Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

At our parents’ suggestion, we decided to stay at Ben’s parent’s house in Pittsfield, Mass. and wait for Hurricane Sandy to pass over New York City.  We were just returning from a short vacation to North Conway, New Hampshire, for our 5th Wedding Anniversary.

We returned to heat and power, but we do live on a ridge.  {That’s why our neighborhood is called Bay Ridge}.  Many in our church did not fare so well.  Our church is in Sheepshead Bay, very near to Coney Island and the ocean.  This area was hit very hard, and there was extensive flooding.  We don’t have any cell phone service right now, but we have heard reports of the following:

  • One couple had their basement apartment flood to the ceiling.  They lost everything.
  • Our Pastor and his family are without power and phone.  They had 5 inches of water in the basement.
  • Other families in our church lost power.
  • We have a couple of families who live on the Rockaways and Breezy Point.  I don’t know the status of their homes yet.
  • The church flooded.  I heard that we lost the piano, the new digital piano, everything in the nursery, and that there was standing water up to the hymnal racks on the chairs in the auditorium.  So I think that means the hymnals are probably goners, too.

Please pray with us about these needs, not only for our church members, but also many others throughout the city.

The kids and I ventured out today to run a couple of errands.  Most stores are open in our neighborhood.  I was surprised to find full shelves of milk, eggs, cheese, and bread, but empty racks of potato chips.  The bank was still unable to process transactions. 

Elaine got a kite while we were out of town, and I took the kids to the park to try it out.  We saw many split trees and large tree limbs in the ground.  Here are a few pictures.

NYC Damage from Hurricane Sandy
{this tree is leaning on the power line, but I don’t think it caused any damage}

NYC Damage from Hurricane Sandy

{the same tree, from a different perspective}

NYC Damage from Hurricane Sandy
{at least three large trees damaged at the park, and roped off}

NYC Damage from Hurricane Sandy

NYC Damage from Hurricane Sandy

Monday, October 29, 2012

12 Weeks!

Today marks 12 weeks into this twin pregnancy.  I'm feeling great for the most part...just really tired.  Mornings are harder because I feel queasy and want to eat, but don't feel like eating.  But I have been blessed to once again not struggle with any morning sickness during this pregnancy.
I return to the doctor on Friday {provided that NYC is okay after Hurricane Sandy}.  I will have a sonogram to ensure that both heartbeats are strong and well.  I have some more questions that I want to get answered by the midwife as well.
I am already wearing a few maternity items...something I didn't do while carrying Nolan or Elaine until nearly {or well past} the halfway point.  I also have a never-ending appetite, and I can tell I will be huge at the end!  My cravings are tending to be toward salty food, but in the last two pregnancies it was definitely sweet foods!
We have been having fun tossing around some names, though we will wait to get serious about names until we find out the babies' gender.  We have a girl's name which we had picked for Nolan, and we will use that if we do have a girl.  If you have any great suggestions then let us know {but don't be offended if we don't use your suggestion}.  And no, if we get a boy his name will NOT be Wally James. Sorry, Grandpa Wally and Grampa Jim!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: everything we’ve been up to, and why!

{Because she’s a sister, a princess, a horsey, and a Mary Poppins, you know!}img_0162

{Because we are getting ready for our Circus themed Harvest Party}Elaine the Clown

{Because Grandma & Grandpa came to visit us on the motorcycle}img_0147

{Because someone is turning 3 soon, and she’s all about Cinderella}img_0158

{Because there’s an election soon, and in NYC we get reminded in at least five different languages}

{Because Daddy was gone for six days and we really missed him}Signs to Welcome Daddy Home

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good Reading…Pass it On

I’ve been a little absent here lately.  Most days find me feeling “oogey” and queasy in the morning, and tired & exhausted in the afternoon.  By the time the kids are tucked in for a nap, I don’t want to see anything myself except my pillow!

I would like to pass on some good reads to you…

7 by Jen Hatmaker
This one isn’t actually a recommendation.  I wouldn’t waste your time with this book.  I read it for a book club, but I found the author offensive several times in her crass comments, especially since she is supposedly a pastor’s wife {though not of a church we would fellowship with} in Texas.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
My mom has had this book on her bookshelf for quite some time.  I asked her if I could borrow it, and she gave me my own copy.  Though I am just beginning I know it is going to be a blessing and a challenge.  It focuses on the three friends of Jesus in Bethany – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  This book in particular is about Martha.  Joanna followed this book with Having a Mary Spirit on the life of Mary, and her newest book is Lazarus Awakening on…you guessed it…the life of Lazarus.  Joanna also has a blog here.

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst
I am not completely finished with this book either, but it has been good to think through some of my emotional responses to difficult circumstances.  Noticing how I respond in different situations can help me to change my responses to be Christ-like.

I have also started reading a couple of blogs on a daily basis.  The first is a devotional blog by my missionary friend Lou Ann Keiser.  I spend two months in the Basque region of Spain with the Keiser’s, and Mrs. Keiser has a real heart to help women.  She is in the process of publishing a book.  Her accompanying blog, In the Way, shares a simple devotional thought almost every day.  I know she would love for more people to read it, and I think you will be blessed.  She is an artist and finds a unique perspective and beauty in everything.


And for the practical, DIY-er, One Good Thing by Jillee will inspire you to make household items yourself and tackle simple but lovely DIY projects.  I have enjoyed reading her blog daily, and I have followed many of her recipes for homemade products {cleaning, laundry, and beauty items}.

I hope you enjoy some of these reads too.  Leave me a comment with what you’re reading, and I’ll be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Inspired by Pinterest

I have finally been getting around to making some things I have pinned on Pinterest.  Here are a few things that turned out well:

::Homemade Floor Cleaner
I really like my Pine Sol lemon for mopping the floor…but this is a great and frugal alternative!  Once my bottle of Pine Sol is gone I probably won’t replace it.  I always have Borax & Washing Soda on hand.  I cut this recipe in half so my bucket isn’t quite so full.

:: Downy Wrinkle Releaser
I love this stuff!  But it costs a pretty penny…so I was excited to try a homemade version.  I finally finished off my Downy and made my own wrinkle releaser with fabric softener and water.  So easy, and just as effective!  I can pick the scent this way, too!

:: Homemade Laundry Detergent  DSC05124rt600
This is something I’ve been making for a while, but I found a better recipe.  This one includes oxi-clean for more stain fighting power, uses a whole box of Borax & Washing Soda {make more at once, less half open boxes of ingredients sitting around}, and includes fabric softening crystals for fragrance & softening.  Works great!  I use 3 Tbsp. per load.

:: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
I have lots of jars in my house…for everything from laundry soap to drinking glasses to homemade salsa.  So this project cost me nothing – I had everything on hand, and it fits my “style” great!

:: Sugar Scrub
I’ve seen these all over the web, but never took the time to make one for myself.  This particular scrub uses sugar and Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Detergent.  That happens to be my favorite dish soap, and my hands get dry and peely this time of year.  So I decided to give it a try.  It was uber easy to make, and then I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil.  It works fabulous…cleanses and exfoliates in one shot! 

Our church is in Missions Emphasis Month and we put together blessing bags for each missionary family.  I decided to make some sugar scrubs to include in the blessing bags…something a little special just for the ladies.  I had just purchased some round labels so I created my own label and tied a ribbon…voila!

Sugar Scrubs

Sugar Scrubs

Are you on Pinterest?  Tried anything good lately?  I’ll share a couple of recipes soon that were Pinterest inspired!

Mommy’s Little “Helper”

Last weekend we had the teen group over for a game night.  We had nachos and a couple of sweet things, including “Muddy Buddies.”  {I think we used to call it Puppy Chow}.  But whatever.  Nolan has recently discovered the chair that sits in the kitchen.  He likes it because it puts him in better reach of gadgets…and sometimes goodies!  In the case of the Muddy Buddies, Elaine declined to help in the kitchen so Nolan volunteered to be my “helper”.  But this is what he really had in mind!

Nolan Helps in the Kitchen
“These are good, Mom.  What’s in them?”

Nolan Helps in the Kitchen
“Do you like my chocolate drool smile?  I haven’t been eating any of these, though!”

Nolan Helps in the Kitchen
“You want me to squish them together?”  Mommy: “No!”

Nolan Helps in the Kitchen
“Just helping out, Mom.  Can I have some more?”

Wordless Wednesday: Watching the Orioles {hopefully} beat the Yankees!

Watching the Orioles in the Playoffs

Watching the Orioles in the Playoffs

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Post You All Want to Read

Last week we went and walked “The Highline” on Manhattan’s west side, near Chelsea Piers.  It was a freight rail line, in operation from 1934 to 1980.  It carried meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side, and mail to the Post Office.  Now it is a beautiful walkway, elevated above the City streets, with gardens and benches along the way.

While I have been curious about the Highline since I learned of its existence, we really went there for a specific purpose: to take some pictures.  I even had props ready because they are going to help me tell something.  I had hoped for a great city background, but these are what I ended up with:

The Highline pictures to announce Babies 3 & 4    The Highline pictures to announce Babies 3 & 4

The Highline pictures to announce Babies 3 & 4

They’re cute, right?  Nolan is 15 months now, and Elaine will soon be 3 years old.  But this is the picture I really wanted to share…

The Highline pictures to announce Babies 3 & 4

So now you  know…we are having a baby!  I am nearly eight weeks along…due May 20th, 2013.  I went to the doctor today.  She gave me this neat picture:

twins ultrasound #2

It may not look like much, but it turned my announcement picture into this:

Baby #3 Announcement 2 jpg

We are having TWINS!!!

We are still in a bit of shock, but very much excited.  Since we are now talking about two babies, we are likely expecting their arrival much sooner than May 20th.  That would be a 40 week pregnancy.  My midwife said she would be happy if I went 36 weeks, and that most twins are born closer to 34 weeks.  It’s going to be a busy spring!

“I Cannot Live without Books”

I think Thomas Jefferson said that.  It’s ringing true in our house!  Nolan’s feet had barely hit the floor this morning and he was bringing me two books to read.  The weekly trip to the library is the highlight of my kids’ week.  And today, when I finished dressing Nolan, I looked up to see this:

Elaine reading to Betsy
Elaine reading a book to her Betsy!