27 December 2012


We've been avoiding her for a month.

Only a few people actually knew what was going on.

After all, it's Christmas and surprises are to be expected, right?

Christmas morning we were 3 hours away picking my dad up at the airport.  My mom called my brother to wish him and his family a Merry Christmas.  Mom asked to talk to one of her grandbabies but my brother was out and about and the grandson was at home with his mom according to my brother. Like he commonly does recently, my brother quickly got off the phone.  

I'm sure it was a quiet day for my mom and Papa.  Much more quiet than our 3 hour car ride back from the airport.  Especially with an extra 5-year-old in the back seat!  Getting closer to home, I began texting my brother, asking him to call my mom and pretend to get my nephew on the phone.  After all, that Christmas surprise was one of four noisy kids in the back of my van.  Brother was in a movie theater and couldn't make the call.  

How am I going to pull this off?

Should we let my nephew walk in behind the rest of us and see if she notices?  No, then we won't get to see her face.  We should put him in front so we can all see her reaction.  No, she might see him before we get inside.

Then a light bulb finally clicked for me.  Since my nephew and my J-meister are the same size, we put J's coat and hat on my nephew.  I coached the very excited children to walk in the house, greet Grammy and ignore "J".  They knew not to point him out, to just ignore him.  My dad caught it all with his camera. 

B walked in and says Merry Christmas Grammy.  Grammy greets B but is busy finishing up supper.  Grammy half way acknowledges kids #2.  Right behind him, in walks my nephew who Grammy hardly glances at.  What she doesn't know is that J is hiding out in the van and the little boy in J's coat and hat is my nephew.  My nephew walks in and meekly says "Hi".  This catches Grammy's attention and the following video is PRICELESS:

Thanks Dad for having your camera ready!  Thanks to my brother and his wife for letting my sweet little nephew come to see his Iowa family for Christmas.

23 December 2012

Winter Wonderland

It may have only been nine degrees outside but we were warm and having fun.

I think the kids made it their goal to wipe each other out:

Bracing for the ramp:

J and I catch some air, his face is awesome!

This is just one of the reasons I'm so sore today: 
 Other reasons might include: I'm not 18 anymore but play like a kid, I caught my left leg in the brambles and really stretched my hips out (think wish bone), while my back side has grown over the years, I apparently need a cushioned seat if I'm going to be catching air.

Isn't this little boy just precious!  He's mine.

This is my little princess who was adamant that she didn't need her hair put up out of her face.

I didn't get a close up of a certain child who never stopped moving long enough to grab a non-action pic.

By time I got the camera, the light wasn't as good.  The other picture I got before giving up was a close up of weeds and the boys on the other side.  Not my day for the camera I suppose.

The best shot of the day was a missed video.  We parents rode the long sled with J in the front.  When we ran into the snow bank at the bottom, J was COVERED in snow.  It was a good gut laugh!

Honey, thanks for laying in the snow bank, getting plowed over by all of us so you could get some good shots!

11 December 2012

Triple-Golden Birthday

'Round here, they celebrate Golden Birthdays.  What's a Golden Birthday you ask?  A golden birthday is when you're age matches the day of the month you were born on.  Take me for example, my birthday falls on the 20th so my golden birthday was when I turned 20.  The way the calendar fell that year, I thought it was a pretty special day.  At that time I was in college and had never heard of Golden Birthdays.  

Twelve years ago, this little boy was born in Texas where his daddy was stationed in the Air Force.  My parents drove out for his birth.  About a month later, I got to fly out to meet my first nephew.  I wish I could find the picture of me laying on the couch and him laying on my chest.  It was so fun to love on him.  This picture will have to do.  It must have been taken around the 7th month mark.

Twelve years later, I have a handsome nephew that I don't get to see nearly enough.  Here he is with his mom about a year ago.

It's not just any old Golden Birthday.  It's not just that he's turning 12 on the 12th.  Oh, it's way cooler than that and way cooler than my 20th birthday.  Kaleb is turning 12 on 12-12-12!  Happy Triple-golden birthday Kaleb.  It will be quite a while before any sees a repeating birthday like this!  What a special day for a special nephew of mine.  I love you Kaleb!

05 December 2012

Made My Day

Today I read an email that Rob is considering joining our Ethiopia travel team in March.  This made my day.

Today my friend K let me know that they chose to sponsor Konjit and another child.  This made my day and warmed my heart.

Today I got to spend some time with my friend Amy.  This made my day.

Today, my dad sent me pictures of my friend Scott's memorial.  This made my day.  Scott would have been 33 at Thanksgiving.  He died shortly after turning 16.

And if the above four things couldn't make my day amazing.  This man was the icing on the cake, the cream in my coffee, and the love of my life:

I'm sure you want to know what makes him so amazing, right?  I'll tell you just one thing tonight... he had plans to surprise me with a kitchen make-over (more on that later).  Last night we began removing cabinets and some of the backsplash when he realized that it was ruining the dry wall and he would have to patch in new drywall there.  That was NOT in his plans.  Or in our budget.  There is back splash on 3 walls in our kitchen.  We both knew I wanted it all gone.  When I asked Ryan what I could do to be helpful, he replied "choose to leave the other backsplash tiles on".  I want to respect my husband.  I want to respect his wishes and appreciate his hard work.  But I really wanted that tile off the wall so I could eventually paint it.  Often I pray and ask God to put Ryan on the same page, even if that means changing my mind.  I'm not sure I did that at all today.  But when I came home, I was amazed to see this:

Yes, I get that you don't really know what that picture is.  But it means so much. It's the third wall where he removed the tile covered wall.  What you're seeing is the history of our home - drywall over plaster over lath and a hole.  I came home to cabinets and back splash removed on the remaining two walls.  Without my nagging.  No need for a little battle today friends.  We were on the same page and the tile is GONE even if that means more drywall and another few really late nights ahead.

Thank you honey for how you love me.  That tile dissapearing means as much to me as the whole kitchen make-over.

Now, let's pray that the flooring under the linoleum is just beautiful.  More on the kitchen make-over another day.  For now I'm busy spending 20 minutes putting light switches and outlets back in the wall (I'm not electrician) and thanking God for how my husband loves me!

01 December 2012

Lazy Day

We used to have this:

It became Harley Dog's chew toy.  It is no more.

We used to have this: 
He was another of Harley's chew toys.  He is no more.

But that's not why I wanted to post today.  I just randomly saw those pictures on my computer and I like them both.  Mostly these pictures are proof that I'm wasting a perfectly good working opportunity.  After all, it's 1130am.  I've been out of bed for approximately two hours.  I have company come in approximately two hours and I haven't showered or picked up a single thing in my house.  Shoot, I can't even take credit for making breakfast for my kids - one is still asleep, one fixed herself a bowl of cereal, and the other had a granola bar.  I've started a load of laundry and began thawing some all beef hot dogs.  My goal is to make cute little personal sized corn dogs in the muffin pan.  But it is 1130am and I need a shower and need to clean house...

30 November 2012

Friday Night Fun

On our dining room table sits a napkin holder full of 4x6 cards.  Each night we write something about our day.  I could have written a paragraph about today.  Scott came home sick from school today.  Ryan stayed home with him most the day.  I left work a little early so Ryan could go back to work for some end of the day stuff.  Since Scott was doing okay, I had him jump in the van and we headed to the school to pick up the littles.  I put the littles down for a nap, and chatted with mom on the phone a while.  When it was time to fix supper, I was set on having shredded pork tacos.  While I'm no "Kari in the Kitchen", I've been a little more adventurous in the kitchen.  I love tacos.  But not with flour tortillas, unless they're home-made.  I baked some corn tortillas hanging over the rack, and simmered some of the thawed pork roast I'd taken out of the freezer with onions and salsa.  Fresh out of the oven, I filled the crisp shells with the meat mixture, shredded cheese, cilantro, salsa, and black beans.  YUMMY!

As soon as the dishes were done, Scott decorated our wood floors.  Shall I explain it?  Let's just say that curdled milk, lots of liquid and I'm glad I have wood floors.  Ryan asked "how do you clean up that much liquid?"  I wrapped a tea towel to cover my nose and mouth, grabbed the dust pan and a thin cutting mat to use as a scraper.  How many people do you know that wash the dust pan with hot, soapy water?  Yes, that's me.  So much for wanting dessert!

Know what else has been on my mind?

My Judah is growing so much.  There's nothing little about that boy anymore.  He's all kid and that smile will melt anyone's heart!  I held him in my arms tonight while he had a bit of dessert (while his siblings were busy in the bathroom).  So fun to sit and bond with him.

I have a love for Swedish Dala horses.  Nope, I'm not Swedish by blood.  Or by marriage.  But I was raised in a small Swedish community and the Dala Horse was part of my childhood.

I've also been thinking about a tattoo.  Maybe it was because Ryan was asking for a Christmas gift idea.  Maybe it was because my friend Ingrid posted about it on facebook.  With a quick google search of old people and tattoos, I was sure I would be turned off of the tattoo idea.  No such luck.

I'm feeling really bad about Rum-Tum.  He was old and maybe wouldn't have made it through the winter.  But he was part of the family before I was part of the family.  Poor Rum.  Those younger cats that sneak in the garage all the time... they make me crazy!

24 November 2012

We lost one today

We have seven cats these days.  It's a few more than I prefer.  Ryan keeps saying that they won't all likely survive the winter.  I'm not sure if he really knew they wouldn't all survive.

We lost one today.  

Rum-tum-tugger.  Our oldest cat.  Ryan got him when he moved here in 2001 which makes him 11+ years old.  He's our old and grumpy tabby cat.  He went from being top dog to being the bottom of the cat.  He sneaks in the garage daily - driving us crazy.  But he's a good cat.  Gone are the days of his acrobatic career but he still loves to be held and cuddled.

Until today.  Ryan's parents were leaving and Mark thought he'd hit Rum.  When Ryan went to scoop him up, it was clear that he'd been laying there a while.  Which means I hit him when I came in the driveway a few hours earlier.  Gulp.  I wanted less cats roaming around, acting like wild animals each time I go out on the porch but I wanted to give a few away, not hit one.  Oh Rum, I'm so sorry.  I never even saw you.  Mark, I'm sorry that you thought you were the one who hit him.

To the remaining kitties outside, please know that running in front of the van and trying to sneak in the garage is not a wise decision.  The garage is just as cold as the porch.  And besides, when you sneak in the garage, you miss feeding time...

Giving Thanks

Giving thanks regardless of what day it officially is.  
I am thankful for being a family.

I am thankful for my three children.

I am thankful for my eldest son.  When trying to get Bethany to take a picture with me, it was this child who just about knocked me over trying to get in my arms.

I am thankful for my younger son too.  I am so, so thankful that we're building a stronger bond all the time.

This little princess, I am thankful for her too.  Even if she is sassy.

Of course, I'm blessed and thankful for my husband and the relationship he has with each of our children.

I'm not a perfect mom or wife.  I'm not a perfect neighbor, employee, or friend.  But I'm thankful for those who love me in my weakness.

04 November 2012

Quiet Here

Throughout the day I think of nice, fun things to share about.  But I don't live a life where everything's fun and beautiful.  In fact, I don't live a life where grace is not needed every minute of the day it seems like.  So, how do I write without complaining?  How do I share the mundane things that really aren't mundane at all?  Now that my kids are in bed and my house is quiet, I've scanned the recent facebook posts and pinterest updates.  Let me give it to you straight... at least how I see it.

It's been a LONG 13 weeks.  No, we're not pregnant and hiding it.  Shoot, that's not even possible.  Since I'm not living in the perfect world, you might as well know that I already look like I'm 4 months pregnant because I like to eat candy!  It's been a long 13 weeks because I've had this mysterious itching that WONT GO AWAY.  Initial thoughts were an allergic reaction to a new med.  Three weeks after being off that and a growing rash, having tried the daily allergy pill and nightly benadryl, they finally noticed that the fine rash was more than that.  There's also some funky patches that are raw looking.  A depo-medrol (I'm not a doc, so it's not spelled right I'm sure) was guaranteed to take away the itch in 24 to 48 hours.  One week later, I felt what might have been a hint of relief.  Two weeks after that, and one week short of how long this miracle shot was supposed to last, I itched like fire.  Again.  Now, we're onto some other drug.  Side affects = drowsiness.  I slept 12 hours last night.  Partly from the drugs and partly from fighting off a cold.  I napped a few hours this afternoon too.  The itching, well it thinks it's my best friend.  Only it's a nightmare.  My knuckles are raw and it hurts to wash my hands and shower, let alone do dishes.  The rash now now grown onto my elbows so they itch like fire too.  There seems to be no relief except when I sleep.  Imagine my attitude.  Imagine my poor family.  Hence, the need for grace every minute.  It's not because my kids are horrible, it's because my attitude, even though I'm trying to be nice, is rotten.  I have an appointment with a dermatologist in late November.  It was the earliest they could get me in - a total of 8 weeks wait.  It's ridiculous.  I need to get this figured out!

Because of the above situation, everything else seems to be a little on edge.  But, I'm trying.  Itching is exhausting though.  So, I sit here and think...
  • Today is Orphan Sunday.  I wish my church was involved with that.  I tried to encourage that a few times, it didn't capture anyone's interest.  It's hard not to want to judge.
  • Our church is doing some neat things.  Today Pastor gave an interesting sermon on stewardship.  Not directly related to money.  This time. 
  • I wrote a blog asking someone to sponsor one of my little friends in Shanto, Ethiopia.  The post I shared yesterday was successful and now sweet Megan is sponsoring Hana.
  • I was listening to Christmas music today even though I'm usually 100% against Christmas music before Thanksgiving is over.
  • My house is a pit... maybe a result of my massive sleeping lately.
  • My back thinks it needs to put it's burden on my body and so I'll be going to see the Chiropractor tomorrow.  Maybe a massage would help too... a girl can dream.
  • I've consumed lots of unhealthy foods lately, right on the heels of eating so well for a few weeks.
  • I'm learning from the book I'm reading called War on Words.  I need to learn faster! And more!  I have two chapters to read for Tuesday morning and haven't even started them yet.  Guess I'll go do that...

23 October 2012

Without Prompting

Last night we were working on verses.  Bethany decided to write out her verses.  She was so precious!  Kneeling at the couch, she was copying down the verse in her little notebook.  Without my prompting.   

She's also learning to read.  Without my prompting.  She's asked to learn before.  But, like most things, she finds them entertaining for a short period of time and then she's on to something else.  She asked to learn to read so we started the lesson book for reading.  It didn't last more than 10 lessons.  In school, she's been learning all the sounds of the letters.  Last week while working on her verses, I was scrubbing dishes and she was waiting for my help.  While she waited, she was sounding out the words.  It was so neat to hear!  And tonight, she continues sounding out words.  She doesn't have many sight words memorized.  The ones she knows aren't the easy ones either.  Regardless, she'll be reading in no time.  I think it has recently clicked.

Thank you teachers are teaching Bethany to read.  Her excitement to read is priceless!

22 October 2012

Football Night at Awana

AWANA is the midweek youth program our church does.  We have various theme nights throughout the school year.  Last week was football night.  Scott wore is Cyclone football uniform.  Bethany wore her daddy's high school jersey plus a pink tutu because she insisted on being a cheerleader.  She was a bit dissapointed that she didn't have pom-poms.  

This is my sweet boy.  

And my sweet girl.  Ready to head to AWANA with her brother.

Bethany with one of her little friends from school.  It was so cute to watch them have fun.

Sporting the jersey and the tutu from teh back side

 She didn't get her food finished in time.  But she wasn't willing to give up her hot dog because it had relish on it.

Loved this picture.  You can't see that he's reading his book but he was quietly reading with his helmet nicely sitting on the table.  So thankful that this boy can sit still when appropriate.

I love my little Sparkies each week.  Especially these two!

19 October 2012

Pat Myself on the Back

No one pats me on the back.  For good reason... I don't deserve it.  But this week I've tried hard so I'm patting myself on the back :)

Last Saturday I decided to grab some groceries and do a once-a-month cooking event.  Only I had to pair it down a bunch because I wouldn't have a helper in the kitchen and I would be spending the morning grocery shopping instead of cooking.  I planned a hand full of meals: Taco Soup, Wild Rice Soup, Chili, Bean & Ham Soup, Chile Verde, Traditional Chinese dish, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Enchiladas, Crockpot Lasagna, Baked Jambalaya, Breakfast burritos, fried potato burritos, and who knows what else.  It was a lot to take on, especially since my burger and chicken was frozen.  Before I even had one meal completed, I ran outside to help Ryan move our cyclone-fence dog kennel.  Instead of taking it apart and moving it in pieces, we moved it as one big piece.  As we moved it, I stepped in a hole, twisted something in my foot funny, and fell to my knees.

Guess how much I got accomplished after that?

Quite a lot actually.  But not a ton of meals.  The kids also had a couple of friends over.  So between prepping foods and not getting very far, I assisted with a hide-n-seek with 5 kids, made several snacks and several meal for said kids, chased out kitties who snuck in the house, and stayed pretty busy.  While painful, I tried to ignore my foot because I had a ton to accomplish.

I'm all for being able to cross things off my "to-do" list.  But sometimes even I realize that accomplishing those tasks isn't near as rewarding as taking some time to play with my kids and their friends.  The picture shows the three boys.  The two that aren't mine are brothers.  One of them is in Scott's class and one is in Bethany's class.  The five of them did good all playing together most of the day although at the point the picture was taken, Bethany was feeling really left out because her classmate was playing with the other boys.

We had a great day.  Two of the best parts of my day were having some time with Ryan while the rest of the house was quiet.  Ryan works every other weekend.  The Saturdays that Ryan works, he quietly sneaks out of the house letting me sleep as long as the kids will sleep.  That usually isn't a ton longer but I'm so thankful for those 30 minutes.  Last Saturday I actually crawled out of bed and headed down stairs to make Ryan breakfast.  It was boring 'ol scrambled eggs.  I so enjoyed the quiet time with my husband that I didn't even notice the plain eggs.  Later that afternoon Ryan stopped for a few minutes and we sat on the porch together and we chatted.  We don't get that time very often.  We're always on the move it feels like, so this time was precious.

As the week continued, I attempted to get up early and get supper all prepped before I went to work.  That went pretty well except one day.  I unplugged the crock pot because I needed the plug-in to shred chicken in the kitchen-aid mixer.  But, I was in a hurry and running late so I forgot to plug the crock pot back in.  My chile verde was cold when I got home.  Doh!  Tonight I played catch up on dishes from my chile verde mishap.  I had a lot of dishes to wash.  You know you have a lot of dishes when you creatively place serving spoons and spatulas in your dish drainer to allow you to make the sides higher allowing me to stack more dishes.  It's that creativeness that has me patting myself on the back tonight.

08 October 2012

Thank you Lord for the Little Things

I tossed and turned again last night.  This morning I drug myself out of bed and headed downstairs.  Already behind schedule, I sat down briefly and could feel the ache in my back and thought to myself "oh how I could use a day off of wo... DAY OFF, I do have a day off today."  So, I headed back upstairs and announced to my husband that I was crawling back in bed.  Sure that my kids also had the day off, it was going to be what we call a "stay at home day".  But no, the kids don't have the day off.  In my sweats, we started into the morning routine with the kids.  But it looked a little different this morning as we snuggled on the couch and read books, reviewed verses for SPARKS club, and did not rush.  Instead of the usual morning craziness, it was a different crazy this morning.  We headed out the door, with a 3-legged cat in my coat, the children fighting over seats in the van, and winter coats and hats on.

Back home, I enjoyed my coffee, caught up on some reading and now it's time to start on my to-do-list for today which is incredibly too long.  After a long weekend hosting Brett from Stand to Reason, I'm ready for a nap!  Alas, that to-do-list is calling and I'm going to thank the Good Lord for the little things today - like a day off to catch up around the house... or call up some farmer friends and see if they'll let me do some more of this:

02 October 2012


Meet Pepsi.

She's one of our baby kittens from last year.  She's also our momma kitty of those 3 cute kittens Bethany has shown you recently.  But most importantly, she's Bethany's cat and she's well loved.

Friday night when I got home, Pepsi snuck in the garage, as the cats try to do each day.  As I shoo'd her out, I saw that she was limping, with her back leg pulled up near her body.  But it wasn't firmly against her side.  In fact, the leg was dangling back and forth.  I just knew that it was broken in two and so I called the vet.  Our Friday night plans got put on hold and our family headed to the vet clinic with Pepsi in hand.  

Boy and I glad to be married to a veterinarian! 

The kids got to learn right along side their daddy.  They stood behind the protective wall during the actual x-ray but they dressed in x-ray appropriate attire, helped Ryan develop the x-rays, and snuggled Pepsi in between x-rays to help keep her warm.

sideways, I know.  But notice big brother as he nurtures his sister and her kitty.

The x-ray found that her right femur was broken.  

It also confirmed what Ryan suspected.  Pepsi had also been shot.  See if you can find the bullet in the above picture since I forget to put an arrow towards it.  I was angry and frustrated that someone shot my cat.  Our mommy cat.
The bullet hole is the spot mid thigh on her.

We love our animals.  Pepsi is a farm cat.  If Ryan wasn't a veterinarian, Pepsi would likely not have the treatment she received.  Because Pepsi is Bethany's kitty and because Bethany is daddy's girl, Ryan was sure to provide the best of care for this sweet, but partially wild, cat.

Oh how I love my veterinarian!

I tried to leave out the gory parts.  But I just had to share this one.  All these pictures are sideways thanks to blogger but you'll get the picture.  Below is Ryan sewing the muscle together after removing the broken leg, trimming the bone (the worst part for this country girl), and tying off several vital parts of the cats' inner workings.  If you want the technical gab, you'll have to ask the Doc.  

With the surgery complete, and a little cleaning up to do, here is Pepsi.  Otherwise known and Pepsi 3-D or Diet Pepsi.  We'll take your suggestions on other fun ways to change the Pepsi name.

 We carried a groggy Pepsi home that night, 3.5 hours later.  She may lose a little of her wild-ness in the coming days with all the attention she's getting, the time in the house, and the special attention to her diet and medications.

A few days later, here's our Pepsi.  Still a wonderful momma kitty.  And in the world of veterinary care my husband is a rural veterinarian and not a specialized surgeon.  But if you look at that picture closely, he did an amazing job of sewing her up!

We're four days post surgery.  She's doing well.  She's getting around with much more ease outside and is starting to keep on her feet on the wood floors in the house.  With that said, she's still getting watched closely.  Because that bullet that was up above her break was left inside.  Ryan was afraid he'd do more damage than good by removing it.  With antibiotics, we have our fingers crossed that we can keep infection at bay and maybe, just maybe he can remove the bullet at a later date.

30 September 2012

Randomness part 400

Throughout my day, I think of all these little snippets and one-liners that I could post about.  But I never make it to my computer.  That's mostly a good thing because it means that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but then I never share the snippets.   Here are a few:

  • I'm harvesting my own coriander.  Only because I don't know how to harvest my own cilantro seed.  It's a very tedious task, especially when I have a mountain of tasks to do.  I just found a time in my day to accomplish the coriander harvest - while sitting at the table waiting (not so patiently) for my kids to finish their supper.  I might get it done pretty fast this way.
  • We're having a guest in our home Thursday through Sunday.  My house is NOT AT ALL ready for a guest.  Ryan thinks it will be fine cause he has 5 kids.  I was mortified at the thought of letting someone stay in my house like this.  I will be cleaning nightly if you want to come keep me busy.
  • I am so thankful that my husband is a veterinarian.  We used his manly skills on Friday night.  I was his personal assistant.  It was fun to ask him a million questions and learn.  Not so fun that someone shot my cat and it had a broken leg.  More on that in another post where I can tell the whole story and add pics.
  • I was cleaning in the garden today.  I love that place.  But my laundry list of things to do in the house called me back inside.  Bah humbug!
  • With a high-school girl at the table talking in jest about having no friends, my sweet girl sitting at her side looks up and says "I'm your friend".  It was super cute and melted this momma's heart.
  • Why do I always squeeze in one more thing that makes my life a bit chaotic?  Maybe because I love the things I do.  Saturday we needed to leave for a wedding at 1230 but I managed to sneak in some time enjoying the harvest with friends and the kids.
  • Sitting on the couch watching Diary of a Mad Black Woman with Ryan and Ali.  Each of us have a computer of some sort in our laps. 

26 September 2012

Candy Comparison

Each day at lunch, Ryan puts two bite-sized candies in each of the kids' lunches.  Each day when they get off the bus, I hear that Judah has saved one of his candies for his sister and shared with her.  I think it's so sweet of him.  And I wonder if he knows that she also gets candies in her lunch.  Today, Judah didn't ride the bus as usual but still he saved one of his candies for his sister.  Such a sweet boy.

Meanwhile, I pick S & B up from the library after school where they got a few little candies as part of their project for the day.  B ate one in the van and had two left in her hand when we walked in the door.  She couldn't manage to share one with J because she claimed to only have one left.  Oh my word!  That girl may have a giving heart regarding Ethiopia, but not when it comes to sharing her candy with her Ethiopian-born brother!  Judah showed me the candy he saved for Bethany and I thanked him for his willingness to share but asked him to go ahead and eat it.  He did.

After Awana's, the Spark kids (S & B) get a little candy.  Scott was on the winning team and got two snack-sized candies.  He kindly shared one his candies with me even though he really wanted them both.

It's funny that all 3 of my kids had candy at one (or more) times throughout today.  Two of them had sharing hearts regarding their candy and one of them didn't.  I wonder how their kindness would change if it wasn't candy... maybe I should try it again later this week with some other item.

23 September 2012

Heart Warming

I spent most of the weekend at a women's retreat at a nearby camp.  I had a great time hanging out with friends, relaxing, and making new friends.  I was reminded of God's love and faithfulness.  It was refreshing.  I came home early this morning to a quiet house.  We quickly got ready and visited a nearby church for their 8am (yikes, that's early when you go to bed at 1am) service.  This church is partnering with a ministry in Ethiopia and the lady was here from Ethiopia to share.  That was so neat to hear about.  We spent the afternoon in Decorah.  Lunch with Ryan's parents, two of the kids went home with them while we took Judah to buy a wedding gift, grab groceries and buy a pair of pants for our ever growing boy!  Then over to Ryan's parents for a few hours where I napped and the kids had fun playing.

We got home right at bed time.  No showers.  Again.  Kids didn't make their lunch.  Al the groceries didn't even get put away.  It's a little crazy.  After all I was gone for the weekend and Ryan was home with 3 kidlets, has been sick himself, and one precious one didn't feel good all day yesterday.  You can imagine that our house isn't spotless.  I could have started into cleaning (after all, I did have a good nap), but when I saw this, I stopped.  I grabbed the camera to capture this:
She had climbed into my sleeping bag that was thrown in the floor with her bible in hand, snuggled up and was digging in.  "Bethany, what are you doing?" I asked.  Her sweet reply was "Oh, I'm just reading my books of the bible."

And that's it.  Pure preciousness.  I love it.  I love it even more that she can't even read yet though it won't be long now cause she's starting to sound out the words.  Atta girl Bethany.  Dig deep!

17 September 2012

Lazy Day

I love a lazy day.  Well, they're never really lazy days... there's always something going on!

Sunday after church, naps were required.  By everyone.  It was awesome!  After naps, the boys played on the trampoline with their daddy.  Bethany and I played with the baby kittens.  She loves her baby kittens, their momma and the other "baby" kitten we got a few weeks ago.  She talks to them in 3rd person saying "come to momma".  It's so sweet.  The picture above is my sweet thing showing off the 3 kittens.  I think they'll need to be finding new homes in a month or so... let me know if you want one.

Bethany and I also baked a batch of cookies.  While we baked, we had to have fancy juice in fancy glasses. My little farm girl has a love for the city and all things fancy.  Oh, be still my heart.  Will she want to be a city girl?

Saturday we had a friend over for the day.  She brought Alpine chicken for supper and we made the sides.  I'm such a rule breaker that I can't even manage to follow instructions in the kitchen.  While cooking noodles for a salad, I went outside a bit too long and the noodles burned.  Whoops.  Good thing I had more bags of ramen on hand!  While I was finishing up the sides for supper, Bethany was in the kitchen helping.  She likes to be in the kitchen helping.  She decided that we needed to serve the meal on fancy dishes.  We pulled out the china and the crystal and served the meal.  We even uncorked a bottle of wine (that I got for my birthday 6 months ago).  It was great having a friend to share the evening with... fancy or not.

Lately, we've been living life to the fullest here.  Trying to focus a little more time on the kids, trying to be a lot more respectful to my husband, working less hours, and enjoying life much more.

12 September 2012

Word[less] Wednesday

Did you really think I'd post something without words?  That's so not me!  Thought I'd share a few pics from the past month that were finally downloaded from the camera.  The first few are from my visit to see Captain Murdock and Semi Feral Mama:

He is handsome. And beautiful.

My precious oldest son!

SMF learning to make injera.

I tried my hand too.

The girls played with Ryan's "hair".  And then mine too.

Dorito faced boy at the playground.

The farm place had lots of animals - farm and wild.

They love each other!

My precious little porcelain doll.

Not a bad photo taken by a 5 year old.

With her kitty, Pepsi.

Working in the garage with daddy.