May 30, 2009

Getting Healthy

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the exercise I have been getting. I especially love the running program I started because it gets me out of the house and into the fresh air! Every time I finish my workouts I just feel so good about myself and I get excited about the weight that I'm losing. I can feel my body getting healthier and that is just one of the best feelings I've ever experienced. I still cannot believe that I have been doing what I've been doing! I never imagined I would start a program to train my body to run 3 miles. It's crazy.

Eric has been doing better, but he is still suffering the effects of a Crohn's flare-up. This has definitely made life difficult for us. It's stressful and has put a strain on our finances, but we are doing what we can to make it. He finally has filed for disability, which takes a little while to process, but hopefully he will be approved. We really want him to be able to get on disability payments and go to school in the fall while working part time. I will probably need to work part time as well, which I'm not thrilled about... in fact I'm pretty sad about it, but I will do what needs to be done. Meanwhile I'm looking for ways to earn some extra income from home.

The in-laws recommended a book called The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma which is meant to show you ways to change your diet in order to improve your health and the symptoms of many diseases. So we're planning to look into that and see if it helps Eric's symptoms, but also to improve everyone's diet. There is a great health forum for those interested in all aspects of health and illness, there are lots of information about natural and alternative ways of dealing with health problems. A valuable resource for getting ideas and networking with other people who are looking to improve their health through natural medicine.

It just feels so good to be getting healthy!

May 29, 2009

My wrists hurt

I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Too much time at the computer, I guess! Not that I'm surprised. Actually, I think it has more to do with the fact that I'm actually blogging on a regular basis lately!

I'm getting geared up for the summer! I've printed off daily morning and bedtime To Do lists for the kids in hopes that I will get everything done each day that needs to get done. The most important items on those lists are the prayers and Bible readings... plus the tooth brushing. We all need daily tooth brushing and Bible time!

I'm excited to start the summer reading with the kids. I really hope that reading every day will be a great vocabulary builder for the girls, but for Jenna especially. A larger vocabulary is always a positive thing!

Enjoy your weekend!

May 28, 2009


Alex at 8 months old (already!)

Out in the yard yesterday, just enjoying the fleeting warmth and sunshine!

We're planning a little visit to the park today but it is looking cold and dreary out there so we'll see.

Went to the library yesterday and picked up the first of our Summer reading books. Jenna's read alouds will come from the Magic Tree House series. This series is a fictional series that teaches about different events and eras in history at a 1st-3rd grade reading level. I will be reading Matilda to the girls in June. And I also picked up a couple Nicholas Sparks novels that I haven't read yet. Hopefully I'll get a start on my own reading goal for the summer as well. :)

May 26, 2009

New blog

I just wanted to let those who are interested know about my new blog. It's strictly about my weight loss journey and that way I can keep this a family blog and use that for recording my weight loss. I'll still put little snippets about it in here, but for the most detailed report you can check there. :)

if you don't care, it's all good! I just wanted to let you know it's there in case you were interested.

link is also in my sidebar

It's just been a pretty lazy day here. I sure wish the sun would come out every morning. it would just get me off to a better start every day! Today all I have done is a load of laundry, nap, and a workout. Otherwise I've just sat around for the most part. But I need to have those days sometimes. I've been so much better about getting things done lately so I'm not beating myself up about it. Just enjoying the little break.

Tomorrow I am getting together at the park with my friend Sarah and her two little girls. Should be a nice afternoon. I'm also hoping to start really working on a plan for next years school curriculum. Gotta start early so that I give myself plenty of time to plan things out. Still trying to decide if I want to take the leap into buying a curriculum or just plan it all myself. I've been researching curriculums for purchase and I'm just so scared to buy one. After purchasing Sonlight in February and having that be a complete disaster I'm nervous about buying anything else. I was lucky with Sonlight because they have a money back guarantee if it doesn't work for your child. It was a literature based curriculum that was just too advanced for Jenna.

I know I don't have many homeschoolers who read this blog (or maybe there are more than I am aware of) but if anyone has any suggestions for a 9 year old girl with high functioning autism who is a very visual learner and has the language skills of about a 6 year old please help! :) Thank you!

Just to leave you with a cute picture- Jenna loves her little brother so much. Well, Marah does too. They really just all love each other :) It's so sweet. Jenna loves to steal Alex away from me and take him into her room to watch movies with her. He usually cooperates for about 20-30 minutes before he gets bored. But she is very patient with him and plays with him and takes good care of him.

May 22, 2009

The list

*Things I'd like to do this summer*

Get to the library at least once a week
Go to the pool as often as financially possible
Go out with a friend at least once a week
Go to the park at least once a week
Go for family bike rides or walks at least once a week
Paint the girl's dollhouse and decorate it
Read 3 novels for myself
Read 3 chapter books with the girls
Go to a Twins game
Go to the zoo in Fargo
Go to the Children's Museum in Fargo
Paint outside with the kids
Have at least one date night a month where we leave the house
Have one date night a week where we stay home
Have family game night once a week
Have family movie night once a week
Couch to 5K running program

adding- SHMILY for 30 days of prayer for my husband (for June- reading The Power of a Praying® Wife

This is an ambitious list for me and I know that there will be weeks where I won't get everything done, but it's okay. I just want the list out there as a reminder of what I would LIKE to accomplish this summer.

Now, go make your summer list!

May 21, 2009

Summer's Coming

Last night Jenna had her Girl Scout's end of the year celebratory picnic at the park. First of all, what a cute park! Apparently we have a little Japanese Friendship Garden in Grand Forks! Who knew?! :) I love discovering new and nice things about the area. There are nice little bike/walk trails there and bridges and statues. I can see taking the whole family for a picnic this summer and everyone enjoying it!

I had my hands full with all the stuff I had to bring- food, baby, diaper bag, blanket, bumbo seat- and then the stupid picnic shelter was a little trek from the parking lot. So I started out a bit frustrated but I dealt with it and it turned out okay. Thank goodness for my older kids who are my helping hands!

Poor Eric was not feeling well but I pleaded with him to just come for as long as he could. I knew it would mean a lot to Jenna, and it did. I know she was disappointed that he had to leave early, but I could tell she was glad that he came. I'm glad he came :)

I made fruit kabobs and they were a big hit! I took two huge trays full of them and everything was gone so quickly! I think my item was the only one that got all eaten up! That made me feel good. Even though I didn't cook it *haha* it took a long time to cut all the fruit and then stab it ;) It looked so pretty and I forgot to take a picture! I'll be doing it again this summer though. Gotta remember to take a picture.

Anyway, so I got lots of cute pictures. Jenna was just so proud of this event. They did a little flag ceremony and the Brownies who would be returning next year got certificates and pins (these are the second graders who will be in third next year). The Brownies who will be 'flying up' to Juniors next year had a different ceremony where they crossed a little bridge, got their new vests and then said some poems. It was very cute.


Marah kept herself busy on the playground and riding her little trike around most of the time. I didn't really have to worry about her much except to make sure she was still at the park! It was nice to have her keeping herself entertained, although she did come over a few times to ask me to push her on the swing, but I was stuck at the picnic shelter.

Alex ate his first strawberry and it was so cute! He absolutely loved it! He got all sticky and pink and smelled so good! During the entire ceremony he sat on a tablecloth in the grass and played by himself, razzing his tongue and drooling all over the place! He couldn't even see me for about 20 minutes and I kept looking over at him and he was just doing this the whole time! sorry for the shaky, bad quality!

Yesterday was a pretty nice day and today I plan to get some housework done, get a workout in, play with the kids, have a girls night out with my friend, Elizabeth, and just enjoy the sunshine! I'm going to try to really limit my computer time today. There is just too much to do!

May 20, 2009

Time out

I took a time out yesterday. I needed one. Just a little time to get away. I didn't do anything really special, just browsed Old Navy and Michaels, constantly pulling things off the shelves then walking back through the store later, returning them to their rightful places. I do that quite often- talk myself out of purchases. I knew we didn't have the money for anything. I did find a pair of khakis for Jenna that were only $3.50 so I couldn't pass that up! At Michaels I picked up a few paints that were on sale because I want to work on painting the girls dollhouse with them. I can't wait to start making their plain dollhouse look pretty! I ended it all with a trip to the clinic for my birth control shot! Woo hoo! It's really not bad, I just like to make a big deal :)

Came home to this little handsome boy playing so nicely on his blanket-

Took the kids out for a bike/stroller ride in the late afternoon. I had to walk because we haven't been able to buy a helmet for Alex yet (I want to ride with him in my bike carrier). It really works out better this way for now anyway because Marah would ride too slow to keep up with all of us. I wish I had a bike trailer, then I could stick the two in there! Marah does ride her trike pretty fast though!

I let Marah handle the camera (something that always makes me nervous) to take my picture and she did a pretty good job.

Then we stopped at a playground and Alex got to sit outside in the sunshine for the first time this year! (It's been a miserable spring)

I think he enjoyed it :) It really is so nice to be able to have everyone go do stuff together. I love spending time together, even when it's just something simple. Poor Eric has been having a bad reaction to the sun this summer, though, so we need to figure out how to handle that. Hopefully using sunscreen will solve the problem. The last thing I want is for him to not be able to come outside with us this summer.

Seems that he is finally feeling better. He seems better everyday. We finally got his medication issues worked out and things are starting to look positive. Please keep praying that his health continues to improve.

Tonight is Jenna's Girl Scout troops final event. We're having a family pot luck at the park so I have to get to the store today and get stuff to make a fruit salad and find something small to give the troop leaders for all they have done for the girls this year. Volunteers really are amazing!

Better go get ready to face the day! Have a lovely Wednesday!

May 19, 2009

A dream

Marah woke up this morning in a good mood (something that's rare and something I'm always thankful for) and told me first thing about the dream she had last night. Short and sweet-

"Mommy, I was dreaming that I saw my friends. We were playing and just 'bee-rax' (pretend) I have a boyfriend!" *giggle*

Silly girl. I told her that she better be pretending! There will be none of that boyfriend stuff in this house! Then I kicked her in the butt. haha

I really did kick her butt, but it was a little kick ;)

Isn't it hilarious that she says "bee-rax" instead of pretend?! I don't know where she came up with that! I know she's really saying 'relax' but for some reason she thinks it means pretend. I keep using the word pretend to let her know how it is really said, but she keeps saying bee-rax. It cracks me up!

May 17, 2009

The kids

I hope you're enjoying a lazy Sunday!

May 11, 2009

let it go

I'm trying to let things go. To stop worrying so much about how my house looks. I'm trying to remember what the most important things about raising children are. While I'd love to have a pretty home with a place for everything, and everything in it's place, it's just not realistic right now. I have three kids. They are home all day, everyday! And I have come to realize that having a clean house takes so much of my time and energy that I don't have enough leftover for the truly important things.


The getting down on the floor, the lazing outside, the long bike rides, the nature walks, the discovery of life, the teaching moments, the cuddling.

Making messes is a part of being real. Of living life. Experimenting and learning.

So I'm going to try. Try hard. To just let it go. To be a more playful mother than a constantly worrying mother. The floor may need sweeping, the table may be full of drawings, paintings, play-do, and projects, going outside might mean putting the dishes off for a few hours, but at the end of the day what will really matter is how happy I've made my children.

Living in filth is not an option, but neither is living in perfection. I need to stop trying to get to that point and take more time to enjoy these precious years.

Yes, he's got a pink bib. The product of having two older sisters :)

May 6, 2009


First let me just point out how much I love Nichole Nordeman, and how much I love this song:

by Nichole Nordeman

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

Beautiful. And a compelling reminder of how we should be thankful no matter the circumstance, because Jesus is always there. He will carry us through and use those difficult times to grow us and teach us and mold us into better people.

A series of interesting events took place today. The past few weeks have been very difficult, very stressful, really quite overwhelming for me due to circumstances completely beyond my control. I've been crying out to God "why?" what is the purpose of this? And yet, as I sit here typing this out, God has been revealing to me with gentle nudges the lessons He has been teaching me all along. The purpose of this part of His plan and how it relates to ME!

I won't reveal all of it, perhaps due to my own pride... something else I probably should work on in my life, but let's just leave it at- I have control issues (something I already knew reared it's head in several areas of my life, but didn't really think about how my need to be in control affected my relationship with God), and I learned quite a good lesson in humility and laziness as well.

So I've been struggling with this stress and depression the last couple of weeks and today I just had reached the end of my tether. So Eric urged me to get out of the house for a bit. I took the girls to a park while Eric stayed home with Alex and I sat at a bench and did some Bible reading while the girls played. Reading scripture always helps to ease my pain and today was no exception. So after I prayed I went off to play with the girls, enjoying the park and the time with them. I left feeling renewed (though a bit angry at the fact that someone stole Jenna's reindeer Webkinz, Sarah) and came home to find a message from Stacey reminding me that today marks 6 years since we heard the news of Aunt Carla's cancer. It's a date that I can never remember but a day that I remember quite well.

I reflected on this moment in my life with sadness and was trying to think of something to say to Stacey but my words always seem inadequate so I moved on, hoping to think of something to say later. Then I went into Alex's room to look for a teether amidst the still unpacked boxes piled in his closet. It was here that I found the DVD of Aunt Carla's memorial service. 'How fitting' I thought to myself and I went into the living room to watch it right away.

Several thoughts came to me as I was watching:

- with time the hurt has healed... a bit. Of course it still makes my heart ache to think about her untimely death, the children she left behind, the memories I have of her... so many memories, wonderful, beautiful memories. And I miss her. But yes, time has healed some of the pain and I found I was able to watch some parts with smiles where before I was in sobbing tears (the tears were still there, perched on my eyelashes, but not quite as many fell this time).

- It definitely felt like God purposefully put this DVD back into my life at this moment (it's been missing for some time) to remind me of the life I so desperately want to lead and how He works in ways that we cannot understand, but He knows what He is doing and we can take comfort in that even when it feels like there is no hope at all. Now, the trials I'm facing right now come nowhere near the trials that cancer brings, both to the victim and their family, but it is a trial, nonetheless, and it has been tough and sometimes seems hopeless, so this brought a lot of comfort to me.

- I was, once again, reminded of how amazing my family is. Hearing the words of my Uncle Pat, the beautiful voices of my Aunt Kathi and my cousins, remembering what a remarkable woman of God my Aunt Carla was, the slide show I know my mom agonized over, wanting it to be perfect, the talent of my family, the love in my family, the spirit of my family, the FAITH of my family. I come from good people. I love my family so very much. I love all of them, the ones I see everyday and those I haven't seen in years. My connection to these people is important to me. I cherish it and I'm so thankful to our amazing God for letting me be a part of it.

- Anna pretty much has the voice of an angel. I love that girls voice. It brings me joy and I can only imagine how much more joy it brought her mom. Just had to say that :)

- I have a responsibility and it is important. My job, here on earth, is important. Sometimes I forget this. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing so much more. And, yes, sometimes I can do more. Somedays I neglect the housework, somedays I don't spend as much time with my kids as I could/should, and I know that I can work harder to be a better wife and mother and servant of the Lord, but I am learning that that is good enough. That is what I meant to do. I have agonized over what my "calling" is in life. When my Uncle Pat has told me so many times, here on this blog, that maybe my calling is what I'm doing. What I am doing is important and wonderful and can bring glory to God and be a blessing to my family. I'm not saying that pursuing other interests is unacceptable, I'm just saying that I am learning to be okay with where I am right now and stop worrying that it's not good enough.

So I'm going to try, very hard, to not worry so much about our current circumstances but trust that God knows what He's doing. I've already learned so much about myself because of this situation and I'm open to learning more, even if it hurts.

If you stuck with me through all this, thanks :) much love to you!