Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We live pretty close to an elementary school and take great delight in the scores of children who run around our neighborhood. Right now it's fundraising time and that means little kids are busily knocking on the doors of their neighbors asking for donations. Our door gets a lot of attention.

Geary opens the door.
Little Girl #1: Hi. Um...we're collecting money for the Jog-a-thon. It helps our school. I mean it helps us...um...
Little Girl #2: ...
Geary: Okay, let me see if I have any money.
(Geary finds a ten dollar bill)
Geary: Here you go! Have fun jogging!
Little Girl #2: Um...we're supposed to share this. Do you have two fives?
Geary (laughing): Let me go check. Sorry, this is all I have. Can you get change from your mom or something?
Little Girl #1: My mom probably has fives.
Geary: Great, so...thank you!
Little Girl #1: Wait! You have to sign this envelope.
Geary: Okaaay...(signs the envelope)
Little Girl #2: ahem...
Little Girl#1: You have to sign her's, too.
Geary: Right. (signs other envelope)
Little Girl #1: THANK YOU!
Geary: No, thank you! Gracias! (starts to shut the door)
Little Girl #2 (in a quiet voice): De nada!
The girls run down the street with squeals of victory to descend upon their next victims donors.

tap tap tap BLAM BLAM BLAM tap!
Geary opens the door.
Little Boy (holding out an envelope): Do you have any money?
Geary (hiding a smile): Sorry, I already gave my money to some girls earlier.
Little Boy: ... (walks away)

BLAM BLAM BLAM! (they go straight for the loudness now)
Jeana opens the door.
Little Girl: I...we...uh...
Jeana: Is that for the jog-a-thon?
Little Girl: Yeah. Do you want to pay me for running?
Jeana: I wish I could but we already gave money to some girls last week.
Little Girl: Oh.
Jeana: Sorry! Good luck.
Little Girl: Okay. Do you know anyone who would pay me to run?
Jeana: Sorry. Wait! I have a bag full of coins, do you want that?
Little Girl: Are coins the same as money?
Jeana: Yes, just a little heavier.
Little Girl: Okay, I'll take it off your hands.

I can't wait to see who knocks today!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A quick check in

I'm 32 weeks pregnant. Can you believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone by? It is entirely possible for me to be holding a newborn six weeks from now.

I'm working on getting the baby's room ready. Hopefully I can paint the room and some pieces of furniture this weekend. And then I can put everything away and relax because we'll finally have a space for this little guy.

Noah and Geary are loving school. Toby and I have transitioned fairly well. We miss our big guys but I'm really enjoying the one on one time with my little guy, too. Today I asked him if he would like some peach slices. His eyes got really big and he said, "Oh no! Not the peaches!" When I laughed he asked, "Was that funny?" except you have to imagine him pronouncing "funny" like "phony." "Was dat phony?"

We're so ready for fall weather. I lit a pumpkin spice candle today just to make it feel more like fall in the house. I'm ready to decorate a pumpkin and wear sweaters and cuddle up with some good books and my favorite quilt. Geary is ready for me to bake some pies.

I'll do my best to post some pictures soon. For now just know that we are nesting and gearing up for the transition of becoming a family of five!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wife of my Youth and Birthday

Happy Birthday Jeana!

I don't know how to add pictures to this thing so please just picture a happy healthy young woman . . . pregnant and sexy!

I just wanted to add that there are two beautiful things about my wife that should be celebrated today. One is that she is a great singer. She has always been. In my courting days of Jeana Todd she was on the worship team of our church and I got to gaze upon her every Sunday . . . not good worship etiquette I know. But, that has not changed. Just last Wednesday Jeana left the family to go to choir practice. She does a great job.

The thing that has changed is that I now gaze upon a mom every Sunday. A great mom! I know this because last Wednesday, the very same Wednesday already mentioned, Toby (2 yrs. old) just had a fifteen minute meltdown crying his eyes out. Why? He missed this beautiful singer and he didn't give a hoot that she was at choir--he wanted her hugs and kisses and he wanted to be sung to himself. I tried. Toby would have none of it. He wanted her! And she came home and went in and sang to him. Everything was good.

And Jeana Linhart is a good wife--for the things that I recognized way back then, and she is good for so many more reasons now. She piles up the good.

Happy Birthday Wife!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Look what I did this morning! I made two batches of laundry soap and filled 7 containers. I do not have any explanation about where this desire or energy has come from--must be the nesting hormones! And now I'm off to mop the kitchen floors with all the spilled laundry soap--do I know how to recycle or what?

*Sorry for the bad quality picture. I had to use my phone because I couldn't find any batteries for our camera.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Told You

Last November I had the opportunity to share a story with some of the women at my church. I told them the story of how I came to know and trust in God's unfailing goodness. I told them of the long and winding journey that I have taken in the land of pregnancy and miscarriages. I cried. They cried. It wasn't a sad story, though. No, it was a hopeful story. A story about the gifts God gives us and how even though sometimes the wrapping is ugly and you think nothing good could possibly be inside...somehow you find the jewel, the treasure that was in there all along and you realize that His gifts are good and perfect.

When I was done sharing my story an older lady approached me and whispered in my ear that her daughter had had 11 miscarriages. I couldn't do anything but cry with her and hug her and repeat, "I'm so sorry. It is real suffering. But I know that God is good. I promise you that he is." She gave me a weak smile and I knew she didn't quite believe me. How could she when she and her daughter were in the middle of that dark, dark valley? I understood.

I don't really know this woman very well at all. Only through prayer requests had I learned that her daughter was pregnant again. I heard sporadic updates about the progress of her daughter's pregnancy. How they had passed big milestones. How they wanted to be excited but found themselves detaching so that the pain and disappointment couldn't touch them. How they could scarcely believe she was two weeks away from her due date. How they were still expecting to be hurt. I understood.

I understood because even though I have had two healthy babies and the expectation that this third baby will also be healthy and beautiful, I still have to ask God to show me daily that He is good. I do silly things like read "dead baby blogs." You know the ones I'm talking about. The blogs of mothers who have miscarried, or lost their children in childbirth or shortly after. They process their grief and honor their babies and allow the world to watch their journey back to wholeness. And even though I am proof that it is possible, I read them because I have this need to see that it is possible to have life after death--after something, or someone who has been inside of you dies. Even though I know this can happen because I'm living it, I need to see that I'm not the only one.

On Tuesday I heard that this woman's daughter had just given birth to her first little girl. I cannot begin to describe the heights that my heart soared to. I wanted to sing, to laugh, to dance. I wanted to rush to the woman's house and jump up and down with her and say, "I told you! I told you!" Not in a bragging or gloating way, please don't misunderstand me. I wanted to share in her rejoicing and point her back to the source of that joy.

I don't know if they recognize the treasure yet. I imagine their eyes are still adjusting to the brightness of the beautiful gift they have just been given. But I hope that in time they will look back on their journey through the valley and see how God was giving good gifts all along. I hope they will know and trust that He is always good and that He has always been good. And I really hope that one day this woman and I will be able to tell yet another woman that God is good and then tell her, "I told you!" when her hope is fulfilled.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bigger Transportation

Well, it's official. We need a mini van. We hoped and thought that we would be able to fit three carseats in the back of our Honda Accord but...it's just not going to happen. Will you please pray with us about this? Pray that God will provide a reliable van for our family and that it won't be a financial strain on us. Pray that our Accord will sell quickly and that we won't have a big gap between when we sell our car and when we find the perfect mini van. And mostly, pray that we will trust God to provide and not let this need become a stressor in our lives. Thanks, friends. We love knowing that you're supporting us before the throne.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wetter than Wet

Geary and Noah walked home from school in the rain today. When they came inside I met them at the door with a towel for their dripping hair.

Jeana: Do you want to take a shower to get warmed?
Noah: Huh? No! That would just make me more wet!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toby and the Goats

This morning Toby and I went to visit Miss Paula's house. Miss Paula is my mentor and she's also Toby's Sunday School teacher. We all love Miss Paula.

Today we helped Miss Paula harvest some green beans, broccoli and tomatoes from her garden. Toby got to feed some of the veggies to her five goats. It was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. Toby loved the goats and they loved him back. When it was time to leave we walked back over to the pasture to say goodbye to the goats and as soon as they saw him they all ran up expecting more snacks.

Jeana: Look! They are saying "Thank you for the snacks, Toby."
Toby: Thank you, my goats! Here you go my goats.
Jeana: You really like those goats don't you?
Toby: I love my goats.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Day of First Grade

Well, I didn't lock us of the house this year!

The big first grader.

Showing off the backpack.

So grown up.

What grade are you in? First!

All my beautiful boys (so far).

I don't know what Geary was doing.

It's Geary's first day of school, too.

I think it's gonna be a good year.

Yeah, it will be.

See you at 3pm, Noah!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Animal Cookies

Some friends sent us these cookie cutters from Ikea. Moose, fox, bear, squirrel, hedgehog, and snail. Aren't they adorable?

So of course we had to try them out using this recipe. Delicious!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Well, Somebody's in love!

Geary and the boys went down to his parent's house to watch the Ducks v. Broncos game last night. All day long the boys were so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa Bob. When it was time I go I woke Toby up from his nap and the first thing he said was, "Go see Grandma now?" Geary told me that when they got there Toby didn't need any warm up time at all, he just ran across the street straight into her arms.

Today I was trying to make cookies and pre-make as many lunch items as I could for Noah's school lunches. I needed to borrow a rolling pin and I really needed less people in the kitchen so I asked Geary if he would take Toby to go borrow a rolling pin from our neighbor. Toby got his shoes on and careened through the kitchen, "Bye-bye, Mama! Goodnight, Mama!" He excitedly tried to open the front door.

"Where are you going, Toby?" I asked.

He turned around with a big grin on his face, "To my Grandma!"

Poor kid, I really wish that was the case today.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Long Story about an Allergy

Geary had his wisdom teeth removed last week. It was an easy surgery, took less than an hour, and he was able to have it done with only local anesthesia. After I picked him up from the dentist's office we stopped by our pharmacy to pick up his prescription pain medication, infection preventative penicillin, and some extra gauze. And then since we were close to Target we ran in for a bag of frozen peas, soup, and some Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate shake powder (since he was on a liquid diet for the next couple days).

He spent a day and half sleeping and then he was fine! I mean, he still ate soft foods and took the less strong pain pill once in a while but he was fine. This week I even forgot that he had had surgery. All was well.

And so I continued with my nesting--washing all school clothes and bedding and towels with some Oxy-Clean I found on sale. I didn't see much of a difference except that my whites were a little brighter. Cool. Until Tuesday afternoon, that is.

Geary came home from work to find me and the kids taking naps. He took off his tie and then crawled in bed with me for a short nap for himself. After a few minutes of "how was your day" type talk he asked, "Is my right eyelid swollen?" Indeed it was. Strange, but besides washing his face we didn't do anything about it.

Later that evening Geary came in from the backyard with his torso covered in angry, red hives and big, white welts. "What happened?!?" I exclaimed. "I don't know, it's really itchy." I got some Benedryl and hydrocortizone cream out and we got the rash under control in a few minutes. We tried to think of what was in the backyard that Geary could have been allergic to. We came up blank.

A couple hours later he went to bed and within 10 minutes was covered in a rash again. This time it was on his torso and spreading down his thighs. We repeated the Benedryl/cortizone treatment and got it under control again. At least we were able to rule out an allergy to some unknown outside thing. However, what could he be allergic to on our bed?

I gasped, "What if you're allergic to Oxy-Clean?" We stripped the bed and put clean sheets on that hadn't been washed with the new product. Geary slept fine, no more rashes. I was a little annoyed that I would have to wash all that laundry again but glad that we'd found the culprit.

And then last night Geary came out of our bedroom once again covered in hives! We did the Benedryl/cortizone thing again and stared at each other with wide eyes. What in the world?

"Maybe it's the down comforter?" Geary suggested with a frown. We love our down comforter. Nonetheless, I flung it from the bed and went to get a quilt. No change. The hives came back.

"Were you itchy during the day? I don't think you could be allergic to Oxy-Clean if your clothes are fine!" Geary shook his head, "No, I was fine all day. Until I went to bed." I nodded, "Yeah, bedtime seems to be the common denominator here."

We were quiet for a bit. "Well, besides Oxy-Clean what other things have we been doing different around here?" I thought through all the food we've been eating and then it was like a brick hit my head, "What about the Carnation Instant Breakfast?" Geary chuckled, "You think I could be allergic to chocolate mi---" He was interrupted because a ton of bricks hit my head, "Or your medicine!"

"What medicine? I've only taken one Ibuprofen today."

"No, no! The penicillin! We still have the side effects thingy!" I jumped out of bed and raced to the kitchen to find the prescription information sheet. I took it back to our bed scanning quickly. "Right here! Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; swelling of the eyelids, face, or lips..." My voice trailed off. "Go get your medical card and the phone."

He talked to an advice nurse briefly. We had done everything right but if he had difficulty breathing we should call 911 or go to the E.R. She would have his doctor call in the morning to check on him and they would add "allergic to penicillin" to his chart. And we should notify the dentist the who prescribed the medication so it could be on his dental chart, too.

We stayed up for another half an hour just making sure that he wasn't having trouble breathing, feeling foolish for not realizing the penicillin was the culprit in the first place, and thanking God that it wasn't a more severe reaction.

Geary is doing great this morning. The doctor already called and we threw away the remaining penicillin. And now we're still waiting for my doctor to call with the results of my three hour glucose tolerance test. And I'm praying for a big fat PASS because after the vomiting-sinus- infection-with-crazy-codeine-side-effects and now this hives and welts thing...well, we should just be done with medical stuff for the year, right? Right?
Updated: I passed! I passed! I just got an email from my doctor and I passed! *happy dance*

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Muppet Love

After watching this clip Toby (age 2) said, "I like more Frog, please."