Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I'll have to miss a few more hours of work, but at least we'll get to go sooner! I certainly won't complain about that. I'm glad they didn't have to move my appointment to a later date!
Have a great Tuesday!
Monday, March 30, 2009
This is way TMI, but as of yesterday, I even noticed that my belly button looks different. For some strange reason, the thought of my belly button flattening out is a little bit scary to me. Maybe I’m afraid that it won’t stretch like the rest of my skin or that it will come untied?
I’ll be 19 weeks tomorrow, and babycenter.com tells me the baby is about the size of an heirloom tomato (6 inches head to bottom and 8.5 ounces). Is it just me, or does 6 inches seem a little large for a tomato?
Our second ultrasound is scheduled for this Thursday, April 2. I’m glad it didn’t fall on April Fool’s Day! So hopefully, if a certain small someone cooperates, we’ll know whether Salad is a he or a she on Thursday!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Even more surprising, I’d like to spend my Saturday cleaning out our junkroom(s), one of which will turn into a nursery. Now, how much sense does that make? If I were smart, I’d put it off until I was so big I couldn’t move and let other people clean out my junk. That, along with at least the beach trip, will probably have to be put off momentarily for more pressing projects (e.g., Israel presentation Sunday night and VBS clinic next month). Maybe my enthusiasm will not have faded by then.
About this time every year I get a hankering for plantlife, to cultivate happy green and flowery things around my yard. The funny part is, either I did not inherit the green thumb from my mom, Aunt Pam, Dear Grandmother and PawPaw, or it just hasn’t budded yet. So every year I start out with mostly hand-me-downs from the real gardeners, which is sad because these plants go from an environment where they’ve been loved and cared for to a place where they completely fend for themselves, exposed to all the harsh elements.
And those are the plants I have displayed near my front porch! You don’t even want to know about the ones on the back porch.
Victims I’ve collected so far this spring: a snowball tree and a red crabapple tree from Pam and Grammama, and mums from Mama. I asked if the snowball tree could be dug up and transplanted the next time we move, but the poor thing probably won’t live that long anyway.
I really will try, though, I promise. With all the rain we're getting, maybe they won’t drown in their temporary bucket home before I can plant them.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The 7-hour time change didn’t seem to treat us too badly. But it’s obvious that I remain physically unable to stay awake past 9:30 p.m. I tend to nod off around 7 if I’m sitting still. I’m beginning to think I have some sort of medical condition. It can create some pretty embarrassing situations.
I have been known to fall asleep with company at our house, as our friends the Stanleys have witnessed on more than one occasion and my in-laws saw first-hand Friday night. I mean, sitting straight up on the couch having a conversation. One minute I’m talking, and the next, my eyes have rolled back into my head.
It’s like Cinderella rushing to be home by midnight or her carriage turns into a pumpkin, except my time ends at the stroke of 9, and I’m the one who turns into the vegetable. “I’m sorry, friends, but you have to leave now. It’s almost 9:00 and Bethany won’t last much longer.”
This problem makes for some romantic date nights, too. We go out to eat, we come home, put in a movie, and within the first 30 minutes, I’m snoozing and Gunter is up by himself. He tries to help me stay awake, but that’s when I start talking crazy and getting unruly. Thank goodness he loves me anyway. The only way to prevent my sudden slumber syndrome is if I stay busy for the duration of the movie. No relaxing for me. Instead, I’m folding laundry to stay awake.
Gunter doesn’t understand it, and I don’t either. I always know it’s coming, but I am powerless to fight it off. I don’t want to fall asleep, but it’s completely involuntary. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you live a normal life?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I regret I was unable to update while we were in Israel. Whenever we had a spare minute at our first hotel, so did everyone else, and the Internet was overloaded. The next hotel charged $8 an hour for Internet use, and y'all know I'm just too cheap for that.
We really appreciate your prayers for us. Everything went so smoothly, it could have only been God's mercy at work. The only bad incident the entire trip was when a car in a parking lot bumped our 71-year-old guide on the last day. Seriously, people drive within inches over there, and sometimes, they choose to close even that small gap.
Our time in Israel was altogether enjoyable and enlightening. Best trip we've ever taken. It wasn't at all like I imagined it would be. The country was gorgeous! Galilee was very green and mountainous. Everywhere we looked, we saw flowers, trees and farmland -- grapefruit, apples, mangoes, bananas, olives...
This is the cliff near Nazareth the angry crowd tried to throw Jesus from, but he passed through their midst (Luke 4).
Here is the view of the Sea of Galilee from our hotel. Notice the rainbow in the center.
Even the desert around the Dead Sea and Jerusalem was beautiful. We thought we were done with winding roads, but that part was mountainous, too.
We took a boat ride on the smooth Sea of Galilee and were baptized in the frigid Jordan River. We scaled a mountain to Herod the Great's fortress at Masada and worshipped in the Garden of Gethsemane. We read Psalm 88 in the waterless cistern where Caiaphas held Jesus the night before His crucifixion and visited an empty, borrowed garden tomb.
One of our favorites was the ruins of Bet She'an (see 1 Samuel 31). It was uncovered less than 20 years ago, and the hill in the background is yet to be excavated. We did a little excavating of our own in the areas that had already been picked through and brought home some pottery that is at least 1,200 years old.
I won't weigh the blog down with all the details. You should go experience it for yourself.
Though I enjoyed visiting the places Jesus ministered, my favorite sites were those God still has major plans for. I was especially moved at the Temple Mount and Western Wall. Though the Dome of the Rock mosque now sits there, it was amazing to stand near the place where the Holy of Holies was, where God interacted with His chosen people and covered their sins each year before He provided His eternal sacrifice -- near part of this same mountain where He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham's son Isaac.
Thoughts of the torn veil were fresh on my mind as we made our way toward the Western Wall. I prayed there surrounded by women swaying as they read the Torah and crying over their Hebrew prayer books. They are passionate. They have no temple for sacrifices, but they do so much in efforts to follow the Law. They long for their Messiah.
Muslims who visit the mosques just on the other side of the wall are passionate, too. They pray toward Mecca 5 times a day and follow a strict code in hopes of getting into heaven. They also want a messiah to come.
As I stood there at the wall among many who long for Messiah's redemption but don't know His name, I prayed for the revealing of Truth and a peace in Jerusalem that only Messiah can bring.
What a life-changing experience! We're supposed to share about the trip with our church next Sunday night, so I'll post more photos on Facebook after that. As much as I love to travel, I think we'll stick closer to home for a while. I'd like my next big trip to be a day at a beautiful Florida beach. Anyone who vacations at the Dead Sea is missing out. This is not exactly sugar-white sand.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Notice the lack of crowds and stress.
Mama and Daddy Mullinax dropped us off, and Mama and Daddy Dye are supposed to pick us up next Wednesday night. We have it made!
Back to Pensacola. It was about a 30-second walk from the security line to our gate. And ours was no dinky plane. We used the walk-through tunnel instead of the ground and steps up to the plane. I like the tunnels so much better because tunnels = bigger plane than steps. Our 48-minute flight was decently smooth.
Now, we're in ATL, and Gunter has gone in search for Nathan's hot dogs. Too bad our gate isn't near the Chick-Fil-A we saw back in the A concourse.
We're supposed to leave here at 8 p.m., and hopefully, we'll be at Dulles by 9:45 and at our hotel not too much later. Tomorrow, we'll be in search of a watch (perhaps the one thing we forgot), a late check-out and a place to eat.
Our flight from ATL was right on time. The captain said the descent would be a little bumpy, but I was so busy talking to a woman named Kimberly (actually, doctor Kimberly), I didn't notice.
We were walking through Dulles by 10 p.m., got our luggage and rode a shuttle to our hotel. We are a little tired now. We'll have breakfast here, not sure about lunch, check out about 2 p.m. and take the shuttle back to Dulles for 2 more days of traveling!
I pray that this entire trip will go as smoothly as today so we can keep our minds focused where they should be, but God knows best.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I haven’t been nervous until last night, but I knew it was coming. I don’t feel anxious right now, but I woke up about 3:00 this morning with my nerves tingling. It hit me again immediately when the alarm went off. I must have been dreaming about the trip because Gunter said I was saying strange words and talking about the “Israel house” in my sleep. I can’t imagine how I’m going to feel when the time comes to actually leave.
I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and everything looks normal. We heard the baby’s heartbeat and all, so that made me feel much better before leaving the country for 11 days! My next appointment is April 2, and I’ll have an ultrasound that day.
Packing is a big ordeal for me…It’s a complex and detailed process. I began the endeavor months ago by making lists. A few weeks ago, I shopped and accumulated. Then came the pile-making (in the den and bathroom floors). Last night, I narrowed down what I will wear and washed.
In the midst of last night’s efforts, I determined that I will not bring one “normal” pair of pants. Actually, I’m not bringing a single pair with buttons or zippers. It’s a good thing I went ahead and bought those maternity jeans, huh? I’m bringing one pair of maternity jeans, one (or two?) pair of maternity khakis, and the rest are stretchy lounge-type pants. I won’t be in the running for best dressed, but I should be comfortable.
We now have the suitcases we will use, including carry-ons. I get one “personal item” in addition to my carry on (e.g. a purse, laptop case or something of similar size).
Size -- ha.
I went to Walmart and bought a heavy-canvas hobo purse so big, it’s like having a second carry-on. My philosophy is, if it’s allowed, make it count.
Tomorrow is set aside for for-real packing and cleaning house.
We’ll arrive in D.C. late Sunday night, spend the night there and fly to Austria at 7:50 Monday night. We should get to Israel sometime Tuesday. If all goes as planned, we’ll be back in Alabama on Thursday, March 19.
Hopefully, you’ll hear from me again in a few days. If not, I hope you have a blessed couple of weeks!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Daddy and Gunter attended a men’s conference Friday night and Saturday morning, so Mom and I put our time without them to good use. Friday night, we ate at David’s Catfish, attempted to make a packing list and then I introduced her to one of my favorite movies, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Quality time.
By the way, I know full well that Madea movies are not the most wholesome. She needs a mouthful of soap, but I'm sure anyone who's tried it on her has come face-to-face with her "piece a steel."
Saturday, we shopped for trip necessities, mainly long-sleeved shirts, stretchy pants and a jacket. I gather that the weather in Israel is sort of like Alabama’s – unpredictable – so I figure with long-sleeved T-shirts, a light jacket and an emergency 88-cent poncho, I’ll be ready for anything.
The folks from Liberty keep telling us to bring at least one pair of long pants for when we visit the holy sites. Weather.com says the recent temperatures have ranged from the 50s to the 70s. Those snowbirds from Virginia can wear shorts if they want to, but we from LA (Lower Alabama) don’t even pull out the capris until the thermometer says at least 80 degrees and sunny.
Speaking of unpredictable weather, it snowed at our house Sunday, and I’m pretty sure Gunter was as excited as any kid on our street. I, on the other hand, am not big on snow. I like to look at it and watch it fall from inside. Being outside in snow = being cold and wet.
We stocked up on travel snacks last night at Wal-Mart. I’ll never be able to pack all that stuff. Actually, I stocked up on snacks, but Gunter only had eyes for some 100 Calorie Pack cupcake things.
I thought you might like to see where we’ll be staying while in Israel. The first part of the trip, we’re staying at this hotel in Tiberius, on the Sea of Galilee. For the next 5 days, we’ll stay here in Jerusalem.
Mom was pleasantly surprised when she saw the hotels. Apparently, she thought we’d be staying in a cave somewhere, “like in Bible times.” Thankfully not. Caves don’t have beds or hairdryers.
Oh, another bit of good news: We’ll tour every day until about 6 p.m., and then we’re asked to stay in the hotel after dinner. The staying-at-the-hotel-in-the-evening part is the news I’m excited about. That means this non-night owl pregnant woman will have time in the evenings to rest and recuperate! Sounds like Gunter will have plenty of classwork to do, but he can handle it. I tend to meltdown in states of perpetual exhaustion.
Getting excited! Will start packing after some of our clothes are clean again.