Monthly Archives: August 2013

Meier Wire #54: Meier Family Deliveries of 2013

Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up after many months of silence.  My writing endeavors have been limited to reminder notes for the daily basic things of life and random posts I’ve managed to put on Facebook.  I have to admit that only about 50% of the witty and charming ideas I have thought of putting on Facebook actually make it there. Usually, my thoughts hit on something especially “Facebook” worthy at a moment when I cannot access my computer.  By the time I’ve actually sat down and logged in, I can’t remember what I had wanted to post several hours (or days) earlier.

So, when I think about writing for my blog or attempting to work on re-writing the first few chapters of my dissertation, it usually becomes a fleeting thought that never quite materializes in during the busy, awake time of my day.

The last time that I attempted to update my blog, I was still pregnant with my fourth child.  We were expecting another boy.  We had decided that his name would be Seth Adrian Meier and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have any major complications in giving birth.  We were also praying for God’s provision since our health insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs. We made our final road trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break and returned to Lake Jackson, Texas to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s and to await the birth of our son.

FamilyPic FamilyPic_cousins

(Cristina’s side of the family took pictures in Gainesville, Florida)
White – Philip’s family / Red – Cristina’s family / Black – Anita’s family / Black with design – Tim’s family

Christmas_MKMeier1 Christmas_MKMeier2

(Christmas / Maternity Photos – December 2012)

Now, we are nearly half way through 2013, and our fourth child is nearly five months old. The months in between have brought many adventures our way.  If I were to summarize the highlights in a series of Facebook posts, it would probably look something like this:

*New Year….Baby on the Way.  We can’t wait.

(39 weeks pregnant)

*Luke had a blast at his firefighter birthday party. I can’t believe he’s four already.  I’m glad I didn’t go into labor today.

birthdaycake birthdayboy

*Uh-oh.  I found out that I do have placenta accretta and will not be allowed to go into labor naturally.  They are going to schedule a c-section for January 17.

*Praise the Lord! Seth Adrian Meier was born with no complications.  My placenta came out without any problems.  I am looking forward to going home in a few days. I am grateful for my mother being at home with my other three kids.

Seth_waves Seth_unhappy

Seth_mommy

*Jared enjoyed celebrating his “half” birthday at school today. He’s five and a half today (January 25).

Kids_withbaby

*My mom went home after her three week stay.  I miss her already.

Mommy_baby

*Grace keeps getting ear infections.  She might need to get tubes in her ears.

Grace_sick

*Valentine’s Day is so busy! I’ve spent so much time making valentines for all the kids in Jared’s kindergarten class and in Luke’s Cubbies group that I hardly have time to make anything special for my family.

Valentine's Day1 Valentine's Day2

*We’ve been discovering the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate missionaries worldwide.  I might even try to make some Irish soda bread.

StPattysDayFamily IrishSodaBread

*Grace is the first in our family to start seeing a chiropractor. I never would have guessed that these adjustments would work so well to help clear the fluid in her ears.  The ear specialist agreed that she doesn’t need ear tubes and that her hearing is perfect.

SweetGrace

*We enjoyed Easter with the kids this year.  No one was sick this time around.

EasterFamily EasterTrio EasterBoys EasterEggHunt

*Grace turned two years old!  She loved being dressed up as a lady bug for her lady bug birthday party.

Grace_birthday

*Seth is 100 days old today (April 27)! It’s the only time I dress up in my Korean hanbok to celebrate the occasion.

Seth_100Days

*BCS had a successful auction and was able to raise a lot of money for the school.  Several scholarships were donated so that more students will be able to attend in future years.

BCS Auction

*We celebrated Stephen’s birthday at school today (May 1).  Jared’s kindergarten class came to his office to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.  Jared made a birthday cake for him all by himself.

Stephen_birthday

*Another school year is quickly coming to an end.  Jared graduated from kindergarten on May 21. We are so proud of our eldest son.

Jared_graduationpic

*The weather is finally staying warm enough to bring out the pools.  The kids are excited about this summer.  Jared is already planning on what he wants to do for his sixth birthday.

Summer_banner

So, there you have it.  That is a rundown of the most important events that have happened this year so far.  I look forward to adding more posts in the future.  I hope all the writing ideas that formulate as I’m driving or folding clothes or making dinner actually get typed at some point in the near future.

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Meier Wire #53: Harvesting Joy in 2012

Meier Wire #53
Harvesting Joy in 2012
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas

(Note: Although I wrote this in late November of 2012, I did not post it for another eight months. Please pardon my delay!)

I recently went nearly 10 months without posting a single post on our family blog.  Then, I posted 16 different posts to try to make up for the lack of communication.  Two weeks later, I began planning my next batch of blog posts.  After all, there are only two months left in the calendar year and my brain is already flowing with a number of ideas for posts.  Of course, the ideas come easily when there is so much going on at this time of the year.  Harvest activities, festivals and “hallow’s eve” kick off the beginning of the holiday season.  Just as soon as I’ve sorted through the Halloween candy, it’s already time to think about Thanksgiving plans and Christmas.  Throw in a national election and a pregnancy that is coming into the final 10 week countdown and I become a very busy momma.

So, feel free to read about our fall activities and updates. October and November have been fun months of busy activities and celebrations that I am looking forward to sharing with you.

Recent topics:

1) Grandparent’s Day Relived (Family News)
Although Grandparent’s Day was officially listed on U.S. calendars in the month of September, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has traditionally prepared a special celebration in their honor during the month of October.

2) ACSI accreditation (Ministry)
Under the supervision of Stephen Meier, BCS recently accomplished something that no other Christian school in the United States has yet to achieve.

3) Hallelujah on Halloween (TCK Views)
A lot of churches around here have taken to celebrating “Hallelujah” night in the place of Halloween.

4) Monster Dash into the wind (Family News)
This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature.

5) Weather or not in Lake Jackson (TCK Views)
I grew up without any seasonal changes, so I’m not a person to be disappointed by snowless winters and a lack of a real spring blossoming or fall foliage.

6) A Homecoming Update & Prize Winners (Ministry)
At Brazosport Christian School (BCS), their annual homecoming event was supercharged this year by a fund-raising event set to deliver prizes to a few lucky participants who took the time to donate money to the school.

We hope you are doing well as the year draws to an end and the holiday season begins.  Feel free to e-mail, call, Skpye or post us.  May God grant each of you peace of mind regardless of how you feel about the national election results this year.  God is in control of everything; even the United States electoral process.

Sincerely,

Cristina (for the rest of the MK Meier family)

Stephen, Cristina, Jared, Luke, Grace and Seth-in-the-womb

Grandparent’s Day re-lived

November 2012

Although Grandparent’s Day was officially listed on U.S. calendars in the month of September, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) has traditionally prepared a special celebration in their honor during the month of October.  Last year, I didn’t really pay much attention to the activities.  However, things have changed since Jared became a BCS student.  I knew his teacher was busy preparing fun activities and decorations in honor of the grandparents of each of her 18 students.

So, I decided that I needed to attend the event.  After all, Jared does not have the good fortune of having his grandparents close by.  One set of grandparents live in northern Oregon.  We have not been able to visit with them since Luke was six months old (and this was before Grace was born).  The other set of grandparents just recently left Guatemala and moved to the central Florida area.  Although they are much closer to us than they once were, the trip was not within their means, either.

grandparent tree

That left me to be the “eye” of Jared’s grandparents as I recorded the special moments of that day. After dropping Jared off at the usual time, I had enough time to go home and feed Grace her breakfast while Luke worked on his pre-school workbooks.  Then we returned to school to attend a special chapel session / breakfast for the grandparents. Each class got an opportunity to sing songs or perform skits to impress their special guests.  Luke and Grace sat in a stroller at the edge of the crowd and watched the activities with much enthusiasm while their mommy moved around the gym to record the scenes.

For the final song, grades K-3 through 6th came up on the stage together to sing the BCS theme song of the year, Chris Tomlin’s “Our God is Greater.” As the students filed out of the gym, grandparents were invited to visit the classrooms of their grandchildren.  The visits were broken down into two segments so that grandparents could visit multiple classrooms if needed.  Stephen took Luke and Grace out to the school playground so that I could go to Jared’s classroom and record the activities taking place there.

Although Jared was one of the few students who didn’t have grandparents present, he seemed quite happy to perform his parts in front of the camera.  Both sets of grandparents had mailed in special card to be delivered to Jared on this day.  Jared was quite proud of his cards.  He had made thank you cards for his grandparents, as well.

Jared_cards

They didn’t receive the cards and video until after Thanksgiving, as it took me that long to get the video recordings organized.  So, they will be able to enjoy the events of Grandparent’s Day for the rest of the calendar year.

ACSI accreditation

November 2012

ACSI-logo

Under the supervision of Stephen Meier, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) recently accomplished something that no other Christian school in the United States has yet to achieve.

Under the supervision of Stephen Meier, Brazosport Christian School (BCS) recently accomplished something that no other Christian school in the United States has yet to achieve.

The school was due to go through the normal accreditation process.  However, Stephen introduced a new concept to be added to the accreditation process.  Instead of striving for simply renewing their current accreditation with ACSI (Association of Christian Schools), they also wanted to become accredited with SACS (also known as Advanced Ed) which is an accreditation program used more often by secular private schools.  Although many Christian schools have achieved accreditation with both ACSI and SACS, this is first time that a Christian school has requested to process both accreditations at the same time with the help of a team from ACSI.

This became possible only recently, because ACSI has partnered with SACS in order to send a team of administrators to process both accreditations at the same time. Stephen’s first few months of the school year were focused on that goal of helping the school complete this dual accreditation process with success.  For several weeks, I would see stacks of binders being brought home as Stephen filled out all the proper paperwork that was needed. He supervised his principals and teachers as they created standards, collected evidence and created master binders that would reflect all the important curriculum and activities of the school.

The accreditation team from ACSI arrived on the afternoon of October 14 and visited the school from October 15-17.  After interviewing teachers, visiting classrooms and looking through countless binders, the team decided that the school was approved to be accredited by both ACSI and SACS.  It is such a new process that no other school has yet attempted to do the same thing.  Stephen was able to become part of a trail blazing effort that produced successful results.

The school was due to go through the normal accreditation process.  However, Stephen introduced a new concept to be added to the accreditation process.  Instead of striving for simply renewing their current accreditation with ACSI (Association of Christian Schools), they also wanted to become accredited with SACS (also known as Advanced Ed) which is an accreditation program used more often by secular private schools.  Although many Christian schools have achieved accreditation with both ACSI and SACS, this is first time that a Christian school has requested to process both accreditations at the same time with the help of a team from ACSI.

This became possible only recently, because ACSI has partnered with SACS in order to send a team of administrators to process both accreditations at the same time. Stephen’s first few months of the school year were focused on that goal of helping the school complete this dual accreditation process with success.  For several weeks, I would see stacks of binders being brought home as Stephen filled out all the proper paperwork that was needed. He supervised his principals and teachers as they created standards, collected evidence and created master binders that would reflect all the important curriculum and activities of the school.

The accreditation team from ACSI arrived on the afternoon of October 14 and visited the school from October 15-17.  After interviewing teachers, visiting classrooms and looking through countless binders, the team decided that the school was approved to be accredited by both ACSI and SACS.  It is such a new process that no other school has yet attempted to do the same thing.  Stephen was able to become part of a trail blazing effort that produced successful results.

Hallelujah on Halloween

November 2012

A lot of churches around here have taken to celebrating “Hallelujah” night in the place of Halloween. Last year, we visited a variety of different locations.  One church in town celebrates an annual “Trunk or Treat.” Other churches open up their facilities to carnival attractions for kids.  Blow up slides and bounce houses are spread out across their lawns.  Beside the row of bounce houses, there are often little activity stands with different varieties of bean bag tossing or hammer throwing or face painting.  Some churches boast of small petting zoos with the appropriate number of hungry lambs, baby goats, bunnies and chickens to entice a good number of young participants willing to feed them. Last year, we even went to the mall.  The kids got free tokens at Chuckie Cheese for being dressed up in their costumes and some of the other stories were giving out candy as well.

However, this year, Halloween fell on a Wednesday.  Jared and Luke are members of a local Awana club that meets on Wednesday nights at a Baptist church in Clute.  This particular Awana gathering was designated “Hallelujah Night” and the special event of the night was the costume contest to take place after ‘group and verse time.’ Each club member had a chance to dress up as a person, character or animal from the Bible and would need to explain who they were and why they were important in the Bible.  So, we didn’t have a lot of time to try to visit many other church events before our scheduled weekly trip to Awana at 7pm.  We did make it to one “Hallelujah fest” at the Baptist church close to the school.  We stayed for about thirty minutes before we pried our kids away from the festivities to get to Awana on time.

(Jared, Luke and Grace pose with a couple friends)

Last year, Jared was the only one in our family attending Awana.  He had dressed up as Sampson and had won second place in his Cubbies group.  This year, I had purchased a little Abraham outfit for Jared and put together a costume for Luke to play the role of “the little boy who shared his lunch with Jesus.”  For weeks we practiced going over the story of how Jesus needed to feed 5,000 people and a little boy shared his lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish so that everyone could eat.  Then Jesus turned his lunch into a “miracle meal” and there were 12 baskets of left overs when they were done.

I kept Jared busy memorizing six main points about who Abraham was in the Bible.  One main point was a Bible verse that he had memorized, which was Romans 4:3 and states, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. (NIV)”

When it came time to stand before the judges, the boys were able to recite all the information they had learned about their Bible characters.  Luke got a second place prize for his Cubbies group, which included two free movie tickets and “Awana bucks” to be spent at the Awana store in the near future.  Jared got first place in his Sparks group, which I consider even more impressive because it includes kids in kindergarten, first and second grades. He also won free movie tickets and “Awana bucks.”  Both boys were proud of their accomplishments and I was proud of them.  I can’t think of any other way I would rather spend Halloween night.

Oh, and Happy Reformation Day to those who celebrate this alternative on October 31st.  I think Martin Luther would have been proud of my boys, too.

Monster Dash into the wind

November 2012

This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature. I’m not sure it the sudden weather change is an annual thing, but it certainly has been the trend for the past two years.  It’s as if Lake Jackson can’t figure out whether or not it wants to participate in fall temperatures until the weekend before Halloween.  Then, suddenly the weather decides to jump into fall with temperatures resembling the north pole.

Well, it might not be that drastic, but there is a drop of about twenty degrees that strives toward freezing temperatures. Last year, the temperature was in the low 40’s when we started our run.  This year, the temperature was in the mid 50’s, but included a wind chill that cut right through the cotton running outfit you thought was surely going to keep you warm enough.

(At the end of the kids’ “fun run” we were all still feeling the sting of the cold air.)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really physically ready to run a 5km this year.  Last year, I had jogged the 5km while pushing my darling little Grace in a running stroller.  Stephen had the double stroller with Jared and Luke bundled up inside.  The boys didn’t mind too much being in the stroller.  They had participated in a 100 meter race before the 5km.  Half of the participants had dressed up in Halloween costumes for the race so that they could compete in a costume contest at the end of the race.

This year, I had not been running on a regular basis.  I hadn’t even been walking on a regular basis.  The most exercise I had been getting was in the process of cleaning the house.  Sweeping, mopping, dusting and scrubbing on a weekly basis had been the extent of my muscle use.  My poor little tread mill had seen the vacuum cleaner and duster more often than it saw my running shoes in the past six months.

Therefore, I became the spectator and Grace became the participant in the kiddie race.  It was her first race ever.  She can’t really run yet, but she did a great job speed walking.  She came in dead last, but she finished the race as the youngest participant.  Jared and Luke were actually near the front.  Jared came in fourth place even after falling on the gravel path twice during the race.

When the time came for Stephen to run the 5k race, he decided to leave the running stroller at home so the kids could watch the race with me.  We sat in the car to stay out of the wind until we saw Stephen coming around the bend for the final 400 meters of the race.  The boys ran out to the race course yelling, “Go Daddy!  Kick it, Daddy!  You can do it!”

(Jared and Luke cheer on their daddy as he approaches the finish line.)

Although Stephen wasn’t really impressed with his own time, he was able to get second place in his age group and received a special Monster Dash glass.

The people wearing costumes also were also given points for their outfits as they ran the 5k.  In the end, there was a prize given to the best adult costume, the best kids’ outfit and the best group outfit.  There were a group of runners who were dressed up as different condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) and one person as a hotdog.  There were a group of elves and a group of Star Wars characters.

It was a fun race to be a part of, in spite of the cold weather.  It was also good to get back home after the race and warming up again with a mid-morning snack.

Weather or not in Lake Jackson

November 2012

I grew up without any seasonal changes, so I’m not a person to be disappointed by snowless winters, a lack of a real spring blossoming or colorful fall foliage.  The process in which a tree goes from green to gold and then brown before become leafless is something I only read about in books. It also doesn’t help that my book knowledge of tree species is limited to elementary basics.  I’m pretty sure I can identify your basic pine tree (although I will probably confuse it with the spruce and fir trees).  I think I can tell the difference between a maple, oak, magnolia and birch, but I might get confused if you throw a beech or sassafras tree in front of me.

My first experience with true seasonal changes among these deciduous varieties was when I lived in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia.  The trees would begin to turn colors in early October and bursts of brilliant colors would cover the hills as we moved slowly from fall into winter. By December, the trees were appropriately bare and the weather would dip down near freezing on various nights.

Then I moved to Texas. The trees I have met in Lake Jackson, Texas during my year here were different from the ones I’ve seen up north. It doesn’t help that there is a curious blend of tropical plants and palm trees planted in the same neighborhoods with the oaks, maples and firs. They all seem to live and thrive well together for most of the year.

My confusion began when fall weather came upon us in a rush on a cold October morning.  Perhaps these Texan trees are confused by the fact that October temperatures still resemble those of early August. Maybe they feel the peer pressure of their tropical counterparts to keep their leaves to themselves. After weeks of balmy weather, October temperatures dropped to near freezing leaving tropical plants crying out in misery. The rest of the trees seem to fall in three categories.  The first group of trees turned to their fall colors in a flash. Their reds, oranges and yellows happily cried out, “Fall is here!” After a few weeks, these trees began dropping their leaves in accordance to Mother Nature.

The second group of trees was less decisive.  They waited until the first group had long begun to lose their brown leaves before tentatively allowing some of their green robes to fade to yellow.  Eventually, they would also catch up with their fall-happy partners and begin to lose their leaves as well.

The last group of trees is a bunch of stubborn oak trees that wait until spring before they realize that they have not updated their wardrobe.  In a sudden rush, they work to remove the old leaves while pollinating at the same time.  I learned that this is actually normal of the oak trees in our back yard as they deposit both leaves and a layer of yellow and brown dust on our back porch and lawn.

In any case, we have discovered that our biggest raking efforts need to be saved until mid-March when we finally are able to collect the last of the leaves that fall from our trees.

(Kids in the Yard – March 2013)