Maddi Runkles: A Divergent View

I just read this article about Maddi Runkles, and 18-year-old pregnant teen who isn't allowed to walk in her high school graduation ceremony, and is "hurt" about it.

Read the article.

Then please come back.

All over facebook and twitter, her school receives scathing opposition for being Pharisaical, and she receives support for being brave and wonderful because she isn't aborting her baby.

The telling part of the article for me were these words:
When 18-year-old Maddi Runkles found out in January that she was pregnant, she was terrified."​I had a lot of fear just because of my background, growing up in church and stuff like that and going to a Christian school, and I just knew what everyone was going to think about me and my family once they found out," the Maryland teenager told As It Happens host Carol Off. It tells me, sadly, that Maddi was worried pregnancy would expose her immorality.  Not that she was concerned about the immorality itself.

The article…

Hello World

Here I am. In the last 12 months, we have moved three times, and bought a house! I have a darling fifth child half of the time, and my husband is unemployed, having been fired from the job we moved here for.

The Lord has been stretching me, but I don't know if I feel that it has grown me. I think I have a deeper trust in Him, but mostly I just feel.....stretched.

The good news is that it isn't all in my head. I have some Hormone, Iron, and Sleep Deprivation issues that I am trying to resolve. The Doctor says to lower my stress levels. She asked me to think about what I enjoy doing (going to the bathroom myself??) I think the first thing I will do is start rising at a consistent time, keep taking my pills, read better stuff, and steer clear of Facebook. I have a couple of awesome accountability partners in this, so I am ready.

Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Home-School Families: A Review

This is my second in-depth exposure to this book. It was lent to me a couple years ago, at which time it was read and partially implemented. When I pulled it out again, I was going to review it with the intent of giving it a negative review. I felt that it was unrealistic and extremely rigid. As I began to go through it fairly, the Maxwell’s changed my mind.
There are chapters covering the organization of children’s days, school, chores, kitchen, and summer. Chapter 5 concerns scheduling babies, which, regardless of your theory of baby-rearing, still helps you realize that time must be set apart in your day to take care of your precious bundle.
Because the Maxwell’s are coming from a Biblical worldview, her opinions on many matters are encouraging. When she answers a question concerning the stress of regularly disciplining the younger children she includes “I truly believe that my continued perseverance in not growing weary in these child training issues will be blessed by our faith…

Post Christmas Ramble

Gabriel got a camera for Christmas.

A Camera.

He loves it. I have already had to delete multiple photos because he filled up his card. He took several grueling 7 second videos of himself capturing the ground of Mom's backyard as he walked around it.

When I glanced at his recent pictures, I was reminded of crime scene photos. A Toilet, Fairy wings on the floor, Entire rooms, Open books, Partial face shots of his sisters, and his Skateboard, are all been preserved for my viewing pleasure.

I must say, his perspective on the stove while dinner was cooking interested me for longer than many of the others.

It is a little shocking to me that he takes pictures of messy things. I never would. He comes to life exuberantly, and expresses that through the lens. To him, my clean kitchen and his disastrous room are equally fascinating subjects.

He keeps trying to take pictures of me when I am in my pajamas. I guess to him, I am equally interesting pregnant and unkempt or showered and put togeth…

Baby Girl at 26 weeks...

Yesterday was the long awaited ultrasound at Swedish Medical Center.

The ultrasound technology there was definitely more advanced than any ultrasound I have ever experienced. The increased clarity made many things easily observable even to my untrained eye. Here is a synopsis:

The spot on the heart is still there. The Doctor explained this as a non-specific, or slight marker for Downs Syndrome. The baby doesn't seem to have any other anomalies specific to Downs. However, while he was taking images, he affirmed that the heart function looked normal (Hurray!).

He also pointed out that the bowel was bright, which the genetic counselor called a variant that could be caused by multiple things:
I could have bled more internally than we thought, and the baby could have swallowed it,
I could have contracted a virus that passed onto her,
She could have cystic fibrosis.
Or, it could be what she called a "normal variant" that may be related to some placental issues that were still …

What's Going on Inside?

Last Tuesday was my 20 week ultrasound. There are a couple concerns.

First, there is an echogenic left ventricular intracardiac focus. Second, the head circumference is in the 34th percentile, while the Biparietal Diameter is below the 5th percentile. What does this mean?

First, the EIF thing is a spot of mineralization on the baby's left ventricular chamber. This occurs often enough, and with the absence of other anomalies that would associate with trisomies 13, 18 and 21, can disappear by the third trimester. It doesn't seem to usually cause heart problems with the Baby after birth. Oddly enough, this doesn't stress me out until I say it out loud. 
Second, The BPD is more concerning to me. It IS often associated with those trisomies, yet I have no other risk factors. This is the measurement across the baby's head from temple to temple. This being small is sometimes associated with placental issues, so I have some questions in my mind about that. In one study I read (…

On What to Listen To...

I love music, and I want my children to love music. So what do we do? We listen to music!
For the parent who wants lovely God honoring music as a part of home (and car) life, but can’t sit at the piano singing our favorite worship songs, hymns, and spiritual songs all day, this presents a conundrum.
In our household there are routinely classical or hymn CD’s going. And when I say Hymns, this is the Hymn CD from the Together for the Gospel conference worship, so it is just piano and 3,000 men singing. I like this, and I like that my kids are getting solid hymnody reinforced at home.
We all understand that music is a powerful medium for memorization. We know that there are several music CD’s that teach history, math, geography and science (which is fabulous!), but what is our primary desire for our children?
To know the word of God.  If they know it, we can teach them to understand it. The Holy Spirit can use it in their souls to draw them to Him, and to sanctify them.
The latest mus…