Monday, June 29, 2009

Keri Lynn has updated her blog!

Check out her newest posts -- Link to Twilight Sky at my blog list!

Apples are delicious

We had a fun weekend with our friends, Paul and Holly, and their son John. The Z's are missionary with JARS, the stateside part of Wycliffe. Kristofer instantly scooped up John into Video Game World. We all had a nice lazy weekend, or at least Holly and I did. Keith had to work on Saturday, as is his usual schedule these days, and Paul was busy tinkering around the house finding things to fix. The most important thing he found to fix was my recliner. I'd broken it several weeks ago so that it would not recline, but he cobbled a bunch of pieces together and I now have my recliner back. This means that Keith can get his recliner back! Everyone is very happy.

We stayed up so late watching a movie on Saturday night that we decided to play hooky from church. (We are a bad influence on the Z's.) After getting up late, we got lunch ready for the kids and then we married adults went running off to eat at El Charro's. Keri Lynn cried that she was an adult now, too, so I had to qualify "Married" into the lucky ones who got to go out!

Later, the guys went off to go do whatever guys like to do. They were going to drive up north to pay homage to Frey's and Harbor Freight Tools, but it was too long of a ride for the time remaining. Holly and I came home and we watched the video Persuasion, a version that Holly had not seen before. It was nice to relax and enjoy good company in air conditioning. It has been VERY hot.

Best of all, we were able to send the Z's off with The Little Apple. This little item has been making the rounds back and forth between our families for years as a practical joke. It's a little plastic apple that morphs into an apple person with arms and legs. I think we got it in a pile of hand-me-down toys from somewhere. If I remember right, Paul made some disparaging remark about the poor little apple, and we tried to pawn it off on them. The Z's discovered it in their luggage somewhere over the Netherlands (is that what you said, Holly?)on their way to Cameroon. And they managed to mail it to us in a nice little anonymous package from Holly's sister's address in the United States. This time it made its way back to their home in Paul's suitcase. We are very pleased with ourselves. : )

As far as my health goes, my blood pressure is still elevated but more controlled. It's going down little by little. And the swelling in my feet is gone. Yay! No more Elephant Foot Mom! Now I'm noticing more of the usual symptoms of pregnancy -- nausea (if I eat too much or too late in the evening or if I haven't eaten enough), fatigue, and a lack of coordination.

Keith's Mom is scheduled to fly in from California sometime tomorrow evening. She'll stay for a week, then we'll probably all come back to California with her for our summer visit. We'll stay with Mom and Rich. We are looking forward to seeing family and friends! Keith will work for the first part of the week, but he should be able to come for the last few days we're there when he has vacation.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I had a great visit with the perinatologist yesterday. The doctor was calm and knowledgeable. She deals with people like me all the time, so didn't have any trouble upping my blood pressure meds, adding a water pill, and talking about my rare Kell antibody issue. My perinatologist in California had only seen two cases of Kell, and I was the second one. This doctor has seen many and has even done a couple of inter-uterine blood transfusions that turned out well.

I asked her if I was still okay to pursue my teaching job. Could I work as a pregnant 43-year-old? She said, "Sure!" without any compunction at all. Did she expect my pregnancy to go as my other pregnancies had gone? Would I be more likely to have a c-section? What if problems came up at delivery with my hypertension? She expected everything to go just fine, that we would get my blood pressure under control. I told her what had happened with Konner who decided typical Konner independent style, to turn head up in the last week of pregnancy. The little darling. The doctors went ahead and did a version, where they manually move the baby's body back down head first, and then induce labor to avoid c-section. She said that my OB doctors will do that. Apparently the others around don't, so I'm lucky. I was really happy to hear that and she thought it made perfect sense to avoid a c-section. A c-section wouldn't be a terrible thing, but it would make life so much easier to avoid one.

It was just so refreshing to hear upbeat answers to all of my worries and anxieties. I feel very comfortable with her and with my OB doctors in general.

Today was the last day of VBS. Kathleen had us stop by the grocery store after VBS yesterday to go get some candy for her "Peeps" with her own money that she's earned from babysitting and dog sitting. She spent $20 bucks on candy! Yikes! But I thought that was so sweet of her!

When we got back from VBS today, we set to work on cleaning up a very messy house in preparation for the Zwierzynskis to come for a weekend visit. I haven't cleaned since we've been home from school. I was so impressed with Kade and Konner when they finally discovered what was stopping up the vacuum cleaner! It's working once again. So, unlike the beginning of summer vacation, all three breakdowns -- the dryer, the dishwasher AND the vacuum sweeper -- are all working once more! Whoo-hoo!

Things aren't even remotely close to being company clean, but the Z's are sweet understanding people and know that I've been a bit incapacitated. In fact, Holly facebooked me and said to just point her toward the laundry room, my natural nemesis, and she'd work on the laundry for me! How sweet is that? I told her that I couldn't have my guest doing my laundry for me, but maybe we could sit around with our feet up and talk!

Then next week, I will begin in earnest to call around about possible teaching jobs. I now feel confident to pursue it again. Should all go well with the baby, we'll work out a schedule where one of us can be home with the little one. It's a whole different world for us these days!

The kids are very supportive. Kylie has started saving her money to get a really nice gift for the baby. So far she has a dollar! She's got big plans and can't wait for the baby to make its appearance!

I think what is cracking me up the most about this pregnancy is the huge interest in the baby's name. So go ahead and throw in some ideas if you want. Most everyone knows that all of the kids' names start with a "K", but they also have "L" middle names. Keri Lynn, Kristofer Loren, Keva Laureen, Kathleen Lace, Kylie Louise, Kade Logan and Konner Liam. A lot of names get nixed because they sound too much like one of the other names. I have a boy's name in mind, so I'm pretty sure the baby is a girl.

I'll know by the 16th week when we'll have an amnio done. It won't be for genetic testing but rather for the Kell issue. A new test is now available that wasn't available back when Konner was born where they can test amniotic fluid for the baby's sensitivity to the Kell antibody. If it's desynthesized, then there will be no worries regarding Kell and no further testing will be needed. The doctor believes that my other kids were all born Kell desynthesized, and that's why they didn't have any problems. If the baby is synthesized to Kell, then I'll have to undergo extensive ultrasound and amnio tests to make sure the baby is okay throughout pregnancy.

Since I'm having an amnio done anyway, I'll also be able to get the genetic information. I'll be able to find out for sure whether or not the baby has Down Syndrome. I have a whole 3% chance of that. And then, of course, I'll be able to find out the baby's sex, which has always been exciting to discover before birth!

Now to go feed hungry children. I'm surprised that Kade is not pounding on my door.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's true!

So, I had an ultrasound today to confirm a due date . . . of a baby . . . that, if everything goes well, is supposed to arrive sometime in January.



I'm 43. By January, I'll be 44. I was officially of "Advanced Maternal Age" when I gave birth to Konner, but now I don't really buck that label. Things are a little different now days than when I was under OB care last. Now, I can get my prenatal vitamins over the counter. My OB has really cool examination robes that leave a little space for dignity. Ultrasound pictures are sent via email. I did all my paperwork on-line. If I have odd questions in the middle of the night, I can go on-line and ask! It's like I've been transported into the role of George Jetson's wife.

For all of you interested in the baby stats, I'm just nine weeks along. I only found out half way through the first week of summer vacation earlier this month when I started feeling kind of nauseous. It occurred to me then that it had been awhile since my last period. In fact, it had been QUITE a while. But with everything going on with Keri Lynn's graduation and end-of-year general excitement, I forgot about it. So I swung by a pharmacy, picked up a couple of pregnancy tests, came home and -- WHAM! -- got a positive result.

Oh, yeah.

Since then, I've spent a great deal of time finding a good high-risk pregnancy doctor, adjusting to changes in my blood pressure meds, and dealing with the heat of summer. It is HOT in Newnan! I've also had two kids out of the country, and now VBS. In short, my house is a complete and total disaster because I don't have energy to do anything, plus I need to keep my feet up a lot.

We told the kids tonight. All the girls are thrilled to pieces. Konner is excited about not being the baby anymore. We know from prior experience that once you tell the kids, the rest of the world knows, too. So we called our parents who, I think, all took it pretty well, considering. : )

As for Keith and me, we take God at His word that children are blessings. We have not done anything to prevent pregnancy throughout our marriage and look what He has given us! We thought that we might indeed be done, though, with the lag time, especially after Kylie, Kade and Konner came in such quick succession, but that was not God's plan. Strollers, Pack N Plays, changing tables have been ancient history, but should God decide to continue this little life that is only about an inch long, then we'll be breaking out that kind of equipment again.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Back from Japan!

Keri Lynn and Kristofer made it safely home from Japan late Saturday night. It was a hugely impactful trip for them in that they got to see the Church of God in action. Hongodai Church welcomed them with open arms. If you haven't gotten a chance to go see the pictures from the trip, there are literally hundreds of them off of our church link The whole time they were there, our church prayed fervently that they would have no rain. It's the rainy season in Japan yet they had several outside venues where they would be performing their concert. One morning there was some rain, but people still came, and by later in the day, it had cleared, and remained clear for all the rest of the concerts. Lee Chitwood, the music pastor that took them on the choir tour, was telling me today that it's been raining like crazy since the day the kids left to come home. We are very thankful for this answer to prayer!

No sooner were the kids home, then we started VBS. Keri Lynn is helping with the third graders. Kristofer is doing his tech stuff for music time. Kathleen is helping with the kindergartners. And I just kind of hang out with Keva and "direct" things. Okay, I'm just the taxi service, but it's still fun to be there with all of the energy flowing all over the place! Keva didn't even come with me today because Keith had the day off. I left her to hang out with Dad so that I could be free to help if there was a need. I did so some directing preschool kids to classes, but that's about it. The rest of the morning was mine. Tomorrow, though, I'll have Keva with me, so we'll be sure to hit all of the singing times (which she loves) and hang out a little at the playground, if it's not too hot. Maybe I'll get some crochet projects underway.

It is HOT, HOT, HOT today and all this week. I guess summer has come full force. I'm cringing at what our electric bill is going to be and wondering why we had to buy a house with big ceilings! Oh, the pain!

We got Keri Lynn's financial information in from GCSU and she's good to go! She has the Hope Scholarship, Georgia's scholarship program that pays for tuition and most of the books as long as she maintains at least a B average. She'll need to work through the Work Study program, but I think she'll be able to handle that perfectly well since it is tailored for students. She's especially excited about starting school now that she's decided on her major in Early Childhood Education. She wants to go back to Japan and teach English!

Keith's Mom will be coming to visit us sometime next week and through the July 4th weekend. We're looking forward to seeing her. We'll take one day, She and I and Keri Lynn, to go tour GCSU. We think she'll be just as impressed with the school as we were! That is, if we survive the heat! Whew!

I have not yet heard from the Jehovah's Witnesses ladies that came to my door. I'm disappointed. BUT, I did get a response from Gray under the post where I wrote about it. Thank you, Gray, for responding! I hope to have a very meaningful dialog on the subject of who Jesus is.

I've got a few June pictures up on Facebook if you haven't seen them lately. June, thank God, has been a little bit quieter than May.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pizza goodness

Are you salivating yet?  You should be.  I made this delicious cheesy goodness with two Pillsbury pizza crusts, one spread on the bottom and the other over the top, and in between all the cheese, spaghetti sauce and pepperoni we could handle.  I thought we ought to have enough for everyone especially with three kids gone and Keith at work, but the kids were so excited about it that they invited three neighbors to join in!  There was still enough!

Keri Lynn and Kristofer are still in Japan. They will be coming back late Saturday night. I go to the church website where there's a link to a Flikr photo gallery to check on the latest pictures. If you want to see what they're up to, go to and right there on the home page on the left side there's a box that says Georgia Student Choir USA. The choir could not travel under a religious name, but the Lord has opened up opportunities for them to sing in public venues like parks and ticketed events. They are also going to be singing at a public school -- please pray that the opportunity continues to be opened as the Japanese are very concerned about swine flu and the kids have only been in the country for a week. Both Keri Lynn and Kristofer are also part of the smaller singing ensemble, so they've been exercising their voices a lot. They've also been exercising their legs. They've been doing a lot of walking to and from the train to all their various destinations. All of the kids are doing great, though. I think they are all taking in the experience!

Yesterday, I got a chance to chat with Keri Lynn on Facebook. Sometimes we chat when she's up in her room at her laptop and I'm in my room on my laptop -- I know, I know . . . sad! But this time she was all the way on the other side of the world and we were chatting on Facebook! No change in wait time or anything. It was great to hear from her and ask questions about their trip. She sounded really good.

After I got off of the computer, I was getting ready to get dressed for the day, when Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door. I decided years ago that if Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door, that I would do what I could to speak to them about Jesus. After all, I was home and people were willing to come to MY door to talk to me about faith issues. What could get better than that? So I invited the two ladies in, still in my pajamas and my hair a mess, but they said they had people waiting in the car and would I take some of their fine literature.

And this is how most of the conversation went at my door:

"You know, I don't agree with what you believe about Jesus."

"You don't? What don't you agree with?"

"Well, the main thing," and here I took a deep breath and dove into the heart of the issue, "is that you don't believe that Jesus is God."

"We believe he is the Son of God, that he saved us from our sins . . ."

"But you don't believe he's God."

"The Bible says that he's the Son of God, that God gave him the power to save us from sin, and that he now sits at the right hand of God the Father."

"The Bible also says that Jesus is God. In fact, Jesus Himself claims that He is God."

They had their Bibles handy with all of the verses talking about Jesus being the Son of God, the first creation, that he asked God permission, etc, etc. Most of the verses were in their own translation, though, where a few key words could be changed for their benefit. And I countered with the time that Jesus claimed to be I AM (John 7). (There are plenty of other times that he claims to be God, but that's the one that stuck in my head as the most prominent.)

"I really don't see how you can get around that. Jesus said I AM. He was crucified for that. The Jews were so angry at him because He claimed to be GOD!"

They threw some more scripture at me that they thought supported their point, but for that one argument, there was no answer. Jesus said it. There is no denying it. He died for it. He conquered sin for it. He rose from the dead for it. Is it not an AMAZING thing, that the Christian faith is the only faith in the entire world wherein GOD Himself sacrificed Himself for us? All other religions have US doing the sacrificing for god. Even Jehovah's Witnesses. Especially Jehovah's Witnesses. They are constantly working toward perfection, constantly trying to be good enough to eventually get to heaven.

It is my belief that talking with people involved in these false religions like Mormonism and Watch Tower is very easy. It always comes down to Jesus and who He claims to be. You either believe it or you don't. It still doesn't change who HE is, though. And it is a privilege to be able to speak of Him to those who are seeking.

The ladies at my door finally had to leave but not without asking if we could have a Bible study together later. Perfect! I thought. I gave them my name and phone number and said I could meet with them any time. I'm sure they have their own Bible studies ready to go, but so do I! After all, if we're studying the Bible, Ive got the HUGHEST advantage EVER. That's why it's important for us as Christians to be studying and learning what the Bible says so that we can be ready to have an answer. It's all there in that Book.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Nail care

Keri Lynn and Kristofer left early yesterday morning with their choir to Japan. They are hopefully sleeping like babies right now after a VERY long flight to the other side of the world.

Kylie is on vacation for the week with a neighborhood family. They are in South Carolina -- a little closer than Japan.

That leaves us with FOUR kids. That's it. FOUR.

Yesterday was Keith's day off, so he whisked the little boys away for the morning and then came back and Kathleen and I went off for some girl time. We ate some lunch out then used a nail salon gift certificate I'd gotten from school for my substitute work there. Toes and nails now are gorgeous. Kathleen got each nail done in a different neon color and all of them covered with white polka dots. She's THRILLED! And it looks really cute on her. I got mine done in a much more sedate monotone color. I love it. We decided that we could seriously get used to getting our nails done on a regular basis.

I'm very excited about this afternoon. The repair guy is supposed to come. Machine parts are waiting for him. And HOPEFULLY he'll get the dryer going in this one visit. It didn't take me long to get seriously annoyed with line drying. One of the projects today is to unearth the dryer from underneath mountains of dirty clothes so that he can actually get to it! I better get started on that soon. Times a wastin'.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer time

I've got a hundred contingencies for the summer, all centered around whether or not I'll be employed. It looks unlikely that I'll get a job for the summer since I'm not a teenager, so I've started making unemployed plans.

One of the plans is to exercise. I've walked two days in a row now. I know many of you have heard me before and are rolling your eyes, but should I remain unemployed, I have no excuse but to continue on my walking plan. So far I've walked 45 minutes each day, but my plan is to move it up to an hour. Shouldn't be too hard. I'm not pushing it, just trying to enjoy it so that I keep doing it. I have got to get into better shape because currently I'm walking around like I'm 83, not 43.

A second set of plans involves finally cleaning up my bedroom and painting the living room walls. I'm a little frightened by this because the jobs look impossibly hard to me at this moment. It's a matter of Just. Do. It.

The third set of plans revolve around travel. We'll try to make our yearly summer California trip to visit family and friends. And I also want to make a trip to visit the Kings in Florida. Thank God for Delta flight privileges! And maybe, just maybe, Keith and I can get away for a bit for our 21st anniversary in July.

However, I didn't expect for the summer to start out as it has. Our dryer decided to stop actually drying. It spins and cools forever, but that doesn't do us a lot of good. Keith brought home a very nice set of lines to dry clothes out on the deck, except it's been literally raining ever since he installed them! Ack! At least the repairman is coming on Tuesday. I got parts for the dryer just today in a weird case of Service Preparedness. I keep looking around for the hidden cameras. I think I'm starring in some Candid Camera episode.

The vacuum is not working properly either. The dog hair has pretty much overtaken the entire house. That and the smell of those turtles. But I don't think I have to worry too much more about the turtles. Keva is trying to kill them off. She got a hold of Krush and hurled him onto the floor where Kade found him, like a bad episode of Starsky and Hutch (my age is showing). He came running over to me where I was working hard at Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, "Mommy! Mommy! Krush is DEAD! Look, he's bleeding!" It was very sad. I took a good look at him and he was in fact bleeding and his bottom shell was cracked nearly across, but there were signs of movement where his head had gone into hiding, so I told Kade to go ahead and put him back into the tank, where Krush has been ever since acting as if his body is not nearly cracked in two. I also had to look up turtles to find out if they actually do bleed. For some reason, I didn't think they did. I thought maybe the blood had to do with the turtle snapping at Keva or the dog, but turtles do in fact bleed. There you go.

Oh, and the dishwasher decided to leak. It took us a while to figure out why the floor in the family room was getting wet. We thought maybe some pipes had burst from upstairs, but upon further discovery, that of actually USING the dishwasher, found that more water gathered in that spot, on the opposite side of the wall where the dishwasher was. (We should write our own mystery novels. Truly.) Anyway, we immediately stopped using the dishwasher, or at least thought we did, but the dishwasher duty was Kade's earlier this week, and he did not figure out that the reason that the carpet was completely pulled away from that part of the floor had anything to do with the dishwasher. So he ran it again. Who knows how much mildew and mold we have now! We do not have a warranty on a dishwasher, so we're going to have to wash dishes the old fashioned way for a while. I forgot what a pain that was! But I'm remembering now!

On the bright side, the weather has been really nice. It's been rainy but not too hot. The kids have been making the rounds of sleepovers and mooching the poor neighbors. Some days, I don't see them all day long. They come back a little tanner and dirtier. Here's hoping that the service repairman actually fixes the dryer on the first visit!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The new 'do

Winding up the school year

Today at lunch, I participated in a end-of-year celebration with the school staff where I've been working since December. We all were treated to lunch at the Texas Roadhouse. Very yummy. Nice company.

Just a tiny little embarrassing incident. Why, oh, why does this happen to me?

We had salad with all kinds of goodness on it, drinks, peanuts, warm bread while waiting for our choice of chicken or steak to arrive. The food came. We swapped stories and enjoyed the camaraderie.

And a piece of steak got stuck in my throat. Not Heimlich Maneuver stuck. No, just swallowing stuck. As in have-to-cough-it-up or get-it-down stuck. I could still breath, but the pressure in my throat was intense as I tried to look and act normal while the ladies around me talked and laughed. It's happened before. I think it's a hernia problem. Mostly, I just sit still for a while, and maybe walk around and the food goes down and all is right with the world again. Other times, I've had to make a quick exit to upchuck the renegade piece of food. This time, it all came up in one quick messy glob of saliva and phlegm all over what was left of my lunch and on the table and in my hand and on my seat and lap. Uh-huh. Right there in front of everyone. I was mortified! Simply mortified.

I wasn't so much worried about Kelly and Jenna sitting across from me. After all, we spent the better part of our lunch time each school day talking about poop consistency, regularity, vomit, snot and ear wax. No, it was the poor teacher next to me who doesn't have to deal with that kind of stuff on a regular basis, who didn't finish her own lunch after I threw up all over mine. She said that it was no problem, that she wasn't bothered, but still . . . Sigh!

This just goes with the whole way I've been wrapping up the school year.

On Friday, the last day of school, we (Kelly and I -- Jenna was at the State Special Olympics) wore our "WII Rock" T-shirts. The administration has been pushing for good test scores and attendance with a drawing for a WII and for shirts with "WII Rock" on them. All the teachers and staff got them, too. Only we all thought it would be pretty funny for the end of the year to cross out the first part of "WII", leaving just the "I Rock". Kind of catchy, right?

Except for the part where I passed the principal in the hallway.

She was not pleased. It did not honor school spirit and she said she would appreciate it if I would take off the offending X covering the rest of "WII Rock".

I did, quickly, and was completely mortified that I'd just gotten into trouble by the principal. A person who I hope will someday give me a good recommendation for a teaching job. Oh, the humanity of it all!

On the brighter side, after lunch I took myself off to get a haircut, with hopes of getting something sassy for the summer. I love it! It's always nice to get someone who knows what they're doing when cutting hair. She lifted hair in all directions and snipped and cut like crazy to give me a nice cut that will be perfect for summer time. And it will also ease my poor wounded humiliated spirit!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Summer! Wheeeeeeeeee!

Today was the first official day of Summer Vacation. I could seriously get used to a life of leisure! Got up at about 9:00ish, put in a load of laundry, made breakfast, got Keva up, ate breakfast, took the kids to the neighbor's pool for a relaxing time in the sun, kids got their first summer sunburn, kids played in the sprinklers on the lawn (YAY for no drought restrictions!), I skipped off to the grocery store, we ate dinner at 8:50. Yes, the life of leisure.

But I really need a summer job! And I'm hoping to get that teaching job by the start of the new school year. It's going to be an interesting summer, and I'm hanging on tight for the ride!

Things are getting dicey around the house, too. Keith was off today and has been fiddling with the strange wet spot that started appearing in the floor next to the bar. We think there's a leak either in the pipes from the dishwasher or from the shower upstairs. Either way, it's not good.

Then there's the tiny problem of our dryer breaking down. I called our beloved warranty department today and the repair guy can't come until June 11. I told the poor guy on the other end of the phone, "You have GOT to be kidding me! June 11? As in ELEVEN days from now, June 11?" I've got a number to call in case someone cancels their appointment. I could then grab that spot. I'm not too hopeful, though. Looks like I'm going to have to look into a clothes line and clothes pins. At least it's not the washing machine. If it had broken down, we would have officially qualified for a brand new machine according to the warranty. But it has been washing steadily ever since the last major breakdown episode. That one still makes me shudder! Dirty clothes in bathtubs and sinks . . . wringing . . . sweating . . . not really getting anything clean. I am so thankful for that washing machine!

Keri Lynn is now in Jamaica. You'll be able to see pictures/updates on our church's website soon. We're missing her here at home while she's "suffering" for Jesus in Jamaica. Today they were going to a famous falls to swim and have a relaxing day, and then they'll get to work helping kids at a school for the deaf. I can't wait to hear more about it.

As soon as she gets back, she has a whirlwind Sunday of singing at church, last minute packing and off along with Kristofer to the Japan Choir Tour. They are both thrilled to be going and have been working hard on fundraisers and singing all year. The main thing, though, is that they have to STAY HEALTHY. It's difficult to travel internationally with the Swine Flu scare. The Japanese are being extra careful. If anyone on the airplane lands with a fever, they will quarantine that person and the 30-40 people around them for up to 10 days! And seeing as the choir tour is only 12 days long, this would put a real damper on the schedule!

Please be praying for our family at this time, particularly for the missions trips the kids are on or will be on soon, and also for my job situation both for the summer and for the new school year. Also for Keri Lynn's preparation for college. I can't believe I have a high school graduate!