Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've been writing this post in my head for a long time. I've been trying to figure out just the right words to say to you so that you would "get it" The right words to inspire you and touch you. The right words to more you to action. So instead of trying to convince you I'm praying, and I'll let the pictures and the blog about these beautiful children speak for themselves. Please consider giving to these sweet babies.

God's Children in Haiti

****Just so you know God's Children is the agency we used to help us get our daughter Taneah. We know Amy, she is a great person and passionate about orphans.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Family Pics

My sister in law Shannon, just did the most beautiful blog post of the family pictures we took this fall. If you want to check it out click here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm thankful for. . .

little girl hugs especially ones that end with a slimy wet kiss

a certain "big girl" who had become my favorite shopping partner

a big boy who still thinks I"m cool

40 degree days like today

new friends who make me smile every single day

old friends who I can call when I'm worried or sad and know just what to say

everyday friends to share my life with

a job where I feel like a can make a difference

a warm house when it's cold outside

aunts and uncles, who no matter how long it's been since I've seen them still love me just for who I am and it is a joy watching them love on my kids.

and even a crabby husband who is pouting right now b/c the remote is lost, but who does a really good job at making me feel like a princess.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had a chance to take a minute and ponder what you're thankful for.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I had a light bulb moment this weekend. The kids spent the weekend at the farm with my mom and dad while Aaron and I had a wedding to go to. (Thanks mom and dad). Anyway, somewhere in the middle of the weekend I had this thought, sometimes I spend sooo much time trying to be a very intentional mom and have a great relationship with my kids that I forget that I ACTUALLY have a great relationship with my kids.

And just in case you wanted to see a picture of my fun kids. Here are my butterfly, little red riding hood, and Jonah being abducted by an alien.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

fabulous fall

These pictures are from last weekend ( since I"m usually about a week behind:) We took a trip to the farm and helped papa give calves shots and then took a trip to the pumpkin patch. It was beautiful warm weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am simply writing this stuff down so I don't forget it. . .

Yesterday on the way to visit the Extreme Home Makeover House ( which was sooo cool by the way), I was asked these crazy questions:

"Mom, why do people pee their pants?" and 1 minute later a different child asks, "Mom, why are there garden gnomes?"

WHAT!!! are you kidding me, where does this random stuff come from. And my favorite. . .

Before bed one night Taneah is giving me one of her famous very tight Taneah hugs and she looks up at me with those sparkly, coffee colored eyes and says, "Mom yo gweat." So grown up sounding coming out of a 3y/o. Anyway I asked her, "Really, what do you think makes me a great mom?" She paused for a second and then answered simply, "Jesus."

Monday, September 27, 2010


Part of my job is working with kids and families affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). I probably shouldn’t say this but working with kids on the autism spectrum are my favorite. I love the way they see the world. They often noticie details you and I usually don’t, their blunt honesty makes me giggle and can be refreshing at times and there’s often a sensitivity I can’t really put into words, it’s just there. Well, today I was working with a delightful little fellow. He looked at me and said “Your necklace says believe.” (It’s a simple circle pennant with the word believe printed in it.) I replied,”Yep it does.” He then continued, “ That means you believe in God.”

Now the the next part I’m not sure why I went there I just did. I said “Well it could mean that or it could just mean I believe in Santa Claus or I believe in people, what do you think?” I guess I was just trying to figure out where he was coming from . Anyway, he paused from the game we were playing, looked at me with a simple, matter of fact face, and said “Nope, it means you believe in God.”

OK buddy you’re right I do believe in God, thanks for reminding me and yes that’s why I wear the necklace.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer 2010 Reflection

Doesn't this picture just scream summer. I can almost feel the hot sun on my back and the sand between my toes. It's sweet T and her cousin Leighton.

I love to reflect and look back. Look back on good times and remember the feelings of joy and happiness. And remember the bad times and look what how God brought me through and learn what he needed to teach me. Since I’ve taken such a break from blogging I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on summer. Overall, the summer was a really fun one. It was filled with sunshine and playdates, vacations and extra time with family. And I think it was probably the fastest one yet. Here are some of the highlights in no particular order:

* Jonah played baseball and he loved it. For now he is totally obsessed with the Twins.
*We took a family vacation to the Black Hills. Taneah’s favorite part was “the faces” Jonah’s favorite part was the alligator show at Reptile gardens and Lydia’s favorite part was the cave. It was great time, we met some neat people and we had a fun time as a family.
*Aaron sold fireworks again and well that’s all I’ll say about that.
*We did lots of other regular summer things like camping ( we even got a new/used camper), swimming, fishing, picnics, and trips to the zoo.
*And as for me well I started a new job. After 10 years in the Moorhead Public Schools I am now the latest occupational therapist at Beyond Boundaries Therapy Services. I worked 2 days /week this summer and now I”m up to 4 days a week. I love it. It is exactly where God wants me to be right now, I am confident in that, and one of the reason’s I started to blog again.

Got a new baby cousin!
walking across the head waters of the Mississippi River

Summer of 2010, you were a good one, we played, we laughed we learned new things and as I always say my favorite part of summer is getting to know my kids better and watching them get to know each other better too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Look Who's 3!!!

I'm back and I think committed to doing a little more blogging. I didn't "plan" on talking a break for the summer, however, blogging had just begun to feel like work. Also, I started this blog in a season when God was teaching me all about hope through the adoption of our 3rd sweetpea. Since the adoption and adjustment phase is over this blog didn't have a purpose anymore. Well, after doing some searching, thinking and praying, I think I am ready to start this new season of blogging. Afterall everyone needs a little hope and a smile now and then and hopefully I can share just a drop of hope and encouragement to you through this blog. Enough babble, because I know you want to see the newest 3 year old in our house.

We had 2 parties. One last weekend camping at the lake and one last night with her favorite meal of spaghetti!


more cousins

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God is good. . .

Warning: This post is full of serious randomness but big stuff going on around here.

So have you ever had something pictured in your head and then you find it and it's a huge blessing. Ever since I painted this wall red (5 years ago) I pictured "my" piano in front of it. I purposely have never bought another piece of furniture for that spot for "someday" when I got a piano. My God story for the week is how through facebook, an attentive friend, a generous co-worker and some strong neighbor men I now have my piano in front of my red wall! Jonah is so excited to take lessons.

Princess Biker-- Anyone, who know Taneah knows that gross motor skills and coordination are her strength. Aaron got down the "big bike" with training wheels from the garage attic and she took off like she'd been riding it her whole life. Within minutes she even figured out that if her pedals got stuck she could stand up to make the bike go. She's 2 years old and figured out how to stand up and ride bike! She asked our 13 yr old neighbor boy," Cole, you got a big bike wike me?" God is good for giving us "big bikes"!

Juice Stand- We had the pleasure of hanging out with our cousins on Sunday and they put together a juice stand. ( We only had Tang, instead of lemonade) The kids had a blast and watching them on the warm spring day made my heart smile. They play so creatively and nice together. God is good to give us cousins.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rule over me this day, O God, leading me on the path of righteousness. Put Your Word in my mind and Your Truth in my heart, that this day I neither think nor feel anything except what is good and honest.
Jacob Boehme

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach m you paths;guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This is what 6 looks like!

My sweet, spunky, independent Lydia turned 6 years old today. She really has had a big week that I will get to later, but for today, just one letter to my girl and a few pictures from the day. She started the day be being the snack girls at kindergarten. She brought Sandy’s doughnuts for treats for her class mates and then I picked her up from Kindergarten. We headed to the mall and she got her ears pierced. She was so brave!!! Next the 5 of us went out to eat to celebrate her birthday. What a day.

To my dear sweet Lydia,

Out of all the little girls in the world I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to get to be your mom. You have taught me so much about being brave, patient and independent. I love the way you know exactly what you want and how you want it. I love the way you pay attention to detail. You have the most infectious laugh of anyone I know. And when you laugh, it makes us all want to laugh. You are silly and you tell really great jokes! You are the perfect combination of sweet and spunky and I love you for that. You’re the best Lydia Claire. Happy Birthday sweetheart!

Looking a little nervous, but she was brave and strong!

Much better. This is what 6 years old looks like!

Just before bed, I don't often get a great pic like this of all 3 of them! Wow do I love these 3 sweeties.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

before and after hair

I spend a lot of time researching and practicing and trying to figure out what the best way to keep T's hair healthy and cute. I have spend a lot of time lately researching natural products and I"m always looking for new styles. Here is Miss T with her hair all taken out before it is washed. Here is the latest style that I am so proud of. I think I finally have a technique for cornrows that really works.

And here is the after

Oh wait that is just a cute picture of T.

here is the after

Thursday, March 4, 2010

made my heart smile

Tonight we had parent-teacher conferences for Jonah and Lydia. It was one of those nights when God used other people to remind me what great kids I have. Sometimes, (and especially lately) I have been focusing way to much on what needs to done, who needs to be where, what needs to be cooked or cleaned .But tonight I was reminded of all the great qualities my kids have. Beside doing well with their reading and math, they are good kids, good models in their behavior for others and just all around good kids. What a blessing they are. Here are 3 stories from my three blessings that make my heart smile.

Taneah: "Mom, you're my bes fwend"

Mom: "Really!" "What do best friends do?

Taneah: " The Hokey Pokey!"

Lydia is very into writing these days. She writes all the time on any piece of scratch paper, or notepad she can get her hands on. Today, she handed me a little, pink square of paper on it said

Mom, it is OK if sometimes you are crabby. love Lydia

And my favorite is from tonight.

We were sitting at Jonah's conference tonight and his teacher had just finished going over his math and reading scores and writing samples. Everything right where he should be and then we started talking about Jonah as a kid. We talked about how sensitive and tender hearted he is and how he has a hard time with making a mistake, how he's a good friend to everyone really just an easy kid to be around. Then she started talking about how they have 1st grade reading buddies. She went on to share that there is a boy in the 1st grade that has special needs and they decided to partner Jonah with that little boy. His 2nd grade teacher said he is so good with him and he loves it. At that moment, it wouldn't have mattered what she said about his reading, writing and math. I was so proud I could burst. It made my heart smile!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I remember

Lydia coloring with my Grandma Winter Christmas 2008

Everyone has had hard things in their life. Relationships they wish were mended, weaknesses they wish were stronger, situations they wish were different. Well, as I sit here and write this the hard thing in my life is my Grandma Winter. My Grandma Winter is my dad's mom and my whole life growing up she lived on the same farm as me, a half mile away on the other side of the trees. I saw her almost every day growing up. When I was a little girl she watched my sister and I 3 days a week when my mom worked at the bank. When I got a little older we were my dad's right hand "men". We'd run to Harvey and get parts for the broken machinery. We'd go check cows together or just let him boss us around with whatever needed to be done and talk about how he needed to relax a little bit. She was my baby sitter and she was my friend. To say we were close is an understatement. Right now my Grandma suffers from Ahlzeimers. Her mind is failing and she is confused. It has robbed her of her purpose in life and it is hard. I talked to her tonight on the phone and even though she wasn't completely sure who I was and she couldn't put together a whole sentence I know she felt loved. I sent my love through the phone and I hope it was enough. I prayed for her tonight and I hope it was enough, I'm awake in the middle of the night wishing I could do more, be there for her more, love her more. It is hard. And I hope it is enough. I'm not there, I can't change the situation and so for tonight I decided a letter to her to celebrate the good times I remember will have to do.

Dear Grandma,
How are you tonight? I am good but I miss you. I think of all the fun times we've had and all the things you're taught me. I remember going to your house as a little girl and playing dress-up with Jessie upstairs and you telling us we were "fancy dames". I remember riding my bike over on a hot, dusty, summer day and sitting at your table to chat about anything and nothing all at the same time. If I had something exciting to tell, we would celebrate with fresh baked cookies and if something was bothering me you would listen. I can hear you telling me "This too shall pass. . ." Most of the time we would just sit at your kitchen table and talk or look at what was cute or ugly in the latest JC Penney's catalog. Usually I would talk and you would listen. I remember the smell of vinegar on a freshly scrubbed kitchen floor as we played cards for hours. We'd play Rummy 500 and I think most of the time you let me win. As I got older you were always there. I never questioned that and it was just the truth. You were always there for me. What a wonderful gift to give someone, always being there for them. Thank you for that.

Some the sweetest memories I have is when we worked together. We would be armed with our sticks and farmers caps (to keep the sun out of our eyes) and help dad sort cattle. For some reason we thought those sticks were going to save us if a cow really came after us. (who were we kidding:) I remember taking lunch to the guys in the field or running here or there where ever the guys needed us to go, taking trucks out to the field or getting parts in Harvey. I remember sitting in the passenger side of a dusty, red, Ford pickup listening to an old Johnny Cash song and watching you smile with agreement as we talked about what a good song it was. And then there was your food. Oh how I remember the wonderful, huge meals you made. Whether it was chicken and strudels, kuchen or just a plain old hamburger. Everything tastes better at Grandma's right. I like to cook and I love to cook for others. I'm pretty sure I got that from you. Thanks for teaching me the joy in serving others.

Grandma, you are such a big part of me and I am blessed for having you in my life. Every person should be so lucky as to have a Grandma who is always there for them, loves them no matter what and thinks they can do no wrong. I love you so much and now that you are having a hard time I want to be there for you. I pray that you feel closer to God in these tough days than ever before. I pray you feel Him wrap his arms around you and you know you are loved. I know you don't always remember everything anymore but dont' worry because I remember. I remember and I'm thankful for you. Take Care.

With all my love,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sometimes you just have to wait for life to happen. . . I had been contemplating what to update about. I could tell you all of the milestones we've had around here lately. Or the glorious storm day we had today ( I mean it,  it was great), or about how God is teaching me in the everyday things but. . .

right now as I write I have a certain adorable 2 year old throwing and absolute hissy fit, yelling at the the top of her lungs," I WANT TO BE NAKED!" "I WANT MY SHIRT OFF LIKE JONAH!" " I WANT BE NAKED RIGHT NOW!" "MOMMY, I WANT TO BE NAKED!" All I can do is sit here and giggle! 

Hope you all had  a great day, I know I did, and now I can face my week with a smile.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthday Boy

January 18th, a day I will never forget. It is the day I became a mom. WOW, when I think back of what that 3 letter word has meant in the past 8 years I"m blown away. I"m not the same girl I was way back then. I remember thinking the first time I held sweet Jonah in my arms "I couldn't have ordered a baby this good if I had tried" I still feel the same way today.

Dear Jonah,
You are the best sweetheart. You are 8 years old today and I am so proud of you. You are kind and good, nice to everyone and a just plain easy kid to be around. I pray that you always know that I love you and that Jesus loves you. Out of all the boys in the world I get to be your mom! How did I get so lucky--not luck---blessed!

We had a family party tonight where we "cooked with sticks" which means we fondued. We do it every year on Jonah's birthday per his request. And last night we had a Spy party with 15 boys complete with scavenger hunt and obstacle course. I didn't get too many pictures b/c I was too busy "partying" but you'll get the idea.

There is a new song out right now by a group called "Sidewalk Prophets" and the words of the chorus are my prayer for you tonight and always.

"Be strong in the LORD and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pray for Haiti

I was going to update this today, but I can't get the pictures and stories of Haiti out of my mind. When I started blogging I got hooked on a blog of some people who had adopted and are now missionaries in Haiti. I use to joke last year I went to Haiti every Tuesday on my lunch break, b/c on Tuesday's during my lunch I would check up on their blog. I have been following the earthquake through thier eyes and the ministries they work with. The Livesay blog is on my role if you want an up close and personal account of what's going on in Haiti.

I know enough that if the Lord puts something in my my mind this much I'm suppose to pray, and pray hard, and I'm encouraging you to please pray and pray hard too!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

quotable quotes

What would I do without the great reactions from my girls. They make me laugh out loud almost everyday. Here are a just a few of the ones I can remember.

Taneah: On the way home from church the girls were talking and teasing with attitude if you know what I mean. And Taneah said in a really forceful, attitude filled voice. "I"m going to kick you in the face!" Aaron quickly and gently, said" Taneah talk nice." She answered in this sweetest little 2 year old voice ever with a little question at the end, "I kick you in the face daddy???"

Lydia: Telling a story she quickly started," Mom, remember the old days when I was 4. . ."

Every one and a while I try to expand our menu and try something different. Last night I had my family try edemamay which is a kind of soybean. After taking a bite, Lydia shout, "Mom, it tastes likes farts!!!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

A few of my favorite Christmas break things.

My favorite funny faces

My favorite baby face

My favorite Christmas vacation activity (Apples to Apples Junior in case you don't recognize it).
My favorite guys
My favorite girls in matching jammies ( thanks aunt Gail)

My favorite "cousins" shot

My favorite weather...just kidding, but the kids had a blast watching and"helping" Grandpa push snow in the tractor.