Saturday, October 23, 2010

my absence

Well, between another miscarriage(back in Aug) and getting kids settled back to school(in Sept) and all the chaos of keeping up with this wonderful family (everyday) I've been lacking in keeping up with online stuff ... my apologies... but then not really cause this crazy chaotic beautiful family is my primary job :-)

I have managed to continue snapping pictures as we go. I've been posting those over at Please visit us over there. And I am planning to begin participating in the new Bloom Book Club book study over at I hope you will join us there too!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Real Moments to Remember

I have been blessed and inspired by reading Jeanette's blog, A Moment with M.O.M. At times she posts about real moments in their home

We are truly blessed as moms to see these real moments in life, our lives, our children's lives and the lives of those around us. So I'm trying to also begin capturing some of those every day moments that make my life so special and unique. I want to rejoice in my everyday moments ... they may not be spectacular or earthshattering events ... but they are the memories my children will carry with them into adulthood.

So, this morning after dropping our eldest daughter at the stable where she works, I stopped at the grocery store with a very short list of a few things we needed. My youngest wanted to come along, but did not want to change out of her princess nightgown. I decided that did not matter, she could shop in her nightgown. She spotted the "baby carts" right away. In her limited vocabulary she uses the term "baby" to mean any thing small or little. Usually I don't have the luxury of allowing her to push one of those. Usually I have more children with me, and a much longer list ... but today it was just this sweet little princess and me and our list was short, so away we went ... and before we finished I just had to snap a picture of her with my phone:

I'm learning to cherish and rejoice in these moments ... It was just a trip to the grocery store for 10 items, but for my youngest it was a huge moment, as SHE pushed the cart and SHE helped place the items into the cart. She told her siblings, her daddy and her grandpa about it over and over later that day. I'm glad I had a phone that could take a picture and capture the memory. But even more importantly I'm glad I didn't rush through my morning to do list. It would have been easy to say no to the "baby cart" and we probably would have finished our trip in half the time, but we would have missed this memory.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Week 4

This weeks Marriage challenge is:
Admire Your Husband

If you are a blogger write a post all about your husband and what you admire in him and then show it to him! He will smile! If you are not a blogger, list the things you admire about your husband in the comment section and show it to him! You may THINK he already knows the things you admire about him - but I'm afraid we don't tell our husbands often enough how much we do. So here's your chance to selflessly gush about your man! And don't forget to link up over at The Women Living Well Blog

Here is what I admire about the man I love:

- Allen has such a gentle calming presence. His voice, his touch ... no matter what the circumstance he can put me at easy.

- He reassures me and our kids often of his love and delight for us. We know he loves us, but it is so so nice to hear it regularly.

- Gotta say I those muscles ... and not just because they are so attractive. He can carry my over packed suitcase with easy. He can open any jar or container I hand him. He can lift a four year old in one arm and two year old in the other and still master several flights of stairs!

- He is such a hard worker and cares very much about doing a good job at whatever he is working on. He is a wonderful leader and provider for our family.

- He has the amazing ability to fix things! I've only called a plumber once in our 17 years of marriage. Stoves, washmachines, toilets, electrical wiring, cars, trucks and old lawn mowers ... he understands it all.

- He cares very much about treating others with kindness and respect. And I adore that he is teaching that to our kids.

- He cares deeply for our extended families and goes to great lengths to make sure we spend time with them. Family is very important to him and close to his heart.

- He is an amazing listener ... I knew this long before I married him, even before I dated him. He is a great friend, cares greatly about what his friends think and feel.

- He has the most amazing eyes!!! And when he smiles there have always been these tiny lines in the corner of his eyes ... not sure how to explain it except that I am so drawn to those eyes! And two of our boys have almost exactly the same eyes.

- He has studied me and knows me like no one else. He sees my feelings, he cares and he listens. He has always let me be just me. I am completely comfortable to be just me with him. He knows when I need encouragement, and when I need silence. He knows when I need his tender embrace but also knows when I need my own space.

- He makes me feel safe, protected and cared for.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Home on the Range for VBS
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Calling all busy moms with hungry kids!!!

Updates and Apologies
So, sorry for the delay, but need to push my little contest back a week ... last week we were crazy busy with VBS at our church, then friends here from out of town, and 4th of July preparations then celebrations and just for fun, mid week my 11 year old needed a quick trip to the ER for stitches ... life is never boring here. But with all that going on I did not get much of a chance to blog, so I will try to do better this week and will pick a winner on Sunday July 11th.

original post
Do you know what you are making for dinner tonight? Do you know if you have the right ingredients on hand? I have more often than not found myself at 6pm looking in our pantry, in our fridge and in our freezer trying to figure out what I can quickly make. Poor planning, I know. We are a busy family ... meal planning (along with laundry folding) has long been a short coming of mine. But the kids do get hungry ... every night ... and I find my self wishing I had planned better, so instead of a last minute meal scramble we could sit down and enjoy an evening meal together.

But the good news???
I think I have found a solution to my meal planning problems:

Dine Without Whine

Are You Ready To Make Family Meal Time A Priority?

The best way to make family meals a reality is to begin menu planning. You can look through recipes, decide what to make, and create a grocery shopping list with the ingredients you need. An average home manager spends about 1 1/2 hours a week on this task.

Don't Panic! I know what you're probably thinking. "Menu planning sounds awfully important, but I don't have an extra hour and a half each week to devote to this!" That is okay... I have found the menu planning experts! Let them plan your menu for you each week. Their weekly menus feature:

Main Dish Recipes For Dinner Every Night Of The Week

Suggestions & Recipes For Side Dishes

Brunch Ideas For Saturday & Sunday

Two Dessert Recipes To Be Used Anytime During the Week

Access to the Members Only Bonus Area - featuring e-books & tools you are going to LOVE


Each menu will include a grocery list (categorized by aisle) that includes all the necessary ingredients to prepare the recipes in the weekly menu plan. All you have to do is cross off any items you may already have on hand - add breakfast, snack or lunch items you may need and you're ready to shop.

What a blessing to know that a fellow blogging mama has decided to use her talent for organization and nutritious foods to help those of us who struggle with meal planning. Christine aka The Menu Mom has created fantastic menues and corresponding shopping lists!!! I printed my very first menu and shopping list this weekend! And am hoping to share over this week with all of you how much I am enjoying using Dine Without Whine. Maybe even share some pictures of the yummy meals we make and I'm hoping a picture of my family sitting down to dinner together!!!

Christine has several membership options listed on her site, something to fit everyone's needs. But for one of my lucky bloggy friends Christine has a free membership waiting. If you would like a chance to win a Dine Without Whine membership please visit her sample menu and then leave a comment here to let me know which one of her recipies you are most excited to try. If you have any menu planning tips you would like to share with me, please feel free to leave those too. On Saturday evening I'll use to draw a winner from all those who leave comments on this post.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Week 2

I love the idea that Courtney came up with for this summer. Please join us over at The Women Living Well Blog to share in this challenge with us.
This weeks challenge is simply to Remember. Remember the day you entered your sacred vows. If you are a blogger, please post pictures from that day and share your story. Then link up over at Women Living Well

Hard to believe its been 17 years! Did we really ever look that young? Our kids laugh when they see our wedding pictures. We were just talking last night about what if someone would have told us when we got married that 17 years from now you will have been pregnant 7 times and have 5 children, or that you will homeschool your children, or any number of other things ... our life is so different than what we imagined and we are ever so grateful that God is in control!!! I'm so blessed to know and love this man! so proud to be his wife! And as much as I enjoy thinking about our future together, I can't help but wonder how different it will really turn out from we are imagining today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Completing Him Challenge - Week 1

It's Week #1 of the Completing Him Challenge, hosted by Courtney over at Women Living Well.

Proverbs 5:18b&19 tells husbands "May you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer - may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love."

The challenge this week is to remember those dating days ... those days of courtship before you were man and wife, back when he first captivated your heart and you captivated his. Share pictures or stories from your dating days. So here are a few of our dating memories:

As you can see (by the prom attire) we were indeed highschool sweethearts. Its hard for me to believe that this picture was taken over 20 years ago. There are a lot more photos from those days ... but I just have to find time to scan them in. We have 5 kids now, so time is something I'm a bit short on.

This picture was taken at his graduation party. He graduated 2 years before me ... this was such a bittersweet day for me. Happy and proud for him, yet I knew it meant having to say goodbye soon as he was joining the NAVY. Long distance relationships are tough, but God knew what He was doing. We grew closer through letters and occasional phone calls. Those were most certainly not easy years, my heart ached for him every day. I remember wondering if something that hard was really "worth it" ... was it worth the loneliness till we could be together again? We were engaged just after I graduated and married the following summer. If I could go back in time I would tell my then teenage self to hang in there because it is so much more than "worth it". I could not have even imagined the life and blessings that God would bring our way. I still thank my hubby for making me his wife, for waiting through those lonely times till we could be together.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Completing Him Challenge Begins

This summer I am joining in with Courtney from Women Living Well in her Completing Him Challenge. Here's a short video describing the challenge:

I want to be the woman my husband needs. Do you? I know we love our men and sometimes in the mundane routine of life we forget to nurture and care for them.

Would you like to join me? Click here to visit Courtny's blog

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Growing up ...

Each year at our church we hold a senior banquet to celebrate our graduating seniors, at that event we also recognize and welcome the incoming freshman to the Senior High youth group. So, how did my first child become one of those incoming freshman? Not sure how I feel about that ... especially since in my mind she should look about like her little sister did that night.

I wrote more about it and my thoughts HERE

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A friend of mine, designing blogs

Just thought I would pass along kudos for a sweet friend of mine

If you want a blog makeover or just some extra sparkle to your page, she is the one you call.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party for Sick Kids

Zeke had a temp of 104 the other day ... today its 99.9 and he is definitly feeling better, however both Mary and Mom now have fevers of 103.  Z has ben very sweet trying to make Mary happy.  He wanted Mary to come have tea party with him downstairs, but she was laying in bed with me feeling misserable and kept saying "no, no, no".  I told Z maybe if he brought dishes up here he could pour water in them in my bathroom and play ... Mary liked the water idea ... And i think playing with cold water is making her feel better.  And Mikayla put a chewable tylonal on a plate, like a treat, and Mary finally took a dose of it without fighting us!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Jim Bob and Michelle on Josie's Hospital Release - A Very Duggar Life : TLC

Jim Bob and Michelle on Josie's Hospital Release - A Very Duggar Life : TLC

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He is Alive!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


My friend Jennifer has a gift for words and for sharing God's truth. I was so inspired by her post on Good Friday. One of my kids asked yesterday "whats really so good about it, if its the day they killed Jesus?" A tough discussion for sure ...

But we came to this conclusion ... Good Friday is indeed good because without the Good Friday there could not be an Easter. Without Jesus' sacrifice we would not have the hope to see heaven. I truly do find myself as a loss for words when considering the love and sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

I know there are many different thoughts on Easter Eggs, but I personally just love the idea of new life beginning ... we are invited to receive new life in Christ. And when we dye Easter eggs I just love to see all the brilliant colors together. I wonder if God ever looks over the earth, over all the new lives he has created and just enjoys all the different colors gathered together ... Maybe I'll ask him one day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our Compassion Kids!

We have sponsored 3 kids through Compassion International for several years. We let the kids pick a country and then tried to find a child similar in age. Mikayla writes to a girl her age in Guatemala,

Gus writes to a boy in Thailand the same age as him

And Owen writes to a boy with almost the same birthday as his in Bolivia

We dream of one day traveling to one or more of hese countries to meet our sponsored children in person, but for now we pray for them and think of them everyday. We wonder what their day is like and talk about what would be different and what would be the same as our day.

Sponsor a Child

When Mary and Zeke (our two younger children) get a little older we will add two more Compassion kids to our family, so they can each write to a child too.

I was searching the Compassion website the other day and realized there is much more we can do to help Compassion International beyond sponsoring a child. There are other important programs like:

Compassion Sunday

Leadership Development Program

Child Survival Program

And on Compassion Internationale's website you can read wonderful accounts of how God is working in the lives of the children we sponsor and also in the lives of the people sponsoring:

On Pastor's Story

How MercyMe's Bart Millard was inspired by his young son

20 years after being sponsored, a Thank you

There is also a wonderful Compassion Blog

Monday, March 22, 2010

I ♥ Faces - week 12

This week at I ♥ Faces their challenge theme is "Angles". I confess that on first glance at the line up of weekly challenge themes I thought it read "Angels" and said "guess I'll skip that week since I've never photographed an angel" ... then realized I read it wrong (phew...)

So off I went to find a photo with a creative or interesting angle ... ended up looking at pictures from 4 years ago! It was a really fun trip down memory lane. Man these kids grow really fast! So here is my entry of our 4th child, Z. He LOVED talking to himself in this mirror. I guess this day he was really cracking himself up and I remember my daughter saying "mom, I wonder what he is telling himself thats so funny"

I guess he could qualify for the challenge even if it was angels, since we think he is a gift straight from heaven itself (but then I'm a bit biased, I'm his mom). If you would like to see a much more recent shot of cute little guy click HERE

If you want to see some more fun pictures from the I ♥ Faces Angles (not angels) Challenge or share one of your own click on the button below:

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I must admit that this is my daily (sometimes hourly) prayer:

So greatful for the love and mercy of our great God!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I ♥ Faces - Constructive Feedback

I decided to enter a picture I took of Mary last summer over at I ♥ Faces

Vist Mary's blog to see my entry and read the feedback and please do go visit I ♥ Faces

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Thanks, Dad, for taking me along as your guest!

It was an amazing evening, I took quite a few pictures but neither my pictures nor my words will even come close to the greatness of this exhibit. If you are in MN, please do put this on your must do list.

Cameras and photos were not allowed inside the exhibit but my dad was an invited guest to the "Premier Private Reception celebrating the opening of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition", so I took plenty of pictures there. For the reception they served us delicious flavors and aromas from the middle east. There was also lively music from Mark Stillman and Voices of Sepharad. The Science Museum did an excellent job transporting our senses of sight, smell and taste to the area near Jerusalem where the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally discovered by shepards back in 1947. Not only the food, but the music, the drinks, the whole atmosphere was wonderful!!! It really set the stage to take in this great exhibit.

We were also honored to hear Dr Eric Jolly, President of The Science Museum of Minnesota speak and then we heard from Shuka Dorfman, from the Israel Antiquities Authority, where the scrolls are cared for, preserved and housed when they not part of an exhibit. Another blessing of the evening came just at the end of the exhibit. After seeing the actual pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls we were lead into another room, where we were transported back into this century. On display was information about and some of the actual folios from The Saint Johns Bible. I did not realize until I saw some of those pages what a great undertaking this is that has been commissioned by St Johns Abbey and University right here in Minnesota. If you have not heard about The Saint John’s Bible, which is the world’s newest hand-scribed illustrated Bible, and the first to be commissioned in 500 years, please visit HERE to learn more and even see some of the pages.