Saturday, December 22, 2007

nursery news

As my wife has posted many times in the past, we are expecting in March and life is a complete whirlwind right now. A couple of months ago I decided to clean up the office we had and convert it into a nursery. We both decided that we wanted something neutral in the nursery so we chose a safari theme. Annie gave me free reign on color selection and design ideas. The first thing that needed to be done was to clean out the office and tear up the carpet. One afternoon while I was playing Xbox 360 I finally decided to move all the old stuff in the office to another part of the house. Needless to say that now the twin room in the house has been overran with all the clutter in the office. Well almost all the clutter is in the twin room the computer desk is in pieces down in the basement. To be honest that was an exhausting 45min of my life especially carrying a computer desk down a flight of stairs by myself, it was a nice surprise for Annie to see after it was all done. When the day finally came to start the task I woke up and got started painting it took all afternoon but the walls and door and window frames, and ceiling were completely painted. When Annie got home that night we worked even more on the painting by putting on another coat of paint and then at 10pm Jake and I cut-in the rest of the room while Annie put on the final coat. The next day Jake, who stayed the night, tore up the carpet and put in the pergo floor to really make the room look even nicer. The colors really pop and I can't wait to see the animals that Annie's sister Donna will paint on the walls which will put the final touches on the room. The next thing we need is furniture like crib and changing table (HINT HINT HINT HINT) and then the nursery will be ready for Adon's arrival. It still brings a smile to my face and a twinkle in my eye everytime I hear his name or feel him kick or hear the word son.

These are the animals that
Donna is painting on the wall.

Look at what I did!!

here is the colors of the walls!

Annie's Christmas present!!!!!!!!!!
she loves it!!!!!

Leftover supplies and tools
the airplane bathroom sized closet

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Adon's first cake that Grammy and Aunt Jamie made
(we already ate it.!!! OOPS!!!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sledding Fun!!!

We got about 10" of snow this weekend between Friday night and Saturday night! I LOVE snow!! One of the highlights of this snow was that J's final for Anatomy & Physiology was canceled Saturday morning, because the professor's car got stuck. He doesn't have to make it up, because all of the grades are due tomorrow! HOORAY!!!

However, the best part of the snow was the sledding we did! Yes, I went sledding being almost 6 months pregnant! We were careful. It was quite a sight. I had 3 layers of clothing on from head to toe. Do you know how hard it is to put 3 pairs of pants on when you're 6 months pregnant?? Jer had to put my socks on for me, because I couldn't bend over far enough to do it myself! And climbing up the hill with an extra 20 pounds takes a whole lot more effort! Anyway, after 2 hours of sledding, only my toes were numb. The rest of me was dry, warm, and Adon enjoyed the ride!!

At the top of the hill...with the guy who looked like "he was about to rob a liquor store," in J's own words.

Mary & Annie

This is what a 6'6" guy looks like in a recycling bin!! Wheeeee!!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Cats Have 9 Lives

I was using the microwave (just above the stove) today, and our cat, Jack, was just a little curious. So he jumped up onto the stove and his foot slipped and hit the knob igniting the stove. I'm not sure which startled him more...his left side catching on fire or my reaction! Anyway, he immediately jumped down and raced for the basement...his usual response when he's been caught on the counters. I followed him to make sure he was alright and couldn't find him. I started shaking the treat bag (which ALWAYS brings him running) and it took him a bit to come out. I gave him the once over and was relieved to know that only his fur had been singed. It reminded me of Jeremy's eyebrows this summer when he got a little too close to the BBQ pit. LOL Jack spent the next half an hour or so licking his then black-tipped fur trying to restore its natural fluffiness. He's ok and everyone had a laugh. All the excitement brings a whole new meaning to curiosity killed the cat. I also now understand why cats have 9 lives! Only 8 more to go, Jack.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Gram

Gram's birthday was yesterday. I thought about her a number of times throughout the day, but couldn't call her to sing to her as is tradition in our family. Sunday afternoon, I went with Mom, Jamie and Dad to visit her grave site. We stopped first by Uncle Jimmy's (Dad's brother), which was super hard for me. I was only 8 when he died, but he died unexpectedly when he was 30...J is 30. Then we went to Ma & Pa's (Dad's grandparents & Gram's parents). Then we made the long trek to Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in South County. Dad made sure we paid attention so we would know how to find her and Grandpa if he couldn't take us.

It was important for us to go, especially Dad, but boy was it hard. This will be the first Christmas without her. She was the glue that held our extended family together and made sure we all got together for big things like holidays and birthdays. I miss her terribly and am grieved that she'll never get to meet Adon. I think if she knew she would have 4 great-grandchildren (the first 4!) this year, she may have been able to hang on. Man do I miss her. God is so good to bring so many babies into our family to help ease the Gram's missing presence. I love you Gram and always will.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Belly Button

My abdomen has felt so full lately...Adon is getting bigger and taking over the space that used to house my internal organs. Everything is getting pushed upward making it hard to catch my breath and creating lots of pressure. I was showing J how big my tummy is getting and discovered I can see inside my belly button! What used to seem like a bottomless lint-trapping pit, is now a shallow crevice. Adon isn't only pushing everything up, he's pushing my belly button out...I'm going to have an outie! lol

Thursday, December 6, 2007

FREE time!!

I've been working a lot "credit" hours at work lately. A credit hour is anything over 8 hours in a day. Your credit hours can be banked and later used for time off. I'm saving my precious vacation and sick time for when Adon arrives, so we can get a paycheck for as much of my maternity leave as possible. However, that means I have to work normal days that people usually take off...the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, etc. So, I have been working a few extra hours each week so I can take these days off and enjoy the longer weekends, which allow us to travel to visit J's family more often. We got word today that the President has given an executive order that all federal government agencies wil be closed on Christmas Eve!! This means I get to work less credit hours and still get the day off!! Even working one extra hour in a normal day wears me out, so this is a much appreciated treat!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

General upate

Jer & I went to my 24-week doctor's appointment this week and learned that Adon is now 1 pound, 10 ounces! He's doubled his weight in the last four weeks! I've been feeling pretty good. Had a nice reprieve from heartburn for a few days, but it came back today. I still have a fair bit of energy, but am more tired than a few weeks ago. We're into the third trimester this month. A co-worker commented this week that I didn't look big enough to be so far along, which made me feel really good considering the unkind bathroom scale as of late. I've done well limiting how much weight I've gained, but the last few weeks have been cruel with so many tasty treats and cold weather that makes everyone stay inside.

On a VERY good note, J has been the most amazing husband anyone could have asked for. Everyday this week, he has asked me what out plans are for the evening. I've responded with the list of chores that I fully intended to do, and he had them all finished by the time I got home from work. It was so nice to come home and relax with him instead of heading into my 2nd "full-time job." Don't get me wrong, I love to do housework and keep things in order, but these days I'm working extra hours to save up for maternity leave and am just plain worn out. I can't wait until I get to stay home and serve J!

J had his wisdom teeth pulled today and is passed out on the recliner. Poor guy. I love taking care of him and waiting on him! He invited his best friend, Caleb, to come and stay the night with us to keep him company and play video games while I have to work. :o) It's so nice to have someone who doesn't mind hanging out with you while you're half doped-out and catching flies as you snore with your mouth wide open. :o)

We got some really great news today!!! After weeks of putting together an application, interviewing and testing, J got word today that he's been accepted into paramedic school!!!! HOORAY!!!!! I'm so proud of him!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Son...

How cool does that sound!!! I love to hear it. I love to say it. I love to hear Jeremy say it! We are so excited to meet Adon and it is so nice to be able to call him by name!

Monday was our 20-week ultrasound, which was much anticipated after seeing only a Bashful Baby Butt 4 weeks earlier. My mom and sister, Jamie, were there with J and me. Jamie wants to be a pediatric oncology nurse and thought the ultrasound would be cool. I think she just wanted to have bragging rights as the first sister to know if the baby was a boy or a girl. My dad, who insisted on being surprised when the baby comes, called my mom on her way to my appointment saying, "So??? Did you find out yet??" :o)

During the ultrasound, Adon was breach and facing my back. Apparently, he was very comfy, because he wasn't going to move! The ultrasound tech tried pushing on him and shaking my tummy to get him to move around, but he was content where he was. I was starting to get nervous that we'd have to wait another 20 weeks to find out if Baby was a boy or a girl. The lady had me move around so she could get all the pictures she needed, since Adon wasn't going anywhere. While laying halfway between my back and my side with my top leg extended behind me, the lady was able to get most of what the doctor would need. I was just laying back (or at least trying to) enjoying whatever was on the monitor. I had no idea what I was watching, just enjoying the baby. Then J, very excitedly said, "I knew it!!" This meant he saw boy parts! (He's said we were having a boy since the day we found out I was pregnant.)

While intently looking at the picture on the monitor, Mom asked the lady where the boy parts were in relation to the legs. Of course, Mom was trying to identify what was in the picture she was looking at. But without hesitation, the lady replied, "right between them." That was stinkin' hilarious! And the typical reply, was "Well, we've never had any boys before." :o)

Baby is very healthy. All tests for spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and down's syndrome came back negative. We'll have another ultrasound in 4 weeks to get the last picture that the ultrasound tech couldn't get. Adon weighs about 13 ounces, which is about one and a half times more than the average 9 ounce baby at 20 weeks. He's going to have very long legs...just like Daddy...because his feet (what I thought were his hands) were up OVER his head in one of the pictures. If he keeps growing at this rate, he'll be bigger that J was when he was born...a whopping 9 pounds, 3.5 ounces! YIKES!

Anyway, it's cool that we're having a boy, but when the doctor said "your son," I couldn't stop smiling. I'm going to have a son. I'm going to have a son!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bashful Baby

Baby is still just "Baby" for the time being. While J figured we wouldn't be able to tell, I had high hopes. After about 30 minutes of looking and admiring the back of the baby's head, his/her spine and ribs, we had only seen the face once or twice. Although, it did give me a new understanding of the "fetal position" as that is precisely what Baby is most comfortable in...legs crossed and curled up. We'll have one more go at it in three weeks at our 20 week ultrasound.

It was completely amazing to see all of Baby's fingers when he/she spread out his/her hand. Baby will definitely take after Daddy with long fingers like that! We even got to see Baby put his/her thumb in his/her mouth!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Baby Names

We get our next ultrasound next week. This will be the unofficial determining of the sex. Our friend, Joy, from church, works for the Pregnancy Resource Center doing ultrasounds. She offered to do one for us at 16 weeks to determine if we have a boy or a girl, since our doctor won't do the next one until 20 weeks (4.5 more weeks away!!). Seeing as how we are so impatient and SOOOOO excited to meet this little person, we jumped all over that. I can't wait to call the baby by name! Jeremy is very sure we're having a boy and I have a hunch that she's a girl! We've had some fun teasing about it over the last few weeks. :o) So next week, we'll find out if we're having a Bella or an Adon (pronounced with a short a, kinda like Adam...but definitely NOT like Aidan).

Isabella Grace (Bella)
Isabella - consecrated to God
Grace - full of grace
Bella - beautiful

Adon Jeremiah
Adon - lord, singular form of Adonai, which when used in the Bible refers to God, but Adon refers to a human lord. Adon also means: fire, my Lord is Jehovah (Covenant), extremely good looking, handsome
Jeremiah - Yahweh (God) has uplifted

Let us know what you think! Bella or Adon?

A Mover & A Shaker

I know we have a mover and a shaker already! Baby was wiggling so much during the 9 week ultrasound and today, the doctor had to keep moving the doplar to keep up with Baby. Baby was dancing all over and she couldn't keep the heartbeat on the monitor!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Kari took pictures of Jeremy and Jake's tattoos while she was home for Labor Day. Check out her slideshow. Since then, J got a Superman tattoo. J is my hero and I frequently call him Superman, so it fits. :o)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Baby Teddy Graham

9 week ultrasound...Baby is 11 1/2 weeks now...about the size of a large strawberry.
At our appointment, the ultrasound technician said that Baby looks like a Teddy Graham!!
After seeing this, how can anyone say this isn't a baby!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Normal routine

I'm still on the morning (evening) sickness roller coaster. I'll have a few good days and think I'm getting toward the end, then I'll feel so bad that the only thing to relieve the misery is throwing up. The early part of the week seems to be the worst, especially after a long weekend, like Labor Day. It was a fairly stressful and extremely busy weekend with little sleep as J's sister, Tara, renewed her vows in a big, formal wedding ceremony and reception. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed most of the weekend, it's just more than this baby vessel can handle. It seems that I actually do better when I'm in my normal routine. I'm 11 1/2 weeks and will hopefully be finished with morning sickness and get the famous second wind every mom has mentioned when my second trimester begins. Only a week and a half away. Second trimester??? Holy cow, I can't believe I'm so far! I'll try to post pics on Monday of the 12-week tummy.

On a side note, my friend Hannah was due on Tuesday. I was so sure she'd have her baby on "Labor" day. Bless her heart, Trinette still hasn't made her first appearance. I'm sure there will be pics when she does.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Proud Daddy to be

to be honest this is the first time that I have had the chance to sit down and write a post for our blog. where do I start, well if you have kept up with my wife's posts you know that we are going to be parents for the first time in March, around the 24th to be exact. I couldn't be more excited than when my wife said I do, what I mean is that this begins a whole new chapter of our lives and I can't wait. Some people have asked us what do we want, but honestly it doesn't matter what we have boy or girl it will be loved, could be twins :) I know when we get our first ultrasound Monday that we will find out that especially if there are two heart beats, not sure what I will do but a backflip of some sort might be in order, never done one so it could be very funny. Through this time in our lives I have had the chance to reflect on the faithfulness and goodness of God, and how His word always comes to pass. For those who don't know me very well let me give you some background: I have been married before I met Annie and my ex-wife had a 10 month old little girl when we met. I was daddy Jeremy for 6 years to that little girl, but in all honesty I was neither a father or a husband. When my ex left me my world as I knew it fell down around me and I was completely broken but God used that broken down man to create the man I am today. No matter what the situation is in your life there is a solution and that is Jesus. I remember it well when my best friend Caleb prayed for me and God delivered the word "What has been lost, will be Restored", and here I am right now with a new better wife and a child on the way. All because we serve a mighty wonderful God. Just thinking about it makes we want to worship even as I type. Well that is enough from me for now, hopefully I can get on and compose another one in the future.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Soft & Squishy

My not so flat tummy. I never really had a 6-pack, but my tummy was much flatter before Baby. I attribute the extra squishy-ness to the extra snacks to keep the nausea to a minimum and the lack of energy and heat keeping me from doing much.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I FEEL GOOD (dun-na-na-na-na-na)

Week 8 started out horribly!! I missed my first day of work for baby. It was horrible. If I wasn't nauseas, I had a terrible headache...all day. I went to bed around 5 pm!! I did get up to eat (so I wouldn't get sick) around 9, but went quickly back to bed and slept until almost 6 the next morning. I'm so grateful Jamie was here to take care of me.

Day #2 this week was better, but I still felt pretty icky.

Day #3...I feel good!! and fat!! I still don't feel normal, but haven't felt like throwing up today! I've read you're only supposed to gain 2-4 pounds in the first trimester. Two-thirds of the way through the first trimester and I've already gained 3.5 pounds...but if feels like 10!!! I'm so squishy! I can't wear too many of my pants...wait, I CAN wear them, but it presses on my tummy and makes me I guess I really can't. I'm not ready for maternity clothes yet, but my dress pants selection is very slim. I guess this all comes from eating more. I'm not eating for two, but I am eating to keep from getting sick. If I don't eat every 2 hours or so, I start getting super nauseas. I'm trying to keep those to snack-sized portions, but it's hard when it's a normal meal time. Tummy picture #1 is coming soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Little" Update

Now that the whole world knows, I think I'll post...WE'RE HAVING A BABY!! Today, I'm 8 weeks and feeling it. The morning (all day) sickness has been going for about 3 weeks. I had a lull from it last week, but am really starting to feel it today. Today's the first day of work I missed. I'm not throwing up, but get nauseas throughout the day and just feel plain yucky. Today started out worse than ever. I felt sick just laying in bed...usually it doesn't start until I get up. Jamie's hanging out with me today to keep me company while J works a 12-hour shift. I love having a big family, because there's always someone there. We hope that we're blessed with lots of kids so they will know that same feeling.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Everyday Update...

To follow up on a few things last posted:

Max got his last puppy shot this week and officially weighs in at 30.5 pounds!! He's more than doubled his weight in 6 weeks. I talked with a friend who studied animal medicine in college and she thinks he'll easily be 90 pounds. Whoa! That's a lotta dog! That's like having 3 Maxes! We gave Max his first bath this week. He really hates the could be because I doused him when he pooped in the rockbed once. J had the hose, and I had the leash. Max tried hiding behind me and dodging the water. Then J held the leash while I lathered him up with Head & Shoulders shampoo (of all things! it's the only thing we could find that we didn't use!) We tried to take a few pictures, but Max just kept shaking trying to get the water off. We rinsed him off and let him run around the yard (and roll in the dirt!) to dry off while J and I had a water fight.

I actually talked to Kari this week...still nothing too exciting to report. :o) She misses Jake and she misses St. Louis. blah, blah, blah

Jamie made it home safely from the Yakima, WA mission trip! She and Mom attended an intercessory prayer meeting with J & I on Wednesday, and Jamie prayed out a number of time with passion! Praise God for working in the youth!

I remembered the name of the Superhero I enjoy playing on the video's Deadpool. I'd never heard of him before the game, but he's got a really funny smart mouth!

Barry (our wedding photographer) and his family have invited us to go to Florida with them in October. It would be great for him to shoot us on beach (with his camera, of course!) and for us to celebrate our anniversary. However, after crunching some conservative numbers, a trip like that would cost us around $2,000! So we're contemplating what else we could do on our meager budget to celebrate our anniversary. Praise God that we both have jobs! We're not complaining, just trying to be resourceful. Anyone have any great anniversary ideas? We're currently considering returning to the cabin in the Smoky Mountains that we stayed in for our honeymoon and Dallas. We have a number of friends and family that it would be great to see, but it is our anniversary. The Smoky Mountains would be more expensive, but oh, so romantic.

We've been trying to get the house in order for J's family's arrival. However, last weekend I had a brilliant idea that our filing system needed a major overhaul and it's currently spread over 10 feet of tables in our living room! Jeremy's only goal for me tonight while he's working is to get that done. Yikes! And my amazing husband said he'd take care of cleaning the rest of the house tomorrow and finish the grocery shopping. While I hate being apart working opposite schedules, it does lend itself to accomplishing more. :o) Guess I should dive into the piles of paperwork.
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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Just an everyday update

Here are a few things that are going on in the Shindel household as of late...

Max is up to 27 pounds at 5 1/2 months.

Jack and Jill still don't enjoy being his chew toys.

Jeremy's softball team played a double-header last night and won both games.

Annie helped shoot her first bridal session (just the bride in her dress a week before the wedding...kinda like a trial run) last Friday.

Jeremy's working full-time at Starbucks and taking as many shifts as possible (he's on-call) at Gateway Ambulance.

Annie's got her first photography client (a good friend who's pregnant and wants some pics with her husband).

Jeremy got a new video game (Marvel Ultimate Alliance - with all the Marvel Comic Super Heroes) a few weeks ago and we play it a lot together! Jeremy's favorite character to play is definitely The Hulk. I like to play Ms. Marvel and oh, what's his name...he teleports and is super sarcastic. Any help with his name?

Annie's sister Jamie is on her way back (driving 32 hours) from Yakima, WA for a youth mission trip to an Indian reservation where they did some home construction and taught VBS.

Annie's sister Donna is getting her new apartment in Dallas next weekend. She's coming to STL in two weeks to get all of her things from our house and Mom & Dad's house. Mom is going to ride in the truck down to Dallas with her and then fly back.

Annie's sister Kari...well, we haven't talked much lately...could be because she's crazy about her boyfriend, Jake! Oh yeah...Kari's also moving the weekend that Donna is. She's moving from an apartment to a townhouse...both are on campus. Jake is going down to help.

Jeremy's family (mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, and maybe mom's boyfriend Ben) are coming to STL from Bloomington next weekend!! We haven't seen them since the end of April. We're so excited that they're coming!!! We miss them like crazy. We're probably going to take the kids to Grant's Farm on Saturday. Tara (sis) is going to give us much needed haircuts! Tara and Rich (bro-in-law) are renewing their vows with a big wedding over Labor Day weekend. J and A are both in the wedding. It'll be a blast!

We had Mom's and Dad's families (the STL gang) over on the 4th of July to celebrate Mom's birthday (7/3). It was so memorable! I can still see everyone huddled under big golf umbrellas trying to keep the grills and the fryer dry! We had about 5 torrential downpours while the sun was out! One every hour or so. Uncle Gary had the fryer outside for some fried corn and chicken wings. We had two charcoal grills going with the meat and the rest of the corn. It was a riot!! Fortunately, we have several big trees covering our backyard that kept a good portion of the rain off of the food. Everytime, we'd get the chairs and tables dried off, it'd rain again! But everyone had a great time, even with the weather.

Well, that's about the extent of what's been going on in the Shindel household recently.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Dream Come True!

Our wedding photographer is taking me under his wing and teaching me the art of photography! He's given me one of his "old" cameras to play and practice with. I'm so excited, because this is one of those things that I have always wanted to do, but honestly never thought could happen. I've never pursued it, because of it seemed impossible...yet here I am with a phenomenal instructor and mentor! Check back often, because I'll be posting some of my better pics! :o)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Tooth Fairy is coming!!

Max lost his first tooth today. Well, it was the first tooth we noticed he lost! I've never seen a canine tooth so up close...too afraid to put my face that close to something so...snappy. :o) It's pretty cool, sort of triangle-shaped with lots of points. I wonder how big his adult teeth will be. Anyway, J told Max to put it under his pillow and the tooth fairy might bring him a special treat! :o) It's a strange feeling, but we're proud of his accomplishment!

Friday, June 22, 2007

All the Kids

No, I didn't pose them...Jack (orange) and Jill (gray) snuggle all the time. They're getting much more comfortable with Max being around. They don't care much to be his chew toys though!

Max is teething and Jill's ears feel really good!

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Maximus Decimus Meridias

Named for the victorious general in The Gladiator who fought for his family and for justice for the people, our puppy, while he may not fight for the same causes, will be a symbol to dogs everywhere. Max is growing into a good, strong dog. He's training us to be good parents, as much as we're training him to be a good dog. He's about 4 1/2 months old and is more adorable everyday. I couldn't have asked for a better dog...he's handsome and solid, he comes when he's called, sits when instructed, chews only on his toys, is affectionate yet not overpowering (no kisses on the face!!), and an all around good dog. While he gets excited to see new faces, he responds well to the voice of Mom & Dad and obeys by calming down. He's content as long as he's near us. In fact, he follows Jeremy up and down the yard behind the lawn mower, when J is cutting the grass. He still has some things to learn, but for not being a dog person, I love him a lot. :o) We've been told he may get up to 90 pounds. He's almost 5 months old and is already weighing in at 22 pounds, up 7 pounds from 3 weeks ago! I love his curly tail and half-floppy ears! Here's some pics...

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Real Man

An incredible excerpt taken from Randy Stinson's "Is God Wild at Heart? A Review of John Eldredge's, Wild at Heart" written July 3, 2003: "While God has made men and women in His image, He has also given them particular roles and functions that correspond to their gender. This can be easily seen in the warp and woof of Scripture where men are consistently called upon to lead and protect. They are called upon to fight and defend. In the contexts of homes and the community of faith, they are given the responsibility of headship and oversight. In cases where men like Moses or Abraham faltered in their courage or faith, they hear from the God of the universe that He will bring about His plan. He is in control. This is where they place their confidence. This is the point from which they draw their strength."

I was VERY fond of the book Wild at Heart until I just read this review. Randy Stinson did a very good job of pointing out the areas where this book is Scripturally unsound. The way Randy wrote about a man's role in the above quote is Scripturally sound and reveals what is really in a man's heart.

Randy is the Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).

Thursday, May 31, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I stood at the back door watching the heavy rain flood our porch. Parts of it were 3-4" under water. As I stood there, I prayed, "Lord, we so desperately need the rain, but not so much at one time. Lord, please give us a reprieve." Within minutes, the rain stopped. God knew that the earth couldn't handle any more water.

At that time, I felt like I was drowning. Gram was so sick, J had been out of work for a month and a half, we were trying to survive on one paycheck, my job was extra stressful and burdensome, I was trying to keep the house in order and be a good wife while working full time and doing all kinds of things on the side to stretch our one paycheck, our marriage was being stretched with the stress and pressure we were both under. The Holy Spirit showed me that this season of our lives was like our backyard during that rainstorm. Though it felt like I was underwater, God knew what my limit was. God knew exactly how much I could handle before I would drown. He reminded me of His faithfulness to His word and His sovereignty in our lives. He wasn't unaware of everything going on, but exactly the opposite. He not only knew what was happening, He was intimitely involved in every detail. He was insuring that we would grow more into His image with ever increasing glory during this season. I prayed for a reprieve from so many challenges all at once. It was shortly after that, when Jesus peacefully took Gram to be with Him (on May 11). There was no more worry about tests and surgeries and big decisions and being with her every day. I felt like a load had been taken off of my chest. I wasn't frantically gasping for air, but I was still treading water...still so tired.

Things at home were still pretty stressful and wearing on me. I cried a lot, because I didn't know what else to do. Sunday I shared life's drama with Libby, who's been discipling me, and she made things so simple. When I admitted my desire to obey and change whatever He asked of me and when I admitted my helplessness to change on my own and the lack of knowledge of how to change, reprieve came. This week has been delightful! J started not one, but two jobs!! He's working part time at Starbucks and got the perfect job at Gateway Ambulance as an EMT. He'll be making much more than he was at Office Depot and it sounds like God custom designed this job for him! Order has returned to our home as well as peace and joy. We're thankful for this hard season, because we've learned some priceless leasons. We know that this new season won't last forever, but we welcome the reprieve. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Arrrr, Matey

We were so excited for the new Pirates movie that just came out. It came out on our one-year anniversary of our first date. When the second movie ended, J's response was, "NOOOOO, they can't do that!!!!" So the third movie has been much anticipated. There's been preparations and excitement all week for it. We watched Pirates 1 (The Curse of the Black Pearl) on Thursday night and Pirates 2 (Dead Man's Chest) on Friday afternoon to refresh our memories and make sure we didn't miss anything in the the third one. J and I went to see the third movie, At World's End, ($17.50 for two tickets!!!) Friday night. It was incredible!! The only downfall was I fell asleep during the big fight scene and missed what I thought was the best part...can't tell you what that was. Don't want to ruin anything. I can't wait to see it again and definitely can't wait until the Collector's set of all of the movies comes out. J thinks there will be yet another sequel, so that set may be a while.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blah kinda day(s)

The last few days, though they've had their highlights, have been kinda blah. I woke up with a headache yesterday, so I took some ibuprofen and went back to bed. A couple of hours later, I got up to get ready for work. However, I reached to pull a mixing bowl out of the cabinet and tweaked something in my neck. Within an hour, I had a sharp pain between my neck and my right shoulder. I couldn't move much without pain, so I didn't do much. Highlight...despite the pain in my neck, getting free (even though you still have to pay for Metro tickets) tickets to the Cardinal game last night. We saw 3 homeruns and the Cards take the Pirates.

Today, I woke up tired, because I could only sleep in one position without pain. I called into work, because I can't really drive. It's hard to drive when you can't turn your head to check your blindspots or to reverse! My only goal then for the day was to get to a chiropractor. However, the chiropractor I saw last time wasn't open today. I finally got an appointment with one a friend recommended. They couldn't do much in one treatment, although the massage was nice. So here I am, forced to be still, catching up on email and blogging that I've neglected since Gram got sick. Highlight...spending the day with my wonderful husband, playing video games (Viva Pinata and the new Pirates game), and watching Pirates 1 & 2 to prepare for the Pirates 3 premier tomorrow!

Check back soon. I'll be posting pics of our new puppy Maximus!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The last day of the last training is over...HOORAY!!!

In the last year and a half, I've spent a total of about 4 months in Cincinnati for training for work. The first time I was here (4 weeks: mid-Nov to mid Dec, 2005), it was an city, being single, getting a per diem for meals beyond what a reasonable person would eat, and my first phone call from Jeremy! However, I think I saw everything there was to see the first weekend I was here.

The second time I was here (3 weeks: mid-Jan to mid-Feb, 2006), it was ok at best...not much to do, per diem was still great (actually bought my laptop with the money I saved), but talking to Jeremy on the phone often was definitely the highlight.

The third time I was here (3 weeks: end-Nov to mid-Dec, 2006), I was utterly miserable...sick and tired of this cold and dingy, awful city, only married 6 weeks, missing Jeremy terribly, crying myself to sleep every night, driving home on the weekends or waiting on pins and needles for him to get here, not even the per diem made me feel better.

Just when I thought I had a chance of going anywhere else (and believe me, I'd requested!), my manager gave me the grave news...Cincinnati, again. Even though these last three weeks could have been more joyfully spent in a different city, they weren't too bad. Jeremy quit his job at Office Depot to pursue his EMT career and spent most of the three weeks here with me. His presence by far made this trip more pleasant than the last. The training itself was the most intense of all the training I've received, delving into the depths of tax law...far beyond what even most CPAs can understand. However, coming back to the hotel and spending the evenings and weekends with J doing absolutely nothing (as there IS nothing to do...we've looked) was tremendously wonderful and relaxing.

One of the highlights of this trip have been the mornings I've spent at Starbucks after our tests. I usually finished the test in under an hour, and because the instructors allowed 3 for the tests, I had two hours to enjoy a coffee (a real treat!) and a good book. I used this time to work on Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge, but before that I dove into the Word. How refreshing! I pursued the Lord and He was faithful to give me just what I needed. This morning after the the test, I meditated on 1 Peter 1. I pressed in, I prayed, I journaled. I prayed that I would have the same insatiable desire to continue this new tradition when I'm back in St. Louis being pulled in a myriad of directions by life. I prayed that I wouldn't choose something else to do over this incredibly valuable time my soul needs with the Lord. I feel so refreshed, ready to encourage, ready to all that God has for me to do, ready to bring life! Thank you, Jesus!

Today was the last day of the last phase of training and probably the last time I'll EVER be in Cincinnati. Tomorrow we're headed to Bloomington, IL to spend the weekend with J's family, then on Sunday back home to catch up on the last 3 weeks' of life we've missed there. I'm excited to get there.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A New Life

No, I'm not pregnant. :o) Please read this post that I found on my cousin's blog. I couldn't wait to post it on ours! It's 10 Great Reasons to Have Another Child. This is very much in line with the revelation God has given us about children. However, Reason #6 especially touched my heart in light of Gram being in the ICU for a week. She's been given a new life since last Friday!

An update on Gram...
She was moved to a room on the neuro-science floor yesterday...PTL (Praise the Lord!)! The nurses are so loving and patient. They've taken her off of all of the oxygen, the monitors and the feeding tube!! Everyday brings baby steps on her road to recovery. She's a little more alert and a little easier to understand everyday. They've started some physical and occupational therapy to keep up her strength. The doctors are trying to help keep her body healthy so her brain can get healthy. She still doesn't remember everything...for she thought it was 1947, but she knew that George W. was president. But she called me by name when I visited her yesterday! :o) Thanks for all of your prayers.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Fragile Life

Gram is fragile. Her life is fragile. All of life is fragile. Health and life, so often taken for granted, can become delicate and fragile before you can realize what's happened.

My dad dropped by Gram's on his way home from work on Friday around 11:30 to check on her, because she didn't answer her phone. He found her in a dilusional state, much more severe than as has been the case with her mini strokes. She was taken to the ER, and the standard procedural tests were run. The doctors found blood on her brain, and because she was on a blood-thinning medication, it wasn't clotting. She didn't know where she was. She didn't remember what had happened. She didn't know what year it was. Her mind and her memory were going quickly because of the blood. The blood eventually clotted, and the bleeding stopped. She was moved to intesive care shortly before J and I got to the hospital around 5:00. Dad was teary and emotional, Aunt Barb was reading her Bible, and Uncle Mark rattled off the latest update. Upon entering Gram's room, she was no where to be found. What was there was a fragile, white-blonde haired lady who somewhat resemebled my grandma, not the grandma who cared for us after school, who taught us how to play cards, and told us we could do anything we put our minds to. She was so fragile. I know she didn't realize how her life had changed in the last few hours, but when I saw her, it was as if I hadn't seen her in years. She had aged and become delicate and fragile. Fragile is the only word I can think of. Fragile describes her condition...the tense feeling in her room...the decisions that would have to be made...her life.

We're just taking things one day at a time; a few hours at a time. No one knows what's going to happen next. We are at peace that our Sovereign God is in control, no matter what is next. He has shown me that life is fragile. We never know what lies ahead, be it a year from now or 5 minutes from now. I spent most of last Saturday with Gram, and I've never been happier to have done so. Cherish the life and the health God has given you. Make the most of every opportunity He presents. Let the people you love know you love them, because life is fragile.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Our New Addiction...

So, we recently discovered Burnout Revenge. For Jeremy's birthday, we got an XBOX upgrade from his old XBOX. The 360 came with a demo version of Burnout Revenge...this really awesome car game. There's all kinds of events but the name of the game is to cause damage. You get to use these really nice cars to takeout other racers and to cause huge crashes...the more monetary damage you do, the higher you rank. We played the demo a few times before we rented the full version. It wasn't long before we clocked about 8 hours on it. We'd play it after work, on the weekend, whenever we had some free time. Jer got the game for his birthday and we've been playing like crazy! Kari and Jake play with us, too. Our current rank is "Assassin" and we're about 48% complete. Of course, we're not content to just advance...we have to get a gold medal in every event, complete all of the challenges, and get the highest crash rating...we're obsessed! :o) But it's something we totally enjoy doing together.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Visiting the Romers in Dallas

It's so cool how God builds relationships in the body! :o) We visited the Romers, who have 5 kids 6 and under. The weather was really bad, so we got to stay inside all cozy and warm spending time together. Dan and Jeremy shared what their visions were for family and the church and we were amazed how similar they were. I (Annie) learned so much from Susie in the every day activities with the kids. I learned about love and discipline, about homeschooling and the importance of time in the Word and for yourself. We played "chase" with the kids and their version of hide and seek! The girls love it when you jump out at them and scare them while they're looking for you. :o) Dan and Susie challenged us and asked us to evaluate how much we trust in the sovereignty of God in every area of our lives. Needless to say, our revelation grew tremendously! We have a more defined vision and an even greater belief that our God is sovereign in EVERY area of life. We have laid down our plans and dreams to pursue the vision He's called us to. Knowing how much it may cost us, we are full of faith that God will more than provide! We came home fully refreshed and excited to see what God would bring.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Getting started...

We are very new to the idea of blogging, but thought we'd give it a try. Being newly married, we're discovering and learning all sorts of new things. We love married life and God is expanding our vision and challenging us by the day. We're growing so much closer to each other and in our understanding of the Lord. We're in Dallas for the weekend visiting the Romers, good friends who always challenge us in the Word. Much more to come on our trip later...