Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Women of all tongue sizes....

I woke up early this morning, and came downstairs to READ A BOOK - I KNOW!!! Me, read a book....and as I thumbed through it, it turns out - I've actually finished this one before!! ;) "A Wife After God's Own Heart". So there is another tally mark for the rare "finished book" chart. Woo hoo!

It talks about the tongue. Evil little thing. A crabby, cranky, nagging, quarrelsome, complaining, ill-tempered wife is biblical. The Bad kind of biblical, though - ranks right up there with tax collectors. She writes "It not only drives a husband crazy, but it can also drive him away. To escape the constant drip, drip, drip of a wife's sour, negative words, a husband will choose to live in the attic, on the porch, on the rooftop, or even in the wilds. He would rather risk the elements, do without the shelter and comfort of home, even take his chances against the threat of wild animals than stay one more second in the presence of a belligerent wife." That's quite the power we have there, ladies!

(paraphrased from book)
My speech is to be:
**soft. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
**sweet. Pleasant words promote instruction and understanding.
**suitable. kind, sweet words have a medicinal effect on both body and soul.
**scant. Sometimes the most skillful use of the tongue is keeping it still.
**slow. Listen much, speak little, and not become angry.

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me, who is Me anyway?

My Christmas gift came today: Amy Knapp's Christian Family Organizer.

I don't know what I would do without it!!! It came today FedEx. In the process of realizing the FedEx man was stuck in my driveway and needed a shovel, I understood how devoted this man was to bring me my beloved Organizer. So the first thing I did after he got unstuck, is rip open the package and see 2 organizers - the one I ordered AND the "Expecting" Family Organizer....ya, for pregnant women. I wonder if that was supposed to be a funny joke from God. I chuckled as if to say "in your dreams", and maybe he chuckled to say "if you only knew". Let's hope I was right. So I called to see if they wanted me to send it back, but if they don't want it back, do YOU know of anyone who just found out they are expecting??
Moving on...

weekly verse, calendar of before and after months at bottom, weekly grocery list with full-page perforated edge!, daily menu planner on the right, To Do List (very important), and a prayer list - everything you'd need in a planner, right? Love this thing!!! And as I was transferring birthdays into the new planner, I ran across "ANDY DIED" on January 28th, 2008 and got a little choked up as I skimmed what that week held (visitation and funeral arrangements), and glanced up at that weeks verse to the left which says "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." -Proverbs 27:1 NIV

And yes, I chuckled again. At the simple reminder of Andy -- that I am not actually in control. Control flairs up for me at Christmas time. I am in charge of buying, wrapping, writing, organizing (which Amy Knapp helps me do), and well.....managing. So -- balance all that with "I am not in control here". I get confused on this whole issue. In our INSTE study, we had a week that looked at "God is not pleased with self-sufficiency". And I've had to re-evaluate my control issue -- and really worked at balancing this problem I have.

Let me tell you a secret: I have a problem asking for help. With everything. Unless its my husband, that poor guy tolerates mountains of my help-needs and emotional issues. So...my point is...if I pride myself on "doing it all myself" and then I read "God is not pleased with self-sufficiency".... yes, that means change. And change means accepting "you do not know what a day may bring forth".... and changing in being prideful about how much I don't need God - because I just bet that makes Him cringe. How does one go from being "in control of the decisions of my life" to "Letting God be in complete control". And how to approach that change without a "demoted" attitude? That's a whole lotta change for one person. ESPECIALLY when it's Christmas, and I should be open to guidance to shine the light of Jesus - because that's what Christmas is about!!!

I probably should have thought that out a little more before I typed all that. :)

Merry Christmas to you and your families!!! I wish you a self-controlless Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is LOVE

This is me and my 2 sisters on vacation last summer. I LOVE THEM!!!!!

I love that I can call them my closest friends. Comfortable. :) Now, although we try not to make a habit out of being weird about being close, we can share a bathroom, tell each other when something is in our teeth, fix each other's make-up, give kisses to each other's children, and let each other in on the embarassing things that no one else would tell us about. I love my sisters.

VERY IMPORTANT: if you see the sister in the middle, "WENDY", give her a hug! She has a phobia. Please help her. And if you see the one on the right, "BRENDA", tell her how beautiful she is! She is in denial. And if you see me, ask me to make you a plate of cookies. I learned from my ever-so-talented Mommy. My beautiful mommy that taught me everything she knows. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Andy's Birthday


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY!
The last few weeks have been so emotional - then today came - and it went great! Bittersweet, that's for sure - but comforting. Harry took the day off today. We played in the snow a little, took a bath and nap, picked up some balloons, then went to the cemetery. My parents purchased one of these candles (pictured below) for Andy's birthday. You light the candle that goes inside the blue holder, put the lid on, and it will burn for 7 days. So we lit it again today, the 19th, and it will burn until Christmas. At night time, the flame looks red with glowing blue around it - it is beautiful. A light in the darkness. Very visible from the road. We love it!
And a beautiful wreath with butterflies from Aunt Wendy's family.

The girls both shouted out when they saw the ELMO balloon at the store, so that was the obvious choice for a first birthday party. :)
We each got our own balloon, and yelled up to Andy as we sent them off. "Say HI to Jesus for us!" "Happy Birthday" "We miss you!" "Have fun with your Elmo balloon!" "Love You"


then we brought the girls to amazing people....perhaps angels.... for a few hours. Harry and I went out to eat, stopped at a couple stores, and just got a chance to relax and spend some time together - something we've really needed! Then picked the very happy girls up and went home to have Andy's blue jello cake. We had to sing REALLY LOUD to make sure he heard us. And big sisters always help blow out the first candle.

This next one is a for you - a video: Stacy got to "cough" the candle out this time. :)

video
We sure do miss you, little guy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Held

I was talking to my sister last week and she was wondering how I look so strong on the outside, because inside it must be killing me. I love her. And as I was driving home, I was praying for the chance to explain it the best way I could - and the song "Held" came on. I, for the first time, started really listening to the words. Then came the lightbulb in my head. Thank you, Lord. Instantly answered prayer - why can't they all be this easy? "We survive."

And his birthday next week........so held. "We will survive."

I unpacked a Christmas box filled with ornaments, and found a couple "baby's first Christmas" ornaments ready to be hung on the tree. I had packed it last year in January while Andy was still alive. And I dug a little more and found two little onesies 3-6 month size. "And to know that the promise was when everything fell we'd be held."

Go Here and listen if you have a minute today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Prayertime

Daddy prayed at supper tonight, and Stacy followed right along. It went something like this:

Lord, thank you for this food....
(echo) Food...

and please bless it to our bodies....
(echo) o potty...

I love life's smiles. Especially the unexpected ones.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Andy

Been thinking lately...

Next month Andy would have been one year old. He most likely would have been walking by now. Would be taking plenty of abuse from his bully sisters, and been able to eat table food with us. He would have been able to hold his own, I'm sure.

I still cry.

You know, I had 3 babies in the hospital, and with each one, I read those SIDS pamphlets - "studies show.....laying babies on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS". And, I always tossed it aside like I was exempt. Saying to myself "oh, that wouldn't apply to me. I love babies. and mommies who love their babies - and LIKE their babies ....well, it just wouldn't apply. Look how healthy he is. Why do they even give these pamphlets out? I suppose it would apply to SOMEONE, though. By the time Andy was born, I had laid both my girls on their bellies with pillows sometimes, and they were just fine". I still hear that from people so much. Which is one reason why I hesitate to write this today. Because - In my head, I understand that the guilt I carry from Andy's death is wrong. And i still can't let go of it. It's become something I have to ask God to keep taking - daily. Somehow, I manage to snatch it back from Him - daily. This was the last picture I took of him alive:




And this was the next one on my camera:

I can still smell the funeral home. A bit like men's cologne. How did this seemingly perfect-packaged life we had get so tangled in a few short minutes? Andy died. I have yet to say that out lout, believe it or not. Call that lack of acceptance, I guess.

*How many kids do you have?
*How old are your kids?
*Any boys?
*Wow, you have your hands full.
*About time for another one?
And with each of these questions and comments I get from strangers, I have to pause and remember that it's wrong to punch in the face. Obviously, they just wouldn't have any way of knowing... I feel a blow to the heart, but most of the time I just smile. And it's about that time when I hear a baby cry in Wal-Mart as another mom is yelling at her children to be quiet and I think to myself "if she only knew what the silence was like...."


and I cry.


I still have visions and nighmares about my girls dying. And the possibility of that happening....blah, blah, blah. Reason has not worked very deep in my heart yet, although it has tried taking over in my head. AND I REALIZE:

The condition in my heart is going to overpower anything I have going on in my head. I will come back to blogging some day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Starbucks

Ok, so normally I will put things like this on my Save a Buck blog, but it was too good to not share at this one, first since the other blog is new. Go here to print your coupon for a free tall-sized latte, cappuccino, espresso, freshly-brewed coffee, or hot tea (up to $3.20 in value). The coupon expires October 31, 2008. Good at Barnes and Noble Starbucks. Go, go! Thanks, BeCentsAble!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Distracted......and walnuts!

So I really am here....just occupied.
Set up a couple new things this week.

#1: SAVE A BUCK blog
This is my saving money blog, cuz I'm all about that. And I need a place to keep track!

#2: A Shutterfly Page
In Progress!!!

But I will post about walnuts today, anyway. We decided to gather them up this year and really USE them, cuz they are just sitting there.....free! And I like free food. So it started out with rubber gloves and this:

then Farmer Ray came up and showed us this, which cut the time on this process to a small fraction of the picture above:

video

I wonder if my kids will become mud if they stay in it too long....

Friday, October 10, 2008

I GOT ONE! And...6 Randoms.

A little absent, I know!

Sarah and Life in the Parsonage passed this award onto me for THIS post! And I am so excited!!!



Thank you Sarah!!! And the first post that came to mind (when i realized I probably couldn't hang on to my first blogging award ever!) was Mel's ....well go HERE and read it. So congrats Mel!

And I am posting a meme today!
Here are the rules.....
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, just do it, and pass the tag along!!

1. Heth posted this and I thought I'd put in my two cents.
The dentist....I fell asleep once....or maybe a lot more than once....the root canal a month or so ago was GREAT because they put that blanket around the tooth and around your mouth, so all you have to do is lay there and breathe through your nose.... and they aren't shoving anything else in your mouth.... or down your throat. Or that nasty orange/cherry/mint trays of goop that you have to gag on and try to suck out with that sucker-tool-thing.....Can. I. Rinse. Now. Please.

2. Thinking cheap, oh wait - not cheap - FRUGAL Christmas gifts. So, we have zipper pulls - I bought charms at Hobby Lobby for half off and some beads. And, I thought of sewing those I-Spy bags (with rice and other goofy things in it). There is a plastic window in the front, and you move the rice around to find the other items in the bag - good car toy. And we still have that fake leg out in the garage as a gag gift.....I wonder who I could give that to.

3. My daughter fell asleep tonight as we were rubbing noses. :) I laid down next to her and cuddle. And she says "I yuv you" and I say "I love you more" and she says "Yuv you most" and I say "I love you most most" and she says "Yuv you best best". And I play with her hair or sing her the fu-fine (You are my sunshine) song. She's a cuddle girl.

4. I carry a hunter's safety card in my wallet. Now, my dad and brother hunt for deer mostly. And my 2 sisters love the hunting of the deer as well. Now me? I like the process of, but not a big fan of "after the kill". They have this rule - you gut your own deer. Now. Seriously. THAT is the man's job. And what's the deal with paying an arm and a leg to process the meat? And why don't they have deer season when it is 70 degrees outside. My 3rd toe on my right foot froze off 2 years ago sitting in the woods waiting for a deer to walk by. My dad was amuzing, though - I would sit out in the woods with him again and just spend some time with him. BUT....first week of December is , ah, how you say, COLD. So my dad and all my siblings go hunting, and my mom and I take all the kids to one house and make Christmas cookies with them all. Avoidance of smelly deer insides and frozen toes? And the runny nose you get in the cold that your huge gloves can't grip so you just wipe it on your sleeves? We. Win.

5. I start too many projects at once. And don't finish them. I was doing a bible study and we were supposed to list the books we have enjoyed to read. So I thought.... And. Thought. And. Realized.... I'm not sure I've ever finished one. And in turn, realized that......I bet I know where all my bookmarks are. Have you tried looking on the bookshelf inside the books? No, didn't think of that.

6. I am a first degree black belt in TaeKwondo. I used to break boards like I now break plastic forks. I am SuperWoman! But do you think I could get all the ice cubes out of the tray and into my cup? No. Biggest loser - right here. Side note: husband was a wrestler - it's a pretty good match, but I "let" him win. every. time.

I tag anyone who needs a post idea. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Turn out.

H:
Subtotal: $43.58
NOTE: I DID buy colored marshmallows for .77that was not on my list - to distract the kids from running up and down the isles. Bribery. Thanks, Heth.
4 Store Coupons: $2.91
11 Vendor Coupons: $9.80
Balance Due $30.87

F:
Subtotal: $17.27
Vendor Coupons: $8.60
Balance Due: $8.67

$21.31 in coupons - I like that better.
That's a thirty percent off deal on groceries, I guess.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Coupons

So, I've been trying to be frugal. Grocery prices are gut-wrenching. And I thought I would share with you my grocery list today - aren't you special? I love looking at the ads for awesomely low prices, and then adding coupons to it. Nothing is free this week but we have 25 cent veggies. :) Now, we have 2 local grocery stores that I am shopping at this week. One is F and the other is H.

At F:
Hamburger Helper .99
save .80/three here

Grapes .99/lb.

Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes $1
Save .40 on one here
=.60 each

Progresso soup 3/$4
Save $1.10/three here
= .83 each (that was head math...lol, may be wrong)

Pillsbury Crescent and sweet rolls $1.50
Save $1/1, but I can't find it back to link you. :)
=.50 each

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers 4/$5
Save $1/1 here
= .25 each!!!

And At H:
Banquet Meals for Hubby .90
save .50/6 coupon from package
=4.90/6....., right? I so need a calcuboomer

HJ Pancake Mix 1.58

Store Coupons
.99 for 6 ct. applesauce (fits great in diaper bag)
.77 for 16 oz. Sour Cream
.88 for powdered or brown sugar

Cheerios $2
save $1/1 here, may be by e-mail
and perhaps general mills save 1.50/3 cereal from insert
=.50 per box

Oreos for Harry $2.50

Coffee-Mate Creamer 32 oz. 2.99, gotta have it
Save $1/1 here

Green Giant Vegetables (box) $1.25
Save $1/2 here
=.75 each

Pizza Rolls (for easy lunches for girls) $2.90
Save $1/1 here

Chex Mix (for craft night) $1.00
Save .60/1 here
=.40 per bag

There you have it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am becoming a coupon-holic. Go here or here or here or here to get a start. You may have to SIGN UP or something, but it is completely worth it - try setting up a new e-mail account if you are worried about junk mail problems and use it for coupons/promotions only. :) And don't freak out if you have to download some kind of coupon converter deal - it takes about 30 seconds and doesn't even bug down your computer. Anyone bitin'?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tunes from my home to yours!

Linda is hosting a camera party! :) But, you get music instead, and not just any music.....but KIDS music!

So I started with this Barney song.......and then REALIZED.....

video

That you really NEEDED this, at your request of course:

video

Monday, September 29, 2008

Messy Heart

As I step over the toys and walk by the piles of laundry, I often wonder how and why this mess keeps on showing its face. “Didn’t I clean that up already A MINUTE AGO? And almost every day, I think about boxing it all up to the attic! Taking care of it once and for all!

The same is true for the mess in my heart. A section or two of my heart is called “under the bed, covered by bedskirt” and “stuffed in the closet and close the door”. In these places, my heart is still be a mess, but no one can see my hidden disaster with the plastic smile I have learned to wear so well. These hiding places perfectly fit unforgiveness, judgments, addictions, gossip, hurts, fears, etc.

Would you like to know a great thing about God? (You say, me! me! Pick me!) He created us as INDIVIDUALS. We aren’t supposed to be a bunch of cherries mixed up in a cherry pie - tasting all the same. We are more like a chicken pot pie. You may be the carrot, I am so the chicken. So often I look at other women and think “I wish I had that quality” or “they do that so much better than I ever could” or “she always looks so beautiful and put together”. And I find myself on a lower level as them. That I am not as important because, seriously, what does someone like me have to offer? And look at them - they are so…….so……..Christian!

Christian? We are not supposed to be the same! We aren’t all supposed to have a gift for baking, or keeping our house spotless, and we don’t have to long for the patience THAT woman has. Because we are who we are - and God DELIGHTS in that! It is difficult to let Him at times, that’s for sure. Our doubts and fears about ourselves take over, but He whispers “Come to me. Simply come. Just as you are.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zoo Temps

Look at these adorable things that Harry got at the store - clearanced out to make great future baby gifts! As I read the label (which does not change my mind about giving them as gifts, by the way).....
NOTE: Drinking hot or cold fluids, exercising, smoking or performing other activities may raise or lower your temperature. Therefore, it is important to RELAX FOR 5 MINUTES WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED PRIOR TO TAKING A READING.

lol, crack me up. They don't really mean that, do they? Maybe they didn't have my kids in mind....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

We've gained a hundred pounds.

Literally.

video

Paired up with 2 bushels of pears: 103.5 pounds....plus her 30 pounds.

Makes this, minus what the pair ate. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

To Hubby:

I've loved you from that first moment we locked eyes. Even more when you carried that huge box of candy to my car for me on our first date. And when you teared up as I walked down the isle. And the wedding night, and the honeymoon. We've had some great discussions. Important Fights. Great loss. Great gain. Good days. Bad days. Surgeries. Financial Trouble. Financial Resolution. Relocation. New Life. Death. Hope. Not bad in four years. Not bad.

Want to know something? You're still my favorite.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

p.s. thanks for putting up with the laundry all over the house :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Parents

Free Magazine Subscription! Go ahead and sign someone up that you know. Thanks, Frugal in Virginia!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Free Padlock

Headed to Sears anytime soon? Go grab a free padlock - on me. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Changing Seasons

~Changing Seasons~

Yesterday we were walking in from the garden and the girls were on the lawn mower with Harry, and I suddenly remembered I don't have a car seat attached to my arm....then I pause and realize.... it's in the attic. Andy isn't here anymore and Stacy is running around like a big girl.

I had this summer all planned out. the girls would run around and help pull weeds, pick grapes, pick veggies, and Andy would be taking naps in the car seat under the shade tree. Or crawling around eating dirt and worms. I hadn't realized it was still in my heart as the plan. :)

~Changing Seasons~

We left the eggplant, jalepenos, squash, and some tomato plants - the rest is mowed down. Done. I am wearing a sweatshirt and summer is nearing the end. I normally just. don't. like. winter. It's cold. And my feet have about no circulation. So I crawl into bed and automatically attach my toes to my husband's leg to warm them up. Out come the fuzzy socks. I have mixed feelings this year about winter. Surprisingly, I am looking forward to it. Maybe not the bulky winter coats and muddy slush on the floor.....but the calm. The snowed-in days. Snowmen. Candles. Warm chocolate chip cookies.

But before winter, the pumpkin carving. Nice, eh?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Now who will help me EAT the food?


Country Livin'

My hubby found this site:

http://www.kountrylife.com/contents.htm

Seriously. How to weigh a pig without a scale... lol

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kitchen Updated

Although the carpet in the kitchen was comfortable......

This was proof that it HAD to go! We rent this house, by the way, and this is what we found under the carpet. A very thin padding - and can you imagine how long this has been here?? GROSS!My new floor with my coffee mat. :) When I get the walls painted and border up, I'll post it for ya.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 SIDS Walk

I want to thank everyone for showing us so much support!! We had a great time at the SIDS walk! It was very bittersweet.



My friend, Christi. She drove all the way up to Mason City to support me. She dropped everything with little info of what was going on the morning Andy died and came to watch the girls while we were at the hospital with him. She is the most amazing friend. She drove over to bring me cheddar bay biscuits when I was having one of those pregnant cravings. She's always here to talk to. I love her.

But, let's play a game - how many chins does Amie have? and Christi - how do you get your teeth so white??

and here is the balloon release - we had a welcome and memorial time for our babies and then released the balloons. as I watched them fly up into the cloudless blue sky, I was overwhelmed. Harry and I held each other and sobbed. I understood where Andy was. I watched the many balloons floating together and I was amazed - that's too many babies.

They had popcorn, snow cones, face/hand painting, air-jumping for the kids, and...

Raffles. My girls won this girly basket with lots of summer activities - they chased bubbles for a good 20 minutes after opening it.

As I watched the line of many many people in front of us during the walk, and babies names on posters along the path, I just walked with tears. Where have these people been? What is their story? Which baby brought them there that day? How old was their baby?
How can this many babies just die in their sleep? And I realized that someone had to find each of these babies lifeless in what was supposed to be a refreshing rest. And so it began - for each one of these families - this sudden whirlwind of disbelief and doubt. That paralizing reality. I knew with my brain that I was not the only one - but being there made my heart agree. This and the balloon release were my favorite parts.

I have such a blessing for a family - for making sure my girls were taken care of on a very emotional day. For dropping everything else and coming to show their support - for the donations they received, as well as their own for SIDS, for standing together for us every step of the way, I could go on and on.......I just love them.

Brenda and Stacy - Crack me up.

I got to meet so many friendly, great people. The whole day was an enormous blessing!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Laughed So Hard I Cried.


Click on the picture for a zoom-in. It is so me. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sleepy Head

I have been struggling with sleep. There. I said it.
Scenario 1: I have too much to do during the day that by the time night comes, I feel like sitting at my craft desk to have some down time - or putzing around the house putting it in somewhat of an order. Some Amie time. Recompose myself and think about the day and what tomorrow's day will bring. the problem with this is that I feel a little sleepy and finally look at the clock and it says something like 2:38 am. And I think Oh! Harry will be up in 2 1/2 hours. I better go to bed. The kids will be up in 4 1/2 hours. then when I wake up I am reminded of the morning Andy died and opening my eyes and seeing him already gone. Hear a child awake and I think "oh no - what did I miss?"

Scenario 2: I decide to go to bed on time (10). But I lay in bed and twiddle my thumbs, pick on Harry, or count all the shiny mirror things scattered on my ceiling. Usually end up crying. This is the perfect condition to lay in bed and think about "my feelings". Ugh. I, quite honestly, try to stay busy enough that this won't happen. Most often I think about Andy. What I should have/could have done. But where he is. And how hard some days are. Women's emotions + Sleeping husband = trouble.

I have been waking up with Harry for 2 whole days, and I can actually see a progress in my house! But sometimes, I long for sleep. A good night's sleep with no crying. No having to hold back emotions. No nightmares. No helpless feeling when I open my eyes in the morning. Then I read this today.

Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.

And you know how I like food to spare. that means more cooking and baking. and you can't beat that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SIDS Walk

Hello, all.

I am taking part in a SIDS walk on Saturday, August 23rd in Mason City . As I'm sure you know, my son died of SIDS in January at just 6 weeks old, and I think this is a great opportunity to raise money for SIDS research.

I am so excited to meet other SIDS parents in person and celebrate the lives of our babies, and come together to help save all the babies we can! I have attached a link to the organization’s website in case you would like more information regarding the walk:

http://www.iowasids.org/Events/WalkInfo.htm

If you would like to make a donation, you may send me a check made payable to The Iowa SIDS Foundation. Every little bit helps, but certainly don’t feel obligated to do so. I will be taking any donations with me on Saturday; however I can forward anything after Saturday directly to the foundation. I would be more than happy to pick up any donations as well!

You can e-mail me at IowaMother@yahoo.com with any questions! Thank you so much!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vacation Truths

We were on vacation this week! Thank you, Mom and Dad!

*Sandcastles rock. And becoming a sand mermaid is even better - but requires quite the bath afterwards.
*Cinnamon Bun creamer tames down the gas station coffee taste. I kept it close.
*Dunkin' Donuts Decaf causes caffeine withdrawals - is that spelled the same as a bank transaction? Whatever.
*Life vests do not prevent children from sticking their face in water and breathing anyway.
*There is nothing like a warm fire on a breezy evening and a gooshy marshmallow.
*A jetski can indent if it hits the dock just right.
*An 18 month old little girl can walk right into the metal bottom of a ping pong table and have a lifetime scar - (let's hope not)
*Boys pick on girls when they are away from work for too long.
Naptime is negotiable.
*It's time for Mom to get rid of her wedding gift crock pot. I have her name for Christmas..........
*1 cent tootsie rolls and 5 cent gummies really do still exist.
*No rules for a week can do things to a kid....especially damaging a week before school starts.
*My dad bought a Wii. and Mom let him....meaning.....didn't make him take it back to the store for a full refund.
*"I have to go potty" means NOW.
*Scrapbooking stores make me grin.
*Family is lovely.

And the laundry starts........
And the SIDS walk is in one week.........

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dog Treats

Went outside today and found my 18 month old eating Sadie's dog food. Then Olivia was dropping the pebbled food through a hole in the top of the porch swing landing on her brother's head.

Went back in the house for about 20 minutes, and I kept hearing the door opening and a bag rustle and door opening again. So after the third or fourth time, I asked them what they were doing. "Oh, just giving Sadie a dog treat."

"Okay. Just not all at once, okay?"

"Okay" and then seconds later in a somber voice "I have your meal, Prisoner."

Smile and shake my head - could have been keeping Sadie hostage, or feeding the treats to Stacy - hard to tell.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Greetings

I have been spending most extra minutes I have in front of my craft desk. I am making greeting cards! :) LOVE it! and with glue sticks 22 cents per 2-pack, I'm getting by pretty cheap my friends.

I will be selling these cards in a craft show. I'd like to bundle them in 10-packs. So in that 10, we have:

uplifting
anniversary/wedding
2thank you
2birthday
celebrate/enjoy
sympathy
get well
just a hello
congratulations
graduation

doesn't add up to 10, I know.
now for holidays.....separate holidays greeting pack? My question to you is:

What cards would most likely use all of - give me your perfect 10 pack!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back to James we go.

3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Who are the peacemakers? There has been some debate. I would like to go back to work in an office. Harry would like to be away from his job - and be home. We both have guilt of Andy's death. He wishes he would have been here, and I was here but was unable to save him.

Not a whole lot of people can grasp this idea, nor do I expect them to. Would I be okay going back to work? My inadequate feelings say YES. Would I make as much money as my husband does? Minus child support, maybe. We would make it. He would still work a little - fixing cars or eBay or work-at-home type things....honestly, he is incabable of Not working. It's just not in him. But there is plenty of lack-of-housework around here that he could catch up for me. :)

Harry is a great daddy. The one God said I belong with, and my perfect match. And in this whirlwind that is passing, we can both agree on a crazy idea. One that not many understand. However, we both feel this situation would be submissive to God. Not many people believe in the ways of the Word anymore. These worldly views on how a household is run is rubbish, my friends. No, there's not much in the bible about men staying home with his kids. Or about women leaving the home - to an office - to provide for her families needs. I get that. And he won't be perfect at staying at home - and I won't be perfect working outside the home. It will require helping each other.

Harry has been looking for stay-at-home work since I've known him. And long before that, I'm sure. He loves what he does, but there's something that calls him elsewhere. And by me being his wife, his helper, maybe I can help - and we both do what we think we are being called to do. Not many doors and windows have opened, but there are plenty closing! And there is one opening right around the corner, I'm quite sure. Marriage is TEAMwork, and as we became One that day - we are in this for the long haul - helping each other through on the path leading to eternity, whether it is here or there.

Where do we belong from 6am to 5 pm? To Be Determined. How important is acceptance and their understanding from others when you are going where God tells you to go? I guess both Harry and I have some learning to do in the near future - good thing we can do it together, though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Packing

Went to Minnesota last weekend and had my parents take over the whole parenting bit. :) But when I pack for such a weekend, my bags are ready at LEAST 24 hours before we leave - minus toothbrush and things we will use up until the time we leave, of course.

So this weekend we are going to Keokuk. So bring on the laundry! And. Today. I. Pack. For. Six.

And if something - ANYthing is forgotten . . . guess who's fault it is - MOM's! And to the store we will go. . . within reason.

"Just In Case" is my packing method. lol, I am an overpacker. Just in case it rains, we will need ______. And just in case we go out at night, we will need _______. Oh, and it will probably be hot most days, so we will probably need 3 short outfits. And you have to plan for a couple spills on those 3 outfits, so we might just need to bring a couple more. Bandaids JIC, check. Medications JIC, check. Something to do if we ever get bored JIC, check. Swimwear including swim diapers and floaties JIC, check. Gardening and cardmaking magazine for the ride down and back JIC, check. Snorkel gear JIC we see some dolphins and rare fish in Iowa, check.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Love James!

No, no - it's nothing like that.

1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We had this verse read at Andy's funeral - and it still pierces my heart. Pure joy in the midst of all this? Amazing....


1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Gardening gives me special insight on full-grown.....SIN can be full-grown. I remember being there.

1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Slow to become angry. So, when my girls are slapping each other back and forth I should be slow to get angry. And when I have heard this argument of "he/she's not helping me pick up!" "She's looking at me!". Slow, slow, slow.

I could live in the world of James - he just really "got" this whole deal.....fluent, I know. My favorite book of the bible - james. You're lucky I just posted about the first chapter. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Laundry Day

So, Darin comes into the laundry room today and hands me his pj pants. "Here. Can you wash these?" These - as in specifically that one pair of pants.

Slowly answer "Why...?"
"Oh, (shrug) uhhh, because, ...." then holds them up to show me this brown smudge about the size of my one year old.

"What happened?"

"Well, I was eating one of those ice cream treats in bed last night and I fell asleep."

"Uhh, is it all over your bed too?"

"um, I dont' think so."

"Can you go check please?"

"Uhh.....yeah." Comes back down the stairs and says "Ya, the sheets are dirty too."

"Okay....................Would you bring those down for me to wash with the pants, too?"

"Oh, yeah!"

Just bought a new pack of paper plates last night and this morning as I went to put eggs onto a plate for all the little children, the plate package was already opened. I should have KNOWN! That Daddy.....owes me a new bottle of Shout!.

Who said the kids could eat ice cream in the living room and bedrooms when Daddy gives them a wink?? That would explain why my laptop keyboard was sticky last week......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Word of the Day

Dictionary Word of the Day:

gamine

gamine \gam-EEN; GAM-een\, noun:

1. A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin.

2. A playfully mischievous girl or young woman


Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Big.

Want to know how I really feel?

I miss him.

I miss his tiny cry and his little face and the body that used to fit into this onesie. I miss his fingers - his bent little pinkies. His toes. His squeaks as he nursed.

Friday night I cried myself to sleep. I laid his blue monkey hat next to me in bed where his head has rested next to me last. and I patted the comforter where his bottom always was. That would always relax him - then we could go back to sleep, and do it all over again when he got hungry ... in 3 hours. Held a teddy bear given to us for his funeral and cried and cried. Oh, how I miss my baby boy.

There is an anthill on the surface of his grave. And I watch, wondering how cold it is underneith. And oh, how I want to dig!! Did I wrap him warmly enough? He has a book and a webkinz just in case. And then I laugh for obvious reasons....a webkinz? and he wouldn't be reading a board book about heaven - he's THERE. And I close my eyes every time I go see him and ask God to take us. Come back for us, Lord. Come back soon. What should i do with this anthill in the meantime? How dare they - that's where my son is. He doesn't like bugs, either. If only I could just hold him for another day. Feel him wiggle, feel him warm, with no embalming fluid smell. Like mass-produced plastic. Ugh. But his beautiful little hand was perfect all the way from birth through burial. That didn't change a bit.

At the cemetery, there is a gravestone that has a worn look to it. Son of ______ Born and Died August 27, 1890. A lamb carved into the top. No flowers. And I look back at my son's stone with 4 boquets around it, pull a pretty arrangement from the ground, and place it next to this baby's stone. And I stand there and think - near 100 years ago, his mother stood in this very spot - asking God "why?". Why my baby? Crying over her son, and pouring her heart out - just as I was that day. And now, I bet she's with him again. And his stone sits unvisited, just as Andy's will be in 100 years. And just as I will be with him again.

I am going to be honest. I am haunted. Haunted by thoughts of Andy's death, finding him that morning when I opened my eyes. Pale and blue and cool when I touched him - wondering what on earth had just happened. Holding him so tightly - knowing I had never been so out of "situational control" in my whole life. He was perfectly fine 4 hours ago. CPR, Ambulance, Investigators, Questions, Funeral Arrangements, Burial, Gravestone Design. Something I never dreamed about when I went back to sleep after nursing that morning.

I don't quite know if I should be writing all this tonight, but I am just going to. If I don't hear my children for a few hours in the night, my heart sinks, and I stand at their door terrified to go into the room, and seeing flashes of what I might find. I walk in and stare at their bodies laying there until I see movement. Sometimes I will shake them a little just to see them respond. Hold a finger under their nose to feel their warm breath. And I wonder when I will stop.

I see potential dangers in a whole new light. There are movies that people see flash pictures of the future - that kind of thing. That is exactly how it happens. A close up shot of the danger, then them finding that danger, accident, dying, pain, arrangements, burial, and finding heaven ...unintentionally. Only it's not predicting anything - or helping - it's haunting. Although Andy died in his sleep, I see my other kids in accidents as well as sleeping. Or in pain - and I am unaware. I feel unaware of this life we live. and out of control. And every day I have to make a choice to submit and watch what He can do. Because if I didn't have that every morning when I walk into the girls' room, I wouldn't have anything.

I expected that God knew how He fit into the box I made for Him. Turns out, I don't think it was His favorite place to be. And He shouts - I AM THE BEGINNING AND THE END. But I LOVE you. Come and get to know me better. That coffee you are drinking - I created that. Those raspberries you are going to pick today - I made those. And me, I can rationalize that I will see Andy again, and I understand God's faithfulness and LOVE...but my little brain just can't get around this idea.....who is He? He gives and takes away ... but my heart will choose to say .... Lord, BLESSED BE YOUR NAME. In these storms of this crazy world - I want to cling to you, because that is the absolute only thing that I am sure about anymore. He is the only thing I am sure of.

No, I don't know how or why He works, but He is there, and always will be. And He LOVES piddly little me. Enough to tell me that I need to DISCOVER Him again. And that is where I am.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Define Weeds.


My boquet of flowers sitting on my table came from the ditch. That's right, the ditch! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Queen For A Day!

I went to a women's conference at our church a couple months ago. There was a chance to nominate someone to receive queen for a day (spa day). I was overwhelmed by the nominations and the sweet, sweet words that were so selflessly given. Everyone in the room wanted to bless another with this day, and quite honestly, I felt a little guilty up there receiving this wonderful package. A spa day wasn't exactly "me".



1. Hair done however I wanted! My sister has always done my hair - since I can remember school pictures. I have only been to a salon once for me - for a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in.

2. Massage! My love languages are words and touch - so the whole "touchy thing" had me a little freaked out - being alone in a room not wearing much and touching going on??? Uhhh.... I had never done it - I am the one that gives the massages, not receives them - I used to rub my mom's feet for 10 cents. :)

3. Nails! LOL - I do NOT have pretty nails, blogging friends. What on earth would I do with a manicure? I was quite sure it should have been someone else. :)

4. Lunch with my friends. Now THAT I can do!

So here is the manicure. I had a GREAT time - this lady was very nice, we talked a lot about Andy and about the tornado disasters. She advised me to use a nail strengthener - LOL. Okay, okay.


Then we went to my favorite place ever to eat - a cute diner downtown - I am very partial to this place ........ I used to work here and LOVE it!! This is me and my sister, Wendy - she rocks.
And we met T and Mary (last post was September 2006! My blog slacker.) there - they are awesome - and we had such relaxing conversation....I just love them!! It made it a girlS day out!


Now for the massage I was so nervous about.....this was the room I was awarded! After I was ready, the massage therapist came in and laid it out there - "We can sure talk if you want to. I won't bother you - unless you want to chat. You can let me know if it is too much pressure, or too little, and feel free to ask any questions." :) :) thank you - I had no idea. It. Was. Awesome. We talked a little, but it wasn't weird at all - she was wonderful! :)
Then I cheated a little bit. I sent my sister to get her hair done. You see, she is a hairdresser and always cuts her own hair, colors her own hair, and does everyone elses. So she colored and cut my hair before our spa day, and she also got a cut and color! I was SOOO happy to see her SIT IN THE CHAIR! lol, she's the best!




I had the best day! And completely felt like a queen and a half. :) So thank you so much to my blogger buddies and you, visitor, ;) that were there and sent in a little pink slip for me - I. Love. You. And I had an amazing time!

P.S. I have not worn nail strengthener....I should really get on that....3 more broke today. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Smile!

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.



An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'

Monday, July 07, 2008

Virtual Garden Tour!

Corn (which may get some enhancements this year), Jalepono Peppers, Squash Varieties (which is where the circle fence and wire fence will allow them to grow), Brussel Sprouts (quietly anticipating this new veggie), Eggplant, Cucumbers, Yellow and Zucchini Squash, Green and White Beans, Asparagus Beans (?), Beets, Turnips, Radishes, Carrots, Onions (which are looking VERY sad....didn't come up last year either....?hmm...maybe my husband is throwing root killer on my onions when I'm not looking??), Okra, and 40 Tomato Plants (big beef, normal popular :), yellow, cherry, roma, and who knows what else - it's written down somewhere...)




6 Black Mulberry trees - we have frozen 20 cups already in a few short days...



Which results in this.....


These are starting to show their pretty faces.....Still trying to find some seedless sweet grapes to plant next to these!

And my yummy red raspberries are popping up again!! Yay!

10 apple trees, 2 pear trees, rhubarb........
Now HERE is the question!!! Can this land feed my family for a whole year?? Minus meat and dairy - cuz I am not ready to commit to a goat yet. Or a cow. Or a sheep. Maybe some chickens for eggs and meat....but we'll see about that! Do I do some farmers market this year, or can and freeze my little heart out to see how self-reliant we actually are?
I am not just saying this.....if you want some yummy fresh fruits and veggies, PLEASE call me - You pick it - you keep it! THIS IS YOUR INVITATION!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ONE WORD - MeMeMeMe

Sarah at Life in the Parsonage tagged us for this one-word MeMe...ONE WORD!! So here's the rules: All of the answers must be just one word, that's right - one. Now where is that thesaurus?

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your significant other? Comfortable
3. Your hair? Undone
4. Your mother? Advisor :) (Tee-Hee)
5. Your father? Goofball
6. Your favorite thing? Crafting
7. Your dream last night? Vivid
8. Your favorite drink? Coffee!
9. Your dream/goal? Self-discipline
10. The room you’re in? Messville
11. Your church? Addicting
12. Your fear? Childless
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Heaven.? :)
14. Where were you last night? Here
15. What you’re not? Confident
16. Muffins? Nah
17. One of your wish list items? Tubal-Ligation
18. Where you grew up? Iowa
19. The last thing you did? Maidsearch
20. What are you wearing? Coffee
21. Your TV? Channelless
22. Your pets? Tied
23. Your computer? Battery-challenged
24. Your life? Reviewing
25. Your mood? Behind
26. Missing someone? Andy
27. Your car? Vacuum-challenged
28. Something you’re not wearing? Bells
29. Favorite store? Clearance
30. Your summer? mosquito-ey
31. Like(love) someone? Always
32. Your favorite color? Pink
33. Last time you laughed? Yesternight
34. Last time you cried? Morning
35. Who will re post this? Puh....

This was SUPER hard...ONE word! If I can do this...I can do anything *wink wink*
I'd like to tag T and Angela.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flood and a Half

My bathroom sink looks a little like this when my daughter washes her hands for the millionth time....water filling over the sink onto the counter, and starting to fill up the floor....only on an amazingly smaller level.



Monday, June 09, 2008

Call Me... Phone Man

Favorites
Food: Probably, um, pickles.
Drink: Blueberry Mountain Dew
To Do: Drive 4-wheelers
Stuff: Guitars
Color: Black
Season: Summer, because it means when school gets out!! (I'll take 2 more please...2 more exclaimation points) !!
Movie: Scooby Doo
Day: Sunday, cuz.
*anything else?
"That...I like chicken!"

Here is Darin in all his glory. Just like his daddy - taking things apart!







Friday, June 06, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Catilyn's Mommy is Relieved Now. :)


Catilyn Renee Wedeking was born on May 27, 2008 at 12:01pm! 6 pounds, 6.2 ounces and 19.5 inches long. And She. Is. Beautiful. Congratulations Chris and Christi!!!!!