Speed Reader

Well, I sat down at 5 pm to read 90 Minutes in Heaven, and it is now 7:31 and I am done.  The book is 205 pages and a quick read.

I don’t really know what to say about the book… it is a good story… an amazing story actually.  It is incredible to read how the Lord has used Rev. Piper since his 90 minute encounter with Heaven and I cannot begin to imagine the pain he still lives with.

I wish that I felt more affected by the book; maybe I just need a few days to ruminate on it.


The Project

Thank you for your input on what my project should be 🙂  I have decided to read a book a week.  (Notice I did not say attempt to read a book a week.)  I’m going to start today and post my thoughts on the book after I have finished.

The first few books on my list are

  1. 90 Minutes in Heaven
  2. Emma
  3. The Shack
  4. God’s Pursuit of Man
  5. Guerilla Lovers (P.S. Kelley, do you have this?)
  6. Crazy Love
  7. Forgotten God:Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Do you have any suggestions for other books?

Isaiah 65

This was a particularly sad week in NICU and these verses are so fitting.  Although I have read through the Bible in its entirety, I don’t specifically remember these verses and am so thankful that the Lord gave them to me this week.

Isaiah 65:20-25

“Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
he who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere youth;
he who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed.

They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the works of their hands.

They will not toil in vain
or bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the LORD,
they and their descendants with them.

Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.

The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the LORD.”

More Groceries

Okay, well, now I’m not even sure if we’ll be able to stay under $250.

We received our bi-weekly delivery of fresh produce this week: $22.99.

I went shopping yesterday and bought:

  • 2 packs of bagels (BOGO… I stock up and freeze them)
  • 3 Amy’s frozen pizzas (on sale for $5 each, which is less than Publix Greenwise and Kashi)
  • 2 PF Chang’s for Two frozen meals (BOGO and $1.50 off coupon)
  • Bananas
  • Vegetable oil
  • Frosted Mini Wheats (half off this weekend at Publix)
  • 3 packs of dry yeast for baking breads
  • 1 pack of baby spinach/arugula (2/$5)
  • 2 brownie mix boxes (BOGO)
  • Organic ground beef (on sale)
  • 2 packs of Arnold bread (BOGO)
  • Organic black beans
  • Organic butter (on sale for $3.99)
  • 6 Stonyfield yogurts (on sale + 2 coupons)
  • 3 packs of Murray’s chicken ($2 less per pound than Greenwise)
  • 1 carton almond milk ($0.55 off coupon)

Grand total of $83.67.  If I don’t go to the grocery store again, we will only pay another $22.99 for some more produce which would bring our monthly total to $233.52.  Either way, we will still spend a lot less on food than we usually do.


I need a project.  Something inexpensive.  Something that will force me to grow as a person.  Something.

Read a book a week?  Get perfect abs?  Cook through a cookbook?  Learn a new language?

Any ideas?

Decision Made

Okay, the decision has been made.  I have applied to USF and am in the process of finalizing my application to the pediatric nurse practitioner program.  I hope to start in the spring with only one class while I acclimate to being back in school while still working full time.

I won’t have to actually go to Tampa until several semesters into the program, and I actually may be able to do my clinical hours in Kissimmee/Celebration.  I don’t particularly want to work in a pediatrician’s office, but would rather follow a plastic surgeon or cardiovascular surgeon, or even in a developmental clinic to follow up with former NICU babies.  However, I don’t want to be “essential” to the practice… as in… I don’t want to work full time because I want to be able to stay at home with my kids about 75% of the time.

There are still a whole heck of a lot of questions to be answered, but all I know is that right now I have the time and I am willing to put in the work.  Kids will work themselves out.  A job will work itself out.  God will give me direction on those things when He is ready, but it’s up to me to take the first step.


I’m having trouble making a decision right now.  I want to go back to school… kinda.  If I don’t go back now, I’ll have to wait until we have kids that are in school themselves.  That will probably be ten years or more and I just don’t think that I want to wait that long.  However, I don’t know exactly what I want to go back for… PNP… NNP??  I don’t want to work NNP hours because quite frankly they are awful, but I think that I would miss NICU.  A PNP has a very broad scope; I could work for a pediatrician, a hospitalist, a specialist, urgent care, the options are almost endless.

I could start as early as this spring at USF if I get my stuff together very quickly, which I think I can.

I’m just not sure what to do.  Will I miss NICU too much if I move on?  Will I have to go through burn out again if I stay?  I just don’t know.


So.  If the month ended today, we would be completely on target for our grocery budget 😉

However, the month ends in two weeks, so I’m not holding my breath.

At the beginning of the month, we had to buy dog food and a few other things: $29.34

Today I bought milk, two kashi frozen meals, chicken, sausage, ground beef, cornmeal, flour, sugar, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, a lime, a tomato, two cans of black beans, two bells peppers, tortillas, two jars of pasta sauce (BOGO), two cans of cooking spray (BOGO), eggs, cilantro, brown sugar, and basil for $74.53.

Okay, so even so, we would still be over $100… but close.  Maybe we can make it for $200???

In addition to limiting my grocery shopping and couponing (which was a bust this week except for a $5 off $50 I had), I’m trying to meal plan.  This is what it looks like so far:

  • 10th-veggie and bean burritos (which were uber yummy)
  • 11th-taboule (which we made today and are chilling overnight)
  • 12th-chicken and rice
  • 13th-baked ziti
  • 14th-leftovers
  • 15th-homemade pizza (Andrew is looking forward to this big time)
  • 16th-undecided… maybe a veggie night with stuff from our Orlando Organics delivery
  • 17th-Jambalaya for Megan and Jonathan 🙂
  • 18th-Mac and cheese (I need to learn how to make this from scratch)
  • 19-rice and beans
  • 20th and 21st ????
  • 22nd-French toast
  • 23-30th-???

For lunches we’re doing leftovers and PB&J, and for breakfast we have plenty of bagels and cereal.

We still have a long way to go… but hopefully we’ll get there without spending too much money 🙂

P.S. Thanks, Jennine, for feeding Andrew and I lunch and dinner 😉

Brynn Update

Her brother sent out a message this morning saying that Brynn had a cardiac cath today, and is going to get a PICC in her arm (a long term IV) for some medications.  He also said that when Brynn first came into the hospital, her left ventricle was performing at about 10% (I’m assuming he’s talking about ejection fraction here) and the cardiologist said that her heart is now functioning normally!!!!  (Current ejection fraction is 61%, anything above 55% is normal)  He said that she is still weak after lying flat on her bed motionless for over a week, but is working with a physical therapist to help her regain strength.  She will be on some cardiac meds for the long haul and will have her defibrillator put in in about a week.  She is doing great!!!!  Praise God for still working miracles!

Brynn’s Progress

God is SO good!!!

From husband, Joey-9/2 1:30 update: I had to step out of Brynn’s room for a few mins while they performed a minor procedure to relocated the IV catheter from her leg to her arm, this will reduce the risk on infection. Brynn has remained strong, her heart has shown a few small signs of strengthening. Even though her heart is being assisted by a the balloon, I praise God that it is stable. The doctors are working to get Brynn the perfect antibiotics to fight the pneumonia. Her BP med and sedation meds are continually being reduced. We are also looking for to reduce the ventilator till she is breathing without any assistance. Those are the praises! I know that God has the ability to completely take away the pneumonia and strengthen her heart to its full capacity, thats what I have been in constant prayer for. Also pray that God will give her peace and comfort that only comes from Him.

From father, Skip Fengfish- Brynn had a good night. We need to praise God for the strength He has given her so far. We are working on weening her from the vent and she isoff 1 BP med and on less pain med. She has been awake more & writing questions to us. Please pray that God gives her a peace that only comes from Him, continues to heal her of the pneumonia and strengthen her heart! God is great and He will be glorified!

4pm from mom, Pamela-I wish I could hug each of you and personally tell you how much I appreciate your prayers, words of encouragement and love. It means SO VERY MUCH to all of us. Brynn is stable today and resting right now. (She actually got to have a short visit with Eli yesterday which did her a world of good.) Please keep praising God and praying for her recovery. THANK YOU!!!

From Ross-‎9/2 7pm – If you would like to send anything to Brynn and the family here is the address: VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) Hospital, 1250 E Marshall Street, Building D, 10th Floor Cardio-Intensive ICU, Room 126, Richmond, Virginia – They are taking her off the sedation slowly and she will be more aware throughout the next few days, I know she will love to see how much everyone loves her. Thank God, she hasn’t remembered anything that has happened so far. She has short-term memory loss right now, I think that is a blessing. So when she wakes she’ll be better than when she arrived and she won’t know the difference. Thank you for all your prayers, keep praying, praying, praying!! God is performing miracle after miracle! We serve such an awesome God. Brynn is on the right road. The head surgeon came by this morning and said he’s still waiting “if she’s getting better, we’re waiting” I know that is God hands at work!