Monday, December 25

Merry Happy Days!

It was super fun to get together with my mom's side of the family on Christmas Eve Day - Uncle Gary & Aunt Connie got to see Aaron for the first time and it was pretty great.

Mom wanted a picture of us by our tree. Aaron is having a bit of a rough day, but he managed to make it through the photo shoot without screaming. HA.

And we have 4 generations here while Michael takes the picture. I love our tree, decorated courtesy of Michael's family when they were out for Thanksgiving.

I had forgotten how many ornaments we got for our wedding. This year is the first one with the big tree, and we filled it up pretty easily. We've got some pretty special ornaments that have neat-o memories connected to them from childhood. Our tree is topped with a wooden cross, handmade by Dad Forbes, also a wedding gift. I still remember the first Christmas that it dawned on me that it was different to have a cross on our tree - dad told me that it was to remind us of the reason Christ came. Today it was fun to read the Christmas story to Aaron and to tell him the reason we give gifts to each other at Christmas. We did not buy him anything this year, but he did have fun playing with the paper!

What kind of unique traditions do your families have?

Wednesday, December 20

happy anniversary to us!

It's hard to believe that three whole years have passed since Michael & I got married. I am so thankful that God sent me such a wonderful husband! He has taught me so much, and has shown me Christ's love on a daily basis. Praise the Lord that He directed me to this godly man who is so perfect for me!

Thursday, December 14

Alicia is (one of) my Hero(s)

I think the first memory I have of you, Al, is from my freshman year when Kathleen, Sarah, & Al took pity on little me and took me to a local eatery. We had a little too long of a good time, and on the way back took a wrong turn. I vividly remember seeing many trees and hills, and hearing Alicia go "AH! we can't be late!" as we flew with great haste back to campus. More memories of that year include the heisting of old NBBC uniforms and dodging the security guards (which were much less uptight than in more recent times) Yes, Alicia, once you guys graduated, the "good old days" came to a close. *sigh*

What I really want to say is THANK YOU FOR FIXING MY FORMAT!!! Those underlines were driving me nuts. You're the best.

Tuesday, December 12

don't buy the big packs and you might as well ask

Has anyone else noticed what I have about superstores like Meijer & WalMart? Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that I can buy groceries and blank CD's all in the same store, but their little pricing games have me saying "ah-HAH!!" and triumphantly approaching the checkout lane with more packaging for less money. I have learned something astounding in my 27 years on the planet, and I am about to share it.

The big pack is not always the cheapest way to go.

Now, you might think that you would get a better deal if you were willing to buy and store 375 paper plates and 48 rolls of toilet paper - after all, there is less packaging for the company to pay for and, after all, didn't our mothers tell us that we can save money by buying in bulk? All I have to say is it might be true, but you'd better do the math. I once saved $4 on 8 bars of soap because I bought the 2 packs rather than the 8 pack. That was a good day.

Today, I had another "ah-HA" moment. I called Charter to see what the cost of upgrading our high speed from 3M to 5M, and lo and behold it turns out that I will save $3 per month by having the higher speed. Go figure.

Sunday, December 10

thanks, dad...

For anyone who is interested, there are some pretty funny pictures of Aaron and I on my parents' site.

And, YAY we are now beta bloggers! Hurray!

NEW NOTE: OK, NOT yay we are beta bloggers. Anyone who can help me get those stupid underlines off the post titles let me know. I think it looks so cluttery and I can't seem to be able to isolate the HTML code that is responsible. HELP!!!

Wednesday, December 6

anyone remember this?

I am looking for anyone who might know if Ben Nyce ever published his arrangement of "Complete In Thee" that he taught us all at NBBC. If anyone has any information concerning the whereabouts of this song written out in sheet format, please tell me!

Updated: Here is one version. Email me if you'd like more information on this song, or a version that has the guitar chords. (click image to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 5

tiny munchkin

When Mom & Dad Muth were here, they commented on how the pictures on our blog make Aaron look much bigger than he actually is in person. So I guess it's the angle. (Now if only I could figure out the angle to make me look smaller in person...) So here's for all of you that say Aaron's getting "so big" - this is a picture of my little sweet baby on our futon in the office. He's sitting in between 2 pillows here. I think he's about the right size for 4 months, especially since I thought for sure we'd have one of those babies that looks, directly from the womb, like a stuffed sausage. My sore back and arm muscles rejoice that this is not the case. As an added non-related note, I'm actually quite excited about our $10 futon cover. I made it out of 2 clearanced tablecloths from Target. Hoooray for clearance!

And here's the little man in his car seat. We finally took out the newborn insert!!! Grandma Forbes got him this junior size reindeer hat and matching slippers to keep him cozy in the car. Thank you, Grandma!!! (he must have a big head from us telling him how cute he is over & over again...the hat leaves a little mark around his forehead when we take it off. OH WELL it made for a cute picture!!)

Friday, December 1

before you know it, I'll be crawling!

Happy 4 months, Aaron Carter Muth!

Wednesday, November 29

Thanksgiving Weekend

We were blessed to spend a great 5 days with some of our family - Mom & Dad Muth, Mary & Malcham. Anna, Tom, and their kiddos, Karissa & Christian, were able to come up on Wednesday as well, and we had a great time catching up a little with them. Nate & his wife Lissa were also here for the weekend, staying with Mom & Dad Forbes, and we were able to get in the Forbes Family Christmas Present opening ceremony in as well. Aaron was pretty excited to meet all his relatives, and our Thanksgiving day celebration went very well with 16 people in our house! We got a couple of folding tables and a more than a few extra chairs, add a bunch of good cooking potluck style (and of course, our 7 pies) and it was deliciosso!! We also had a chance to tell 5 things we were thankful for and it was really cool to hear thankfulness to God pour out of everyone! We are so blessed to have a Christian family!!!

Tuesday, November 21

here's a question for all you moms

OK everyone with any mommying experience! Here is the question I need help with. We are feeding Aaron on a schedule and he loves it - it's about every 3 hours during the day and he sleeps through the night, which means he's eating 6 times a day. Here's my dilemna. I don't want to start feeding him solid foods quite yet - I would love to wait until at least 6 months, BUT I don't want my baby to starve either!

According to some scheduling sources, you are gradually supposed to drop the late night feeding and stretch out the time between feedings...but I would be afraid that if I am not introducing solids, this would not be a good idea, since milk is so easily digested (equalling hungry baby). I also want to make sure to keep up my milk supply, and am a little concerned that fewer than 6 feedings might have a less than desirable effect.

Anybody out there ever delayed solids while feeding on a schedule? Or do I pretty much need to pick between the two? And, if you have delayed solids, what did you do with spacing out feedings?

Monday, November 20

and not only that, but...

Our email account is a wonder. It has a great spam filter, and best of all, at the top of the spam box page is a recipe for the original chopped pressed meat product. Today was Spam Fajitas. Previously, I've seen Spam Ginger Salad and Savory Spam Crescents.

I am not that brave.

Thursday, November 16

Wednesday, November 15

I hope I never forget

1. how you take in life with curious eyes
2. your adorable noises (experimental) with voice and lips and tongue
3. how you wake up with big stretches and fall asleep grunting
4. big blowout diapers (the stories we'll tell)
5. the look that says "thanks mom, for feeding me"
6. full body yawns
7. your little arm curled around my neck
8. how sometimes you look like a little old man (without wrinkles)
9. your "little bug" blinks
10. the way you startle when daddy sneezes

such a little person...
such a big God
such creativity

Monday, November 13

the child laughs

Sunday night, for the first time, Aaron laughed. At Michael's funny faces. How appropriate. So glad daddy could be there for this fabulous milestone. Can anyone else see the resemblance here between father and son? This is Michael's kindergarten picture - and our little mini-Michael. Aren't they adorable?

Thursday, November 9

small big blessings

last week, my wonderful husband surprised me with a bag full of lightswitch and wall socket covers. a bag chock full of love straight from Home Depot. it just doesn't get much better than this.

well, actually, it does. every day with Michael is a good one. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 7

all of us went together at 7am

the Muth "Mansion"

Here it is - another miracle! This is the house that God allowed us to buy! We closed on it last December and got to work in January. Eleven months, more than a few sore muscles and a little money later, here we live! And, at long last, here are updated house project photos. You will notice that we still haven't unpacked all the boxes, and there still isn't much on our walls. It will come together eventually, I am sure. We're still busy plugging away, remembering that the tortoise, did, after all, win the race.

Current plan is to be here for 5 years, improve as we can, and sell the house (which of course will make us filthy rich, LOL) The remaining projects are lighting, siding, flooring & trim, with a few little projects here and there; then the kitchen gets a major overhaul. Stay tuned, and keep praying!

Monday, November 6

don't forget ...

you've gotta vote. no excuses.

Wednesday, November 1

Happy 3 months old to Aaron C. Muth. Unbelievable how fast the time flies when you have a living, breathing reminder of what leaps of growth can occur in 3 months. Oh, that we would grow as much and as quickly in our knowledge of and love for God...

Tuesday, October 31

happy reformation day!

Well, I briefly thought about posting my conspiracy theory of how "Reformation Day" got turned into Halloween (aka "Free Candy Day"), but as I pondered the wisdom of that, I realized it would not be the best since few people can judge the exact tone of the printed word. Anyone interested will have to see me in person for that. I also have a great theory about how Santa makes his rounds on Christmas Eve...even though Michael says it's unreasonable.

It's the first Halloween we will be living in a house that kids might actually try to come to the door to get free candy. Previously, we've had a long, scary, wooded driveway. This year, we're 30 feet from the road and chiefly unobscured by foliage. Cheapskate that I am, I bought the candy that lingers for weeks after Halloween (after all the good stuff gets eaten) Yep, individually wrapped LifeSavers, and the short little Tootsie Rolls. Just in case kids come to our door despite the lack of outdoor lighting. I hear that this year they are starting at 4:30. Weird if you ask me. But I sure don't want to take a risk that certain kids play tricks on us for not having candy.

As a kid, I was never allowed to go trick or treating. We won't talk about the trauma I suffered the year my parents were out of town and my little brother was allowed to go with a friend and came home with a huge haul that he didn't share with his loving sister. (You might see how this traumatic experience may have inspired creativity in the conspiracy theory)

This is not to say that I never went...I just wasn't a kid anymore. My first gathering of free candy was indeed during my freshman year of college. Two of my roomies and I went to a nearby residential area and exercised the principle of good stewardship, gathering free candy from the happy townfolk. It was back in the day that the Harvest Festivities were semi-optional. Suffice it to say, we did not break any known rules of our institution of higher learning, and we had a lot of fun. That was the one and only time I went trick or treating for the purpose of candy-gathering. I've been several times since then as a chaperone to minor children, which is pretty fun in and of itself.

We haven't decided yet what to do when Aaron gets old enough to a) know about candy and b) scheme about the best way to get MORE candy. There are lots of people that say that Halloween is a horrible holiday and no Christian should participate, but there are also those who look at it as an opportunity for their kids to dress up and get candy for free!

Michael and I have talked about it a little bit, and think it has a lot to do with where you live and who lives around you, and what the general community understanding is of the said holiday. I do know that Halloween is bigger now than it was when I was a kid, so who knows what it will turn into as Aaron and any future kiddos grow older. I think it's going to have to be a pray-as-you-go issue.

At any rate, this day is also the day that changed a lot of things as far as the church goes. This day was the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany, sparking the Protestant Reformation. It's unbelievable to see how God moves hearts to study His Word and works in hearts to allow men and women to discover and understand truth. Praise Him for His sovereign plan for us, and for being alive and at work in our lives daily! (This is something we can celebrate wholeheartedly and without controversy!)

Friday, October 27

weird but yummy

I love fall...and fall foods. Squash, apples, pumpkin... ESPECIALLY pumpkin. And those happy fall desserts like pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin dip, pumpkin pie...all very delish, and not exactly at the top of the healthy list. I found this recipe online and modified it a little. It's amazing, and the best part? I am eating veggies & whole grains for breakfast and it tastes great!!!

Pumpkin Oatmeal (2-3 servings)
1 cup quick oats

1 1/4 cups water (or more)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*

2 T brown sugar

Mix oats & water, microwave 2-3 minutes or until thick. Add pumpkin, spice, and sugar, heat through. YUMMY! * Make pumpkin pie spice at home! 1T cinnamon + 3/4 tsp nutmeg + 3/4 tsp ginger + 1/2 tsp cloves and you've got some for now and for later.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 26

he got it from his parents, obviously

Well, it's official. We have a genius child. Aaron is now playing quite enthusiastically with the little toys hanging down from his swing, and smiling at himself in the mirror. (demonstrating, of course, that he likes to look at himself and thereby confirming his pagan status)

Oh, how we love this little pagan genius-baby.

Monday, October 23

break out the holy hallelujah hands

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17 (ESV)

I NEED to praise the Lord for His miraculous provision on our behalf. The holy hallelujah hands have gotten a bit least, the blogging ones. My offline self has been greatly rejoicing, but I've got to let you know what God has done in the past several weeks.

1. We have a new roof!! It took all day one Saturday (with 12, count 'em, 12) volunteer helpers and Sunday from 1 til dark (with an additional 8 volunteers) but we're secure for the winter (and hopefully many winters to come!!) Jehovah Jireh! God provided labor and materials, and we are grateful

2. Aaron continues to sleep through the night and nap well. He's growing and developing great, and we are SO thankful and humbled that God has chosen to give us the blessing and responsibility of parenting this little man.

3. God sends money. Really. Checks in the mail, meeting our needs. Michael & I joke about winning the Home Depot sweepstakes, but how much better is it to watch God provide. I have never been more convinced that God delights in our dependence on Him for all things. Praise Him for His provision and for the generous giving of fellow believers!!!

4. God provided a part time job for me, working from home. Basically I'm calling businesses on behalf of other businesses to pave the way for salespeople to call with more info. It really is delightful to wake up and walk down the hall to work during Aaron's naptimes.

5. God continues to work in our lives, convicting us of changes that need to be made. Discipline, and plenty more of it. Lifestyle changes that need to happen. With His grace, we shall overcome our selfishness and laziness and get busy doing more of His work and less of our play.

6. Free carpet. Enough for all 3 bedrooms plus, pad included. All Michael had to do was go pick it up. (and of course, we still have to put it in...)

7. More little blessings for free...a window for our garage, an air conditioner, garage sale deals on light fixtures, mirrors, clothes for Aaron, the list goes on...

ISN'T GOD GOOD? All the time.

Wednesday, October 18

bye, bye Luvs...hello poopiness

As a baby shower gift, we recieved some of the fabulous one-size pocket diapers by BumGenius! that Tricia drew to my attention way back when I was pregnant. We've decided that we're going to give them a trial run to see how they work for us. We only have seven of them, which won't last too long. We have some money set aside for more, however at $18 a pop, the trial run is essential to make sure these diapers are going to do the trick on our son's little bum. Even better is that they are on sale right now for $14 each!!

They're in the washing machine right now...

I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about this venture. I am very used to the convenience of throwing away the used diapers, but there are so many plusses to cloth diapering that I am pretty sure I can get used to the slight inconvenience. Especially since we also got as a shower gift...the wonderful diaper sprayer which will, no doubt, make life easier!!

The biggest thing I'm nervous about is that Aaron is a poop-saver. Yep, he waits 2-3 days, then poops more than I ever thought possible for such a little guy. We are talking total blowouts. One Sunday at church it was all in his pant leg and sock and down the front of mommy. Fun times.

Today, we're up to 5 days. I called the doctor, actually, because I was nervous. They told me to give him a glycerin suppository. I DON'T THINK SO! I've read too much about breastfed babies and how it's not possible for them to be constipated to think that a suppository is the answer. The nurse also said I could do some "rectal stimulation" with a thermometer to try to motivate a little action. After I called the doctor, I read some stuff online that says anywhere up to 10 days can be normal, and Aaron seems to be his normal happy self today. So, I think I'll just wait a couple more days.

I'm open for comments! Anybody have a poop-saver and/or done cloth diapers?

Tuesday, October 17

Immune System Booster

Okay, usually I'm not really into natural products for sickness. If I've got a cold, load me up with the good stuff, bring on the cough & cold meds for sure. (and I've got the medicine cabinet to prove it). However, when Aaron got a cold at 4 weeks and all I could do was saline and suction, I was up for anything I could do.

A friend recommended (and then delivered) this great product, called VS-C, available from Nature's Sunshine. We gave a few drops to Aaron (a mini-mini dose) several times a day and it seemed to help.

What really got me is that about a week later I woke up with the scratchy throat - you know, that feeling that says "HELP! I'M GETTING SICK!!" and I thought I might as well try the liquid herbs and see if it worked. Michael had similar symptoms, so we both thought we would try it. Let me tell you, that little cold or virus or whatever LEFT US ALONE. Seriously. We had scratchy throats for a day or 2 and kept taking 2 doses a day for about 3 days.

I've never been so surprised by a natural remedy in my life. I am amazed. It tastes sweet and is spicy like cinnamon. The recommendation is to stir it into water, but we stirred it into iced tea and it was great.

Monday, October 16

an enlightening read

This book is one I have recently read, and I would recommend it to all parents. It's a very good resource for descriptions of childhood diseases and details of the recommended/required shots. I found it to be fair and reasonable, a resource that allows parents to get facts clearly laid out in an easy to understand format. It is Excellent. (notice the capital "E") At B & N for around $6.

Aaron Overload

Saturday, October 14

fireside with friends

Tonight we went to hang out with some of our friends from church--our "adopted" sunday school class...we get to do the fun stuff with them. Hanging out with junior highers is its own brand of fun, and we do enjoy teaching jr. high sunday school, but it is nice to have some people our own age to fellowship with.

Aaron went along with us despite the dropping temps. Here he is hanging out in his warm garb, and then waiting for bathtime and bed. (thanks, Mrs. R. for the cute hat!!!)

high speed at home

things here are flying at high speed...

...and yesterday the Charter truck brought us high speed internet and a new telephone. I am a very happy girl, and am getting ready to start my at-home job.

My wonderful husband and I went on our first date since Aaron's birth last night, and mom & dad watched our little guy. Hallelujah for grandparents!! Michael planned a "surprise" date for me - I didn't know what we were going to do until we got there! We went to ColdStone Creamery (YUM!) and then to a pottery glazing place (called Amazing Glaze) where we made a set of salt & pepper shakers. They will be ready next week, and I'll post a photo. It was loads of fun, and great to spend time with Michael by ourselves.

so now that we have internet at home, hopefully we will be able to post more pictures! Coming soon: House update photos!!!

Sunday, October 8

family self portrait

my boys.

Wednesday, October 4


I knew I would like being a mom, but I had NO IDEA it would be this fabulous!!

I wish I had pics to post tonight, but alas, I do not. Aaron is growing and is a smiley, happy baby. He is learning about his tongue this week. Last night Michael was holding him and sticking out his own tongue making goofy noises, and it looked like Aaron was sticking his out in response to his daddy's! It was so cute we got it on video!

We were supposed to have our roofing party last Saturday, but God had rain planned for that day, so instead we hung some stuff on the walls and had a relaxing Saturday. Hopefully this weekend will bring us a new roof! Hurray!!! No more big bright blue tarps!!! My favorite thing is that our garage, now a leaky sieve, will be able to house some of our items that are currently in our guest room. I am thrilled to have a place to store some of the items that we don't use on a daily basis!

Friday is Aaron's 2-month checkup. I can't believe he turned 2 months old on Sunday. It seems like time goes by so much faster when you have kids to measure it by. I'm sure he'll be in school before I know it.

Last week I started to schedule Aaron according to a controversial resource (any guesses what that could be? wink, wink) I don't think I was ready to do that system until I knew Aaron could calm himself and sleep. Prior to last week I don't think he could have done it. I must say the system works like a charm for us and we've been continuing to enjoy full nights of rest. PRAISE THE LORD!!

That's it for the updates! God is ALWAYS good, and His blessings are beyond measure!!

Monday, September 18

more smiles

A smiling boy and Missionary Nature Stories

Last Wednesday, Aaron started smiling in response to stimuli. He smiled for the first time at his grandma, which about sent her through the ceiling with joy. There's no one who can elicit smiles better than grandma! Sorry the picture is fuzzy...

Remember in elementary school when we'd sit on the edge of our seats while the visiting missionary regaled us with stories of the 8' snake he killed in his bathtub or the tarantulas and scorpions they'd find in their shoes?

I've got news: You don't have to be a missionary to have scary nature stories. You don't even have to live in a foreign country.

This morning there was a 2 1/2" spider in my bathroom. It was a very VERY scary spider. His body was about 1 1/2" long and the legs were at least that long. I'm usually ok with killing spiders by stepping on them (as long as I'm not wearing flip flops or other open toed footwear) But this spider was an unbelievably huge one. My fearless husband trapped it under a glass after chasing it around for a few seconds. Then we sprayed it with spider killing spray. It would have splattered if we squashed it, it was so big.

Seriously, I've never seen a bigger spider in Michigan. It's still on my bathroom floor, under that glass. I hope it's dead. I wouldn't let Michael pick up the glass for fear the spider killing spray wasn't strong enough to do him in.

Wednesday, September 13


Mom and dad do such a great job taking photos when we're at their house. Here is a very recent photo of our little guy.

So there's an ice cream truck in our new neighborhood. It's green and it plays tunes like "Yankee Doodle" and "Dixie" (wha?!?) If I had the guts (and the stamina) I'd chase it yelling "I want a Firecracker Pop! Come back! Come back!!" But I probably shouldn't chase ice cream trucks until I'm in good enough shape to actually do the chasing on foot.

Tonight is the first night of school year youth group, which Michael & I help with. It's getting a major structural revamping this year, so hopefully we will all get organized and it will be a smooth transition. Looks to be a promising year! It's fun to watch the kids interact with each other as well as get to know them a little more.

Our roof project should be getting underway soon. It's been raining, so last night dad an Michael climbed up there to wrap the chimney and surrounding roof in yet another bright blue tarp. I don't live in a trailer, but...I still have good stories.

More as we get opportunities!

Wednesday, September 6

the end of sleep as we knew least for now

Well, all of you who are jealous of my son's marvelous sleep patterns - cease your jealousy!

Aaron has come down with a cold. The poor little man is extra snuggly and sleeping fitfully, and I, mean mother that I am, keep squirting saline spray up his nose and then sucking out all the congestion. Needless to say, I am not his favorite person at that moment.

And for the last 2 nights, he's been waking up every 2 hours all stuffy and choking. Thankfully, he goes right back to sleep after a suctioning session; no extra feeding necessary.

More pictures will be posted soon, but for now, pray that our little person can survive his first immune system challenge with as little discomfort as possible.

Wednesday, August 30

and the blessings come down

Just a few minutes to post, but I'd like to share some blessings...

God recently provided a substantial sum to help with our roof project. We hope to start this project before the snow flies...we are praying that God would provide the rest of the money needed so that we can begin this soon (our specific prayer request is that the rest of the money would be here in the next week or so). Praise the Lord for His provision!

Aaron has had the following nighttime sleep pattern:
Thursday: 6 hours
Friday: 7 hours
Saturday: 7 hours
Sunday: 8 hours
Monday: 8 hours
Tuesday: 7 hours
Needless to say, we greatly GREATLY rejoice.

And for those of you following the development of Young Muth, another rolling over incident has occurred, this time when Michael changed him. He has also rolled himself over in his sleep. We are in Trouble. (notice the capital T)

We are praising the Lord for His wonderful blessings and rejoicing in His All-The-Time Goodness!

This weekend we are looking forward to a visit from Tim, Sarah Dawn, and Rennah St. Clair! We're planning to cook out with mom & dad Forbes sometime as well. Have a great Labor Day Weekend!!

Monday, August 21

tell me the child doesn't look like a stopped up old man

family pic

self-portrait of family (uncooperative child)

screaming kiddo

Ah, yes...and one for the memory book.

blessings galore

well the limited internet access is about ready to drive me nuts! It's so hard to keep in touch - I guess I got spoiled with access at work...

Mom & Dad have several pics of Aaron on their blog, as well as of our new house, which we moved into this weekend. (insert gasps for air here)

We are amazed and astounded at the blessings of God. Here are some of our most recent happenings:

- I realized that being a mother of boys will mean that I have an extra shirt in the diaper bag at all times.
- We are now in our new house!!! (amidst many boxes) and we can live there!!!
- My ankles have finally made their re-appearance after several months of swelling, much to my amazement, and I can wear my wedding rings and toe ring again. HURRAY!
- I am married to the world's BEST DADDY ever.
- I love being a mom.
- I have a great kiddo.

Allow me to praise God for this: we've had several nights of 5-hour sleep sessions followed by a 4-hour session. I don't have any illusions of it continuing for an extended period, but I DO take every night like that as a precious gift. Sleep is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Okay, I need some opinions. The other day, I was changing Aaron and talking to my mom when all of a sudden, he started to move a little more than usual. The child rolled over onto his tummy. I looked down in disbelief and quickly flipped him back on his back. I said, "yeah, buddy, try that again." And the child promptly turned himself over again, and lifted up his head. The little man was 18 days old. This is unusual, yes? Honestly, I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself. And I wasn't hallucinating; Mom is my witness. However, I didn't think they were supposed to get to that rolling over accomplishment for several months. I'm praying it is a fluke. Early mobility doesn't settle well with me.

I need to get going so I can wake the young child for his feeding. First, I shall attempt to post pictures. Thanks for the prayers and for keeping up with our family!!

Thursday, August 10

the story

This c-section stuff really cramps my style. No driving, no energy, an incision...

But I am glad that God gives grace and that I am finally starting to feel better!!! Hurray!

Here's the story:
Monday, July 31, 8pm
Cervadil administered at the hospital. I had to be on a continuous monitor, and of course the little guy kept moving around and setting off the needless to say I did not get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, August 1, 8:42am
It was determined that the Cervadil did it's thing and that my cervix was effectively ripened. Oh, how I wanted to go home. Alas, I could not. Pitocin started.

I will interject here that the stories of horror and pain of laboring by way of Pitocin are, in my opinion, exaggerated. I did not find labor to be all that bad. Shoot me if you must, but it was really pretty tolerable for me. I am thankful.

My water broke, and I made quick progress from 4 to 7 centimeters

I was dilated to 9cm, and very ready to start pushing, so in order to help me relax through the premature urge to push, I was given some Nubain. Help me relax, it did indeed. Let's just say I was a little loopy. Aaron was put on an internal fetal monitor, another thing I swore I'd never do...ah, well. Better safe than sorry.

Dilated to 10 cm, and pushing began. What a relief. Aaron was still at a -2 station, and Dr. Jordahl thought I'd have about 2 more hours of pushing to do. He was concerned b/c each time I would push, Aaron's heart rate slowed considerably and he wasn't sure the baby could handle the stress of 2 more hours of labor. A C-section was recommended.

Let me just say that at this point it was a very good thing that I was on Nubain. I was so loopy that I didn't really know what was going on and thereby made it through surgery without having to think about all that was going on. I'm certain if I'd had to contemplate with an unaltered mind, it would have been much harder on me.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I am married to the most amazing man in the entire world. He is absolutely my perfect match. He stayed with me through surgery and watched the whole process (what a brave soul!) I remember him singing "trust in the Lord with all your heart..." and telling me everything was going to be all right, that no matter what happens, God is good. His calmness and confidence in God were better than any calming drugs, that is for sure!!!

I remember saying, "be sure to tell us what it is because we don't know" and then "Here comes a baby" from the doctor. I heard Michael's voice saying "It's a boy! It's a boy" and then the sweet sound of our little man's first cries. My wonderful husband stayed with me while they put everything back together and sewed me up, and Dr. Jordahl took care of little Aaron for us, cleaning him up and weighing him, and showing him to Grandma through the nursery window.

Praise God for his all sufficient Grace and His plan for our lives!!

Recovery has not been easy; but God has provided for our needs through my mom staying with me while Michael goes to work (I still can't drive). Meals are coming from friends at church. I'm slowly regaining strength and am grateful to have a healthy, happy baby boy!

Thank you so much for your prayers and comments, and for the great e-cards we got at the hospital. It's awesome to know that friends from all over are lifting our family to God in prayer. PLEASE CONTINUE!! We are hoping to move into our new house a week from Saturday. MUCH progress has been made, but we are still needing to set up our kitchen and connect our showerhead & tub faucet before we can move in.

Thursday, August 3

Aaron Carter Muth

Aaron arrived Tuesday night, August 1st at 8:55 p.m. He was 8 pounds 3 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. We praise God for His protection and thank Him for our brand new baby boy! We will soon post the complete story. Keep praying. We hope to come home from the hospital on Friday.

Monday, July 31

the latest (pray your guts out)

Well, Michael & I went to the dr. on Friday and I was dilated to 1, and 50% effaced, so that was a little discouraging. I went straightaway to the health food store and have, since then, consumed over 3 gallons of red raspberry leaf tea. I also walked my swollen feet to a bloody pulp in the air conditioned and ever entertaining Midland Mall.

bottom line. none of these things moved me.

Today we went in again for a non-stress test and exam, and I'm still dilated to a 1. Dr. Jordahl explained that the non-stress test looks okay, not horrible, but he'd like to see more accellerations of the baby's heartbeat. He thinks Little Muth is running out of room (no kidding). So, tonight at 7 we go in to the hospital and get some Cervadil going, I get to spend the night in the beautifully decorated (but still slightly uncomfortable) MidMichigan Medical Center. Tomorrow morning, the lovely (and dreaded) Pitocin will begin.

It's a little rough for me to get over my ideals about how labor & delivery should go. I was pretty adamant about going all natural, and adjusting my expectations is taking a little longer than it should. I'm disappointed, but I do know that God knows best, and will accomplish His perfect plan in His perfect timing.

But...I (and Michael) would appreciate your prayers. We need to make sure our attitudes stay right during this time. I guess we were both hoping that things would go differently, and we want what is best for everyone, especially our little baby. We want, more than anything else, for God to be glorified in our experience at the hospital and it would really be bad if my stinky attitude got in the way of that.

The good news?? Chances are, we will meet our little one tomorrow. YAY! We will be posting updates as we get a chance!!!

attempted house pics

well this weekend was one of great results at our house. The whole house is painted!!! The tub surround is installed!! All floors except the kitchen and bathroom have one coat of floor paint and we are in awe that so much is already done!!!

I tried to upload some photos of our volunteer laborers. Once again, the dialup connection was too slow, and I only have a few more hours of YOU, mom & dad!!!!!!

Thursday, July 27


gotcha, didn't I?

The "contractions" stopped around 11p, and were not enough to keep me from falling asleep! Praise the Lord!! :-) Today I'm having random, stronger contractions. The doctor said I'd be fine until I can't talk through them, or until my water breaks. This morning my nurse Bev called and said it would probably be sometime in the next 24-48 hours that our little person makes his or her entrance.

so...anybody have an extra large set of rubber pants sitting around?

Mom & I went garage sale-ing this morning. We were scoping out a particularly attractive ad about a daycare going out of business, which turned out quite nicely for us! We picked up an extra pack n play for grandma's house, a changing table, a bumper pad that can be re-covered, and a cute little green hamper. AHHH, the thrills of the bargains!

Wednesday, July 26

furniture (free)

We got some free furniture we got this afternoon. I've been trying to post pictures, but dialup is waaaaaay too slow for mom & dad's high tech 5.0 megapixel camera. So, pics will have to wait. My parents are storing the furniture temporarily in their dining room. Praise God for all His miraculous provisions!

I'm over at mom & dad's house, and have been having "contractions" every 5 minutes for the last hour. I say "contractions" because they don't hurt, so I think it's fake labor... I guess time will tell. Mom says the baby wants to come out and kiss grandma. LOL, mom.

pressing onward!

Thanks, everyone, for your prayers and support! We're still working and waiting! We're right on schedule with the painting. Tonight is ceilings, so that should be fun for Dad & Michael.

A few "soft signs" of labor have been evidencing themselves, but nothing sending us rushing off to the hospital. God is good, we know His timing is perfect. (and I'm still not miserable or anything...) Thanks, Tim, for the song. You had our music pastor & wife laughing and asking, "who is that?"

Today I went and purchased some window shades and shower curtain rod. I figured even if we can move in, we'll need shades before I feel inclined to brave the stores! Who knew that WalMart doesn't carry the el cheapo darkening shades? I had to drive to KMart of all places to find them. Who knew? The errands have almost ended, and the packing is underway!

Monday, July 24

For the convenience of all those insatiably curious, I have added a link to the sidebar for our hospital! You can search by last name, date, and probably some other criteria. Check out the virtual tour. Our hospital is so nice!! Praise the Lord...


Some house pics (happily, very outdated!)

Here is our kitchen/fireplace area as viewed from the hallway

This is the kitchen as viewed from the living room! (note the windows are partially covered with extra drywall sheets)

And our living room with my favorite feature...our patio doors!

God's Grace in our lives cannot be overstated!!! He has provided materially for us, but more than that, a peace that could only come from knowing His plan is always best! I am blown away by His leading and His goodness.

Tonight, Michael & my parents are over sanding the drywall so we can have nice smooth walls. The plan is as follows:

Tomorrow, Michael shall prime the walls and ceilings, and possibly put the first coat of white paint on our ceilings. Wednesday comes the second coat of ceiling paint. Thursday, the floors will be prepped and Friday the floors will be painted. Saturday we will begin the process of installing the kitchen and finish up anything else. then...moving in will begin!

Of course, all this is pending the imminent exodus of Little Muth...whew! Exciting times. It is going to be so fun to look back and say "how crazy were we!?!!?"

Please don't answer that. We know.

Friday, July 21

betting on baby the Bible Way

Okay, everyone. As of Thursday afternoon, Doctor Jordahl says the baby is still quite comfy. liven things up a bit, we're taking bets (ah, er...guesses) on what you think the gender and birth date of our child will be. Post your guesses here, no entry fee required.

and here is an ever-so-unflattering photo of my belly...and me. (the doctor's due date is Sunday the 23rd)

Housing update (but no pics):
knock down is finally up! Hurray!
still to do:
-sand everything
-prime everything
-paint everything
-install tub surround
-install kitchen stuff
-and move in!!!

anyone who wants to come up and help us gets brownie points. or actual brownies, whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, July 18

and we're waiting

The reception for Nate & Lissa went great; it was fun to see a bunch of people we hadn't seen for a few years and it's been nice to have them around. They leave for PA in the am, so we're over at mom & dad's to hang out for awhile.

All of us have nasty colds. I went to the dr. today to see what or if I could get good drugs, but to no avail. I did get a nice look of pity and a prescription for Nasonex and an antibiotic in case my temp goes up and my snot turns green (which I am sure you wanted to know) but Claritin and Sudafed are still my best options. I have been struggling today with knowing that it is God's will for me to be sick...and being ok with that. :-) He is good all the time.

I need to post some pics, but mom & dad have dialup so it might be awhile. Still no news on the baby! I'm 39 weeks and happy to still be pregnant! It's unbelievable to think about the fact that next month at this time our family will have 3 members. I can't really wrap my brain around that right now, but it might be the congestion...

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, July 13

happy news in many varieties!

I had my 38 week checkup this morning and lo and behold, I am still very stubbornly pregnant. No dilation, no nothin'! Hurray!!! My doctor said I probably have at LEAST another week! YAY!!! Please don't think the pregnancy hormones are addling my brain (and no rude comments on that topic...I already know my brain is addled). I am truly grateful that he didn't take one look and say "Call your husband and I'll meet you up in maternity" or "see you this weekend" Nate & Lissa got in early this morning and I am super duper excited that (Lord willing) Little Muth will not be barging into the world in the middle of their happy reception.

This weekend is also a prime opportunity for us to get the house further along in progress! Michael has tomorrow off due to the new work schedule of 4 10-hour days, and is planning on getting a final skim coat of mud on those walls!

We picked up the countertops and kitchen cabinets and other sundry supplies on Tuesday, and they definitely exceeded my expectations! The countertop is a nice dark grey color with flecks of blue and tan; we will only have to purchase 1 additional piece. The people giving us the items had originally told us they had 2 base cabinet units, but somehow we ended up with a garage full of cabinets. They don't all match, but I don't care. They will definitely be better than nothing and once we get them painted the same color I think it will turn out fine. I can't wait to get to a point where we can haul them in the house and figure out how we're going to finagle the layout! I'll be painting those outside while Michael does his sanding inside! :-)

Also, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to my dad, who won a substantial cash prize for his paper about the restructuring of the Republican Party in the Election of 1876. (I think I got the right year...) He'd written it for one of his grad classes and the professor suggested he enter it in a contest. HE WON! Way to go, daddy-o!

Tuesday, July 11

full moon, schmull moon

I must clarify. The baby is MORE than welcome to STAY PUT for full moon!!!! Please use any intercessory prayer to help Little Muth sit and stay inside me at least until next week. I'm not feeling quite ready to be delivered of this child yet!!!

of course, God is Sovereign and knows when the best time is for the pending Exodus, so I will just wait to see what He says that time is. :-)

Day 2 of no working consisted of errands, shopping and tonight...picking up some of those kitchen building supplies aforementioned (donated by people in our church family) and blueberry picking with Mom & Shelley!!! YUMMY!

Monday, July 10

still pregnant!

Still waiting for the arrival of Little Muth...just in case anyone is wondering. Tommorrow is full moon, so we'll see if the old wives' tales of lunar calendar motivation for early labor is correct!

I am thoroughly enjoying my first day sans work. I went over to mom's house this morning to help with last minute guest prep and we went to pick up Lissa's mom at the airport. The newlyweds will arrive sometime this week in preparation for this weekend's reception.

God provided more free stuff for our house this weekend! A kitchen sink, faucet, countertops and a couple of base cabinets. We are (as usual) overwhelmed with God's goodness. I promise, pics of our house are pending...

Friday, July 7

There are a few pics of Nate & Lissa's wedding at Mom & Dad's site, if anyone is interested...

Monday, July 3

the countdown

just 3 more days to work! (at the office that is) My house is full of things that need packing for our move...and thank you cards need to be written, and rest needs to be stocked up should be an interesting July, to say the least.

One last coat of mud remains; Michigan humidity makes the mud a little temperamental when it comes to drying. Pray for a dry day or five. HA.

in the event of an early childbirth, or in the event that blogging takes a backseat for the next few weeks due to the loooooong list of things to do and childbirth sneaks up on guys can check out our hospital here (you can take a virtual tour or check out the babies online at the web nursery!) The pics are available one day after the birth.

PLEASE keep praying for us! We need God's help and direction in the finishing of this first phase of our house, and in our adjustment to parenting. We love knowing that you are there praying!!

Thursday, June 29

how relaxing...

I was over at the hospital today, to pay our bill for lab work, and as I was walking back down the long hallway, I happened to look down one of the dimly lit side hallways. I saw, to my amusement, a grey steel door, no window. On the front of the door was a red sign, about 15 inches square with one word on it: "SEDATION" All caps, white lettering.

Seems like seeing that door would be enough to make you need the services offered therein.

Tuesday, June 27

free AND matching???

So, God delights in blessing us. This I know.

Today, we got a call that someone in our church has a fridge for us. It's cream colored, just like our free stove. A small thing, to be certain. I definitely could have used (and loved!) a free fridge in any color. Matching?!?! Unbelievable.

Last week's $10 deals:
a rocking chair at a garage sale (solid, the kind they don't make anymore)
a chest freezer (a 5-footer, no lie)

Pictures to be posted soon of our drywall progress! Perhaps this weekend's project will be knock down for the ceiling! God is so good!!!

In addition, my brother Nate got married this past weekend. HURRAY! We couldn't go b/c of my pregnancy, but mom & dad got to go, and they said it was an absolutely beautiful day, and happiness abounded. We're so happy for them, and glad God put them together. They will be in Michigan for a July 15th reception, and boy am I looking forward to seeing them (and any of you guys that are coming!!!)

Again I am singing...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end!
They are new every morning,
New every morning,
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord!
Great is Thy faithfulness!!

Tuesday, June 20

excuse me?

I went in yesterday for my 35-week checkup. Amazing how fast time flies. As the nurse was checking my blood pressure, she said, "You do realize that anything is fair game now. At 35 weeks, if you went into labor, we wouldn't stop you." And then she proceeded to hand me pre-admittance papers and information on pain management and all the other decisions I'll have to make before the birth of the baby. I'm sure I looked slightly shocked...

YIKES! Here I am, blissfully thinking that I have 5-7 weeks left of pregnancy, and this nurse just popped my bubble of bliss. For the first time it really HIT me that this baby is coming - SOON! Now I know the chances of my delivering 5 weeks early is slim to none, but that nurse and her mischievous twinkle and grin really got me thinking...

Housing update: all our drywall is up, and we're working on the 2nd coat of mud. Consumer's is supposedly switching our power over sometime this week, so we will once again have power in every room (YAY!!)

Still remaining:
finish mudding and then paint the walls & floors
finish up the bathroom (add the shower surround and hardware)
rig up our temporary kitchen (we still need a sink & a fridge!)
packing, packing and more packing!!!

I am not panicking...what good would that do anyway??? Waste my energy (already at a premium) and stress me out? I don't think so. My God knows exactly what He is doing!! I'm going to take one day at a time, and currently I'm counting down to my last day of work - July 7! (or, in the words of my lovely nurse Bev, "if you make it that long") Thanks, Bev.

Wednesday, June 14

junior high Christians

Lately, I've been doing a little thinking as I peruse blog articles and websites discussing which ministry methods are best, which parenting techniques are fully glorifying to God. I've been burdened by our tendencies to "best" each other or find fault with each other in order to make ourselves feel better about whatever choice we make.

I was going to post something, but while reading Ruthie's blog this morning, I clicked on a link to her brother-in-law's site and found an article well written. Wanted to leave a comment, but apparently I have to log in, so instead of leaving a comment there, I urge you to check out this insightful article.

I've commented before that I love working with junior highers because you EXPECT them to be immature, to lack discretion, to be in that transitional state, to be insecure and figuring things out for themselves (and yes, to smell a certain way). It is so exciting to watch them grow past that, to watch the metamorphosis from just-out-of-sixth-grade to going-into-ninth-grade. The growth is USUALLY phenomenal. I love the process.

Occasionally, however, it's not so exciting. A kid will come in and go out with the same immaturity, lack of discretion, and unanswered questions that he came in with...and it breaks your heart! It's incredibly sad to watch these kids grow into young adulthood and graduate with a junior high mentality.

Are we as believers doing the same? Does our lack of maturity, discretion and security encourage hastily spoken words of judgement? What is our motive for this judgement? Am I allowing God's Word to dominate my words, my thoughts, my judgements of others? When confrontation needs to occur, do I do it based on God's Word or am I a "junior higher" and pass the word around that "so-and-so did thus-and-such" thereby sowing seeds of dissention?

God, please make me sensitive to You.

Monday, June 12

they just keep coming

Talk about Works of God Mondays...

This Monday and Tuesday, Michael & Ken will be getting paid to work on our house. All day. You think we might be able to get the drywall completed? We will certainly be a lot closer than before!!

Is this not amazing? Do we serve an incredible God or what? I can see why people lift "holy hallelujah hands." But I am a Baptist Girl with many inhibitions (LOL), so it is the hands of my heart that are fully extended as I rejoice in the goodness of my God, who is good ALL the time!

EDIT NOTE: Quite by "accident" I found some articles written by Josh Larsen on this very topic which I found pretty interesting. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Thursday, June 8

Here we are after Saturday's shower in front of our van full of shower gifts. We were the recipients of a multitude of items bought with Little Muth in mind. It's amazing to think we need all this stuff for such a little person. Praise God for His provision through His people!

Here's my funny man, blowing out crazy candles on a mom-made birthday cake. Emma & Olivia are looking on, and Matt & Mark are in the background. Mom invited some friends to celebrate Michael's birthday with us after church! (these are their kids...lest you think this is an appropriate age group for us to fellowship with)

the belly

well, folks, here I am (last night) at 33 weeks pregnant. It's so hard to believe there are only 7 weeks left! Seems like just yesterday we were staring at the little pink lines...

As you can see, I am trying to make up for my tired appearance with a Muthlike crazy face. Looking at the photo, I can see that it did not work. (much to my chagrin)

Tuesday, June 6

catch up

The Pittsleys have come up with the coolest list of NBBC bloggers. Check it out and see if you can add more!

Thursday, June 1

needed, one English teacher

Hey all! If anyone knows of an excellent English teacher who is a committed Christian, loves high school kids, and would be interested in teaching in a great Christian school come fall, shoot me an email. Our school is looking, desperately.

i shouldn't be surprised...

God's provision has been miraculous for us! I know I just posted a list of blessings, however, it would not be right for me to hold in my praise to God for all He is doing!

Last night we went to pick up our FREE electrical service panel (over $100 saved there) from another couple at our church (he is an electrician), and our friend the electrician said he had extra circut breakers left over from some jobs he'd done. So he GAVE THEM TO US!!!! (another $100 plus saved) He also had some spare dryer wire, and handed us a length of that to run at our house.

Last week it was coax cable and cat 5 phone wire that God gave us! And we also found out that the large spools of wire we purchased a little over a month ago for $200 each now cost over $1000!!! Who knew the price of copper would go up 68%? God saved us money before we even knew it!

My heart is doing a MAJOR happy dance as I delight in the provision of my God. I shouldn't be surprised, as I know that God delights in blessing us. But I am. It is humbling to know that although I am often unfaithful to my God, He is never unfaithful to me. And more than that, in response to my failures, God's blessings are dumped on me from heaven.

Why would I even hesitate to give my all? How can we do anything BUT serve this altogether faithful God?

Wednesday, May 24

We have been members of Clean Films for about a year now, and I have to say that this is a great way to go for watching movies minus the not-so-great content! Our TVGuardian was catching profanity, which is good, but the closed caption substitutions were uh...a little distracting, to say the least. Not to mention the stuff it edited that wasn't offensive...

When we heard about, we were a little skeptical, especially since Michael is all about video editing and hates to see a botched editing job. They claimed that the movies would be edited for profanity, sexual situations, and graphic violence, which sounded like things we'd want removed. The process works a little like NetFlix, in that you pay a monthly fee, choose the movies you want online, list them in the order of preference, then they automatically ship them to you in the order they become available. The DVD's come with a pre-paid return envelope.

So we got a 30-day free trial to start out with, and purposefully rented "really bad" flicks (with lots of the kind of content we would like to have taken out) to see what the quality of editing really was. We both have been very impressed at the smooth editing job this company does. Very seldom do you ever notice that a portion of the film has been removed - the story line stays intact, and their claims to edit out the profanity, sex, and graphic violence are quite accurate!

You can get a 15-day trial by going to the website, but if anyone is interested in an extended 30-day free trial, email me and I'll send you an invite.

can it be?

wildest coffee dreams do come true

Tuesday, May 23

a fleet of dumptrucks full

Thanks be to God "who daily loads us with benefits..." Here are just a few of the things we've seen Him doing these last few days/weeks:

1. perfectly normal blood test results for my one & only blood test of the pregnancy @ 28wks! (No GD, no RH issues, good levels on other stuff!)
2. Jim Miller's happy wedding to Liz on 5/19/06!
3. 32 more days until my brother ties the knot with Lissa, whom we love!!!
4. provision of a random assortment of house-improvement supplies that will save us lots of money, and some knowledgeable laborers to go with it!
5. an upcoming baby shower on June 3 (thank you, Andrea Stephens!)
6. a free window air conditioner (WAHOO!)
7. just 10 weeks left until little Muth makes his or her exodus to The Outside.
8. concert at church on Sunday afternoon was an amazing blessing
9. baby clothes! already trickling in - yay! no naked chillins!
10. decaf french vanilla coffee, and sleep...while I can still get it!

Friday, May 12

fun with friends

Here are some pictures of our get-together with the Reads and the Swieringas! About 3 or 4 weeks ago, hey all came up to work at Camp Co-Be-Ac, adding a new sound system, and we got together for pizza and fellowship! It was fun to see them, and Trisha and I had fun swapping pregnancy stories (we're due within days of each other!)