About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Electric Woes and Work?

August held a few extra adventures for us.  Do you remember back in July when we lost power for a few days and the electric company came out and replaced our transformer?  Welllll, that's about to get a whole lot more interesting.

While the kids were gone (fortunately) - I think it was Friday, I woke up at 5am and heard a really crazy sound.  It sounded like someone was dragging metal trash cans across concrete; amazingly, I heard it through my ear plugs.  I woke Dave up, and we both listened intently, trying to figure out where in the world this sound was coming from.  And then we noticed that our fan was running at full speed, then dying down, then full speed, then dying down.  Dave thought our electrical was out of whack so he turned off the electricity in the house from our circuit breaker.

Good thing, too!  We put two and two together that morning when our neighbors didn't have electricity.  In fact, it was only a portion of the neighborhood (not sure how many houses it affected).  But all our neighbors connected to us lost thousands of dollars of stuff.  The family that lives behind us woke up to find smoke coming from the computer in her son's room!  Can you imagine if it had caught on fire?!

The electric company was called (they told my husband that nearly everyone on the block called!) and they came out pretty quick.  There was something exposed that wasn't supposed to be exposed...yikes!  Since then, we've found a few weird things that were affected, but nothing major like our neighbors...phew!

And the final crazy thing that happened...Before the kids and I went to Georgia, my pastor called and our conversation went something like this:

D:  The Children's Director is leaving the church...good story, excited for her.  However, we need someone to fill that position.  Would you consider working with Nancy (his wife and a woman I adore) to job share this paid position?

Me:  Stunned silence

D:  We don't know what this would look like, but pray about it and let me know.

Me:  Uh...ok!

My husband (when we talked about it later) YES!  DO IT!

This is a part time job (8 hours) and mostly administrative, although I do take some additional responsibility for the younger kids.  And I love it!  I love, love, love working with Nancy and all the volunteers at my church.  We're very blessed to have so many with servant's hearts.  I brag about them all the time.

Oh, but that's not the end of the story!  Remember how I ended up in the hospital after my Georgia trip?  The day I got out, while I was still in a lot of pain, I got another call.  This time from the Student Ministries Pastor.

M:  Hey Natalie.  You've been on my mind.  I've seen the way you work and how organized you are (with the volunteer position I'd taken over) and I'd like you to consider being my administrative assistant.

Me:  Stunned silence

M:  Think about it, pray about it and let me know your thoughts.

My hubs (when we talked about it later) YES! DO IT!

I'm quite humbled that I would be trusted with such important tasks.  And I'm thrilled to be working for such wonderful people.  Everyone is more concerned about my spiritual and family well being than being in the office.  And it's a smaller campus, so it's got that family feel.  Even though I'm only working 18 hours, and the kids are at school the entire time, it's still been a tough transition.  I eased myself into it by starting the children's role first, and I just started the admin role this month.

Life has been busy!  I'm off to sign an offer for some land now...more on that when I get caught up!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I alluded to some health issues I'd been having back in the spring.  I'd gone to my doctor because my energy level was really, really low.  She took some blood work, which showed that my levels were a little on the low side, but not low enough to be out of the "normal" range.  However, there were some "abnormalities", so they recommended an in house ultrasound of my thyroid.  I had the ultrasound done, which showed a few nodules that had grown quite large (over .5mm).  So they sent me to a specialist (which is my regular endocrinologist anyway).  What I love about him is that he takes in to consideration lifestyle changes as a part of his practice.

I went to the endocrinologist who recommended an ultrasound guided biopsy of two of the 3 nodes.  I. was. freaked. out.  I made my appointment.  I got to the hospital with my husband and I was fine.  But once they took me back in the room and explained what was going to happen, I was terrified!  I just took deep breaths while they searched via ultrasound for the nodes my doctor wanted to have biopsied.  And, guess what?!  They couldn't find them!  I was sooooo relieved.  I have more tests coming up in January - another round of ultrasound/biopsy to see if there's any change.

And to add to that, the day we got back from Georgia (I drove the entire way straight through- 16 hours!), I had intense pain in my lower right abdomen.  I Webmd'd my symptoms and I thought I had appendicitis   Not something to mess around with.  So I drove myself to the ER, told them of my symptoms and spent the next 2 days finding out I have diverticulitis.  I have to cut out caffeine (no coffee) and CHOCOLATE!  I haven't been successful with the chocolate part yet, but I'm working on it (NOT!).


I know, I know.  Been pretty busy running the Children's department at my church...but that's another blog!

August was awesome.  And surprising.

We ended our summer with a few bangs.  Mmmm, grilling and water fun!

I bought the kids their very first pair of tie shoes with the understanding they'd practice tying on their own.  Amelia picked it up pretty fast, but it took Eli a little more time.  One of the issues were his laces.  Black shoes with black laces isn't the best combo.  So off to the store we went;  I let the kids pick out their own new laces.  Look at how much bigger Eli's feet are than Amelia's!

The kids went to the dentist - no cavities!

And the kids went to Buffalo to visit Grandma Karl and Aunt Wendy for a week without us.  What a great time of rest.  Dave brought the kids back on Sunday and Tuesday I left to take them to Georgia for a week or so.  And, yes, I drove.  With both of them.  For two days.  And, yes, it was really, really hard!

But they love being at Bop and Grandpa's house being tossed around like ragdolls by Uncle Alex (who, by the way, was called Uncle Mike all week by Amelia.  We still haven't figured that one out!)

Two very spoiled children!  They made cakes and had chocolate chip pancakes every morning with Bop.

My family had to work during the day, so I ventured out a few times with them.  We went to this really cool outside zoo.  Yes, zoos are outside, but this one was situated in a wooded area, so it felt like you were actually in nature.  The kids LOVED it!  We saw (and heard) all kinds of animals!

For those of you who know me, you know that this site terrifies me.  I kept praying God would keep all the snakes away!

This was Amelia's favorite animal.  I don't know why, but she LOVES pigs!