Apparently there have been an influx of skunks in the neighborhood and Stewart got the opportunity to tango with two in one week. We were all outside preparing a garden bed next to the house, or in my case taking pictures of the garden bed.


Someone spotted the skunk near the house and Stewart ran in for his gun. The skunk managed to make it out of our gate and so Stewart chased him down the road in what was quite a funny scene to behold.  IMGP7733

Once I was sure the shooting was over, I let the children run down and ask Daddy a hundred questions about what just happened. It was all very exciting, you see.

IMGP7735 A couple of days later, Abram found another skunk underneath our camper. Stewart again disposed of him and thankfully no one was sprayed in either of these instances.

That doesn’t mean our home hasn’t smelled faintly (or strongly there for a while) of skunk ever since. And I’ve learned that the faint smell you get when driving by a dead skunk on the road cannot compete with the real experience when had up close and personal.

Anyone else have a good skunk story?



Ruth is one month old today and I wish I could tell you where the past four weeks went or where my oldest two children are or how many months ago I washed my hair. Just kidding, the boys are doing a chore for Daddy.

Anyways, I had thought about writing out a full birth story for Ruth; I love a good birth story myself. (While pregnant I really enjoyed all of the birth stories in The Baby Catcher and The Birth Next Door, by the way.) I decided, though, to spare the .05% of the readership that is male here from having to skip this post and stick to just the most interesting facts.

Because, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from riding in a car with my two brothers while discussing the topic of birth with my sister-in-law, it’s that the word placenta throws a man over the edge.


Fun Facts About Ruth’s Birth

She was “42 weeks + 3 days old”, according to some calculations, and though she showed signs of being a well-developed baby, there were no signs of anything breaking down, dieing, or being “dangerously old”. All of her brothers and sisters were 41+ weeks, by the way.

The midwives didn’t make it in time… again. And I think that we can all agree that you can’t believe a word I say when I’m in labor. I think I talked Stewart out of letting the midwives come at least a couple of times. This is his second “catch” and thankfully our dear friend Tracy, a midwife-in-training was a tremendous sport and came over within a couple of minutes of Stewart calling for help. She’s definitely got midwife in her bones, that girl.

She was born en-caul. Apparently there are a lot of weird superstitions surrounding this. I don’t know about any of that, but I do know that all of our babies had waters that didn’t break until well into labor or during the pushing phase. I was really thankful as it probably helped with this next fun fact.

She was born posterior. Despite the many hours spent inverted or on my hands and knees in some fashion, Ruth still came to us sunny side up, or not “ideal” positioning. I definitely noticed a difference, but I am so grateful to the Lord that this was my fourth baby and not my first. The pushing phase was still only 5-10 minutes.

Labor didn’t seem to be progressing as it should until I did a side-lying release. I think anyone and everyone involved in the birthing world could greatly benefit from knowing about this and all of the other baby positioning information from the Spinning Babies site. Up until that point contractions had been very intense (from the get-go, actually), but didn’t seem to be getting much longer or closer together. After that one move, Ruth engaged, I only wanted to stay upright, and she was born in less than two hours.


Random, Ridiculous Things I Said During Labor

“I Smell Smoke.” This was during transition and I, in my inability to cope, could not discern that it was coming from the wood stove.

“I can’t, I can’t. Okay I think I can… nope, I can’t.” This was also during transition when I was trying to go from upright in some fashion to crawling onto the bed.

“Maybe it’s not real labor; maybe it’s just a urinary tract infection.” This was Stewart’s personal favorite and brought back a look and reaction that was akin to saying, “Are you crazy?”  After many weeks of prodromal labor and “you’re overdue” and “when’s that baby coming?” and “gosh, you’re huge” and “aren’t you worried?”, I tend to go into complete denial when I truly go into labor. I do not wish to be the girl who cried baby, you see.

So, those are the highlights from our fourth homebirth where we welcomed little Ruth Adelaide. She is beautiful and sweet and loves to be held and rocked, which is what I am up to these days. Once again we are in awe of the Lord’s mercies and work in our lives, and we are thankful for the gift that these little ones are every day.



The last few days I have been thinking about writing Part 3 to “The Blessing in the Thorns” series.  In my pondering of the various things I wanted to say a word eventually rattled around in my head, entitled.  In particular, with the current struggles of having a baby in the house, not having peace and quiet to work, and still being in our original 300 sqft. or so, I realized I was developing a bad and wrong (sinful) attitude.  I was irritated that I couldn’t focus on work and was having to pickup more of the domestic duties than I wanted to do.  I was fatigued and possibly slipping backwards in my health issues as well.

To summarize, I was ungrateful.  I had lost sight of all of the mercy and grace God had shown us in a safe delivery of Ruth, just three short weeks ago (and all his other blessings and provisions which he has given daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly… none of which we deserve).  As I’ve been pondering these things I was excited to see one of our neighbor’s, Mr. Sifford, put up a new blog post that put to words some of (and more than) the things I’ve been thinking about with regard to that word.

So while I still hope to get to Part 3 of “The Blessing in the Thorns” series someday, in the meantime I highly recommend you read this post on Entitlement.  I hope you read and share it too, because it is a breath of fresh air and something we all need to think about.  No guarantees it will be fun though, because the truth about ourselves often isn’t.



Thank you all for your warm welcome of Ruth.

IMGP7682She is fitting in quite well with the rest of the little ones and we are grateful for a fairly smooth transition thus far.


Papa is, once again, the world’s greatest de-gasser of babies.


And so long as that has been dealt with, Ruth is a fairly easy going little lady.

IMGP7667-001Despite the (tired?) look I wear in the above photo, I find this to be a sweet time of welcoming little Ruth into our home and family. Thank you for being here as well.


By the Lord’s grace, we welcomed Ruth Adelaide on 2/4/14 at approximately 10:10 p.m.  Both mama and baby are doing well so far.  She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 oz and was born after about 7 hours of labor.  When Shannon has fully recovered she may post the full story… but for now here are some pictures.  We thank God for his mercy and provision in all things.








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