Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We're Moving!!!

I keep getting emails and questions from people as to what is going on with us. So here's the news:

Last time I wrote about our need to find a house - right away. God is so good. We went out with our agent the next day to see a list of houses. On the way we passed by a house not on our list, and added it to our schedule. Two days later, we made an offer on it, and now, Lord willing, we will close escrow on or before Jan. 23, 2007! I am so excited!

This wonderful property sits on 2.5 acres in the country, but is closer to Peter's office than we are here in the city. It has a large lovely split-level home, a barn, a gazebo, a chicken coop, an "outhouse" (really a disguised finished 1/2 bath in the backyard!), 3 ponds, and tons of space in the back for my parents to join us. I love the personality of the house, it's flow from room to room, and the SPACE!!! I love the grounds with its walking paths, the sounds of bubbling ponds, and the potential. We are both excited and grateful to God.


Christmas. Wow. I can't believe it's already over. We never even got a tree up or decorated the house! We did have a wonderful Christmas with my parents at their decorated house, together with my brother, my Nana, and Grandpa B. Poor Mom is still recovering from all the activities! Here are a few photos...

Daddy and Caleb, just after the younger ate carrots :-)

Daniel in his new engineer gear. He is into anything trains!

Caleb liked the hat too...

Hannah and I made a birthday cake for Jesus.

Peter and I at the end of the day.

All 10 of us! Joseph, Nana, Dad with Caleb, Mom with Hannah, Grandpa B. with Daniel, and me with Peter

We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

P.S. If you're wondering why you didn't get a Christmas card, it's because we haven't started them yet. At this point we're contemplating sending Valentines to 250 or so...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In Escrow

Yes, OUR home is in escrow. We accepted an offer today, contingent upon us opening another escrow within 5 business days.

The miracle is that we found a lovely home in just 2 days! (And it wasn't even on our schedule to see - we just passed by it!) If we get this house, I will give more details later.

The amazing thing is that Peter and I are so at peace about this. If we move to this place - great! If we stay here - great! It will be exciting to see God's hand work this week.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Finding Plan A - Housing Update #2

In 3 hours the listing agreement on our house expires. (But who is counting?) It has been a long 90 day process, but here is the update.

As soon as we arrived in Florida, we received an offer on our house. (Our wonderful agent laughed that this was par for the course - no offers until you're on the other side of the country! How ironic!) It was a decent offer - full price - but we would have to pay all of their closing costs, which totalled up to be rather substantial. So we countered back to raise the price $5,000, and we'd pay their costs. They called back and said no, that they couldn't afford the first price they offered anyway. I guess we could say 'easy come, easy go.' Hmmmmm.

While we were still gone, our agent showed our home to another family - for the second time. We came home, and they made an offer too - a very 'low ball' offer. So, despite the fact that I have been planning to get our Christmas tree tonight to celebrate the fact that no one else will be coming through at short notice, we're not putting up a tree until we get this sale settled one way or the other - in case we end up packing up and moving right way. We've been countering back and forth for about 10 days now, and as I've been saying all week about THIS weekend, I think we'll know what's happening by NEXT weekend.

This whole process has been quite an experience for Peter and I. It has really made personal for me the concept that God's word (or His will in this case) is a 'light unto my path.' He is illuminating the way! Imagine with me a flashlight strapped to your ankle, as you hike through the forest at night. You can't see very far ahead, but you can see just in front so you don't stumble along the way. Oh, how I would love to step back and see the big picture as Christ does (and thus know how to proceed), but He's giving us one step, then one day, at a time. Somehow, I've become content with that.

So what's next? I don't know. We have batted around every possible scenario, enough that I'm sure our agent thinks that we are totally out to lunch. But we're not, we're just trying to find God's Plan A. Stay tuned.


Sad to leave, but happy to be home. That's how we felt after returning from a full and very exciting trip to Florida over Thanksgiving. Between seeing family, a trip to Sea World, tennis, airports, colds, Thanksgiving and friends, the days flew by and suddenly - we were home again!

Hannah's special request for our trip was to go to Sea World. I've been to Sea World in San Diego, but the Orlando Sea World tops it, hands down. It is huge! We all liked the sea lion show the best for its antics, but the Shamu (killer whale) show could only be described as "awesome." Here's my favorite picture of the day, Caleb waking up on Granny's lap from a nap despite the booming of the Shamu show. (Notice Daniel wiped out on Grandpa's lap in the background.)

Other highlights included tennis matches (Peter and I even WON against Andrew and Mary in mixed doubles!), volleyball, ping pong, watching Lini and Adam fall in love (Peter's sister is courting), date nights borrowing Mary's race car, sleeping in until 7:00a.m. while Granny fed Hannah and Daniel breakfast, the drama of receiving an offer on our house the day after we arrived (more on that later...), Mongolian BBQ, going to Covenant Bible Church, visiting and singing with the Lee family one night, painting the sidewalk with water (Hannah), wrestling with Uncle Andy (Daniel), arresting innocent people with a giant smile (Caleb), and just hanging out together as a family.

Thanksgiving. Ah, we have much to be thankful to our Lord for.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Expository Thoughts of a Three-Year-Old

This morning we read Psalm 128 in our family devotions.

1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat of the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.

Upon hearing this, Hannah blurted out:

"Look! One of the olive plants is having some grapes!!!" --- referring to the fact that Mommy was nursing Caleb.

After rather amazed laughter on Peter and my part, and continuing giggles from the girl (who was quite pleased that she had told a really good joke), we sat there amazed that not only is she listening, but understanding, analyzing, AND developing a sense of humor. To God be the glory.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Behind me, Peter is teaching Hannah to play chess. These are a few things I've heard so far:

Peter: "Your queen can move, here, here, here, here, or here. What do you want to do?"

Hannah: "Here."

Peter: "Whoa. That was sneaky. That was a good move!"


Hannah: "Can our knights kiss each other?"

Peter: "Ah, no."


Hannah: "Hey look! These two knights are twins!"


Peter: "Check."

Hannah: "Where can I put my queen to keep it from getting killed?"

Peter: "Well, here."

Hannah: "I don't want the game to be over. How about if I say 'Check?' Where can I move my king? I want to be safe."


I should be taping this...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Housing Drama

In case you're wondering, our house has not yet sold. In case you're further wondering, Dream House did someone else. In case you're wondering how we're doing with this development, I'd say we're OK. We prayed that God would open or shut the doors, and He has. Everything is going to be OK. We just don't know what Plan B is.

All this has got me thinking that really what we really need to discover is God's Plan A. Our Plan A was apparently not His Plan A. That's OK. We're walking by faith. He's got our best interest in mind. He will reveal it. Everything is going to be OK.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Pumpkin Patch

Things have been so busy here, that I haven't sat down to blog in quite a while!

The kids (of course) loved it. As I could not get them to hold still for a photo, this was my favorite candid one. Daniel and his friend Matthew are examining a real-live caterpillar on the stem of Daniel's pumpkin. (Can you see how entralled he is? You should see him when we dig up a worm in our garden!)

We began at Pumpkin Class, learning the various stages of pumpkin growth. Did you know that the base of a pumpkin is where the flower once was, and now is withered off? Then we went for a hay ride around the farm. Next was the petting zoo. I don't think I've ever seen the cattle equivalent of a Shetland pony until last month! There were horses, goats, rabbits, turkeys, sheep, chickens, ducks, you name it. From there everyone got a chance to choose any pumpkin they could carry out from the 3 acre of pumpkin patch.

I think Hannah's favorite was the petting zoo. She loves animals, and Papa came along and bought her some feed for the animals. She was delighted. :-)

Even Caleb loved all the excitement!

Can't wait till next year...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Daughter Just Amazed Me

Hannah had a difficult time waking up from her nap today. Debra's not here. (She's picking up her dad and brother from the Fresno State game, which they lost 68-37 by the way. But we digress.) So, she's been crying for her. Nothing will help but Mommy being back. So imagine crying girl sitting on my lap and the following conversation:

Hannah: (still crying) "Do you know there is something wrong with me?"
Me: (totally composed) "There's something wrong with you?"
Hannah: (still crying) "Yes."
Me: (still totally composed) "What is wrong with you."
Hannah: (still crying) "Well, the antibodies are not eating the bad cells."
Me: (not totally composed now, trying to stifle laugh)

That kind of blew me away. I didn't know she knew what antibodies are.

BTW: Gators just scored to put them up 17-8 over Auburn.

Friday, October 13, 2006


From Hannah ~

"That's not tempting to me. Do you have anything else?" - A bargaining response to her Mimi, who was trying to get her to eat the rest of her sandwich by letting her know what would follow.

"What does a bison sound like?" - Does anyone know? It's a bonified question!

"Did God make Himself?" - Well, noooooo. He's always just 'been.' She went on to elaborate that God made everything, so how about Himself? Distilling doctrines to preschoolers isn't always easy.

"Can we talk about the difference between a bowl of soup and a birthright?" - Her new favorite book is IBLP's Character Sketches, Vol. II. We read about Jacob and Esau yesterday. Apparently, it made an impression.

"I am the firstborn. I have a birthright. So I am winning!" - What she told Daniel over dinner. I think my competitive girl didn't yet get the concept that the birthright was for the firstborn MALE, and was a spiritual bestowment, not something you win!

From Daniel ~

"Chief End Man" - Things we review during family devotions...Daniel likes to be the one to quiz Hannah.

"I love you." - Daddy got the first one.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

House Update

For those of you who are wondering, our house has been on the market 31 days now. We've had lots of traffic - meaning people coming to view the home, but no offers yet. It is a little exhausting keeping the home at "20 minutes to viewing," all the time with The Helpers, but we're making it. The home we are interested in also has not sold yet, but has lowered its price twice, so we're in a waiting stage. I understand the average time on the market now is 6 months in this area. 6 months! Still we feel that if God wants us to move, He will do what it takes. Our hearts are at peace.

Just trying to work out!

Feeling out of shape, I recently purchased an exercise DVD where I can do any combination of five 10 minute targeted area work outs. I figured I could squeeze in 10 minutes or more on a regular basis. Who couldn't? Besides, getting exercise together as a family is a good habit.

I wasn't counting on The Helpers. Hannah is my veteran aerobics partner. Peter says one of these days he's going to video me doing the work out, with Hannah copying me - right underfoot the whole time - and Daniel copying Hannah. I'm sure it is a sight. I'm just trying not to step on anyone.

Today we (meaning Mommy and the entourage) decided to do the abs portion after we finished our outdoor projects. (We're already sweaty right?) Silly me. I hadn't done this portion before, and wasn't flashing on the fact that much of it is floor work for crunches, etc.

Picture this:

Mommy and Hannah laying on the floor. Hannah is pressed right against my left arm.

Hannah: "Daniel, move back from the screen. Scoot back. We can't see."

Mommy: Thinking 'Right on, Hannah.' Says "Daniel, move back. Hannah, give Mommy some more space."

Daniel: Turns around and looks at us on the floor. Looks at the screen. A flash of recognition. They match! Doesn't move an inch.

Hannah: Not moving an inch herself. "Daniel, move BACK!"

Mommy: "Yes, Daniel."

Daniel: Scoots back about 3 inches, still blocking the view.

Mommy and Hannah readjust so they can see around Daniel.

Daniel turns around and studies us.

Mommy and Hannah proceed with workout.

Daniel turns around with an evil mischievious grin.

Mommy wonders what is up, while counting crunches to the left with small daughter blocking her arm.

Daniel moves back from the screen with that same odd look. Before I know what is happening, Daniel has 'fallen' on me!

Mommy: "Daniel! That hurts me! Get up! You stand here!" Puts him behind her.

Daniel is determined now. He climbs back on Mommy and lays full body out, making crunches impossible.

Mommy thinks 'This is a 10 minute work out, I don't have 3 minutes to spend on this!'

Hannah: "Daniel, you are a DISGRACE to the movie!"

Mommy: Thinking 'Yeah!' then, 'A disgrace? Where does she come up with these things?'

Daniel is laughing uproarously now. This is great fun. He's climbing back on me saying "MORE!"

This went on for the rest of the 10 minutes. So much for family exercise time! Apparently this is a children's naptime video. ;-)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Count your blessings

Okay, so we figured out how to post videos on the blog recently and maybe we're going a bit overboard. But, this was a pretty cute one we took of Hannah one Sunday morning. Hannah had been very impressed with our church's choir and decided she would have her own choir. She is holding her "hymnal."
Taking Care of the Ladies

I love this! I just saw this on a friend's blog. If you want to see any more of these sweet Everyday News postings, go to

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Night Under the Stars

Tonight I left the spaghetti dishes to get crusty on the table and went out to the backyard. I sat on a lawnchair on the back grass with Hannah and Daniel in my lap, and we watched the stars come out. It's lazy Indian summer evenings like this that make memories. I remember fun evenings swimming under the stars with my parents when I was not much older than they are. And so it was, with my own happy memories tucked inside, it was priceless to sit and cuddle with my little ones and enjoy God's creation together. This is the next generation. I love that they know Who made the stars, Who made them, and that He loves them so very much, as do I.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Alternate Identities & Ebonics

Hannah has become quite adept at "make believe." She has whole conversations with her dolls during tea parties, doing the talking for each of them, and they aren't just discussing tea and cake.

Recently, she's taken to renaming many of us, according to her (incomprehensible) alternate reality. For example, Daniel is now Michael, Caleb is now Samuel, and she is now Maggie Malone. I don't have another name, I'm just Mom.

Peter's name is another story. Peter suggested today that he might be named "Sponge" for all the crumbs and beverages spilled upon him by one multi-named two-year-old, but Hannah says his name remains still "Lawyer," pronounced with heavy ebonics.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

On the Market

After much prayer, Peter and I listed our house on the market this week. We don't know what will happen, but we would like to find a place with more space for our little family, and hopefully my parents.

We found what we want. It's nearby, but we felt like we need to have an offer on our place before we make an offer on another.

So were "in the market," so to speak. In the 2 days so far, we've had one showing already, and 17 agents have come by to see the place. Yikes! It isn't easy to keep this place in tip-top-tidy shape with 3 little people!

Please be in prayer with us as we go through this process. We really and truly just want God's best, whatever that may be.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Check out Peter's Bankruptcy Blog

Peter set up a banrkuptcy blog to talk about bankruptcy issues that affect the central valley.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How Peter's Coat Caught Fire...and Other Events at the Wedding

"You're on fire!" a woman shrieked, as she began batting at Peter's coat.

Peter and I went to his cousin Brent's wedding last weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was a lovely wedding at a yacht club (no yachts) overlooking a river (I'm not sure why it was called a yacht club). The bride and groom were radiant and very stylish, and we were so happy to be there, joining Peter's family for the big event. As our big kids were sunning at home with Mimi and Papa, we were having a second honeymoon with just one baby, and some rain!

The rain began shortly before the wedding, and stopped just in time for the ceremony on the outdoor deck. As soon as the vows were exchanged, the showers resumed, and when we were dismissed, we all headed indoors for shelter. The yacht club was very cozy - for 30 people. But I understand there were more like 190 people there and we were like sardines inside a can.

There were softly lit candles all around the room, the ambience of which was in direct contrast to the amount of volume inside the club. Everyone was shouting to be heard. Caleb's crying wasn't even audible unless you were right next to him.

Then I hear a woman yelling about fire. My heart dropped into my stomach when I turned to see large flames shooting up Peter's back. Peter spun around to see where the fire is. He had been standing (apparently) a little too close to an ill-placed votive candle. Fortunately, a quick-thinking woman had the flames extinguished before Peter even realized she was referring to him. The fire caught his coat in the small of his back where his sport coat was furthest away from his body. His dress shirt was blackened, but his undershirt was completely undamaged. Peter was calm. It had been taken care of before he was made aware of it. I was completely unnerved. I couldn't stop hugging him. I just wanted to cry! There is nothing like seeing someone you love so entirely on fire!

The place was so packed that I'm not even sure how many people were aware of the commotion, so Peter and I slipped out and quietly put his coat in the car. No sense in wearing a coat with a softball sized burnt hole in it, right? Besides, it smelled awful from the smoke.

So we went to the reception - also outside but underneath a lovely pavillion. I was shaking still, so Peter was trying to calm me down. We sat down at our table and a waitress walked behind us carrying bottles of wine. She then tripped on a root or something in the grass and dropped a wine bottle, which promptly sprayed up a large portion of its contents - all over Peter's shirt. He was soaked and now with a new stinky. We looked at each other in amazement. Who would ever believe this? All we could do was sit back and laugh and blurt out at the same time - it will make a great story for the blog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Daniel

This is my Daniel. He turned two yesterday, although I would almost say that he turned two last Wednesday, the 23rd, when some new sort of energy started pumping through his happy veins.

My Daniel is such a great kid. He is 100% boy, and proud of it. He loves to climb and run, dig in the dirt, and tease his big sister, but he's still Mommy's boy when he gets hurt or wants to read a book. A few weeks ago he scared me to death when I woke up in the middle of the night to find him on top of me to give me a big kiss. Just wanted to check on you, Mom!

We went to great lengths to research what we could give Daniel for his birthday to best expend his unbounded energy, and finally settled on this great toy called the Woodland Climber, by Step2. Peter set it up last night, and I just had to video him climbing up, making Hannah move faster, and hurtling down the slide, just to run - with bouncing cheeks and tummy - around to the back again shouting "MORE!!!" Are you smiling yet?

It's hard to believe that two years ago yesterday I held my Buddy in my arms for the first time. He was my easiest birth, even though he was over 8 pounds. I remember crying one postpartum night as I rocked him, thinking of all the women whose sons are in battle in Iraq right now, and realizing that one day my own son may be in battle too. I remembered Mary, knowing some of what her Son would face at the hands of men. My son is not holy, but he is mine, and I treasure him.

But back to smiles...Daniel puts up with a lot. He's got an older sister who makes it clear that she is sharing her room with him. He's now the middle child, with a baby to take Mom's time away from him, but he is never demanding. He might test you a little bit - with a big smile on his face the whole time - but he's two, afterall.

Oh Daniel, if I could only make it clear to you just how much we love you. You are a gift from God. I promise, and I know Daddy does too, to do our best by God's grace to teach you and train you in the way you should go, that when you are old you will not depart from it. Our firstborn son. You make us smile. It's going to be a great journey.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Our Whirlwind Weekend

As an early celebration of Daniel's 2nd birthday, my parents took us all to go see THE Thomas the Tank Engine in Felton, CA (near Santa Cruz).

Thomas was everything we had hoped for. He's big, he's blue, and he's Really Useful too. There was a full-size train, a full-size inflatable train, a bounce house, face painting, the Thomas Store, a giant layout, a giant Lego Thomas, you name it. I would have to say Daniel's favorite was taking a ride through the Santa Cruz mountains on the train itself. He stood (way to excited to sit) on Peter's lap with huge eyes the whole time. Of course, the rest of us thought just watching Daniel's reactions were priceless!

It was good to get away and hang out with my parents. For those of you who have not yet heard, my dad was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. It is the result of a drop in the production of dopamine in the body, and is a muscular degenerative disease - frustrating, but thankfully not fatal. It has been a hard couple of months for he and my mom as they adjust to his condition, but God has been so faithful. Dad is getting good treatment, and they would covet your prayers as they seek the Lord for how to best approach life with this rather large twist. Daniel and my dad have a special relationship, so it was extra-special to take a trip with them, and especially as they are both train guys.

After staying overnight at Grandpa B's house in Hollister, we came home to spend time with my cousins visiting from San Diego! Lauren is turning 3, and Daniel turning 2, so we had a birthday party for them on Saturday night. I would post more photos, but I'm having trouble uploading them right now, so if you want to see photos, email me.

We all got a kick out of Lauren and her new dress-up outfit. I took Hannah to Toys'R'Us last week to choose something for Lauren. I figured, Hannah is 3, she would know what a 3 year old girl would want. She chose a very gaudy lavender "tap" dress-up outfit, with a tiara and earrings for Lauren. It was worth getting just for the feathers and sequins! Well, surprise, surprise, Lauren went gaga over it, and had to put it on and wear it the rest of the evening.

Daniel wasn't sure about his birthday cake. He ran away from it when I turned the lighter on to light the candles, shouting "Fire! Hot!!!" At least he understands to not get close to fire! What a sweet guy. Happy (early) Birthday Buddy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Christmas Already?

This morning I got out my sewing machine to work on some repair jobs, and found the remnants of ideas for making Christmas stockings. I know it is a little off-season, but I've been thinking about how I can get ahead of the Christmas rush. Maybe this is it!

Seeing that we seem to add one person to our stocking mantle each year, I need to choose something that I can easily add to, which means I should probably make my own. I have plenty of ideas, but I don't want to just blow a lot of money on something that I'm likely to change again in a few years!

I wish I knew how to quilt. That would be great. I could make patchwork stockings, and personalize the cuff. Or I could go elegant, velvet with gold trim. I could wait and discover each person's personality, and make one to reflect them. Maybe I'll do that the next time.

Until then, I'm just going to have to find a way to get myself to a fabric store...

Oh, regarding a prayer update: Peter is walking again!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Peter sprained his ankle yesterday playing basketball. Sad! He can walk (limp) - just not far, and not fast. In the scope of things, the bathroom is considered far, and trying to get to a crying child is out of the question. Poor Peter! Somehow we managed to have friends over for dinner last night, despite Peter's "ouchie ouchie."

Daniel thinks it is great though, because now Daddy is a sitting duck and can read every book we own to him. Peter thinks the only good thing about it is that our plans next weekend preclude him being able to play basketball, so he won't be tempted to play on it so soon. It's like he can't keep himself off the court!

Ah, sacred basketball. My precious husband.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Occupational Aspirations

Hannah has recently been ruminating on her future occupation. She explained to me that she wanted to be a girl doctor - not a boy doctor. (Meaning that she would like to be a doctor and still be a female.)

Today it came up again. She still wants to be a "vetranerian - a doctor for animals," as she calls it, so that she can "eat - no I mean help them." (A little freudian slip there...)

Also, she plans to work at the zoo, but only with giraffes, and definitely no tigers or snakes.

Also, let it be known for the record that Hannah has passed Level 1 in swimming lessons!!! She is so proud of herself. It of course, necessitated an almost immediate call to Daddy, followed by more requests to call and remind him for the rest of the day. :-) My big girl.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


We're home and finally unpacked from our wonderful family vacation! Colorado is a terrific vacation destination for families. All 5 of us had a great time.

Our first stop was Colorado Springs, were we attended the Rockwell Family Reunion (yes, we're related to Norman Rockwell - on my mother's side of the family). Staying in a hotel room was quite a challenge for two kids who need to run and play, but we had a wonderful time with our extended family, despite the fact that my parents were unable to attend at the last minute. :-( Hannah and Daniel had a great time getting to know more of their family, and Caleb found lots of warm shoulders to nap on. :-) Besides attending the regular family events, we went to see Glen Eyrie, The Garden of the Gods, and our favorite: Focus on the Family.

From Colorado Springs we traveled to Estes Park, CO, to meet up with Peter's parents and sister Lini. We had a beautiful 4 bedroom home right on the Thompson River, with lots of space for the kids to run and play. Outside was the river, a working well pump, lots of squirrels, bunnies, and birds, a deer, and a couple of times elk joined us as well! We spent a whole week enjoying the magnificence of God's creation at Rocky Mountain National Park.

I wish you all could have seen Hannah. She was such a trooper! We told her so, and after a mile and half of hiking, she announced that she liked being a trooper! Here's a photo of Hannah in front of Nymph Lake. She was having so much fun. I think her favorite part was seeing snow up close for the first time. She also demonstrated her climbing ability to climb up and down the ladder to play in the top bunk of the bunkbeds in the kids' room. (I wasn't brave enough to let her sleep there, but she thought it was a GREAT place to play where little brothers can't reach.)

Daniel rode on Daddy's back, seemingly all week. He had a good view! He was such a good little buddy, even when he got a cold. I think he'll be quite an outdoorsy kind of guy as he grows up. Daniel was fascinated by the elk in our backyard. I think his favorite part was just running in the grass by our house, chasing bunnies and squirrels. Daniel also demonstrated that he is becoming quite the "big boy," by sleeping in a sleeping bag the whole vacation. I am so proud of him. It is hard for him to hold still and stay put for very long, but he did a great job at self-control by staying on his sleeping bag each morning until someone came to get him.

Caleb was such a good baby. He slept on the plane the whole way there, and was such a good sport about sleeping wherever, whenever - as long as he got his milk! He is very much Mommy's boy (actually, they're all "Mommy's," come to think of it...), but he loved having lots of people around to have a nap on. He's such a cuddler! Aunt Lini was gracious enough to carry Caleb on more than one of our hikes.

Peter and I agree that the highlight of the trip for us was a special date we had at The Inn at Glen Haven, near Estes Park. Beside a beautiful dining setting, complete with REAL china and silver, and an incredible meal (I had duck and Peter had elk), we had such a special time talking and sharing our hearts, without being interrupted or rushed. When we came back to California, we learned that The Inn is a world famous restaurant/bed & breakfast. I wish I had a photo to give you a glimpse, but we were having so much fun that we forgot to pull out the camera!

Hanging out with Granny, Grandpa, and Aunt Lini was terrific. Hannah and Granny learned how to play chess. Daniel had lots of people to read to him. Peter and I enjoyed ourselves because we weren't just meeting the kids' needs all the time. Lini had lots of time bonding with Caleb. Grandpa gave Hannah rides on his shoulders during the hikes when she got tired. Peter and I decided that vacationing with family is THE way to go.

Now we're home, and glad to be back. Everyday life is back to normal, and we're all rested and happy. Going away is great, but I'm so glad that we all love it here too.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Today as I was sweeping Lake Pergo again, I was musing on the fact that there is constantly a tremendous amount of crumbs under Daniel's high chair. Thank goodness I can sweep it instead of hauling out the old vaccuum like I used to, I thought. After all, what would Jesus think of crumbs under my table if he came to visit, or the toys strewn throughout the floor of the house?

Then came a second thought: I don't think he'd care nearly so much for the crumbs or clutter as he would care to see if we are loving each other, helping one another, sharing, doing these in His name. I quickly began to grade our little family...OK, so Hannah pushes her brother down outside every now and then - but we've noticed that it is only on the grassy area - so that's not that bad...Let's see, Daniel tends to be too rough with Caleb. He kisses him too enthusiastically, almost launching him out of the bouncy seat(!) - but it's because he thinks Caleb is so cute - so it's not really that bad, he means well!

Then I looked at myself. What about my responses? How do I respond to the constant action around here? Am I impatient when things don't go as I want? Do I miss a moment to show love to my husband because of "all I need to do?" Do I miss the opportunity to teach one of my precious babies things that matter because I'm too focused on running a tidy and orderly home? Someone once said that "cleanliness is next to godliness." I take that to mean 'second to godliness,' but do I believe that and let things go for the sake of eternity? I hope so.

What would Jesus think? What does He want? That's what I want.

So if you come by, and the house is not looking perfect, this is why.

Full Circle

Yesterday was my day to work at the office.

It's interesting to say "my day," because I used to work there full time. (I work for my dad.) I have done every support staff job in the office throughout my 18 years there. For those of you who do the math - I just added it up. I started when I was 16 in 1988!

When Peter and I first got married, I remember telling my friend and neighbor, Karen, that I felt very unconfident and insecure about certain aspects of being a wife, like grocery shopping. I told her that I felt super-confident behind my desk at work, and I could figure out a lot on the computer, or be of assistance to my dad in a legal matter, but I felt really insecure at grocery shopping and cooking! I even begged Peter to go with me to the grocery store the first time I shopped after we got married. (Bless him, he went with me.) I still hadn't figured out what foods he liked to eat, and how he liked them prepared. (Now I know, he likes almost everything, prepared almost any way. He's just happy to have someone make it for him and VERY happy to have someone do his laundry!)

Yesterday I reached full circle.

Through the years, my work at the office has gone from full time to part time. Later part time went from 20 hours to 15 and became only bookkeeping and billing. Then after I had a baby it went to 10 hours a week. Two babies - 7.5. Then I added doing bookkeeping for Nana, and now for Peter too - all in the same 7.5 hours. Recently, circumstances have changed again and I have had to do the same amount of work in about 3 hours a week. I feel like I'm doing triage at the hospital while I'm in there. Who is bleeding the most?

After a very stressful morning, I accidently hit a wrong button when I was doing billing on the computer, sorting papers, and talking to a client on the phone at the same time. This one little button cost me WAY to much time to go back and fix, and I was already stressed from rushing. Peter came out and told me to change something that he'd already had me do, and noticed that I was "a little uptight." At that point I blurted out that I think I'm a lot better at making dinners than working at the office.

And then it hit me. How far I've come!

Maybe I am better at dinner than I am in the professional world?! I'm OK with that!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Hannah Quotes

"After I came to earth, did I have an x-ray?" - She recently saw a picture of a girl getting an x-ray and has been asking questions ever since. She was further clarifying when she had an x-ray, because she doesn't remember it. (She had one when she broke her arm learning to walk.) I'm not sure where the idea came from about her 'coming to earth!'

"It's called a 'Toddler Train.' It's going to France." - Hannah's comment after I mentioned that I liked how she had organized all of Daniel's cars into a nice curvy line.

"It's farther to Bethlehem than to Africa." - What Hannah has learned after playing with the talking globe from Granny. Everyone should have a globe like this! It is a LeapFrog Explorer globe. Between that and Google Earth, we've got a leg up on geography!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Our camera found a very untimely time to have its lens jammed. My two month old isn't going to stay looking like this. I promise to put up some pictures as soon as we have our camera back.

Also, speaking of pictures, we lost several months worth...My computer just died and we lost all of our photos from about summer 2005 up to the present. If you have any photos of us on your computers, I would love a copy. :-)

The good news is, my wonderful husband bought me this terrific brand-spanking new computer for Mother's Day!

Random Quotes

"I have a Joy nose." - Hannah, after proclaiming that Daddy says Daniel has a "Templeton nose," and Caleb has "Fear nose." She wondered what kind of nose she had. I explained that hers was not like anyone elses, but it was just right. She clarified it for us.

"Godmadetheworld!" - What Daniel has been saying over and over since yesterday morning. We think he's telling us that 'God made the world,' a line from one of his Bible story books.

"Everything." - Swim instructor Chris' comment when asked today what Hannah needs to work on.

"Sometimes Murphy's Law works backwards." - Peter's comment after tearing out most of our Pergo Lake this weekend. Miraculously, he finished repairing/replacing it much faster than he expected!

"What else is a marsupiel?" Hannah's question after reading a book that her cousin Allison gave her about animals of the world. I think we'll have to get her some encyclopedias for her birthday...

"AGOOOO!" - What Caleb says. He's such a sweet little guy. 2 months old now!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Nothing like a good trial to . . .

Today, I had my first trial in about four and a half years. Boy, did I feel rusty. When you aren't doing it on a regular basis, you forget how it works and the words don't come as fast when you need to say them and objections aren't made as quickly as they should be.

I think the reason I've had so few trials is that most cases with reasonable attorneys are settled. That must mean one of the attorneys in this case was not reasonable. It was probably me. :)

So, let me give a brief run down of the facts and then I'll try to give a blow-by-blow for the trial.

Facts: This lady gets loaned about $2,700 from a distant relative in the Philippines. She doesn't know what the interest rate is and didn't actually agree to the loan before it was put in her bank account. Over the course of about 21 months, she pays the guy about $8,500. He claimed his claimed interest rate was 5% PER MONTH. But if you do the math, that is more like 100%. (He also claimed he loaned her more like $5,500.)

Also, the reason he was suing her is that she had given him three more checks in the amount of $1300 each and those were not honored by her bank. His attorney's mantra: "She needs to make good on her checks."

Of course, we counterclaimed for usury. For usury, you can recover all usurious interest within two years of filing and treble the amount of usurious interest paid within one year of filing.

When you do trials all of the time, you maintain a level of confidence and ability to think quickly on your feet and respond to issues as they arise. Because I had not done one in a while, I felt rusty . . . like I needed some more practice. I told Debra to pray for me that I would have the right words to say at the right time.

There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of presenting your case before the Court, especially when you have an ornery opposing counsel. He kept threatening me, even in the hearing of the judge, that "Mr. Fear, you and I are not finished, I'm going to sue you for malicious prosecution." And he objected to everything he could think of objecting to. Only about half of his objections were sustained.

I objected to his client presenting any evidence that had not been disclosed in discovery because he failed to respond to a Request for Statement of Witnesses and Evidence. CCP 96 provides that one party may serve a request for statement of witnesses and evidence at least 30 days before trial. It must be responded to within 20 days from the date of service. Where a document is served by mail, CCP 1013 extends the time for any responsive action that must be taken by 5 days. So, opposing counsel makes this outlandish argument that somehow my service was late because it was served on the 30th day before trial and he seemed confused (without realizing that he seemed confused) on the effect of CCP 1013. So, I calmly explained the actual effect of the statute. The judge sustained my objection.

Then, opposing counsel tries to get the judge to knock out our cross-complaint by arguing that the law of the Philippines should apply and that there is no usury statute in the Philippines. Get this, in support of this statement, he introduces a letter from a Philippino attorney stating that there is no usury law in the Philippines. I object to the statement as hearsay. He says that the court can take judicial notice of the letter (and by implication of expert testimony). He was essentially saying that the court can take judicial notice of expert testimony! Of course, I said I would like to cross-examine the writer of the letter about several things, including his qualifications. The judge sustains my objection and the letter is tossed out.

Then we get to the substance of arguing which law should control. Debra's prayer was answered for me here. It seemed like each case he cited, I remembered the case, the facts surrounding it and was able to explain to the court why it was inapplicable. The wierd thing is that I had explained why most of these cases were inapplicable to opposing counsel in letters several months before. He sent me condescending letters stating that I should read the whole case instead of just the headnotes. It might have been good to heed his own advice, because I don't think the judge was impressed with his arguments.

In retrospect, the most amazing thing was the contempt shown to me by opposing counsel. He was frequently harrumphing and sneering at things I said. The unfortunate thing for him is that the judge seemed to agree with my take on most of the issues.

After going through about 2 hours of testimony (this was a limited case that was only supposed to take 2 hours), we took a break and the judge called opposing counsel and myself into chambers. "Why didn't this case settle?" he asked. How do you say "because clients and attorneys don't like each other" to the judge. We attributed it to the anger between the parties, especially his client. So, we each argued our case in chambers a little bit. One fact that had come out made it sound like the judge might rule for the opposition as to one of the checks. Then an idea hit me. I said, "well, even if plaintiff prevailed as to that check and the court awarded damages to plaintiff for that check, the court would then have to award treble the amount of those damages to my client because the interest was usurious!" After going back and forth for a little while the judge says, "what would you guys think of a complete dismissal, everybody walks away and pays their own costs?" We agreed to present the potential to our clients.

Eventually, they agreed to settle the matter by each dismissing and going their separate ways. After we announced this to the Court, the judge commented that he felt both counsel had done an excellent job preparing for the case.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Antarctica in our House

Behind me is a mountain of couch cushions. Hannah was the architect, Daniel the observer.

Hannah first proceded to burrow herself into the mountain, while Daniel proceded to climb the mountain. Daniel was teetering on top when I asked him if he would like to climb in the tent with Hannah.

Hannah popped out long enough to inform me that this was not a tent - but "it's actually Antarctica." OK, I stand corrected.

Daniel was still interested in exploring it, whatever it was called.

Then she decided that Daniel was an explorer (very true), and she was a rescuer (not at all true).

Now she's just finished riding on the back of a giant whale in the ocean and has broken her leg falling into a palace.

Wow. And you thought you had a busy day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lack of Sleep II

Apparently, I'm not the only one having trouble sleeping...Today during naptime Hannah was having a hard time settling down. The only two rules for naptime are: (1) Stay in bed; and (2) No talking.

When I heard her voice from down the hall, I went in to investigate. Strangely, she was nowhere to be found. I looked in her closet, and poked my head in Daniel's room. No Hannah. I called out "Hannah, where are you? Are you in here?"

Then from somewhere low by feet - I hear "HELP! I'm stuck!!!" I look around, but no Hannah. Then I hear "I'm stuck UNDER the bed!"

It was one of those moments when I had to just stifle my laughter to help her out. I pulled her out and put her back in bed. What will she think of next?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lack of Sleep

The other night as I was up with Caleb for another nursing session my mind started to wander. Lack of sleep makes you delirious, I guess. Here is a mangled version of Silent Night that came to me in the wee hours of the morning:

Silent Night, nowhere in sight
Peter(!) is calm, while the moon is bright
Round yon Caleb, my little child
When he sleeps he looks so tender and mild
Sleep IS heavenly peace!
Sleep IS heavenly peace!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Here are some recent photos of Caleb. Sorry it has taken so long!!! We're rather busy here...

This is Caleb in the hospital shortly before he checked out.

This is our little cuddly guy!

Hannah is such a good big sister. She is soooooo proud to be holding him!

I will write more again some day. Thank you all, so much, for your prayers! We know that only God's grace has carried us through the past 2 weeks.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Don't touch things that are holy

Hannah this evening in a stream of consciousness: "I will go to see Doctor Bergdahl, and he will say 'I will bring these things [holding her hands reverently as if she is holding the bread and wine at communion] so that you do not touch the things that are holy.'"

Florida National Champs! . . . or Was That George Mason?

We watched the NCAA Championship Game for men's basketball last night. Florida won. It was fun watching it with Hannah. She really seemed to get into it.
Hannah: "Which color is George Mason?" Peter: "George Mason lost on Saturday. They are not playing tonight."
Hannah: "Are they the greeeeeen team?" Peter: "Uh, there is no green team."
Debra: "Boy, that guy is tall with long arms." Hannah: "Which is the guy who is not tall with no arms." Peter and Debra: "Huh?"
Peter: "Hannah, who do you want to win?" Hannah: "The white team." Peter: "But that's UCLA. Don't you want Florida, the blue team, to win?" Hannah: "What color is George Mason?"
Hannah: "When they hold the ball and then throw it, that is called a free throw."
As you can see, Hannah is totally into this college basketball thing. Too bad it's over until next year. However, we still have the Little Tykes hoop in the backyard so she can practice her "free throws" (a.k.a., "free dunks") from behind the line (a.k.a., the garden hose).

Monday, April 03, 2006

Caleb is Home!

Debra informs me that my post from this morning didn't make it up here and now I see that is the case.
We talked to the pediatrician Sunday morning and he said he was writing up the discharge papers and that we would probably be able to take Caleb home Sunday evening. Debra went to the hospital about mid-morning to feed him and they asked if she wanted to take him home then!
Unfortunately, she didn't have the carseat with her. So, she came home and we all trooped down there about noon and brought our little guy home.
He's adapting pretty nicely to being home. Eating a lot. However, we think he got his days and nights mixed up while being in the hospital, because he was up almost all of last night. Debra and I got about 3-4 hours of sleep. I think we're a little spoiled because Daniel slept 6 hours the night after he was born.
Thank you all for your prayers!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Caleb is Off Oxygen and Eating!

When Debra went to the hospital this morning (Saturday), Caleb was off oxygen and they had given him some colostrum. He spit it up, but it was a start.
Through the day, he has gotten better at the whole eating thing and he is now able to take a bottle of colostrum.
Debra is going over to the hospital right now to see if he will breastfeed.
They are now saying that we may be able to take him home as early as tomorrow evening (Sunday).

Funny Story--Kinda

Okay, time for a funny story. Well, maybe.
We decide to rent a hospital grade breast pump for the next few weeks since it may be awhile before Caleb can get all of his meals from Mommy. The only place you can rent it from is the hospital downtown. Probably because I am the only parent not admitted to the hospital, I get chosen to go pick up the breast pump. So, I ask the lactation consultant for directions. Oh, it's real easy, you just go to the main entrance, get on the elevators and go to the fourth floor. You'll see the signs from there. No problem.
I park in the normal parking garage, and walk across the street to what looks like the main entrance. I didn't see any other entrance and this is a huge entrance. There is a big banner that says something about a trauma unit, but it looks like a promotional sign and it was so high on the building I didn't notice it the first time anyway.
I go inside and it looks real simple. There are the elevators. I push the button and the lady at the information desk asks if I know where I'm going. I explain that I'm going to the Mother's Resource Center on the fourth floor. She says I can only go to the third or fourth floor and mumbles something about critical care and radiology. She doesn't look with it and doesn't seem to know what is going on so I go up to the fourth floor.
After walking around for awhile, I realize this is the critical care unit and there is no Mother's Resource Center here. So, I go back down and sheepishly go up to the lady at the desk and tell her I'm looking for the Mother's Resource Center. She looks blankly at me. "I think it's in the birthing center," I add helpfully. She still has no clue what I'm talking about. I'm thinking, "this is a hospital; they do have babies here, right?"
Suddenly, I see the sweet old lady's light bulb go on. (There is something inside, apparently.) She picks up the phone and dials a number. Someone picks up and she tells them I'm looking for the Mother's Resource Center. Finally, she hands the phone to me. "Hello," I say. "What are you looking for, again?" "The Mother's Resource Center; I think it is part of the Birthing Unit." "Hold on." I'm thinking, "what is she going to do, connect me to them by phone?" She comes back on, "meet me in the lobby." "Okay." I hang up.
The sweet little lady takes the phone from me and then tells me that her daughter knows where everything is because she's the Executive Assistant to the CEO. "So, should we call her back and ask her where the main lobby is?" I think, but only say out loud, "so where is the main lobby?" She points in a general direction and says just keep walking down that hallway. Apparently, I was not in the main lobby, as I had thought.
So, I get to the main lobby (in spite of the directions) and in about 30 seconds this distinguished looking lady comes up to me and asks if I'm looking for the Mother's Resource Center. "Yes." That would be me. Old so-ignorant-can't-even-find-the-breast-pump-rental-so-has-to-get-CEO's-Executive-Assistant-to-show-him-the-way Fear, they call me.
I apologize for taking her time and indicate I didn't intend to take her away from what I am sure is a busy position. She doesn't seem bothered in the least and says, "when your mother asks you to do something, you do it. Besides, I haven't been to that area of the hospital in a long time."
Moral of the Story (kinda)--If you're in a busy position, don't make your mom the info person for your organization unless she has a flawless understanding of every facet of information she might possibly need. Otherwise, you will become the info person for your organization. :)

Saturday Update

Debra checked out of the hospital last night around 5:30 p.m. When we went in to see Caleb, his oxygen was up to 30% again. They told us we would not be able to hold him until Saturday at the earliest.
Debra went back to the hospital to see Caleb last night after we put the kids to bed. His oxygen was still at 30%, but they said that he looked like he needed a "Mommy fix" so they let Debra hold him! You can imagine how thrilled she was. He's doing a pretty good job of sucking on a pacifier and he was rooting while Debra was holding him last night.
Debra said he seemed to calm down and breathe a little more deeply while she was holding him. She went back to the hospital this morning and is hoping to get to hold him again.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Morning update

The main thing we are watching right now is how much oxygen he needs. During the night he went up to about 33%, but as of this morning at about 10 am, he was at 26%. As a reminder, room air is about 21%. So that is quite an improvement.
He looks a little jaundiced, so they are going to do a billyrubin (sp?) count on him.
Doctor Berghdahl (pediatrician) came by this morning and was optimistic in his prognosis. He said that they often see babies like this go home in 7 days. He's on call today and Sunday, so he'll get to superintend over Caleb's recovery this weekend.
Kathy, the nursery nurse during the day, said she was hopeful that we might able to hold him by the end her shift this evening. We're hopeful that holding him and comforting him will be helpful in slowing down his breathing rate.
Debra will get discharged today and it will be hard for her to leave without her baby, but we are comforted knowing that he is in such good hands here and that we are only 5 minutes away.
Thank you for all of your prayers!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Condition improving

We went to see Caleb this evening around 6:30 pm. The first thing I noticed was that his oxygen level was down to 30%. He hadn't been that low since he went on the oxygen mask. Kathy cautioned us that sometimes it yo-yos a little bit before he stabilizes, so it could go back up. But we're grateful for any good news at this point.
The doctor said this morning that the next 24 hours will be key if he is to stabilize quickly. If he can keep it low through the night, hopefully he will start making progress a little more quickly.

More Pictures!

Check out the other blog for more pictures.

Today's Update

We went into see Caleb this morning. He's got a whole bunch of tubes and sensors all over the place and an oxygen mask over his head. He is still needing 35% oxygen. When he is breathing, you can see him just laboring over his breaths and taking what looks like short shallow breaths.
Hannah and Daniel came later this morning and brought cheer to all. Hannah was very interested in looking at Caleb through the window in the nursery. She kept asking "how big is he?" "Well, he's bigger than your doll, Lisa." "Is he bigger than Daniel?" "Ah, no, Daniel is quite a bit bigger than Caleb and probably will be for quite some time."
We went back over a little later and they told us they had to increase his oxygen level to 43%. If it gets to 45%, they will have to take him to Valley Children's Hospital. Clovis Community is only about 5 minutes from our home, but Children's is about 25 minutes. And if they go to Children's, they will probably have to put him on a ventilator.
The Lord has really ministered to us through Caleb's name. Faithful. Our Lord is Faithful. Even through difficult times like a little guy having a hard time breathing, he is Faithful.
Debra's talking to Julie Thurber right now and giving her the blog address (high Julie!).

Good Morning!

I'm sitting in the waiting room waiting for them to let me in to see Debra. I stayed until almost midnight last night, which is pretty good considering I wasn't supposed to be able to stay past 8.
Shortly before leaving the hospital last night, the Lord comforted my heart. He is still in control. Everything that has happened and will happen was ordained by Him for His glory.
We were able to see Caleb again last night shortly before I left, and I was able to talk to the pediatrician about his situation.
As of last night at about midnight, Caleb still needed extra oxygen. Room air is about 21% oxygen and Caleb needed about 35%. If it gets up to 40-45%, they would have to transfer him to Valley Children's Hospital. He also had too high of a level of CO2 in his blood, and the x-rays showed a few patches of moisture, so they needed to give him antibiotics to guard against infection.
I think we get to see him at 8:30 this morning, so I'll try to do another post after that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Caleb Michael Fear

Caleb means "faithful"; Michael means "Who is like the Lord"; Fear is an old English surname that means "friend". When just his first and last names are used, we are saying "Faithful Friend." When his whole name is used we are saying "Faithful, who is like the Lord our Friend."

Please pray for Caleb

Just before they were going to take us to the postpartum room, they determined that Caleb was breathing too many times in a minute and he was very drowsy. They took him to the nursery and decided that he needed to be admitted. That means he won't be able to spend the night with Debra or breastfeed right now.
They are doing x-rays on his chest to see if there are any lung problems. He sounds good on the stethoscope, but that apparently does not always mean his lungs are fine.
The problem with his lungs is probably because he is only 37 weeks. The nurse said he looks more like under 37 weeks.
We are going to be able to go see him in about an hour.
This is pretty hard for Debra because she has always been able to take her babies with her when leaving the LDR area. The other problem is that she has to share a room and technically I'm not supposed to be able to stay with her overnight. I say technically because I've already been here half the night and it will probably be most of the night before I end up leaving.
The nursery just called and they're giving him oxygen too.
Dear God, help our little guy to develop strong lungs so that he can get some good mommy milk like you intended for him.

Active labor . . . Whoops! Birth!

Debra is in active labor right now. She just said she's not far from pushing. So maybe she's actually in transition.
Whoa! Debra said have them check me. Ah, dear, they checked you 30 minutes ago and you weren't even at a 6 quite yet. Do it now! Never argue with a woman in labor. They check her and nurse runs out of room without saying anything. She comes back. I've notified the doctor, you're at a 10.
Doctor comes in 4 mintes later and presto, Caleb Michael Fear was born at 5:38 pm. 7 lbs. 1 oz. And 20.25 inches long. He looks like a masculine version of Hannah. Check out the picture of him on the other blog.

Contractions are heating up

Debra is having bigger contractions now and about once every 4 minutes, although less often when she's lying down.
Its been 6 hours now since her water was broken and she is now at a 4 and 85 % effaced. Now she has to dilate at least a cm an hour, so the doctor is starting her on pitocin (sp?). We tried to avoid it as long as possible but she wasn't progressing fast enough.
The good news is that it is almost certain that doctor Newell will be able to deliver him now. She goes on call at 5 pm.
Debra seems to be doing really well. When we were walking, she was the one voting for just one more lap. She's reading a Jan Karon novel right now which is helpful in taking her mind off the pain. Gram was the one who originally introduced Debra to Karon as a tasteful writer.
Well, with the pitocin started, things should speed up a little now. We'll let you know what happens.


Just back from a brisk 20 minute walk around track here at Clovis Comm. Hospital. That's right the doctor relented and let us hoof it for 20 minutes on 20 minutes off. Hopefully this will get the contractions going and we won't have to do any drugs.
Debra is doing great! She's energetic and relaxed. Right now, she's taking a quick catnap to be rested for her next round of walking.
Interesting tidbit: we saw Bruce Aldrich, a friend of the Templetons, while walking in the hall. He is an LDR nurse and was asking how we were doing.

Walking in circles

Debra is walking in circles right now. She's tethered to two different instruments & can only walk in a circle about five feet in diameter. But she's doing a great job at that.
Well, they just told us that we have to stay in the room. Bummer. I think this doctormay be a little more cautious than doctor Newell.

Wanting to walk

Debra's all hooked up to these IV's and baby monitors, but they let her stand up and if the baby is okay with that they'll let us walk! Woo hoo!
Debra just said that if she had known she was going to sit here all day, she would have brought her scrapbooking stuff. That would've been interesting. Scrapbooking in the hospital.
We're hoping they'll let us walk because we think that will speed up the labor without needing any drugs.


I've been trying to make the blogger mobile features work so I can post picture directly to this blog, but it won't work. But you can view pictures from labor by going to
For those of you who are counting, Debra's water was broken at 9:15 am this morning.

Turn of events

Well, we're still here in the hospital. The doctor says the baby's heart rate dips too low after a contraction, so they wanted to monitor her all night. I stayed at the hospital with her. This was probably the most comfortable night we've ever spent in a hospital, though. The LDR rooms are much nicer than the rest of the hospital.
Last night, the doctor said there was a slight chance we could go home without delivering if everything was perfect. In looking at our charts this morning, I think they will make us have the baby today. We shall see.
I'm going to try to post pictures from the hospital, but I have not gotten it to work yet.

Water broken

The doctor felt it was better to break her bag of waters this morning instead of waiting any longer or letting us go home. So our new little guy will be born sometime today. Hopedully, they let us get up and walk around. Right now, Debra has to stay down for monitoring. She's having some mild contractions and pain on the side where the placenta is.
Oh, yeah, the ultrasound lady estimated the baby's size at 7 lbs. 7 oz. He won't be a runt. ;)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

False alarm?

So here we are at the hospital with Debra all hooked up to the baby monitoring devices. Debra says she is not ready for the baby to come yet. Case in point, we don't even have a firm decision on a name. ;) So little guy, you should probably wait until we get that figured out.
Well, they're doing an ultrasound right now, so I'm going to sign off.
P.S. Fof the techno geeks out there, I'm sending this on my new Treo from the hospital.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Shipwreck on Our Pergo Lake

Peter installed a beautiful Pergo hardwood floor last month throughout our laundry, kitchen, and eating area. I could not be more delighted! Not only is it so easy easy to sweep up, but it looks even better than we thought it would.

Upon laying the Pergo, the kids immediately deemed it "The Lake" because you can lay on your belly and make motions like you're swimming and get somewhere. (I haven't tried this myself, in case you're wondering...)

Since then, we've had many a reinactment of the story of Baby Moses on Lake Pergo with Hannah in the starring role of "Big Sister Miriam" with whomever is available to play the other parts. (My favorite was when she made Uncle Joe the Princess. He can ham it up BIG TIME!)

On Sunday, Peter and I were sitting at the table talking and Hannah was sitting in a rather large box on The Lake. She was making the box sway around and looked a little panicked, until we heard her sing to herself these comforting words:

"Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea."

The Navy Hymn - Eternal Father, Strong to Save.

Thank you Granny for such a wonderful CD!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Conversation with Hannah This Morning

So we are all sitting around the breakfast table this morning . . .

Hannah: In October, we will go to the Meredith's [Koons] house.

Peter: Well, I know we have gone to the Koons' house every October you can remember, but we won't this year because they will be moving to Indiana.

Hannah: China is farther away than Indiana.

Peter: That's right. [Thinking: She's already learning stuff from the singing globe. Maybe its worth the headache of 350 consecutive synthesized versions of America the Beautiful, with occassional breaks for the Candian and Mexican national anthems.]

Hannah: When will Meredith go to Indiana?

Peter: In May, I think.

Hannah: [Expressing obvious disappointment that we will not be able to go to Meredith's house in October.]

Peter: Maybe we can see Mr. Bigger in October since Meredith will be in Indiana.

Hannah: [Brightening up.] Maybe we can go to the park with him.

Peter: I'm sure he would enjoy that. :)

Hannah: [Now talking to the singing globe] This time it will be a Christmas song in Indiana where Meredith is going. [Next song. I think it is O Susanna, Don't You Cry For Me.] That was a basketball song like you see on the TV. [We watched March Madness over the weekend.]

Okay, I've got to get ready for church, so I'll have to stop the live action blogging here. :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Delights to My Heart

The last few days have brought several delights to my heart.

Daniel's language development is taking off. Of course, he's only 18 months, and everything is one or two syllables, but his understanding is growing. It is like watching the sun come up. Life is full of anticipation and wonder!

He has a Thomas the Train calendar in his room that he has been saying "boo" to ever since it turned March. I've been saying "That's a calendar, and this is Gordon (the train)." He says "boo!" Then today, he pointed to Thomas the Train in a book, and a car in another book and exclaimed "boo!" Then it flashed on me: they are all BLUE. He's telling me Gordon is blue! He's right! On top of that, he's been repeating as many sounds as he can: copying Daddy's pronounciation of the bathtub ABCs last night, and today announcing that Mommy is wearing a "cos" (cross necklace).

My most recent delight was at lunchtime. It was just starting to rain so I took Daniel out into the rain. We don't get much precipitation here, so our kids think that thunder, rain and lightning happen at the produce section of the grocery store. I let him feel the rain on his face and hands and we looked up at the sky and I told him "this is rain!" The look of delight and wonder on his face was one I hope I never forget, like "WOW! This is what we've been talking about in my books!" I love sharing these moments with them. I'm so thankful to be home with them! I still remember Hannah discovering "real rain" in Florida when she was almost 2 years old. She danced in the rain until she was sopping wet.

Speaking of Hannah, she has had her own discoveries. She is fascinated with clocks right now. Everywhere we go, she counts the clocks. My mom bought her a book last week that teaches telling time, and she does this book several times a day. It works. She is looking at analog clocks and telling us what time it is! She is about 90% accurate with something on the hour, and about 50% accurate with most other times (ie. 11:20am). Peter is amazed. He says he's relearning telling time with her, because he never really caught on and it is so easy to rely on digital clocks.

The last delight I have is actually and answer to prayer. Hannah has had a breakthrough with potty training and is doing her "brown poopoos" in the potty. I am ecstatic!!! I am just praying that we can make this a habit before the baby is born. - Less than 6 weeks left now!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bartimaeus and the Sweater

This morning after Hannah came to wake us up, she went back to her room to play for a few minutes. Before too long, we could hear the following, in increasing tones:

Hannah: I need a sweater. I'm cold.

Hannah: Did you hear me? I said I need a sweater. Somebody, get me a sweater.

Hannah: Get me a sweater right now. I'm calling you!

Hannah: Why is no one getting me a sweater? Daddy, Mommy, Daniel, New Baby - somebody get me a sweater!

Hannah: I'm like Blind Bartimaeus! I NEED a sweater!

Throughout this line of request, Peter and I are laying thinking about the fact that she can sometimes be so demanding, and that we are not going to give into this and reinforce this behavior. But when Bartimaeus came up, we just burst out laughing!

In case you are unfamiliar with the story of Bartimaeus, it is found in Mark 10:46-52. Just outside of Jericho sat a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. He called out to Jesus through the throngs of people, and Jesus not only sorted out his voice, but came and healed him - restoring his sight.

Apparently Hannah just knew that crying out like Bartimaeus did got results...and they did. Peter got up and gave her a sweater.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Things we need...

Our daughter. I don't know where she comes up with some of these things...She was having a little tea party the other day on the patio outside the kitchen window while I was cleaning up the lunch dishes. I looked outside just in time to see Hannah, arms outstretched to the heavens, imploringly crying out "Oh Lord, we need more chicken!!!"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Our Getaway

Peter and I were blessed to have a little getaway weekend a few weeks ago for his birthday/our upcoming anniversary. We went to the Tenaya Lodge just outside of Yosemite, where we spent part of our honeymoon. It was so special!

When we drove up on Friday night, it was nice and cool, but no snow. By morning, we had LOTS of snow, which continued to come down all day. We went on a 1.5 mile hike in the snow to a partially frozen creek, as well as just rested, talked, and had a great time enjoying our time together with no children to interrupt! (They stayed in Fresno with my parents...)

By the time we left on Sunday, we had received almost 18 inches of snow. Peter had to dig out our car! It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had a lovely drive home, followed by a birthday dinner at my parents house.

The kids had (of course) a splended time with Mimi and Papa, and were still glad to see us.

All in all, it was a special weekend. I'm so glad we could do this before our new baby comes in April!

This was the view from our room!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thoughts on Providence

I did a TV interview last night for a local television station on the proposed moratorium on the death penalty in California. I always have a few butterflies when I do something like that and I've been ruminating on why that might be. (I had more butterflies when I did a live interview a few weeks ago. Taped interviews are a lot easier.) I think it is because I don't have an experiential understanding of Providence. I've been readying a book on John Adams that was given to me for Christmas. (Great book by the way. David McCullough is the author.) I've been struck by his peace later in life, even when things seemed to be going haywire. He always referred back to "Providence" and placed the outcome in His hands. I think the reason I get nervous before I do something like that is that I'm too worried about the effect my failure might have on the "cause" or my own personal welfare (e.g., if the failure is for a client in court). No matter how much I intellectually assent to the idea of God's omniscience and omnipotence, if I don't practically experience the reality of those omni's (i.e., His peace), I am not really believing Him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In the beginning...

Peter sat me down last night and told me that I needed a blog. That sounded fine to me, so he set me up. The only problem is that I feel that I have nothing witty or profound to say!

In the absence of the former, I will settle for something I think everyone would rather see anyway... now if I could only figure out how to put it where I want it...

This is the four (actually five) of us at Thanksgiving in Florida.