Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Official... We've Closed!!

As of 9/22/10, we have once again entered the world of homeownership. Here are some "before" pics of the second foreclosure we've recently purchased. There is much to be done, and I'm so very thankful that my husband is considering this a labor of love for our family--but mostly for ME! Yes, I know, he's amazing...

So here's a quick tour:
front of house
first things first, CHANGE THE LOCKS!

there's a front room area, somewhat separate from the living room. (also, to the right of this pic is a half bath and coat closet)

quick couple shots of the kitchen
through that door is a laundry room/mudroom
floors are all officially ripped up! now to get this stinky pile out of the house!

a look from the kitchen into the living areas

lots of paint to cover in this house!

little room at the top of the stairs (more paint!)

yes, lots of priming in our very near future!

the gloriously huge master :)
this is from sitting area looking into sleeping area

from sleeping area to sitting area
(master bath/closet through that little door on the far wall)

So there's a quick peek at the before... hopefully I'll be diligent about tracking our progress. Also, if anyone wants to help scrub floors, walls, and bathrooms--LET ME KNOW and we'll PUT YOU TO WORK!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pursuit of Justice

I just finished reading Pursuit of Justice by DiAnn Mills. I knew nothing of the author or other books in the "Call of Duty" series when I requested a copy, BUT I was quickly hooked even just reading the back cover:

"For centuries, the legend of the Spider Rock treasure has lured people to west Texas with promises of unimaginable wealth.

And it just claimed three more victims.

Did they fall prey to the legend's curse or just get too close to someone else's discovery? To investigate the murders, the FBI calls in one of its most promising up-and-comers--Special Agent Bella Jordan. What they don't know is that one of their prime suspects is deeply connected to the past she's been running from for fourteen years.

As Bella begins to sift through evidence, another murder and threats on her own life convince her she's hunting an experienced killer... and he's not working alone. To catch the suspect before he catches her, Bella must draw on all her skill and instinct and finally gather the courage to face the memories she's tried so hard to forget."

After reading this book (the 3rd in the series), I definitely would like to find the time to go back and read the first two--Breach of Trust and Sworn to Protect. I liked the "realness" of the character in this book. The relationships she had with other characters throughout the book weren't forcefully written and came pretty naturally. I felt like Bella's fears were real, thoughts were real, and actions were real within the circumstances she found herself. With each new development in the case, I found myself guessing as to how things would turn out in the end, who I could trust, and who was really an enemy. I had never read anything by DiAnn Mills before, so I didn't have anything to go on as far as how "predictable" her stories played out. All in all, I was thankful to have allowed myself the time to get lost in this book and "get away" for a little bit.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

true woman 2010

In about fifteen minutes I'll be all packed up and ready to head out to the True Woman '10 conference here in Indianapolis. Basically the reason for this quick post is to ask for prayer. It is still hard for me to comfortably sit in church on Sunday mornings and hear what God has to say to me, let alone be in a conference center with thousands of other women. (At least it will be safe to assume that I won't be the only one in tears.)

Throughout this entire grieving process my tendency has been to stay to myself and avoid others. I've taken mini-steps outside my comfort zone to seek out older ladies to meet with and "rejoining" our youth group in an effort to minister to the younger ladies of our church. With that said, I have decided to take a leap out of my comfort zone and stay downtown with many of the ladies from our church who will also be attending the conference. I'm nervous.

Pray for an open heart/mind and a willing spirit to really hear what God has to say and that I would have the courage to apply the necessary changes to my life in order to become a more godly woman in His image.

Pray for new, godly friendships and renewed energy in those relationships that were neglected on my part during our little isolation period known as Malachi's life (we were paranoid we would carry some sort of virus or bacteria into Chi's hospital room and we did NOT want to take that chance).

Also, please pray for the teens from our church who will be attending. It's such a crucial time period and there is amazing opportunity for a solid foundation to be lain and built upon over time.

Alright, gotta go. Pray, pray, pray.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Doctors and more doctors...

Well, in the past week we've had three trips to the doctor's office or emergency room. Unfortunately, only one of them was scheduled.

I had my 30-week OB visit. Stats are as follows:

BP: 122/70
weight: 180 (total gain of 25/up 2 from 28-week visit)
abdomen: 30 cm (right on target)
baby HR: 130 and strong
baby activity: TONS of consistent movement. (still planting himself on the right side with lots of hiccups as of late)

A little scarier visit was last Thursday. My father-in-law had another heart attack. He was feeling kind of funny, hoping it was just indigestion. Thankfully, they decided to head to the hospital when they did. Upon arrival, they proceeded to go ahead with a heart cath to get a more accurate picture of what was going on. They discovered a 90% blockage in a different area than was affected during a prior heart attack, but were able to place a stent to resolve the issue. A couple days of recovery and observation at the hospital, but he's now home. We're thankful for that. Please pray for him and continued strength as he has many meetings lined up during his October schedule.

And lastly, this little girl fell out of bed Sunday night/early morning and split open her chin on the hardwood floors.

I called the pediatrician in the morning to explain when it happened and that it was still open and slightly bleeding hours later and asked if they wanted to look at it to see if it needed stitches. Unbeknownst to me, they don't do stitches at the office and said I needed to take her to the hospital. Really? Shouldn't a doc who specializes in young children be able to handle a couple of facial stitches.

Anyway, so we (yes, John came with because I was getting queasy even just thinking about holding her still while they were stitching it up) went and they ended up just trying to glue it shut. This was all well and good until just before bedtime, she decided to pick the glue off. Now we are left with good old band-aids and triple antibiotic ointment and just praying it doesn't get infected. She'll be left with a scar to match mommy's chin.

This is where we are... for now.

update in pics

I wish I could say that my absence from blog world is due to busy-ness, but I think I've just been distracted. There are so many things I wish I would have taken the time to write about and process (for my benefit), but alas I didn't and most of the "profound" thoughts that I had kicked around in my head are mostly lost.

My brother came out for a visit which made this little girl very happy...

She also loved showing Uncle Bud the animals at the zoo. He even jumped with her on the bumpy bridge (even though in doing so he spilled some of his soda on his nice light-colored shorts)...

He also helped pick out some flowers and placed them on the grave marker designated for our second daughter, Jordan, who was born at three months gestation two years ago now...

On the 29th, we celebrated John's 28th birthday...

Emma helped with the sprinkles...

Lastly, this picture really doesn't do justice to just how big my belly really is. John snapped this photo, and I find it vaguely flattering in my current state. Less than 10 weeks to go!


Grandma Sharbaugh talking to Papa Sharbaugh while doing her hair: Norm, where's my little squirt thing?
Emma from across the room: I'm right here!

Papa Sharbaugh was writing his name with Emma...
"My name is Norman, but my nickname is Norm. You are Emerson, but your nickname is Emma."
"Uh, no. I'm Tooty Magee!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Two Years

Emma was only 9 months old when we said goodbye to Baby Jordan. We are reminded to be thankful for the time (albeit, very short time) we had with Malachi and that she was able to interact and play, laugh and smile with Malachi. Without enduring the battle of miscarriage at three months and saying goodbye to our second child before we were able to hold her, we most certainly would not have been prepared for what were about to experience. God used Jordan to lay a foundation for Malachi.

The following are two posts I wrote directly following the loss of our second child:
All things are possible with God--including surviving a miscarriage.
Lessons learned and blessings received.

God is still good. God is still faithful. God is still true.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

28 week OB Visit

Just the stats:

BP: 117/70
weight: 178 (total gain of 23/up 8 from 24-week visit)
abdomen: 29 cm (right on target, a little big)
baby HR: 130-150 and strong
baby activity: TONS of consistent movement. (He likes to plant himself on my right side, just like Malachi and Emerson)

I also had my 1-hour glucose test which I passed, but in the other labs they drew I found out that I'm anemic with this pregnancy and have started on iron supplements. Makes sense why I've felt weaker than usual and even menial tasks have been giving me fatigue. I just assumed it was "pregnant for the fourth time" syndrome. Guess I really could have been complaining with a valid reason ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No hablo espanol

While reading a book with missionary friends on their way to Spain...

Andy: Can you say perro for doggie?
Emma: Doggie.
Andy: No, you say perro in Spanish.
Emma: And you say doggie in not-Spanish.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Idols of the Heart

Tuesday marked the beginning of my first bible study with the ladies of Calvary Baptist. We will be working through Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick. The main focus was on that of Rachel and how in Genesis 30 she says to her husband Jacob, "Give me children or I will die!". Clearly, she was jealous of her sister's ability to have children and the fact that she simply could not.

Obviously, there is much more to the story and the whole family is full of deceit and jealousy and strife between one another. Above all, for her to have her place and a position in her new nuclear unit, children were a must. She decided to take things into her own hands. I could definitely relate. I find myself much like Rachel (and my two-year-old daughter) in that I want to do it myself and do it my way.

We were given a study guide type list of questions to work through before meeting as a group to discuss. One of the questions was, "What in the chapter was the most convicting of sin in your life?" At the time, nothing stood out. Clearly, I'm a sinner and full of issues and areas where I need to become more Christ-like. On the side of my sheet, I wrote a list: apathy, laziness, prayerlessness, self-sufficiency. I prayed, asking the Holy Spirit to show me the heart issue; to help me fill in the blank of "Give me ______, or I will die."

I didn't really think too much more about it before our study that evening. We worked through the story of Rachel in Genesis and my eyes were starting to open. As my eyes were opening, my mouth decided to follow suit. The Holy Spirit felt it appropriate to show me what was going on as I was mid-sentence. Sweet. Nothing like a blubbering, sobbing female who can now only speak with a super high-pitched voice to get the discussion going. But it definitely became clear to me.

In many arenas of my life I am learning about the battle. In books I'm reading. In Sunday church services. In youth group. In my daily struggles with Malachi's death. It's a battle. Satan knows where I'm vulnerable and my primary weapon is God's Word. The more I expose myself to Scripture, the more prepared I am to face that battle. However, at the same time, Scripture is convicting. It forces you to change. You can accept it or you can reject it, but you are required to make that decision.

I've been putting up walls around myself. Trying to do things my way. Avoiding prayer and study of God's Word because I don't want to change. I'm afraid that it will be hard. Frankly, it will be. The last year has been evident of that. However, I think that the difficult process of change is worth far more than trying to handle these battles on my own.

My heart issue is "Give me easy or I will die. " It's kind of funny if you think about it. I'm almost 7 months pregnant, we're about to close on a house that will require A TON of work, and baby will be here before you know it. Not to mention taking care of that lovely two-year-old I mentioned earlier ;). "Easy" just isn't a part of this season of life. We've just had a few extra trials thrown our way...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010