Sunday, December 28, 2008


Travis tagged me several days ago, and being who I am, I sat down immediately and made a list of all my answers. I'm just now posting it!

8 favorite TV shows:
1. Today (I try to catch at least a few minutes each morning)
2. House Hunters - it's a hobby to look at houses. my husband doesn't understand this.
3. Greys' Anatomy - trashy, yes, but I do enjoy it.
4. Brothers & Sisters - also trashy but it's our date show. we always watch together.
5. Scrubs - Jason really enjoys it and so I've learned to watch with him.
6. Wheel of Fortune - I am gifted in this area. So help me if it ever comes to IA!
7. Biggest Loser - incredible. and inspiring.
8. 10 p.m. news - I try to make it for the first forecast but NEVER last through the show!

8 favorite restaurants:
1. Old Chicago
2. Olive Garden
3. Texas Roadhouse
4. Culver's (for my fast food choice)
5. Hickory Park - delicious bbq in Ames
6. Great Plains - best pizza, also in Ames, fantastic thick wheat crust.
7. La Fuente - my favorite mexican, also in Ames (don't even know if it's still there.?)
8. House of Chen (also in Ames) and have yet to find cashew chicken so good anywhere else.

who knew there was so much in Ames?!

8 things that happened today: (remember, this is a few days old)
1. laundry
2. Abby got her hair cut
3. made the sugar cookie dough
4. more laundry
5. went sledding
6. watched Charlie Brown Christmas with the kids
7. iced and decorated cookies
8. take and bake for dinner

8 things I'm looking forward to:
1. having a car with 4wd that goes in the snow (someday!)
2. a beach vacation (someday)
3. meeting Mya
4. having a longer break (summer!) from school
5. learning how to use the Mac and it's features
6. rescuing an orphan (someday?!)
7. seeing my kids grow up
8. Jesus returning!

8 things on my Wishlist:
Travis had many answers too good to top; but they also apply!
1. double ovens
2. my kids to follow Christ
3. to be close to my kids and one day, their families
4. traveling lots of places I've never been
5. to be a blessing to others
6. for my family to be united in Christ for eternity
7. to grow old with Jason
8. a firmer me :-)

and now 8 people to tag (sorry guys!)
1. Laura K.
2. Laura S.
3. Tara
4. Amy
5. Sara
6. Leah
7. Lisa
8. Steph O.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

sweet heart

such a cool thing as a parent to experience....a child being thankful for what you do for them. I never expected it to come as early as nine years old, but will certainly take it! And I imagine that it also never gets old to hear! There are so many sacrifices we make as parents to do what we do for our children, but it sure is nice to hear from them that for those things, they're thankful. God has entrusted to us these kids, and we gladly make these sacrifices everyday, because that's what we're called to right now in life; raising these kids to grow and seek God for themselves. So we do it anyways, sacrifice, but it spurs me on a little to think that maybe they are starting to grasp some of those sacrifices. Maybe they understand how much they're loved if they think someone is sacrificing something for them. Also shows us just a glimpse of God's love and perspective too....

so here's the card that Ben made for us earlier this week....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

gotcha day

I just have to post today, as it's 14 hours ahead in China, where our dear friends, Bill and Sara, are about to be united with their daughter, Mya, FOREVER! Finally, a family they will be.

Please pray for them today, and in the days to come.
For the rest of their trip to go smoothly, for their boys back at home, as well as for little Mya's sweet heart; for her to be open to all the love that Sara and Bill are ready to pour onto her. It's surely a bittersweet day for Mya, as she has said goodbye to her foster parents and brother, the only family she has known thus far..... I'm sure it won't take long though, and this next week or so in China will be a good start, for her to see just how much she's already loved by these two wonderful people, and how perfectly she completes this family.
If you'd like to continue to follow their journey in China, via Sara's blog click here.
To Sara and Bill, Congratulations! We love you all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

what's new

"what's new with us," you ask? well, Abby is having her turn with a stomach bug and the poor little thing was awake almost every 1/2 hour last night vomiting. Please pray that it doesn't pass along to each one of us.
And before it all started yesterday, Ben got a mohawk. The sides are buzzed, the top is not. A true mohawk. I've talked about this before. He's wanted one for awhile. It's only hair, right...
I pick my battles....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the birthday boy

Today is Ben's 9th birthday!
I can hardly believe it! Wow! Time has really flown.
Ben is totally our firstborn. He is very particular about many things, as were we when we had him. We were much more neurotic about life with an infant than we are now! I guess with time you learn many things, and with Ben we were learning right along with him!
He is really a delightul kid though. I really enjoy spending time with him. He is kind, funny, smart, compassionate and a joy to be around. He loves all things sports. He likes to read (especially about sports!). He watches SportsCenter every morning and can later recap for Jason or myself. He sometimes 'quizzes' me about what he saw and I never have a clue. He thinks it's funny that I don't know the players that he talks about. He likes football and baseball cards and is constantly rearranging them in different orders. From best to worst, by team, by # of HR, etc....
Parenting him has really been a lot of fun and I look so forward to seeing how God continues to mold him and how He will use Ben someday.
You are a terrific kid B. We are very proud of you and we love you very much.
Happy Birthday! love, Mom
(FYI pause the music on the player at the bottom of the page before watching the video)

Monday, December 1, 2008

a bunch of turkeys

We got into the "thankful" spirit last week and did an art project together-the kids and I. Ben's turkey tells the story of thanksgiving across each feather, which is something he's been reading a lot about...Squanto, Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, etc.. Matthew's and Abby's list things they are thankful for. The kids had a great time, which tells me this is something we should probably do more often.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the outfit

well, coming up on a year ago now, I was pregnant and had placed an order to Gap for a pair of maternity jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. When my order arrived, I dumped out the bag onto my bed and the first thing I saw drop out was a clear plastic bag that said 'babyGap' on the outside and contained a hot pink item. My first thought was 'this isn't even my order,' but then the other items fell out, and I saw that they were correct. Next thought was 'Jason's gonna be so bugged at me. He's gonna think I ordered this girl outfit and we don't know what we're having yet. Plus we've got all of Abby's things so the last thing we need is more girl clothes.' (Sara can attest to this, as she now has many of them for little Mya). Next I looked closely at the packing slip, thinking I'd just send it back, but it wasn't even listed on there. My mind started wandering, thinking 'it's not even the right size; but as I processed more I realized it actually would be right since it's 3-6 month and the baby would be 6 months is Dec/Jan. I thought maybe they were just giving bonus baby gifts away with maternity orders, but surely they would have sent a neutral color, right? How could they know? Well, after that I lost all control and started jumping up and down, certain that this must confirm my inclination that the baby is a girl and this was my 'sign.' I referred to the 'mystery girl outfit' throughout the rest of the pregnancy, and boy, am I glad that this accidentally got thrown in my order because she looks so darn cute in it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

daddy's birthday

ok, it's a few days late, but I thought I'd post about it after, you know, with pictures of our fun day and the cake and such. well then I forgot about taking any pictures, but I still needed to write about it and give him his happy birthday post! To commemorate the day, he went for lunch at his favorite spot with his brother and a friend, and then we went to dinner with some other friends whose birthday we were celebrating as well. Topped off by cake and ice cream and a rock-star gift that super surprised him (iPod touch that he's been looking at longingly for several weeks) and call it a good day.

happy birthday honey! we are all so blessed by the husband and daddy that you are. you are loved much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cooking with the girls

ok, it still sounds SO strange to be able to say, 'the girls'. Holy cow, there's more than one! It's awesome! Of course, I always said 'the boys,' but usually 'the boys and Abby'.... wild.

anyways, back on track. Abby loves to help cook, bake, mix, pour, anytime I'm making anything. I usually try to let her have a job. Even if it's simple, or one stir or whatever. It makes her feel helpful. And I've been putting Emily in the carrier while I get dinner ready, but now she's started grabbing for everything. It makes me a little nervous for her burning her hands, so I have my arms way stretched out in front of me..... oh the things we mothers do!

here's a couple fun pics of late. I picked up this cute chefs outfit for Abby (and it's got a cupcake on it, which is so appropriate) at Kohl's on supersale for $6.

Friday, November 7, 2008

all is well

thanks for praying. he's home and doing well. he was super brave and really 'took it like a man,' so to speak. he's chillin' now, actually drinking a slushy and pretty excited to be having DQ for dinner....typical 8 year old behavior! please continue to pray for a smooth recovery; with Matthew things got worse before better, and right after was certainly a 'honeymoon' phase.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


well, tomorrow we have a big day. one you can be praying for, actually. ben is getting his tonsils and adenoids removed. we are not looking forward to it. he's had lots of strep throat, so they've told us it needs to happen but jason and I are so conservative with things especially involving our kids and anesthesia. anyways, matthew just went through the same procedure back in april, but for other reasons. so last night, we tucked the boys into their beds and i was in our room down the hall rocking with emily. i overheard them talking, for quite awhile. but it was kinda endearing, and they weren't getting carried away or rambunctious, so i let it go. then this morning during school they shared that they were talking about ben's surgery. and matthew was explaining all about it, and (in not so many words) comforting ben and letting him know it's gonna be ok. ben is most definitely the worrier (hmm, wonder where that came from?) of the two, and he's been getting more and more anxious about the whole procedure. it just warmed my heart to think of the 2 of them talking it through....

so tomorrow @ 9:15 is when it's going down....please think of us and pray for ben's comfort beforehand, and for a surprisingly easy recovery after!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008


we had a great Halloween. last week, the kids all had colds but they recovered in time and things went along as planned. we went to Sulwers, like we have for the past several years, and it was just as fun as usual. we all went out trick or treating around the neighborhood. it was a beautiful night. it was the first time we've ever gone the whole way. it's never so warm so usually it's a dash up and down a couple of streets before everyone's freezing. but this time we all leisurely strolled around, taking our time. it was wonderful! check out the picture of the whole group and imagine such a bunch showing up at your door! that's a whole bag of candy! oh yeah, forgot to mention, ben was a bears player, matthew a cubs player, abby a rock star, and emily a pumpkin.

Friday, October 24, 2008

frank and friends

We got this idea from Family Fun magazine. We don't usually actually make these ideas we see, but I told myself 'since we're homeschooling, we have time for this, and it can be a little art project.'

So we did it, and they turned out great. The kids had a great time, and are very proud of our creations.

Oh, so Ben's is Frank (notice the bolts in his neck!). Matthew's is the Count. Abby's is the Witch. And Emily's is the Mummy (we did hers for her).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

one heartbeat at a time

ok, so, we're homeschooling this year.
It's the hardest thing I've ever done.
It is stretching me and pushing me in ways I hadn't imagined. Which is probably why God placed it on our hearts so heavily. I'm sure He's using it in myself in ways I hadn't imagined also.
Anyhow, I've been having to remind myself daily, that this is a choice we've made, and that the sacrifices being made to do this will one day reap benefit in my children's lives. At least that's my prayer.
so then today I got in the car to take Abby to preschool (she still goes because we can accomplish alot without her lurking and waiting for them to be done!) and my Steven Curtis Chapman cd starts playing and it's a song I've never listened to called One Heartbeat at a Time. As I listened to these words the tears started rolling down my face. I'm sure my kids think I'm a lunatic.
Anyways, I so appreciated God's timing for me to really hear this now. Today.

One Heartbeat at a Time
You're up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are
So you fall in bed when you run out of hours
And wonder if anything worth doing got done
Well maybe you just don't know
Or maybe you've forgotten
That you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
With every "I know you can do it"
And every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They're just like the drops of rain
Over time, they become a river
You're beautiful, so beautiful
How you're changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

5 things I hate to admit...

I've been tagged by Deb, so here goes....

1. I am NOT a morning person (same as Deb), and while I used to do exactly what Deb described; feed my kids breakfast and go back to bed, or even worse, let them get their own (now that they're big enough they can do this) while I was still asleep. It happened all summer. It was sweet, but not my best mothering moment. It's gotten better though. Now that we're homeschooling we're all up and eating together. Not always showered, but up.

2. I am CRAZY about losing stuff. Like, seriously OCD about losing stuff. All other activity ceases until said item is found. Knowing that it's somewhere in the house makes me nuts and usually everyone gets recruited to help find. It's something my kids will definitely remember about me one day. ??

3. I joined Facebook. And am totally freaked out by it, and consequently recently deactivated my account. There were legitimately about 3 people I wanted to connect with from high school or college, and then people I used to know were coming outta the woodwork. It was creepy.

4. I love to shop. I'm good at it, (even my husband thinks so) as I don't make purchases unless I'm getting a deal. well, ok, sometimes I splurge. but only on deserving item. It's one of my few talents.

5. I have an almost 9 year old. This is hard to admit for several reasons. One is that this means I too am getting older. Also, he's now the 'big kid' among several of our friends. Another, which I recently shared with Jason, is that we've had Ben for (almost) 9 years and it has flown. In another 9 years, he'll be close to moving out to college, which right now the thought of breaks my heart.

alright, that wasn't too painful. Now it's your turn......Laura, Amy, and Alicia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

another fall tradition

Each fall, we all look forward to Hawkeye Homecoming weekend so that we can go downtown and stake out a spot hours beforehand, and then eat dinner curbside while waiting for the parade. Lots of friends show up to join us; The kids usually play a little catch in the street, as it's all blocked off, and we all dress in Iowa gear and have someone take a family shot to commemorate the year.

It's good times, and I love creating memories like these for our kids. Here's a few of years past....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

fall sports

Ok, so since having kids we've been waiting, and dreading the crazy busyness that life in sports brings. It's really a double-edged sword. It's fun to see your kids enjoying sports, but the runaround it brings is less than thrilling.

Anyways, this year, both boys wanted to try soccer. Sure, that sounds good, and it's always good to try new things right? Well, flag football is also in session and we should have stuck to the preexisting rule. We've had this rule to only have each kid participate in one sport per season, so as to eliminate some of the craziness. Well, I decided to go out on a limb and ignore the rule to let them try soccer. And when signing up, I thought I had it figured out that soccer would be on Saturdays, and football on Sundays. I didn't even think about practices for both, and then after it started I discoverd the mix-up. Only Ben plays soccer on Saturdays. Both football games and Matthew's soccer games are on Sundays. It's my own fault, I brought it on myself. I ignored the preesisting rule. And so now, with just two weeks remaining, it seems bearable. But last Sunday, it all seemed worth it when at football, Ben scored a touchdown, and at soccer, Matthew scored a goal. It was also cool that then on Monday, the verse we were learning about taught about humility and not boasting. A nice reminder to them that "by the grace of God, I am what I am." (1 Corinthians 15:10)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

what's that?

I got another package yesterday. This time, though, it was something I bought for myself. Mail is still great.

I bought this custom made for me necklace from etsy. "What's that?" you say? yeah, I did too. My friend, Sara, introduced me to it. Actually, she introduces me to all things internet that I now frequent. My husband probably wishes she'd have refrained from sharing this one, as this is the second necklace I've purchased for myself since discovering the site. In any event, the site is very cool. It's all things homemade, for sale. Crafters of clothes, jewelry, you name it, are on this site and they all have their own 'shops' from which they sell their creations. So this is what I have to show for my discovering of two fantastic necklaces. This one is my fave. Of course, it's got my children's names wrapped around it. I love it! It's handstamped. Oh, and on the back, a particularly meaningful to us verse. Deuteronomy 6:5-7, which reads, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

how cute is this!?

I got mail the other day! Sara made and sent this scrapbook page capturing our recent trip to CO. It's so cute! It's already framed and hanging in the entryway. I love it! Thanks Sara!

Monday, September 29, 2008


One sure sign of fall! Mmmmm! Yep, after school today we made these. I was a little nervous. Had never made homemade caramel, and don't have a candy thermometer to tell me exactly when it was ready, but all is well. They turned out great!

Friday, September 19, 2008

12 weeks

Little Emily was 12 weeks old yesterday, so I thought I'd update those not near us on her progress. Time is certainly flying by, as it usually does with a newborn I suppose. Could it be that it's just a blur due to sleep deprivation and the utter chaos that life with four kids brings? Probably! Regardless, she is growing so fast! The fun part is coming, I know it is! She is starting to respond to us with smiles (finally!), and for this mom whom is made crazy anxious by the unstability and unpredictability that newborns bring, the change is welcome!!
She is still super needy, don't get me wrong, but I'm starting to think that part isn't going to wear off, and may just be her personality....which makes both Jason and I fearful of her teen years. At any rate, we all love her madly, deeply, and can't imagine this family without her.
Emily, Em, M&Ms, sissy, little sis....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


We had such a wonderful time in Colorado. Actually, none of us wanted to come home. We'd have preferred to just stay, permanently! On Tuesday, I caught myself 3 different times looking west for the gorgeous mountains, only to realize, 'oh yeah, I'm back in Iowa.' bummer! I'm reading a book right now called The Shack, and came across a passage that fit perfectly... it reads "of all the places he sensed the presence of God, out here surrounded by nature and under the stars was one of the most tangible." We were surrounded by nature and God's incredible creations all weekend, not to mention we were also surrounded by great friends, Bill and Sara, who graciously toted us around town to be 'tourists.' We had a wonderful time with them, and the kids were delighted to get time with Cole and Carter as well. After we said our goodbye and left, 3 of the 6 of us ended up crying about missing them. (I better clarify for my husband's pride that he was NOT one of those in tears!)

THANK you Bill and Sara, for a wonderful weekend, and for a super fun friendship. We love and miss you ALL!

Monday, August 25, 2008

we're here!

I'm just getting really bad about posting promptly!

I guess I haven't figured how to add that to the mix!

last weekend (or was it 2 weeks ago?) we rented a pontoon and floated around Lake MacBride. the kids loved it; actually, so did we! it was lots of fun a good thing to squeeze in before summer's out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

first day of school

I've been waiting to post pictures from the first day til Abby had her first day as well so I could make it all one post. There's really not much to report specifically. Ben's now a third grader (and I can hardly believe that I'm a parent of such), Matthew's in first grade, and Abby is doing a pre-K program two mornings a week to get ready for next year at the "big kid school".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

dedicated to the Lord

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28

the last days of summer

well it's that time again and I can hardly believe it. I wonder if the start of each school year will ever get easier. for me, that is. I have a pit in my stomach at the mere thought of sending the kids off again. I've really enjoyed our time together and now they're headed off to grow up one more year. ugh. dreadful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


not much to say about this. the pictures will tell the story. hot day, long lines, rides, cold drinks.