Friday, December 15, 2006

Charity Promise




Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, some of you know I'm a bit paranoid about putting pictures on the internet, LOL, but I've had so many kind folks ask about a picture of Charity. The Ram and I discussed it, and, seeing as though she's perfectly safe in Jesus' arms, we decided it would be OK to post this picture. :-)
Some asked if we used makeup on Charity, as her lips were so red. No, she had no makeup at all. Her entire life, she had perfect little rosebud lips. :-)
God bless you all.
The Ewe

P.S. The swan is a gift from LionessLamb. She had bought it for her baby sister for Christmas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Flock's Back Home!

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, we're all home in the Big City again. We actually got home a couple nights ago.
I wanted to share the words to a hymn that has come to mind repeatedly over the past couple weeks. The title is _He Giveth More Grace_ and the composer is Annie Flint.



"He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again."


Friends, we have experienced every line and phrase of that song over the past 2 weeks. During childbirth, there came a point (as there always does ;-) when I said, "Nope. I can't do this." Now, I've said that during every delivery, and I know it's what they call an "emotional milestone" of labor. But, when you're in the middle of it, you really believe it! I thought, "THIS time I MEAN it!! I *can't* do it!!!" The Ram calmly, knowingly said, "You CAN do it! You ARE doing it! You've done it 4 times before!" About that time, I asked the midwife to check my progress (you gals know what that means, lol ;-) Six cm. Just over half way dilated. Bummer. With the other babies I was at least 7 cm before I "Couldn't do it." LOL This time, I thought, "If I've got to do this so many more hours, I just can't." But, somehow, the Lord granted just enough endurance to get through just ONE MORE contraction.
See, when we look at The Whole Elephant, we think, "Wow. I could never eat that whole thing!!" But if we just concentrate on "One bite at a time" we can eventually eat that rascal. Now, don't chase that rabbit--I'm not talking about gluttony, lol, but rather disciplining our mind. During labor, I need my husband there, filling my mind with truth, placing his hands over mine on the reins as I try to steer my thoughts away from fear and panic.
Now, I don't remember much from between the "I can't do this" moment to holding Lil Miss H and Sunflower Girl in my arms. But, I'm sitting here, two weeks later and, guess what?! BY GOD'S GRACE, I *did* do it! I don't understand it.
I don't understand the peace that the Lord gave us as we said goodbye to our beloved daughter. I don't understand the peace he gave as we buried my dear mother, only a couple days later (Grandma Ewe died the day after Sunflower Girl).
I don't understand why He loved us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment (death) so that we can be with Him in heaven one day. We can't earn that grace. It is a gift from God.
Oh me...I've rambled on again. I hear The Ram coming in with groceries. I tell you what, I'm a "kept woman." :-)
Hey, here's another favor you can do for me...if you haven't found your Christmas music yet, rustle around in that old cardboard box (or wherever) and see if you can't find it. It's Jesus' Birthday!!! Let's celebrate!

Gotta run...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Look! I'm small enough to fit in my *maternity clothes* now!!!"
The Ewe, after losing 40 pounds, LOL!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ugh...The Flu

Hed-do Fweinds...
We all haf codes in our nodes. (sniff)

We've decided to stay Down South at least another day to recover. I'm feeling much, much better, but The Ram is really "under it." The children are doing very well--just some sniffles now.

Guess what...
I have feet!! AND I can now wash the bottom of my (squishy, soft ;-) belly without using a big, long loofah. LOL What an adventure. Wouldn't trade it for anything...

Ok...gotta run...er walk pretty slowly. When you lose that much weight that quickly, ye olde Balance takes a while to uh, re-balance. Tee hee!

Hey, do me a favor. Write a note today to someone you've lost touch with, Ok?

Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Monday, December 04, 2006

Little Miss H's Grand Feat

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I'm still mostly just resting in bed, but I just had to pop on here to brag on "The Latest Edition." L.M.H. is, I know, destined for greatness. (blush) Yes, indeed, at a mere 6 days old she shed her umbilical cord!!! Hurray!!! I'll admit to you that those cords have always grossed me out a bit. LOL With nearly every baby, The Ram has received a near-panic phone call at work, with me in tears over the state of New Baby's navel. Mercifully, this one fell off in record time. :-)
Ok...back to hibernating and kissing the baby.
BTW--keep praying for us...the flu's struck now. grrr...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Hey look!!! Now I only look *9* months pregnant!!" The Ewe, one day after delivering the twins--and losing 36 pounds in 24 hours. LOL

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wonderful Ministry

Hello all,
We had had some folks ask about a "favorite charity" to donate to in memory of Charity.
There are two:
www.alexandrashouse.com Look over this website. It is a very unique ministry--one that has blessed us during this time. We plan to do what we can to promote it in any way.
Also, consider your local crisis pregnancy/abortion alternative center. I learned that most babies diagnosed prenatally with spina bifida (Charity's initial diagnosis)are aborted. I will tell you, though we only had her a couple hours, I wouldn't trade those precious moments for anything in the world. That time was worth every minute of my head hung over the toilet, every groan I uttered while trying to turn over in bed there at the end, every contraction that nearly pushed me over the edge, every discomfort I've experienced over the last 9 months. What joys I would have missed out on if I'd never known Charity Promise.
Ok...back to bed. Love you guys!
The Ewe

Friday, December 01, 2006

Very Quick Update

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
The Ewe has had quite a week, and I need to take to bed...but I wanted to give you a nutshell version of the week:

Sunday, Nov. 26: Hannah Ruth was born at 2:05 p.m. weighing 8lbs 12oz
Charity Promise was born at 3:05 p.m. weighing 9lbs 3oz

Charity Promise went to Jesus' arms around 5:30 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 27: The Ewe's Mama passed on to Jesus' arms (she had Alzheimer's and many other physical problems)

Tuesday, Nov. 28: We had a small memorial service for Charity

Thursday, Nov.30: Ewe's Mama's funeral

Today, Friday, Dec 1: Ewe and Flock arrive at GrandRams' for a few days of rest and recovery.

I will post many more details as rest allows. :-)

Many blessings,
The Ewe
P.S. Y'all keep your wool dry!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

:)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is lioness. In the words of Tater Tot "baby sisys gona pop out and walk!" but not to soon,the ewe is in the early labor. please pray for them.

Lioness

Monday, November 20, 2006

My (Ice) Water Broke!!!!

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Well, The Ewe is hanging in here...and her belly is hanging down! LOL This fact has provided a few situations that were either funny, or embarrassing or both. Mainly both--I usually choose to "Find the Funny," as I believe the Bible when it says, "A merry heart does good, like medicine." :-)
Church was very nice yesterday, though we missed The Ram. (Worship always serves to make us really miss The Ram, when we're apart.) I did have a moment of panic, when it seemed either I or the babies could fit through the gap between pews, but not the whole group. With a little maneuvering, I got all 3 of us in. LOL Last week, it was a matter of my asking to be moved to a table, instead of a booth, at a restaurant. There was no amount of maneuvering that was getting me into that tight squeeze! LOL
Then, last night...my favorite Silly Story of Pregnancy...
I had drunk a drink while sitting in a recliner. When the drink was gone, I wasn't ready to get up yet, and at this girth, I don't take "Getting Up" lightly. ;-) So, I set the cup of ice kind of between my thigh and the underside of my belly, and promptly forgot about it.
Thirty minutes later, I was ready to get up. I leaned forward to heave myself up, and suddenly, water started pouring onto my feet!!! Could my water have broken?!?! Uh, no...if it had, there was a problem...as there was ICE in it, LOL!!!
I sat there, dumbfounded, with ice and water pouring onto my feet, thinking, "WHERE is that COMING FROM?!?!" When I looked down, I couldn't see the cup--my belly had hidden it, LOL. I reached down and felt it and suddenly remembered that I'd set it there. I called for Lovable to come help me stem the tide and clean up. We got a very hearty laugh about that.
Well, I'm going to run...er..walk slowly. Y'all keep your wool dry!

The Ewe
Quote of the Day: "Mini-hands make light work." The Ram, borrowing an Amish saying to apply to our little ones. :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Babies or No Babies???

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I know some of you are wondering, "Did The Ewe have the Lambs on Veteran's Day??" LOL Nah...No babies yet. I did have a prenatal checkup that day. When we first got there, my blood pressure was up--we call it Traffic Induced Hypertension. By the end of my checkup, though, it had come back down to "acceptable." Also, my iron level was up, which was great. It had been way too low and I'd been strenuously trying to raise it. It was good to know all the extra stuff I've been doing is paying off. :-)
Really, that's about all the news there is...I am having "Braxton-Hicks" contractions, but nothing strong/regular enough to produce babies. Y'all can pray for me that my body acts as it should and actually goes into labor. That's only happened once--our first baby, Lioness. I've seen 3 doctors, trying to figure out what hormone strangeness keeps me from starting labor, but none of them have discovered the problem. This time, I'm praying the increased hormones of the twin pregnancy will make a difference.
Well, the Lambies are drawing Nordic Sumo Bunnies and I'm very interested to see them...so...I'm going to sign off for now and update as The Situation unfolds.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "I am a Nordic Sumo Bunny." --body-less computer voice, animating Lioness' cartoon

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Babies Update

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, we're settled in here Down South. :-)
Monday evening, we had a prenatal appointment and then ultrasound. Baby A weighs 8 pounds already! We suspect Lil B weighs about the same, but the sonographer couldn't really do his calculations because of the severe hydrocephalus. This Sonographer Extraordinaire was able to find the fissure in her skull that has caused the encephalocele. Sadly, it appeared to me that her brain deformity has actually worsened.
Baby A is hale and hearty. :-) Her head is low and ready to go. We can hardly wait to get our hands on her and her sis.
I'm doing well. Praying that labor starts before long.
Well, I'm going to waddle off for now--I'll try to keep you informed. Thanks for all the prayers!
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Friday, November 03, 2006

Exciting Times

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, The Ewe would be kicking up her heels today--if she could, LOL! Guess I'll just have to settle for a "siss, boom BAAAAH!!" :-)
GrandRamama woke me up this morning to let me know that our new lil' niece had been born. Yay!!! We're told The Ram's sis did a fantastic job of giving birth and her husband was a terrific coach! The RamFam spent some time on our knees last night, beseeching the Father on behalf of the B. family. The Lord is good. Sigh...
It's been funny this year--a bunch of ladies close to me were pregnant. My due date--Nov. 29--was the last of the long line of due dates. Seemed like *everyone* was having her baby, but Nov. never got any closer. LOL Well, my turn's coming now. I'm 36 1/2 weeks. The Lambies and I will move our Base of Operation Down South this weekend, to be nearer our beloved midwife. Emotions for me are mixed, a bit, as we don't know exactly what we're facing. Still, peace reigns.
I'll update from the Southland...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Baby M has been born...At HOME!" --The GrandRamama

Monday, October 30, 2006

Neat Thing that Happened Last Sunday

Hi, F.O.T.E.'s,
How is life treating you? We're doing well...plugging right along. I'm now almost 36 weeks along with these twin girlies and, outside of being t-i-r-e-d, I'm feeling pretty good. I do pace myself and try not to attempt too much, as exertion brings on a lot of uncomfortable contractions. These gals could use at least another week of simmering before we lift the lid. ;-) We have another ultrasound next week. I will update you about that afterward...
You know, the Lord KNOWS. Really! "Knows *what?*" you ask. Everything!
Last week, The Ram and Lionness went out on an errand. During some goofing off when they got back home to the garage, somehow, The Ram's house key got lost in the van. After extensive looking, it was spotted down in the housing of the driver's side seat belt assembly. We thought surely we could fish it out. Well, suffice it to say that after *many* "casts," that "fish" wasn't "biting." We employed small children to stuff their fingers down in the slot to try to reach it. No dice. Sigh. So, I let The Ram have my key, as the Lambs and I were about to head South for a few days to go to a prenatal checkup.
Fast forward to the night (yawn) Lambies and I drove back to MO...I discovered on the way, thanks to a very, very wet diaper on Tater Tot, that I'd left our diapers Down South. I called home to ask The Ram to go pick up some, as I knew we *needed* some when we got home.
Well, due to a series of events, The Ram got locked out of the house. We brainstormed many possible solutions--most of which involved property damage, lol. I was about 30 minutes from home at that point.
After one more attempt by a small fry to retrieve the key in the van, we decided to see if Home Depot had one of those "magnets-on-a-steeck" that might work to pull out that stubborn key.
Well, Home Depot was already closed. We were right next door to Walmart and *still* needed diapers, so The Ram went in to get something for T.T.'s hiney. We still didn't know how we were going to get in our house.
I had been praying all the way home--reminding God that we needed His solution to our problem. He stayed close-lipped. ;-)
While the Lambs and I waited outside Walmart, a white work van pulled into the parking lot. On the side was painted, "Drivers' Friend Roadside Assistance." God whispered in my ear, "He'll help you." I kinda shook it off--*I* definitely wasn't going to approach a strange man in the middle of the night. The man went inside.
After a few minutes, The Ram came out with the dipes. We sat in the van a minute, gathering thoughts and deciding what to do. As we were about to leave the parking lot, the Drivers' Friend man came out and was loading things into his van. I said to The Ram, "He looks like the kind of guy who could get this key out of this hole."
The Ram decided it was worth a try, so he drove over to the man and told him our sad tale.
Well, ten minutes later, with *no* property damage, the man handed us the key. All the while he worked, he had been talking on his cell phone, lol.
We told the Lambies how God's solutions don't necessarily come when we want them, but it's awfully important to wait for HIS solution and not trust our feeble little girly-man attempts to fix ourselves.
Well, must run...er, waddle. I'll try to keep you updated... Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "SURRENDER!!! Or taste my sword!!!" Tater Tot, wielding a stick.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Just the Quote, Ma'am...

Quote of the Day: "I'll mow the grass when y'all are gone. I don't want the kids to see me doing that. That's what goats are for..." The Ram

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kids These Days

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
The Flock and I are about to run off to pick up The Ram from a conference thing he's been at this week...Can't wait to see him...
We're about over our colds. The weather's cooled off again...Life's good. :-)
I read this article and wanted to share it. As you drive through town, averting your eyes from the "hiney-cracks" of the teenage boys wearing pants 11 sizes too big, and you're tempted to think of words like, "...in a handbasket...", think about the boys in this article. There *are* responsible, respectable young men out there. Thank God for them.

http://www.therebelution.com/blog/2006/08/modern-day-gentleman/

Gotta run...y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote(s) of the Day: "When I was born, I was a baby." --Tater Tot

"Salt can fix anything. (pause) That's food. (pause, pause)
Except maybe pie..." --Lovable

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Autumn Has Betrayed Me

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
I bet you're wondering about that title, eh? LOL Oh my...
You remember me bragging on the great temperatures we'd been enjoying? Well, for 3 days now, we've had record high temps! Up in the mid-90's. EEK!!! And only in the 70's for lows at night. AND...to top it off...our air went out!!! ACK!!! On the weekend...
I'll confess--when The Ewe gets overheated, she gets a little irrational. The mind doesn't work just right. Sigh...
But, the h/vac folks came to our rescue yesterday, so I'm coming back to my senses. I even had to pull the cover up on me in bed last night! That doesn't usually happen. :-)
Ah...air conditioning is a great invention!
Gotta run...I'm going to go sit over the air vent...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Get your blankets out, Girls...Mama's gonna be COOL!!!" The Ewe

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Read It and Laugh

I laughed. Really hard...




LETTER FROM A FARM KID,
(NOW AT San Diego MARINE CORPS RECRUIT TRAINING.)

Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 A.M. but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful flat The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none. This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,
Carol

Rainbows

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
How is Sat. treating you? The Lambs and I are recovering from what turned out to be a nasty virus. The little ones are still coughing pretty badly, but all fever is gone and they are perking right up. I think I caught the worst of it. Now, my voice is pretty much gone. So, right now, *The Ewe* is squeaking like a *mouse* and waddling like a *duck,* LOL!
I was just thinking this morning that we are approaching the 2 year anniversary of The Ram's deployment to The Sandbox. He left the middle of Oct, 2004. It feels like yesterday. Veterans' Day will be the one year anniversary of his homecoming. My, how the years fly!!!
Do you remember my post from right before The Ram left? When I was driving home in the rain from an errand we all took and I was pouring out my hurts and fears to the Lord while the rest of the van slept? Then, out of the rain, the Lord gave me a rainbow to remind me of His promise? Well...
A few weeks ago, when I was driving home alone from my high level ultrasound, the sky opened up and rained like crazy. I had already been crying as I drove along, grieving over Baby B's severe birth defect. Somehow, the rain was a comfort--as if God were weeping along with me. Suddenly, the thought hit me, "He's given me a rainbow! Where is it??" Though the rain was pouring down, I started looking for that beautiful sign. It took some time, but finally I found my rainbow. It was behind me. It could have been there a long time before I found it, I just had to stop driving so I could look harder. I was immediately filled with such peace. I felt God pouring out His Comfort on me. The Holy Spirit had filled our van and I was overcome with gratitude to my Lord. Now, it might seem strange to some how I could be feeling gratitude when a doctor had just told me that one of my precious, beloved babies was going to die. I really can't explain it. The Bible calls it "peace that passes understanding." It certainly passed *my* understanding, so there's no way I could explain it to anyone else, LOL! The thing I was rejoicing in was not that my baby was sick, but that the Lord is The LORD. He *is* in control. He *is* merciful. He *is* good--ALL the time. Who am I to expect to understand HIS ways? Personally, I do not *want* a God whom I fully understand. I need a God so much bigger than me, that I know any problem I have is infinitely smaller than Him. His wisdom is way deeper than I can comprehend.
That rainbow was like a hug from God. We are being refined like silver in fire. It hurts...but I trust my Lord. We don't know what the Lord plans for our little Baby B--or Baby A or any of our Lambs for that matter--but we know He loves us and will carry us through all our trials.
Well, I've typed on and on today, eh? :-) Just felt like I needed to share.
Hey, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Police officer? Yes, there is a bear in my soup." Tater Tot, talking into a play phone, holding a plastic toy bear in a toy cooking pot. :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ok...I'm Spoiled/ Winner of the Ewe-manitarian Award

Hello F.O.T.E.s!
I can definitely feel myself becoming spoiled. I just had my groceries delivered to my kitchen counter, by way of a local grocery store's delivery gal. I filled out my order last night online, then she brought them right into my kitchen just minutes ago. Wow. Who'da thunk?
So far, this is my favorite perk of living near a big city. Ummm...maybe the only one yet...except for the part about The Ram having a job and all...That's a really big perk. ;-) Besides, without that perk, we couldn't afford the other one.
Anyway, I think I could get used to grocery shopping from my computer chair. Especially right now, when it would take who-knows-how-long for me to waddle myself around a grocery story, LOL!
Becky was the delivery gal's name. I considered telling her, "I thank you and my womb thanks you..." but I decided that might weird her out and she'd be reluctant to bring my groceries again, LOL. So, I just said, "Thanks." It seemed to be enough.
An aside: I and all the Lambies are sick. Just colds, so no big deal...but annoying, none the less. Even more reason to have my food delivered. :-)
I also want to nominate my new friend, D.J. for the "Ewe-manitarian Award" for telling me about the grocery store that delivers. THANKS, D.J.!! HUGS!
Ok...gotta go put away the groceries. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "I have beaver right here..." Tater Tot, holding his *feverish* forehead

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Couple Random Thoughts and Quotes

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Hope things are going well for you all.
The Lambies and I drove over to Ft. Leavenworth, KS today to take care of some errands for The Ram. The leaves are just beginning to change here and it's becoming quite a pretty drive. It seems to me the prairie sky here is bluer, with whiter clouds than in our Old Home State. Plus, contrary to what I'd expected, there are beautiful, rolling hills with lots of trees. Of course, I'm referring to the rural area. In The City it's like other cities--a concrete skyline broken up by steel and the occasional brick. ;-) (You can tell my preference, eh? LOL) I guess I've really become a "prairie muffin." (Google Prairie Muffin Manifesto.)
Don't guess I've really got much else to share today. I've been mind-bogglingly (like my new word?) tired. I'm thinking it really *does* take more energy to grow two babies, as compared to one. ;-)
I'm going to leave you with a couple quotes I like--one from a Famous Guy, one from a Future Famous Guy.
Famous Guy:
"How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about
(arithmetic),
and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?
How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone,
and narrow to be everything to someone?
No; a woman's function is laborious because it is gigantic,
not because it is minute."
~G.K. Chesterton

Future Famous Guy:
"Beeee--you-tiful moooorrrr-ning GORLY!" sung at the top of his lungs by Tater Tot...and, no...that last word *isn't* mistyped. LOL That song has been passed down for a few generations in the RamFam. It is used to encourage late sleepers to get out of bed. :-)


Hey, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Couple Good Days

Hi F.O.T.E.'s,
Hope things are going well with you all. I just have to share that today and yesterday, I have felt such a warmth around me. I know many of you are keeping us lifted in prayer and I have to say "Thank you." I believe He is The One sustaining us during this time. I know we have a lot left to face--and we don't really even know what the near future will entail--but I definitely believe The Lord is in control and will never let us down.
So, how is the weather where you are? In in MO, I'm loving it! It's not been over 72 degrees in weeks!! This is my favorite time of year. I call it the "nice, cool drink after the long summer." My lambies joke that, "Mom hibernates in *the
summer!*" With the cooler weather, I've been accompanying The Flock to the local park each evening after supper this week. Everyone has his or her (mostly her!) tricks they like to show Mama and Daddy. It's been so nice to just sit back in my jacket (!) and laugh with abandon at their antics. I told Lioness last night that the cooler weather invigorates me. She said, "Great! You wanna walk laps with me?" That started me laughing so hard, I could hardly keep waddling along, LOL.
Indeed, I get very tired, much quicker these days. I really have to pace myself. Still, I've been so blessed. Carrying twins brings on bed rest for some folks. I'm so happy that my health has been good during this pregnancy. I don't take that for granted.
Well, I need to run...Time to get dinner going. The Ram will (I hope) be home before long. (He's swamped with "end-of-the-fiscal-year" craziness.)
Hey, it's raining here--y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Because I *do*!" Tater Tot

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

She's Baaaaaa-ck! Plus Important Info

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s (provided there are any of you left reading after my long hiatus, LOL),
Well, some of you will be surprised to know that the RamFam is *not* living in Europe now. (Job fell through.)
Some of you will be glad to know that we have recently moved to Kansas City, MO, where The Ram is working for the Corp of Engineers.
Some of you will be surprised to find out that we are expecting. (I'm now 30 weeks along.)
Some of you will be surprised to hear that it's TWINS! Two more girls! (ROTFLOL!)
And (deep breath)... some will not have yet heard that one of our precious babies has a life threatening birth defect. We are faced now with planning a birth and funeral, all at the same time. Certainly, we are asking God for a miracle, but at the same time, facing the possibility that His answer for our Lamb will be "the ultimate healing."
Never before has life been so bittersweet. We were intitially told that, though Baby A appears to be perfectly normal, Baby B has spina bifida--certainly a challenge, though not necessarily fatal. In more specialized ultrasounds, however, and through consultations with specialists at Vanderbilt University, we have found that Lil' B has an "encephalocele" --which is not her major problem--but also is missing 90% of her brain (her major problem.) The first specialist said Lil' B would die within minutes of birth...the second specialist opined that she could live minutes, to hours, to days, to weeks to months, but most assuredly not as much as a year.
The Ram and I are disciplining our mind to accept any amount of time with her as a most treasured gift.
And, really, you know...none of us knows how much time we have with any of our loved ones. It's an overdone quip, but true: "Every day is a gift...that's why it's called 'The Present'"
Keep us in your prayers. We never know when the tears are going to sneak up--anything and everything can trigger them. It's sad to think that Lil A could very possibly begin her sweet life without the companion she's shared a womb with for so many months...
Hey, go hug your babies for me...And keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Cajun! That's not sweet, that's spicy!" anon. lady at a restaurant

Monday, May 01, 2006

Funny Story from History

Hey F.O.T.E.'s!
I'm panting. (puff, puff) I've just sat down from another 2 hour time block of packing/sorting/decluttering. The days we were sick surely didn't help us along in this project, but I feel like I'm making better progress now. Today, I cleaned out the (dum, dum, dum) Storage Closet. Yes, it was as scary as it sounds, LOL. That was the closet where everything got shoved, when we didn't know what else to do with it. Do any of you have a closet like that? LOL Anyway, that was a JOB!
In cleaning out that big closet, I found a paper where I'd written down (years ago) an account my mother used to tell. Nowadays, Mother's memory is very dim. We have watched over the past several years as Alzheimer's has stolen parts of her life. Reflecting on that fact, I'm everso thankful that I took the time to sit down with her, while she was still "sharp-as-a-tack," and capture a sliver of her life. I'm going to type it below, just as I had written it then...


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the Great Depression. Mother tells me about life with her many siblings during that dark time of American history. She tells me about being teased at school for wearing "flour sack" dresses and how she wore shoes with cardboard to cover the holes. But, on the other hand...
Oral history has yet to reveal to me which of the 11 Keele children began the romp, but knowing them as I have, I suspect most of them eventually joined in. You see, there was a calf--minding it's own business, I'm sure--in a field on the small Keele farm. Somehow, someone conceived the idea of what I now call "cow skiing." (Please, don't try this at home.)
One at a time, the children grabbed that poor calf by the tail and ran, being half dragged and laughing, behind it. The hilarity continued on as the calf pulled the kids around the field, their feet touching the ground only now and then. Those awaiting their turn watched from the fence.
Oral history has also failed to present me with the final culprit left holding the smoking gun. Or, tail, as it were...
A strange thing, oral history, as I still don't know who made the executive decision to give the tail a proper burial, thinking 'surely Mom and Dad won't notice' that the animal was lacking an appendage.
To the dismay of the children, the tail was, indeed, missed and corporal punishment ensued.
Yes, it *was* the best of times and the worst of times...especially for a calf on a small farm in TN."

Now, I don't want y'all to think I'm endorsing cruelty to animals. And you should know that the calf did fine without that tail, though I'm sure he'd have rather had it. LOL I think the thing that has always struck me funny about the story is that the children didn't think their parents would notice, LOL. I think we parents get the reputation of having "eyes in the back of our head" far too easily. :-)
Well, I need to go tackle another room. Any of you know where you can rent those big dumpsters they use on construction sites for the rubbish?? ;-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day:
"Isn't it funny how that, no matter where you want to go, your feet lead you straight there??" --Musical, waxing philosophical

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Word from Above Rubies

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
This devotional I received in my "inbox" this morning was quite timely. Thought maybe you'd be blessed by it, too...
Above Rubies is a ministry run by Nancy Campbell to encourage mothers. Our family has attended an A.R. Family Camp in the past, and it was a wonderful weekend. I've also been to a couple Ladies Retreats, and thoroughly enjoyed those, too. Nancy has bold things to say, at times, but always exudes grace. If you want to learn more, check out www.aboverubies.org
Blessings! and Keep your wool dry!
The Ewe




DAILY GRIND OR DAILY REST

Matthew 28:30, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

When God told the Israelites about the new home He was taking them to, He said, "The land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year." (Deuteronomy 11:10-11 NAS)

They could not rely on the rain from heaven in the land of Egypt. They had to do all their irrigation by hand, or I should say, by foot, for this is how it was done. They dug man-made channels for the water which they forced along by wheels operated by their feet. It was hard laborious work. It was a daily grind. They didn't have to do this in the Promised Land. They relied totally upon God to send the rain to water the crops.

Egypt is a type of the world. It is a type of walking in the flesh and doing things by our own energy. This contrasts to our new life in the kingdom of God where we walk in the Spirit and trust God instead of our own resources.

How are you living each day? Are you still living back in Egypt, or are you basking in the rest of the Lord? Often mothers feel that their life is a daily grind, with no joy or hope. They are living like the Israelites were when they were slaves in Egypt. But we are no longer slaves. We are free people, saved by the suffering and shed blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross. He died to deliver us from relying upon the flesh.

"But don't you realize the financial difficulties that we are going through. I have to work this extra job to help my husband pay all our bills." Has God asked you to take on your husband's responsibility? Or are you taking on this yourself?

"But don't you realize how many things I have to do? I'm pregnant! I'm homeschooling my children. Plus I am involved in this Ladies' group at church and I'm also helping with the Sunday school." Who told you to get involved with these extra activities? Was it God, or was it pressure from people? Many times our life becomes a daily grind because we take on things that God hasn't told us to do. We cannot live our lives by what everyone else wants us to do. We must be led by the Holy Spirit.

God promises in Isaiah 40:11 that "He gently leads those who are with young." If you are pregnant or have little children, God does not expect you to be involved in anything else, apart from your mighty and divine calling of nurturing and raising your children for Him! He doesn't expect you to be involved in extra church and other activities (except for your commitment to meeting with the saints each week.)

"But don't you realize that I have to take Susie to ballet lessons, Grace to violin lessons, Johnny to soccer and Brian to baseball, as well as keep up with the home and everything else." Who told you that you have to take your children to all these lessons? Did God? Or are you trying to keep up with the Joneses who think that their children should be involved in everything that is going? We often think that our children will not make it in life unless we take them to all extra lessons and sports. That is not true. God is able to make a way for your children without putting extra pressure on your life and gadding about in the car everywhere.

"But don't you realize? I have to make my children finish the lessons I have given them for the day. I have to get this done and that done." Who said you have to do this? Is it what God has planned for the day or what you are setting? Are you teaching your children what God wants them to be taught, or what you think others expect of you?

Life is hard work, but it does not have to be a grind. It will seem drudgery when we do it in the energy of the flesh. God wants us to live according to the Spirit. The Israelites worked in the Promised Land, but they enjoyed their work, because they were cast upon God's resources, not their own energy. They no longer irrigated they way they did in Egypt. They had to rely on God to send their rain.

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Father, I thank you that you have brought me into a new kingdom, a kingdom where I cannot rely on my own strength, a kingdom where I must trust you wholly. Please show me where I am doing things in my own energy for I want to be led by your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you are watching over my life and your eye is upon me from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I can trust you to lead me. Amen."

Affirmation:

Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth's dark shadows flee.



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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Drooping Wool

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Yup...my wool's drooping. The Lambs are all still sick. We went from stomach virus straight into tonsillitis. In the past week, all of my littles have seen the doctor and one has been to the e.r. This is unprecedented in our family--we've always been very healthy and seldom needed the m.d. Anyway, do keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We *should* be all packed up, ready to move to Europe by now. BUT...in the past week, very little packing has happened. Discouragement in knocking on my door, and I'm trying hard to ignore it. ;-) Also, keep The Ram in your prayers, too--he's hit the "learning curve" with his new job.
Well, I hope to be able to share news of good health soon. :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Friday, April 14, 2006

Breaking Gnus...

Hey F.O.T.E.'s...

Keep the flock in your thoughts and prayers. We're being attacked by a stomach virus. So far, The Ewe, Musical and Lioness have been struck...
Gotta go..

The Ewe

Friday, April 07, 2006

Slinky Surprise

Hello F.O.T.E.'s!
Well The Ewe is busily packing up, throwing out, giving away and burning The Flock's belongings. :-) I guess you could refer to it as The Great Purge. After 15+ years, with no major decluttering, we have a mountain to move. After we clear out from here, we'll be able to join The Ram in Europe. It's all still a bit surreal.
Hey, you know how when you move or declutter you invariably find some "lost" treasures? I know every move we've had (and there have been over a dozen) I've found something I forgot I needed, LOL. This time, I found some Christmas presents that were intended for one of my daughters in 2000. I found several different greeting cards that were intended for several different recipients over several different years. Yup. It's been a Day of Discovery. It's kind of fun to find things you'd forgotten you had...It's not so fun to find something you never knew you had...
Yesterday, we had friends that came and retrieved some of the stuff we really *do* want, in order to babysit it for us during our time abroad. We walked out to The Warehouse (big workshop) to see what goodies we could find. TickleMan found an item that would be useful to him and carried it on out to the trailer. Mrs. TickleMan and I were standing there, looking around and my eye spotted an odd electrical cable, lying on the 2X4 beam, directly over where TickleMan had just been standing. As I followed the cable from one end to the other, I discovered that the Other End had a pointy head!! I immediately thought of The Crocodile Hunter and an episode we saw many years ago. He had gone into an African hut to dispel a vicious viper that had wriggled itself into the roof beam of the the home. He explained how just some itty dab of the venom that snake carried in its body would be enough to kill (I don't know) half the population of Bombay, India. Ok, I don't remember exactly how deadly it was, but it was plenty deadly, let me tell you!
So, I'm staring at this serpent in my outbuilding with *my* mouth hanging open. I could tell by looking, that this snake, unlike The Crocodile Hunter's foe, was a harmless King Snake. In fact, I even consider them beneficial--provided they keep their slinky little (big!) bodies out in the woods or yard, where they belong. I definitely draw the line at them taking up residence in my shed.
The kids think this snake may be a descendant of Sid or Sid II--snakes that The Ram brought home from work a couple years ago (in hopes their presence would discourage mice from hanging around here). While conSIDering this possibility, Lioness said, "Really, it would be a 'de-SID-nant!'"
Anyway, I'm left with a sticky situation. There's still Stuff in The Warehouse. And there's still a DeSIDnant in there, too. And I'm none too eager to go out there and start boxing/burning/giving away again. Where's The Crocodile Hunter when you need him??
Well, I'll try to keep you updated on this unfolding situation. BTW, do any of you know, are there snakes in Europe? ;-)
Gotta go...Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe


Quote of the Day : "Well, really, it would be a 'deSIDnant!'" --LionessLamb

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Friend Cider-Man

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
I've got news...er..uh..*Gnus.* But more on that in a minute...
First I want to tell you about a dear young friend of ours. We refer to him as "Cider Man," as he is fond of my spiced apple cider. :-)
While visiting the Cider Family one day, I inquired of C.M., "So, what's on the menu for tonight?" With about the most sincere, honest face I can recall, he informed me, "Well, I don't know what's on the *menu,* but we're eating spaghetti." :-) This sent me into a fit of the sillies. LOL You see, his family operates by a meal plan. (A tremendous help to us mommies!) So, he wasn't sure what their family was *supposed* to be having, but he knew what *was* being served. Aren't idioms fun?
Ok, now for the Gnus:
The RamFam is moving to Bulg...uh, Ger...well, we're moving to Europe!!! The Ram has accepted a job with a company based in Eastern Europe. Over the next couple months, The Flock will relocate. We are very excited and a bit nervous. We have a lot of work to get done here before we can leave. Anyway, I'll try to pop in and let y'all know about our adventures in The Old Country.
Ok...well, I'm going to go now and pack some boxes...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Been Farmin' Long?

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Yes, yes....I know it's been a coon's age since I posted...accept my sincere apologies. Y'all are so sweet to email, call and ask me in person "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BLOG AGAIN?!?!" LOL So...without further adieu:

The Flock was all buckled up in the van, ready for a trip to town. One of our errands was to go out to eat, so we hadn't fed them before we left. In order to stave off sure starvation, The Ram began handing out beef jerky. Now, I should point out that there was an ax (to use during another errand) lying on the floor, in front of Musical's seat...
Musical, chewing one piece of jerky and admiring the piece left in her hand:
"Maybe one day, Daddy can catch one of these [animals the jerky was made from], and then he can kill it with his Big Ax." (Remember that farm tool I told you about?)
LionessLamb responds: "Musical, that's COW!"
Daddy adds: "AND, it's a *pick ax* not a 'Big Ax.'"
Musical, hearing the wrong consonant again: "OH!!!! OK!!! Then, Daddy can use the ax to kill the pig, then the PIG can kill the cow!!"

Now, I've not lived there for a long time, but I'm not remembering any "pig axes" on my dad's farm. And especially not any that were put to use by a deceased animal. Something just not right about that...
Email me if you need further explanation.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe


Confuse-Us say: "Child in warm truck should not have fit in cold weather."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Say It Like You Mean It

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Yes, it's been a while since I last posted. We've been super busy since the beginning of the new year and I can't seem to get my feet under me.
I've been thinking lately about the power of our words. More specifically, how what we say, or think, affects us. I'm not a real fan of Norman Peale and his "Power of Positive Thinking," but I do believe that we can edify or doom ourselves by the thoughts we entertain.
Sometimes, this battle of the mind is fierce--fearful or angry thoughts seem to bombard us. We grit our teeth and proclaim, "NO! That's NOT true!!!" I call this "taking every thought captive" so we can pull it down beside The Truth and compare the two. We *know* which one is True. God's word--His instructions for us in every situation.
I'll admit, this is something I've had to deal with lately. We have a couple situations coming up that I could get very fearful about, if I were to allow myself that luxury. That's the "flesh," our human tendency, and letting it take over *is* indulging the flesh. God says He didn't give us that spirit of fear. So, if it's not from Him, where did it come from? Hint: it smells like smoke. ;-)
Personally, I'm just fed up with making decisions based on fear. Our family motto is "'Rams' fear no man, 'Rams' fear only God." Now, do I *feel* that way? All the time?? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (ahem) Uh, no. But, I have a responsibility to, when I'm starting to allow fear, or any other negative, untrue emotion to take over my mind, to force it to leave and to speak God's truth into the situation.
You know, if we speak something long and fervently enough, we'll begin to believe it. What do you want to believe? You're not good enough? You're not safe? God isn't going to take care of you? That person *meant* to offend you? Or do you want to believe Truth? God loves you so much He sent His son to die for you! God is *with you*! Helping you!! He is able to supply all our needs!! Through Christ, we can believe the best of others!!
Wow. I'm feeling better. :-) Guess I'll go carpe diem for God's glory!!!
Hey, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Confuse-Us say: "When life hands you lemons, avoid all paper." :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hokie Pokie Wedding

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
God's peace to you! I hope you're being blessed here in 2006, regardless of the circumstances around you. :-)
I want to tell you about a wedding we attended Saturday. It was the wedding of our midwife's daughter. She also attended our birth, so I guess you could consider her one of our midwives, as well...Anyway, this precious lady has waited a long time for God to bring her husband to her, and we have prayed for years He would orchestrate their marriage. So, a few months back, I was delighted to hear from our midwife that her sweet daughter was about to be married.
The wedding was this past Saturday. I appreciated that on the invitation, all our children were mentioned as well. That's always a question when we're invited to a wedding. The children were so excited to be invited, LOL!
When we arrived at the church, we were blessed to see the vast array people there. There were several Amish families, and several um,...er...pierced/tattooed type families. :-) Of course, too, there were many, many families who fell somewhere between. Also, there were many, many babies and pregnant ladies. What else would you expect at a midwife's wedding? LOL!
The theme was "Dreams do come true..." and the decorations were castles, etc. Rather "Cinderella-ish." Truly, that day *was* a dream come true for this dear lady.
The ceremony was rather short--maybe 30 minutes, but the reception was a real party! Loads of food, lots of music, speeches, etc. And it was all "family friendly." The highlight of the reception, for me, was the Hokie Pokie dance. T.T. and I danced that together--what a hoot! Our girls were amazed. LOL
The night wore on until The Ram reminded us that we had church the next day, and we might ought to be going. So, after a few more minutes we loaded up and came home.
If you're the praying type, please ask The Lord to bless the union of J and J.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "This syrup is supposed to be LIGHT!!!" unnamed Lamb

Friday, January 06, 2006

State Capitol

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Thought I'd tell you about our little day trip yesterday...
The Ram needed to go by the state Headquarters for National Guard, which happens to be in our state's capitol city. I had been to the capitol while I was in college, but that was many years ago. Even then, we didn't actually go into the building, LOL.
So, we unloaded our brood beside the dome-topped capitol and went inside. We oohed the marble and ahhed the statuary. Then climbed steps and visited the galleries of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. We sat in the chambers of the Supreme Court. Once, I had to explain to a Lamb that, "No, President Bush doesn't work here." LOL We had a short discussion about state vs. federal governments.
We also enjoyed looking at the doll display. It was the "First Ladies" of our state. I was interested in what they would do about the lady governor we had some years back. Would there be a "First Man" doll? LOL No, they just did a doll in the likeness of that governor.
Anyway, we're back now. Looking forward to a quiet day at home. No mahogany, no marble...just hardwood, linoleum and peanut butter. :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Our family was enjoying a visit w/ the GrandRams and it had gotten terribly late. T.T. was *not* wanting to settle in for bed. The Ram quipped to him, "Are you not wanting to go to bed? You're just wanting to stay up and read books?" (T.T. was looking at a book.) T.T. replied, "I dooo read books!" LOL

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Fire's a Fire...

...a grill's a grill...

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
I'm still forgetting that our year is now 2006. It usually takes me a while each year to adjust to the new date.
Anyway, we had temperatures in the mid-60's today. I've long said that 60's in January can come to no good. Indeed, there were storms today, but it never got very bad here. Storms seem to skirt our li'l' patch of the county. We are quite thankful. When it gets so warm during the winter, I always think of the tornado that we were in back in 2002. It was during January on a day the temperatures were unseasonably warm. The Lord protected us then and now, and we are thankful.
Today, the storms came through right after I'd put a pan of chicken breasts in the oven to cook for "lupper." (lunch/supper ;-) The thought occurred to me, "I hope the power doesn't go out..." Well, about 10 minutes after I put the meat in the oven...the power went out. LOL Once the rain was over and the sun was back shining, we "made lemonade" and pulled the chicken out of the dead oven and The Ram fired up the grill. So, we had a cookout. LOL Of course the rice I had put on the stove had to wait to cook until the power came back on a couple hours later.
All in all, a nice day. Not often you get to have a picnic in January. :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe


Quote of the Day: (Overheard while watching a movie set in Asia when the character was eating raw fish)

T.T.: "That's shooey!!" (icky)
Ewe: "No, T.T., that's *sushi!*"

:-)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blessed New Year!

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, we welcomed in the New Year last night, in traditional RamFamily order--asleep. LOL We had spent the day going to the park, visiting an "old favorite" restaurant ("Ole!") and generally just enjoying being a family. Somehow, that wiped us out and we were off to bed pretty early. Anyway, I believe the last time we actually made it to midnight was about 9 years ago. Anyway, hope your year is a new "Best" for your family. :-)
I did want to point out that we need to seriously be enjoying those party eye glasses that spell out "2006." Remember the others, 2000 on up to 2005? It struck me last night that we only have 3 more years left to amass those glasses. Once 2010 hits, the era of kitschy new year's glasses is over for another 100 years. ;-)
So, you might want to prowl the clearance sales and pick up a pair or two. They could be collectors' items one day, LOL.
Well, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe