17 weeks

This week went quickly. I was surprised how fast the week went from 16 to week 17 and I am thankful. I have been feeling good although food aversions have been pretty intense. I don’t want to eat anything, or I do and then when I get it…it doesn’t sound good anymore. I’m eating though.
I *think* I’ve been feeling baby move here and there which is encouraging. I’ve noticed this little baby’s heartbeat is lower than the boys were at this point. The boys always had heartbeats in the 140s-150s throughout my pregnancy. This baby is content to just sit around 120-130. I don’t put a lot of stock in the whole wives tales that say the heartbeat is higher or lower depending on the gender of the baby. So beats me, I’m hoping that means this little one is laid back.
I’m trying a new chiropractor on Wednesday this week. Hopefully I’ll find someone I am comfortable with and who I feel confident in.
We are praising God for another week with this baby. We are taking each week as it comes. Praying daily for this little one and his/her safety and arrival.


I posted on Facebook this week about a family we met at church. But as it rolled around in my head, I think it warrants a whole blog post.
They are expecting their 10th child. They are stoked. Kerry asked the father how many children he had (Kerry hadn’t seen all of them) and the dad said “We have 9 and are expecting our 10th, The Bible calls them a blessing and reward and we believe that. I feel very blessed and feel even more so as I get older.” Wow that was refreshing! I kinda wanted to say “Hey! Us too!” but didn’t want to interrupt.
I just have to say though, it really isn’t about how many children a family has, but how those children are viewed. We absolutely view children as a blessing, and because we desire the blessing God has for us, choose not to limit our family size. There are a number of reasons that we believe this and we’ve given it a lot of thought and prayer, that’s not the purpose of this post though.
The truth is, whether you have no children or 50, they are blessings…God says so and we believe Him. So many times though we hear parents bemoaning the fact that they are expecting another child or that they can’t handle the ones they have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents tell me “there is no way I could spend all day with my children”. Really? Then how do you expect anyone else to? It’s not just about homeschooling or desiring children, it’s about the attitude children are viewed with.

Sure they require lots of time and sacrifice, of course it can be tough and trying to raise little ones but oh what a reward it is! There is nothing better than being surrounded by your children, watching them laugh and play…or better yet laughing and playing with them! I can’t tell you how many times I have been blessed by hearing one of my children walking through our home singing a song or doing something kind for one of his brothers.

It breaks my heart to hear children being torn down and spoken to with words dripping with disdain and irritation. I long to take hurting children in my arms and tell them they are special and they are loved. How often our paths cross those of children who are hurt at the hands of those entrusted with loving and caring for them. A child sat in my backyard this last week and said wistfully “I wish I lived here with you.” It was all I could do to not pull that child into my lap and tell her she is loved and cared for. All I could muster was “You are always welcome here” and try to hide the tears that were welling in my eyes.

Children are often viewed as “things” be avoided and prevented and tolerated. They should be embraced, welcomed and celebrated. They are gifts from God, they are rewards and blessings. We are missing out if we forget how fortunate we are to have them in our lives.

Psalm 127: 3-5

3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.


We’ve been in our new home for 2 and a half weeks.

We are learning to live in a smaller town again. And to live in town. Even though we lived in Pueblo West, where our home was located we felt very much like we were close to the country. I enjoyed being able to look out and see the mountains. Here I see a wonderful backyard (with grass!) but also other buildings close by. I miss open space a bit.
Some of the things our we’ve adjusted in just the short time we’ve been here…
I have to plan my grocery lists a little differently. There is a small local grocery store, but it’s a bit more expensive than some larger stores in bigger cities. We now have an “every day” grocery list and a “city” grocery list for when we make the hour trek to a larger city.
Speaking of grocery stores, Zeke has to learn it’s okay for a guy to follow us out with a cart of groceries. A young man was helping us to the car with our groceries this last week. Zeke saw him following us and said “Mom!” and pointed emphatically towards the man behind us as if to say “that guy is following us!” He wasn’t sure that it was okay. I told him, that’s the difference between a small town and a big one. They help you out with groceries. 🙂
We have to mow grass. For the last 5 years we didn’t have grass at all. Our lawn care consisted of pulling weeds and spraying if they got too big. Here we need to mow once a week. It didn’t occur to me until we got here that Zeke and Titus have never seen a push mower up close. They’re not thrilled. Zeke sits on the porch and plugs his ears the whole time.
Literally everyone we have met in the last two weeks is “new” to us. We trying to remember names and stories. It’s been interesting to connect dots and try to learn new people. It’s been a while since we’ve moved so maybe we’re a little rusty. It’s kind of like college at K-State all over again. Being willing to turn to the person next to you and shake hands and introduce yourself. I’ve been pleased to watch the boys open up and become more outgoing, and seem even more comfortable with it than I am.
Unpacking isn’t fun no matter where you are.

We are still unpacking boxes of clothes and bathroom stuff. The kitchen (above) is done as is the play room and other major rooms of the house. We’re still trying to figure out where everything goes and what is going to work best for our family. It’s been a challenge to find the best “system” and I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it for months yet. For my type A personality, it’s hard to be patient, especially after having a system that worked well for our family before.
We are adjusting to life here and liking it. We keep reminding ourselves it will take time, but we have been called here by God and know that this is where we’re supposed to be. We know that He is faithful and He will give us what we need to be here.

Why I'm not losing weight…

And why I’m okay with it.
It’s okay to be a little shocked. We were too. The week after I started my weigh in Wednesday posts, we found out we were pregnant. Looking at this pregnancy from the world’s perspective, this is really terrible timing. We got pregnant right before we moved, right before Kerry started a new job and right before my insurance ran out. But…we trust God for His timing of our children. He can see the future and we can’t, so we know that because it is His timing, it is perfect for our family.
And we are thankful, so very thankful.
I am 9 1/2 weeks this week and I am exhausted. We have been in our new home for a week and a half. We have been busy unpacking and getting settled. The work seems unending and all I want to do is sleep.
As I mentioned before, we got pregnant right before my insurance with my old job ran out (tomorrow to be exact). And since I will be a stay at home mom, we have to buy insurance privately. Kansas though, considers pregnancy a pre-existing condition so no private insurance will cover me. Which leaves two choices…buy COBRA from my old job which is way expensive or go without insurance. We are praying for guidance in this area. If I hadn’t just experienced two losses in the second trimester, I would be less nervous about going without insurance.
I am still looking for a provider. I could drive 4 hours back to Pueblo and see my providers there…but that’s a four hour drive. I don’t really want to just go and stay there for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy waiting for labor to happen and a 4 hour drive in labor doesn’t sound appealing either. Not to mention my labor with Titus wasn’t exactly a long one. There are no midwives here in Western Kansas and the ones closest (3-4 hours away) won’t drive here. I haven’t had much luck finding a doctor who will “let” me VBAC either, so I’m still searching. I guess it’s okay I don’t have insurance yet because I don’t have anyone who will see me. We’re praying we can find the right person to care for me. God has answered this prayer in the past and we trust He will again.
We are so very thankful to be pregnant again. We are praying that this baby will be born healthy and the pregnancy will be uncomplicated. We know that God has created this little one and He is in control. We pray daily for His provision, His guidance and His protection for our children.
Thank you for praying for us.


I don’t have anything profound to post today other than just asking for your prayers.
We are in the final days of packing up our house to move to a new community. It can be stressful and the chaos of maneuvering around boxes can be a bit overwhelming. It seems like everywhere I turn there is more stuff…even when I thought I had just packed that spot up.
We have been battling physical illness. I started this week with sore throat and fever (our son brought it home with him from camp a week or so ago). Now our 3rd son has been running and fever and not feeling well. I have developed an infection along my jaw line which is quite swollen and painful. It came on quickly and I went in this morning for some antibiotics so hopefully that will clear things up. If not, I will need to have it drained. Not an appealing proposition. So please pray for healing and health in these last few days of packing and moving.
It’s just exhausting. 🙂 I don’t think any of us have been sleeping well between the “not feeling good” and the “I should be doing” kinds of thoughts that start running through our minds at night. We need good restful nights of sleep.
The spiritual and emotional attacks have intensified the last week or so. Both Kerry and I have been feeling more attacked lately. I have struggled with thoughts of failure, being a burden and not fit for the role in which I have been called. Kerry too has struggled with similar thoughts and there have been times we’ve found ourselves short with the other person which is pretty uncommon for us. There have been some moments where past hurts, which have been forgiven and almost forgotten, have come crashing in out of the clear blue to take our minds off of what God has called us to do as a couple.
I think the changes ahead are really starting to hit our older two boys. Gabe especially has seemed to be taking more in and thinking some about “this might be the last time I do….here” kinds of things. It is hard to know how to help him because he’s not terribly verbal about it. I expect that Otto will become emotional on our actual moving day.
So again nothing profound today. But we would covet your prayers over the next few days and weeks as we finish packing, move and settle in to our new home.


We are candidating this weekend at a church. (I say we because it is never just about Kerry).
It’s our *first* one. It is busy. And I feel a little bit like we’re under the microscope. It’s has been a good experience and we’ve met wonderful people. But I constantly wonder if I’m being evaluated and there is going to be secret meeting where score cards are tallied and we’re given a grade. It may come from my dysfunctional upbringing, but I always wonder if I’m getting dinged for behavior or a misstep somewhere.
But I decided before we came that I wasn’t going to put pressure on my children to “behave” any differently than the usual expectation for our family. I didn’t want them to feel like they had to be on display or put on a show for all the nice people.
I decided that we were going to be just us.
For two reasons really, the first is that if we do come here I don’t want to have to keep that show going long term. I mean it’s a lot of work to pretend you’re something you’re not.  And the second is that if the church in general is going to be relevant and authentic to the world around them, then there shouldn’t be any reason to “put on a show” for anyone. Whether they’re interviewing, visiting or have been coming through the doors for years. We should be willing to welcome (and let’s face it sometimes tolerate) each other with our children who run in the hall, our voices that sing off key and personalities that may be too bold for our taste.
Now I have to confess, there have been a couple times I’ve turned around in the car and reminded the boys that we’re going to someone else’s house for dinner and to remember to say please and thank you (and don’t eat the dog biscuits or strip down in your underwear to  play in the water…yes those things have all happened and there are stories behind them). But other than that we are who we are…who God made us. There is always room for growth and there is always something to learn, but we are not show animals. We are people and if we want to reach out to people and share the love of Christ with them we must be willing to be seen as we are without the facade of “good behavior” only pulled out on special occasions like fine china.
For us this weekend isn’t just an opportunity to candidate for a church but it’s also an opportunity for us (me especially) to be comfortable with being who we are and to practice being authentic. To make no apologies for the fact that I have 4 boys who keep going back for animal crackers because you leave the jar wide open on the counter. To be proud of my *little* family and our wackiness, our shyness (and not so shyness). I am reminded that God has brought our family together and is molding it as only He can.
So as we’re “under the microscope” my prayer is that those looking can see the work of Christ in our lives and in our family. That they can see His handiwork more than they can see anything else.