Cooking and Baking

Now that I seem to be feeling better, I’m spending more time in the kitchen. Yesterday, I made tacos and spanish rice. I actually made the spanish rice myself and not from a mix.I’m very proud of myself. It turned out very yummy!

This morning, I made pinwheels and puppy chow. The pictures above aren’t of the stuff I made since I haven’t taken any pictures. I just wanted to have some pictures anyway! Ethan and I also baked a cake. And for good measure, I also made sweet and sour meatballs. I’ve never made meatballs before. I’ve always bought them premade at the store. I hope they turned out alright. It’s hard to tell if I got them done all the way through.

We’re heading out for a New Year’s Eve party tonight. The kids took a long time to fall asleep for their nap. Maybe that will help us to last longer at the party! I just don’t know how long this pregnant girl will be able to stay up. 10:00 is really pushing it for me. We’ll see.

Happy New Year!

Budding artists





So they started out clothed until Daddy’s idea to do finger painting. The talent in this family is amazing!

The kids are napping and I’m munching on puppy chow. I was going to bring some to the New Year’s Eve party tomorrow night, but I had to test it. Now, I think we’ll just eat this stuff and I’ll make more for tomorrow. So, I’ll whip up another batch and then attempt sweet and sour meatballs in the crockpot and pinwheels. Ambitious? Maybe I’m making up for the months of not feeling well enough to spend any time in the kitchen. I even have my “Joy of Cooking” book laying on the counter waiting for me to study.

Yesterday, I listened to the Focus on the Family interview with Steven Curtis Chapman. He talked about dealing with the death of his 5 year old daughter, Maria. The interview was spread over three days. If you can find it online, I recommend listening to it. In listening, I discovered that Steven recorded a fourth verse to the song “Yours” after Maria’s death. I found it on Youtube. The new lyrics are amazing:

“I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you”

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Christmas and Roommate photos



I’ll write a more lengthy update later, but I wanted to get the pictures posted now. It’s our tradition to get new pj’s for Christmas so I picked up some really cute flannel ones at WalMart for the kids. These photos are from Christmas morning.

In other big news, Audrey and Ethan are sharing a room. They love it. It takes a little longer to go to sleep, but once they do, if one wakes up, it doesn’t bother the other one at all. This morning was a different story though. Ethan woke up at 5:30 and decided to get his sister up. They both came traipsing into our room so early. We made Ethan go back to bed and Daddy and Audrey went downstairs to play one of Daddy’s new games!

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Feeling better

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I’m feeling better. Yesterday was a really good day. I feel like I may be ready to rejoin society again!

Ethan and Audrey had fun playing with water colors and play doh for a lot of the afternoon. We ventured to Target in the morning and got some Christmas shopping done. I have not felt up to that for a while. It was nice to get out. While there, I actually saw the OB who did my ultrasound! Not being very excited about shopping in general, I didn’t last long before deciding to head home.

I don’t remember if I mentioned the baby’s heart beat in the last post. For those of you keeping track, it was 160. I weighed in at 3 lbs below where I was when we I found out we were pregnant. I was surprised to see that there was a digital display on the scale at the doctor’s office.

The kids seem healthy. Audrey is over her stomach flu. Ethan is fine except for a runny nose. Audrey wants her diaper changed all the time. Once the holidays are over, we’ll start working on potty training. Hopefully, we can be done with diapers for a few months.

Doctor Appointment today

Today was my initial OB appointment with my doctor. She didn’t need to see me until I was 12 weeks and I hit that milestone last Friday. Nathan was looking forward to going and hearing the heartbeat. However, that didn’t work out so well. Audrey was up for several hours throwing up which meant we couldn’t bring her to our friend’s house. Nathan planned to just stay with the kids and go to work after my appointment. Before I could call Marie and tell her that the kids wouldn’t be coming over, she called to tell us that 4 of her kids were sick!

The first OB appointment is much longer than the subsequent ones. It generally includes a full physical which accounts to much of the extra time. We discussed my experience with Ethan and Audrey. I mentioned my concern that I had an infection that may have helped lead to my preterm labor issues. They found that I did have it with Audrey when I went to the hospital with preterm labor and I’m pretty sure I had it and it was undiagnosed with Ethan. She screened me for underlying infections today and will start screening me again after 24 weeks. It feels good to be proactive about it.

Then she asked me about Audrey’s delivery. Looking back at my chart, she said I was 5cm when I was admitted in labor with her. She asked how long my labor was (1 1/2 hours), how long I had to push (a minute- maybe), and how far away from the hospital we were (25 minutes). She said that in cases where they worry about patients being able to make it to the hospital, they will sometimes induce them when there is evidence that the baby’s lungs are ready. If we know we’re having a girl, she would consider doing an amnio at 36 weeks. If baby is a boy, she would wait to 37 weeks (I’ve never made it that far). The results of the amnio should say whether the lungs are developed enough to deliver. If they are ready, she would induce.

Given my situation, she wanted to be very sure on exactly how far along I am because every single day makes such a huge difference in the development of the baby. So, she said she wanted me to have an ultrasound. I just needed to finish my bloodwork and wait for the OB (I see a family doctor) to have a few minutes to squeeze me in to his schedule. Finally, he had a few minutes and they jellied up my belly and looked for the baby. I’ve never experienced an early ultrasound before. The clinic machines aren’t as good as the hospital ones, but it was still cool to see. It turns out, our little one is measuring about a week ahead of where we thought. I thought we were 12 weeks and 4 days and the baby is actually measuring 13 weeks and 5 days! That moves my due date to June 18. I didn’t scan our photo, but this is a photo I found online of a baby at the same stage of development. Baby is the size of a shrimp right now.

Some good news

Matthew is getting better. He received a diagnosis of HHV6. He is getting better and his liver will slowly return back to normal size. It presented in an atypical way, so and the initial test for it was negative, but indicated he had it in the past. Thank you for your prayers. The Hedtke’s are thrilled and thanking God for this miracle. I’m going to tell Ethan that Matthew is feeling better. He will be happy!

I Surrender All

Todd Smtih “I Surrender All” from Matthew Singleton on Vimeo.

After sharing a testimony of losing his newborn daughter just hours after her birth, Todd Smith sang this song at his church. There is power in singing words like “All to Jesus, I surrender” when you’re actually living it out. I thought of their story as I’ve been praying for Tim and his family. They are very literally living out one of the hardest “surrenders” I can think of.

There has been no update on Matthew yet. So far, the doctors have not found what is causing his liver to enlarge. John Stumbo continues his recovery. It hasn’t been an easy process and this is still a very serious condition.

Finally, and most urgently, please contine to pray for the Friesen’s. Pray for peace for their family, for safe travel for the service on Sunday, and that God would use this heartbreaking experience for their family in a miraculous way. Pray for a special touch on Patsy and their adult children: Kristen, Tim, Ryan and Jennifer.

Breathing better

This is going to be long. I’ll do my best not to ramble.

Last night was the last session of the women’s Bible study that I led this fall. We did a twelve-week intensive look at the book of Daniel. One chapter a week. And it was hard. The women were/are incredible. This was not a study for light-weights. I don’t know what your idea of a woman’s Bible study is, but this was a group of women who came prepared (for the most part) every week. They shared and they prayed together. And this study wasn’t something that was really “about us”. The last 6 weeks were about prophecy. That’s not an easy topic. We persevered and made it through. Anyway, I digress. . .

Yesterday, as I wrote before, was really hard. I was feeling so miserable as I was getting ready to leave for Bible study. I took a couple extra minutes being sick in the bathroom before heading out the door. Carla, a friend in the study who comes early and helps me, arrived a few minutes after me. It took all of 5 minutes before I started blubbering to her. She just hugged me and prayed for me. Then she told me that she had brought all her maternity clothes for me! So, she blessed me emotionally and materially!

After our discussion time during the study, we watch a DVD that is usually about an hour long. If I’m feeling very motivated, I preview it ahead of time. My mom would always do this. I think it was because she viewed women’s ministry as her career once we flew out of the nest. I didn’t get around to previewing it this week so I didn’t know what would be included in this session.

I don’t even remember the context of the story or how it all fit together, but, Beth Moore shared a story about her daughter needing surgery during her junior year of high school and that she had to spend some time in the ICU. Beth had brought her pillow so she could spend the night “sleeping” in the ICU waiting area between times that she was allowed to be in her daughter’s room. At some point during the night, a man came into the waiting room and didn’t know that she was there. His son had been in a bad accident and was in a coma and not expected to live. The details of the story are hazy, but I think she said that he was just sobbing and she talked about the experience of facing death and how when Christ returns to fight his final battle, it would be against death, and He would be victorious.

I joked last week with the women at my table that my default response in most situations is to cry. This story just blew me away though. I was feeling so fragile already and the picture of a man sobbing in an ICU waiting room at the news of his son’s condition resonated with me. The tears kept falling and I had to seriously brace myself to keep from weeping out loud. It’s one thing to cry in front of a bunch of ladies. It’s another thing completely to start wailing! I wanted to hold it together at least a little.

When we prayed at the end of the evening, one of the women said that she would like to pray for the health of my baby. I shared with the women about how my day had been. These gracious women prayed for me and this tiny baby in my belly. The woman who prayed even asked the Lord to give the baby some of the characteristics that my mom had. It was a very sweet prayer.

That’s a very cool story, in and of itself, but that’s not all. This same woman had mentioned, in a conversation many weeks ago that she had a brain tumor at one point. After the study last night, I worked up the courage to ask her about it. She took my hand and put it on her head and she actually has, for lack of a better word, “dents” in her head from where they removed the tumor. It was not cancerous and they found it before anything serious happened. She has a miraculous story.

There were some neat blessing in between the ickyness yesterday. I don’t wish this sort of morning sickness on anyone. I certainly don’t wish morning sickness in combination with completely clogged sinuses on anyone. There is nothing like leaning over the toilet to be sick while all the pressure continues to mount in your head.

But I’m breathing better today. Thank you, Lord, and to those of you who prayed for me. I feel a little better. I was the tiniest bit productive! I started out my day with a phone call to Joyce Counihan. I’ve known her and her family for most of my life. Her husband, Roger, lost a 5 month battle with brain cancer last year. He was a dear friend of my dad’s. I had not spoken with her since Roger’s funeral, but I just wanted to call her. She is a sweet kindred spirit and understands loss in a way that most people don’t.

I’ll have more to say tomorrow. For now, I’m tired and planning to go to bed.

Hard day

I’m so tired of feeling sick. Morning sickness and a horrible cold and sinus stuff if miserable. Feeling like this is so overwhelming and depressing. More than anything, I just want my mom to come and take care of me.

I miss her so much. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my heart aches. I’ve been sitting here crying for the last half hour. I keep thinking that I’ll run out of tears soon, but they keep coming.