Thursday, December 20, 2012

T Minus ONE Day

till we sell the house.

Keep on praying, warriors. We sign the papers tomorrow at 3pm.

We emptied out the place for good on Tuesday. So, no more rooms where my babies slept through their first night, kitchen where they took their first step, walls and door where they drew their first lines with permanent marker and painted pretty pink with nail polish. No more fireplace in the basement where Great Grandpa would warm his chilled bones, no more backyard baseball games I could watch from inside.

We spent a precious, wonderful 15 years in that little house. But we outgrew it. We'll miss you.


Preschool Worship Service


 Nora's Nursery Class
Addison's Pre K Class

video
Happy Birthday JESUS!

Piano and Basketball

Piano recital at Golden Living Center last Friday. video

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video
You know that cheer "Be Aggressive, BE - E Aggressive"? Yeah, well it's Miss Maleah's theme cheer. I don't know whether she is going to foul out like her father or be on the floor for half of the game like her aunt. She loves to play, she is always going after the ball and is quick up and down the court. It's a joy to watch her love the game so much.


Maleah's main move, making it a jump ball.

 
She brings the ball down the court.

Just call me...

Mrs. Grinch.

This morning, on my commute to preschool, I missed my turn. Ryan keeps telling me to go on the oil roads and not the gravel. But the gravel is a shorter commute and I am always late so, you know. Anyway, I missed the turn and I was miffed and then I looked in the rear view mirror as I headed to the oil roads and a HUGE snow plow was blocking most of the gravel road I just missed taking.

Then, I dropped off Nora and went to get gas. The price of gas has gone down and I so very much appreciate the break especially right now. Anyway, Addi wanted something so we went in and got her a carton of chocolate milk and, of course, a coffee for me.

Then we were on the road again and, you guessed it, I missed the turn again. I figured it was a sign I needed to go to the bank so we headed into town.

I have been searching for JOY this past month. It seems in November I could find JOY in the smallest of places but now, I just can't conceive it. It makes me sad. Deep down inside sad, hurt in the heart and gut and soul sad. Try as I might to escape this feeling, I just keep sinking. I yell at the kids, I grumble and grump, the tiniest chores and messes ignite me.

So, we are driving a long and out of nowhere Addison says, "Mom, you know what? Christmas isn't about toys you know, it's about sharing and giving and it's actually a birthday party for Jesus."

My heart swelled and my eyes filled up with tears of JOY. She's got it. At least she understands. That makes me so happy. Maybe I am doing something right?

So Mrs. Grinch is a little less bah humbugish for the moment. Not sure, though, how long it will last. Keep praying :)

Sunday, December 09, 2012

School Concert

video
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For some reason blogger will only let me upload video not photos anymore...I need to research why but until then... here are the latest vids of the kids

Friday, November 09, 2012

Pouring

The kids almost missed the bus today.

It was inevitable.

The morning started out bad, I heard my alarm and rolled over and shut it off. I was groggy and exhausted so I immediately texted my workout buddies and told them I was sleeping in.

A few minutes later I got a call to sub. This is the third call for today. I put on my calendar a week ago that I wanted to take today off to prepare for the craft festival. So naturally everyone needs a sub today:).

One of the littles woke up with a low grade temp. I texted her preschool teacher that she was ill.
I wondered  what else might rain down on me today. You know the old saying, "When it rains...".

I started calculating the rest of my day, do laundry, pack the car, clean the living room for Bible Study.

Oh.

That's what's missing.

As soon as I completed my questions for the chapter I felt much better. Now the only pouring is the pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Per Spec Tive.

Sigh.

Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Motivated

It's been awhile. I have a million excuses that I refuse to bore you with.

Today is All Saints Day. I am celebrating by dunking a burnt (thanks for making cookies, hon) monster cookie into my suisse mocha. Actually I would be doing this anyway. I don't even celebrate All Saints Day. I do, however, rock Reformation Day!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Reformation...

On October 31st 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses (Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences) to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Those hammer blows of Luther's great Solas (Sola Gratia, Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura) have been heard around the world with the echo of Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Scripture Alone...reminding us that there is "Salvation Through Christ Alone".

I had the pleasure of listening to an amazing sermon on Martin Luther this past Sunday in Wentworth, SD. He was a man of great conviction to stand up to the Church and protest practices that did not properly reflect the Gospel. Protestants everywhere attend churches today because of what Martin Luther said in 1517. I wonder what would have happened if he just went along with the practice of selling indulgences?

The kids are watching the movie, Martin Luther for catechism and it is really quite interesting. Such an amazing man to have lived a wholly faithful and careful life of complete devotion to the Lord and the Word of the Lord.

Revisiting the history of Martin Luther motivates me to stand up for my belief and consciously make an effort to have a stronger and more consistent relationship with my Creator. I pray that you do, too!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

chaotic

My life is utter chaos. I need a secret playbook. Oh wait, I have one. Must.go.read.it.

Then I will take the kids to preschool/dentist/piano/practice/home again and call it a day.

Maybe I will get lucky and today the cats won't get locked in the garage and break the glass vases, and the kids won't jump on the couch and knock picture frames off the wall and break them and the superintendent won't call to tell me about one more thing my kid has done.

My coping skills are waning because I finished off the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday and there is no more sugary goodness to tide me over.

It's okay to have three meals a day of cereal, right? It only happens a couple times a month, I think. 

The rest of the time we have cookies.

*sigh*

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Yes, Jesus loves me!

It's taken me almost 38 years. But I am finally starting to figure things out. I think.

We started this Bible study last week. I had a group of very different, but each amazing in her own way, women in my living room for a little over an hour. We read, we talked, we prayed. It was good. I can't wait for our next meeting. The book we have chosen was recommended by one of my dearest college friends. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Chapter 2 begins with a short story from the author that illustrates the fact that life isn't fair.

Life. isn't. fair.

I think I hear that from my kids at least once a day. At LEAST once a day. I am sure that I probably told my mom the same thing a million times. Everyone is so concerned with getting their fair share. Myself included. In the secular world we try to justify fairness. Well, he works hard so he deserves a nice house and a fancy car. The kids think that if one of them has a piece of candy found from the depths of mom's purse that three other pieces should magically appear, in all fairness.

It's painfully obvious that life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. Babies die. Even with the best education you may not land the job you want. Washers break down. Dogs chew shoes. You get the drift. Life isn't fair, at all.

When we focus on how unfair life is we are putting all the emphasis on the negative. We are distracted, discouraged, and we doubt (the three deadly d's). It sure is hard to see the good things in life when those deadly d's get in the way.

The author really hits it home for me in Chapter 2.
 "Until we stop doubting God's goodness we cannot experience God's love!" Joanna Weaver
That pretty much sums it up. My sister said last week, "We are nothing without God. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. He gives us life, breath, and...well everything. Now, sometimes it feels like things are sketchy and uncomfortable and those are the times that we need to remember He has a plan for us. He is in the know. He will not forget us.

So let's review. Life isn't fair. God is so good. I know He has a plan for me. God loves me.

Lord, I know you love me because You

  • brought me into this world
  • gave me parents who loved me dearly
  • gave me siblings who support me and care for me
  • helped me find my husband who is my best friend
  • gave me a voice to sing your praises
  • gave me a brain to learn about you
  • gave me four babies who amaze me every day
  • provided me with friends along the way to help me through every bump
  • helped me survive cancer, which you gave to me to teach me to trust you and have faith
  • have a plan for me
And guess what? 

He loves you, too. 





Sunday, September 02, 2012

photo shoot

 this is the best we could do :)
cutie

 the young man
easy to photograph
 
all four of 'em

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Busy season just keeps getting busier...

My daily planner looks like someone upchucked letters and numbers all over it. BLECH!
Relearning the old routines with new stuff thrown in. It's enough to make a mom's head spin.
Somehow I still get through it. I have learned in the last few years to take small bites and chew slowly instead of stuffing the whole thing in at once. It's helping.

We finished up the summer with a quick camping trip to the beautiful Lake Vermillion. I must have been busy because I only took the one photo above. Someone told me to take it or I would have missed this memory. I thought for sure she would fall out and break her arm...

The girls finished up their tball season thanks to some really wonderful volunteer coaches. This little village of mine really rocks. It was really great, they had little skills clinics and the girls enjoyed it, they can't wait for next year.

The pool is open this week for the first week of school. It looks like the temps will be warm enough to enjoy a couple of dips in the water, too. I am thankful for the job and the fun memories for my kids in the water.




Gavin started junior football. He would sleep in his pads if he could. He asked me if he could wear his jersey to school on the first day :) His first game was Sunday. He did very well. He plays every Sunday  at 4:30for the next month or so. If you are in Sioux Falls, come out to the Sanford Youth Sports Complex and enjoy a game. This Sunday we are on Field #7. Above are a few highlights from Sunday's game. I amazingly caught this video even though I had no clue what was happening as you can tell from the audio :) P.s. he is #12
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And we are keeping really busy on the farm. Dad has almost completed a pen for some kind of animal. He is keeping it all hush hush, no one knows when and what kind of animal will actually live there. But we are all helping to make this dream a reality.
removing the old fences
making new ones
is that a big hole daddy?
let's see
yep
it's almost ME big
it's most of ME big
taking a break from 'farming'
this is gonna be a big gate...

Yesterday was the first day of school for this fifth grader
and this third grader
and off they went...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Not giving up... just letting go


This summer has brought a bunch of change to our daily family routine. There is practically nothing that has remained the same, except the fact that we are the same family of six.

With change, there is a period of time for adjustments. Each one of us has our own length of time needed to adjust. Some of us were able to get comfortable with our "new" life rather quickly and some of us are still working on it.

In April my mother got married. In May Ryan started full time weekends, he works Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week. At the end of May we packed up our home of 15 years and moved out to the place where I grew up, my childhood home. We filled the garage and the shed with boxes. In June, I tried a new online position on for size and decided it wasn't for me. I tried to help with the annual community event in town. Ryan cut and raked the pasture. I forgot to water mom's flower garden. We squeezed out a weekend camping. I started working at the swimming pool. The kids swam at the pool. The kids all played summer ball. The boxes are still in the garage and the shed. We rescued large numbers of kittens. They are now domesticated because of my children. In July we all got sunburned almost weekly. I forgot to water mom's flowed beds and the tomatoes. We sold the hay bales. Ryan got the tractor running, except for the power steering. He pulled the old fencing out,without power steering. August snuck up on us. We watched a few Olympic events.We went to a family reunion. We ate some sweet corn. We registered our 4-H projects for achievement days.We got purple and blue ribbons. We watched friends show sheep. We dreamed of fences and raising our own animals. We ate a few tomatoes if we could get to them before the dogs. (They sure love perfectly ripe 'maters.) The boxes are still in the garage and the shed. I thought once or twice about unpacking them.We went to the Train concert, short but sweet. The kids got to see Jamie Grace at the fair with their aunt. I filled out job applications. I went for a hilly run with a friend. The kids helped dad make new fences. I glanced at my filled to the brim calendar for the rest of the month.

In the mornings I have my cup of coffee out on the deck. I watch the kids play with the kittens. I listen to my husband list off all the plans (dreams) he has for the land. I sip my coffee. I thank the Lord for the blessings I have. I do not deserve this. I have not earned this. I am not worthy of this. I am eternally grateful for this time with my family.

The boxes will get unpacked when I need them. We have already found the box of school supplies. The house will get organized when it happens. In the mean time, we eat, we sleep, we enjoy the time together, whether the pictures are hung on the wall or not. I watch the dogs sniff the green tomatoes in the garden and make a mental note to pick the tomatoes before they ripen if I want to eat them.

Yesterday dad came home from work and helped his son make a play book for football. They sat for over an hour drawing up plays and acting them out in the kitchen. They were really into it. I have been really tense about this whole little boy football thing, but for those few moments I was really happy that they could identify with each other and speak their own language and bond. It will be a totally different story when I am on the sidelines, teeth clenched, eyes closed, praying for no injuries.

I am overwhelmed. The house in town has not sold. I am not comfortable yet. I will not give up, but I will let go. I will try to find my pace in this new adventure. I am downshifting a bit, somethings are not as quick and easy as I anticipated. I will have to let some things go. We have a lot but not enough. We have too much but we still do not have what we need to make this land our own. We will make some mistakes, we will have some successes. What an awesome experience it will be! The dynamic of our home is drastically different. It is a welcome change. I pray that this is where the Lord wants us to be.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mid Summer update


 Playing kitchen with the girls
 Ella
 Mr. Lily (was just Lily until we realized she was a he)
 Midnight
Forever Friends
Swimming lessons
T-ball

Monday, July 02, 2012

Animal Avenue

Our Pastor accepted a new position with the District and we have a vacancy Pastor. So, church has been changed from 8 am Sunday morning to 6 pm Saturday night. It shouldn't be that big of a change. But it's HUGE. In order to get everyone to stop their afternoon activities and clean up for church I usually have to start at 3pm. Then we don't get supper until more like 8pm. Then Sunday morning is just, well, weird.

We live on a gravel road now. It is one quarter of a mile from an oil road. But in order for us to get to ball games we have been taking the "back roads" of gravel. The kids have been really enjoying seeing the corn grow, watching for cattails, and finding the wildlife. So far we have encountered; a turtle the size of a basketball, a momma duck with her ducklings, several deer, racoon, and skunks.

This past Saturday night, after church, we decided to take the back roads home and turtle hunt. For the SpudFest this year we are hosting a new event, turtle races. So we need some turtles. We didn't find any. We did, however, find a really adorable friendly calf who was hungry and let my kids feed him through the fence. Note to self: bring camera to church on Saturday nights.

Last week, on the way home from a ball game the kids were all in deep discussion about how we should rename the road we live on because of all the critters we have been seeing. So animal alley, critter junction and several other suggestions were yelled back and forth from the front seat to the rear. Then the littlest one, Nora, screams out: "Wait guys, guys, I got it" She is waving her hands about, then stops and says, "ZOO!". We all sat silent and then burst out laughing. I am positive the Lord gave us Nora so we laugh everyday.

Anyway, the nickname of our road is now Animal Avenue, even though we have had several other worthy, ahem, suggestions.

Random summer shots I just downloaded off the camera...
 They just cleaned the corn and wanted to eat it!
 Who ate all the watermelon?
 Lake Vermillion

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yee Haw!

We haven't even unpacked the boxes yet, people, but we be farming!







This is Gavin's favorite new video!

Monday, June 25, 2012

sisters

I couldn't find either of them at a ballgame last week, which is (regrettably) the norm these days. After looking everywhere I finally found them perched atop this huge trunk eating their giant freezie popsicles. I can't believe that they are old enough to get up their all by themselves :(