27 February 2008

Butt Kicking

Last night was a bad night, all around. I was supposed to be in the capitol city for work but the roads were bad (Jody, I so wanted to call you but opted to take the kids to see the great g's) and I opted to play it safe and stay home. Ryan's plans for a very quiet evening were a little disturbed and he was a little piturbed. Trying to focus on the reason for this post, I'll skip all the details even though I'd really like to get it off my chest. All these little things that were no big deal by themselves kept happening one right after another. And finally I'd had enough and stormed upstairs and crawled in bed. Knowing that my life in general has been stressed and also knowing full well that it has been my lack of time in the Word and being quiet before God, I avoided the light switch and grabbed my bible. Not even knowing where to begin, I opened it up and decided I would read whatever page I opened to. It was 2 Chronicles 14 and 15. Immediately my mood brightened when I read the subtitle and realized it was about king Asa. Curious, because I have a buddy that named his child Asa, I started right in reading. Now, I was reading The Message version which is a paraphrase but a little light reading was good considering my attitude. I started with chapter 15 first and here's a few things I read:
  • God will stick with you as long as you stick with him. If you look for him he will let himself be found
  • when they were in trouble and got serious, and decided to seek God, the God of Israel, God let himself be found
  • Asa...took a deep breath, then rolled up his sleeves, and went to work
  • they bound themselves in a covenant to seek God, the God of their fathers, wholeheartedly, holding nothing back

And then I went back and read chapter 14 because it also pertained to Asa:

  • Asa was a good king. He did things right in God's eyes
  • God kept the peace
  • [asa said:] We have this peaceful land because we sought God; he has given us rest from all troubles

And then on to chapter 16 to get the rest of the story of Asa

  • "Because you went for help to the king of Aram and didn't ask God for help, you've lost a victory over the army of the king of Aram. Didn't the Ethiopians and Libyans come against you with superior forces, completely outclassing you with their chariots and cavalry? But you asked God for help and he gave you the victory. God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God's help. Now you're in trouble—one round of war after another."

How much am I like Asa? Thinking I can do it on my own? I can't, I know I can't. I know that things work out best when I let God be in control. So, what am I doing? God is always on the alert, constantly looking out for people who are totally committed to him! Yeah God, I'm sorry for being the foolish one and trying to do it on my own when I could have your help. Please help. Like my mom said when I was growing up, I need an attitude adjustment!


This is a view of the sunset last night just down the road from my house on my way home:


Bethany has this funny habit. When she seemingly gets nervous, she'll tuck her head down and roll her eyes up to look at you. Now, she does this with an added smile.
Scott has this habit too. He always likes to be holding Bethany's hand. It doesn't matter if she's in her carseat, her jumparoo or asleep in bed, he likes to hold her hand. Its very cute.

Other fun habits that they'd be embarrassed if they knew I shared:
1. They are habitual about when they poop. Scott is a morning pooper and boy am I dissapointed when I don't get him to daycare in time :) Bethany likes to poop when she's in her high chair at the supper table. Its lovely to be chewing on a piece of meat and hear her passing gas, grunting and pushing it out
2. Bethany likes to grab at her genital area when her diaper comes off. Makes for a lot of fun when I'm trying to apply diaper rash cream!
3. Scott will avoid the "big boy potty" at all costs, even if a fresh cookie or dish of change (he loves both) are placed in front of him.

Dear Grandpa and Grandma

We're sure glad you're near. We love being able to see you more often so that we can read books, make houses, go see Arthur, eat at McD's and watch Veggie Tales. We love you!

Scott & Bethany

She likes to Eat

Tracy thought this would be a funny picture to sneak on my camera. Tracy took a bite out of a cookie and handed it to Bethany for the photo op. But, before Tracy could take the picture, Bethany had the cookie in her mouth. Atta girl Bethany. This child doesn't mess around when it comes to food. We can no longer sit down for a meal without her letting us know that she wants to be fed too. Yes, she also continues to think that she needs the home brewed milk as soon as she sees me after work, regardless of the fact that she may have had a bottle an hour earlier. No way this kid will be starved!

She's Mine

Yes, she's adorable! Yes, she's mine! Happy 8 month birthday Bethany!

Old Man Winter

Is it ever going to end? They say spring is just around the corner but it doesn't look like it. Although it is sunny out, its also snowing again. It's supposed to get up above freezing again tomorrow which will make for some snow melt (aka slush).

This picture was taken Dec 31st but the only difference now is deeper snow, shorter fence posts and big snow drifts.

25 February 2008

Thank you God

I wish I had enough time to write the details of this story but not today.

Last night, after almost 4 hours of being gone on a (in my mind) 2 hour emergency call, Ryan still wasn't home. I would have been asleep and not really noticed (yes, I'm a good wife like that) except SCott woke and came in the room asking for his daddy who didn't put him to bed and hadn't kissed him goodnight. Fear came over me. I called and called. And in between calls I begged God to bring Ryan home safely. Watching the clock and knowing that Ryan would have usually called, I prayed some more and decided to call one more time before calling the other doctor and asking him to find Ryan. Needless to say, Ryan answered the phone and was safe. I didn't know to be glad he was safe or mad that he didn't call. But at that point, my prayers changed from begging to thanking God that he was safe and I continued to ask God to bring him home safely.

Oh thank you God... I really do like my husband, even if he doesn't take out the trash when I think he should!

Where is He?

We're trying to teach Scott to give. He knows the phrase "give back to God what he gave us" and likes to put his offerring in the plate. However yesterday when I dug out some change for him to take to church while driving down the road, the following conversation occurred:

me: Scott, did you take any money out of your piggy bank to give to God?
S: nope
[knowing the answer, I'm already digging in my change dish]
me: here Scott, you can give this to God
S: who's God, mommy?
me: umm
[not knowing how to explain to a 2 year old, I think I just repeated the phrase mentioned above]

a few minutes later as we're getting to church:
s: where's God? I want to give him my money? Mommy, where's God at?
[again, not a clue what to say. who prepares you for these moments... what should I say?]

in church when the plate was passed, we dug out his change from his pocket and thankfully he didn't ask the question. Thank you God - wherever you were at that moment ;)

19 February 2008


I was a little misleading last week - my birthday is tomorrow. And I don't say that now to get any birthday wishes or anything like that but rather to preface a my thoughts this morning. I got an email from a dear friend wishing me a happy birthday week. The following is our email conversation:
from me:
thanks Kel! Ryan and I are supposed to be going out for my birthday. Only, I'm not so excited about it for several reasons:
1. I don't feel cute today as I didn't get make up on my stressed out face.
2. I have an optometrist appt at 5pm and we have to stop at Fare.way and Wallyworld while we're out.
3. Ryan happened to share a conversation that he had with me in which he said "that doesn't work for me. My wife TOLD ME that I would be taking her to supper". Yep, that pretty much ruined it.
4. He's commented about being or not being able to get a free meal at chinese for my birthday. It's not about the freaking free meal. its about celebrating with your wife.

My crappy attitude will improve throughout the day. But, I'm lacking sleep, the roads were crap and I put too much chocolate in my hot chocolate... could be a long day :)

from kelly:
Ouch! That stings a bit and while I’m sure it was stressing it to get the joke out, it still doesn’t feel that great. I just got done reading a book called “For Women Only” about guys and how they really feel- I think all the girl’s in our small group should read it- but what really interests me is the companion book called “For Guys Only” that is supposed to explain us better to the guys in our life. I want to read it first and see if I think it’s accurate. Not all girl’s are the same, and I’m wondering if it really pegs us well.

The bright side- dinner out with your hubby- NO kids, right?

and my reply:
yeah, I'm sure he meant no harm but like he tells me, its not always what you say but how you say it. However, now that I think about it, it was both in this case.

I have that book too. I've read maybe 30 pages of it. Ryan has read both and thinks its spot on for what guys think. However, I've told him not to read to exact on the one about women, rather let me write one specifically about me. And then, I'd probably have to write 3, one for different moods, feeling sick, etc :) They also have one for young men and one for young women that are good. Right now I'm reading a book called Love & Respect, Love what she needs most, Respect what he needs most. Its been good but difficult to swallow. It talks about respecting him regardless of him deserving it. I'm trying but have a LONG way to go.

Night out with one kid. The B's are taking Scott to some Arthur (the cartoon) thing. We'll have Bethany. We thought about the new place but they're closed on Tuesday. And to be honest, unless hubby gets dressed up or there's something different about the night, then its just like every other time we stop and eat in Decorah. know what I mean?

All that to say that I'm being a whiner like my son. I want a special time to celebrate me. And I know that tonight will be rushed. Sure, I could request that we get all dressed up but that would require me leaving work even earlier to go home and put some make up on. Still not a bad idea but I did the ride-share thing this morning (betcha didn't know that was even possible in rural Iowa) and can't really leave any earlier. My boss is much more flexible with my time off requests. And even then, we would just be rushed to get to all the places we need to be before Scott's done and we need to get the kids home and in bed. They've each had colds lately and are whiny, fussy little ones.

18 February 2008

15 February 2008

Sweetheart Supper

I've been emailing with a friend about the Sweetheart supper and thought it would be fun to share what I wrote to her about the details of last night:

Thanks Diane. We, I think, were more blessed than the ladies. Because of the business of life, I had forgotten about the ladies until recently. Mom has taken on the food prep and other issues in the past but is busy as well. Ryan didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to minister to those ladies (reason #240 that I love him) so he asked our small group if they wanted to help me out. To be quite honest, I was a bit irritated because that then committed me to doing it. But now, I'm so thankful that he did (reason #241). We got invitations put together real quick and got them in the mail last minute. Of course, my generation wouldn't have worked so well with that turn around time on RSVP's but my ladies were wonderfully appreciative of the invitation and called right away. Anyway, we had help from most of our smaller small group and then Nick and Meg joined in the fun as well.

So, just because it was fun and I'm still excited about it, I'll share some details:
- Decided January 31st to do the Sweetheart Supper
- Tina (editor/owner of a local paper) and I designed invitation. I printed out invitations and Vanessa and I stuffed them and got them in the mail on Feb 9th.
- Had RSVP's by the 11th
- Sarah planned the meal (and nothing she cooks/bakes is simple) and had a grocery list to us on Tuesday night.
- Wed night at 7pm, Vanessa and I headed to Dtown for groceries. Dropped them off at Sarah's and was home by 11pm
- Thursday morning called the 12 that RSVP'd and changed the location due to threatening weather.
- Thursday Sarah and Kristy helped sarah assemble lasagnas. My mom cooked up the green beans.
- 430 pm I decorated while Ryan shoveled all the walk out front of the church. A very thoughtful couple heard what we were doing and donated a single rose with greenery and a vase for every lady. Vanessa brought those to the church.
- between 5 and 6 was stir crazy. We had lasagnas in 3 different locations, kids running around and not quite finished setting up when ladies started showing up 15 minutes early (so unlike my generation). Nick and Chris were chauffers.
- The meal was served, the ladies loved it. Nick was a hit with the ladies. Spenser (he's 9 by the way) was a great server and helped the ladies out the door, etc. The kitchen crew had dishes done, dried, put away while I gabbed with the ladies and dealt with a fussy child who, for a while, was only content if she was latched on.

We were able to invite more ladies this year (this is my 3rd year doing a meal for those older ladies who have either never married or are widowed) as those involved knew more ladies than mom and I know. We were quite blessed. I had several emails this morning from folks who helped. The S's who are experiencing bible study, God in general, and now serving others and doing so in partnership with their son, were very excited about last night. Nick was the ladies man but he and Meg thought it was heart warming. Ryan and I were glad to have many hands to help. I think we're all excited to see how we can serve next time!

Letter to RC

Dear Contact, how could I lose you. I understand you don't like being in my eyes and I'm sorry that Wednesday was such a long day. You irritate me so bad, I'm not sure why I allow you to be part of my life. Wednesday night when I got home, my eyes were dry and when I slipped out your twin, LC came out just fine. But I couldn't find you. I looked and looked for you. Even had hubby down on the ground looking for you. I'm committed to you, even at 11pm. But you were no where to be found. Did you sneak out some time during the day? Do you run away that morning and never join me for the day? Sometimes you try that but I'm persistent and take you along. What happened to you? Yesterday I had to wear my glasses. Today I forgot my glasses and life at work is a blur.

Oh, so you think its funny my dearest RC. I think not. And the joke is on you. You're being replaced on Tuesday with another pair. You, my dear friend, are disposable and I didn't really like you're attitude anyway. I hope this next trial pair will be better looking!

13 February 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Last night I saw a box on the coffee table but forgot to ask hubby what it was. While eating supper I mentioned that I forgot to pick up the mail on my way in. He was okay with that since the mail man brought it up to the door. Oh yeah, that's right, a box on the cofee table. So, I asked what it was. It was my Valentine's/Birthday present. He asked if I wanted it early. Now, I was curious so of course, I answered yes even though I really, really want a gift on my birthday. So, I asked him if he would re-wrap it so I could open it on my birthday. He said yes. Reason #239 that I love him.

He's a wonderful listener and heard me say at one point that I wanted a magnifying mirror. So, that's what a got - reason #240. Very cute and dainty looking. So cute, I think I'll put next to the antique mirror on my dresser that has perfume bottles on it.

It was a very thoughtful and wonderful gift. I'm thankful that he listens and gets me what I want. However, next time, I would love to have one gift for Valentine's Day (like a hand written love note like you wrote before we were married) and a seperate gift for my birthday. Thanks for listening!

I love you Ryan

You may frustrate me with the little things but I love you for a million reasons. Thank you for being my husband and best friend.

reason #236 that I love you: you stayed home with the sick babies yesterday and played Mr. Mom.

reason #237 that I love you: you were home with Scott who is quite the whiner and most definitely a mama's boy when he's sick.

reason #238 that I love you: I had a nice meal when I did finally get home.

flip flops

yup, its flip flop weather here today. In the 20's and a little snow melt in the parking lot.

Letter from Red

I once was lost... but now I'm found! I may be well insulated but I have been freezing my plastic off. Fortunately, I didn't get lost in the snow drifts or shattered on the driveway. I've been chillin' in the cup holder of Dave's work truck. Today my twin joined me bright and early only he was nice and warm. I will be home tonight and am ready to be useful once again.

The travel mug

[Ryan and have become accustomed to hot chocolate each morning. We have several of the travel coffee mugs. I got two from an organization I'm in as a thank you. One is green and one is red. We also have two from a drug company rep that Ryan works with. I gave away my drug company one to a friend who needed one. So, we typically use the red and green ones. And because I like my hot chocolate with a different twist to it, we decided that I would use the red one and Ryan would use the green and we wouldn't get our cups mixed up. Well, good 'ol Red has been missing. Ryan was sure that I set it on the hood of my trunk and drove off and left it. I was sure that I hadn't because I would have seen it in my mirror when I backed out and I would have wondered that morning where my hot chocolate went when my hands were freezing. On Saturday I proved to Ryan that he was correct. I left a small diaper bag on the outside of the car and someone found it on our driveway and returned it. However, I did wonder what happened to it when I got to my destination but figured I left it by the door. So that solidified that I had to have lost the mug the same way. Only today, when I got in my bosses truck to head to a meeting, there was my red cup. Finally, I won't have to keep stealing Ryan's mugs each morning! Whew.]

11 February 2008


1. Today is day #4 of Scott's cold. No fun.
2. Saturday us girls (MIL, mom, bethany and I) had a girls afternoon out. Quilt show at the conservation center. Bethany was curious about quilt colors and animals.
3. The Sweetheart Supper is just around the corner. We have invited 29 women. I'm glad my small group offerred to help. My last planned activity for a bit.
4. Ryan had truck drama this weekend. It was zero degrees outside and the wind was howling like mad (we live on the top of a hill and always have wind). He was out changing a tire. His spare was frozen up underneath, etc. I offerred to help but was told to stay inside where it was warm. I made him hot chocolate and was COLD just standing outside long enough to put the hot chocolate in his truck.
5. No church for me Sunday. It was -40 with the wind chill. If something were to happen, it would be very difficult to keep them warm. We stayed home.
6. This week is going to fly by.

07 February 2008

February 5th

It will forever be ingrained in my mind. The start of February comes and it hits me like a box of rocks. I miss my friend. It has been 12 years. The pain has subsided but the memories live on. I often wonder what life would be like if he was still around. Would Scott and I have stayed friends? Would my decision to commit my life to Christ have played out like it has? What a wonderful guy who lived a short life.

Like it was yesterday, I remember the details: the phone call about his accident. No brain activity, hearing that he died. The drive to the funeral, bawling like a baby when I saw his things on the stage. Visiting his parents afterwards, smelling his pillow, snooping through his desk with his dad. Wow. I miss my friend.

Reason #237 that I love Marriott

I had a reservation to stay at one of my favorite Marriott Hotels recently. I made the reservation for Wednesday night as I planned on scrapping with Jody and then attending a meeting in our state office. Then Tuesday night we got gobs of snow. I enjoyed a day home with my kiddos and cancelled plans to the capitol city. All day I kept telling myself that I needed to call Thursday to cancel my hotel reservations. Only, this morning while showering, I realized that I should have called yesterday. I instantly freaked out and then settled down realizing that I would just have to pay the fee for not cancelling. However, I called this morning and explained that I was confused on the date. After being on hold for two minutes, the Marriott employee let me know that she would cancel my reservation with no fee. Thank you Marriott, you will definitely keep my business.

04 February 2008

Snow = Chains

Where I grew up, if you were going to the snow [you had to drive there because it didn't snow in the valley], you put chains on your tires. The highway patrol would sit on the side of the road and if you didn't have chains, you turned around and went back home. But out here in the midwest, people don't do that. It was so odd to me at first. The only time you see chains is when you drive past the tractor thats out in the field feeding cattle. Some people have studded tired though but no chains. Odd!

Ah, how sweet

yes, my husband is a stud muffin! Today at 4pm, the bell at the front desk rang as our secretary was gone already. Okay, farmers never hit the bell so that was odd in itself. Knowing it was a guy I'd just talked to at the counter, I jumped right up. Only, to my surprise it was Ryan with a pleasant surprise on his face. I jokingly asked him if he was here to bring me lunch as he unzipped his jacket and pulled out a red rose. Yup, a red rose, for no particular reason. It was so sweet. He was a few miles down the road on a call and went out of his way to come to town, buy a rose and bring it to me. It was perfect. And so sweet. I took a picture of it on my desk. I wish I would have taken a picture of him getting it out of his jacket or one of him giving it to me.

Cross Country Skiing

In the more recent years, my justification for doing things has changed [from exercise] to it being all about the photo op. Well, this day was a day of exercise but I did get a cool picture as well.

This was my photo op picture. It was difficult to get as my camera didn't like the cold! The next picture is of us girls. Three of us from work decided to have fun for a day. It was a ton of fun and now I have lots of bruising to prove it. Cross country skiing wasn't difficult but when I tried to make it become downhill skiing, it didn't go over so well. Its really hard for me to make corners with those big long skis. Oh what fun it was. It really works your hips, I found out. And by the end of the morning, I was using my arms to compensate for my naturally sore hips. My muscles were surprised to be used again :)