All posts by Nathan

Nathan and Melanie Maxwell’s Baby News

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We are excited to announce that we are expecting again. The due date is March 6th. We are all happy and working to wait patiently.

There’s an element of realism with every new baby. We don’t have life figured out now, adding another one to the mix will further confirm that. Things that always work for others don’t for us. For example, the fancy “help-your-child-quit-thumb-sucking-leather-glove” that is virtually guaranteed to work – didn’t for Andrew. The “Earn a Build-A-Bear Trip” reward for the certain child that went consecutively 14 days without wetting his/her bed overnight – once earned, proved that we were not past the challenge (but they did enjoy the BaB trip and 5 Guys afterwards). Silly examples of how “real” raising four kids is. And yet, no matter how challenging, it’s a privilege.

There are many encouragements. One of our kids that did everything possible last year to delay completing a workbook page, this school year she jumped right in and is diligent and focused. She did some school in my office this morning and some how left her school pages down here (along with her pencil box and all its contents spread out). She had worked on them without my assistance and completed four pages perfectly. She was watching the clock the entire time so she didn’t miss the start of the next subject. Quality work, time awareness, excitement for school = pretty great.

Abigail MaxwellAbby is highly capable; she loves structure and serving. She decided we needed something fun to go with dinner last night and pulled out her kids’ Nourishing Traditions cookbook and made parfaits, complete with home-made whipped cream–“Sweetened with maple syrup”, she said, “better for us than sugar.” (The link is a Titus2 Amazon affiliate link; you can read Titus2’s Privacy Policy here.)

Bethany MaxwellBethany has a quick smile and can cram a 10-minute dish drying project into 45. But, she’s happy the entire time and does a super job. She recently decided she was lead on apple washing for our first round of apple-sauce making. She washed the vast majority of 3 bushels of apples and still wanted to help in other areas. She is the exact opposite of Abby when it comes to structure – she likes freedom and flexibility.

Christina has a vocabulary that, at times, I think is more extensive Christina Maxwellthan mine. She and I are heart buddies. There’s times she and I can connect when no one else can with her. Melanie thinks it’s because of the special time she and I had right after her birth while Melanie was waking up from anesthesia. I think it’s because she’s a carbon copy of Melanie. Since I happen to like the Melanie personality pretty well (enough to marry it!), Christina and I getting along well is a natural. Maybe we’re both right.

Andrew Maxwell with Aunt Anna MaxwellAndrew is a little boy. He is pretty much always a bit sweaty, and if outside – a bit wet (he finds water to play in everywhere, or is having a diaper issue – or both). He loves putting rocks in the outside air-conditioner (and is currently grounded to the deck), is a mosquito magnet, never stands still, and is thrilled to now know what a penguin says. He picked this up after our recent trip to the St. Louis zoo. In case you are wondering, it’s Meee-au, emphasis on the first syllable. Some of his extended family have mistakenly thought it was a cat sound, but he’s assured them it’s quite different.

Melanie is pretty tired this pregnancy. Being a homeschool mom is not a cake-walk (as so many of you know). She’s a trooper and thrilled to be carrying this little one.

Life is challenging, but we are grateful for it. As a couple that didn’t know whether we could have children – raising four and expecting a fifth is a tremendous blessing. We are exceedingly blessed by our kiddos and love our life with them – pouring ours into theirs.

A happy dad,
Nathan

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine
by the sides of thine house:
thy children like olive plants
round about thy table.”
Psalm 128:3

ITonRamp to Close Scheduled Courses

When I write a blog post, it tends to be on baby news or updates. I wish I had some of that news to share, but at the moment we don’t! Hopefully soon. Congratulations to Joseph and Elissa on their Calia.

Instead, I’m sharing some other news, on the subject of ITonRamp.com. We launched ITonRamp in May of 2011, with the goal of equipping others with technical skills. That has been successful. Young people and parents alike have taken many courses and learned a lot. However, ITonRamp has not met our growth goals, so we’ve felt led to close the scheduled courses side. As we evaluate our business model, we may offer videos of the courses, but we’re not sure.

I am grateful for my family’s support, both in leading classes and behind the scenes help. Sarah, in particular, has been amazing at holding the organization together, keeping us on schedule, and ensuring that all the pieces needed for each course were in place.

We’ve found if a business doesn’t meet your goals, it’s time to move on. Thus, I’m renewing my focus on my IT work.

We have put one more Computer Essentials on the schedule in case anyone was waiting to take it. It will be November 10th-December 8th. Also, I know there are some out there who have considered going through A+. We are praying about making the videos from the last A+ course available in an on-demand format for the next few months. If you are interested, please leave a comment, and we’ll be in touch.

Thank you to each person who has participated in classes. May God bless and grow your technical skills for His glory.

In Christ,
Nathan

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“Seek the LORD, and his strength:
seek his face evermore.”
Psalm 105:4

With Grateful Hearts: Another Arrow in the Womb

Melanie and I are excited to announce another pregnancy. We are looking to God and trusting Him as we anticipate a mid-August arrival.

For a couple who didn’t know if we would be able to have children, to now the anticipation of welcoming our fifth (Susannah went home to be with the Lord three days after she was born) to the family, we feel very blessed. The girls are all excited, and Melanie is happy to be feeling good going into the second trimester.

Nathan and Melanie and the girls

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Nathan and Melanie (and Baby!) Maxwell

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Psalms 127:4-5

Update and Thank You From Nathan

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their concern, love, and prayers over the course of our last pregnancy. We were humbled over and over again at particularly the prayer support.

This pregnancy was an amazing answer to prayer. During the entire time Melanie was pregnant, we asked God for a June birthday (full term) and a strong, healthy baby. Christina was born in June – on her due date to be exact. Hearing the nurses come through and say, “Happy Birthday, Christina” was such a joyful thing. It was a frequent reminder that her birthday was indeed in June. She was strong and healthy – all answers to prayer.

Melanie handled a very difficult labor well. The Lord blessed us with a great relationship with our care providers, all of whom shared and supported our desires for (in fact one even specialized in) an intervention-free, natural birth. However, a number of challenges arose including the baby being in distress, which culminated in a c-section.

It was amazing to be holding Christina not too long after her birth, marveling at her alertness and how well she was doing. Even as God directed events in ways we were hoping to avoid, He answered our prayers for a healthy baby!

Melanie is enjoying her best postpartum experience as she begins her recovery. Christina is doing great and is a most welcome addition to our household.

I had the privilege of being Mr. Mom for a week. It gave me a wonderful appreciation of all that Melanie accomplishes on a daily basis.

On a lighter note, I’d like to offer a parenting tip of the week. You’ll laugh, because I’m sure this is quite obvious to many of you. For years I’d struggled with how to teach the little girls to rub their hands together after getting soap on them before putting them back under the water. They tend to stick hands right into the water with no rubbing once I put soap on them. Part of it is logistics. They reach their hands out for soap and pull them back to “rub rub” them, which is where the stream of water is. Instantly, soap is rinsed off with no real skin contact. This week, all of a sudden, I realized that I could turn the water off as I squirted soap onto their hands. It works like this. Hands go into water. Then I grab the soap and turn the water off. Next I squirt soap into their hands as well as mine, “rub rub,” water back on, and rinse. Wow – so simple!

Finally, thank you for the encouragement on Abigail’s helmet. We’ve often marveled at the sharp-eyed blog readers. Yes, her helmet wasn’t adjusted correctly. I have no good excuse for that. I know how to adjust helmets; it simply hadn’t happened yet. You’ll be happy to know that her helmet is now correctly adjusted (see below picture)!

Again, thank you for the prayer support!

Love,
Nathan

Christina

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

–Micah 6:8

Vaporizer Followup

Thank you to everyone who commented on my vaporizer questions. I enjoyed seeing that I’m not the only one that has struggled with picking the perfect unit.

I found your answers informative and helpful. One thing I learned is that using purified water is a good thing.

I have ordered a Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier. It seemed to have the best mix of features for the price.

My favorite recommendation was the “Heaven Fresh HF 707 Digital Ultrasonic Cool & Warm Mist HUMIDIFIER” — it looks like an amazing unit – but was more than I was wanting to spend. In hind site, since this Crane is now the fourth humidifier we’ve bought, I’ve already spent the equivalent of the Heaven Fresh.

Again – thank you for the help.

In Christ,
Nathan

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

Vaporizers

With having two young children, we find we are often in need of a vaporizer. This winter, we are experimenting with running a vaporizer year round, whether they are sick or not.

The problem, is finding a good vaporizer. Does anyone have any suggestions. Here’s the criteria I’m looking for:
– Cool mist
– Ultra-sonic – these run quieter and have great control on mist output. When the girls aren’t sick, we run it on a very low setting over night.
– Easy cleaning – the ultra-sonic one we just discarded (due to mineral deposits I couldn’t get off the base, hence it wasn’t putting out mist) made it virtually impossible to clean the tube that the mist travels up. I found a thick, gross looking layer of pink slime coating the inside of this tube. I need to be able to get a cleaning brush/rag on every internal surface. I handle vaporizer cleaning, while I’m happy to use power tools to get things dis-assembled and clean, I don’t know that the vaporizer will work once I’m done with it. 🙂
– Easy filling — This is not a necessity, but would be very nice. Does that tank stay upright when upside down?

There’s the challenge. What have you found to work well? When responding, if you have both the model number and the name of the manufacturer I would be grateful.

Thank you.
Nathan

“But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”    Genesis 2:6

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Vaporizor Follow-up