Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weeks 20 & 21 - CRAZINESS!!!

Wow! So, I haven't written in a long time but I have many valid excuses! Where do I even begin?! This will probably be a long post, read at your own interest level!

Last weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun), Hannah and I went back to Western Kentucky to visit family and friends. Unfortunately James had to work as usual. Right before we left I started to get a little bit of a cough and Hannah began with a runny nose. I didn't think much about it, we both tend to get colds alot. Well, by Saturday, Hannah was running a temperature of 103.3. With the help of some acetaminophen and other techniques, we got the fever down within a couple of hours. Little did I know the fever would continue to rise and fall for FIVE more days.

All that being said, I took her to the doctor on Monday. I was told it was likely just a viral thing and the fever should break by Wednesday if so. If she was to get any more symptoms, I should call the office. Well... Tuesday morning, I went to the doctor (for myself) and was put on a Zpack to deal with my cough/cold and for prevention considering I'm pregnant. Later that same afternoon, Hannah woke from her nap shivering uncontrollably, breathing short breaths and with purple lips. One call to the doctor and we were on our way to the ER. After all kinds of tests and a chest Xray, once Hannah was stabilized, we were sent home with antibiotics (just in case there was an infection) and a nebulizer to help her breathing. We were told she may be in the beginning stages of pneumonia, again, likely viral. If her symptoms came back, we should take her to the ER at the Children's Hospital downtown because they may need to admit her.

1:30 am, same night. Hannah woke up screaming. Chills, fever, short breath and purple lips had all returned. Off to Kosairs ER we went. We spent the entire evening there (left at 7am) and with no more info. Again, test-wise, she had no symptoms of low oxygen or even the previous possibility of pneumonia. Just a really nasty virus. Christmas Eve morning, we went home and were told to stay on the original course of action with antibiotics and nebulizer, fever reducers as needed. Yesterday (Friday), we checked in a the pediatrician's office for a post ER visit. She did manage to get an ear infection on top of it all but by God's grace, she's been fever-less for about 36 hours!

Today we started a new antibiotic (to treat the ear infection) and are continuing with the occasional breathing treatments over the weekend. She slept a whopping 13 hours last night without getting up (praise the Lord!) and seems to be doing a great deal better. Personally, my cough has slowed tremendously and I'm on my last day of the Zpack. I'm also feeling a world better. In addition, God has been so gracious in keeping James from getting sick this entire time. That has been a tremendous blessing as he's had to pull a great deal of the weight this week (on top of working).

Overall, it's been a crazy few weeks. In addition to the sickness, the busyness of the Christmas season kept us going. James' family was here for 2 weeks and then as I mentioned earlier, we visited my family for a few days. Tomorrow, we'll be going back to W.Ky for a few more days (James included) to visit a bit more. You can pray for my mom as she's also been incredibly sick. As a matter of fact, not only our daughter but both of our mom's were all at separate ERs in about a 36 hour time frame. It was crazy!

Hannah enjoyed opening her Christmas presents and seems to enjoy most of them so far. She's really enjoyed her new toy kitchen. I'll try to get pictures up later.

Baby Benjamin has been doing well as much as we know. He's still kicking around enough to let me know he's okay. That has been reassuring. My next OB appointment will be January 8th. We'll have another ultrasound because they didn't get a good visual of the heart last time. So that should be exciting... I love peaking in at the baby!

If you're still reading with me, I'm impressed! Please continue to pray for our family and healing. Also, let us know if there is any way we can pray for you!

Take care,
Terra

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sick... sick... sick...

Yeah... so ignore the "alive and 'well'" part of the last post. We're alive but definitely not well. Hannah and I (Terra) are not doing so hot. Went to the doc with Hannah today... appears to be viral, we'll see. She's been running up to 104 degree temp (at it's peak) while I've been hovering just under 100. I think we have two different things going on though, as we have many different symptoms.

Anyway... all that being said, I don't know when I'll get a real post on here but I'll do it whenever I can. Please pray James doesn't get sick again (he just got over a cold not too long ago) and that the rest of us get better soon.

Take care,
Terra

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Ignoring You!

Just want to let you all know we're alive and well... Just crazy busy with this season. I'll try to post my pregnancy updates as soon as possible! I'll be out of town tomorrow through Sunday so I'll do my best whenever I can.

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pre-Christmas Pics

Click the pic below to view some pictures from miscellanous pre-Christmas events (this particular picture set will grow as more pics are taken).

In Christ,

Terra

Weeks 18 & 19: Lots of excitement!

Okay everyone, I'm finally taking the time to write a real post about the last 2 weeks. ;) The two weeks have blurred a bit because of busyness so I'll just combine the two.

Yesterday was the super exciting day. I woke to birthday wishes and a sweet card from my husband. Later in the morning, I noticed he'd also sent me an email about my gift (which was still to come). Can I brag on my hubby for a moment? He is really growing in the listening department. :) About a month or so ago, a guy from our community group (Ryan) and I were reminiscing on high school marching band (go ahead...I know what you're thinking). Anyway, that conversation went into a conversation about DCI, or Drum Corp International. Ryan and I were discussing how awesome the shows were and trying to express our excitement to all of the non-band nerds in the room. Well, that conversation eventually ended of course and like most random conversations, I didn't really think about it any more. But my husband listened. For my birthday, he ordered me the 2008 World DCI Championship DVD and the promise to take me to a show this summer (which I haven't been to in at least 10 years). It is a random gift but one that I am completely excited about! What a good listener he was being! I'll be sure to have a DCI championship night for anyone interested in attending... hehehe I'm sure there will be a great turn out surrounding my computer as we watch it!

Well, the morning continued. I took Hannah to the doctor (she has a cold) and did a little small grocery shopping. A few hours later, we were heading to the OB to find out the sex of the baby. ;)

We entered the office and were sent straight back to the ultrasound (U/S) waiting area. Our dear bro-in-law, Todd, took care of Hannah in the lobby while we were in the back. Thanks again Todd! I have to admit, while we waited I was paying attention to the few U/S techs and wondering which one we'd get. Would it be the quieter looking older lady? Would it be the tall, bouncy lady? Maybe the nice brunette who kept walking past us? And it was.... the brunette. She was a very pleasant personality and I enjoyed our conversation throughout the whole ordeal. I got seated in the chair (which was way more comfy then the one I had with Hannah) and prepped for the excitement. A boy? A girl? Which would it be?

The baby not only had it's back facing us but it's legs tucked up to it's chest. Great. The U/S tech mentioned the baby being awfully shy so far but we wouldn't give up quite so quickly. She did many of her measurements while it was in this position. Like Hannah, it appears this one is also going to have a big ol' noggin' (aka head). The head measured 21 weeks while the rest of the body measured right on target at 19wks, 2 days. hehe We're just a big headed family I guess! After some prodding around on my belly, turning me sideways and back, the U/S tech got a quick shot of the baby's "area." "Oh," she said. "There it is! It's a boy!" I quickly and enthusiastically responded, "Are you SERIOUS?!" She said yes but she'd like to get a better picture. I took that to mean she wasn't 100% sure. So then I asked her how sure she was. She confidently said, "Oh, I'm a 100% sure, I just want a better picture."

Well, this post is already getting incredibly long so I'll try to keep the rest short and sweet. As much as she could tell, the baby (who we're going to name Benjamin James) appeared normal and healthy. Because of his position, she wasn't able to get a good picture of the heart so we'll have another ultrasound on January 8th for that. The actual OB visit went well with no big news. Blood pressure still 110/60. Gained another 4lbs (for a total of 12 so far at 19 weeks). I feel the baby move around quite a bit these days and James actually felt him the night before last as well. Apparently my placenta is on the back wall of my uterus (nearest to my spine) and that is likely another reason why I can feel him so easily in the front.

"Him." That is so cool to say! The baby is no longer an "it." The baby is a "he!" Whoo hoo. After this one, they can be whatever: boy, girl, girl, boy, it doesn't matter! ;)

One physical issue I've been struggling with again this pregnancy is a pinched nerve just above my right hip. Occasionally, I get the same pain on the left. I'm seeing a chiropractor still so hopefully the pain won't last the entire pregnancy. It's fairly bearable most of the time but sometimes I seriously have to just sit because it hurts so much. But I'm not complaining... we have another baby on the way... :)

Until next time...
Terra

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's a ........................................

BOY!
Benjamin James Santos: we can't wait to meet you!

27 Years of God's Grace!

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

“9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” -John 3:1-15 (ESV)
Today, I celebrate my 27th birthday. Twenty-seven years of God’s grace! I praise God for the gift of life. I praise Him for the gift of family. I praise Him for the gift of friends. Most importantly, I praise Him for Jesus Christ!

The passage I quoted above was not by accident. At the age of 21, God radically changed my life. I finally understood that I could not make myself happy with relationships, parties, alcohol, good grades and so forth. The Holy Spirit convicted me of the sin in my life. I understood that Jesus Christ died the death I deserved. As both God and man, He could do just that. He rose on the third day and ascended into heaven. I placed my entire life in His hands. I was His. I had no idea what this would mean for me, but I was ready to find out. I was “born again.”

I thank the Lord for His grace in my life. He provided me with a wonderful mother (who chose to give birth to me in the first place). His safety net has surrounded me through spinal meningitis, a horrible car accident in ’94, a dangerously high fever in a 3rd world country, pregnancies and so forth. His love has surrounded me with His every day patience, encouragement, provisions, etc. His comforting arms held me during the death of my father in 2000, the loss of our second child to miscarriage, and numerous family issues. His joy has lifted me in praise as I think of who He is, witness His kindness, see His miracles, and thank Him for a wonderful, godly husband and our sweet daughter Hannah.

Am I getting older? Of course… Does it bother me? Only momentarily. When I think on the things the Lord has done in my life over the last 27 years, I have nothing but praise to offer. I once read another lady reflecting over her 50 somethingth birthday. She rejoiced at each birthday for the same reason I rejoice today – God’s grace!

Praise the Lord – I’m another year older and another day closer to seeing Christ in His glory!

In Him,
Terra

Calling all Prayer Warriors!

Hello everyone! I know you're probably expecting my Week 18 & 19 posts (as well as the sex of the baby) but that will come later. Our appointment is late this afternoon and I'll update you all when I can after that.

Right now I come to you seeking your prayers for a friend and neighbor of mine. Her name is Tracy (husband Brett, 1st child Sam) and Thursday she gave birth to her second child, Noah. Although Noah was full-term, he's having some significant unexpected medical issues. Here are some of the details sent out in an email from my friend (and another neighbor) Amanda:


Noah is thought to have pneumonia. He is currently on a ventilator and though he is on antibiotics and the ventilator is doing the work of breathing for him, he's still having trouble oxygenating his blood (so, if you're looking for something specific to pray for, pray that he will begin to consistently oxygenate his blood well, in addition to all the other things!). This is making him very sick (there have been other issues contributing to this, like pulmonary hypertension, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, but not sure I'll remember or explain everything she told me correctly) and the doctors have told her that the first 5-7 days are very critical and he could get worse before getting better. He is still at Norton, but he could be transferred to Kosair if his condition worsens.

Tracy said it's been a constant roller coaster of him doing a little better and then worse, and she, of course, feels pretty helpless, since he's on no stimulation (meaning his eyes and ears are covered and she can't hold or touch him) and sedated (to help him rest) but is keeping a constant vigil by his side. Though we haven't been in this situation, as moms, we can all certainly imagine how heart-wrenching this experience is, and I know she appreciates all the prayers.

Please keep baby Noah in your prayers. I was also told by another friend that a baby in this condition has a 40% mortality rate. As a mother, my heart aches for Tracy and her family. I plead with you to at least pray as you finish reading this blog. May the Lord show mercy and healing to her family.

In Christ,
Terra

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week 17 - Giving Thanks

Don't you just love Thanksgiving? What a wonderful holiday in which we have the specific, set aside opportunity to give thanks to the Lord, family, friends, etc. This past week was very busy (which is why I've been delayed on this post) but enjoyable.


James' parents came into town last Saturday evening. For the entire week we've been blessed not only with tons of food and gifts but even babysitting. :) Then Friday afternoon, my sis and her two kiddos came to Louisville and stayed the weekend with us as well. They just left this morning. It's been a fun week spending time with everyone and enjoying the company of one another. We had Thanksgiving dinner at our place again this year because James had to work that morning as well as black Friday (hence, no ability to travel). We got to meet a few new friends that Todd & Natalie know as they shared a meal and company with us. It was a very long day but a nice one. Here is a video of Hannah and Ethan (a new friend)...

As far as specific pregnancy stuff goes, the baby's kicks/movements are becoming much more noticeable. I love it! There is something so sweet about feeling the baby moving around. I think it'll only be a week or two before James will also be able to feel it.

Only one week from Monday and we go to find out the baby's sex! Of course, that's assuming it'll cooperate with us. ;) The first 12 weeks or so, I really wanted another girl. She would be almost exactly 2 years younger than Hannah so it'd be a close-in-age sister and friend. She would also be born during the same time of the year and I'd already have plenty of clothes in all the right seasons. So practically, it'd work out well. However, I've since convinced myself (as I did with Hannah), that the baby is a boy. Mainly because of how different this pregnancy has been from the one with Hannah and how much I'm eating. ;) Don't worry...I'm not gaining massive weight - I'm right about on target for where I should be. I just feel hungry more than I remember with Hannah. Supposedly, the average mother pregnant with a boy consumes 200-300 more calories a day. Interesting... Then, I think I just want a boy to know we will be able to have one. Aggg.... So... all that to say... I don't know how I'll respond either way when they tell us what the sex is! We'll see! Here's the latest "belly pic" at 17 weeks.

These next two weeks will be extremely busy for me on the business side. I have several Premier Designs shows as well as a few Pampered Chef shows as people prep for Christmas. Then there are the usual Christmas parties, church events, family gatherings and my birthday. I think I'll finally be able to breathe again after Dec. 14th. Speaking of the 14th, I'm having a huge jewelry sample sale at our house with everything 40% off from 1-3p. Let me know if you'd like to join. It'll be fun. ;)

Well, I think I've written enough again! Have a wonderful, joy-filled week!

Until next time...
Terra


My "Turkey" Banana Pudding



My always requested Pumpkin Roll - Yummy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gmail "Themes"

I'm just loving the new Gmail "themes." Our inbox is set to the ocean theme. The sun and beach change throughout the entire day in accordance with the time. In the morning, there is a sunrise... in the afternoon, blue skies.... in the evening, this gorgeous sunset...

So cool! And there are a ton of other "themed" options as well. Just one more reason I LOVE Gmail. ;)

Take care,
Terra

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Week 16: Playing Catch Up

After this weekend's illness, this week has been a huge week of playing catch up. Beginning Sunday, I was finally able to hold down all of my meals and liquids. That was a blessing in and of itself. However, I remained completely wiped out as far as my energy goes through Tuesday. Needless to say, my sweet daughter watched a lot of videos during those days. By God's grace, Wednesday was my first day feeling back to normal. What a blessing it was! I finally put away the five clean loads of laundry that had been sitting in my bedroom. I caught up on emails, some business errands, and went grocery shopping for the first time in 2 weeks! Whew. Then we had a business meeting at the church Wednesday night which began with a smorgasbord of amazing food "potlucked" by members. James and I just "happened to be" at the table that got to go first (out of probably 400 or more people present). It was amazing!

Today I went back to the OB to just have a followup after my illness this weekend. Everything was great. I didn't lose any weight (which is amazing considering how much of my time centered around the porcelain throne). Baby's heartbeat sounded good, blood pressure good, etc. Looking forward to the anatomy ultrasound on December 8th!!! What an awesome birthday present that will be!

Oh, and I forgot to mention in my last post that I've started to feel the baby move. I thought I was just imagining things at first. It started about week 14 and my doc said that was completely normal for any pregnancy other than the first. With Hannah, if I remember correctly, I was around 19 weeks before anything. Now of course, by movement, I don't mean all out kicks and alien looking squirms. Nope. Just the tiny little tappings of the sweet baby inside of me. I really think my favorite part of pregnancy is feeling the baby move. As long as it's not bed time...

So, all that being said, it's been a busy week but I'm SO glad the illness is over. I've got a bit of the sniffles now but I'll take that any day over what I had this weekend! This Saturday, James' parents will be coming into town for a week. At some point, we'll either be visiting my mom or having her come up here also. We can't plan ahead because of James' work schedule. We should hopefully find out tomorrow when he'll be working next week.

Well, I've written much more than I thought I was going to so I'll stop now. Take care!

Until next time...
Terra

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mystery Solved!

So being wiped out from this unidentified sickness for the last few days has been incredibly draining. I was feeling somewhat better this morning only to be hit hard again this afternoon. Fortunately not hit hard with the vomiting and such, just total lack of energy. As a result, this post will be very short.

The "encouraging" thing about it all, if I can say that, is that I found the source of my illness! Apparently, someone carried a stomach bug unknowingly to the Pampered Chef party I did Thursday night and at least 7 of us were sick by Saturday. I'm glad to at least know what it was. Now I pray that it doesn't show up in James or Hannah in the next few days!

Please continue to pray for my recovery as I'm very out of sorts.

Take care,
Terra

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weeks 14 & 15: Dehydration & a Trip to the E.R.

What a few weeks it's been! Thank you all for your patience in my posting recently. I try to get a weekly "pregnancy update" but it never happened in weeks 14 & 15 so here's a combo post. I'll work back from the most recent events because they are easier to recall.

Last night, I had to make my first trip to the E.R. since I was 12. Why? Well, Friday night, I had a jewelry show. At about 8:30, I started feeling a bit nauseous but assumed it was pregnancy related. I finally got in bed around 11, only to be jumping up just moments later to vomit, then to have diarrhea. That was only the beginning of a very, very long night. I spent the next 18 hours going back and forth between the two extremes. I was unable to keep anything down, including fluids. I had a low grade fever which peeked at 100.2. I had spoken with the OB on call about 8am yesterday morning to see when I should be concerned. After the symptoms refused to cease, I was told to go to the E.R.

So...that's where we went at around 5:30 yesterday evening. Fortunately, I was not made to wait and taken straight back. They drew a bunch of blood for some tests, checked my HcG (pregnancy hormone) levels, hooked me to an IV and started me on fluids and nausea medication. The nurse listened to the baby's heartbeat, which was just over 140 and steady. Dehydration was "confirmed" as if it needed to be. After about three hours, I was given the option to go home, which I gladly accepted.

No conclusive cause was given as to why I started with the vomiting and such in the first place. Either I managed to get food poisoning or I caught some sort of 24hr bug. Who knows. I'm still not feeling completely up to par as my body is totally exhausted from the lack of quality sleep, inability to keep food down, etc. So far today, I have been able to keep both breakfast and lunch down. Please continue to pray for me.

In other news, I've been extremely busy with both businesses lately - a good thing. James had a conference in Philly this week and so I was blessed with many awesome babysitters. He's also been very busy with his job.

I had my OB checkup Wednesday. It was probably the fastest I've had! The baby's heartbeat was good, I gained another 4lbs, blood pressure 110/60, everything looked great. I also had a flu shot and I set the BIG date for the anatomy ultrasound. On Dec. 8th, my birthday, we go in to check the sex of the baby! I hope he/she cooperates! ;)

Well, I need to rest some more, I just wanted to update everyone out there in cyberland.

Take care,
Terra

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Casting Crowns Christmas CD

I don't know how long this link will be available, but for now it is. Click the address below to listen to the FULL Casting Crowns Christmas CD. If you know anything about this group, you know they can sing no bad song! ;)

http://www.reunionrecords.com/castingcrowns/preview/

Nothing like a Christmas album to get you in the worshipping spirit.

Enjoy,
Terra

Total Cuteness

I just LOVE this picture!
If you could only tell how crazy her hair looked as well! Oh well, cheap camera. :)
Till next time,
Terra

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

HANNAH'S 1ST TOOTH!!!!

Hannah FINALLY got her 1st tooth at 17 months and 16 days old! It's her upper, right front tooth. It's kind of hard to tell by the pictures but I tried!!!

Whooooooo hoooooooo! Time to throw a party!!!!!!



One Excited Mama,
Terra




Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gas Excitement

Is it creepy that I got giddy with excitement as I paid only $2.02 for each gallon of gas today? The small things in life....

...Terra

Goofy Mommy Moment

Today I was fixing spaghetti for about the gazillionth time for Hannah (it's one of the things she will almost always eat). I broke the noodles in half, small enough to fit the pot. All of a sudden, I realized how goofy my spaghetti making has been for the last 7 or 8 months. Let me explain.

Typically, after boiling the halved spaghetti and draining it, I find any utensil I can to cut it into smaller pieces. You have to remember Hannah is 17 1/2 months old with no teeth! Well, wet noodles don't like to be cut, as many a mom can surely attest. Why have I NEVER thought to break the noodles into smaller pieces, while they are still hard and before I boil them? Wow... what a moment.

Until my next goofy trick,
Terra

Wretched. Forgiveness.

Wretched.
The worst of Sinners.
I now understand how Paul could say that and mean it.
I can truly resonate with him.
I cannot point and accuse.
I cannot condemn or mock.
I was there. I was there!

Forgiveness.
Found only in the Risen One.
He can save and forgive anyone.
Right where they are.
Right when He wants.
He did so with me.
He continues to do so each day.

Written 11.3.08

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christ for President

In light of yesterday's elections, I'm remembering a powerful sermon given by Pastor Daniel M. a few weeks ago. Regardless of who our vote was for (and whether or not it was who won the election), our ultimate Savior can only be found in Christ. There were also many other striking yet memorable points in that message. If you're interested, listen to it here: http://www.sojournchurch.com/sermon/christ-for-president.

And to know my thoughts further, click here (because I couldn't have said it better): http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=2715.

In Christ Alone,
Terra

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

We don't celebrate Halloween for any of the creepiness it could have. We simply enjoy playing dress up and getting free candy. :) After all, wasn't it Reformation Day to begin with?

It's funny to me that last year, Hannah was a pig (because she was so darn cute and chunky) and this year she was a Cheerio Princess (thanks to her obsession with "O's"). If you want to be really technical, she was a "Multigrain Cheerio Princess." Only in the end did I catch her eating her necklace.... Unfortunately, James had to work. I dressed as a Starbucks barista in his old uniform. And I actually got quite a few fun comments about it. We had fun with our friends, The Morton's, who came into town for the event.

Click the pic below for more:


Remember that there are many more pics of her in this outfit in the "Halloween at the Zoo" posting.
Take care,
Terra

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Week 13 - More comparisons & other thoughts

I know everyone isn't interested but I also know some people who are... how do I look this pregnancy compared to Hannah's? Well, the first "preggo" pic I took was on Dec. 8th (my bday) when I was 13 weeks pregnant. So I thought, "Hey, I'll take another at 13 weeks this time, in the same sweater and compare." Here is the verdict:


Whether or not you can tell by the pictures... my belly is definitely a little bigger this go around. However, believe it or not, I weighed a bit more this same time with Hannah (probably about 7-8lbs more). I guess it was just distributed differently. ;) I obviously don't have a 13 week picture from my 2nd pregnancy because it didn't last that long.
The nausea has been off again, on again this week. I still can't complain because it's not all day long. It's been primarily just in the evenings (about 7 or 8ish) for the last 3 nights. So it's not totally gone but much better.
I wept for a friend of mine today. I'll leave her name anonymous. She just found out she was pregnant a few days ago and then began to miscarry yesterday. I know the pain and sadness of a miscarriage and my heart and prayers go out to her in so many ways.
There's not really a lot to share this week. It's not been a really eventful week (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Maybe it'll be more exciting next time!
Take care,
Terra

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween at the Zoo

So we went to the big zoo party last night and got some fun pics.
Hannah was a Cheerio Princess (because of her obsession). She only got mad at me once for not letting her eat the "O's" off her dress. Click on the pic below to enjoy them all!


Take care!

Terra

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 12 - Less Nausea: Hallelujah!!!

Oh what a wonderful week it's been on the nausea radar! For some of you, that may sound like a crazy comment. Unless you're my friend Sarah or a few other nauseous pregnant women in my circle. Starting about Monday, my nausea has been significantly less than previously. Praise God! Seriously. I've had a few moments here and there but overall, my days have been much more pleasant. I don't wonder if I'm going to vomit at any given moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord (and all my prayer warriors)! I hope that season is coming to pass!

Speaking of week 12, I've always been told the first 12 weeks are the most critical and most likely for a miscarriage to occur. Tomorrow, I start week 13 and there is a sweet sense of peace surrounding this child. I know that anything can still happen but it's nice to know I've reached a critical week. I must trust in the Lord and His plans.

Oh, and we've FINALLY agreed on a girl's name, should the baby be one. A girl will be Sophia Joy and a boy will be Benjamin James. Want some name explanation? Well, Sophia is just a name we both like. It means "Wisdom" in Greek (some of you may recall Hannah means "Grace" in Hebrew). We're very big on names that mean something in one way or another. Joy means... well, joy! hehe The middle name was one I was very fixated on. I want our child to be joyful in the Lord. Benjamin is the name of James' dad. It means "son of my right hand" and has Hebrew origination. James is obviously James' name but it's also much more. James is also the name of my brother (James Rogers, Jr), my spiritual father (Dr. James Scroggins), and my belated biological dad (James Rogers, Sr). Needless to say, the name James means a lot to me in so many ways. So we're settled.... Now we just have to wait until December 10th to find out if the baby will be a Sophia or a Benjamin! :)

We'll be going to the zoo tonight for their Halloween party. Hannah will be dressed as a Cheerio Princess since she is so in love with that cereal! I will obviously post pictures as soon as I have the chance!

Until next time....
Terra

Her Beloved Elmo


This Elmo and the houseshoes arrived from her Memaw (Terra's mom) in the mail one day. As always, Hannah's in love. ;) Don't worry, she hasn't totally ditched her Tickle Me Elmo, she just has two loves now. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week 11: The Happiness of a Heartbeat

Yesterday was my first official prenatal checkup. By God's grace, it fell on a day that was easy for James to be off work and spend most of the day with Hannah and I. It started with the usual: questions, weight check (I've gained 4 lbs), blood pressure check (110/60), and so forth. Then I was able to get James and go to the exam room. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the doctor came in. We'll call her Dr.J. She celebrated with us knowing that the last time I'd seen her, we were hoping for pregnancy. I literally conceived just days after my last visit with her!

So after chatting for a bit, we did some of the not so fun stuff. Then it was time to check for the baby's heartbeat. I told her I had tried not to get my hopes up because we didn't hear it the first time with Hannah. She assured me that if we didn't hear it on the doppler, she'd pull the ultrasound in to check. Wow. That was kind of nice. She knew of my concerns after our miscarriage and took that into account. Good job Dr.J.! Anyway, back to the doppler. It took her only a few seconds to locate the heartbeat. After hearing it, I laughed with excitement. Of course, if you know anything about a doppler, laughing only causes you to lose the heartbeat again as the doppler is moved. She repositioned it and said, "It's a good, strong heartbeat." I laid there taking it in. Good. Strong. All of a sudden, a tear dropped down my cheek and I found myself fighting back more. I had no idea I would respond such a way. It's not like I wasn't sure I was pregnant, the symptoms keep my assured of that. But hearing a "good, strong heartbeat" was such an encouragement and blessing. I thanked the Lord.

On the entertaining side, when Hannah heard the heartbeat (she was there), she started dancing to it's rhythm. Funny stuff. Won't that be a good story to tell her and her younger sibling as they age? James was also blessed. It was just a pure, sweet moment for our family. In 8 weeks, the week of my birthday (Dec. 8), we get to find out the sex of the baby! Of course, that's assuming it's positioned well enough. I'm very excited about that! James is convinced it's a boy. I'm not convinced either way. After all, I was SO SURE Hannah was a boy and she's clearly not! ;) I'm really not preferring either sex more than the other.

My nausea has been changing up a bit. I'm finding my mornings (until around lunch) less nauseous as long as I've eaten breakfast. However, there is typically a time in the early afternoon I don't feel well and by 6 or 7 at night, I'm really struggling again. I'm still going to bed shortly after 8pm if at all possible to fight the urge to vomit. The benefit of that is that I'm getting plenty of rest!

In the midst of all this, Hannah's sleep schedule is changing dramatically so that has been challenging. She's going from two naps to one. In addition, I'm trying to start putting her down a bit later and making her stay in bed in the morning a bit later in preparation for daylight savings time in a few weeks. She's sleeping about 30 minutes later in the morning so far which is a huge step! Pray us through this change please!

James started his new position at Meijer this week. While it's going well, there's always the pull to ministry. We both know he will be back in a full-time church position eventually, we just don't know the timing yet. We love the church we're at now and feel like we're growing so much. We're just waiting on God's leading.

I guess that's enough for now!

Take care,
Terra

Sunday, October 12, 2008

80's Flashback

I saw a link to this video on another website and it was a total and hilarious flashback. Did this voice really come out of this guy? :) I love the dancing too.. hehe funny stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2b1D5w82yU
Enjoy...

Take care,
Terra

Flickr Account

Just for everyone who'd like to know, I've officially started a full-fledged Flickr account to upload all of our pictures to. Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesandterra/

Take care,
Terra

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Fun at Huber's


In the Apple Orchard, originally uploaded by Jamesandterra.

Just a cute silly video taken at Huber's yesterday. Enjoy.

Week 10: Pregnancy Comparisons

Now that I'm getting ready to leave my 10th week of pregnancy (1/4 of the way through!), I've contemplated some of the differences from my other ones. For clarification for those unaware, I've had one full pregnancy (38weeks with Hannah Mai), one cut short by miscarriage (at around 5-6weeks) and now the current at nearly 11 weeks. Obviously, with my second being so short, I don't have much to compare to that one, other than regular fatigue.

So what exactly has been different this go around? Many things already! First, I found out only a day after a missed cycle. With Hannah, it was 3 days later. With the second pregnancy, it was 2. I guess I've just got my cycles down to a science. ;)

Next, the nausea! Wow! With Hannah, I didn't even start getting sick until I was 12 weeks pregnant. Given, I felt sick here and there but nothing regular. Then once I got sick, it was very predictable. Every night around 7 or 8pm, I'd start feeling queasy. Then every other night, I'd vomit. The whole ordeal lasted for about 3 months. With this pregnancy, from the very beginning of week 6, I've been nauseous almost constantly, all day, every day. I've been physically sick only twice but I feel like I could be any given time. Yuck. I'm not sure which is worse. Guess I can't really make a claim on either till I'm further along in this one.

Then the fatigue comparison. I have to say, if my memory serves me well enough, the fatigue has been about the same in each pregnancy. However, one HUGE difference is that I have a toddler to chase around now. I can't just take a nap whenever I feel good and ready like I could the first time. But then again, with the first pregnancy, I was working full time (waitressing) and taking 12 hours of Master's level classes at Southern Seminary. Hmmmm..... I'm not sure which is harder. ;)

Food... I feel like I'm eating ten times as much this time. Partially because I'm hungry, partially just to curb the nausea. I read somewhere that a women pregnant with a boy will eat 200-300 calories more a day than one pregnant with a girl. Could this be a sign??? ;) I'm sure my hubby would like for it to be. Then again, someone pregnant with twins would eat more too. Ha... I think I'd die if I were pregnant with twins. I'd have 3 kids under 2 years old!

Weight gain. Though it's still early to tell for sure, I've gained much less weight so far with this one than Hannah. I was actually scolded by my OB with Hannah for gaining 13lbs in my first trimester. As of now, I've only gained 2lbs. Of course, I still have 3 more weeks to go before I'm out of my 1st. But if I gain 11 more pounds in the next 3 weeks... I've got a problem! It's weird because I gained the recommended 35lbs total with Hannah... it was just not in the "right" time frame.

Anyway... I think that's enough for today. Maybe we'll do more comparisons as the time goes by. Until then...

Take care,
Terra

P.S. We still haven't agreed on another girl's name (just in case)...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cute Pics of Hannah

Click the picture below to see some totally cute pictures taken by our friend Jessie Minnery. :) Enjoy!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weeks 8 & 9: The Nausea Battle Continues

I would apologize for my delay again but it seems silly at this point. You all already know how I've been feeling so what good is yet another apology? ;) Thank you for your patience. Now let me catch you up on the last few weeks of pregnancy and family life in general.


Week 8 (of the pregnancy, that is), continued as previously. I did have my first OB appointment that week. However, it wasn't one of the exciting ones. As a matter of fact, I was given a ton of information about pregnancy (much of which was a refresher course since I've already been pregnant before). Other than that, I had my blood drawn and the 'oh so fun' urine test. That was really about it. I didn't actually meet with the OB at this visit, just a nurse. However, the nurse was incredibly friendly and an experienced Labor & Delivery nurse (before slightly switching fields). The hardest thing that week was trying to finish getting ready for the huge yard sale we had Saturday. Through exhaustion and nausea, by God's grace, I did finish pricing and organizing it all. The weather was perfect (overcast and about 75 degrees) and it was a huge success. We didn't sell any of our big items but we sold enough smaller items to make it way worth it. Oh...and I didn't mention, I got physically sick for the first time this pregnancy that morning. Yuck.


Week 9 (which ends today, Sunday) found me even more sick than I have been so far. I've literally been out of it and asleep by 8pm for the last 3 or so nights. It's not so much from tiredness (though part of it is), but straight up nausea. After dinner, it all starts going downhill. I haven't found a way to stop the nausea. Before I know it, I feel like I'm going to spend the rest of my evening vomiting if I don't sit down and rest. Then sitting turns to laying which turns to sleeping. Ugh. Though I have to say I'm one of the most blessed women around thanks to my husband. He has been so patient and helpful during this all. One of the things I can hardly stomach right now is cleaning around the house. No, it's not an excuse, I'm serious. With every big, quick, or constant movement I feel sick to my stomach - all day, every day (almost). James has been patient with a less than clean house and even comes home after a busy day at work and helps get everything in order - with no complaining. It's such a blessing. Some days I literally feel like all I can do is take care of Hannah and I. It just depends. I'm REALLY praying this is an "average" pregnancy and the nausea is simply peaking between weeks 9 and 10 all to decrease around 12 weeks. Would you pray that with me? :)

Also this week, I had a Premier jewelry show for my friend Rebecca. I thought I would be sick all the way up until the point of getting to Rebecca's house. On top of that, because of poor planning on my part, I didn't get a babysitter and Hannah had to join the festivities. I was a tad bit scatter brained but made it through. And I got two bookings for November and another in the spring. I've also got shows the next two Saturdays that I'm hoping will increase my fall sales and bookings.

Aside from pregnancy happenings, what else is going on in our lives? Well, Thursday, James, Hannah and I went on our second annual fall family picnic at the waterfront. We did take pictures but I'll have to upload them later (not enough stamina right now, hehe). We had a great time and Hannah LOVED the small new splash park there. Too bad my camera ran out of battery power half way through the fun!

This coming weekend will be busy too. Both James' parents and my mom will be visiting for the weekend. It'll be good to spend time with everyone, even for a short period. I'll also have a jewelry show in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. And this time, with three grandparents in town and my hubby off work, I KNOW I'll have a babysitter. :) Now I just have to pray I'm not extremely nauseous while there.

Oh and other really exciting news: James is receiving another promotion at Meijer! I'm so proud of him! He'll be a full fledged manager with his own department (Media) and receive a small pay raise as well. It was very encouraging the other day speaking with one of his team members. She commented on how everyone at Meijer loved James. While I know that's probably a tiny exaggeration, I do know he is loved and admired there. And he's my husband - aren't I blessed?

Anyway, I think I've written way more than enough today. ;) I hope this catches everyone up a bit. I'll try to get the newest pictures up here whenever I have the time and am feeling up to it. I pray you are all doing well!

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tickle Me Elmo - eXtra Special edition

Hannah received an awesome toy in the mail today from her Tita Elit and family. Elmo just happens to be her current obsession. Enjoy the video!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Updates, Pictures & Video

So most people know how Hurricane Ike tore up the South. It took a bit of a toll even in Louisville as a Tropical Depression. Some houses in my neighborhood lost siding, trees, etc. Approximately 1/4 of the residents of Louisville were initially without power. We, fortunately, only lost power for eight hours at our house. There are many in the city that are still waiting and have been told it could be up to 14 days before they regain electricity. Kind of crazy to have such a toll taken all the way up here in Kentucky. Yet we are blessed and praying for those down south particularly.


I've finally uploaded new pictures. They are a rag tag grouping and then birthday pictures from my nephew Tyler's party this weekend. You can find them here:


http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=50739&l=be4e6&id=607147099

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=50743&l=dd8b8&id=607147099





Also, here is a video for you. ;)



Hannah loves to say Bye (as long as there is something on her wrist)


Take care,

Terra

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 7 - Pregnancy Fun

So in my last post, I mentioned the fatigue of pregnancy taking it's toll on me. Well, nausea has fully set in now. Right about 6 weeks pregnant, it smacked me in the face. I've been fortunate enough not to get sick yet. However, I almost constantly feel like I'm going to be sick. I've had to trade in most yummy foods for bland and boring - just to make sure it'll stay down. Milk has not been treating me well - though I'm trying for the calcium. Eggs are not sounding good now and I was eating an omelet every morning beforehand. Coffee is definitely out. And the list goes on. But alas, I'm trying really hard not to complain. If you're wondering what is going on in my world, constant fatigue and nausea. So now you know how to pray for me. ;)

I have my first prenatal appointment next week. It's primarily just a "history" appointment since I'm at a new OB. I'll be checked by the nurse this time for all the basic health concerns and we'll go over my previous pregnancy. My first true prenatal appointment will be in mid-October.
James asked me the other day what was the most different thing about this pregnancy then with Hannah. I didn't even have to pause to respond: Hannah is the most different thing. With the first pregnancy, I could rest, relax, nap, etc. whenever I pleased. Now I must work around her schedule and day to day needs. Of course, in addition to that, I didn't even start getting sick with Hannah until I was 12 weeks pregnant, then I was sick for three months. But even then, it was just at night (almost entirely). This time the nausea is all day long - ugh.

We have a friend from church temporarily rooming with us until her condo purchase is complete. Her name is Laura Roberts and she's one of the easiest roomates I've ever had (absolutely not knocking on previous one!). Of course, that may be easy to say when someone's only lived with you for a few weeks. In her great thoughtfulness, she prepared three meals for us ahead of time this week because she knows how hard of a time I've had with my energy. How sweet!

Well, I guess that's enough of pregnancy updates for now. ;) Hope you all are doing well!

Terra

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just Tired

Hello world! Just wanted to let you all know that we're still alive and well here in Louisville. Considering I'm usually the only one that updates this....it hasn't been updated recently because of fatigue. Many of you remember that I was struggling with constant fatigue for a while. All of my tests were normal and it actually seemed to subside a bit, by God's grace. Then I got pregnant. ;) hehe But I won't complain.

All that to say, I've been incredibly tired lately and the internet has taken the hit. I've also been a bit slower in responding to emails. I still love you... I may just need a phone call versus an email for a quick response. ;)

And I haven't forgotten my Shepherding Series (for those of you following it). Again...it's just been a motivation thing. If you message me and let me know you're just dying to have the next chapter summarized and reviewed, maybe you'll move me. ;)

I have no complaints here though. Overall, I've felt really good so far. A couple of nauseous moments but nothing demanding. It's really just my energy level for now. Then again, I didn't even start getting sick when I was pregnant with Hannah until I was 12 weeks along - so I'm not holding my breath. I'm only 6 weeks now.

We're debating baby names for now. We've still got our boy's name (since Hannah was a girl): Benjamin James. But we're not agreeing on any girls names yet. We'll keep you posted.

Take care!
Terra

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Riddle for You

Can you figure it out?

Four little eyes to look to God;
Four little ears to hear His word;
Four little feet to walk in His ways;
Four little lips to sing His praise;
Four little hands to do His will;
And two little hearts to love Him still.*

Hint:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Psalm 127:4-5a, ESV

Okay...If you are still in the dark, I'll just tell you. We're expecting again!!! By my calculations, the estimated due date will be May 5, 2009. We're excited though of course struggling with a little anxiety after losing our last child to miscarriage. Please pray for our little one but more importantly, that we trust in the Lord's sovereignty over our lives. We'll keep you posted!!!

*adapted from Baby's First Prayers by Muff Singer

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cutest Video Ever

Okay... maybe not EVER but I think this is a really cute video of Hannah. I was trying to catch her answering the question "What does a cow say?" I wasn't very successful though I got a tiny "moo." Then I decided to ask her if she wanted to watch Elmo (her favorite) and she went nuts. Watch the excitment and cuteness!

Take care,

Terra

Cutest Video Ever

Okay... maybe not EVER but I think this is a really cute video of Hannah. I was trying to catch her answering the question "What does a cow say?" I wasn't very successful though I got a tiny "moo." Then I decided to ask her if she wanted to watch Elmo (her favorite) and she went nuts. Watch the excitment and cuteness!

Take care,

Terra

Friday, August 15, 2008

She's NOT Adopted!

**Note: a few people have taken this in a negative tone thanks to the lack of tone in a blog. For the record, this was meant to make a specific point but in a humerous way, not a mean one. That being said, take the following lightly!** ;)

"How long have you had her?" ....ummmm... since conception.

"When did you get her?" .... nearly 9 months later.

"Is she yours or is she adopted?" ....either way, she'd still be mine but no - she's NOT adopted.

These are all questions I've heard verbatim when I'm out and about with Hannah Mai. Personally, they drive me nuts! Given, Hannah's Asian characteristics (from Daddy) are dominant, I can't argue that much. It's the way people comment that kills me.

That being said, I've been trying to think of a polite way for someone to ask the question. Maybe...

"Does she look more like her Daddy or Mommy?" - sneaky, but would be nicer.

"She's beautiful! Has she always been so pretty?" - then I could respond - "yep, pretty much since I had her."

"She's so sweet! Was labor as sweet?" Ha! Don't expect anyone to actually say that but at least they are assuming I DID have her and if she was adopted, THEN I could clarify.

I know it's more likely that a white woman with dark blond hair and blue eyes adopted this beautiful child but it's just not the case. Nope. I carried her for nine months, went through 18 hours of labor and dealt with months of food allergy-related colic. Give me the benefit of a doubt - please! After all, there is a great movement in this country of interracial marriages producing bi-racial children, I'm not the first.

Just a few thoughts... Next time you see a child that looks adopted - please don't assume they are. If in doubt, don't even ask. That's my two cents. ;)

Until next time,
Terra

P.S. I'm totally FOR adoption... James and I would love to do that some day. Just making a point.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chapter 17: Childhood: Training Procedures

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

For those of you unfamiliar with this post, I've been working through the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Dr. Tedd Tripp on my other site. Now that I'm combining the sites, I'm bringing the weekly post to this blog. After much delay, I'm now posting chapter 17. I pray it's a blessing.

Dr. Tripp begins the chapter in the familiar scene of two children fighting over the same toy. He then mentions how all families have a response to the argument but most of these responses will not produce lasting fruit because they do not address the heart. This brings us into a section dealing with focusing on behavior versus addressing the heart.

Tripp reminds us of the principles in chapters 8-10. We can't leave a situation only dealing with the "when" and "what". We must deal with the "why" for this deals with the heart. Tripp uses an analogy that resonates with our family. We struggle with weeds in our yard. It seems as it there is a giant magnetic force that pulls them into our yard! For a while, we only addressed the weeds by mowing them down. Yet this does not solve the problem. They will only come back. We must kill the root to kill the weed. Tripp compares a behavioral response to our children to mowing over weeds.

First, Tripp suggests we appeal to our children's conscience. His model for this is the ministry of Jesus. On numerous occasions, Jesus appeals to the conscience of the sinner. Tripp mentions Luke 10, Matt. 18:21, and Luke 7 to name a few. By appealing to the conscience, we deal with the heart. According to Romans 2:14-15, our consciences either excuse or accuse us. When our children have seen and acknowledged their sin, we must point them to Christ, the only Savior.

Next, Tripp explains the need to develop character in our children. He says, "Character could be defined as living consistently with who God is and who I am." We must teach our children the attributes and personality of God as holy, righteous, forgiving, etc. while we remind them of their personal sinfulness and inability to do good apart from Christ. Please don't read that wrongly. We're not beating our children down. We are to encourage them in that they are children of God, created for His glory, etc. but if they begin to think they are good apart from God, they become smug and legalistic. Tripp gives examples of dependability and moral purity.

To end, we are reminded to interpret the character issues. We are then encouraged to have a long-term vision in our children's needs for shepherding. Remember, these procedures are specific to school-aged children, though some may be applicable to other ages.

In Christ,
Terra

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slacking on my posts

I know...I know... I'm slacking.

I'll try to post again as soon as I have a little time and energy. I have energy during the day (at least some) but Hannah's awake and active, so no time. Then after she goes to bed around 7-8, I have time and zero energy... Oh the cycle!

Soon enough, I pray!

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Almost Died Today - No Joke

You read the title right. This afternoon I had one of the scariest moments of my life! I was driving home from my yearly OB appointment. En route, I noticed dark clouds looming ahead. The weather forecast had called for thunderstorms and here they were. As I exited I-264 and merged onto I-71, the rain began. Hard, hard rain. In almost an instant, every window in my car was fogged up so badly I literally could not see out of ANY of them. There was a ton of traffic and I was completely blinded by my own windows! I frantically turned up my defroster to no avail. Out of desperation, I rolled down my window and hung my head out of it to see where I was going. Keep in mind that it was raining incredibly hard. My heart was racing as it probably never has. Semi's were honking at me as I'm sure I was swerving - I couldn't see where I was going!!! I tried to find the right shoulder (that's the lane I was in) to pull over but was having a hard time finding it and driving with no vision. I noticed a bridge ahead and prepared to stop under it. However, at the last minute, I noticed tiny flashers already under it. A motorcyclist had pulled over already. I was able to wait another one hundred feet or so and find the shoulder after him. As I put the car in park, I nearly lost it (emotionally) as I could not believe I was still alive! Even as I waited on the shoulder for my windows to defog, I prayed and prayed for safety. The shoulder at that part of I-71 is not large and cars/trucks/semis where passing me very quickly only inches to my left - in the pouring rain. Oh did I ever pray with boldness today!

Obviously, I survived the ordeal or I would not be writing about it. Here's something I learned about science today. Your windows fog because of differences in the temperature of the inside of your car and the temperature on the outside. In my case today, I had a nice air conditioned car and then I was smacked with humid, warm rain. At first, I thought I needed to turn the defogger on cold to be the opposite of the outside temp. Little did I know - that was the problem in the first place! Only later did I figure out I needed warm air to defog my windows. Learn from my near-death experience...match the temperature of your car to that of the outside and you'll likely not have to tell this same tale.

By God's grace I'm alive and posting,
Terra

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Great Vacation

Okay.. so I finally have time to catch up. It's been incredibly busy around the Santos home over the last few days. Vacations are nice but the week after is not! I've already posted our pictures so here's a little about the actual vacation.

We arrived at the airport in Montgomery, Alabama around 10pm Eastern time. With a fussy little girl and another 2 crying hours in the Honda Ridgeway, I was ready to crash by the time we got to my in-law's home in Crestview, Florida.

Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to recuperate, rest and relax - it was nice! We all went on a dolphin cruise Tuesday night. We saw a few in the distance but nothing close. The boat was named Hannah Marie - which was pretty cool considering our daughter's name is Hannah Mai.


Hannah and Papa Ben on the "Hannah Marie"


Mama Tess, Hannah, me and James before parasailing

Wednesday, James and I went parasailing (my first time!) in Destin. Mama Tess paid the way and watched Hannah for us while we were gone. Quite the blessing! I was expecting it to be a little more like a roller coaster so I was surprised with it's peacefulness.



Before Take Off.



Preparing to Land.

Thursday, we drove about four and a half hours south to visit our friends, the Redmonds, in Gainesville. We enjoyed their great company, parenting wisdom and friendship over night. That was a sweet time. They have five wonderful children and just found out they are expecting again! Yay! Too bad we didn't think to get a group picture!

Friday, before we headed home, we got to visit with my old high school best friend Rachel (Rehberg) Toldoya and her kiddos. That was cool! I haven't seen her in about 8 years so it was a treat. She is currently living in Tampa and made the 2 hr drive up to see us while we were in Gainesville. We both ended up marrying Filipinos (how ironic). ;)

L to R: Hannah, Me, Rebecca, Rachel, Gabriel.

After another four and a half hour drive, we rested back in Crestview Friday evening. Saturday was busy with preparations as Mama Tess (my mother-in-law), was having a jewelry party for me. We did a little shopping, came home and prepared for the event. She amazingly set a new record show for me with over $1000 in sales! In addition to that, she earned nearly $600 in free jewelry and insisted that I use it all to increase my samples and grow my business! What a wonderful treat!

Sunday morning was bright and early as we left around 3:45am to head back to the airport. The flights home were much more smooth than the way down and Hannah did beautifully!

Overall, though it sounds busy, it was a really smooth, restfilled, peaceful, blessed week! We could not have asked for more. We are so thankful for Mama Tess and Papa Ben's generosity in everything. The trip would not have happened without their help.

Now that we're back to the "real world," things have picked back up. May God keep reminding us of the important things.

In Christ,
Terra

Closing Thoughts

Hello to all my dear readers! This will be my final post - well, kind of. I've been trying to evaluate the way I spend my time lately. Basically, I've been thinking about being more efficient and intentional in all that I do. I don't feel like I've taken adequate time to make this blog what I would want it to be. As a result, I'm going to cease posting on this site.

HOWEVER... :) I'm not leaving the blogging world all together. Many of you already know that I have a family blog as well. I will continue to write there (occasionally on some of the same topics as I have here). I will continue the "Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart" on that blog, starting again this Saturday, Lord-willing. In addition to theological topics, you'll be able to stay up to date on family happenings.

As a side note, if any of you are interested in an excellent blog on all issues pertaining to biblical woman-hood, check out: girltalk.blogs.com. You won't be disappointed!

Looking forward to seeing you on my other site (jamesandterra.blogspot.com)!

Take care,
Terra Santos

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pictures from Vacation!

I've finally taken the time to upload pictures but I don't have the chance to type up a summary of our trip right now (it was great by the way). In the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=43347&l=afbc8&id=607147099

Take care,
Terra

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday's Music Review: God In Me

We are safely and restfully back from vacation! I hope to put updates and pictures on our family blog soon. Thanks for your patience!

Back to the review!
Artists: Daniel Doss Band

(Hear the song here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=juwiFM256po):
It’s not the melody that brings me to you
It’s not even the words that burn in my heart
It’s not the wonderful sounds that cause me to sing
It is knowing you and what you’ve done in me

You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink
You are the everything
You are God in me
Yeah

So I will sing my life a song to remain
And whatever I do it’s all for your fame
Because it’s your beautiful self that causes me to sing
About knowing you and what you do in me

You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink
You are the everything
You are God in me

Yeah me in you
And you in me
I will never stop knowing the joy that you bring
And me in you
And you in me
I will never stop tasting, tasting your goodness
Oh your goodness

Oh You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
Oh You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink yeah
You are the everything
You are God in me
Yeah Yeah Yeah
My thoughts:
I don't really have a lot of comments on this song. It's pretty easy to understand. The lyrics explain how it's not all the great things God has done for us (though there are many), that change us. It's when we know God and what He has done in our hearts that "causes us to sing." As a Christian, I know that apart from Christ, I'm a rotten sinner. However, by God's goodness and grace, He's not only changed my life but continues to do so every day. Because of this change and growing in knowing Him, I have a reason to sing, dance, and praise God. He is my all and He provides all that I need.

A simple, sweet reflection on God's work in our lives.

In Christ,
Terra

Monday, July 21, 2008

On Vacation

We're on vacation until July 27th and there will likely be no posts until after that. See you soon!!! ;) Pray for our flights with Hannah - she's been particularly moody lately!

Take care,
Terra

On Vacation

We're on vacation until July 27th and there will likely be no posts until after that. See you soon!!! ;) Pray for our flights with Hannah - she's been particularly moody lately!

Take care,
Terra

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July Pictures

Here are the latest. ;) Click the picture below to view the rest.

Enjoy!

Terra

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday's Music Review: In Christ Alone

Song Title: In Christ Alone
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

(Hear the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLy8ksqGf9w):

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.
My thoughts:
This is probably my favorite hymn ever. Yes - even above the beloved Amazing Grace (though I love that one as well). The lyrics to this song are so powerful, gospel-centered and Christ-focused it amazes me. As a matter of fact, this is the song I either sing or hum to Hannah every single time she's tired or upset. So what is so special about this song?

The song begins with a summary of the greatness of Christ. He is our cornerstone, our protector, our "all in all." If He is the Lord of our life as He should be, He is truly all of these things.

The lyrics then move into Christ's life purpose. He was born as a babe, a man - but a God-man! He was scorned, mocked, and ultimately crucified for the sins of all. For the Christian, God's wrath was satisfied in the death of His son. But the best stanza (and my favorite, comes third).

It appears hopeless. He was slain. Darkness held Him. Or did it?! UP from the grave He rose again! I can't help but want to shout that verse every time I hear it. UP from the grave! Even death could not hold Him! Now He stands in victory at the right hand of God and I'm guiltless in the eyes of the Lord. I was bought with His precious blood.

As a result, I should have NO guilt or fear because my God is a mighty God! That's the power of Christ. Nothing (death, life, famine, nakedness, sword, etc. cf. Romans 8) can separate me fr0m the love of Christ. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! What a beautiful song in every way. I pray it blesses your life as it has my own.

In Christ,
Terra

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Sad Day & a Sober Reminder

This morning I received an email with devastating news: one of my best friends from high school died Friday evening. Let me explain a little more about this situation. For privacy reasons, I'll call my friend "J."

I met J my Senior year of high school. She moved in with my best friend Rachel after struggling with her own family life up north. Rachel's dad was a pastor and they took her as their own. She had a baby already and struggled with what doctors label manic depression as well as bipolar disorder. There were times where the friendship was unstable because of these issues but we remained close friends none-the-less. After graduation, she was married, divorced, had another child and then fell off the radar. No one knew how to contact her or what had happened to her. She simply took off.

About two weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from who but J! It had been nearly 10 years since I'd heard from her so I was ecstatic. She asked me to give her a call when I got the chance and we'd catch up. For over a week, I kept postponing the call because of the busyness of life and the selfishness of my time. Finally, on Friday morning, I called. She was not available so I left a message and asked for her to call me when she could. Then today, I found out she died the very same evening! Of what you may ask (she was only 26)? From what we could gather from family, she drank too much, may have been on some sort of medication, got sick and choked to death on her own vomit. It makes me sick to even think of it.

Here was a girl who likely did not know the Lord. I kept postponing our conversation. Then her life is over! Like that! I did not take the opportunity to share the love of Christ. I did not even give her the time of day - literally - as I let me personal time be more important. I know J's salvation was in not my hands, and yet I feel I completely ignored the Spirit's leading in this situation. What a sober reminder that our days our numbered and I do not know how many opportunities I'll have to share to love of Christ with those around me. May I be pushed closer to Christ as a result of this tragedy.

Who have you failed to share this love with today? Don't make the mistake I did. Tell them!

In Christ,
Terra

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chapter 16: Childhood: Training Objectives

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Dr. Tripp begins by explaining what he means by "childhood." He uses this word to describe the middle period of a child's life, roughly ages 5 to 12. While up to this age, we may have taught our children to obey our authority, there are now going to be more times when the child will be physically away from us and will begin to develop a growing independence. How do we build on the foundation we've begun? According to Tripp, the big issue is character. He says this is the time when our children need to learn "dependability, honesty, kindness, consideration, helpfulness, diligence, loyalty" and so forth. It is during these years that the child's conscience must develop.

I found it interesting that Tripp pointed out a difference between defiant behavior and simply wrong behavior. If a child is being selfish, he is not necessarily being disobedient or disrespectful toward the parent, but it is wrong none-the-less. This is why we have to address the child's character. Tripp says, "If you never address character, you will never get beyond bare obedience." Making more rules is not the answer. If your child actually follows all of them, he's likely to become smug and self-righteous like the Pharisees anyway. So where does this leave a parent?

Tripp reminds us we'll be looking at the "how-to's" in the next chapter. In this one, he explained his "three-pronged tool of diagnosis." It is as follows:
  1. The Child in a Relationship to God. This is not a question of "is your child a Christian." Instead, we asks questions that help us know about his "understanding of the nature of God's grace and salvation through faith in Christ."
  2. The Child in Relationship to Himself. How does he child view and understand himself? We need to understand our children so we can shepherd them appropriately.
  3. The Child in Relationship to Others. How does the child interact with those around him?

Tripp suggests we perform this diagnosis every six months or so which children this age. Let's acknowledge their strengths and see how we can help them grow in their weaknesses.

A fairly short chapter, but one in which there were many new concepts for me to grasp. I look forward to next week's "how to's."

In Christ,

Terra

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Latest Health Updates

First, let me say thank you to all of the wonderful people that have written, called, spoke, or simply prayed for me. I've been so blessed by you all! To top it off, I haven't had a true headache in about 3 days now, which is a gigantic answered prayer in itself. The dizziness and nausea has also lessened.

I spoke with my doctor yesterday afternoon. The good news, my CT scan was normal overall. No brain tumors, abnormalities or sinus issues. She pointed out that I do have a slightly deviated septum but from what I've read, most of the population does. The not-so-good news, still no diagnosis. She mentioned a couple of every day things that may be causing these symptoms individually (such as stress, parenting, etc). She said the only other potential diagnosis was one she didn't think I had anyway: depression. I agree in the sense that I'm pretty sure I'm not depressed. There was a time my sophomore year in college when I did struggle with depression. However, I know I'm not at that same point now. To be sure, I've asked a few of my closest friends (and family) and they agreed with me. Whew.

A few people have also suggested the problem could stem from the physical and/or emotional strains from my miscarriage in March. I'm not sure. I guess that's a possibility. I feel like we're coping well emotionally though.

For those of you who are concerned, the summer has been much less busy than the spring was. Our responsibilities with church functions and other things have decreased significantly. We're finally getting to rest a little bit as a family. James is still incredibly busy with work but he's able to relax a little more once he gets home.

Pray that we continue to trust in the Lord. Whatever the situation with my health, pray that I place my trust in Him fully. We'll be going on vacation in about a week and a half (to visit friends and family in Florida) and I pray it'll be a good time away for us. Thank you all again for your concern and prayers.

In Christ,
Terra

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday's Music Review: In the Valley

Song Title: In the Valley
Words and music by Bob Kauflin
As recorded on Valley of Vision

Here the sample here (I couldn't locate the entire song online): http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Media/SongSamples/PlaySongSample.aspx?fn=M4175-01-51-Sample.mp3&ShowBuyIcon=true

Lyrics:

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).
My thoughts:

I LOVE this song. As many of you know, the day after Easter, we lost our second child to miscarriage. During that incredibly difficult time, few things were comforting to me. God was great in pointing us to Himself and this song was one of the ways He did so.

When do we trust in the Lord most? In suffering. When do we stop relying on ourselves and on God? In suffering. When do we grow more like Christ? In suffering. Yet when do we long for suffering? Never. As the song says, our humbling wouldn't be our decision. I love the analogy of the stars. We don't see them during the day because it's so bright - but they are still there. Yet when it is darkest (as our times of suffering), the stars shine so bright (as Christ). What a glorious analogy.

Even though the singer is commenting on the truth she already knows, she still prays for grace, life and joy that only the Lord can give. Suffering is never easy but the Lord has a great plan for it all. Remember, God works all things together for good for those who love Him. If you're going through a difficult time right now, may this song be an encouragement. Let me know if I can pray for you.

In Christ,
Terra