Friday, October 30, 2009

Week Wrap Up

Kolby started school.
And he and Levi got to wear matching sweatshirts that Kolby and Sage used to wear.

He loves it and I didn't cry.

The second day, they had a Fall Festival and he got to wear a costume.
The teacher told me he chose to wear the dinosaur costume out of her stash. Whatever.

And the third day, he had school pictures. A pretty exciting first week. He got cd's to listen to at home and it is so cute to hear him sing along with them.

And, Levi has started walking! He's taken seven steps in a row. We're trying to get it on video but it's proving slightly difficult. He has also climbed up on a chair. He's only done it once, just enough to keep my on my toes!

Sage is getting better at reading. He and I are doing Hooked on Phonics. Let's just say, it gives me an opportunity to practice patience. Excruciating patience. And kindness.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Little Bit About Me

...As if you needed to know more!

Amanda has this up today, so I thought I would copy. If you do, let me know!

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?
M & M’s, plain. Sometimes peanut when I want some protein.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
Non-spiritual, non-emotional answer: Mascara

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
A vacation for just Drew and I- beach. For the fam- any. To live forever? Farm. And that says a lot since I told Drew I never wanted to be a farmers wife (something that needed clarifying growing up in Iowa).

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?
Toilets. Especially since I now have two small standers.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
If they know my mom, they say her. In college I was told I look like Gwyneth Paltrow and I keep clinging to that.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
Both, everyone needs a good variety.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
I can’t say it is my all time favorite because that is a huge commitment but Fever Pitch or Sweet Home Alabama. Maybe Legally Blonde.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
50/50. It depends on how tired I am. Or lazy, whichever way you want to see it.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
No hidden talents. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the violin and then move to the fiddle. I love me some bluegrass.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Nothing, comes to mind. Unless you count having unusually long toes that I can make go up and down every other one.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
He’s hot.

12. What is something you love to smell?
Chocolate Chip Cookies baking. Or Harvest Yankee candle.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
Like I irritate people.

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Go shopping.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
Both. Drew makes me laugh the hardest especially the later it is at night.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
I've always been very loyal to the Gap. And I shop quite a bit at Target. Because I’m there.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?

19. Who is your favorite character of all time?
Emma from Jane Austen.

20. Would you want to be famous?
Nope. Too much work and not satisfying.

What are some or all of your answers?

Monday, October 26, 2009

All About Kolby

Kolby starts communications class this week. It's basically preschool with a huge emphasis on speech. I'm so excited for him. And so sad to be sending him to preschool. Sure, he's gone to Mothers Day Out, but that's different. That's at church. It's glorified childcare. This. This is different.

I'm being brave and excited for Kolby. We talk about how much fun he's going to have. The new friends he'll make. How nice his teacher is.

It's even more real than it was when we realized it was real.

He'll do so great. I just know it.

Dr. Ponseti died last week. I never met him. I wish that I could have. I have a lot of respect, gratefulness, and love for this man.

Kolby was born with bilateral club foot. The doctor that treated him in Connecticut was trained by Dr. Ponseti.

Because of Dr. Ponseti's tireless research, patience and implementation, my Kolby can walk easily. He can run and jump. I've thanked Dr. Thomson but I never got to thank Dr. Ponseti.

Thank you, Dr. Ponseti. Words can not do justice to the gratefulness in my heart to you. Because of your work, my child can live a totally normal life. How can I say thank you for that?

**If for some reason, you read this post because your child has club foot and you have questions or just want to talk to someone about it, email me through my about me page. I would love to talk with you.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This word, friend. Such a simple word, so much implication.




Do you call people your friend? Do you reserve it for when you introduce them to someone? This is my friend, Bob. Or do you call them, Friend?

Calling someone Friend, like "Thanks, friend!" or "Good to see you, Friend." is new to me. I've been mulling it over since I moved to this strange land and first heard someone say it. And then I got called Friend! That was a good day.

It flows off my mouth a little more easily these days. But, when I hear it, I still smile inside. I hope I never lose that smile. I don't ever want to take for granted being someone's friend.

Try it. Say it someone today. See how it makes you feel. See if it brings a smile to their face.

"Thanks for leaving me a comment today, Friend."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Watching my boys hard at play

Makes everything okay.

Blocks was the game

Knocking down brother's tower was the claim to fame!

Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Welcomes Our Family

We got a DVR.

TV can be paused, recorded, and fast forwarded. Who knew?!

Drew scheduled the man to come between 5 and 8 on Tuesday night. I leave for Bible study about 6 so he thought it would be perfect for him to come while I was gone.

He came at ten to five.

Of course.

Levi just woke up from a nap and wanted to be nursed. Dinner needed to be made. I was wearing a cute shirt with Nike shorts. There was a sea of toys on the living room floor.

I looked ridiculous, the baby was crying, and the boys were fighting. And when you took a step, you risked either bodily harm or breaking a toy.

He came in and confirmed that the man who came on Friday did not give us a DVR box but a cable box. And went back to his truck to get the DVR box.

I threw toys in bins and called the living room good enough.

Then I had to show him how to prop open the tv cabinet door with a pillow because it likes to close.

Levi was getting more and more antsy. Toys were not distracting him.

I pulled out my Hotsling pouch and figured out how to nurse him while he was in the pouch. I didn't want to sit down, partly exposed and fight Levi with the cover. I envisioned many things going wrong in that scenario.

I have to admit that I was proud of myself for figuring it out so quickly. And I am pretty sure he didn't have a clue. And if he did, eh, oh well.

The Office was recorded as we put the kids to bed.

And all is right with the world.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Birthday Wish

Amanda was one of my first friend here. I'm embarrassed to admit how I met her, but here it goes.

Last August, it was the great day of class change for the kiddos at church. Amanda was in line waiting to find out which room her son was assigned. As I walked out, I saw her and recognized her from her blog. "It's a big church," I thought, "I should say something." I mustered all the courage I could muster. And said "I read your blog, just wanted to say hi."

I don't remember what she said. I'm sure it was kind and polite because, that's Amanda.

It turns out, church isn't that big. I kept seeing her. Except I didn't think she remembered me. So I never said anything again.

Fast forward to October. The Womens Retreat.

I didn't stay at the hotel because me, Levi (still baking) and someone I hadn't met, weren't about to sleep in a double bed together. It was a short drive home anyway.

The second day of the retreat I got there late. My friends from Sunday School were going to save me a spot but there was a mix up right as I walked in and there wasn't a seat for me. There was a seat at the next table. Amanda's table. I felt like such a dork.

But I mustered up all my courage and went to that table. All the girls were very kind and chatted with me even though I was the only one that didn't go to their Sunday Bible study.

After that, we chatted whenever we saw each other and became friends pretty quickly.

I think Amanda and Curtis were the first people to invite us to go out to eat after church. We couldn't say yes fast enough.

Over the last year or so, I've come to respect and love the grace, charm, wit and encouragement that she is to everyone that she meets. She's real and lives life fully to please God. I love living life with her around.

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I get it now.

I get it. I understand what my mom always said about feeling perpetually behind.

I just can't do everything and be caught up on everything.

Toilets get dirty right after I clean them. Laundry is always being made. The floor never stays crumb or dirt free. Food gets eaten. The garbage overflows.

I'm fighting a battle that never ends. There isn't a cease fire. There is no time out. There is no break.

When I sit down, the cheerios don't get picked up, the toys don't get put away, the laundry doesn't get switched from the washer to the dryer and folded.

I have things that I need to get done that aren't on my weekly to do list like switch the boys' clothes out. This is no small task. It requires a lot of piles. And a baby that doesn't crawl over to those piles and pull them all apart. And it would be helpful to not have Sage around either. He remembers his clothes and wants to wear them. Kolby is just happy to have clothes that fit. He usually keeps exclaiming "Age?!" (Kolby speak for Sage).

I kid you not, he wore a pair of size 4 pajamas to bed last night. The pants hit right below his knees and the sleeves right below his elbows. And they were flannel. For the overnight low of 65.

So imagine a lot of piles, that get unfolded and dragged around the room, a 5 year old who wears a size 6 putting on a lot of size 4 clothing and Kolby watching it all unfold. Pun intended.

Every weekend I have the same conversation with Drew. I don't know how other mothers do it. Our house is a constant disaster, laundry barely gets folded usually to sit on the ground outside the appointed room for a couple of days before it actually makes it into drawers, there is a constant crumb trail on the floor, and nothing ever seems to make it back to its place.

I have a mess of homeschool stuff that doesn't have a home that I use everyday.

And I rarely get enough time to recharge my battery. Know what I mean?

I'm not trying to complain. I'm just trying to express where I'm at in life.


Friday, October 09, 2009

Craving Chocolate

I've been in a bit of a bad mood lately. Maybe you've noticed. I'm pretty sure my husband has. I've been down and just haven't snapped out of it. I've spent time in the Word and praying. But I just feel like yuck.

We're still struggling through potty training Kolby. Number 2 is holding out on us. The only way I mean that is that he poops in his underwear more than half the time. If he hasn't, most likely, it is because I noticed The Look and got him to the potty. But, I know he can do it. I know he can. He's done it. Just last week, after a nap, he went to the bathroom, unprompted and did his business and tried to wipe. I wasn't even around. I just happened to check on him. He was even wearing a pull up for his nap. And I am beyond frustrated with it. I'm so over it. He's 3.5. I mean, really. At this rate, he won't be fully potty trained for his high school graduation.

Levi doesn't quite sleep through the night. We have good nights, like last night where he woke up at 3:23 and I nursed him and he was back in his bed by 3:49. And we have bad nights like the uncountable nights before.

And he bit me today. HARD. While nursing. I yelled very loudly and then sat him down away from me. He cried and crawled over to me. I picked him up and he laid his head on my shoulder. He hasn't bitten in so long, but this one was so hard. I still shudder a little thinking of the pain.

I've also been going through the book Shepherding A Childs Heart by Ted Tripp with some women. And I feel like I am struggling with parenting. It is a tiring, impossible process that never ends. I feel like everything I do is wrong. And that I continue to mess up my kids. It is only by the grace of God that they will grow up. I just want to do things right. But my sinful nature keeps getting in the way. I'm selfish. So selfish. So are they. It isn't a great combination.

All that to say, I really wanted some chocolate today. So I made this cake.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Spray bundt pan with Bakers Joy. Put all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl and beat on low for one minute. Scrape sides of bowl then beat two minutes on medium speed. Add chocolate chips and stir. Pour in pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert on platter and eat with strawberries, raspberries and whipped cream or plain.

Want a piece?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Story by Sage

To bring some structure and order to our days, I ordered the Five in A Row curriculum. The gist is to read one book, five days in a row, learning different things from the book each day.

This week we are reading Lenitl by Robert McCloskey. Lentil takes place in Ohio so we looked at the map and talked about how far away Ohio is and how Ohio is that state that Grandma was born. Yesterday, we talked about literature. Specifically, the five things that make a good story.

Setting the Stage
Rising Action

I talked to Sage about what he thought the conflict was in the story and he correctly answered Old Sneep. Old Sneep didn't like Colonel Carter who was coming home and everyone was making a big fuss over him.

We talked through the other elements and then I asked Sage to write a story. More specifically, tell me a story and I'll write it down.

Here it is word for word: (I didn't change any of the grammar)

Once there were two little boys whose names were Sage and Kolby. They went to the fair. They had a lot of fun because they got cotton candy and ice-cream. They got to do the horsie ride and the carousel.

And then they accidentally went on to the real carousel with the real horsies. And they went into the zoo where you need to try to do the tricks on the animals. They were really scared to do the horsie one because you were supposed to try to make the horsies flip over.

(Pretend the horsies are right here and the seals right here in the picture, real close together.)

You needed to try to make the seals jump out with you on them and dive back in to get out. And then they went through the main gate.

They decided to go back home. But Kolby said "No, let's stay here all night, let's stay here all night!" Sage said "No, you will be alone because I'll leave to home without you." And then Kolby decided to make Sage stay there all night because they actually had dogs that you could buy and they got to buy one of those dogs.

The End.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I Don't Wash Windows

I had kids.

Kids, who apparantly get a little silly sometimes.

Disclaimer- it was just water. But this is a great way to get almost half of my windows clean!

Friday, October 02, 2009

She's Really Cute

But I might be biased.

Go here to see her.

Those pictures satisfy a little bit.

As I was stirred my salty tears into the macaroni and cheese I made for lunch today, I thought about being homesick. It's not like I haven't experienced it before. And it's not like I haven't hopped on a plane and jetted back to Iowa. I did it last August, sans kids, before Levi made his grand entrance.

But, while there, I was homesick for my family. My husband and sweet boys.

I've thought about how no matter where I live, I will be homesick for home. No matter how much family surrounds me. No matter how close I live to forever friends. Because earth is not my home. I'm created with a longing for something more.

Someone even better than family. Someone who will never let me down. Someone who satisfies all my longings.

Not my husband. Or my boys.

Not my best friend since third grade.

Not my mom or dad.

Not my siblings, their spouses and kids.

Even though I love them all dearly, they will at some point let me down. They can't fill me.

Only Jesus can. Only Jesus can handle all my cares.

No matter where I live, Houston, Iowa, Minnesota, Connecticut or Africa. Jesus is my constant. He's always with me. Always listening. Always caring.


My sister in law had their fourth baby early this morning. My brother called me this morning.

My first thought was "Maybe the kids and I should jump in the van and drive to Iowa. 16 hours is so doable."

I just want to snuggle that new little niece.

It makes me sad to think about when I get to meet her.

My cousin was up for homecoming queen last night.

I probably won't get to see her graduate either.

Living life far away from family is hard.

Some days harder than others.

Today is one of the harder days.