Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We just recently heard back from our doctor regarding the last blood draw monitoring my antibody levels and it is GOOD!  I have been a little on edge about this one since this is the time in our pregnancy with Thad that we discovered I have KELL antibodies that could harm the baby and any future babies.  Thankfully, Thad was okay (my levels topped out at about 8:1, which is considered watchable, but not dangerous -- at 16:1 we would start seeing a specialist).  My last blood draw at 28 weeks showed a titre level of 1:1 (which means my blood could be diluted 1 time and the antibodies would be undetectable) -- that is about the lowest possible!  Thank you Lord!  It seems that this little baby most likely has the same blood type as his mommy and therefore will not be harmed by the antibodies in my blood. 

If you are unfamiliar with our lovely blood problem, here is my explanation in a nutshell:  Daniel has a rare blood type (Kell) that through giving birth to Logan mixed with my blood.  My body could not recognize the Kell antenna and started making antibodies to fight this cell.  Every child that we have has a 50% chance of inheriting Daniel's rare blood type.  As soon as my body detects the Kell antenna in the fetus, it will start developing antibodies to fight against the baby's blood (thinking it is something dangerous), eventually causing anemia which leads to other serious problems and possibly death.  Our hope, if we have an affected baby, is that the doctor can catch my body making large amounts of antibodies and then take steps to prevent harm to the baby through in vitro blood transfusions.

All that to say, we are very thankful that the Lord is protecting this little guy.  You never know what trials you will go through in life.  My experience with this blood problem and the last 3 pregnancies has strengthened my faith and helped me to lean not on my own understanding, but to trust in Him.  Also to really appreciate and be thankful for a healthy pregnancy.  Each new life is truly a gift to be treasured and not taken for granted.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Emergency in Aisle 9

I sometimes forget the attention you draw when you are obviously pregnant (as opposed to the before-pregnancy-waddle).  Today at Costco, while walking through the produce section, I had a sudden stabbing pain.  Now, don't worry, I was sure I wasn't going in to labor.  BUT, when you are caught off guard by intense, uncomfortable pain during pregnancy you can't help but display a painful expression -- which is exactly what happened, accompanied by closing eyes, gripping stomach, and waiting for pain to pass.  Ready to resume my shopping, I selected a bunch of bananas and glanced over my shoulder as I placed them in the cart.  Watching me intently was a young couple I noticed walking towards me before the pain hit.  It struck me as funny since they looked ready and willing to call 911 at any moment.  I suppose before you have children any pregnant woman displaying pain is cause for immediate action.  It is good to know there are people out there ready to help a stranger in need, but lets hope that doesn't happen for another good two or three months!  

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thad & The Terrible 1.8's

Before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving day at Great-Grandma Carter's:

1. Put fingers in the butter dish ready and waiting for Thanksgiving feast

2. Get into (and somehow open) bleach and windex while mommy is in shower -- thankfully none ingested

3. Crush a dried flower arrangement in guest bedroom all over the carpet

4. While mommy is cleaning up said flower arrangement, take bites out of pear in Thanksgiving centerpiece 

5. Put fingers in butter... again

6. Pull a statue from bookshelf causing it to break

7. Take more bites out of centerpiece (along with a few grapes for variety)

8. And lastly, look so darn cute and innocent that mommy won't be able to do more than scold and try to keep up even more!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Family, Food, and Dog Bones

Is it too late for a Thanksgiving post?  Nahhhh.....

We had a great time in Seattle visiting family, eating lots of food, and getting in some shopping.  Thank you Grandma & Grandpa Carter for putting us up (or putting up with us) through Thanksgiving, and Grandma & Grandpa Gulke for after that.  We had a great time both places and Logan still talks about all his great-grandparents!

Thought this was a funny picture.  I came downstairs to find all three little ones sitting contently with Grandpa Carter watching CNN (it didn't last long).

Enjoying a fabulous dinner of BBQ Baby Back Ribs.  Yummmmmmm......

Tip for all you with young boys:  Tell them you are having dog bones for dinner.  They were a HUGE hit with Logan!

What a fun and memorable time we had.  Both Thanksgiving dinners were delicious.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was too distracted keeping track of the kiddos and catching up with family members!  

Monday, December 1, 2008

Apple Cup

Its been a little over a week now from the big Washington State Apple Cup between the Cougars and the Huskies.  Can you guess who our family was cheering for??  Logan insisted on going to Nana and Papa's house as a football man and performed various football-man moves for us throughout the game.  We were all expecting a boring game considering each team had a terrible season, but it turned out to be a great game!  

Logan and Thad hanging out with Uncle Peter and Rosie who came for the fun at the Carter house.

The "guys" engrossed in the game.  My dad was greatly outnumbered (being a Husky fan and alumni).  But he is a good sport, and considers the Cougs his second favorite team (probably has something to do with his daughter marrying a big Cougar football fan and alumni).  He has even turned Daniel into a Husky fan -- that is, when they are not playing his team.

Here is a shot of the expression on his face when the Cougars won in double overtime.  You'd think he could look a little more disappointed than that!  

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The season of Advent begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas.  "Advent" is a Latin word meaning "the coming."  During the season of Advent, Christians across the world prepare for the celebration of the coming of the Lord into the world through the birth of his Son, Jesus Christ.  Advent is a time to celebrate light in the midst of darkness, as symbolized by the Advent wreath (or log in our case). 

Daniel and I decided to really focus on the birth of Jesus Christ as the purpose of Christmas for the boys beginning this year.  Tonight was the beginning of Advent, and we decided to start a tradition.  After dinner, we sat around the table and listened while Daniel read various scripture about the coming of Jesus and Him being the light to the world.  Logan was fascinated with the lighting of the first candle and spent most of the time seeing how close he could get to the flame before mommy reprimanded him.  

Above is the Advent Log we made for a Women's Group at church -- actually 3 of our awesome husbands sawed and drilled the logs for us women to take home  (one being my incredibly manly husband).  Who knew when I married him he would be so versatile -- able to cut wood, design municipal infrastructure, and play various Christmas carols on the piano and guitar?

Since the boys are so young, a friend passed on to me a cute little Advent countdown for kids to accompany our weekly Advent.  It starts December 1st and goes until Christmas.  Everyday has a little gift to put in an Advent calendar or wrap up as a present with a corresponding scripture and story about Jesus from the Bible.  I know Logan and Thad will love the day they receive grape gum, but after our last post we may replace it with another form of grape!  Below is a copy of the Advent Countdown.  If you are interested but cannot read it clearly, let me know and I will email it to you.  I am super excited to start it tomorrow morning with the boys!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One for the books

Just had our first experience of gum in the hair. What makes a 3 year old and almost 2 year old think it is funny to put their precious gum in younger brother's hair while mommy is otherwise occupied??? For that matter, what makes a mommy think it is wise to give gum to a 3 year old and almost 2 year old. Go figure.

In case you are curious, it ended okay. Most of the Green Watermelon Bubblicious came out easily with Daddy's help, a small snip with scissors was needed for the rest. And Thad's hair does smell fruity-licious.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Daddy's Office

Armed with Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, various fruit, and pumpkin muffins we headed down to Daddy's office for an impromptu office picnic.  Somehow we left having ingested more candy and gum than sandwich and fruit!  Grandad, Uncle Jesse, and Daddy are always good for showering the boys with "treats" while we visit.

Grandad is ready with Hot Tamales to share with the boys (he is already preparing them for the Cowger spicy addiction gene).  Logan is proudly showing off his booty while red dye #3 dribbles down Thad's little chin.  

What a special blessing it is to have a place to go and visit our family all in one spot!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seven Things (Severe pregnancy cravings)

A while back a friend of mine, Lori, tagged me and told me it was my turn to make a post about seven things you may not know about me. I've decided to put a little twist on it and make it seven pregnancy cravings I've had in the last few months you may not know about. Here we go:

1. Pickles and peanut butter -- I actually scooped up the peanut butter (chunky, of course) with the pickles.
2. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with potato chips
3. California rolls (with lots of soy sauce)  -- I am drooling right now thinking about these!
4. Hummus with tortilla chips
5. Chocolate ice cream with pretzels crushed on top... lots of pretzels
6. Mashed potatoes
and lastly...
7. Pineapple and Canadian Bacon pizza

Maybe I should have just said salt, salt, and more salt :)

To ease your mind (in case you are already worried about the health of the new baby), I am not eating these things all the time.  And, in fact, I am trying hard to be healthy and take my vitamins.  But what can I say?  I do have an intense desire for all things salty, which is a nice change from my standard desire for all things chocolate!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Beautiful Fall Day

Some pictures from a fun afternoon walking in the leaves and snacking on cookies and danishes at a local bakery.

Admiring the crisp, colorful leaves with cousin Ava.

Relaxing halfway through our walk at the Rockwood Bakery.

Anyplace is a blast when Grandpa (or "Papa" to Logan and Thad) is along to supply entertainment -- especially when that includes chocolate cookie with M&M's!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thought for the day

In my reading this morning I came across this passage from the book The Passion Of Jesus Christ by John Piper that really spoke to me:

"The world will bring its condemnation. They may even put their sword behind it. But we know that the highest court has already ruled in our favor. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). No one successfully. If they reject us, he accepts us. If they hate us, he loves us. If they imprison us, he set our spirits free. If they afflict us, he refines us by the fire. If they kill us, he makes it a passage to paradise. They cannot defeat us. Christ has died. Christ is risen. We are alive in him. And in him there is no condemnation. We are forgiven, and we are righteous. "And the righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1)."

To live is Christ, to die is gain. Let us glorify Him in everything we do!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This is a quick shout out for gas prices.  Can I just say: YES, I FILLED MY ENTIRE TANK FOR UNDER $2 A GALLON???!!!!!

I've been cruising around on empty for the past few days just hoping I would last until gas went for under $2 (probably not the smartest idea since 1. I don't own a cell phone, 2. its been raining constantly, 3. I'm in charge of a 3 year old, a 1 year old, AND I'm PREGNANT). 

Thankfully, yesterday I sat in the warm car while my wonderful, caring, considerate husband stood in the drizzle and filled the tank full.

Thank you Daniel and thank you Costco!

Baby Fever

I love seeing the boys tormenting, err... I mean, doting on their little cousin Lucy. Last Friday we watched the cousins while ma & pa had a date (we weekly trade babysitting duty for date-night). This was the first time 6 month old Lucy stuck around for the fun. Both Logan and Thad thought she was just the most precious thing and had plenty of kisses and snuggles for her.

Lucy is a real trooper, what with having a 2 year old brother and 4 year old sister. She took all the abuse (sorry again), I meant love, Thad could give her.

So encouraging to me to know the boys will be excited about having another little baby around the house!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bun in the oven

Since a few people have been wondering about the due date, gender, etc. of the little one on the way, I think a special post for the pregnancy is deserved.

Here is one of those awkward pictures of me posing at almost 22 weeks (halfway done!). How do you gracefully pose for a "look how pregnant I am" picture???

So far we know that the due date is around March 15th (we have had about 4 different due dates, but this one seems about right). We found out last month we can expect our third little boy to add to the Cowger football team. And it looks like this little guy is not being affected by our Kell antibody problem (thank you Jesus!). If you don't know about Kell, I will save that post for another day, but it basically makes my pregnancies high-risk.

All in all, I am in the second trimester and really enjoying it. Thank goodness morning sickness is over (although Logan did enjoy watching mommy "be sick" in the garbage can -- at least some good came of that!). It is pretty strange heaving over the toilet then looking up to see a three-year-old grinning at you like you are putting on a special show just for him.

We don't have a name picked out for the little guy yet, but we are working on it. Feel free to leave your suggestions... in fact, please do!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

African Children's Choir

Last month was our second opportunity to host some kids from the African Children's Choir.  Our entire family always has a blast when these cute kids come to visit.  About 9 months ago we had two girls and this last October we had 3 boys.  Below are Joshua (with Logan), Michael, and Julius.  Of course I had to have a picture with these sweet boys too.  As you can see in the background, the foosball table was a big hit with the older boys - soccer, or football in Africa, is very popular and they loved playing it on a table.  In fact, all the names the boys picked for our new baby were popular soccer players in Africa!  Speaking of which - we found out on our second day having these 3 boys stay with us that we will also be having a third boy come March (just coincidence, or was the Lord preparing me??).  

If you every have the opportunity to see these kids from Africa sing, you should do it!  The concert is a blast and the proceeds go to educate these kids when they are done with their year long tour.  

Also, these boys met President Bush a few months ago and sang with Michael W. Smith.  If you hear the new Michael W. Smith song on the radio (I think it is called New Hallelujah), you can hear these kids singing in the background. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

What time is it??

Okay, I have to admit it... we missed day light savings yesterday.  We were one of those families pulling in to the church parking lot 1 hour early.  Thankfully, we had the foresight to realize church attendance wasn't REALLY low that day, but that we had probably made some minor mistake.  We pulled out of the lot before anyone early at church for a good reason could see us.  The up side is that we got to spend some quality family time driving aimlessly through downtown Spokane and eating pilfered Halloween candy for breakfast.  

Was it just us?  Did anyone else lose that precious hour of sleep for no good reason?     

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Little Cowboys

On Halloween night we headed up to Calvary Chapel for their annual party. The boys had a blast. A dinosaur exhibit was a big hit with Logan, especially when the giant dinosaur head roared up out of the darkness and terrified all children under the age of 5. Since then he has talked of little else. Here Logan is dressed as the Lone Ranger and Thad as his cowboy buddy (I was hoping for a cute indian costume to fall out of the sky so he could be Tonto, but alas, it did not). Logan LOVED being the Lone Ranger. Since then he has been dressed in various stages of the ranger (i.e. Cowboy hat and bandana, or to the grocery store with just the mask). This morning we caught him running around completely naked with just the cowboy boots on! Thad also loves the boots, but his are a little too small and the poor kid walks around mostly wearing them like high heels. Oh well, they did have a blast!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Beginning...

After much peer pressure from friends and one convincing sister-in-law (but I'm not mentioning any names), I have decided to start a family blog. I am new to this, having never been into MySpace or Facebook, but I will try to keep up. I am hopeful that this will be a good way for friends and family to keep in touch with our family as the years go by. Hope you enjoy!