Saturday, April 18, 2015


It's so hard to catch up after taking a blog absence,
so I thought I'd update with a "Thankful" post.
I'll have to update more again soon hopefully.
We have been busy doctoring, schooling and trying to get our home
ready to sell.
 Thankful for Easter!
God is so Good and Merciful!
Thankful for my beautiful children.
 Thankful for my wonderful husband and our marriage.
(yes, my boobs are that big)
That tan I got in Texas?  Yep, it's gone. 
 Thankful for silly kiddos,
(planning on re-staining our porch this next week)
 Fun Easter cakes
And homemade pretzels!  
 Thankful I still have littles.
So very Thankful for that.
They bring so much joy
 boy am I going to miss it when they are not little anymore.

 Thankful for almost 9 year olds that are still little and big at the same time.
 which means they still enjoy the little kid things.
 Thankful we keep it simple, just the cheapest egg coloring kit there is
and good ol' crayons!

 Thankful I got to spend Easter with my family
Since we are moving, I'm trying to enjoy these "last" things.
Thankful for my sister Brenna.
 And my whole family.
Here we are in order of age.
I'm the oldest, my brother John is 1 year younger,
my sister Brenna is 9 years younger and Jordan, the baby, is 16 years younger.  
 Christine asked me if I had a "Bubba"
I was like, "???"
Thankful she brought me one!
Speaking of Christine
(not sure if she wants me to link her or not?!!?)
She's an ol' lady now...
Her birthday is this Sunday.
(she's like 2 years older than me!)
Happy birthday friend!!
 Thankful for my bookend boys.
My oldest is now 15
Gosh that time flew by.
 Our Hobbit cake!
 His fun "teenager cake"!
I love how the girls are like, "Are you going to share?"
 Thankful he's only 15.
I still have a few more years with him here.
He's an awesome kid.
 So is this little stinker.
We started potty training a couple weeks ago,
but the kid would not go potty at all.
Like, he'd go 12 hours without going potty and be in terrible pain.
we just wanted him to go.
So we went back to diapers.
In which, he had a hard time even going in his diapers at first.
Then, he'd tell me every single time and want me to change it right away.
 We used up the rest of our diapers and ran out today.
He seems excited to be wearing underwear and understands
we have no diapers.
he hasn't gone potty since his last diaper around 1pm.
 Thankful Wal-mart sells markers for pretty cheap.
I found this in the cupboard, in our "marker box"
All the lids off every single marker.
Some of the markers were smashed flat and all (yes all) of them were dried out.
"Not Me" did it.
He lives here and he does everything.
 Thankful for Nutella smiles.
 Christine showed how Ava is biking on her own now,
so we figured we better get our 5 year old a bike!
(all our old broken down bikes went into the dumpster)
 And of course if the 5 year old gets a bike,
the 3  year old needs one too!

 Thankful for beautiful sunsets seen at the top of our stairs.
I love this house.
I will miss this home so very much.
Happy weekend everyone!
May the joy of Easter and God's Divine Mercy fill your heart!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Flat Zelie!

 My 8 year old shiny-haired daughter here
has a good friend named Zelie.
Zelie is doing a school project
where she sends herself, in a flattened version,
through the mail, so she can go different places!
 Since we just got back from Texas,
(where she could have done a ton of sight-seeing)
Flat Zelie just wanted to play with my 8 year old at our home.
She got to play with the little kids too!
Flat Zelie played dolls and dinosaurs with them!
We will miss you Flat Zelie.
I think you are headed to your Grandma's in Washington now!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Appetizer Ideas?

I always bring veggies and dip.
It's easy and I love them!
We are invited to go to a get together in a couple weeks though
so I thought maybe I should put more thought into it than my old standby!
Or, I mean I thought maybe you'd help me with the more thought part.
What appetizers do you like to bring places and/or serve?

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I'm not really the right person to write about suffering,
because I'm terrible at it.
I should be good at it by now, but I'm just not.
This above picture of Jesus really hit me this past week.
To follow Jesus, like we all want to,
literally means to pick up our own cross, like Jesus!
You know, to "follow Him"?
Like follow the leader and do all He does.
I know there is joy to be found in suffering.
I have  not found that joy yet.
I know that joy will come.
Maybe it comes when we die.
I'm a big baby.
I never want suffering, the suffering I'm being given.
(it is a gift you know)
Whether it's someone close to me suffering and I'm helpless to help,
or it is myself, my own inner and physical suffering,
I don't want it.
OH, I tell myself, that my suffering is meant for me and
that I couldn't handle anyone else's suffering.
But I still don't want it.
I try to bargain and beg God,
"Please God, let me coast a while with no suffering."
"I'll give up something, I'll sacrifice something, I promise"
"No, please God, not this!"

"Really?  God, I can NOT handle this! YOU think I can, but I can't!!"
I have tears just typing that.
I'm right back in the emergency room with little Simeon here.
A week ago Simeon ended up with an eye infection that
turned into dacrocystitis.
He had a pocket of fluid beside his eye. 
This is something that could, I guess happen to anyone at anytime.
Lucky us.
Let me back up here.
Wednesday that week, I took him in because his eye had swollen almost shut.
The doctor put him on some drops.
I gave him the drops for 1 day.
The next day, his eye did not get any better, it even seemed worse.
I took him in again, but it was Friday afternoon by this point,
so in our smaller-ish town, there was no way to get a CT Scan
except to go through the emergency room at the hospital.
so off we went.
They found he did indeed have dacrocystitis, only treatable with
IV antibiotics.
We in our smaller-ish size town
do not have any pediatric ophthalmologists
so they sent us via ambulance to the University of Minnesota Hospital,
because it was very likely he would need surgery.
This long ride has to go down as one of the very most hardest things
I've had to do.
Ride in the front of an ambulance, with a complete stranger,
trying to make small talk, while my baby is in the back,
and all I want to do is cry. And pray. 
(not enough seatbelts in the back in our ambulances in our smaller-ish size town) 
Here we are at 3 a.m. finally in a room for the "night".
I tell you, watching your child suffer in any way, never ever gets easier.
It's such a helpless feeling,
as the doctors and nurses are poking and prodding and hurting him,
he looks up at you and you cannot do anything.
It's a feeling of betrayal.
a feeling of abandonment.
I'm right there, telling him they are helping him and that he's such a good boy,
but he's looking at me like, "Why don't you make them stop?"

 (waiting for the MRI)
They put him out twice.
Once for the MRI
and an hour or two later for surgery.

Waiting in the waiting room while your baby is in surgery,
is another one of those very hard things.
I cry and pray.
And cry and pray.
I memorize the pictures.
Children are so resilient.
Here he is the night after surgery.
2nd night, still needed to keep a patch over his eye.

 His eyes are very very sensitive to the light now.
Mornings and evenings are the worst.
He has a lot of drainage still coming out too. 
We go for his 1 week check up Monday (tomorrow).
Hoping all is well and his sensitivity to light gets better.
This little boy is making me a saint.
We came home to 3 kids with the flu.
I have a bladder/kidney infection I can't seem to get rid of.
Suffering, if it does one thing,
it brings us closer to Jesus.
He gives us just a little more than we can handle,
so we have to turn to Him.
He will see us through.
He is a gentle and loving God.
I can't remember what saint said this,
"If you do not have any crosses in life,
you better get down on your knees and pray for some!"
Suffering has meaning.
It can be a gift.
An incredible gift.
If we just let God give it to us.
Strength, that is.
And maybe some wisdom to better help others.
Maybe it's just GRACE.
Grace to offer our sufferings for others.
Grace to better our souls.
There is Grace in suffering.
“It is not so much what people suffer that makes the world mysterious; it is rather how much they miss when they suffer. They seem to forget that even as children they made obstacles in their games in order to have something to overcome. Why, then, when they grow into man’s estate, should there not be prizes won by effort and struggle? Can-not the spirit of man rise with adversity as the bird rises against the resistance of the wind? Do not the game fish swim upstream? Must not the chisel cut away the marble to bring out the form? Must not the seed falling to the ground die before it can spring forth into life? Must not grapes be crushed that there may be wine to drink, and wheat ground that there may be bread to eat? Why then cannot pain be made redemption? Why under the alchemy of Divine Love cannot crosses be turned into crucifixes? Why cannot chastisements be regarded as penances? Why cannot we use a cross to become God-like? We cannot become like Him in His Power; we cannot become like Him in His Knowledge. There is only one way we can become like Him, and that is in the way He bore His sorrows and His Cross. And that way was with love. It is love that makes pain bearable.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (About Crosses)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What's Going On?

 Well, we are home! 
(it's been a week now) 
The first thing I noticed when we got into Minnesota,
(after being stranded in a Texas Snowstorm for 2 days)
(they have no sand or salt or SNOW PLOWS!!!)
(We counted 113 cars in the ditch in one stinkin' day!)
OK, what was I saying?
Oh, yeah, the first thing I noticed when driving into Minnesota,
(now, this is after Iowa, which has no scenery, except empty corn fields)
Pine trees!!
I'm missing palm trees....but noticing the differences is good, right?

Not really "sweet home"
 because we are kind of fixing things up to get our home ready to sell.
New paint, new countertops, new toilets, cupboards refinished,
new vanities, new carpet, new appliances, new windows...too much to name.
Our Mr 12 lives at the Lake + 1 had been working on our home
the whole time we were gone!
(he's still doing things) 
 We are trying to de-clutter BIG TIME.
Like that green time-out bench there? 
Has to go.
(into storage)
That diaper-changing dresser there? 
Has to be moved out of the entry way.
We need to stage our home
basically to look like we don't really live here.
Need to get some nicer rugs too...any ideas there?
Something cheap but nice?
 I got to see Christine!! (and sweet little Ava)
(not sure I can link her or not?  Christine?  Can I link you?)
Enough with the parenthesis, huh?

 We moved Little Sims here out of our bedroom and into Jedi's
Last night was the first night and he slept the whole night in there!
I guess he even woke up once and Jedi asked him if he wanted to go to Mommy.
He said, "NO" and laid down and went back to sleep.
Humph.....Well, I missed him!
His bed is a twin,
 but Jedi's bed is on a nicer frame, with a headboard and endboard
so his looks bigger.
We are in the middle of decluttering his room.
How do those walls look?
 He was SO excited to sleep in Jedi's room. 
It's so cute.
 Today is Jedi's birthday!!
He's 15
My favorite is the kids gathering all around each birthday kid.
 I can't believe it. 
I'm happy he's only 15.
That means I have a few more years with him home.
He is such a sweet kid. 
Gosh, he's a good kid.
Strong faith, very sensitive and sweet.
 I went for this idea I got on Pinterest.
I actually added a layer, the Reeces layer, because it's his favorite.
He's having a party with friends tomorrow, so I'm going to attempt to make
a Hobbit cake!!
 OH, my goodness, can you say, "Sugar"?
like Maroon 5
What can I say?
I like tattooed arms.
 My 2 oldest girls got their ears pierced.
I'm not sure what I was waiting for.
 I guess something to look forward to?
 I told them, "When we get back from Texas"
 So, why, yes, they might have asked me every single day several times
when we were going to do it
 They had an audience!
(their friend Maggie and the next in line for ears pierced...maybe next year?)
We are still walking, with the sunrise.
It's not quite the same as beach walking,
but we pretend.
 My oldest daughter has joined us
Besides dodging all the ice, it's been pretty fun!
We walk 3 miles.
Cuter than ever.
They are loving our "snow home" as they call it.
Quick question:
I asked this on Facebook also.
Which do you use?
Fabric sheets or liquid softener?
Just for fun.
I use Bounce sheets.
(because my mom always did)


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