Archive for October, 2008

this i just stumbled across this morning. it’s gorgeous and well worth your time reading. vary rarely do i find something from the father’s… so i think it’s especially gorgeous! 

05 AUGUST, 2008

birth story of a baby

by phil 

As if trying to see past the liquid that poured out as it emerged, the child was face up and looking right at me; eyes squinted, face wrinkled with the attempt to cry; bordering the life inside it’s mothers womb and the life we were about to introduce. There was something special about this life we bore on the 31st day of October, 2007, something that was different than the last child two years and four months before. Not that this new child is better than our first, or that it’s ten fingers and ten toes were easier to count, but there was just something different about having our child at home; something more intense, something less hectic and rushed, something amazing!


June 30, 2005 we brought into this world our first child, a daughter, Jazmyn Sierra. She was beautiful, tiny, and everything a father could ever want! Although things went fine, there are some things we would have liked to have been different; my wife would have liked to remember more of her drugged-up delivery, I would have liked to cut the cord, and we would have like it to be more private. There was something about the 10 people in the room that was uncomfortable; I’m sure they all had their purpose… they needed one nurse to hold towels, another to hold a bag, one to operate the machine that beeped, another to manage the one operating the beeping machine, and two doctors to evaluate the performance of the intern that about dropped our baby, twisted it’s head 360 degrees trying to figure out which way the head went, and getting blood all over from the cord that she forgot to let the husband cut (which we specified as something we wanted to do when they asked us “Do you want to cut the cord?”… Check the “YES” box please!).

One thing is for certain, though, we couldn’t love our daughter more! Despite the little things we could not change our daughter was perfect for us. After Jazmyn was born at 2:07 AM, the excitement wore off after a while, and then we (or I) slept. We spent three days in the hospital (of which my wife claims I slept for two) and we went home with our new baby.


I got the call around 8:30 in the morning, her water had broke and she felt this was it, how long it would be we didn’t know; I was faced with a difficult decision, stick it out for another hour and a half learning Arabic, or leave early and have to call work saying we were about to have a baby and that I will not be coming in for a couple days. So after immediately gathering my things I left for home. On the way home I stopped at the dollar general store to pick up some cheap entertainment for Jazmyn; some toy horses, couple toy whales, and two veggietales movies. Surely that would keep her busy for however long it was going to take. We wanted her to be there with us so we could all enjoy our family’s first moments with the new baby, but we needed her to stay entertained and busy so she wouldn’t hear her mothers pain and continue to ask, “what’s wrong mommy?”. I don’t know if she really knew what was going on or not, but she remained busy the whole time. The trick was to give her the new toys one at a time, as soon as she became bored with it or was starting to move on I would give her the next new toy. After I was down to just a horse, I cued the movies; saved the best for last. Veggietales could keep her entertained for hours, and having two new movies, she would sit there watching for as long as we let her.

When I got home things seemed to be normal. The feeling of this being the day was lurking in the air, but things weren’t as intense as I expected. I was delayed getting home because Dollar General didn’t open until 9:00, and the 25 minute drive got me there 15 minutes before 9:00… It took a few minuets to pick out the right toys for the job but I got them and got out as quick as I could. By the time it seemed to be taking I thought I was going to get home and have to throw the toys onto the floor and sprint down the hall then dive into the bedroom to make the catch of the day. Although that would have been a grand story, fortunately for my body no diving was involved (also lucky for the baby, because I had a bad track record for making the diving catch).

Things were relatively calm; my wife, Traci, was walking around the house making sure everything was prepared. We had towels (unattended), bag (for placenta, also unattended), and a lack of beeping machines, doctors, and other spectators; we were all alone. If it weren’t for the studying and researching we did before making the decision I would have felt a little more uneasy, but the materials we studied (books on home births and emergency child birth books, you know, the ones meant forhome births) made us a lot more comfortable and prepared for the event. We had an old sheet over a shower curtain on the bed as a place to birth, plain old dental floss to tie off the umbilical cord, a pair of sanitized scissors for ME to cut the cord with, and several other things we thought may be necessary.

As the day progressed into the early afternoon hours, my wife’s contractions progressed also. Shortly after that we had the baby.

Thanks for reading and I hope… What, you were expecting more? Well, I’d hate to disappoint you:



As I was saying, early in the afternoon her contractions were picking up in intensity and the intervals were closing to not much more than a couple minutes. She felt it was time to really get ready for the fun to begin. I was told before hand that anything she needed would be announced, there were to be no interruptions by me asking, ”is everything ok”?

She spent a lot of time in the shower because it helped her relax a lot more. It was really hard for me to listen to her in pain. Several times I really contemplated on asking if she needed anything; I waited in the hall by the bathroom door for any sign that told me to ask, no such sign came, so I chose to be silent. After she emerged from the bathroom, not asking for anything, just walking to the bedroom to see if the timing was right, I had a feeling I had made the right decision to be silent. I felt a sense of gratification in passing the test of silence she tried so hard to drill into my head.

Her trip to the bedroom was not the first she made. There were several times she took a break from the shower; a couple times she went to the bed, another to the chase (a recliner-like chair you could sit in with your legs fully extended, like it has a built-in ataman), and a couple trips to the kitchen. At one point between shower trips she asked me to make her some hot red raspberry leaf tea to help the contractions become more productive.

When she finally felt the time had come, I prepared the last veggietales movie for Jazmyn and we both went into the bedroom. It felt like the pressure was on for me to make the final catch, like on the last inning if a pop fly was hit right at me and I had to catch the ball to make the game. My heart was pumping faster in a moment of anticipation to finally find out the gender of our new baby, and to see what delivering our baby at home was really going to be like.

My wife was on her hands and knees with her face in a pillow on the bed. She had on a robe and I sat behind her with a towel, waiting to figure out what I was to do next. Her contractions had really picked up, somehow so did her colorful vocabulary. I think back and wonder how fast I would have flown off the bed had I told her to watch her mouth… I wasn’t that brave, and it certainly wasn’t a time to be joking around with her.

As the contractions continued she felt it was time to push. I’m sure there was some communication as to what she was going to do, but I don’t remember the particulars of what she said, so we’ll just say she said “I’m going to push now”. I looked around one last time to make sure I had everything, like it was really going to matter if I said “hold on honey, I forgot to grab the … towels”.

As the labor intensified she began pushing with the contractions. I began encouraging her but my timing was never on queue. Me telling her to push when she wasn’t having contractions wasn’t going well; maybe next time I’ll just concentrate more on catching.


The image of our new baby’s face as it looked up at me will never leave my mind. I was the first person to ever see this child in this world. I was the first person to touch it with my hands. The sight of its face animated immediately sent chills up my spine and gave me a sense of awe and relief! This tiny baby was trying to say hello to the first person who was there to introduce themselves, I am so proud to say that the first person this child experienced in its new life was “daddy”. I could see the life flourishing in the tiny face as mother began pushing again. As the head began accelerating towards my waiting hands the shoulders quickly followed. The skin was a bluish color and at first I began to worry, the reason why escapes me; maybe it’s because no matter how much you read or see in pictures, nothing captures the sense of realism than actually being there and seeing it in person.

After only seconds of holding this baby in my hands, half emerged, Traci finished off with the last push and the baby was out; it was time to announced the presence of our brand new daughter, Londyn Destiny; born at 2:07 PM, 7lbs and 19 inches long.

Seconds seemed like minutes from the time the head emerged to the time I heard her little voice cry out for the first time. The liquid that followed postponed her cry, but when we heard it, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. I handed her off to her mother who gently sucked out with her mouth what may have been in her air passages and began trying to nurse.

When we knew things were under control, it was time to introduce our two girls. I went into the living room and said “hey Jazmyn, come meet your new sister”. Jazmyn jumped up and followed me into the bedroom where her baby sister was crying. Jazmyn climbed up onto the side of the bed, looked at her crying sister for a few seconds and then jumped down and ran out of the room. Traci and I both wondered what was going through her head; does she know what’s going on? Does she even care about what just happened or where this baby came from? Only seconds after Jazmyn ran out, she ran back in and climbed up onto the side of the bed again and extended her hand out to her sister, in her hand was a nipple from a bottle. She knew why Londyn was crying and she wanted to help, so she did her very best to prepare a bottle for her to eat. It was such an amazing feeling; our two girls seemed to have an immediate bond!



The cord was blue, full of oxygen, blood and nutrients the baby would need in its first minutes of life. We gave it plenty of time for the blood to circulate into her body and wean her off the oxygen supply from the cord. The time went very quickly! We spent some time trying to get her to nurse effectively and getting her wrapped up good. After 45 minutes we tied off the cord and cut it; finally, I was able to do what I had always wanted.

Between the two of us we took turns holding her when she was still attached to the cord. It was exiting be able to hold her even if I had to sit uncomfortable and close to her mother, but when we had her separated from the cord, it was finally time for her to be all mine; I was able to hold her on my own without her being connected to her mother. It was such an awesome feeling being able to hold her so soon after she was born. There was no one there telling us when we could hold her and when we could not. We did not feel rushed to bath her and were not pressured to pump her full of drugs and other things that God obviously didn’t see a need for when he designed us. We were able to bond with our new baby in the first moments of her life!

The remaining umbilical cord and the placenta were yet to be delivered, so as I held Londyn, Traci went to take care of the rest. She was so full of energy and totally collected after delivering her baby, I was amazed that even after the labor and the pain, she practically acted like nothing had even happened.

It took some time for her to take care of the placenta, but when she did she made sure to examine it and make sure everything was in tact and complete, and that nothing was left inside. The placenta was whole; smooth on one side and rough on the other. After examining it myself I dug a hole in the back yard and buried it.



There was something different about my experience that I didn’t have with our first child. It’s not that Londyn is more special to us than Jazmyn, because I could not love one more than the other no matter what the circumstances, but the experience brought with it a sense of wholeness that I had never felt before. It’s a wholeness that I hope to feel again someday, and a feeling I look forward to experiencing once again when God gives us our next gift of happiness.

unbiased voters guide

Posted: 10/29/2008 in learning

The election is one week away. America stands at a crossroad. Not only will voters decide both the next president and who will control Congress, but they will also ultimately be deciding who controls our courts. 

The FRC Action team has created materials for you to download and distribute to your friends and family to educate them about a full range of important issues in this election. Download the non-partisan Congressional Voter Guide today to see where the candidates from your state and across the country stand on these issues. 

Our Ballot Watch will inform you about the major ballot initiatives that will affect families in those states. Make sure your friends and families in those states know where we stand on those issues. This is also a useful guide to know what to pray about in this last week before these issues are decided.

Finally, download the non-partisan Presidential Bulletin Insert and give it to your church. It is crucial for every voter to know the facts on today’s top issues.

You can also help us spread the word by forwarding this email to family and friends. 

Join me as we continue to pray for this great nation.

Download the Presidential Bulletin Insert, the Congressional Voter Guide and the FRC Ballot Watch and distribute them to your friends and family.


Tony Perkins



this is something very dear to me! i believe we owe it to our founding fathers who gave up so much to launch this country; who prayed for hours and hours together before making any decisions… that’s some serious effort that is just not happening in our country now. all their effort feels in vain. i hope we can change that by stepping out and making the right decision; “vote the bible”.

many people are “undecided”. there are many issues that make me firm in my decision and i believe just a few minutes of educating yourself will make you firm in your decision as well. this is a “cheat sheet” to do just that!

let’s make it about god instead of about politics. 

ps. a few hours after posting this i was going through and reading some of my favorite blogs. my sister was also thinking about the same things i was this morning. check it out! i found it very enriching!

ukrainian snowboots

Posted: 10/28/2008 in lizzie faith, videos

five (5)

Posted: 10/28/2008 in fun, life

i’ve been tagged to play the “5 THINGS GAME” by anna.  

the rules are to write 5 things under each of the 5 headings, and then tag 5 other people.


10 years ago…

1.) 1998
2.) i was 14
3.) permit
4.) “freedom”
5.) thought i knew it all 


5 Things on Today’s “To-Do” List…

1.) make biscuits 
2.) tidy
3.) copy bulletin
4.) proof announcement loop
5.) make sure my hubby knows he’s my numero uno 

5 Snacks I Enjoy…

1.) breyers ice cream
2.) cookies 
3.) homemade cheese popcorn
4.) cheese crackers
5.) cereal


5 Things I Would Do if I were a Millionaire!

1.) pray
2.) give some away
3.) pray
4.) give some more away
5.) make sure all the children in the orphanages in ukraine were well fed and clothed

5 Places I Have Lived…

1.) 402, oskaloosa
2.) arnold, council bluffs
3.) lancaster
4.) 504, oskaloosa
5.) council bluffs (Can’t remember the name of the street)


5 Jobs i’ve had/still have…

1.) retail assistant at expressions with heart and scrap happy
2.) waitress at hunter’s coffee shop
3.) educational sign language interpreter
4.) cashier at fareway
5.) administrative assistant at harris financial and lancaster christian church


5 People I’m Tagging! 

1.) ashley
2.) britt
3.) mary catherine 
4.) kristi
5.) chelsea

(you’ll find them on my blog roll)

we are having a bible conference this week at church. i’ve already mentioned it… it was hard to focus last night – liz was supper fussy!! still not sure what the deal was!!! hope tonight goes better, if not, i’m headed home! not worth the additional stress! exhaustion is hitting hard and i don’t see the point. best to just stay home a night or two and rest and then go the next day!!


whole reason for this post!

this song just came on the radio and it’s so relevant. one thing that mark scott mentioned in the morning service yesterday, was that as christians we are to see people (christian or not, obama or mccain) through different eyes!!!! yes, i’ve heard this before. yes, i’ve struggled with this for a loooong time. just something different this time – he said it differently… we are to have magic eyes.

give me your eyes by brandon heath

i can be so quick to pass judgment, so quick to be anything but compassionate.

it’s time for me to change!


crazier than usual

Posted: 10/26/2008 in life

this week appears to be a tad crazier than usual. 

fall bible conference starts tonight at our church and goes through thursday night. the topic is catchy. the preacher, mark scott kicked off his week conference this morning at church; “certain truths for uncertain times”. i think it will be good, and a tad relevant, don’t ya know?!

this really doesn’t create too much more work for me, but it does add enough to throw a few things off. no biggy – just need to rearrange a few things in my good ol’ brain to make sure everything gets done; a tad better than last week. guess no matter how good your help is ya still can’t take two days off! 😛 oh well! at least it’s confirmed; i’m needed. 

we went grocery shopping this afternoon because our cupboards were nearly bare. i feel so blessed; they are currently not so bare. why is that when i just went looking for a snack, i came back empty handed with the conclusion “there was nothing to eat”! aaah so frustrating!

this weekend also appears to be a busy one – i hope anyway! i’m already aching to see a new lil man in my life! i am hopin i get to see him again this weekend. i got a quick update via my mom on the phone, it seems he likes his momma lots! 😀  yay for amanda!!! it just makes your heart swell all up, doesn’t it!?!!!! i love hearing him speak russian trusting we understand him and the look on his face when i say something in russian and it startles him just so. it’s like he listens to our english (so foreign to him still) just waiting to hear a russian word! and when he finally gets it – shwoo he makes such firm quick eye contact with you! he’s a bright one alright! 

so far the words i know in russian are: 





thank you




(there’s a couple more i just learned this weekend but i can’t remember them right now!)

and “i love you” in russian sign language.

i absolutely love learning new languages. it takes me a bit to get it to stick but i honestly do have a love for learning languages! it thrills me! i remember this feeling in college when learning sign language. absolutely love it! 

have a great sunday night!! 

autumn acres

Posted: 10/25/2008 in family, fun, life, lizzie faith, pictures

say it fast and it sounds like “auto-makers”. 🙂

we had fun! the doak’s and lf and i went this morning. it was a bit chilly! 60 degrees sure depends on the windchill factor and the sun! shwoo it was brisk! the kiddos didn’t seem to mind too much. 

the cornmaze was a bit hard for our my i.q. lol we ended up giving up and following our muddy shoe tracks back to the entrance instead of continuing on to find the exit. ok – before you judge us. we had one baby sleeping in the sling, another baby wanting to nurse, and another toddler who didn’t enjoy walking sliding around the muddy trail (do you blame her!? i don’t!).

we made memories!!

lizzie fell asleep while we warmed up by the fire. the other kiddos enjoyed the cornbox, slide, trainride, and apple/corn launcher! 

thanks for the invite h! great fun! next year, the drost’s can hopefully join us!