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Archive for August, 2006

One of my favorite names for God found in the Bible is Jehovah Jireh.  It means God Provides, and I have never found Him to be otherwise than a magnificent provider. 

When we found out we were expecting another child, I realized that by this point, some baby things are needing replacement.  Mainly we were in need of two “big ticket” items: a highchair and a double stroller.  Since our budget is pretty tight, with every dollar assigned and not much to spare for big baby items, I was wondering how we were going to pull it off.  Silly me for worrying.  When has God ever brought us a blessing without providing the means for it?  Within a week, we were doubly blessed. First, our good friends K and D, offered us an almost-new highchair that their little one doesn’t use,  and then after the ultrasound confirmed that we were having a boy, they brought us scads of like-new baby boy clothes!Wow!  We were feeling totally blessed (thanks K and D!), and I felt the tension over providing for this new little one lessen.  Then at church on Sunday, no joke, a lady from our Ohana group offered me a double stroller that she no longer needed.  I couldn’t believe the way things had worked out.  God had really stepped in and provided when I didn’t see a way. 

And yet God wasn’t done working things out.  For a while now, DH and I have been longing for a leisurely, “child-less” morning where there is nothing to wake us but our own desire.  I mentioned this to my friend, V, in a “wouldn’t it be nice but I don’t think we can make it happen” sort of way, and she immediately offered to take the kids for a night.  V and her husband are the most willing babysitters of our children that I have ever met, and we could not have been more appreciative, but unfortunately, with all the trouble we’ve had with Bud going to sleep and having a one-year-old who has never slept anywhere but here, I didn’t think a night over at their house would work very well.  So, they offered to come to our house and let us stay at their place, but that, too, had some logistical problems.  So, we just put the idea out of our heads. 

Then, this past week, DH mentioned that the chaplain was hosting a marriage retreat down in Waikiki on Labor Day weekend. The hotel room, dinner, and registration are all free.  We fairly jumped at the chance, with DH getting a pass and me on the phone to V to see if they were still willing to stay overnight at our place.  Once again, God had worked out everything better than we ever could.

What a couple of weeks of unexpected blessings.  I am so glad that God works like He does, through the willing service of His children as they meet each other’s needs and bear one another’s burdens.  Life in the Family is good.  And God does indeed provide for not only our needs, but the desires of our hearts as well.

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Today was my routine 20 week ultrasound, and we were all anxious to find out for sure whether my instincts were correct and we were expecting a boy.  Well, our little blessing cooperated that far at least and eagerly displayed his defining anatomy for all to be assured of his gender.  Other than that, however, he made things rather complicated for the sonographer, covering up his face when she was trying to see his nose and lips, crossing his legs when she wanted a shot of each leg by itself, and curling up into a little ball when she was trying to get a good look at his heart.  DH and I said that we hoped that wasn’t any indication of what he would be like after his arrival as we have had our share of contrariness from Bud and could use a breather. 🙂 

After an hour of trying, with me turning from one side to another and generally enduring more discomfort than I am used to at an ultrasound, she finally was able to see everything she needed.  And everything looks great.  It is always so exciting to see them before their born and to be reassured that everything is where it is supposed to be.  And after all was done, the tech got a great shot of the baby that looks like he’s lounging in a hammock with his legs crossed and an arm raised as if to wave (or ask for a refill on his martini, DH says).  He’s looking right at us in that one, and it makes me laugh everytime I look at it.  We may just have a joker on our hands.

But now that we know for sure that we’re having a boy, we need to lock in on a name.  Since this is our fifth child to name, it isn’t as easy as it was before.  We have gotten some great suggestions from the kiddos, though.  Bud at first wanted to name the baby his own exact name.  We reminded him of the Dr. Seuss story about the mother with 23 sons named Dave and the dilemas that caused, so he decided maybe something else would be better.  His second suggestion?  Rocket Captain Smith.  Well, needless to say, Dh and I weren’t wild about it.  🙂  Meanwhile, Missy has suggested Jonathon as a name, but neither DH nor I are sold on this one either since there is a dog in Dh’s family named Johnny. 

So tonight I’ll be getting out the old baby name books to see if we can’t land on something that we all like. 

Now the only other problem is thinking of a new blog name for Baby since she is soon to be usurped from her place as baby in the family.  I’ll keep you “posted” on that one.

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New Dish, Well Worth Trying

Dh and I have been with the Army for a few years now, and we have had the chance to live in a couple of very desirable locations, namely Monterey, CA and Hawaii.  We’ve met people from China, Germany, England, Korea, Japan, Louisianna, Rhode Island, and a whole slew of Texans.  It has been a lot of fun. 

Luckily, DH and I are adventurous in nature…especially when it comes to trying out different kinds of food.  We both love to eat, and have enjoyed Mexican and Italian food in addition to the traditional midwestern casseroles and salads and roasts, but I am always looking for something new, so this transient lifestyle has suited me well.  During our travels I’ve learned to make Indian food (naan, curry and lentils are favs), Thai (curry), actual Chinese spring rolls (so great compared to the restaurant version), homemade pico de gallo (thanks to all the Texans), as well as German rouladen, spaetzle, and fondue.  There are many other foods we enjoy, but as of yet, I leave the making of them to the experts.  For instance, Korean bulgoki and kimchee, Japanese sashimi and sushi, Egyptian food in general, and most Thai food are best made by someone more um, ethnic, than I. 

It has been such fun trying new things and experimenting at home with making them.  We really enjoy a variety.

Well, all of that leads me to say that when Dh accidentally picked up a veal roast instead of the lamb roast that I had listed, I wondered what I’d do with it.  I had planned on a couple of rather Meditterranean meals involving mint and yogurt and pitas from that lamb roast, and I was pretty sure veal wouldn’t make a terrific substitute, though it would probably do.  So I got online to find out how one goes about preparing a veal roast, since the only veal I had ever eaten was the veal parmigiana served in Italian restaurants.  What I found was a delightfully easy recipe that made an elegant and delicious meal for us.  So I thought I’d share….

Roast Veal with Mushrooms

  • 3lb boneless veal roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or Marsala wine)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 8 oz. of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed or crumbled rosemary

Season meat with salt and pepper.  In a skillet, sear meat on all sides in butter until lightly browned.  Remove meat from skillet and brown onion.  Add wine and flour to skillet and stir until well blended.  Add mushrooms and rosemary.  Place roast on a rack in roasting pan.  Pour mushroom-onion mixture over roast.  Roast at 350 degrees for 1 3/4 hours or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

This recipe is from the SouthernFood.com

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Know Your Strengths

In an effort to encourage Missy and remind her of her great worth, I sat her on my lap and said, “Did you know that God created you with special gifts and talents?”

She laughed and said, “It wasn’t cartwheels!” 

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After the presents were opened, the cake mashed and (we hope) eaten, baths taken and bedtime stories read, we had a chance to visit with our friends.  DH and his friend played a game while my friend, V, and I got a chance to visit. 

And boy did we.  Normally when we get together our attention is divided between my three little ones and her one, and it is hard to get into a discussion that goes deeper than feeding/teething/housekeeping matters when you are busy feeding, soothing and cleaning.  But last night the stars aligned (i.e. all children were asleep at the same time), and we got a chance to really talk.  By 2 a.m., my voice was hoarse, I had had 3 cups of tea, and we had covered topics ranging from eschatology to pedagogy to modern medicine with plenty of things in between.  How refreshing to have such deep, stimulating conversation about some of the “big” things that we may never understand but hold a fascination for us nonetheless.

I am thankful for good friends and late nights…but now I think I’m going to go take a nap.

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Birthday Baby

Yesterday, the 10th, was Baby’s birthday.  She has been such a joy to us since her arrival, and she has grown and changed so much.  Birthday Cake Batter

The first year of babyhood is bittersweet.  Every accomplishment brings joy and pride, but sadness that yet another step of independence has been taken.  Baby has thrilled us with her first smile, her first swat at dangling toys, her first bite of cereal, her first word and, just this week, her first step.  But it is with tears that we celebrate, because it all goes by in such a flash.  Wasn’t it just yesterday when we were making cupcakes for Missy’s first birthday and anticipating Bud’s arrival?  I went to sleep and when I awoke, my babies had grown.  They can read and run and talk on the phone to friends.  They need me still, but less and less each year. 

So while I cheer Baby on as she tentatively Sweet Babysteps into her own independence, inwardly I cry out, “No!  Stop growing up and away from me.  Stay my Baby just a little bit longer.”  I want to hold on to these days forever.  I hope in heaven we can rewind the tape of our lives to savor the parts that gave us a taste of heaven on earth.

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Pregnancy Worry

With each pregnancy, I worry.  With my first, naturally, I worried about two really obvious things –miscarriage and labor (aka avoiding pain and a c-section).  When things went swimmingly with the first, I worried a lot less with the second, though I know I worried about how I could stretch myself to be a good mother to two little ones.   When my third pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 14 weeks, I was stunned.  I already had two easy successful pregnancies, we had heard this baby’s heartbeat and seen him on the ultrasound looking perfectly healthy and I had passed that fateful 12 week mark.  Before we lost our little one, I had been most worried about a birth defect, but I had never thought he wouldn’t make it to term.

You can imagine the anxiety that ensued when my fourth pregnancy showed many of the same characteristics as my third.  I worried, naturally, that I would miscarry again, and the comfort of hearing the heartbeat did little to allay my fear.  When I passed week fourteen, I breathed easier, but soon replaced my old worry with a new one.  The ultrasound showed that I may have placenta previa.  Weeks later at a follow-up scan, everything looked fine.  But still I worried.  I had had two easy deliveries.  I was due for a mishap, I thought.  What if the baby was turned face up instead of face down and I had back labor?  Turns out I needn’t have worried.  When Baby decided it was time, it was time.  Labor was only two and half hours long.

Well, here I am, pregnant for the fifth time, and I still worry.  I had a horrible dream the other night that the baby was born too early, and at home, and would die no matter what.  I was alone and would alternately check the baby to see if it was still alive and race to the phone to try to dial the midwives.  However, true to nightmarish form, I could not dial the phone correctly, and I could never remember where I had laid the baby down.  Ugh.  I woke up quite shaken.  (Stupid dream).

The next day, I received an email about  premature babies complete with pictures of tiny fingers grasping the huge fingers of the parents who loved them.  I wept and wept. (Stupid email).

Then while I was waiting for Dh to come home I caught the late run of Oprah’s show and she had a story about a little child that couldn’t feel pain that just wrenched my heart (and made me count my blessings).  And of course I wept and wept. (Stupid Oprah).

So, now, of course, I am worried that our baby will be born too soon or will have some rare disease when he arrives.  My husband isn’t worried, but then he’s not pregnant.  I think it is only those of us who are pregnant (or who have been) who have such completely baseless worries and can be so affected by the stories of other mothers.

My main consolation (other than the fact that I know He who holds all things together and who knits my children together in my womb) is that each time I’ve been pregnant, nothing I worried about actually happened.  Other things, yes, but my actual worries never materialized.  Hmmm, maybe I should worry about a few more things, just to be on the safe side….

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