Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yesterday, I Turned 40!

Well, Thanksgiving did not turn out like I had hoped. Brandon, Amanda, Clint and I helped each other through the cooking on Wednesday. That turned out OK.

I started Thanksgiving throwing up and ended it throwing up. Thursday night, I had some pretty hard contractions. There weren't any cervical twinges indicating real labor, but I still was wondering what was going on. I figured it out when the baby finally flipped from transverse (lying hip to hip) to head down. As soon as she moved, my body rested and I was grateful. My body was working to get her into a more favorable position. If she even tries to creep her hiney back around to lie transverse, I start having the contractions again. She's facing anterior. We're getting closer to labor day!!

Friday, I was limp as a dishrag from being sick on Thursday. I've found it harder to bounce back in the third trimester but that's probably because the baby needs more now. I spent the first half of my birthday resting in bed and trying to get liquids down. Later, I sat around and watched my gang play and clean up the yard. I enjoyed the warmer weather and sunshine. I also had visits from our cats and dogs who felt since I wasn't up doing anything, I could put myself to use by rubbing their heads. I think the Lord had me stay still on my birthday so I could see my Blessings and enjoy their laughter.

Today, I am feeling a little bit stronger and tried doing some shopping this a.m. I got as far as the middle of the store and knew I had made a mistake. I had to sit down on a stack of water softener salt and wait until my energy returned to walk back to the car. I am not the sharpest tack in the box. I should have known better.

I wanted to go up in a hot air balloon for my 40th birthday. Maybe Clint and I can do that together on his 40th in May.

For me, the best thing about turning 40 is that I am 40 years closer to meeting the One Who loves me most face to face. I hope that whatever age you are Reader, you can say you are XX years closer to meeting your Lord and Savior too.

Enjoy your family this long holiday weekend. It will be over before you know it and you'll be busy with shopping and to do lists. Don't let the opportunity pass you by...shut down the computer and go spend time with someone you love. Love is not words you throw around. It's something you act out. Love is an ACTION verb.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you! We are cooking today and will lift humble thanks over a meal the Lord has provided tomorrow!

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker." Psalm 95:1-6

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Clint & Wendy
Brandon, Amanda, Joshua, Caleb, Bethany and Emily

Prayer for Mark

Mark was admitted back to the hospital Monday night. They drained 3 liters off this time. He might be able to come home today which would let him have Thanksgiving with his family. He is not going to be able to return to work for light duty like he was hoping.

When Clint met with him, Mark said it was also on a lung in addition to the other places (listed in a post below). He is still waiting for test results to find out what kind of cancer he has and what kind of treatment they will recommend. Mark has said he will fight it in hopes it will give him more time.

Sheila told me she thought he had gallbladder problems. Mark said he was hoping it was an ulcer. The news it was advanced cancer has thrown both of them for a loop. They need prayer support from their brothers and sisters in the Lord throughout this.

Please also pray for Clint. He lost a close Christian coworker and friend to ITP five years ago and is very burdened for what Mark is going through. If you could see him, you'd see the strain on his face. Monday evening, he looked like he had aged 10 years in just a few days. He's had better sleep since then and looks better, but it's hard for him to see a friend going through so much.

Update on Jim L.: Jim told Clint yesterday that he is a Christian. :-D

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Mark prayed with Clint and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior today!
Join us in rejoicing! We are lifting the roof here at Contentment Acres!
Please lift our brother up as he faces the days, weeks and months ahead.
Thank you to everyone who has been in constant prayer for Mark today.

Yeah, We Still Have Her

Obviously I haven't posted a picture of Emily in a while.
Here she is in her Daddy's arms laughing at his silliness.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Prayer Request: Mark B. Prayer Update on Jim L.

I have posted the Angel Food Ministries information that was requested below this prayer request which has been updated. I want to be sure that those who pray are aware of this need, so I am keeping it on top.

Clint's coworker and friend, Mark B., who is a fellow homeschooling father, has not been feeling well for a while now. Clint was concerned enough to tell him earlier this week he was looking bad. Mark told him he wasn't feeling well. He went to the doctor Wednesday and was admitted to the hospital. They found tumors on his liver, pancreas, kidney, lymph nodes and "something on a blood vessel." Mark is now home. Please keep him, his wife Sheila, and their four children in prayer.

Clint has enough respect for Mark and his work ethic that he helped him get his job with his full time employer. They met at Clint's part time job and hit it off because of their interest in homeschool and love of family.

Please pray for Clint and Mark as they meet tomorrow. I am not personally sure of Mark's spiritual status as I have only heard of him through Clint. I know his wife Sheila through the local homeschool list.

Prayer request update: Jim L. is back to work as of early November. He is looking good, feeling good and says he has made a lot of changes in how he does things. Join us in praising the Lord for restoring this man to health!

Lyn C. of VA

We tried e-mailing you to see how you are doing with the pregnancy & HG but the mail keeps bouncing...and bouncing....and bouncing. We just want you to know we care enough to keep you in our prayers and hope things are going well for you and your family. Let us hear from you so we can update our prayer list.

Wendy & Clint & the children

Angel Food November Special #4 Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box

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Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box

3 lb. North Carolina New Crop Red Rome Apples
3 lb. Washington State New Crop Granny Smith Apples
4 lb. New Crop Florida Navel Orange
1 stalk California Celery (in sleeve)
4 lb. Premium Idaho Baking Potatoes
3 lb. New Crop North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
2 each Ruby Red Florida Grapefruit
1 lb. Premium California Carrots (cello wrapped)
2 lb. Large-Medium Yellow Onions
December offers are here. You will need to go to their website and follow their order link to make an order. We have had a lot of interest in the Angel Food Ministries and a lot of people have thanked us for showing what a good deal the offers are. We are surprised by it, but happy to do this for you.
Clint and I are going to order at least one more time since buying a box will be a great way to prepare for when the baby comes. Brandon can just pull food out of the box/freezer and will have a complete, healthy menu to cook for himself and his siblings. I won't have to worry about what they are eating or if it is healthy while I am in the hospital.
Buying a box is a great way to help a food pantry, an elderly person or a needy family you know. They even have senior/convenience boxes of heat and serve meals put together. Your family can start your own outreach ministry for $30 a month!
There is also a SHARE Food Ministry many churches are involved in.

Angel Food Ministries Grill Box

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7 lb. Grill Box

2 lb. Choice Cut Beef Roast
2 lb. St. Louis Style Pork Ribs
2 lb. Hamburger Beef Steaks (4 x 8 oz.)
1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage with Mozzarella Cheese

Angel Food November Regular Box

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Balanced nutrition and
variety with enough food to
feed a family of four for a

1.5 lb. New York Strip Steak
(4 x 6 oz.)
3 lb. IQF Split Chicken
2 lb. Baby Back Pork Ribs
2 lb. Chicken Chunks
28 oz. Jumbo Charbroiled
Beef Patties with Gravy
1 lb. Smoked Sausage
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 lb. Green Beans
1 lb. Diced Sweet Potatoes
10 oz. Peanut Butter
15 oz. Cranberry Sauce
7 oz. Beef-Flavored Rice &
20 oz. Shoestring Fries
32 oz. 2% Reduced Fat Shelf
Stable Milk
6 oz. Pancake Mix
Dozen Eggs
Dessert Item

Friday, November 21, 2008

Engineer's Visit

The engineer, Thomas, was here quite a while yesterday taking measurements, pictures and making drawings.
Thomas had left his camera, so I let him use ours. That's a shot from under our house.
He said the house looks straight forward and he sees no problems for the elevation.
He told me he'll get right to work on the drawings and we'll meet with them soon.

We were treated again to a bald eagle watching us watch him. We have 1-5 of them come fly over us every time we split wood. They stay a long time if the crows don't go after them. Those fiesty, noisy crows keep all of the birds of prey away when they are around. It's fun to watch them go after a big bird though.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Had to Stay Flat

yesterday, but I benefited from the rest. Monday night was very, very bad and it scared Joshua when he suddenly ran in and saw me. The look on his face bothered me more than being sick. I told him sometimes Mom gets "knocked down" by the HG, but God has always blessed me with the ability to get back up again. The BH contractions stopped, btw.

I am not sure how I will be feeling for Thanksgiving. I asked Brandon and Amanda if they wanted to skip the meal, have store bought or cook it themselves. They both said they want to cook it with my supervision. So, if I can not get on my feet and do it myself, that is what will happen.

FEMA is sending an engineer to the house tomorrow at 10 a.m. to take measurements for the plan they will develop to raise the house. Clint is going to be here to meet him. I am very thankful I do not have to deal with it! They will then draw up the plans (2 week time frame), take bids from contractors (21 day process) and then come back to us to propose the timeline and elevation. We will sign papers and then have 21 days to move everything we need out. The engineer said it looks like they will start in March which will be good weather wise.

I was very ill when Clint told me about the next phase of the elevation on Monday evening. I have to tell you I found it very overwhelming. There is so much to work out and plan for that I just can't take it all in right now with the pregnancy, holidays, homeschool plans, etc. Of course, if FEMA keeps to their normal routine, they will come out tomorrow and then we will not see them for another year! I have a feeling this adventure will be a great opportunity to share God's love and for us to grow closer as a family.

We have been asked three times in the last week what we have done to the house lately. We stopped all work when I found out I was pregnant. That is the reason it is taking us so long to finish the work. I've been blessed to be pregnant four times since the hurricane. I can't see dealing with tools, work and messes on top of everything else when I do not know how I will be feeling one day to the next for 40 weeks at a stretch.

Please pray for our friend of several years named Audrey. She has a muscle degeneration disease and is having more bad days than good according to her husband Thomas. The doctors are trying different medications to see if that helps her any but so far there has been little help from the drugs.

Please keep Luke in prayer as the cold and flu season comes upon us. He is at higher risk for illness and we are asking God to keep him healthy and out of the hospital.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This and That

The October Angel Food Box really created a lot of interest and we've been asked about November's box. We will pick up the November box on the 22nd and will take pictures and post them as soon as we are able. I am not sure if we will be doing it again after that.

Clint was offered work last weekend, so he took it. It's been harder to come by lately, but they usually have a lull in the fall.

We took the shuttle bus to the shop for the transmission overhaul Friday. We are suppose to find out tomorrow what it will be needing for the upgrade. We'd rather it have more done so we can get the 3 year warranty. The mechanic said we'd get it back in a week, but you know how that goes. There's always some obscure part they need from Timbuktu.

I've been up and down with the HG. Some days are OK and others well, if I were a horse, they'd have to shoot me. :-P I've been having BH contractions every 3-4 minutes for 72+ hours now. They stop for a few hours after I throw up and then pick back up again. I've done this before, but not this close together for this long. Clint knows how to check for effacement and dilation and said there is only a very slight change so there's nothing to worry about as far as an imminent birth. He's pretty handy to have around.

Clint took me "out" to lunch Sunday. I've not been feeling up to going to stores or any where really, so he bought take out and we parked the car at the boat ramp at a beach near us. We had privacy, beautiful waterfront dining and the antics of the hungry seagulls to entertain us. We often go there to take a quiet moment together.

Today, while it is warmer, Brandon is splitting wood and Joshua and Caleb are stacking it. Amanda is in the house with the girls doing a quick pick up through each room downstairs and then they will be outside to help too. I'll be outside to make sure everyone is being safe and the stacks are done correctly. We have been told to expect snow flurries or a light dusting tonight. (We have been homeschooling on Saturdays so we can afford to take the time off today.)

We had a good day of worship yesterday and are getting excited because our big study on Bible doctrine is almost completed. We've all learned so much and have enjoyed it a lot.

Friday, November 14, 2008

College Plus

We came across this and are checking it out for our children. You can request an e-book be mailed to you and get access to an audio download describing the program here.

"CollegePlus! is a Christian based coaching and mentoring program that provides students with an innovative approach to earning their fully accredited bachelor's degrees in less time and at a fraction of the cost."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wild Animal Sighting

I saw this wild creature (Caleb, 7) peering at me from behind the grass on the night of the bonfire.
This was as close as I could get before it sprang up and growled at me and then took off running.
"It" attacked Brandon but was no match for him alone. Evidently human moms are relatively safe from these creatures. :-)
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Recycled Trash

Amanda and Bethany made this completely out of things destined to be trash.
The dress was our pop up camper's privacy curtain. She used the grommets from that like buttons.
The arms were Clint's holey socks.
The "shoes" and hair were scrap materials we found in the teacher's left behind craft box when we bought the shuttle bus.
Bethany loves it more than any other doll she has because her big sister made it for her.
They have started a second doll making improvements from the first pattern Amanda came up with.
Amanda has always had a knack for making something out of "nothing." She is very creative and talented in sculpting, painting, drawing, etc.

Social Worker: “All Homeschoolers Get Psychological Evaluations”

The Smiths (named changed to protect privacy), an HSLDA member family in Miami, received an unexpected note on their front door from a social worker asking them to call the number on an attached business card. Little did they know, this was the beginning a nightmare they would not soon forget.

The father, a doctor, telephoned as requested. The social worker to whom he spoke asked to meet the family. Dr. Smith requested that the meeting be at a neutral site at a time that would minimize interruptions in his busy work schedule at a medical clinic. The social worker refused, and declared she would arrive at the Smith home the next morning to “enter the home and interview the children.”

Dr. Smith then asked what the allegations were. The social worker refused to answer, but indicated she knew the family homeschooled. Sure enough, when the social worker showed up at the Smiths’ doorstep the next morning, she again refused to explain what the allegations against the family were. This clearly violated federal law, which states that social workers must reveal allegations at the initial time of contact.

The social worker also did not have a search warrant, so Mrs. Smith initially refused to let her enter the family home. This prompted the social worker to call for two police officers.
With this intimidation, Mrs. Smith allowed the social worker to start talking to the children on the front porch. During the first interview, the social worker went so far as to lift up the shirt of the Smiths’ 9-year-old daughter, which greatly embarrassed the girl. Later, the family learned that the allegations had nothing to do with their 9-year-old.

At this point, Mrs. Smith called HSLDA, desperate for help.

Senior Counsel Chris Klicka took the call and asked that the phone be handed to the social worker. The social worker refused to talk with Klicka, so Klicka told Mrs. Smith to put him on speaker phone. Klicka then explained to the social worker how she was violating federal law by refusing to tell the family the allegations against them. Skeptical, the social worker went to her car to call her supervisor and ask if she really had to tell the family the allegations. At least she was out of the house. to read the rest of the story

Monday, November 10, 2008

Much Better Today

A letter from my sweetheart:


I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I am thinking of you. I miss you this morning. I want you to know that I appreciate everything that you do. Thanks for carrying my babies and enduring the physical and mental hardships to bring them into this world. I know that it has been tough. I am praying for you and wish I could just speak the words and make all of the discomfort go away. I love you very much and hope that your day goes very well and you feel much better.

All my love,

I am feeling better today and have a little bit of energy. I was very excited to get a shower and not need a rest in the middle of it! I was able to get down quite a bit of Gatorade and solid food (grilled cheese) over the weekend. I know those liquid nutrition drinks are considered "a meal," but if I haven't CHEWED, it just doesn't seem the same!

Today, I am going to spend some time enjoying the company of my children and if the energy holds out, I'll do some housework.

Hannah has grown in spite of the nausea and vomiting I've had. She is stronger and we could make out her head, butt, hip and legs this past week. Clint is always amazed that she wakes up and moves around whenever he talks to her or prays over her.

We are praying the worst is behind me and it is smooth sailing until this little one makes their debut.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (emphasis mine)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Time Warp: Back to the First Trimester?!!

I have had a horrible week that has been more like a first trimester than the third. I have been throwing up nearly every day which is more than I threw up in the first trimester of this pregnancy. I am not complaining because in many of mine, I threw up multiple times a day every day all the way through the pregnancy, so I am thankful it is not like that!

When I talked to the doctor about the increase in the level of sickness, he said I'd probably have this in waves until the baby comes. Lovely. Wonderful. ;-) I do not like that option and am praying for the hyperemesis gravidarum to leave me completely.

Dehydration has plagued me this past week, but I seem to have that under control. There was a few nights where I was close to calling it quits with self managment in favor of i.v.s. News reports about the prevalence of strep throat in our area kept me battling it at home. While not anything to get excited about, there is an alternative to exposing yourself to the germs in the hospital in the form of a hydrating enema. It's not pleasant, but neither is having HG and the flu or strep on top of it. It's quick, cheap and very effective. When I have used them, I have literally felt my body absorbing the liquid it needed.

I know there are several HG patients and a some midwives following along with the pregnancy and I've been asked if I attribute this flare up during the third trimester to anything specific.

When I had long periods of feeling fairly well, I became lackadaisial but as soon as I did, I'd get a "reminder" to mind my p's and q's.

Clint can often look at me and tell when I am starting to go downhill before I can feel it. He's also good at remembering what worked in specific situations and in recommending things to try. He's been called in and working more weekends the past month so I am not getting the feedback/reminders from him I usually get.

I have had to reduce the amount and sometimes take breaks from the antiemetic (varying dosages of Unisom) because it was causing depression. The doctor has offered me Phenergan, Zofran, etc, but the Unisom works the best for me with the long term I have to deal with HG.

Beyond that, I can not think of anything specific or anything I could do differently. I'll keep thinking on it and if something comes to me, I will post it.

I cracked Amanda up this past week. She heard me vomiting and came upstairs to help out and lend support. In the middle of being sick, I grabbed a breath and whispered "I think I am going to throw up." :-D

Well, I am able to move around more today, so I am going to praise the Lord for the break in the "HG storm", enjoy my children and do what I can while I can.

For the ladies who have HG, I am praying for you. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me. I covet your prayers.

Mark 4:37-41

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fall Colors

It isn't as pretty at our place as it is further north into the county.
We had a nor'easter pass through the last two days and the wind coming off of the water took many of our leaves. It's overcast here so the picture is dark.
I am going to ask Clint to take me for a drive this weekend if his schedule works out.
If he does, I'll try to get some pictures.
Please say a prayer for our friend Denise as she makes some tough decisions for her family.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Saturday Night #4

You better start running Caleb!

Brandon's after Caleb again!

Bethany joined in this time. That's Brandon on the bottom, Amanda on his back and Caleb on her back.
Bethany is beside them and Joshua is in the foreground.

After hours of this rough housing, Joshua collapsed panting and said "That's it!"
Amanda put her coat on him as if he were a casualty and said as she walked away "I had nothing to do with that."

I spent the whole day resting and have made some headway on the dehydration, but am very nauseous.
I had to go off the anti-emetic so Clint and I can get his car home.
He had it inspected a few days ago and we can't put off getting it any longer.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday Nght #3

They DID get Brandon down for a little while, but he pushed them off and got away after a few seconds.
I am surprised I was able to get this picture because he rolled over and was out of their grasp fairly quickly.
Bethany joined in some, but she is so little, she gets swallowed up by the commotion.
She was also tired so she sat and watched them and joined in when they needed someone to pile onto Brandon's back.
Notice Amanda took her shoes off. She said she could run better barefoot!

I am having issues with moderate dehydration. It started last week and has taken a toll on my energy level.
I battle it all day and make some progress, but then something happens and I lose ground.
I went back to bed and stayed there yesterday. That might be what I do today if I do not start feeling better soon.
I'll catch up on e-mail when I am feeling more energetic.

Monday, November 03, 2008

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Thank you Gramma Susan for the lovely blanket for the baby!