Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Things About Me....

Ok...I have a couple other blogger friends who have added their Random Things to their blog, so I will join in the fun. Since some of you are blog friends but do not have Facebook...this is for you! I wonder how many random things you already knew about me....were any of them new information for you?

1. I love Jesus!!
2. I love that I get to stay at home with my kids (most days I feel that way!) :)
3. My kryptonite is monster cookies & cherry coke (I try to keep them out of the house for that reason!)
4. I LOVE to read...my favorite author is Karen Kingsbury
5. I will not be pregnant again (unless God performs a miracle!)
6. I think my kids are pretty darn amazing and I love them VERY much!!
7. I love to organize!!
8. I would love to have someone cook meals for me everyday
9. My favorite season is Spring...I love the smell of melting snow!
10. I have a belly button ring and I did NOT do it to be rebellious...I actually asked my mom if I could when I was in HS and she said yes
11. I love driving a mini-van, but I don't love the mini-van I currently drive
12. My husband is pretty darn amazing and I'm thankful everyday that God brought him into my life
13. Some days I feel really guilty and wonder if we should home school...but it seems overwhelming....
14. I would really love to lose 10lbs., but I'm trying to be content no matter what
15. We lead a pretty simple life...not too busy, not too bored...just right :)
16. Dan and I would love to lead family missions trips!!
17. I'm addicted to using "...." when I write emails or notes of any kind on the computer.
18. I really like cars...I like admiring the newest models and knowing all about them...my husband thinks it's kind of weird, but loves me anyway.
19. I love to sing and dance in my own home...I'm sure my kids are going to be in counseling one day because of it!! :)
20. I really do not enjoy emptying the dishwasher
21. Students in my husbands class got us hooked on the show Lost...I don't like sci-fi, but I'm coming around
22. I was a total tomboy when I was younger and wore nike pants and Michal Jordan t-shirts all time...my bedroom was covered in basketball posters
23. I have lived in the midwest all my life and I still don't like winter...why am I still here???
24. I really enjoy MOPS and enjoy being on leadership for it as well
25. I really enjoy graphic design and hope to do it more regularly as the kids get older

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Family Time

Every Wednesday offers an opportunity for Satan to attack our family....some nights it feels like he wins, but regardless we persevere...

Last night we were on letter "G". The verse for the week is God is love. 1 John 4:16. We danced Holder style and had many laughs. Then we recited the verse as we usually do in a variety of ways.

My husband thought of the activity this week. We played a game called "What is it?" We had an old diaper box, he cut a hole in it the size of a fist. J and A each got a turn with 5 different items guessing what they were. They each were able to guess 4 out of 5 items. After they each finished their turns J was feeling stubborn about the fact that A guessed a 'chicken' flashlight instead of 'rooster' flashlight. A big thing in our house is to always be an encourager. Well, he wasn't being encouraging...he was being stubborn so he was sent to his room while we finished our Family Time. Hence my earlier comment about spiritual attacks on Family Time. Anyway, we persevered and talked to Alayna about God's love. We can't always 'see' His love, but we can 'feel' His love through things and people that surround us. Then we talked about ways that she feels loved. After we were done, J was welcomed back down to finish our time of making pictures for our book.

Our Family Time's are not perfect, but we feel they are important, so regardless of what happens each week....we will continue!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Birthday Girl!!

Today for Alayna's birthday we brought cupcakes to MOPS to celebrate. Then Alayna, Evan and I went to Space Alien's for lunch (per Alayna's request). It was a lot of fun...they are not only cousins, but great friends!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Favorite Girl in the Whole Wide World

Tomorrow is a big day at our house...Alayna will be 4 years old! She is VERY excited to be 4! I keep telling her she needs to stop growing and stop being so darned cute, but she doesn't seem to listen...she's my pretty little girl and I love her dearly! For this post I wanted to share some pictures of the past 4 years of her life.
Mommy Loves You Alayna!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Family Time

Last night was Wednesday night which equals Family Time!! We had a lot of fun this week. I'll be honest, some weeks are more fun than others. Depending on what we have planned and how the kids behave, there are enough variables that can make or break Family Time. Regardless though the 'show must go on' and each week we do the best we can. Some weeks, like last night remind us why we do Family Time!

Anyway, we began with...of course....dancing...here's a picture of the fun!

Then we shared with the kids our verse for the week.
F = "Follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
As a family we practice memorizing the verse in a variety of ways including, robot voices, deep voices, high voices, going around and each saying a word until we complete the verse, etc. It makes for some good laughs and a great way (thanks CEF) to help commit the verse to memory. Next we began the activity for the night. J and A were each given a simple puzzle and a blindfold. After we blindfolded them and mixed up the puzzle pieces they were supposed to try and put the puzzle back together again. The both worked at it for quite a while trying to get it together, but they each got about 1-2 pieces put where they belong. After doing it that way, I took time first with J and we did the same thing, only I used my voice to help guide him as to what piece he had and where it should go. Then, I did the same thing with Alayna. They both thought that was a lot of fun and much easier to have me help them.

After finishing the activity we talked about how God calls us to follow Him. He desires to lead us just as I led them with the puzzle. We also talked about how it was a lot less frustrating when they had me to rely on then when they were relying only on themselves. Just as we have God to rely on...the One who sees the big picture. Then we talked about what it means to be 'fishers of men'.

After talking about the lesson we made pictures for our Alphabet Verse Book. I'm excited to see the book come together. It will be something that will be fun to keep and look at over and over again as the kids get older.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Family Time Update....

We have still been having Family Time each Wednesday night...I haven't been good at posting what we're doing though I realize. To get you up to date, this is what we did the past couple weeks. (We did take a week off due to the kids being at grandma and grandpas)

The Letter "D" = Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. James 4:8
We had a great time playing Sardines and talking about how we can draw near to God and how God is always drawing near to us...we just need to reach out. We showed them the picture below and talked about which hand was ours and which hand was God's.The Letter "E" = Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
During this particular family time as we were getting started and talking about 'gifts'...we had a little incident. I mentioned it in a previous blog...Seth spilling the plant!! We had a slight delay due to 'clean up'. :) Last week was cut short due to 'the' incident and bed time quickly approaching after we were done cleaning. We only got a chance to talk about what are perfect gifts God gives us and to practice memorizing the verse.

Now that I'm caught up....I'll hopefully have a chance to post about what we have planed for tonight....I'm looking forward to see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Design!

I'm sure you noticed that I changed designs...maybe my optimistic design change will allow this more pleasant weather to continue. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving the snowflakes up any longer. I have no control of the weather, but the colors and the grass gives me something to look forward to hopefully not too long from now!

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately...bad colds and overall sickness has been visiting our house over the past few weeks and I'm ready to kick it out of our house!! Who invited it in here anyway!?!?

Also, I hear from MANY of you who read my blog yet never make comments...could 2009 be the year you feel more confident to leave a little note once in a while after reading rather than quietly visiting and then leaving again....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What a 1 year old can do....

Last night as we were beginning our Family Time (I realize I haven't been posting what we have been doing...sorry, I'll try to get better at it) we heard a loud noise....when we walked over to see what Seth was doing...this is what we saw. He's a rascal...we love him to pieces, but he's a rascal!!

Do you have a rascal living in your home too!?!?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Precious Moment...

We have 3 bedrooms in our home, but our kids (especially Alayna) like to sleep in the same room together once in a while. Josiah has a trundle bed and Seth is still in a crib, so it works out that they can all fit in one room, so on weekends when they ask, they have a Sibling Sleepover. Anyway, like most parents, before we go to bed at night we check on the kids to make sure they are covered up nice and just to see how unbelievably cute they are when they are sleeping. Friday night when we went in to check on them...this is what we saw. Alayna had apparently rolled out (she has NEVER fallen out of bed) of Josiah's bed onto the trundle with him and was resting peacefully on his chest...a very precious moment that we had to capture on camera. Thankfully the flash didn't wake up any of our sleeping babes!

Friday, January 9, 2009

What are some of YOUR favorite products!?!?

I'm always trying to find ways to do daily things in a faster and better way...I decided to post some of my favorite products/items on my blog in the hopes that you would either benefit from the information AND that you would share some of YOUR favorite products with me. Some of these items are more expensive, I realize that, but they were items I received as gifts, found on sale, or I was told they were worth the money. That is why I'm sharing the info. with you...it's not fun to buy a product and then later realize it was a waste of $$. I would LOVE to hear what you use that you think makes life/jobs easier!

In no particular order....

The Bissell Steam Mop
Kids = sticky icky floors! This is a quick and efficient way to clean my kitchen, entry and bathroom floors without feeling like I'm ALWAYS on my hands and knees cleaning. The steam gets rid of sticky spots and leaves the floor clean...at least for a few minutes!! :)







Spray Paint
I enjoy decorating on a budget...one of the easiest ways to make frames, lamps, fan blades, etc. match your current decor is with spray paint. I must not be TOTALLY crazy because they use is on design shows when they are on a budget too!







The Swivel Sweep
This ranks right up there as one of my favorite items ever! We have a cracker, crumb and cheerio village that likes to come and dwell on my kitchen floor...this is GREAT for picking up all the crumbs that are on my floor EVERY TIME one of my kids eats. Do you ever wonder if they are actually eating...if they are...how is SOOO much food still on the floor sometimes?!?







KitchenAid Mixer
This is a wonderful addition to ANY kitchen...even if you're not much of a cook or a baker...like myself! I love that when I make cookies, I can throw the ingredients in and it will mix it easily for me. When I'm making potatoes, I'm not mashing forever, it just mashes them right up for me. I use this for many things that I cook or bake and it is very handy to have around!

Well I'm sure there are other items that I truly appreciate, but for now these are my top favorites. We can all use items that help make our lives a little more efficient...what are the items that you use that you can't imagine not having? I'd LOVE to get some more great ideas!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Final Christmas...number 4

We celebrated our final Christmas last weekend in St. Cloud. We had a great time! Even though we had a great time over break spending lots of time together and spending lots of time with extended family...after 2 weeks of being busy and little to no schedule, we were ready to start our normal routine again. Here are a few pics from our final Christmas. I'm not very good and taking pictures, so to be honest, I personally didn't take any...my husband picked up the slack though and took a few. Enjoy!

Ethan and Josiah...being their usual crazy selves!



After little sleep for a few days...she was getting tired so she found a great place to rest...
with grandpa!


This is Dan's brother and sister in law...we are going to Latvia with them this summer...we are all SUPER excited! Watch out Christa and Vitaly...here we come!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Earning Time...

I was going to write about our final 4th Christmas, but before I got the chance, this happened and it was cute and funny and so I thought I'd share it with you all... Background to the story...we got a fun gift from my in laws for Christmas this year...a Wii...now that we have a TV, computer and a Wii, we needed to make some rules about screen time for the kids. We decided for every 'extra' (not jobs they are expected to do) job they do without complaining or whining we will give them 10 minutes of screen time. I have to say, it's amazing, they come asking me for more jobs to do when they are wanting to watch a show or play on the computer or the Wii!! Anyway, when Josiah got home from school after talking about the day and going through school information, I asked him if he's like to do a job to earn time. He said "sure". His job: play with your baby brother while I work on doing laundry. The 2 boys have an equal admiration for one another, so this is a job he enjoys doing and he does it VERY well! He asked me to come to the basement (our toy/play area) and see what they were doing...this is what I saw...


video

Josiah in camo and a cowboy hat and Seth with a Superman cape on (you can't see it well in the pic) The fun games they come up with all on their own!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
2009!


How is it really 2009?? Wasn't it just a few years ago that I started college? (1998) Wasn't it just a couple years ago that Dan and I got married? (2001) Wasn't it just yesterday that we had Josiah? (2002) Alayna should still be a baby shouldn't she? (2005) How in the world did my baby become a toddler overnight...wasn't he just born? (2007) Wow!! Time really does go by fast...God has blessed me with so much, I don't want to waste a minute of His blessings...I hope to savor each minute of 2009 and remember to be thankful for all that I have been blessed with. Take time to reflect on all you have been blessed with over the years...HAPPY NEW YEAR!