Friday, December 30, 2011

Belly Central

Miriam came over today and wanted to take some belly shots. It really is amazing to see how big I've grown. I have nothing to compare this baby to, but it seems to me that the little Forlines is very active. Parts of my belly are constantly roaming around.

I am 38 weeks and 1 day today. So I'm expecting to feel some labor pains at any point in time even though it could still be 4 weeks away. (I hope it's sooner than that)

I'm seeing the Midwives every Monday now. The plan is to have Dane, Miriam, and the two midwives at the house for the birth.

If you ask us if we're ready, we'll say no. We have no idea what this parenting thing is going to be like, or what Baby Forlines will be like. So for now, we just pray for grace.

He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else. -Samuel Johnson

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to everyone! It has been a good Advent Season. We are awaiting many things...the celebration of Jesus' birth, the coming of our own little one, and ultimately the second coming of Jesus when all will be made right!

We enjoyed a last little road trip (before we are three) to Memphis last weekend and got to see some of our best friends. The Pates Family Singers, featuring Matthew Clark, put on their second annual Advent House Concert and we got to go again! How many years in a row do you have to do something before it becomes a tradition? This just may be a tradition for us. It's a perfect way to celebrate the season with others.

Abbye and Matthew on the guitars and Jeff on the drums

We were inspired once again by the Christ Community Church (or network of house churches) in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis. The church(es) is/are doing so much of what Jesus wants us to do. Loving our neighbor as ourselves, caring for the poor, being a witness to the nations, etc. We long to see that in our neighborhood in Nashville.

My body continues to grow with this baby inside. When I look at this picture Dane took, I don't feel that big, but I don't think the picture is lying! We're as prepared as we can be for labor to start any day now. The birthing kit is ready and I suppose my body and the midwives will know what do when the time comes. I think I've prepared as much as I possibly can for something I've never experienced.

37 weeks and 2 days

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm a week late on our Thanksgiving post. Has it really only been a week since Thanksgiving?

James, Stephanie, Tyler with Spark Plug, Ryan, Dylan, and Emmy Grace

We were in NC with Mom and Dad Haas and big brother James and his family. We also got to visit with Grandpa and Grandma Haas for a day. Unfortunately the rest of the siblings couldn't make it:( We arrived Wednesday and left Saturday, so it was short but sweet.

A bunch of monkeys!

Literally sweet...Dad taught us how to process the honey from his bees. We're hoping for bees and their honey in our future here in Nashville. When we arrived, Dad was working on mounting his 10-pointer deer head (European style), and mom and I worked on a quilt for the baby during our time there. After we left Dane said it felt like we had been at a folk festival. I classify that as a compliment!

See part of the process...

And it still needed strained and pasteurized and put in jars!

See, bees are harmless!

This week has been eventful with getting our first ever live (as in re-plantable) Christmas tree on a very dreary, rainy day, a Christmas concert (Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God"....celebrating the glorious story of Jesus...I highly recommend it), a neighborhood potluck, a "run-out-of-gas-on-the-side-of-the-road" experience, and it has all culminated in a stomach bug for Dane. He's been out of commission today. Dane being sick is so rare and seeing him like this makes me realize how much I love him.

We're seeing the midwives every two weeks for the next 2 visits and then we start our weekly visits until Baby Forlines shows up! The time is closing in very fast bringing with it excitement and more and more understanding that soon we're going to be Daddy and Mama to a little person outside of the womb. Does anyone else find that slightly unbelievable?

33 weeks on Thanksgiving Day

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday To Dane

Yep, he's 32 today, and as spry as ever.

We've been celebrating all weekend. We had Dane's favorite meal on Friday (pizza, apple crisp and frozen vanilla yogurt) and then went to Chris and Rachel's house for the carving of pumpkins.

Can you tell what they are?

The extended family came over to the house on Saturday night for a "hymn sing" per Dane's birthday request and a hot dog and marshmallow roast over the "fire pit" Dane made out of his parents old grill

Our old piano never sounded so good

We were going to sing in the living room, but we had enough room in the middle hallway to stuff everyone in there

Saturday morning we went out to a farm in Goodletsville to get a load of old composted horse manure to put in the garden beds that Dane revised a couple of weeks ago. We picked it up from a farm that has been in the same family since the 1700s! There is just something special about that kind of longevity. We were planning on shoveling from the big pile into the back of our truck, but the old farmer got out his front-loader and a couple of scoops filled up the back of the truck. We didn't get as much exercise, but it was faster. Just down the road from the farm was a little produce stand called "The Garden" that was alive with fall fare. We got a pumpkin, a couple of squash and a jar of honey. We also scoped out some of their huge pumpkins to get some advice for next year's pumpkin growing contest! I think we're going to win.

The newly filled garden beds

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Walk in the Park

Dane had Fall Break last week, and it almost made me feel like I was on vacation too. We took walks every morning before I left for work, in lieu of my early morning swims. A walk with Dane is just so much better than swimming.

I only have to work until 1pm on Fridays, so this past Friday we planned a hiking excursion. We settled on Montgomery Bell State Park, which is where we got married. After we arrived at the park, I realized that it was our 4 1/2 year wedding anniversary to the exact day! After our wedding ceremony (those many years ago) Dane and I hiked a short distance on a trail near the chapel before joining everyone else for the reception. So on Friday we started on that same trail, but hiked the entirety of it while doing some reminiscing over the past few years. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Dane is an incredible husband.

A moth we came across in the middle of the trail. It was so beautiful, with such intricate detail.

Bye for now!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life's progressing along

I meant to do this post a couple of weeks ago after our mid-wife visit, but two weeks worth of time just got away! Dane's work has been very very busy, but thankfully this next week is fall break for him. I've heard stories of "The first year of teaching school", and now we're living it. It's a lot of figuring out and keeping up.

We've had a couple of visits lately from people that we love. Abbye came for a weekend from Memphis and it ended up being a restful weekend (as she had planned) for all of us. We love Memphis friends!

Abbye with her urban wildflowers to beautify our home

An urban caterpillar to take notice of on a walk

Mom and Dad came for a visit last week after spending some time in Missouri with Mom's parents helping them out after Pappaw's back surgery. I took Wednesday off to spend time with them. We enjoyed Dad's plethora of technology and watched a couple of movies on his laptop. Mom and I went for a visit to Goodwill and made some good finds. Then on Friday night I went out to Miriam, Adam, and Joseph's home in the boonies and had a delicious supper that Miriam just whipped up.

The baby is growing at an amazing rate! I've gained about 20 pounds already and apparently only two of that is baby, so maybe it's just me that's growing at an amazing rate. I love feeling and seeing the baby move. Little human inside of me, being created day by day.

Dane had a dream the other day about a baby that looked a lot like him. He described feelings of tenderness for the baby in his dream that he's never felt for a child before. Isn't that sweet? Most people are predicting a boy. I have no idea.

27 weeks today

I went to put on my pregnancy picture clothes and then realized that Dane and I matched!
Does anyone want to buy an antique couch? It's beautiful, but it won't fit in the room where Baby Forlines will stay, so we're trying to get rid of it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

I hope everyone is have a wonderful Labor Day. It's been relaxing around the Forlines' house today. We both had the day off. It's been rainy all day and for the first time in months it's a bit chilly. A great day to be at home all day long.

I wanted to share a pregnant picture with those who care to see a growing belly.

This one was taken last week before our visit with the midwife.

We're thankful that everything is going so well. Feeling the baby move around is a gift. We're actually seeing it move on the outside now too. Amazing! People have caused me to start thinking about things I need to get before the baby comes. I'm trying to keep things simple when it comes to stuff for the baby. If any of you moms out there have any suggestions of necessities, I'd love your advice.

On another subject that I enjoy (food!), I discovered a granola bar recipe from one of my co-workers that I love. (just to clarify, I love the co-worker AND the recipe) I've been making them every week for the past 3 weeks. They're a great snack for Dane to help feed his insane metabolism. I wanted to share the recipe.

Mix together and toast at 350 until brown:
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice

add 1/2 c raisins or craisins

Melt together and bring to a boil:
6 T butter (4 T butter)
6 T honey (4 T honey)
2 T molasses (1 T plus 1 t molasses)
1 c brown sugar (2/3 c brown sugar)
1 T cinnamon (1 T cinnamon)
*I use the measurements in parentheses to cut back on sugar a bit and they're still good

Immediately pour over oat mixture and press into 9x13 greased pan, cool and cut into bars or squares. They are mmmm mmmm good.

And on to yet another subject I enjoy (gardening)...We weren't totally lazy today even though it's been relaxing. I think relaxing but productive days are the best kind. I'm looking ahead to the spring when gardens get planted and I wanted to get a bed started out back, so I can plant a green cover crop over the winter to help get the ground nice and fertile. I'm making a raised bed to try to avoid some of the tree roots that cover our back yard. Today we used some scrap wood Dane had to make the 12x4 foot border. (Starting off small) Now I just need to get out all the grass and weeds, load it up with some good composted horse poo, and plant my cover crop. There are dreams of getting started with grapevines and bees in the spring too (I'm pretty sure these dreams are a result Dad's influence). Thankfully my neighbor has similar aspirations so we can work together on it. We'll see how all of these plans work out with the new baby Forlines!

Can't you just see it overflowing with vegetables?

I'm off to play some Rummikub with my Sweetums!

Monday, August 8, 2011

He got it!

Dane is now a physics and engineering teacher at MLK magnet high school in Nashville!!!!!

God worked this out and we're so, so thankful.

One fun fact is that he will be teaching at the same building where my mom went to high school.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Journey Continues

I (Michelle) have decided to continue to blog. Maybe I can occasionally get Dane to post something on here since he's such a good writer. But I'd like to keep you updated on our lives, especially those of you that we don't get to talk to very much.

Probably the first and foremost news in our lives is another baby on the way. We've made it to almost 19 weeks and are very thankful! We are meeting with a team of two midwives who are going to be delivering our baby hopefully at home. It's been a fun adventure so far. First trimester brought a bit of queasiness, but if I ate food every three hours around the clock I was able to stave that off pretty well. The second trimester has been surprisingly uneventful besides the growing that I'm doing, and I think some movement is being felt, but this being the first pregnancy this far along, I'm not completely sure.

We're in Nashville, back in our old house. As Dane puts it, there is never a dull moment in our neighborhood. We have quite the eclectic mix of neighbors. I'm working at Siloam again and really loving being back. I work with some wonderful people who really love Jesus and who I'm learning from all the time. Dane has a job interview tomorrow which we are really praying about. We'd appreciate anyone and everyone's prayers for this job too. He's been keeping busy with some construction at the house (I'll include some pictures below) after we had a small fire in our garage (the day after we moved back in!), as well as studying for an architecture exam, working on his website, and starting to write another book. We'll let you know how the interview went.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our year long Journey of Jubilee has taken us to many places. Some have been familiar to us and some have been completely new. We visited 21 states and 5 countries (we're including the US in that number). We've visited scores of people; family, friends and some people that we may never see again.

We're grateful for this past year and all of the people that welcomed us into their homes and lives, even if it was only for a short time. We're grateful for the many conversations, meals, and adventures. We're grateful for The Church and the many ways we've seen her beauty and diversity. We're grateful that God was walking through this year with us and teaching us more about himself along the way.

We're back in Nashville on North 2nd again. If any of you find yourselves journeying through Nashville, our home is ready and waiting to welcome you in.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Close of Jubilee

Our Jubilee Year was officially over yesterday! We ended it with tears, prayers, and a canoe trip

Final thoughts on the Jubilee Year to follow...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thanks for coming to visit! Larry, Andy, and Susan came for about a 24 hour visit this past weekend. We made the most of it.

After a hearty breakfast we took them on an exploration of Nashville. Dane especially had fun coming up with a walking tour for us. And we got plenty of exercise! Andy's pedometer registered more than 20,000 steps.

Thanks for frying the bacon Larry!

Gathered 'round the table for breakfast. Susan was taking the picture.

Of course we've been wearing out the shoe leather visiting folks around the country, so having other people visit us was a welcome respite. What's more - the visitors were some of our best friends from Memphis. Dane especially enjoyed having someone to discuss engineering and urban issues with whose eyelids didn't begin to droop after a few minutes.

Currently accepting more visitors ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011


Out the top of our tent during our one great night of camping (including s'mores)

One of our goals this past year has been to see and try to spend quality time with our immediate and extended families. We are still lacking a few family members in our quest, but that number went down after last week and our trip to Indiana and Illinois.

We started with Indiana, making our way northward to Goshen, but stopping long enough to visit the Hummels (some long time Forlines' family friends) along the way where we were treated to a motorcycle ride!

In Goshen you will find Uncle Matt and his family. (Michelle's Mom's brother) Believe it or not, it was the first time to ever meet cousin Matthew, who is 13 years old! We enjoyed getting to see Uncle Matt "coach" a T-ball game, where the only rules are 1) you swing at the ball until you hit a fair ball, 2) When you field the ball, you must throw it to first base 3) you will never get out and 4) you will always make it to home base.

We also attended church with Uncle Matt, Aunt Melony, and Matthew, where they head up the children's ministry, The Son Shine Club!

Next we headed to East Moline, Illinois to visit Aunt Kathy (Dane's Mom's sister) .

Aunt Kathy leads a life that has many interesting facets. Notably she is a pool (billiards) champion and has the trophies to prove it. She is SUPER organized but not so much that she didn't make us feel at home while we stayed with her.

She took us to a Mexican Restaurant that happens to be called the Ice Cream Palace, but sadly doesn't serve a lick of ice cream.

Watch the video below at your own risk. Dane had fun reverting back to childhood at a park near Aunt Kathy's house.

Our last night of the trip was spent in Chicago, where we may one day call home....we'll see!

Yet again, we're so thankful for all the hospitality that has been extended to us by family and friends this year.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Strawberry Bliss

It is the season of strawberries. I love it. They are a reminder that spring has fully arrived. And such a sweet and delicious reminder they are.

Dane and I have gone strawberry picking a couple of times over the past couple of weeks at Circle S Farms in Lebanon, TN. The picking has been abundant and the strawberries beautiful.

The strawberries were either frozen, made in to jam or just enjoyed plain.

I discovered a wonderful new pectin for jam making. Pomona's Universal Pectin. You can make jam without sugar if you want! I opted for the low sugar version and it tastes so fresh without tons of sugar.

The process...

Clean 'em

Cook 'em

Can 'em