Monday, September 28, 2009

Quickie Update

Here's the Sunday news about Baby Myra:

Urine output continues to be normal. Tests need to be done to determine whether the kidneys are Cleaning the blood properly. My guess (because I'm trusting the Lord) is that they will get a rave review!

Her ventilator was changed from the "jet" one to the one she controls on her own, because she is breathing by herself. They reduce the pressure every four hours, and the O2 is down to 50%. She is learning to get enough oxygen on her own, but has the ventilator support should she get too tired.

Sunday morning, Myra's face woke up. She began doing those little smiley-gestures, and scrunching her eyes. We're still waiting for her beautiful eyes to open, but I don't think it will be very long!

They began i.v. proteins and fats, because they had had no evidence that her digestive tract was working. (of course, she hadn't had any food, but...) They told Lily they would look for gas in the tummy (found via stethoscope). At 8pm Lily was able to change her diaper, and it was POOPY! ("Is that enough evidence???" she asked.) Lily was very excited that when she took off the diaper, the baby's legs pulled back, and she flinched at the cold wipe.

Tonight Lily goes home. Without her baby, but knowing that the Lord is not only going home with her, but also staying behind to care for Myra. To Him be the Glory!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baby News

It is really difficult to believe that the baby is only three days old. I feel like I've lived three weeks in that time.

At thirty-six hours old, a very negative neonatologist gave Johnny Tremain and Lily a very negative report. (this same doctor came into Lily's recovery room before she was completely "with it", and told her that she'd better prepare to pull the plug on Baby, that she probably wasn't going to make it. Yeah. Just the kind of person you want caring for your baby.)

The report was that Baby's kidneys were shutting down. She still wasn't breathing on her own, and was "unresponsive." Those responses Mommy and Daddy got from stroking her legs didn't mean anything, just reflex. Her nervous system wasn't working, and her heart was working as if it were in utero. In two or three days, a decision Must be reached.

Well, the family and friends decided to get a Second Opinion from a Greater Physician.

I took a nap (which always puts my head on straight) and then family and a few close friends gathered in the NICU family lounge. We put together Bible verses while Lily's children came up to see the baby. Johnny took the children home to put them to bed, and a friend stayed so he could come back for a prayer vigil.

In the Hebrew culture, the father has the authority over his children, to plead to God on their behalf. The grandfather also has authority: remember when Joseph was in Egypt? When Jacob finally came to see him, he said, "Bring me your sons Ephraim and Manasseh, so I may bless them." So we anointed Charming and Johnny with frankincense oil, and Charming played and sang for Baby while Johnny prayed over his daughter. The Lord had given Johnny a passage from Psalms 33:18-22:

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, LORD, even as we put our hope in You."

In the lounge, the two grandmas and Lily were anointed, and everyone gathered for prayer. It was a powerful, yet very sweet time of fellowship with the Lord.

A little before noon the next day, we got another report. Baby was breathing on her own, so they lowered the ventilator. Her arms and legs were showing voluntary movement. Her urine output was near normal.

We have been talking for these few days about the difference between Faith and Trust. Faith is saying, " I know God CAN do it." Trust is Knowing He WILL do it. Think about Peter in the boat, when Jesus called to him. He didn't step out, knowing Jesus "could" do it. He KNEW Jesus would do it, and stepped out. Same with Abraham and Isaac. "God WILL provide a lamb." Even if God chose to let Abraham slay Isaac, Abraham knew God would still fulfill His promise.

We've been on a journey to give Baby to the Lord, fully, knowing that He knows best. Even if the "days written in His book" (Ps. 139) are limited. But we are Asking for a long, healthy life. Because He said we could ask.

And now, we're Expecting His best.

I just wanted to let you know how awesome a prayer network has gone out for dear Baby. God has used facebook in a mighty way. We posted a note when Lily went in the hospital for prayer. Friends of friends posted as well. Their friends (like, two generations away from people we knew ourselves) started prayer chains in their church. People in so many different states. Even around the world--Baby has two grown-up soldier cousins in Korea, having people pray. People sharing words from the Word. One lady seeing angels hovering over Baby, bringing healing (and in particular, a new kidney--this lady did not know the actual report of the doctor). Our pastor, while praying, saw Baby at three years old, dancing with other children in service. He sees it as a promise.

What an awesome, incredible God we have. All seven billion people in the world, and He has Time to take care of Baby in this intimate way. To Him be the glory!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


...the birth of our seventh grandchild, a girl. Five pounds, fifteen ounces.

But before she came, she let us know she was In Trouble.

Wednesday night, Lily's water broke. And it was dark green, meconium-filled.

Trash the quiet-birth-at-home plans. Rush to the hospital. Baby's heartrate dipping below 100 during contractions. Whisked to the OR for an emergency C-section.

She has yet to take a breath on her own. She went from the ob's hands to the neonatologist's hands before the ob even knew the gender. She is on a ventilator, and was labeled "unresponsive." That has been amended: this afternoon, her Daddy and Mommy visited, stroking her legs. She moved her foot in response. The nurse verified that that constituted Voluntary Movement.

They did a heart ultrasound, a brain ultrasound, EEG. "You need to wait for the neurologist to read results." As of 9 pm, still waiting. To see if brain damage has occurred.

The GOOD NEWS is that we don't have to wait for God to interpret the tests. He is In Control. He was not surprised at our "emergency"; in fact, He's the One who broke the water so Lily could get help. He knows the Beginning from the End in this situation.

I am watching Grace happen. That Peace that Passes Understanding is settling on Johnny Tremain and Lily. They are being forced to play the Waiting Game. But the Lord is right in the room, Waiting with them. He is also in Baby's room, watching over her. Never sleeping. No change of shifts on His watch.

Prayers of dozens, dozens of believers are being lifted on their behalf. I am so, so grateful for the network of prayer going up. I am so "in the middle" that my prayers don't seem very powerful. I'm stuck at, "God, please!" Others are doing powerful intercession on our behalf.

Thank you for letting me share. I will share more as I get info. But actually, I have all the info I really need. God is Good. All the Time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Probably "serendipities" is not the correct word for this post. But I get a little tired of thinking up cute words for just tidbits of here-and-there-ness around the Cottage.

I wanted to brag on Forget-me-not. She got a word in facebook-Scrabble that netted her 167 points! She actually hit two triple-word scores with one word, as well as using her seven letters. My joy for her accomplisment is dimmed only by the fact that *I* am her opponent in that game, and it looks like she is going to beat me by 200+ points. I'm afraid to see what that will do to my our ratings.

Lily is now fully due to have her fifth baby. She was actually due yesterday, her birthday, but she is always late, sometimes more than others. This baby didn't want to rock the boat, I guess.

Lily asked to borrow our video camera, as hers is on the blink. When I took it out of the case to charge it, what should I find but the charging/uploading cord to the fabulous digital cam I received for Christmas last year! I have never been able to take photos after the first time that the battery wore down. After downloading the photos that were on the memory card, I discovered that Alvin Fernald has grown a good bit this year!

Now to Alvin. Football is something that Alvin is enjoying, and Mommy is trying to ignore, at least the inherent prone-ness to injury. Last week he hurt his shoulder, but it seemed to be feeling better. Then he came home from practice last evening looking like this:

One more on his chin:

I didn't even take a photo of his back.

These bruises were caused mostly by helmets, he says. You may see little circular bruises that look like sprinkles of something--those are the holes in his mesh jersey, and the skin bruised *through* the shirt. He called it "tackle" practice.

Okay, now I'm counting the weeks till it's over. And I don't think I will ever watch football on tv the same way again, either.

Forget-me-not and her boys are picking me up this morning to go see my Daddy at the nursing home. Many times when I speak with him on the phone, his speech is very slow, and he finds it hard to choose his words. Sometimes that is due to his blood sugar, and sometimes just due to the fact that he is 87 years old. I treasure each visit I have with him, knowing that someday soon, I won't be able visit him. I'll just have to wait to see him when we are all "over yonder."

That's about all. I am working on Christmas surprises, and a "boy" quilt for Lily. I already had a "girl" quilt ready. Now it's just a Waiting Game.

At least I'll have a camera ready!

Friday, September 11, 2009

There I Go Again.

Well, I've been shooting off my mouth Thinking again.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thinking Again.

I mentioned yesterday that I accidentally deleted this photo of my Barbara Star quilt "in progress." I am about 60% done with the hand quilting. I am quilting it in diagonal rows, the same way my grandma did the original.

My grandma quilted almost every one of her quilts in diagonal rows. I used to wonder why she didn't get any more adventurous in her quilting designs.
As usual, I judge people without knowing nuthin' about it. A few years ago I read in a quilting book that this style of quilting (diagonal rows) was the Trendy Thing when grandma started quilting. So actually she was on the Cutting Edge there.

Silly me. Silly all of us. Don't we rush to judgment all the time, about all kinds of things? *WHY* did those people paint their house that horrid color? *WHY* does that person wear crew-length black socks with white running shoes? *WHY* would someone choose that song for a wedding? On and on and on.

I've gotten more aware of this lately. I used to watch What Not To Wear, and laugh with everybody else at the secret videos. Until I saw a show where the lady dressed like...ME. Another time I was watching a bathroom-makeover show on the DIY network. I thought the bathroom in the "before" shots looked pretty good. Not 2009, but certainly not 1979, you know? And what did the new owners say? "This looks like a bathroom for RETIRED PEOPLE!!"
Actually, it looked like a bathroom for People Who Don't Rip Everything Out and Replace It With Glass Tile Every 24 Months.

Charming played for worship Sunday in a church in a small town 35 miles away. We were driving along, looking at the modest homes in the town, and musing about how 90% of the world would think them luxurious. Roofs that don't leak. Running water and toilets. Running HOT water. Central heating.
So when we have food and clothing and a dry place to live? "Therewith be content."

I sorta got off-on-a-tangent there. Thanks for staying with me.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happenings Around the Cottage

Well, of course, last week was a busy week. Second week of school--I think Blackeyed Susan and Alvin Fernald are getting used to the new regime. Susan is only complaining about Getting Up Early and Homework. I don't know of a high-schooler who doesn't complain about those, right?

A friend shared some farm-eggs with us. These things are HUGE, all with double-yolks:
I put a store-bought "large" egg beside one of these brown beauties to compare:
We had to eat them, because I couldn't figure out how to use them in brownies! At one time, I learned the cup-measures for all of the store sizes, medium, large and jumbo: kinda like 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, etc? But since we *could* eat them, I just didn't bother.
But my two-eggs-and-toast was a tad more filling than usual.

My neighbor Linda sent over a selection of her gorgeous tomatoes. Some of them are vintage varieties, and, as you can see, very colorful. We call this "a bowl of candy" because of their sweetness, and eat many of them as such. The rest will go on our lunch salad today:
On the crafting front, I am about 60% done, quilting my Barbara Star quilt...

[the photo of which I just DELETED!!!!!!!!! I'll post it again the next time...]

...working on a surprise for Christmas...

...and making props for our Missions Conference Parade at church. These are burlap bags filled with balled-up newspaper, that can represent beans if you're from Latin America, or rice if you are Asian:

Finally, any crafting that happens after September 1st is accompanied by Christmas music. This is a habit I developed in high school, to get me in the mood for the presents I knit/sewed/crafted for my friends. So, the case of Christmas cd's came out this week, and is doing its duty, setting the mood!

I didn't take a photo of our newly repaired window in the kitchen. Alvin and his friend DISOBEYED the house rule of no-real-baseball-throwing in the backyard (or front yard, for that matter). We have a custom of using tennis balls in the yard, and baseballs reserved for the park down the street. The window they broke was a double-paned custom jobbie. Charming took it to the hardware store, but they could not fix it as it was. The frame was constructed around the glass, so there was no knock-out-the-glass-put-a-new-piece-in. Since we did not have several hundred $$$ to buy a new window, Charming and MacGuyver spent the afternoon chisel-ing out the frame so it would be able to receive a regular ol' pane of glass. I thought Charming especially smart to choose plexiglass. Cost: $42 for the glass, $15 labor, and $12 for the wood-chisel.
Quite the week.

Oh, yes, I wanted to update you on Freshman Football. Unfortunately, SSHS (Green! White! Fight! Fight!) lost to the big "S" school, but Alvin was not injured. Friday night the varsity team beat the next rival, which is the school the freshmen play this Thursday.

Sigh. Only six more games to pray Alvin through.

Oh, and by-the-way, of course you saw that ND beat Nevada 35-0. First shutout for ND since 2002. Do you think they can do that again next week against Michigan?

Wake up the echoes, baby.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

If Women Weren't Around to Civilize Men, They Would Never Shower and They Would Just Stand Their Jeans in the Corner of The Cave Every Night.

You may have observed around Playoff time in any professional sport, the custom of say, an entire team not shaving from the beginning of playoffs until the World Series or the Super Bowl or the NBA Championship or Stanley Cup or whatever. Little quasi-superstitious customs that ensure "good luck." I personally a) never understood the concept (do female athletes do this?) and b) never actually observed a quantifiable difference in the results. I mean, if both teams refuse to shave, how does "luck" improve? And, plenty of times, the Cubs completely-random-teams don't win, anyway.

That brings me to Alvin Fernald's freshman football team.

Now, our high school is designated 4A. Schools in our state are rated by their student population. Several high schools in our city are ranked 5A, two of them having over twice as many students as S.S.H.S. You also need to know that our school has three teams: varsity, junior varsity, and freshman. Varsity teams play Friday nights, j.v. plays the same opponent the following Monday, and freshmen the following Thursday.

Last week, Alvin was third-string QB and first-team Special Teams. We played my alma mater, B.D. The varsity lost to them, but the freshmen won, for the first time in four years! Alvin was instrumental in two plays, one of which he ran 60 yards to tackle a guy, stopping an Imminent Touchdown in the process.

Now to This Week. Last Friday night, S.S.H.S. BEAT Uber-Rival The-Other-"S"-School. (we can't bear to say their name.) This school has 5000 students (SSHS has 1500). This was a Big Upset. In addition, during last week's freshman game, 1st-string QB busted his finger, and 2nd-string QB broke his collarbone. This set up Alvin to be 1st-string against Uber-Rival. (did I mention that Uber-Rival has Two freshman teams?) Unfortunately (or may his Mommy say "fortunately"?) 1st-String guy only jammed his finger and may start. But, certainly, Alvin will get playing time.

Now to the Superstition part. All team members and cheerleaders and coaches and such, always wear their jerseys (or uniforms) to school on Game Day. Last night, Alvin brought home his jersey. This is the same Number 10 that the varsity guy wore Friday night. It smelled foul, people, FOUL. Not just body odor, maybe they put-it-away-wet and there was some mildew involved, as well. I offered to Launder it for Alvin: "OH, NO, Mom, can't do that! We BEAT "S" school in that jersey!"

As the evening progressed, we noticed the jersey more and more. Finally, even Alvin couldn't stand it any more: "OKAY, Mom, let's wash the jersey. I have to wear it to school all day, and there are GIRLS!"

Yet another instance of Women Civilizing Men.

On a serious note, I, MOM, am completely concerned about Injuries. Would you take a little moment and pray for Alvin today?

(I'll let you know how it turns out tonight. Go Archers!)