Friday, December 28, 2007

Look Alike?

Some folks think Annelise looks just like Hadleigh Claire and some think they look complete opposite. Here is a recent pic of Annelise and a pic of HC when she was 8 weeks. One thing you may or may not be able to tell from the pictures is that HC has almost no hair, while Annelise still has wuite a bit of dark hair on her head. You decide...





Friday, December 21, 2007


I am just sitting here at the computer, paying bills, balancing our check book and organizing the massive amount of papers sitting on my desk. I came upon a letter from our new pastor, John Tinnin and as I read it I became overwhelmed with thanksgiving. My family is lucky to be involved with Intown, and I am so thankful that the Lord brought us back to Atlanta.

We have been able to hear wonderful Gospel centered sermons that have challenged us, and that we talk about during the week. I have actually been amazed at how often during the week I will hear someone mention the sermon. What a blessing to have a pastor who can preach the word, and to have the Holy Spirit continue to use those words throughout the week to prick hearts!

I was also thinking about the Lessons and Carols service this year. Lessons and Carols is an entire service where the Gospel is presented through nine passages of scripture (beginning in the Old Testament and continuing into the New Testament) and nine carols. Dave and I chuckled as we thought about the Lessons and Carols we had in Germany where one of the carols was Feliz Navidad.

We are so blessed through the folks at Intown, and I am so thankful to be back here again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Angry Elf

When Dave and I first were married we had many discussions about Christmas family traditions. One of the traditions that needed to be hammered out was which Christmas movie were we going to watch on a regular basis. Dave was voting for "A Christmas Story" which I hate (except for the part where the Dad gets the box and says "Fragile, it must be Italian"). My vote was for "Christmas in Connecticut" which is a wonderful classic. Our first married Christmas we saw the movie "Elf" in the theatre and decided it was a good compromise between the two movies and it has been our family Christmas movie ever since.

I have two fav parts, the first one being when Buddy freaks out "Santa! Santa! I know him!" and then when he realizes it isn't the real Santa he says "You sit on a throne of lies." And the second one is when Buddy comes dancing into his dad's office while they are hearing a story pitch from a little person. Buddy mistakes him for an elf and asks him if Santa knows he left the workshop, etc. In the end Buddy says "Oh, he's an angry elf."

We know have a second nickname for Annelise, besides the purple baby, we are also calling her the angry elf. Dave says he feels better about calling her the "angry elf" because it makes him laugh instead of getting angry when Annelise cries all the time.

Well...stop the presses...I just wrote that entire story to say this one angry elf is asleep in the swing. Shut it! After she sat screaming in her bouncy seat for an hour while I wrapped presents, I transferred her to the swing...and only after about 10 minutes she fell asleep. That means I am currently typing with both hands and no baby.

OK, I must run and get something else done before she becomes the angry elf again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

21 Months

So, what did you do to celebrate your 21 month old birthday? Hadleigh Claire celebrated in style!

Our Baumholder buddies, Grant and Jess, were stationed at Fort Benning this summer and we have enjoyed seeing them from time to time. Yesterday they invited us to Columbus for the annual Tower Jump (I don't know if that is what it is called officially). Ft. Benning is where all infantry soldiers are trained, all enlisted soldiers have their basic training there, and all officers have their different schools and training there. It is also where any soldier who is "Airborne" or a "Ranger" is trained. Grant was telling us a little about each school while we hung out, but apparently there is a whole technique to jumping out of a plane (go figure) and becoming Airborne. If you do it wrong some bad things can happen, so there is a lot of training that goes into becoming Airborne (just in case you are wondering, Dave did not assume the correct position, but will be practiced up for next year).

There are different towers through Ft. Benning where the soldier train and practice their jumping techniques before jumping out of a plane. They have two 34 foot towers that are used, and once a year they open up the towers and let friends and family jump out of the towers. According to research 34 feet is the scariest height. Any lower and you are lower to the ground and any higher and you can't really tell the difference of being higher.

Dave was excited when Grant mentioned the Tower Jump this summer and we planned to make the trip to Columbus for the occasion. You basically get hooked into a harness, are given a helmet, and then are hooked into two ropes (so it is similar to being hooked into a parachute). You jump out of the tower and fly down a zip line. As Dave's turn was coming up we saw all these little kiddos jumping out of the tower, so Dave asked if they would strap Hadleigh Claire to him for the jump. They agreed!

So, for Hadleigh Claire's 21st month birthday she jumped out of a tower with her Dada. It was apparently no big deal to her. She didn't freak out, and seemed to like the experience. I think she would walk through fire if Dave did it with her, so no big news there.

On other 21 month news, she is saying all sorts of words which is so fun. My favorite word currently is bus, which she pronounces "buts" It makes me giggle.

She is a super big girl and such a big helper. She is definitely not a prissy girl and is unafraid of getting dirty and playing in the dirt. However she does appreciate cleanliness, and LOVES to wipe off her face often while she eats and enjoys picking up random crumbs off the floor and throwing them away.

She loves Annelise and always wants to help rock her, or give her the pacifier if has fallen out. She is a huge help. The other day I was changing Annelise and the phone started ringing. Hadleigh was with me, but left the room, went to find the phone and brought it back to me. Wow! I was impressed! And I didn't even ask her to do that!

She still loves planes, trains, cars, trucks, buses, etc. She loves her stuffed animals, Elmo, Bear and Giraffe.

Since we haven't had a TV in months, Dave found a Sesame Street website that has little games and stories with Elmo. Now, whenever we are on the computer she comes up and says "Melmo, Melmo, Melmo".

Another of my fav is that when we give her something to eat she will say "Mmmm, mummy". She continues to eat anything and everything we give her. She still has her super porridge for breakfast and LOVES it.

One of the best things about having family here after Annelise was born was that Hadleigh had suh a fun time with everyone. Now, she really seems to know them and asks for Papa, Nana and Grandma (Mahmaw).

I have no idea how much she weighs, but Dave calls her the 50 pound giant. After coming home from the hospital with Annelise, she just seems huge. I don't think she weighs 50, but she is probably pushing 30.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

1 Month

Annelise is now one month old! We have all survived!

She is now weighing in at 9lbs. 12 oz. and is 22 inches long. She still has her dark brown hair and blond eyebrows, so we will see what becomes of that.

She has her days and nights in the right order, so we have been getting sleep the last week or so. Her longest stretch of sleep is 4 hours, which I gladly accept.

Dave and I tend to refer to little Annelise as the "purple child". Since her arrival, we have noticed that Miss Annelise has a bit of a temper. She often gets really upset (like when she is not being held) and will become purple from head to toe and scream until the situation is remedied. So, that leads me into her obsession with being held. Nothing will be sustituted for being held. The swing has been rejected...the bouncy seat will be tolerated only if you are there making it bounce, and only then it only lasts for about 15 minutes. Forget all slings, baby bjorns or infantinos. I can get her into a deep sleep (as in head back, floppy arms) and I will put her into her Moses basket and she will wake up within 10 minutes. I am trying to enjoy this time and her desire to be held, but some times it is hard. As you can imagine with Annelise's desire to be held, she is sleeping in our bed. I LONG to get her into her own bed, but at this point sleep for all of us is winning. Baby Wise shmaby wise.

Annelise loves her sister Hadleigh Claire. She will often stop crying when HC rocks her violently in her car seat or in the bouncy seat. Ah sisters.

My favorite thing about Annelise is when she sleeps in my arms. It is so hard to be still, especially with HC running around, but it is a precious time. When I hold her in my arms she generally rests her little hand on my chest and holds onto my shirt. It is super sweet, and I know will only last for a short time.

OK, this is short because it is hard to type with a sleeping baby in your arms. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Preparing for Christmas

This weekend we began preparing for Christmas. Friday we drove north to a tree farm and cut down our tree. This is the fourth Christmas that we have cut down our own tree (of course now that we are back in America we paid a little more than 5 euro for it). Two years ago we had quite an adventure which involved a recent ice storm, a mile hike in the snow at 8 months prego, and a tree that Dave had seen the Christmas can read all about it in the archives of our blog.

This year was fun for Hadleigh. Annelise rode in the infantino, and slept through the whole thing. Hadleigh was able to ride in a wagon down to the lot and then feed the goats after we had picked out our tree. As we were picking out the tree, she kept exclaiming "twee" and then when she saw the goats yelled "puppy". It was really cute.

Hadleigh helped us decorate the tree and has been great about the ornaments (not that we have put anything breakable within reaching distance).

Today Hadleigh and I made cookies. We had a great time, and she liked saying each object as she cut the cookies out...twee...tar (star)...etc. As a side note, we finally taught her the word bus. She had been calling buses "guck" (truck), but today on the way home from church she said "buts" for bus. Dave and I giggled as she continued to laugh and "buts", she was close.

Miss Annelise Meets Grandma

We have been super fortunate these past weeks to have had lots of help from our families. My mom was here for two weeks and then Dave's mom has been down twice to help. We have had so much help that I actually didn't have to be on my own with the girls until this past Wednesday. Now some of our friends are making meals for us, so all of this has helped make the transition a bit easier.

As I mentioned, Dave's mom was here for three days before Thanksgiving and then again for two days last week. She cooked her amazing lasagne (the best in the world), played with Hadleigh, met Annelise, did massive amounts of laundry and overall was a fun companion to have around.

She also purchased Hadleigh's Christmas present early. Dave put it together on Wednesday evening so it was all ready for her when she woke up on Thursday. When I got her up in the morning I told her that she had a special present waiting in the living room. She went running in there and immediately squealed "Whoa!" and then ran over and got in the swing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Miss Annelise Meets the Franklins

Miss Annelise and Papa Froggy

Nana Patti and Her Granddaughters

The Franklin Women
Annelise, Great Grandma Gladys, Hadleigh Claire, Ami, and Aunt Kathy

Aunt Kathy and Annelise

Great Grandma Gladys and Annelise

Aunt Kathy and Hadleigh Claire

Miss Annelise has met a lot of important people in her short life. My mom came to help and visit for two weeks, and during that time my dad was able to visit for 5 days and my Grandma Gladys and Aunt Kathy were able to fly down from NYC to visit for a weekend.

Miss Hadleigh Claire Meets Great-Grandma Gladys Claire

A week or so ago my Hadleigh Claire was able to meet her namesake, Gladys Claire, my grandmother. Great-Grandma Gladys Claire was able to fly down from New York City to visit and meet Hadleigh Claire and Annelise her only great-grand-daughters. It was a special visit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not So Generous

I have been a little hesitant to post, but Thursday evening was spent with David Stoddard, and I have felt a little better about my conclusions. Recently I read Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy. To be honest, it has been a difficult read, especially because I do not know anyone else who has read it, so there wasn’t anyone I could talk to about the book.

As I mentioned David S. was over here for dinner on Thursday night, saw the book sitting on the end table and asked me what I thought. I was a little nervous to say anything, and finally my Dave exclaimed “that book angers her.” Yes, it is true…I have thought about throwing it against a wall, so that was a fair assessment. David S. asked me why and I dove head first into my reasons. I was worried because David S. is WAY smarter than I will ever be, has read WAY more than I will ever read, is a seminary grad, a pastor, a missionary, etc. As I finished my explanations I realized he was nodding his head, as if he agreed. Was I ever relieved! Not just because he agreed with me, but because I felt a little validated in my concerns.

So, anyway, this isn’t a book I would recommend…if you want a good non-scary…non-angering book check out Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll. I am not going to go through all the reasons why I didn’t like McLaren’s book, but I will mention one. I can slightly appreciate why someone would not want to be pigeon holed into a belief system…and stereotyped by it. However, while I can appreciate not necessarily wanting to be called Reformed or Wesleyan, or dispensational, I think there are some non-negotiables and we should not be afraid to say these things. For example, I would say, and believe that scripture is very clear that there is not salvation apart from Christ. Will there be people from other religions in heaven, only if they claim Christ as their salvation. Now, McLaren might believe that, but he doesn’t make that distinction and seems to take pride in the fact that no one can nail him down. To me, there are some things that are too important to play around with.

If there is anyone else who has read the book I would be interested in talking with others and hearing other thoughts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Come On Fred

So, now for the story you have all been waiting for…yea, yea, for all you squeamish folks, you can skip this post. Welcome to my labor story.

I’ll give a little background, so you can see my absolute desperation leading up to Annelise’s arrival. As we approached and passed her due date, and with my family coming, we tried EVERYTHING to put me into labor. Castor oil wasn’t that bad…I was afraid of having a “Dumb and Dumber” experience…ya know when Jim Carey is sitting on the toilet…but fortunately it wasn’t quite that bad. I did have good contractions for about 6 hours after taking it, but no dice. We headed to Scalini’s Italian Restaurant to eat their eggplant parmesan, which is guaranteed to put you into labor within 48 hours…no dice. I did all the “normal” things that everyone tells you to do…long walks up big hills, etc, but again nothing.

When I went to my first post-due-date appt, my midwife commented that it was the first time she had seen me stressed about the situation. She actually redeemed herself as we talked about the options and advised we wait as long as possible before inducing since I had a desire to avoid the epidural. We scheduled the induction for Friday, November 2 at 7.30. She also suggested that I begin taking Evening Primrose Oil in the morning and at night…I was willing to try anything!

As we neared Friday I became more anxious. I had a ton of people praying that labor would just begin on its own, and I also had a lot of folks reassure me that induction isn’t always the devil (though everyone who had taken pitocin had also had an epidural). My friend, Sar, had her baby Jill on October 30th and ended up being induced and had an epidural. It was very reassuring to talk with her and hear that she was happy with the decision (after having a natural labor with her first baby).

So, Wednesday night (Oct 31) I started having contractions, regular and 10 minutes apart. I was able to sleep through some of them, but was up a lot of the night with them. Thursday morning came, and the contractions continued, though they stayed at 10 minutes apart. We had our family fun day and took HC to the park and the contractions continued through lunch and then died. Ugh! Fortunately late afternoon they started up again. I felt like things were progressing, so at 6.30 we started timing the contractions and were 7 minutes apart. And they were REAL labor contractions, like stop what you are doing, don’t talk, etc.

So, during this time I continued to pack my bag, make sure all was set with Hadleigh’s bag as she would be spending the weekend with Bif and Kris, and I started cleaning the house. Jeanie will laugh, yes, I did scrub the kitchen floor, clean the bathroom, etc. I also took 2 baths and 1 shower to help with the pain and to make sure this labor was real. By 10pm I was having irregular, regular contractions that were 4-6 minutes apart and getting stronger. I called Laura and gave her the word that she might need to be ready to come over and stay the night with Hadleigh. At midnight we finally decided we needed to get to the hospital, so Laura came and we headed out.

Wouldn’t you know that as soon as we got to the hospital my contractions started to die…ugh…but they hooked me up to the baby monitor, called my midwife, and started me on fluids…I had hoped to not have an IV, but am Group Beta Strep (GBS) positive, so I needed antibiotics during labor. My midwife checked me and I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Yea! I was sure that the labor would be speedy, as I had gone from 0-10 cm in 4 hours with HC. Finally at 3am all of my monitoring and antibiotics were complete and I was released to walk the halls and sit on the birthing ball and do whatever needed to get the baby out. At 4am I was 6 cm and 90% effaced…at 6am I was 8cm and 100% effaced…and then labor stalled out a bit, so they broke my water which was cool with me. The only problem was that I continued to GUSH water for the next 3 hours…I remember sitting on the birthing ball singing “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me…”

At 9am I was still 8 cm and 100% effaced, my contractions had slowed to 7 minutes apart and I was exhausted. They suggested pitocin to finish the job and I was READY to get it done. The really hard thing at this point was the midwife said “We’ll start the pitocin and I’ll come back and check on you at noon” (which was 3 hours away). I was so upset at that thought of three more hours, now tied in bed and hooked up to the monitor and IV of pitocin. I began to contemplate just getting the epidural so that I could sleep (instead of laboring) and have energy to push. Fortunately after 20 minutes on the pitocin I had a HUGE contraction and called for the nurses because I was ready to push. Everyone came in, I gave a big push on the next contraction that sent everyone in a tail spin because apparently the baby was "right there" (side note: "right there" to me meant one more push and she would be here...but that is not what it meant to them). After everyone geared up I was able to begin pushing. I swear I pushed for at least 3 hours, but they tell me it was only 20 minutes. I was hooked up to oxygen and instructed not to scream while I pushed…holy crap…it was intense. I will not soon forget that pain. It was WAY bad. But little Annelise Louise was born at 10.18am…funny side note, after she was born they kept saying 10.18, and I thought that was her weight and freaked out a bit...of course there are only 16 oz in a pound, so the 18 part would not have worked. Fortunately she was only 8lbs. 5 oz. but 21.5 inches long. Both of my nurses commented that it was the best natural birth they had ever seen…which meant I did not yell or swear or hit anyone. I do not know about the hitting part, but the only reason I probably did not yell or swear was because the midwife told me not to make noise (so as to use all of my breath and energy on the task at hand…pushing the baby out).

Dave was able to help pull the baby out, cut the cord and then the midwife showed him the placenta, which he touched with his bare hands (something he had been looking forward to for many months).

After she was born and I held her for a while Annelise received a bath and was then whisked off to the nursery where she had blood tests for GBS. Meanwhile I apparently turned green because of blood loss and my blood pressure dropped to something over 39. After some fluids and a little soup and crackers I started feeling better. I really struggled with managing the pain after the birth and even with narcotics had a hard time sleeping, but by Saturday mid-day I was feeling much better.

The crazy thing is that everything with Hadleigh’s birth was easy in comparison. I was in active labor for 8 hours with Hadleigh, and 16 hours with Annelise. I pushed for 20 minutes with both babies, but Hadleigh seemed to pop right out without feeling much of anything, while I felt intense crazy pain with Annelise. After Annelise was born I thought myself a little foolish for having a normal labor instead of getting an epidural, but overall I am happy with the outcome. However, IF there should ever be another baby that comes from this body I will strongly consider kicking back with the epidural…2 normal labors might be enough for this little lady.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Playing and Bath Time

We have had a busy last 10 days and I will write more at some point, but thought these pics were worthy of a post.

Miss Annelise lost her umbilical cord (those things are SO nast) and received her first bath from Dada. She hated it at first and then sat in the warm water and relaxed for a while. We are pretty deprived of sleep these days, but look forward to this stage being over in a few weeks. Why is it that babies sleep better during the day and at night want to stay up?

Miss Hadleigh Claire continues to be a good helper and absolutely hilarious.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Pictures

Here are some more pictures.

Happy to be in labor!

Happy to be out of labor!

Introducing the Sisters

Baby Annelise

Going Home

Family Fun Day

Here is a picture from our last Family Fun Day as a fam of 3. Since Dave has Fridays off, we generally take the day and do something super fun as a fam. We enjoy going to the zoo, the aquarium, or trying out different parks in the area.

Because my induction was scheduled for Friday morning, Dave decided to take Thursday off so that we could have our last Fam Fun Day with only Hadleigh. We found a SUPER park in the area that is especially designed for 2-5 year olds. She had SO much fun! She was climbing to the top of the slides by herself and was laughing and screaming with joy.

I actually was having contractions the entire time we were out, but they since they were 10 minutes apart and not really going anywhere, we were still under the impression that I would be induced in the morning.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Finally a Baby!

Annelise Louise McNay

We thought she would NEVER get here (OK, I thought she would NEVER get here), but with a flare for the dramatic (wonder where she gets that from), Annelise Louise McNay arrived Friday, November 2 at 1018am. She was 8lb. 5oz. and 21.5 inches long.

We were within hours of being induced when she decided pitocin sounded too scary and that life would be better without it. Labor was long and intense, but we all made it in one piece, and are SO thankful for everyone who was praying for a normal labor, the Lord is so gracious.

Annelise means grace and favor of God, and Louise means valiant warrior. We chose her middle name for our favorite place in the Canadian Rockies- Lake Louise, where we vacationed shortly after we were married.

More pictures and stories will be coming in the future.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This morning our playgroup had a little dress-up party for the little ones. They were all so adorable. As you can see, Hadleigh Claire was a giraffe (one of her new fav animals). She was SO excited to put on her costume this morning, so in some ways I was glad that Fred didn't cramp her party style. Though I now have an unused infant pumpkin costume...ah well.
On another note, I have been needing to get a pedicure for weeks, but just have been too lazy to get it done. But I was thinking today that Fred might be ashamed of my toes! If only I had thought of this earlier! So, my toes are now painted (not by a professional, but I think it will do). I am not concerned about the possibility of being born on Halloween. Tomorrow is also Reformation Day (when Luther hung the 95 Theses) and not only that, it is the 490th anniversary. So, it seems like it would be a good day to be born.

Here you can see the crew: Jacob, Hadleigh, Jane, Conner, Evan and little Bea (who is just 3 weeks old).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Memorial or Something More

Last week I was talking to Mom about communion. They have been going through a series on Church History in their Sunday School class and had camped on the Reformation briefly. One of the things brought up was the different beliefs about communion. The Romans Catholic church upheld transubstantiation (that the wine and blood are actually transformed into the body and blood of Christ), while Luther held to a view that the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present in the wine and bread (so that communicants eat and drink both the elements and the true Body and Blood of Christ Himself in the Sacrament of Holy Communion). Zwingli believed that communion was only a Memorial and has no real meaning for believers, this seems to be a common belief of the evangelical church today.

Intown actually has communion every Sunday which I have grown to love and long for. It seems sad to me that so many Christians have failed to see the significance of communion and do not get to take part in this sacrament that I think makes my relationship with the Lord more real and vital. Our pastor reminds us weekly that as we partake in communion we proclaim Christ's death and resurrection to our hearts. I need a constant reminder of his death and resurrection, as I need a constant reminder that my sins are covered and atoned for, and in Christ's death I have been declared righteous and have Christ's imputed righteousness.

So, in light of this, here is a snipit of what the Heidelberg Catecisn has to say about communion (which differs from the views expressed above). You can click here to see the full Q and A.

The Lord's Day 28
Q. How does the Lord's supper signify and seal to you that you share in Christ's one sacrifice on the cross and in all His gifts?

A. In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup in remembrance of Him. With this command He gave these promises:

First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup given to me, so surely was His body offered for me and His blood poured out for me on the cross.

Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the minister and taste with my mouth the bread and the cup of the Lord as sure signs of Christ's body and blood, so surely does He Himself nourish and refresh my soul to everlasting life with His crucified body and shed blood.

Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19, 20; 1 Cor 11:23-25.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Today our check cleared and we are debt free. I feel this is a monumental occasion and could hardly be happier (only if baby Fred were here). Today we are no longer slaves to our debtors, we do not owe anyone anything.

Dave had actually done an awesome job of paying down his loans from dental school before we were married, but still had a good chunk left, and we had a car payment (never again). Once we moved to Germany things slowed WAY down on the repayment, but we still made a lot of progress, paying off the car and his first student loan in less than a year. This last one has been hanging over our heads for a while. We had actually just put off paying the loan off, well especially with our move back to the states and trying to find a job, etc.

Since he has become a permanent employee with his own patients (in July), we thought again, let’s pay this sucker off before we consider anything else. I think that I take more delight in this whole situation, probably because I handle the finances, but I find great delight that we will have several months of freedom before becoming a slave to a mortgage. I just keep thinking about all the freedom we have now that we aren’t bound to those payments. Yea! I have even thought about calling Dave Ramsey just so I can yell “I am debt free”. But I would feel rather dumb because we don’t have one of those crazy stories about paying off $45,000 in 8 month while making $25,000/year. So, I am just yelling it around my house. I am thankful, for the Lord’s provision and for wise counsel that helped us come up with a plan.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Christ Alone

Some reasons why I believe there is salvation in Christ alone:

Acts 4.12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given
to men by which we must be saved.

John 14.6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Romans 5.1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Some reasons why I believe Jesus did not save us through his example and teaching, but through his perfect life, death and resurrection, which atoned for my sin- past, present, future. This is the reason I can enter boldly into His presence.

Romans 8.1-4
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Hebrews 2.9
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 7.23-28
Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I See the Signs

I feel like I see my future looming before me. I think the more I fight it and fret over it, the more certain it becomes. But, I feel like I am slowly being cornered, and I hate corners.

I went in for my check-up today, my wonderful weekly check-up. Not much to report, because there is not much done. Fred is alive, good news. I gained another be expected. Oh, one piece of interesting info, according to the midwife, Fred is close to 8 pounds. Wow, that seems overly large to me, I guess we will see soon. The good news about having a large baby, I suppose, is that is one less pound I have to loose afterwards!

I turned 39 weeks this past Saturday and my due date is just 5 days away. Yea! As I chatted with my midwife, she let me know that the other midwife is going out of town next week (which is a bummer since I really like her), so while there will be a midwife on call this week and next, over the weekend there will be a doctor. OK, well good information to have, I am not anti-doctor, so that is fine with me. I just chose a midwife because I thought they would be more supportive of having the baby without drugs...but now I am really starting to wonder. Immediately upon telling me that a doctor would be on call this weekend, she asked, "Would you like to be induced?"

OK, OK, let me get this straight, I am 39 weeks, I want to have a natural birth (as in go into labor on my own, and no drugs, which all happened with Hadleigh), and the midwife is asking my if I want to be induced so that she can deliver the baby as opposed to the doctor. I am so confused. At almost every visit they have encouraged me about how wonderful it was that I went into labor unassisted with Hadleigh, and how that means I will likely go into labor unassisted with Fred...blah...blah...blah...and so this felt like a jab.

First of all, I was confused because since I want a normal labor, why would I choose to kick start it with pitocin? And from what I hear, if I did kick start with pitocin, it would be unlikely to handle contractions without an epidural. So, by being induced I am basically throwing what I want away...all so that a midwife can deliver the baby. But the other confusing thing to me, is that if I am having pitocin and an epidural, why the heck do I need a midwife? I think that I can sit in bed and chill out just fine on my own, thanks.

The other thing, is that it just shot my confidance that this baby is actually going to come on its own/in a decent amount of time. So, now, I am sitting here, worrying about not going into labor, having my whole family in my house and me getting induced on November 9 because the baby didn't come. I just didn't need that stress voiced outloud. It was already in my head, but then to have the midwife say it...was very frustrating.

So, here I am completely healthy, with a healthy baby. Blood pressure perfect as always 104/68, 5 days before my due date, not overly uncomfortable (I mean really, what prego woman doesn't want to have her baby by this stage?), sleeping as well as I can be (I only had to get up once last night), went into labor on my own last time with a healthy baby and no comlications, and instead of encouraging me to hang in there, and that the baby will come soon, I get a slap in the face and asked if I want to be induced. Ugh.

So, we received an advertisement in our netflix envelope for a new "movie" I guess more documentary called "The Business of Being Born". You can see the trailer at the website. Dave and I watched the trailer for it last night and chuckled to ourselves. You never know about these things and their Michael Moore-ish political agenda... I had a great medical experience in Germany, but I am SO against socialized medicine it is not even funny. I do think the majority of doctors care about their patients and the babies...but I also think that if they can speed labors along, or just plan labors it makes life easier for them...and since we Americans like to plan too, it seems to be a decent situation for most.

Anyway, all of this almost makes me die hard determined to do it my way and show everyone. But then the other side of me wonders...if the more I draw myself up against this (being induced) the more likely it will be to happen to me. Ugh! =) How is that for trusting in the Lord's plan and timing? Nice. Sorry for my rant, but...the whole thing was really discouraging.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Zoo and the Crazy JWs

This morning we woke up and decided a trip to the zoo was in order. It is a gorgeous Georgian fall day, and being inside is out of the question. As we walked through the zoo entrance Dave made sure to ask the workers if there was anyone at the zoo with experience delivering a baby. He was assured that I would be well taken care. Good grief!

Miss HC loved seeing the giraffes and the gorillas. She is becoming more bold at the petting zoo and walked around petting all the goats and sheep. The main issue was she tended to pet them on the tail or butt. Fortunately no one felt in a foul mood, so she did not get kicked.

Upon our return home we had another wonderful visit from our favorite Jehovah's Witness. I cannot remember if I have ever mentioned this saga on our blog. Well, it all began about 7 months ago...and as you can see it continues even now. I am not sure exactly what to think about the whole situation. Do they really think that if they continue to come we will one day say...Ya know, you are right, Jesus was not God but an angel...the Trinity is a bunch of BS...there is no hell...and my Bible was translated by a bunch of idiots. I just do not see that happening.

Last time we talked to them, Dave told them (in a nice way) that it was unnecessary for them to visit us again. We had also visibly made them angry as Dave debated them about the Trinity. But, apparently they want to continue to visit. I have stopped answering the door when I know it is them. You might think that is bad, but at some point there is just no point. It is all a debate, and neither of us seems moved.

Anyway, Dave went out to talk to them today and an hour later came back in...they continue to have the same discussion...we point to scripture where Jesus claims to be God, they refute our translation...and go on about how earthly death is punishment enough for our sins, there is no need for a hell.

Since there is apparently no hell in their religion, I do not find any reason to join their side. Even if I am wrong and they are right, I won't be punished, so...alright. Of course, I know that I am right. Not only can I go to the gospels where Jesus regularly claimed his divinity, but also the first chapter of Hebrews speaks to Jesus being God and not an angel. Ah well, I guess the New World translation of the Bible doesn't have the book of Hebrews.

Oops...must run, HC is up from her nap...maybe next time we post it will be about baby Fred...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Washed and Covered

In our community group we have been studying John. Dave and I joined midway through the book, so we missed a lot of the good stuff in the beginning of the gospel, but are enjoying a lot of the good stuff at the end of it.

Last night we spent time discussing the last portion of John 19, which covers the tail end of the crucifixion. I was struck again at how this is truly the culmination of the Christian faith, and the gospel. In my Thursday morning Bible study we are studying Deuteronomy, which has been fabulous and there are many parallels between Deut. and John. I was reminded this morning how the law is helpful for good living, but cannot save, it is powerless to save, but it pointed to Christ and our need for a Savior, someone who could not only live a sinless life, but who could also live a perfectly obedient life. Christ...the second Adam.

In Deut we were talking about the immanence and transcendence of God. As Gwen said, he not only brings home the bacon, he cooks it up too. He begins the works and completes the work.

At the end of John 19 while Christ is on the cross he says "It is finished" and we discussed all the things that were completed with Jesus' death and resurrection...fulfillment of the law, sin sacrifice, all the prophecies about Christ, his earthly ministry, etc. God not only began all of these things, but he brought them to completion in Christ.

One of the other things that Dave brought up, that I found particularly fascinating, was when they pierced Jesus, blood and water flowed from his wound, which is not only scientific, but also symbolic. Scientific in that, Christ was truly dead. Symbolic in that, the blood of his sacrifice covers our sins and the water washes me whiter than snow. Ah...the gospel...salvation...I bring my sinful self and the Lord brings everything else.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Playgroup Meets CG Shower

About a week ago, my sweet friends, Brea and Christy, threw me a wonderful shower. It was unexpected, since this is my second baby...and another girl...what more do I need? But, it was very fun and I was so blessed by the whole evening.

The party was actually how little Fred received her name, when my friend Jess responded to the Evite, something about celebrating little Fredericka Shoba...and the rest is history.

They made yummy lasagne and this salad that was to die for, and finished off the night with some apple streudel. Christy even broke out her china for!

I received lots of awesome goodies, including diapers...YES...cannot have enough of those...and a couple gift cards that I am enjoying. Angie even got Miss Hadleigh Claire a gift, which was super sweet.

The whole night was funny, because it was a bit of old meets new...and playgroup meets community meet mommies, and there I was in the middle. I laughed a lot and it was fun to remember memories from long ago.

I also felt very content, which has been a new experience for me. I think my transition back to Atl is finally over. I was happy and felt connected to my wonderful community group, whom I love, and they are so accepting of me. And I felt connected to my playgroup friends as we continue to support each other and watch our babies grow up together. Overall I was blessed, and thankful to be celebrating the birth of little Fred with friends who care about me and who will love and care for little Fred.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

11 Days

I technically have 11 days left, that is if you are using the due date the doctors gave me which I do not think is entirely accurate, but that is another story. Trying to guess when a baby is going to make an appearance is a real art. Of course these days you don't have to guess if you do not want to. Scheduling a c-section or an induction seems to be music to most doctors' ears. Yesterday my midwife told me that if I get tired of being prego they will induce me. To me that sounded like death, so I declined. Why would I opt for a procedure that cannot possibly be good for me or the baby? Babies come when they are ready, not when prego women are tired of being prego. I understand there are medical reasons to induce, like when you are two weeks past your date, but goodness, not wanting to be prego anymore is not a very good medical reason.

I am a planner to the max. Goodness have you seen my list of things to get done? Have you seen my labor plan for Hadleigh? Oh yeah, I am a planner, which some people find funny since I am an ENFP. Believe me, life would be simpler, in some ways, if I could just plan what day little Fred will make her appearance. Then I could just say Laura, be at my house at 3am on the 21st, and Kris, be ready for a Hadleigh drop at 9am on the 22nd.

These days we do not have to wait for much, and not many things are beyond our control, so I think it is a good discipline to wait and not be able to plan for my baby. I loved calling the Baumholder Dental Clinic March 6, 2006 to say, "It is time..." I look forward to doing that again, but it is a discipline to wait.

Last night, Dave said that I have been much more calm this time around. I think he is right, but there is a part of me that feels completely anxious. I so do not buy the whole American prego measuring thing. I do not believe it and will never be satisfied that my baby is ok, just because I "grew" a cm in a week. Lame...really lame. We have the best medical technologies in the world and they use a tape measure...just makes no sense to me.

In preparation for Fred coming I have completed my massive top to bottom cleaning. Sara, you would be so proud. Now we are just into the day to day cleaning again. Everything to do with the baby is washed and out, and besides a dumb double stroller, I purchased my last baby item on Sunday.

Now, we continue to wait and hope, that Fred makes her appearance sometime in October.

Monday, October 15, 2007


We have been enjoying lots of family fun over the weekends. It is so nice to have 3 day weekends with Dave and we have been trying to make the most of our final moments with Hadleigh as an only child.

Saturday we headed north to a farm that sells pumpkins. HC loved wandering around and looking at all the different kinds of pumpkins and picking out her favorite. We also were able to take a hayride around the farm.