Friday, December 31, 2010

This upcoming year I hope to...

Do more crafts. I feel like I have really gotten lazy and unmotivated when the kids have gone for a nap. My hope is that I can do crafts at least 3 times a week... even for 20 minutes...just something crafty. My dream is to make an outfit for the kids, or even myself, WITHOUT HELP! I am tired of always needing to get help.

Finish a book. I have about 3 books going...I can't seem to ever finish one. Besides my normal devotions and bible studies (and my dream to do crafts) it is hard to finish a book. But that would be a goal.

Start my diet (again). I did fairly well in the summer, but I feel like I am doing less activity in the winter, and really need to step it up with my shakes again. I don't have any type of exercising machine anymore, and we talked about getting one but now we can't really afford it. Pilates will have to do!

Do more baking. It would be nice to once a week, get in the habit of making bread, buns, and healthy treats. I used to be good at this, but ever since December hit.... I have hardly done anything!

Be more organized:  I have begun purchasing more bins and things for organizing.. especially since the girls got so many gifts... I have been really strict on clean up before they go onto the next item. Slowly they are learning!

We don't have any plans for tonight...which is okay... it has been really nice to stay home and enjoy each other. Last night we had our weekly date night (a day early) and it was so much fun. The truffles I made turned out great, too.   Praying for safety and good health the upcoming year.... God bless!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

happy birthday

Today is my birthday. It somehow does not seem like it all, even though I feel like I have been showered with gifts and love and affection. Though today was my birthday, I was really sad. I read of a boy who at age 2, weighed 11 pounds and was dying.... and in pain.  Having an almost two year old, I couldn't imagine letting her suffer like that. I had prayed all day for him and was not able to check how he was doing. When I got home from my trip to GF for the day, I learned he passed away this morning.  It's just really an unfathomable idea to think how many kids are dying from not being able to eat. Just this second. Not just in Haiti, but everywhere.  I can't even come close to imagining. I read an interesting quote from another blog:

""When I was a little girl growing up in Haiti, I remember feeling bad that I had so much food to eat or toys to play with when my Haitian friends didn't have much or anything.  When in America, people felt sorry for us "missionary kids" because next to them we were "poor". 
They didn't know how rich we were. But I did."


 I don't know about you... but today I am feeling overwhelmingly rich and blessed.

This little girl is getting better... read her story  here and here.. and donate maybe for the first time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

today is the day

I think it's been one whole year since I started this blog. It has been a lot of fun to write and look through other blogs, especially for motivation. I am hoping that I can start being crafty again, soon. The business of the holidays always puts a halt to things i've enjoyed doing... and i want to get back into them.  Yesterday I was working on choosing pictures for my wedding scrapbook album. I didn't have a lot of pictures to work with, or pictures that I really liked, so I chose the small proof pictures to put into the album. It doesn't matter to me, I just want a simple, cute album. I bought one from M. Stewart that already has all the embellishments and most of the paper and borders for it. How nice is that?! But since I am using the smaller photos, they don't quite fit in with the borders, so I have to improvise. It's still better than starting from scratch!

Today I plan to be with the kids -- do some devotion type stuff. I have neglected that, too. (sad) and then someone told me that when she was at home with the kids, and still wanted to play but get things done around the house, she'd set the timer for 15 minutes. She'd play specifically with the kids for 15 minutes, and then do cleaning for 15. I think that is reasonable. I think it is a whole lot better than sorta playing with the kids and giving them half your attention while you're creating play for them and then doing the dishes while they play.. which I am guilty of.  So i am going to try that today. Wish me luck.

Today my devotion was on Psalm 17: 7-9.  I am so glad that I can read things like this right away in the morning; so many times I have left my devotions at the end of the day (which is fine, and better than nothing!) but I had regretted doing it right away. It spoke about how God wants to scoop us up from beneath us like a hen scoops up her chicks... but we are unwilling.  (Luke 13:34-35)   That gives Satan a foothhold. Psalms just talked about how when we obey Him, he will keep us as the apple of His eye, and hide us in the shadow of his wings from the wicked who assault us.  Right at this exact moment, Kate is singing "Today is the day, you have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it... I won't worry about tomorrow, I'm trusting in what you say!!" and maddy is singing, "oh oh oh... oh oh oh oh.."  Today is the day lyrics.

Christmas was fun but busy this year. Here are some of my photos I thought turned out the best:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Here are a few pictures of the girls before our Christmas celebration began:

Our meal: Salmon, our own breaded shrimp, and rice
Gift time!

Triple C Cheesecake
Next ..........bath and sleepy time
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord...Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased (Luke 2:11, 14).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas for 3 days!

Today we are celebrating our Christmas! We are trying to figure out a time that our family of 4 can celebrate Christmas and the last couple or three years it has worked out well to celebrate it on the 23rd.  So, this morning I am going to be making a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and then playing with the girls. Last night when they went to bed, I tried to finish up all my cleaning that i didn't get done throughout the day. I washed a couple loads of clothes and even hand-washed a few items. The girls never did nap so they went to bed early. I have just a few gifts to wrap yet and I'll be done! That is a lot of random sentences but that's what's going on in our house. 

Today I will probably look through our copy of Susan Branch's "Christmas Memories"  and fill out any blank pages... and then start on this year.  It's best to do right away so that nothing is forgotten.  I am contemplating making a gingerbread house with the girls... I really want to do a lot of fun things and start traditions.. it is so fun having a family. Well, more later, my day is starting!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

rice and powerade

...part of my diet today. We are 90% over the flu in this house, which is so great. I am thankful. It seems with us it lingers on for days and sometimes weeks before the next person catches it. Everything worked out perfectly in terms of getting sick. I got sick during the night, so i was actually up most of the night but that ended up being  great, because then I could rest and not worry about chasing kids away or worry what they were getting into. It was nice because Kate and I both took a nap in my bedroom during naptime and that really helped me feel better. I got enough energy to clean up the kitchen and make rice for supper and a couple other odd things and after the kids went to bed i folded a bunch of laundry and cleaned up garbage around the house. My goal for the next two days is just to finish wrapping gifts, try to get the house in order as best as i can (without stressing) and just to enjoy the next few days peacefully. I might have to make a trip to GF (that was the plan before everyone got sick) but if I don't... oh well I guess. This year we are spending Christmas Eve with my parents and sisters. I am a bit sad that I can't see my brother and his family but hopefully soon we can get the holidays straightened out. I know i am super excited for when the girls get older (even now is starting to get really fun) to start playing games and more activities and traditions. This year I really want to start matching pajamas as gifts they get to open. I love my little family!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Illness is in our home. Poor Madelyn got the flu Sunday morning. Please pray that it can circulate our home fast and that by Christmas it would be over.  I am still coughing up a storm, to the point that cough meds are not working and a good nights' sleep is a struggle. I am still hopeful that this week will be good nonetheless and that we can really enjoy the true meaning of Christmas with much meditation. I just won't be convinced otherwise! More later about the weekend.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Christmas is getting so close.  For us, one whole week is left before we celebrate. I am a little nervous that I am not forgetting any gifts, or any meal plans for the week. I feel like there is always so much to do, and i feel so worn out and miss the lazy days of just lying on the couch. I had three Christmas parties to attend in the last two weeks. One at my church, my women's bible study, and my GNO group. December is my month so this Wednesday I hosted at my home. Because we've been gone a lot, there really wasn't much time to prep and declutter. I got it done at least. I had a tickle in my throat all day Wednesday and sure enough, my voice was hoarse by the time the girls left. Before bed, I hardly could talk and when I got up, I had no voice at all. My vocal chords are so sensitive... I sure hope these voice lessons are helping!  Anyway, I am tired today from being up during the night. A good nights' sleep would feel good! 

The party went well... I didn't do much decorating since i had already gotten that done.. the only new thing I did was put red branches in my tree. It actually looks really cute. I served two appetizers: bacon-cheese ball, and pepper jelly with crackers. For supper: chicken tettrizini, salad, bread, punch, and an ice cream dessert. Nothing fancy, but really easy and it turned out well. We had fun conversation and had our gift exchange after. I am really happy to be able to have the friends I do and be apart of so many things in a small community. Though it gets busy sometimes, I don't always attend every week or every month, but I do when I can and it's fun.  Here are some pictures from last night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

so dry

My skin is so dry... and raw. I feel like I have scratched my skin off.  I have tried countless lotions and anti-itch creams, and it is still not helping.  I'm not sure what to do! The last couple days have been lots of fun. We stayed at the hotel and to my surprise it was soooooooo much fun!  The kids loved every minute of it, and they even slept through the night. I also braved it out and went into the antique mall--nothing was broken. The next day I went into Target to get groceries.... the girls were pretty crabby due to late bedtimes and early rising, but we got through it.  Three days in a row= no naps... I am hopeful that this is not going to be a tradition. It is a huge struggle.

Tonight we went out for supper with some friends and the girls got to play. I know they had lots of fun... but it is again, late.  10:15 was their bedtime. I hope they will do okay tomorrow. Anyway, here's some pics from the hotel stay... i am seriously going to bed!

Joy Swap

 Just a quick note on the "Joy Swap" I participated in.  I submitted my info here  and began thinking of ideas to pack my box.  I was then emailed a partner from NC, and about two weeks later I sent my box! I wish I could have taken pictures of my box but I was in such a rush to get it in the mail. It is truly a miracle that I even got enough time to buy the gifts!  As for my Operation Christmas Child, I ended up doing mine online, which is actually better for me because they know the key things to pack. You can do the same thing I did, here!!  Below are pictures of my box as I had just gotten in the mail.

I got some recipe cards, a magnetic notebook (for my grocery list) two recipes, a couple tree ornaments, a cute coffee mug with some cocoa packets, a snowflake cookie cutter, card-making kit, and a couple recipes. I will definitely do this again. Better go to bed............ full day again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Enjoying the Season

 I am truly enjoying this Season but it is going by so quickly. I am afraid I will blink and it will be over! Today we are going to GF to spend the night at the CanAdd Inn, (I think that's how you spell it) Peter has some farming meetings today and (EARLY) tomorrow so the company is paying for our hotel and meal. Nice!  So, after "naps" we are going to GF to do some shopping and then play at the water park. I have to finish packing and loading things into the car before we go but I wanted to post on here since it's hard to do lately. We are looking to hopefully *almost* finish our Christmas shopping and of course I am hoping for a good nights' sleep.  I remember last year during the same meetings, Maddy was just 7 or 8 months and it was -10 for a high! I was lugging around this heavy car seat with a 2 1/2 year old going in and out of stores by myself while waiting for the meetings to be done.... it was freezing. We had an awesome, awesome room with a free upgrade, but our sleep was awful. There was a huge party next door, we forgot our fan for white noise, and Maddy hardly slept a wink.  I am praying that will not happen again!

Also am praying for my poor sister Kelsey who is having problems with her jaw.  I feel so bad for her... but i'm hopeful she trusts that everything happens for a reason. I'm waiting to hear back from her regarding her appointment she just had. Poor kels. Here's some pictures that were taken the last couple weeks. I better get busy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

question of the day....

so my question of the day and probably the year is this:   why clean if it will just get messy in half a day?  I wonder if everyone struggles with this?  It is so tiring! I feel like I need a class on how to keep up!

Today was fairly busy again... we got garland, tools for staining, and tried to clean up. and 3 loads of laundry. I got half of the cleaning done late last night while the girls were sleeping, and by the time naps came, I couldn't tell that I had done anything the night before.  Oh well.  I also decorated my window boxes outside, which meant I had to take all the fall decor down and start over. I spent about an hour and a half outside. It was actually refreshing! I played with Maddy because she had gotten up from her nap and then I showered and got ready for my brother in law's birthday celebration.  We came home, gave the girls a snack and got them to bed, and I looked around the house in disbelief and plopped myself on the couch to pout about a messy house :)   I am learning more and more to not care so much about keeping up, but it is still nice every once in a while to keep a clean house, clean. I think being busy the last 4 days has really caught up with me because tonight I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I remembered I had to pack Christmas cards for church tomorrow so I got up and did that, and decided to have a snack... so here I am, at my dining room table, eating an english muffin and blogging. 

The next two weeks are going to be jam packed with events and short hotel trips and parties, etc.  It is almost overwhelming because I know that Christmas will come and go, and that makes me so sad! Mostly because I am loving Christmas music..... I haven't even started baking yet, which I have found that I am really not a baker. I like making cheesecakes and ice cream, and festive desserts, but when it comes to baking cookies I just don't have a huge interest (unless I have help). I suppose I should start though, so I have some goodies for visitors. I am hosting a Christmas party on the 15th and I haven't yet decided what I will make. While in Fargo this last couple days, I found a ravioli stamp that I am dying to try. Not sure what I will fill them with but I have a really good recipe for the pasta and I would love to try a squash filling.or pumpkin. cheese would be good.  and spinach.  Maybe this week I will experiment.  At least I would be able to make them ahead of time and just refrigerate them - pasta is always so good, and so easy. Well I am just blabbing on - my bed is calling my name!  I know church will come early tomorrow.


Friday, December 3, 2010

God answers... big!!

The last three days have been quite unique. Wednesday I spent the day praying hard for Haiti, asking for all sorts of miracles.... practically demanding God that he give them hope. In the past bible studies or the radio, I've learned it's okay to wrestle with God; to cry out to Him, to be aggressive in our prayers. To be specific in our prayers. That's just what I did on Wednesday. I have been struggling hard with why I am feeling so sensitive and so compassionate for the Haitians. It's nothing I've ever experienced before... and for me, I feel like there is something more to it than just feeling "bad" for those who are suffering.  Why has God laid this on my heart?  I want to do something BIG! But, sometimes it's not all about me. Maybe for now, God is just using me to pray diligently and fervently. And I need to be okay with that. I can't help but feel helpless, like I am not contributing at all. But I really am. I never really knew how important prayer was, especially when I am totally surrendered.  Like many others who prayed Wednesday, we didn't know that God would answer big.  Wednesday night someone had written in to match up to $1,000 given to Haiti for families that are struggling to feed their children. Children who are so malnourished their skin is rotting.  I was hopeful that there'd be at good amount and was excited for my chance to donate to make it to $1,000. (for a total of $2,000).  

Thursday we were blessed enough to go Christmas shopping by ourselves in Fargo for about 24 hours, including an over-night stay.  So when we arrived in our hotel, I could hardly wait to see how much was left to donate. I opened up the website to Haiti Rescue Center, and I see over $9,000 has been donated!! I was totally prepared to donate to them, and I still will, but not at this time. That specific need was met. So far, the last three opportunities to serve and financially donate somewhere, either someone has already fulfilled the need or it never worked out. For me, this means a door has been closed and this is not what God wants us to do at this time. Last year we donated to an Infant Formula Food Program in Nigeria, and I feel this is where God wants us to give again.  It is so comforting to know that God is directing us and will literally close doors if it is not the right decision, or better yet, if it is to work out, it will work out perfectly. 

This Christmas season, for sure, has been such a blessing to give. I hope you can experience it too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I-HEART: We're All In This Together - Teaser

I have felt so connected to Haiti this last year. I feel like God is not letting me turn my eyes away from all the pain and hurt that is happening there. I am so so emotional about it. I guess I am praying that you will be too. So many people just turn their heads. We have so much, and they have so little... the amount of left-overs we have would be the amount of food they might get in a week. Really think about this... praying that God will convict your heart the way He did mine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today has been such a good day. It started off rocky with rushing to get everything done before our pictures this morning and then feeling like a fool for underdressing. Thankfully I had a skirt at my mother in laws and borrowed a sweater from my sister in law.. phew!! I just felt so awful, like I had messed up the whole picture. Anyway, it worked out and the kids all were really good. I even got to do a french manicure (help of my SIL too) and i had hoped to get that done for the wedding I am in this weekend!

The girls are taking naps now and I am leaving feedback for my Ebay purchases.   I have come to think it is extremely smart to shop on Ebay.  #1 You save a lot of money, and #2 You can usually find what you're looking for.  Everything is so expensive these days... for example at Gap, there's a cute coat i wanted for kate, but it was $60.  Sorry, I just won't spend that much money on a coat that can only be worn two years at the most. I want to be thrifty and use my money wisely.  I found a matching coat for Kate, and a red pea coat that will look just darling on her, in MINT condition!! soooooooooooooooo excited. 

I got this Christmas journal off of Amazon a few years ago, and i needed another one. They were sold out, or you had to pay an arm and a leg for it, so I hopped on Ebay and found a book store that was selling them, brand new, for $13 plus free shipping.  So, I opened my package today, and there were two extra books included: "Grace For You" by John MacArthur, and "A Read-Aloud Family Christmas, A collection of Classic Christmas Stories".  Wow! Someone is using their business as a ministry. I am so thankful for that. I hope she is a blessing to many.

Monday, November 22, 2010

so glad that's over!

Made my first bread bowl last week some time... it was a bit big, and not that it was a ton of work, but more than i'm willing to make just for soup!  I actually would have preferred just a little bread on the side;  it was too much bread for me.  Anyway, broccoli cheese was awesome.

tea party using Abraham and the three visitors story

Today I went to GF because I was out of diapers and other things... so I went with the kids, and they were surprisingly well. We stopped at michaels first, mostly because I knew if i went to target first, i would not get to the other stores I wanted. Isn't that the truth?!  So i got what i wanted, and then went into Old Navy, and then to Target. We ate lunch there, sadly but most convenient, and then got some stuff. It had started to snow quite a lot and was scared that the wind would pick up, plus i had to drop something off for my MIL, so i got what i needed and went home. I still got home at 2 pm! It's hard work goin by yourself!  Naps were missed, but we played with play dough and i bought chalk, finally, for their easel. I was pretty much ticked the whole day but overall happy how today went. I am totally relaxing right now with a heating pad and an episode of Sarah's House.  Wish I had some hot cocoa!