Sunday, December 31, 2006


Computer memory is cheaper and more plentiful each year. Consquently, it would already be quite feasible for me to store as simple text, every word I have ever written or read. In fact with a few gigabytes I could store every sound I hear or make for the next one hundred years. Within ten years I will likely be able to store all that I have read, written, seen , and heard on a thumb drive. A little camera/microphone disguised as a freckle could send the data straight to a storage chip nestled behind my ear.

Given the opportunity to review all I have seen or heard in a lifetime, what would I review first? What would I assiduously avoid? How different would it seem from the vantage of my current age and experience?

A blog can be my choice to record a small sample of what I have seen or heard. I can also include thoughts and feelings that would not be captured by my little camera/microphone. What shall I choose to record? How much will I ever review? What may I wish I had recorded that is already buried among a vast number of synapses. Buried so deep that I may never again conciously realize that I had known it.

How much time shall I spend scrolling through my own record and the record of others? Every hour spent on this seems to diminish the time I have available for other, "all new" experiences. Yet, there is merit in recalling the past. We are very sorry when we meet someone who has lost the capacity to make new memories. If they had never made any memories at all, how could we even relate to them? If I had no memories whatsoever, would I even be me?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Passing the Torch

Julia and Viggo have begun posting updates on their own blog. I have guest contributor status on their blog, so I may pop in a Dad's point of view from time to time.

See the link to their blog on the right side of this page.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and encouragement.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Julia Dec. 27 approx. 7:15pm


The last 24 hours were blessedly uneventful.
Pamela spent the night with Julia last night.
Viggo got to visit our home for the night.
An ultrasound done today estimated Daniel Jakob to weigh approx. 2 lb 13 oz.


We have had lots of wonderful encouragement from friends and family. Thank you all. We are hopeful that the wait for Daniel will continue for some time yet. Viggo has been able to complete a couple of translation j0bs in the past week. So he can be gainfully employed as he sits by Julia's bedside. The staff and facilities at Sacred Heart have been wonderful. We have been blessed in many, many ways.

Almost comically, I have taken a couple of falls the past two days. So if you see me limping even more than usual and leaning harder on my cane, you will know why. One fall twisted my bad knee (left). The other fall twisted my right ankle. I am just sore, but ambulatory.

Viggo has completed a Norwegian language blog giving news of their status. Soon he will be posting on an English language version as well.
At that time I will probably let him take the lead on keeping folks informed, but given my prolix proclivity, you will still hear plenty from me as well :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Julia, Dec. 26 about 7 pm


Daniel Jakob is still inside Julia, where he belongs.
The picture above is the new smaller room that Viggo and Julia now occupy.
Viggo sleeps on a cot.
In the picture he is sitting at his "office" next to Julia's bed.
Viggo is doing freelance translation work to create some income.
They have been in the hospital five days now.
Julia is fatigued and a bit weak from the drugs to inhibit labor, but she was able to take a five minute slow walk today with the doctor's blessing.


Our Christmas in Philomath was very nice. Ted and Juanita (Barbara's parents) felt well enough to join us for meals and present opening. I was even able to take a video of a few minutes and post it on Google, and MySpace so that Julia and Viggo could feel closer.

Julia's womb is largely quiescent , yet it gives out just enough pains to keep us terrified occasionally. We are very grateful for the extra time that Daniel Jakob has been give to develop before birth.

As I was rushing through the kitchen to get something yesterday, I slipped and fell hard. I am still ambulatory, but sore all over! Just a little extra something to add to the fun :-)

God has blessed us and continues to bless us in many, many ways. He is also allowing us to go through a time of testing which makes us more aware of how much we depend on him for hope and strength.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Julia, Christmas Eve!


Julia's uterus has been behaving itself well for the past 24 hours.
Julia will stay on bed rest at Sacred Heart in Eugene until the birth.
Viggo and Julia toured the neonatal unit, it is very advanced.
The doctors explained how things would transpire once Daniel decides to come on out.
Julia and Viggo were able to stay in the same spacious room after all.


What a joy it was to awake this morning! Barbara and I realized we had slept in our own bed all night without a single emergency phone call.

Below is the tiny room that Julia was in that first day at Good Samaritan.
It is the same room where she was born more than 23 years ago. Barbara had a 20 plus hour labor with Julia. She was born on her due date. I slept on the floor for a few hours during the process, otherwise I was on duty!

Another joy, the whole family went to church today (minus Julia and Viggo, of course). It is times like this that we more fully realize the importance of our church family.

After a quick lunch and a bit of last minute preparation, we headed down to Eugene. Fortunately, the Norwegian tradition is to have gift opening on Christmas Eve. Also fortunate, Julia's room is so large that all of us were able to fit comfortably and even have seats! Julia was dressed in street clothes for the first time since Thursday afternoon! One of the doctors told her that he had been so sure that Daniel Jakob was going to pop out that first night (Thursday) that he had stayed at the hospital until two in the morning waiting for the delivery! Now the usual baby/hospital situation is very unusual. We visit before the birth. We tell the mother that we hope she will be in the hospital for a long while yet! We do not want to see Daniel Jakob yet! We were glad to learn that he is kicking Julia and otherwise letting everyone know that he is in good health.

When we arrived, Viggo was actually working a bit at his computer doing a translation job. He should be able to continue taking jobs (via the internet) while he and Julia stay in Eugene for the next couple of months.
The work ended then and the partying began. We had a buffet spread of seven layer salad, chips and fancy salsa, pate, hawaiin bread, salami, sparkling cider, champagne, and more. Then we exchanged gifts with Julia and Viggo. After an hour or two we saw that Julia was getting tired.
Barabara drove us home through a black night and a torrential downpour while Kent snored beside her.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons for us is that we never really know what the next day will bring, good or bad. We will cherish the days like today. We thank God for all the good things he has done. We will continue to depend on him to get us through the tough times as needed!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Julia, Dec 23 about 9 pm


Julia and Viggo are being moved to another room in Sacred Heart.
The wait for Daniel Jakob continues, and we hope it continues for weeks and weeks.
Barbara and Pamela are back at home tonight.


Barbara and I are both very tired. However, we were able to enjoy dinner as a family (thank you Marcy for the soup!).

Just now Barbara and I relaxed by the wood stove and discussed the past couple of days and our thoughts about how we may be able to arrange Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We are trying to keep some family traditions alive but at the same time, simplify things so that we don't burn ourselves out.

Pamela and Samuel wrapped a pile of gifts. I had purchased many of them via on-line a couple of weeks ago because Barbara was already very busy with helping her mom and dad. The kids have all bought a few things as well. So we will celebrate Jesus' birth with gift giving. Pamela and Samuel did a great job on decorating our home a few days ago.

We hope to go to church Sunday morning as a family (minus Julia and Viggo, of course). Then we hope to visit Julia and Viggo on Sunday afternoon.

We choose to keep our hearts resting in God's love. We choose to keep the birth of Jesus as the reason for our celebration. We are grateful to be celebrating together as a family.

Julia Dec 23 about noon

I will split each post into a "just the facts" portion and then a "touchy feely" portion. Suit yourselves!


Early this a.m. Julia had some intense labor, but it stopped before Barbara even left her hotel room in Eugene to go to the hospital. Of course, Viggo has been by her side 24 hours a day.

Julia is resting, things are calm for now.

Julia will stay at the hospital until the baby is born.

Julia and Viggo will then live near the hospital until the baby, Daniel Jacob,
is released, probably near his original due date of March 23.

Barbara and Pamela just arrived home from Eugene.

Touchy Feely:

Barbara is her usual amazing self. Energetic, upbeat, talking with friends, and so on. She hasn't slept much in the past couple of days, so I know that soon she will crash and sleep.

I find myself tired and irritable, so I am just trying to stay out of trouble. I am glad to have my wife home, but sad that she feels pulled in so many directions: Julia and Viggo, Pamela, me and the boys, and her parents. I am working hard at resisting the impulse to try to "fix" everything with a big hammer.

I was reflecting earlier on how blessed we are to have the medical resources, the financial resources, the friends and family, and most of all God's presence and provision, in our lives. I read articles in World Vision Magazine this morning, and I was forcefully impressed by the incredible suffering that is so common to billions of people in the world. I thought about how life is difficult even under the "very best" circumstances on this earth.

May God bless each of you and help you with the struggles in your life, whatever they have been, are, or will be.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

In God I Trust

This is a time when I find myself tested. I pray that I will glorify God in my response to this test. I know that God will work all things to good, but I have little idea of how that will be.

Barbara and I drove about town for a while this morning, making last minute preparations for a trip to the Oregon coast to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Shortly after noon we returned to our home to pick up the kids and head out. However, we found our oldest, Julia, lying on the bed having strong contractions every 3 or 4 minutes. She is only 27 weeks pregnant, but it didn't take us long to realize that something serious was happening. We took her to the ER. She was admitted to the Corvallis hospital and was given medication to stop the contractions.

By 7 this evening she was on her way by ambulance to a bigger hospital in Eugene. By 9 we learned that her labor was so advanced that the doctor believe it is very likely that the baby will be born in sometime tonight or tomorrow (Dec. 22) morning. Viggo and Barbara are there with her. My other daughter Pamela is with Barbara for moral support. For now I am at home with my sons. I am also serving as the communications hub for friends and family.

I am thankful that it was 27 weeks, and not earlier. But Julia's little boy is still at serious risk of complications due to premature birth. We have friends all over praying for us.

Now it is getting late and I must sleep, if I can, so that I will be ready to visit Julia and her husband tomorrow. Of course, I will also hold Barabar and give her all the love and encouragement that I possibly can. I have received much encouragement from friends and family. It is a very great blessing to have a church family and close friends at a time like this.

For months God has been using various things to impress upon me the fact that I really do not know what the future will bring. I have some idea of what is "likely" to happen. However, I have no knowledge of what will happen. I pray for wisdom and make the best decisions and plans that I can. However, only God knows what truly lies ahead of us. He has made plans. He loves us. He gives us strength, encouragement and hope. Whatever happens, God will be glorified. I ask that he would be glorified in how I handle these difficult times. I ask that he would be glorified in Julia and Viggo's lives. I ask that God will be glorified by the love that Barbara and I share for each other, for our children, and for our tiny grandchild.

This is one of the trials that our family is going through. Suddenly, all the trials that all the people around me are enduring seem more vivid. God is using this to grow my love for all who struggle in this imperfect world. And all do struggle.

May God bless you all.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Julia and Viggo Plan a Mission to Africa

Julia is my older daughter (23). Viggo is her husband. Below are some slides they prepared about their plans to live in Tanzania among the Mbugwe people for 10 or 20 years starting Aug. 07.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

True Story

I meet a guy at work. He says he started with HP in the Optoelectronics Division. So did I. I notice a touch of grey in his beard. I say, "Hey, maybe we were there at the same time. I worked there from 1974 to 1979".

He says "I was born in 1974".