Joe and Niki have a baby girl!!

To our dear brethren,

We are so excited to tell you that Joe and Niki had a baby girl this morning about 3:45 am!! They are still deciding on a name for her; so at one of the great grandmother's suggestions, I'll refer to her as "Josephina." (That's not going to be her name, but I thought it was cute!) :) She is 7 pounds and 21 inches long and has some dark hair. Aunt Elizabeth said she thinks I'll like her and think she's cute.

Both Niki and "Josephina" are doing great, a little tired naturally, but both very healthy. Praise God for His blessing!! Joe was so proud and happy that he caught her as she was being born in the birthing pool in their RV with the midwife. He said once her head was delivered, she squirmed and wiggled like she was ready to be out, and there she was! Joe liked that from what I gathered. :) From what I hear, Joe was very supportive and really helped Niki through her labor. They've been researching and preparing for this for months, and it sounds like they worked beautifully together.

Niki said it was tough, but thankfully she didn't have that many hours of hard labor, from her own description. She did have to push 3 hours because of the way the baby's head was turned, but she did great! Little "Josephina" is breastfeeding well, which is another blessing! Naturally, she's a little sleepy, but when I called around noon, Joe, Niki, and she were outside with both of the immediate families taking turns holding her. It's a gorgeous day, and I figure it is similar there; God seems to be shining His love down on us all. :)

During her early labor, when her contractions were very erratic and lighter, Niki crocheted a hat that turned out a little big, and then crocheted another that was just right. Within a couple hours of being born, little "Josephina" was wearing hers, and someone took pictures with Joe wearing the big one. I'm dying to see that picture!! Isn't that precious?

Niki's family made it in last night, and her mom, Mrs. Anne plans to be there through the week. Geoff and I plan to come in late Friday evening, but it's hard waiting!

There are lots of proud aunts, uncles, and grandparents today! Thank you for sharing in our joy!


Blessings to you,
Sarah
  • heidiw
    Thanking God that all are safe and well!! Little ones are such blessings from God!
    by heidiw at 09/27/10 2:36PM
  • onelittlecandle
    So sweet and so wonderful!! I'm just thrilled for them! (and you, Aunt Sarah! :)
    by onelittlecandle at 09/27/10 3:56PM
  • sirtorin
    Huzzah! =D
    by sirtorin at 09/27/10 4:58PM
  • lauriw1030
    Congratulations to the entire family!
    by lauriw1030 at 09/27/10 6:34PM
  • schmidtkins
    What wonderful news! Congratulations, Auntie Sara!!!!
    by schmidtkins at 09/27/10 9:30PM
  • sallyanne
    How exciting! What a blessing to see two godly young people blessed with a huge gift from God--all bundled up in a tiny package!
    by sallyanne at 09/27/10 9:35PM
  • lbell
    Congrats to you all!!!
    by lbell at 09/27/10 10:02PM
  • marmee
    :)
    by marmee at 09/27/10 10:34PM
  • narnianheart
    Congrats!
    by narnianheart at 09/28/10 6:37PM
  • pearls03
    Hey Sarah, How are you doing? Whatca Been into? Really Miss Ya Dear Sister =)
    by pearls03 at 04/17/12 11:45AM
  • marmee
    I don't think Sarah lives here anymore. ;)
    by marmee at 09/09/12 5:09PM

09/14/10 11:24AM

Hi!

I feel kinda bad. I don't think I've even logged in for 6-9 months!

Geoff is over half way through his Physician Assistant school! He's working hard, and thankfully, I think the first half was supposed to be the harder half. He's currently doing a rotation in Family Medicine and getting some new experiences and learning a lot hands on. It's such a relief for me to see him not having to spend every spare minute studying and feeling SO much pressure.

I've worked hard over the last year, too, and finished training to be a postpartum doula (supporting families with newborns). I'm doing that now as a business to help us out while Geoff is in school. I'm loving it, and learning so much about caring for babies. I think a lot of it will be very helpful when we have our own children before too long, Lord willing. One of the things that drew me to this was wanting to earn us some extra income, learn more practical things about caring for a baby, and to support moms to "love their children" more, as in Tit. 2. So many career moms today have so little practical knowledge for caring for a baby, and my goal is to provide more of that, and, as opportunity provides, to encourage their hearts to be more and more in their homes.

I've meant to get on here and recommend postpartum doula training as a good option for young women whose goal is to be a homemaker. I think it could be a great learning and serving tool after girls are done with school, but they aren't ready just yet to get married. It can be a way to earn some income, too, single or married, as you find families to work with. It has a lot of flexibility, and I love how I can help make things more peaceful and joyful for new parents. I help a lot with breastfeeding, cooking nutritious meals for the family, caring for the baby, helping families work toward a routine, run errands, provide lots of information, teach calming techniques, and just be a supportive pair of extra hands. If you want to look at my website, it is nurturinghandsdoula.vpweb.com

I'm not going to promise that I will be on here regularly now because I get so involved with other things, but I do enjoy hearing from all of you! :)

Blessings, Sarah
  • sallyanne
    Wonderful to hear from you. I love the idea of being a doula--great way to work toward mothering! I've thought many times that I'd like to volunteer with lactation consulting (and I do help whenever I can!). I can't wait to see your site!
    by sallyanne at 09/14/10 12:14PM
  • sallyanne
    Here is a link to your site :)
    by sallyanne at 09/14/10 12:15PM
  • sylvanhistorian
    I'm so happy you finished your training! If I lived in your area, I would love to have you as a doula... I'm sure you're excellent at it! :)

    Good to hear from you too! Don't be such a stranger next time!
    by sylvanhistorian at 09/14/10 3:03PM
  • marmee
    I know that this is good for you, Sarah. I'm happy you have a mind to serve in this way and help other women and families see Christ in you! Continued blessings to you and Geoff. :)
    by marmee at 09/14/10 4:39PM
  • deputyheadmistress
    I am sure you are an amazing blessing to the families you help!
    by deputyheadmistress at 09/14/10 9:21PM
  • scrappyhappymama
    What a happy update! I have a few friends who are in doula training now and one who is starting pp doula training soon. I'm hoping to become a hypnobabies doula once my own little babies get a little older.
    by scrappyhappymama at 09/15/10 3:53PM
  • lauriw1030
    Great to hear from you! I love the idea of being a pp doula!
    by lauriw1030 at 09/15/10 6:26PM
  • worker_at_home
    So wonderful to hear from you, and what a great service you are doing!!!
    by worker_at_home at 09/16/10 7:44AM
  • azuresky42
    that's really cool!
    by azuresky42 at 09/18/10 1:29AM
  • tima
    Thank you for the link, Mrs. Sally. I didn't know how to do that on here. :) I wasn't trying to ask for a pat on the back with my post; I really was just wanting to share because it's not a well known field, and it's been such a blessing for us.
    by tima at 09/24/10 8:03AM
  • preciousgoldring
    So happy to hear from you! I wish I hadn't been sick so I could've seen you!
    by preciousgoldring at 09/25/10 7:59PM

Harmful Chemicals in Baby (and Adult) Products!

Hi! I know I've been SO out of touch with everyone. Geoff and I are doing really well! He's working hard in the middle of Physician Assistant school, and I'm working part time. We've been doing a little traveling to be with family and see dear friends in other states in the midst of all of this. God has been very good to us!

I've been researching some lately about toxins in our personal products (like shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.), and I figured you all would like to know about some of this. Contact me if you would like to hear about an economical alternative for safer products.

I read an enlightening (and disturbing) article on the subject of toxic chemicals in products meant for children. It clearly and credibly shows why we should all be very careful when choosing personal care products brands. It tells about formaldehyde in Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, and I've been learning recently about formaldehyde in toothpaste, mouthwash, other shampoos, deodorant, makeup, cleaners, and many other things.

http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=518

Here is a quote of part of it:


"Parents, Doctors, Nurses to Johnson & Johnson: Make Safer Baby Products



San Francisco — Concerned about cancer-causing chemicals, more than 40 organizations representing 1.7 million parents, health care providers and environmental health advocates delivered a letter today to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) urging the company to remove toxic ingredients from its popular baby products. Click here to view the letter.

The letter, signed by the American Nurses Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, MomsRising and many others, urges Johnson & Johnson to remove formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane and other hazardous chemicals from personal care products by the end of 2009.

A March 2009 report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other top-selling children’s bath products. Both chemicals are known to cause cancer in animals and are listed as probable human carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A recent National Cancer Institute study reinforced the link between formaldehyde exposure and cancer. Formaldehyde is also an allergen that can cause rashes in sensitized people. The chemicals were not disclosed on product labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws. "

As I'm learning about the danger of chemicals in our cleaners, I also found this information.

"FACT - Women who work from HOME have a 54% greater death rate of cancer?
FACT - An EPA study confirmed that indoor air can be 3-70X more chemically polluted than outdoor air?
FACT - Scientists are linking cancer to long term chemical exposure?
FACT - Cancer used to rarely exist in children and today it is the #1 cause of death in children with the 2nd cause being accidental poisonings - usually by dish soap..."


As I've been learning about all of this, I have been trying a new company with more natural products with no formaldehyde, bleach, ammonia, phenols, and no known carcinogens in their products. I'm really liking them, and I feel so much better about not exposing us to all these harmful chemicals all the time. If you'd like to try them out, email me, and I'll give you more info. I keep hearing of more and more friends who are switching to more natural products because of the growing concern. I'm so glad I learned about it so I can try to help my family and I be more healthy, long term.

I hope I haven't burdened you, but been helpful to you and yours.

God bless!

Sarah
  • sirtarin
    Hmmm... Interesting. Thanks for sharing that.
    by sirtarin at 07/28/09 6:27PM
  • chooselove
    what's our alternative brand that you're using?
    by chooselove at 07/28/09 7:11PM
  • sallyanne
    We try to use mostly natural products. Two of the girls and I do an all natural shampoo bar that we get from a woman in PA. I love it!

    Frankly, you can clean almost anything with vinegar and I use a lot of that. The toxin thing is horrid. We began to be vigilant label readers a few years ago!
    by sallyanne at 07/28/09 11:46PM
  • mamap
    Interesting stuff...I am convinced we are doing SOMETHING TO OURSELVES since the rate of cancer is increasing exponentially...very scary... Good to hear from you, Sarah! I'm glad to know you and your honey are doing so well!! Once he becomes a PA, maybe y'all will find work in Cullman, Alabama!! :)
    by mamap at 08/01/09 11:10PM
  • sallyanne
    Shampoo Bars We've tried all of them and like them all. I use apple cider vinegar as a rinse/conditioner because my hair is dry (and it makes it easier to comb through when it is so long). I just keep a cup and a plastic bottle of the acv in the shower. I mix about 2 tbsp acv and a cup of water and just rinse it. It works so well. My hair is much healthier with this routine. Oh, they are less than six dollars a bar and they last for two months or so depending on your use.

    I stopped using any mousse's and defrizzes and my hair looks just fine. I use a tiny drop of rosemary essential oil on the very tips to avoid dryness. Essential oils are not always cheap, but they last forever!

    I was using vinegar and baking soda on the toilets for an all natural alternative, but I was not thoroughly impressed. I went back to the old standby that is NOT green at all--clorox.

    My favorite natural cleaners are Method. I get them at Target. I've yet to try the toilet cleaner--it was costlier than the clorox...but I think I'll go ahead next month. I still like the vinegar for mirrors, sinks, windows, and mopping. The smell disappates immediatly after use so don't let that put you off.

    The Method cleaners smell great and are not harmful to us or the environment. They do have some amusing comments on the bottle that some might find a bit risque, but if they annoy you you can remove the labels. I actually think they are funny.

    Here's the Method Site .

    I hope this helps some!!
    by sallyanne at 08/03/09 8:22AM
  • sirtorin
    ^ Just to let you know, you "Method Site" link is broken, missing the href="[url here]" stuff in the page source code.
    by sirtorin at 08/15/09 4:22PM
  • deputyheadmistress
    Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, borax, washing soda, and salt are my favorite natural cleaners.
    by deputyheadmistress at 08/27/09 1:34PM
  • seashelll
    Thanks for sharing. My mom really tries to avoid synthetic chemicals, too, in products she buys. We use Green Mountain bar soap, which doesn't have synthetic chemicals added to it, and she and I use AFM Safe Choice Shampoo, among other things.
    by seashelll at 10/20/09 3:00PM
  • seashelll
    Was wondering why there are question marks after the FACTs above?
    by seashelll at 10/20/09 3:10PM
  • worker_at_home
    Happy belated anniversary!! Ours is today! 8) 31!
    by worker_at_home at 11/04/09 9:34AM
  • barwhack
    Graduating Med School, finally. If ya wanna come (though I warn you - it'll be boring!):

    May 15, 2010
    Commencement ceremony starts promptly at 3pm
    Daniel-Meyer Coliseum @ Texas Christian University
    2900 Stadium Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129

    No Tickets for entry.
    by barwhack at 04/23/10 2:38PM
  • pearls03
    Hey Miss Sarah, how are you? I mIss u so Much hows it going?
    by pearls03 at 07/30/10 6:53PM

Wedding Pictures!

We feel bad it's taken so long to post pictures, but now you can look at my gallery to see pictures of our courtship, engagement, wedding, and honeymoon. Our special beginning to our cherished new life together. :)

04/09/09 1:20PM

I can hardly believe so much time has passed! Geoff and I have been married for over 5 months now, and I've been so out of touch with all of you!! I'm trying to balance my time well with all the new blessings and joyful responsibilities in marriage, and I can definitely do better with keeping in touch with so many who are dear. We do truly appreciate all the love, support, and prayers from everyone.

Geoff and I are loving married life, with all of its joys, busyness, challenges, and growth. God's plan for marriage is wonderful, and so worth waiting for!

Geoff has been accepted into Physician Assistant school in our area, and we are thankful for that. We've grown close to brethren here, and are glad we don't need to move far away for Geoff's school. Next month, we will be moving closer to Geoff's school, but, thankfully still pretty close.

We've been busy with more Bible studies than we can keep up with! That's a nice problem to have! We had a superb class on evangelism during the first few months of our marriage, which was such a help in approaches in evangelism and having the courage and determination to get out and do it.

On Tuesday's, there's a study with other young Christians on Romans, and that's been helpful and a great way to get to know others from the church here.

Every other Tuesday, there is a Bible study for the women from Campbell Road, on women of the Bible. I've been learning from it, and getting to know other women from the church better.

Every other Thursday night, there's a great Bible study with several families on whatever pertinent topics we need. That's been wonderful! There's so much openness, deep study of the Word, and growing together, as we seek to see what the Scriptures say, not just discuss what we've always thought.

Friday mornings,one of my Titus 2 women leads a study for several of us young ladies, and it is wonderful!! She teaches on marriage, child training, and other helpful topics. I'm learning so much and need this vital encouragement to be a better wife (and in future, Lord willing, mother).

My sister Elizabeth came to visit us not too long ago, and that was fun, getting to catch up and spend good time together. Next week, we plan to go to Arkansas to visit my family and friends there, and then head to Washington D.C. to visit Stephen and Amber and several others. We're trying to visit family and friends before Geoff gets really busy and tied down with school.

So much has been going on that it's hard to sum it up! We went to Wisconsin to see and introduce Geoff to a few more family members and friends. We've had lots of good time with brethren,from here and other places. I've been trying to learn how to manage time and money more wisely, which is more involved than I realized. :) Geoff has been doing a lot to prepare for school. We've been doing some reading together to help us as a couple and in our walk with God.

I'm loving the church here. They've been welcoming and warm, connected, and active. They gave us a shower recently, which was so thoughtful and a blessing to us.

I hope all of you are doing really well! Our God is good!


Love and Blessings, Sarah Knapp
  • lauriw1030
    Good to hear that things are going so well for you!
    by lauriw1030 at 04/09/09 10:00PM
  • sirtorin
    It's very nice to hear from you, and I'm glad things are going so well. =)
    by sirtorin at 04/09/09 10:16PM
  • sirtorin
    Nice pictures. =)
    by sirtorin at 04/11/09 3:01PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Great to hear from you...loved your pictures!
    by cyber_space_cadet at 04/11/09 3:20PM
  • narnianheart
    Hey Sarah! This is LJ (from camp).
    Those are really cool pictures!! They are soo pretty!
    by narnianheart at 04/11/09 4:27PM
  • sirtarin
    'Tis great to hear from you. The pictures were great! =)
    by sirtarin at 04/11/09 4:27PM
  • schmidtkins
    I really enjoyed your pictures. Thank you for sharing!
    by schmidtkins at 04/11/09 9:02PM
  • southernpoet87
    the pictures were beautiful, Sarah!! I'm so happy for you. :D
    by southernpoet87 at 04/11/09 11:05PM
  • azuresky42
    I love the ones of you two pulling each other =) haha..
    by azuresky42 at 04/11/09 11:37PM
  • mayflower
    Your dress was beautiful!
    by mayflower at 04/12/09 8:05AM
  • chooselove
    those are gorgeous and the pictures of you pulling each other had me cracking up! i love the one where you can tell the sunset was on your faces! beautiful.
    by chooselove at 04/12/09 9:33AM
  • worker_at_home
    Hey, sweet Sarah, I enjoyed the pictures again! Stop and see us, we'll be right on your way to D.C.!! This time we'll try not to roast your sweet husband alive!!
    by worker_at_home at 04/12/09 5:25PM
  • mamap
    Sarah, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you tonight through your blog and pictures...So thankful you are enjoying married life! Much, much love to you both!
    by mamap at 04/12/09 10:48PM
  • jkmram
    what a beautiful bride... so glad you are so happy. :O)
    by jkmram at 04/15/09 4:43PM
  • paradise_ray
    Sarah, I am so thankful for your example! :) And the pictures are beautiful! May God continue to be glorified by you and Geoff until He returns! :)
    by paradise_ray at 04/20/09 7:57PM
  • littlelamb
    Thanks for the update- I'm glad things are going well for you guys!
    by littlelamb at 05/03/09 8:45PM
  • laurar
    Hello Sarah! Laura Raulerson here. I recently joined pleo and found you through Sally's blog. I see that you are now living in Dallas. Are you worshipping with the congregation at Campbell Rd? I think that is where my parents attended when they were in Dallas. Is Ricky Jenkins the preacher there? Glad to here that married life is going well. The wedding looked beautiful. May the Lord continue to bless you both. Tell your family we said hello. Much Love.
    by laurar at 06/08/09 11:23AM
  • pearls03
    hey Sarah, how are you?
    by pearls03 at 06/18/09 4:13PM
  • pearls03
    Tell your family i said hey, this is kaylahall btw
    by pearls03 at 06/22/09 2:46PM
  • catwoman
    hi how are you i am fine now i got my new job in the little i am in group home soon befor apirel we after wittend on them now till living thire very soon
    by catwoman at 03/10/10 5:48PM