Saturday, August 22, 2009

The 80th!

Happy birthday, Stan!  What a milestone!

Surely you know that I'm not exactly the most promt person by now nor the most organized!  So, yes, your birthday was last week, but it doesn't mean that my heart isn't thankful for who you are and what you mean to our family. 

Thank you for getting down on your knees early every morning to pray for your family. Throughout his growing up years, Keith remembers running down the stairs to see you doing just that.

Thank you for praying for Keith, for reading God's word to him, for speaking to him of spiritual matters, for showing him how spiritual things relate to everything in the world.  He passes on those insights to his own children.

Thank you for praying for Keith's family now.  I am the beneficiary of such wealth and so are our children.  They know about Papa and his faithfulness to his God, to his family and to his church.

Keith was on the phone with Keri Lynn last weekend.  She'd had a rough start to college life, and was about to go to bed, when Keith asked her, "So where are you going to church tomorrow?"

This is the very question that you asked Keith in his young adult years as he began to make his way in the world, "Where are you going to church tomorrow?"

For we do not forget our heritage.  We do not forget our love for God, the Creator of the Universe, the Savior of the world.

Thank you and happy 80th birthday!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Lots of news.

We took Keri Lynn to college yesterday. Bittersweet to leave our daughter on her own. Life is going to be pretty drastically different for her for a while, but I'm confident that she will settle in well and enjoy some brand new independence.

I didn't even cry, at least not until Keith and I had driven away and Keith said, "We didn't pray for her. We need to pray for her now." And he did and the tears flowed down my cheeks. May God bless you, sweet girl.

This morning, I dragged myself out of bed to get kids on their way to school. I was tired from the emotions and traveling in August weather all day yesterday, so I signed agendas, gave out lunch money, helped Kade with some last minute homework, and as soon as everyone was out the door, headed off to bed to squeeze in about an hour and a half more of sleep before going to the perinatologist for the long-awaited amniocentesis.

Turns out that the doctor postponed the amnio because the lab required more amniotic fluid than the doctor was comfortable removing at 16 weeks. She will do it in another two weeks, but wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to terminate a pregnancy if results came back positive for Down Syndrome or anything like that. I guess 18 weeks is too long for a conventional abortion. Ick!

Anyway, I said that absolutely I would not terminate a pregnancy and to wait two more weeks was fine. Two weeks makes a huge difference in development. Two weeks ago when I went in for a blood pressure check, the baby was lower in my abdomen and a lot smaller. Now the top of my uterus is at my belly button already. This is exciting news! This means that my belly is not ALL fat anymore, it's baby, too!

Instead of the amnio, the doctor did do an extensive ultrasound. That's when I found out that the baby is a BOY! So now I know I'm carrying Keegan around. And Keegan is very busy. He was moving all over the place. The technician was having to step it up to get measurements. Also, at this point the doctor sees no markers for Down Syndrome. We won't find out for sure until the amnio is done.

As for the Kell antibody, the reason for the amnio in the first place, there are as yet no signs of Kell problems. But that doesn't usually occur until the end of the second trimester and into the third. However, if the baby proves desensitized to Kell, then that will be a mute point.

The biggest news, though, with this office visit is that it appears that one of the baby's kidneys does not function. There is fluid collected in his little body that is probably urine that somehow got clogged up. As the doctor puts it, "And that is why God made two kidneys." Apparently his other kidney works just fine because the amniotic fluid is at normal levels.

I looked at her questioningly, and asked, "Does that mean that amniotic fluid is pee?"

"Yes," she said, "After seven kids, you didn't know that?"

"Um, no," I said, "No wonder it's yellow!" (This I know from previous amniocenteses.)

So we will continue to monitor the cyst and see what happens with it. I have no idea what this means for the long haul, but everything else looks good. His heart looks healthy as well as blood flow to his brain. And he looks SO CUTE! I'm in love!

And other news . . . Kristofer turns 16 tomorrow! I can't believe it. I guess I should since he's been taller than me for several months, but I'm in denial. Keith is getting together a paint ball war for Kristofer and two of his buddies to celebrate his birthday.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And they're off!

We sent the kids off to their first day of school yesterday. It's always odd starting so early in the school year here in Georgia, but starting on a Friday was even weirder. Now I like getting out early in the school year, though. We also have a lot of week-long breaks throughout the year. All in all, I like the schedule. But even more odd this year, was that Keri Lynn stayed home while the rest of the kids got on their buses.

Once everyone was away, I yawned and stretched and went back to bed! This getting up early in the morning is for the birds! I wasn't sure if I could just plop right back to sleep, but before I knew it, it was 10:30 AM. So I got to be a lazy bum for one more weekday!

I'd rather be a lazy bum for many more school days, but that would be bad. It's kind of important that we pay our mortgage, so my job search continues. If I end up working as a substitute, which is looking more and more likely, then Keith is going to need to get a second job to make ends at least be able to wave at each other.

I've not totally given up on a teacher's position, but it is just not looking real good right now. I was talking to a teacher over at Kristofer's high school, and she was saying that you never know what will happen. Teachers leave all the time -- their spouses have to relocate, there's a death in the family, illness, etc. While I would never wish ill on anyone, I'm just praying that I'll be in the right position at the right time. At least substituting is still available to me. The county has cut back so much that substitute teachers are not even being newly hired, let alone provisional teachers!

I have a few other possibilities that I want to explore. First is finding a position in a Christian private school. The pay wouldn't be nearly as good, but working in a Christian environment would be wonderful. The other is tutoring in the evenings or weekends to supplement substitute teaching. We'll see. As always, God has it all in His very capable hands.

This coming week will be a big one for us. Keith and I will take Keri Lynn off to college on Thursday. I am not looking forward to that one bit, and Keith is in worse shape than me. Thank God we have so many ways to communicate, and of course she'll be home for breaks. We'll use Facebook primarily until we can afford to get Keri Lynn a cell phone. Currently, with our job situation, we're down to Keith's phone that he uses a lot at work.

On Friday, I'm going in for the amnio to see if I have to have further testing on the Kell antibody. I suspect that the baby will be unaffected by it, and then it will be pretty much a matter of keeping track of my blood pressure. At the end of 15 weeks, my jeans are starting to feel uncomfortable. My belly fat is starting to round nicely into that lovely muffin affect further up on my stomach. Sigh. I really need to start walking again. Now that I'm feeling better, there is really no excuse. The heat is tough, but I don't have to walk for every long in it to get some results! And in a few months, the weather will start turning cold again. It's always hard for me to imagine that it will EVER be cold again in the summer and then in the winter I wonder if the sun will EVER shine warm again.

The house is quiet this morning. Five of seven kids are out at sleep-overs. I think it's the last hurrah before school really gets into gear! Monday begins the big crackdown on TV and video games so that time can be used for studying and getting to bed at a decent hour. We've all really enjoyed a lazy summer. It was good timing for me because it would have been difficult to work during the last two months.

I still need to conquer some major laundry. A few of the kids do their own laundry, and a few of them TRY to do their own laundry when I nag them. The result: Still a lot of laundry left. And worse, now there's all that laundry that I stuffed in the guest bathroom back at the beginning of summer when the dryer broke down. It's STILL there. Maybe we really don't need it that much since we managed the entire summer without any of the clothes, but I guess I'm still going to have to deal with it anyway.

I came up with a laundry plan! I'm set up a little TV in the laundry room doorway, where I can watch DVDs while I work. Right now I'm watching Mrs. Paulfry at the Clairmont. It's a cute movie and I've gotten quite a bit done there in my Inner Sanctum. I figure I have some quality laundry time coming all the way until October when my washer/dryer warranties are done. Then, I may need to start taking laundry over to a nearby lake or river to pound them on the rocks because you know my machines are going to break down early November.