Thursday, February 26, 2009


Cooper is now running a fever and coughing nonstop.
Chloe is coughing too AND I just looked in her ear and her tube is draining fluid, signaling an ear infection.
Yes, seriously!
Add two sick kids to the mix and things sure get a whole lot busier!
Any prayers you could say on our behalf would be greatly appreciated.


My long absence from blogging can only be explained by one fact...I've been busy.
Oh, and sick. I am 18 weeks pregnant, and still having regular nausea and fairly regular vomiting.
Seriously, what's this baby trying to do to me?
I can tell you one thing this baby is ensuring...he or she will be the youngest member of our family.
Unless, that is, we choose to adopt someday, but that's a whole different subject.
So, between getting bids for roofing supplies for our house {a project we hope to take on in March}, catching leaks in the basement that are caused from our roof not being done yet, and being pregnant and sick, I don't have a lot of free time these days.
Oh, and not to mention the three other kids we have :)
I just wanted to express my apologies for not blogging sooner, and share a quick and quite disturbing story.
Jason walked in the door about 15 minutes ago to access our current roof leaks and proceeds to inform me that he also has some work to do on the Jeep.
What's wrong with the Jeep you ask?
Well, just the fact that the tire fell off.
Yes, that's right, the TIRE FELL OFF, while Jason was driving it!
Thankfully, he was going slow due to the extreme shaking of the vehicle, and made it into the driveway before the tire said 'adios' to the Jeep.
Anyway, all the lug nuts are of course gone.
Could this have happened without help?
But it's a little scary to think that someone may have loosened the lug nuts on the Jeep.
Certainly not a very funny prank.
Regardless, Jason is alive and well, but now has even more work to do.
I just keep repeating to myself, the Lord never gives us more than we can handle.
Im just thinking He must think we're pretty strong these days!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

He's Back...

Jason's back.
And I bet many of you didn't even know he was gone.
That's due to my paranoia that if someone knows Jason isn't home, they'll take the opportunity to plan a break-in with only poor little me and the kiddies home.
So, I wouldn't announce that Jason was gone for 5 days until after he's back.
What can I say, I'm a scaredy cat.
{Thank goodness for my mom, who knows what a scaredy cat I am and stayed the night with me and the kids all week while Jason was away. I know, I'm such a baby, I need my mother to protect me. You'd think I'd grow out of it, but it's not looking too promising!}

Anyway, Jason left on Tuesday afternoon for four days of skiing in Colorado and didn't get home until 6:15 a.m. this morning. Then it was straight to church to prepare for teaching Sunday School. I don't know how he can survive on such little sleep. It's truly amazing!

I have to say, I hate it when Jason is gone. I truly miss him so much when he's away, and really can't relate to the wives who can't wait for their husbands to leave. But I guess it's a good thing to not want to be without my husband, right?

Besides just missing him, it's extremely tiring to be here taking care of our three kids, especially given my pregnant state. I'm tired all the time anyway, let alone when I'm acting as a single mom for 5 days.

But having the wonderful husband that I do, he knew I would be feeling a little tired mid-week, so he planned a surprise. I received a package in the mail with my absolute favorite shampoo...
And a card which conveyed how much my hubby was missing me and how much he appreciated me taking care of the kids while he was gone so that he could go skiing.
Awwww. Yup, he's pretty sweet sometimes.
What else can I say but that I'm definitely glad to have him back!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A friend sent me the following in an e-mail,
appropriate given my current state.
It made me laugh, and funny or not,
I think it holds a lot of truth.
Thought I'd share it with all of you.

A ...

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q : Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Casualties of Being Pregnant

For me, there are many casualties of being pregnant.
I have absolutely zero energy many days.
I suffer from nausea many days as well.
My love for chocolate is extremely diminished, which for those of you who know how much I love chocolate, this is a sad one for me!
But lately, one of the most apparent casualties is clumsiness.
Normally, I'm pretty coordinated. But that's just not the case anymore.
Hence, the photo below...

You wouldn't think washing a crockpot would be so hard, but for me it is.
The sad thing is, I dropped the thing twice while washing it.
The first time, I dropped it in the sink, so it didn't break.
The second time, it plummeted to the floor.
And we have tile floors.
Needless to say, it shattered, as you can see in the photo.
There was no hope for that crockpot with me handling it.
Cooper's reply to the accident was, "You shouldn't have done that mom."
Hmmm, you think?!?
I told Jason maybe it's a sign that he should be doing the dishes.
Unfortunately, I don't think he bought this idea.
Oh well.
Guess this means I'll be shopping for a new crockpot.
Any suggestions?
I do think I'll go with a larger size since our family seems to constantly be increasing.
And we all know how much food my husband eats!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back to Winter

On Tuesday it was nearly 60 degrees and the kids and I were out jumping on the trampoline, enjoying the warm weather. Today, a mere four days later, it's back to 19 degrees and the ground is again covered in white from last nights' snowfall. Only in Iowa, right?

Good news is, even though I did get a burst of spring fever with the warm temps on Tuesday, I still love the snow. And so do the kids.

At least the snow will give Gabe something better to play with outside than standing atop a pile of wood while wielding a stick, as I caught him doing earlier this week...

Oh the fun a boy can have with a stick.
But seriously, he looks a little like a mad man to me in that closeup.
Maybe the lack of snow was driving him crazy ;)

So, on this Valentine's Day, I'm sure we'll be spending a lot of time playing outside.
On second thought, they'll be spending a lot of time playing outside while I look at these that my thoughtful husband brought home for me...

I adore tulips!
Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day and spend it with someone you love.
And remember, even if you're feeling a bit unloved this Valentine's Day, God always loves you more than anyone else ever could!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Train Quilts

Our kids are blessed with so many great family members who adore them {and spoil them.}
This includes an abundance of grandparents. They have my parents, who they refer to as choo choo ma & pa because they live by the train tracks. They have Jason's parents, a.k.a. farm grandpa & grandma because, of course, they live on a farm.
Then they have their Bob & Rita, who aren't really grandparents, but they might as well be.
Bob & Rita took care of Jason a lot when he was younger and his mom was very sick with lupus. They were like grandparents to him, and now, they're like grandparents to our kids. And yes, lots of times our kids do call them grandma & grandpa.
Besides being a wonderful grandma, Rita is an excellent seamstress. I really admire this quality, because I can't sew for the life of me, and believe me, I've tried.
I have to take the opportunity to share a quick time Rita was watching Chloe at her house and Chloe's outfit became dirty. I can't recall if she had a diaper accident, or it was just a casualty of messy eating, but regardless Chloe needed a change of clothes. I usually send along an extra outfit, but I didn't on this particular day. So what else was Rita to do but sew Chloe a new one. Seriously, I go to pick Chloe up from Rita's and she is wearing a Rita original. It was awesome, but who does that? Not many people can whip up an outfit in a matter of minutes. Certainly not this sewing train wreck!
And speaking of trains...
For Christmas Rita used her talents to make Gabe and Cooper these wonderful train-themed quilts for their bunk beds.
And the boys truly adore them.
Gabe even drew a picture of Rita sewing his train quilt and gave it to her last Sunday at church {too cute!}
I've neglected to post photos of their wonderful quilts, and am going to do so now.

{Gabe was at school when we had our quilt photo shoot, so I'll have to get photos of him with his quilt posted soon!}

Here is Gabe's quilt...

And Cooper's quilt, complete with Cooper peeking over his headboard...

It didn't take long for Cooper to want his photo taken with his quilt...

Each quilt came complete with the boys' names sewn on the top...

And a photo of them as the train conductors of their quilts...

The details are amazing. But I wouldn't expect anything less from Grandma Rita. What a special gift.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Become a Person of Praise

I try to live my life as a praise to God, giving thanks for the good and, with the Lord's help, overcoming the bad. But we all know that when everything in life seems difficult, perhaps too much to bear, it is easy to become a grumbler. Everyone knows a grumbler, someone who is always looking at the glass half empty. Someone who is pessimistic at heart. But how much of a testimony is that to our Lord? I would venture to say that being a grumbler is actually an insult to Him, and a disappointment.

One of my favorite verses is...

"Be joyful always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

II Thessalonians 5:16-18

How are we able to live out God's will for us to be joyful and thankful when we're wallowing in self pity and negativity, when we're so self absorbed that all we can think about is what our lives our lacking? And after all, if we have Jesus Christ in our lives, are we not told that we lack nothing?

When I came across a challenge written by traveling evangelist Tom Short addressing the topic of grumbling versus praise, I wanted to share it here so that maybe it would be a challenge and encouragement to you too. And I think that if we all take this challenge presented below, we can all become better witnesses for our Lord. We can become people who praise Him through all circumstances.

{Jason and I have actually both witnessed Tom Short's campus evangelism in person at Iowa State and can tell you that he is a bold witness of God who utilizes solid biblical principles to challenge world views that run ramped on our college campuses. If you'd like to visit his site, click here.}

Tom Short writes...

Most of us are grumblers by nature.
We find it easy to complain and criticize.
This is especially true for those of us who live in a consumer culture where we expect things to be done quickly and with excellence.
Often, without even realizing it, our grumbling becomes a complaint against God -- and this is not good.

Grumbling almost always springs from a heart of pride (demanding my way) and unbelief (this bad circumstance is bigger than God). The devil loves it when we grumble against the Lord. Our grumbling empowers Satan to fulfill his desires in us. Grumbling can snowball and lead to more complaining, more pride, more unbelief until it becomes a dominate sin in our life.

How do we overcome grumbling? By becoming a person of PRAISE!

David said, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)
Can this be said of you? Would you like this to be true of you?

Here's how you can start. Make a list of ten things you can praise the Lord for. Begin each day praising God for those things. Over time, let your list grow as you find more things to praise God for. Throughout the day, as you catch yourself slipping into a complaining attitude, pull out your list and praise God. It's OK to praise God any time of the day! "I will bless the Lord at ALL times."

Try to become a person of praise this week. See what a difference it will make. Your attitude will be lifted up. Your faith will increase. You will be filled with joy. Satan will flee from you, for one thing he cannot stand is to hear the name of Jesus being praised.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jack Bauer

I dream a lot. Always have.
Lately, I've been dreaming about Jack Bauer.

Nothing inappropriate, don't worry.

He just saves me from terrorist attacks, like last night when I was in dream world picking up Cooper from preschool and Jack Bauer was there searching for snipers on the school roof.

Or the night before, when there was a bomb planted in the Durango and Jack Bauer stopped me from starting the engine. What a guy!

On a different note, I have no idea why I am subconsciously thinking I'd be the target of a terrorist attack. I don't think terrorists waste their time planting bombs in too many housewives' vehicles. Unless of course their husband happens to be a very important politician. Like a Benton County Supervisor. Yeah, that must be it.

Actually, I think the dreams are just a sign that we have way too many 24 marathons around our house.

Anyway, I saw these shirts online, and think they'd be perfect for Jason and I.
{The first one is for me, in case you couldn't figure that out...}

I {heart} these shirts.
Too bad for me they don't come in maternity sizes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rod Blagojevich on Letterman

Anyone see David Letterman last night?

If you did, then you saw ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich continuing his quest of proclaiming his innocence on a string of talk shows. He continues to claim he will one day be "vindicated" over police allegations that he tried to sell Barack Obama's vacant senate seat.

But the guy just continues to come across as more and more guilty to me, a sentiment Letterman also shared on the show last night.
The host joked that the more Blagojevich appeared on talk shows and repeated his claims of innocence, the more he said to himself: "Oh, this guy is guilty."

But all that aside, all I could continue to think about was his hair. The perfectly coiffed politician sports a feathered style, reminiscent of Farrah Fawcett circa Charlies Angels. And it's just so distracting, wavering just a few millimeters from his eyes.
I couldn't really concentrate on anything else.

Do you see what I'm saying...

Between the hair and the lip pucker, I think he's crying out for a new image! Couldn't hurt, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Predicting a Boy or Girl.

Happy Groundhog Day!
What's Groundhog Day all about?
Making predictions of course.
So what better than to blog about predictions?!?

By the way, sorry for the blogging absence.
It's really not like me to average only two posts per week, but I'm blaming it on this crazy pregnancy.
I am now 15 weeks pregnant. The morning sickness is still hanging on in the form of random nausea. I don't know how I'm going to feel from day to day, but I'm dealing with it.

At 20 weeks, I will have an ultrasound in which we could find out the sex of the baby.

Will we find out?
The answer is no.

We've done it both ways. Gabe and Chloe were both a surprise, but we did find out with Cooper. And we've come to realize that for us, it's more fun to leave the baby's sex a surprise. Odd for me, considering that I really don't like surprises and I like to plan for upcoming events. But when it comes to babies, apparently I'm up for a surprise.

With all that said, there have already been some predictions made.

No, not from this guy...

He may be pretty good at predicting winter's end.

But this guy is definitely the 'groundhog' of baby predictions...

Yup, the baby predicting king is Gabe.

He doesn't have to see his shadow or anything like that.
He just looks at a pregnant woman and knows.

Gabe makes his predictions with confidence and never waivers once the prediction is made.
It's really quite impressive.

He's made baby predictions seven times, and NEVER BEEN WRONG!
It started with Cooper.
Then he moved on to predicting my friends' babies.
And he knew all along that Chloe was a girl.

I'd say he has a pretty good track record.

And this time, he's saying the baby is...

*drum roll please*


Now, to see if he's right.
We only have to wait til' August.

For Cooper's sake, I kind of hope Gabe is right.
If you ask Cooper if he wants a boy, he says, "No, we already have two of those. I want a sister!"
I may just have a heartbroken little boy if another boy enters the family.

As for me, I don't have any feelings either way.
I'm stumped.
And last time, when I did think I knew what I was having, I was completely wrong.
So, I'll wait and see.
And as for Jason, he thinks predicting is pretty silly.
But, really, Gabe's track record doesn't lie.

So how about you have any predictions?