'll be a year older...they're singing about your birthday a joyful song."

The locusts are singing....change is coming soon.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Childbirth Class #2 - Boy It's Been a While

Yesterday Jim and I went to a childbirth class at the hospital where son #2 will be born. I had a little concern because we had taken a similar class when we were pregnant the first time. I was amazed at what new things they have included in the class. This time we got to see a lot of the equipment they use to do the various things to check on you. We had the routine tour of the maternity floor, nursery, etc.

The neatest thing about the class and something new from 5 1/2 years ago when we had delivered there before was the additions to their security system. This is so cool. When Jake was born we had the bracelet thing...I had one, he had one and Jim had one. But now they do that a step further...they now put these electronic bracelets on the babies. It looks as though they are under house arrest, but it does something really cool. If someone gets too close to the door with a baby, the doors lock and the alarm goes off. This way no baby can leave the ward. about peace of mind.

I'm getting more and more excited about the baby. Now if we can just decide on a name.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Learning to Be a Big Brother

This weekend, Jake has been learning more and more what it means to be a big brother. When we were out and about on Saturday, we bought a boy doll so that Jake could practice how to hold the baby and treat the baby when he comes home. Jake agreed that if I wanted the doll, he would help me take care of it...but since we got it he has helped to carry and "take care" of it. I think he's really learning what you do with babies and don't do with babies.

Jake's also learning how to be a big brother in other ways. Sandpiper and her family attend our church and her youngest son has taken Jake under his wing. They attend some of the same stuff and several times over the past couple of years, J has really shown Jake how to be protective and brotherly. There have been several times that Jake will come home from summer session and talk about how J had played with him and his friends or how J had sat with them at lunch or how he had said hi throughout the day. We were at a reception and J took Jake around and taught him some very "needed" skills for a young boy (how to make gaseous sounds with a container of slime and how to scare all of the women with a fake spider).

Today, during the children's moments I saw one of the neatest things too. Jake came in with the other younger children and J was already up front. Jake went and sat down next to him and J put his arm around him and talked to him. After church I said something to Jake about it...Jake said, "Yeah J's pretty cool." I said, "He's kinda like a big brother, huh."

Jake said, "Yeah...he's like MY big brother."

And the learning continues.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Lately, I've been getting a little nervous because I have this urge to clean and purge what we no longer need. A little nervous because that always precedes childbirth (I'm hoping this doesn't mean that it's coming quicker than we expect.) Anyway, while I've been packing away the summer clothes that I can't fit into now but hope to next year at this time, I think Jim's been nesting too.

Today was a big day in the McKay house. We had been looking for a new living room suite for a while now...and a couple of things have made our search a little more intentional. First of all, the Annual Conference is no longer providing furnished parsonages for their pastors so we'd have to get one sooner or later because the one we have now is the church's. Second, with the new baby coming we wanted something new and nice for him to sit on, be rocked in, etc., etc.

We went today with no intentions of buying, just looking around. To our fortune, we found a really nice set at a furniture outlet. I'm so excited that we found something of real quality for the price of a sofa at most other places. Jim found this one and I decided to sit on it to be sure that it felt nice, that I could take a nap on it and **most important** I could get off of it with little trouble. It was WONDERFUL!! Jim looks at me and says, "Wanta get it?"

The big question was will it look the same when it gets in the house? We were able to bring the throw pillows home with us and it looks great.

I'm so excited. So, now we have our, well my first living room suite (Jim had bought one for his apartment before we were married) that I have bought for the house. We will take the church's furniture to the church to be used as they see fit...perhaps in one of the Sunday school rooms.

Nesting continues in our home.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Welcome Summer!! Goodbye Heat!!

Today began the first day of summer and it seems that the weather must know that got very, VERY warm and humid today. It's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow. Wow, if this is a taste of what July holds, I'm going to spend a lot of time inside in cool. I don't like heat in the first place after having had heat exhaustion several years ago. So, my body tends to react to heat a whole lot faster than it used to. Pregnancy always makes me hotter...our first child was born in January and I was hot throughout that time. This little guy is due in August. I'm praying for cooler weather, but am not hopeful.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Here's the Picture As Promised

As I posted a while ago, our son was given the privledge to present the Bishop with a stepping stone at Annual Conference. Above is the picture taken by our Conference photographer at that event.