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Almost A Good Picture December 17, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family.
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When we were at Walmart the other day, someone was passing out Shrek ears as a promotion for the new movie.  We got a set and in my head, I had these images of cute pictures around the Christmas tree together.  Here’s what I got instead.

Better luck next time.

 

Everyone Needs A Cheering Section November 24, 2010

Posted by Joe in Farm.
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A friend of ours gave us a couple of pickup bed loads of firewood over the weekend. I’ve spent most every free moment since then cutting it to length and splitting it for our pot belly stove.

I like splitting firewood the old fashioned way, with a maul. There’s just something manly about swinging an eight-pound piece of steel affixed to the end of a three-foot length of hickory. Hearing the sharp crack of the red oak as it yields to the blow and knowing that it’ll provide good warmth on cold nights this winter is rewarding.

This morning, I was splitting the last of the wood. My two year old son was there to “help you.” With every swing, he’d yell “Whoa! Awesome!”

As my friend in Virginia frequently says “Every day is Father’s Day.”

Resting In The Hospital? Hahahaha! September 6, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family.
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As Laura and I walked the halls of hospital in an attempt to usher on delivery of David in Friday night, we passed by the Post Partum area several times. Oh, how she longed to already be there rather than having to go back to Labor & Delivery. At 12:47 am Saturday, she got her wish and David joined us in this world. We’ve been in Post Partum ever since.

Post Partum is the area of the hospital set aside for new mothers to recover. Notice that I didn’t say to rest. There’s very little resting that happens in Post Partum. Maybe it’s that way in other areas of the hospital, too. Fortunately, I don’t really know.

Post Partum is a little like a summer camp or a slumber party. Every hour or so, someone wakes you up for some reason. At summer camp, it’s to hide your shoes or put your underwear in the freezer. In Post Partum it’s to check your vital signs or to make sure you’re resting comfortably and ask if you need anything. They are very attentive here. Actually now that I think about it, I haven’t seen my shoes in a while….hey!

Anyway, I’ve been staying in the room with Laura. There’s a chair beside her bed that pulls out into an apparatus for sleeping. I’ve nicknamed it the original transformer. Remember those crude toys of yesteryear that were supposed to be a motorcycle one minute and a robot the next? It only took 37 short reconfiguration movements and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering to make the transition. Actually the PhD was only required if you were over 12. Kids could easily change the toy from one to the other. As an adult, I think it’d be easier to broker peace in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, I’ve been sleeping on the original transformer beside Laura’s bed. And apart from the regular attention from the hospital staff, we’ve had a good and uneventful stay. Everyone is recovering nicely.

We’re preparing to go home now. We expect to be discharged before lunch. And we’re looking forward to it; there’s no place like home.

A Real Labor Day Weekend! Welcoming David To Our Family September 5, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family.
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Laura called me Friday afternoon to tell me that she had been having contractions most of the day. This didn’t alarm her since all of her pregnancies have included weeks of contractions before the big event. But since these seemed to be growing in intensity, she was going to head toward the hospital just in case. We live about 45 minutes from the hospital, and since this is our sixth pregnancy every minute counts.

She called again a little while later. The contractions were subsiding and we decided to meet at a restaurant for dinner instead. We’d still be closer to the hospital just in case.

After a nice leisurely dinner of Mexican food, we decided to walk to a nearby Dollar General store to buy the kids some candy for dessert. The contractions started back in the store. Mexican food and contractions: coincidence? I don’t know.

We weren’t in there long before I heard Laura call to me from another isle “Joe, we need to go.” When I got to her, she told me that her water had broken. That was at 7:15 pm.

We headed to the hospital, calling friends and family along the way.

When we arrived at the hospital, Laura’s mid-wife met us there. She was with us the whole time. She did a great job helping to comfort Laura and ease the baby into the world. I’d highly recommend using a mid-wife.

At 12:47 am, David Edward Webb was born. He had the cord wrapped around his neck, not once, but twice. At first he was very lethargic and that gave the attending staff cause for concern. They called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) personnel; they arrived within 60 seconds. After giving David some oxygen and fluids, they declared that everything was fine.

We’re still in the hospital; we’ll be released tomorrow morning.

We’re very thankful for the blessings we’ve received from the Lord and from our friends and family.

As soon as Bro. Jon heard about our admittance to the hospital on Friday, he came to see and pray with us. He also brought a gift bag of snacks and other things we may need during our stay. Guess he knows what hospital food is like.

We’ve also heard from friends from near and far who have lifted us up in prayer and have sent their well-wishes. We feel very blessed.

The Coolest Spider In The World August 29, 2010

Posted by Joe in Animals.
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Rachel came running into the house yesterday proclaiming that she’d found the coolest spider in the world. She wasn’t scared; she wasn’t even bothered by it. She just wanted to share with us her discovery.

I’ve seen this kind of spider before, but I wasn’t sure of its name. After a bit of research, we learned that it’s a Black & Yellow Argiope.

This is an actual picture of it. It looks to be preparing a meal that it’s caught in its web.

Some Pictures of Darth Kitty August 22, 2010

Posted by Joe in Animals.
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For those who haven’t seen Darth Kitty yet, here are a couple of pictures.

I’ve been amazed at how the dogs have accepted Darth Kitty. I was a bit concerned that Daisy would break him as she does the rabbits, squirrels, and moles she catches.

May The Feline Be With You August 15, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family.
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We’ve finally decided on a name for our new kitten. It will now be known as Darth Kitty.  There were just too many good one liners to pass up.

  • “May the Feline be with you.”
  • “Luke, I’m your kitten.”
  • “Come and feel the power of the kitty side.”

And of course instead of the heavy breathing, we hear a deep breath followed by a long purr.

Rachel has decided that she’ll call him DK for short.

Do Hard Things August 14, 2010

Posted by Joe in Faith, Family.
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I took Benjamin to an all day conference called The Rebelution: Do Hard Things today. What is a Rebelution? It’s a teenage rebellion against low expectations.

Here’s are some notes I took during the conference.

Setting Expectations

An elephant can pull trees out of the ground; it can win a tug-a-war contest against 100 men. Yet a simple piece of twine and a wooden stake in the ground can keep it from leaving in the night. Why? It’s not the twine around its leg that’s holding it back; it’s the shackles around it’s mind. It’s a matter of expectations. The elephant is trained from a very early age that it cannot pull free if something is tied around it back right leg. And it never challenges that expectation as an adult.

Young people of the past did incredible things. There were high expectations for them. That’s not so today; we have, as a society, have told young people that we expect them to be lazy, to goof off, and to be unreliable. And they are living up to our expectations.

When you look in the Bible, there is no mention of adolescence, of looking like an adult yet behaving like a child. God’s Word doesn’t have the concept of teenager. Paul counsels us to put away childish things. He doesn’t say that as young adults we should hold on to childish things.

Set high expectations. Actions follow expectations.

Do Hard Things

The complexity of our challenges have grown as we have grown, yet so has our capacity. What’s the difference in a four year old lifting 10 pounds and an eighteen year old lifting 100 pounds? Think about it this way. What’s the difference in a little Dixie cup and a huge super-sized cup when each is half full? Which is more full? One has more capacity, sure, but they are both still half full.

Our culture expects more from babies than from teenagers. Babies learn to talk, to walk, to go to the potty. We don’t give them a pass. Yet as our kids get older, our expectations for them goes down. We give ourselves and our kids a pass. “I’m not a math person.”, they say. Yet we don’t let our three year say “Mommy, I’m just not a toilet person.” when they are potty training.

Growth comes when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. And we need to grow to be the person that God wants us to be. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t quit. Moses tried to quit; Jeremiah had an excuse. But God wouldn’t give up on them. So don’t give up on yourself.

Expect great things of yourself and strive to reach the potential that God has given you to do the work He has prepared for you. Do hard things. Reach your full potential. Remember, worthwhile things are not easy. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. Just keep trying.

Much More

Although this has been a long post, there was much more great information presented in the conference. This post doesn’t come close to capturing many of the great points the Harris brothers made. It wasn’t a name-it-and-claim-it conference either. It was full of solid and boldly spoken truth.

For example, Alex gave an incredibly powerful testimony as he shared the Gospel. He challenged all of us to carefully consider our relationship with God, to examine our lives to see if there is evidence of God’s grace. It was moving. And it was a tremendous call to actions for each of us to live out our purpose. Then the oldest brother, Joshua, talked of the importance of building our life on a solid foundation, the rock that only Christ can be.

The conference was a great time of worship and bonding with Benjamin. We had a wonderful time together. He’s already asking to go back next time the conference comes around. If you have kids, I’d definitely recommend attending one. If you can’t make it to a Rebelution conference, buy the Harris’ best selling book Do Hard Things and read it with them. The conference is based on the book.

Recommended Resources

During the course of the conferences, many books were recommended and even given away. Here’s a list of some of them. We bought the first two. Benjamin’s looking forward to reading them.

This Week’s Ultrasound August 13, 2010

Posted by Joe in Faith, Family.
5 comments

Laura had another ultrasound yesterday to look for breathing motions, amount of amniotic fluid, heart rate and so on.  Every thing looked good. We will probably receive the official report later today.

David Edward weighs in at nearly 6 1/2 lbs which puts him in the 98th percentile for growth.  In other words, he’s full-term size already but he’s supposed to stay put for another 5 1/2 weeks.  Laura says that he has been busy renovating her interior, pushing her liver over here and her bladder over there to make room for his continued growth.

We’re thankful that everything has gone well with this pregnancy. Thanks for continued prayer.

Our Kitten Has Arrived August 12, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family.
3 comments

Laura picked up our new outdoor kitten this afternoon. It got a very warm welcome from everyone except for the existing outdoor cat, Coco.

We still haven’t decided on a name for it. Right now the family is evenly split. The choices are:

  • Darth Kitty
  • Dexter
  • Thin Mint
  • Meow
  • Chubbs

With one abstention.

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