We had a very fun and eventful weekend.
On Friday, we called in a babysitter and went bowling with a group of people from our church. I hadn't bowled in a LONG time, and started off surprisingly well, only to slowly deteriorate over the course of the night. But it didn't matter! We had a great time hanging out with friends and spending time together.
I stole these pictures from Saverio's facebook page:
Me & Sarah

JP, Cole & Chris work out their strategy

Sarah looks like she hasn't eaten in days

Before we left that night, Rae found one of my sweaters and brought it out to JP, saying "Pees?" He put it on her and she loved it.

Saturday was busy. JP watched Israel most of the day as I ran to our "Help Meet" book study and to a baby shower. Then it was home to relieve JP, pack up Rae, bring her to my mom's, and head to church (Did anyone else have as much fun as I did during worship that night?!!?)

Sunday was extra special, though, because we celebrated Great-Grandma Dellas' birthday (JP's mom's mom). I think Uncle Kev said she was turning 39. Wow. It was wonderful to see her, as well as Great-Grandma Arlene and all the rest of the family we barely ever get to see.

Now it's Monday and we're back to the grind. Fun weekends make Mondays seem extra boring. But I guess I just have more to look forward to that way. :)


Know Your Man

I have been re-reading an excellent book by Debi Pearl called "Created to be His Help Meet." As I read it, I'm reminded of the verse in Acts that says "they were not able to resist the wisdom & the spirit by which (s)he spoke." I can't resist the truth of what Debi Pearl has to say about women and their roles as wives -- IT'S SO GOOD!!!
One of the most interesting chapters in the book is Chapter 8. It talks about 3 different types of men in the world: Mr. Command Man, Mr. Visionary, and Mr. Steady. Knowing and understanding which one your man is (or what combination he may be) offers invaluable insight into what kind of woman he needs you to be.
The first time I read the book (when I was engaged), I thought JP was 100% Mr. Command Man. Now when I read it, I cannot decide between Mr. Command and Mr. Visionary. I have learned so much more about him in the last 2.5 years, and it changes who I need to be in order to be the best help meet possible for him.
The chapter is so good! If you can't read the whole book, at least read the chapter here!

If you like what you read, you can order the book here.


My Lord, My Love

O Love divine, what has thou done!
The immortal God hath died for me.
The Father's coeternal Son
bore all my sins upon the tree.
Th' immortal God for me hath died:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified.

Is crucified for me and you,
to bring us rebels back to God.
Believe, believe the record true,
ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.
Pardon for all flows from his side:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified.

Behold him, all ye that pass by,
the bleeding Prince of life and peace!
Come, sinners, see your Savior die,
and say, "Was ever grief like his?"
Come, feel with me his blood applied:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified.

Spoke Too Soon

We ended up taking Rae back into the ER last night.
As we were getting her ready for bed, she started puking, which we assumed was due to an upset tummy from her new antibiotics. She seemed better, so we cleaned her up and put her to bed. About 20 minutes later she was still moaning and whining in her crib, so I went to see if she had puked again. She hadn't yet, but she did almost as soon as I picked her up. But what really scared us is that her color was VERY pale, her skin was really blotchy, her lips were blue and she was shaking.
Our first fear was that her oxygen was really low again, so we set out immediately for the ER. By the time we got there, her color was already looking better and her oxygen levels were fine. But after listening to her lungs, the doctor ordered another of those darn chest x-rays!!!!!!!! Her left lung was sounding crackly, and the x-ray showed worsening conditions. The doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia. The discoloration and shaking were due to her fever shooting up so rapidly (went from nothing to 102.9 in about 30 minutes).
They wanted to give her a shot similar to the shot JP got last week. We waited and waited and waited for it to show up, and finally around midnight we decided to leave because Rae was falling apart from exhaustion.
I am taking her into another clinic this morning to try to get the shot. She ate better this morning than she has been the past few days, but is still very sleepy and clingy.
I am frustrated and discouraged. I was so happy that we seemed to have turned a corner as a family, and now this. Please pray for little Rae. JP is feeling much, much better.



I took Israel in for a follow-up appointment today, and everything looked good! Her oxygen levels were at 98% and the doctor said her lungs sounded clear. He told me to continue the nebulizer treatments for now.
The only thing is that she has an ear infection in her OTHER ear now (the first one is gone). He gave us an antibiotic for that, so in Jesus' name we say she will be HEALED!

Here are some new cute pictures. I got her a pair of rubber boots so we could splash in the puddles this spring. Trouble is, they're a little big...and she can't really walk in them. But she loves to play with them!


Chest X-ray

This is a picture of what the chest x-ray torture chamber was like. This baby doesn't seem to mind it - but Rae was in pieces with fear.

I should have mentioned...

...the doctor said Rae has bronchiolitis. You can read about it here.



The past couple of days have been some of the most eventful of our parenting lives. On Friday afternoon, Israel woke up from her nap burning with fever. We gave her Tylenol and she seemed to perk up, played for a while and ate her dinner. But by 7:00 pm, she was falling asleep in my arms (she usually goes to bed at 8:30). I put her to bed and left JP in charge while I went to a birthday party for a friend from church. When I got home around 11:00 pm, she was sleeping with JP on the couch. I took her temperature and it was 103.3. We gave her more Tylenol and put her back to bed.
The next morning she woke up with a 101.6 fever. Knowing she's been struggling with bronchitis and an ear infection, I decided to take her into urgent care.
When the nurse checked her oxygen levels, they were at 87%, which is very, very low. They gave her some mild steroids and a nebulizer treatment, and also took a chest x-ray -- which just so happens to be the very worst thing a parent could ever watch their child go through. It was like willingly placing my daughter in a mini torture chamber. They put her in a very uncomfortable looking bicycle seat sort of thing, then they had me hold her arms up in the air over her head. They then took a clear plastic tube and enclosed her in it so that she was stuck with her hands above her head. At that point I had to go behind a wall (since I'm pregnant) while they did the x-rays. Rae could see me out of the corner of her eye and was looking at me in terror, screaming her lungs out. I was bawling. It was horrible. Thankfully, it was over quickly.
The x-rays came back clear, and her oxygen levels were on the rise, but the doctor was watching her breathe and was not pleased with how hard she was having to work for each breath. He sent me to North Memorial's ER to have them evaluate her and decide whether she should be admitted for the night.
After nearly 3 hours of sitting in an ER room with doctors and nurses going in and out, the ER doctor agreed that Rae should stay overnight. We waited even longer for a bed to open up, and finally around 5:00 pm we got into a room.
At this point, Rae had gone all day without a nap (she usually takes 2 naps per day) and was becoming delirious. I tried to get her to sleep in the hospital room, but the big metal crib was so scary and she had wires hooked up to her to monitor her oxygen levels -- it just wasn't going to happen. We ate dinner and had to have ANOTHER chest x-ray done, and after that, she fell sound asleep on JP's chest.
Later, JP went home and I tried to transfer her into the crib. It was still too scary, so after a while I just brought her out and let her sleep on the couch with me. She preferred this very much and slept pretty well. I didn't sleep a wink. Every time she moved or made the smallest noise, I was wide awake to make sure she was ok. And every time her oxygen levels got too low, a machine would beep and I'd be wide awake again.
At about 12:45 am, the nurse came in and said her oxygen levels were staying too low (about 86%), so they gave her a nebulizer and I held her down as they stuck plastic oxygen tubes up her nose and taped them to her face. Poor baby. She hated it at first, but exhaustion finally won out and she fell asleep next to me again. Her oxygen levels stayed high the rest of the night and she slept very soundly.
This morning she woke up without any fever and behaving very pleasantly. The doctor listened to her lungs and said she sounded good, gave us our instructions, and sent us home.
She seemed pretty tired and on edge today, but not too bad. She has little marks on hr face from where they peeled off the tape that was holding the tubes to her face. She is in bed with a slight fever right now, and I plan to check on her a couple times throughout the night to make sure she is breathing easily.
We want to thank all of you who were praying for us yesterday and have been praying for us the past couple of weeks. Things have been hard, but God is good. I am exhausted, though, and will need miraculous rest tonight.
Here are a couple pictures I took at the hospital last night and this morning. Special thanks to "G" (JP's mom) who brought us food, "Grandma" (my mom) who brought books and fruit, and "Gammy & Grampies" (JP's dad & step-mom) who watched our dogs for us all weekend long. We love you guys.

Cuddling with Grandma -- notice the wire hooked to her foot.

Exhaustion takes over

Just before she woke up this morning

Just after waking up -- cutie pie bed-head!

Walking around with her tubes and wires. These are the yellow "prison pajamas" they had her wear during her stay.


Health Update

After two weeks, we seem to finally know just what is wrong with JP's health. Yesterday the doctor very clearly detected Strep Pneumonia in JP's left lung. He thinks JP may have also had a virus on top of this, perhaps even Influenza A. They have sent in a test swab to confirm whether or not he has the flu.
Today JP woke up with his glands swollen so much, he looks as though he swallowed a couple of golf balls. I think overall he is feeling better, though. Yesterday the nurse gave him a nice, painful shot in the buttox, and today he gets to go in for another one. They also upped his dose of oral antibiotics and are keeping him on steriods and nebulizer treatments.
Rae still has a cough, but other than that, you'd never know she is sick. She is also taking antibiotics and doing nebulizer treatments.
I have remained amazingly untouched, excepting a small cough that seems to have passed already.
We give the glory to Jesus for the continued healing in our household. We're confident that this will be over with soon.


Remembering Bill

Tonight, I watched hundreds of people fill the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis to honor a man some of them had never even met before, but felt was a friend.
Bill Carlson's final send-off was grand and beautiful. Bill loved the theater, and there couldn't have been a more suiting venue. The words spoken, poems read, and the music shared were perfect to capture the man Bill was and is.
The service opened with Bill's favorite song, "What a Wonderful World," as performed by Louis Armstrong. That was enough to put me over the top right from the very beginning. What followed were various testimonies from friends, colleagues, and family, intermingled with songs that perfectly captured Bill's personality and love.

Some of the songs:
I'm Glad There is You (John Denver sang this at Bill & Nancy's wedding)
Perhaps Love (by John Denver)
Follow Me (the song John Denver wrote for Bill & Nancy's wedding)
Till There Was You (from The Music Man)
It's Something That We Do (by Clint Black. Iff you don't know this song, find it on iTunes and listen to it now!)
Through The Years (Bill's granddaughter sang this one)
Nancy With The Laughing Face (Nancy's dad named her after this Frank Sinatra song, and Bill loved it)
...and one whose lyrics really touched me...
Once Before I Go (from the musical The Boy from Oz)

Some other highlights for me:
-Les Holst, former United Airlines pilot and dear friend of Bill & Nancy, pretended to get a phone call from Bill in heaven during his speech. He joked about Bill giving the weather report from heaven. At the end he told Bill he was "kind of in the middle of something" (not a direct quote, but something like that) and got off the phone with him. Then he turned to us and, in tears, said that was Bill; he said he's fine and that he loves you.
-Bill's sister, Judy, shared the gospel with the simple message: "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody comes to the father but by Me."
-Jeanette Trompeter read a story called "The Eagle and the Wren." It's the story of an eagle who competes in a contest to see which bird can fly the highest. The eagle soars far higher than any other bird, but once he reaches the highest he can go, a tiny wren burrows from out of the eagles feather and flies even higher. The wren explains to the eagle that she never could have flown that high herself - he carried her there. She had always wanted to see the world from such glorious heights, and he made that happen for her. Just like Bill lifted Nancy to new & glorious heights she never could have attained on her own.
-I couldn't control the tears when Don Shelby imagined Bill in heaven receiving the greatest honor of all. It wasn't an Emmy or an Academy Award. It was Jesus telling him "Well done, good and faithful servant."
-Nancy burst into tears when the National Guard presented her with a flag for Bill's service in the army, as a trumpled played "Taps" in the background.

Finally, here is the song we all sang together at the end of the service. This song was sung by Bill & Nancy's wedding guests at the end of their wedding ceremony. I can just hear Bill saying these words.

May each day in the week be a good day,
May the Lord always watch over you
And may all of your hopes turn to wishes,
And may all of your wishes come true.

May each day in the month be a good day.
May you make friends with each one you meet,
And may all of your day dreams be memories,
And may all of your memories be sweet.

The weeks turn to months, and the months turn to years,
There'll be sadness and joy, there'll be laughter and tears.
But one thing I pray, to heaven above,
May each of your day be a day full of love.

May each day in the year be a good day,
May each dawn find you happy and gay.
And may all of your days be as lovely,
As the one you shared with me today.
May each day of your life be a good day,
And, goodbye.

Watch Bill's Memorial Service Live

WCCO will stream today's memorial service live at 3:00 pm on their website.


Under the Weather and Stranded

Our household has had a difficult last couple of days.
JP had been diligently fighting off a cold for the past week or so, but on Sunday he started feeling really poorly. He went into North Memorial and they told him they suspected bronchitis and sent him home with some antibiotics.
Yesterday he was feeling even worse, so he went to our regular family clinic. After blood draws, x-rays, and various other tests, they told him it seemed to be early pneumonia. He came home and spent the rest of the day in bed and on the couch feeling utterly miserable.
To top things off, both of our cars are out of commission right now, so we are basically stranded. He was in the middle of fixing the brakes on his car when mine went out as well, and then he got so sick he couldn't continue working on them. We had to have a friend from church bring JP to the hospital on Sunday and another friend took him to the doctor yesterday. JP's dad also came to our aid yesterday by picking up JP's prescriptions and bringing them to the house for us.
Today JP is feeling better and is trying to at least get his car back in working order. But I have developed a nasty cough, and Rae is not feeling well either.
Please pray for healing for all of us, and that we would be able to get the cars functioning again soon!!


Bill's Memorial Service

Visitation - Wednesday, March 5th, Old Log Theatre in Excelsior, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Memorial Service - Thursday, March 6th, State Theater downtown, 3 p.m.

Both events are open to the public.

Click here for a beautiful interview with Bill's lovely wife, Nancy.