Thursday, June 9, 2011

Xander Charles!!

Alexander Charles Welch is here!! He was born on Saturday May 21st, 2011 at 3:01am weighing in at 7lbs 4oz and 19 1/2 inches long.
We went in to the hospital on Friday expecting to be induced and for everything to go smoothly, but God once again wanted us to make sure we knew HE was in charge of that, too. The induction started at 3pm and after a few hours of not really feeling much in the way of contractions at all the pitocin was turned up, but after 11 hours I was still at a 5 and the contractions were right on top of each other with out much of a break for me to catch my breath. And so I decided that I was ready for the dreaded epidural. For those of you that don't know, I am NOT a needle person. They frighten me. I am petrified of them. And all for no reason at all. I have always had kind dr.'s and have never had a problem at all. So the thought of having an epidural to me, was more frightening than having a baby without pain meds. That's how irrational this fear is. The anesthesiologist was called and came in and cleaned off a spot on my back to place the needle was reaching for the needle, and then ... Voila! Xander was ready to make an appearance and within 10 minutes he was here and in our arms! He objected to his new surroundings immediately and cried the whole time he was being examined, weighed and measured. We had no doubt of his strong lungs right from the start.
His first days home were very bumpy and we can say in all fairness that he had his days and nights mixed up. He did lose weight at first and through much weighing and reweighing discovered that he was just not getting enough at each feeding, so we decided to supplement with formula that in true Welch style we have termed his Weight Gainer 2000. He loves it and everyone loves to help out by feeding him and taking part in his gaining weight and getting stronger. There were shouts of joy and much rejoicing when he gained 6.6 oz overnight and everyone had been a part of it. God is good!! I have always been a breastfeeding only gal, but it seems that God is using my sweet boy to destroy that ridiculous soapbox. Who knew?! For truly what is more important, having a healthy and happy little boy or letting him die on my stupid soapbox? When Who is that one that sustains him? God alone! And truthfully, I was formula fed and Voila! Hows that for your paradigm of hope? LOL. Wow.
He is almost 2 1/2 weeks old and has been loved since day one :) Nolen loves to hold him and talk to him and he dearly loves listening to Nolen's voice. Emma will take him and sit with him in her room and just tend to his every need, she is such a wonderful helper!! Mia has asked at every moment to hold him and take care of him. Ty loves to give him hugs and talk to him, but is nervous of too much holding, since he is so small and squirmy :) Nadia treats him like one of her stuffed animals and will hold him for hours, get diapers, throw them away BUT her specialty is picking the morning outfit. She loves being Xanders fashion consultant.
Well, all to say he has been a cute and snuggly joy to us all and we are so thankful to God for this little blessing!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trust . . .

I just found this amazing poem, and it pretty much sums up what I have been thinking about lately... at least on an earthly level. If you're wondering where I am spiritually refer to Isaiah 50:4 :) because of-course God is GOOD and much bigger .

4The Lord GOD has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.

Trust - a poem

Trust is a hard thing.

Trust is allowing someone else to do and be for you. Trust is giving away power and telling secrets and sharing things that you would never want anyone else to know.
Trust is using faith. Faith in another person's decisions, and choices, and knowledge.
Trust is when you know that the other person would do everything in their power for you if you needed them.
Trust is knowing that they will never let you down if they can help it.
Trust is not needing to speak, because the one you can rely on is there.

Trust is hard.

Trust requires being vulnerable.
Trust needs to be returned.
Trust cannot be fleeting.
Trust requires more than a passing glance.

Trust is hard.

Trust leans
Trust waits
Trust hopes

Trust is hard.

Trust is giving a piece of yourself to another knowing it will be safe
Trust is giving a piece of yourself to another not knowing if things will change

Trust is hard.

Sometimes, trusting means you will be disappointed and let down

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hearts and Mouths

The Heart and the Mouth.

The connection between these can be no more obvious than with children. They are living proof that what you love is what you talk about and they know it. As adults we can go on and on about something and in the end deny completely that we even like something remotely. Now how is that? Simply we deceive ourselves.
Who or what do you talk about? Are you telling your friends how much you love your husband and children? Are you consumed with the Word of God? Are you stuck in a rut because all you can think to talk about is Christ and his grace to you? Or do all of your friends know your hubby's dirty little secrets? Do they wonder when the last time you read your Bible is? But are afraid to ask? What would you say? Do they know that your children have embarrassing medical problems, but not that your son got all A honor roll or recited all 10 commandment from memory in front of your family JUST LAST NIGHT?!
I only ask because we can't allow ourselves to be taught by the world how to speak. When Christ spoke to his people he proclaimed truth followed closely behind by grace. And not in a Queen Latifa in your face way. The world tells us to say it like it is, but even then with 'tude.
When your children spill their juice at the table this is the best time to show them how their people react. How to brush your teeth, small circles at the gum line. How to react to spilled juice, calmly with grace and wet wash cloths.
Are you surprised when your children yell at each other if a Lego masterpiece is broken? Have you ever wondered how they could mimic you so well?
Shepherding our children takes patience, grace and more patience mixed with wisdom and bathed in prayer and intense Bible reading. The shepherd knows not only what his sheep need to survive, but also what they like. To they have a favorite type of grass or do you stand over them and tap your foot if they do not eat that patch RIGHT THERE!! Are you willing to carry the lambs if they get tired or do you make them walk till their feet bleed?
I am amazed at how a calm reaction easily defuses a potential catastrophe. One of our children was having a pillow fight with some friends and her earring fell out. She was on the last few weeks of her starter earrings so the reaction started out at a high pitch. My husband looked at me with the, "watch what you do here." look and after a deep breath I said," Oh! That's fine. You can borrow a pair of mine tonight and tomorrow I will go to the store and find a new special pair for you." This peaked her interest, and instantly threw 25 gallons of water on that spark that could have taken out a small village! She was happy the rest of the way home and the next day had even forgotten about the promised *new* earrings all together (I seriously could not believe it). What a blessing to be able to calm a little one down with my peaceful voice and easy words!
God is so good to put our children in our homes where we can tenderly care for them from the womb to young adulthood. There are so many among us that despise even that grace. I heard to day that it can get as high as 1 in every 4 women commits an abortion. I am so happy to have my little ones safely around me instead of in another home where even the chance or survival is nil. Whay does this say about what is in their hearts?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Well there has been so much going on here and still more to happen, that I though this would be a great time to catch y'all up :)

We have officially had the last day of school for the year (yea!!) and it was filled with parties and cookies and presents and all sorts of festivities. Titus had his birthday party for Jesus where he decorated cupcakes and blew out unlit candles (he is 5 after all).

Mia spent her last day painting (she was thrilled) and decorating cookies and having a wonderful last day with all her friends.

Emma watched a movie and decorated cookies and had fun with her dear friends one last time :(

Nolen ate cookies and got to have his little sis sit in class with him for awhile, thus convincing her to skip pre-k through 4th grade to go straight into Mrs. DeJongs 5th grade class. The littlest 5th grader, as we like to call her. She has Nolen and all the other 10 and 11 year -old boys wrapped around her pinky finger.

Scott had a great day and came home unable to see through all the gift bags and stuffed with all the end of the year fare. He spent the rest of the day Christmas shopping and helping to get the food gathered together for our church Christmas celebration on Sunday.

I went to class parties, subbed in Scott's class the last hour of the day, finished up most of our Christmas shopping and wrapping and took Titus to the wedding rehearsal where he is the ring-bear.

Can't wait for tomorrow :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A hard lesson learned

This last month has been . . Lets's just say it's been eye-opening. I will back track.
Starting with the middle of September I have been sick. There have been a few days sprinkled in there of wellness, but few and far between.

And I have to say wellness with a loose translation, think Charlie Brown version of Much ado about Nothing and you will be close.

Moving on . . .

I have had 3 viruses and a bacterial sinus infection and now that I am recovered from those my body is the equivalent to Haiti in the aftermath. So now I am taking meds to recover some semblance of normalcy. Like being able to taste and smell, hear out of BOTH ears and not break out into a coughing fit at the drop of a hat. Oh, and I would love to stop "purring" as my husband calls it when I breathe. Yes, that would be nice.

Just so you don't quit reading and think this whole post is one big pity party I should probably move on (just remember this is the back track part).

I have had a lot of time to sip tea and think about what God is trying to get across to me, there has to be a point, right? I mean I'm not dead, Thus far and no farther. Like in Isaiah when The Assyrians destroyed, pillaged and plundered their way to Mt. Nob at the very edge of Isreal and God reminded them that they were merely an ax in his hand, but He wields the ax. All of this is just an ax in His hand and He is wielding it for a reason.

I realized that in the midst of the flurry of activity that is really my life I take a LOT for granted.

*Like all of my senses,
*that my husband will pick up the slack and stay out of the whirlwind when it's in motion, or get hurt.
*That doing is more important than time spent and
*that I have it all under control, all the hats are fitting and the plates are spinning beautifully
*Like sleep

Well I have realized that I was off. Way. Off.
I can now smell coffee and taste garlic. Have you ever realized how wonderful each taste and each smell are? I have relished each new pin prick that has come my way, THANKFULLY!
At one point I was so sick that Scott had to totally take over, Everything. And yes he was still working full time and coaching football. I am not the only one that can do my job. None of us are. It's a gift and I need to be thankful for it. He is an amazing husband and very patient with me and I need it. I need LOADS of patience.
It is a blessing to hug my children. Something I couldn't do for a couple days since I was so sick and contagious. At one point all I could do was sit on the couch and sip tea with them and listen since I couldn't talk at all. For days. So God taught me to listen and be thankful for them individually.
The hats fly off and the plates shatter, but that's good they are just a distraction when I should be thanking God for what I have and cherishing it while I do.
Sleep is just now rearing it's head in my life. I have been with out it for so long that I have been surprised by it's sneaking up on me. Today I woke up and said, "Scott! I didn't wake up in a coughing fit all night!" This was the first time in I don't know how long. I was so sleep deprived long before I was sick because I would take my time after everyone went to bed and finish everything up, getting me to bed way too late to be happy, healthy or productive the following day. God has brought me from square one, where I need even an hours sleep unhindered to a full night with a thankful heart.
The theme is thankfulness and it is what He calls us to be. Some of us are just more thickheaded than others and need to be given a harder taskmaster. Twice the bricks in 1/2 the time. Yowch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


And just like that Fall is creeping on the scene and summer is behind us. Nolen, Emma and Mia are deep in the trenches and loving school. Ty has started pre-school and spends most of his days forgetting that it really is school and tells me how much he loves his new friends. Nolen is almost done with football and Scott with his first official year of coaching is thinking about next year already. Emma and Mia have figured out a system that works for piano practice and are loving it. Our house is all a flutter as we talk about think about and pray about the *new* baby. Nadia keeps telling us how she can't wait to see the baby because "it's so tinsy and tincy". The leaves are indeed changing on our street.
And with them I am reminded that there is a season for it all and each has it's own beauty and pain as well. The chill of winter with this thrill of parking your 4X4 on an embankment to "save the plowed spaced for the older people". The new life of Spring with the stark stinging winds. The sweet drip of Watermelon juice off the chin of summer and the biting pain of the first sunburn of the season. And the initial frustration of a full closet of Fall with tank tops hugging fleeces and cords to the fun of watching Single Wing while wrapped in fleece.
Lately I have been watching The Biggest Loser. The participants have eaten themselves to a place where their bodies are about to give out. They are sick and dying. The trainers are pulling them out of their graves and they are still complaining. How can someone in so much pain (overworked knees, backs, hearts, lungs) rebel so much while they are being helped? Sin is ugly. And it twists the reality that is there to the reality that we see. "Why do I have to give it up? It's not hurting anyone, right?" Wrong. When you are Christian you have been bought by too high a price to allow anything to come between you and your Savior.
A friend of mine recently contracted a case of Mersa. It went undetected. It grew. It flourished. By the time she went to the doctor there were no medications that would help, no iv antibiotics that would even touch it it had to be cut out completely. As soon as it was gone it was gone completely, no sign of it remained and the healing process was moving along faster than all thought possible.
This should be our response to sin in our lives. Repent. Run the other direction. Thank the Surgeon and leave the hospital. Is there a case of Mersa in your life? Repent and Voila!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homemade yogurt, in the crock pot

I found this on and I am so going to try this :)


Edited on 10/5/09 to add: Since posting this I have also discovered that you can make raw yogurt on your counter top, without the use of a crock pot or yogurt maker. All you need is a starter and the super clear directions that come with it. Not only is it easier since you simply leave it on your counter top, but you also retain the benefits of the raw enzymes! You can find culture starters here.

I have tried other methods for making yogurt, but this is by far the easiest. I originally got this idea from Stephanie and use her basic recipe. Making your own yogurt is a frugal way to get some good probiotics into your family.

Here is the cost savings breakdown for us:

  • Before: we would buy organic plain yogurt from Trader Joe’s: $3/quart
  • Now: I make it out of our grass-fed raw milk from the farmer: $1.75/quart
  • Savings = $1.25/quart x 2/week = savings of $2.50/week = savings of $130/year

Trader Joe’s is the cheapest organic yogurt you can find. The health food store sells it for $4.50/quart. For me, it is definitely worth the savings to do the five minutes of total work involved in making yogurt in the crock pot.

Crock Pot Yogurt

Recipe notes: This recipe uses a 2 quart crock. In using a 4 or 4 1/2 quart crock I found the yogurt to have a bit of a "springy" texture. I was able to alleviate this by heating the milk an additional 15 minutes for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Turn your crock pot to low and pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.
  • Heat on low for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Once 2 hours and 30 minutes have elapsed turn your crock pot off and unplug it. Let the milk cool in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours remove 1-2 cups of the warmed milk and place in a bowl. To that add 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures and mix very well.
  • Pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the milk and whisk thoroughly.
  • Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel or two.
  • Let it culture overnight, 8-12 hours.
  • In the morning stir yogurt (if desired) and store in glass quart jars or a container of your choice.
  • For optimum texture, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.