Tag Archives: Cristina

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.

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

Springing into Summer and Landing in the Fall

I can’t believe we are already three-fourths of the way through the 2012 year and I have managed to experience each of these months without a single update on my blog.  It’s definitely a new record for silence on the Internet since I created the MK Meier Family site.

I remember sitting down during the final week of January and writing down a list of topics that I wanted to write about for my February update. The entire month of February, I kept thinking I was going to sit down at some point and complete the task.  Suddenly, it was March.  Just as suddenly, March was over.  I took a deep breath as April began and I think the month was over before I finished letting the air out of my lungs.  Don’t even ask me about May.  I think I blinked a couple times and it was June already.  In desperation, I realized I wasn’t actually sitting down long enough at the computer to write anything intelligible.

By mid-July, I had finally decided that my brain was going to explode if I do not write some reflection of life’s experiences as they have occurred to the MK Meier family in the first half of 2012. Then, someone woke up from his nap early and my days blurred together without any further written reflections.

August was a busy month as I slowly prepared myself and my kids for early mornings so that I would be able to drop off Jared at school every school day by 7:45am.  Stephen’s morning schedule involves arriving at work much earlier than that, so I have to get all the kids ready to leave the house at the same time in order to get Jared to school by myself.

Amidst these mental preparations, August also ended up being  a month of illness as everyone struggled through various stages of sinus and head colds.

September was a continuation of everyone adjusting to rising early in the morning and getting Jared to school on time.  By this time, I had managed to work out a morning schedule to keep Luke and Grace busy for the hours between breakfast and when we pick Jared up from school at lunch time. After lunch, my body is usually screaming at me to along with my napping children and somehow…sitting in front of a computer becomes entirely undesirable.

Now it is October.  I am beginning to wonder if I’m ever going to accomplish this task of communicating with all our long distance friends.  By now some of you might have deleted my e-mail address from your contact book from lack of communication.  But here I go again, in an attempt to summarize the past nine months in the lives of five busy MK Meier individuals.

Feel free to browse through this blog to read about some of the following adventures and updates.  I tried to write them chronologically, so the newest ones are at the bottom of this list, but will show up on the top of the blog:

1) Summoned to Jury Duty in Texas (TCK Views)

2) Story Telling the Texan way (TCK Views)

3) Bats in Texas (Meier Family News)

4) Speaking of Conferences (Ministry)

5) A Trip to Waco (Ministry)

6) Stephen discovers Poison Oak (Meier Family News)

7) Bleach and Ice cream (Meier Family News)

8) Fireworks in Galveston (TCK Views)

9) Cristina Gets Stuck on Methodology (Meier Family News)

10) Jared: A Big Kindergarten Student (Meier Family News)

11) Luke: from potty training to preschool (Meier Family News)

12) Grace is walking, climbing and dancing (Meier Family News)

13) Expecting Again: MK Meier Kid #4 (Meier Family News)

14) BCS is Unstoppable (Ministry)

15) Traveling East in 2012 (Meier Family News)

I’ve tried to narrow down my story telling to the most significant experiences we’ve had so far. We are grateful to all who have kept in touch with us throughout the silence and the communication.  We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  We offer many thanks to those who have kept in touch with us through Facebook, Skype and over the phone when we haven’t been as consistent through e-mail or standard mail.

We would love to hear from you.  Feel free to leave a comment on any of the posts you read, write us an e-mail, write on our Facebook pages or give us a ring on Skype.

Sincerely,

Cristina (for Stephen, Jared, Luke, Grace and Seth-in-the-womb) Meier

Traveling East in 2012

September 2012 – After moving to Texas, I had assumed that we might take some time to travel around the state and get to know it better.  What ended up happening is that we’ve spent more time heading east than we have going any further west of Houston.  Our biggest attraction to heading east of Texas happens to come in the form of family location.

Stephen’s sister and her family live near Mobile, Alabama.  My three siblings and their spouses and families live in Gainesville, Florida.  A few days before our week-long spring break in March, we made a last minute decision to travel east to visit them during our vacation.  So, we packed up and traveled east.  We spent one evening in Mobile with Stephen’s sister’s family.  They have four children.  Their second and third children are close to Jared and Luke’s ages.  Their fourth child is about six months older than Grace.  So, our kids always have a blast visiting with them.

Our second day of traveling brought us down to Gainesville where my sister had been able to secure a guest apartment at their apartment complex for us to stay during most of our visit in Florida.  It was a great time to meet three new members of the family.  First of all, my sister, Anita gave birth to her second child, Eliana in mid-November of 2011. My youngest brother, Tim, had recently married the love of his life, Briana, right before Christmas of 2011.  I had never met her outside of Facebook contact.  Around that same time, my brother Philip and his wife, Chrissy, had finalized the adoption process of a precious little girl from China.  So, it was the first time that I got to meet little Li Rose.  Jared and Luke also enjoy playing with their cousins, Noah and Josh.  It was also the first time for Grace and Eliana to meet each other.

During our visit in Florida, I also had the opportunity to travel down to Ocala and visit with my grandfather, Bill Lassiter and his wife.  It was a short visit and the Meier kiddos basically napped the whole time we were there, but it was fun to sit and chat with him the way I used to when I was in college.

At the end of our one week vacation, we stopped in Mobile again on our way back to Texas and spent one more night with the Blanton family.  It is always so hard to leave their home, because our visits tend to be so brief.

We’ve already decided that we will make another one-week trip east before the end of the year.  I will be too far along in my pregnancy to travel anywhere for Christmas.  However, my doctor has authorized my travel plans for the week of Thanksgiving break.  We are excited that BCS allows for an entire week of vacation for Thanksgiving.  Besides seeing the family that we visited in the spring, we have an additional couple of family members we haven’t visited with in a long time.  Just this past July, my parents (Steve and Helen Cobb) moved to Gainesville, Florida after leaving their missionary home of 16 years in Guatemala. My father has not spent time with my kids since before Grace was born.  Jared had just turned three and Luke was a year and a half when they last visited with their “Papi.”  They last visited with their “Mimi” when she came to Ecuador for a few weeks after Grace was born. 

Here are the general plans for the trip:

November 16  (Friday) – Thanksgiving vacation begins at the end of the school day

November 17 (Saturday)  – Leave Lake Jackson, Texas and arrive in Mobile, Alabama

November 19 (Monday) – Leave Mobile and arrive in Gainesville, Florida

November 23 (Friday) … yeah, we’re traveling on Black Friday – Leave Gainesville and return to Mobile, Alabama

November 24 (Saturday) – Leave Mobile, Alabama and return to Lake Jackson, Texas

November 26 (Monday) – School is back in session until Christmas break

Expecting Again: MK Meier Kid #4

Baby Seth Adrian Meier at 15 weeks

Stephen and I had about decided that we were perfectly content with our little family of five.  We had been blessed with two boys and one girl and we thought it was probably time to ‘close down the factory.’  I was still undecided as to my role in the whole process.  Something in me felt strange about ‘tying my tubes.’  I guess it was hard to think of myself moving beyond the stage of life that I like to call ‘the child-bearing’ years.  Of course, I realize that plenty of women have made this decision at a younger age than my current 35 years.  But it just felt so “old” to me.

It was mid-April when I ran out of the birth control pills that my doctor from Ecuador has prescribed for me.  I had not yet found a new gynecologist since moving to Texas.  So, I decided it would be easiest to use ‘natural birth control’ for a few months while I shopped around for a new doctor.  I began taking my temperature every morning and felt like I was keeping a good track my reproductive cycle for that first month.

However, I started to get worried when that cycle did not end with its usual menstruation.  I didn’t want to believe we were pregnant, because after all, I had been keeping Stephen on his side of the bed for several weeks, (except for the night of his birthday). I finally decided that I needed to take a pregnancy test on May 23.  The pregnancy test proved that it really does only take one attempt to get pregnant.

I stared at the test in shock and fear.  Fear flooded my mind in the form of physical and financial challenges.  First of all, the sound of my doctor’s voice in Ecuador telling me, “If you want to have another baby, you’ll probably lose your uterus,” ran through my head.  I had experienced placenta accreta with the delivery of both Luke and Grace, and the risk of it happening again would be greater with any future pregnancy.

Secondly, the school where Stephen is employed did not offer health insurance to its employees because so many of them are covered under their spouse’s plans who work for other companies.  We had to purchase our own health insurance and were not allowed, under the private plan, to receive maternity coverage.  We didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, because we weren’t planning on getting pregnant.

Now, there I was, staring a pregnancy test and wondering how in the world we were going to cover the costs of a pregnancy without help from our health insurance plan.  I was also not very excited about having another baby while its older sister was still so young.  When I calculated the due date, I realized that my oldest child wouldn’t be quite five and a half before I would give birth again.  That’s four babies in less than six years!  How in the world did I manage to do that?

I can’t say that I began my fourth pregnancy with the best attitude about this added blessing in our lives.  My next shock came soon after when the surprise pregnancy almost became a surprise miscarriage.  I had just visited a new doctor in Lake Jackson at 5 weeks of pregnancy.  I came home that day and began experiencing heavy bleeding and sharp, cramping pains that felt like early labor.  I rushed myself to the Lake Jackson hospital where they did an emergency ultrasound.  It didn’t reveal very much, because it was too early to detect a heart beat on the monitor, but it did show us the small, peanut-looking object that assured us of the presence of a growing fetus.  The blood work done that day to test my hormone levels also showed that my pregnancy hormones were increasing at the appropriate levels.

So, I was sent home with orders to stay off my feet and get as much bed rest as possible.  Please, someone laugh with me, and try to picture a mother of three kids between the ages of four and one being able to get much bed rest all day.  However, the Lord provided during that time.  I was so grateful that this was all happening at the beginning of summer break.  Stephen’s working hours were shorter and he didn’t have to work on Fridays at all.  He was able to help me with the kids when he wasn’t working and we always had lots of three day weekends.

Another hidden blessing for me happened to be the European Soccer Cup of 2012 that took place in England.  The games aired our time at 10 am and 1pm every day for several weeks in a row.  I was able to find activities for the kids to do in the living room while I rested on the couch. I would watch the afternoon game while the kids took their nap.  Usually, I fell asleep during those games and got lots of much needed naps. The soccer games were something that took my mind off of all the things that I thought I should be doing while I was supposed to be resting.  I didn’t miss a single game of that tournament.  By the time the final match was played and Spain came out victorious, the risk for miscarrying was gone.

During that time, I decided that I needed to find a new doctor.  The doctor I started to see in Lake Jackson told me that she didn’t handle high risk pregnancies.  Someone recommended a doctor in Houston, so I began seeing her.

So, my high risk pregnancy began with two major bleeding episodes, but has continued as normal, otherwise.  By the time summer was over and another school year started, I was in my second trimester and regaining the energy I had lost during my first trimester.

We discovered at 15 weeks that we are going to have another male bundle of joy added to the family picture.  Every time I try to tell someone that we are only going to have one girl in the family now, Jared insists on correcting me by saying, “But you’re a girl, too, Mommy!”

As the month of October comes to a close, so does my second trimester.  Little Seth Adrian Meier was measured at his last ultrasound to be growing at a rate four days faster than his due date and was weighing a little over two pounds at 27 1/2 weeks.  He’s already positioning himself head down and he is quite the mover and kicker.

Currently, the biggest concerns with this pregnancy are:

1) My placenta – The doctor has said that she plans to thoroughly check the position of my placenta around the 32nd week to decide whether she thinks it will be necessary to perform a C-section and a possible hysterectomy during delivery.  We are praying that neither scenario will be necessary.  I have given birth vaginally to my first three children and would prefer to keep my uterus even if I don’t want to fill it with future babies.

2) My varicose veins – As with my pregnancy with Grace, varicose veins have taken over my legs and feet.  My OBGYN happens to be married to a vascular surgeon.  I already made one visit with him.  He looked at my veins and recommended that I use compression hose and take aspirin.  So, my hope none of my veins will not develop blood clots that produce any type of thrombosis after I give birth.

My due date is January 23, 2013 and a dear friend of mine is organizing a baby shower for me to take place on Sunday afternoon, December 9.  I have created a baby registry at Target (www.target.com) for those who are interested in seeing what our current needs are to prepare for our third son.

Summoned to Jury Duty in Texas

January 2012 – I’ll never forget the first time that I was summoned to Jury Duty.  I had always wondered about the process and if it would ever happen to me.  When Stephen and I got married in the summer of 2005, we settled down in the northern Virginia area for a year.  Then we purchased our first home in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, just over the border between West Virginia and Virginia.  We lived there for two more years.  We were registered to vote.  We paid West Virginia taxes.  Yet, we were never summoned to jury duty.

Then, we moved to Ecuador in 2008.  We rented our home in West Virginia for the three years that we were living there, so we were still registered to vote there and were still considered residents of West Virginia.  We had all our mail forwarded to us in Ecuador, but some of our mail took several months to reach us.

During our final year in Ecuador, I received a piece of mail telling me I was being summoned for jury duty.  I almost panicked because the letter was over a month late of the day I was supposed to contact them to let them know if I was unable to attend.  I called them and was able to straighten things out without any problems.

So, let’s fast forward a few months.  Stephen and I had just moved with our kids to our new home in Lake Jackson, Texas.  We got our new Texas driver’s licenses and registered to vote at the same time.  About a month later, I was summoned for jury duty once again.  However, this time, I was able to respond in a timely fashion by making myself exempt from duty due to the fact that I was the sole caregiver of three children under school age.  It was a little disappointing, because I would have liked to have that experience.  Perhaps I will be given the chance again in future years when the kids are all in school.

Anyway, the story doesn’t end there.  A few months after I made myself exempt from jury duty, Stephen was summoned, as well.  So, he was able to attend his first summons, in the city courthouse of Angleton, which is about 10 minutes outside of Lake Jackson.

This was when we were able to discover that simply because you are summoned for jury duty doesn’t mean you will be assigned jury duty.  A large group of people are summoned and then a smaller group is selected from them to serve duty.  Stephen traveled out to Angleton twice before he was eliminated from the group.  So, his experience with the judicial system was short lived. However, now he can say that has been summoned for jury duty at least once in his life.

The outside of the courthouse building in Angleton, Texas where Stephen was summoned to jury duty.

Remembering Indy

When I received a call from my younger sister early on a Tuesday morning in late November, I had a feeling that something was going on.  The feeling grew as she began to ask me if I had heard from my mom or my brother or anyone else in the family.  Then she proceeded to inform me that my grandmother on my mother’s side of the family had passed away early that morning.

Nella Dean "Indy" Whitten

It was November 29, 2011.  If she had stayed alive until December 8, she would have celebrated her 89th birthday.  Her death did not come as a shock.  She had been struggling with Alzheimer’s for over a decade and was slowly deteriorating in both mental and physical capabilities.  However, her soul remained the same.  She was that vibrant lady who loved people and wanted them to know how much God loved them too.  Her love for God and people sent her overseas as a missionary with her husband to places like Argentina, Spain and the equatorial islands off the coast of Africa.  Even in retirement, she continued to reach out to people with the love of Christ.  Even as her memories began to fade and she no longer remembered things or recognized people, she continued to seek out those who needed a little extra attention.

Stephen and I decided that we would attend her funeral, since there was less than eight hours driving distance between Lake Jackson, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi.  As I made my plans to visit, I felt a tugging in my heart to write a poem in memory of her.  As I weighed the pros and cons of taking on this creative endeavor, I began to remember all the birthdays that she would send me a personal birthday card that she had made herself, complete with her own poem.  Then, I knew I had to do it.

Once I told my mom about it, she suggested at once that I read it at the funeral.  So, without further ado, here is the poem I read for on December 2, 2011 at Nella Dean “Indy” Whitten’s funeral.

Lost and Found Memories
By Cristina Meier

I can see her now walking as she once was,
an excited girl figure on the edge of the shore
She’s young now and walks so lightly
Having recently entered the land of legend and lore

 Her hair is vibrant red, tumbling down her back
Blowing and reflecting the sunrise before her
Her eyes are dancing, full of laughter and light,
Her smile is a radiance of joy, steady and sure

 She picks up a shell lying close to her feet
It’s one of many on the sands of vast memories
Scooping up a handful, she takes a moment and
Sighing she whispers, “These are my memories.”

 Joyfully she fills the basket beside her,
digging her toes deep into the warm, moist sand.
She stops periodically to stare at each shell
turning them over gently in the palm of her hand.

 Some of them bring smiles and periodic giggles
Some bring a sigh and an occasional tear
But each memory is a treasure to her
Each moment…each hour; each day…each year.

 “Oh, yes, I remember now,” she says,
Each empty space filled to the last strand
Like long-lost treasures slowly found
Forever mysteries she can now understand

 And she finds that she is not alone here
Looking over at the person walking her way
Jumping up she runs to meet him
She’s never met a stranger in her day.

 She pauses for a brief moment, looking up
And the man smiles down at her.
His arms stretch out to share a greeting;
A gesture to quickly welcome her.

 She looks carefully down at the strong hands
Each bearing the scar of an old Roman nail.
The bruises each tell their own story
Grasping them eagerly, she knows of their tale.

 “Do you remember me, child?” he asks.
“Yes, Lord,” she says, “I do.”
“For your love has been a part of me
And part of everything that I knew.”

 “Welcome, home, my daughter!”
His voice rings loud and clear,
And that’s how the story should end
Without shame, free of pain and fear.

 Hand-in-hand with her Savior
She skips along at his side.
In her free hand hangs her basket
Collected memories gleaming inside.

 Together they pause at the edge of the shore;
Together they lift up the basket to the sea.
Tossing shells out to the oncoming waves
Sending them back to where they’re meant to be.

 For nothing is lost that has now been found.
Her treasures are far greater than we can know.
She has found them all in love everlasting
Within the arms of Him who loves her so.

© By Cristina Meier