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 pound...yea...to 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 me...wow!

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 group...singles 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.


Who knew that my little girl would be so into things that move. Trucks, cars, airplanes, buses, fire engines. She is obsessed with them.

A couple weeks ago I caught Hadleigh Claire and Dave looking through a Motor Trend magazine together. She would point out the trucks and cars in the pictures. He was telling her all about the newest car reviews and he even asked her to pick out what kind of car she wanted. She picked a Toyota 4 Runner...wishful! Sorry honey, but the Buick is going to be a way of life for another couple years!

This past Friday we took Hadleigh to a park that is at a local airport. She LOVED just sitting and watching the planes come in and out. She has a specific sound for the airplane and when she hears one while out she will make the sound, and then shoot her arm up into the air (like she is taking off). It is pretty sweet.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

19 Months

Wow, how can my baby be 19 months old? I think that I say this every month, but I just cannot believe how big she is getting.

Everyday I seem to be discovering new words she has for things. Dave pointed out that she calls her favorite blanket "Key". She has been a little obsessed with key recently. Key had been only a bedtime/naptime "toy", but the past week Miss Hadleigh Claire has insisted on bringing Key out of bed, and then she leaves him in odd places around the house. The other day she couldn't find him and was getting visibly upset, so I said, "let's find Key" and began to walk around the house (you can literally walk in a circle through the rooms) to find him. I started calling for Key, saying "Blankie, where are you?" And HC followed me into every room saying "Key, key" with the same inflection I was using. So funny. We did finally find Key and she was SO excited.

For the last several months we have been talking to HC about her baby sister. Up until the last couple of weeks I would say she has been completely clueless, thinking baby was my belly button. Now when I say "HC where is the baby?" she will lift up my shirt and point to my belly, not just my belly button. I think that is a good sign. Slowly we are bringing out the baby gear, so that she can have and get over her fascination with all the new toys. The bouncy seat came out yesterday and she kept walking over to it, bouncing it, and saying "baby". I am not sure how she knows that a baby goes in the seat, but I was thrilled.

Last week at my morning Bible study we walked down the nursery hall and saw little Caden sitting in his carseat waiting for Emily to drop off Conner. When HC saw Caden, she yelled "BABY" and started running toward him. When we got down the hall to him, she just kept repeating the word baby. So, she knows what a baby is, and seems excited about it. We will see.

HC is asserting her independence more and more. She wants to walk down the hall to her class, and walk into class by herself. She loves to crawl into the car and into her carseat unassisted (which is super news for me), and she loves to clip herself into the seat. At the church picnic she wanted her own hamburger and ate almost the whole thing unassisted. She is also learning how to drink out of a real cup...that is a little more painful for me. She has mastered the fork and spoon and is now able to eat things without making a HUGE mess. As in, she has mostly stopped using her hands to help get the food in her mouth.

HC is also a very neat and tiddy baby. She likes to wipe her mounth and hands after she eats. At the picnic she enjoyed walking around and putting trash into a chip bag that was sitting on the ground. I gave her a dry washcloth the other day and she started washing herself. She said "eye" and wiped her eyes..."ear" and wiped her ears, "tee" and washed her teeth, etc. Unfortunately, I am still Dada, but one of these days...

She continues to love her books, love her music (and we dance every morning), and LOVE her stuffed animals. At church there is a large stuffed dog and I have heard that she spends most of her time on floor with him. Last week I took a big piece of butcher paper and taped it on our coffee table and we had/have fun coloring on it. So, she apparently likes to color.

Last Friday we went to the Aquarium with Grant and Jess, and their two buddies Jed and Able (who they were keeping for the weekend). Dave took HC on the whale slide. Pictures don't do it justice...she likes slides, but isn't entirely sure about them. You can catch pictures of it on their blog. Her fav animal is still the beluga whales.

I'll post some other pictures soon, but I think that is all for my update. Oh one last thought...yes, she still sleeps 14 hours at night, and a two hour nap...YES! And she isn't peeing and pooping in the toilet as regularly, but will still do it on occassion.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Couple Anniversaries

On a gorgeous October Atlanta day four years ago, Dave and I were married. Here we all are...Kris, Angie, Sar, Elaine, Erica and Alex...Dave, OB, Dan, Dan and Chris.
This week we also celebrated our first year of living in America this week.

Whew, I feel a bit tired just thinking about it all.

Thinking back, we have been to 24 of the 50 states together, as well as three Canadian Provinces, and 14 European countries. The problem, in my mind, is that in the last year we have not added anything to this list. I think that should be improved upon in the next year.
We have moved only 3 times, that includes one move to Germany, and one move back.

We have one baby, and almost have another.

In any case, life seems a little unbelieveable at times. I think about Germany and wonder if that life really existed. And I am certainly glad that this year of major transitions back to the states is over.

The Lord has blessed us with each other. I love traveling through life with Dave, and will continue to cherish the time we have together. We have also seen the importance of fighting for and guarding our marriage. Sin seeps in and seeks to destroy everything in its path, and our marriage is not immune. His grace alone keeps us together.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Crazy Marty

A couple of years ago Dave and I received "Luther" the movie as a gift. It was fascinating to watch as I realized I knew little about the Reformation. I thought it especially silly for a couple of reasons. 1. I am a product of the Reformation and very thankful to be Protestant. Though I think there are some things to be learned from the Catholic side of things, I am overall glad to be justified by grace alone, through faith alone (Sola Gratia, Sola Fide). 2. I have been a member of a "Reformed" church for almost 10 years. Though some folks things Reformed Theology is just being a Calvinist, I have found that it is really so much more. I rarely even use the word Calvinist, except in an effort to freak folks out...I find it mildly amusing that somehow Calvinist and scary have become synonymous. In any case, a lot of Reformed Theology comes from both Luther and Calvin, but also from folks like John Knox, Frederick III (who commissioned the bishops to write the Heidelberg Catechism), etc.

Moving on, since I knew little about the Reformation, I decided to do some reading. While we were in Germany, we also visited some historic Reformation sites, like Eisenach (where Luther hid and translated the New Testament into German), and Marburg (where Luther and Zwingli parted ways over the significance of Communion). In the last month I picked up Luther's Bondage of the Will. Wow. The beginning is a little rough, but now I am getting to the good stuff, so I am pumped and had a hard time putting it down last night. I just wanted to read Dave the whole thing, but he was in his car world magazine, so I don't think fully appreciated me reading aloud.

The book seems to have been born out of a debate between Erasmus and Luther. Eramus seems to be defending that we have the ability to choose God, while Luther disagrees. So the book completely dogs Erasmus, and for good reason. I was trying to imagine the scene last night and all I could come up with, was the mental picture of Mark Driscoll and John MacArthur going at it. But neither Mac nor Driscoll are anywhere close to being as intelligent and profound as Luther, but it was a funny thought.

So here is my thought from Luther today...there is SO much more good stuff around this, but I can't copy the whole book and put it in here.
I certainly grant that many passages in the Scripture are obscure and hard to elucidate, but that is due, not to the exalted nature of their subject, but to our own linguistic and grammatical ignorance; and it does not in any way prevent our knowing the contents of Scripture. For what solemn truth can the Scriptures still be concealing, now that the seals are broken, the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb, and that greatest of all mysteries brought to light- that Christ, God's Son, became man, that God is Three in One, that Christ suffered for us, and will reign forever? And are not these things known, and sung in our streets? Take Christ from the Scripture-and what more will you find in them?...Thus it is unintelligent, and ungodly too, when you know that the contents of Scripture are as clear as can be, to
pronounce them obscure on account of those few obscure words.

The passage continues with some wonderful thoughts, but you will have to dig on your own to find those. For now, I am enjoying the pleasure of reading the Bible, in which every mystery has been made known to me through Christ and the Spirit.