Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm Sick and Tired....

...of all the sick and tiredness.

Poor David, he didn't feel well starting Holy Wednesday, but by Holy Saturday was feeling great. That lasted till Easter Monday night and then the coughing started. And it didn't stop. And he didn't sleep. And I didn't sleep. And on Tuesday he felt worse, and the coughing continued. And continued, and continued. A slight fever accompanied the hacking along with a raw throat and sore stomach muscles.

Wednesday I took him to the doctor - yep viral, he couldn't even have drugs. Although the doc did prescribe cough syrup with codeine to help him sleep. But of course, it didn't work, he coughed that night again and couldn't sleep. And neither could I. I suggested he try the couch, because then he would be reclining and maybe could sleep better. You know, I was only thinking of his best interest at 1:30 in the morning.

More of the same Thursday and Friday. I called and asked the retired Pastor in our congregation if he would cover services this weekend. He graciously accepted. Finally last night David slept (still on the couch). But....

Abby went to bed not feeling well. And Sammy awoke this morning saying his throat hurt and the coughing kept him up "all night." And then Ellie said she isn't feeling so great.

I guess I'll be wearing the nurse hat for awhile longer. And really, I shouldn't complain, they took care of me last year; I simply hate that they feel so yucky and there isn't a lot I can do for them.

Maybe I should have titled the post, "I Hate Spring" as it seems that is when we get our bugs. I'm going to work on building back up our immune systems. My mom wants me to spray everything with Lysol, but I hate the smell, so I'm washing all the blankets once again and encouraging more hand washing, and reminding them to cover their noses and mouths, etc. So what do you do when you're family is sick?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A favorite song from growing up

My Parents listened to country music. Mom's favorites were Charlie Pride and Conway Twitty while Dad was partial to Loretta Lynn. We watched every week, Hee-Haw, and the Grand Ole Opry; along with the Dolly Parton Show and The Barbara Mandrell Show (who was my favorite).

We vacationed in Nashville and even watched a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Country music was playing in the house in the background all the time. My sister and I would sing along all the time while at home or while travelling in the car, even taking turns doing the backup parts.

On Sunday mornings while getting ready for church the radio would still be on, but being a country station, gospel music was playing. I remembering hearing them as I went about the house getting ready for church, but I don't remember paying any attention to them until one in particular began. I loved this one, I laughed and laughed imagining the antics and Dad guffawed, and Mom chuckled and Jenny thought it funny too.

I've always remembered this and wouldn't you know, it is on you tube! Thanks to my brother-in-law Sam, who asked me if I'd ever heard it while at their home on Easter Sunday for dinner. Oh yeah, I love that song, I said. So he played it for me and now I share it with you.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nathan Glen Edward

8 years ago today, God turned my sorrow into joy. Having ridden an emotional roller coaster for the previous two weeks due to my father's sudden death, I was now being driven to the hospital early in the morning by David in order to be given antibiotics for Beta Strep and then induced to deliver my third child.

It was a normal Thursday morning. My mom and sister had arrived late the night before, attended the Midweek Lenten services with us, and were now ready to watch our two oldest and await the news of number 3.

My mind was on labor and deliver. I didn't really want to be induced, yet again, like the last two times. But I also trusted my doctor. I was measuring two weeks bigger than the 40 weeks the calendar showed (Boy did I look and feel big, too!) which concerned him; plus he wanted two doses of antibiotics in me prior to delivery in order to stem the chances of baby coming down with beta strep while moving through the birth canal. And I knew what could happen with this virus as two sister-in-laws both had children in the same year who had contracted beta strep during delivery, just a couple of years prior; one of whom was really sick and whisked away to a hospital that was better equipped to care for the child. Although both children were now healthy, I knew I didn't want to go down the same road.

We arrived at the hospital at 6am, and the nurses started the iv with the anti-biotics at 7am. At 8am the doctor broke my water. All morning David and I read, snoozed, watched a little tv and talked. The nurses wouldn't let me get up to walk because the baby's head wouldn't stay engaged and they didn't want to take any chances that the umbilical cord would come down in the way. By 1pm labor still hadn't begun (which after my water breaking naturally with number 2 and no labor at all for 12+hours afterwards, I wasn't so surprised this time) so the second dose of the antibiotics were given along with an epidural and at 2pm they began the pitocin for inducing labor. It seemed my body needed a jump start one more time.

3 hours later at 5:15pm, the doctor was a bit concerned that the baby's head still wouldn't stay engaged, but I was fully ready to deliver; he therefore gave the okay to begin my final work. At 5:31pm our first born son arrived. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I couldn't keep from smiling. Our boy, our big boy, at 9lbs 14 oz and 22 inches long was placed in my arms. Oh and his head was 14.5 inches which is why he wouldn't stay in the right place, it was just too tight for him to stay where he should.

The name Nathan Glen Edward was given to him. We had always intended that if this child was a boy he would be Isaac Edgar Carl. Isaac after the great man of faith and Edgar Carl in honor of David's father who also bears that name. But after my Dad had left this world of sorrow on March 9th and was laid to rest on the 14th, we decided to change the name to what we had always planned our second son's name to be. Nathan would be in honor of King David's pastor in the Old Testament and Glen Edward in honor of my father who now worshiped with Nathan the prophet in heaven.

In two weeks my sorrow was turned into joy.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!

Happy 8th Birthday Nathan Glen Edward! Not only do you bear your Papaw's name you remind me of him in several ways. Like your Papaw, you love biscuits and sausage gravy, all kinds of pie, and fishing. Plus you always want to look nice, your shirt tucked in and wearing a belt, just like Papaw would have.

May God keep you in your baptismal grace until that day when you, too, may sing with all the angels and archangels and your papaw and your great-grandma whose birthday was also today, and all the company of heaven glorifying God and saying, "Hosanna to God in the Highest!"

He's Risen! He's Risen!

He's risen, He's risen, Christ Jesus, the Lord;
He opened death's prison, the incarnate, true Word,
Break forth, hosts of heaven, in jubilant song
And earth, sea, and mountain their praises prolong.

The foe was triumphant when on Calvary
The Lord of creation was nailed to the tree.
In Satan's domain did the hosts shout and jeer,
For Jesus was slain, whom the evil ones fear.

But short was their triumph; the Savior arose,
And death, hell, and Satan He vanquished, His foes.
The conquering Lord lifts His banner on high;
He lives, yes, He lives, and will never-more die.

O, where is your sting, death? We fear you no more;
Christ rose, and now open is fair Eden's door.
For all our transgressions His blood does atone;
Redeemed and forgiven, we now are His own.

Then sing your hosannas and raise your glad voice;
Proclaim the blest tidings that all may rejoice.
Laud, honor, and praise to the Lamb that was slain;
With Father and Spirit He ever shall reign.
(LSB 480)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cranach's Altar Piece

It is done. The poster of Cranach's altar piece at the City church in Wittenberg, is framed and now hung in the vestry.
We are quite happy with the way it turned out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random thoughts

I realize more and more how out of touch I am. And sometimes I wonder why I care and sometimes I wonder if it matters and sometimes I am really embarrassed.

How does a Pastor go about teaching a congregation when the congregation doesn't see the need? When the value of learning Bible stories or hymns is quite low but perceived by the people to be okay? When it breaks my heart, I can only imagine how much more it must break the heart of the Pastor and even more so the heart of Christ.

The only nice thing about the kids wearing holes in their jeans throughout the winter is that now that some days are more spring-like, I don't mind them wearing those jeans outside getting full of mud.

I've enjoyed reading Alexander Dumas's "Three Musketeers" and "Twenty Years After." This week I'll pick up at the library "The Man in the Iron Mask" in order to finish the trilogy.

Why do so many Christians not attend services during Holy Week?

Why do I care what other people think?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kitchen Window View

This is what my kitchen window sill looks like.

Yep, every one of them was delicious.

Although we did like some more than others.
I've rated them and wrote them down, so next time we purchase, I'll know which was our favorites. Currently the Aventinis (thanks Paul!) and the Franziskaner and the Hacker-Pschorr are at the top. We didn't really like the Warsteiner and the Kostriker Schwarzbier was okay.

That is one draw back of visiting Germany. We drank too much good beer there. Now I'm spoiled and I only want the good stuff.

Remember I wrote about Jim, who along with his wife went to Germany with us and was called home to heaven a couple of weeks ago? Well, at the funeral luncheon, Berness gave me one of the roses from Jim's bouquet. When I came home, I couldn't find my single bud vase, so I improvised.

Somehow it just seemed appropriate. Jim loved good beer too and we enjoyed them together while in Germany.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Pastor's Study

Finally after 5 years and 1 month since our move to this town, my dearest has a study which is more conducive to work. When we moved it was right before the beginning of Lent so he pretty much unpacked his books and put them onto the shelves without too much rhyme or reason. The years passed and the desk, provided by the church, kept getting piled higher; books were piling on the floor in increasing stacks; papers for this group, that group and the other were put hither, thither, and yon; books and papers left from previous years that should have been sorted through before David's joined the party were still there, collecting dust.

But not anymore. The church bought him a new desk so we could throw away the deteriorating college-like computer table, and the old metal school-teacher desk was moved out and put into the Sunday School superintendent's office. This past Monday we worked all afternoon sorting through the books and papers and organizing and making it look like this:Doesn't that look nice?

I made labels for his three-ring binders. Now he can easily see which one he needs instead of having to open up everyone like before.

He now has baskets for his various papers for Catechesis and Board meetings.

All books are in nice neat rows, easily accessible and all that go together are together. And just look at him putting his brand new Ancient Christian Commentary that arrived in the mail right where it belongs.

See that space near the wall with the two tubs on the floor and the three shelves above? That is where the old computer desk sat. Once taking that out, he could add those new shelves (which aren't actually new, they were in storage) and now books aren't piled on the floor in front of the shelves blocking the walkway.

See his nice, new desk? He has room to spread out his books while working on Bible Classes or Sermons, or whatever.

And just look at him working away, deep in thought.

But wait what's this? Was he really looking at the computer working or was he stealing glances over at the shelf on the wall? Wait, is that a picture? Of what?

Ah, how sweet.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Glen Edward

I wasn't going to post about my dad today on this the 8th anniversary of his falling asleep in the Lord. It isn't that I haven't thought about him or miss him, but that I just didn't know what to say. But after arriving home this evening from a niece's afternoon birthday party, I decided to unwind by reading blogs. While reading Pr. Stuckwisch's, I knew I had to link to it.

Even though there are days I cry and really miss my dad, I know I will see him again. I hope and believe in Christ as my dad did and as he taught me. I know he rests now from his labors and one day I shall too; and on the Last Day God will raise me and all the dead and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.

"Oh how blest are they whose toils are ended,
Who through death have unto God ascended!
They have arisen
From the cares which keep us still in prison."

"We are still as in a dungeon living,
Still oppressed with sorrow and misgiving;
Our undertakings
Are but toils and troubles and heart-breakings."

"They meanwhile are in their chambers sleeping,
Quiet and set free from all their weeping;
No cross or sadness
There can hinder their untroubled gladness."

"Christ has wiped away their tears forever;
they have that for which we still endeavor.
By them are chanted
Songs that ne'er to mortal ears were granted."

"Come, O Christ, and loose the chains that bind us;
Lead us forth and cast this world behind us.
With You, the Anointed,
Finds the soul its joy and rest appointed." (LSB 679)

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Bargle nawdle zous?" What Did You Say?

Nathan was trying to relate a story at the dinner table. Hannah and Ellie responded and David looked at me and said, "What did they just say? Is there a translator? I only heard mumbling." So after making them repeat their funny story, without laughing and without chewing at the same time, we finally got it.

And then David and I reminisced about this:

I love the marbles falling out of the mouth. We also had to do a search and watch all the other Weird Al videos. They crack me up.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hope in the face of death

The midweek Lenten services have been on the great "I am" statements of Jesus as recorded in the book of John. Last night was "I am the resurrection and the life." In a week when I and many in the church are still mourning the loss of a fellow brother who was laid to rest last week, the word of Christ preached in the sermon last night was once again a comfort to me. Even more so that this Sunday, March 9th, marks the 8th anniversary of my own father's heavenly birthday. Following are the last two paragraphs of last night's sermon.

"This, dear friends, is our sure and certain comfort and hope both when we mourn the death of a loved one and when we face our own mortality and death. Our Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Him, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Him shall never die. Your loved ones who died with faith in Christ are not dead and gone, nor do they simply live on in your memory or in the people and projects they loved. They are alive in Christ, and dwell with Him in joy and peace this very minute. And you will see them again in soul and body on the day of the resurrection of all flesh. For on that day, Jesus shall stand at their graves and cry out in a loud voice, "Friend, come out." And they shall awake and arise just as surely as Lazarus did.

The only question is, "Do you believe this?" And may you answer with Martha, and thus have joy and peace even in the face of death: "Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world. I believe that You are the Resurrection and the Life. And thus I know that both I and my loved ones who believe in You will rise again on the Last Day." In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Yes Lord, I believe. Comfort me in my sorrow.

Two of the verses of the hymn sung at my father's funeral:
"I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever-living head."

"He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart."

Two of the verses of the hymn sung at Jim's funeral and then again as the closing hymn last evening:
"I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still if Thou abide with me!"

"Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes:
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav'n's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On-Line Friends

This past weekend 3 of my Looper friends came to my home for a "Mommapalooza." These get-away weeekends started a few years ago and are held all over, basically whenever and wherever Looper moms get together to eat, drink, be merry, and soak in each others friendship while someone else holds down the fort at home. This then allows us stay-at-home, homeschool moms a much needed break from our little angels while gaining wisdom, laughter, and much needed adult conversation with like-minded women.

The only trouble is that we get so busy talking, laughing, eating, and being merry that we forget to take pictures. Although I did snap a couple late one night (talking takes precedence over sleep on these weekends).

Here is Rhonda from Iowa.

Here is Lissa from Minnesota.

Here is Melanie from South Dakota.

They came to my home on Friday night. Lissa brought an absolutely delicious beer cheese soup for supper. Yum, yum. And then we sat around and talked till the wee early morning hours, enjoying chocolate from a fellow Looper who wanted to join us but couldn't - thanks Rachel!
On Saturday we lazed around in the morning before putting ourselves together for a day of shopping! First we stopped at Penzey's. Oh I love their spices and had a whole list of needs and came away with those and some wants. Rhonda, Lissa, and Melanie were excited to visit the store for the first time and all came away with a stash of herbs and spices to try.

Next stop was Mall of America. Boy oh boy was it crowded! We found out later that Jeopardy was holding auditions and therefore contestant hopefuls had flooded the mall besides the normal Saturday crowd. But that didn't stop us! We walked around and shopped and talked and window shopped and walked and talked and walked some more.

For a late lunch we chose to eat someplace we normally don't go with our kids, so McDonald's it was.

Just kidding.

We ate at the Nappa Valley Grill. Yum, yum. We each had something different and all agreed it was very delicious. That energized us for more walking, shopping, and talking all the way till a late supper at the Nordstrom Cafe. By then we were tired and ready to make the drive home.

But once we were back at my home, a second wind gave us the ability to stay up, talking some more until the wee hours of the morning.

On Sunday morning we worshiped together and then had to say good-bye to Lissa, that isn't the fun part of the weekend. Rhonda and Melanie were able to stay for Bible Class and then brunch and a little longer before heading home, which allowed me to remember to take one more picture. I should have thought about it before Lissa left, but forgot, sorry Lissa. So here is Rhonda, Melanie, and me.

Then more good-byes and Rhonda and Melanie left to go back home to their families. I relaxed on the couch watching the NASCAR race and feeling renewed to once again tackle my duties as wife, mom, teacher and various other roles. I hope they felt the same.

Thanks for coming ladies. I hope we can do it again soon, it is such a treat. And maybe then I can remember to take more pictures.