Or, if you prefer, you can just go back to 2002 on my archive. I posted more public journal entries a couple years ago.
Or, if you prefer, you can just go back to 2002 on my archive. I posted more public journal entries a couple years ago.
Pamela and I are pleased to announce the arrival of Felicity Ann Van Vleet!
Felicity was born June 30th, 2009 at 12:51pm. She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 19.75in long. Felicity has been nursing and sleeping really well. She's a pretty quiet baby and she's really content and alert. Pamela is a little tired from the birth and all the lost sleep and hard work that went with it, but she's doing a great job as a mom. I'm so happy she's my wife!
We had Felicity at home with a midwife and it was a wonderful experience with absolutely no complications. About 10 minutes after Felicity was born, Pamela said, "I can do this again. Maybe not today, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." She's such a trooper!
Within a couple hours of birth...
Her first night...
The next morning...
[ Currently: Working on getting ready for work. ]
Last night after work, Pamela and I met the realtor at our soon to be new house to do some last minute inspections, but when we got there, we discovered that the A/C unit was frozen up. That in and of itself isn't particularly odd, seeing as how the house has been sitting vacant for around three months now, but it was a little shocking just the same.
Anyway, we continued our inspection, and went out to the back patio to look at the sliding screen door. Out on the back patio was some trash that wasn't there before, which struck me as odd. I took a closer look at the packaging and saw that it was an empty box for condoms.
Great! Someone was doing something in my soon to be back yard. Nice!
So we continued our inspection, which took us to the bathrooms. But in the bathrooms, I found something even more disturbing...
Yeah... remember that box I found on the patio? Well, we found the used contents in the toilet!
Anyway, we finished looking around, and apparently whoever was in there didn't do any damage to anything, and there really isn't any proof that they were the ones responsible for the A/C freezing up, though one can only guess what kinds of things they were doing in that house.
At first, we kind of suspected anyone who had a key to the house, because, like I said, there were no broken windows or anything, but that didn't make sense because the owners are in Africa and there's one guy who's mowing the lawn, and we don't know for sure he even has a key. It wasn't until we were about to leave when I saw one of the front screens sitting oddly in the windowsill. I went over and messed with it, and it popped right out. On the other side was an unlocked window that lifted with ease.
So there we had it. The point of entry.
Well, at least it's locked now, right?
One of the things Josh has harped on in recent blog entries is the complicated approach some of us (especially Josh and I) have taken to guy/girl relationships. Those of you who are newer to HSA probably have not read Josh's previous posts on this subject, so I'd like to invite you to read his blog entry explaining his previous policy not to have girls on his HSA friends list.
Here is an excerpt from his entry:
|This is the primary reason I’ve drawn a line when it comes to talking with girls privately online or singling them out by adding them to my friends list. I want to not only protect my own emotional purity, but I also want to protect theirs as well. |
Anyway, this is one case where the internet has brought about some interesting challenges because I do not think it is wrong at all for a guy and girl to talk face to face or “publicly.” The thing about internet communications that complicates things so much is the fact that one can never know exactly how they are being perceived by the person on the other computer.
Josh isn't the only one who had this policy, though. I used to have the same policy. My experience with message boards began at the end of 2000, just a year after I had discovered the joys of internet access. I found Joshua Harris's Message Board (not New Attitude, but a message board that lasted only a few months). People on there discussed many of the same topics we discuss here and, not surprisingly, several of those people became couples (later marrying and having children) after "meeting" on this message board.
I joined several other internet forums (conservative, Christian, co-ed) and observed the same phenomenon. I had no idea how my parents would feel about an "internet relationship," so I took the easy way out and refused to have any one-on-one contact with guys. I was simply doing online what I had practiced in person - avoiding "available" members of the opposite sex as much as possible.
During this time, I also obsessed over how the whole betrothal process might work. I spent many hours thinking about it, reading about it, and writing about it. Most of what I wrote is posted here.
My policies when I was younger can be best summed up with this list:
|1. I don’t flirt. As a matter of fact, I try not to be too enthusiastic or outgoing with men. My reasons are based on Scripture, which I will share later. |
2. I dress modestly. This has more to do with courtship than one might think, because it is a reflection of my heart in whether or not it is pure.
3. I don’t spend much time on one-on-one interaction with guys who are not related to me unless I have a good reason that I feel my parents would approve. On-line, this means that I don’t generally e-mail or IM guys, simply because of where it could lead emotionally. On a face-to-face basis, I am careful still.
4. I will wait to pursue romance until my parents have Okayed it. Again, I have Scriptural reasons, but have time limitations that are keeping me from mentioning all of them at the moment.
5. I will find out where a guy is headed in life before getting involved with him.
So there you have it: Josh and I both had rather strict ideals for how to interact with people offline as well as online. And, honestly, neither of us ever planned on meeting their future spouse online. As you can see, I took proactive measures to avoid that. Maybe reading some of this will help you see why it was such amazing irony that we ended up marrying each other.
And one more thing before I close this entry...you know how Josh was talking about people writing their love stories? Well...
To be continued...
Okay, so you’re thinking, “Josh is right on about home schoolers. They are that way! They really need to take a look at this.” Or maybe you’re thinking, “How can Josh poke so much fun at home schoolers? Their intentions are good and anyone can be misguided.”
Well, part of the reason Josh has such intimate knowledge of "the ways of home schoolers” is because of his own background. And, lest you think that he would reject himself or anyone else based on such a background, I’d like to take you back in time just a little ways…to both of our lives. And, since it would create an insanely long post for me to give you all the evidence at once, here’s just a little to illustrate our obvious inclination for dressing like home schoolers and also our difficulties interacting with the opposite sex.
This is how we looked when we first met.
This was the first time I recall having seen Josh…and, mostly due to the glasses and how thin he was, I thought he was a very stereotypical home schooler…even rather dorky. (Oh, and you also might like to know that, when I listed the guys I met at the Reunion, he didn’t even make it onto the list, if that tells you what I thought at all.)
I wasn’t really any better, though, as you can see. I was wearing a beautiful floral print, corduroy jumper. And I certainly haven’t been above wearing those denim jumpers he mentioned.
Now, Josh says he got over his difficulties being friendly with girls during his days as a grocery store checker, but I’m here to testify that not all of it left at the time, for when I met him at the HSA Reunion nearly two years ago, I remember being surprised that he introduced himself and shook my hand, but I also remember realizing that his politeness would extend no further, that he would very intentionally distance himself. I guess girls still had cooties back then.
I wasn’t any better, though. Back at home not too long before, I was worrying about a home school guy there. Here are some excerpts from my journal at the time: “I talk to guys at school just fine; I talk to my boss just fine (even about relationship issues he has with his girlfriend...but I'm not the only one [talking to him about it]!). But conservative, ATI guys are just...well, I don't know. We shall see. It's so easy NOT to talk to them. I think the problem for me really is that I am willing to show ‘interest’ in a guy if there's not really a possibility it could ever go any further (if I'm not interested, that is). But in this case...I don't want to imply something that is not true. I don't even know if he's a guy who would be ‘just friends’ with any of the girls at church. I haven't ever seen him talking to the girls...just to ‘adults’ (parents, that is, and married people). I guess it's good that he doesn't seem to be a flirt, though. So that's a bright way to look at it.”
And then I was worried about seeing the same guy again at church…and wrote this:
| I don't know what to think. Sunday will be interesting. To make eye contact in front of the church could be embarrassing, especially if I smile back. I talked to a friend about the smiling issue last week and she asked whether that was something I did with other guys, too. At the time, I said yes...and it really is true, but I'm not sure it's true to the same extent! This is really bugging me. And I need to get my homework done. As I wrote in my journal recently, if this is how it is when nothing is happening, I'm not sure what will happen if/when I'm in love with someone! LOL! I won't be able to eat or sleep, right? LOL! I hope that's not going to happen. |
But I definitely have issues and I would really appreciate prayer and advice. I suppose I should talk to my parents about it at some point, but my thing is not wanting to raise their expectations or their requirements. I also don't want to cause any awkwardness. I have talked to them about this in general. My dad asks me how it is working with this guy, saying, “This is the first time you've ever worked with a guy your age in this kind of situation, right?” “Right.” So when he asked about how I liked working with Mr. X, I said, “Fine. He's nice.” LOL! ::cough, cough:: What am I supposed to say? He cracks me up every single week...usually several times (so do the other people involved in this activity). And, for what it's worth, my dad has actually conversed with him and thinks him a nice guy (conversed with him enough to know his occupation, etc.) LOL!
I'm pathetic, I know. I'm also way too open for my own good. But as long as you all promise not to tell anyone, I'm sure it will be fine. You're welcome to let me know if you hear that he's engaged, though. I'm pretty sure I'll find that out sooner, though...
Oh, and you know how I said it was so hard to have any kind of casual conversation with him? That changed last night. Poor guys who would befriend me! LOL! I've really been praying to be around other GOOD guys, too. Granted, it could be confusing, but it would at least help keep these things in check (I hope). God has not seen fit to provide that at this point, though.
See, what I really want to know is how, at this point, seeing a certain other guy (whom I've had a crush on for like a year or something) would affect me.
So...anyway...I don't know. Like I said, I do know that I'm pathetic. I also know lots of common sense stuff...like that you're not supposed to think about marriage with every guy you meet. LOL! But then of course I don't follow that. Although there are some guys that don't cause me to entertain the idea for more than the consideration that I could never marry them, there are others that fit into the maybe category...whether that's a good thing or not, it really is true that I categorize them in that way.
Okay, now I'll go obsess over whether the above-mentioned home school boy will ever see this...and what he'll think, because, after all, I'm a home schooler.
1. Back When I Home Schooled
2. Home Schooler on the Loose
I feel loved when...
The Five Love Languages
My Primary Love Language is Physical Touch
|Acts of Service:||7|
|Words of Affirmation:||5|
About this quiz
Unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. It can be helpful to know what language you speak and what language those around you speak.
Tag 3 people so they can find out what their love language is.
77% John McCain
74% Fred Thompson
73% Tom Tancredo
73% Mike Huckabee
59% Rudy Giuliani
58% Ron Paul
45% Hillary Clinton
42% Bill Richardson
42% John Edwards
41% Joe Biden
40% Chris Dodd
39% Barack Obama
23% Mike Gravel
18% Dennis Kucinich
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Well, my 18 y.o. brother keeps telling me to vote for Romney, but I don't know. Seriously, though, the real problem with this quiz is that I'm more conservative than most of the answers available allowed for. So picking the second best was a real toss up.
Seriously, though, I wanted to introduce you all to one of his projects that he works on (with the help of several volunteers) producing each month: HSAIR - Homeschoolalumni Internet Radio. I think I linked to one edition in the past, but I'm pretty picky about what I share on my blog, so this is only the second or third show that is making it on here...
The HSAIR "Boffo" Show (right click and "save as" to download)
Approximately 10.5 MB and 25 minutes in length
If you are interested in more information on HSAIR, you will have to be signed in to Homeschooalumni.org to access the HSAIR blog.
If you've ever seen the YouTube video with Pat Hetic, this radio show is for you. If you've ever been home schooled or known anyone who was home schooled, this show is for you. Do keep in mind that it was released on October 31st, so you might say that the tone of the show is not exactly serious. Anyway, enjoy...
I have to be at the Washington County courthouse Monday morning to possibly be selected for a jury for a trial Monday-Wednesday. Please pray that I'll find people to cover for me at work. My supervisor resigned last week, so we're down to bare bones here...and I have no idea who I can call. Best case scenario is that I don't get picked, but that still means I have to find someone for Monday morning.
I am on call for jury duty through the end of September. Please pray that I won't get called again.
I'm looking forward to a vacation the last week in September - no work, no wedding planning, and - hopefully - no jury duty.
I'm really discouraged right now. Wedding stuff is progressing just fine, but work, jury duty, and missing Josh are overwhelming to me right now.
Levi won his second fight - er, at least, the second one on his record. You can watch him here. I'm pretty sure they weren't evenly matched, but then again...Levi just took the guy to the ground, where Levi would have the advantage - and that is reasonable, right? It was fun to watch. Josh took the video and nearly lost his voice in the process of cheering.
Josh found an apartment here in Springdale during his most recent visit. I've posted pictures here. The plan is to live there until the lease expires, at which point we hope we'll have found a house to live in - if necessary, though, we'll see about renewing the lease for another six months.
We now have wedding invitations. I guess I should get to work on finalizing that guest list and finding addresses. Those elusive things...why do people have to move around so much anyway? Why can't they be like me and just live in the same place for a decade or so at a time? Ah, well...such is life. The least they could do is let us know when they change addresses. I'm not looking forward to the hassle of trying to avoid getting a ton of invitations returned, but I suppose it can't be helped.
Josh and I attended the Homeschool Alumni National Reunion this last weekend in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Josh was the "host" (M.C.) of the event, which was fun to watch. He and Emilie C. also did a live edition of HSAIR. Right click and "save as" to download because you definitely need to listen to it - they did an awesome job!!! My reunion pictures are posted here and here.
Jimmy Evans is starting out by focusing on what the title would suggest - preparing a solid foundation for marriage. One of the first things he addresses in the book is priorities and what a good priority list should look like - God, spouse, kids, etc. - in that order, not to be mixed up. And he talks about how our specific daily choices reflect what priority we place on these relationships. If God truly comes first, we'll give Him the most and best of our time; if our spouses (after God) are supposed to come before other people/things, then we can check that by looking at the time investment we're making...what do I choose to do over spending time with my [future] spouse?
I actually had been working on figuring this out because I've struggled a lot in our relationship with figuring out a balance. It's true that we can't spend all our time with each other. We do have to work, make plans, etc. (and, at the moment, we aren't living anywhere near each other), but these are practical things that, if prioritized properly, merely reflect our commitment to each other - because we work and plan to fulfill our goals of being together and to do what we intend to do together. So the work, etc. is largely a means to an end (or perhaps to multiple ends...since pleasing God is foremost).
Anyway, what I have been realizing over the last several months is that my priority shift in my relationship with Josh has and should cause a change in the way I live my daily life. At work, my supervisor commented (not negatively) that I wasn't as dedicated to staying late since I fell in love. :-P And that is very true. Although I'm committed to doing my job, I no longer obsess and try to pour everything into it. So that's one thing that has changed. But at the same time, in a lot of ways, I've felt guilty...
Because I've neglected so many people and so many things since getting engaged. Things that used to be high priorities have shifted to the back burner. Perhaps that is as it should be, but I often feel very badly about it. I guess I tend to have this mindset of, "Well, now I'm engaged, sure...but shouldn't my life get back to normal?" And I'm not talking about actions alone; I refer to attitudes as well. I don't enjoy being with other people nearly as much without Josh around and that makes me feel guilty for missing him because I think, "I used to enjoy this much more. What's wrong with me?"
Typically, when my feelings don't line up with what I think is right, I try to compensate by altering my actions significantly. I say, "Okay, I should feel happier than I do when I'm with people besides Josh. Maybe I should spend more time with people other than Josh so that my feelings will be as they should." But if it is reality that my priorities should shift, then...to try to change my feelings so that I'm neutral/happy without Josh (because it's not quite so bad that I'm worthless away from him :-P) would be harmful to our relationship.
So anyway...it's kind of confusing for me, at least partly because of my streak of perfectionism.
We celebrated my 18 y.o. brother's graduation tonight with a few friends and my grandparents. The boy is quite smart...and extremely goal-oriented. He just found out a few days ago that he did become a National Merit Scholar. And that is nice for the prestige, but as far as paying for schooling? He got a very large fellowship (that includes a stipend and also a trip to D.C. next month) as well as one of the governor's scholarships, I think - anyway, plenty for him to pay for school...plus some. And, yes, he was home schooled...though he took a few classes at the local high school during his last couple years of school. He's not the most sociable guy in the world, but he's working on becoming more balanced. Right now, he spends a lot of time on fighting - mixed martial arts. His first big fight is coming up in a couple weeks...and my oldest brother (who is 22) sent him a pair of sissy-looking shorts so that his opponent would be ashamed to lose and not very proud of winning. :-P Don't you like how my brothers think?
My family recently added a third cat to the mix of pets at our house. All things considered, it seems to have been a good addition...though at first I wasn't sure how to take the constant screaming whenever the kitten was caged up and not getting as much attention as it wanted. She's doing a lot better now, though...so it's all good. The younger children provide her with plenty of attention and affection.
The days till my wedding are winding down. I'm almost starting to panic when I think of how little time is left...because I just wonder whether I'll finish everything in time to have the stress-free wedding week I've always hoped to have. My married brother reminded me that I'd get married either way so I shouldn't stress - and, of course, he is quite right about that. Josh and I will get married regardless of whether I've attended to all the little details I hope to handle. We are getting stuff done, though, so it's not like I'm doing horribly as far as completing things on time. I just sometimes get nervous because we really don't have everything worked out.
I had a blast during my trip to MI and IN. I got to meet two LJers that I hadn't previously met in person - and it was a blast. Both Jen and Katie (whom I saw separately - one in MI and the other in IN) were exactly as I would have imagined - no gap between online and offline...at least that I could tell.
Okay, I suppose I should have more to say...but I'm tired now...so good night!
You Are A Romantic Realist
You tend to be grounded when it comes to romance.
Sure, you can fall hard... but only for someone you've gotten to know.
And once you're in love, you can be a total romantic goofball...
But you'd never admit it to your friends!