Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update from Mitch today

Today's update was just so sweet. :) His English continues to degrade.

Hey Girl,

We great week so far at adventure camp. Josh and Mitch on sports. Very hot out there on field. I am speaking tomorrow for camp, sharing testimony with camp at closing rally. I went to bed at 9 pm last night because my back hurt so badly. Much pain today also. We went to a nearby village played in city park. Soccer and ultimate frisby, they killed us soccer, but we regained some dignity in ultimate frisby. Many youth came, very fun. Miss you much, the time is flying by. We leave Monday, but seems like we just arrived. I could really just move over here. I would sell everything and come next year if I could. More later, I check a few times a day, so write often. Later

Unfortunately, he may get to check email often, but I am short on time and don't get to email him often enough. I wish I could say my days were flying by like his are! Today was a jam-packed day. We picked up Eden's new retainer ($54), I saw the chiropractor, and Kristin came over and helped sew diapers (3rd time this week) until bedtime. We actually got SO MUCH done today here. I am going to celebrate by going to bed at a decent hour. Here is Friday's prayer calendar for the Horol team:

Last day of camp. The parents will be at the closing program. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to hear and see God's love, and know that God keeps His promises.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The calendar actually said only 1 Peter 1:4, but that didn't make sense to me, so I put it in context.

Mitch typed out his testimony before he went. He spent a lot of time going over it carefully to remove any cliche's that would be hard to translate. He wanted to give it to the translator ahead of time so that s/he could work on translating it accurately (rather than on the fly). Because he wrote it out, I happen to have it here and can share it with you (I sure hope it doesn't embarrass him if I do so...):

Hello, my name is Mitch Theis. I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you about the difference Jesus has made in my life.

I live in the United States of America. When I was growing up there I felt lonely, even around my friends. I was doing lots of good activities, but still had no big meaning for my life. While I was still young, I had already become involved in heavy drinking of alcohol. I had also begun to do more and more activities that I needed to hide from my parents. I was attempting to find acceptance and meaning for my life in many wrong ways.

When I was 17 years old, I needed help because I was in so much trouble. My family had moved away and I had stayed behind. I had treated my girlfriend badly, and she would not even speak to me. At this very low point in my life God made some things happen that allowed me to consider if he was real. A Christian family let me live with them for a few months. This Christian family showed me how to love God and love one another. They introduced me to the truth of the Bible. Most important of all, I began to know God, not just know about God.
One night I was reading in the New Testament about sin and eternity. I began to understand that I was a sinful person, completely unable to save myself. I repented of my sin and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. From that time on, I have continued to grow in my relationship with Jesus.

I still continue to struggle with sin, and I always will because we have a sinful nature. But that struggle becomes less and less every year. My wife and I are working hard to raise our children to know God from an early age. We want them to know the joy and peace of having their sins forgiven and following Jesus.

As I finish, I would like you to consider sin and eternity as I did when I was 17. According to the Ten Commandments, all of us are sinful and have fallen short of God’s standard of morality. Because justice is part of God’s character, he must punish sin. He provided a way for justice to be served and sin to be forgiven through Jesus. The wrath of God was satisfied by the death of Jesus on the Cross. Each of us, individually, can have forgiveness of sins if we allow God to be our Lord and Savior. If you have never repented of your sins, I would urge you to consider the length of eternity.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thursday's prayer requests

I forgot to post Wednesday's prayer request, didn't I? :) Here is what it said:
Today they will learn about how Noah encountered the storm, enduring the trials of life. The lesson will teach that God will not test us beyond what we are able to stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Thursday is an important day to cover in prayer because the children will be presented with the gospel message. Here is what the calendar says:
Today the children will see that just as Noah was obedient, and was saved from the Flood as a result, we too must obey God to enjoy His protection.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

A quick update from Mitch let us know that the church member who was due to deliver a baby any day did have her baby today. They had a little boy. They have a daughter already, and were hoping for a boy. :)

In his own words, here is an update on camp (notice the broken English already, lol):
"Camp is going very well, we were blessed to have over 100 kids come for first day of camp. Yesterday, maybe 150 come. Today, we over 160 children. God is blessing and we trying to work where he is moving here."

I'm not going to upload the pictures here (just running out of time), but if you want to see them, I did forward them on to church for their website: Horol Adventure Camp

Also tonight was Wednesday night services. The men and women meet separately and bring encouragement and fellowship. Knowing Marilyn Mailloux, one of the team members, personally, I know the women will be very blessed to meet with her! :)

**************

On the home front things are moving (albeit bumpy) along. I'm grateful for my friends who have really pitched in to help! One friend has had several of my kids 3 days this week off to various activities keeping them quite busy. Last night was NOT a good sewing night for me. I had gotten off on the wrong foot on Monday and didn't get as much done as I needed to. So Tuesday I stayed up late to catch up. I ended up making a mess that took until 2:30 am to correct. :( So I've been quite short-tempered to say the least today. And I didn't get much sewing done today either. So now the kids are heading to bed (not fast enough), and I'm heading off to sew. My temper flares and the kids just copy me, right down to the littlest one. It's so hard and frustrating. So I could use some prayer there for an extra-large helping of patience, understanding, and a quiet voice. (Not losing my voice though like I did last year--that was not cool).

And I'm off!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pictures from Horol

Was blessed to receive some pictures from Mitch today. :)

Having pizza the first night.




Presenting the church in Horol with a gift from our church--it's a dual clock which they will set one clock to their own time and one clock to our time.





Mitch is afraid of heights. No really. He is!




Letter from Mitch

I was excited to find another letter from Mitch in my inbox this morning.

Hey Girl,

Thanks for writing. I am unable to check often, since I needed to walk a mile or more to get to the cafe. I found a closer place though. We are doing great, many pictures soon, maybe tonight. Please keep everyone updated, including Marilyn K. My name here is Misha, so more jokes about names after we get back. I miss you so very much. All are doing great here, it is always strange how God provides wonderful sleep and rest. I wanted to encourage you with how God's sovereighty is over everything. On the trip here, I couldn't sleep because my legs were cramping so badly. I was in the middle of many sleeping people and I did not want to bother them by getting up. I did not sleep except for 10 minutes or so on the second flight. So I arrived here with only 10 minutes of sleep in I think 36 hours or so. Then we lost luggage and had to stay up to get luggage at midnight from airport. We did not get much rest, going to bed after 3 am. We had to be up at 9 for breakfast or so. But Josh and I both set our clocks wrong because we were too tired to think right. So I was up at 7: 30, way too early. I went back to bed, but did not get much rest. I arrived in Horol with only a few hours sleep over 2 days. I thought I was going to be just wiped out, and we went to bed around 10 or 11 pm, I think. I woke up on my own about 3:30 am, it was 7:30 pm in Minnesota. I was wide awake, so I laid in bed for about an hour frustrated. I finally got out of bed at 4:30 am, because I could not sleep. I went to the kitchen and read from Romans, and some devotions from John Piper's book. I had many hours of quiet time before anyone else awoke. Then I was able to get to know the Pastor's family as they made breakfast. I was surprised at only getting a few hours of sleep once again, but I was not tired at all. God provided, as he always does. I have to go, because Sasha is getting very bored watching me type. He says we have to go, or he will punish me. Sasha is my translator, he is a very good man. God is preparing a way here always. Sasha says hi to Jerry, Marilyn K., Chuck, Mark and Veronica Anderson, John and Lacy, Jennifer Greener, Twila Pulford, and everyone else at church. God bless everyone.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday in Horol

One of our church leaders here talked with a translator and the pastor at the church in Horol today (Monday). They said that the whole day was a success. The team was downtown shopping at the time she called. The pastor said there were a little over 150 kids there today. They expect more tomorrow when the kids bring their friends. They are having good weather.

I know it's sketchy, but that's all the news I got today. The prayer calendar for Tuesday says:

Day 2 of camp. They will learn that we must obey God regardless of the circumstances by learning how Noah built the Ark despite difficulties.

Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

:)

That's Mitch's favorite verse!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday's Prayer Requests

In addition to the important prayer updates from Mitch's letter below, this is from the prayer calendar:

"Pray that the Lord blesses the Adventure Camps, that children might be spiritually prepared for the messages they hear, that the teachers and leaders might effectively and lovingly guide their children through the week, and that in all this the Lord will be glorified. This year's curriculum will teach about the Bible, God, Salvation, and God's plan for our life, set to the rich lessons in the story of Noah."

July 28--First Day of camp! Pray that God's Word, through the story of Noah, will help the children understand that when God calls us, we must respond.

Joshua 1:8--This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Letters from Mitch!

I was thrilled to wake up this morning (albeit late, since I was up until 1:30 am sewing) to find 3 letters from Mitch in my inbox. Here is what he writes from Horol (or the ones I'm willing to share anyway...the other is a little too tender to share...smile):

Hey girl, I just wanted to catch you before church today. First of all, I love and miss you very much. Tell all the kids I am missing being able to kiss and hug them each day. It is fun to see God working in different parts of the world. The electricity and internet were not working at pastors house, so we could not write till now. We walked down to an internet cafe so we all could get some "American Time."

I would ask you to call and have someone from church print out a report for a church update at first service. I am going to send 6 prayer requests from the Pastor Grygoriy her in Horol:

1. For good weather conditions during the day camp.
2. For wisdom for leaders all day for the best day camp possible.
3. For the children and their parents so they can be open for the Gospel
4. For success at the youth meeting ( pastor wants to try something different)
5. For Sunday School to work well
6. For the newcomers at the youth meetings

Our team would also add:

1. Many children would attend the adventure camp
2. Safety in our travel
3. Overcoming language barriers and difficulty using translators
4. Deepening relationships with Ukranians
5. Overcoming fear of public speaking (esp. Mitch) to communicate well
6. Lady in church is expecting baby any day now

Praises:

1. Our seven missing bags were found
2. We have already made friends with many Ukranians
3. Very good weather
4. Good team relationships
5. Safety
6. Many, many more...

I will write again soon, hopefully.


I didn't get up early enough to take this to first service at church, but I'll take it to the second service. And here is what the prayer calendar says for today:

Worshiping our Lord and fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters in Horol.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

[I am tempted to interject here that I know just how *beautiful* Mitch's feet are...but I'll refrain...lol...]

He also sent a picture of one of the team members, Josh, speaking at church. And with that, I'll close and get the kids bathed for church!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 4 in Ukraine

Well, it's already 5:30 pm in Horol, so the day is almost over. There's not much to update except they did get all their bags back--yay!

Here is today's prayer request:

Today we organize our inventory and train our helpers. Pray that God will give us guidance with organizing our week and determining assignments.


Colossians 4:2-6
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and we were told months ago that Mitch would be expected to speak at the services. He is SO nervous. So be praying now for him for that. :) He won't be the only speaker though--it is common to have more than one sermon on Sunday morning, and it is common for the services to stretch beyond 3 hours. Mitch said if the military could find some way to bottle or induce the anxiety that he feels before and during going up to speak on stage in front of a crowd, he is SURE it would be a form of torture. LOL. He ranked it right up there with water boarding. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

On to Horol!

Or Khorol if you want to find it on google maps. :)

So the team did have some bumps in the road yesterday. Mitch called to say that their group as a whole (they are traveling with other teams from MN) lost 65 bags. Our team lost 7 of their 10 bags. They were in line filling out paperwork. He called back at 4:30 pm our time, 12:30 am their time, to say that they were still at the airport but now "lots of bags are coming in". They had 4 of their bags (not sure if he meant 4 more bags or 4 total bags), and their spirits were high--he sounded positive that all the bags would be there. They had been to dinner--Pizza--at a local Baptist church and said it was very good. They were going to a university to sleep for the night. Today they travel to Horol (not sure how), which by looking at a map looks to me like 120 miles from Kiev.

Here is what the prayer calendar says for today:

We arrive in Horol. We will unpack & spend time with the family. Pray that God would protect us from the attacks of Satan as we enter our mission field.

Ephesians
5546:10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
6:11
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
6:14
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
6:15
and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
6:16
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
6:17
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
6:18
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
6:19
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,

****************

On the home front things are going well. Kristin came over yesterday to bring us lunch and just be "another adult" in the house. That was very helpful! The oldest 3 kids went to Paul's house for supper and a bonfire. The younger 3 went down for a late afternoon nap. Malachi woke up from his nap and when I tried to give him some supper he started screaming. His whole body went rigid--he was bent over backwards and wailing like I'd never heard before. I put him to the floor (he wouldn't let me hold him), and he curled into a ball and screamed and screamed. After about 10-15 min of this, I called Paul and Holly headed over. I took Malachi and finally got him interested in nursing at least. After that he eventually calmed down. By the time Holly arrived, he was happy and playing on the floor. I'm a little frustrated, though. A temper tantrum? Seriously? How am I supposed to know when something is really wrong?! I was ready to head off to the ER with this child over the way he was acting.

Today the mom of one of the team members has offered to watch all the kids for a few hours and feed them lunch. So I'm going to load them up here in a little while and drop them off. I will get my weekly grocery shopping done. With some thought into it, I will try to get TWO weeks worth of shopping done so I don't have to go out again. I had another offer to watch just Malachi and Joshua for the day tomorrow, but after the screaming fit MJ had last night, I'm not sure he's ready for that (or if the world is ready to take him on). Arrrghhh!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Landed!

I just got a little flight notification that their plane is on the ground in Kiev--hurray! Thank you, Lord, for safe travel!

So, now it is 5:30 pm there but to their bodies it is only 9:30 am...hopefully they are tired enough not to care about being sent to bed soon. :) They will have a welcome dinner and spend the night in Kiev (there are other teams traveling with them). Tomorrow the teams will head out to their sister churches. Our team travels to Horol.

Today's prayer calendar says this (and scripture reading follows):

We arrive in Kiev. Pray that we would feel God's power in adjusting to the time change. Pray for health and that the team be knit together as one.
Romans 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,15:6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Travel Update

I did get those times worked out...but more on that in a minute...

We said our goodbyes this afternoon at church when we dropped off Mitch. It was fun watching the team pack and repack each suitcase as one team member would stand on a scale holding a bag to make sure it was under the weight limit. Understand--most of what they are taking over are gifts and supplies. Their own luggage had to fit into a very small amount of space. Coming back they will likely have empty bags.

Mitch was reading his handbook last night and shared some cool tidbits of info about the culture there. Did you know that it is common to spend two months' salary on one meal for the guests? It's also common for the guests to go to the leaders of the city to present gifts (plus gifts for their hosts, gifts for church members, gifts from previous team members to friends, and so on). There were some weird superstitions too...but my brain is not working well right now to remember them.

I handled the goodbyes ok, but I am having mingled moments of sadness. Let's just say a couple Hershey's have been my close friends this evening (broke into the s'mores stash). It would just be perfect justice that I had to back up what I say I believe by believing it myself--the kids asked me repeatedly, "Could Daddy die?" or as Micah said, "Is he at a greater risk of dying?" Which led me to give him the "statistics do not predict the future" speech. So I lightly answered their questions with "God is in control." God is sovereign.

But do I really believe what I say? Do I really trust God with Mitch's life? With our lives? Will we be ok no matter what happens? How easy it is to fear in a time like this, when Mitch is thousands of miles in the air over the Atlantic Ocean! Do you know that feeling in the back of your throat when you are ready to just rip open in tears but you hold it back? That raw feeling? That's where God just needs to get you some times. It's there where He can finally get your attention, to touch you and speak to you. That's what happened to me today. It's wonderful to bow at His feet, to lay down my fears, to take on an eternal perspective. To trust, remember, and refresh.

Ok, so after my mini-sermon, back to the time thing. Mitch's current flight was delayed due to "unscheduled maintenance". It got off the ground sometime after 8:30 pm, and is expected to arrive in Amsterdam at 12:20 pm (their time, which is 5:20 am our time). Good thing, that's only 30 min before their next flight leaves for Kiev (so much for the 2-hour layover). If that flight is on time, they'll arrive, very tired, in Kiev at 4:35 pm, which is 8:30 am our time. I think if they fail to get much sleep on the plane through the night, they'll probably do ok with getting to sleep as night falls in Kiev...hopefully that will help with jet lag (ohhhhh, but imagine coming home--hopefully I can tell some funny stories)!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mitch's flight leaves Minneapolis at 7:35 pm. He has to be at the airport at 4:35, so they are meeting at church at 1:30 (last minute packing plus leaving enough driving time). His first flight goes to Amsterdam, NL and is 8 hours 20 min long, with dinner served. :) His next flight is to Kiev and lasts 2 hours 45 min. He gets a meal on that flight too. There is an 8 hour time difference between here and Kiev. He will be arriving there at 4:35 pm their time (I think...it's hard to read and get straight right now...Malachi's screaming for a nap).

Pray for safe travel for the team! They are pretty excited.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Horol, Ukraine

I debated if I should post this now or when Mitch gets back (safety concerns, you know). I decided that we could use the prayers now, so I should post now instead of waiting. :)

Did you know that one of the top Ukrainian exports is women? People in Ukraine desperately need the gospel!

Mitch decided a few months ago to join a mission team in our church to visit our sister church in Horol, Ukraine. So on next Wednesday he will be traveling to Horol. He will be gone for 2 weeks (and we'll miss him very much). Here is the support letter he sent out (didn't send it to as many people as we wanted to--so don't feel bad if you didn't see one in the mail) with more details:

Horol, Ukraine
June 30, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,
This summer I am working as a counselor at a summer camp for young children and also in a group home assisting four disabled young men. Both of these jobs keep me on my toes! Our family has a lot of activities planned for this summer, many of which involve family time and relaxing together.
A highlight on my packed summer calendar covers the dates between July 23rd and August 5th. I and four teammates will be traveling to Horol, Ukraine for a few weeks. We will be assisting in a weeklong Vacation Bible School, bringing supplies and encouragement to the local church, and meeting with Ukrainian men, women, and youth. Even as I begin to fill my suitcase, my heart is already overflowing with excitement and expectations about what God will be doing in my life while I am there.
The underlying purpose of this letter is to invite you to join our team. There are two components in which you can be involved in our trip without a plane ticket. The first, and most important, is prayer. We need many who are willing to step up and commit to pray for our team and the people of Ukraine. I have a personal goal of finding ten people who are serious about covering every area of our fourteen day trip in prayer while we are gone. Please let me know if you would like to be part of that ten person team. Here are a few specific prayer requests I have:
  • Safe travel to and from Ukraine, in addition to in-country transportation
  • Spiritual growth of those we are going to serve in Ukraine
  • Spiritual growth of members of our team serving in Ukraine
  • Clear communication across language and cultural barriers
  • Smooth, safe home life for families back home in our absence
The second, less important but more tangible, is the need for financial support. I would appreciate your help in raising the $1,300 needed to help pay for my portion of travel and lodging expenses. Please consider becoming part of our financial support team with a gift of any size. If you are able to give, please make your tax deductible checks payable to Calvary Community Church and send to my address at:
(to be safe I edited this info out...but our church's website is here if you feel led to send to them)
Thank you for your time and consideration of my invitation to join our team as we travel to Horol, Ukraine..
In service of the King,
Mitch Theis

If I think of it, I will update each day with prayer requests (we were given a calendar)...if I can...not sure how fun it will be revisiting my single parenting days! This time I won't be able to call him on the phone daily, but at least I know for sure when he's coming back.

We did send out this letter, but we can definitely still use some people to step forward and agree to be part of Mitch's 10 who will pray for the team (ok, our old ALC college buddies, this is YOU! LOL). If you want to be on that team, email me: stephtheis at gmail dot com and I'll send you a copy of the prayer calendar. Thank you!!!

Oh, and the whole part about packing suitcases? Well, they really are bringing supplies to the local church there--their own personal belongings must fit into solely a carry on--the suitcases are so crammed full of much-needed supplies. Cool, huh?

Here's a pic of the team:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

June 08 Customs

Not a complete list, but here are some of the diapers I did in June:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bad News/Good News Update on Retainer

So there has to be bad news to make the good news good, right?

Bad News: I was right. Insurance will not cover another appliance (retainer).

Good News: It won't cost $500-600 like I fretted it might. They are only charging me the lab fee, which will be anywhere from $37 to $50.

Pretty significant, don't you think? I'm relieved!

What we've been up to...

Hey there! We've been pretty busy. Mitch's mom and step-dad are here, so everyone is enjoying visiting. I have been making an insane amount of diapers, just as I promised, so I'm staying totally busy. In fact, I told Mitch he should take today off if he could because I certainly "have it covered". :) So he did. Yay!

Micah's birthday was last Friday--Happy Birthday, Micah! We celebrated way back on the 4th, like we usually do, but we also celebrated with Karen and Marc here. We got Micah a new bike. Eden got one too (she didn't get a birthday present back in March, so it was all "fair", lol). Both are big bikes. Eden can't even touch the ground. But they both climb up on them, and as funny as E looks, they are loving riding and enjoying their freedom. As long as they ride with a buddy, we let them ride a circle around our neighborhood bike paths. It's so hard in this day and age to release them and allow that freedom. Isn't it crazy how fear grips you as a parent, especially after reading the news? :)

We went to the Como Zoo in St. Paul last Friday. It was SO hot. The kids seemed to enjoy it. I don't like the zoo much (sad-looking animals--and I am not a conservationist), but I loved the park. We had packed a picnic lunch, and not long after we had cleaned up and started looking at exhibits, Eden announced, "I lost my retainer!" Oh boy. Did that ruin things, or what! So I'm feeling pretty down about that. We are going to the dentist this a.m. to get the bad news. Well, maybe it will be good, but I expect it to be bad. We were fortunate to have our insurance cover the first retainer, I don't have any hope that they will cover a replacement. :(

Our church has been holding VBS this week. I haven't ever volunteered to help--always citing I am too busy--but it sure does look like fun. I'm sure at a different point in life I will change my tune. After all the errand-running, carting kids back and forth, etc, I figure I might as well be working there! The staff puts together an incredible VBS, and I should have a lot to compare it to. They do put a lot of hard work and energy into it. It's something to learn from! :) My kids will be singing the songs and talking about it for the next year (and they even have a c.d. to sing along to).

Well, it's time to scoot off to the dentist. I just wanted you to know what we're up to!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Warning: A post in which I sound off, which usually includes politics

A friend of mine sent this to me. It is a link to Barack Obama's website people page (where you can link up with groups of supporters who are just like *you*). For the moment, until someone realizes the error, visit the page and see if you can find the appropriate group for straight, white males. Um...there's not one.

http://www.barackobama.com/people/


There is a link for
Asian Americans
African Americans
Americans Abroad
Americans with disabilities
Environmentalists
First Americans (Native American Indians)
Generation Obama ("young activists")
Kids
Latinos
Labor
LGBT (um...their logo gets it's own little "rainbow")
People of Faith (I especially like how this group's description is the narrowest of all)
Students
Veterans
Women

And that's it. So, let's say you are a straight, white, male atheist. I guess that means you must be either an Environmentalist, part of a union, or working abroad. Dont' fit that description? Awwww...come on!

Think I'm exaggerating?

I think this group of people really sketches out a good description of who Barack Obama is.

The meager morsel thrown to "People of Faith" gags me.

Sigh.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Feeling Better

I am on the mend, still a little sore (at the site of the infection) and for some reason I'm quite nauseous, but otherwise getting better. Thankfully this time the infection is not related to a bite or cut, so I don't have that to heal also. Nursing pretty much just feels better. :)

We have a very packed two weeks ahead. I have planned to sew more diapers than I ever have in my life, I think. Going to try to cram about 3 or 4 weeks into two. I wonder if I can do it? I will have some help--Mitch's mom and step-dad will be here later on Wednesday to stay for a week or so. The kids are so excited. I love to see that. Well, frankly, I'm excited too. It will be nice to have a little help. :)

So if you don't hear from me for a while, hopefully that means I'm staying off the computer and living in my sewing room!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Mastitis Again...

I feel like singing "this is the bug that doesn't end..." Whew!

I was feeling pretty run-down yesterday afternoon. By bedtime I figured out what was going on. Saw the doctor today and got started on antibiotics. Malachi is not interested in weaning, and if he were this wouldn't be the right time to do it (engorgement hurts!), so I'm sure we'll make it through.

I feel like I've been hit by a truck. :( Ugh.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Score!

I just had to say that I scored some awesome deals at the fabric store today!! Some of them included great new woven fabrics for less than $3/yard (one only $0.90/yd) and a piece of crushed panne for Zeke to make a play robe out of for only $0.65. Cool. :)

Now I have to finish our family's laundry so I can wash all my new fabrics and play. How's that for motivation??? :)

Happy 4th of July!

This holiday is one of my favorites. Thanksgiving is my favorite. I'm not sure if this one ties with Christmas and Easter, or if they just belong in a totally different category. If you have kids, go listen to yesterday's Adventures in Odyssey program! It will help your kids (and you) remember the significance of the Star Spangled Banner. Especially in today's world...when a singer would rather sing the Black National Anthem than our national Anthem. Disgusting.

In other news, Zeke woke up this morning about 6 am with the horrible ear pain Micah and Josh had previously. His ear had looked red yesterday, but "not infected" according to the doctor. Worms. It's an ear worm. That's what I've decided. Anyways, he responded very well to the beloved ear drops and tylenol and went back to sleep.

I'm hoping to spend a good portion of my day sewing. First, though, I'm going to enjoy running to the fabric store to catch a few special sales! I'm almost out of terry cloth...go figure...

:)

Oh, I was just kidding about the ear worms thing. LOL. The doctor yesterday said it's not uncommon to not treat kids over 2 years old who have an ear infection. Usually they just let it run its course. That's fine with me! I can never remember the full dose of antibiotics anyways.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sickness continues...

Boy, this has been one weird virus! And I say virus because I'm convinced that's what it is.

We had a slight issue with insurance (the computers for our carrier were down nationwide on Saturday), and couldn't fill Micah's prescription for amox. They gave me 3 pills to tide us over until the next day. I got home and looked at them--they were horse-sized pills. Ugh. He's never swallowed a pill. I called back, and they would have to talk to the ER doctor to change the prescrip. If he did change it, lets say to a liquid, they couldn't give me any until the computers were back up. By the time the computers were back up, Micah was not having any ear pain. Therefore I didn't really see any reason to treat him.

But here are the other symptoms we've had:

2 weeks ago Eden had pink eye.
Josh caught it and I took him in on Saturday (a totally different pharmacy just gave me the medicine, even though the computers were down and insurance couldn't be verified...big difference between small town and Walgreens, huh?)
After church on Sunday Josh began screaming and holding his ear. I kicked myself for not having his ears checked on Saturday when we were in. We took him home and gave him acetaminophen and some of those wonderful homeopathic ear drops.
Monday night Zeke spiked a fever that reached 102 under his arm. We gave him acetaminophen and took him to one of the cold lakes around here to swim. That did the trick. Josh still had ear pain that went away with treatment.
Tuesday Zeke had a low grade fever and sore throat. Josh's ears were better.
Wednesday Zeke's fever continued and his sore throat worsened. At night he had stomach cramps. I called the nurse hotline. She said NOT to give him any meds and to call the doctor in the morning. She said the meds would mask his symptoms. At bedtime I decided no one needed to see his symptoms and I needed to sleep. I gave him some tylenol and went to bed.
So today we took Zeke in, he still had a very low-grade fever and a sore throat (though getting better). Tummy ache was gone. He had swollen lymph nodes. He tested negative for strep. He's definitely feeling better. Also today Micah, Eden, and Caleb got to go swimming at a friend's house (maybe the worst offense this virus had on Zeke was that he had to stay home to go to the doctor). They came home so tired that Micah and Caleb fell asleep before supper time!
Mitch and I are both having neck pain and seeing a chiropractor after we were rear-ended two weeks ago...an accident we haven't reported yet...oye. It was so minor (our car's bumper was already cracked, and this really didn't do any new damage), but I am SO stiff now. Crazy.

Oh, I got to go to Virginia Beach today too. Just kidding. My sister went there and called me while she got her feet wet in the surf of the tide coming in. :)