Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another year has flown away on the wings of the wind...

Hello everyone! Wow, where did the time get away to? Since my last post, I have been so busy I don't know whether I am coming or going. I am turning into a snapdragon: part of me has snapped and the other half is "draggin" HO HO Anyway, we had family in from the far-flung corners of the earth (USA) for Thanksgiving. Then, we immediately fell headlong into the holiday rush from which we are now beginning to recover. We had a Christmas banquet, Community caroling with hot chocolate and cookies at the parsonage afterward, and our annual Christmas Candlelight program. Add to that the celebration of Advent for four Sunday mornings in a row, and decorating, and baking, and mailing Christmas cards to people, and, and, and, ...... AAAAIIIIIGGGGHHHH!!

Isn't it amazing how one tiny scrap of humanity born in a smelly, stinky cave in the tiny town of Bethlehem has so impacted our world, that we wildly drive ourselves mad trying to celebrate His birth two thousand years later. This was not God with man, this WAS GOD IN MAN. A small manchild containing God Himself. OH WOW!! Alan and I were talking about it and he said, "Can you imagine how much he had to constrain Himself to even stay inside human flesh. The power of God, so grand and mighty, had to "rein" Himself in else the human body would have literally disintegrated in the face of such an overwhelming, pure, holy presence. O.K. this preacher's kid and preacher's wife is getting excited now! I guess I'll leave the expounding to my husband, but doesn't it fill you with wonder to think of this? We had a great Christmas day and Emily has been enjoying her new little treasures very much.

Timothy is growing very well and has decided to get "colicky" at night so we are learning to wean ourselves from sleep. Otherwise, the little fellow is as good as gold. We do enjoy holding the little guy. Well, enough rambling from the peanut gallery. I hope and pray that whoever reads this has the best year you have ever experienced and that the Christ child of Christmas is the reigning King in your heart and life today!!!! LOVE TO ALL!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Days Are Yet to Come...

Yes! I am disappointed with the outcome of the elections, but NO! I am NOT discouraged. God is STILL God and the affairs of man are ordered by Him at all times. I look at this as an opportunity to catch up on my prayer life :-)
Also, there will be more pics of my little tykes in a few days. We are all feeling better. Timothy is gaining weight. I am losing weight AND sleep. Between those two things I am going to look like a black-eyed crone shortly! HAA!!
Enough rambling. LOL

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Hello everybody! The best laid plans of mice and men can be quickly sent awry when you have a baby on the way in the equation. I took myself to the doctor's appointment on Wednesday, October 8, 2008. My hubby had been out with a parishoner until three a.m. Sweet wife that I am, I decided to let him sleep in. THIS WAS OF COURSE THE DAY that I was placed in the hospital with pre-eclampsia! GREAT! Alan had to have his parents bring him up that night to pick up our van. Doctors, nurses, aides, housekeepers, etc.. kept asking every hour or so, Do you have a headache? NOPE. Until, Friday at noon, one rather roughshod nurse caught me making my own bed and told me to get my hinderparts back in the bed pronto. Then she asked the fateful question, Does your head hurt? I paused just for a second. She bellowed, DON'T YOU LIE TO ME!! I informed her that seeing as I was a pastor's wife and that God was watching me, I would not be participating in that falsehood. Yes, my head was hurting on the right side! In thirty seconds, I lie not, I was surrounded by a surgical team. They said, Call your husband and tell him to get here now! I said, Why the sudden rush? Response: You are on the verge of a stroke! OH YEE HAW! Alan arrived in thirty minutes and they were waiting with surgery scrubs for him to dress. Shortly thereafter, a spinal block was administered (did I mention it didn't work?) and the C-section started. I started yelling that I could feel everything and they gave me "hiccapoo joy juice" that sent me on such a wild hallucination that I was very glad that I am not a drug addict. I couldn't handle the excitement or the weirdness! I am told that I was telling everybody in sight that I loved them very much! Timothy Alan was born 18 1/2 inches long and 5 lbs 13 oz. Because he was so early, we were told that he might have to be on a respirator and stay in NICU. However, before he could even be transferred to the NICU team, he started crying very loudly and healthily! I cried from relief. He was alright!
Now, we are starting to recover. I did have a bit of a fright when my incision decided to split -- literally, about two inches down! It is going to be around three to four weeks before it is healed, but I am feeling great. We are so happy and I am already 30 lbs lighter!
As you can see, Timothy Alan had other ideas about being born on November 10th! Try OCTOBER 10th, 1:59pm!
Here are some shots done by my Pro-Photographer Sweetie-pie Hubby!

Not happy about the 1st Bath!


More of "THE BATH"

Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lady in Waiting!!

Hello everyone! My favorite hymn right now is "He is able to deliver thee!" I am six weeks away from "D"elivery Day! November 10, 7 am is the scheduled arrival of our sweet little Tom Tumble. He is so active and really growing right now. I am beginning to look like a barge and feel like a bloated whale. But, I can do this, somehow in these days.

For those of you who heard about the Hurricane winds that hit our area, Yep! We lost power on Sunday and did not get it back until around 10 pm Tuesday night. I was not a good pioneer at all.Alan has Amish roots in his background and enjoyed everything immensely. But for me, I was a failing student in this Amish 101 crash course. Thank the Lord it only lasted that long. That was two weeks ago tonight, and we learned that some people just a very few miles from us are only getting their electric back today!! So, it could have been much worse.

I am gearing up for fall decorating and doing some fall housecleaning. I am always excited about this time of the year. Plus the pending arrival of our little guy is making it more exciting than usual!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I am falling in love with Fall early this year

So -- allow me a little indulgence on the choice of fall colors for this writing. I absolutely LOVE autumn and all of the adorable decorations that go with this time of year. Yes! I am jumping the gun a little as they say down South in my native land, :-) but I cannot help it here.
I am counting the days until October 1st, so I can haul out my annual plethora of fall decorations and design to my heart's content!!
Better yet, I am REALLY EXCITED about November 10, 2008, 7:30 am when our little man is scheduled to make his appearance into this world via C-section delivery. With the bulge that I am sporting now and the lack of oxygen I am experiencing from my "extra" load, I am really looking forward to that first deep breath in several months. Holding my little angel from Heaven will be great too!!
Nothing spectacular happening here, but I am looking forward to all of the fun that will come with autumn and the holiday season.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Promised Pictures

Beautiful Pittsburgh, PA taken from overlook above the city. We had a great time shooting the scenery!

Our "archeaological" dig site for VBS at our church! When everything was over, Emily requested to keep the large black dinosaur head. She said, "I want to hang it on the wall in my bedroom!!"

Emily in complete "DIRT" mode after a hard afternoon of play with other little children at Heartland Bible Methodist Youth Camp!

Crowds clearing out of the tabernacle for another round of team activities in the ultra warm afternoon weather!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello from a weary, but happy woman

So, Hi Everybody!
Yeah, Yeah, I know you have not seen anything of me for a while. With the exception of my protruding belly, I haven't seen much of me lately either! HA!
Here is a rundown of the last 18 days of my life:
DAY 1: Get up at 4 am to take two young teens from our church to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Get home from moving them in at 12:30 am the next morning
DAY 2: Take teenagers clothes shopping for youth camp.
DAY 3: Make fliers, go calling to invite kids to VBS
DAY 4: CHURCH 2 times, go out to invite kids to VBS during the afternoon.
DAYS 5-9: VBS every evening; preparing snacks and stories during the day
DAY 10: Sunday School Picnic for entire church.
DAY 11: CHURCH DAY; try to Pack to leave for Youth Camp next morning!
DAYS 12-16:HEARTLAND BIBLE METHODIST YOUTH CAMP (I'm not 15 anymore, I realize on about Day 2 of this Youth Camp!!)
DAY 17: Unpack, go calling, clean church, clean up mess from discovering that while we were gone the breaker blew out on the outlet for our refrigerator!! WOOHOO!
PHEW!! Anybody want to trade places with this waddling pastor's wife who is so tired I do not know straight up from sideways right now?
P.S. According to ultrasound pictures, our little tyke-to-be is a boy!! HOORAY! Little Junior is due in November and this is one time I will be glad to see falling leaves, feel chilly air, and face another winter. I am ready to get this phase over and cuddle my little guy in my arms. Hopefully, there will be some pictures in a few days, once I catch my breath.
Oh, and for those who really care to hear it, on my first day off in 18 days, I got hit with a kidney stone the size of Mt. Everest (at least it feels like it)! I'd rather go through labor anyday! But, yippee, I am home and happy to be still for a while. Love to all. Later.....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Hello Everyone!
I cannot believe that it is already June and I have not posted anything since April! WOW! Where did the time go?
Oh, I know! It went to the doctor, the emergency room a couple of times, to sleep for hours on end, to eat at strange hours of the night and morning, to a Mother-Daughter tea directed and put together by yours truly, to graduation parties for our seniors at church, to the graduation, to etc, etc, etc... Do you catch my drift here ladies? Any pastor's wives out there who relate?

The new baby is making its presence known in my "blooming" anatomy as well as its very active leaps and bounds within.
I do not know what it is yet, but we will hopefully know by the end of the month. My nesting instincts are getting worse everyday with major overhauls happening in every room of the house. I have so much news, I won't overwhelm you with it all in one setting. Hopefully, I can update everyone in pics and short notes along the way this month!

I am ready for a snack (probably ice cream cone -- it's after midnight!!!! :-) and some more delicious sleep! More to come later! God Bless!!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Hello everyone! I just wanted to check in and let you know that I have not dropped off the face of the earth. Along with enjoying the FINALLY-arrived spring warmth and sunshine, I have been busy with two gardens. One is my veggie and flower garden outside, and the other is a new little life growing, inside. This has resulted in those glorious days of sleep, sleep, sleep and eat, eat, eat. Plus, YUK, YUK, YUK!!! Just kind of nauseated every once in a while. We are really excited about this new little venture headed our way. My due date is November 18. People ask, "What do you want it to be?" We reply, "We want a ........ HEALTHY!" More to follow, but I am hungry and will starve to death in the next five seconds if I don't go fill up quick! Alan and I are convinced this baby is a strapping boy who will one day play football the way I stay so hungry for red meat and potatoes! Ha! Catch you later. Love to all!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Wonder of Joy in a Child's Eyes

There is nothing so precious as a little child singing its heart out in happiness and innocence. We discovered our little "diva" belting out songs known only in "babyese" clothed only in her red winter hat and a droopy diaper. Needless to say, we cracked up and had to get some shots of our little "punkin."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"The Ark is Coming Down The Road"

Mercy me! It has been soooo long since I posted anything. I have been as busy as a mouse in a Kansas granary. We have a new little girl in our congregation and our church helped to do meals for a week so that Mommy and Daddy only had to worry over their little princess. She joined a big brother who is one month younger than our Emily! We are sooo excited for our young family!
We were overly blessed with more snow than anyone should have to endure this late in the season! There was a snowfall of 15 inches in approximately 48 hours, if I remember correctly. This forced us to cancel church on March 9th, and I was a miserable wretch because I missed our precious brothers and sisters in Christ so much!
However, we did enjoy a wonderful service with Glenn and Stephanie Gault and their cute little, Kaitlyn. They are missionaries with Hope International and serve in the region of South Africa. Bro. Glenn shared an exciting slideshow of their work and we felt as if we had been to their mission outpost! God bless our precious missionaries who sacrifice so much of our "American conveniences" so that the Gospel message will go forth to all nations!
Over Friday and Saturday, my mother-in-love and I attended a writer's conference. We had more fun than anyone should have in that short a period of time! Because Mom suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, I pushed her in a wheelchair and was there to assist her in anything she needs. While she is able to walk, it is easier to go mobile in a large place like that was. We were late to the first session on Saturday morning and I was attempting to sneak into the conference room without making a scene. I pushed the door open and was preparing to wheel Mom in quietly and as unobtrusively as possible. Wouldn't you know, that door was on hinges that were so loose that when the door swung back it BANGED loudly against the wall. I tried to catch it coming back, BANG! Then a third time, BANG. Every body in that room was jerked from reverent devotion time by our untimely appearance and I declare that I saw them shudder all over every time that door banged! Of course, I could not fail to see the humor in this situation. Once we dove to our spot at a table, Mom and I nearly collapsed with laughter. You know how it is when you are supposed to be quiet -- things are twice as funny! We did come away challenged and excited by what we had learned. Until now, my brain has had such information overload, that I have not been able to write "See Spot run!" It's coming back though! HA!!!!
Now, for the strange title: Our little town is located on the side of a ridge that is cornered by two rivers. One of these rivers is a tailwater for a large dam. Due to the rapid disappearance of the afore mentioned snow and the current condition of rainfall, the water is rising at a tremendous rate. According to our church treasurer and neighbor, this happened in 2005, causing our eensy-weensy community to be marooned for over two weeks. In that time, the only two roads to our town were flooded over and everyone had to park their cars on a back road some distance away and hike out. Then they had to drive around Robin Hood's barn to get to the two relatively close cities. Eventually, FEMA reps. came around and warned everyone to evacuate as the back road was going to flood. They had no way to get to supplies or medical help. As it was, my neighbor said most people did not leave since there were complete strangers parking boats at the end of the road. Can anybody say, LOOTERS! Well, I have stocked enough stuff to feed an army, so I am ready for whatever happens. Just the same, I surely hope that we aren't cheated out of celebrating Easter Sunday, as it appears is going to be the case. But the good news is, Jesus lives whether we get to celebrate in church or not! Happy Easter everyone! Love to all!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hello Everybody!

Can anybody out there say with me, "I AM SICK OF SNOW?" If you live in the Northeastern part of the U.S.A. you know what I am talking about tonight! We have been overwhelmed with one snow storm after the other. This culminated in a HUGE storm system that hit Friday night and lasted over 24 hours. We were treated to an entire show of snow, sleet, ice, thunder, lightening, high wind and bitter cold. Add to that 15 inches of snow and ice and you have our weekend in a nutshell. We were not able to have church both services today, and I feel bereft. Our little flock was sorely missed, but we did enjoy a quiet Sabbath with plenty of rest and a small ride today. This afternoon the skies were "Colorado blue" and it was absolutely fabulous to see the pristine white snow glistening in the sunshine against the backdrop of evergreens and blue sky. Needless to say, I am looking forward to Spring. Yesterday, in defiance of my surroundings, I purchased seed for okra planting -- Yes, in 15 inches of snow, we traipsed to Lowes. I had so much fun checking out the different seeds for my flower and veggie garden I have planned for this year!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Sunday Evening, Everybody

Have you ever felt it? It's Saturday night, 11:59 p.m. You pillow your head, but your brain is flying a thousand miles an hour. You wonder -- will my husband be alright, will everyone be as admiring of his message as I am, will everyone make it in to church tomorrow, will the new contacts we made today come?

Sunday morning: Palpitations, sweat, fluttering and flying around in general! Then you step into the quiet of the sanctuary and the presence of God meets you. Your worries fly away, your spirit calms, and no matter the problems, you know that God is in your midst! That was me today!

But, you know what my most favorite part of Sunday is? It is after I have met with God two times in a special way, after I have breathed prayers throughout the entire sermon for my husband, and I am home. I realize I have made it through another Sunday without too many tragedies or mishaps. God is good, all is well, I love my precious little flock whom I help my husband to minister to. Ah! Now that's a feeling that we all can appreciate! I have a new name for we minister's wives -- it's P.E.W. That stands for Preacher's Elastic Wife. We may be stretched to the limit in our ability, patience, yes, love, but we are always able to bounce back, fresh and revived after our time with the Lord! Hold on to your faith, my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Our General is in control and will never give us marching orders that are too hard to bear! Love to all!

Monday, February 11, 2008

"In the deep midwinter..."

It is 1:30 a.m. and I am not asleep yet. For those of you who are in the trenches with me as a pastor's wife, you know that often Mondays are "down days" in more ways than one! For us, we usually take Monday off.
Our "off-day" was really strange this time -- we went to Alan's parent's place and helped his mother defrost her freezer and Alan hauled several huge loads of wood to the basement window and dropped it in, while I raced madly back and forth to stack it in an orderly fashion close to their woodburner. Talk about good old r&r! HA! It was great fun though. I really enjoyed it.
Afterwards, we all staggered to the family room and collapsed in recliners and I, on the couch. Somehow, the fire had not been kicked soon enough (talk about "wood, wood, everywhere and no fire or heat!!!), so the house was a brisk 55 degrees when we realized we were freezing! Alan got the furnace blasting AND built a big fire in the fireplace. I was trembling under two heavy blankets listening to Alan's Mother tell Emily a story. The next thing I knew, I woke up an hour later.
Now, the snow is falling heavily outside, I am snug in my warm house, and thankful to be where there is such beautiful variety in the weather. I opened my window a few minutes ago and "listened" to the silence as my world is blanketed in feather light snowflakes. It was a perfect picture of the peace in my heart that comes from a close relationship with Jesus. And, just think, we who know Jesus are whiter than snow!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Look what fell out of his tree for me -- ha, ha

I found this picture taken on October 30, 2007 and had to share it. Ain't he cute? :-)

Alan is my very best friend on this earth. Ladies, look beyond your man's faults and remember what made you fall in love with him in the first place. I am a blessed woman indeed, to have such a sweet man who truly wants to live for Jesus!

Random Pictures from the Past Month

Midnight Photoshoot of my fun, seventy-degree day's painting of the bird feeder in January. I think I have Spring Fever (I just can't get rid of sickness-HA!)

Kitchen Decor for Thanksgiving Day

My Darling Hubby Enjoying the Snowblower in Early December!!!

I hope you enjoyed these little "peeks" into our life outside of sickbed stories. I will have more pics from Christmas soon! In the meantime, have a great week and remember Jesus loves you. LOL!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Hello Everyone,

It is with humble apologies and regret that I wish you all an extremely belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I have a very valid excuse though -- sickness :-(

It all started on Thanksgiving Day: Alan was burning with fever, shaking with chills, and had no appetite for all of my experimental dishes. The flu caught him in its evil grasp and held him there for several days. Then things got better .... for a while, that is.

December 4: We hauled out the artificial tree which we bought on our first Christmas together, had Alan's parents up to our place and proceeded to have merry time, complete with sounds of my eccentric hobby, old L.P. Christmas records, blaring in the background. Alan sorted branches, put lights on each layer of branches and topped it off with the shining star! Emily almost exploded with excitement when we plugged in the star! We stopped for cheese ball and crackers, pie, and punch. I noticed that I was feeling a little strange but thought it was only tiredness from all the excitement.

December 5: I was meeting with one of the dear ladies of the church to plan our Christmas Candlelight Service for December 23rd. It was snowing like it would never get another chance to do so. But, I told her to come over anyway. By this time I had a cough and was aching all over. I blamed the snow. By the time she left, I was so dizzy and miserable, that I knew Alan's "plague" had caught up with me. That was the beginning of the END of all my holiday plans and dreams in our new place. From that point on, I lay on the couch for days on end getting progressively worse. I missed church on Sundays the 9th and 16th. We were joining another church for a cantata on the night of the 16th. I had instigated the whole thing from our end, then could not be there. My precious husband called and put the cell on speaker phone so I enjoyed the choir from afar while lying on the bed gasping for breath.

I went to a clinic, saw a doctor whom I was later told, "If you want to die, go to him!" Nothing like that to encourage an already ill person! Given what I believe to be a false diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis, I returned home with a prescription I was later told by another physician is not effective in treating either bronchitis OR pnuemonia. By the grace of God, I pulled on every inner resource and help from above to participate in our Christmas Candlelight Service on December 23. Then returned to my sickbed to wallow in misery.

Again, I pulled out the stops and got food and our house ready for company on Christmas Day and enjoyed the fellowship of Alan's family and a dear friend of our family. As soon as the excitement was over, I was right back in bed, miserable, coughing, wheezing, and sooooo very weak. The weakness is what frightened me. I just could not seem to overcome this terrible shakiness and lack of "get-up-and-go."

Then, Thursday night after Christmas, Alan was not feeling well. He had tried a new sub at Arby's that day, so I chalked it up to food poisoning. NOT!! Around 2 a.m., I had done all I felt that I could do to make him comfortable and left him lying on the couch by the tree. Do not ask me why, but we are always on the couch when we get sick. Anyway, I toddled upstairs and had just lowered myself into bed when I heard a sound downstairs that made my heart "sink down amongst my liver and lights" to quote Mark Twain. Yep! My good old sweet teddy bear husband who has NEVER been sick in this way in all of our seven years of marriage, gave in to the virus which was stalking everyone in our local area.

So, I did my loving, wifely duty and joined him in sympathy/empathy. HA! Anyway, I doctored him all day Friday and Saturday. Saturday night around 11:50, Emily was in bed by Alan when again, I heard the dreadful "SOUND" Now, SHE had it. This went on every five minutes until three o'clock at which time we loaded her into the van and drove her to the best hospital around. They took one look at her and hooked her up to I.V.'s to get her hydrated again. Finally, around 7:30 Sunday morning we were released to go home. Alan and I had not slept for 36 hours, so we did not get to church that morning. The deacons took over for us.

Monday, December 31, 2007: I thought, "Well, maybe we can start the New Year well -- literally." Then, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, the dread bug landed on me like I have not had in years, if ever. By eleven-thirty that night I was completely dehydrated and beginning to lose consciousness. I told Alan, "If you don't get me to the hospital, I am going to die!" And, I was not playing when I said it. As the New Year rang in, Alan was roaring up to the same hospital that we took Emily to. They looked at me and rushed me straight back, planted an I.V. in and started fluids. By 6 a.m., I was more alert, eating ice chips and thought, "Yeah! Now I get to go home!" NOT!! Just as the nurse brought the release papers through the door, I lost it again. The doctor came in and said, "Mr. Christner, take your little girl home and get some rest. We have had your wife here for six hours and she's is still getting desparately sick. We're keeping her!" OH JOY!!

Shortly after I was settled into a room and Alan had left, I heard two Code Blue's for the floor I was on. Later, at shift change two nurses were talking outside my door. The departing nurse said, "Yeah, we revived the one patient. She's in I.C.U. now. Heart failure" The incoming replied, "What about the other?" D.Nurse, "Oh, she didn't make it. Only in her 50's. tsk tsk" Incoming: "What'd she have?" D.Nurse: "Oh, same thing as 16 here." Incoming: "Well, let's hope we don't lose them on my shift!" Laughter and walking away. A quick check on my part revealed that I was ROOM 16!!!!!! AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!

I was not allowed any fluid or food for 24 hours except that delicious chalk drink that is required for a CAT Scan!! YIPEE!! When I went for an X-ray, the lady walked over after taking pics and asked solemnly, "Is there any history of cancer in your family?" ME: "My mother died of pancreatic cancer in March 2006" (Did I mention that they were doing x-rays of my left side?) X-ray lady (with serious, pitying looks): "I SEE!" And that was all she said. I was wheeled back to my room, where two minutes later a lady walked in with papers for a living will. I thought, "Dear me, this is worse than I thought." I expected to see hospice reps. coming in next!!!!

January 2nd, 2008: MY 30TH BIRTHDAY!! I got to go home! WHEE!! I celebrated my third decade on this old planet with a cup of lemon-lime gatorade and a massive headache!

Can I end this sickbed and hospital tale with this: Through every moment of misery, fever, coughing, and hospital terror, I had the presence of Jesus Christ by my side, and while my celebrations were muted at best, I experienced the Christ of Christmas in a way that I have never before experienced. I did not have a rolicking birthday party, but one good thing was that I WAS too sick to care about hitting the big 30. From this literal, near death experience, I learned that every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest whether you are 3, 30, or 300! I know this was long, but I had to tell my tale of woe! HA! More to come later--all in a cheerful, on the road to recovery and wellness way. I am finally on the mend and praising God for every moment of energy and strength that is returning to me!

Love to all, Jennifer