Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a....


Caleb Joseph was born at 3 pm on New Years Eve, a special blessing for Kerri and I and our family.

The name Caleb means "faithful, devotion, wholehearted" and our prayer for him is that he would follow his Biblical namesake:

"Caleb... wholeheartedly followed the Lord God" - Joshua 14:14

Joseph was also a godly and faithful character in the Old Testament. We were blessed to learn much about this man of integrity at the FRC camp this summer: his faith even from a young age when he was separated from his family, his resolve in the face of temptation, his trust in the faithfulness and sovereignty of God.

Of course we know that the characters of these two men were ordained by God, and we pray to our Father that he would infuse Caleb, and all our boys, with a strong, faithful character, a devotion to serving their King no matter where he takes them in their lives, and a deep love for their heavenly Father.

Friday, December 28, 2012

from the homefront

First of all thank you for your suggestions for a baby name. They were fun to read and they were helpful too. My sister-in-law put it right when she wrote to us that although we may be struggling with a baby name, this baby has been completely known and loved by God before time.

One thing that I wanted to pass on is the website:
During the month of December, we have used this resource during our morning devotions to teach our children about contentedness. We have found it very helpful and we have learned from it too. Even though we keep things very simple during Christmas the greed creeps in.

When we opened up our Christmas presents we had a little surprise for the boys. We blindfolded them and took them on a drive through our town. These boys had no idea where we were going and seemed a bit vulnerable especially after Adam  and I were talking about which child we were going to drop off at what stop sign. Terrible parents. For ten minutes we drove all over our town and then we reached our destination. The boys guessed that we were somewhere rustic and rugged. We carefully led them out of the van but not before we made a few comments about them having to duck because of flying bats. By this time they were holding onto each other's hands. Terrible parents. We untied their blind folds and ta-DA! They had the most bewildered look on their faces and it was no wonder... We were in our barn.
In the barn was a family gift of an outdoor wooden game that we bought at our school bazaar.

Everyone received one more gift and that was a coon skin hat. The boys just loved these and Andrew especially couldn't be more happy. He wears it where ever he goes.


This boy oozes character. 

And I can't resist some puppy pictures - almost all of them are sold and they are growing quickly.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

baby names

    I'll get straight to the point. Even though we have about three weeks to go before we can meet our little one, Adam and I are in panic mode with picking out a baby name. We have been at this point before and it is not fun. When I was in labour with Andrew we were walking up and down our road with a baby name book. (I guess that it was one way to take my mind off of contractions.) When Andrew was born we were still struggling with names but we finally came up with the name "Andrew."  I learned that you really should have a name picked out before the baby is born because a week later I was in the church nursery writing out instructions for our new baby and for the life of me, I could not remember what our sweet baby's name was. That was very embarassing!
We have never really picked out a girl's name because we were always quite sure that the baby would be another boy.

So we are asking you for help. We need a baby name.
Here are some of our guidelines:

~we are past the point of caring what the name means. Desperate times call for desperate measures. As long as the name doesn't mean something horrible like crooked nose, or dictator
~we do not like alliterations so the name cannot start with "R" because our last name starts with "R"
~it also cannot start with the letter "T." We learned with Tyler that it goes with too many names like terrible,tornado, terrible twos, trouble, and torrent of destruction
~we prefer more than one syllable but again we are desperate so if you know a good name, pass it on

Hopefully some of you have some suggestions that you can share with us. Maybe we will even offer a prize if we pick out the name that you suggested - like a puppy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

our new arrival(s)

A few weeks ago, I began to notice some similarities between myself and our new chocolate lab, Tessa.
She would waddle to her food and water dishes and I would waddle to our food pantry and refrigerator. She was panting and I was short of breath. She was becoming more and more lethargic and spent a lot of time sleeping. So do I. Her belly "popped' out and started growing day by day, and so does mine. When the boys would throw a ball and tell her to fetch she looks at them as if "yeah right, you expect me to run and bend over?!"  With me, I think twice before I bend over for anything and while I am down there I look for whatever else needs to be done. Tessa didn't seem to have to cross her legs when she sneezed, nor have heart burn, fluid retention, or high blood pressure, but she did have frequent trips to the outdoors to relieve herself. We both had the nesting urge last week. She dug a hole under our front porch and filled it with straw. I took out baby clothes, searched for the cradle and tidied up.Tessa and I would look knowingly at each other. We both knew that sometime this month we would experience labour. It was disturbing to notice all of the similarities between our family dog and myself.
On Monday we noticed changes in Tessa and dragged her down to the basement to have her puppies in the big whelping box that Adam made. We had never heard of the word whelping until last week. When we knew that Tessa was in the family way we quickly had to do some research about what to expect when your dog is expecting. All day Monday the dog was in labour and it was a terrible thing to watch. First of all there is nothing you can do and secondly, it was another reminder about what is coming my way! By Monday night there were eight wet little puppies and Tessa was still in labour. When we checked on her early Tuesday morning there were eleven puppies! Eleven. We couldn't believe it. Suddenly the big whelping box that Adam built didn't seem so big. Our boys were wild with excitement and we could hardly get them off to school. We made phone calls and all of the grandparents stopped by at some point during the day to see these little puppies. Aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends have all come by to see our new additions. We have eleven puppies to add to the zoo-likeness of our house hold! And now we know what to get all of our siblings for Christmas.


Monday, December 3, 2012


I try not to think about labour until right before the baby is born otherwise I scare myself silly.
But a few weeks ago after a dr's appointment I was sent to the labour and delivery ward for some more assessments due to high blood pressure. I pushed open the big, heavy wooden doors and was instantly overwhelmed by the most horrific screaming. Now I have been on that floor many times, I have seen babies born; but I have never, ever heard screaming like that. It was that intense. Immediately my knees buckled, my mouth went dry, and I (I'll admit it) began to sweat. I found a seat and was tempted to plug my ears.
The screaming was persistent and only stopped when the mother-to-be took a breath. Suddenly a nurse came running out from the delivery room into the hallway yelling where's the husband? At that moment a panicked looking man came bounding down the hallway and followed the nurse into the delivery room. Within two minutes I could hear the baby's cries. What drama for a small town hospital.
When I was a nursing student I was able to watch some babies being born and it was the most wonderful thing to witness. And then something terrible happened. A mother had asked for an epidural and she was frozen from her waist upwards. The whole experience was awful for both the mother and the nursing staff. From then on I have had a fear of epidurals. Thankfully when Nate, our oldest, was born in an hour and a half - there was no time to think about an epidural.
 Liam-that is another story. I had high blood pressure so the midwives told me to come to the hospital in order to induce labour. Adam dropped me off at the hospital and then went to see a house that was for sale. (We would later buy this farm house.)  As I was laying in the hospital waiting to be induced I started to freak out and thought that there was no way that I could go through labour. I called Adam and told him to pick me up. I snuck out of the hospital without telling the midwives. The next day they called me at home and told me that I had to come back to the hospital and that it wasn't an option. As the day went on and the labour became more and more intense I started to loose control. It was one contraction on top of another and I was feeling despair. I decided that it was time for an epidural. When the anesthesiologist was called he told us that he couldn't come in for awhile because he was going to Mass. On a Saturday. Pope John Paul was dying and Catholics all over the world were heading off to their churches. I told Adam and the midwives that I didn't care that the Pope was dying. I needed an epidural. It wasn't going to happen.
An hour later we welcomed our beautiful little boy and I told myself that the horribleness of labour was all worth it. And now as we prepare to meet our new little one in a few more weeks I need to keep on reminding myself that labour is only temporary. There is a great blessing at the end of it!