Thoughts from me - a preacher's wife, farmer's daughter, mom, and nurse. Posts are mainly intended to help me journal the events of my life - topics will include kids, church, work, marriage, life in general,
and of course my dogs . . . and whatever else I feel compelled to write about.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Today is Sunday and day 35 of this cycle - nothing has happened. The plan was to test today, but I am afraid to test. We are setting up for VBS after the worship service. There is way too much going on today to be mourning negative pee stick results.

I thought I was having symptoms the other night - I was nauseated. Turns out Brian was nauseated too. It must have been the pizza from the clubhouse we ate. Rather than symptoms of being pregnant it was symptoms of being too old to eat pizza of questionable origin late at night.

Still afraid to hope.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Totally TMI - Be warned!

*Note: This is an attempted reposting (if that's even a word) of a post I published - then, while in a hormonal uproar, deleted. I decided to repost (again if that's even a word) for posterity's sake.

I don't normally blog about infertility, because I try not to have it consume my life. Easier said than done at times.

This cycle was slated to end the week of camp. I kept expecting it to end, but nothing ever happened. I don't think it was the stress of camp that caused things to be off either. Aside from Saturday night, I slept well, ate well, and got about as much exercise as normal during camp. Plus, stress is most likely to only disrupt the follicular phase of a woman's cycle and not the luteal phase. Bottom line - stress or no stress it shouldn't have mattered.

This Wednesday found me at day 31 of my cycle. I can count the number of times I have been late - basically four. I am very sure of my dates too. Brian and I were in separate cabins the whole week of camp which helps to narrow things down. I know that Brian was seen sneaking into my cabin every night after midnight - but honestly, that was our only time to talk. Plus (small confession necessary) I brought my portable black/white tv to camp. I know camp was supposed to be a time away from worldly distractions, but it got awfully quiet in my little cinder block room at night - plus, I wanted to keep track of the weather (at least that makes having a tv at camp seem more legitimate)!

Hope and Levi

Hope is usually what comes around only to kick me in the pants (note - I am speaking of the emotion of hope and not the sweet girl, Hope, that Levi is crushing on), but being late made me hopeful. I had a left over test from my days with the RE - so I decided to use it Wednesday morning. Brian told me not to - he prefers to be blissfully ignorant - but I didn't listen and used it anyway.

Big, fat negative.

So again life finds me in the depths of disappointment which I am trying to climb my way out of.
After my disappointing pee stick results, I had my usual pity-party which amazingly enough only lasted 48 hours - a new record for me! This time I only wrote one hateful email to Brian detailing all the reasons why I felt he was "insensitive to my feelings" - again a new record for me.

Brian and I fortunately patched things up Thursday afternoon - although I have never properly apologized for my scathing email. I need to do that.

After spending way to much time today "googling" every possible reason for being late - I don't know why I did this, I could have written everything I read - I came up with the following:

1. I could be pregnant and just tested too early. I have been meticulously tracking my cycles for the last, say, 2 1/2 + years. I know every move my ovaries make. I have had enough monthly ultrasounds that the ultrasound tech and I should at least still be emailing each other. I am quite sure that I ovulated this month and at the normal time.

2. I could be going through early menopause. If that's the case there isn't enough progesterone in the world to save my sanity.

3. My recent dental surgery could have corrected my luteal phase defect and this is just the normal length of my cycles now. Explanation - the dental surgery got rid of the infection in my body which was keeping my cortisol levels high which was keeping my body from producing progesterone which was shortening the length of the luteal phase of my cycle which is most likely the cause of my infertility. I think I think too much!

4. I could have a tumor. This always seems to be an possible answer to any medical problem. No, I did not read this on the internet - I managed to think this one up all on my own.

Nevertheless, my plan is to test again on Sunday if nothing develops between now and then. It will be day 35 of this cycle. That's when I tested positive with Joel - crazy that I can remember that! Here's hoping the pee stick will have two lines.

I am afraid to hope.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Camp Pictures

Camp - where do I even begin? It was a great week! There is so much that I want to write about.

Fortunately, being camp nurse mostly involved treating bug bites, bee stings, and scraped knees. I did, however, send one girl to the hospital for x-rays (she was okay), had one boy with a case of jungle foot (yuck!), and had one girl with a pretty serious burn that I treated all week.

I was able to really connect with a few of my "frequent flyers" to the nurse's station. Most of these kids just needed attention and love more than bandaids and Bactine - I used Bactine for everything!

Renewed at camp and onfire for the Lord, we are now knee-deep in VBS preparations! So for now I will just post some camp pictures.

Me in my "home" for the week - the nurse's station. My bedroom was through the door on the right. I had lush accomodations compared to everyone else - I even had my own bathroom!

Me and some campers. Please pray for the girl sitting
right in front of me. She lost her mom in October to cancer. I really feel the Lord had me at camp last week to minister to her! We have been emailing already!

Okay - I know this is a horrible picture of me, but I had to add it.
This girl held the record for the most injuries for the week. She got burned really bad by someones hair straightener early in the week - but it didn't slow her down!

Me and more campers. The girl in the blue shirt
in the front was awesome. The burden she had for her friends to be saved was an example to us all.

There's so much more about camp that I want to write about! Hopefully more posts will come after VBS.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Camp Nurse

This next week at camp I will be the camp nurse. Seems logical considering I am a nurse - but I am starting to have a few worries.

After working in OB for 5 years, I still find that my first reaction in an emergency situation is to instruct the "patient" in pursed-lip breathing and proper pushing techniques. This is not always the most helpful advice.

Now, since working in oncology for for the past 2 years, I tend to over diagnose. Stomachache - pancreatic tumor. Headache - brain mets. Cough - you guessed it, lung cancer or maybe lymphoma. (Not every oncology nurse is like this - just us neurotic ones.) This "skill," unfortunately, will not be helpful at camp either.

Essentially it will probably be a week of being more mom than nurse. Here's hoping I can handle bug bites, sprained ankles, sunburn, poison ivy, and home sickness.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mi Casa, Su Casa

Camp is right around the corner - I have so much to do to get ready.

The laundry is almost done, but I still need to wash every one's sheets and do the final load of towels.

The refrigerator needs cleaned out and the floors need mopped. The litter box has been changed and hopefully the cats will not have any major "problems" between now and Saturday that will necessitate it being changed again.

Jordan (a/k/a Scooby's babysitter) came over tonight for supper and to meet Scooby. I think they will get along fine even though Jordan said he wasn't necessarily a snuggler. (Scooby likes to snuggle at night, but I think he might not get much snuggling this next week - lol.)

When we started preparing to have Jordan stay in our house, it's funny how many things in our house we found needed a little explanation - little things that you just get used to and live with.

We have three tv's - only one has a working remote.
There are birds living in the chimney - you can hear them flutter around especially at night.
You can't sit on the middle cushion on either couch - that's where Scooby sits.
The cats need the stool pushed up to the counter in order to get to their cat food - they're too fat to make the jump from the floor.
The kitchen pantry is located in the closet in the bathroom next to the kitchen - strange but necessary.
The basement door has to be locked - it doesn't latch well and unlocked it might blow open.
The air compressor in the garage has a slow leak in the hose and every few days (usually in the middle of the night) it will kick on.
The hot water is REALLY hot!
Hershey hisses alot and tends to be hateful.
Misty has emotional issues and will probably stay under Megan's bed.
The ice/water dispenser on the refrigerator hasn't worked for 10+ years.

I'm sure all houses have their idiosyncrasies - some more than others. I guess those are some of the things that make your house your home.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A boy in love

Levi is in love - and it's not with a blonde or even a brunette. He's in love with a blue truck. Love will make you do strange things - like get up early, stay up late, work harder, and save your money.

He's a little shy of what he needs to buy it, and he needs to sell the orange beast currently sitting in the driveway - but he has a plan.

Ah, summer love.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Burger King v. Mom's cooking

After about the 5th or 6th time walking past the dining room table where Brian was sitting studying in preparation for Sunday, a thought occurred to me. I see Brian making preparations for Sunday all week long.

Usually early in the week I notice that the books in his library (a/k/a bathroom) change from what they were the previous week. Then throughout the week when he comes home from work, I notice that he deposits on the desk along with his keys a notepad where he has been writing down thoughts and scripture references. I have noticed that his Friday afternoons at the church are a time of physical preparation for Sunday as well as a time to pray for members as he straightens the sanctuary. And then I notice that it is usually Friday night that his thoughts even more focus on Sunday, and Saturday morning and late evening are then spent putting things on paper.

That's a lot of time invested. The thought that occurred to me today was, "How much time do I invest in Sunday?"

Do I spend time during the week praying for Sunday? Do I make sure that through the week I plow the fallow ground of my heart preparing it for seeds that will be sown on Sunday? Or do I just walk into church expecting God to speak to me through the message having done nothing throughout the week to prepare my heart to receive His word.

For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem.
Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns
Jeremiah 4:3

Sow with a view to righteousness. Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord. Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12

Beside that last verse I have written in my Bible, I must "examine my heart and have painful cultivation first" if I want God to work in my life. Have I had a time of painful cultivation this week?

It is possible to walk into a church where the Bible is being taught, listen to the message, and leave empty and no better off spiritually than you were when you walked in. It is also possible to walk into a restaurant where food is being served, sit down at the table and eat, and leave hungry. I know this because I have been witness to both.

Joel's English class went on a field trip to Kabuto's restaurant. I am not sure how an English class field trip to a Japanese restaurant ever got approved by the principal - but it did. Anyway, I gave Joel $10 that morning to buy his meal at Kabuto's.

When I picked Joel up from school that day, the first thing he said to me was, "Man, I'm hungry." "I thought you went to Kabuto's," I said. "We did," he said, "I just didn't like it."

Fortunately, he had the foresight to ask for a box and brought his meal home for Brian to eat for lunch the next day. But he had managed to go to a restaurant where perfectly good food was being served, sit at the table, pick at his meal, and leave the restaurant hungry.

Likewise, I have seen people walk into a church service where the Bible was being preached, listen to the message, and walk out saying, "There was nothing there that applied to my life." In other words, "I just didn't like it."

A popular complaint in churches today is, "I'm just not being fed." Often though, I don't think the problem is not being fed, I think the problem is not being fed what we like.

Church isn't like Burger King where "you can have it your way." Church instead is more like eating at home when you were a kid. Here's what I mean.

At Burger King you can look at a menu board and order what you want. If you don't feel like a Whopper you can have Chicken Fries or maybe you just feel like onion rings and a coke - it doesn't matter the choice is yours.

Eating at home when you were a kid meant you ate what your mom had prepared. When Joel was younger, he used to hate supper. No matter what I made he would usually complain and then ask if he could make oatmeal or a P/B & J sandwich. My response was usually, "No, but you can eat the peas, egg noodes, and salisbury steak that I made."

As a mom I try to make well-balanced, nutritious meals making sure that all of the food groups are represented, not too high fat, enough fiber . . . It may not always be what we want to eat, but it is usually what we need to eat.

It's probably a poor analogy, but pastors are kind of like moms in that sense. They preach what we need to hear which is not always what we want to hear.

Another reason why the "I'm just not being fed" mantra gets on my nerves is because it's so selfish. I think too many times we plop down in our favorite spot in church with the attitude of "feed me" when we have neglected to feed ourself all week.

Who is supposed to be feeding you anyway? You are! If you only ate once a week, you would starve. You must feed yourself - with daily Bible reading, study, and, of course, prayer. It makes an incredible difference if you pray before a worship service, asking God to speak to you, then expecting and listening for His voice. God speaks through even the driest sermons. Lyn Pryor - excerpt from Confessions of Church Hopper in Homelife Magazine, July 2007.

Instead of walking past Brian studying, I think I will sit down and join him in preparing my heart for Sunday. I will feed on God's Word and allow it to break up the fallow ground in my heart.

Friday, July 6, 2007


(Batman and Brian)

Today is Brian's 42nd birthday! After celebrating 25 birthdays with Brian, I have realized some things about him never change. I know they proved on Myth Busters that you can teach an old dog new tricks - but I haven't seen that myth busted when it comes to husbands.

Some things will never change - and for the most part I am glad. Brian will always . . .

want something Batman for his birthday
turn whatever vehicle he is driving into his "nest" in a matter of days
look good in camo pants no matter what shirt he wears with it
have a messy office, garage, and closet
put a lot of sugar on his Cheerios
go shirtless in the summer (it must be a Butler thing)
be an encourager
hate to get up in the morning
have a passion for the lost
eat ice cream sandwiches in bed and leave the wrappers on the floor
listen to books, old radio shows, or preaching while driving
think air purifies socks
like to talk to me on the phone
think eating bread makes a stomach ache go away
get "watch" and "warning" confused (I'll help him with that if he will always help me with "fiction" and "nonfiction")
love people
look sick when we get our taxes figured
complement my cooking
enjoy working
hate the cat
drive when we're on vacation
wear checkered Vans
be a great dad
love me!!!

This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Unfortunately only in fairy tales

I wonder where you get the blue prints for a turret.
Brian and I are thinking of building one and putting Megan in it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy Birthday

(The birthday boy doing his impersonation of the Green Lantern.
I found out the redeye feature in Picasa doesn't work on dogs!)

We celebrated Scooby's 2nd birthday tonight. Megan made a funfetti cake with white icing and sprinkles. Joel picked out his present and wrapped it. Levi teased him all day about having to wait until tonight to have his party. Brian only rolled his eyes a little at all of the fuss - but he did rub Scooby's head and tell him he was a "pretty good boy."

Joel loves to watch Animal Planet. His favorite shows are E-Vet Interns, Emergency Vets, and Animal Miracles. Little did Joel know he would live out one of those shows.

At the end of January, we came home one Sunday evening to find Scooby not acting right. He had vomited several times and seemed lethargic. Joel and I took him to the vet on Monday morning.

The vet suggested that we leave Scooby there for the morning and they would do blood work and x-rays. I took Joel to school and told him not to worry.

I had no sooner gotten home when the vet called. The x-rays revealed that a foreign object was in Scooby's stomach and was blocking the sphincter that leads into the duodenum. He would need surgery in order to live. The vet we had taken him to was unable to do the surgery and recommended that we take him to an emergency animal hospital right away.

I called mother and Brian with the news and then left to go get Scooby. Daddy just happened to be in town buying tires for the truck, he met me at the vet where we both looked at the x-rays. None of us could tell from the x-rays what the foreign object was. They brought Scooby out. He was groggy from the sedative they have given him, thin from the constant vomiting, and pitiful to look at.

Daddy helped me get him in the Explorer. Scooby laid motionless on the Batman sleeping bag in the back seat.

When I got home, I carried him in the house and laid him on the couch. I can't even explain how I felt when I looked at him. He was dying right in front of me.

I thought of all the nights Joel held him and snuggled him in bed. I thought about how much fun he had been going to "dog school" with Joel. I thought about how loyal he was. I thought about how much Joel loved him. I thought about how much Scooby loved Joel.

I went over to the couch and knelt beside him and petted him. I kissed his "kissing spot" - right where his mouth ends and his cheek starts. He didn't move. He didn't open his eyes. I pleaded with him not to die.

I called Brian - crying hysterically. He told me to "do whatever we needed to do" to keep him alive. He told me that Tom's (one of his bosses) son was married to a vet who had a practice about 20 min. away. He said he could talk to Tom's wife who worked there and see if they could get him in.

A few minutes later, Scooby and I were on the road. Scooby again was laying in the backseat on the Batman blanket - nearly lifeless.

When I carried him in it was obvious to everyone how ill he was. They got us right back to a room and again took x-rays. A man working there asked me if my kids had any finger puppets. It was then that I remembered - Scooby had eaten a plastic finger puppet on Christmas morning. How could we have forgotten?

Now that we knew what was blocking his stomach, it was even more clear that surgery was the only option. I left Scooby there with no guarantee he would survive the surgery.

His surgery lasted three hours and took two surgeons. I have a ziplock bag containing everything they got out of his stomach and intestines. He had in his short 1 1/2 years ingested a lot more items than just the finger puppet.

Joel and I went and got him the next evening. He was still hooked up to IV fluids and was a little groggy - but he was clearly happy to see us. He had a 5 inch incision on his freshly shaved belly, and he wore a cone-shaped collar to keep him from picking at his stitches.

He was not to run or jump for one week, and he was not to climb stairs for two weeks. His post-op diet consisted of mashed potatoes and baby food meat mixed with chicken broth - two tablespoons every two hours. We fed him this for two weeks - slowly decreasing the amount of chicken broth.

It was a long, slow recovery. Adding both vet bills together it came to a little over $1,000.00. But when I go upstairs before bed to check on Joel and I see Scooby laying there beside him, I know he was worth every penny.

It may seem silly to bake a dog a birthday cake and buy him a present - but I don't care. We almost lost Scooby this year and I'm glad he's here to celebrate turning 2!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Games kids play

(Diane and Me)

It cracked me up the other night in Patch Club when the kids were thrilled with my "new game." We played the game where you stand on a chair, hold a clothes pin to your nose, and try to drop it into a bottle. I didn't tell them that their grandparents probably played this game!

It's funny that even with the allure of video games and cable TV, you just can't beat a good outside game.

I remember playing:

Tag in all of its various forms - freeze tag, cartoon tag . . . and we would play for hours.

Ghost in the graveyard - I don't remember the details, but I remember we played it in the dark usually at Grandmother and Grandpa Barger's house when all of the cousins were there.

Bombardament - we played this at school. It was a cutthroat outside version of dodgeball. I remember someone usually went to the nurse and it was hard on my brown suede dress shoes.

Red Rover - again someone usually went to the nurse

Tug of war on the merry-go-round - I don't think this was an approved use of the merry-go-round, but the boys would be on one side trying to push one direction and the girls were on the other side pushing the opposite direction. Fortunately in gradeschool girls tend to be bigger than boys.

Hopscotch - I remember actually having to wait in line to play hopscotch.

My favorite outside game, however, was one my sister and I invented. They say necessity is the mother of invention - well necessity helped invent this game. It was summer and we were hot and we didn't have a pool, but what we did have was an empty dishsoap bottle.

We would fill the empty dishsoap bottle with water and stick the bottle down our pants (with the cap off), we would then run around the house (thank goodness we lived in a small house that had a long driveway) - the winner was whoever could get around the house before their water ran out. Many, many hot summer days were spent playing this game.

The first year Brian and I were married, I saved all my empty dishsoap bottles. Brian found them under the sink one day. When he asked me why I kept them I told him about our game. He didn't want to play until I told him we used to play it in our underwear!