I have a double request from Grandma to post on the homeschool conference and to make the miscarriage post no longer the first thing you see when you check the blog.  So here goes. (:

This was our second year at the CHAP convention.  Last year we spent so much time listening to speakers that we did not see much of the vendor floor.  So this year we made sure we had time for both talks and wandering the hall.  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on May 17, 2010, 11:59 am | Read 3629 times | Comments (5)
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I didn't really feel like writing this, but then I thought it weird not to post it.  So I'll mostly just copy the emails I wrote to our parents.

This is happening at five weeks of pregnancy, pretty much just two days after being sure I was pregnant (though we did not take a test.)  We told our parents (on Mother's Day) and my sister, and then I had to email them Tuesday with the sad news.

From Tuesday morning's email: 

As far as I can tell (with very minimal research) a miscarriage at five weeks is very similar to a period (the placenta has only just begun to form and the baby was only a few millimeters long.)

Emotionally, I'm not sure where to be.  What if I was wrong and I wasn't pregnant after all?  But even if I was right and my little one has just died, I didn't have much time yet to know this little guy and so it is not nearly as hard as losing Isaac whom I had known for nine months and seen with my eyes and held with my arms.

But I am sad and disappointed, and especially for Jonathan

Even though we did not have a test, this feels physically different enough that I do believe I was pregnant.  Here's my update from this morning:

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers.

Jonathan is doing well.  Now I'd like you to pray for Noah, who was sad yesterday after dinner.  Last night and this morning he asked to pretend that he was a baby who had just come out of my tummy - and he cuddled and pretended he couldn't talk or walk.

I feel sad, but sustained, and very thankful for my three living ones (what a miracle all the stages they have survived and thrived through!)

Physically, it is definitely harder than a regular period - last night, sleep was interrupted a lot, but I am feeling ok this morning.

If you will continue to pray for me in the next couple of days, I would appreciate it.  It's still very close at hand for me as my body finishes the process.

Emotionally, I am doing better this evening.  Yesterday was grey and rainy and my emotions mirrored it, sad and kind of heavy, but not depressed. After I wrote the first email, I decided to go ahead and let myself grieve for the loss of a baby (instead of wondering if there was not one after all) and that was helpful.  I think the length of time you know someone really does make a difference in your grieving when he's gone.  It is hard and I am sad, but I am not devastated and broken as I was with Isaac.  Hey, and maybe Isaac and his little sibling know each other already! (I just thought of that.)

Naps both days have helped as well; I am definitely on the tired side.

Jon brought home roses for me this afternoon and that was very nice!

I have felt God's sustaining the whole time and I am already doing much better.

Posted by Heather Daley on May 12, 2010, 3:35 pm | Read 2561 times | Comments (9)
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5/1 - Noah continues to update his pronunciation of words.  That day it was, for battery, "baddewy" instead of "badeedee"

Faith's okay is now "o-tay".

5/4 - Faith stayed in the Bible study babysitting the whole time.  Jonathan and Noah were there with her.  They had a great time.  When I went to pick them up, she was happily stomping around the tables with the other "dinosaurs" - when she saw me, she ran up and gave me a big hug, and then went right back to what she was doing.

Jonathan's favorite color is yellow.

5/4 - The plastic cover on the middle back seatbelt had come off and gotten lost.  Noah found it and put it on all by himself.

New words for Faith: guy = "die", juice = "jew", seat = "eet", cheese sounds very close, maybe "tseese"

5/9 - Noah, rubbing the inside of his hand, "This is my palm tree."

We're not being quite as ambitious with the garden this year, so the only thing I started inside is marigolds.  I planted the seeds in vermiculite inside on 5/1 and they sprouted on 5/5.  I transplanted the baby seedlings to individual pots the next day and now we are waiting for after last frost to transplant them outside.

Jonathan and Noah did this a long time ago, but I don't think I ever wrote about it - how to make your own miniature lightsaber.  Take a plain ballpoint pen and remove the ink.  Break a hole in the end of the cap.  Stick a colored paintbrush brush end down the pen tube.  Slide the cap over the colored end and there you have it!  A lightsaber that retracts and extends, pocket size.  (I'll try to remember to take a picture)

Posted by Heather Daley on May 12, 2010, 10:24 am | Read 3703 times | Comments (1)
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But I will not attempt again to pull it out without another adult present.  I saw that two small vines were creeping up trees in places I had noticed last year (one of which I had pulled out, but there must have still been roots).  Since all my crazy dressing up last year was a pain (and I suspected I wasn't allergic anyway) I only donned the nitrile gloves.  My planned extraction went very well. 

Then I noticed more of the telltale three-leaves nearby.  I pulled on them only to find a long string of root extending into the thicket.  I should have stopped right there and come back more prepared to take care of a bunch, but I just kept going.  Whoever reccommended the nitrile gloves does not also have thorn bushes.  A few times, the leaves brushed my forearms, and by the end of my pulling, my gloves were torn to shreds.  There was no rash forming and I was not itchy.   I filled two grocery bags with vines and decided finally that I should come back more appropriately dressed.

I asked Jonathan to get me a big plastic bag to put my small ones in and while he was doing that the neighbor's dog came to the border of our yard and barked and scared Faith.  So I had the boys bring her inside and then Jonathan helped me, very carefully avoiding exposed areas.  I washed my hands and forearms thoroughly in the utility sink and then peeled off my clothes and went upstairs for a shower.

After that I went back down and threw all my exposed clothes (including my sneakers) in the washer.

Once Faith was inside and well taken care of by her brothers, she was very patient.  But it was very hard for me to not be able to comfort her about the dog.   I thank God for Jonathan and Noah!

And next time, I'll go back to covering my shoes (or probably wearing my tall rainboots, covered) and wearing long pants and sleeves.  Not sure what to do about gloves, though.  I'd like to avoid exposure as much as I can so I don't lose my immunity, and I also need to protect against thorns.

No more adventures for today, please!

Posted by Heather Daley on May 1, 2010, 6:05 pm | Read 39255 times | Comments (0)
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Faith now says: sock - "ot", peekaboo - "deet-a-doo", let me do it - "Do!", "dough", that - "at", trash - "ash", okay - "o-day"

4/27 - Noah had his first piano lesson with Grammy and loved it.

4/28 - Faith had her first haircut.  I only trimmed her bangs to be out of her eyes, and left all the rest as it is.  She does not like to keep the clips or ponytails in and it was down to her nose and always in the way.  When she is older and more ready to keep clips in during the awkward stage, we'll have her grow her bangs out.  It looks good and I'm very happy with that decision.

Noah is starting to say "I" instead of "me" in the right places.

Posted by Heather Daley on May 1, 2010, 9:03 am | Read 2137 times | Comments (0)
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Combine shorts/shortsleeves with pricker bushes and concrete and childhood exploration.  Jonathan takes care of himself now, and Noah does sometimes, but I've been doing lots of bandaging for Faith.  She's pretty good about leaving them on, but when they fall off she is insistent that a new one goes on right away.

4/19 - Faith adds new words all the time now.  "Dit" means sticker, this is often accompanied by pointing to the back of her hand (put a sticker there, please.)  "Niw" or "miw" for milk, accompanied by the milk sign.  She sounds like a little kitten when she says it!  "Dide" or "ide" for outside or inside, depending on circumstance.

We have lots of violets in our backyard.  Jonathan calls them butterfly flowers.  I used to remind him that they are called violets, and then I read that their scientific name is viola papilonacea.  It means "butterflylike violet" - so Jonathan was right!  He's just speaking English and not Latin. (:

4/22 - Jonathan, sniffing deeply, "Broccoli makes my nose thirsty."

4/23 - Faith was helping me unload the dishwasher.  If she picked up an item she didn't know where to put she asked me, "Doh?"  ("Where does it go?")  One time she picked up a small mixing bowl and put it in the low cabinet where it belongs.  Later, she picked up a larger mixing bowl, and very carefully took out the previous one and stacked them according to size before replacing them in the cupboard.

Last night we visited our friends who have a farm and Faith several times repeated "dat" and "dod" for cat and dog.  She was afraid of all the animals except the cats.

Last night was a bluegrass jam session and it was such a blast.  Jon brought his guitar, though he'd not done bluegrass before.  People sat and stood around a circle, playing away.  It was fun to listen to and sometimes sing along if I knew the words.  Young and old together, great players and medium players.  Jon plucked around on a banjo for a while.  There was a bass fiddle that got passed around to whomever wanted to play.  The kids who were not playing instruments ran around the farm, in and out of the garage where the music was. It was a blast.  Mom, you would have loved it!  One of the girls led some fiddle tunes and the banjos and guitars jammed along with her.  It reminded me of Janet's fiddling days and I thought of that lion-headed fiddle.  They played Red River Valley, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and Rocky Top among many others.  Amazing Grace, I'll Fly Away, and other old gospel hymns.

Noah and Jonathan got covered with farm dirt and bruises; Jonathan stuck a turkey feather over one ear; Noah carried a cat around for a while.  Faith stuck with me the whole time, but did ride on a tricycle a bit with me pushing.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 24, 2010, 12:15 pm | Read 2905 times | Comments (3)
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Here are my notes from when Jon was in the Dominican Republic:

Saturday - first dinner with Daddy gone - When Faith saw that Daddy was not in his chair at the table, she looked for him in the computer room.  The next morning when I got up first, Noah commented that usually Daddy is up first.  I asked, "Do you remember where he is?"  Noah says, in an "of course" tone, "In his bed!"  When I replied that he was not, then Noah remembered "minihan public."

They were really good in church, except for Noah during the sermon, wiggling and lolling.  After church they were exceptionally well behaved.

Jonathan helped Noah get to bed on nights when I had to take care of Faith.  Jonathan often helped me by putting on Faith's diaper and pants.

We had a relaxed pace for everything except getting to Faith's checkup appointment on time.  One of the reasons Jonathan was looking forward to Jon being gone (that he was unable to articulate for a while) was that he was excited about having more of my time, that I would not be spending any time with Daddy so I'd have more time for him.  This spurred me to make a special time for Jonathan more often than we had before.

I realized if something needed to be done, it was me who had to do it, so I might as well do it now since there's no point in waiting to see if someone else does it.  That was not as tiring as I thought, and I thought that I should just do those sorts of things anyway even when Jon gets back. 

God poured out much grace and I poured out lots of prayer.

Spring really helped - everyone was cheerful and excited and we could play outside a lot.
--End of Daddy Gone Notes-- (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on April 18, 2010, 5:52 pm | Read 2654 times | Comments (7)
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In conclusion, the authors talk some about definitions of success and how those definitions affect how you see yourself and your church.

He is quick to point out that large churches are not always bad, but points out various downsides of being in a large church, some of which I have experienced when I was at different large (where I define "large" as more than two or three hundred people) churches in Pittsburgh, where if you sit in a different seat on a particular Sunday, everyone assumes you are new to the church.

He also talks about the glamor of big-name preachers, and how some churches look for big-name speakers, both to pastor their churches, and for retreats, etc. There is a church in Pittsburgh that probably most people wouldn't recognize the name of the church, but lots of people would recognize the name of the pastor, mostly because that is how the church is advertised, as "so-and-so's church in wherever".   (And some people joke at our church about doing that for the pastor...)

In the sermon last wee, Andrew mentioned some grass-is-always-greener temptations that some pastors have, where small congregation pastors sometimes wish for larger congregations, and/or staff for the ministry that would be possible with those resources, and large congregation pastors sometimes wish for the "old days", when things were simpler and easier to manage, etc.

I guess it all comes down to how you define success.

Heather and I were talking about our food budget the other day (she aims for $300/month, but fails whenever I go shopping, and I've done a bunch of shopping this month) and we were talking about where I spent the money, and how it was different than how she would have spent it.  One thing that I got was a handful of "Tony's" pizzas, since they were on sale, and I figured you can always have more frozen pizzas around for those days that are busy, and it is easier to throw some toppings on a pizza than make dinner, and Heather said that we haven't been eating Tony's pizzas in a long time, and I thought that perhaps our consumption of Tony's pizzas is a good indicator of how life is going: if Heather has time to make homemade pizza and other dinners, things must be going pretty well.

Posted by Jon Daley on April 16, 2010, 10:57 pm | Read 10819 times | Comments (2)
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The authors quote some statistics of how many children leave the church never to come back, and particularly notes some examples of where churches had "junior church" for the kids, and while it was fun and entertaining when they were young, when the kids were old enough to attend "adult church", they never went, since it was completely different than what they thought church was all about.  Having not seen either of the services in the example, I'd probably argue for something in the middle - that probably the junior church was too much fluff and "fun" (Jonathan and I have conversations occasionally and setup a quadrant diagram with the axes labelled "good" and "fun", and how there can be things that might be fun but not good, etc.) and probably also the "adult church" takes themselves too seriously and needs to realize that "good" church isn't dead and dry, and it is not about surviving the weekly ordeal in order to get to the football game in the afternoon.

We have a simple rule of thumb in our church: if we would do this as a family, we can do it as a church; if we would not do this as family, why do it as church?  This is not intended to cover every possible eventuality, but it has proved useful in maintaining a church life that is refreshingly simple and uncluttered, with space for relationships and front-line evangelism.


Posted by Jon Daley on April 12, 2010, 10:42 am | Read 5478 times | Comments (2)
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I'm skipping the "Theology" chapter, partly because I don't have anything to say about it (it was a short chapter), but also that I need to return the book to the library, and I'm running out of time, and trying to avoid any fines...

First off, a definition of apologetics, since I always forget the definitions of these "fancy" words:

  1. The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
  2. Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system.

The most interesting thing that I read in this chapter was the concept of relational apologetics.  I don't think I'd ever heard that before, but as you might guess, pretty much everything these guys (and probably me too) think about can be thought of in a communal-center fashion too).

People reject the knowledge of God not because they cannot know God, but becaue they will not know him.  At root it is not an intellectual problem of the head, but a relational problem of the heart.  This has profound implications for apologetics.

We need to persuade people that our story, the story of God, is true.  But they will only explore its truth if we can first persuade them that it might be a better story.  We need to address their hearts before we can begin to address the questions in their heads.  We have a better sotry than any of the alternatives.  We need to awaken a desire for God.  We need to make people want Christianity to be true.  Then we might be able to persuade them that it is true.


Posted by Jon Daley on April 10, 2010, 11:33 am | Read 2410 times | Comments (0)
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Noah can buckle his own seatbelt in the car now.

His speech is continually improving.  Jon could tell the difference when he came back from the Dominican.  /g/ and /k/ are now well established in his regular vocabulary.  We're working on /f/ /v/ /l/ /s/  in our school times and he can do them well when he thinks about it.

He's also fixing on his own some vowel sounds that he had wrong.  "kite" used to be something like "kut" and now is correct.

He can count to ten without skipping and he loves playing Pegs in the Park.

On the earlier mentioned biking day, Noah rode his pedal-less bike and made progress with that, too.  He had fun going down a slight hill (drveway) with his feet up.

Noah is an excellent clothes folder and enjoys it, too.

Noah and Faith play together often when Jonathan isn't around (reading Star Wars most likely) and they do play very well together.  Noah takes such good care of her.  He'll help her go to the bathroom and even will put on a new diaper (sometimes!).  He sings songs to her.  They enjoy each others' presence.  This is a very sweet thing for my mother-heart.

He is also a good pancake flipper.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 10, 2010, 9:34 am | Read 2191 times | Comments (1)
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Heather's dad sent a link to this article, which I thought was pretty good.  And at least, it is a good word-of-the-day for you. Your assignment is to use it in a sentence sometime today.  Laughing

"NOW, SIR," concluded Davy Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in. ...

(Original Post)


Posted by Jon Daley on April 9, 2010, 2:27 pm | Read 5521 times | Comments (10)
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This chapter is basically comparing Eastern and Western religions, though I think those terms aren't ever actually used.  And they argue against those Christians that would like to introduce Eastern practices into Christian.

"Contemplation, silence and solitude."  It certainly describes a good deal of what passes for spirituality among evangelicals today.  Or worse than that, it constitutes a kind of advanced spirituality for the elite.  We teach new Christians to pray and read their bibles, but mature spirituality, it is said, takes us into new realms - the realms of "contemplation, silence and solitude."

But what struck me as I pondered those words is that the describe the exact opposite of biblical spirituality.  Biblical spirituality is not about contemplation; it is about reading and meditating on the word of God.  It is not about detached silence; it is about passionate petition.  It is not about solitude; it is about participation in community.

I think part of the problem might simply be definitions, as the author has to acknowledge that Jesus went off on his own early in the morning for what I would think could accurately be described as "contemplation, silence and solitude".  Being community-centered people, the authors and myself are probably more wary than we should be of this sort of thing.

This community spirituality clearly requires a certain level of relationship.  We need to be sharing our lives.  We need to be with other Christians "daily."  We need friendships that are real, open and intimate.  We need to give one another license to dig into our lives and challenge our hearts.  We need leaders who foster this culture by giving and receiving this daily exhortation, who lead not only from their pulpits but with their lives.  The word of God needs not only to be central to church life, but thoroughly to pervade every aspect of it.


Posted by Jon Daley on April 9, 2010, 10:25 am | Read 2432 times | Comments (0)
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I am not sure what I think about this chapter.  The authors argue for Christian pastoral care within a communal setting, as opposed to the "professional" counseling.  I have heard of a couple stories of people violently against that idea, though I haven't seen anything bad about that myself, and would tend to agree with the authors, that I think it is helpful for a "counselor" to share a worldview with the "counselee" as that greatly affects what counsel is appropriate to give someone.  In addition, I think the authors would argue against professional Christian counselors as well, but aim more for relationships within the community that you are already in.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 8, 2010, 3:57 pm | Read 7887 times | Comments (11)
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When we were going to bed, Kim said something about setting his alarm for 4AM or some crazy number like that.  Apparently, he gets up pretty early at home, and takes the opportunity to get up even earlier in the Dominican.  But, since I work for myself, I tend to get up pretty late most days, and I think I've been sleeping pretty well lately, so I don't think I've gotten up at 2 or 3 in a long time (a number of years ago, I made myself a rule that said if I wake up and can't get back to sleep for an hour, I get up and start my day, no matter what time it is, so I've gotten up at all sorts of crazy times - midnight, 2, 4, etc.)

I've inherited my dad's sensitivity when sleeping (well, probably not as much as he had, when he used to wake up to an alarm that was broken, and so the only noise was the mechanical plastic piece snapping a half inch), but I've never liked alarm clocks, and always use a quiet radio to wake up to if I need one.  Kim's Blackberry, or whatever it was, was really loud, and John and I were pretty surprised.  The rest of the week, either he used a quieter alarm, or else he just woke up on his own, as I had a nice peaceful wake up at right around 5 each morning.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 7, 2010, 12:57 pm | Read 1954 times | Comments (2)
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