Living Simply

Asher Michael
Meaning: Blessed; Like the Lord
July 25, 2010 @ 3:55am
8lbs, 11oz; 21 inches

Joining GratiTuesday -- Thanking God for His goodness

Asher is now just over two weeks old.  He is such a mellow baby...nothing like his arrival!

Asher is our second child, so I felt confident that this labor and delivery would be "familiar" -- I'd know what to expect.  I hoped the whole process would go a bit faster than it had with our daughter -- 30 hours of labor (15 hours of early labor and 15 hours of active labor).  And, boy, did it ever go faster -- just under 2 hours!  If I had realized I was in labor, we would have made it to the hospital, but I didn't figure it out until it was too late :-)

At my 39 week doctor's appointment (Thursday) I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  My doctor stripped my membranes and home I went, hoping that Asher would be born soon.
(My mom was coming for the weekend and we hoped that she would get to see Asher while she was here because sho wouldn't be able to come for another visit for a few weeks.) 

I had some cramping and more "practice" contractions for the rest of the day, but nothing consistent and was back to "normal" by Friday morning.  I went for walks, bike rides, etc. and while I was moving I would have "practice" contractions but nothing regular.  Saturday morning we all (my husband, my mom, and my 2 year old daughter) all went garage sale-ing.  I was feeling the same as I hade been before she stripped my membranes.  While we were out I picked up some Castor Oil -- before our daughter was born the midwife suggested I try it to induce labor -- I tried it with her and it didn't do anything, I didn't even poop more!  But I thought I'd give it a try with Asher.

So, Saturday night about 10:45pm I took 2 Tbsp castor oil in some iced tea and went to bed.  I woke up at 2:00am needing to urinate badly (this was not unusual, pregnant women always have to pee badly!)  As I got out of bed I felt some wetness in my underpants and figured my bladder had leaked on my way to the bathroom (I was wrong!).  I started having what I thought were gas pains (due to the castor oil), just in my lower abdomen, and I was pooping, so I didn't think anything of it.  The "gas pains" continued on-and-off and I kept pooping.  Sometime between 3:30 and 3:45am the "gas pains" got much more intense.  I woke up my husband and my mom and had my husband call the hospital (I was thinking, "what have I done?!  This castor oil thing was not a good idea!")  We were all in the bathroom at this point and while my husband was explaining the situation to the nurse on the phone, I began to feel as if I had to push. (This was the first time I actually considered that I might be in labor!)  The nurse on the phone heard me say that I had to push and she told my husband to hang up and call 911.  My husband hung up with the nurse and told me he was going to call 911 and I told him, "we can drive to the hospital faster than the ambulance will get here." (We live in rural central MN, it takes 30 minutes for the ambulance, we live a 20 minute drive from the hospital.)  In my head I was thinking, "We don't have time for the ambulance OR to drive!"  My still half-asleep husband went to put his jeans on and was back in the bathroom in 30 seconds with 911 dialed into the phone, just as my mom was saying, "We have a head!"  A (very) short time later, Asher was here with us!  My mom got to "catch" him, my husband was right there supporting me and our little girl slept through the whole thing, just 12 feet away (praise God!).  Then my husband called 911.

Thank God (literally) that we live in a small house -- clean towels and a bulb syringe were within 2 steps of the bathroom.  My mom is a nurse (RN) and although she has worked in a clinic for the past 12+ years, she did a great job caring for Asher -- suctioning and drying.  I was still standing in the bathroom so we all moved into the kitchen (about 5 feet, praise God again for a small house!) and I sat down on floor. 

Now, because the ambulance takes 30 minutes to get to our "community", we have local volunteer first responders that carry pagers and are dispatched when an ambulance is called -- they usually arrive in 5-10 minutes.  As a nurse myself, I served as a first responder for 4 years before marrying and having my first baby, we also worked with and go to church with many of the first responders, so I knew that the people showing up at our house in just a few minutes would be ones that I would know...GET ME SOME BLANKETS!

Within minutes we have a house full of friends, my old boss (also the man who married my husband and I), my husband's old boss, and a couple other people from church.  Thankfully, two of the responders were women so that guys could just make room in the yard for the ambulance and hang out in the living room.

The ambulance arrived and with nothing to do but transport me and Asher to the hospital, away we went.  The doctor covering the ER was a wonderful lady who shared with me that she had done the same thing -- THANK YOU, I don't feel quite so silly now!

Praise God, Asher is hear (and safely), my mom got to meet him (right away) and Ruthie slept through the whole thing!
Check out for more GratiTuesday posts!

God gave us a Suburban.  We live on a very tight and limited budget.  My husband had an old Toyota pickup that was on its last leg and we have a family car that runs well but is 12 years old.  We decided that rather than putting money onto the pickup to get it running better that we would just live with one vehicle until we could find another that we could afford AND that fit all our criteria -- 4 wheel drive, can fit two carseats, and can carry lots of stuff and/or other passengers.  To us, it looked like a Suburban was our best option but with $2,000 to spend we weren't finding any options that would be reliable.  So, we waited. 

The Adult Foster Care Company that I had worked for (1 day a week) for the last year is also owned by a family from our church.  I had resigned because our second child is due in a couple of weeks and I am now going to be a completely stay-at-home mom (yipee!).  When I started a year ago, they really only needed me one day a week but now they really need someone 2+ days a week, so with a new baby on the way and me not wanting any more hours, it was a convenient time for both of us for me to resign and for them to find someone else.

I had made a comment about how we were looking for a second vehicle (a Suburban) and as yet had not found anything.  One of the owners said that the company had one that they were wanting to get rid of and were looking for $2,000 for it.  We were very excited about this possibility.  I had my husband talk with the owners and we found out that it had some mechanical issues that weren't a big deal but hadn't been dealt with -- they just didn't drive the vehicle.  So when my husband went to look at it and it didn't start (needed a new battery and alternator), the owners were just so frustrated dealing with it that they GAVE it to us!  They even towed it to our house! 

So, after putting $300 (new battery, alternator, spark plugs, oil change) and a weekend of work into it -- we have a running Suburban!  There is still a timing issue that my husband is trying to figure out but it runs and provides us with a second vehicle! And not just any second vehicle--a 1997 Suburban with 100,000 miles on it -- this should last us many years!

Praise God for His provision!
Joining for their weekly GratiTuesday event!

I'm thankful for a daughter that has a heart for prayer.  She is only 2 years old but often asks to stop throughout the day to pray.  Sometimes she has a specific person in mind and sometimes she just wants to pray.

Saturday she asked to pray for Amelia (one of our friends and her babysitters who we also go to church with).  Amelia was taking her ACT test during this time -- a great time to be reminded to pray for her!

I pray that she continues to have a heart for prayers and I'm thankful that she reminds me often to stop and pray for others.
I'm joining in being thankful.  Check out Heavenly Homemakers for lots of thankfulness and great tips for cooking, cleaning, raising kids being a helpmeet, lots of great stuff!

I'm thankful for a wonderful family of friends that are great encouragers to me and my husband in his ministry as a youth pastor.  This family has three girls (12th grade, 10th grade and 7th grade) that are just amazing -- they are growing into/are wonderful young women of God and a great example to our little girl.  They also have volunteered their Tuesday evenings to babysit our little girl for a couple hours so my husband and I can have date night. 

When we go to pick our little girl up we end up spending another hour+ hanging out with this family and just talking and laughing.  We leave there feeling so encouraged in our marriage, in our ministry and as people.  What a blessing they are!
I'm joining in their GratiTuesday event!  Each Tuesday I will be sharing something that I'm thankful for.  Check out for lots more thankfulness!

I'm thankful for the warm spring-like weather that has graced Central Minnesota for the last week and looks to be sticking around for another week!  Even though it has been cloudy and rainy for the last week, it has been warm (in the 40's) and melting the piles of snow!  Maybe warm (in the 40's) and rain doesn't sound like spring to you, but here in Central Minnesota, it means spring!  And to be getting this weather in mid-March is even more amazing! 

This past Sunday, about half way through the worship service, I noticed the sun beginning to shine through the windows of the sancutuary!  What a blessing from God after a week of rain!  That afternoon my husband, little girl and I enjoyed a beauriful walk around our neighborhood -- we were out for over an hour!  What a joyous way to spend a Sunday afternoon -- enjoying each other's company and God's glorious creation!  Our little girl even enjoyed it; she walked for .7 of a mile (she'll be 2 in two weeks) chattering the whole way!