Friday, January 29, 2010


Wow, first off, I am learning that everyone has their own "box" story. Thanks so much for sharing-ya'll have cracked me up!

I have a glorious ray of sunshine in my home today.  Taking care of this sweet and smiling face.  So as much as I wanted to write something and say "Hey!" to all of you... I am going to stay and play with this face a little longer! (and then clean up the remnants of his lunch that he so politley told me in that special baby way that he didn't really care for any more.)
Ya'll have a great weekend!!

PS - Before you all run off and start rumors, this is my great-nephew, not a baby delivered by the stork or DHS. Yup, I know, great-aunts are old people, thats me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Because I am more stubborn than he is...

For all you "Everybody Loves Raymond" fans out there, I think you'll appreciate this post.

Remember the suitcase episode? You know, the suitcase that stayed on the steps for days, weeks, months, that neither of them wanted to put away because they felt it should have been the other person's job? And finally Ray put stinky cheese in it so that Debra would be forced to put it away? Yeah, I knew you were with me.

Well, we have a box. It came home with Steve from his apartment that he had while he worked out of state. Therefore, it has Steve's things in it. For an apartment. Not our home. He managed to put most of his leftover stuff away, and I did the kitchen stuff. But this box has sat on his bathroom counter since December- early December.

See this, I took a picture of it yesterday. Yesterday for those who are datestamp challenged, was January 26. This box has sat here for approximately 6 weeks. And you would think that by now HE would have realized that I am having nothing to do with HIS stuff that I don't want and his stinking box. In fact, I have told him so right after he asked when I was going to put it away. I told him quite simply, its not my stuff, I don't want it or need it, so YOU can take care of it. Thankyouverymuch!

This is originally where my post was going to say "lets see who brings out the cheese first!" and leave at that and see what happens. But, things don't go as planned 'round these parts, and just 1 hour before I was to sit at my computer and hammer out this post, the phone rang and we were asked to show the house.

Heh! Not a problem. I went about my day cleaning (thankfully it was nowhere near as bad as the last time we showed it!) and I cleaned the bathroom til it sparkled. And yes, I moved the box- to wipe the counter and politely put it back.

So my dear husband whom I love with all my heart came home in the evening and finished helping get the house in order. And as he came out of the bathroom shaking his head with a big paper box in his hands, muttering something about "I can't believe she left the box, good grief clean the whole house and leave a box sit there... blah...blah...blah" I was sure to grin uncontrollably with satisfaction appear sympathetic as he went past.

And that is the story of my box. I win. Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Boy

Today my baby boy turns 9. Nine. NINE. How did this happen?! I guess it happened the same way in which I turned 30, but still!
Every year I am amazed by God's faithfulness as we watch Jackson grow. and grow. and grow. The kid is big!
Here is the story of how this sweet boy surprised us by his early arrival. For those who don't want details, feel free to skim and skip to pictures! :)

Nine years and one week ago I was shopping in Sioux City with my girlfriend. Finally getting to the stage where I could enjoy this pregnancy, at 28 weeks, had been quite sick through the first 4 months of it! Then, something went wrong, and I started to bleed, and felt umm.. yeah. A lot of pressure. We swiftly left the mall and went to Lisa's apartment, up 3 flights of stairs and called my doctor. He told me to go to the hospital there and that he would be calling them to tell them I was coming- it was then that I really knew that all was not well.
I don't know how we got to the hospital so fast, but Lisa drove like a crazy person and there we were. I called Steve on the way and he left started heading out, although no one really believed anything would be wrong. Wrong. I was already dialated to a 10 and had a bulging amniotic sac. His cord was wrapped around his neck, and all was not well. I was immediately placed in a trindelemberg position (upside down basically) and stayed that way in the hospital for a week. It was the longest week of my life! I couldn't get up, sit up, or bathe. However, being in that position did what it was supposed to do and the cord moved and was no longer around his neck.  Then on the morning of January 25, 2001, my water broke. 6 days of being in the hospital, and Jackson said ' enough! I am ready!" He was very healthy for his gestation - partially due to the fact that we had some warning and had steroids on board for his lungs. He weighed 3lbs 6oz and was 14 inches long.

He spent the first 8 weeks of his life in the Sioux City hospital surrounded by nurses who loved him almost as much as mom and dad! God's faitfulness was everywhere! Our home is 45 minutes away, but Steve was working in SC already on a job, so we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House together and he was still able to work some days.

Today Jackson is a 3rd grader who is bigger than most of the kids in his class. His side effects from his early start are limited to asthma.

Happy Birthday to my  little big  boy! We love you so much and are so proud of all that you are!

God is Good, All the time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just Plain Crabby

Do you ever get just plain crabby? If the answer is 'no' I suggest you don't really answer that in front of me right now. Thank you.

I am in need of some sunshine. I am in need of good news. I am in need of a day off - or two.( yes I realize that the number of days I work outside of the home are technically far less than the days I am at home, but that doesn't seem to be the reality!) I am in need of some motivation!

This dreary long cold winter that keeps us house bound is wearing me down. One would think that with all of these snow days (or ice days as it was today) one would accomplish a lot in the house! But no. I have just been lazy, and subsequently crabby. And of course it worsens when my husband is gone, which he is- again. I know, its a good thing, off to find work. Work is now found- which is great news. But I am still crabby.

Just ask my kids. We are bored with each other. Finally today it was deemed "everyone to their own rooms before mommy goes completly crazy!) Then I felt guilt and told them to come out and paint a picture.  Which was a sunshiney picture- but I am still crabby.

Looks like I am going to be crabby right now, and I promise not to show my face here again until I am un-crabby.

(and in case I wasn't crabby enough, the picture I keep trying to upload is disappearing every time I open the file its in!Okay, I'm done now!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Road

This is what driving in NW Iowa has been like for a week now. Sure, at times it clears for a few hours, then its right back the next morning. Fog. I have mixed feelings about fog. Yesterday afternoon as I drove this road, I saw nothing but beauty. The frost on the trees is breathtaking. The road is clearly right in front of me, and I know it well enough that it will stay a straight line in front of me. And I listened to the chatter in the backseat of kids who were building 3 story houses with elevators, guestrooms and bathrooms  all out of a snowbank, I felt safe.I was surrounded in whiteness. Its hard not to feel a closeness to the Holy Spirit at times like that.  Its a comfort to know that even though I cannot see the road for more than a half mile, it is there. It doesn't drop away simply because I can't see it. Our Heavenly Father is the same. I don't always see Him, but I know He is there. His path is always there in front of me too. But I don't always know the road well enough, so I get scared and I pull off or I turn around to stick with the route I know. The safe route. But the road has always been there. It will always lead me home. No matter if I can see where it goes or not. If I can see around the next corner or not, it is still there, carrying me along. My Father is there, carrying me along.

Last night I had the other feeling in the fog. My kids were with me once again. My daughter in the back seat singing "I'm in the Lord's Army" and "Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot" and "Father Abraham"  Jackson was next to me in the front. Chattering on and on and on and on about anything and everything he could think of. And yet, I felt so alone. It was dark. The fog so dense that I couldn't see more than 10' in front of me at times. So dark and murky even that I didn't dig my cell phone out to take another picture like I had done this afternoon, and you need to know, that I was clearly not liking the weather to have not done that. I knew God was still with us. I knew that the next curve would be coming, and I just prayed that He would guide us along the road, even when I couldn't see it.

And as we drove along, I knew we would be approaching the corner notorious for catching people by surprise even on a good day, and had recently claimed the lives of two small children. I dreaded this corner... would I see a car pull out? Would they see me coming?

I knew we were getting closer and I was slowing down, but not too much, so as not to surprise any cars behind me that I couldn't see, and then I crossed the bridge, signaling how close we were.  The fog was gone. I mean gone. GONE. Clear skies and stars were all I could see. I safely turned the corner started once again and within 1 minute was again lost in a tunnel of fog, all alone on the road despite the other drivers being behind me and in front of me. And yet, I didn't feel alone anymore. Because even though I can't see Him, He cleared a path for me, and showed me where to go. Even though it has been covered again, I know He will lead me safely Home, everytime.
God is good all the time!

Monday, January 18, 2010


This weekend was good. My heart has been and still is, on the people of Haiti. But my life here is still happening and while I won't, or can't, forget what's going on in Haiti, I need to live my life. So, let me tell you about my dear boy. He is 8. (going to be nine one week from today, but I am hoping that if I don't mention it, he'll forget and stay 8 -- its not looking too good though) He is a tender hearted boy. He is a funny boy. He is a smart boy. He has asthma. He is not so athletic. Do you know what generally happens to nice, funny, smart boys who can't always hit the baseball or run with endurance down the soccer field as the asthma burns his lungs? The boys who are athletic aren't always so nice. And that has broken this mama's heart for the last few years as he catches on that some people aren't nice and just don't give you a chance to improve by practicing with them. The thing about nice kids, is they don't understand meanness. Granted, my dear one has most definitley picked up his mother's sarcasm, no doubt about that! He has no problem bantering with Steve and I. But to be deliberately mean to someone, really isn't in this boys make up. I prayed for something that he would like to do, that he is able to do that maybe wouldn't involve some of the same old kids who like to make things hard for those who aren't as "good" as they are. Along came hockey. Really?! Okay, God, but hockey?! The boy has asthma! Did you forget this? Cold weather induced asthma??! Sure, lets try it. Its in another town. Only a handful of friends from school were in it, and they were generally the nice boys too. So, we gave it a whirl. We are on month 4 of hockey and look at that face. Try to not see the annoyance in his eyes that his mom is feeling the need to take his picture between games. He finally got to play in a real game. Not the scrimmages that the first half of the season entailed. A REAL GAME. " I am a Tornado, Mom!" Yes, yes you are, and you're a great one!
Saturday was a get up extra early and drive 2+ hours away for 1.5 hours on the ice, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. He was so proud of himself. I am so proud of him. He did his best and had fun, and scored some goals. This mama's heart is bursting with happiness for this young man. God is good, all the time!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Hands

UPDATE: Because I realize that is virtually no time to get to the PW site, I am continuing my offer of $3/comment if you go to her site and comment. But if you arrived here too late to hear about it, leave a comment of well wishes to Haiti and I will donate $2 a comment to Mission Haiti from now until Sunday at 12 noon CST or we reach 50 comments, whichever occurs first. Thanks! (is this clear as mud?!)
I have to share this with you all because its one of the easiest ways to give to Haiti right now!
If you want to help and are financially feeling that pinch, its okay. This is the way to go! Ree at Pioneer Woman is giving 10 cents to Haiti for every comment she receives on this post. And at random will select 2 entries to give $500 to their choice of Haiti causes. So, go ahead and leave a comment, say a prayer, and know that you helped. And to encourage all to do that, I am saying that to those here who go to Ree and leave a comment, come and tell me in the comments and I will add $3 for each comment to our donation to Mission Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As most of you have heard I am sure, Haiti is experiencing some major devastation right now. My heart just breaks and I end up in tears every time I listen to a news report or see one on TV. Our school has had the amazing opportunity in the past few years to support an organization called Mission Haiti. They have an orphanage and offer up more support and resources to the people of Haiti. Through newsletters, websites and speakers, we have come to "know" some of the children of the orphanage and sponsor one girl there. Her name is Lucie. She has been thriving and the kids love to have updates on how she's doing and seeing new pictures of her beautiful smile! At this point Mission Haiti reports that they haven't received any word from their missionaries, but the villages where some of their children were have been destroyed. Pam Plasier from Sioux Center is scheduled to fly out tomorrow. They don't know if she is able to go at this point. We loaded her car with kits and food just before Christmas for her to bring to Haiti this month. As I told Jackson this morning about what had happened he sweetly looked over and said " I think we need to get more hygiene kits" He wants to help and understands their needs are so much greater than we can imagine. He wanted to know if the stuff made it down there or if it would be able to reach them. God blessed me with this boy's tender heart. I don't know what they need at this point, but I do know that if everyone stops what they are doing right now will pray for the people, the orphanages, the missionaries, and the rescue-aid, God will hear, and He is a God that can do all things, we just need to ask it. We are specifically praying for Lucie in our home, that she is safe and protected, and will find help. Ephesians 3:20 (New International Version) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us God is good, all the time

Monday, January 11, 2010


  • I have to say, nothing will brighten your sub-zero dwelling, 3 feet of snow cover (with higher drifts) wind blown, school cancelled- again! day more than seeing that you have received a "Happy 101" award from a great blog buddy, Melissa, from Full Circle. She is an amazing woman of God who has opened her heart and home to foster children and has most definitely improved many lives in the process. Not only by her caring for the children, but her sharing of life, love and laughter along the way. Stop over there and check her out!
  • The means by which I can accept this award of course cause me to reflect. About happiness and pass it on to others who make me happy or others happy. Not a problem! So, write 10 things that make you happy and try to do at least one today! Then, give this award to 10 bloggers who make you happy - and make sure you tell them to come collect their award! If you receive the award, don't forget to link back to the one who gave it to you!

What makes me happy? Here goes nothing!

  1. My Kids - they make me laugh, cry, and cringe- I wouldn't have it any other way!
  2. My Hubby- he always makes me happy, but more so now as he is back home every night!
  3. My Bloggy Buddies - friendships born out of this crazy thing called the Internet- who knew?!
  4. My IRL friends -- I wouldn't survive anything without them!
  5. Reading (okay- stalking) other bloggers
  6. My church- its a great place to go and feel connected and re-energized!
  7. Reading books, curled up with a blanket by the fire... perfection
  8. Snow- yes, snow still makes me happy
  9. Cooking for friends and family
  10. Game night with the family

Okay, now for the blogs that make me happy!

  1. Faith Imagined
  2. Bina's Pad
  3. Holly's Creative Creations
  4. Steph's Here
  5. Heavenly Humor
  6. Training For Life...Walking with God
  7. A Life Outside the Box
  8. Nicole Baart
  9. Sweetest Pea
  10. The Big Mama Blog

Okay! Congratulations to you winners, if your name is listed, go ahead and accept the award at your blog and pay it forward. If you are reading this, go check out these amazing blogs as well!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Well Done!

I sit and play a simple game. Click. Click. Click. Wasting time. Not completely understanding the game, frustrated because I don't improve. Play again? Yes! Over and over and I am still... so bad! But then bright lights flash. Awesome! Excellent! Well Done! Amazing! I have no idea what I have done, but it has fueled me on. I am lifted and re-energized. Committed again to clicking away on my mouse. As I sit, craving praise once again, I am reminded of a verse. A gentle nudge pushes me. Do get that excited when I say well done? Do you eagerly work for me when I praise you or strive to earn MY compliments? "Well done good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21) Leaving the game and going to think more about this now, Lord. Its human nature. Craving approval, praise, admiration. Sure we may be embarrassed when receiving it, but it makes anyone feel good. My son thrives on it. I know without a doubt that his Love language is "words of affirmation" He likes to know that his parents approve. That we care enough to pay attention and give specific praise and feedback to his work. My daughter becomes giddy with praise, but then again, its hard to find a time when she isn't giddy. But random, out of the blue praise, it moves us. This week a boy in our community took his own life. I had this post already in my head when I heard the news. I didn't know him, but know many who did. He was my nephew's friend and roommate. That hits close to home. It could be anyone... Do we assure our loved ones that we are proud? Do we remind them of all they do well? Just a little positivity and encouragement goes so far. My heart breaks for this family as I am sure they wonder what more they could have done. Maybe nothing. I don't know. All I know is that for those around me I will be sure to build them up and say Amazing! Well Done! Excellent! Awesome! And remind them, that their Heavenly Father is saying those same words. Many blessings to you all today! God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

That the Storm May Go Good- revisited

I am reposting this from this June. I don't know if some of you already read this or not, but, I think its worth looking back at. It has been a stormy season around here in many lives, and I feel as though this is a good encourager. I really am working on another post, but God is having me wait until I have it all right so I don't try to kick it out in a hurry. In the mean time, enjoy this oldie, but goodie.

  • Last night as I tucked my kids into bed it was beginning to storm. They knew it was lightening and thundering, so they chose to sleep in the basement-- they don't sleep so well with the house rattling! Go figure, and if I can get sleep without 4 extra arms and 4 extra legs in my bed, then I will be doing well also.
  • As I was tucking Maicy in and she said her prayers, part of her prayer was, "that the storms may go good." Realizing she is only 6, I know that she didn't think her prayer was so profound, it just was her prayer, but it really struck me at the time. She didn't pray that the storms will go away, or that they just not be here, but since they have to be here, let them go well.
  • How often in our lives do we just pray for the "storms" to go away. We don't want them, we don't want to deal with the scary parts, or the clean up later. Please God, just take away this storm so I don't have to go through this. But, God doesn't promise that there will be no storms in our lives, what He does assure us is that He will be there with us, through that storm and will be there with us to help us on the other side.
  • We all go through storms in our life. For some its sickness, for some it is financial hardships, divorce, infertility, adoption stresses, colicky babies, children living in abuse have their own storms, and there are so many more storms that God asks us to weather. Paul asked- begged- God take away the thorn in his flesh, but God's answer was "no." What God did instead was give him grace. God walked through Paul's storm with him.
  • How a storm goes well is not always so clear either. We don't always end up on the other side of the storm where we wanted it to go. Our loved one still dies, the divorce still happens, the adoption is failed, etc. Does that mean it didn't go well? I don't believe so. I think if we can come through the storm clinging on to our Lord and come out knowing that He is still Lord and God is still in control and that He still loves us, and we still have Hope in our lives, then the storm has gone well.
  • Praying for you all as you may be enduring your own storms right now, and praying that your storms will go good.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Noticer

So, very, very long ago, I signed up with Thomas Nelson to do book reviews. They give me a book and I review it. And I am sure you have all enjoyed reading my reviews. What? Oh, yeah. I haven't accomplished that yet. Its the new year, time to get to work. I had the privilege of reading The Noticer:Sometimes all a person needs is a little perspective by Andy Andrews. I really had no idea what I was going to be in for, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised...for the most part. I dove right into the book for the first half and sadly found myself tapering off mid-way and losing zest for it. Not the point didn't continue to be great, it just was more of the same. It is hard to tell if this is a fiction story, auto-biography or what. That may be where it lost me. It does have lots of short stories, rolled into one. My review is still positive and I will admit, my busy-ness of that time may have contributed to not feeling the book after awhile. If you are familiar with the 5 Love Languages, some of this may seem familiar. I guess that's what brings life full circle, applying what we know. High points are plenty in the book. Here are some excerpts to give you a taste: His name was Jones. At least, that's what I called him. Not Mr. Jones... just Jones. He called me "young man" or "son." And I rarely heard him call anyone else by name. In this book, you will see Jones often. He enters into lives which are hurting, helps by just noticing and talking, and he leaves just as swiftly and quietly as he entered. No one knows his age, or more of his name. No one even knows his race. They just know that he has helped each of them. His legacy was to notice and to be a seed in which others noticed. I want to share with you the best paragraph early in the book. "Think with me here...everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you'll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what's a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination -- our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life's next peak." Jones dispenses morsels of wisdom, in its simplest form. He has a different perspective on life. We all struggle in this world, and if you need a little perspective and a lot of heart, then I recommend you swing by and pick this morsel up for yourself. *Thomas Nelson has not paid me to review this book or any others. I am only given a free copy of the book to review on my blog. *

Monday, January 4, 2010


One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to update this old blog more faithfully. And I do have a few posts that I am working on. Sadly, today I am struggling with hammering one out, or going shopping.... ummmm, y'all see where this is going don't you?! Sorry, but come on, I have been trapped basically for two weeks during this blizzard Christmas break and well, mama needs her some new jeans!