Two Weeks Ago Today…

‘Know that old joke about the “gun show”?  Well, check out these guns!

This just happens to be Kai’s resting position… and has been since his first photo two weeks ago! Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that the boy is growing right in front of our eyes. He’s already past the nine pound mark (Ryan said our girls didn’t weigh nine pounds until they were at least a couple of months old). So, I guess in time, we’ll all have some pretty good guns to show.

Malachi is a delightful baby; he cries when he’s hungry and that’s about it. Though he nurses every 2 – 3 hours during the night, he goes right back to sleep afterward, which is a wonder to me. I spent hours dancing with the girls to get them back to sleep, now I just hop back in bed! Glorious.

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(So it’s officially the most difficult thing in the world to post anything except photos of our sweet baby boy, but I will grit my teeth and continue with our regular programming and intersperse photos now and then. I know you won’t mind when I do.)

To get the girls going in the morning while I’m taking care of Kai, I made this “High Five” hand that I had seen somewhere in blog land. It works like a charm and I love to see my little girls all dressed and ready for the day when they walk out of their bedroom in the morning. (And the cutest thing is that they actually smack it with a vigorous “high five” when they are finished with all five tasks.)

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Each week, Ryan would return from his men’s group with rave reviews of Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will or How to Make S decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.

‘Seems as if the topics in this slim volume were really hitting home for all of the men. Without reading it myself, I noticed that Ryan suddenly put his foot down, limited his research-time, and just decided stuff. He ordered our now-gorgeous orchard. He ordered our now-laying chickens. He tilled the garden and planted the thing. In the past, I would never – never – have even come close to identifying Ryan as needing inspiration to work hard or make hard choices, but I did notice a stark difference in his confidence and courage. We all want to make “the right decisions” and to do well by Consumer Reports and Amazon reviews (not to mention, we want to walk in God’s good and perfect will!), but really, all of the limitless options and resources can stall a person out and can steal precious time.  Wow, I thought, if this book is impacting my very hard-working husband in a positive way, it’s gotta have some gems in there for me!

So, when I finally sat down with the book, I devoured the thing.

And I should probably devour it again.

Did DeYoung know that his insights would be so personally helpful to an expectant homeschooling mother who simply desires to do her best building her home, her church, and her community? Whether he knew it or not, he helped to demystify God’s will regarding curriculum choices; he helped me to sort through the static of “good, better, best” when it comes to our daily schedule and activities; he also encouraged me to take steps towards starting a local women’s Bible study, which is something I’ve wanted to do – but have hesitated to do – for some time now.

Just Do Something is our #1 graduation gift, our #1 recommendations for summer reading, and my #1 recommendation to you.


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The thermometer might read 104 degrees, and the old farmhouse might be excruciatingly hot and still. Sweat might be dripping down my neck, and all of the little bodies around me might be glistening with their own perspiration, but children don’t seem to give the heat no mind. They hover around while I nurse Malachi. They lean their fluffy curls against my arm. They lay a sweaty  hand on me in some way, little fingers tickling like a sweat-bee that typically gets swatted on a hot day like today.

As if in a furnace, all of the closeness and hovering makes me want to explode!

But then I think about the dear affection that is bringing us all together – their love for me, for each other, for humanity -and I’ve just gotta take a deep breath and appreciate their sweet closeness (as uncomfortable as it may be). When I am patient in the annoying, over-heating, claustrophobic moments, the girls can understand me better when I calmly explain, “I’m a little warm right now, would you mind giving me a little space while I nurse Malachi?” (When I’m not patient, I end up making them feel like their expressions of intimacy are annoying… and that’s just plain old heartbreaking!) Responding in the right way when everyone is a little “too close for comfort” is a small thing in the big scheme, but I think it’s worth the effort. The beauty is that these are God-given opportunities for me to lay down my life and show my children what the gospel means to me.

These thoughts were spinning around in my mind when I came across this encouraging article from the Desiring God blog: Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank).

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What’s in His Name?


Just in case the name “Malachi” is new to you, I thought I’d share some of our thoughts behind choosing this name for our son…

What comes to mind first is that we love its meaning (“My Messenger”), which indicates a personal connection with and responsibility to God himself.

Ah, and then, there’s  the book of Malachi in the Old Testament. The Holy Scriptures open with the utmost command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” and the book of Malachi concludes the beautiful Old Testament with the same message: a personal message from God Himself about His longing that we love Him wholeheartedly… with our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. God, our maker, wants our pure and devoted love, and we long to respond gratefully to His pursuit.

We know too well the vast temptations to adore and serve other gods; we know too well the emptiness of our wayward affections. But, happily, we also know the sweet reward of receiving God’s grace to love Him with our whole hearts; we know that God’s promise in Malachi 1:11, “from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations” has become our deepest desire. The book of Malachi is not a threat from God (“Watch out! I will be great or else!), but a delightful promise for those of us who are longing for His righteousness and love to fill the whole earth. He has captivated our hearts!

And so, we name our son Malachi to recognize that each of us is relentlessly beckoned by the Almighty God to love Him wholeheartedly and to eagerly anticipate Jesus’ restoration of all things. We hope that our sweet Kai, along with all of us, will heed and share God’s loving plea, “Return to me and I will return to you.” (Malachi 3:7).

As for Kai’s middle name, “Joseph,” we honor my father, by using his middle name. Not to mention, we love the virtues in both biblical “Josephs,” and are delighted to surround our son with such godly men – my father, Joseph who remained faithful through adversity, and Joseph who devoted his life to care for Jesus Christ.

Also, it means “God will increase,” which is the desire of our hearts.

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The First Thing They Did

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We Praise God.

We’re all back home and happy…

Thank you for caring about Malachi. What a wonderful way to enter the world.

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Happy Baby, Happy Momma

Because I asked you to pray for a bowel movement, it’s only right that I let you know the good news…


(Cheers and hoots!)

The best part for me was that it all happened while the nurses were monitoring his vital signs in the nursery, so they changed his diaper!

(I must admit, I was looking forward to that diaper with a mix of excitement and trepidation…) So, more cheers and hoots!

Also, the pediatrician clipped his tongue-tie this morning. (The bottom tip of his tongue was attached to the bottom of his mouth. This could have been a part of the dehydration and jaundice since it definitely affects nursing.) Though not all pediatricians will do this simple procedure, it wasn’t a big deal at all; didn’t even seem to produce any blood. I’m grateful that our pediatrician group has a few docs who are advocates and experts on the procedure. I definitely recommend taking a peak underneath your newborn’s tongue to check for the condition right away. If it’s something that can be fixed so easily and prevent so much risk, it is worth doing.

I give us all permission to enjoy an ice cream cone in Malachi’s honor today! :)

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Update on Malachi

Oh, dear friends, thank you for your prayers and support. It has certainly been a difficult 24 hours. We have placed our faith in the power of God and are amazed by the ways in which He has led us and protected us. Thank you for your part in lifting us up before Him.

Though the night was frightening with an unresponsive baby and so many lab tests, we had a wonderful miracle at noon today: Malachi cried and cried! For the first time in 18 hours, he was VERY hungry, had his eyes open, and was fixing to get some lunch! I was over-joyed to see that he was “back”!! He nursed very well, and has been growing stronger and stronger ever since.

So, we are enjoying the healing of his outward symptoms (the jaundice, unresponsiveness, lethargy, lack of wet diapers, etc.) and are looking forward to Wednesday’s test results regarding his internal symptoms (the low white blood count).

We’ll be in the hospital until Thursday morning so that Malachi can receive the full dose of antibiotics and so that we can receive the results from the meningitis culture. We are hopeful that God led us to the hospital through drastic outward symptoms in order to address an unseen infection, that is now being treated.

Please pray that his white blood cell count is completely restored to a healthy level and that his body is completely healed (from both seen and unseen problems). Also, please pray that he has a great big bowel movement. (Oh, the basic needs of life!) This will help to clean out the bilirubin and balance his little system. We’ve been waiting and waiting…

I’ll try to post an update when we hear anything new.

I’ve been savoring each and every one of your comments and prayers. My faith is strengthened and my heart is grateful…

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Please Pray

For the first time in five years of 10millionmiles, this is Ryan hijacking the blog.  It’s always been an amazing blessing for me to watch Laura give of herself and receive just as much and more back through her friends near and far.

And so that’s why I’m appealing to you for your prayers today.  Last evening Laura and I took Malachi to the ER because he had stopped being himself and was becoming more unresponsive.  Initially everyone thought he was just dehydrated and therefore a bit jaundice, but after a series of tests (he was amazing through all of the needles) it was determined that his white blood cell count was about a third of what it should be at this point.  That changed their course of treatment and he has been admitted for 48 hours so that he can get antibiotics and be monitored.  They’ve taken both spinal fluid and blood to do culture work on, a process that takes about 48 hours to see if any bacteria/virus grows to provide more clear treatment.  Basically they wanted to start the antibiotics now rather than wait to see what might be causing it.

After being there for the night getting fluids and nursing supplement, he is returning to more of himself and the white blood cell count went up slightly – Praise God! (of course I was hoping to hear the count was back to normal in a few hours… :-).  Laura will be staying with him for today and tomorrow and we have every reason to believe he’ll be coming home tomorrow evening.  Although there are many things that swirl through my head at this moment, I’d ask that you specifically pray for:

  • Malachi’s complete recovery.  That all scheme’s of Satan and his servants to hinder this mighty little messenger would be thwarted at every turn.
  • For the doctor’s skill and care.  We’re thankful that they didn’t brush us off as over cautious parents last night.
  • For Laura’s rest and continued recovery.  She was just starting to relax a little at home and, if nothing else, this is simply forced recovery time.
  • For our faith to be strengthened.  The Holy Spirit has been challenging us both on what faith really looks like recently and giving us yet more opportunity to grow in it.  It’s exhausting (and yet I know we still have it easy compared to so many brothers and sisters)

Thank you everyone.  We’ll update you one way or another tomorrow or Thursday.

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