The good news is that we have little new to report. That is a blessing – bed-rest is continuing, Melanie is being a good sport, and days are passing. It’s great having my family back. They returned right as Melanie’s family came down with illnesses. We enjoyed having different members of my family “pop” over for brief visits today. Anna and Mary worked on weeding some of our front flower beds, Dad looked at a trim issue I was having around my door, Mom was over a number of times and on one of her visits put together our lunch for tomorrow, Sarah was over this morning – don’t remember why, the guys stopped by to say hi as they came and went – it was very nice.

To make this post more interesting, I thought I’d post some pictures from our time at the hospital.


Pictures from when Melanie spent 2 weeks in the hospital

Melanie opening a small gift from a friend.


One of our cups in the foreground, with Melanie reading e-mail in the background.


Nathan in hospital room. Air-mattress in background.


Fixing wet hair. Showers were something to look forward to at the hospital.


Hospital bedrest.



An Update on Chiplet

Chiplet is doing very well in his temporary “home”. Here is a little background on how Chiplet was found. Christopher and Sarah were on a walk on Thursday and discovered a little squirrel sitting solemnly in the easement next to the sidewalk. They stopped and looked, interested in the fact that it was so little, but he didn’t move. They assumed that the little guy was hurt so they called the Jesse and me to ride over on our bikes and pick him up. When we arrived on the scene he was still lying there gravely blinking at the world. I got my gloves on and carefully went to pick up the little “wayfaring stranger”. He, of course, was a little disturbed at the attempt to pick him up and tried to run. I noticed that something was a little strange in that when he tried to run he was on his side and was pushing himself along the ground. I put him into the box I had prepared and returned home.

Chiplet currently resides inside a cardboard box filled with wood chips. Since we didn’t know what was wrong with him we bought some special puppy milk (because cows’ milk will make him sick) and fed him. The sad part is that when I picked him up later that day I discovered that he was deformed. Chiplet is missing his limbs on the right side. It appears Chiplet was born this way. Since we cannot raise Chiplet to go wild, we have learned that by law he has to be given to the “humane society” since he is not able to live on his own in the wild. It is sad that he won’t have a “normal” squirrel life, but since sin entered, this world is no longer perfect. It is amazing that Jesus cares for the little sparrow, and he certainly cares for little Chiplet. We have really enjoyed our time with him.


For now he slurps his puppy milk down at regular intervals, and he likes being carried around the house. He has gained a lot of strength since Thursday, and is amazingly active and can function and move very well for what he has to work with. We are blessed to have found little Chiplet before he was found by an animal, and it will be very difficult to turn him over as required. 




Home Sweet Home

The past two days have been spent settling back into life at home and working at catching up on things.

There is always a lot of mail to sort through, and the below picture doesn’t show all that we had (not to mention what we had sent to us on the road – thanks G&G :-)).


Sunday night, below, you’ll see some of the family happily chatting with Grandad and Grandma (and some were happily chatting with Nathan and Melanie over at their house!).


Honey was glad to have us home. Grandad and Grandma took good care of her. Mary was organizing book table tubs Monday, and Honey laid down amidst the mess.


It was quite a major task to unload the bus: and thank you to John, Anna, Jesse, and Mary who spent time unloading it!


Lawns to be mowed…



Green grass and beautiful flowers were almost surreal after seeing brown so long!


A VERY big thank you to Anna for taking most of these photos! Plus, she is our “behind the scenes” girl who picks out pictures for each blog post, works on them to make them the correct size and resolution. She is a blessing: thanks, Annie! 🙂

Sarah for the rest

Wrapping Up the Trip

We just finished up the last conference of this month-long trip. Set up for the MACHE conference began Thursday afternoon, so we drove a short distance to the convention center to begin our final set up for the trip. Jesse didn’t have to hand-truck in as many items, since we had shipped books ahead.


Set up was uneventful, and then we had a nice family evening. At one point, several of us needed to go back to the convention center, and the rest went on a walk along the lake and get pictures.

(Jesse with Lake Superior in the background.)


(Anna and Mary.)


(A drawbridge near the hotel and convention center.)


Friday and Saturday. Dad and Mom’s sessions went very well. At least one or two of the boys went with Dad and Mom to each session to help them set up and then stayed in the session. There wasn’t always all nine of us at the book tables, sometimes several of the family would wander around, chatting with other exhibitors and conference attendees. During the weekend, people often came to the booth and asked questions of Dad and Mom, and we all thoroughly enjoyed our interactions with so many different families.



(Dad talking to several fathers.)


(Dad and Mom giving Keeping Our Children’s Hearts.)


We saw more babies at this conference then we ever remember seeing at others. Since we know Baby Max may come early, we were especially interested in several preemie babies that had been born early, realizing Baby Max might be that tiny!



As we reflect back over the last month, we are so grateful for all the blessings the Lord has given us. From our travel safety, to many hearts that were touched, to having so much time together each day, to even Baby Max staying put :-).

Joyfully His,
Sarah for the rest of the family


My last few posts have been rather heavy so it’s a relief to have some happier news to report this time. After a routine ultra-sound on Friday, the doctor turned to Melanie and asked, “Want to go home?” Melanie was caught totally off guard and managed to say, “Yes.” The Dr. then smiled and said, “Get out of here!” So, we’re home! Mid-way through 30 weeks and home!

The longer version of this is that ever since Melanie was permanently hospitalized, we knew that 34 weeks was the earliest they would consider releasing her. Yes, she could have left anytime (we were told it wasn’t a prison :), but the pregnancy was fragile and we trusted our Dr’s opinions. If they felt it was dangerous for her to leave the hospital, we were committed to honoring that. However, we also prayed. We prayed that if God wanted us else-where, that He would impress that on the Dr’s hearts, and that they would be the ones to tell us that – without us asking! So, when the Dr. asked Melanie if she wanted to leave, we saw it as God’s clear direction.

So, Melanie’s mom packed up the hospital room in record time, and they waited and waited for me to finish work. It was only about 1.5 hours, but it seemed like forever to my wife, sitting now unnecessarily in a hospital room.

I got her home and we both rejoiced at God’s leading. To be honest, it was a little scary. The pregnancy is still fragile, the future unknown, and there are plenty of “what-ifs” hanging around. However, we have confidence in God’s direction and felt we could do nothing but follow it. So, whether we’re home for 2 days or 2 months, we’re going to enjoy what time we do have. Little things like being able to walk around in one’s socks and having a refrigerator that you can put things in – there are many blessings related to being home! The staff at the hospital was wonderful, but being able to sleep past 6:00 a.m. without someone coming in was great!

We continue to covet prayer support for this little life. We’re praying that whenever Baby does come, that he/she wouldn’t need significant medical care. We’re also praying for Baby’s protection from anything physically or spiritually that might harm him/her. There are many other concerns/burdens that we have, but these are the key ones!