Thursday, July 30, 2009
I feel so blessed that the boys are able to take part in such ground breaking science RIGHT IN THEIR CLASSROOM!!
So exciting! Even the President knows about us working on this project...wow. Blessed!
ZebraFish Science Project
Thank goodness Jim and Mike posted these on Facebook so that I would have access to them...you know since we unplugged over a year ago, my only news updates are online, so we couldn't watch this on TV, and I wouldn't have known they were even there if not for them! Thanks guys!
Awesome! Our principal is so dedicated to education, and pushing the edge of technology. But I will save all of that for another day...did I mention that I feel blessed? Cuz I do.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Before I go on, I would just like to say Praise be to God that Stellan is stable now, and awaiting his trip to Boston. This is a bittersweet situation in that he is stable, but will still need to undergo the very risky surgery. Please head over to MckMama's site for the latest news and tweets. Thank you to those who joined in on praying with me. He sure is amazing isn't He? I feel like I am part of an exclusive club sometimes. You know, some people don't believe in the power of prayer. Ok---for them. But for me? I do believe in the power of prayer, and let me tell you; being in the company of others who do is like being a member of something pretty special.
I was walking UP the stairs one day with my hand braced on the wall and it hit me! No, not the wall--this realization. I do not go up stairs w/o holding the wall, or a railing. One day I was going up the stairs with my laptop and a glass of water, so I couldn't hold the wall with my hand, instead I used my elbow to run along the wall for assurance. I am a 30-um...ish year old person who is afraid to climb a flight of stairs! And I hadn't noticed it until recently. Unfortunately, realizing it has made it worse. I almost feel dizzy climbing the stairs sometimes, and when I try to "just do it" w/o holding the wall or railing, I panic a little. Hmmm, something you didn't know about me isn't it?
I'm not finished either! When I go down the stairs, I feel less like I have to hold a railing or a wall, I still don't like to go down with something in my hands, but I can do it..laundry baskets are a little scary though, they are awfully big...but when I get almost to the end, (like 2 or 3 stairs from the bottom) I have to stop and collect myself. I don't get it. I didn't realize I had these strange-ocities before.
When I go to sleep I have to have some part of my body touching my good ole hubby. Even when it is too hot to touch body to body. I just have to be touching something elbow to side=good, bum to back-yep that will do, but NO FEET! Ever. EVER.
I rarely use recipes to cook. I love to look at books, and sites for recipe ideas, but I rarely follow them verbatim. I usually wing it. I must admit, they usually taste pretty good, and we have had some really terrific meals in the past, but sometimes they don't taste the same way twice.
When I bake however, I do use recipes. But I don't measure everything. Sugar, flour, those I typically do. Liquids...not usually, things that are only a tsp, rarely, and definitely not spices like cinnamon, or nutmeg...no need, season to taste!
I love to bake, and have found some great recipes (and have made some up myself) that the boys love...so my way must be working right?
That's it for now.
Just one more thing before I go.
I had a conversation with someone today that made me reflect on human behavior. Typically people surround you when it is sunshine and roses. Many people scatter when the going gets tough, because they aren't sure how to be supportive.
However, I have noticed (in my own life) that it is quite the opposite. There are people in my life who will rally around me when there are difficult times, and will give advice, jump on the band wagon etc to get me through the tough stuff. But when there is not tragedy or conflict, they are no where to be found. I find that interesting, and I hadn't really put my finger on it until today. Do you think some people thrive on other people's issues because maybe it makes them forget their own, if even for a moment?
And while I have certainly had my bumps along the way, and I know my road ahead will not always be smooth, I am the most content than I have ever been. So where are they to share that with? Does my happiness detract from their own? I don't know. I guess I will add that to my daily prayers.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wow, we are incredible women aren't we? There is something to be said about carrying a child inside you, bringing said child into the world and looking into the eyes of the infant child who for 9-10 months (or longer if you are Christian!) was inside you. At that every moment every emotion rolls over you at once. Love, fear, relief, humility, protection, gratitude, love, lovelovelove. Oh yes, overwhelming love.
That isn't to say that women who didn't physically carry their children don't have the same fears, love, gratitude that mothers who do give birth do. There isn't a way to measure one mother's love to the next.
I'm just sayin' that at the moment that I looked into my children's newborn eyes I was hooked. LOVE. I will love this child, and I will protect this child.
I will never forget when Columbine was attacked. Benjamin was just over a year old, and it just devestated me...from a mother's perspective. I had put myself into the shoes of all the mothers. Not just of the victims, but of the attackers. How? How could that happen? I would look at my young Benjamin running around, innocent and sincere and just cry. I couldn't imagine him being taken like that. It really hit home for me. I can't really explain why it affected me the way it did.
My heart aches for mothers. And right now, my new friend's heart is broken. After reading her story for over a year, exchanging emails for some time, and finally meeting and talking with her a few times, playing with her children, and visiting with her husband, I wish I could take away her pain. I wish I could heal Stellan. I wish I could make this all better. I wish I could make a wish--one that would take Stellan's heart and heal it in a way that will never need another drug, stint, needle, or doctor.
But I can't.
And what's worse, I can't help but feel a bit grateful that it isn't my Christian. Or my Benjamin. How awful is that right?
They are in their rooms right now playing with their new watches---they should be reading, but I can hear the beeps as they set timers, and dates--- and I can't help but feel relief that it isn't me sitting in a room listening to the beeps of monitors that are connected to their bodies in order to alert someone at the first sign of danger.
Oh wait, Stellan is WAY past the point of danger. Rock, meet hard place. That is where this family and team of doctors are right now.
And I can't do a thing.
Except pray. Will you please join me? Each time you pray for your dinner, or your night time prayer, or middle of your work commute, or WHENever you pray, will you say an extra one for Stellan's family?
Because it is all I can do.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Weather? Icky. How I feel? Icky. Packing? Icky. Unhappy families for not attending their events because we have previous plans? Icky.
And then I read this:
Sweet baby Stellan
And I feel icky.
However, I will take a moment to thank God that our families, while unhappy with us right now, are healthy. And while I feel pretty bad myself right now, I will get better. The sun will shine another day, and I will in 3 weeks from today be in my new house. So while today is icky, I can praise God that I have these things to be thankful for.
Heavenly Father, we lift this family up to you. Please watch over Jennifer and her young son. Give Jennifer the strength she needs to care for Stellan. Continue to guide the doctors in their plan for Stellan. We ask that you continue to hold Jennifer in your loving arms. Please give comfort to Stellan's family. In your name we pray....
Continued prayers for my new friend....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
These are incredible women who gathered together in one place to support our common link. Jennifer captivates and insipires us all, won us over with Sweet Stellan's story, revs our spirits and charges our souls---daily. Why else would many of us travel (1hr 45min ONE way) to spend a morning with complete strangers?
I am so looking forward to the Como playdate that is already planned and on the calendar! Blessings? Oh yes, and they come in the form of mommies!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Awww, Mr. Mew, I love you too!
But mama, I love you more!
Oh, my dear sweet Christian, I love YOU the most! No one could love you more than me!
Except my dad.
Yes, except your dad.
Yes, honey...working on it!
Out of the mouths of babes....
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
I have mentioned MckMama more than once because she is one I look to when I need a reminder that I am not in control of my life God is. This is a huge lesson to learn, and I don't think I would have fully accepted this as a rule if not for her. He truly is my guiding light, and I have certainly learned more than once that when I fully let go, and let Him, I feel peaceful. Of course, not always do I get the outcome that I thought I wanted, but usually His plan is better than mine anyway, so I will continue to just let Him.
Then of course there are people in my life who inspire me to be a better steward of our earth. When I was sitting on the front steps this morning waiting for a friend to pick me up, a guy drove by in a van and threw his cigarette butt out of his window. Uh uh, that didn't sit well with me, so I shouted to him that he dropped something. He scowled at me as he drove by, but I hope I made my point.
Of course this IS something I am in control of, and I want to be as responsible as I can while I am on this earth. I want to teach the boys to be aware of their roles, and hopefully we will continue to do our part to preserve the land that was literally made for us!
Let's not forget the women that I have come to know who inspire me to get involved as an activist and as a voice for my children and their futures. Not environmentally this time, but educationally, and to some degree politically. I am getting my feet wet in ways that I would never have imagined years ago. Being PPT president is certainly not something I thought I would do,--I always wanted to be the "PPT, soccer mom" but for a time just going to the meetings was enough for me. But true to Jodie fashion-- if I'm going to go, I go big!!
Of course my children inspire me to be a better mom. I love to spend time with them, I love to talk with them, teach them, learn with them--for pete's sake I love to just LOOK at them sometimes! They see the world in such an innocent way, that sometimes I just sit back and try to see it from their eyes. Being a boy is something I don't have experience with, but I was a 9 year old, and at one time I was even an 11 year old, and I do remember some of the emotions and roller coaster feelings I had when I was their ages. I look to them for cues sometimes, and I think that by sometimes letting them lead a conversation, I learn how to communicate with them in ways that are most effective. They inspire me to be a mama that they can be proud of. I am absolutely proud of them!
And it should go w/o saying that Brian is a huge inspiration for me as well. He is someone I have always been able to turn to. He is someone who has given selflessly. He has made sacrifices and adjustments that many in his position do not make. He is growing leaps and bounds in his faith, he is learning to recognize his mistakes, and stand strong on his convictions. He is my inspiration to better myself as a wife. He deserves it!
My inspiration does not only come in people. But in art, and music, and in golden eagles flying 4 MN state lengths into Canada (yes honey, I was listening, and yes I did think it was pretty cool).
Who do you draw inspiration from? Have you told them? Be inspired, and maybe in return YOU will become the inspiration!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
- It is walking distance to the bike/skate park for the boys
- It is walking distance to the Silver Lake pool.
- It is walking distance to downtown.
- It is walking distance to Dad's house.
- It is walking distance to Tahnee and Jesse's house.
- It is walking distance to the Farmer's Market.
- Very short walk to Community Clothesline...my new favorite "bum around on a nice day while kids are away/at school and Brian is at work" spot.
- It is a flat walk for Brian to get to work during his early shifts when the buses aren't running yet.
Ok, so they all have to do with walking places. But that is one of our favorite things to do as a family and as a couple. I will truly miss not having to worry about parking spaces for nearly every downtown event--ever! We have been able to walk to anywhere downtown for the last 7 years (our previous house was even closer), and it will be sad to not just walk out the door and walk just about anywhere! Lastly;
- It is in a neighborhood that kept Benjamin on his original football team. We love the team and the coaches, so we are glad to still be with them this year. Hopefully the move will keep him together with them next year too.
There...the silver lining!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Survivor was AWESOME! Bri and I had a fantastic time! There really aren't many other words than that to describe our evening! It can be summed up through photos though. First I would like to say that the band members did not disappoint. Original or not, they still had the big hair and the vests w/o shirts underneath, and completely rocked the night!! They put on a fantastic performance and we all had a terrific time!
We'll start with the beginning....
See how sweet Celia is...I don't think she enjoyed "Eye of the Tiger" as much as we all did!
Allison and I before the "wine" incident. Note to self, do not put wine in cup holders of foldable chairs then use the restroom.....
John, Eric and Lisa...Old school friends and a new friend! It was so good to sit with Lisa outside of church and GIFT with no children around!
You would think this was long into the evening....but it wasn't!
Beth rocked it all night long! I think she beat us all in the enthusiasm department! It was just as fun watching her sing back to them!
Brian and Paul, I think I interrupted the endless conversation they had in order to take this picture.
Lesson of the night; Don't wear white, sit in fold up chair, drink red wine, leave for restroom, come back and forget aforementioned red wine, and smack handle of chair while telling story. Got it!
Survivor was AWESOME! So glad we went, and so sorry the boys missed it! Paul video taped the song that our boys really would have wanted to see...Can't wait to watch it with them!
We got 4 free Tshirts...we are definitely fans of Down by the Riverside! We love the outdoor concert series in Rochester and look forward to getting to as many as we can this year!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The angels are back. You know, the good and bad angels. They are sitting on my shoulders. They haven't gone away because I haven't yet made a decision about which route to take.
I am tired. I am fighting a personal battle that just doesn't seem to have an end. What makes this even harder is knowing that this is someone that until recent years was an ally. This isn't someone I set out to have differences with. This isn't someone I even want to be battling. Unfortunately, I don't get to pick all of the players, and it seems that perhaps some players don't see this the way I do.
I am trying to leave this to God. I have imagined harsh conversations where I just blurt out all that I know--because I know it will hurt. I have written letters that would set the record straight, and clear up untruths. I have fully mapped out what I would say when given an opportunity to defend myself, because I know the things that have been said about me, and the impression that has been laid out about me is false.
But I don't send the letters. I don't speak the words. I and I don't initiate the conversations.
And it is hard.
I am looking for strength, because I am weak. I am looking for guidance because I am lost. I am searching for forgiveness so that I may forgive.
It isn't easy to forgive people who hurt you. It is hard to reach out to people you don't trust. It is painful to respect people who don't respect you. But that is what I am supposed to do isn't it?
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
It is relatively easy to sit in front of a computer, and type in some one of the verses that I cling to to get me through some of my darker moments. I do a spell check, and hit publish post, and I walk away. Easy right? The hard part is following through. EVERY. TIME.
But I have to. For Brian. For my sweet sweet boys. For the people who have deceived, and for those blind to the deceit.
And for me. I trust that God will guide me. That He will walk me through this, with my hand firmly in His. That with His patience and mercy, I will not only get through this, but I will be able to hold my head high. I want that for me. I know not what the future will hold. I know not what lies ahead in this battle, and I don't know how many more times I will fall to my knees in prayer just begging for answers to the questions that I have.
But I know that I am not alone.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I don't know the difference yet.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Many are disappointed that we aren't having a baby! I guess I walked you right into that. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. No babies in this belly!
No, I did not find a job either. I have fielded plenty-o-questions about that too. Still looking for something, so if you know of anything....
But I DID find a fantastic new recipe for book club this past Tuesday, and it was delish! So I am passing on the recipe to you so that you can love it too!
Blackberry Basil Crumble
2-3 apples chopped
2 pints blackberries
handful of basil chopped
Put apples and blackberries into a 2 quart baking dish then sprinkle with basil.
In another bowl mix:
5 Tbs flour (I used wheat)
1 stick cold butter
3 heaping Tbs brown sugar
Cut in the butter with the sugar and flour then sprinkle mixture over the fruit.
Put in 400 oven for 25-30 min.
Oh. My. It was fantastic!
Here are the boys with sparklers on Monday night.
They followed this up with letting off fireworks. Yes we were those people. You know, the ones who let off fireworks AFTER the 4th of July. I do like my neighbors, but I like the boys more, and they won me over. "But Mama..." I get alot of that around here. Tough skin? Not me!
Catching fireflies was next. It was a fire filled evening, but we completely enjoyed ourselves.
Tomorrow night is Relay for Life! We are excited to be a part of it this year! I have been pretty oblivious to it before, but given Dad's situation this year, my eyes have been opened. That icky word has touched me closer than it has before. We were fortunate to have a great outcome. Dad has 2 days of radiation left, and he is done! He looks great, and he feels pretty good, so I praise God!
Speaking of Praises....He led our home search. I was disappointed a few times. Nearly every home we looked at I thought was perfect, only to go home and talk myself out of them. I have been eager to get out of this house almost since I moved in, and He answered my prayers. He is amazing. And I am grateful. Again, I give my thanks. If only He would help pack boxes....
The Realtor and her assistant are a blast! They both are spunky ladies whom I clicked with right away! I feel fortunate to have met them and I hope to keep in touch with them both. Some days I miss real estate!
Ok, so I am supposed to be making adjustments to my resume. No more blogging. Not even reading my favorite blogs. Like MckMama. Or Cakewrecks. Or BringOnTheRain. Nope. No more. Just resume. Focus. Got it.
Ok, I know it sounds cheesy, but it may give you a taste of how EXCITED I am!! The time has come to bid adieu to this house, and move into OUR house! The new one is right up the hill, in the very neighborhood that I have been eyeing since we moved into this one!
We moved into this house knowing it would just be temporary so we never even unpacked everything! And now we will be able to stay in the new home until the boys are grown and long gone! We are looking forward to truly settling in, and making it ours, we've been living in transition in this house for too long, and I am ready to move on. We were blessed to find the house we are in, when we did, and it has fit the bill for us, but I want to GET OUT!--I would woot woot right here, except that I don't do that.
Our new house is exactly what we wanted! It has a great balance of traditional w/o being outdated, and modern w/o being trendy! I will post pictures after we get some! And we can finally get our piano out of the Robelia's basement! (could have woot wooted here too, but I don't do that) I miss our old old old piano, and I can't wait to get it tuned and polished up, so it can start collecting dust in our home again instead of their basement storage! I guess if we are ever going to have dueling pianos it better be soon!
We are moving mid August, I'll keep you posted, but if anyone is interested in helping us move.....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Another 4th of July has come and gone, and we had another fantastic weekend celebrating it!
Thursday night was an amazing night! Not only had Christian just come home from camp; so the boys got along marvelously together, but the weather couldn't have been any better. It was not hot, cold, muggy, windy, rainy, cloudy...it was just ideal. We grilled out, and ate outside, then walked to the bike park. Brian thinks he is 12 and tried to "get air". Which as you can see in this picture...he succeeded!
I could barely watch, because I would rather not watch my husband break his neck acting like a 12 year old. But, he came out unscathed, so I suppose I may have overreacted. I adore family nights like these.
We planted ourselves in our driveway one last time on Friday for the garage sale, and boy oh boy am I glad that we did! We got rid of SO. MUCH. STUFF. The sofa, the 2 wing back chairs, blanket racks, tables, benches, huge stuffed horses, jewelry, plastic potting pots, games, books, clothes, oh my goodness the list goes on! Thankfully the Hoesktras came over and kept us company for the day. We didn't anticipate having people join us, but it was so much better with them there. It turned out to be a beautiful day...did I mention that we got rid of SO. MUCH. STUFF? Everything was loaded up at the end of the sale and donated! Ahhh, it feels good!
Tahnee and I ducked away for a bit in the afternoon to head to a garage sale that we heard about from someone who came to ours. They told us that there were mountains of fabric and yarn and patterns...so we had to check it out! I am glad we did.
I found a terrific vintage piece of fabric that is large enough to make a blanket out of. So I need to get to work on that. More projects...as if I need those!
We parted ways with the Hoekstras after a backyard lunch at our house, only to meet up again for a backyard dinner at their house. We grilled out, had a few drinks, played with the girls, watched their new chicks, and stayed up WAY too late! Time gets away from us when we are together. Boy I sure do miss living closer to them. And we just may be moving even further away...hmmm, what does she mean by that you ask? You'll just have to wait and see....
Saturday we went to the Farmers Market to load up on veggies for the week. We also picked up 3 fantastic floral arrangements from the uber talented Lynelle Webb.
She did the flowers for our wedding, and she is my go-to gal when I have questions about gardening. I have been given a few dried arrangements by her as gifts as well, and am glad she is at the market so we can see her more frequently. Maybe you remember back in the fall when we got our Monarch? Lynelle was the one who gave the caterpillar to the boys, and we are crossing our fingers that she will do it again this year...(funny that these previous posts also include ChesterBay and the Hoekstras...we may just be becoming too predictable?)
Saturday evening we headed over to the Silver Lake pool to join some of the Lincoln families. They had rented out the facility after hours for just us to use. We ate while the kids swam and we had a few drinks...it was a terrific start to our 4th of July evening.
It was very cool to have the pool to ourselves! The kids sure loved it when they turned on the slide--just for them!! Thank you to the ladies who organized it and included us in their plans! I truly love the friendships I have made at Lincoln and I look forward to spending time with the families that I have gotten close with. But tonight it was oh so nice to spend time with even more families who we don't typically see. Good times!
Here is where the post title comes in.
tra⋅di⋅tion /trəˈdɪʃən/ [truh-dish-uhn]
–noun 1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
2. something that is handed down: the traditions of the Eskimos.
3. a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting: The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition.
4. a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
5. a customary or characteristic method or manner: The winner took a victory lap in the usual track tradition.
6. Theology. a. (among Jews) body of laws and doctrines, or any one of them, held to have been received from Moses and originally handed down orally from generation to generation.
b. (among Christians) a body of teachings, or any one of them, held to have been delivered by Christ and His apostles but not originally committed to writing.
c. (among Muslims) a hadith.
We are a blended family. The boys have a very dedicated pair of parents who like to spend time with them. Unfortunately, with this comes alot of back and forth and inconsistency. Sometimes there is confusion, and there are days you just know they wish it would all just be "normal". So I try very hard to make sure that there is as much consistency and "normalcy" as possible. No, our situation is not ideal. But it is our normal now, and we have to make the most of it. With that said, tradition is a GREAT way to maintain that normalcy for them. I know it was disappointing to the families that were at the pool when we left. And it made me rethink actually leaving to watch the fireworks as a family, in the same place that we have watched them in the past, on the same blanket we have used since Brian and I have been together, and in the same positions as we have nearly every year. (we have missed 2 years, one when Benjamin was at camp, and one we spent with Chad in Wabasha)
But as we snuggled together on that blanket it was reconfirmed to me that this is an amazing tradition that we have with the boys. We all lay together, and we talk about the ones we like, we clap together when we love one, we point out the "duds" and we just share with each other the experience--all together on that little blanket. This years finale was amazing and I am thrilled that we stuck to our guns and watched them together as we have in the past. I can appreciate that not everyone holds tradition in the same esteem that I do...but when I think of the boys and their futures, I am compelled to continue holding tradition in high regard. So even though the families were somewhat disappointed that we left their festivities, and Christian was a bit hesitant to leave his buddy back at the pool, and Benjamin was bummed that he had to stop skateboarding, and then even MORE bummed when I wouldn't even let him take a sip of the A&W that he opened w/o asking at 9:30pm (yea right buddy, you aren't drinking soda that late at night...nice try) as soon as we settled onto the blanket we were a family unit and we were transported back to many years of laying on said blanket watching the same sky together and we added another year of memories. Tradition.
(It really is time for a new camera)
Thursday, July 2, 2009
It is going to be a great weekend! For the first time EVER we have no plans to have out of town guests, nor are we going out of town. Of course, the downside to that means that for the first time in many years, we are not spending the 4th with the Vulcans. That is a shame, since we don't get to see them much as it is...I sometimes think the phrase "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is true simply because you don't see each other...how can I feel anything but fondness for those I don't see?
Anyway, our weekend of no plans has quickly filled up. Tomorrow morning we will have our last garage sale day. Just in the morning, then we will see the Hoekstras and their new chickens! Boy are they good. MckMama isn't my only inspirational friend. Jesse and Tahnee definitely do things against the grain...or maybe they are with it and the rest of us are against it? Hmmm? At any rate, we get to spend the day with them tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it!
Saturday we have shhhh "secret" plans. Remember how I said I can keep secrets if they aren't mine to keep? This is one of them. I can't tell you what we are doing. I sure hope I can AFTER we have done it, cuz it's gonna be good!
I am excited for the weekend, and in moments Brian will be home to get the weekend started. The beer is cold and the grill is--well, it isn't doing anything yet, that is Brian's job. But we are in 4th of July weekend mode so bring it on!
How fitting! So we call our family MoJo.
- ► 2010 (90)
- Greatest School in the Universe!
- Crummy day
- Because everyone else did...
- United--just a thing of the past?
- Silver lining
- Wordless Wednesday
- Leap of Faith
- We are MOVING yes we are....
- He's home he's home he's home he's home
- ▼ July (17)