All About Me
Dawn - edging ever closer to 30, although I still feel like I'm 21. :) I'm married to a youth pastor ('Big G'), and have THREE wonderful kids: a five year-old son ('Little G'), a just turned two year-old daughter ('A'), and our newest little girl blessing, Baby R, was born May 28/07!! They keep me hopping as I juggle them, my WAH part-time job as an accountant, being a pastor's wife, and of course hobbies like quilting, scrapbooking, and blogging!

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Callapidder Days
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Life in a Shoe: The Methods and Madness of One Family of 10

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You know it's going to be one of those days when.....
Tackle it Tuesday - the office!
First tooth!
Yes / No...Don't Know?
A digital photographer's best friend
Wordless Wednesday - ready for solid food?!?
It's not fair!
5 going on 25??
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Friday, September 29, 2006
We're home
We're back from our whirlwind trip and things are going alright. The meeting with the social worker went fairly well, although there were a few tense moments. The (ex?) boyfriend/father of my niece had to be there as well, so that was pretty stressful as my parents certainly have no love for him. I was sooo thankful that Big G came with me as he was able to do his 'pastoral' thing and calm everyone down and help people understand each other's viewpoints.

The night before we left A was up several times throwing up, so we started off the trip very tired. Fortunately she was okay while we were there, but then she threw up again on the way home and then again last night. Today she is miserable and feverish and just wants to be held. She keeps asking to eat but we're trying to get her to take it slowly so her stomach can readjust.

Today has been hard with A sick and M wanting to be held when A is, but I really think once A is healthy this won't be too awfully hard. M took naps right when A did today, so I don't think it will be too difficult to get them consistently on the same schedule. We've had a lot of support already from our church family, and we haven't hardly told anyone yet. We are so thankful for them.

My kids are waking up...will post later!

posted at 2:48 PM  

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Leaving tomorrow
We are leaving tomorrow morning to go down to get my niece M. We have a meeting with my parents and sister and the social worker tomorrow afternoon when we arrive, then we'll leave Thursday morning to come back here. We're going to leave Little G here (hopefully - we're looking for someone to look after him while we're gone) and take A with us.

Even though I knew this was coming, I still feel very unprepared. Really, there's not much I need...she'll wear the same size diapers as A, and they can wear each other's clothes as they're almost exactly the same size. She's still on formula I think, so we'll need to buy more of that and bring all her bottles back with us. Assuming it fits in our van, we'll bring her crib back home with us and set it up in the spare room downstairs. We have a playpen here which we'll probably set up in the living room and use for putting one baby in while I'm having to do something with the other one. We only have one highchair, but we have one of those plastic booster seats with a tray that go on a regular chair, so I think we'll put A in that and let M use the highchair.

I really hope I'm not forgetting anything terribly important. We still don't know how long this is going to be for, but at least a couple of months I would think.


posted at 3:35 PM  

On the lighter side...

posted at 12:58 PM  

Monday, September 25, 2006
Things get messy
I'll try to make this short, I promise. Everything feels like it has been shaken around and turned upside down all in one weekend.

My younger sister was living with her boyfriend and this summer they were caught doing drugs. There was a sort of 'intervention' done and she and her kids (five and 10 months) lived at my parents for about a month and she wasn't supposed to have any contact with the boyfriend. About three weeks ago she found an apartment and moved in there, and started back to work (she was on mat leave) two weeks ago.

On Friday my parents couldn't get a hold of her at work, and she wasn't answering at home either, so my dad went over that evening to figure out what was going on. The original story was that she didn't go to work because she had a bad headache and then felt better so she spent the day at the mall. Eventually the true story came out that she had taken almost a thousand dollars out of her retirement savings account and spent it on drugs. She's unblocked the ex(?) boyfriend's cell phone and the bill's been run up to $1800. She owes my dad a bunch of money from helping her get settled into her apartment.

My dad finally has come to the conclusion that he's been enabling her and being fooled (they've done this, in varying circumstances, several times). Mom's been at the point of finally letting her go for a while, I believe. The kids are at my parents' right now and they made a call to child welfare on the weekend but don't get to speak with a case worker until this morning.

Mom has asked us before what would happen if the kids ever had to be taken away, and we have said that we would take them. Last night my mom said that she would keep D, the five year-old, and she's just worried about what to do with M, the baby, but as Big G and I discussed it last night with some close friends, we don't feel like she should keep D either. Mom had a nervous breakdown this summer while all the stuff with my sister was going on. She hasn't even gone back to work yet; she's on short-term disability leave. I know she wants to keep him there, but I don't know if it would be best for him. She's really on her last nerve.

So today they will talk to the child welfare worker; I have no idea how this process will work or what my sister is going to decide to do, whether she'll decide to go into treatment or if she doesn't even care. Regardless, we're pretty sure that in the next couple of days we'll be travelling down there (five hour drive) to pick up at least the baby. We don't know for how long. It's hard not to think beyond this day and the trouble it carries and wonder if we will end up with these children forever.

Oh, and we found out on Friday that we're expecting #3.

Please pray for us. We can't do this, we can only trust that the Lord knows the plans He has for us and will carry us through and give us His strength.

**UPDATE**: My parents had a good meeting with the case worker this morning. They have to do an assessment first where they interview my sister, my nephew, probably my parents, etc. This is supposed to take three or four days, but they don't want the kids going out of town while this is happening. So they will stay at my parents' house while that is happening. They are still going to daycare during the day, so my parents really only have them while they're getting ready in the morning and then in the evening, and that seems to be okay with them. After the assessment is done, M will be coming here forsure (the assessment is to determine what the 'contract' will be - if she has to go into a certain treatment center, etc; the kids are not going back with her at this point). Mom thinks she can handle D and that it would be better for him to stay there where he can stay in the same school and see his mom if she's doing well.

So we have a few days to figure out the logistics of this. I understand the argument that it's better for D to stay where he knows and can see his mom, but if this is going to be long-term I think he'd be better off here rather than in daycare. We'll see what happens.

posted at 6:12 AM  

Friday, September 22, 2006
My discourse on homeschooling
I'm sure it's come across in my posts that I am desiring to homeschool our children, at least for part of their education. My husband is not convinced - not that he's adamantly against it, but he does seem to be leaning that direction. And it certainly doesn't help that every time we start to talk about it, I have a very difficult time putting my thoughts into words and more likely than not just start crying! I feel so passionately about this for so many varied reasons that it's hard to articulate it and the feeling that his heart is not (yet?) with mine in this area makes it very emotional for me to try to discuss it.

So...I've spent the last couple of hours trying to put together a 'Why I Want to Homeschool' essay of sorts. It sounds kind of cheesy to print it out rather than just say it, but if I can get my thoughts semi-coherently down on paper, and have Big G read that, maybe it would be easier to discuss further once I knew my main points were out there.

I'm having a really hard time expressing myself, though, which is not normal for me - prayers for clarity would be appreciated! (And if anyone wants to volunteer to edit my essay, as well!) ;)


posted at 8:12 PM  

Everyday Things
"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
Philippians 4:11

"If you want any one thing too much it's likely to disappoint. The healthy way is to learn to like the everyday things, like soft beds and buttermilk..."-- Augustus McCrae-"Lonesome Dove"

Welcome to Everyday Things, hosted by Everyday Mommy. This weekly feature is designed to encourage all of us to embrace contentment and to appreciate the everyday things which we often take for granted.

Today I am thankful for the quiet in our house in the mornings before the kids wake up - I am a morning person, so I (almost) always get up before them and get ready. My children are remarkably consistent about their waking times, so it's easy to plan this and have a few minutes of silence before the house awakens. Sometimes it is the only time all day where I can hear myself think and I treasure it.

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posted at 6:22 AM  

Thursday, September 21, 2006
Good friends are such a blessing
And we are so blessed with many good friends.

I went to a friend's house this morning to help her with her year-end bookkeeping (they just started a new company this year so this is her first time doing year-end stuff). This couple has been very special to us since we stayed at their house four years ago when we candidated at this church. I spent the morning helping her, while she and her husband doted on A, then she went and picked Little G up at school for me. Her husband called Big G and asked him to come over and join us for lunch there. She cooked up a storm for us, a good Mennonite dinner of perogies and sausage. :) It was a wonderful day of fellowship.

I got in the van to go home and quickly noticed that my gas gauge, which had been on nearly empty when I arrived there, was now totally full - she had filled up our van with gas when she went to town to pick up Little G! I called her on my cell to give her a hard time about it, and when I offered to pay her, she said no way (of course), and I just burst out crying! I was as surprised as she was, lol, but I just suddenly felt such deep gratitude for friends who care for us so much. She of course felt awful that I was crying, and was trying to explain that they feel like they never do anything for us and just wanted to help out in a small way. Hello? We feel like they are always doing things for us! Just this week her husband built the stairs for our deck at his place and brought them over and installed them for us!

Maybe it's just an example of how our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ should be - all of us giving of ourselves to each other in love. I can say that it's very cool to have friends like that and we are so thankful.

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posted at 2:31 PM  

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I feel like I don't fit anywhere in cyberspace
OK, not the worst problem one could have, but it's been niggling at me from the back of my mind somewhere lately. I often find myself reading the blogs of homeschooling moms, as I really feel like I would like to homeschool our kids some day, and yet many of them seem to be girls all in long skirts and long hair, isolated from the 'world' type of homeschoolers, which I would so not be. In some ways I feel connected with them, but enough things are different to feel like they would not understand me, that perhaps they'd even shun me for not believing all the same things they do.

I read the blogs of several women struggling with infertility, most of whom I found through friends from another message board and links on their blogs. It's easy to get very involved in these women's stories, and I feel very deeply for them, but as infertility is not an issue we have had to deal with, I feel almost guilty for my two children (and hopefully more to come).

Do you think there are any Christian, pro-homeschooling, conservative in doctrine but not in dress/home/cooking bloggers out there?!? I'm sure there are, I just need to find them!

posted at 12:56 PM  

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
'I don't like school'
Wahh! It seems like each day it's getting harder and harder to get Little G dropped off at school. Today was awful - he was hanging on me and kept saying he didn't want to stay. I stayed for about 15 minutes trying to convince him that everything was fine (during which time A ate a bunch of bright blue paint because I was too occupied with Little G to watch her properly), and eventually I peeled him off me and pushed him towards the teacher and just left. I stayed in the hall for a few minutes and I didn't hear anything, so hopefully he was okay.

I've heard the advice lots of places that that's just what you have to do with kids when they're starting school, but something about it just doesn't seem right to me. Sure, maybe after you do that a couple of times they stay without a problem, but is that because you've taught them a valuable skill or because you've destroyed their security that someone will help them if they protest and they've just given up?

I'm going to talk to his teachers today and see if they have any idea what's going on. I am not doing this all year. He's four years old, for heaven's sake!!

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posted at 8:32 AM  

Friday, September 15, 2006
Win a FREE blog design!
I've been coveting one of these designs for a long time now - I absolutely LOVE her style and diversity! Right now the only way I'm going to get one is by winning her fall contest, though. : ) Why not hop over to Bluebird Blogs and enter your name and blog for one of two totally free blog designs by Susie? Or you can just send an email with your name and blog address to and you'll be entered.

Good luck (I'm cheering for long as I win one of them!!) ;)

posted at 4:41 PM  

School days
Little G started Junior Kindergarten last Friday at the local Catholic school - it's a half-day speech and language program. I think I had posted before that I was really struggling with the decision whether to send him or not, but in the end I decided not to. Confused? Yeah, me too.

While we were on vacation in August we got a message from the Kindergarten teacher saying she was looking forward to meeting Little G and letting us know when his first day would be, etc. That of course put me in a state since I had already agonized over my decision - and now somehow they thought he was registered!

Long story short (aren't you grateful?), Big G and I talked about it all the way home and decided it was at least worth a try. Honestly I agreed kind of reluctantly, since I couldn't come up with any good reasons why not to, just that I was afraid that deciding to send him now would mean the decision was made for all of eternity to keep him in school. So the 'deal' I made was that we could approach the whole school decision fresh again next summer, and Big G wasn't 'allowed' to use the argument that this year went fine, why change anything.

Little G's really enjoying school for the most part - yesterday and today he did initially say that he didn't want to go, although he had a great time once he was there. The teacher is wonderful and I love that their 'nature' station (birds' nest, different leaves, etc) says "Look at the neat things God made!" and that they pray each day to start and end the class. But still I'm uncomfortable. The thought of him spending the majority of his days there for the next ten years makes me want to cry. I feel like homeschooling has been put on my heart and it would be wonderful for our kids, but there is the nagging doubt that maybe I'm just an attached mother having a hard time with my child starting school just like everyone does and I should get over it instead of 'reacting' by wanting to homeschool.

I don't know. Meanwhile, I'm taking him to and from school in the snow (yes, SNOW on September 15!). It's really not that fun, especially when Big G isn't home and I have to load up A too.

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posted at 4:16 PM