Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank you, YMCA!

Thanks to my frequent visits to the fitness center of our local YMCA, I managed to shovel our front sidewalk, 2 private sidewalks, front steps and our driveway. I must give credit to our mystery neighbor who gave me a HUGE leg up by snowblowing most of those areas, giving me only about 1/3 as much snow as I might otherwise have had to shovel. The packed down areas on the driveway and the mounds of packed snow from the snowplows gave me some grief, but those back exercises I've been doing really paid off!

Did I mention I did this all during naptime and, miraculously, the kids are still sleeping. One cup of coffee later, I'm nearly thawed out (the temp is in the single digits). Oh yeah, and dinner is staying warm in the crockpot - butternut squash soup - easily made thanks to my new Cuisinart 11 cup food processor! (Thanks Mom, Dad and Mark) It was a birthday/Christmas present that I've wanted for over 4 years now, but was always scared off by the price tag.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Feelin' Blessed

As many of you might already know, Mark has recently become a "MacHEAD" (to quote a documentary I just dorkily watched). :) Anyway, the point of that is that I have inherited his Dell laptop and as a result I am able to write this post from my kitchen counter inbetween reheating leftovers for dinner. Yes, it's one of those nights. Iain is kneeling on a 2-step ladder by the counter while absent-mindedly eating a rice cake and playing with the top of one of my water bottles. Lydia just woke up from her nap and started crying. I guess this will be a short post.

For those of you with a YMCA in close proximity, I thought I'd share how much I love the Y!!! We are eligible for a discount which, combined with our Health Insurance discount means that if both Mark and I go 12 times a month, we pay a whopping $8 a month for our family. Yes, $8. Now, in reality, Mark doesn't go, but that's still just $28 a month for our family...and did I mention free childcare for up to 2 hours a day? Yep. Free. Wow.

If I'm not in stellar shape by my next birthday, I have NO excuse. ...don't quote me. ;)

Ok, hungry baby calls.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some days are good days

I've been making it through each day. Not exactly words that make you smile, are they? I've realized this pattern in my life and I take full responsibility. I recently realized that I live each day looking forward to something, but that something isn't a date or time or event. In fact, I don't think it actually exists, but in the meantime I have been just trying to make it until then. The problem with this philosophy is that I have been missing the joys of each moment. The "now" if you will. In an effort to change this pattern, I'm trying so hard to find the joy of each moment.

Today, that has helped me particularly productive. I would also like to thank my children who have napped well and in fact are napping at the moment.

Today I:
-Ate breakfast before anyone under the age of 28 woke up. Hurray!
-Managed to feed, change and dress Lydia without waking Iain
-Got Lydia down for her nap
-Managed to get Iain fed, changed and dressed without any tantrums. Hurray!
-Took a prayer time with Iain, in which we looked through his Bible and thanked Jesus for everything he pointed to.
-Prepped a large picture frame and a larger mirror for spray painting
-Spray painted 2 coats on the picture frame (I'm afraid this sucker will need quite a few, darn oak!)
-Fed Iain lunch
-Got Iain down for a nap without him so much as tossing his pacifiers overboard in disgust
-Made "Peanutbutter chewies" with the gobs of ingredients that we have on hand (thank you WIC for the jars and jars of peanutbutter you bestow upon us.)
-Emptied the dishdrainer and washed all the "chewie" and breakfast dishes
-Cleaned out the refridgerator - who knew mold came in pink? well apparently it does, at least on zucchini.
-Somehow even managed to get in a blog post before heading off to do some laundry.
-Did I mention that it's only 1:30 in the afternoon? This might be a record for me (sorry if that sounds pathetic to you; perhaps you need a vacation!)

Special thanks to Lydia for helping me stay on top of laundry - last night was her 2nd blow-out-poop-in-the-armpit diaper. To be quite frank, there was about 1/4 as much IN the diaper as there was up her back. I'm not sure how she managed it, as it all happened while she was lying horizontal in my arms. You would think it would all go in the general direction in which the force was proppeling it, no?

Friday, October 30, 2009


Thanks for your contributions to my "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" poll. For those of you wondering, Mark grew up with the "heads and..." version. Yes, I told Mark that we only have one head, but he claims it's a group song, so there are multiple heads. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. But how to raise the children... ;)

Ok, on to the meat of this post...tunics and leggings - Really? Again? WHY?!

Are you with me, or am I just fashionably-challenged?

I know there must be legging-lovers out there somewhere. Someone has to be buying them. Are you a legging-lover? I really would love to hear from you.

If you don't happen to have an opinion on tunics and leggings, how about this one: Where do you buy your clothes? I'm looking (seemingly in vain) for clothes that are classy while trendy, comfortable while feminine and don't require at least 2 layers just to be modest. Is it just me or have clothes become disposable (ie, so thin they won't last more than a year, and even if they did they'd be horribly out of fashion by the 2nd year anyway.) I'd love some help in my quest for (oh yeah, affordable) items.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Having been permanently scarred by the removal of my security blanket at a young age, I was determined that I would not go forth and do likewise to my own children...

The best laid plans, right?

Iain appears to have developed a ridiculous attachment to BABY WIPES of all things! Yes, those disposable wet wipes with which you clean off little bums. He carries a baby wipe around with him at all times, occasionally wiping his nose. Sometimes he gets a bit carried away with the nose wiping and he starts to look like Rudolph (the red-nosed-reindeer).

Needless to say, I'm not willing to let him go to bed with a wipe clutched in his pudgy little fist. Sure, they're strong enough to hold up to multiple wipings (of bums and noses...never one after the other!) but I've also seen him pull them to bits, wad them up and place them in his ears. So, the idea of where that wipe might be in the morning: ears, mouth, trachea... well, it's more than enough for me to cruelly pry it out of his fingers. But oh, the tears! I can't believe this is really me doing exactly what I've said I'd never do. Honestly though, who would've thought of wipes?!

Perhaps if I can brainwash him into believing that receiving blankets are really just big wipes...

Wish me luck.

Now, on to the really important stuff...


Do the lyrics to a familar children's song go:
1. Head, shoulders, knees and toes...
2. Heads, and shoulders, knees and toes

Monday, September 28, 2009

God, thank you for...

...the invention of the Neti Pot.

I am one of those people that tries (and surely fails more than not) to not take good health for granted. For example, having a near-hatred for the nose-so-stuffy-that-I-can't-breathe-and-therefore-can't-sleep side effect of colds, I find myself thanking the Lord for clear nasal passages on nights when I'm perfectly healthy. I tend to do the same with headaches, nausea, etc. It's not that I have any of these conditions frequently, but for me they tend to be debilatating when they do occur and the experience of good health is such a gift that it shouldn't be taken for granted.

Try it. Take a moment and just sit and think about everything that could be wrong with you (within reason, of course) and then compare how you could be feeling to how you are currently feeling. It makes you feel pretty great, doesn't it? Then thank God for your good health! :)

As you might suspect, I am not in a state of good health at the moment, rather I am in the clutches of a raging cold. Last night, having lost a couple hours of needed sleep due to the aforementioned stuffy state the previous night, I couldn't bear the thought of another bad night. Fortunately, having mentioned my bad night to a friend, she reminded me of the wonders of the Neti Pot. I happen to own one of these little contraptions but had forgotten about it until she mentioned her love of the thing. So just before bed, being unable to breathe even while upright, I pulled out my pot and set about cleansing my sinuses...or, as Mark put it, engaging in Chinese water torture (he had a bad experience; I blame poor technique). Well, when I was done my head felt 10 pounds lighter and I could breathe perfectly. I nearly cried, I was so happy.

I had a much better night thanks to my clear nasal passages!

If you're unfamilar with the Neti Pot, I HIGHLY recommend educating (and supplying) yourself before your next cold strikes. Unless you're Mark, you will be VERY glad you did! (Note: when using the Neti Pot, be sure to breathe continuously through your open mouth; I'm guessing that's where Mark went wrong, but I doubt he's up for giving it another chance.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Iain stories

First of all, I'm too tired to post pictures here right now, but if you're my friend on Facebook, or have access to my winkflash account, check out the ones that I just posted.

Now, for your amusement, here are some Iain stories:

(Washable) nursing pads apparently have multiple uses, esp. in the eyes of a darling 20 month old who hasn't a clue what they're really for.
- A tissue. He blows his nose with it and drops it in the kitchen garbage. I don't know how many I have rescued from there.
- A coaster. He put it on the end table and placed his sippy cup on top of it. Hey, a mom can't complain, right?
- A hat. Apparently we're rediscovering our Jewish roots - it's been placed on Lydia's head, Iain's head and my head.

Other things I have rescued from the kitchen garbage:
- toys
- sippy cups
- $20 that I cleverly put on the table so I could quickly grab it for the boy mowing our lawn.

Things that we suspect have not been rescued from the kitchen garbage:
- an entire package of new socks for Mark. We found the package...empty, hours after Mark had taken out the trash. Praise the Lord for Wal-Mart, we're only out $4.

Iain's favorite word: "Happy." We don't think he knows what it means, but he loves to repeat it whenever it's said.

We went to a birthday party for a 3 year old girl, last week. Us parental types were all chatting in the living room when the 3 year old and Iain decided it was time to get to know each other a little better. They started hugging and kissing...over and over and over. We weren't sure who started it; from the looks of it, it really could have been either of them. Needless to say, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Hey, I have to laugh about things like this while I still can.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lydia Catherine

I hope to post some pictures in the not-too-distant future. For the time being, I hope it's enough to just let you know that our daughter has arrived!

Lydia Catherine was born at 10:16 am on Thursday, August 13th (my parents' 32nd wedding anniversary, coincidentally). She was 7 lb 15 oz, 21 inches long. She was born at 38 weeks and 2 days gestation, after my water broke at 8 pm, on the 12th. She's doing GREAT!

We are all home as of Friday afternoon, and despite a sleepless night last night, we're all happy, healthy and excited to be together as a family. Thank you so much for all your prayers throughout this pregnancy, labor and delivery. Please continue to pray for us as I recover, Lydia adjusts to life on the outside, Iain adjusts to so many adjustments and Mark tries to take care of all of us and work on the side. ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I must be pregnant

If only I could bottle up exhaustion and energy and take a dose of either when desired. All day on Monday I thought I was going to die of sheer exhaustion and went to bed in tears because I was completely wiped out...and yes, that was after a day of doing nothing. Tuesday was 180 degrees in the other direction, and here I am in the wee hours of Wednesday morning wishing that I could join the rest of my family on that fun adventure called sleep. It doesn't look likely. I won't bore you with the details of how I spent the last day breaking every bedrest rule in the book. Let's just say, 7 weeks of bottled-up nesting exploded in our house today. Well, I'm still pregnant and, at 12:45 am, feeling like a million bucks, but wishing I was tired because I know that I'm getting down to the wire with that precious commodity called sleep and I'd really love to take full advantage.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Baby #2 has officially made it further than Iain. 35 weeks 3 days today and at 11:11 am I was still pregnant...and still am, for that matter.

My parents left for MI this afternoon. We already miss them. It was a tremendous blessing to have them here with us, and Iain just blossomed with all the attention with which he was showered.

I'm afraid there's not much left to report.

The finishing touches are quickly being put into place around the house. Mom did an amazing job with the downstairs curtains - trimming and sewing them to the necessary sizes for each window. Thank you!!! I look forward to Mark putting in the curtain rods and officially being done with yet another "touch". They really do cozy up the place. :)

Well, Iain's (finally) asleep for the night and Mark has just returned from picking up a movie (or someone has broken into our home and is walking around upstairs...) So, this pregnant mama, who is eagerly awaiting the experience of the ninth month of pregnancy, is going to go. Ciao.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


- Much to Mark's chagrin (and with no blessing of his!!!) I'm slowly converting my "bedrest" into "house arrest". Truly, nurses are the worst patients. Thankfully, I haven't been having contractions, or I wouldn't be so liberal - though I admit that the stakes being what they are, undoubtedly I should be more careful than I am. I'm trying...sort of...sometimes.

- Kate was in town for a few days before heading off on what we all pray is her final military deployment. God deploys us all in different ways, so I'm not discounting His plans for her... who knows. :)

- My parents are here which is a great blessing to us. They hauled their trailer out to MN and are living in our driveway. I have no doubt that we've been the talk of the neighborhood since March when work on our house began, and though the giant dumpster and 80 million workmen are gone, we've found new ways to keep folks talking...not to mention the 4 vehicles parked along the street in front of our house (Kate's Jeep, parent's truck, our car and the van of a friend of ours.)

- Tomorrow is week 34 of this pregnancy. I have high hopes that a week and half from now, which is when Iain made his appearance, I will still be pregnant. Perhaps if I'm obedient about bedrest that's more likely to be the case. C'mon Betsy, you can do it!

- Speaking of baby, I finally came to terms with the reality that this baby is going to arrive soon, even if "soon" is 6 weeks away - that does sound soon, doesn't it?! I started packing my hospital bag and ordered an infant car seat (the one we had for Iain has since expired). Hopefully both with be ready to go by the time baby is.

- You know what I want more than anything right now? To go for a nice long walk after which I would sit outside and sip a delicious alcoholic beverage. But why go on, I'm only torturing myself. ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What bedrest means to me

Tomorrow is the BIG MOVE! Made possible by countless people who have given their time, talents, sweat, food, love and friendship to us during these past months and in particular in the past week and a half.

After the move, when pre-move-in to-do lists and reminders aren't spinning through my brain, I think I will have time to consider this bedrest predicament the Lord has put me in, and what this means to me. In the mean time, all I have to say is these are the Facts About Betsy (before she got stuck on bedrest in the middle of finishing construction on her house and packing for the big move):
1) I have a phobia of inconveniencing people - a fear which isn't conducive to asking for or accepting help.
2) This is connected semi-consciously to feeling a need to compensate for people who I've seen callously inconveniencing others right and left - I'm sure unaware of it. I think I just have a giant fear of being one of those people. I want to have friends, not servants. I want them to be refreshed by my presence, not wrung out and hung to dry til needed again.
3) I avoid asking for help at nearly all costs and if it's offered I prefer to politely decline, even if I really need it.
4) I feel incredibly awkward when being helped/served and prefer to work along side if help must be accepted. (Note: bedrest has made even this impossible!)
5) Any attempt at requesting help that is met with rejection, annoyance or anything other that positivity is chalked up as another reason to avoid needing help in the future. - I happen to remember these instances quite vividly and they have framed themselves prominently in the chapter of my brain called Why I Prefer To Be Self-Sufficient - unless it's Mark, from whom I willingly and happily accept help.
6) We recently watched a movie called The Edge. It starred Anthony Hopkins in the Alaskan wilderness waiting for rescue. His character says: "Most people lost in the wild die of shame. They didn't do the one thing that could save their lives-- thinking."
That stuck in my head; well, more the concept than anything else. Little did I know I'd be in my own wilderness soon enough.
Tangent: I'm no movie reviewer, but I have to say, I could have told you the whole movie from the first second it started. Yes, it was that predictable. Having said that, it probably still wasn't a good choice for a pregnant woman who needed less stress in her life (though we didn't know to what extent at the time).

Well, I can only guess this is the Lord's master plan. I whine, I stress, but when it boils down, I have to just point to the Big Guy and give him a wry smile because I know exactly what He's up to in the midst of all this, and that is this: trying to make me holy, if I just let him. We're not called "the Body of Christ" because it sounds cool, and I guess I just need to learn to live that reality. So, I guess I should give it all up. And I'm trying to. I have been asking for help - and help has been given, and I am overcome with gratitude for it, perhaps to a ridiculous extent because I am continuously surprised by people's generosity and joy in helping me! But even so that hasn't changed me, yet.

Perhaps it is I who have a great distaste for being inconvenienced? Now there's a thought.

Do you suppose it was a coincidence that this week marked 40 days until I'm ok with Baby arriving (37 wks). Biblical, anyone?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bedrest update

Hi there faithful followers. I've officially survived one week of bedrest, or more accurately, couchrest, and I have good news! I had another Dr. appt. today and the findings are: no change! In fact, I may even be about a 1/2 cm. less dilated than last week!!! We like this news. 31 weeks and going strong. Please continue to pray; I'd love love love to keep this baby in until at least 37 weeks - that seems a bit much to hope for, but hey, shoot for the moon, right?

Our moving date has been changed from Saturday to Sunday, due to the lack of available rental trucks on Saturday. Apparently the end of the month on a Saturday in early Summer is everyone's day to move. Well, Sunday it is.

We bought an amazingly comfortable reclining wingback chair on craigslist a few months back. Mark just moved it into the living room of our house, today (it had been in the utility room while floors and walls were being finished). I've already planned that as my "bedrest" spot on move-in day. I can't wait!

One of my favorite things that Iain has been doing recently is peek-a-boo, Iain-style. He makes his hands into little fists, with his thumbs tucked in, and presses his fists into his eyes. Then he slowly pulls his fists away and out to the side and waits for us to say "peek-a-boo". He's even tried to say it himself a few times. It's usually something like "boo" or "pee". Boy is he a cutie!

Speaking of Iain, one of the hardest parts of bedrest is not being able to hold him. I can't believe how much I miss just sitting and snuggling with my little man. I was the only one home when he woke up from his nap today, so I broke the rules and got him out of his crib. Those few moments were so sweet, just holding him. I knew it wasn't good for his sister, so I had to put him down and return to the couch. If I make it to 37 weeks, I might just have to celebrate with an Iain snuggle-a-thon. I guess if I don't make it to 37 weeks, I can snuggle with him much as I miss him, I can't say I'm rooting for that scenario.

Mark has been keeping me posted on the progress at the house by taking lots of pictures for me. I'd love to share them with you, but unfortunately, that requires sitting at my computer, which I can't do. (I'm laying down, using Mark's laptop, right now). Despite that restriction, I did manage to upload the pictures from the camera to the computer by sneakily multi-tasking: On my way to the bathroom, I plugged in the camera. On my way from the bathroom to the kitchen to grab a snack, I pressed the button make the pics upload. I then obediently waited a couple of hours until Mark got home and could move the couch closer to the computer before I looked at them. Everything looks so much nicer on the "big screen" than on the itsy-bitsy camera screen.

I hope you haven't fallen asleep and started drooling on your keyboard while trying to read through this post. I'm afraid this may have given you a glimpse into how very exciting life is for me, these days. :) Did I mention how wonderful it was to go to the dr. today? First time out in a week! So many beautiful trees and sky and rain and fresh air and, well, you get the point.

Speaking of sleep, it's 3:10 am and I think I'm finally getting sleepy. I didn't mean to take a 3 hour nap today, it just happened. Well, I learned my lesson!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby #2 Update

I've been put on bedrest as a result of being in early preterm labor. Given my history with Iain (born at 35 week, 3 days) my doctor didn't want to mess around. Please keep us in your prayers. I'm 30 weeks along, 90% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated. I'm also taking some medication to help halt any further progress.

What to pray for:
- Health and safety of Baby #2
- Iain; he didn't take too well to me being on the couch all day today - I compromised by laying on the floor while he played around me. This seemed to make him pretty happy.
- Helpers, especially for packing and moving which we will be doing this coming week with the big move on the 27th. Obviously I'm pretty much useless as a packer or a mover now, and that's kinda frustrating.
- Mark, because he has to be mom, dad, husband, house-do-it-all guy, not to mention his "real" job! He's absolutely amazing!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ahhh Summer!...ahem

Summer is here, the dorm is empty and life is, well, interesting. Since the students have moved out, I think maintenance forgot that there are still 4 souls residing in this hall. In the last week alien invaders, aka workers wearing head-enclosing welding masks have set up scaffolding and spent the entirety of the last week, so far, drilling away at the concrete trim around the building. Oh the noise and the smell. Think dentist drill and tooth dust, only worse. Thankfully our house has kept us incredibly busy and aside from the daily rude awakenings, I miss most of their activity.

Secondly, I tried to take a shower the other day after a full morning of chasing a crazy toddler around our small-and-impossible-to-baby-proof apartment. Needless to say, that shower was the carrot in front of me as I set him down for a nap. I stepped into the shower, turned on the water and waited for it to get hot (now that the students are gone, that can take a little longer than usual). Well, it got hot all right, and then hotter and hotter. I turned it down and it was still boiling hot. I turned it to full-cold...still boiling hot.

I got out of the shower and turned on the cold water at the sink. Hot. A bit later, the "facilities" were used by a certain someone I happen to be married to. Shortly thereafter, pregnant lady that I am, it was my turn and I discovered that our toilet had converted itself into a mini-sauna. As you might imagine, this was a somewhat odd and disconcerting experience.

Mark made a phone call and an hour or so later we once again had cold water flowing out of the cold tap...and hot from the hot.

It was nice while it lasted... I just tried to wash a pot, only to discover that our hot water has been (temporarily, I hope) turned off. Fortunately, we still have cold water, and though I wouldn't normally settle for washing a pot in cold water, the plan is to make pasta, which requires boiling water, which will hopefully sanitize it well enough. Unfortunately, unless I plan on going third-world (which I don't) my dreams of a shower will have to wait...again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More progress

Ok, I obviously watch entirely too much HGTV which has left me with a strange desire to only post our house's before pictures and then wait until all the exciting stuff has been installed so I can post pictures of THE BIG REVEAL. Well, for the sake of those who are interested in the progress and not just the before/after, and because I'm sure the final product will still be very exciting, I will continue posting as we go along. This week has been so exciting, as you will see...

But first, for all you Iain fans, here's the cute boy in his newest outfit (picked out by Mark).
As always, he's such a trooper. Here, he's just woken up from a nap. I had been hard at work for hours, putting together our cabinets in the other half of the room. God really knew what He was doing when he gave us such a content firstborn!
Much to my pride's chagrin, this picture makes it look like Mark (rather than I) has just successfully completed our cabinet construction. To Mark's credit, he and I make an excellent team. He was able to assess and fix a few problems here and there that enabled the entire process to be a success. For any of you cabinet afficionado's, they are chocolate-glazed solid birch faces on plywood box/birch ply veneered - for the price, this is impressive considering typical cabinets are particle board boxes. If I haven't already mentioned this, we ordered them quite inexpensively (relatively speaking, of course) from a Christian company at as you might guess, we're big fans! :)On Memorial Day, our hardwood maple floor was installed in our kitchen/dining room. The first coat of sealant was applied to protect it, but it will be buffed and resealed before move-in.
In the above picture, you can also see that our existing oak floor was sanded and 2 test patches of sealant were applied. The left is oil-based and the right is water-based. We decided on the water-based, as it is a lighter finish and doesn't amber with age as does the oil-based. Below is a closer picture of our maple floor.
Moving right along, this is a picture of our newly-tiled tub-surround (minus the grout). :)
The other end of the tub, minus the faucet fixtures....oops, apparently I just deleted the other 2 pictures of the bathroom. Well, you'll just have to wait for those. Sorry.
I haven't seen this for myself, so you're seeing what I've seen in the following pictures. Mark took these for me this morning when he stopped by the house. Our kitchen cabinets, in the process of being installed!!! This is the north wall of the kitchen. In the west corner end will go our fridge and in the center space will be our stove and microwave.
Below is another view of the kitchen. In the southwest corner is our lazy susan. As an aside, we were originally going to buy 2 of those, one for each corner of the south wall, however we changed our minds about how we wanted to utilize the space on the "peninsula" and opted for a 3-drawer base cabinet that will face the dining space. Having assembled all the cabinets myself, I'm SO glad we only had 1 lazy susan. Two might have required a hospitalization for the sake of my sanity...though I still highly recommend the cabinet company!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

(One reason) why eavesdropping isn't a good idea

Ok, here's the accurate background to this story: Today I was sitting in the backseat of our parked car, feeding Iain breakfast. Mark was on his cell phone talking with a friend "Joe" who was in our house, checking on something for us. Apparently, while Mark was on the phone with Joe, some other guy walked into our house and started talking with Joe. Joe, not knowing who this guy was, asked Mark if he knew who this was. This is Mark's side of the conversation that I (mis)overheard:

Mark to Joe: "A foreign guy? He must be someone with our contractor"

- Betsy's thought: this makes some sense to me, as many of the people employed by our contractor come from Mexico and Russia. Therefore, the reference to "a foreign guy" just makes me think that it's probably the drywall guy we've run into a couple times when we've stopped by the house.

(Joe says something)

Mark to Joe: "Sure, put him on..."

(Apparently Joe gives the phone to Foreign guy)

Mark, to Foreign guy: "Oh, no thanks, we already have a foreign guy."

- Betsy's thought: "we already have a foreign guy"??? That seems a little tactless. I must be misunderstanding this. Now I'm a little confused and definitely curious about what's going on at our house - and glad Joe is there.

(Apparently Foreign guy gives phone back to Joe and leaves)

Mark to Joe: "Yeah, yeah, "Rob" is doing that for us"

- Betsy's thought: OOOooooooooh. I get it.

Turns out "Foreign guy" was actually "Flooring guy." I had a good laugh about that and shared it with Mark, later. He explained that apparently Flooring guy lives in the neighborhood and has seen all the work going on at the house and was just stopping by to offer his services. However, we already have a friend, "Rob" lined up to do our floors for us.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This is our house! One of the little things that I absolutely love about this house is that you have no idea that it's actually quite spacious inside! From the front you can't tell that there is a walk-up attic that runs the width of the house (it's only got about a 5'9" head clearance, but that's just enough for me, and definitely enough for kids to play around in) and you also can't see the mostly-finished walk-out basement with a 14'x30' family room, or the fabulous 1/3 of an acre backyard. It's like a treasure buried right in front of your eyes. Anyway, sorry to get mushy; I love our house! For the record, this is a picture taken by the county, last year. Currently there is a giant dumpster in the driveway, no more side-front-door to the right of the garage and no bushes inbetween the two front doors. The useless side-door steps are still there, but hopefully only until Saturday.
Taking a break from the house, here's a picture from this evening of Iain (with his classic camera-face) and two of his friends, banging away on a piano while we had an end-of-the-year chaplain dinner.
Back to the house... This is a current picture of "the arch" taken from the living room, looking into the kitchen. The right wall of the arch used to be another door into the back hall (where Mark is standing, just out of view) and the entire arch space was all wall. What a difference!
A view of our drywalled kitchen, taken from the living room, through the arch
The main floor bathroom
The lower level family room with its newly drywalled ceiling. Mark and Iain are standing in the south-east corner, to give perspective. Iain is waving at me.
The north end of the family room, with the door to the backyard. Again, Iain is waving at me. He's so great! :) By the way, we're planning on painting the room a nice light sage green to brighten up the space a bit and complement the trim work (some of which has been temporarily removed for drywalling purposes).

'nother house update

The drywall is up and taped with the first coat of mud on it! We went over last night to set up our new dehumidifier and four 20" box fans in order to help with the drying process. It was none too soon as it was 92 degrees and very very humid, last night!

Sorry, I didn't get any pictures since it was really late by the time we got over to the house and I was holding a very tired little guy. Here's a quick rundown of everything that was done:

-Living room: ceiling crack repair and skim-coat for a smooth finish (was poorly-done "orange-peel/knockdown" texture), drywall over a previous doorway, finish the "arch" (not really an arch, but but that's what we've been calling it, b/c it's a giant space that used to be a wall that leads from the living room to the dining room. It has curved corners to match our coved ceiling in the living room, so we call it "the arch")
-Master bedroom ceiling: skim-coat for a smooth finish (was fan-textured and looked AWFUL!)
-Main bathroom: drywall walls, tub-surround ceiling
-Kitchen: drywall walls, ceiling, skim-coat part of existing ceiling to cover sand-texture
-Lower-level office: drywall patch to repair what was removed for plumbing work
-Lower-level bathroom: ditto office
-Lower-level family room: drywall ceiling (had been badly-done drop ceiling)

It was so exciting to see our house actually starting to look like the house we're going to move into! The next big question is, do we want our living room to be "whole wheat" or "tranquil sahara"? Gotta love paint color names.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A few pictures

Mark and I have had an extremely full few days at the house. After having a youth group service day at our house on Saturday, during which an incredible amount of work was accomplished, our contractor showed up yesterday morning when we were planning on simply finishing up our insulating before the inspector showed up, and gave us another mountain of odds and ends to get through before today arrived. Needless to say, having our entire day hijacked took a few minutes to get used to, but everything was necessary and in the end it was so satisfying to leave our house neat as a dusty pin in anticipation of the drywall going in, today.

As Mark commented, yesterday, aside from a few small projects, our demo efforts are pretty much done. Hurray! With the insulation in and the drywall being hung as we speak (hurray for contracted projects!) there is forward progress being made at long last!

Not only that, but our recessed lights are in place in the kitchen and lower family room, the cabinets are on a shipping truck from Alabama to good old Minnesota, we've tentatively picked out our paint colors, we thought we had chosen a mattress until we discovered horrible reviews all over the internet - so if you love your mattress, we'd really appreciate a note about what kind it is - the insulation passed inspection (that was my pet project, so yay for me!), our garage is cleared of debri and the HUGE dumpster in our driveway is nearly full, the lawn is closer to being stick-free, we were told that the "weed" in our backyard is a weed, but not the weed but can quickly take over and should be removed sooner rather than later, and Mark spent hours successfully removing our very stubborn bathroom floor and managed to not even fall through, a point I'm grateful for as 1) I love my husband and would like to have him around for the next 100 or so years 2) For a bit of that time I was in the bathroom right below, removing screws and such in preparation for today, and don't think my pregnant self would've appreciated being a cushion for a 200+ lb man.

Enough babbling, here are a few pictures, though they are already out of date, since they were taken on Saturday and since then the insulation was finished, the tub surround was durarocked, and today the drywall is being hung everywhere. I'm hoping to talk Mark into an evening trip to the house to see our house in it's freshly drywalled state.


The rest of the bathroom, before the floor came up:
Oh, sorry to bore you, I guess I included another bathroom shot:
A super great baby, sitting in our living room, looking through the cut-out wall into the dinnette and kitchen:
Iain and Mark a few weeks ago; I love how Mark is crawling and Iain's just standing there laughing at him.
Iain :)

Iain likes to sleep in the strangest positions. Recently, they've often involved his legs propped up against the crib rails:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day and Yardwork

Mark bought me a lawnmower for Mother's Day. Ok, not really. Well, that wasn't his intention anyway. Last week we bought a used self-propelled, mulching lawnmower for $40 from a lovely older woman who was no longer strong enough to pull-start it (chaulk up another one for Mark and craigslist.) Yes, it has its quirks and using it yesterday for the first time presented a bit of a learning curve, but 5 hours, and 2 and a 1/2 passes through the backyard later (the grass was obscenely long and had to be cut in stages to prevent the blades from clogging) the yard looked amazing!

As an aside, I think the back fifth or so of our backyard is growing quite the collection of a particular herb that is used, well, er, medicinally, in many states though only legally in a select few - we can't say for sure, as we're too innocent/ignorant to really know what we're looking at. At any rate, it's not garden-variety lawn grass and therefore I'm adding weed-killer, no pun intended, to my shopping list.

Mark was completing the never-ending kitchen gutting while I did yardwork. Iain was with me, outside, sitting in his stroller. I'm convinced that child is part angel. I couldn't really attend to him, since I was busy with the lawn, so he just sat, napped, and ate some dinner in his stroller...for 5 hours, straight!!! When I was done, I rewarded him by breaking every rule in the book and letting him crawl around the freshly-cut lawn. Yes, his pants are grass-stained to high heaven, but it was worth it. Mark was also thrilled with our beautiful lawn and did a victory-lap around our backyard. I thought it was particularly funny because of the visible cloud of demo-dust in his wake.

This week is the beginning of major work on the house. You might call it a month-and-a-half-long grand finale. Last week we had quite a bit of plumbing odds and ends taken care of. This week is electrical work and lots and lots of ordering of exciting stuff: lighting fixtures, cabinets, appliances, paint, etc. After that it's insulating, drywalling, tiling, installing/refinishing hardwood floors, new windows, painting, installing kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances, more painting, and some more painting. Mark would like me to add that most of this, and in particular the really nice stuff, is thanks to the generosity of family and the government. We would never even have dreamt of most of this a few months ago!

Have I mentioned how grateful I am that we don't have to live in the midst of all this demo/reno work?! At the end of a long day of work at the house, we can come back to our apartment and take a hot shower in a fully-functional bathroom and eat dinner in our fully-functional kitchen. We are very, very blessed.

P.S. My wonderful husband surprised me by taking me out to brunch for Mother's Day. Iain wasn't quite the angel while we ate. He still loves dropping things, reaching for any/everything he can't have, and trying to taste the most inedible things...though he did actually draw with the crayons for a second or two, when his pacifier was in his mouth.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Takes, Ponderings

Due to a caffeine-induced rush of mental mania, I'm itching to write down some thoughts that keep buzzing through my head. Bear with me (or close this window now and spare yourself). :)

1. A lot of my "attitude of gratitude" is relative to my awareness of what could be, ie, the struggles of other people's lives. I believe I have been blessed with a deep awareness of gratitude for the large and small blessings in my life, but I need to improve my awareness of the silent "because" statements which follow my grateful praises. Examples:
- I am thankful that Iain is not a picky eater. Because if he were there would be no feeding him anything, thank you allergies.
- I am thankful that I am married to a wonderful man. Because our world is full of not-wonderful men and many of them are husbands.
- I am thankful that I have a doctor who is on top of my pregnancy and knows how to care for me and my baby. Because a lot of women have doctors who don't care or aren't as knowledgable.
This leads me to this conclusion: my prayers of thankfulness and prayers for the less-fortunate should probably go hand-in-hand more than not. I hope I do a better job in the future of not only being grateful but simultaneously interceding for those in less fortunate circumstances.

2. This is not an original thought, and I wish I could credit the person from which I first heard it, but I'm afraid that's lost information.

As I prepare to welcome baby #2 into my arms, as she is of course already present in my life, I recall how I felt shortly after Iain was born. He was a stranger. A needy, hungry, naked, ungrateful stranger. That sounds harsher than I mean it to, but at the same time, when you are sleep-deprived, the world doesn't look very rosy. Of course I loved him, but it was more of the "I choose to" kind of love than the "smitten" kind of love (a good life lesson on love, I suppose).

Having said that, a particular Bible passage comes to mind about welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked...etc. I'm sure you know the one. How much more clearly can this be lived than when we open our arms to accept a stranger into our very family, who will demand more of us than we ever thought possible to give...and then we do it all over again, (multiplied by ?).

I should add, on a positive note, that Iain paved the way of motherhood for me and I do believe I have grown quite a bit in the last year or so. When this little girl is born, helpless and demanding stranger though she will be, I am confident that my choice to love will come that much more easily because Iain has shown me where that road leads, and it is blessed!

3. There is a billboard not far from our new home that I absolutely love. Pictured on it is a large cardboard box and in it are 5 or so babies who look to be about Iain's age. The billboard reads "God's Stimulus Package." It makes me smile every time I see it.

I must've shared this before, but if not, I feel like I have to share this with everyone I know because our world is fighting so hard against it what with the bad economy, carbon footprints, and well, let's just be honest, selfishness: I become ever more convinced that people are our only eternally worthwhile investment. Let's break this down a bit:
- Can you take that new car, boat, house, to Heaven?
- What about that once-in-a-lifetime vacation?
- Well in your old age at least you'll have your prestigous position at that Firm that you worked for your whole life to keep you company and join you for Holidays, right?
- Or your generous retirement package, I mean, that will be honored in Heaven, right?
Ok, I think you get the idea: none of those things can go with us to Heaven. What can? Souls. So, let's invest in people: children, family, friendships. Let's all store up our treasure in Heaven by investing in the only thing that will last for all eternity: People! Besides, it's relationships and selflessness that brings true happiness, so what's to lose?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick Takes Updates...

1. Iain has hit "the terrible ones" to quote a friend of mine. He's still not walking, but he's perfecting his furniture-walking and has also amazed us with his go-go-gadget arm reach! He keeps me on my toes, my home neater-than-normal, and my worri-o-meter at a higher level than it's been since his really early days.

2. The house is progressing, though since the initail whirlwind of demolition, it's been more on paper than anything else. We're in the process of collecting multiple bids on each and every project that we're not doing ourselves. We haven't been procrastinating, but it's too boring of a story to explain why this had to wait until now.

3. I never cease to be amazed at God's provision for us, and this house is a continually blossoming example of that. What I mean is, when we bought this house, we looked at our budget and what we wanted to do/change to the house. Since then, our resources for this renovation project have literally doubled and God's provision and plan for our house has become ever clearer each day. Things we would never have dreamed of have fallen in our laps. This house is a testament to me that we can't dream big enough to match God's plan for us.

4. Please keep baby #2 and me in your prayers. So far I feel great and if you didn't see my bloodwork, everything looks like it's progressing perfectly. Having said that, because Iain arrived a month early, my OB started checking my pregnancy hormone (progesterone) again at my last appointment. The results were not entirely surprising considering my history, but the level was about half of what they would like to see. As a result, I'm back on progesterone shots 2x/week. Additionally, she will be doing a particular test at each appointment that apparently can predict with 90% accuracy whether or not I'll deliver in the next 2 weeks. Based on that test, she'll decide what, if any, activity restrictions I should be on. I feel confident that my doctor is doing an excellent job caring for me and giving me the best chance of carrying this baby to term.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Demolition Pictures (finally!)

I've finally found a moment to upload some before and during pictures of our demolition/remodel projects on our new home. Besides my classic procrastination, we've been a bit more busy than usual with a case of influenza (Iain, who besides sleeping more, coughing a bit and being generally more clingy and grouchy than usual, is well on his way to recovery.) Additionally, and much more happily!, Mark's parents are visiting from across the pond and between visiting friends, of whom they have quite a few in the cities, they are helping us with the house, be it sanding, demolishing a wall, taking Iain for a walk, etc. It's been so wonderful to spend time with them and of course their help is a blessing as well!

Ok, that intro aside, here are the long-awaited before/during pictures.

West view of Kitchen, and door into "mud room" hall, before:
East view of kitchen and the east wall between the eat-in kitchen and the living room, before:
"Mud room" hall and exterior door, kitchen to the left, before:
Main floor bath, before:
Demo Day 1, Bathroom: I removed most of the nasty plastic wall tilesDemo Day 2: Kitchen (Day 1 was removing the cabinets and I thought I had included a picture of that, here, but apparently not). Day 2 was removing the ceiling soffits.
An aside: this house could probably withstand a bomb being dropped on it. The walls and ceiling are classic plaster construction taken to the next level: on top of the studs is a layer of drywall, then a layer of plaster holding on a sturdy metal chicken-wire type frame, on top of that is a thick layer of plaster.
Apparently, drywall was first invented as a substitute for the wooden strips that plaster was applied to. It took a few years for some genius to realize that they could skip the plaster step and simply mud and tape the drywall. Needless to say, it's nice to know our home is solidly built; it's also a bit of a pain when it comes to tearing through it and it's causing demolition to go a bit slower than anticipated.
Demo Day 3: No more west wall between the kitchen and "mud room" hall (after that exterior door is walled-up, that space will be part of our kitchen). Yay, Mark!
A view of the same, from the garage-entryway.
Very impressively, for a person who has never so much as held a sledge-hammer, much less used power tools before, Mark has done the lion's share of the demolition on his own (made possible by great guidance from a contractor/carpenter friend of ours). Mark has also had some wonderful help from various friends, as well as his father. Dad actually tore through the plaster on the east wall of the kitchen, yesterday. This will eventually be fully open to the living room.
In the meantime, I've been diligently working on all my little projects. These include removing all the doors (about 10 I think) for sanding and painting, trying (!!!) to replace the locks (it's a long story and perhaps I'll go into some other time) begining some of the sanding on the miles of trim, and trying to decide how to best make the existing beautiful crystal doorknobs work in our new home. (Another long story, but I think we're close to a solution, and that's all I feel like saying at the moment). ...Oh, and taking care of a sick, clingy 14 month old at the same time. Ahhh, life. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Demolition Days 1, 2 pictures coming soon

For any of you faithful followers who actually check to see if I've updated this blog, well, here you are. I hope to consistently post updates on the demolition and remodel of our new home. I took before pictures and have so far taken pictures of the end of Days 1 and 2. I left the camera at the house, so you'll have to wait on those pictures until I get them uploaded, hopefully this evening. Honestly, I feel as though I've seen a whole different side of my wonderful husband. Sledgehammer, crowbar or reciprocating saw in-hand, he is a force to be reckoned with! My meager contributions of childcare, removing doors and their hardware and removing plastic tile from the bathroom walls have in no way compared to his accomplishments in the kitchen (with the help of 3 friends over 2 days). In a matter of hours (about 8 total) the kitchen has become an empty room and the soffits have been removed (hurray!).

In other news, please keep us in your prayers as we eagerly await our next ultrasound, a week from tomorrow (3/31) at 10:30 am. We can't wait to see our baby and are hopefull that we'll be able to find out if we're welcoming a boy or a girl! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent 2009

I just had a brief visit from a good friend who stopped by to drop off the Girl Scout cookies she so kindly picked up for me this past Sunday. It's Ash Wednesday. Need I say more? It's my fault for not getting them from her sooner. On the other hand, had I done that I'm sure they would be gone by now. As it is, they are nestled safely in my freezer where they will remain until Sunday...or Saturday evening. :)

During her visit, we chatted about how we're "no good at Lent". Is anyone? Isn't that the point? Something tells me that no one jumps for joy at the thought of 40 days of concentrating on the death of their selfish will. It's like cancer treatment for the soul. (How's that for a bad analogy, Maureen?) ;)

The Lord kindly prompted me to pull The Dialogue by St Catherine of Siena off the bookshelf about a week or so ago. This was just in time to dive into it and discover (I've never really read it, though I've owned it for years) a wealth of Lent-appropriate guidance on growing in virtue, love of neighbor and knowledge of self, all leading to knowledge and love of God. For anyone unfamiliar with this book, I HIGHLY recommend it; it's quite beautifully written and a great Lenten kick in the pants!

On to the practicals, if you're up for sharing, I'm curious to hear how the Lord has asked you to practice growth in virtue and death of self during this Lenten season. Here at the Archibald home, we're focusing on temperance (sorry, GS cookies), evangelism, and prayer. I am also striving to recognize, correct and quiet the voice of my will, whether it be whispering or screaming in my ear, as I go about my day. It's amazing how refreshing it is to do the opposite of whatever that little voice is telling you. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery." (Galations 5:1 NAB)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Personalities, I suppose

You know you need more affirmation in your life when...
- You get excited about comments posted on your blog.

Ok, I guess that's all I have to say to get that off my chest. Whew. I never would've pegged myself for a "words of affirmation" kinda gal. Who knew.
(See for reference)

Mark is gone for the evening, Iain is asleep and the apartment is a wreck, ahhh a sweet blissful evening of nothing to do! Sometimes being a Type B personality really pays off. On the other hand, being married to a Type A also rubs off and I'm less able to ignore the disaster of used kleenexes (we have colds), dirty dishes, baby toys, clothes, books and misc. other that surrounds me. Argggh! Mark, why must you be so, so, so....wonderfully tidy???

This evening I was discussing personality types with 2 friends of mine. All three of us happened to be Type B's. One friend was wondering a) why Type A personalities have to be A, why can't B be A, huh??? I responded that Type A's have to be A because it's in their very nature. They wouldn't approve of not being first. ;) b) she wondered if there are Type C personalities, or if there are just 2, A and B, because A's made some sort decision that the "have it all togethers" were A and everyone else, aka, "the losers" were B. I see where she was going and I think I agree with her. It's all a conspiracy to keep the B man down. (And I, as a B say, "as if we need any help!").

To anyone from whom we have bought furniture off craigslist in the last 2 weeks who has since googled me and stumbled upon my blog, I mean no offense in what I am about to write. Rather, I am extremely grateful for the way you have blessed us with your no-longer-needed furniture. That said, Mark and I quickly made an amusing discovery while using craigslist to acquire whole room-fulls of terrific furniture for the house that we had better darn well close on or else we'll have to rent storage!: Craigslist is a wonderful tool, but you have to know how to play the game. Folks selling on craigslist appear to fall into 2 categories. 1) the wealthy who are doing the "out with the old, in with the new" bit and don't really need the cash, but aren't just going to donate their gently used mint condition furniture, so they sell it for a very reasonable price. 2) the not-so-wealthy who are looking to make a buck off of a cat-scratched, stained, moldy recliner (or similar) that should be burned, but they're asking $200 for it anyway.

If you need some cheap, comic relief in your life, I highly recommend a browse through craigslist.

Well, I'd write more, but I'm afraid I have a whole lot of sweet nothing to do for another hour before Mark gets home. G'night.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Iain!

Now that it's Iain's 1st birthday, I'm finally getting the Christmas pictures posted. Maybe if we're lucky I'll have his birthday pictures up by Easter. ;)

Iain opening his first present:
Iain helping to open another present
Iain enjoying his present. Hey wrapping paper's part of it, right?
Iain wearing one of his Chirstmas presents. Guess which parent chose that outfit for him (I'll give you a hint, it wasn't me!) :)
What are socks for, anyway?
The newest addition to the Keiser family! Monica Elizabeth
Another one of Heidi's babies. You can check out her website at: (yes, that's a shameless plug.) :)
My two favorite guys, hanging out at home.
This is what happens when you give a baby a bowl of Cheerios, in hopes that the giant size of the bowl will contain them sufficiently. I guess not. There may have been 2 that actually found their way into his stomach. ???

Who knew how fast a year could go? We're not officially celebrating Iain's birthday until Saturday, but I will definitely post those wonderful cake-filled pictures after that.
And our house...
We have our final inspection tomorrow morning. I know, most people only have 1 home inspections, but we're special. :) ...or maybe the city didn't get the water turned on in time for the first one. Anyway, here's to hoping that the winterizing worked and we won't walk into a flooded home. yikes!
If all is good, than we'll continue to move forward and hopefully close around March 6. The plan is to continue to live here at UST until Mark's job ends at the close of the school year. We'll use those couple of months to do work on the house, without having to live in construction. Hurray! :) Our plan for the house includes painting the entire first floor, knocking through a wall, reflooring the kitchen, painting the cabinets, refinishing existing hardwood, replacing windows, furnace and water heater...umm, what have I forgotten, oh yeah, and remodeling the bathroom.
Does that sound ambitious enough? :) Please keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Creative juices, where? I want some!

I can't come up with a creative title for this post, so I'm waiting until one hits me while I write this. This is our life, in random bullets:

- We had the most memorable and blessed Christmas with my family in MI. We were all together as a whole family for a couple of days, which was a completely unexpected God-designed surprise!

- Heidi and Kevin (and the rest of us) welcomed their first child, Monica Elizabeth, on January 4th. It was an absolutely amazing birth; I had the great privelege of being present!

- Mark has sent in his application to begin a Master's in Non-Profit Management. We are excited about this endeavor and what it means both for him and SPO.

- Iain has tooth #3 coming in for a landing (upper left) and a cold, both of which have provided me tasts of newborn nights for the last week. Fortunately, the last couple of nights have been better...

- Baby #2 looked perfect in the ultrasound. New due date is August 25. Heartbeat 142. I feel absolutely great albeit more tired than usual. I am on progesterone shots for this pregnancy again, but I just heard from the dr. that my levels look great and I'm already able to reduce the dose by half! Hurray!

- Particularly with baby #2 on the way, Mark and I have been house-hunting. We put in an offer on a house on Monday and we are now anxiously waiting to hear back... more to come...

- I don't know if ever my "blood will thicken" enough to withstand MN winters. They sure are beautiful from indoors: bright sunshine, snow-covered ground ... but the temps! Right now it's -7 (-28 if you factor in the windchill).

- I'm running out of ideas of what to feed Iain, oh to have a creative mind! His milk allergy prevents him from eating a lot of normal things, and I find myself in a rut of the same 3 foods, one of which he has now refused to continue eating. I WELCOME ideas! (he can gum soft chunks of meats/fruits, and does fine with Cheerios, if that gives you an idea of his chewing capacity).

- Iain is trying to learn to crawl. Every day brings him a little closer. He can get up on his hands and knees and even moves his knees a bit, but not his hands. I am both excited and terrified...the babyproofing!

- One of these days, hopefully before Iain's first birthday, I will post pictures of Iain's first Christmas, Baby #2's first pictures, and hopefully pictures of our new house (if/when it becomes ours).

Please keep our family in your prayers, for health/protection (for new baby), for wisdom and guidance (new house), for energy, joy and peace (for pregnant mom), for healing for Iain from his milk allergy, for endurance and wisdom (for Mark and his many responsibilities).

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Baby Archibald #2!
Stay tuned for...
-First ultrasound 1/8/09
-Due date 8/23/09