Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I actually am growing to like the wheat tortillas, they aren't bad at all - in fact rather flavorful. Amy's dad loves to grill burgers, of course to get maximum flavor they aren't exactly of the leanest variety. He was kind enough to grill me a chicken breast, and while you would think that would be adequate for the ol' food journal entry, it was shunned for having white bread - just eat it with no bread she says, or half the bread with extra lettuce.
I do hope I can find stuff that I enjoy eating while still staying healthy, or I am going to reach a point where I just won't care. After all God put on this planet to live a fun and happy life; good food is part of that. In January I start traveling again, four days and three nights out of every week I will be gone. Eating healthy is going to be the greatest challenge during this time. My trainers response was to go to the store and purchase the South Beach prepared meals. I don't think I can handle that. I don't want frozen food, I want fresh food -- sandwiches are okay with mustard, but when I mentioned Swiss cheese she was reluctant to say okay (although she eventually agreed the Swiss was acceptable).
2400 calories, that's what I am suppose to be eating, as I begin to keep track it will be interesting to see how close to that I can stay. Chili from Wendy's is okay, the wraps from McDonald's, not so much. If you have fun ideas let me know. Tonight for the party we are taking a taco dip with chips, and brownies. I will probably eat some of this stuff, this may be omitted on my food journal.
Have a great time tonight, and we will chat next year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We had a wonderful Christmas, as expected young Claire got more gifts than anybody else -- she is a very blessed young lady. We cannot wait to have her in our arms in just a few months. Amy is very busy shopping for all the perfect accessories for the nursery (would you believe she found a chandelier for a ceiling fan?). And ever the bargain hunter she has found the perfect dresser at IKEA, but is really wanting to get a coupon. If anyone knows how to get a coupon let us know!! Amy remembered that when she signed up with them online they emailed her a 20% off one item coupon. So --- you guessed it -- I have now been signed up, and given orders to closely monitor my email for any said coupons that may arrive.
This morning the alarm went off way to early. I'm usually one to just pop right out of bed, and bounce on over to the shower. But not today, I was having a hard time getting motivated, but the funniest part (yes I actually laughed out loud) was the search for my tie. Amy keeps a very organized house, and I always put my tie in EXACTLY the same spot. So when I looked there for it and didn't find it I was dumbfounded. I searched for nearly ten minutes all over the house for this crazy bit of polyester madness. I left the closet for like the fourth time, and took just a moment to glance in the mirror to see a perfectly tied tie around my neck -- all this time. First thought -- GREAT BLOG POST -- that's how we know we are serious bloggers.
We saw a great movie last week called 'Yes Man.' Jim Carey just doesn't do enough movies anymore, he is so ridiculously funny. My favorite part was this woman who had a jogging photo club. Seriously people meet up and jog while snapping impromptu photos as they go. How funny!! I have a friend who once answered his phone while jogging (before the days of blue tooth mind you). I'll never forget how crazy I thought that was. hearing that he was out of breath, I asked if he was okay. "Oh no just jogging," he replied as if it was perfectly normal.
Amy and I are going to meet some new people for the New Year -- fun modo. It turns out now that we are expecting we have something in common with some people -- I feel the need to get us all together and have a shindig. So three pregnant ladies and three dads to be (the dads all know each other of course) it will be the ladies that are going to have the meet and greet fun!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Nanny, Mom and Pops
Pops and Nanny
Here's a copy of the eulogy I gave so that you will know what a wonderful man he really was.
Psalm 91:16 says “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Pops always said that he wanted to live to be 90-years-old. He lived to be 90 years, 10 months and 22 days old. He lived a long, full life. He was very blessed and well-satisfied.
Jack Walter Raines was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend.
He was married to Ethel Violet Nutt Raines for 69 ½ very happy years. He loved her better than I’ve ever known any man to love any woman. She was the love of his life, and he loved her like crazy.
Pops was an ordinary man who had an extraordinary impact on those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of his life. He was well liked by everyone who knew him. He was patient, kind and soft-spoken. He loved to laugh and loved to sing.
He enjoyed Sunday school and his church friends. He was saved in 1951; and he loved gospel music and loved singing in the choir and in The Church Quartet.
He played baseball as a young man and developed a love for the sport. His favorite team was the St. Louis Cardinals. He loved watching baseball and talking about the stats.
Pops retired at age 62 and enjoyed 28 years of retirement. He and Nanny took bus tours and visited 28 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada. He spent 19 years building martin houses and other woodcrafts that he and Nanny sold at arts and crafts shows.
But his pride and joy was his family. He never missed a birthday party or a holiday or a special event. He always arrived early and stayed until the party was over – soaking up every moment.
He loved to laugh and always had a silly joke or corny story to share with us.
He taught all of his grandkids how to throw and catch a baseball; and he coached our little league teams.
Some of my favorite memories are days spent in his shop – the smell of the sawdust, the sound of the saws whirring and country music playing on the radio in the background. He taught all of us how to hammer a nail and how to sand wood; and he taught the boys how to run the saws.
He attended our basketball games, our band concerts, our band contests, the parades we marched in and every event in which we performed. He never missed our special moments. He loved cheering us on. In his book, we were always the best; and he made sure that we knew it.
Evenings at Pops’ house consisted of watching Hee-Haw and Dukes of Hazard while enjoying root beer floats. Holidays were always so special – especially Christmas. He decorated the house from top to bottom. And he always cheated while opening his presents – lifting the paper on all sides so that when his turn came he only had to toss the paper aside to reveal his gift.
I Thessalonians 4:13-14 from the Message says this: “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”
And I believe that Pops would agree with Paul who wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7, “This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believing all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—and God's applause!”
We miss Pops, but we didn’t lose him. We know where he is. The grave does not have the last word. Pops is in Heaven – singing, shouting, dancing, running. He fought a good fight and finished his course with joy. Today is the day that he lived his whole life for, and we can celebrate with him.
Proverbs 10:7 tells us that “the memory of the righteous will be a blessing.” We were all so blessed to have been part of his life, and every memory that we have of our time with him will continue to be a blessing to us.
The last time that I visited with Pops, I was able to tell him that we are expecting Claire. His whole face lit up. He was so excited. It's such a wonderful memory. When I told him goodbye, he told me that he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. That's exactly how I will always remember him - as a loving grandfather who was thrilled to be getting a new great-granddaughter.
My family is doing well. We are, of course, missing Pops very much. But we are taking care of one another and appreciate your prayers.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
for your reference here are the names we had up
and the winner.... Shabalatabushalatquiba .. I got these names from a website that allows teachers to post crazy names from their attendance rolls. My favorite was of course Lashanawonnika (just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?) And sadly DaDiamond had no votes. I'm really hoping somebody takes the challenge of Operation Bull-Honkey (see previous post), and submits the results this week, what fun.
In other news Burger King has launched a mens fragrance line -- Flame -- its meat scented. Here is the website should you REALLY need such a dastardly product. Meat scented indeed!
Thank you for the calls and texts of concern, yes there was a small mishap with a Continental airplane in Denver yesterday, no I was not on the airplane, and am perfectly safe sitting at home waiting for a call to rush into action.
Now on to the results of our Christmas Decor Galore post and the answers to the hints about what was an ' Upcoming announcement.' The winner for the clues was Daddy Doyce. He guessed nearly every clue, missing only the reason for the Rubber Duck, which of course represented the size of little Claire at the time of the post. Other clues, three Christmas trees on the dresser, four gifts under the tree (Maggie included), four stockings, the snowman on the boxing glove looks pregnant, four ornaments in the crystal bowl, and the small nativity consisting of only Mum, Dad, and baby. Way to go Doyce, his prize is my presence at the Christmas celebration this week, yeah for him.
Finally we haven't told you how cleverly cute little Claire was during our last ultrasound. Claire was feeling being touched by the pressure the technician was applying, and would reach with her hand to try to figure out what was touching her. So adorable!! The technician was looking at the head to measure the size of her brain (its the perfect size of course), and Claire kept touching her head, more than likely posing for her picture. She is already so much fun, we can't wait get have her with us in 145 days!!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
On to other news -- Amy left yesterday morning to be with her family, as her maternal Grandfather is not well, and her presence was requested to aid in logistical matters. So this leaves me and my perfect schedule which has me home every night very lonely, and missing my Bride. Last night I was on the Internet until I couldn't stand it, then I turned on the TV. I started watching Modern Marvels, a show that I enjoy -- the said fondness is not shared by Amy.
Its a good thing I watched because I had NO IDEA that the word hello, although initially used by Mark Twain in some literary works, was actually made popular with the invention of the telephone. Another thing that our friend Thomas Edison gave us, the word hello. His friend Alex Bell (As I call him) wanted the term 'Ahoy-hoy' --- or 'Ahoy! Ahoy!' used as a salutation when answering the new telecommunications gizmo.
Based on this new found knowledge I am going to declare this upcoming week Ahoy-hoy week. When calling me this is how I will answer, so be prepared, or call me just for a chuckle. I will table my choice of greeting for Christmas day, because while I EXPECT to receive a lot of phone calls that day, I traditionally like to answer Merry Christmas on the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
In Kingsville, Texas a resident convinced the county commissioners to delegate "Heaven-o" as the county's official greeting. This took place in 1997, I'm not sure if it is still an official greeting, but somebody please call them ((361) 595-8585) and if they don't answer "Heaven-o" inquire as to why, and leave a comment to let us know the results of your special mission. I'll call this operation "Bull-Honkey." The reason the resident was so offended was because of the word as it stands without the 'O'. I did some research and rest assured that the word hello is not etymologically related to any other word, its a word all by itself -- incidentally Ahoy-hoy is also a term un-related to any other term.
My Grandma Mary use to answer "Mmmm-yellow." Don't laugh, we all know somebody who answered, or answers this way. Grandma Mary also kept a whistle at the ready near her phone, the purpose was of course to deter telemarketers, and "'Crank' callers."
Speaking of prank calls, my cousins and I somehow got the number for the United Kingdom information service when I was a kid. It was an 800 number, so our parents were none the wiser, but we would constantly call the number, and the operators were always so nice. They would answer any questions we had and transfer us to any business we asked them to transfer us to. I remember being transferred to hotels, where we would ask how much a reservation would cost to sleep in a sleeping bag in the lobby. The people were always so polite, and would play along with us until we got bored and would hang up.
I have to tell you that we are so elated about the upcoming birth of little Claire. I had this little girl in one of my swim classes back in the day named Claire -- she was so adorable, and would always fib to me that she lived at the Embassy Suites -- and when asked what the letter E was for -- her answer was always an elated 'Embassy!!' There was also an Elliot in that class who would always put his hand up in the middle of the class so that he could ask me a question (I didn't invent the hand raising rule, he did.) "Yes Elliot," "Umm, I need a toilet!!" How cute, I love that he needed a toilet, not "I have to go," or "Can I use the restroom?" Too funny!
I have put a poll on the side of our blog just for fun -- these are some of the names Amy and I considered before selecting Claire -- vote for your favorite, maybe our next little girl will be named after the winner.
We'll chat soon -- have a great weekend.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Claire is about the size of a soda can and weighs between five and seven ounces. She is about five inches long. This week her fingerprints formed.
The name Claire means "clear or bright" (according to some sources, it also means "famous"). The name Elise means "consecrated to God."
I felt her move for the first time during the flight to New York on Monday evening. This was my first clue that she was a girl. She must have known that we were headed to Fifth Avenue in NYC for some great shopping!
We are so excited about our baby girl! Stay tuned for more updates...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
IT SNOWED while we were there, another first for us. We were really hoping this would happen, our dream came true.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Most of our family and friends are aware of this by now, but many of you may not know what a miracle this little one is. Steve and I have been trying to have a baby for three years. This is our story of how our dream has become a reality.
After we had been married for a year, Steve and I decided to start our family. If you've known us that long or if you've read our blog all along, you'll remember that after one year and twelve days of marriage, Steve moved to Houston; and I remained in Tulsa. We lived apart for six months. So it was no surprise that we didn't get pregnant right away.
Two years ago, after a little more than a year of trying, we sat in church on Mother’s Day. Our pastor’s wife asked all of the mothers to stand so that she could pray over them and bless them. Before she began her prayer, she spoke to those who were seated. She said, “If you’re not standing but you’d like to be, I want you to know that God hasn’t forgotten you.” She went on to quote some scriptures:
Psalm 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Deuteronomy 7:13, 14 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb… Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you.
Psalm 84:11 ...no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Then she quoted Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Then she made a statement that has stuck with me ever since. She said, “God is a good God; and He wants to give it to you more than you want it for yourself.”
I knew that was for me. God was not withholding anything from me. He wanted me to have a baby more than I wanted a baby for myself. Babies are His reward; and He wants to bless me.
Steven and I began praying together every night for our children. We thanked God for them and spoke health and blessings over them. We spoke favor over them. We have done this every night since and continue to do so.
Last October, after two years of trying to have a baby, my doctor decided to run some tests. She diagnosed me with PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It sounds worse than it is, since it really can’t hurt you. But it can prevent you from conceiving a baby. Steven and I believe in healing; and after this diagnosis, we knew exactly how to pray. We began speaking to my body and telling it to come in line with the Word.
My doctor referred me to a fertility specialist right away, but I was uncomfortable and didn't make the appointment.
Sometime this past Spring, while sitting in our Sunday School class, our teacher quoted someone else who frequently says, “God is the kindest person I know.” While it seems like a simple statement, it is one of the most profound things I have ever heard. God is the kindest person I know. He really is. And He wants to give me a baby.
In July of this year, nine months after being diagnosed with PCOS, Steve and I met with a fertility specialist. (According to medical science, the only way I was going to conceive was with some help from fertility treatments.) While I really wanted a baby and wanted more than anything to give Steven a child of his own, I HATED the idea of becoming a human pin cushion. I didn't want to be just a body. I'm a person with feelings and emotions, and I was feeling real pain over not being able to do something so simple as get pregnant. However, after much discussion with my husband, I relented and scheduled the appointment. After all, I know that God uses doctors and will give them wisdom in assisting us.
Our meeting consisted of a conversation in a conference room with the top fertility specialist in the country – who just happens to be in Houston. She read over my medical records and asked me a bunch of questions. She was very kind and compassionate; and in a very strange way, she was very encouraging and calming. After hearing my answers to her questions, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “You do not have PCOS. You have been misdiagnosed.” I can’t begin to describe the relief that flooded over me. Even though Steven and I were standing in faith and believing for healing in my body, it’s nice to have someone, the expert in her field, tell you that you don’t have the horrible-sounding syndrome that someone else has pronounced over you. She said that she would like to run some more tests to see what was going on with my body. She asked me to call when my next cycle started so that they could schedule the tests. (They needed to make sure that I wasn’t pregnant when they began the tests.)
In August, I had no cycle. (I attributed this to the stress of the thought of the impending tests.) One Sunday morning, our music minister at church shared her testimony of how she wanted children. Six years ago, after several years of trying, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Ever since, she’s been wanting more children but has been unable to conceive. Through an amazing God-connection, she was able to adopt newborn twins. She sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness as they displayed a slide show of her new babies and her family. As I stood there, singing along with her, I knew that if God would do it for her, He would do it for me. My babies were coming - one way or the other. (What I didn’t know as I stood there singing was that I was already pregnant!)
I quit my job the first of September; and Steven and I began traveling full-time. We started our fall tour in Maine. While in Maine, I woke up every morning either feeling queasy or starving. Either way, food fixed it. (It’s important to know that I am not usually a breakfast eater. In general, I don’t like breakfast foods; and I’m not usually hungry when I wake up.) No cycle in September either. (I attributed this to the change in my schedule with the traveling.)
While returning from New York in October, I was seated in first class. (In coach, you are given cereal, a muffin and some fruit for breakfast. But in first class, you are given a full, hot breakfast.) The lady next to me ordered one of everything they had to offer. Something on her plate – which I think was the herbed eggs – made me sick to my stomach. I spent the entire plane ride popping peppermints and downing ice water to keep from tossing my cookies. The next morning, I woke up and was immediately sick. I spent the next week in the recliner. I felt horrible. I was sick to my stomach and tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. And I did. No cycle in October either. (Again, I figured it had something to do with being ill, traveling, stress or something else.)
On November 3rd (the day before election day), Steve decided that we needed to buy a pregnancy test. At 4:00 a.m. on November 4th, I woke up to go to the bathroom and took one of the tests. I didn’t have my glasses on or contacts in, so I was unsure about what I thought I saw. I woke Steve and made him come look at the results. He was elated! We had a positive pregnancy test!!!
That afternoon I called my doctor to schedule an appointment. After hearing my story, they wanted me to come in immediately since no one knew exactly how far along I was. On Thursday, November 6th, Steve and I went to the doctor and heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Then we had an ultrasound to determine how far along I was – 13 weeks and 6 days. I had been completely unaware during my first trimester. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE people!)
I am now 18 weeks along. God is so good! He is the kindest person I know! He is no respecter of persons. If He did it for someone else, He’ll do it for me; and He did. How did He do it? Why did it take so long? I don’t know. Nor do I care. God is a good God. And He did it. He did it for me. He did it for me and Steven. It doesn’t matter that it didn’t happen as we thought it would. It doesn’t matter that it didn’t happen when we thought it would. What matters is that it happened! We’re having a baby – a miracle baby – a gift from God! This baby was His idea, and He couldn’t wait to give it to us!
We are headed back to the doctor this coming Thursday (the 18th) for an ultrasound to find out if we're having a boy or a girl. They will also confirm or adjust my due date during this appointment.
Steven and I are so excited about this baby! We know without a shadow of doubt that this baby is a blessing and a miracle from God.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
One of the trainers at the gym offered me a great deal so I met with her for the first time yesterday. Now remember I spent four years in the USAF, and have worked out inconsistently for the last ten years or so (aside from running which I enjoy and do at least three days a week). So the first thing this lady who claims to be forty-four but looks more like 24 says to me is "What do you do for exercise?" I reply about my running routine, to which she remarks "IS THAT ALL." How rude, I think I'm doing very well do be running three times a week -- although obviously its not exactly achieving the goals I was hoping for.
So we begin -- I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and am certainly not a quitter, so I politely do everything she asks. Finally she says "Are you feeling ANY burn?" -- well of course I am -- I guess I wasn't showing it, which is a mistake -- don't do that; let them know you feel the pain.
I am seriously as exhausted as I've been ever in my life after about forty-five minutes. At this point not only am I questioning my ability to keep down my delicious lunch of Chicken Enchiladas (with salad of course) -- but I'm not exactly sure I can walk out of the building unassisted. I barely had the strength to turn the steering wheel on the drive home. One down nine more sessions to go. I've decided my goal for next week is to make it through the whole hour (baby steps).
Today the weather in Houston is going to be cool-cold (high of 45) WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF SLEET OR SNOW FLURRIES!! -- this is big news for us. I was suppose to have the whole week off of flying, but volunteered to go in today for one trip just to get some ice and snow flying - it may sound crazy, but ask any Houston based pilot; they would likely to do the same.
Tomorrow Amy and I are headed to Phoenix -- while there to visit my Grandparents (who 'winter' in the desert) we are going to tour Gold Field, which is a 'Ghost Town' long abandoned by miners. Should be a fun time -- we will certainly share pictures. And for those of you who are blog hounds, and have connected the dots with my subliminal messages from the 'Christmas Decor Galore' post, along with the random comments that have been left; you can expect a special announcement on Friday!!
We'll chat soon.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This tree is 22 feet tall, and is really a beacon in the neighborhood. I can see it from the airplane when I am flying at night, but sadly I have yet to achieve my goal of making our house stand out so well from the air that I could actually point it out the the passengers, this will be next years goal.
Oh yes that is a Pottery Barn star on top of our tree.
Well I hope we didn't disappoint anyone with our much hyped Christmas Decor Galore post. We have had a wonderful time this Fall traveling around and seeing everyone in both of our families. This last week we were in Washington and Oregon, next week we are going to Phoenix which will conclude our nationwide tour. Christmas cards are in the mail, look forward to receiving them soon. We hope everyone has a great weekend, and we will chat soon.
Steve and Amy