Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Blessing

As many people know, we've had a rough couple of years.  In total we ended up losing five pregnancies and having a terrible scare with Darci's life.  There were many times when we weren't sure what to do.  What was the correct path?  Where was God?  It has been a difficult struggle to answer questions that just could not be answered by human tongue.

So, we started to pray.   And to ask God to send us the right answer.  We thought perhaps we would adopt an older child, but every pathway slammed shut.  Through all of the pregnancy loss and surgery, Darci's health didn't improve.  We saw several doctors and they all said that you will have to get insurance and see an endocrinologist.  This seemed like an impossibility.  We had tried to get insurance before and it was $1300 a month.

But after months of prayer, in August we filed for insurance.  It took what seemed like forever to go through.  A nurse came to our house twice and never could get the blood sample needed to process the application.  But in November, we had insurance and went to the doctor.  He ran a bunch of tests to see why Darci was still having health problems.

In January, he sent us to see the endocrinologist in Memphis.  Everything we read online made it seem a tad bit like he was a grumpy person.  But it turns out he was a Christian man and gave us a 'pastors discount'.  He looked at all the previous tests and orders 100s more.  Then. he scheduled a sonohystogram.
The insurance was a big blessing, because no one would see us without it.  But it didn't cover any of the tests.  But miraculously we came up with the money to see the specialist.

We went back in February and the endocrinologist had all the tests back.  He said that he did think that he could help with the residual problems … and … that even after all the disastrous pregnancies, we could have a healthy pregnancy.  I really would have never believed it.  We were so excited.  And the super funny thing … he prescribed the exact two medicines that Darci wanted to take two years prior.

It was just so shocking.  Everything that we thought would never, ever happen did.  We found insurance.  We found a doctor to send us to an endocrinologist.  The endocrinologist was a super, kind and helpful.  He prescribed the medicines that we really wanted, without us ever mentioning them to him.  And we found a way to pay for it.

Anyway a few weeks passed and we found out that we were expecting our little blessing.


When we called the doctor, they said to come in that day.  And they ran blood tests that showed the hcg levels were at 124.


We did another blood test and they scheduled a sonogram.  So, today's sonogram …

SHOWED TWINS!!!  Darci was just sure it was twins.  We had been praying and praying and God answered our prayer.  Down to every last detail.


Both twins had heart beats.  Baby A was 105.  And Baby B was 103.  They both measured correctly size wise.  And they should be here in late October or early November.   Of course with everything that we've been through this was going to be a high risk pregnancy and the twin part just makes it even more.  But, we feel so, so, so blessed.  God answered our prayers and even sent us an ob/gyn that has twins!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prayer and Faith

Here is a short, 2 minute vlog on Prayer and Faith:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Isaiah's Fallen Tree for 12-8-13

Here is a synopsis of what the message was going to be for Sunday, Dec 8th, 2013 if we had not canceled the service due to icy roads.




Friday, November 8, 2013

A Big Fish In A Small Pond - Part 4

....As time went by, we were down to just one guppy when all of the sudden it happened. No, I didn't get to see the frog engorge itself on  a guppy - but now there were many little guppies swimming around! Apparently, one of the guppies who had made it this far spawned and delivered 10-15 guppies.

Once our girls saw this, they were excited...then worried. "Dad, you can't leave them in there! The frog will eat them!" Against my better judgment, I fished them all out, mother included, and put them in their own tank. One interesting fact we learned after this is that a female guppy can spawn many times after only be fertilized once.  Now, this tank resides in our oldest two girls room and it is filled with guppies (the younger two have the beta tank).

So, for the longest time now, we have only had the Cory Catfish in with the frog. But that changed this week. I went into town (that's what we do now that we live in the country-side here in AR) and found some new fish-mates for our frog and catfish. These new mates needed to meet some criteria: they needed to be able to be in the tank with different species, and they needed to be TOO BIG to be eaten by our frog. With this knowledge in hand, we picked five silver dollar tetra and brought them home.

After draining and cleaning the tank, I replaced the rocks with sand, a second log-like hiding structure, and a live plant. I was going for a more realistic-looking scene this time. Once the water was treated and ready, I returned the frog and catfish, then floated the bag with the silver dollar tetra. Twenty minutes later the new fish were swimming around in their new environment, checking out all the nooks and crannies. There fish are much larger than our frog and definitely have no fear of him.

So, what did I learn through all this? Here are a couple of things that come to mind:

  • Don't assume. If I hand't assumed that the frog was the same, we might this have 5 neon tetra today.
  • You may be a big fish in your small pond, but there are always fish bigger than you! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Big Fish In A Small Pond: Part 3

Here is Part 2

...When morning comes, I wake up before everyone else and go to the living room and begin to count the fish: one...two...three.....and.....and....uhhh.....NOT AGAIN?!?

Now I know something else must be up because the girls were asleep the whole time. Was the frog eating the fish? I don't know about you, but when there is a question about something in our house, we quickly get out our electronic devices and "google it." A quick google search (with images) revealed to us an unexpected truth: our frog was not who we thought he was. Instead of picking out another Dwarf frog at the local pet store, I picked out an African Clawed frog. These frogs LOVE to eat small fish!

So, what did I do with the other three fish? Well, I did what anyone else would have done. I left them in there because I wanted to see this frog eat one! Unfortunately, it never happened. Don't get me wrong, he ate them, but I never got to see it. But I wasn't going to let that stop me! So, I went back to the locally owned pet store and told him my situation and what I wanted to do. He understood completely and took me to...the feeder fish. I had him scoop me up a bag full of feeder fish (grey guppies) and I took those fish home and poured them into the tank. I was bound and determined to see this frog eat a fish!

It was hard to keep count of the guppies, but there were around 15-20 of them swimming all over the place. I sat by during the daytime and never witnessed this feeding frenzy. Night would come and I would sit in the darkened living room with only a small light and watch the frog swim around. But still no dinner time theater for me. And worse yet, the number of guppies was dwindling fast.

As time went by, we were down to just one guppy when...

....more to come soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Big Fish In A Small Pond: Part 2

Here is the link to Part 1 if you have not read it yet.

...I woke up the next morning and gave the tank a quick glance on my out and thought nothing of it. The frog is mostly active at night, and I saw some fish swimming around.

Well, when I got home that evening, I sat down by the tank just to watch what is going on. I am not sure why, but I find it interesting to watch the activity in the tanks. Maybe it is the tranquility of it (though as I will soon find out on this evening, that tank was anything but tranquil), maybe it is the color, or maybe it is that there is a whole world taking place under water in those tanks. I'm not sure, but I know that I like to spend some time checking them out. But back to this story.

As I looked in on the tank, I began to do what I still do today: count the fish. So, I counted one dwarf frog, and then begin to count the tetra: one...two...three...four.....and.....and....wait, where is #5? I call Darci in, and she only counts four. The fifth one is gone, but where? Obviously, one of the girls did something to it. They were so fascinated with the tank, I bet they got the net and scooped one out and it died so they flushed it! Those little brats (don't worry, I didn't say that to them. Just what I was thinking)! So, I give each of them the 3rd degree, and they all had the same answer: I don't know?!? Now I know for sure they are up to something. They are definitely in cahoots. But, with no hard
evidence or confession, what can I do?

As I go to bed that night (after the girls and Darci are asleep), I count the fish: one...two...three...four. When morning comes, I wake up before everyone else and go to the living room and begin to count the fish: one...

...to be continued...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Big Fish In A Small Pound: part 1

Most people have hobbies. One of my hobbies is keeping up with our aquariums. As of right now, we have four total:

  1. A 10 gallon tank with 2 Sunburst Platy's, a Dalmatian Molly, 3 Zebra Danio's, and a Ghost Shrimp.
  2. A 10 gallon tank with 1 Cory Stripped Catfish, an African Clawed Frog, and 5 Silver Dollar Tetra.
  3. A 5 gallon tank with a momma Guppy, and all her baby guppies that survived the frog (more on  that later).
  4. A 1-2 gallon tank with a Beta.
Monday evening, I took the girls to the pet store to get some supplies for tank #2. I had let the water level go down on that tank knowing that I was going to replace the rocks with sand and get another structure and a live plant. At this time, the only thing in that tank was the frog and the catfish. Not a lot for a 10 gallon tank, but there was a reason for that.

We became intrigued with the frog through the girls home-school science curriculum. So, we went to a local pet store chain in the Westland, MI area and we found an African Dwarf frog. These frogs will not eat other fish. At that time, we had one small, one gallon tank, so we picked up the five gallon tank. With a bigger tank, we decided to get some fish to go with our Dwarf Frog. Our girls picked out five of the neon tetra. They are not very big, but they are very colorful.


As we get home we set the tank up and begin to feed the frog the dried bloodworms that we got for it. It was fascinating watching this frog, under water, with its little T-Rex like arms shoving food in its mouth. All the while, the tetra swim around and enjoy their new environment.

Well, unfortunately, the frog did not last long. Not sure exactly why, but I decided that instead of going back to this chain pet store (which had A LOT of dead fish in their tanks), I would go to the local owner-operated pet store and pick out another frog there. I walk in, find the tank, get another frog, pay for it, take it home, and introduce it to its new tank. After floating the bag for some time, we release the frog to freely swim in his new home with his new tank mates.

Everything was going just as planned. Then, one monring...

Stay tooned for Part 2.