Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthday Bounty


Despite feeling only a slight bit better, my birthday yesterday was really nice. Thank you to everyone who dropped by with flowers, fruit, vegetables, cards, and gifts. And thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes via email and facebook. I feel extremely loved.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Girl Effect

I'm 31 today. This is my birthday gift to you:


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feeling the Love

When we moved to Newberg it was our prayer and hope that we would be moving into a community that would feel like family. We wanted to be friends with our neighbors, to be able to walk to church, and to have the type of friendships that stuck through thick and thin. It was our desire to share life with a group of people that made it a priority to celebrate together, grieve together, pray together, and take care of one another. In the year that we have been in Newberg we have been able to celebrate job promotions, grieve over job losses, rejoice over new babies, and care for friends who have gone through surgeries. And it has been a huge blessing to be deeply involved in peoples lives like that. To love them without condition and to be allowed to see past the surface and really get involved in all the beautiful, messy, real parts of life.

And now we are on the receiving end of that love. In just the one day since I found out I have pneumonia I've been blessed over and over again.

Katy sacrificed her day to drive me to my doctor's appointment because I didn't trust myself drive with such violent coughing fits. Not only that, but she watched Toby for me in the waiting room while also caring for her own 4 month old son. Here are the sleeping car buddies:

Audrey took care of Noah when I went in to see the doctor and has been picking him up from school and taking him home with her until Geary gets home from work.

Celina went grocery shopping for us and dropped off several bags of food full of easy to make meals that Geary can prepare for all of us.

Mary set up a meal rotation plan with the ladies of our church and several others have volunteered to help out by doing household chores.

Eldred just dropped by with some delicious looking spaghetti and ravioli from our family's favorite Italian restaurant in town. There was garlic bread, too!
And this adorable, funky, striped lion that I am completely in love with. The note attached says, "If this looks striped and strange--you probly are sick. His name is Elvis."


Even though I still feel like I've been hit by a truck, a huge weight has been lifted off of my heart knowing that we are being so well loved and taken care of. Thank you again and again and again to all of our friends and family who are "being the body" for us. We are truly blessed.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1.5 hours and $55 dollars later...

I have been diagnosed with pneumonia.

Pneumonia!

Please excuse me for the next two to three weeks while I recover with all my lovely new medicines. And please pray that nobody else in my family gets infected.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Failing

I am no longer surviving. The cough has gotten worse and the amount and type of bodily fluids being ejected from my body are too disgusting for me to even joke about. I'm going to to see my doctor tomorrow. I have two fears about this. One, that it's viral and there's nothing they can do about it and I'll just have to wait it out. I really am feeling at the end of my rope and even threw a little temper trantrum to Geary today that I "cannot do this anymore!". My second fear is that I have bronchitus. And I'm really only scared of this one because if it is bronchitus, then have I waited too long to get on antibiotics to ensure a speedy recovery?

Today Geary let me drown in Nyquil and sleep all afternoon. But I know he is dead dog tired, too and needs a break. We have no food in the house, it's still pretty messy, the kids are restlesss, and morale is low. Please pray for us. We can't hang on much longer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Surviving

I've been sick. Sunday afternoon I came home from a fabulous Girls' Weekend Away at my mother-in-law's house thinking that I was tired from all the fun I had.
So I took a nap.
And I woke up with a fever.
And then I had some chills.
So I took a shower to get warm.
And then I had fever again.
And on it went like that until yesterday.

Yesterday I started to get this tickle in my throat. The tickle that turned into a mild cough. Which is now a full on body-wrenching-lung-hacking-phlegm-spitting-wet-my-pants type of cough. And I wish I were only kidding about that last part.

Our house is a disaster. Yesterday I used up all my energy cleaning up the living room. Then I cleaned one of the toilets because I'm pretty sure something was growing in there. The other toilet is still growing something and I hope to find the energy to clean it today. I'm kind of scared--it might have teeth.

But despite all the sickness and the messy house we are surviving. Geary has been an amazing help and has picked up much of the slack. He's taken the boys out every day so that I can rest. He prepares their dinner and puts them to bed and cleans the kitchen every night. He's an amazing dad and it makes me fall even more in love with him as I see him sacrifice himself and his time for all of us. I can't wait to get over this cough so that I can cover him with kisses.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Castle Cake

A few months ago my friend Crystal asked if I would help her make a castle cake for her daughter's 5th birthday in August. We poured over pictures of castle cakes on the internet and pointed out what we liked and what we didn't like. On cake making day, Crystal drew out a sketch of what she wanted the cake to look like and within a few hours we built it! Here is the finished product:


The turrets are ice cream cones on top of paper towel rolls decorated with construction paper. We "painted" paper egg cartons with food coloring and water in a spray bottle to make the top of the castle walls. The stones are strawberry whoppers and the grass and path are made from colored sugar.

Notice the texture on the wall? That was also done using food coloring and water in a spray bottle. We had a super fancy method for spraying it onto the cake without making a mess. We sprayed it through a paper towel tube so that we could direct the spray only to where we wanted color. I added the vines and Crystal made all the roses. I also made the little banner for the birthday girl princess.
Korah, the birthday girl, absolutely loved her cake. I think we did a pretty good job, too. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sweet End of Summer

Last week I wanted to do something special to celebrate Noah's first week at school. So I made cupcakes! Lemon coconut cupcakes with shredded coconut on top--yum!

My taste testers were pretty happy.

I love this picture--the colors and Noah's eyes just make me smile.

I had some extra batter so I poured it into a loaf pan and made a mini-cake.

Sweet treats for my sweets.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Politics

A friend of mine commented on her husband's blog that she was surprised Donald Miller prayed the benediction at the Democratic National Convention. Wasn't it a bad idea to seem to support Obama? I asked, "What would be wrong with it if Donald Miller really does support Obama"? Someone else responded to my question with this answer: Because basic conservative principles are the logical extension of Christian influence on public policy.

I didn't repsond to that person's statement mainly because it wasn't on his blog. Another reason was that it took me a little while to test my thoughts and heart to make sure my vehement disagreement was justified and not simply a reaction to this person whose other writings elsewhere have also made me feel "prickly" towards him. My conclusion is that the "vehement" was not justified, but that I still disagree with his statement.

I truly fail to see how being pro-life pro-birth (because most Republicans are pro-war and pro-death penalty), pro-gun, and anti-gay is a logical extension of Christian influence on public policy.

The fact is that neither political party comes even close to aligning itself completely with Christian priorities. Both parties use "faith" and "family values" and "compassion" to propagate their agendas. Voting a straight ticket on either side would be foolish. That's why my voter's registration card says, "agressively non-partisan." (Fine, I wrote it there myself, but still...)

And that's also why I'm encouraging you to read this article: Voting as a Christian in the Upcoming Elections.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Anatomy

Tonight was the Back to School BBQ and Information Fair at Veritas. We had a good time but the highlight was definitely a story we heard from Noah's teacher.

This morning Mrs. H had been explaining about the classroom's daily schedule. When she finished explaining she asked, "Now, does anyone have any questions?" Noah politely raised his hand and waited. Mrs. H acknowleged him, "Yes, Noah James?" Then Noah nodded and said, "Yes, can you please tell me how the human body works?"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How I Almost Ruined the First Day of Kindergarten

The morning started off great! I woke up early, made a healthy breakfast, packed Noah's morning snack and got his tote bag all ready to go. His uniform was laid out and my camera had new batteries for this special day. Noah woke up eager and excited to start to school. Everything was going smoothly until about 7:45am. I left Toby in his highchair and took Noah outside so we could take the obligatory first day of school pictures. He was acting cheesey so I only got a few shots and then it was time to load into the car so we could get to school by 8am.

I told Noah to go ahead and wait by the car. "I just have to grab Toby and my keys and we'll be off!" I said as my hand turned the doorknob. Or tried to turn the doorknob. It was locked! I could hear Toby crying from inside the house. I jiggled the handle a few more times but it was definitely locked. The crying turned to screaming.

Noah and I raced around to the back of the house to see if the backdoor might be open. No such luck. Geary is extra good at securing our house. There was no chance of getting in through a window, either. I picked up a plastic sand shovel and marched back to the front door with the idea of trying to force the lock. It didn't work.

Noah started getting a panicked look in his eyes, "I'm going to be late," he moaned. I swallowed hard and looked up and down our street. We had recently met one of the neighbors across the street so I ran over there and rang their doorbell. No answer. I ran back home. My next door neighbor came out into his yard with his lawn mower. I knew he didn't really speak English but I walked over and made a telephone motion with my hands and told him my door was locked. He understood!

My neighbor pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and said, "Please call, s'okay." I wracked my brain trying to remember Geary's cell phone number. The number I dialed was wrong. The only phone number I could recall was Geary's sister, Anita, up in Washington. So I called her. "Hey, Anita, it's Jeana." My voice broke and tears started falling, "I'm kind of having an emergency." I told her the situation and she was able to provide Geary's phone number and the school's phone number.

Geary's phone number went straight to voicemail so I called the school. When the secretary answered I said, "Hi, this is Jeana Linhart. I'm having a slight emergency--can you get a message to Geary for me?" Rhonda the secretary said, "He's right here, just a minute." I told Geary what had happened and he promised me he'd be right there. Noah and I sat on the front porch listening to Toby wail and reassuring ourselves that everything was going to be okay.

Geary arrived in someone else's SUV. "Cindy told me to take her car," he said as he unlocked the front door, gave me a quick hug and then raced back to school. I was thankful. Geary taking his scooter would have cost more precious minutes as he suited up and walked his scooter across campus.

Toby was fine. His eyes were red and his face was covered in snot but he greeted Noah and me with a big smile. I quickly buckled the kids into their carseats and then started apologizing to Noah. "You're going to be late for school but it will be okay. You won't be in trouble, everyone will understand that it was an accident. I'm so sorry, Noah." He was gracious in his reply, "I'm just glad Toby was okay and I still get to go to school today."

By this time it was 8:20am. We pulled into the school parking lot and what was this? Everyone else was pulling in, too. School started at 8:30! Thank you, Jesus! Noah was on time after all! He hung up his tote bag and found his desk and gave me a secret thumbs up as I waved goodbye to him from the classroom door. We made it!

I just want to give a big THANK YOU to all the heroes of our day:

My neighbor--thank you for letting me use your phone.

Anita--thank you for praying for me and being able to provide the numbers I needed.

Rhonda--thank you for finding Geary so quickly

Cindy--thank you for letting Geary use your car so that he could get to us quickly

and of course, Geary--thank you for rushing to our rescue. You're the best husband ever!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

First Day wearing the Veritas School uniform.
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"I'm a kindergartener!!!"

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Noah's desk.

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Tomorrow I'll tell you about how I almost ruined Noah's first day of school. Maybe by then I'll be able to laugh about it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav

Please pray for our friends, the Carlson Family and the Brantley Family, who live in New Orleans. Pray for protection over their community as Hurricane Gustav lands today. .