Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Dare your toes not to tap as you watch this:

Monday, October 25, 2010


Introducing Our 2% Odds!

Actually, I should say, "Introducing the LESS than two percent odds!"  You see, in the Fall of 1998, a very important doctor at the Genetics and IVF Institute outside Washington, DC, looked at Dan and said the following:  "You have a less than 2% chance of EVER fathering children on your own without the help of science!"

Sound crazy?  Thousands of couples like us have found themselves in similar situations as they sit in a doctor's office, following numerous tests,  for news on how they can conceive a baby.  It's not like we don't know "where babies come from;"  but, why was it that, for Dan and I, it.just.wasn't.happening?! 

And it wasn't for lack of practice, I can assure you!  It's funny, you know... I'm not much for practicing anything at all.  I prefer improvisational drama over countless rehearsals;  I thrive on multi tasking; I can't follow the same recipe twice; I don't work out because the repetitiveness bores me to tears.  But ask me to practice making a baby and I'm all ears!  This was the most fun goal oriented "practice" I ever encountered.

Except we weren't meeting the "goal". 

Funny thing... science.  It sure can answer a whole lot of questions.  And that doctor had it right down to something crazy called an acrozome reaction.  He was certain that the answer to our unmet "goal" was something called ICSI; or intra cytoplasmic sperm injection.

Now that's a mouthful, isn't it!  But guess what?  With all the science, research, and education of those doctors we saw way back in 1998, no one can answer how it is that today, Monday, October 25th, 2010, the Hott family is celebrating the birthday of this little guy:  Isaac Daniel Hott! 

So, happy birthday to you, Isaac!  Seven years ago this very day at 8:01 a.m., I burst the blood vessels in my eyeballs delivering you and your enormous head; all 8 lbs 14 oz of your 22 inch bundle of joy!

"Joy; an additional reason why the name Isaac was appropriate for (our) child. LAUGH……… In other words rejoice with me!"  In the Bible, the name chosen for their son of promise was an unusual name, Isaac, meaning "laughter." It was an appropriate name, however, for every time they would speak his name, they would remember how they had laughed at God’s promise (Genesis 17:17;18:12), a laugh of amazement in Abraham’s case, and of doubt in Sarah’s case. They would also remember the great joy they shared when Isaac was finally born."

Like the Bible tells us about Sarah and Abraham, Dan and I (not the youngest parents in Berkeley Springs) were amazed to find ourselves expecting; especially after the odds given to us.  So, it too seemed appropriate that we give our son the name Isaac, meaning laughter.  Not only is it Dan's middle name, but it is also ingrained in the character of this little man.  Laughter!  Joy!  Rejoice!  And Praises for a gift that beat all the odds.

"Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say,
'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'
Is anything too hard for the Lord?"  Genesis 18:14

Like Sarah, I laughed with God when he told me that I was carrying baby Isaac.  I celebrated the miracle of these odds as I heard him say "I have a baby for you!"  even before I bought that first pregnancy test.  Somehow, I just knew.  Isn't that crazy?  I must admit, I was in denial for a few weeks trying to figure out what was going on with my body and why my boobs seemed not my own.  Unable to ask this question to our family doctor (whom I went to high school with), I googled the possible options.  About seventh on the list was pregnancy.  Still unwilling to call "Dr. Paul" (and unwilling to show him my boobs), I continued to  hear, really, God "laughing" with his secret. 

When I finally called, Dan was headed to Atlanta for a meeting with Chevron.  I had to drive to Hagerstown and tell him the results in person.  It was hard to believe!  So, as he left for the airport, I went back to Berkeley Springs, WV, with confirmation of our mystery.  It was a long three days until he got home so we could celebrate. 

When we brought Isaac home from the hospital, Verna (my midwife) asked us what we wanted for birthday control.  Dan and I just looked at each other.  "Nah.... we don't need that!  This (Isaac) wasn't supposed to happen.  We'll be fine!" 

And fine we are.  Because 15 months later, Levi was born!  So, I guess you could say that "practice makes perfect," right? 

Or..., there really is NOTHING too hard for our Lord!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Feature Story...

... by me is posted today on Moms of Faith! Click the link below for entire feature. I hope you like it and share it with your friends! Your comments are much appreciated and can be posted here or under the story if you want (I think my editor likes that!) ♥

love, a


View IMG_0065.JPG in slide show 

October 26, 2008
Violet, Isaac, Levi (and his woowoo) at Seneca Rocks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"HOLY BOLDNESS BATMAN!" A Warning for School Bullies!

Today, I have a question for parents.  Do your children feel "safe" at school? 

I'm not talking about fear of a catastrophic events like tsunamis or crashing jets (although both concern Isaac). I am wondering if, as you are preparing them for just another school day, does your child feel truely safe.  Can they spend the day away from home without the fear of another student losing control?  Will they feel welcomed by all their fellow students?  Are they learning in an environment where adults are protecting our children from unnecessary threats?  Is your child being harassed by a bully? 

Mine are!  Barely into the first semester of the school year, we have already needed to deal with two incidents with school bullies.  So, while home dishing out the Peptobismal for the daily  "tummy aches" and complaints about not wanting to go to school, for the first time, I recognized fear in our daughter's eyes about her day at school.

Yes, fear!   Coming from rural USA, a small community with loving neighbors, I was unnerved to learn that my little girl was stabbed with a sharp pencil by another student.  The "incident" was calculated by the student who waited, and baited her back, literally, to his newly sharpened pencil.  Granted, her injury was minuscule, but it is the behavior of the student that is also bothersome.  Today it was a pencil; what would it be tomorrow or in five years?  I learned that this student has been heard making threats to others and repeatedly commenting to our daughter in a menacing way; "I hate you!"  Long after the mark on her back heals, a piece of her broken spirit remains as such words tear away at her heart...  and mine.

Why?  Who would he hate my adorable baby girl?  Seriously????  But, perhaps like your own child, mine is a good student, quiet, and well disciplined.  As a mom, I will never forget this evening as I listened to her recount the incident, the walk alone with the bully to the office, the shake in her voice, and the tears in her eyes.  She became the target of a bully. 
So, how can we as parents empower our children to handle bullies at school?  Any ideas?  So, please be a part of Holy Boldness and post your ideas or share your bully story here!  Send me your thoughts as I am developing a creative dramatics workshop for our community called "Holy Boldness". 

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth:
but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).
The word for bold in this verse means “secure, confident.” That’s just the kind of boldness the synagogue rulers saw in Peter and John as they ministered (see Acts 4:1–2).''  And just the kind of boldness our children need at school (since we can't send them wearing armor!) 

We will use role play/dramatics at Holy Boldness to "rehearse" incidents with bullies.  I am developing a program for First Church's GoFriends after school on Thursdays where I hope:
     *  to create an environment where kids are comfortable and SAFE,
     *  to come away with at least one "cope" tactic for them to use in an event with a bully,
     *  to support their friends that may have troubles with a bully, and finally,
     *  to teach kids to pray for the bully.

Who knows?  Maybe God can help us change the heart of the bully! 

Although we can't actually armor our kids or have them swinging punches at school, we can equip them with prayer, right? 

The bullies won't know what "hit" them. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Guess what?! Mom! Guess what?!"

"Mom!  Mom!  Guess what???  Mom!  Guess what????" 

Introducing our budding kindergarten student, Levi Nathaniel Hott!  Daily, this quote has become a regular announcement on our one mile trip home from the rural bus stop. 

Once Levi has the attention of absolutely everyone in the car, which is all four or five of the Hott family, plus occasional additional two to three neighborhood kids staying at our house, he proceeds to share his daily discovery.  It is like he is about to explode after holding in this story for an entire day!

Today's announcement was:  "Ms. Lindsey (his teacher) assigned new seats today, Mom!  I have to sit next to 'Travis'."

"Really?  Who is 'Travis'?"  the general response.

"Oh, just the guy that likes to put buggers on people!"

Okay, now everyone say "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewww!"

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  Luke 18:16

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Feature Released Today!


Hoping you are blessed by my first ever story to appear in an awesome online publication called Moms of Faith!  This story is for moms and dads alike!  I hope you enjoy its' content as you tuck your kids in tonight!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flying Kites on the Beach by Violet Hott

When I flew kites on the beach in Kitty Hawk, NC, it was peaceful and exciting. It was a perfect day for flying kites. Look! My kite finally got up in the air!

There were so many sights that night. People were walking slowly in the sand, and I could see kites going towards the sky. Seashells were washing up on the shore, and big and little ghost crabs were jumping in and out of their holes.

I could hear the strong and mighty wind blowing in my face. The waves were crashing loudly in the sand. There were fast cars going back and forth on the sandy road behind me.

Ouch! I stepped on a sharp seashell! My kite handle is tugging hard. The cool dry sand below my feet feels so good.

I love flying kites on the beach. Oh no! There goes our box kite flying toward the ocean freely. I can't wait till next year!

Violet Hott is our ten year old daughter, gymnast, mathematician, freckled-faced beauty, with sun drenched hair and sky blue eyes! She wrote this essay for her fifth grade class at Warm Springs Intermediate! This is a true story. Isn't it beautiful! We actually lost a box kite over the Atlantic this summer.

"The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalms 19:1