Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for perspective and the big picture.

I've had kind of a discouraging week: a major car repair and a rather major plumbing emergency, a few {rather large} medical bills.

I work so hard to be careful with our family's money . . . I clip coupons, I pass over lots of things that I wish we could have, we rarely eat out {and drink water, rather than pop, when we do}, we borrow movies from the library rather than pay to rent them, I try to stay home as much as I can to save on both gas money and the temptation to spend money on stuff while I'm out . . . the list goes on. But then something hits out of the blue and there's nothing you can do about it. Like for example, you are done with your shower, you turn the water off and yet it just keeps comin' right out full steam ahead . . . yup, that's what happened here last Friday. To get the tub to shut off you had to shut off the hot water to the entire house. $457 later it's all fixed!

Anyway, even though things seem really discouraging this week and I'm pretty bummed, I take a cue from my Matthew 6-husband and try not to worry. This really is his theme in life {he's pretty amazing!}. He does not worry. Really! {I tend to make for him, though!} So, today I will try to look beyond today at the big picture. Someday it won't be so tough . . . by the time Jacob goes to college we won't have a mortgage . . . it is only a season, not forever. I am glad for perspective to know that "this too shall pass". The days of going to the doctor once a week for this, that or the other thing are fleeting. The tub should now last for a good long while. The car is now is good shape and will hopefully serve us well until it completely rusts through and Kirb falls out the bottom {just kiddin'}.

Here we are: the team of worry & not-so-much:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lessons from the Labyrinth

I was SO blessed by the retreat that I attended this weekend. It was completely wonderful and just what I needed (except it ended about 3 weeks too soon . . . what's with the "weekend retreat" anyway? I want, like, a whole month!!)

Great women, wonderful teaching, some down time, wonderful friends {one of whom was even willing to share her Dr. Pepper}, a beautiful setting, meaningful small group time, a craft project, new friends, rooming with my momma . . . the list goes on. Every single aspect of the weekend was great! We did a retreat-series by Beth Moore entitled Loving Well, which was wonderful and gave insight into how best to love the many different people that are a part of our lives with a focus on how to love those that are difficult to love. It was wonderful!

I read a book, probably last summer, that sparked my curiousity about labyrinths. Kristen Heitzmann is an author that I really enjoy, so when I saw that my library had a new book of hers, I checked it out. The main character in the book is a landscape architect who specializes in designing labyrinths. I had heard the word labyrinth before and had a very vague idea of what a labyrinth was, {but, as it turns out, I had it kind of wrong} but after reading this book I was very intrigued by them. Well, wouldn't you know it . . . the retreat center we were at has a labyrinth! I was so excited!

Here is a picture (from the retreat center's website) of the labyrinth.
Although I brought my camera along on the retreat and carried it in my pocket nearly the whole weekend, I was having such a great time that I forgot to take pictures . . . I didn't even take 1! {I'm a little mad at myself for that . . . so I guess there was one less-than-perfect part to the weekend. No pictures to help me remember}.

The labyrinth didn't look this great over the weekend, since stuff is still kinda dead-ish. It was more brown than green, but I would love to spend a little time in it when it looks like this . . . I had such a wonderful experience with the labyrinth when it wasn't quite so pretty, I can only imagine how much better it would be if it was this beautiful! So, what is a labyrinth exactly?, you might wonder. Here is a really short, basic description for ya that specifically describes the labyrinth at the retreat center:

Based on the tiled floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France just south of Paris, the Koinonia Labyrinth is a tool for meditation, prayer, and spiritual awareness that has become highly favored by persons wishing to transcend the distractions of their lives…seekers of awareness, wisdom, forgiveness, peace, and grace.

It is not a maze with dead-ends and false trails, but is a single path to, and then from, a center. At the center is a bench for resting before walking out of the Labyrinth to resume whatever it was you were doing or thinking before you began your meditation walk.

That particular description sounds a little weird and new-agey to me, but so be it. If you want a more detailed description with lots of pictures and tons to read, check out labyrinth on Wikipedia here. The main point being that it's not a maze or a puzzle. There are no dead ends and you can't do it wrong. It's just a winding path that leads you to the center and then back out again.

While walking the labyrinth I felt like a I really learned a lot. As soon as I was done, I found a pen and some paper and tried to capture all that I had learned about life by walking through the labyrinth. So, without further ado, here are my "Lessons from the Labyrinth":

Lesson #1: This is it? . . . Yup, this is it!: Upon first approaching the labyrinth I was really pretty disappointed to be honest. It was mostly brown and pretty much dead; it was not as big as I expected (I had heard it was the largest labyrinth in the state) and really wasn't much to look at. Could I really spend 45 mintues walking around on this relatively small piece of earth? (the caretaker had told of that a reflective, prayerful walk of the entire labyrinth took about 45 minutes). Turns out this was it and it was what it was! It was my job to make the most out of it . . . as is often the case with life

Lesson #2: Keep going, you'll get there: I kept thinking that I was just about to the center of the labyrinth, but then the path would curve around again and I would be heading away from what I thought my destination was . . . I was convinced, on more than one occassion, that I must have taken a wrong turn somehow and was going to find myself exiting the labyrinth having never made it to the middle. But I kept going and, sure enough, I made it to the middle.

Lesson #3: Sometimes there are lots and lots and lots of turns . . . one right after another: If you look at the picture of the labyrinth you can kind of imagine how it goes: you walk along the path, not quite in circles {although the basic shape of the labyrinth is a circle}, but taking turns and curves to arrive at the middle before following the same path in reverse to make your way out again. Just like in life, the labyrinth often took a turn when you least expected one . . . or right after you'd just finished taking a 180 degree turn moments before . . . it felt like you were covering the same ground over and over. The interesting thing, though, was that you weren't. No matter how repetitive it seemed, you were always on a new part of the path . . . even when it seemed like you had returned to a place where you had just been. Anyone else who can relate to that in their life?

Lesson #4: You think you're almost there, but then you're not: Like I said in #2, you often think you have "arrived" only to realize just a little farther down the path that you have not. In fact, you are heading, again, away from your intended destination.

Lesson #5: It takes longer than you expect: Isn't that just the way? You think to yourself, "this shouldn't take too long" or "this shouldn't be too hard" only to find that it does . . . and it is! Such was the case with the labyrinth too!

Lesson #6: A winding path mowed into the grass can make you cry: Ok, I know many of you won't be surprised by my saying this . . . I mean really, we're talking about me here. I cry at everything! But I was amazed by how emotional it was, just walking through this winding path mowed into a field. What's the big deal about that? I'm not sure what it was exactly, but man was it an emotional experience. It really moved me and got to me deep inside! I wasn't even crying about situations in my life or in the life of others (although it was a very prayerful walk and I was thinking about lots of things that could easily make me cry). I don't have any words to adequately explain it, but I wasn't crying about any particular situations or struggles or people or hurts . . . simply being in the labyrinth and walking its path brought me to tears!

Lesson #7: You will get there: Sometimes you feel like giving up. You think you've taken too many wrong turns (or even just one!) and you'll never make it. It just doesn't seem to be coming together the way you imagined it would. Stick with it. You will get there!

Lesson #8: It's worth it!: When you reach the middle you are thrilled . . . you made it . . . you did it . . . you can rest and reflect now. How great is that?

Lesson #9: Keep your eyes on what is right in front of you, put one foot in front of the other and for Pete's sake just stay on the path: Yup, you can do it! It is worth it! It's not a trick! Trust the path and you'll make it . . . trust the designer of the labyrinth; He knows what He's doing. You won't be let down.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3.13-14)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path." (Proverbs 3.5-6)
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16.11)
"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him . . . to shine on those living in darkness . . . to guide our feet into the path of peace." (Luke 1.76 and following)
Lesson #10: Beware of dry hay: Because I really felt like having a #10 would round out the list nicely and because the stalk of dry grass or hay of some sort that I picked along the way gave me a nasty sliver that still hurts and has not completely worked itself out of my thumb, I thought I would include this life lesson as well: beware of innocent-seeming stuff.

I hope you have gained a little insight of your own from my time in the labyrinth. I have decided that I want one in my backyard! How great would that be? A great place to unwind, clear my mind, pray . . . maybe someday! For now maybe I'll just need to find myself in South Haven, MN every once in a while and see if I can pop in for a little time in the labyrinth.

P.S. In case you are curious, Kirb and the kiddos did just fine without me. Since Kirb is really the better parent in this family, that shouldn't be too surprising. I was thrilled to get home and see my family on Sunday afternoon. They are wonderful!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flashback Friday

July 1, 2002
Jacob (3), Rebekah (15 months), Lydia (just about 1 month)

Oh, and in case you were still wondering, last weeks picture WAS, in fact, Jacob. So, you were all right. Way to go!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I read this recently and thought it was wonderful:

Always THINK before you speak. (Especially when angry or frustrated with someone!)

Is what you are about to say:
  • True?
  • Helpful?
  • Intelligent?
  • Necessary?
  • Kind?

If not, maybe you should re-THINK saying it at all! I know this is a reminder that I often need (and often forget or just plain ignore.) Hopefully it will be true, helpful, intelligent, necessary and kind for your life too . . . Alrighty then, I'm glad I "said" it.

Thankful Thursday

Well, it's Thursday . . . I love taking some time once a week to think about all the things that I'm thankful for and then to focus on one thing for the day. Today I'm especially thankful for Rebekah! She has her 2nd grade concert this afternoon and is excited about it. So am I. I look forward to being there and seeing her {and her friends} perform this stuff that they've been working on for a while now! She is a great girl and I just can't wait to see all the things that God will do with her in her life. Don't get me wrong, she can be super hard to parent at times {LOTS of time!} but I just love the person that she is: she care so much, and so deeply, about others. She loves the Lord like crazy. She is a little evangelist. She is sensitive, thoughtful, caring and selfless, always thinking of others first and doing things to make others happy or to make them feel special. She prays like you wouldn't believe . . . it always makes me cry to hear her pray! {surprising, I'm sure!} That's my girl! I think she's great! Oh, and did I mention that she's going to be an amazing mom someday? So nurturing it's crazy!
I love you, Rebekah Rae!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I'm kind of a "green" girl at heart. I feel strongly that everyone should be, but I know very well that everyone is not. Bummer! I wish I could do more to help shift the thinking of the world {on many issues, not just this one}. As for me, I love to recycle. I love my reusable grocery bags. I love cloth diapers. I love hanging my clothes on the clothesline. I love the fact that we make about half the amount of trash that our neighbors next door do . . . and only 2 people live in their house to our 7. Actually, I'm sad about the amount of trash that most people make. Even us! Earth day is a great opportunity to give these kinds of things a little more thought than usual. We need to be good stewards of our earth. We want our kids to have a safe place to live, right? Anyone seen "Wall-E"? It's not that far off base I don't think. I know God wants us to be good stewards of what He's given us and the earth is a pretty major part of that! Plus, no matter what your feelings are about God and what he would want it's a pretty obvious fact that we can't keep abusing the world the way we have been in increasing ways in recent times. People 50 or 100 years ago understood that pretty clearly. Why is it so tough for us? In all honesty I think we as modern-day Americans are pretty lazy & greedy and that's where most of it comes from.

My kids take cold lunch the vast majority of the time. So every day I pack lunches. 1, 2 . . . often 3. Our kids school has a "green team" and they have a "waste-free snack and lunch" challenge: try to pack your snack and lunch without creating any waste. For Earth Day today the school is attempting a "Waste-Free Wednesday" where for 1 day they will try hard to not create any waste in their whole school. I love it! My kids don't have much waste from their lunches, so I didn't realize how tough being truly, 100% waste-free might be. Kirb actually stayed home a little later this morning than he usually does and he knows that packing lunches can sometimes stress me out, so he packed them for me . . . what a guy! Thanks, babe! However, he didn't know about "Waste-Free Wednesday" so I had to make a few modifications. Usually my kids get a Capri Sun juice pouch in their lunches. Our school participates in a program where you mail in the used, empty pouches to a recycling company and they reuse them and make them into cool stuff like pencil pouches and tote bags and the like, so I don't feel TOO bad about sending those. However, even when recycled they don't qualify for "Waste-Free Wednesday", so I had to come up with an alternative. Also, Jacob loves granola bars, so Kirb had put one in his lunch. That "problem" wasn't too tough to solve . . . I just took out the granola bar. Anyway, after a little extra effort I sent my kids out the door with a completely waste-free lunch in their backpack. Whoo Hoo! It will be interesting to hear how well other kids {or, more accurately, their parents} did at being waste free. I asked a girlfriend about it the other day and she said, "Oh, I'll just have them take cold lunch that day" . . . ok, problem solved! My kids sandwiches {and sometimes other stuff too . . . snacks, crackers, cheese slices . . . whatever I can fit in there} go in their wrap 'n mat, so no sandwich bag to throw away there. I really like them. Also, it doubles as a placemat to put their other food on rather than the nasty lunch table . . . how handy is that?

So, just try to do a thing or two to be a little more "green" than you usually are today . . . on this years Earth Day. Please! And if you have a few free minutes (20 actually) and would be willing to watch this, it's pretty eye opening, I think.

If you can get your hands on a copy {that is, if you don't own your own copy already!}, today would be a great day to read "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss is one of my very favorite authors. That man was incredible . . . and way ahead of his time! The Lorax is one of my favorites . . . and it's very Earth Day-ish too!

One thing I can think of that I do {and plan to keep doing!} that could be done in a "greener" way is sending real cards and letters . . . made of paper . . . through the mail when I could just send an email or an e-card or "write on your wall" or some such thing. I do that stuff too {a little} and it's very useful for some forms of communication, but I WILL NOT stop sending real cards in the mail. There are some things that, I think, just warrant a REAL card {birthdays, great friends who need a little cheer in their day, Christmas, condolences, a new baby} and I'm not going to give that up! I just don't think that electronic versions can take the place, at all, of something handwritten and thoughtful that someone took the time to send you . . . ahead of time! {you can't send a "last second" birthday card through the mail unless you're ok with it being late!}. It takes thought, time, a little more money {although not much} and that extra something special that is lacking in other forms of communication. Do you really feel the same when you read an email or "open" an e-card as you do when you actually open your mailbox to find a real card {with your address written by hand . . . often in a non-white envelope . . . with a cute return address label with the address of someone special to you} that you can touch, look at and read over and over again while it sits in your windowsill? I sure don't. Maybe you do. That's ok. Let me know and maybe I'll quit sending you cards in the mail. How's that sound? Yup, I didn't really think so!

Happy Earth Day! I'd send you all an Earth Day card, but I suppose on this occasion that wouldn't be logical or appropriate! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weekend Do-in's:

We had a busy, but wonderful, weekend!

Friday night we spent the evening with our wonderful friends Al, Justin & Sam. We had dinner, hung out, laughed, watched a movie {well, sort of! I feel asleep. What can I say, it was late!} We talked about Ava and how excited we all are for her to get home. Her room is so adorable. I helped Al set up a blog for their journey to bring Ava home. She was a little skeptical, but I think she'll find it a great tool to share info with all the wonderful people in their life! Anna wore a t-shirt that she and Ava both have {one of their half dozen or so "twinzy" outfits}. It's green and says "Best Friends" on it . . . 'cause, you know, they are gonna be best friends just like their mommas! Al kept asking Anna questions like: "Is Ava your best friend?", "Are you excited for Ava to come home." and other stuff along those lines. Since Anna has recently become an expert at nodding and shaking her head {and distinguishing appropriately between the two!} she just kept nodding like crazy. Here are some fun pictures from our evening:

Anna at her best friends house, matching shirt and all but no best friend can be found . . . don't worry babe, she'll be here soon. Next time, I promise!
Kirb and me in the front yard. It was a gorgeous day!
Sam & LJ . . . they are great buds!

Saturday was a busy day for me. I volunteered to help at our schools annual Tag Sale. Working a 3 hour shift gave me the right to pre-shop the sale. So, I arrived at school at 7 am to shop and walked away with at least a few hundred dollars worth of stuff, in great condition, that our family needed for about $50! Whoo Hoo. I brought home my purchases and headed to Caribou to relax with my book for a little bit before my shift started. I worked the sale from 9-noon. It was busy and as far as I could tell LOTS of my stuff sold. That is great news! Hopefully I'll make some decent money . . . we should get our checks any day!

Then I went to a little craft afternoon at my friends house. It was tons of fun, but I was REALLY tired, so I'm afraid I wasn't tons of fun to be around. I then headed home to prepare for our big day on Sunday.

Sunday was a BIG day for our family. Rebekah and Lydia were both baptized. They both made decisions to accept Jesus into their hearts at pretty young ages . . . Praise God! . . . and had recently gone through a 6-week class about baptism at church and had decided that they wanted to be baptized. Plus, it was also Joe's 4th birthday. SO much to celebrate!

Here are the girls in front of the church before the service started
Here is our whole crew:
Brothers {matching ones, no less!}:

Lydia, Pastor Shawna & Rebekah after the service:
Shawna is a good friend of mine and also our Children's Pastor. It was so great to have her baptize my girls!

After church we headed over to my parents for a big celebration with our family.

The Birthday Boy and some of his gifts:
His new flip-flops . . . which he LOVES and has yet to take off even the past couple days when it was quite chilly!
What a wonderful day full of things to celebrate and be thankful. We are also thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives who celebrated with us on this important day . . . both with their presence as well as those who kept us all in their thoughts and prayers on this day!

On Sunday evening Kirb got to spend some good time with his brother who is in town for work. He had some free time, so they caught dinner, a movie and a late-night catch-up chat at Perkins! {gotta love those all-night places for such an occasion!} It was so good for them to have some time together. We're still not quite caught up from our busy, emotional weekend but that's ok. It was all worth it!

What's new?

I read this article today and thought it was very funny. Thankfully, my husband happens to be well above-average, so it didn't make me think too much about him. My children, however, are another story all together. I think that I might have to give this approach a better shot . . . I know it's stuff I "know" in the back of my mind and have heard lots of times before, but it's always nice to have a friendly reminder!

I was volunteering at the kid's school this morning when my cell phone rang {in case you didn't know it, I'm not really a cell phone person so my phone doesn't ring a whole lot . . . I, most likely, wouldn't even have one if I didn't have a kiddo with some major medical stuff. It's nice to know that I can be tracked down when the kids are at school if I'm needed}. Turns out Joe was not feelin' too hot at preschool and he wanted to come home. So I picked up a rather pale, warm, not-at-all-himself Joe from school and brought him home. He is napping, so that would be a sure sign that he really isn't feeling too great. Hopefully it will pass quickly, whatever it is!

Rebekah was the ONLY kid who slept all night last night! It was miserable. Kids up and back down, crying, crawling in bed with us, deciding to go back to their own beds, bad dreams, sleeping on our floor . . . the list goes on. What was that all about? you may ask. Well, to the best of my understanding, this is what was going on: Anna is just Anna and doesn't sleep all night yet. Lydia had a bad dream. Joe must have already not been feeling too great. Jacob, I think, was nervous about his standardized testing today and tomorrow. Rebekah, however, slept all night, so it could have been worse! {although not much, I don't think!}

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Well, our little guy turned 4 today!
We are so thrilled to have him be part of our family.
Happy Birthday, Joe!

The Birthday boy and his Batman cake!
(it was even more delicious than it was cute & a Batman cake was just what Joe requested from his Ama . . . everyone was happy!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

What a day!

I've have hardly sat down all day. Joe was in our bed last night and was really restless and kept punching me and rolling over on me and fun stuff like that, so about 4ish I gave up and got out of bed. I was going to lay back down on the couch, but by the time I got downstairs I was kind of awake, so I just got to work.

First, I got everything ready for a super-fun cardmaking day I'm going to at a friend's tomorrow. We each (6 of us) bring supplies to make 2 cards that we designed and so we'll each go home with 10 cards . . . plus the 2 samples of our designs that we came with. It's all in a box and ready to go.

Then I started in on the laundry. I did laundry (while doing other stuff like feeding babies and changing the DVD that was "babysitting" Joe from "Wall-E" to "Jonah") for over 9 hours straight . . . from about 5 until about 2. I lost track, but I know my load-count was in the double digits! I washed bedding from all 6 beds . . . well, 5 beds and a crib. I washed the kids valences from the windows (they were dusty!). I washed all our winter gear. Not to mention the clothes for 7 people that had piled up since I last did laundry! YIKES! The last load is in the dryer as I type this.

The kid's school is having a BIG tag sale tomorrow. I got 200 tags and was going to sell some stuff. I ran out of tags and had to get 25 more today . . . as I was washing clothes and going through stuff I found more stuff that I could "pass along" I got all 225 things boxed and ready to deliver to school tonight for the set-up crew . . . I'll be cashiering tomorrow from 9 to noon. Hopefully I'll bring in some nice money from all that work of sorting and pricing. Whoo Hoo!

Flashback Friday

guess who?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week I am so thankful for the sun! It's unbelievably nice to have it back again. I love to feel it on my back. It's so wonderful to be outside and not be cold . . . I was even a little warm on Tuesday and had to shed a layer . . . it's been a long time since that happened! Whoo Hoo!

On Tuesday after preschool, Joe played outside for hours. {We even ate lunch outside.} Anna was out with us for a while, but mostly she napped. I watched him on the slide, did a little yard work, pushed him on the swing and even had time to finish reading an excellent book {Where the River Ends by Charles Martin} in my chair sitting in the sun while Joe rode his bike up and down the driveway . . . what a day! You can't beat it! So, welcome back sunshine! We are thrilled to have you back and look forward to quite a few months together before we return to hibernation once again! Yesterday was 70 and sunny, so I sat outside and read a little from the next book in my pile . . . what better way is there to spend part of your afternoon? I can't think of any!
Thanks, Lord, for the wonderful, long-awaited, beautiful sun!

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.(James Matthew Barrie)
So, I'm also thankful for my friends, and those who bring sunshine to my days, even when it may be a little gloomy outside . . . that kind of sunshine is great too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Verse 8

April is half over (I hope you got your taxes done!) . . . time for another verse! I am still trying hard to be dedicated to this Scripture memory thing I've embarked on this year . . . I still haven't been as good as I would like to be! Here is the verse I'll be working on for the rest of April:
O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. (Isaiah 33.2 NIV)
If you don't know about my "resolution" to memorize 24 scriptures in 2009, you can check it out here.

The week in review

Well, Easter has been here and is history already for 2009. Time flies so fast! Yikes, I can hardly keep up. This week seems extra busy for our family. We really enjoyed the 2 days that the kids were off school last week {well, except for the fact that Kirbs was pretty sick for a decent portion of it}. Lots of fun {and not-quite-as-fun-as-we'd-hoped} family time. Here goes a quick re-cap on the past week {mostly in picture form}:

Thursday we ventured downtown Minneapolis to take in the Macy's flower show. We thought the kids would be really excited. We've been before and they loved it. Maybe they were expecting something more exciting, but there were lots of grumbles and complaints when we got there . . . except Rebekah, she loved it! We didn't get any nice shots at the flower show, this is the best I could do:
I don't know what to say to try and explain how my 3rd & 4th children think those are appropriate ways to "pose" for a picture:
And, again . . . Joe, over here please!
After checking out all the flowers we took a little walk through the skyways and saw the new Twins stadium construction site. We also had some yummy treats. Unfortunately we met with some absurd amount of traffic on the way home {the Twins game had just gotten done} and it took us 1 hour and 20 {very unpleasant!} minutes to get home! Kind of a bummer of a way to end an outing we had intended to be fun!

Kirb had a {pretty big} role in the Maunday Thursday service at church Thursday night, so we dropped him off at church a little after 5 {the service was at 7} and grabbed a bite to eat with my parents and then headed over to wish "Grandma" Alice a VERY happy birthday. She claims to have liked our singing . . . although at 93 her hearing might not be quite 100%! We loved seeing her!
Happy Birthday Alice, we love you!

Good Friday we have a tradition of attending the children's Good Friday service at Roseville Lutheran Church {just down the block from us}. It is a WONDERFUL service, geared for kids and always ends with a project/craft for you to take home to be reminded of Christ's sacrifice for us. This is what we made this year, they turned out great! {Rebekah and Lydia both made one. Joe & Anna stayed home with Kirbs, who was sick . . . Jacob wasn't too excited about making a craft and thought he could benefit from the meaning just as well by looking at his sister's project.}

After the service was done and we'd had a little lunch we ventured off to the zoo in hopes of seeing some super cute little animals at the farm . . . you know, they have "Farm Babies" each spring. Well, I guess the combination of relatively nice weather and lots of people having the day off gave everyone and their neighbor that same idea. It looked more like the state fair than the zoo. Honestly, I hardly saw an animal. You couldn't get close enough. I did, however, see lots of interesting people {and quite a few friends! . . . what did I tell ya? Just like the fair!} It was fun anyhow! We were extra thankful for our zoo membership since the line at the entrance, I heard, took an hour! Thank goodness for the "Members" line . . . only about 10 minutes, I think. That along with the fact that one trip to the zoo for our brood would cost $65 and the annual membership {13 months actually, since I always renew before our old membership expires and then they give you an extra month!} is only $85. That's pretty much a no-brainer. Even if you aren't really a math person!

Saturday morning found us in a time warp. I felt like it was 1985! We met some good friends {who we haven't seen in a very long time and don't get to see nearly often enough} at the roller rink. Honestly, it's like stepping foot back in the 80's . . . or as my "more mature" friends thought, the 70's . . . I guess that just goes to prove my point, that roller rinks really are a time warp. I said to Phil "this looks exactly like the roller rink I went to most every Saturday morning in 1986", to which he replied, "I was gonna say 1979, but whatever!". Our friends, the Behrens, had been there {I'm not sure why!} and BOTH of their boys had won the Limbo contest entitling them each to a all-expense paid roller skating party for 20! So Palm Sunday weekend they invited a bunch of friends from school to go skating with them and last weekend they invited some family friends. What fun! The kids all had a blast and even though none of them had ever been on roller skates before they did quite well . . . apart from some sore tailbones and bruised knees!

Rebekah the roller skating girl!
Lydia . . . who made it through the Limbo contest, round 1 {not surprising really if you've ever seen how "bendy" that kid is!} but alas, no party for 20 in our future!
Mom and Joe on the rink:
Nathan and Joe takin' a break . . . check out those skates: now that's what we call vintage!
The whole gang {minus Jill who is taking the picture}. Notice, again, how cooperative Joe is!

Easter morning. The 4 big kids all ready for church:
"Christ the Lord is ris'n today. A-a-a-a-a-le-lu-u-ia!"
They look a tad grumpy to be singing about something so wonderful! Oh well, what can you do?
I wish the mother of that kid in the front would have had the sense to not let him wear a Twins hat and suck, it would seem, on BOTH of his thumbs . . . honestly! Some people!
This just strikes me as classic first Easter. Whattaya think?

Ready to hunt for eggs in the yard:

Checking out their loot:

Lots of sibling love while hunting eggs at GG's house {GG is Great Grandma . . . my grandma . . . my mom's mom}. We had a great Easter dinner at GG and Lavonne's {GG's sister} who live nearby.
Our brood:

Haddon's super cute little choppers
What a beautiful handsome little guy:

We hope you had a wonderful Easter!
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!

Oh, and then on Monday morning I took Anna to the doctor because she'd been getting up 5 or 6 times a night just miserable for what seemed like forever {in actuality, I think it was 4 nights} and was not at all herself during the day either. Last week Wednesday was her last day on antibiotics for her ear infection. I noticed her acting like she felt crummy on Thursday. This didn't click with me for nearly 4 days . . . I blame the lack of sleep! But, you guessed it . . . her ears are still infected, so we are giving antibiotic #2 a try to see if that can take care of it. I think maybe this girl has some teeny little tubes in her future. We'll see!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, and this week especially, I am thankful for Jesus and his sacrifice for me on the cross. I am thankful to God for his willingness to sacrifice his son -- his ONLY son -- to save me! Have a blessed Easter and take some time over the next few days to think about all the Lord has done for you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Anna's first swinging of the season . . . probably of her lifetime actually. She loved it and was laughing out loud the whole time!

Oh, and did I mention that it also caused some excessive drooling?
Fun times!

Mom's Night

Last night was "Mom's Night" at preschool. Twice a year things are a little different at preschool. There is no class in the morning and instead you come in the evening with your parent. {Dad's Night is in the fall and Mom's Night is in the spring}. I've been to enough Mom's Nights to know the drill: Free time at the beginning, then a snack and circle time to round out the night. It was a fun night. We walked there and held hands {the roads were dry, though, so no opportunities to make footprints} The theme for the evening was Hawaii. Joe has a mind of his own regarding clothing these days, {see here if you want just a teeny little idea of what I'm talking about} so we didn't come dressed in themed apparel, but Joe did wear these: {and took the picture of them himself!}
They aren't super Hawaiian, but I image there are probably ladybugs in Hawaii too . . . although I've never actually been there to know for sure {on the way to the Philippines in 2004, though, our plane landed in Hawaii to re-fuel. Unfortunately we weren't even allowed to get off the plane and it was dark so really all we could see out the windows were some runway lights. We were seated in an exit row, though, so when they opened the doors to take out some trash I was able to breathe the smallest little bit of Hawaiian air . . . but I don't think all of that qualifies as much of a Hawaii experience!}

The classroom theme {at preschool} for the month in the "big room" where they have their imaginative play time is a big sailing vessel. Joe LOVES boats in case ya didn't know! So he is thrilled. We didn't leave the ticket window and big boat all night . . . he even passed on the ice cream! and we stayed in the ship fishing and selling tickets to board the ship and reading books in the ship and whale watching and running from the {big & scary} sharks {two of them} that somehow got aboard our ship and going up to the top deck {loft} to get a better view and selling more tickets and fishing a little more and . . . you get the idea. We did this ALL night! Didn't play with the volcano in the other room. Didn't make a craft. Didn't play in the sand box or water table. Didn't play games. Didn't visit the book nook. Didn't eat our snack for cryin' out loud . . . ALL boats, all night! I pretended to row the boat once but got scolded. {It's got a motor, Mom! Just start up the engine! No need to row.}
in case you didn't know how big the boat is . . . now you do.
It was "this big".

Joey's Ama came to surprise him. That was fun! He wasn't real keen on giving her the tour of his classroom though because that required leaving the boat! She got there just in time for a little playin' and then was able to join us for circle time. So Joe brought his mom and she brought hers . . . so fun! 3 generations. Here's a picture Joe took of Ama at circle time: {sorry for posting it, Mom, but I couldn't resist.}

Well, that's it for Mom's night. Aloha! We'll "see" you later!


I may be a little foggy, but I think that it's possible that Anna slept all night last night . . . amazing! That would be splendid!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Silly kids

THIS is how Joe looked going to church on Sunday:
  • Palm Sunday . . .
  • where he had to walk up the aisle waving a palm branch . . .
  • and then stand on the steps in front of the sanctuary, with the other kiddos, singing "Hosanna, Loud Hosanna".
Nice outfit, don'tcha say?
Actually before stepping boot foot inside the sanctuary he decided to take off the hat . . . and his boots. Yup, he did the whole thing barefoot! {He refuses to wear socks . . . in case you didn't know that fun Joe-fact!} Sorry, there aren't pictures of that. I was up on stage with them helping "coach" the preschoolers.

Here's the best I could do during my attempt to get a picture of Haddon and Anna together.
{I have 4 or 5 that aren't quite as good as this one . . . how cute it might have been!}
"Anna, where are you going? Come back here!"

Birthday Party #3

Last Saturday Jacob had his birthday party. It was a fun, "boys only" event. Joe was excited to be included in the festivities. {Anna was asleep upstairs and no one laid eyes on her the whole time, Lydia and Rebekah were away from home with their Bop Bop and I tried to stay mostly in the shadows . . . I love that Kirb was mostly in charge of this one.}

The boys started out the celebration with some fun bowling at the Gopher Spot at the St. Paul campus . . . our FAVORITE place to bowl! Then the boys returned home for the "Lego" themed portion of the party. They put together Legos, had Lego birthday cupcakes {thanks to Ama!} and opened up the presents. You'll never guess what Jacob got . . . some new Legos! They also played football outside and jumped on the trampoline . . . chilly though it was! Everyone had a great time! Happy Birthday big 10-year-old. I love you!

Looks promising, Nate!

Go Nick!
Everyone is watching Nick's shot
gotta love an almost-4-year-old in bowling shoes!
The score: Jacob's first present was winning the game.
{I'm pretty sure Joe's 2nd place score had a little 36-year-old assistance!}
Notice there were 2 strikes in the game. Way to go Jacob & Nick!
The Lego cupcakes {Jacob-safe, of course!!}
A little Lego time . . . well, along with some boyish treats
{chips, salsa, popcorn and pop}
One excited birthday boy!