The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Baby Davis – Coming Soon!!!

We were at the doctor for Julie’s weekly OB checkup. We had already been talking with the doctor about scheduling the birth. With Julie’s history of rapid labor (two babies…a total of 5 hours and 20 minutes of labor), we are very concerned about just getting to the hospital in time. On top of that…Julie has said that with Marybeth she wouldn’t have realized that she was even in labor until transition…which was 20 minutes and a couple of good pushes from birth.

[Stop rambling Jarvis…get to the point of the post] (also…if you don’t want pregnancy details…stop reading now)

Anyway…during the checkup, we were talking with the doctor to schedule the birth for next Tuesday (November 4). When she checked for dilation/effacement/station, she got this surprised look on her face and said, “Wow! You are three centimeters, and the baby is REALLY low. I hope you make it til Tuesday.” We were a bit surprised…Julie was 2cm on Friday and hadn’t had a ton of strong contractions since then, so we weren’t expecting that.

Now…this is where you come in. We really need you to pray that this baby holds off til Tuesday. The hospital won’t schedule an elective induction before that day…and we really don’t want to have the doctors that are on call before Tuesday.

So…check back Tuesday/Wednesday. The hospital has wireless internet, so I should be able to post the birth announcement with pictures here reasonably quickly.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | | 2 Comments

Ultrasound #2

Last week when we went in for the monthly OB checkup, the doctor said that Julie’s belly hadn’t grown as much as expected. Probably nothing, but she wanted to send Julie in for an ultrasound just to make sure. The ultrasound was this afternoon. The ultrasound tech (Megan) was fantastic. Definitely the best experience we have ever had in an ultrasound. I made sure to brag on Megan to her boss.

Towards the end of the ultrasound, Megan switched the machine to 3D. WOW. It was really cool. I hope to get more pictures up in this post later tonight, but in the meantime, check out the picture of my son eating his own foot!


July 29, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | | 2 Comments

In Memoriam – Jane Clark

grandma The Realm of the Verbal Processor has been on mute for the last week. We got an early morning phone call on Sunday June 29. Julie’s grandmother died. We were able to get reasonable flights to PA the same day (and Julie’s grandfather offered to pay for the flight). Grandma was 85. She and Grampa had been married for 64 years. They had been dating since they were both 14 years old. Needless to say, this had been really rough on him losing his sweetheart of the last 71 years.

In a brief conversation with Grampa this week, he mentioned that they had grown a lot closer after they retired to Florida 25 years ago. What struck me was that after 40 years of marriage (25 years ago), they grew significantly closer in years 41-64 of their marriage. That is really cool…something that Julie and I aspire to. For that matter, we have a great marriage legacy in our families. Thinking about that prompted me to write the post just below this one.

Grandma will be missed. It is only just becoming “real” to Julie. It hit pretty hard yesterday…capped off by a birthday card last night. My birthday is June 30…the day after Grandma died. They had already sent me a birthday card…it was in Grandma’s handwriting. With our traveling to the funeral over the last week, I didn’t open it until last night. Seeing her Grandma’s handwriting on my card tipped things over the edge for Julie last night. It’s very possible that this was the last birthday card she mailed.

That Sunday morning when we told my five year old that Grandma had died, she had this very brief look of shock and horror and then quickly recovered and said, “We won’t get to see Grandma any more til we get to heaven. So when we go to Grandma and Grampa’s house, we’ll only see Grampa? So now Grandma gets to see the fence?”

Julie was a little confused at first until she realized what Marybeth was talking about. “You mean the one with the pearls?” “Yeah…that one.” Then Marybeth started talking about all the things that Grandma gets to do now. She wrapped up with this (in what is a typical stream of consciousness conversation with MB): “It’s very sad for us that we won’t get to see Grandma for a long time til we get to heaven. We’ll get to see her when we go to heaven, but I don’t think God wants me to go to heaven when I’m five…when I’m a grown up. Then some day we’ll all get to go be in heaven, and there won’t be any more earth, and it will be great because no one will have to die any more.”

She just had a perfect balance of appropriate sadness because we will miss Grandma mixed with appropriate joy at recognizing that death is not the end of things. She even got the end of things right. I’m not sure how she knew this because I haven’t been teaching her any lessons from Revelation, but she nailed it.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | Jesus, kids, life | 2 Comments

Interview with Wally Mead – Part 1

Over the last several months I’ve developed a relationship with Wally Mead. Wally is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft where he works with the System Center Configuration Manager product team. He handled a bug report that I submitted about SCCM (here and here…bug was fixed in SP1) and we connected offline afterwards. He had seen in the bug submission that I work for Campus Crusade for Christ, and he has had interaction with CCC in the past.

This week Wally has been in Orlando at Tech-Ed, so I invited him to come out and let me take him on a tour of CCC’s headquarters. After the tour we sat down and Wally allowed me to interview him. Below is the first portion of the interview. I will post parts 2 and 3 sometime next week.

I’d like to also offer a public thank you to Wally for taking the time to sit down with me. It was a very enjoyable time, and if Chris ends up coming to UCF, I look forward to seeing you more often!

Another thing…who else would you like to see interviewed? Let me know on that page and I’ll see what I can do.


Part 2 of the interview is live now…

[Update 6-22-08: It was brought to my attention in the comments below that if you don’t have the Adobe Flash Plugin on your computer, you will not see the audio player that is just below the “Enjoy!” line. You can get it here if you don’t already have it.]

June 13, 2008 Posted by | ConfigMgr, interviews, Jesus, kids, life, music, sports | 8 Comments

Ultrasound Pics

We went in for our first ultrasound today. It was a fun experience getting to see our first glimpses of the little life that is growing inside Julie’s belly. The ultrasound equipment at Winnie Palmer hospital is much better than when we had ultrasounds with our two daughters. But that was several years ago also. Seeing our baby’s little fingers, arms, heartbeat and all of the movements was a really neat experience. We also found out that we are having a little boy! We were all kinda hoping for that. Laurel and Marybeth were running around quoting a line from “Lady and the Tramp“…”Oh boy, it’s a boy! Oh boy, it’s a boy! Oh boy, it’s a boy!”

This also serves as the complete answer to my youngest daughter’s prayers. Back before we got pregnant…and keep in mind that we were not planning to have a third child at the time…Marybeth prayed for a brother. I don’t know what it is about that child praying…but God seems to do backflips whenever she prays. She not only prayed us pregnant…she prayed herself a brother. (And yes…when she later started talking about twins…we both cringed.)

So…what does our baby look like now? Here are the five pics the hospital gave us (three are after the break). Also…if you don’t want to see the proof of “boyhood”, avoid the last picture.

Surprise - Ultrasound1

Surprise - Ultrasound2

Continue reading

June 10, 2008 Posted by | kids | , | 6 Comments

FCAT Score

Disclaimer: This post is shameless bragging on my daughter.

In Florida there is a standardized test called the FCAT…the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. It is given to students in grades 3-11. In 3rd grade, they have to get a certain score on the reading section to be able to pass the grade (there are some exceptions, but that is the basic rule).

So…Laurel is in 3rd grade. She reads books that are way above grade level constantly. We weren’t at all concerned about her passing…it was more a matter of how high would she score. Even we were surprised.

The “on grade level” score for reading was 1198. Laurel’s score was 1986. The best Julie could determine from the detailed report is that she missed one point in two categories on the entire reading section.

Then we looked at her math score. “On grade level” is 1269. Laurel scored 2225. The highest score possible on the math section…2225. Wow.

Apparently Julie gave the kid some pretty good genes! Awesome job Laurel!

May 23, 2008 Posted by | kids | | Leave a comment

Sobering start to the day

Got a text message from Tim first thing this morning asking me if I had heard about Steven Curtis Chapman‘s five year old daughter. Yesterday afternoon Maria Sue Chapman died after being hit by an SUV in the driveway of their home. She was Steven and Mary Beth’s youngest daughter and one of their three adopted daughters. The news report that Tim heard said that one of Steven’s sons was driving the vehicle.

I can’t even begin to imagine what their family is going through right now, but I know they need for us to be praying for them today.

What has made this all the more sobering is that Maria was five years old. My youngest daughter is five. Her name is Marybeth. When Julie was pregnant with Marybeth, she had been reading a book by SCC and had come to really appreciate the honesty and transparency of both SCC and Mary Beth Chapman. As we were thinking of names for her, we kept coming back to Marybeth. Not that she is named after Mary Beth Chapman, but her name was influenced by MBC. All the more sobering.

May 22, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | | Leave a comment

Bible Memorization

Over the years I have done a lot of Bible memorization. Mostly a verse here and there…dealing with specific issues that I wanted/needed to improve in my life. At one point in college, I listened to a sermon from a pastor in Texas named Tom Nelson (link and link). Tom was talking about Scripture memorization, and related how after college he memorized a huge section of the New Testament…basically Romans through Jude. Just looking at the Bible on my co-worker’s desk…that is approximately 170 pages. If you quoted him a verse, he could paraphrase the verse before it and the verse after it. Wow.

So, I set up a challenge for myself in college…to memorize a book of the Bible. I choose the book of Philippians…partly because I had already memorized several verses in it, and to memorize the book I would just need to learn the connecting sections. It took me about three months, but I eventually nailed it.

Many people have commented that they would like to memorize Bible verses, but it’s hard and they struggle to do it. Over the last year, I have been memorizing Bible verses with my five year old. She memorized one verse a week for each week of last year. You can read more about that on the Bible Memory Page.

Here is the process I have gone through with her. It should be easily transferable to you. Heck…if my five year old can do it…so can you. But then again…my five year old can also deploy Vista, Office 2007, Acrobat, etc to seven computers in 30 seconds. :-)

  • We break the verse up into five sections that we memorize one at a time over five days.
  • I read the nightly portion of the verse (starting with the reference) to my daughter five times, and then have her quote it to me until she gets every word perfect.
  • Once she has it perfect, I have her quote it perfect five times. We repeat that every night, and by the end of the five days, she can nail it easily.
  • The other two days of the week we spend reviewing the verse of the week as well as a lot of the other verses that she has memorized.

May 16, 2008 Posted by | devotional, Jesus, kids | 4 Comments

When the belly button pops…

Julie saw a shirt recently that read “When the belly button pops, you’re done!” I was highly amused.

Anyway, last night as we were going to bed, I reached over and had my hand on Julie’s belly…she has a little “bump” which is how I’ve been referring to the baby…”bump”. It just so happened that the way my hand was positioned, the tip of my middle finger was on her belly button. Then she coughed…and I felt the belly button pop out. She coughed again, and it popped out again. I started laughing, but she had no idea why. Once I told her, we both were dying laughing. We laughed so hard that we both ended up going into coughing fits after a few minutes.

It was so nice being able to laugh with her. That is the first time we have laughed together in the last couple of months because of the morning sickness. It was fun seeing her laughing and enjoying something related to this pregnancy!

May 15, 2008 Posted by | comedy, kids, life, relationships | | 1 Comment

Just tell me it will be fun someday

I know that eventually this pregnancy will be fun. I know that I will love this child more than my own life. I know that I will cry at his/her birth and be amazed at each new little thing that happens with this baby.


Right now this pregnancy just isn’t very fun at all. Julie is in the midst of another “bad day” (morning sickness). Some days are good. She is functional on those days. Some days she is almost normal. This is not one of those days. She is sick. She barely feels like moving at all. Taking care of our five year old involves moving. Thankfully I am able to work from home, which I am doing today. But then…if you read yesterday’s post, I’m not feeling all that great myself.

But really…how I feel is nothing compared to how bad Julie is feeling. We would still very much appreciate your prayers.

May 6, 2008 Posted by | kids, relationships | , | Leave a comment

MMS Video

It was cool seeing the video on the screen at the State of the Nation session at MMS. Here are a couple of pics I took during the session. That is Bill Anderson from Microsoft on the stage. I like the title of the slide he used to intro the video…”Kindergarten MCSE”. The second shot shows a portion of the video where Marybeth is clicking to deploy a computer using SCCM’s OSD.



April 29, 2008 Posted by | ConfigMgr, kids | | 2 Comments


This is the video that I posted about yesterday that was shown during the “State of the Nation” session at MMS this morning. It features me talking about how we are using SCCM OSD, and concludes with my five year old daughter using SCCM to deploy seven computers. Enjoy!

April 29, 2008 Posted by | comedy, ConfigMgr, kids, video | , | 6 Comments

MRI – Follow Up

We went into today with a bit of apprehension. Marybeth was most concerned about getting the IV put in for the sedation. Julie and I were concerned because they were putting our little girl under.

I have never been more impressed with a doctor experience. The people at Florida Hospital that we interacted with were outstanding. The nurses were really cheerful and put Marybeth at ease. It certainly didn’t hurt that we found out that we misunderstood about the IV. They put her out with a breathing thing…and then put the IV in.

One thing that they did that was really neat. We were in the pediatric waiting room, and in this room is a gigantic bear…probably four feet tall. When the nurse comes in, he asks my daughter if she likes the bear. Then he asked her, “Would you like to take the bear home with you?” My guard immediately went up…dude, don’t tell her something that you can’t follow through on. Then he reached under his lab coat and pulled out a small version of the same bear. And then a coloring book. And crayons. Then he pulled out the same items to give to Laurel (our eight year old). They really did do everything possible to make it a pleasant experience.


April 26, 2008 Posted by | kids | , | Leave a comment

MRI for My Five Year Old

We would appreciate your prayers tomorrow. Around 1pm Eastern Time on Friday, Marybeth will be going in for an MRI of her spine. Being that there is no way my wiggly little girl will be able to be still for 45 minutes or more, she will need to be sedated. There’s more than a little apprehension in our house.

This is all stemming from battles with encopresis. (Follow that link only if you really want to know.) Our pediatrician finally referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist. We’ve already been for a couple of abdominal X-Rays. The doctors have had her on medicine for a long time now. It’s not working.

From what I understand, the next step is the MRI. Apparently there is a spinal condition that can cause this. I honestly don’t know what they are looking for. I also don’t know whether to hope they find what they are looking for and see how to treat it, or if it would be better to rule out this possibility and move on to the next thing on the list.

April 24, 2008 Posted by | kids | , | 1 Comment

Our Baby’s Heartbeat

Julie had an OB visit today. While there we got to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time…right around 160 beats a minute. I took my MP3 player in and recorded it. I was going to link to it in this post, but my hosting provider doesn’t allow uploads of audio/video files unless you pay $20 for an upgrade. The only reason I would need the upgrade would be to add that file. I’m cheap enough that it’s not going to happen. :-)

One cool thing that happened today is that Julie and I both started to feel more of a connection with the baby. This has been much slower in coming with this baby than our two daughters. I think it is mainly because this one was such a surprise to both of us. It was cool seeing that connection take place with Julie today. With as sick as she has been lately, it was nice to see her getting some enjoyment from the pregnancy.

[Update: I figured out how to get the heartbeat on the blog. I used MovieMaker in Vista to combine the soundfile I had from the MP3 player with a picture of Julie and my daughters to create a movie file. Uploaded it to YouTube. Pretty simple. Should have thought of it sooner.]

April 23, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | | 2 Comments

Our Foreign Tooth Fairy

Today my five year old lost her first tooth. It happened really fast. When I left for work there were no loose teeth. Late morning Marybeth calls me at work to tell me that she has a “wiggly tooth”. Around 4PM she calls back to tell that the tooth is out and that the Tooth Fairy is coming tonight.

We have a special Tooth Fairy that comes to our house. Our Tooth Fairy refuses to get into competitions with the other Tooth Fairies in the neighborhood about how much a tooth is worth. Our Tooth Fairy only brings foreign money. Our oldest daughter has loved it. She has gotten coins from Africa, Belgium, Thailand, France, Argentina, Germany, and the EU. She always looks forward to finding out where the next coin will come from.

I’ll have to find out what the Tooth Fairy’s stash of foreign coins holds tonight. :-)   Hmmm…I wonder if that fairy has any Hungarian Forint?


April 14, 2008 Posted by | kids | Leave a comment

Babies on Airplanes

When we started letting people know that Julie is pregnant I knew that it is news that could be received with difficulty by a few of our friends who have struggled with infertility. I have since talked personally with both of these guys…both are truly happy for us. At church this morning I was talking with one of them…a guy who has been told by his doctor that he and his wife will never be able to have children.

During our conversation he mentioned being on an airplane last year in which there were a couple of small children who were making normal baby noises. One of the men sitting close to him grumbled something about crying children on airplanes. My friend turned to the guy and said something that gave him a little perspective…it went something like this:

When the doctor tells you that you will never hear those sounds in your house…those sounds become the most precious in the world.

My friend’s words gave the guy a little perspective, and he stopped grumbling. I am generally very sympathetic towards parents with children on airplanes. I’ve been in that spot. As much as you want to do your best to keep your child from disturbing other people…you only have just so much control…the child has a mind and a will of their own.

I will also add that as a traveler, I always go prepared. I travel with my noise canceling headphones and a set of foam earplugs in my computer bag. Normally I use the headphones because it cancels out the engine roar and makes for a more pleasant flight. However…I always have the earplugs as a backup…just in case I am right next to a child whose ears are hurting due to air pressure changes.

April 6, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Little Surprise

A little more than a month ago I came home from work and was talking with my wife about what had gone on that day. In the midst of the conversation she said that she felt like something was poking her through her clothes and asked me to look to see if I could find what it was. When I started looking I saw this:

Baby Feet

That picture may not mean much to some of you. It’s a pair of “precious feet“…a lapel pin the same size and shape of a baby’s feet at 10 weeks after conception. Julie had used this same pin to tell me that we were pregnant with our youngest daughter. To quote my friend Jason, “Holy Schnikey!”

Now I know what some of you are thinking…I thought Jarvis said they weren’t going to have any more children. Well…what I actually said was that since our first two children didn’t sleep through the night til they were almost two years old (and sleep deprivation is a very effective form of torture…even if inflicted by a small child), God would have to speak very clearly for us to have another child…birth control would have to fail. Uh…well…God spoke.

Julie is currently 8 weeks pregnant, and we are still a bit shellshocked. This little one is definitely a surprise. We are adjusting to the fact that our family size is going to increase around the beginning of November or so. It still hardly seems real except that Julie is experiencing the worst “morning sickness” that she has ever had. BTW…has there ever been a bigger misnomer? “Morning” sickness? Please. I beg you…give us sickness that is just in the morning. This stuff is “24-hour-a-day-sickness.” And it is killing us.

We were originally planning to keep the pregnancy a secret for a bit longer, but at this point we really need your prayers. This sickness is brutal…on Julie and the rest of the family. Because the sickness has been so strong, Julie has barely been able to get off the couch most days which means that she hasn’t been able to do the things that she normally does around the house…so those things fall to me after I come home from work. We are both simply exhausted. I don’t know that I can remember a time when I have felt more fatigued.

So, please pray for us. Specifically you can pray for:

  • Safety/health for our baby. While we have been too sick/tired to be joyful yet, we are looking forward to meeting this little person and want the best for whoever he/she may be.
  • For the sickness to let up soon. Like I said…this is killing us.
  • For strength for me as I try to be both Dad and Mom to our two daughters (who are eight and five years old). I am desperately trying to not let my tiredness bleed over into being impatient/snappy with them. Some days I do well…some days I don’t.

April 4, 2008 Posted by | kids, life | , , , | 3 Comments

Full Moon at the Swim Meet

We have some friends whose teenage sons are swimmers. They have only started swimming in the last year, but they are apparently really really good. The oldest placed third in his first swim meet…before he learned how to do a flip turn. He literally had to swim to the wall, stop, turn around and start swimming again. And he placed third.

Anyway, he was in a fairly big swim meet today. He doesn’t normally do the whole body shave thing, but this was a big enough meet that he did. One of the events that he was entered in was the 100 Meter Butterfly. Before the event, he didn’t make sure that his speedo was adequately tied/fastened/whatever…having never worn a speedo, I don’t know what he didn’t do right. But I know you can see where this is headed…

He dove in. The water ripped the speedo off. And he proceeded to finish the event naked…and mooned the spectators with every stroke.

His mom told us that there was professional level cheering going on. She also later told her son that it could have been worse…he could have been swimming the backstroke. He said he would have stopped if that had been the case! He also made sure everything was properly fastened before every other event.

March 9, 2008 Posted by | comedy, kids, life | , , | 2 Comments


My youngest daughter loves butterflies. Last summer she could walk up to flowers and the butterflies would just sit there and wait for her to catch them and put them in her “bug box”. When she got ready to let them go, they would wait until she reached in to pull them out. It was really amazing to watch.

So her birthday was a month or so ago. My mom gave her a present that our whole family has been enjoying. It’s a Butterfly Bungalow from It’s a net tent that is big enough for a child to climb into, and it comes with a coupon to send off to get live caterpillars shipped to you. The caterpillars they send are for Painted Lady butterflies. You get to watch them go through the entire life cycle.

Our daughters have been watching with great excitement as they have gone through each stage, and yesterday the first one came out of its chrysalis. Today we have four…with six more left to “hatch”. Tonight, I crawled into the bungalow with my five year old to play with the butterflies. I did mention that the tent was big enough for a child to climb into…right? Big fat daddy was a bit cramped! It was fun though…and my wife took plenty of pictures of us playing with them. As she was taking pictures of me and our daughters with butterflies on our noses, Julie commented that it reminded her a bit of the advertisements for the movie Silence of the Lambs. That’s just a bit creepy.

Butterfly Nose

March 3, 2008 Posted by | kids | , | Leave a comment

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