24 April 2011

Egg-citing stuff in our lives

It's been a long and busy weekend. I'm glad to be planted on the couch.

Back Update
While doing my back exercises this afternoon, Bethany did them right along side me and loved it. Good, maybe I'll have an exercise partner now. Have been feeling pretty good but today was a little much. Still have tailbone problems.

Last night the kids stayed the night at Ryan's folks. Well, sort of. We went up early and had lunch with them. Then left the kids for an overnight stay while we went to a wedding nearby. Before we left for the wedding, one of my kids had pooped/pee'd their pants and one had streaks in their undies. So, I wasn't sure how smoothly it would go. As we left the wedding, I called and checked up. It had been a rough night but they were now sleeping. We drove home. Twenty minutes after being home, Ryan's folks called. A certain child had been awake twice so far. Screaming. They didn't know what to do. We got back in the car, drove an hour back to their house, grabbed a very giddy and chatty child who's bottom no longer hurt and drove home. No fun. Kids, can we leave you for just one night where it goes smoothly for your grandparents? Is that too much to ask?

Wedding Fun
My friend Kelly (and Chris) got married last night. At a hunt club. She was beautiful. The wedding was cermony was great. And the creativity of Lori (aka sister, wedding coordinator extraordinaire, etc) was astonishing. It was great to celebrate with K&C and wonderful to hang out with friends. All too often life is too busy to just hang out. I wish we could do that more at a place where someone serves the meal, cleans it up and we just hang out :)

Easter Worship
Annually, our church has a cantata. Ryan is almost always the narrator. The message through music is powerful. This morning was no different. Prior to that, Jon prepared our hearts for worship with amazing music. It was precious to hear Bethany sing along and raise her hands. Loved it. After chruch I got to chat a little with new and old friends. Got a great comment from one of the guys who in a non-perveted way told me I was pretty. Thanks for the compliment friend.

Ryan, Mom and Eunice did a wonderful job of preparing lunch. When I should have been home last night getting ready for lunch, I was driving back and forth to Decorah. So, I was super greatful to our friends today who were our guests but had no problem helping me set the table, hide eggs for the added fun, and share their dessert with us. It's of course, always a joy to have our parents here to hang out with for a few hours!

Got me to Think
The last few years, I've been in a church that emphasizes Good Friday. It's certainly a huge part to ressurection and my salvation. But it's not something I remember celebrating. Maybe that's because I was always gone on a mission trip and not around my home church for Good Friday. Friday when I wanted to emphasize it, especially for my kids, we were on our way home from Des Moines and not at church. Today we were talking about the lack of people who showed up to those two services. There was 1 young family at the Good Friday Service. My mouth exploded and I said that it's hard when we're busy with family obligations and church twice in less than two full days takes a lot. I wasn't trying to belittle the meaning of it, just making excuses. In the past Ryan and I have gone to sunrise services but that's not even on my radar with 3 littles. Sorry that my mouth exploded. God is the focus. No excuses.

I'm still full from lunch. I have no desire to eat supper. I suppose I should at last feed my kids... oh wait Ryan is doing that. Reason #457 I love my hubby!

Oh and by the way, this morning two of my girlfriends surprised me with this really cute necklace that has Africa and a heart over Ethiopia on it. Thanks girls.

I love you and so appreciate you! And since I'm adding a pic, here's a pic of my cute babies being silly:

22 April 2011

More Bullets

I think bullet points is all the energy/time I have to update right now. Honestly, I'd prefer to do a well thought out post but I have so much to do right now and so little desire to sit that long. So here's an update in bullet points:

  • I've tried to minimize the details of my kids' drama that gets shared on the net (aka with the world). So, I'll keep this general and you can email if you're interested in the details. We left town after work last night and drove to Des Moines for popcorn with Uncle Mike and Aunt Betty. This morning one of us had an appointment with the pediatric GI specialist. Years of stinkin' problems led us to this point. He basically said we were under-dosing said-child and gave us a specific and strict regimen to follow. If all goes as planned by the doc, we'll be on road to change shortly. If it doesn't go as planned, we'll be meeting up with the doc much earlier than anticipated. Wish us luck and since we don't believe in luck, pray for us. All of us.

  • Bethany loved the city again. I told her she could like the tall buildings but needed to love living near momma, in the country, except college. I wasn't 100% serious.

  • Like I said, we had a popcorn date last night. The kids know that when they get to M&B's, they have popcorn. It's tradition and very thoughtful to M&B to do this with the kids. Thank you Uncle Mike and Aunt Betty for again opening your home to us right before a very busy weekend for you. We so appreciate you! And thanks Uncle Mike for making the muffin mix into delicious muffins before we made it upstairs this morning. You rock!

  • Post-appointment, we ran over to Newton to visit Ryan's grandma. It was great to see her. Not so great that I about lost it when I walked into grandpa's room and saw a suitcase laying on the bed. Grandpa has been gone almost 3 months and that suitcase just hit my emotions. Not sure why. Had a good visit with Grandma. Took her to lunch, Bethany played cards with her and looked through grandpa's old jewelry-for-guys box.

  • Read an article about a guy from Ryan's home-town who's going to Ethiopia in July for two months to teach. That was cool to read.

  • Headed home but stopped in the city for shopping. Apparently I didn't learn my lesson from the chaos of last week. Did I blog about that? Shopping in city/mall with 3 kids as a solo adult = no fun! Anyway, at least Ryan was with me this time and he was amazing help. I realized that it wasn't just the kids that caused the stress. But that I want to move quickly and get a bazillion things done and I can't do that when I'm with my kids (and husband). Apparently they don't run in full speed all the time like me.

  • All 3 kids got new shoes. After seeing how trashed Scott's were, I did let the boys get name brand shoes. But didn't like the price. So thankful for a buy one, get one half off deal. Scott wanted the cheapest pair of shoes in the store (after I told him he couldn't have the only-kids-like kiddy shoes he wanted). Atta boy Scott. Judah got Kswiss. They're cute. Bethany wanted new ones. Umm she just got some in January. As much as I have a shoe fettish, I try not to buy. Thankfully she was okay with not buying expensive shoes... at that store.

  • Ryan may be Dutch but he loves to buy stuff for his kids. It's sweet. I don't appreciate it so much when I'm trying to live on beans and rice. He's an amazing dad. No wonder he's the kids' favorite!!!

  • Tried to buy Judah a tangle teazer at Sally's today. I've seen pics online and some adoptive parents swear by them. The one they had so wasn't what I've seen online. Great. Glad I stopped there. Tempted to run into a certain coffee shop next door but managed to stay away and move on... I was in a hurry.

  • While in tar-get, bought way too much stuff. Shoot. Enjoyed slowing down my pace but it was tough for me. Managed to not order a coffee at that certain coffee shop inside of tar-get again. I had talked myself into trying a mocha instead of my usual. But then talked myself out of it cause I'm trying to eat healthy and would really like to lose this extra stuffing that makes me look 4 months pregnant.

  • Should have ordered the coffee. Maybe it would have calmed my crazy/frustrated nerves.

  • Stopped at McD's for the 2nd time in 24 hours. I hate fast food. Couldn't force myself to order something for me... there's leftovers at home from when Ingrid stopped over.

  • Oh yeah, I met Ingrid (would so take the time to link but it's not in my favorites on this computer and I'm too lazy to get it). She was wonderful. And a blessing. And her son is adorable. Oh how kids can push our buttons when they're ours but not be bad in others' eyes.

  • Came home. Should have but the boys' hair. They need haircuts. Desperately. Not enough time. Ignore them for a quick check of email. Desalegn sent a proposal for the Crops for Widows Program (FOVC stuff). I'm shaking with excitement to read it. But my kids are loud. Oh B, just go to bed!!! Will read later. Tuck the kids in. Bethany loves snuggling. Her dad loves that she loves him. She has a new pink radio and LOVES it. she is the most dramatic (in a good way) when you buy her something.

  • It's late. I'm tired. Tested the back with trip to DM. It was a lot of driving/sitting. My back is doing okay. Thank you Anna for the advice of streching before and after. But my tail bone is killing me. It's been a problem for 5-6 years. So annoying. Can anyone fix that? The tailbone problem that is.

  • The phrase "thank You Jesus" takes on much more depth today, the day we remember Jesus' crucifixion. Sunday we celebrate the risen King! Hopefully I thank Jesus and remember to celebrate the risen King daily, even when shopping with kids, not just on Easter.

19 April 2011

Real quick randomness:
1.  Bethany knows her verses.  Most days she won't even rattle off one of them to me if I ask.  She loves to memorize them with her Grammy.  Tonight, she rattled of 10-15 of them for me.  I even captured it on video but it takes a long time to upload so that aint happening right now.
2.  Bethany also "read" the bible story of Jonah to me tonight.  She, just like her brother used to do, tells the stories as she knows them while flipping through the pages.  Only she apparently doesn't know the Jonah and the well story that well.  As she was "reading", she read that Adam and Eve were good friends with Jonah.  Really?
3.  It snowed here on Saturday.  That was a little much.  It is mid-april after all.  So, this morning when I woke up to snow on the ground and then drove to work in a snow storm on slushy roads, I was less than pleased.  Stormed all day.  It did eventually turn to rain at my office.  But we have way too much snow on the ground.  Grr.
4.  I learned today that the local golf course for Friday night drinks is the new "coffee shop".  Word on the street, or at the golf course, was that I was out driving a combine last fall.  The story was slightly wrong.  I did drive a tractor last fall.  Maybe I'll get behind the wheel again this spring... or even a combine this coming fall.
5.  Ryan made super yummy potato soup.  No, it isn't the same as my Nanny's, but it was yummy!  I love my husband.   
6.  Tomorrow I get to meet Ingrid (too lazy to do linky love but Ingrid travelled with FOVC to Ethiopia earlier this year).  I'm super excited about that but really need to get my house picked up before she comes.  Guess that means no more blogging for me tonight :)

17 April 2011

What a weekend!

Last weekend was 45 degrees warmer than this one. We woke to a winter wonder-land on Saturday. Isn't it mid April??? My 2-hour drive to Iowa City wasn't ideal. Snow covered roads while driving through snow/sleet mixture the first hour was no fun. Got to hang out with cousin Tera for a bit before the eye doc appointment. It's always great to spend time with her family. We headed to the optometrist's office where Tera took charge of all 5 kids and I went into my appointment. Thank you to Dr. O'Neil for dealing with me and treating me like family. I got new contacts, the left one is not going to work, and ordered dailies for my trip to Ethiopia. After leaving Tera's, I made the major mistake of taking my kids shopping. Now, I knew that it wouldn't go over so great, but I had no idea how miserable it would be. Seriously, trying to keep track of 3 kids so no-one runs off with them while digging through the clearance rack drove me up the wall. It was the worst shopping trip ever. I knew it wouldn't be good and wanted to leave at least one kid with Ryan but then that meant one kid wouldn't be able to see cousins. Fortunately after that chaos, I did manage to make my way to Beth and Steve's driving on roads I've never been on before. That was fun. The kids and I got to watch the sun set over miles of amazing farm land while we drove. God created the world and everything in it and I was driving right through the middle of it all. Of course my time with Beth and Steve was fun. The kids did well considering the chaos of earlier. Home at midnight and thankful to be home safely. The best part was that I came home to some clean dishes and folded laundry. Yes, my hubby is amazing like that. Today, nap time came along and I was so ready for that. A couple hours on the couch did me good. I succeeded at resting today which meant that my house didn't get picked up. And then some of our friends stopped by. We never have friends who just stop by since we live 3 miles outside of town down a long driveway. So, it was extra special that they made a point to wander down our lane and stop by. The cute little girl is one of our little visitors tonight. What fun! And now Sunday is about over and I'm oh-so-ready to hit the hay!

15 April 2011


Two nights in a row working till 6pm at night. I fell asleep at 730 last night and was awake at 1am but would have loved to sleep for 11 hours. Ryan is a wonderful husband and father. I pray for him often. Eating popcorn is a favorite meal of mine - either because I like it that much or because I'm lazy. Driving down the road, the strong winds almost blew me off the road. Scary. So, I'm trying to earn some extra time off by working extra hours. It's called credit leave. I can earn up to 24 hours to be used as vacation time. I'm finding it very difficult to earn extra hours right now. First off, I've been going to physical therapy 3 times a week for the problem in my back which means I'm late to work. Because of that same back problem, I have a standing work station so I'm standing most of my work day. My back gets really tight and my legs get really tired so I'm eager to go home at night. However, last night I was so busy that I worked till 6 without blinking. Today, I used a tens unit which helped relax my back and made my day more bearable. Again tonight I worked without 6 and could have stayed longer. The last two nights have helped me gain a few hours for sure! But, yesterday I was so tired that I came home, ate supper and headed to the couch. I really needed to do other things but I was apparently TIRED cause I was asleep before 8pm. Unfortunately after about 5 hours, I woke up thinking it was almost 5 and time to get up. Nope, it was 1am and my body was confused. I dozed off and on until my alarm went off!

13 April 2011

hard momma moment

Tonight was a challenge.  I brought it on myself though cause I was in a constant state of rush as soon as AWANAs was over.  Then Bethany calls my mom who helps her with her AWANA verses to share her great news.  It was totally cute.  The phone gets passed to me and I hear how naughty my youngest has been the last two days.  As in was corrected for being naughty and climbed out of my mom's lap and when and did the very same thing.  When do they learn?  Kids are getting rowdy, which is no surprise, cause I'm chatting with my mom instead of putting them to bed.  End the phone call.  Talk to the kids about telling God what they're sorry for and what they're thankful for.  It's a nightly reminder.  They never listen.  That or they're never sorry or thankful.  Begin prayer time.  It's a work in progress for Judah.  I was annoyed.  Onto Bethany.  She says she doesn't want to pray.  Not gonna fight that battle tonight.  Onto Scott.  He prays.  Then mommy prays.  Tell God I'm sorry, ask Him to make me a better mommy, tell Him what I'm thankful about for each of my kids.  All is good.
Go to leave the room and Scott tells me that he can't go to so-and-so's birthday party.  That her mom said she could just invite one boy.  She chose so-and-so.  My heart breaks in that moment.  I remember feeling left out by friends.  There have been lots of times Scott thought he was going to a birthday party and then didn't get invited.  We talked.  He cried.  How do you comfort a child in that moment?  I try to tell him that God loves him, Daddy loves him and Mommy loves him.  That he's warm and well fed.  That those are the important things.  But he's 5.  To him, being invited to the birthday party is important.  No fun.  No fun.  No fun for this momma.  I wanted to scoop him up in my arms and make it all better.  But I couldn't.  We've talked to him about dissapointment.  It's something he has to learn.  Do you think he can get that idea figured out in the next month or so?  I'm kidding.  But I wish it were true so that he wouldn't have to suffer the hurt.
On a side note, I think the kids all talk about inviting each other to their birthdays months in advance.  Then when it comes time for their actual birthday, they aren't able to invite everyone like they'd talked about.  Unfortunately my son remembers that 2 weeks or 6 months ago they said they would invite him.  I wish they wouldn't talk about inviting.  Grr.  No fun.

11 April 2011

My Girl

I love my girl. She's great. Here's a few things I love about my girl:

  1. 1. When she tells me "you're driving me nuts".

  2. 2. When she asks for privacy in the bathroom, and then calls me in a few moments later to help wipe.

  3. 3. Her auburn-ish, curly-ish hair.

  4. 4. Her beautiful brown eyes that talk while she talks.

  5. 5. Her independent personality aka her desire to dress herself, fold her own clothes and put them away.

  6. 6. The way she shows excitement for simple things like squirrels on the porch, and pre-school registration.

  7. 7. When she tells me she's so excited she can't stop laughing.

  8. 8. That she loves to type her name and has finally learned to spell it.

  9. 9. When she asks us to snuggle her at bed time and when she tells us she's done snuggling by saying "okay mommy, go out now".

  10. The way she has to help with cooking and dishes.

Okay, that last one actually drives me nuts (hmm, maybe that's where she got that phrase) because it takes so much longer when she "helps". Regardless, I love this child and am mostly so thankful that I get to be her momma!

10 April 2011

Today's Favorites

Scott: Having a big ice-cream cone after he "outran" the storm! Bethany: Just playing with grammy after church! Judah: Watching the magic school bus. Hee, hee. Ryan: Well, he's not here but I'll venture to guess for him: playing Axis and Allies with Ignacio! Me: Spending time with my son Scott on our adventure out on the farm.

Life Happens

I don't know what it is about evening trips to Ryan's folks. For some reason we have a pretty high percentage of something going wrong with the kids. More than once we've had a child puking on the way home. More than once we've had a child pottying in their pants. Last night, we had both. We left the kids at their grandparents for 2 hours so we could go on a little date. When we went to pick them up, one had streaked their pants and one had pee'd their pants. I'll let them remain nameless. This time. One certain little girl said her tummy hurt on the way to Decorah. I thought she was just hungry since it was supper time. She didn't each much for supper. When we got back, she continued with the "hurting tummy" game sticking her belly out and grabbing at it. It was late, I was tired and I had very little pity on her. She sure showed me. About half way home, this brown haired, brown eyed beauty declared she had to throw up. I quickly awoke from my muscle-relaxed state of sleep and emptied a walmart bag and lifted it to her mouth. Walmart bags aren't exactly made for multiple use and often times have holes in the bottom. I quickly folded it up, only to need it again. I'll spare you the rest of the details. Instead, here's Ryan's facebook post from last night "Disassembling a Graco car seat at 11pm to clean the vomit out of it. Sometimes being a dad is not so glamorous:)" This morning after breakfast, she started in again with the aching belly. So, being the smart one this time, I decided to keep her home. And because I'm so smart like that, I decided to start on lunch preparations so we can eat at a decent time today. Five minutes into my microwaved rice cooking, the microwave stopped working. Seriously!?!?! I was at Wallyworld on Wednesday, and Saturday. I really don't want to go back today. (for those who don't know, Wallyworld is a 35 mile drive for us). Okay, if I can't finish the rice in the microwave, and I'm staying home from church, I guess I'll grab my camera and take some pics of this adorable little boy running around my house:

As I type this, Bethany is running around up stairs, playing like a wild child. I think she out-smarated me again. Dangit. That kid!

07 April 2011

Don't Feel Like It

No blogging thoughts from me lately.  I've posted a few things but not much.  I just don't feel like it. 
I'm alive.  I'm blessed.  I have plenty of thoughts to share.  Just overwhelmed with life. 
I haven't cleaned my house in two weeks.  I've been living on the couch each night after work.  I've been feeling a lot better.  Thank you Jesus for healing!  I've even been working outdoors for work lately.  Today I didn't take my pain reliever or muscle relaxer.  Walking through chiseled, clumpy fields wasn't friendly on my back.  I came home and took my meds cause it hurts tonight.
Speaking of work.  If I can communicate my perception of today, I'll share:
Started the day at Physical Therapy.  One exercise hurt.  I stopped. 
Got to the office 15 minutes after my first scheduled appointment.  They're ALWAYS late.  They were only 5 minutes late today.  I felt bad.  Worked with a farmer who I'm tired of working with.  Seriously, spent way too much time getting no where with them.  They want lots of corn silage and tillage.  They're soils are very limiting (read: don't allow much for tillage or silage).  They said they're hay has grass in it.  Running that option worked.  Funny, last time I asked them they said it was 100% alfalfa.  They lied.  I was annoyed.
Went to the field.  At lunch time.  Ate while we drove.  I'm okay with that since I usually eat at my desk anyway.  Farmer isn't doing good things.  But he tells us he's a good conservationist.  Walking and driving through chiseled fields is not good on my back.  Finished there and headed to another of farmer's farms.  He's tearing up old pasture and going to plant corn on it.  It's really, really steep.  Like, I wouldn't be comfortable driving farm equipment on it.  You likely wouldn't understand the details, so I'll just say that this is outrageous! 
Came back to the office.  Dealt with final appointment of the day.  Where do I even begin with this couple???  Let's start with the guy.  I think he was seriously ready to snap.  But I think he's like that ALL the time.   The wife was trying to understand.  The husband was rude, trying to be all "holier-than-thou" and was wrong.  That part was funny.  I had to have the son on speaker phone so he could hear the whole conversation.  I'd made some changes with the contract with the son a few months ago.  He told me not to send a copy to his parents or they'd flip and it wasn't necessary.  He was right.  I took the blame for the correction (aka change) so that the son wouldn't be miserable.  Guess, I'm nice like that. 
Was ready to leave on time tonight.  Some other drama unfolded.  I left 45 minutes later.  Lovely. 
Came home to a crying daughter.  Decided to stay home from bible study.  Snuggled with Bethany.  That was good.  Neighbor didn't get the message about not coming.  She came.  Oops.  Neighbor -boy stayed a while.  That was good.  Fed them mac-n-cheese.  I'm such a health-freak like that.  They played outside.  Screaming daughter quit her screaming.  All was going well.  Then certain boy had an issue with his bowel movement.  Seriously!?!?  Dealing with that.  Home all night.  Nothing cleaned, not a lot of fun either.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!!!

06 April 2011


So yesterday my friend Michelle sent me such encouragement. I wanted to share the verse with you: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So because of Christ, i am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I have been pleading with the Lord for healing of my back. And Monday when I went to the Physical Therapist and she asked me 40 questions, I had a really hard time describing my pain level and problem. That might have been because I've been so well medicated since I hurt it. And it might have been because I've seriously done NOTHING in my house for almost 2 weeks except lay on the couch. But, I think there's a huge something else going on. I feel like God has healed my back. Not completely but certainly I've had so much improvement it can't be explained when you compare to last year. I'm still choosing to stand at work and lay at home. But it doesn't seem as tight. I worked outside with my boss yesterday and that was hard on my back. I have sore feet and shoulders this morning but my back isn't miserable and I didn't take a pain reliever last night. I don't think I'm out of the woods yet but I'm so, so thankful for being miles ahead of where I was last time I did this. In my weakness, I know that I can do PT exercises but I know that ultimately I come before the Great Phsycian and He can make me strong. Halelujah! Now off to do some exercises and get my day started...