30 September 2010

Bloody Bethany

Tuesday night as Bethany was sneaking her hand into a frito bag, she tripped over my foot and fell into the turkey fryer that was waiting to go to the basement.  She cried and I picked her up thinking "that'll teach you to ask instead of sneaking your hand in".  Little did I know.  As I carried her toward the counter she was snuggled against my chest crying.  As I came around the corner and her dad got one look at her, he said something that caught my attention.  I immediately looked down and saw my daughter's bloody face.  At first we couldn't even tell where she was bleeding from because it was everywhere.  In a bit of a panic, I said I didn't know what to do but then wouldn't get out of Ryan's way to let him attend to her.  We got her cleaned up, snuggled in my lap and ice on her forehead.  When the bleeding stopped, Ryan as Bethany says "glued me  back together".  We're still not exactly sure how the gash got there but we're guessing the lid came up and the handle caught her forehead.  Ouch. 
It was not what any of us planned with our evening.  We ended up finishing the evening on the couch and eating popcorn for supper.  How's that for a meal?  As for my little Princess, do you think she learned her lesson?  Probably not.  However, I learned two things that night: 1. head wounds bleed A LOT and  2. check your kiddos face for blood before you hold her close (against your new shirt).
from the bestest mom ever - although my daughter might not agree right now...

29 September 2010


I went to the fair trade store in Ames this weekend hunting for this necklace:

But, they didn't have one there. I should have bought it at http://147millionorphans.com where they cost $20 and benefit the Karamajong women in Uganda.

Instead I came home with a necklace in reds and browns that I love. Unfortunately the first time I wore it, Bethany got a toy caught in it and it broke. I've strung the beads on a thicker metal strand, I just need to get it tied and it will be back on my neck.

*this is a website wednesday post.

26 September 2010

Love it!

This weekend has blessed me.

We came to Altoona on Friday night. For those who saw my facebook post of Ryan saying "when my wife is on her period, you'll never know if she'll laugh, flip me off, or come at you with a butcher knife" know that our weekend didn't start so smoothly. But the PMSing was gone by Saturday morning. I spent a very short time with Ryan's family Saturday morning at G&G's house in Prairie City... dug through a few boxes in the garage, checked out the empty house and tried to stay out of the rain. Just before noon on Saturday I left PC and headed to Michelle's.

I was disspointed that the other girls couldn't join us after all but super excited to hang out with Michelle and not have to share. I took the poor girl out shopping even though she'd just run 18 miles. It was fun to shop for myself. I even got to check out the fair trade store in Ames and managed to only walk out with a necklace even though I really wanted to buy several things. Michelle and I chatted and played with the kids. It was encouraging to hang out with my friend, just doing normal things. We had a great conversation about pride and confessing sin and I'm looking forward to being more aware of my pride issues.

This morning I participated in worship at Cornerstone. It was great to be fed, and to hear God's Word. The way they set up their worship service is amazing. Now I'm back in Altoona where it's nice and quiet. And pretty soon everyone will be here to celebrate Grandpa's 90th birthday. Happy Birthday Grandpa!!!

22 September 2010

I feel like I've had nothing to write about.  Now all of a sudden, I have several things that might be worth sharing.
New Cow Hide Rug
I have a big, old, hereford hide on my living room floor.  It's showing some wear and starting to bald in areas.  I've entertained the idea of a new one.  Then yesterday while talking to a taxidermist, some how it came up that he had the hide of a heifer.  He tanned it himself and had no plans to sell it or do anything with it.  So last night after work, I stopped out at his shop where he pulled the hide off the wall, rolled it up and carried it outside to my van.  I was like a little kid at Christmas and had to call Ryan right away to tell him about it.  I like my new rug and especially liked the price!  I couldn't replace the hide in my living room so the new hide has found a home in my bedroom!  I'm already scheming on having him tan a sheep hide or something like that for my kids in the future...
Check Engine Light
Seriously, our van just came out of the shop earlier this month.  It wasn't a cheap fix.  Friday my check engine light came on.  I was frustrated at paying for another fix.  I'm thankful that we're able to afford the fixes with our emergency fund.  So, I took my van to Kurt's, my trusted and wonderful mechanic.  He called me later to let me know that he reset the light for now (who knew getting gas while the engine was running would kick the light on???) and said if it comes back on, then he'll run more tests.  Well, that was a much better deal than I was expecting.  Please light, please stay off.
White Cross Service Project
Last night our family joined up with a few hours to work on a project that benefits a hospital in Cameroon where our church supports a missionary.  Ryan and the kids rolled bandages, a few of us cut out baby jackets, blankets, and diapers from the flannel fabric.  Others stacked bandages in piles of 25 and sewed them together.  It was fun and I was thrilled to see my whole family participate.  Unfortunately my plan to take pictures failed when I realized my camera was at home. 
This coming weekend
I'm looking forward to the coming weekend.  I'm getting a day away to Ames to hang out with my friend Michelle.  Whether we go out for cofee or sit around the house, I'm excited to see my friend.  I also get to attend church with her family which will be sweet!


Judah is no longer an orphan. Can I get an Amen on that?!?! But there are many who are. Local children orphaned and living through the system. International children orphaned and growing up in the system as well. I feel sorry for the kids here in our own backyard who are orphaned. They need parents. They need a stable home. Even so, I’m drawn to international orphans. Since I got this question many times in our adoption process, I thought you might also wonder why we didn’t adopt a child through foster care. There are kids right here in my own county, after all. Well here’s one reason I’m drawn to these international kids.

In our backyard, we have things such as welfare and other government aid. We have loving foster care families (which there are not enough of I’m sure). For a child to starve to death in our country is unlikely. In third world countries, they don’t have the government programs. There are children and whole families literally starving because they don’t have the means to provide the next meal. It’s not just something we read about or see on television, it’s day-to-day living for some and I’ve seen it a tiny glimpse of it first hand. And so, I snuggle my three little ones tight and check out these precious children who need parents like you and me.

Because I adopted through Holt International and am familiar with their website, I choose to view their waiting children from Ethiopia. But there are waiting children in lots of other countries through many other ethical agencies. I would challenge you to consider being that loving family for a child in need. If you’re one of the few who will take that challenge seriously and then come up with a hand full of excuses, much like I did at one time, start somewhere. Support a child through Compassion International, be a mentor to a child in a single parent home. Need ideas? Email me and I could give you a list of them.

***this is my website Wednesday post.

21 September 2010

Facebook status

I recently had this facebook status that was impressive to one dear friend.  Her comment on my status was:
 "My goal is to be as productive as you when you're not feeling well! Crazy!"
And here was my reply back to her via email:
Just to set the record straight, I felt fine on Saturday.  It was my daughter who was yucky that day.  It all caught up with me on Sunday though.  Yesterday I got NOTHING accomplished all day.  My daughter went to church looking like a rag doll, none of my kids had baths, we had macncheese with weenies for lunch and popcorn for supper.  Don't be fooled - I am no super woman!
I've had a household of sick people for 10 days or so.  Sometimes constant (ie: two puking at once) and sometimes we get a break.  Saturday we got a break which was a nice change of pace.  I think the Lord knew I had 5 buckets of apples to deal with and was glad I was wanting to get them canned as a means of saving money and having more food in our house. 
As you already read, I needed and took advantage of a day of rest.  Last night, I had to catch back up.  After work the kids and I went for a walk where we managed to find our neighbor boy.  The kids played outside while I worked on dishes and fed them corn dogs on the trampoline.  Then we walked our neighbor back to his house and headed home for drinks and a bath.  Studly husband of mine bathed all three kids since I was whipped and hardly had the energy to walk up the stairs. We got the kids lotioned, dressed, read to, prayed for, tucked in and settled before we headed back down to tag team the rest of the dishes.  Whew!  Thank you Ryan!!! 
On tonights agenda: service project at the church where we'll be cutting out fabric to make baby blankets, jackets and diapers to go to a hospital in Cameroon where some of our missionaries serve.  I'm super excited about that... even though I still have 2 buckets of apples to deal with!

20 September 2010

Apple Pickin'

On Friday night, I took the kids up to the apple orchard for some apple pickin' at Vern and Janine's. They're such nice people and I really like their organic apples that we've gotten.
Each of the kiddos picked a few apples. This little cutie kept trying to pick up the yucky ones on the ground when plenty nice ones were hanging on the tree.
This little one was picking with her Grandma and I didn't get many pictures of them. What I got though shows my wild girl with her wild hair.

My sweet oldest son so doesn't have hops but he tried jumping to reach them anyway. Bless his little heart. He was a great helper and a thoughtful child.

We picked 5 buckets of apples. Spent the day Saturday peeling and canning apple pie filling. I counted 42 quarts and still have 2 buckets left over. Yikes!

15 September 2010

Ethiopian Crosses

I really like these things. I like them more that I know a little about them. I heard somewhat recently that the different style of crosses have meaning. Or better put, that each tribe has its own cross. While in Ethiopia, I saw many of these different styles of crosses. I brought a few of them home. Some of them wooden to hang on the wall and some of them in the form of jewelry. For those who know me, I’m not a huge jewelry fan (unless it comes from my favorite jeweler aka my father in law). But I really, really like my Ethiopian cross. Now, I just wish I had a few more to wear with different clothing I have. The orange colored beads are okay, but they certainly don’t go with anything.

Not only would I like a new cross, but I also want a few to give as gifts. When I came home and showed them to my mom, she asked if I got one for her. Umm, no. Now I wish I had bought one for mom too. Today, I emailed Jodi who leaves for Ethiopia this week. I just about begged her to get me a few crosses. Now I know she’s not going to Ethiopia to shop for me, but I’m hoping she’ll make it over to the bead shop and remember me. After all, it’s more likely that I’ll get Ethiopian cross necklaces from Jodi than I would having a chance to fly over to Ethiopia to go shopping.

So there you have it. My favorite item right now. Next new item I want is recycled magazine bead necklaces from 147million Orphans. If you want a bead necklace, go on over and order one, it supports a good cause. If you want an Ethiopian cross, I can’t help you out. If you’re getting ready to go to Ethiopia and want to pick me up a few necklaces, I would love that, so please email me.

14 September 2010

what would you do if your kiddo had been sick, of the puking kind, and still wasn't 100% and complained about not feeling the greatest?
This parent, and the other one, thought it was a ploy to stay at home with mom and dad.  Or a ploy to stay home and watch television ALL day.  So we explained that he needed to go to school if he felt okay and promptly sent him to the truck.  With an ice-cream bucket just in case!
What would you do?

Umm, cold here???

Though I've lived in Iowa for almost a decade, I'm still not a fan of the winters here. And this one is going to sneak up and bite me I'm sure. I've enjoyed my afternoon/evening runs, sitting on the park bench blogging, and shorts and tshirt weather. The upcoming cold weather is surely going to prevent that. Yuck! As I sit outside and type my finger tips are cold and my nose is starting to run and this is September. Granted its also 630am.

I'm so not looking forward to this but the kids sure are:

10 September 2010

It’s Thursday night. Bible Study night for our family. Tonight is the fall kick-off for the young adult small groups, commonly referred to as OverFlow. Eager to hang out with friends from all 3 groups, we hurried home, tossed a frozen pizza in the oven and herded the kids to the table. The typical kid drama unfolded – Bethany didn’t want to sit at the table and said her tummy hurt, Scott immediately said the same thing, and Judah reached for his drink with his mouth literally shoved full of food while Ryan and I had a quick bite to eat thankful that we were at least together as a family.

We then herded our wild and busy children out to the van but not before Scott had to change his pants, Bethany had to go back upstairs for her shoes and Dora pajamas and then grab some marshmallows for her friends and put it all in her bag, and we had to figure out where Judah took off his socks and shoes while he headed out to the van barefoot.

We arrived at our friends house where the two families would leave the kids and go enjoy some social time with friends. There was just one, no two, big problems… as we walked into the house the kids scattered. Except Scott, he was in slow motion and then he Scott puked all over the wood floor. As I picked him up under his arms to rush him to the bathroom, he puked all over again. Yuck. I rushed him to the front door and out on the lawn which was closer than the nice clean and cute bathroom. I left him on the lawn for Ryan to tend to and went back in to clean up. I felt bad that Scott had said his tummy hurt. When Scott reminded Ryan that he’d said his tummy hurt, Ryan took the time to remind Scott that we often hear “my tummy hurts” when the kids don’t want to eat and so we’ve learned their little trick and don’t believe them. Maybe this will be a good lesson in honesty. That was the first problem and there were two.

As we finished cleaning up Jen realized that the kid-sitter was now super late. Ends up that our sitter forgot and was out of town. That stinks. In the end, I headed home with my three kiddos, one of which was holding an ice-cream bucket just in case. Jen and family went to the social, taking along their kids and my hubby. As we got home and out of the van, Scott was clutching the bucket and then proceeded to puke several times more.

My thoughts of “something upset his tummy and now he got it out of his system” quickly vanished. We cleaned out the bucket and have kept it close as we all snuggle in my bed and watch the Veggie Tale: Joshua and the Big Wall. Judah has fallen asleep at the end of the bed while he was putting his shirt on. He’s laying at the end of the bed with one arm half way into his pajama shirt. Scott is snuggled next to me not about to take his eyes of that movie. Bethany has whined (we’re still working on using her big girl voice and I think I’m working on it more than she but that’s another story) about being hungry. I carried her downstairs and turned on the lights so she could finish her cold pizza from earlier. As I type this, her strong voice carried up the stairs and I just heard her tell me that she peed. Seriously? A puking son wasn’t enough tonight? Now I have to clean another wood floor, this one covered in urine. Thank you Jesus for my children, for they truly are a blessing, even when they’re puking and peeing all over. I’m headed downstairs.

Back now and Judah is still asleep and movie menu is on repeat. That’s movie music is annoying but at least my kids are quiet. Ryan just walked in the door with the camera so we took a few pics of our youngest sleeping child. I was thinking this was a post where pictures weren’t appropriate. But, now I can at least share one of our half dressed sleeping child.

And for future reference my sweet husband, next time I’ll volunteer you to take the kids home instead of volunteering myself.

08 September 2010

Because I’m busy, and have a massive headache, and because I’d rather be reading a new book Know Why You Believe by Paul Little, I’m going to keep this edition of Website Wednesday super brief.

With that book in mind, I wanted to share a website that my husband loves. Stand to Reason has lots of information about defending your faith. I’ve not been there myself but I get some of the info second hand from my hubby. Go on over and check out www.str.org

07 September 2010

Boy, did we ever labor!

Where do I even begin? There was so much going on today I could write several different posts. I was thankful for the long weekend for sure. After being in Kansas for a while, it was nice to get home and catch up on laundry, deep cleaning and rearranging my kitchen, and having a normal routine. Labor Day for us was a day of labor, not a day of relaxing and grilling food. We spent a good 11 hours of our day making organic, unsweetened apple sauce.
Ryan’s folks brought down buckets full of big apples. We peeled, cut, cored, cooked, and sauced apples. Then packed I don’t know how many quarts of sauce and put them in the hot water bath to seal them up. Right away one of the jars broke and we had sauce rolling up to the top of the pot and boiling over everywhere and we didn’t know where it came from. At that point, we decided to use only one of the pots - the one with the wire basket in it. We assumed that the broken jar was due to the lack of wire basket. Great, now we’re down to heating 7 quarts at a time and we have a lot to do. Oh well, we’ll make do with what we can. Especially if my kids are all being wonderfully behaved along with our neighbor boy. Two meals and around 53 quarts later, we even managed to freeze some green beans that Eunice brought from her garden. Our day long project made good use of our cutlery, my new Tupperware, my new canning equipment from my momma, the turkey fryer, the flat top stove and other items. It was a long day and the broken, three total which meant it wasn’t the lack of wire basket, jars weren’t the only bump in the road.

I recall having a conversation recently with someone who was talking about how everything was breaking recently. I was so thankful that even though we were facing a $500 repair on our van, not everything was breaking. So much for that thought. For some reason our jimmy-rigged sink decided to leak like a mad-man. Seriously, yesterday it was a bit of a problem and I suggested to my husband that we call a plumber. Today, towards the end of the day, it was no longer something that we could put a little band-aid over. We seriously need to get this fixed. For the second day in a row I’ve emptied the contents hiding below my sink and cleaned up the soaked wood. Now, we have a big problem, every bit of water that went down the sink came out where it shouldn’t have.

(my little princess is waiting for the worms to throw...)

(Like father like son!)

So with a sink and counter full of dishes, I couldn’t even begin to clean it up. Frustrated, and almost disgusted at leaving the filth on the counter, I put the beans in the freezer, emptied the bucket under the sink, grabbed my toothbrush and began my nightly routine. Here I sit in my bed typing on the keys knowing that not only did my kitchen not get cleaned and things put back in order, but I allowed my frustration also prevent me from folding the two loads of laundry sitting in my living room. It’s been a long day, I have lots of apple sauce to feed my growing brood, and my feet are super happy that I’m no longer standing!
(Grandpa's 1st time making applesauce... bonus was grandbabies helped him)

*** Added to say that my thoughtful in-laws just called. With the recent downpour of rain (which held off while the guys were out cutting and cooking the remainder of the apples), my in-laws plans for tomorrow were rained out. They called to offer to come down to fix the sink and then to freeze the 80 or so cups of apple sauce that were put in the fridge. With a short and busy week ahead, I’m super thankful that M&E will lighten the load on our shoulders.

03 September 2010

Hymn Sing

So last night, despite my horrible planning, our small group gathered with a few of the "seasoned" folks in our church. Whether God has blessed us with a great singing voice or not, we had a great time singing old hymns together. Jen, who said she really hasn't played much piano in 15 years, did an awesome job of leading us. Below are a few pics that capture our time of cross-generational fun:

Another Headache...grr

I've had lots of little headaches this week... some are worth it, some aren't.  See if you can figure out which ones are which:
-  I learned this week to approach my daughter with "use your big girl voice" rather than telling her to "quit whining".  So far, it hasn't worked but I'm going to keep trying.
-  Driving home from Kansas City took almost 12 hours, not 7.  However, we did make several extra stops, some of which were out of the way to visit Ryan's grandparents, to go grocery shopping, etc.
-  Got little sleep one night thanks to a late night caramel frappucino and a middle of the night health incident with one of the kids that required bathing, cleaning the toilet with bleach, and laundering rugs.
-  Had a crazy few moments of planning a hymn sing with some older folks in our church.  If I would have remembered to plan it while I was gone to Kansas, I wouldn't have been stressed or stressed out my friends.  The sing along was amazing by the way.
-  Drove my van home (25 miles) without power steering all while having the craziness of the sing-along plans (you try driving with one hand without power steering).  Half way home my husband gently reminded me that I had power steering fluid in my van... doh!  Didn't stop though cause it was raining and I had on light khaki's.  Re-filled power steering fluid at mom's.  It promptly leaked out.  Drove home, then to pick up one of my favorite "old ladies" then back to town to sing, then back home - all with no power steering.  Decided I could drive it without power steering, I'm a tough girl.
 -  Drove to work without power steering and decided I should at least have it looked at.  My rack-and-pinion (however that is spelled) is shot.  Needs replaced.  Cost $550+.  Asked if I could just drive it that way.  Unless I want to spend another $400 for the power steering pump, I should not drive it.  I borrowed the loaner vehicle and asked Kurt to order the part.
I still have a headache.  I could use some fresh fruit, some popcorn and some time chillin' on the couch with Ryan and the kids!