Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

Saturday morning we found out Esther was in labor. 
We headed up to the Maternity Center for several hours. Esther's water had broken at midnight the night before. She was tired, but her contractions had not yet really kicked in. Melissa and Beth stayed with Esther while Tara and I went home to get ready for the Halloween Party.
Harry Potter

Thing 1

Hayden's friend, Isaac was Thing 2

A real pirate of the Caribbean

 And Dash.  Or he Superman too?  
He was undecided, so he insisted on this superhero medley. 

Aaron and I decided to mock the people we work for.
We're nothing if not dumb bold.
We love Beth and John McHoul.
We could not ask for better leaders.
Aaron and I are blessed to work with them and learn from them.
I got to dress up like a peace lovin', coffee drinking hot babe.
Aaron got to dress up do we describe John?

There are no words.
This picture says it all.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. 
We imitated them right down to their ink.

 I loved Rick and Cookie's costume.  They were "lame." 
I told you.  That Cookie...she's funny.

Remember Jared, Jalayne, and Miles?
So many of you prayed for their sweet baby.
How cute is this family of supers?

Ryan and Melissa run the Heartline Guest House. 

Becky and Jimmy help us fill our kid's minds with all things smart.

The Livesay Family was hilar.  Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean.  Three blind mice, see how they run.  Little Red Riding Hood, the Grandma, and the wolf.  Tara's posture...makes me do the shake laugh.  I have all things inappropriate to say about Troy's costume, but I'll spare the world.  The Livesays won the costume contest.  The prize for best costume?  A package of bacon.  Hope jumped up and down and squealed for a solid minute.  Bacon in Haiti is the rarest of all treats and pleasures.  Only in Haiti would a kid find out they won bacon and respond with a jumping, ecstatic fit.  What weirdos we're all raising!

Our Haitian friends thought Halloween was hilarious.  
It was fun to share this with them.

Since Haitians don't celebrate Halloween, would think it was weird if we knocked on their gates and demanded candy, AND hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince dressed up in weird costumes would be less than smart  the kids trick or treated inside our house.  They knocked on bedroom doors in our house and in the Coblentz's house upstairs.  Friends were waiting behind the doors to hand out candy.

 The post trick or treating candy sorting and swapping.  
This is the most crucial part of Halloween.
After the party it was time to get back to the Maternity Center.  Esther was still putting along.  It was an all night, difficult labor.  A baby boy was finally born this morning at 7:30.  Esther coped extremely well even though she was in a lot of pain and there were many medical interventions needed to deliver her baby safely.  Melissa (visiting midwife) did a fabulous job.  This was definitely one of those births that we know, without a doubt that if Esther had delivered at home like many Haitian women, she would most likely not be alive right now.  If Melissa (nurse-midwife) had not been with us, we would have had to transport Esther to a Haitian hospital.  God provided intimately in all the details for Esther and her baby.  She's still not out of the woods, so your prayers are appreciated.  For now mom and baby are stable and doing well.  They will stay at the maternity center until it's safe to send them home.  What an action packed Halloween we had this year!

Photo booth pictures from the party coming soon! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blast From the Past Halloween


hippy and Joe Dirt

police officer
This was the year Hayden was obsessed with all things prison.
We were a little worried.
 a road
Excuse me while I go lay in my bed and cry.
Where did my baby go?

 Aaron and I had the longest running stand off about who would throw away the pumpkin.
Who would finally look at our elderly looking pumpkin and declare "enough is enough?"
Aaron.  He lost.


 Axel Steele off of Guitar Hero

 someone else off of Guitar Hero

 Clive off of Guitar Hero

The Rock Star's Wife


The Chipmunks
I always say I'm raising The Chipmunks.  Anson is brainy Simon.  Ashton is my sweet child whose love language is cake.  Hayden is...well duh...the loud, crazy, Alvin.

Hudson's first Halloween!

 This is when we were going through our Scrubs phase.
J.D. and Elliot


 American Gothic

 Jeff Corwin


 first Halloween in Haiti

 Hudson was a tad bit excited about his costume

 Phineas and Ferb, a wounded soccer player, and Super Man

I know Halloween can be controversial.  We've always felt freedom in Christ to redeem this day.  We fill it up with friends, creativity, light, laughter, fun, food, and fellowship.  We pray those things are honoring to God and bless Him on this day that thankfully still belongs to Him.

I pray you have a sweet weekend celebrating (or not celebrating), but still rejoicing that Christ purchased freedom for each of us to live out our convictions, to go to the Bible, and with wisdom and discernment make God-honoring decisions for our families.  Ah.  Freedom.  It's one of my favorite things about following Christ.

4 kids + 2 Adults = 6 Halloween Costumes

6 Halloween costumes = lots of work

That moment after you've put a costume on a child, they look into the mirror, smile the most precious smile, their hearts filled up with wonder at becoming an indian, a princess, a pirate, or the character they have always, always wanted to be = PRICELESS

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excuse Me While I Feel Your Veins

I am congested, drank an obscene amount of caffeine today, and took Sudafed.  Should a person write in a public space in that condition?  I guess we'll see.  Today was a fun, busy day at prenatals. 

Fantastic class taught by Melissa.
She is fluent in Creole and makes a cole slaw salad that I think about two days after I've eaten it.
Who knew cole slaw could be so dreamy?
The babies of Esther and Mama Emmanuel are still on the inside of their mothers unfortunately.  True Story:  Holding a giant pregnant belly and chanting, "Come Out.  Come Out.  Come Out.  Come Out." does nothing to actually bring a baby out. Mama Emmanuel has such a beautiful story.  Tara wrote about her here. 

Beth and Etienne

Beth is visiting from my home town.  She too is fluent in Creole, but I'm not sure how she feels about cole slaw.  Having someone here from home feels weird and yet oh so good.  She is in Haiti for two weeks.

 Melissa has been teaching Tara and I how to "do labs."  At Heartline we are able to test our ladies for things like HIV, Syphilis, other STD's, Hepatitis C, and B.  We can even test their blood types.

Weird how only one of us is smiling.

Jen and Melissa have both played a brave part in teaching Tara and me how to draw blood.  One day I'm living in Texas minding my own business and the next thing I know, I'm in Haiti wearing latex gloves, poking people with needles.  This blows my mind and makes me smile thinking of all of you out there reading.  Maybe you're minding your own business too, and you're about to turn the page and find that God is writing a weird, unbelievable story one chapter over.  You just never know.

So far, learning to draw blood is going very well. We have excellent teachers. If you're a medical person, you may get what I'm about to throw out here.  There is nothing like learning to draw blood.  After learning this skill is it normal to want to take blood all day long every day for the rest of your life?  Tell me that's normal.  I'm tempted to go take some right now from my sleeping children.  I won't though.  I'm too tired.  This is a mixed emotion to feel because it goes without saying that the person you're sticking is not nearly as excited about the process as you are.  That part stinks.  But I won't lie:  when we realize we're done with labs, and that there are no more women who need testing, it is a major let down.  "Really?  No one else needs a test?  Really?  Are you sure?" 

On a more serious note (although I consider falling asleep thinking about veins dead serious) I am proud of the care we can give our ladies at Heartline.  We have a mini-lab in the middle of a third world country.  That blows my mind.  We have medications to treat our ladies.  I'm so thankful these women can get the care they need.  Thank you for giving to these women.  Your prayers and financial gifts matter and are making a difference.

If you want to pray for our pregnant ladies, here is an updated post with their photos and information.

We still need your help at the Giving of Life Grant.  It takes 3 seconds to vote for Heartline.  Have you done that yet?  We'd sure like to win that $50,000 so we can expand our program.

Thanks for loving our ladies.

I'm off to take some Benadryl night time pills and fall asleep thinking about tourniquets.