Friday, July 12, 2013

Witchcraft or Something Like It (Our Homebirth Story)

This Jim Gaffigan skit on homebirth is perfect. 

We decided to do a homebirth long before we were expecting. Bob lived with some friends while he did an internship & the wife is a midwife, so he was exposed to it & I was intrigued by it & thought it was the best thing ever not to have to leave home to have a baby (home body much?). 
Once we found out we were expecting, we knew immediately that we needed to find a midwife so we called our friend, who had lived where we currently live now & got her suggestions & I talked to a parent at the preschool where I work because I knew she & her family had done/were doing a homebirth. We decided to go with the same midwife as the parent from my work (our friend had mentioned her, but never gotten to work with her). 
We went for the consultation visit with Kelly (our midwife), or what to her was the consultation visit. For us, it was a Hi, nice to meet you, you are who we are going to use, where do we sign? visit. She started going through her spill about why homebirth & so on, but quickly realized we were there to use her & not shopping around. 
So fast forward to D Day. We woke up about 6, chilled for a bit & about 7:30 the first contraction hit. I didn't think much about it, thinking it was probably just a false alarm, but they kept coming every 3 to 6 minutes. Bob went to work at 8 & I kept having contractions. I decided to use a download a contraction counter on my phone & figured they would stop. They did not, so after an hour & a half, I called Kelly to let her know I thought it was the real deal & got in trouble because I let Bob go to work. (How was I to know it wasn't a false alarm?) So I called Kelly, called Bob, who promptly left in the middle of taking a customer's order (don't worry, someone else took over) & called our doula, the parent from above, Heidi. 
Bob got home & Heidi got there shortly afterwards. I was very comfortable on the toilet, letting the contractions roll in & then out. They hard but were not unbearable. Kelly got here about 10:30 (?) & by 11:30 my water had broken & labor really started rocking & rolling. By 12:30, I was fully dilated & I was most definitely in "birth land" as Heidi put it. 
I went back & forth between our bed & the toilet. At one point, while on the toilet, Kelly wanted to give me better leverage to push with so she sat on the birth stool she brought & well, she ended up on the floor & no one else realized it for a while. Needless to say, she has one less stool now. 
We were talking back & forth, & I don't remember exactly what was said but I called her a brat & everyone died laughing. I also stuck my tongue out at her at one point as well. 
I moved to the bed & while on my side at one point nearly kicked Kelly in the face, squarely. She probably would have gotten a broken nose had her reflexes not been so good. (So thankful I did no damage to her!)
I spent a lot of time draped over my exercise ball & in between contractions would semi go to sleep (it is amazing what the body can do!). They kept offering me drinks & I would refuse several times & then would take a "drink" that would pretty much be the entire 16oz glass of water or lemonade (so glad I had gotten lemonade the day before!) 
It is also amazing how much your body holds in at a time like that! I drank 4 16oz cups of liquid & did not once go to the bathroom for over 4 hours! 
Our girl, Quinnlee Grace, finally decided to enter this world at 5:37pm on June 20th, weighing in at 7 pounds 1 ounce & 19 inches long. She got some extra lovin' from Kelly when she was born as she decided she didn't need to breath & was a little bluish upon arrival. She also decided she didn't need to cry & Kristen (Kelly's assistant) wasn't happy with the girl over this. She kept trying to make her mad & Quinnlee just kept looking at her as if to say "why do you insist that I cry?" 
Unless, I medically need to be in a hospital for future pregnancies, I don't think I will ever be able to after this experience! It really was the best experience I have ever had in the medical sense.
P.S. Not sure, if when the time comes for Small Fry #2, that if we are not in this area anymore that I won't come back for Kelly to deliver again. So Kelly, want an uninvited house guest when the time comes? Lol. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dear Ministry, Um, Hiring Boards

Dear Ministry, Um, Hiring Boards,

Please get yourselves together. Preferable BEFORE you start the hiring process. 
My husband has been sending out his resume to churches for a while now & while he hasn't hear back from too many (hey, at least that is a definite answer of we aren't interested), the ones he has heard back from have been less than good at communication. 

I have been thinking about this for a while & turning it over & over in my head & I guess just woke up this morning & decided to get it down on paper or blog, if you will. 

Here are a few things that if these boards would actually think about starting their process or would do in the process would make everyone's part much easier & quite possibly keep people in ministry. 
Yes, I did say in ministry. When you can't get the time of day from a ministry, you then start looking at other lines of work & stop thinking about ministry & what it would be like to be in ministry because, heck, if they aren't interested in you why would you be interested in being in ministry?

Anyway, here are a handful of things I think ministries could do better in the hiring process from our experience in trying to get hired. 

  • Come up with what you want to see in your candidates/what your ministry needs in a candidate BEFORE you put the word out that you are looking for an employee (for lack of a better word). 
    • Ex. My husband had an interview with a ministry & after not hearing back with in a week, called & asked where they were in their process & they actually asked him what they should be looking for in a candidate. Um, really there are only three of you & you really should know what kind of things you are looking for BEFORE you start interviewing at the latest. 
  • Once you have interviewed the candidate, please keep in contact with them. Yes, I realize this is a two way street, but really to never hear back from a ministry kind of leaves an unresolved conclusion. Yes, after a certain amount, you know they probably found a candidate but that is not always the truth & an answer one way or the other is always nicest. Even when the answer is no. (Remember how you don't like to feel as though God is ignoring you? Why is that okay when hiring for a position to do that?)
  • Be timely. Honestly, six months between communications is a little much. Once you start the hiring process, be prompt & get it done & over with. Why drag it out? I think this is the one I don't get. I understand that these guys on the hiring boards are volunteer & have their own lives, but really, a year to START interviewing? If I was one of those people, I probably would have said 'see ya' at the six month mark of that junk. 
  • This one goes along with the communication as well, but is a little different. When a candidate contacts you, get back to them. 
    • Ex. My husband contacted a ministry that he had an initial interview with & said we want to set up an interview with the elders, we will be in contact..... he emailed a few times & called once with no response. This weekend, I finally decided that I would contact a friend who knew the pastor & see if she could found out anything. The pastor got right back to her & she got right back to me. Really? You can contact my friend but not my husband when he contacted you first? (Disclaimer: the pastor asked my friend about us first before he contacted my husband.)
When I see what we have been through, I can honestly see why people don't want to go into ministry. It is way easier to get a job in the secular world. Yes, we need Christians in every faucet of life, but we need some of good ones in the church so that the church can keep up with the changing world & if they aren't hired, they will find someplace else to work. Plus, if we are going to have the next generation of church leaders actually be able to lead, they need to learn before the current generation dies. 

Just my two cents worth from what we have experienced so far & yes, my husband is currently looking for a secular job. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dallas & Beyond....

Last weekend at this time, Bob & I were with fellow friends and Impact Campus Ministers in Dallas TX standing in a Target getting Starbucks drinks. We were on our way to work and we decided we all needed Starbucks. :) Too bad I don't have a picture of this mob. :)
That weekend was a fabulous time of fellowship & learning with our good friends & fellow ministers from different parts of the country.
Bob & I flew down to Dallas via Detroit. Here are a couple pictures from the plane.  
When we left Albany it was cloudy & flurrying, once we got in the air, it was absolutely gorgeous! 

We landed in Dallas, got picked up at the airport, picked up other people & drove to the place we were staying, Camp Hoblitzelle- a Salvation Army Camp. It was beautiful there. There was a pretty lake & we saw some of the prettiest sunsets.

Where we stayed, looking up from the dining hall. 

The gorgeous sunset!  
There is a snippet of our trip to Texas. 

Now to the beyond part. Coming back from Dallas, we have a challenge in front of us. We must get a third of our support raised. We are very close needing only around $100 to be at this goal. A third of our support raised is only the beginning. Our goal is to be fully supported by August so that Bob can be on campus full time. 
We need to get this $100 raised by this week for us to be in the clear with our sending organization. Our God is large and I have full faith that we will see this done. We have two support meetings set up for this week and Bob is doing well formulating a plan to get us fully supported by August. 

We went through support raising training in November and feel fully prepared to meet with people & have them join our team. Part of our training was that we need to be asking for references from the people that already support us. 
Once Bob started asking for these, we got a lot of references that we are now working through. 

This is our very short term goal, the next short term goal is to get our student loans paid off- that is another blog post though. :) 

If you want more information on our ministry at the University at Albany, please comment on this post. I hope to hear from some of you. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lessons Learned

So in coming to the all staff retreat, never thought I would meet such a cool guy who knows so much about Jewish culture & language.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The big D

We left bright & early Thursday for Dallas TX. We are here for the all staff retreat for Impact Campus Ministries' all staff retreat. It really just means that they get together & talk. Nothing too exciting, just meeting in a warmer climate. Here is a picture of the meeting right now on technology.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Chips

It's fall meaning it is time for all things apple & pumpkin. So far, we have gone & picked apples and I have baked apple crisp. I recently found a recipe for apple chips and randomly enough no salt pickles, on the same blog. I had to figure out how I wanted to core the apples so that I could have round chips. I found two different ways to core the apple and kind of merged them together.
As far as doing the chips themselves, all you need is as many apples as you want, cinnamon, a pan & an oven set to 275 for 2 hours.

I cored my apples without cutting them up. I didn't cut the first apple at all , just cutting  to the outside of the core.  The next apple, I cut in half to the core, but not through the core. I then cut around the core and just pushed it out. The second apple was soooo easy! the only way, I will do it now. lol. 

The knife on the right is the one I cut the first  apple  with  and the first cut on the second apple.  The  knife on the left , I used to core the second apple. 

This is my pan of apples. The recipe said to use parchment paper but I don't have any so none got used. :) 

My battle wounds if you can see. It is two cuts just to the right of the middle of my nail. 
When I do my pickles, I will post again! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade cleaners are for me!

So growing up, my family never made our own cleaners, BUT since I have grown up gotten married, I have realized how expensive things are in the real aspect of having to buy things for my own household. Having my own household now plus thinking about how gross store bought are, I started looking for different things that I could made on my own. More cost effective + better for me (i.e. no chemicals I can't pronounce) sounded like a great thing to me so I started with an all purpose cleaner that a friend of mine, Elise, blogged about. I made it and started cleaning with it. I love it. Really. 
It is a vinegar water solution and the recipe is as follows:
 All- Purpose Cleaner:

  • 1 Cup distilled white vinegar 
  • 20 drops of essential oil
  • 2 cups of purified  water
               Shake to mix together and start using

Window Cleaner:

  • 1 Cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil
  • 1 cup purified water
Shake to mix together and start using

If you want a cost break down, Elise has done it on her page so I won't do it for you here. 

Another homemade cleaner I started using is homemade furniture polish. I made it up this morning and used it for the first time and really like it as well! 
The recipe for it is:

  • 1 cup olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
Mix together in a bowl or a spray bottle and use! 

I used the all purpose cleaner and then the furniture polish on our coffee table and was very pleased with the results. I really should have done before and after pictures. There was candle wax and just plain dirt on the table and it really took it off and made the table shine. 
The table is a little oily but I think that will subside as the table should soak up the oil. I will let you know how it goes. 

Another project that I will be working on in the near future is homemade laundry soap. I have not done this yet but I found a recipe that should take less than 10 minutes to make and will be .05 a load/ 64 loads a batch. When I try it and if I like it I will let you know. Until then.